Missing Cryonet posts about Ted Williams and Larry Johnson discovered.

Missing Cryonet posts about Ted Williams and Larry Johnson discovered.

Joined: August 25th, 2005, 8:19 pm

December 25th, 2007, 4:07 am #1

As many of you know, I love raising controversy, especially regarding the Ted Williams and Larry Johnson fiasco. For some reason this subject fascinates me. I guess it is because we all know that there is obviously more to this story then what the higher ups at Alcor have divulged. I will give you one example. Shortly after the Larry Johnson fiasco Mathew Sullivan made two posts on Cryonet. Several weeks later after Johnson apparently filed a lawsuit of his own, the posts on Cryonet vanished. If you research this you will find that during the history of Cryonet since July of 1988 there has never been a post (to my knowledge that has been deleted). This little tidbit puzzled me. What was in those posts that were deleted? Were they deleted as a result of Johnson’s legal action? Well thanks to modern day technology and some tenacity I was able to recover the posts from an archival website. If you go to Cryonet and look for post # 22350 and post #22400 you will discover that they are gone...until now.

Now ladies and gentlemen I present to you the deleted posts from Cryonet authored by Mathew Sullivan. I ask that everyone read through these two posts and give the readers of Cold Filter your assessment of why these were possibly pulled from Cryonet. Could it have been that Alcor slandered Johnson and they forced to remove these posts? And if so, luckily for Alcor, Johnson is long gone.




Message #22400
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 16:38:53 -0700
From: Mathew Sullivan <mathew@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: News Update From Alcor

This is a revision of a letter being sent out to Alcor's members regarding the controversy surrounding Larry Johnson and Ted Williams. Feel free to redistribute this document.

The issue of Sports Illustrated dated August 18th, 2003 contained a seven-page feature which mischaracterized Alcor and suggested that poor management has occurred. We want to assure you that Alcor remains diligent and conscientious in its treatment of cryopatients, and our state of readiness for future cases is excellent. Also, to the best of our knowledge, we are in full compliance with all applicable regulations.

The history of our current problem began in January of this year, when we hired a nationally certified paramedic named Larry Johnson as our new standby team leader. Mr. Johnson had impeccable credentials (which we verified) and had been active as a paramedic and a trainer for more than twenty years. He expressed sincere interest in Alcor and provided important assistance in two cryonics cases. He seemed a very valuable asset to our organization.

Unfortunately Mr. Johnson either became disenchanted with Alcor or may have
become an employee of Alcor with a preconceived agenda, we don't know. He failed to show up for work on August 11th, and we found that several items were missing, including a laptop computer that had been supplied for his use.

On the same day, several staff members and officers received phone calls from Sports Illustrated. With shock and disbelief we learned that Mr. Johnson had copied confidential documents and photographs without our knowledge or express permission, and had covertly taped personal conversations with our staff and independent contractors. He supplied all of this information to the magazine, with the intention of portraying Alcor
as negatively as possible.

Since Mr. Johnson had signed a nondisclosure agreement, we are filing a civil suit which alleges breach of contract and fiduciary duty, and conversion of property, including intellectual property. We are also acting to prevent disclosure of information that may be still in his possession. Alcor's President and CEO, Dr. Jerry Lemler, currently is undergoing chemotherapy treatments which take several days at a time. Carlos Mondragon, a director and a former president of Alcor, flew to Scottsdale on August 12th to help deal with the press and confer with our attorneys. Mr. Mondragon is well known to Alcor as an expert at crisis management and will be donating his time at least until September 7th.

Alcor has issued a press release that was quoted widely in rebuttal against some of Mr. Johnson's charges, and Mr. Mondragon ran a successful press conference and has given many radio and TV interviews.

Inspectors from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and from the City of Scottsdale have visited Alcor. While we are waiting for their official reports, we have learned informally that the inspectors found absolutely no violations.

Alcor has taken steps to assure that it maintains a state of readiness. Our operating room is fully prepared, our meds kits have been distributed to regional groups, and three experienced personnel are on call as team leaders in case of emergency.

In addition to the legal action which Alcor plans to take against Larry Johnson, some individuals may file personal suits to recover damages resulting from his violations of confidentiality. We respect the right of anyone to seek a legal remedy, but we ask that no one should harass or threaten Mr. Johnson personally.

We are absolutely confident that we will emerge from this distasteful experience stronger than before and better able to serve our members. Below, you will find quick answers to some of the questions we have been receiving.

As always, we appreciate your confidence in Alcor and your participation in our efforts to combat the threat of mortality.

Did Larry Johnson take advantage of poor security at Alcor?

