Alcor Granted TRO against Larry Johnson >>>

Alcor Granted TRO against Larry Johnson >>>

Joined: October 6th, 2009, 3:55 am

October 7th, 2009, 5:56 am #1

Hi:

I just found this at the Alcor News site:

October 5, 2009

Alcor Life Extension Foundation Granted Temporary Restraining Order Against Larry Johnson

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (October 5, 2009) Earlier today, Judge James Yates of the Supreme Court of the State of New York entered a Temporary Restraining Order against Larry Johnson, forbidding disclosure of any confidential information which is not already contained in his inflammatory and misguided book entitled, Frozen: My Journey into the World of Cryonics. The book was originally scheduled for release on October 6, 2009, but Vanguard Press, the publisher of the book, was allowing sales of the book in advance of todays hearing. It was also admitted at the hearing that Vanguard Press shipped copies of the book despite knowing there was a July 7, 2009 judgment entered in Maricopa County, Arizona against Mr. Johnson, forbidding disclosure of any confidential or illegally obtained information about Alcor, its members or its operations.

Upon receiving the Courts Order, Alcor legal counsel, Clifford A. Wolff stated, Alcor is pleased that the Court prevented Larry Johnson from any further disclosures of confidential information and that Judge Yates gave validity to the judgment entered against Mr. Johnson in Maricopa County, Arizona. Alcor will continue its legal efforts for sanctions and damages against the defendants in order to protect the privacy rights of its members and employees.

According to Dr. Ralph Merkle, speaking on behalf of Alcors Board of Directors, we are pleased that the Court Order will prevent Mr. Johnson from any further violations of the previously obtained Judgment. The book is based upon illegally obtained and misleading information that also violates the privacy rights of our members and employees. Merkle added, we are disappointed that a book publisher would knowingly sell for profit confidential information of Alcor and its members even after receiving notice of a previously entered judgment forbidding disclosure.

The books primary author, Larry Johnson, was employed at Alcor for approximately seven months during 2003. He served as Director of Clinical Services and briefly as Chief Operating Officer. Johnson admits that, during his employment, he stole confidential documents and medical photographs from Alcor and secretly recorded private conversations with Alcor staff members. Obviously, Johnson intentionally invaded the privacy of individuals and abused his position of trust to gather materials for the sale of an exploitive book.

According to Merkle, an internationally respected scientist who has served on the nonprofit organizations Board for over a decade, Larry Johnsons covert misconduct demonstrates his disrespect for Alcor, its patients, its 900 members, and the law. As an employee of Alcor, his duty was to protect the interests of our members and the public. Unfortunately, his actions seem motivated by nothing more than desire for his own personal gain.

Merkle said that Johnsons main area of responsibility during his tenure at Alcor in 2003 was the supervision of the cryopreservation of Alcor members. According to Merkle, Johnson expressed none of his lurid and sensationalistic concerns during his employment -- when preventing and correcting any such alleged mistakes would have been a major part of his duties. Only afterwards, when he could profit from exaggerations and misrepresentations, did he start to complain about how Alcor performed cryopreservations.

Some of Johnsons most derogatory attacks of Alcor involve alleged mistakes during the cryopreservation of baseball great Ted Williams. Merkle said It is absurd for Johnson to make these allegations because he had yet to be hired by Alcor when Williams was cryopreserved. Ted Williams was cryopreserved with the care and scientific rigor that Alcor devotes to all its patients. Mr. Johnsons claims are not only harmful to Alcor and its members, but also violate the privacy rights of the Williams family. It is a travesty that Mr. Johnson would knowingly and blatantly violate the Williams familys privacy in utter disregard of both the law and professional norms.

Alcor spokesperson, Cheryl Walsh, added that publication of a book does not ensure its truthfulness as has been demonstrated in the past in such cases as James Freys A Million Little Pieces and Herman Rosenblats An Angel at the Fence. Even Oprah Winfrey, with her expansive staff, was deceived by these authors. Alcors Board will not and can not stand by and allow Mr. Johnson to tarnish nearly 40 years of diligence and commitment by members, volunteers, scientists and professional staff. Alcor must set the record straight and ensure that Mr. Johnson is not permitted to cause havoc and confusion with his misleading claims.

That's what they said.

~JBK


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Joined: April 30th, 2006, 1:38 am

October 7th, 2009, 10:45 am #2

"...forbidding disclosure of any confidential information which is not already contained in his inflammatory and misguided book entitled, Frozen: My Journey into the World of Cryonics."

That doesn't cover much, he can talk about what's in the book, all he wants.


"It was also admitted at the hearing that Vanguard Press shipped copies of the book despite knowing there was a July 7, 2009 judgment entered in Maricopa County, Arizona against Mr. Johnson, forbidding disclosure of any confidential or illegally obtained information about Alcor, its members or its operations..."

