I've been thinking about animal experimentation, in cryonics, for quite some time, now. I've made comments on this blog, and on the Cold Filter forum, indicating I thought some of the experiments were unnecessary, and I've questioned the amount of suffering that has been inflicted, during cryonics dog experiments. I've never been involved in animal experimentation, in cryonics, so my concerns arise from what I have read, and what I've been told, by others. I've recently stepped up my exploration of animal experimentation, in cryonics, and I don't like what I am finding. (More on that in future posts...for now, I'll just leave you with this: http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/bringingdixieback.html)
Cryonics organizations have a history of sending laymen to do their patient procedures, so I find it quite difficult to believe the quality of their animal experimentation to be much better. (If it is, isn't there something wrong with providing quality care for animal experimentation and sending laymen, sometimes with no medical experience whatsoever, to care for human patients?)
I spent the last 30 minutes searching for references to the dog experiments that have been performed at the cryonics organizations, and so far, the only information I have found is that published by the organizations, or people tied to them. In other words, the only people who seem to hold any regard for these experiments, are people tied to the cryonics organizations. The same can be said for the "cryonics experts" who carry out these experiments. As far as I can tell, their work has had little recognition outside the very small community of cryonics.
One of the people mentioned most often, in connection with the dog experiments in cryonics, is Michael ("Mike Darwin") Federowicz. Mr. Federowicz claims to have, at one time, been a "board eligible" perfusionist. I can find no record of him attending an accredited perfusion school, and thus far, he has not responded to my inquiries on this matter. Indeed, I can find no information regarding a post-secondary education, of any kind, for Mr. Federowicz. He was, at one time, a dialysis technician. Though many people in cryonics seem to have been led to believe dialysis is similar to cardiovascular perfusion, those occupations are only very distant "cousins." Dialysis technicians are often "OJT's," working in hospitals, under the supervision of RN's. Dialysis is a relatively simple process, and some patients perform their own (peritoneal) dialysis at home, by themselves. This is hardly a comparison to supporting a patient with a heart-lung machine.
There seems to be a group of "intellectuals" in cryonics who stick their noses in a lot of books and come out thinking they are medical "experts" capable of teaching laymen to perform cutting-edge medical procedures. I've been told Mr. Federowicz is a self-taught man who has become some sort of "leading expert in emergency medicine." Being a "respected contributor" to a "critical care medicine Internet discussion group," and writing a couple of articles hardly qualifies one as a "leading medical expert." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Darwin) I have a serious problem with laymen who dress themselves up in surgical garb, or white labcoats, and think they are the peers of medical professionals and qualified research scientists.
I have spent nearly two years posting on the Cold Filter cryonics forums, and blogging, about what I believe to be an extreme degree of incompetence and unethical behavior within the cryonics community, particularly within the Life Extension Foundation (LEF) funded organizations, which I believe can now be extended to include Alcor. There are some specific individuals I have targeted, for various reasons. Some of those individuals responded to my criticism by posting blatant lies about me, lies which led to one of them hiring an attorney who advised him to retract and apologize.
There is another medical professional, Larry Johnson, who seems to have received much the same treatment as I did, in cryonics. Mr. Johnson is a paramedic who was an employee of Alcor Life Extension Foundation, at the time of the Ted Williams cryopreservation scandal. After Mr. Johnson complained about the activities of Alcor, he was accused of stealing a non-disclosure form that insiders at Alcor have told me he said never existed. Interestingly, the exact same lie was told about me, and I believe that lie was told by the same person.
I first heard of Larry Johnson, when I was working at Suspended Animation, Inc., in Boynton Beach, Florida. I was told he was a liar, and an opportunist just out to "make a buck" on the Ted Williams scandal. Being new to cryonics, and thinking the people I was dealing with were honest and sincere, I took them at their word. Until news of his upcoming book, "Shiver: A Whistleblower's Chilling Expose of Cryonics and the Truth Behind What Happened to Ted Williams," I thought Mr. Johnson was dead, having been told he died in some sort of mysterious motorcycle accident.
Based on stories I have heard, from my friends in cryonics, (or, perhaps, I should say my "former friends"), I have the suspicion that Mr. Johnson is going to make certain accusations against some of the very individuals I, (without even knowing Mr. Johnson was alive), have been accusing of imcompetence and unethical behavior. If Mr. Johnson does name the same individuals I've been criticizing, will the cryonics community finally sit up and take notice, or will they simply vilify Mr. Johnson, and me, and continue to believe in the "experts" who have brought them nothing much more than a very bad public image?
It's fun to believe Santa leaves the presents under the tree, David Copperfield can make an airplane disappear, or that Bernie Madoff is earning high rates of interest on one's money, but sometimes we have to just admit the "wool is being pulled over our eyes."
Larry Johnson's "FreeTed" website.