Conversations with Saul Kent


In April, 1992 I visited Saul Kent at his home in California and interviewed him for several hours. I was planning to write a book about cryonics, to be titled Life Unlimited, and was interviewing many people in the field at that time (including Bill Faloon, Mike Darwin, Steve Harris, Gregory Fahy, Brenda Peters, Don Laughlin, and Curtis Henderson).

Unfortunately my publisher, Wired Books, went out of business when Wired magazine was sold to Conde Nast, a huge company that was only interested in selling magazines. Years later, my literary agent tried to auction the book among New York publishers when the Ted Williams case made cryonics newsworthy. All the publishers turned it down, some of them writing irritable letters along the lines, “Why would you imagine that our respectable company would publish tabloid trash about freezing people?”

My agent had been so confident of selling the book, he submitted it only to the most senior editors at publishing companies—the people who could spend large sums of money. He thought it would sell for between $150,000 and $200,000. After they rejected it, he had nowhere else to send it, because any junior editors would not want to go against the decision of their boss. So, the book remains unpublished and probably will never be published.

Saul was a compulsive talker, and I would have been foolish to try to control the interview. It was much more interesting just to let him talk discursively. If I had used the interview later in a formal piece of journalism, I would have extracted short quotes from his monologue, and imposed some organization on it, with his approval. But at this point, I have no interest in doing that. Therefore, I have simply grouped some of his statements under subject headings.

The interview illustrates his boundless optimism at that time. Having won his battle with the FDA, he and Bill Faloon were freed from the burden of huge legal fees and ready to pour money into serious cryonics research, hoping to achieve cryopreservation without significant injury during their lifetimes.

But a lot can change in 30 years.

The Cryonics Society of New York

Ev Cooper [author of the first book about cryonics, titled Freeze, Wait, Reanimate, and founder of the Life Extension Society] had announced in his newsletter that James P. Sutton, Harold Costello, and Saul Kent are co-coordinators of the New York chapter of the Life Extension Society, and we’re going to hold our first meeting. Jim picks some nondescript bar in the bowels of Queens, in the middle of nowhere. So the three of us are waiting for people to show up at this meeting. I think the meeting was at 7:00, and nobody showed till about 7:15, somebody walks in, and its Gerald Feinberg, and he says he’s Professor of Physics at Columbia of University. He drove there in his car. I said to myself, if this is the caliber of people we’re going to get, things are looking good. How many others like him are likely to show up? It turned out, none. The only other people who showed up were Karl Werner, who stuttered a lot and therefore couldn’t say much, and a couple who never showed up again. That was it. Four people. That was the meeting.

I said to myself, we’ve got to get a better location. At the next meeting, Feinberg got six people to come, but one of those people donated an apartment, Harrison Roth, a stock broker. And after that, about 25 people showed up.

So, we started as the New York coordinators for LES in March; by the end of May it was all over, it was all just talk, no one seriously wanted to do anything, so we broke off with them. I just went off to the beach, went to parties.

Then in July my mother told me this guy Sutton has been calling up, he’s met Curtis Henderson, and he has to meet you. They want to form a new cryonics organization. I wasn’t too anxious to do this, but we got together, and at a meeting in August 1965, at Karl Werner’s brownstone, we decided to form an organization.

The only relationships I ever saw Curtis Henderson in were with his first wife, Janet, whom he met when she was 16 and he was 29; and then Diane, when she was 15, and her father literally had her on a long chain at the gas station where she worked. By then Curtis is like 40, and she’s 15.

Actually, she [Janet] got Curtis involved. She read about cryonics and got him interested.

I hated work, I hated school, but I hated work more than I hated school, so that’s the reason I was in school. I found all kinds of ways to avoid work. I was a ticket scalper. I scalped tickets at New York Giants football gamaes, at the World Series and during the year at Yankee Games. Both were at Yankee Stadium. Also at some fights. Every winter I would go down to Florida, because I hated the cold. I made all the money I needed to stay there by scalping tickets. Also Broadway shows occasionally, I scalped tickets.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I was adamant that I wouldn’t do something I wasn’t really interested in. Any possible job I could get would be not worth doing. I was just sitting there, like a lock waiting for a key. I was reading a great deal, I was serious, I just wasn’t committed to anything, and I was trying to avoid the traps that people fall into.