Guess what? It's not against the law to audiotape people, without their knowledge, in Arizona.


"Upon receiving the Courts Order, Alcor legal counsel, Clifford A. Wolff..."

Now THAT's interesting. Mr. Wolff represents Life Extension Foundation, in Florida. That's right, he works for Bill and Saul.


"Unfortunately, his actions seem motivated by nothing more than desire for his own personal gain."

I don't think so, mostly because I understand his motivations. As another medical professional who has worked in cryonics, I have the very same opinion of the nearly-total lack of competency and professionalism, in cryonics.


"Merkle said that Johnsons main area of responsibility during his tenure at Alcor in 2003 was the supervision of the cryopreservation of Alcor members. According to Merkle, Johnson expressed none of his lurid and sensationalistic concerns during his employment -- when preventing and correcting any such alleged mistakes would have been a major part of his duties."

Merkle might believe Johnson had the power to correct these behaviors, while he was at Alcor, but I don't believe that for a second. In spite of having been a "co-manager," of SA, I didn't have the power to change ANYTHING, and a "consultant" called was allowed to call and direct four of my six co-workers, (including my two "co-managers"). I, (a formally educated, perfusionist, with nearly a decade of experience), found it virtually impossible to make minor changes to the perfusion circuit, without a good fight, and that was my area of expertise!


"Ted Williams was cryopreserved with the care and scientific rigor that Alcor devotes to all its patients."

I'm sure that's true, (that Mr. Williams received the same quality of care provided, by Alcor, to most of their patients). (sarcasm)


"Mr. Johnsons claims are not only harmful to Alcor and its members..."

After reading their case reports, and hearing stories from cryonics insiders, (while I was working at SA), I think Alcor is "harmful to Alcor and its members."


"...but also violate the privacy rights of the Williams family..."

Alcor didn't "violate the privacy rights of the Williams family, when they allowed a crowd of bystanders to take photos of themselves with Ted's body?
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Philo
Philo

October 7th, 2009, 12:03 pm #3

The concept that arises this morning that has the wonderful trait of "aliiteration" to make it "ring" is.... drum roll please...

Counterfeit Cryonics

This is an amazing concept, with no precedence anywhere in the semantic frame in history. Witness google...

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sour ... f&oq=&aqi=

Nothing!! And yet we know that there are counterfeits of lots of things. Fakes-- phonies. Artificial lookalikes. Simulations. So isn't the question now one which is much more profound and deeper than has ever really been solidly put together-- now that we're seeing some really interesting discrepencies between what whistleblowers Johnson and Maxim have said throughout the first decade of the 21st Century... and what the cryonics establishment is saying?

The difficulty here is that even in the best light, cryonics is highly speculative and controversial. So what does a potential regulator, say, or any intelligent observer who is not "into" cryonics consider to be "real" cryonics vs. "counterfeit" cryonics?

Cryonicists themselves have neglected to set "their own standards" for what they "expect" of their cryonics organizations in an organized manner. There have been attempts but they all seem to fall short and noone seems to be able to really deal with Maxim since 2007 and Johnson from 2003-- in way that is totally convincing... other than to use obfuscation, silence and legal action-- not to mention twisted argumentation and infinite hair splitting. In a speculative scientific effort like cryonics, "trust" is the medium of exchange and we're on the brink of losing trust in cryonics as a whole-- QUA cryoncis-- in effect-- AS a cryonics effort-- despite vitrification. This is due in large part to our failure to establish what "would be" "real cryonics" vs. what "would be" "cryo fraud" or my favorite semantic frame element-- shortly to become famous... "counterfeit cryonics".

My own point of reference-- my favorite point of reference for this-- has nothing to do with Johnson or Maxim-- but rather the blackout and suppression of Owada. My "faith" in cryonics as it is currently politically compose has been severely shaken by the lack of adequate official cryonics response to that component of things. Owada is a breakthrough that upsets the vitrification approach and threatens to annihaliate it. IT's certainly true in "food"-- and food, being organic, can be said to be very closely related to us, in that way. "You are what you eat" tells us so. Nobody has ever eaten a "vitrified" tuna fish but plenty of Japanese have eat "magnetically owada-frozen and thawed" tuna! That should TELL use something-- as cryonicists-- but alas, I am not, apparently, taken seriously. It's probably because I joke around too much. But students ought to listen to the class clown. Maybe the clown has something to say too!

I digress as usual. My purpose is to point readers here to the "solution field" on a higher plane-- in an area of intellectual work that has always been the highest area of that sort of work but which has become unfashionable-- "philosophy". I would posit that the solutions for the problems currently facing cryonics-- which at this moment are articulated by Maxim and Johnson-- but which have been articulated over the years in many areas-- can likely be found-- or at least debated in a way that gives us "legs" to stand on-- in philosophy. Let's briefly look at the purpose of philosophy via Google...

