X-Message-Number: 22445
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2003 16:33:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: It's Potvin Time!

First a brief message to Rick: I have suggested before that
you will avoid the embarrassment of circulating inaccuracies
and stating things that are simply wrong if you do what
anyone should do before publicizing highly speculative
reports and gossip: CALL SOURCES TO VERIFY. I am now urging
you more strongly, instead of just suggesting it. You are
creating unnecessary concerns--and work for me, answering
your misconceptions--because you don't take the elementary
step of picking up the phone or sending email to sources.

That said, let me now deal with your recent speculations
(published on your web site) regarding Larry Johnson. Your
text appears indented without quote marks. My responses are
in [brackets].

  I'm about to re-read the interview of Larry Johnson. My
  theory is that Alcor employees and board had plenty of
  opportunity to detect Johnson's ulterior motives.

[You met him yourself, Rick. My theory is that you had plenty
of opportunity to evaluate him, too. Either you didn't take
advantage of this opportunity, or you reached the same
conclusion as approximately fifty people whom Larry dealt
with closely during the six months he worked for Alcor.
Everyone found him likable and trustworthy. He was the one
employee whom no one ever complained about.]

  Larry says he moved from Texas to be a bit closer to family
  in Vegas and that's what drew him to the Phoenix/Vegas
  area. BINGO. Red alert. The "Phoenix/Vegas area"???

[As I recall, his mother lives in Las Vegas, his father lives
in Phoenix. He wanted to be closer to his family than when he
lived in Texas. Why does this give you a "red alert"?]

  Larry was involved in the parademic field in Vegas. "So
  Larry, do you like the food in the casinos? Do you like the
  slot machines or the shows better?".

[Las Vegas is populated primarily with people who provide
ancillary services to the local tourist industry. This
includes the local population of paramedics. To suggest that
they move there so they can gamble is simplistic, at best.]

   Larry's wife, Betty, would have been an important person
  for Alcor board members and employees to get to know. If Alcor
  had interviewed her, informally, or in continuous cocktail
  party settings, clues might have signalled alarm bells.

[I did spend an evening with Larry and his wife, hoping to
get better acquainted with her. But thanks anyway for the

  Larry says that he's "actually done a lot of reading of the
  subject of cryonics and nanotechnology". "Oh?" I might have
  said. Who are a few of your favorite cryonicists or what
  are you favorite cryonics topics?

[At Alcor, we found an information request that Larry Johnson
had submitted during the late 1990s. His interest in cryonics
was thus verified, as you could have determined by making a
phone call.]

  Larry said he had a Harley Davidson motorcycle stolen. Now
  a Harley is a pretty interesting machine. If I intereviewed
  Larry I would have asked him more about his bike. Certainly
  there are many kinds of people who own and ride Harleys. Is
  there a particular common profile-- anything we can say in

[Any bike dealer will tell you that Harleys have become
popular among professional people--especially new Harleys
costing more than $20,000, as Larry's bike did. This is a
not a productive line of speculation.]

  So, reader, what's the most important clue to Larry in the
  above? Well, I'd say the fact that he had ALREADY written
  kamoley!!! Larry's been very very busy, hasn't he? I mean--
  he's not EVEN a member and he's written this sort of thing up

[He initiated the signup process in the Spring of this year
and did become a member of Alcor. This was announced at a
board meeting. The information was publicly available, Rick.
As for Larry's mission statement, he had a plan to introduce
a new certification for paramedics as "cryonics specialist."
He proposed it to us, and we told him that it was premature;
there aren't enough cases, nationwide, to make such a scheme
practical. I think he had hoped to make some money out of
creating and administering this scheme. The consequences of
the disappointment that he may have felt when he realized it
wasn't going to fly could be a much more fertile area for you
to investigate, if you were willing to take the time.]

[Incidentally, when I clicked on the IROCS link in your web
page, Rick, I was connected with a picture of a human
testicle. I'm assuming that this may be an error.]

--Charles Platt
writing for himself, not Alcor.

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