The First Case for CSNY

[Cryonicist] Paul Segall had a communal living arrangement on the Lower East Side. Some wild things went on around there. Then he bought a house out in Lyndenhurst, Long Island. He brought all these characters out there to this middle class community, girls with long hair walking around with no clothes on.

A bunch of people were hanging around Segall’s place, and I was there. Steven Mandell had been ill, I talked to him a couple of weeks before that. No one expected he would die, though. So we suddenly got a call saying a member [of the Cryonics Society of New York] was dead, I was lying on the lawn about 9 AM on Sunday, everyone else was probably asleep. I used to be big on getting the sun in those days, so I was lying on the lawn just sunning myself. I started waking people up. We called [funeral director] Fred Horn, he was going to go and pick Mandell up.

We had to get some dry ice, so we went to this guy who gave dry ice to ice cream trucks. We needed 50 pounds, he said he couldn’t give it to us. We said you have a choice: either the ice cream melts or the body rots.

It was chaotic. As poorly as we freeze people now, it’s a hundred times better than what we did then, when it was truly primitive. Fred Horn went to a New York hospital and picked up the body from the morgue—that was the first time I’d ever seen a dead body, and for a few minutes, that was not a pleasant thing to see. His eyes were open, which made him look as if he’s alive. And I think by then Curtis had put together one of the first dry ice boxes, lined with styrofoam, and we also had the capsule, which we had purchased from Ed Hope [in Phoenix, Arizona]. 

It was pretty primitive; we threw some ice on him, Fred Horn showed up with his embalming pump. Got him frozen. The big trouble was getting him in liquid nitrogen. The tank was purpose-built, it had to be welded shut. The problem was, it had to be welded tight, so we had to find a really good welder. Later we found there was a leak, and the vacuum pump had to be run continuously. Also there was no way to check liquid nitrogen level or the condition of the patient.

We got a lot of publicity, so that was the beginning of my doing PR. I didn’t have the sense we were making history. After all, Bedford had already been frozen. This was just the first case outside of California. From that point on, July 1968, we froze three people in eight months.

I was continuously active [in cryonics] till about 1971. We spread the word, got a lot of publicity, and attracted a fair number of members, CSNY was the largest in numbers and we did more than other groups.

But we hadn’t got any real acceptance in the scientific community, we hadn’t managed to get any research done, so I gradually dropped out. I felt it wasn’t going anywhere, I needed to do other things and get away from it for a while. I got a few jobs, writing work.

In 1980, Steve Rudell in Florida said that if I came down to Florida he would put up some money to start a newsletter. That turned out to be Anti-Aging News, which later turned out to be Life Extension Report. I went down there, but after a year or two it was clear that we weren’t going to make any real money on that. There weren’t many subscribers, it was hard to get subscribers, but we were talking about products that weren’t available, and people really wanted to get the products. I had never intended to get into the product business and didn’t really want to, but I figured that was the only way to survive. Rudell didn’t want to put money into the product business, so I started it on no money. You get someone to make the vitamins, you promote them and sell them.

Shortly after we started offering products, we got on the Merv Griffin show. This was very special because they had me put together a whole program on life extension. It was myself, Durk Pearson, two others. The big thing was I talked them into putting our address at the end, no phone number. They normally don’t do that because the Griffin show is considered entertainment, but the address was on for 20 seconds and we got about 6,000 letters. They repeated it six months later and we got another 6,000 letters or so, and that really set things going, around 1982, 1983.

Bill [Faloon] had been working as a funeral director for the Neptune Society, where they scatter your ashes in the sea. I needed someone else to help me, so I got him full time. I remember, his first day on the job we got $145 worth of sales. But we built it up and then of course we get hit by the FDA in 1987. 

Science Fiction and the Future

When [Robert] Ettinger had to find a publisher [for his book The Prospect of Immortality], Fredrik Pohl helped him, and that’s why Pohl helped to promote the book after it was published. Fred always talked favorably [about cryonics], but would never commit himself. He kept saying it was too expensive; then someone offered to do it free, and he still wouldn’t do it.

The science-fiction writers were such pioneers, exploring the imaginative world of the future, yet they were so conservative.

If you’re frozen under the best circumstances right now I think it’s virtually certain you’ll be brought back in the future, and probably in real good shape, if the cryonics organization can make it that long.