We were cautious about allowing Mr. Johnson to view confidential materials, but after three months, he had earned everyone's trust. He seemed well organized, ethical, and dedicated. To carry out his job, he had to have access to patient records. However, he was not given keys to the locks which protect our patient storage units. Alcor remains very
security-conscious, with a 24-hour presence in the facility, cameras that automatically record any motion around the building or on its roof, an intrusion alarm system, several countermeasures against vandalism in the Patient Care Bay, and a rigid policy requiring that doors allowing entry from the parking lot are locked at all times. Visitors, staff, and
independent contractors must sign nondisclosure agreements.

How will Alcor replace Larry Johnson?

We hope to confirm a replacement within the next week. The employee should
have extensive prior experience in cryonics.

Sports Illustrated alleges that Alcor took, and lost, DNA samples. Is this
true?

Since DNA resides in every human cell, it would be pointless for Alcor to
extract "DNA samples" from our patients. We have never taken DNA samples.
We may take venous effluent samples during cryoprotective perfusion, for
standard lab analysis.

The report alleges that Alcor "accidentally" cracked a human head and
drilled holes in the skull. Is this correct?

No patient has ever been accidentally cracked. When a vitrified object is cooled below its "glass transition point," fractures may occur. This problem is well known and has been discussed publicly. We believe that future science will be able to repair hairline fractures. We were much more concerned, in the past, about cellular damage, and we are proud that our current vitrification protocol can virtually eliminate such damage under favorable conditions. We are now testing a new intermediate-temperature storage device which should greatly reduce the risk of fracturing, taking us a big step toward our ultimate goal of zero-injury cryopreservation. As for holes in the skull, we use a standard surgical perforator to make two small burr holes through which we monitor the surface of the brain during cryoprotective perfusion. This essential precaution provides us with early
warning if edema (swelling) starts to occur.

Has Alcor been negligent with biohazardous waste?

No. Proper hazardous waste disposal bags are used in our facility, and a hazardous waste collection agency makes pickups as required.

Is it true that Alcor is owed more than $100,000 by the heirs of Ted Williams?

Alcor still cannot comment in response to questions about an individual patient. We respect the confidentiality of our members and patients-and we are shocked and dismayed that a nationally certified paramedic would not show equal respect in his communications with the press.

Why did Larry Johnson decide to speak out against Alcor?

We cannot speculate about his motives, but we do know that he attempted to sell photographs which he had copied from Alcor files without our knowledge or express permission. Although he claimed that these pictures documented the fate of Ted Williams, in fact the photographs of surgical procedures were all taken of Alcor patients within the past nine months. We were able to stop Mr. Johnson from selling any of our photographs just a few hours after he announced their availability. He has changed his web site so that it merely appeals for "donations" from visitors.

I feel out of touch with Alcor. How can I get more news and information?

Simple! Subscribe to Alcor News, our free online news service. Go to <http://www.alcornews.org/>www.alcornews.org and click on the Archives
option to view back issues. To receive future issues, follow the instructions on the web site. We will not use your email address for any other purpose, and it will be protected from outsiders who may want to send you spam. Alcor News is your best guarantee that you will receive prompt, authoritative updates from us on all topics relevant to your Alcor membership. Please take advantage of this valuable resource.


Mathew Sullivan (mathew@xxxxxxxxx)
Director of Suspension Readiness

Alcor Life Extension Foundation
7895 E. Acoma Dr., Suite 110, Scottsdale AZ 85260-6916
Membership Information: (877) GO-ALCOR (462-5267)
Phone (480) 905-1906 FAX (480) 922-9027
info@xxxxxxxxx for general requests

http://www.alcor.org

The Alcor Life Extension Foundation was founded in 1972 as a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, and has 58 patients in cryostasis. Alcor is the world's largest provider of professional cryotransport services with over 640 members who have pre-arranged for cryotransport. Alcor's Emergency CryoTransport System (ECS) is a medical-style rescue network patterned after Emergency Medical System (EMS). Alcor CryoTransport Technicians, as with EMTs and Paramedics on an ambulance, are advised by our Medical Director, Jerry Lemler MD or other physicians who are Alcor
members and/or contract physicians.

If you start everything...
you will finish nothing.




Message #22350
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 19:51:20 -0700
From: Mathew Sullivan <mathew@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Alcor Press Release

Alcor Life Extension Foundation

August 13th, 2003

For immediate release


Following the furor over the Sports Illustrated Article, Alcor Vows to Prosecute Ex-Employee Larry Johnson


Carlos Mondragon, a director and former president of Alcor Life Extension Foundation, has adamantly refuted allegations by ex-employee Larry Johnson in the current issue of Sports Illustrated magazine. "We believe that Johnson felt he was underpaid, resented the tasks he was asked to perform, and is a typical ex-employee trying to exercise a grudge and make a name for himself," Mondragon commented today. "Johnson is a nationally certified paramedic, but he deliberately violated our members' confidentiality. He taped conversations without anyone's consent or knowledge, he has removed company property, he has violated our standard nondisclosure agreement, and we have reported him to the police. We are formulating further action in consultation with our attorneys."

