Friday, November 5, 2010

Alcor's Spin Doctors

Alcor recently issued a public statement, regarding the deposition of Larry Johnson. In response, an anonymous person on the Cold Filter forum claimed Mr. Johnson is "digging himself in deeper," because he asserted his Fifth Amendment rights, during the deposition. Is he? Hopefully, Mr. Johnson was following an attorney's advice, when he invoked the Fifth, (during a deposition, not a court hearing). The same person, writes "so much for the huge embarrassment, speculated by some here in the past, to Alcor, if these matters were aired in court." I still think Alcor will suffer a HUGE, perhaps devastating, embarrassment, if "these matters," (the conversations on those tapes), are aired in a court of law, (which they have not been).

I'm perplexed as to why Alcor continues to make public statements about this matter, before the NY case is over, and even more amazed they published questions and answers from the recent deposition. If I was Johnson's attorney, (I'm not an attorney, at all), I would respond by deposing the people who are alleged to be speaking on the tapes Johnson has, and publish their answers. Just think of it...

Question to Alcor Staff Member X: "Mr. X, is that your voice saying to Larry Johnson, "He killed her?"" And if the answer is "Yes,"... "To whom were you referring to, in regard to both the alleged murderer and the alleged victim?"

I could come up with thousands of embarrassing questions, for Alcor staff members, (both past and present), but I'm not interested in playing that game. Johnson et. al.'s attorneys should keep in mind that at least one person who allegedly discussed being involved in at least one illegal euthanasia still works at Alcor. If those tapes are legitimate, (and I, personally, believe they are), Alcor has had staff members who were either actually present when a certain cryonics superstar is said to have performed an illegal euthanasia, or who are psychologically-disturbed individuals who want to pretend they were involved in an illegal euthanasia.

Alcor gloats, "During deposition, Larry Johnson invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 300 times to avoid incriminating himself."

I'm just curious...Who, in that room, did not figure out that Mr. Johnson was not going to answer any questions, after the first 40, or 50? Seriously. Were Alcor's attorneys in control of the length of the deposition? How much do they get paid per hour? How much did Mr. Johnson have to pay his attorney, per hour? Is the goal of this legal battle to get to the truth, or to see who runs out of money, first? (And, for those of you who still think Johnson did this for the money, the court document reports that "over 33,000 copies of the book have been distributed." The cost of his legal battles probably exceeded any money he made, from the book, in the first few months!)

I think Alcor is hoping people will overlook the fact that Alcor cannot really "win" anything, in a hearing regarding Johnson et. al.'s "Motions to Dismiss," other than the right to proceed to trial with their claims. On the other hand, Johnson et. al. did succeed in having some of Alcor's claims thrown out of court.

My favorite part of the Alcor news brief was:

"On October 29, 2010, the New York court denied a motion to dismiss filed by Mr. Johnson. The court would only dismiss for now the "conversion" claim against Mr. Johnson for technical reasons, leaving claims for defamation and other causes of action intact."

The "technical reason" was that Alcor's allegations were "insufficient to state a claim for conversion as a matter of law," so their claim was dismissed.

Here are some highlights from the recent NY ruling, on Johnson et. al.'s "Motions to Dismiss:"

"In its opposition, Alcor appears to have abandoned its breach of contract claim with respect to the NDA."

"Accordingly, as a matter of law, Alcor has no ground to assert a breach of contract claim based on the Employee Handbook."

The judge leaves Alcor's claims for "Breach of Agreements and Judgment" in regard to the handwritten agreement, and their claim for "Breach of Fiduciary Duty" intact. (That doesn't mean Alcor "wins," only that those claims may proceed to trial.)

"Accordingly, Alcor fails to state a tortious interference with contract against Baldyga."

"According, Alcor's claim for aiding and abetting misappropriation of trade secrets must be dismissed."

The court did not rule on Alcor's status, as a public figure, something that may determine the outcome of a lot of the claims against Johnson et. al.

(From Alcor's statement: "Claims for defamation and other causes of action, including aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty, against Vanguard Press and Scott Baldyga will also continue forward in New York.")

I have been busy with other things, and may not have even noticed the court documents, if not for Alcor's public statement. If Alcor is going to publish self-serving statements, appearing to be "cherry-picking" favorable court decisions, while leaving their members, and potential members, mostly in the dark, regarding their defeats, I feel compelled to comment.

The court documents can be found here: (Do an index search for case # 113938/2009.)

***This post may be updated (added to) in the near future. I've wasted enough time blogging about cryonics, this morning.***

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