I believe all the problems of mortality will be solved in the next century, including full control of the aging process and the ability to revive most patients who have been frozen, except cases where there was a lot of damage. So we’re standing at a crossroads in history, here, the most exciting thing that has ever happened in history, the beginning of a transition from a mortalist society to an immortalist society. In terms of control of aging and potential life span, literally there is almost incontrovertible evidence that we can at least double the maximum lifespan of human beings, and very persuasive evidence that we can give people an unlimited lifespan. And I think all of that is probably going to happen if things go reasonably well, within the next fifty years. If you know anybody with young children, if things go well those children are never going to be old.

Trying to Sell Cryonics

For many years, with some justification, people in cryonics believed that the only people who would get involved were people who instantly understood it. Infection is the way to describe the process. They contract it like a disease, and it consumes them. In the early days, almost everyone got involved that way. But over the last ten years, there are a growing number of people who get involved gradually. Nanotechnology convinced some people it could work.

I got involved in this when it didn’t exist, just Ettinger’s book and a couple of newsletters from LES. It was just the logic of the thing that did it. I was very unhappy about dying, I thought it was very bad for my morale, and I had been this way since four years of age, which is approximately when I began to understand that people die. I remember my immediate reaction was a feeling of extreme loathing and terror that I couldn’t tolerate for more than a couple of seconds. I had periodic anxiety attacks maybe once a year, until the idea of cryonics, and I haven’t had any since.

So that was just sitting there waiting for something to set it off. Ettinger’s book was credible, though the evidence was very slight. So that was it. Not only was I instantly converted to something that didn’t even exist, I became fanatical very quickly. I became consumed by it because I thought it was something I needed to spend the next 50, 60, 70 years doing. I had no family to worry about, no career, so there was nothing to stop me.

It’s my feeling that the vast majority of people, when they confront the idea of themselves dying, have to face this kind of terror. I think it’s so intolerable that you can’t do it for very long, and you immediately find someone way of repressing or avoiding it. And then you come up with rationalizations such as, I’m going to have an afterlife, I’m going to live through my children, live through my work.

There are two general ways of losing someone you’ve become involved with. One is that you separate from them, the other is that they die. I think for most people it’s harder to face the separation. Separation anxiety is the closest thing to feeling the terror of your own death.

I think the biggest lie of all time is “I’m not afraid of death.” More than “the check is in the mail.” It’s a macho thing. I think you’re out of your mind if you’re not afraid of death. If you recognize and accepting your fear of death puts you in a position where you can overcome your fear of just about everything else. There are a lot of people who are very sane about most things in life, but they’re crazy about death.

I think there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who have said to themselves, about cryonics, some time in the past 25 years, “This is interesting, one of these days I’m going to sign up.” I think there may be five or six major reasons why they don’t. And those are the people we need to go after. I have friends in that situation.

College and Work

I was born in the Bronx. I lived in the New York area until 1975. I went to Hunter College. I was a terrible student, a misfit in the sense that I wasn’t looking for a career. I wanted to be a writer, I had written some short stories, but I hadn’t been published. The first book I wrote was called Future Sex. But it’s largely about life extension, too. There’s some fiction in that; every chapter starts out with a fictional episode.

I was a phys ed major at Hunter, I’m really an athlete. Hunter is part of the City University of New York, and I was one of the worst students ever. It was free at that time, except for books. I revolted against authority, and went overboard. When they told me to do something, I wouldn’t do it, simply because they told me to do it.

I was a pretty good student till my junior year in high school, and then I started going to the beach. As a senior I arranged my classes so that they were all over by 12 or 1, and then I went to the beach.

I got bored with school, because I wasn’t motivated. I had problems graduating because in most courses I could do nothing and get a C, but in languages, German in college and French in high school—I would wonder if I’d get any score at all in tests. I did graduate finally from Hunter, but I graduated under 1.8. And 2 is a C, 1 is failure. I also played baseball a lot, till the weather was too hot.

They sent me to a psychologist once, at college, because I was behaving abnormally and wasn’t reaching my potential. They gave me a Rorschach test, but I told them that all I could see were ink blots, so I won that one.

In the June 1964 issue of Playboy Magazine there’s an article titled  “Intimations of Immortality” by Fred Pohl, and there’s a paragraph about Ettinger’s book. I read that, and the next night Pohl was on the Long John Nebel show. [A late-night talk show that used to air on AM radio.] I then went out and bought the book, they’d just gotten it in a few days ago. I was an instant convert, but I didn’t get around to doing anything till January 1965, because there wasn’t much to do at that point except write to Ettinger.