Jerry Lemler, MD, Alcor's president and CEO, is undergoing chemotherapy and
is not available for comment. Carlos Mondragon is acting as Alcor's spokesperson in Dr. Lemler's absence.

Alcor's privacy policy prevents it from commenting on individual cases. Every employee of Alcor is subject to a confidentiality and nondisclosure policy that coincides with our confidential obligations to our patients. Mr. Johnson signed a confidentiality agreement and he, and the individuals and entities that knowingly breached these confidential obligations, will be pursued with all legal remedies available to Alcor and its patients.

No Alcor Cryopatient has been treated negligently in the style that Johnson suggested to Sports Illustrated. "If Johnson made these statements, we believe they are knowingly false and, consequently, may be grounds for criminal prosecution and several civil actions," Mondragon stated. Cryonics was first proposed in the 1960s as a procedure to preserve the human brain and possibly also the human body in the hope that future
science will enable resuscitation. During the past decade, Alcor Life Extension Foundationhas led the field by introducing a new technique known as vitrification.
When optimally applied, vitrification can eliminate the ice damage which used to decimate brain cells in cryopatients who were treated with earlier technology.

Vitrification does involve a tradeoff which is thoroughly understood and has been communicated to all Alcor members. Instead of massive damage to millions of cells, a cryopatient is likely to experience some simple fracturing caused by thermal stress during cooling. Since the fracturing is a minor form of injury compared with ice damage, and since many people believe that future science such as nanotechnology should be capable of repairing simple fractures, Alcor believes it has made radical progress toward its ultimate goal of zero-damage preservation. To suggest that Alcor has been negligent in
allowing fractures to occur is erroneous and defamatory. The fractures are a small price to pay for reduced cell injury.

Anyone who seeks cryopreservation at Alcor must sign legal documents clearly stating that cryonics is an experimental procedure which has an unknown outcome. Alcor members are willing to accept the risks, since there is no other viable option to preserve the human brain for decades or even centuries.

"All we are doing at Alcor is honoring the wishes of our members and their families," according to Carlos Mondragon. "A person may choose to be buried, cremated, or cryopreserved after legal death. Cryopreservation provides a chance of future resuscitation, while cremation and burial offer no chance at all. Cryonics is usually chosen by people who have a strong love of life."

Regarding the allegation that Alcor created holes in a patient's skull, Mondragon states that the organization uses a perforator--a standard medical tool--to create a small opening through which the brain can be observed during cryoprotective perfusion. "Our whole purpose is to minimize injury," according to Mondragon. "If we cannot observe the brain during perfusion, we run the risk of creating capillary damage that can interfere with our protective procedures. A small perforation is trivial by comparison. It could be repaired even using today's medical technology."

Mondragon believes that Larry Johnson is well aware of these facts. He helped to teach Alcor's field procedures at a training session earlier this year, and was preparing training materials for another session in the Fall.

"Johnson signed up for cryopreservation himself, fully aware of the protocol that we use," according to Mondragon. "This is no secret. He talked about it openly in a segment for Los Angeles CBS TV news, earlier this year. You haveto wonder why he suddenly decided to denounce the procedures that he said would enable him to see the future."

Larry Johnson was hired by Alcor in January, 2003, but claimed that he had
been interested in cryonics for many years.

"I know that Johnson had some personal differences with our CEO," Mondragon
comments. "But we pledged to resolve any issues. Apparently the pledge wasn't good enough for him, and he appears to have spent several weeks trying to findways to embarrass us. Since his allegations are inaccurate and we find no instance where he has accused Alcor of any illegalities, we regard his attack as a spiteful parting shot by an employee who may have personal problems anddefinitely had an exaggerated opinion of his own worth."

Carlos Mondragon can be reached for further comment at:
480-905-1906x115


Mathew Sullivan (mathew@xxxxxxxxx)
Director of Suspension Readiness

Alcor Life Extension Foundation
7895 E. Acoma Dr., Suite 110, Scottsdale AZ 85260-6916
Membership Information: (877) GO-ALCOR (462-5267)
Phone (480) 905-1906 FAX (480) 922-9027
info@xxxxxxxxx for general requests

http://www.alcor.org

The Alcor Life Extension Foundation was founded in 1972 as a non-profit,
tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, and has 58 patients in cryostasis. Alcor
is the world's largest provider of professional cryotransport services with
over 640 members who have pre-arranged for cryotransport. Alcor's Emergency
CryoTransport System (ECS) is a medical-style rescue network patterned
after Emergency Medical System (EMS). Alcor CryoTransport Technicians,
as with EMTs and Paramedics on an ambulance, are advised by our
Medical Director, Jerry Lemler MD or other physicians who are Alcor
members and/or contract physicians.


If you start everything...
you will finish nothing.
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

December 25th, 2007, 7:30 pm #2

Those who download all the CryoNet messages have the originals, as you posted.

