Cryonics movement in Brevard soldiers on after loss of key figure

September 14, 2012

Fred and Linda Chamberlain, October 2011. Fred’s t-shirt reads: Mind uploading — the ultimate out of body experience! (Credit: Giulio Prisco)

The cryonics movement in Brevard lost one of its guiding lights earlier this year — at least temporarily, Florida Today reports..

Fred Chamberlain III was declared legally dead at about 12:50 a.m. on March 22 at a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospice.

Moments later, a specially trained team from Alcor began preparing Chamberlain — who founded Alcor with his wife, Linda, in 1972 in Southern California — for his next destination: a gleaming silver canister filled with liquid nitrogen, where he would be kept until the cryonics movement that he was instrumental in building developed the technology to allow him a new life.


At Terasem, a key initiative called Cybernetic Beingness Revival, or CyBeRev, involves people making “mindfiles” — gigabytes of spoken memories, photos, videos — that could then be installed in some sort of avatar.

Linda and Fred Chamberlain, who came to Melbourne in 2009, would for years talk for two hours most every morning, recording what they said. Those conversations are now part of their mindfiles.

Cryonics has provided hope for Linda Chamberlain, a self-described atheist since before she came to the movement, that traditional religions did not. “If you could only see nothing but a horrible future, why would you even want to be part of it?” she said.

It has provided her solace in accepting the loss, at least for now, of her beloved husband, though the pain is still acute. “It’s still very hard when your best friend, your lover, is suddenly out of your life for a while,” she said at one point in our conversation, crying for a moment. “You have that feeling of sadness about being separated, and that doesn’t change.”

Cryonics also has given Chamberlain the pleasure of envisioning, and believing in, what will come: a continuation of her life with Fred and others, in ways and in places that will elevate their time to something beyond just existing.

“I’d like to be able to have a body which is changeable, which you can do with nanobot swarms,” she said. “If I want to ski on Mars, I would have a very durable avatar which will allow me to do that. If I want to go swimming in the oceans of Europa, I can have a body like a killer whale or one of the life forms that might be in the oceans of Europa.”