I had never been a member of anything, I didn’t really want to join any organizations.

Ettinger didn’t want to have anything to do with any group, his position was that this idea was so logical and important that big companies would get involved—he assumed someone would just run with it. It was only reluctantly, later on, that he decided no big people were going to do anything.

I’d had two real jobs in my life before cryonics. My first term in college was the fall of 1956, and I didn’t like it so I dropped out, quit after the first time and got a job at Lehman Brothers brokerage company in Wall Street. I was a runner. I had to deliver things all around Wall Street, such as certified checks for $6 million. Then I went back to school at the beginning of 1957, and then at the end 1959 I was thrown out of school, my marks were low. I got a job as a clerk-typist at Barnes and Noble. And then I went back to school.

After I graduated and got involved in cryonics, I worked for the Journal of the American Waterworks Association, then I worked for a publisher of trade journals, then I worked for Sexology magazine, writing and editing. Then the only other job I’ve ever had was around 1972/3 I worked for a year and a half for McGraw-Hill, they had just started a new magazine called Contemporary ObGyn. I worked about a year and a half as a writer, and that I enjoyed because I would go out on trips and write them up. Then I became a freelancer.

Finally I went to Florida to start Anti-Aging News.

I’m self-educated in virtually everything, including the legal system.

Understanding the FDA

I’m sympathetic to the people at the FDA, even though they’re all stupid idiots and some of them are immoral thugs. But if you had to make a decision about whether to approve a new drug, and if one death is linked to that drug, your career can be ruined, and on the other hand, if a million people die because they can’t get the drug, nobody’s going to protest about it because nobody’s going to know—you’ll be willing to sacrifice a million potential deaths in order to avoid the risk of that one death that might ruin your career. That in a nutshell explains the situation surrounding the FDA. And the media is at fault because they will focus on that one death and remain oblivious to the millions of people who are dying. And they really are dying, there’s no doubt about it. Whenever a drug is finally approved, the FDA takes the credit for it, and the lives it will save. But what about the lives that were lost during the previous ten years of the approval process? 

But that’s all going to crumble, soon. The FDA’s on its last legs. We’re going to wipe them out. They’re making enemies everywhere. Most people are afraid to do anything, but the other side of fear is anger, and when the fear dissipates, the anger will come out, and they’re finished. A year before all regimes crumbled in eastern Europe, I think there was not one analyst who predicted that they would fall. Not one. Take my word for it, the FDA’s days are numbered, at least in terms of real influence and power. They are alienating the most conservative, patriotic, loyal people in this country, and when those people are angry at you, you’re finished. They’ve got their fingers in every dike, but they can’t stop it all—although they are a tremendous brake on progress, particularly progress in areas that are going to keep us alive and healthy. So, they’ve got to be destroyed.

Platt: How did you get the confidence to tackle the FDA?

Kent: Well, we didn’t have any choice. 

Platt: Yes you did, you could have gone out of business and done something else. 

Kent: Oh, that was out of the question. I mean, they were trying to kill me. It was a matter of life and death. If it wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with them. When you truly confront and face your fear of death, you can get over all your other fears. I fear death, serious illness—which is the same thing, and serious injuries—which are the same thing. But I don’t really fear anything else. Most people will say yes, they fear growing old, but they don’t fear death. But since aging is a process by which you die, if you say you fear the process but not the result, it doesn’t make too much sense. The fear of death is the dissolution and disappearance of you. And that’s what’s happening when you’re growing old. They’re lying when they say they don’t fear death. Maybe there are some people who are so despairing, have had such a terrible life or are suffering from a terrible disease, and you’re in agony and pain—but even there, it isn’t that they don’t fear death, it’s that death is the only answer they can see to their problem. People who commit suicide don’t really want to commit suicide, it’s just that staying alive is more painful than the idea of dying. Suicide is a longterm solution to a temporary problem, but the temporary problem is so painful, they can’t see that.


My mother had been very ill for about four years. She had had a mental breakdown where she suddenly couldn’t take care of herself and was hallucinating. Really the loss of my mother that I experienced started around that time. By the time she was frozen I had long since gone beyond that.

My mother was in a nursing home about ten minutes from here and had been in very poor condition for quite a while. I got a call in the middle of the night from the head nurse saying that my mother was on the verge of death, in fact would have died if the nurse hadn’t been able to clear her throat of things that were causing her to choke.