My take on the removal of the text of these posts from the CryoNet archive is that Sullivan discussed in detail Alcor's plans to sue Johnson. Any lawyer would say you don't do that in the first place, and since Johnson also threatened later to sue Alcor, it became even more imperative for Alcor not to publically comment on it.

That makes the lawyers' jobs a lot easier, to confine the discussion to private negotiations and the court. It can get tacky having your published statements used against you, and being accused of trying to win your case in the "court of public opinion".

I don't think anything about Johnson matters any longer. What matters is Alcor's current Board. When are they going to tell us they made a mistake in accepting Ted Williams without proper funding? When are they going to assure Alcor members and prospective members that they will never rub fully-funded members' noses in that kind of doodoo again?

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Joined: August 25th, 2005, 8:19 pm

December 27th, 2007, 3:48 am #3

I honestly believe the "court of public opinion" would not lean in favor of Alcor during this case. We are the odd ones out. In the eyes of the public we are not accepted, YET. I do not know of the details, but I truly think should Johnson and Alcor have gone as far as a jury trial, Johnson wold have won. On a jury sits twelve, what do you think the odd are that their would have been at least one cryonicist? I'd say pretty damn slim.

I am very interested in whatever "taped evidence" Johnson had on Alcor. His old site www.freeted.com is still active. At the bottom of the page is an email address that I have written to a couple times. I was hoping someone would answer, but so far no luck. If there is anyone out there who reads these posts and have information about Johnson or his evidence, I would love to hear from you.

FD said:
"I don't think anything about Johnson matters any longer. What matters is Alcor's current Board. When are they going to tell us they made a mistake in accepting Ted Williams without proper funding? When are they going to assure Alcor members and prospective members that they will never rub fully-funded members' noses in that kind of doodoo again?"


I don't think Alcor will ever admit they made a mistake on the Ted Williams ordeal. Look at the egos that these self-elected board members have. Until Alcor gets control of their problem of inbreeding, the Alcor members will never know what truly goes on in Scottsdale. Personally, I think they are all morons. That is why I chose CI.


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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

December 27th, 2007, 5:13 am #4

I agree on the probability that Johnson would have won, as juries often favor the "poor injured individual" over a perceived large uncaring corporation (Alcor).

I also see some historical value to the TW & Johnson matters. Some of it might even be more current than historical. I saved the below news article over 3 years ago, and never saw a followup. Does anyone have one? There are certainly some open-ended matters in this article, related to the tapes Johnson made. Did you know of this article, DR? Perhaps you should look to the newspaper company or to the LA police for the taped info ...
---------------------------------------------

May 2, 2004

Scottsdale company's role in death probed

By Bill Bertolino, Tribune

Los Angeles homicide detectives are investigating the 1992 death of a man whose remains are frozen at Scottsdale-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the cryonics company known nationally for storing human bodies, including that of baseball icon Ted Williams.

At the heart of the investigation is whether or not a former Alcor employee injected a terminally ill AIDS patient with a paralytic drug to hasten his death, the Tribune has learned.

Brian Carr, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, confirmed that the death is being investigated as a result of allegations and evidence turned over by former Alcor chief operating officer Larry Johnson, who left the company in August.

"I can't really talk much about it at this point," said Carr, who works in the department's robbery and homicide division. "It's still under investigation."

Carr said he interviewed Johnson about the case.
Johnson first notified Los Angeles authorities of an "unusual homicide" through his attorney.
In a letter sent in mid-July, lawyer John A. Heer told police that Johnson had evidence that "instead of waiting for nature to take its course, one of the members of the suspension team injected the victim with a paralytic chemical which stopped the victim's heart and breathing within minutes."

Evidence Johnson and his attorney said they have turned over to investigators includes conversations Johnson secretly recorded with two men he identified as Alcor executives. The Tribune has obtained copies of the recordings.

On one recording, a man Johnson identified as Alcor senior board member and facilities engineer Hugh Hixon states he was at the scene of the AIDS patient's death when a then-Alcor employee injected the man with a drug known to have the ability to paralyze patients and stop their breathing.

The then-employee administered the injection, "and after about seven or eight minutes (the patient) quit breathing, which was entirely to be expected," Hixon states on the recording. The Tribune is withholding the name of the former employee Hixon identified because the employee could not be located for comment. Contacted Friday, Hixon said, "I'm declining comment." He referred questions to Alcor CEO Jerry Lemler, who did not return calls from the Tribune seeking comment.

On another recording, a man Johnson identified as another Alcor executive states he has knowledge of the AIDS patient's death. He said the information would "absolutely destroy" Alcor if it became public.

The executive adds: "If it came down to a court issue, you know, who's gonna say anything? Who is going to admit anything? It's deniable."

