Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cryonics Salaries and Wages

Aschwin de Wolf writes:

"For most of its history Alcor used to be rather transparent about staff member salaries in its communications and the magazine. It may not be a coincidence that this practice disappeared during the period when Alcor saw substantial increases in compensation for (some of) its staff members. To give some perspective, the old Tim Freeman Cryonics FAQ included the following question and answer:

7-2. Is anyone getting rich from cryonics? What are the salaries at these organizations like?

In December 1990, Cryonics magazine reported that the Board of Directors of Alcor voted a 25% pay cut for all of the staff, so they could keep their budget balanced. Many of the Directors are also on the staff. The salaries after the cut ranged from $22,500 annually for the highest paid full-time employee (the President) to $14,400 for the lowest-paid full-time employee. None of the Alcor staff are getting rich from their salaries.

It would be a worthwhile undertaking to do a comprehensive study of Alcor’s staff and consultant compensation history and policies (or lack thereof). There is never a shortage of arguments to justify higher compensation and ad-hoc decision making in cryonics, but it is doubtful that generous salary increases in the industry over the years were necessary to recruit or retain competent staff members. It might even be argued that a number of problems in cryonics are actually linked to offering wages that exceed what the employees who receive them would otherwise earn in the market place. Similarly, substantial cost savings can be obtained by increasing productivity and decreasing staff members. Issues of compensation and staff efficiency should be essential topics of consideration in any serious discussion about Alcor becoming more self-sustaining and less dependent on wealthy donors."

(Emphasis added. It might even be argued that many of the recipients of overly-generous salaries, at cryonics organizations, would not be offered any salary at all, in a conventional medical, or scientific, setting.)

To see Alcor's salaries, and other expenses, look for their Form 990's, here:

2008 shows Tanya Jones (listed as "Exec Dir, CEO, President COO) being paid $83,797 and receiving an additional $5,627 in "Other compensation." If you add up all the salaries listed on Alcor's 2008 Form 990, you get $196,362, which is reported on page 10, line 5, of that report. Just below that figure, on page 10, line 7, you will see "Other salaries and wages" of $270,538. Whom did that money go to? The same situation exists, in 2007, with $203,825 going to named staff members, and $283,286 going to "other."

I'm not going to take the time to go back, any further. Maybe Alcor has a valid reason for providing mysterious "Other salaries and wages" far in excess of those provided to the named staff members. If so, I'm sure some Alcor members would like to know what that reason is, and where that money is going.

The total salaries at Suspended Animation, of Boynton Beach, Florida, (primarily funded by Life Extension Foundation (LEF)), are far in excess of those being paid, at Alcor, in spite of SA having less named "Officers, Directors and Trustees," than Alcor, at last count. I think it's safe to assume the LEF-funded salaries at Critical Care Research and 21st Century Medicine are comparable to, or in excess of, those being paid by Alcor. Why are people with so few qualifications amongst them, being paid so much money? This situation seems to have more to do with "loyalty," rather than qualifications and/or competency.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Arizona Governor Loses Head

Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, (a supporter of Alcor, I believe), lost her head, during a recent debate. Actually, she lost some imaginary heads she had created, during a previous speech.

Maybe FD was right, about that Arizona heat.

If Governor Brewer needs some heads, maybe Alcor could help her out. ;)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cold Filter Cryonics Forum Antics Get More Bizarre by the Day

This has been one of the funniest weeks on the Cold Filter forum, ever! First, a few people made fools out of themselves, trying to pretend I committed libel, in my post about Alcor membership dues, which clearly does not contain any libelous remarks. (See previous post.)

Now, we have Charles Platt, of all people, advising the CF moderator, on how to avoid being held responsible for charges of defamation. That's hilarious!!! As everyone might recall, Platt and I used to work together, at Suspended Animation. Sometime after that, during 2007, Platt was working with Steve Harris MD, (Alcor's Chief Medical Advisor), at Critical Care Research. At that time, Harris posted a lot really stupid blatant lies, about my work at SA, though he didn't really know me, and had never worked with me or even visited the SA building while I was working there. He posted these lies...yup, you guessed it...on the Cold Filter forum. It was obvious where the lies came from, so I threatened to sue everyone from Kent on down, if Platt did not publish some sort of retraction, and apologize. Platt hired an attorney and posted this, which clearly proves the stories Harris was publishing on the Cold Filter forum were false.

Now, we have Platt advising the Cold Filter moderator, on how to avoid being involved in a defamation suit??? Is it just me, or is that just really weird and funny? If anyone has ever brought the CF moderator to the brink of a defamation lawsuit, it was when Harris libeled me, with false information he, very obviously, got from Platt! After all that, Platt feels he is someone who should be advising the CF moderator on avoiding defamation charges? Seriously...that's BEYOND doesn't get much funnier than this!