X-Message-Number: 16379
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 11:58:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Another can of worms

To Michael Riskin:

I have stated that I quit Alcor (a LONG time ago) largely because I
believed patient funds were being misused at that time. You now suggest
that I am covering up my real reasons. This is slightly offensive to me,
and quite untrue.

I don't have a copy of the Alcor bylaws from 1993, so I am forced to write
from memory. But I do recall that the bylaws stated very specifically that
patient funds were never to be invested in real estate. There were some
other specific restrictions also.

In 1993, Alcor was planning to use $100,000 of patient care funds to help
purchase its new facility in Scottsdale. I felt that this would have
violated the "no real estate investments" clause of the bylaws.

I had other concerns, which I discussed with an Alcor official at that
time. For instance, I felt that the funds should not be used to pay a
portion of someone's wages. Most of all, I felt that the way in which
patient funds were being used was quite different from the way in which
most members _thought_ the money was being used. Since I was doing PR for
Alcor, this put me in a very difficult position. I was asked, in effect,
not to tell the members precisely what was going on.

This marked the beginning of my decision to quit Alcor. At a meeting of
the New York chapter of Alcor on August 15, 1993, I announced my decision
to quit and cited my concern about patient funds as a primary reason. The
minutes of that meeting mention that I felt the patient care fund policy
"has been ignored many times."

I had nowhere else to go at that time (or at least, no other organization
to which I wanted to go). Therefore I was quitting Alcor and opting for no
protection at all. This was a measure of my discontent.

When the then-president of Alcor sent email asking me why I quit, I
replied that some directors at Alcor, at that time, "feel entitled to do
whatever they like--even if it entails violating guidelines re the patient
care fund." (The two directors in question are no longer on the Alcor
board.) I added that I would "lose nothing by cancelling my membership,
because an organization which doesn't follow its own guidelines re the
patient care fund--which is one of the most central concepts in the whole
setup--isn't going to be around long enough to take care of my frozen
remains anyway."

During 1993 there was an entirely separate issue. Many people were annoyed
by the tendency of Alcor directors to re-elect themselves (which they were
perfectly entitled to do). After most of the directors re-elected
themselves in the annual meeting in September, a bunch of Alcor members
left and founded CryoCare.

But, Michael, by that time, I had _already_ quit, for my own individual
reasons. I think you are unaware of this, and you are assuming--wrongly--
that I was part of the mass exodus, sharing the same concerns as everyone

In the past you have complained that I have posted here without "checking
the facts." I believe you have committed the same small sin in this case.

Subsequently, Steve Bridge spent literally years establishing a different
method for patient care funds management at Alcor, which still exists, so
far as I know. If there was nothing wrong with the system previously, I
can only wonder why Steve spent such a huge amount of time instituting a
different system.

I respect your expertise as an accountant, and if you say that there was
no malfeasance, I believe you are correct. In my naive idealism, I may
have objected to plans or actions that were controversial, but technically

However, I am adamant that in 1992/93, there was an attitude of expediency
among some directors toward the use of patient funds. I was not the only
person who was troubled by this at the time.

You are certainly not correct that I have attempted to rewrite history to
conceal my primary motives for leaving the organization.


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