The Tribune is also withholding the identity of the executive at this time because he could not be reached for comment. The investigation into the AIDS patient's death is the latest inquiry for Alcor, a nonprofit organization in north Scottsdale that freezes human bodies and brains in liquid nitrogen, in the hope that medical breakthroughs may one day restore the dead to life.

The company has the remains of at least 58 people frozen, at a charge of about $120,000 for a full-body suspension.

Last month, Alcor received national attention for its treatment of Williams - the Hall of Fame Boston Red Sox slugger whose remains are stored at Alcor.

Sports Illustrated first reported in August that Alcor severed Williams' head, drilled holes in it, fractured the skull and misplaced DNA samples, among other allegations. Alcor has never publicly acknowledged ownership of Williams' body and has denied that his DNA is missing from the facility.

The story spawned a lawsuit by Alcor against Johnson, who supplied the magazine with the information on Williams. Among other claims in its lawsuit, Alcor charges Johnson violated a confidentiality agreement and stole company information and property.

Johnson worked for Alcor from January until Aug. 11, when he said he was fired. He has since filed a counterclaim against Alcor, charging the company falsely accused him of committing theft, fraud and breach of confidentiality. Johnson also charges the company has slandered him.

Alcor also has a contentious history with California authorities.
In 1987, the company was rocked by a scandal involving the death of Riverside, Calif., resident Dora Kent. Authorities questioned whether she was legally dead when her head was removed and frozen. The case was dropped after extensive legal wrangling.

Alcor moved its headquarters in 1994 from Riverside to Scottsdale, where the company is housed in a building in the Scottsdale Airpark. It has 12 employees.

On the audio recording between Johnson and Hixon, Hixon states that he was at the home of the AIDS patient whose death is now under investigation because he was in charge of transporting the man's body.

As the crew waited for the man to die, Hixon states they prepared a makeshift operating room inside a detached garage near the home. Alcor workers put together plastic drop cloths, lightweight wood and twine, "and we built ourselves a little operating suite in the garage," Hixon states.

The Alcor crew eventually carried the dying man down the stairs of his home, placed him on a gurney and wheeled him down the street to the garage, where they waited for him to die, Hixon states.

"We waited quite a while," Hixon states. "He was not very far away from dying."

Hixon then states that the former Alcor employee asked an assistant to prepare an injection of Metubine, a paralytic drug.

The assistant, Tanya Jones, "didn't know what it was for," Hixon states.
Later on the recording, Hixon adds: "Anyway, so the guy quit breathing. He wasn't very far from quitting breathing, but, uh, we don't like that kind of thing."

Reached on Saturday by cell phone in Southern California, Jones initially declined comment.

"Let me just find out what is going on," Jones said. "And what I can say and what I can't say, you know. It would be simple enough to either confirm or deny the presence of that someone. "I haven't thought about that case in a very, very long time."

Jones added that she took a job with Alcor on Friday after a 6 1/2-year hiatus from the company.

Hixon also indicates on the recording that a growing concern was that the Alcor team might get tied up in traffic when they had to transport the AIDS patient's remains.

"It wasn't anything that wasn't going to happen," Hixon states regarding the man's death. "And we did beat the traffic."

The other Alcor executive indicates on an audio recording that he was not at the scene but had knowledge of the circumstances that caused the AIDS patient's death. He states the AIDS patient's death occurred in 1992 in Los Angeles.

"Look, morally I have no objection to doing that sort of thing," he states. "I think Dr. (Jack) Kevorkian is a great man. But we live in a real world. We just can't do stuff like that."

The company executive states that the incident caused Alcor to sever its relationship with the employee who injected the paralytic drug.

"That's when we decided, Alcor decided, this guy is just too dangerous to have around," he states.

Johnson, who agreed to an interview with the Tribune only on the condition that the newspaper not reveal his address or publish a photo of him, said he became frightened when he learned that a former Alcor employee may have hastened the death of the AIDS patient.

He said he prompted his attorney to contact Los Angeles police. Heer said Saturday that he had several conversations with detectives in early July. Heer is also the attorney for Bobby-Jo Ferrell, Ted Williams' eldest child, who was at the heart of a family dispute last year over the handling of the former baseball star's remains.
Contact Bill Bertolino by email, or phone (480) 970-2352
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

December 27th, 2007, 5:31 am #5

I honestly believe the "court of public opinion" would not lean in favor of Alcor during this case. We are the odd ones out. In the eyes of the public we are not accepted, YET. I do not know of the details, but I truly think should Johnson and Alcor have gone as far as a jury trial, Johnson wold have won. On a jury sits twelve, what do you think the odd are that their would have been at least one cryonicist? I'd say pretty damn slim.

I am very interested in whatever "taped evidence" Johnson had on Alcor. His old site www.freeted.com is still active. At the bottom of the page is an email address that I have written to a couple times. I was hoping someone would answer, but so far no luck. If there is anyone out there who reads these posts and have information about Johnson or his evidence, I would love to hear from you.

