Introduction by Edgar Swank, President of ACS

The ACS Management Structure:

We Believe that Cryonics is for cryonicists
Our Members are in Charge
Ultimate Privacy
Our members choose their own Governors and Officers
"Keys to December" how we keep going and going...
ACS company structure and business model
Why we do Contracting
Why we "just say no" to some "business opportunities"
Why we place so much emphasis on emergency and "fail-safe" planning



As President and one of the founding members of the American Cryonics Society ("ACS"), I am pleased and proud to tell you a little about our organization, the oldest US cryonics society. The American Cryonics Society has members though-out most of the US and Canada and in several foreign countries. In 1969 when I and other dedicated cryonicists founded our company (initially under the name "Bay Area Cryonics Society"), we visualized an organization dedicated to furthering research and education into cryobiology (including cryonics research). We didn't then expect that our organization would provide cryonic suspension services nationally (in some cases internationally). Since then, not only has ACS provided or assisted in cryonic suspensions of our members, we have contributed significantly to research and done much to introduce cryonics to the public.

Besides myself, our founders include two prominent physicians, as well as long-time ACS Chairman Jerome White, now in suspension. The first human suspensions sponsored and directed by our company were in 1974, which in fact means that ACS has engaged in the practice of cryonics longer than any other cryonics society in the world.

To achieve our research and educational goals, ACS has developed a number of programs or "special projects" which are described in other literature and on our web page. We are perhaps best known for our cryonic suspension research program. Under this unique plan, individuals become research subjects as well as provide funding to conduct our research, which includes the controlled freezing and long-term cold-maintenance of the individual's own body after natural death. Unlike most other organizations that fund or conduct research, many ACS research projects are *very* long-term with subjects frozen to liquid nitrogen temperatures and kept in "cryostats" for decades if not centuries.

For PDF-format files.

An organization that plans to engage in the kind of long-term research identified as "cryonics" must perform several unique functions. In order to best explain the purpose and the operations of the American Cryonics Society we discuss these functions one by one in "A Time Travel Guide for the Cryonaut (requires free PDF viewer)" and tell how ACS endeavors to accomplish its goals by performing these tasks.

This guide is intended as a companion to the ACS article "Freeze A Jolly Good Fellow," which provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about cryonics and the American Cryonics Society's suspension program. This article is based on a 1999 article that appeared in The Director magazine.

The practice of cryonics is controversial. Some of our critics see it as a delusion or a cruel hoax. To the cryonicist it is logical and (to many) literally a matter of life and death. Even to its most ardent supporters, cryonics is (at best) a logical speculation. Cryonics is not unique in having this speculative aspect. There are many enterprises such as the insurance business, and the stock market, that also have a product or service dependent on future happenings. Cryonics, even more than other such enterprises, must bear the burden of properly identifying its speculative nature, and disclosing, (as well as can be) the present limitations and possible future problems. We do not want to say or print anything that will give people unwarranted hope or optimism. Neither do we wish to incorrectly characterize as "hopeless" situations where thoughtful people who have studied the subject, think there is reason to proceed.

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