Saturday, January 1, 2011
Someone sent an email, to me, referring me to what is, allegedly, Max More's (Max O'Connor's), "most famous article": http://www.lucifer.com/lucifer.html (Mr. More is the recently-appointed CEO of Alcor Life Extension Foundation.)
Yes, I read the introduction, of his article, in which Mr. More explained he's not really "implying the real existence of any of these supposed beings," and I get that he was simply protesting against irrational religious dogma, but I didn't quite understand why he repeatedly seemed to be indicating he DOES believe these are real beings, with very specific comments such as these:
"My praise of the Devil is not entirely (though it is mostly) serious...
The truth may just as easily be that Lucifer resigned from heaven...
God, being the well-documented sadist that he is, no doubt wanted to keep Lucifer around so that he could punish him and try to get him back under his (God's) power. Probably what really happened was that Lucifer came to hate God's kingdom, his sadism, his demand for slavish conformity and obedience, his psychotic rage at any display of independent thinking and behavior. Lucifer realized that he could never fully think for himself and could certainly not act on his independent thinking so long as he was under God's control. Therefore he left Heaven, that terrible spiritual-State ruled by the cosmic sadist Jehovah, and was accompanied by some of the angels who had had enough courage to question God's authority and his value-perspective..."
(Why make up such an elaborate counter-Christian story, if one doesn't believe these beings exist?)
"God and his Godists hate Lucifer's call for rationality...
God also hates us to enjoy ourselves, If we let ourselves experience too much pleasure then we might lose interest in obeying him...
Join me, join Lucifer, and join Extropy in fighting God and his entropic forces with our minds, our wills, and our courage. God's army is strong, but they are backed by ignorance, fear, and cowardice. Reality is fundamentally on our side. Forward into the light!"
After reading Mr. More's article, I had a laughing fit. Think about it...Saul Kent, and others, whining away, decade-after-dacade, about the failure to promote cryonics, and Alcor appoints someone sure to offend the majority of the world's population, as CEO. You've got to admit, that's pretty funny. I'm serious...I'm not trying to "jerk anyone's chain"...that's funny as hell, and to be honest, I was still willing to give Mr. More the benefit of the doubt, in regard to his ability to do something productive, at Alcor. Then, thinking I might have a few more laughs, I made the mistake of deciding to look up some more of Mr. More's writings, (listed on his own website) and came across an article he wrote, about having sex with children: http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/polin/polin010.pdf (*Edit: This link is broken, allegedly at the request of Mr. More. Try here: http://www.thedegree.org/polin010.pdf )
Some quotes from Mr. More's "Sex, Coercion, and The Age of Consent":
"It is difficult to comprehend how merely becoming friendly with a child, and then encouraging him or her to indulge in sexual activities, can be a violation of rights..."
Does it really matter whether the child has any understanding of sex?... Apparently, Mr. More is too stupid to realize PEOPLE CANNOT CONSENT TO SOMETHING THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND.
"If there is nothing objectionable about an adult giving a child sweets or toys, why is giving sexual pleasure wrong?...
Below the age of twelve or so, a child may not be particularly interested in seeking sexual relations but that doesn't mean he or she will not voluntarily accept and enjoy them...
As I have argued above, non-coercive sex with juveniles is not immoral--it is merely a matter of preference..."
http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/polin/polin010.pdf (*Edit: This link is broken, allegedly at the request of Mr. More. Try here: http://www.thedegree.org/polin010.pdf )
Does Mr. More really think sex can be "consensual," between a child and an adult, given the inherent power imbalance? How many children does he expect to actually say "no" to an adult, usually someone who is supposed to be taking care of them? Oh...never mind...I forgot...he expressly DOES NOT CARE if they understand what is BEING DONE TO them. I suppose convincing little ten-year-old girls to "play doctor" might be easier than getting action from grown women. (Extreme sarcasm, written in disgust.)
