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Russian Transhumanist Movement

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Russian Transhumanist Movement (RTM, Российское Трансгуманистическое Движение, РТД) is the oldest transhumanist organization in Russia, existing since circa 2005. So far it is not widely known outside its country of origin, neither is it well known in Russia itself. However it has a somewhat notorious reputation among Russian transhumanists, and perhaps constitutes an interesting example of what form a transhumanist movement may take in less developed countries.

Despite being a small local organization (even in Russia its activity takes place mainly in Moscow, where it likely has no more than 100 active participants, if not less), RTM believes that it is extremely important, not just for Russia but for the whole world. It calls itself “the most prospective transhumanist organization in the world”[1] and “center of world transhumanism” [2]. It looks like the world (or even “world transhumanism”) does not know about this yet, since they prefer to write such things in Russian. In reality RTM played a significant role in popularization of transhumanism inside Russia in 2000s (starting with translation of the Transhumanist FAQ by its leader Danila Medvedev); also it created a small Russian cryonics company KrioRus which they proudly call "the first and only cryonics company in Eurasia".[3] Except copying from Western transhumanists, they have not done anything of great importance yet, though they tried or pretended to try multiple times, proclaiming that they just started a great scientific/technology project but not delivering any significant results afterwards.

What is notorious about this organization, besides tendency to greatly exaggerate its importance?

  • Unlike Humanity+, RTM is absolutely authoritarian. Its website may tell otherwise, but in reality there are no democratic procedures inside this organization. Two people, Danila Medvedev and Valeria Pride, have been in charge for a long time by now, being the only two active members of the organization’s Coordination Council (of any elections to which there is no data available). The main leader seems to be Danila Medvedev, who in RTM’s mailing list once stated that there is "enlightened authoritarianism".
  • RTM leaders are often very aggressive to those who criticize them or disagree with them, including other transhumanists and even members of their own organization. When facing criticism, they sometimes choose not to respond rationally but to berate and discredit their opponent by all means, for instance searching for and publishing all compromising material they can find.
  • Like prophets of some religious cult, RTM leaders sometimes pretend that they have special (secret) knowledge about the way to become immortal post-human beings with superabilities, and promise to guide those who devoted their life to RTM. Danila Medvedev in the organization's mailing list once compared RTM to "the ark", and that one should persuade the team that one is worthy to be taken aboard. Also he wrote that the best way to immortality is to join a transhumanist group, because it may not be for sale even for the richest when it is invented, since power to give or take away life is more important than money.[4]

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