FD said:
"I don't think anything about Johnson matters any longer. What matters is Alcor's current Board. When are they going to tell us they made a mistake in accepting Ted Williams without proper funding? When are they going to assure Alcor members and prospective members that they will never rub fully-funded members' noses in that kind of doodoo again?"


I don't think Alcor will ever admit they made a mistake on the Ted Williams ordeal. Look at the egos that these self-elected board members have. Until Alcor gets control of their problem of inbreeding, the Alcor members will never know what truly goes on in Scottsdale. Personally, I think they are all morons. That is why I chose CI.

You said "Until Alcor gets control of their problem of inbreeding, the Alcor members will never know what truly goes on in Scottsdale."

You weren't the first to say this. A former Alcor Board member once appeared here and called it "incestuous".

To me, it is not so much that they give the appearance of being the "good buddy board". It is simply that they are not elected by the membership.

The kind of power obtained from being responsible to no one, results in the kind of arrogance we see today in Alcor's board. The kind of arrogance that thinks it is quite OK to grant a "celebrity waiver" to the ordinary lowly Alcor member's obligation to be current in dues payments and suspension funding.

CI has some real credibility gaps, but I agree with you DR to the extent that I could never join an organization like Alcor with its pseudo-membership status and its "our way or the highway" self-elected board of directors.

Even there, I applaud those who are trying their best to make Alcor a better place, though I wonder how they can stand it and why they do not invest their futures in a better idea.

FD
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Joined: August 25th, 2005, 8:19 pm

December 27th, 2007, 6:20 am #6

I agree on the probability that Johnson would have won, as juries often favor the "poor injured individual" over a perceived large uncaring corporation (Alcor).

I also see some historical value to the TW & Johnson matters. Some of it might even be more current than historical. I saved the below news article over 3 years ago, and never saw a followup. Does anyone have one? There are certainly some open-ended matters in this article, related to the tapes Johnson made. Did you know of this article, DR? Perhaps you should look to the newspaper company or to the LA police for the taped info ...
---------------------------------------------

May 2, 2004

Scottsdale company's role in death probed

By Bill Bertolino, Tribune

Los Angeles homicide detectives are investigating the 1992 death of a man whose remains are frozen at Scottsdale-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the cryonics company known nationally for storing human bodies, including that of baseball icon Ted Williams.

At the heart of the investigation is whether or not a former Alcor employee injected a terminally ill AIDS patient with a paralytic drug to hasten his death, the Tribune has learned.

Brian Carr, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, confirmed that the death is being investigated as a result of allegations and evidence turned over by former Alcor chief operating officer Larry Johnson, who left the company in August.

"I can't really talk much about it at this point," said Carr, who works in the department's robbery and homicide division. "It's still under investigation."

Carr said he interviewed Johnson about the case.
Johnson first notified Los Angeles authorities of an "unusual homicide" through his attorney.
In a letter sent in mid-July, lawyer John A. Heer told police that Johnson had evidence that "instead of waiting for nature to take its course, one of the members of the suspension team injected the victim with a paralytic chemical which stopped the victim's heart and breathing within minutes."

Evidence Johnson and his attorney said they have turned over to investigators includes conversations Johnson secretly recorded with two men he identified as Alcor executives. The Tribune has obtained copies of the recordings.

On one recording, a man Johnson identified as Alcor senior board member and facilities engineer Hugh Hixon states he was at the scene of the AIDS patient's death when a then-Alcor employee injected the man with a drug known to have the ability to paralyze patients and stop their breathing.

The then-employee administered the injection, "and after about seven or eight minutes (the patient) quit breathing, which was entirely to be expected," Hixon states on the recording. The Tribune is withholding the name of the former employee Hixon identified because the employee could not be located for comment. Contacted Friday, Hixon said, "I'm declining comment." He referred questions to Alcor CEO Jerry Lemler, who did not return calls from the Tribune seeking comment.

On another recording, a man Johnson identified as another Alcor executive states he has knowledge of the AIDS patient's death. He said the information would "absolutely destroy" Alcor if it became public.

The executive adds: "If it came down to a court issue, you know, who's gonna say anything? Who is going to admit anything? It's deniable."

The Tribune is also withholding the identity of the executive at this time because he could not be reached for comment. The investigation into the AIDS patient's death is the latest inquiry for Alcor, a nonprofit organization in north Scottsdale that freezes human bodies and brains in liquid nitrogen, in the hope that medical breakthroughs may one day restore the dead to life.

The company has the remains of at least 58 people frozen, at a charge of about $120,000 for a full-body suspension.

Last month, Alcor received national attention for its treatment of Williams - the Hall of Fame Boston Red Sox slugger whose remains are stored at Alcor.

Sports Illustrated first reported in August that Alcor severed Williams' head, drilled holes in it, fractured the skull and misplaced DNA samples, among other allegations. Alcor has never publicly acknowledged ownership of Williams' body and has denied that his DNA is missing from the facility.