Children who are coerced into childhood sexual encounters often grow up like "Cryogirl," someone who appears to place her entire self-worth on having every man she meets finding her sexually attractive. Does Mr. More understand the biochemistry of sex, and how such activity might disrupt a developing mind? Mr. More is a whack job, and the people who decided to appoint him as the CEO of Alcor, are a bunch of idiots. (My apologies to my family, friends, employers, co-workers, and anyone else who is offended by my words but, as a mother, I am finding it quite impossible to behave civilly.) ALCOR...ARE YOU PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MINDS?!!!!! I'm tired of this tabloid journalism...could you help me out, here, and hire someone with an appropriate background and a good reputation, so we could actually GET TO DISCUSSING THE SCIENCE of cryonics???
Friday, December 31, 2010
On Swank's personal website, (which has been archived), one can find a link (including nude photos) to the young "Grace," who will "be your personal servant guide while visiting Cebu. She'll take good care of you," for a mere $400 a week. If $400 is a little too much for one's wallet, Swank includes a link to a travel agent in the Philippines, which promotes a boardinghouse in Cebu, where "girls" can be had for "$20 all night, $200 all week 24/7," along with links to "The Girls of Venezuela" and "The Erotic Traveler" which "is predominately about commercial sex with women of legal and proper age. Relationships, dating, and even inter-marriage are also explored. TET is for men who love the girls, nightlife, romance of Asia, Latin America, and beyond." (Mr. Swank and his friends are not only creepy and disgusting, but cheap.)
I hear Mr. Swank says prostitution is a "way of life" in the Philippines, and that is "what girls do over there." I also hear he claims to be assisting these young ladies, in finding a way to a better life, (?by selling them to American men?). I don’t suppose Mr. Swank ever thought of simply DONATING some of his money to schools, or healthcare, as opposed to promoting the exploitation of impoverished young women. Prostitution may be "tolerated," in the Philippines, but make no mistake, it is quite illegal.
Prostitution in the Philippines is illegal. It is a serious crime with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment for those involved in trafficking. It is covered by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. Prostitution is sometimes illegally available through brothels (also known as casa), bars, karaoke bars (also known as KTVs), massage parlors, street walkers and escort services.
There are an estimated 800,000 women working as prostitutes in the Philippines, with up to half of them believed to be underage.
Maybe I could talk Mr. Swank into taking a holiday, in the Philippines, and have some friends of mine meet him at the airport.
Let's not overlook Swank's fond memories of his involvement in the Church of Satan, or his self-proclaimed "15 minutes (OK, more like 15 seconds) of fame," invoking the devil to "come forth, come forth..." on a Geraldo Rivera show. Swank was a little too old (about 29) to be playing make-believe, at the time of that show, if you ask me, and invoking Satan to "come forth," on national television seems to be nothing more than attention-seeking, adolescent behavior. By many accounts, organizations such as the Church of Satan and the Temple of Vampires appear to be little more than cults and pyramid scams, in which one can buy their way to the top.
To the cryonicists interested in crying "bigotry," in response to these criticisms, maybe you should point your finger at Mr. Swank. On his personal website, he links to the National Alliance, a white separatist organization. Below that link, is the comment, "Racial views expressed in this site and maillist are not necessarily those of Edgar Swank..." The racial views are "not necessarily" his views? Does that mean maybe they are? If he's not a racist, why is he including a link to that type of material on his site? Just out of curiosity, how many non-whites are there, in the cryostats and Dewars?
I don't know how to say this nicely...Edgar Swank and Jim Yount are a couple of scumbags, who exploit impoverished, vulnerable young women, and engage in questionable business ethics, while operating a non-profit cryonics organization, linked to CI. An interesting thought, just came to me...Would the scientists of the future look at the biographical information of Swank and Yount, and be charitable in donating their time and resources toward attempting to revive such individuals?
