What’s the thread connecting cryonics, sperm banks, eugenics and transhumanism? The disgraced New York financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein is currently in jail awaiting trial on charges related to sex-trafficking allegations. Because he is reputedly a billionaire and the friend, or ex-friend, of public figures like former US President Bill Clinton, current US President Donald Trump, and Prince Andrew, and of many eminent scientists, journalists have been trawling through Epstein’s affairs for weeks, ever since he was arrested on July 6.
Of course, these allegations and rumours remain to be confirmed in court, but it appears that Epstein had grander ambitions than your average guy trafficking in underage girls. According to the New York Times, Epstein spoke to a number of people about plans he was forming to impregnate women, perhaps 20 at a time, with his sperm at his huge ranch in New Mexico. This fits in with Epstein’s overt interest in eugenics. He may have wanted to spread his superior genes far and wide.
He was also interested in cryonics, an unproven technology for freezing heads or whole bodies so that they can be reanimated at some time in the future. One person told the Times that Epstein wanted his head and his penis to be frozen.
Epstein was also a supporter of transhumanism. In 2011, one of Epstein’s charities donated US$20,000 to the World Transhumanist Association, which was later rebranded as Humanity+. It also donated $100,000 to fund the research of Ben Goertzel, an artificial intelligence scientist who is the chairman of Humanity+.
What intrigues the journalists is how man with Epstein’s modest understanding of science managed to ingratiate himself into scientific circles. His acquaintances and guests included people like the late Stephen Hawking, Lawrence Krauss, Nobel laureate Kip S. Thorne and Steven Pinker. A reporter for The Cut (of New York Magazine) speculated that “The allure of Epstein’s financial backing meant that people routinely listened to him talk about batshit ideas while drinking Dom Pérignon on a [chartered] submarine.”
In 2004, before his 2008 conviction on sex charges, Epstein was one of the leading figures at The Edge’s Billionaire Dinner in Monterey, California, which brought together billionaires and leading scientists. In retrospect the aim of the function summarises Epstein’s modus operandi for schmoozing scientists: “To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.” It was a great cover for his dark plans for spreading his seed.
Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge
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