Friday, January 22, 2010

Engineering / Research and Development

Recently, my husband was working with a consultant, who reminded me of certain people working in cryonics. He was supposed to be helping my husband produce a working prototype of a toy. There were some small parts, which were not functioning as they were supposed to. He suggested metal-plating the parts, as a possible solution. My husband had me call around, to see if I could find someone local, to plate the parts, and I found a company that would do a batch, for $500. The consultant said he was not sure if the particular method they were using would produce the right results. He wanted to order a lot of expensive materials, and try various methods on his own and, as far as I know, he has no experience with this type of work. As I told my husband, "It would be stupid to pay Mr. X a very healthy hourly rate to teach himself how to do a process plenty of other people already know how to do." We have a deadline, and a budget. Cryonics has a DEADline, too, and it's foolish to be paying people to "research and develop" equipment that already exists, so they can produce cheesy DIY versions of existing technology.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Alcor vs. Johnson Update

There's some sort of hearing, today, in the Alcor vs. Johnson case, in New York. I am not an attorney, but it appears Alcor is attempting to amend their case to add defamation claims, and to "domesticate the Arizona Judgment pursuant to Order of this Court dated December 11, 2009." I fall asleep reading legal documents, but I believe the Arizona judgment relates to some sort of prior negotiation of an agreement, between Johnson and Alcor.

It seems Johnson and Alcor negotiated an agreement that they would pay him to keep his mouth shut, a long time ago, but he never signed the typed document, or cashed the check. In Alcor's favor, it appears Johnson did sign a handwritten document, though I'm not sure how binding that is. I think the Arizona judge recently ruled that the agreement stands, but Johnson is appealing that decision. (I haven't even tried to find the Arizona court documents, lately, but some were included with the NY documents, and I breezed through them, a while back.)

I am amused by some of the statements, in Alcor's filings, such as "Alcor is a pioneer in medical research..." I wonder how many medical research scientists would agree with that. My guess is, not many other than those being paid by LEF. Personally, I think they are a joke, and their so-called surgeries have been a mockery of modern hypothermic medicine.

Alcor's attorneys seem to be attempting to persuade the judge that most of what goes on at Alcor is "highly confidential, trade secrets and proprietary...," but I disagree with that. They appear to have published most of their insanity, over the years. They go on, at length, about Johnson signing the Employee Handbook, which they claim was some sort of confidentiality agreement, but, as I recall, Johnson's attorneys maintain that the handbook clearly states it does not constitute any sort of binding legal agreement.

The portion of Alcor's argument that really discredits them, in my eyes, is the part where they put forth that Johnson signed an NDA, that it was kept in his office, and that he stole it when he left, based upon an affidavit from Charles Platt. The exact same lies were told about me, (by the same person), when I left SA. I never signed an NDA, and my employee file, (which I never had access to), was certainly not kept in my office. The same thing is probably true, regarding the illusory (non-existent) Johnson NDA.

Alcor lists 32 specific statements from the book which they say are false, but I think some of those statements can be traced back to Johnson's taped conversations with Alcor's personnel, (Platt, Hixon, Hovey, etc.) If Alcor now maintains statements made by their personnel were false, how was Johnson to know that? Who is actually responsible for the alleged "lies"? I think Alcor makes a few good points, but it might behoove them to leave out the fiction, and quit holding Johnson responsible for stories told by their own personnel.

Alcor has now asked for a jury trial, (something Johnson did, a while back). That should be extremely interesting, should it ever happen. Personally, I think Alcor would have a very difficult time proving their "trade secret" arguments, or holding Mr. Johnson responsible for statements their own employees made, in taped conversations. They may "win," based on the handwritten agreement, but what will it cost them?

So far, all Alcor has accomplished has been to get the judge to prevent Johnson from discussing anything that was not in the book. We'll see what happens, today.

Melody Maxim