Friday, June 4, 2010

Hyperbole / Rhetorical Exaggerations

From Alcor's Second Amended Complaint (against Johnson, et. al.), dated December 30, 1999:

133. The statements made and published by the Defendants was done with the intent and purpose of injuring and discrediting ALCOR and did subject ALCOR to public ridicule and contempt, including persons who stated in the public domain that they “believed every word of it.”

I believe Alcor is quoting me, in the above complaint, against Johnson et. al. If they are not, they might as well be, because I believe I wrote that exact statement, (which was subsequently edited), in a book review, on Regardless of whom they are quoting, let's compare two readers of the same book:

"Reader A" believes most of the author's firsthand accounts of events, in the book, to be true, because she had similar experiences, while working with some of the same people as the author. "Person A" also believes the author's repetition of secondhand stories to be a fairly accurate reflection of stories, which were told to him, because "Person A" heard some of the same stories, from other people, prior to the book being published, and without knowing the author, (in fact, while thinking the author was deceased).

"Person B," who frequently works with organizations and persons criticized in the book, believes much of the information in the book to be false.

Aren't Person A's comment, that she "believes every word" of the book, and Person B's comment, that he thinks the book is "400 pages of lies," similar in that they are hyperbolic statements/rhetorical exaggerations? (Let's face it, both of those are unlikely to be entirely accurate, which is why I ("Person A") edited my remark, soon after making it.)

If Alcor's attorneys are quoting me, do they plan on telling the judge that the person who believes most of what is in the book to be, basically, true is a medical professional, experienced in hypothermic procedures, who worked in cryonics, or do they want the judge to believe the comment came from someone who may have been a potential Alcor client? If they are quoting me, do they plan on telling the judge the person who made the statements publicly made many harsh statements, regarding what she believes to be unethical and unprofessional activities, in cryonics, including some connected to Alcor and/or people with strong ties to Alcor, prior to reading the book?

If people are going to quote me, please put my comments in the proper context. At Suspended Animation, I worked with two of the same people, who worked with Mr. Johnson, at Alcor. Some of Mr. Johnson's experiences, while working in cryonics, were similar to my own, and I heard some of the secondhand stories he printed, from people working with me, at Suspended Animation. For the most part, the Johnson/Baldyga book only reinforced opinions I had already formed, before the book was published.

I think it's also important to note that Person A (I) made my comments in an informal book review, on, while Person B, (Dr. Brian Wowk of 21st Century Medicine), made his comments in a legal setting, under oath.

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