X-Message-Number: 16395
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 07:49:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: "Dredging up the Past"

> From: Linda Chamberlain <>
> Subject: #16379: Another can of worms [Charles Platt]
> Charles, it is clear that you have a deep need to try to find something
> to criticize Alcor about.  This need is so painfully deep that you even
> resort to dredging up problems, imaginary or real, from the past.

I wrote a couple of sentences, as an aside, mentioning my reasons for
leaving Alcor long ago. Michael Riskin took offense and turned this into
an entire new topic heading, at some length, suggesting I was not being
honest. Well, when someone suggests I am not being honest (even on
CryoNet!) I tend to take it seriously. So, I had to justify my statement,
and the only way was by quoting from material dating back to that time.

I made it _very_ clear that my concerns of that period had long been
resolved, and the people who caused my concerns aren't even directors
anymore. Moreover, you and Fred were not officers or directors at that

What more can you possibly want?

I was delighted, in the past, when Steve Bridge established the current
system for dealing with patient funds. I said so. I was also delighted
when Fred applied a skeptical eye to the Olga Visser fiasco, which was a
problem that you inherited. I said so. I was disturbed by the recent UK
situation, which seemed to have been poorly handled. I said so. I'm sorry
it's not all totally positive.

I received criticism myself when CryoCare was active--most notably over
the Leary case. I answered the criticisms point by point and did not
withhold any details about what had happened.

That's the way it should be, in my opinion. Cryonics should be conducted
openly, facts (both good and bad) should be made public to the extent
permitted by members' preferences for confidentiality, no one should be
surprised if there are times when some cases are a success while others
are a disaster, and the disasters should be examined rather than
concealed, so that we can learn from them.

> Further, we are proud of the fact that we have dedicated people who
> have made extreme personal sacrifices in order that Alcor can proudly
> say that we have never closed our doors

Yet you told me, on a large distribution list, there would never be a
place for me at Alcor?!

> and have always been there for
> Alcor members to give them the very best effort that is humanly and
> financially possible.  We have saved many lives as a result

You _think_ and _hope_ you have saved many lives. We have no proof. Your
unequivocal statement implies a degree of positivism which bothers me more
than any other aspect of cryonics right now, and seems endemic in both of
the two largest organizations. Science should not be confused with wishful

> extremely proud to be the industry leader with a reputation built over
> 30 years of reliable service that is unsurpassed by any other organization,

Sorry, but the service has not always been (and cannot be) reliable.
Cryonics is too small, the demands are too great, and patients who need
the care provided by cryonics organizations are sometimes too flaky and
uncooperative. "30 years of reliable service" sounds like a car
dealership. Cryonics is an experimental procedure which struggles against
formidable logistical problems, lack of money, and personal issues. That's
just the way it is.


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