Why Johnson?

Why Johnson?

starman
starman

March 17th, 2004, 3:45 pm #1

I am new here, so please forgive me. How much of all this fallout was caused by Johnson? There seems to be a lot put on him. Is there anyone else to blame?
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 18th, 2004, 1:38 am #2

Ted is to blame, in my book, because if he had considered cryonics to be a good idea, he could easily have written more extensively about it or tape recorded his thoughts about it, along with his wishes-- but instead, he pretty much kept to himself about it. Alcor and Alcor members have long talked about how neccessary it is to be open with family and friends about it, letting them know in no uncertain terms what your wishes are so that any challange to one's suspension by family would be made extremely difficult. Ted broke that cardinal rule. Many people break it because they think it's better to keep it confidential. I think that that's a fundamental error. Ted brought this upon himself-- assuming that he did desire cryonic preservation as indicated on the oil stained note, as lousy and terrible an indicator that is. I think there's more to it than that however.

I think that we need to blame the human predilection for the desire for confidentiality in general. I don't "get" why anyone would want to maintain confidentiality about their desire for and admission to cryonic preservation. At a time in the history of cryonics when we desperately need growth, a member ought to consider the value of open admission on the growth and respectability of cryonics. Take me, for instance. Who in their right mind would ever suggest that I, Rick Potvin, do NOT want to be covered with a cryonic preservation policy? Everything I write supports that idea. Everyone who knows me knows I think it's a great idea. How in the world would I be able to carry myself around the world, if I had to maintain vigilance and secrecy about this? What would be the point of secrecy?

Admittedly, I don't simply spout off about cryonics to my business associates and customers. What's the point? If it comes up in conversation, I admit it freely. People take it in stride now. We move on after laughing and joking about it. It's not a big deal.

So I blame the attitude of secrecy about membership and desire for cryonics. Ted Williams got trapped, apparently, in that mode. So I blame him. If he didn't get trapped in that mode, his family wouldn't be fighting Alcor. If he said, clearly, in advance that he liked the idea of neuro, we might be having an easier time of it today. He didn't, so we aren't.

I would advise all well-known celebrities who are signed up to come out of the closet and freely admit that they are cryonicists. If their time is ever up, they'll help the cryonics movement, Alcor and their own reanimation. As it is, Ted's closed-mouth about it has endangered his own reanimation chances. Go figure. Everything here is pure conjecture, I'm not an expert in anything. My ideas are based on heresay. And nothing is provable. However, there's still value in my post, in my opinion.
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lurker
lurker

March 18th, 2004, 1:58 am #3

I must say, Rick, that I respect your position in this entire situation. Maintaining this forum is a truly respectable endeavor, and I think the discourse is very worthwhile.

I think you are absolutely correct. The fault here does belong, at least partially, to Ted Williams. If he had been given the chance, would he have amended his will? We will never really know.
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Joined: March 18th, 2004, 2:36 am

March 18th, 2004, 2:36 am #4

I am new here, so please forgive me. How much of all this fallout was caused by Johnson? There seems to be a lot put on him. Is there anyone else to blame?
There's plenty of blame to go around. In order:

- The press, for not doing their research. Johnson's reported that Ted's remains were mishandled and that cracking of the skull was part of this mishandling. We know that the skull cracks are an unfortunate but expected and publicly admitted part of the proccess.
- Sports fans, for blowing this out of proportion. Even if cryonics were run by a bunch of quacks, so what? Then it's just a frozen corpse instead of one eaten by worms. I don't understand all this talk about dignity for a dead body.
- Lastly, Alcor, for (assuming the reports are true) accepting a case with a hastily written pact signed by someone known to be suffering from dementia, rather then the proper paperwork. Getting my paperwork together was a pain in the ass. Why was this case accepted?
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Rick
Rick

March 18th, 2004, 3:52 am #5

I must say, Rick, that I respect your position in this entire situation. Maintaining this forum is a truly respectable endeavor, and I think the discourse is very worthwhile.

I think you are absolutely correct. The fault here does belong, at least partially, to Ted Williams. If he had been given the chance, would he have amended his will? We will never really know.
What kind of a procryonics person fails to update their will to reflect their desire to be preserved? An idiot, perhaps? Obviously Ted was no idiot. He was actually one of the "brightest" ball players who have ever graced the universe, insofar as baseball is concerned. He wrote the book on how to hit a ball called "The Science of Hitting". A ball player who writes a book like that isn't an ordinary ball player. He's a "superman" in the baseball world. So why would a superman baseball player fail to update his will? Fact is-- he wouldn't-- which leads me to the "logical" assumption that he didn't intend to be put into cryonic preservation. I don't like that conclusion anymore than any other Alcor member-- but that's where my reasoning and my logic leads me.

