Brian’s Column: Robert Ettinger Takes a Nap

Cryonics founder begins his cold deep nap
by Brian Wright, w/comments by Pat Heller

Robert EttingerThough we are not precisely contemporaries, Robert Ettinger—author of The Prospect of Immortality and Man into Superman, founder of the cryonics movement and the Cryonics Institute (CI)—and I inhabited the same milieu of SE Michigan in the days when liberty and life extension became primetime, iconic ideas in society (roughly the late 1960s and into the early 1980s).[1] Mr. Ettinger ‘deanimated’ a week ago at his home in Clinton Township, Michigan, where he was perfused and ‘frozen'[2] in a chamber of liquid nitrogen at the CI facility, also in Clinton Township. The Washington Post, and several other periodicals, mostly respectful, carried the story of his passing… passing from a state with heartbeat and respiration into essential biostasis.

So the leader of a great techno-philosophical movement takes his hoped-for temporary leave by practicing what he preaches: taking a prepared respite from life, until the time medical knowledge catches up to reanimate and rejuvenate him. That is the plan. The Wikipedia article on Robert Ettinger is accurate and, again, respectful, no doubt written by those with a personal knowledge of the man and the vastness of the ‘idea-prise’ he created.[3] Here are some comments from Pat Heller, one of the early adopters of cryonics, and a perennial officer of CI: Continue reading