Businesses survive and prosper either because they are lucky or because they do things right (or at least right enough to succeed). As you review these "reasons" you may also understand why you are now looking at the net page of the American Cryonics Society rather than that of one of the many other cryonics organizations who have gone the way of the DoDo.

  1. We are the Oldest Cryonics Society

    Cryonics is a business where it is desirable that your cryonics society last a long time. ACS has been around longer than all others. We were incorporated in 1969, as a California non-profit corporation. Two famous medical doctors, Dr. M. Coleman Harris, and Dr. Grace Talbot, were among our founders. Another Founder was Jerome B. White, now in suspension. Edgar Swank, our current President, was also an original incorporator.


  2. We Focus on Fiscal Responsibility

    Besides being the oldest cryonics society, ACS is also the society which has had patients in its care longer than any other. This fact has required us to adopt a very practical approach to fiscal responsibility while some other societies could go about being wild eyed dreamers.

    While we admit to occasionally being a bit flamboyant, and even whimsical in promoting cryonics, our management of trusts and research funds is conservative. We have designed our program with many safeguards and "fail-safe" mechanisms to guard against misuse and mismanagement. We are also careful not to accept responsibility without the means to fulfill that duty. That is what fiscal responsibility is all about.


  3. ACS Provides Members with Many Options

    We don't have all the answers. Cryonics depends upon anticipating future technological developments, and taking action now to benefit from those breakthroughs. This means that there is a speculative aspect to cryonics. We give our members as wide a choice of options as we can, and let them choose the options they prefer.

    Options include:

    • Members may ask that we use the services of a commercial suspension company which works to provide suspension services based on the latest research findings, or they may choose a number of less expensive options. 

    • Members may direct that the American Cryonics Society take custody of them and direct their cryonic suspension, long-term storage, and possible future revival.  Alternatively, they may ask that a relative or friend maintain ultimate control.

    • Members may establish their own individual trusts with ACS or another party acting as trustee, or direct that ACS establish a trust or dedicated fund upon the member's deanimation.


  4. ACS Utilizes the Tools of Risk Management

    The ACS program employs the tools and techniques of risk management, such as inspection, diversification, and decentralization to guard against adverse occurrence.  For example, ACS' program allows members to make use of a wide range of resources for cryonics services and for trust and fund management.  This utilizes decentralization, provides diversity, and requires inspection.  Under the ACS program, it is very difficult, or impossible, for one person or small group of people to seriously harm the program through misuse of authority. In fact, the ACS fail-safe program of "freeze-wait-reanimate" for our patients would continue even if unforeseen circumstances lead to ACS going out of business as an entity.


  5. ACS Sponsors Research

    Some research programs of the American Cryonics Society have been very well publicized. The successful cool-down and recovery of Miles the Beagle led to appearances of ACS scientists on Good Morning America, The Sally Jessy Raphael Show, and The Phil Donahue Show.

    The major research program of placing people into suspended animation under whatever circumstances are presented to us, also gets a lot of press.

    There are many minor programs of research and technological development less well known. For example, the American Cryonics Society stands alone in the cryonics movements in having an endangered species program of preservation, for possible future cloning, of cell samples from rare or endangered marine mammals


  6. ACS Partners with Other Cryonics Organizations

    By contracting with the best and most reliable cryonics service providers, ACS is able to greatly extend our capabilities for research and quality cryogenic preparation and storage. Because cryonics is just in its infancy, the companies which offer this service often also engage in non-cryonics study, especially in medical research. The non-cryonics work enables companies such as Suspended Animation, Inc., to retain a degree of preparation and competency which might languish if the company did nothing but wait for its next cryonic suspension.


  7. ACS Maintains its Own Suspension Capacity

    The American Cryonics Society is unique in that while we place our primary reliance upon the skills and competency of contract laboratories, we also have individuals on call and we own equipment to engage in emergency response, standby, and suspension. This double preparation of contracting and internal capacity has come about through our many years of experience maintaining a suspension program.