She had developed pneumonia and had all kinds of other medical problems.

I realized that even though Alcor was just fifteen minutes away, if she had died that night it would have been quite a while before we could have done anything for her. Normally when you know someone’s going to die you have a standby, but my mother was in a condition where there was not any clear moment she was going to die. It could have been a standby lasting a couple of months.

So I decided the best chance for her would be to bring her to the Alcor facility. We had never taken a person who was still technically alive into the facility and frozen that person, but for some reason we decided to do it this time.

Mike and Steve Harris had written an article describing the conditions that make a coroner’s case, so everyone, possibly including himself, assumed he was an expert on the subject. He did talk about bringing her in there [to the facility], but I’m the one who made the decision. I decided to do it, and what happened is that we brought her in and had Steve Harris in there that night, prepared to sign the death certificate. She didn’t die that night, she kept on going another day, and for whatever reason, Steve Harris never arrived. In a hospital or nursing home, it’s the rule rather than the exception that a doctor isn’t present when a patient dies, because doctors normally aren’t there when people die. But given the unusual circumstances of this it would have been desirable.

She died, the freezing process was done, and a day or so later we had to face the problem of getting a death certificate. In having to list the place of death as an industrial area, this was a cause for alarm and led to the first visit from the coroner’s office in which two deputy coroners showed up and Raymond Carrio, who’s the head coroner. We explained what happened and the fact that any autopsy was completely unacceptable because of the purpose of being frozen. But since she was a neuro case her body was available and could be taken for an autopsy and for testing. Essentially from that point on for the next ten days there was an investigation which of course was entirely legitimate. They interviewed people and talked to us, and the big thing was what was going to be the result of the autopsy. We were very concerned that it might lead them to ask for an autopsy of my mother’s brain.

Finally about ten days later we got a call from one of the coroners, and he said everything is fine, no problem. Mike and I went down there to get the death certificate, and before our eyes, with several witnesses there, they signed the certificate saying she died of natural causes. And things looked so good, even Mike Darwin was certain that everything was going to be fine.

The next day was Christmas Eve, 1987, and about ten in the morning I got a knock on the door, and it was a crew with a camera from NBC. They said, “Haven’t you heard about the story in the paper?” The story said that although Mrs. Kent died of pneumonia, coroners are not sure whether she was alive or dead when her head was removed. This of course suggested that she must have contracted pneumonia from removal of her head.

This was not only confused and confusing, but kind of ridiculous when you consider that the head is separated from the body about 10 or 12 hours after the procedure begins.

This story apparently caused a sensational reaction, and suddenly there were stories everywhere about the possibility that a murder had been committed. Once it became a big story, I think the coroners forgot about the death certificate they had signed. With all the publicity and the allegations of murder, they felt they could be facing disciplinary action if they hadn’t investigated it properly. That’s my guess.

Everyone was totally surprised by the media barrage, there were cameras and reporters everywhere. By the next day, it was a big story in Australia. One sentence in a local paper in Riverside, a fairly small community, that’s all it took.

To do any good, probably it would have been best to freeze her several years earlier, not a few minutes earlier.

I was present throughout the perfusion, but I was tired so I went home before the neuroseparation. The idea didn’t distress me; I had seen plenty of people in that state. I had already stayed up the whole night before, so I hadn’t slept in two nights.

My main concern was to avoid an autopsy, not for myself. 

Platt: But you were facing the possibility of being arrested as an accessory to homicide.

Kent: Well, everyone was. Also they never suggested I was involved.

When they came and raided the facility, I knew what to expect because we had had this massive raid at LEF in February of 87. They came in hordes, coroners and US marshals and police, and they invited the press along too. They were going to do an autopsy. Only one problem: they didn’t find my mother there. On their initial visit the coroners had been shown where the patients were kept, they saw the tanks and the neuro vaults, and the one thing they couldn’t imagine was that you could take [the head of] a patient [in a small dewar] and leave.

