A while back, I had to turn off the comments, on this blog, due to the malicious links being posted, in that section, on a regular basis. This morning, I received the following, from someone who had attempted to comment on this post: http://cryomedical.blogspot.com/2010/11/cryonics-well-oiled-propaganda-machine.html (I am temporarily omitting the name of the author, while awaiting his permission to include it.)
"Bravo for this post. It is good to see people taking on the cryonics industry--and indeed is is an industry like any other--and shining light on it.
There is a deluded notion by those who are so fearful of dying and so desperate for any alternative, that organizations like Alcor are altruistic and can be trusted to do the right thing without supervision. In truth, much of this is the modern version of snake oil.
And what most people don't realize is that people like Brian Wowk have major financial stakes in ensuring cryonics and cryonic-related organizations remain untarnished. They are paid through grant money, donations, etc from foundations or the public.
Even though Suspended Animation does not directly impact Wowk or Steve Harris (of Alcor), if the field of cryonics is shown to be full of con-men and incompetents, then their own funding (and paychecks) are likely to be cut. They have got a very, very large financial stake in all of this.
It is similar to Big Tobacco--none of the major tobacco firms wanted any of their competitors to get nabbed or regulated for their abuses of the public trust or deception/manipulation of the science, because if one tobacco company fell, they would all fall. That's why you see the Brian Wowks of the world coming to the aid of Suspended Animation. They're covering their own asses. Just like Big Tobacco has always banded together against outsiders, even though the individual companies of the industry are direct competitors.
It is time these organizations come under strict legal jurisdiction and regulation. They must be accountable. There must be public light on their activities. Complete transparency and accountability. If they are honest, there should be nothing for them to fear from this.
I hope your efforts prove fruitful. Don't give up. We need to bring some honesty to these industries and the individuals behind them."
I think that was an excellent assessment of the situation, with the exception being that these companies have much closer ties than the tobacco companies. Suspended Animation, Critical Care Research (Harris et. al.) and 21st Century Medicine (Wowk et. al.) are not competitors. I believe most, (if not all), of SA, CCR and 21CM's funding comes from Saul Kent/LEF. (Saul Kent is identified as the "owner" of 21CM on Alcor's 2008 form 990.)
Dr. Wowk and I are having a debate, on lesswrong.com, and I'm not liking his tactics. I'm not sure if Dr. Wowk is attempting to mislead people, or if he has been mislead, himself, but some of his remarks are way off the mark.