You asked if he had been given a chance would he have amended his will. What does amending your will take anyway? Picking up the phone to your lawyer? What kind of a chance would that require? The chance that you have your lawyer's card in your wallet? Did Ted know his lawyer? Did the lawyer in charge of his will know him? I don't have enough details on this memorized but given the chance to update his will, if he WERE interested in cryonics, then we can REASON that "YES, given the chance, he would have updated his will". That assume he didn't have chance, but that's ridiculous. He had plenty of opportunity to change his will. But he didn't. (Suddenly, this seems like the central issue to me. How odd.)
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 18th, 2004, 4:17 am #6

Ted is to blame, in my book, because if he had considered cryonics to be a good idea, he could easily have written more extensively about it or tape recorded his thoughts about it, along with his wishes-- but instead, he pretty much kept to himself about it. Alcor and Alcor members have long talked about how neccessary it is to be open with family and friends about it, letting them know in no uncertain terms what your wishes are so that any challange to one's suspension by family would be made extremely difficult. Ted broke that cardinal rule. Many people break it because they think it's better to keep it confidential. I think that that's a fundamental error. Ted brought this upon himself-- assuming that he did desire cryonic preservation as indicated on the oil stained note, as lousy and terrible an indicator that is. I think there's more to it than that however.

I think that we need to blame the human predilection for the desire for confidentiality in general. I don't "get" why anyone would want to maintain confidentiality about their desire for and admission to cryonic preservation. At a time in the history of cryonics when we desperately need growth, a member ought to consider the value of open admission on the growth and respectability of cryonics. Take me, for instance. Who in their right mind would ever suggest that I, Rick Potvin, do NOT want to be covered with a cryonic preservation policy? Everything I write supports that idea. Everyone who knows me knows I think it's a great idea. How in the world would I be able to carry myself around the world, if I had to maintain vigilance and secrecy about this? What would be the point of secrecy?

Admittedly, I don't simply spout off about cryonics to my business associates and customers. What's the point? If it comes up in conversation, I admit it freely. People take it in stride now. We move on after laughing and joking about it. It's not a big deal.

So I blame the attitude of secrecy about membership and desire for cryonics. Ted Williams got trapped, apparently, in that mode. So I blame him. If he didn't get trapped in that mode, his family wouldn't be fighting Alcor. If he said, clearly, in advance that he liked the idea of neuro, we might be having an easier time of it today. He didn't, so we aren't.

I would advise all well-known celebrities who are signed up to come out of the closet and freely admit that they are cryonicists. If their time is ever up, they'll help the cryonics movement, Alcor and their own reanimation. As it is, Ted's closed-mouth about it has endangered his own reanimation chances. Go figure. Everything here is pure conjecture, I'm not an expert in anything. My ideas are based on heresay. And nothing is provable. However, there's still value in my post, in my opinion.
...was because there are particular estranged relatives who, regardless, would come out about his senility; better that such depreciation occur after his death than in court while he was alive (primarily because the veracity of such claims is kind of difficult to prove after one is dead; being alive, however, means being subjected to constant depreciation, at least until the court battle is over, and your sanity is won- or lost). And, I think there are clearly people who despise Ted's son, and would do anything to get at him, even if it meant making Ted out to be this blubbering idiot incapable of making rational choices or personal decisions.

Granted, it would've undoubtedly been better for Ted's will to have cryonics in it, plastered on dozens of pages, and so on, but there's nothing saying that such a will wouldn't have been disputed much like everything else was disputed (ie, different approach, same result). Especially when the kind of people you're dealing with will claim "forgery!" at the drop of a pin.

So my opinion? The fallout was due to particular family members making it into an issue rather than respecting those close to Ted, who knew him best, and who knew what he wanted. A reactionary press who doesn't understand cryonics doesn't help either.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 18th, 2004, 4:26 am #7

What kind of a procryonics person fails to update their will to reflect their desire to be preserved? An idiot, perhaps? Obviously Ted was no idiot. He was actually one of the "brightest" ball players who have ever graced the universe, insofar as baseball is concerned. He wrote the book on how to hit a ball called "The Science of Hitting". A ball player who writes a book like that isn't an ordinary ball player. He's a "superman" in the baseball world. So why would a superman baseball player fail to update his will? Fact is-- he wouldn't-- which leads me to the "logical" assumption that he didn't intend to be put into cryonic preservation. I don't like that conclusion anymore than any other Alcor member-- but that's where my reasoning and my logic leads me.

You asked if he had been given a chance would he have amended his will. What does amending your will take anyway? Picking up the phone to your lawyer? What kind of a chance would that require? The chance that you have your lawyer's card in your wallet? Did Ted know his lawyer? Did the lawyer in charge of his will know him? I don't have enough details on this memorized but given the chance to update his will, if he WERE interested in cryonics, then we can REASON that "YES, given the chance, he would have updated his will". That assume he didn't have chance, but that's ridiculous. He had plenty of opportunity to change his will. But he didn't. (Suddenly, this seems like the central issue to me. How odd.)
I think he was for whatever his son wanted. I don't actually think he understood exactly what cryonics was, except that maybe it meant that he wouldn't stay sick inside of a whithered old body, scarred from many heart attacks. (I can imagine JHW explaining it to him that way.)