Around 9:30 or 10 in the morning Mike Darwin called me from his house and said Hugh Hixon had given him a call saying they’re all here, the police and so forth. Mike said “What should I do?” I said “Get down there immediately I’ll be down there in a little while.” Of course I never showed up. Apparently Jerry Leaf said the same thing. Mike was just beside himself all day, because we never showed up, but of course I never had any intention of showing up. What’s the point of everyone showing up and being placed under arrest? I did a few things, got some money out of the bank, was in touch with Jerry Leaf, and I got a hotel room somewhere, where they couldn’t find me, and started working on various strategies to deal with this problem, because once they discovered that the head wasn’t there, it was tremendously embarrassing, they got very angry, and they did what all cops do, the only thing they do at least halfway well, is intimidation. They started screaming and yelling at everyone who was there, to tell them where Dora Kent’s head was, threatening them with all kinds of things. Ultimately they arrested six people, including Dave Pizer who just happened to be visiting from Arizona. He later won a false arrest suit on that.

I figured after this happened, they were really going to be after people who could tell them where the head is. I was probably not living at home for several weeks, and there was a tremendous rush to find me, mainly from newspaper and TV reporters, going through the garbage and asking the neighbors. Jo Ann’s parents were staying in the house at the time.

So, there was supposedly a manhunt for me, but the police never even called my house. I would check my machine for messages, and they never even called, much less look for me. I don’t think the police were ever too interested in the story.

We didn’t have any legal help at this point, so we were looking for a lawyer who could go in there and get a temporary restraining order to block them from doing any further damage. We called Chris Ashworth, it was a Friday, he needed a $5,000 retainer in something other than a cash. Jerry’s brother had $5,000 in gold coins, I got them and reached Ashworth, he bit into one of the coins to see if it was real. I talked with him, he said he would come up with papers for the following Monday. I found out later that no one in his law firm gave us any chance at all; coroners have tremendous power. People try to prevent autopsies for religious reasons, and it never works. Nobody had ever gotten a court order against a coroner.

A temporary restraining order is issued just from an attorney showing enough evidence. You then have a show-cause hearing for preliminary injunction, which in our case was 17 days later. If you win the preliminary injunction, it’s pretty much permanent, they can still fight it legally but it’s very hard.

So, we got the TRO which was a big surprise, but the pressure was still on, we had 17 days to come up with enough evidence to win a preliminary injunction. At this point Mike was in pretty bad shape, and wasn’t in a position to contribute or run Alcor or do anything. He was hiding out at Brenda’s house, not very functional at all. I spent a lot of time working with the attorneys, to get witnesses to testify—that was the most frantic period. That was when Mike was replaced with Carlos [as president of Alcor].

We were afraid they might try to seize bank accounts, so we gave $100,000 to a guy who simply absconded with it.

Also during this period, there was a second raid, this time claiming that grand theft was involved, and they were seizing equipment, because there were UCLA stickers on it, which is where it had been bought. That inspired more headlines. This time the police stayed in a couple of days. It was an occupation.

The time of biggest concern was during the first raid. After that it was just a matter of trying to solve the problem.

The big question is what would have happened if we hadn’t got the court order. Then there would have been a manhunt, whatever you want to call it. But I can’t say I ever thought for a moment of giving in.

If it had been a simple thing to take all the patients out, they probably would have done it, but they were cowed by the technology, they didn’t know how to do it. Liquid nitrogen can be pretty intimidating. It’s cold!

Platt: So what actually happened to Dora’s head?

Kent: All I can say is, the head wasn’t there. It really wasn’t there.

After we got the injunction, that was when they started plotting to charge us with murder, because it was a way of retaliating against us. TV news kept saying indictments were imminent, but the indictments never did come. The case moved from the coroner’s office to the DA’s office, and it went on for months.

They didn’t charge anybody. There were 12 or 13 people there, and it wasn’t clear who should be charged with what, if anything. So it was very confusing, embarrassing, and frustrating for them.

Platt: Do you feel angry about what happened?

Kent: I don’t have any anger at all. I’m not sure I ever had anger. Amazement was my first reaction. Things were so heavy, there was really no time for anything except just doing things.

Looking Ahead

I think I have a shot at not being frozen. If I can make it to 2020, when I’ll be in my eighties, that will be an important time.

Being frozen is the second worst thing that can happen to you. Anyone who looks at the condition of people in the frozen state, and imagines we want to be like that—

If first aid is a band-aid, cryonics is last-aid.

Platt: What are do you most look forward to? 

Kent: Oh, exploring the universe. I once put a full-page ad in the L5 society magazine that said, “If you want to live in space, you’d better stay alive.” Obviously, if you have any serious interest in going out into space, you’re not going to make it unless you stay alive. Oddly, that’s more socially acceptable than cryonics. In cryonics, what we do gets all the attention and puts a barrier between us and the general public.