In early October 2015, a supporter of Zoltan Istvan suggested to the Transhumanist Party Presidential candidate that he should do an “AMA” – Ask Me Anything – to answer questions from the public, and from a group of his criticizers. Zoltan refused, he said “No” – he said the campaign was going well, and there was no need for an AMA. Istvan’s decline of the invitation to speak, his refusal to make his campaign open and transparent – was disappointing. Candidates from the major parties are in debates ann field questions from the press regularly. They don’t have to option to avoid queries. Why should he? Additionally, of course, Zoltan’s refusal to do the AMA aroused suspicions. His detractors wondered: what questions does he not want to answer? Below is a list of queries we believe Istvan doesn’t want to be confronted with:
Here they are:
1. You have stated that that the Transhumanist Party is not really “a party” but you collect campaign funds anyway. Isn’t it illegal by FEC rules to pretend to be a political party, and ask for campaign funds? Do you regard it as ethical to pretend to be a party, and ask people to donate? Would you refund people’s donations if they indicated they felt misled about donating to a fake political party?
2. Political parties have primaries to select their candidate. But the Transhumanist Party did not. Can you explain?
3. Why did Natasha Vita-More quit your Advisory Board? She was your Transhumanist Advisor. She left without public explanation.
4. You have received large amounts of campaign funding from people who are not USA citizens. Don’t you know “Foreign nationals are prohibited from making any contributions or expenditures in connection with any election in the U.S.” ?
5. You told VOX.com that “I am breaking various laws with campaign finance. I’m willing to admit that.” Do you think this is reckless and ethically questionable? Do you know the penalties? Do you think transhumanist reputation will be injured by your illegal behavior?
6. Why don’t you use your legal last name (Gyurko) publicly?
7. Why did you offer “membership” for a price, in your first fundraising campaign, but now you claim the Transhumanist Party is a “non-membership” party?
8. Why did you write the platform for the Transhumanist Party all by yourself? Do you know the Transhumanist Declaration had 23 authors? Why do you feel entitled to speak authoritatively on behalf of all transhumanists?
9. Why did you announce via VOX.com that you intended to drop out and endorse Hillary Clinton? Why not tell Board members first, instead of media? When a Board member confronted you, why did you say “TP already decided that” – but you didn’t explain what “TP” was? Why did you later say VOX misunderstood you, but you never asked VOX to fix the mistake, even though the reporter was on your bus?
10. Why do members of your volunteer staff complain that you never talk to them, and one quit because you consistently only sent him brief, two word replies via email?
11. Why are you Chairman of the Transhumanist Party, Treasurer of the Transhumanist Party, and Candidate of the Transhumanist Party, and your wife is Secretary? Do you know it is illegal to be both Chairman and Candidate? Do you realize it looks like you want Total Control?
12. Why do you frequently present yourself as a transhumanist who works harder than everyone else to extend life? Do you realize there are scientists solving the problems of aging, and you’re not one of them? Have you actually raised any money for research, or convinced a single government representative to increase anti-aging funding?
13. You often tell us you’re getting “4-5 million views” a month. Our data analyzers disagree. They think you’re very much exaggerating. Can you show us the actual data?
14. Why do you think it is acceptable to be openly bigoted against the majority of Americans who are religious?
15. Why do you avoid answering questions? Why – instead of doing the AMA or debating – do you respond to criticism by telling your followers to “shun” your opponents – because we’re endangering their life extension? Do you realize “promoting fear” to squelch opposition is a tactic used historically by dictators?