It's certainly an error that Ted didn't get his will rewritten, but there are simply so many factors one must consider, that I don't think it's fair to come out and say that that was what he should've done, regardless, as someone who wants cryonics doesn't necessarily have to act as some huge proponent (nor should they be expected to, really).

In the end, I think this is about a son asking his father for a second chance to be with him (as others have noted, he was mostly close to Ted after he got sick; having my father get sick and die a slow death, I know how it is to be with someone and take care of them in their last days and the closeness it brings).

How could a father say no?
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Texas Cryo
Texas Cryo

March 18th, 2004, 4:29 am #8

...was because there are particular estranged relatives who, regardless, would come out about his senility; better that such depreciation occur after his death than in court while he was alive (primarily because the veracity of such claims is kind of difficult to prove after one is dead; being alive, however, means being subjected to constant depreciation, at least until the court battle is over, and your sanity is won- or lost). And, I think there are clearly people who despise Ted's son, and would do anything to get at him, even if it meant making Ted out to be this blubbering idiot incapable of making rational choices or personal decisions.

Granted, it would've undoubtedly been better for Ted's will to have cryonics in it, plastered on dozens of pages, and so on, but there's nothing saying that such a will wouldn't have been disputed much like everything else was disputed (ie, different approach, same result). Especially when the kind of people you're dealing with will claim "forgery!" at the drop of a pin.

So my opinion? The fallout was due to particular family members making it into an issue rather than respecting those close to Ted, who knew him best, and who knew what he wanted. A reactionary press who doesn't understand cryonics doesn't help either.
.....I suspect that a lot of people were making money from TW before JHW moved. I am not saying that those people were stealing from TW, but that they may have used in him so way to make a living. And then in order for JHW to restore TW's finances, JHW shut off a lot of people, and in shutting off access to TW, perhaps he thought he could raise the price of TW memorabilia, etc. Supply-Demand,etc. And after TW's death, all those people took their revenge on JHW. Just a theory....
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Ray
Ray

March 18th, 2004, 4:35 am #9

What kind of a procryonics person fails to update their will to reflect their desire to be preserved? An idiot, perhaps? Obviously Ted was no idiot. He was actually one of the "brightest" ball players who have ever graced the universe, insofar as baseball is concerned. He wrote the book on how to hit a ball called "The Science of Hitting". A ball player who writes a book like that isn't an ordinary ball player. He's a "superman" in the baseball world. So why would a superman baseball player fail to update his will? Fact is-- he wouldn't-- which leads me to the "logical" assumption that he didn't intend to be put into cryonic preservation. I don't like that conclusion anymore than any other Alcor member-- but that's where my reasoning and my logic leads me.

You asked if he had been given a chance would he have amended his will. What does amending your will take anyway? Picking up the phone to your lawyer? What kind of a chance would that require? The chance that you have your lawyer's card in your wallet? Did Ted know his lawyer? Did the lawyer in charge of his will know him? I don't have enough details on this memorized but given the chance to update his will, if he WERE interested in cryonics, then we can REASON that "YES, given the chance, he would have updated his will". That assume he didn't have chance, but that's ridiculous. He had plenty of opportunity to change his will. But he didn't. (Suddenly, this seems like the central issue to me. How odd.)
Again Rick, I must agree with you 100% and I really appreciate your courage to write what is on your mind. I also echo Lurkers sentiments regarding your open forum here. I know you have received some flak from Alcor about this site, but it is because you identify and bring to surface issues that Alcor will never bring forward.

One thought I have always had regarding TW and the Alcor contract. Pretty much up until the day Ted died, his son JHW continued to have his father sign his name on bat and baseballs and whatnot. My question is; Why didn't JHW take an updated will to his father, read it to him and have him sign? Or better yet the Alcor contract or Document of Gift, assuming they were not sign.

I hate to say it, but I am leaning to the side (Heer/Johnson/Ferrell) that says nothing was ever signed. My gut feeling is that Alcor made a mistake, and now they are afraid to admit it. In some way I am glad that Heer has filed a complaint in court, maybe somethings will get cleared up. My cryonic membership was my choice. Was it Teds?????
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Anon
Anon

March 18th, 2004, 4:43 am #10

There's plenty of blame to go around. In order:

- The press, for not doing their research. Johnson's reported that Ted's remains were mishandled and that cracking of the skull was part of this mishandling. We know that the skull cracks are an unfortunate but expected and publicly admitted part of the proccess.
- Sports fans, for blowing this out of proportion. Even if cryonics were run by a bunch of quacks, so what? Then it's just a frozen corpse instead of one eaten by worms. I don't understand all this talk about dignity for a dead body.
- Lastly, Alcor, for (assuming the reports are true) accepting a case with a hastily written pact signed by someone known to be suffering from dementia, rather then the proper paperwork. Getting my paperwork together was a pain in the ass. Why was this case accepted?
Maybe it's discrimination. We all had to go through weeks, sometimes months of pain in the ass paperwork for our membership, than comes along a famous person, and his membership was honored from a note on a piece of scrap paper. HEY! I smell class action lawsuit here against Alcor for discrimination. Who wants to join me, I wonder if Heer would represent us? Just a thought.
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