Maybe Mr. Swank's New Year's resolution could be to ASSIST the young people of the Philippines, (and more local needy young women), rather than EXPLOIT them. And, maybe his ACS partner, Mr. Yount, could donate some of his "spoons full of sugar" to cryonics research, or the needy, without expecting something illicit, in return.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Back in October, I publicly complained that Cryonics Institute's president, Ben Best, had done nothing to isolate CI from the American Cryonics Society (ACS), though he had been aware of the impending "Cryogirl Scandal," since February.
In an email, Ben responded that CI had 19 ACS patients in storage and he would not leave these patients “out in the warm.” I responded that no one was asking him to do any such thing, and told him his excuse for not taking action was "ridiculous." Ben responded with, "But that would be the consequence of CI severing all ties with ACS.” Ben, and I both know that neither he, nor anyone else at CI or ACS, can remove cryo-suspended persons from the cryostats.
CI is regulated as a cemetery, and it would take an act of Congress, (or, at least, a State of Michigan court order), to remove someone from the cryostats, at CI. Anyone aware of that situation, (as, certainly, Ben Best is), should have been able to figure that out. Personally, I think Ben Best was pretending to be altruistic, and making lame excuses; he was probably afraid that if heads started rolling, his would be one of them, since he was personally involved in the "Cryogirl" scandal. (Note: I don't think Ben did anything that should result in his dismissal, in regard to his part in the Cryogirl debacle. However, his reluctance to do everything possible, to protect CI, coupled with his recent efforts to conceal information about the Styles/TOV situation, from Andy Zawacki and the rest of the CI board, clearly indicate he cannot be trusted to act in the best interest of CI.)
I believe Ben Best attempted to apply some very subversive, psychological manipulations, on the cryonics community, when he wrote this, on the Cold Filter forum:
"The enemies of cryonics claim that I have conspired with vampires against the CI Board on the basis of the conversation I had with David in April. David's description of the conversation is a misrepresentation in this regard. There is a bright side to this allegation, however. To claim that I tried to hide David's affiliations from the CI Board is to admit that the CI Board has no connection with vampirism or satanism. Much as our enemies would like to smear CI as being satanist or vampirist, they cannot make this claim while at the same time claiming that the Board is an innocent victim of concealment attempts by me. They can't have it both ways." http://www.network54.com/Forum/291677/message/1292130833/Re-+Cryonics+versus+Satanism
I think Ben Best was, clearly, attempting to "rally the troops" against HIS critics, by painting any such persons as "enemies of cryonics." People who want the leadership figures of cryonics organizations to avoid allowing their organizations to be tied to scandalous activities, are NOT "enemies of cryonics." Cryonics is a process; no one can be an "enemy" of it. Ben was clearly trying to persuade the audience that I, and others, who objected to his unprofessional behaviors were THEIR "enemies." He tried to make two distinctly opposing sides, in the situation, using the term "our enemies," and "they," when discussing HIS critics. I am one person, who accused Ben of exposing CI to serious scandal, when he attempted to hide the truth about Styles, from CI's Board of Directors. I am not a part of any "they" comprised of "enemies of cryonics," and I do not want to "have it both ways." I have NOT accused CI's board of being connected to vampirism, or satanism. I'm just one person, tremendously disappointed in Ben Best.
Ben Best claims to have a background that includes advanced-level physics, chemistry, and pharmacology, yet he consistently makes simple errors, related to these fields. For many years, CI recorded "patient pressures" of approximately 100mmHg, until I pointed out that most of that pressure could be attributed to the small lumens of the cannulae being used by CI. (When I made that observation, I was unaware of Ben's educational background, or I probably would not have been very understanding of that mistake. For a layman to overlook such a mistake is understandable, but for someone claiming a background in advanced physics, it's inexcusable.) It's a very simple concept: If you restrict the outlet diameter of a hose, the pressure in the hose increases.