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sour ... aqi=g1g-m3

Here's a hit I like...

The Web of Belief: The Purpose of Philosophy
The purpose of philosophy, I said, was to make one's beliefs consistent in areas in which it's not clear what to believe. Given two sides of a philosophical ...
thewebofbelief.blogspot.com/.../purpose-of-philosophy.html - Cached - Similar

Here are a few choice quotes...

The purpose of philosophy, I said, was to make one's beliefs consistent in areas in which it's not clear what to believe.

One could just live as if philosophical problems don't exist; but I don't think that's a good solution. Philosophy is one of the only areas in which we have all the tools to decide for ourselves about the issues in question. Some input from science (and to guide science) is useful; but the problems are conceptual, so their solutions (I propose) will be conceptual as well, and so at least in theory within the reach of all who approach the problems.

UNQUOTE

My comment-- The blogger is quite correct that we can "live as if philosophical problems don't exist... but that's not a good solution"-- as this rings true for cryonics. Cryonics has seens it's share of computer scientices, emergency techs, financiers, salesmen, promoters, lawyers and TV repairmen. But has cryonics ever passed through the philosopher's department?

I've tried to punch through that area with cryonics in mind-- and was banned from all cryonics forums at one point. I'm a big reason for this forum for being moderated since I was one of the most "immoderate" posters as anyone in cryonics can attest to. My motives were always slandered and mischaracterized of course but that's beside my central point... which is.. .that cryonics has never truly been subjected to philosophical analysis, let alone subjected to ONGOING philosophical analysis by its own members-- which would be the best case scenario for a self-evolving credible enterprise such as cryonics. And of course that would involve a blog with an alphabetical index and a restraining order on elements in cryonics like CADC or Go6 who make veiled threats. Veiled threats don't neccessarily correspond to philosophical truths of higher order--although I imagine they could be if we though about it some more.

So where does that little diatribe leave us? My contention is that there CAN be such a thing as counterfeit cryonics. And, just as in the area of silver coins, Silver Eagles specifically, where there are six good points to remember when trying to detect a counterfeit silver Eagle coin, which are now being mass produced in china and sold on Ebay, there should be some small number of interesting points to consider when thinking about what real vs. counterfeit cryonics would be. Cryonics fakery is obviously going to be much more challenging than Silver Eagles but it's going to have to be done. If the past 7 years in cryonics have taught us anything, it's that. And the sooner we adopt my suggested philosophical stance, the better off we'll all be.

Where does that leave us on a practical basis? I would say that Johnson and Maxim, and critics like them, like me, are very useful. Public reaction is also useful as long as it's not going to crush us out of existence. Similiarly, the state/legal reactions to cryonics and incidents that occur in cryonics are useful. So are the blogs by deWolf, Maxim and me, all dicussion forums by me and others including this one. It's all "useful" to what end? To the end of CREATING a cryonics "consensus" where we establish in an articulate formal indexed way, what the situation is. We ought to create a formal cryonics-stakeholder yearbook that updates the industry every year, online, in an indexed way, using all these sources.

Where there are disagreements, these can be established-- and worked around. Where there is lack of transparency, there can be a set of reasonable speculations and what-if's. Counterfeit arguments can only be detected by reasoning minds and philosophical moderatation. There has never been a truly disinterested objective moderater in cryonics-- a sort of "Speaker of the House" that is above the fray, and trained in reasonable debate. We're self-constructing our debate here in Cold Filter but even here we have problems.... only resolvable by bloggging on one's own or by indexing. I still contend the signature of a truly useful philosophical debate that would lay the foundation for real and legal cryonics would be the appearance of a good index. It's ironic that Johnson's index has recently become the most famous index in cryonics as pointed to by Unperson who subsequently had his photo samples of Johnson's index removed from this forum without saying why.

Final thought- This situation calls for a debate ABOUT the debate... the meta debate. HOW to we propose to discuss these issues? ...especially given the modern tools of the internet... but more centrally, given that philosophy and philosophical thinking tools probably have to be regarded in a more respectable way. Instead of defending and attacking positions, we ought to be defining the positions clearly. That, for me, would be the signature of the "trust worthy real cryonics"-- to see cryonicists make an effort to DEFINE the positions clearly-- and that includes defining your "enemy's" position clearly as well.

I could go on, as you might surmise, but I think that's enough for now. I copied this to my own files in case it doesn't get published here.. and I'll publish it elsewhere if that's the case.
Last edited by CF_Moderator on October 7th, 2009, 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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