The story spawned a lawsuit by Alcor against Johnson, who supplied the magazine with the information on Williams. Among other claims in its lawsuit, Alcor charges Johnson violated a confidentiality agreement and stole company information and property.

Johnson worked for Alcor from January until Aug. 11, when he said he was fired. He has since filed a counterclaim against Alcor, charging the company falsely accused him of committing theft, fraud and breach of confidentiality. Johnson also charges the company has slandered him.

Alcor also has a contentious history with California authorities.
In 1987, the company was rocked by a scandal involving the death of Riverside, Calif., resident Dora Kent. Authorities questioned whether she was legally dead when her head was removed and frozen. The case was dropped after extensive legal wrangling.

Alcor moved its headquarters in 1994 from Riverside to Scottsdale, where the company is housed in a building in the Scottsdale Airpark. It has 12 employees.

On the audio recording between Johnson and Hixon, Hixon states that he was at the home of the AIDS patient whose death is now under investigation because he was in charge of transporting the man's body.

As the crew waited for the man to die, Hixon states they prepared a makeshift operating room inside a detached garage near the home. Alcor workers put together plastic drop cloths, lightweight wood and twine, "and we built ourselves a little operating suite in the garage," Hixon states.

The Alcor crew eventually carried the dying man down the stairs of his home, placed him on a gurney and wheeled him down the street to the garage, where they waited for him to die, Hixon states.

"We waited quite a while," Hixon states. "He was not very far away from dying."

Hixon then states that the former Alcor employee asked an assistant to prepare an injection of Metubine, a paralytic drug.

The assistant, Tanya Jones, "didn't know what it was for," Hixon states.
Later on the recording, Hixon adds: "Anyway, so the guy quit breathing. He wasn't very far from quitting breathing, but, uh, we don't like that kind of thing."

Reached on Saturday by cell phone in Southern California, Jones initially declined comment.

"Let me just find out what is going on," Jones said. "And what I can say and what I can't say, you know. It would be simple enough to either confirm or deny the presence of that someone. "I haven't thought about that case in a very, very long time."

Jones added that she took a job with Alcor on Friday after a 6 1/2-year hiatus from the company.

Hixon also indicates on the recording that a growing concern was that the Alcor team might get tied up in traffic when they had to transport the AIDS patient's remains.

"It wasn't anything that wasn't going to happen," Hixon states regarding the man's death. "And we did beat the traffic."

The other Alcor executive indicates on an audio recording that he was not at the scene but had knowledge of the circumstances that caused the AIDS patient's death. He states the AIDS patient's death occurred in 1992 in Los Angeles.

"Look, morally I have no objection to doing that sort of thing," he states. "I think Dr. (Jack) Kevorkian is a great man. But we live in a real world. We just can't do stuff like that."

The company executive states that the incident caused Alcor to sever its relationship with the employee who injected the paralytic drug.

"That's when we decided, Alcor decided, this guy is just too dangerous to have around," he states.

Johnson, who agreed to an interview with the Tribune only on the condition that the newspaper not reveal his address or publish a photo of him, said he became frightened when he learned that a former Alcor employee may have hastened the death of the AIDS patient.

He said he prompted his attorney to contact Los Angeles police. Heer said Saturday that he had several conversations with detectives in early July. Heer is also the attorney for Bobby-Jo Ferrell, Ted Williams' eldest child, who was at the heart of a family dispute last year over the handling of the former baseball star's remains.
Contact Bill Bertolino by email, or phone (480) 970-2352
Yes, it is most certain he would have won. I am sure given all of the consideration that must have been in this case, I am sure a nice little settlement was reached. In civil matters like this it is common to pay off the "poor injured individual" without admitting guilt. As much as Alcor would like to deny it, Johnson is a part of Alcor's history forever.

Regarding historical value, I appreciate you finding this article. I heard something about this, but never actually saw the article. I looked up the writer Bill Bertalino. He is now a senior editor. I am going to try to contact him.

Thanks FD!
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Joined: August 25th, 2005, 8:19 pm

December 27th, 2007, 6:24 am #7

You said "Until Alcor gets control of their problem of inbreeding, the Alcor members will never know what truly goes on in Scottsdale."

You weren't the first to say this. A former Alcor Board member once appeared here and called it "incestuous".

To me, it is not so much that they give the appearance of being the "good buddy board". It is simply that they are not elected by the membership.

The kind of power obtained from being responsible to no one, results in the kind of arrogance we see today in Alcor's board. The kind of arrogance that thinks it is quite OK to grant a "celebrity waiver" to the ordinary lowly Alcor member's obligation to be current in dues payments and suspension funding.

CI has some real credibility gaps, but I agree with you DR to the extent that I could never join an organization like Alcor with its pseudo-membership status and its "our way or the highway" self-elected board of directors.

