Monday, December 14, 2009

Brian Wowk's Affidavit (Alcor vs. Johnson)

I'm wondering why Brian Wowk was selected, to submit an affidavit in the Alcor vs. Johnson case. Was it because he has a lot of letters after his name? When Johnson was working at Alcor, in Arizona, I believe Dr. Wowk was working at a facility in California. How many hours did he spend shadowing Johnson, at Alcor, that would allow him to have firsthand knowledge as to what Johnson had access to, or is his information actually secondhand? (This reminds me of Dr. Wowk's colleague, Steve Harris, writing about my activities at Suspended Animation, in Florida, when he was in California and didn't have a clue as to what went on at SA, while I was there.) I believe at least two people who DID work with Johnson, at Alcor, are still working there. Why didn't THEY submit affidavits?

I have some questions and comments, regarding Dr. Wowk's affidavit, excerpts of which are quoted in italics, below

"I can state based on personal knowledge that Alcor Life Extension Foundation maintains trade secrets, many of which were observed by, or accessible to Larry Johnson during his employ."

How does Dr. Wowk know what was observed by, or accessible to, Larry Johnson, at Alcor? Again, I ask, how many hours did he spend with Mr. Johnson, at Alcor? As far as I can tell, Larry Johnson hasn't published any "trade secrets" belonging to Alcor. Wowk mentions the formulas, but Johnson has publicly stated he doesn't know what is in Alcor's formulas. If I'm not mistaken, the M22 formula wasn't completed until after Johnson resigned.

Dr. Wowk mentions perfusion equipment, including pumps, cannulae and sensors, none of which could be considered as "trade secrets." He also mentions surgical techniques, but there is nothing "secret" about the way vascular cannulations are performed. Maybe he's referring to chopping off heads with ball peen hammers and chisels.

I doubt vendor information, or pending and negotiated contracts, from six years ago, are of any significance.

"There are competitiors in the field of cryonics."

Really? Other than CI? Didn't the president of CI recently visit Alcor? Does Johnson know anything that goes on, at Alcor, which CI is unaware of, that would give CI an edge if they knew?

Dr. Wowk mentions "progressive training" and "reputation." According to what I have heard, regarding their surgical procedures, that must be a damn slow rate of progression, and I believe their reputation has always been questionable, to say the least.

Dr. Wowk mentions protecting the identity of professionals, who may want to remain anonymous. I don't think Johnson has mentioned anyone who wasn't already known to be associated with cryonics. Perhaps Dr. Wowk should take up this issue with some of his peers. His colleague, Steve Harris, once published the name of a surgeon I recruited to help Suspended Animation, without the surgeon's permission, on the Cold Filter Forum, no less. (Thankfully, the moderator removed it.) Suspended Animation, a company that won't publish the name of its own staff members, didn't hesitate to publish the name of a perfusion group they were working with, (without permission, according to a leader of the perfusion group).

"Like any other company, all Alcor financial information is confidential to Alcor, except for disclosures required by law or at the sole discretion of Alcor."

This seems inaccurate, to me. As a non-profit organization, I believe Alcor's finances are mostly open to public scrutiny.

"There is a significant amount of tangible and intangible harm to Alcor which would continue unless Mr. Johnson is enjoined from the dissemination of confidential information and trade secrets of Alcor."

In my opinion, nothing Mr. Johnson has disseminated even remotely resembles a trade secret. As for Alcor's "confidential information," I believe a lot of that includes information I believe should be brought to light.

As for the memory of Ted Williams, if any party has desecrated that, it has been Alcor, in my opinion. Alcor has attempted to claim that Mr. Johnson's actions have upset the Williams family, but Alcor retracted that claim, when one member of the Williams family pointed out that they were speaking for only ONE member of the Williams family, (one of the two who had him cryopreserved, against the wishes of other family members, I believe). I am acquainted with one member of the Williams family, and I believe he is thankful Mr. Johnson brought to light the sloppy way his relative was cared for.

Dr. Wowk mentions "false allegations" in the book. Which allegations can Dr. Wowk prove false? If information in Johnson's book is false, I suggest Dr. Wowk take that up with the Alcor staff members and former staff members making these allegations, on Johnson's audiotapes.

Dr. Wowk accuses Johnson of leading people to believe Alcor's cryopreserved members "are not treated and preserved using state of the art care."

The two (related) medical procedures required to deliver cryonics solutions are vascular cannulations and perfusion. There is no way in hell, Dr. Wowk can convince me that Alcor has been consistently delivering these two well-established procedures with anything remotely resembling "state-of-the-art" quality. Alcor has frequently allowed laymen, with no relevant education or proper training, to attempt to perform these procedures on Alcor's members. There are frequent reports of botched cannulations, massive air embolization and inappropriate perfusion pressures. Then, there's the issue of people with very little, (if any), medical education, and no proper surgical training, (laymen), being allowed to perfom decapitations, as evidenced by the appalling Ted Williams case report.

The public has a right to know the truth, in regard to cryonics care providers. These people are being promoted as "professionals" capable of performing "state of the art" cutting-edge medical procedures, when I believe the truth is, a large number of these "professionals" are uneducated, unskilled persons who can't deliver femoral cannulations and perfusion at the "state of the art" level, which existed 30 years ago. And, they want people to pay $80K - 150K for their mostly uneducated, unskilled care providers. In my opinion, THAT is the "trade secret" Alcor doesn't want to get out.