  8. What We Don't Do

    Of importance in our survival and success (while so many companies in this business have gone under), has been "what we don't do." Time and again we have seen a cryonics company which experiences an unexpected windfall, burn through various small and large fortunes. A father should not be surprised when his spendthrift son squanders his allowance. The son may be able to give very good reasons for his expenditures, but the money is gone just the same.

    Mistakes we have avoided are: investing in overseas trusts, sponsorship of Pied Piper research, making the society an "underground" cult, spending money on expensive publicity campaigns, starting for-profit companies with "sure fire" get-rich-quick plans.


  9. ACS is a Democratic Society

    One internal control, absent in many organizations, is the fact that ACS is a democratic society. That is, our governors are elected from among the members, by the members. A number of procedures have evolved over the years, to help ensure that this electoral procedure is safeguarded. For example, members and candidates are given the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns at election time.


  10. ACS Patients have Live-Member Sponsors

    To ensure that the obligation ACS has to people in suspension continue to be considered, ACS has a program whereby live members act as "Sponsors" on behalf of the people in suspension. Sponsors get reports of suspension facilities housing the patient, and information on investments used to benefit the continued suspension of that person. Whenever possible, a good friend or relative of the person in suspension is named as a Sponsor. We require that the Sponsor also be enrolled in our suspension program.


  11. ACS Manages Growth

    The strength of a cryonics society is not dependent upon how many members it has. ACS once had twice as many members as all other cryonics societies combined. At that time we had few people in suspension, and could afford to spend time and resources on recruitment. We learned that having many 20 year olds signed up to be "suspended someday" was draining of resources and very time consuming.

    The strength of a cryonics society is not dependent upon how many people it has in suspension. There must be a reasonable allocation of resources to meet the obligation of those in suspension. Societies who accept underfunded or non-funded patients must then make up that deficit through raising membership dues or by receipt of an endowment. Both of these fund raising methods involve significant risk, with results considerably in doubt.

    The American Cryonics Society is not a kingdom built on a house of cards. The balance between those enrolled in our pre-need suspension plan, those in suspension, and the allocation of resources between these two programs is balanced to ensure our survival and prosperity. We are not dependent upon luck, endowments, or windfalls, or even growth to sustain us.


  12. We Make use of Individual Trusts

    While other societies have more recently begun using trusts, the American Cryonics Society adopted this technique as its primary recommended funding vehicle in 1982. The individual trust is a mechanism to isolate and manage risk, ensure some oversight, obtain acceptable tax treatment, and address various problems and requirements unique to each individual member.


  13. "Freeze-Wait-Reanimate" is our Only Purpose

    The American Cryonics Society is not a "utopian" organization. We don't have a political agenda to transform our current political or social structure to make our version of a perfect world. That is far too ambitious an undertaking; and besides, we don't all agree on what political and social changes are desirable. We are a cryonics society: PERIOD. Our program is simple: freeze-wait-reanimate. We support cryonics research, education, and information dissemination. That is what ACS is about. That is ALL ACS is about.

Salient Essentials:

There are a number of things available through ACS that are unique, nifty, and not available through any other organization.  You will find all of this information elsewhere on our website, but it is important enough to mention twice!


Post Script:

The above 13 Top Reasons is not meant to disparage the efforts of any present cryonics societies, which are all fine organizations. However readers might wish to research "the Cryonics Society of California, Inc.," or "the Chatsworth Disaster." There are also quite a number of Societies which simply fizzled, then disappeared. These often had the name of a state in their title, which suggests the scope of ambition of their founders. Research "cryonics" plus "state name" to see if there has been such a "Camelot" society in your state.

The author of this page is Edgar Swank <>. If you have any comments or note any errors about this page, please send an E-mail message to Edgar

This page's content was last updated in February 2012. (Note also this site's terms of use statement.)

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