Even there, I applaud those who are trying their best to make Alcor a better place, though I wonder how they can stand it and why they do not invest their futures in a better idea.

FD
You seem well educated when it comes to business. Isn't Alcor in some type of violation because they "self-elect"? Doesn't this some how violate their 501 non-profit status?
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

December 27th, 2007, 7:02 am #8

These are mostly legal questions you raise, and I'm not a lawyer. I'd guess, though, that the most obvious violation for self-electing would be if they are violating their own bylaws, which I doubt is the case here. There could be other legal violations, of which I do not know. As to "501 non-profit status" that is an IRS designation, and another whole different body of law. I do not know, but I suspect the IRS does not care where the board comes from - just that they meet regularly and do the things non-profits do.

There are many non-profits with self-re-electing boards, and they seem to get away with it.

Then there is the related but somewhat different issue of "membership". What does being a "member" mean, if you have no rights other than ordinary customer level contracts? Nothing, IMO. That is why I say Alcor "membership" is meaningless. But a lot of companies do it, not all even non-profit. Would somebody who has access to legal databases do a search on this issue?

It would also be interesting, if an Alcor member were to sue Alcor for the ability to exercise the rights he/she thought were present upon entering said "membership". Probably a fruitless endeavor and expense, but it would certainly be interesting. And you never know. Law is often made by court decisions.

What we are probably left with is the moral right of members of anything, to have some say in the running of the operation, including electing who runs it. USA law goes way too far in some areas, yet likely neglects such a basic issue as this.

Yes, I am a business person, and the above are reasons we unfortunately often have to hire lawyers.

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Joined: November 16th, 2007, 10:36 am

December 27th, 2007, 8:08 am #9

You said "Until Alcor gets control of their problem of inbreeding, the Alcor members will never know what truly goes on in Scottsdale."

You weren't the first to say this. A former Alcor Board member once appeared here and called it "incestuous".

To me, it is not so much that they give the appearance of being the "good buddy board". It is simply that they are not elected by the membership.

The kind of power obtained from being responsible to no one, results in the kind of arrogance we see today in Alcor's board. The kind of arrogance that thinks it is quite OK to grant a "celebrity waiver" to the ordinary lowly Alcor member's obligation to be current in dues payments and suspension funding.

CI has some real credibility gaps, but I agree with you DR to the extent that I could never join an organization like Alcor with its pseudo-membership status and its "our way or the highway" self-elected board of directors.

Even there, I applaud those who are trying their best to make Alcor a better place, though I wonder how they can stand it and why they do not invest their futures in a better idea.

FD
I guess it would be safe to assume that you are not a member or either cryonics organization at this time. You seem very outspoken with Alcor, but I was wondering about the ‘credibility gap’ you mentioned with CI.
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

December 27th, 2007, 9:41 am #10

Some moons ago, I had a list of concerns about CI. I published at least some of them from time to time. In reviewing it now, I see that some of them are resolved, such as

Who knows what CI's vitrification solution "VM-1" actually has in it? - the formula is now public.

Vitrification model does not allow for "whole body" - CI now will do the unvitrified portion of the body using a traditional cryopreservation solution, rather than just straight-freezing it.

Maybe they listened to me, and of course to others. Hurray for them! I wish Alcor would.

I see in reviewing my old list that I used to be concerned about CI relying on Suspended Animation, Inc. as their sole provider of standby services, because at that time less than 10 people had signed up for it, and there had been no cases using it, so I worried that the benevolent funders of SA Inc. would keep this going for how many years etc etc. That type of worry was superseded by the case of CI#81 and I won't go into all the details - you can read the back posts and archives. Now I worry that SA Inc. has pretty much settled in to providing the same totally absurd level of service that CI#81 got, and it is in their latest contract materials, and that it is still CI's sole standby provider. And no "real" cases yet; 81 was close to a freebie. And now I think it is over 40 people signed up for it, so I guess it must be like the Ted Williams thing - the more negative publicity you get, the more people sign up. Maybe that is the key to cryonics marketing - negative publicity. Maybe I should applaud Alcor's board and encourage them to take on as many celebrities as they can (collateralized by the legitimate funding of the rank and file members). Maybe I should stop rambling and digressing.

Back to CI, I think other people have concerns I myself feel are not so important, such as whether their VM-1 vitrification solution has passed all the peer reviewed tests. Or whether they are a cemetery or not.

Of more importance to me than the latter might be that their organizational model probably still needs better protection against a takeover.

Would you like to know my chief complaint about all cryonics organizations? It is that none of them have resolved the "standby" problem once and for all, by developing the capability of "remote vitrification" - that is, bringing the vitrification perfusion to the patient wherever he/she is in the field. That would remove the "double perfusion injuries" problem altogether, and IMO there is no excuse for it not being available already, considering how many years it has been in the minds of the cognoscenti.

I'm sure by now it is TMI time.

FD
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