After my last visit to CI, Andy Zawacki called me, quite exasperated, because he and Ben were having a disagreement, over how to zero the pressure sensor/alarms, on the perfusion circuit. He said Ben was insisting they set the pressure sensor to zero, while fluid was flowing through the pressure line, something that made no sense to him (Andy). He said Ben insisted I told him that was the way perfusionists zero the pressure line. I told Andy to check the documentation I had left, which clearly indicated there should be no flow through the line, and the line should be open to air, before the sensor is set to zero. Again, an elementary concept...obviously, the sensor should be set to zero, when the pressure is KNOWN to be zero! Simple physics. Andy recognized that, but Ben did not. (Ben was recalling my instructions for flushing the line, not zero-ing it.) Again, this is something that should have been instantly obvious, to someone with a background in physics.
Then, there is the matter, of Ben writing, in the CI-95 case report, (in the same sentence, I believe), that "solids formed in solution, but there were no precipitates," when "precipitates" ARE solids that form as the result of a chemical reaction, certainly something any pharmacist should know. This event occurred, when Ben made the decision to modify the vitrification solutions, DURING the cryopreservation of Mr. Curtis Henderson. Was that something a pharmacist, or a chemist, would do? With his pharmacological background, shouldn't Ben have known the mixture would precipitate? Isn't it simply common sense, to avoid modifying the solutions, in the middle of a case, if one is not familiar with the outcome of including any given additive?
As for Ben's extensive scientific writings, I have to agree with !Jill, who says, "It looks like Ben Best, and others in cryonics, write with their textbooks open." I think many of the scientific articles used to sell cryonics, are simply the regurgitation of information that has already been published in textbooks. How many of the insiders can actually contribute to the scientific advancement, of cryonics? Are they really accomplishing anything, or are they simply good academics, capable of impressing an audience comprised mostly of laymen? Are they impressing anyone, other than themselves, and each other, and people who don't have much of a scientific background?
Finally, there's the matter of Ben trying to defend himself, by referring to his income and his self-imposed "monkhood." How many people reading this blog entry get paid $30,000 a year, plus free room and board, and had all-expenses-paid trips to the UK, Japan, Germany, Arizona, Florida, and Oregon, (and maybe more), over the past couple of years? And, did anyone ask Ben Best to give up his social life, or his sex life, in exchange for the presidency of CI? I'm not buying into Ben's martyrdom, and neither should anyone else. There are a lot of, what my teenagers would call "posers," in cryonics, and I think Ben Best is one of them.
Many times I've heard the excuse that "no one else wants to be the president of CI," but I doubt that's true. Even if CI does not have the funds to attract a great scientific mind, having someone of integrity would be preferable to having someone who is "carrying more secrets than the Titanic," but feels he can "handle one more," (allegedly comments made by Ben Best, to David Styles), especially when it comes to withholding information from CI's Board of Directors.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I believe the person who forwarded the emails wanted me to publish them, but I was reluctant to, for a number of reasons. My primary concern was the children, (not just the children of Cryogirl and/or her husband, but the children of others, involved in the situation), who could be embarrassed and hurt by the contents of those emails, for many years to come, should those emails be published on the Internet, (which, unfortunately, they have been, many times, now). I did not forward these emails, (or even excerpts from them), to ANYONE. I engaged in private communications, as mentioned in the paragraph above, and "went fishing" on Cold Filter, with no response. The bottom line is: At least one leader (Jim Yount) of the American Cryonics Society (ACS), has been involved in some seriously questionable behavior directly-related to cryonics/ACS' activities, and the other leader (Edgar Swank) has publicly engaged in activities potentially damaging to the cryonics organizations he is associated with.
Most of the exchanges were what I consider to be cybersex between consenting adults, and are of no concern to me. There were some seriously disturbing accusations, regarding Cryogirl, her stepson, and a younger, autistic child. I won't go into the details, as I have been assured those activities have been reported to the proper authorities. Supposedly, other illegal activities, such as alleged software piracy engaged in by someone at ACS, have also been reported to the authorities.
The most damning information, related to cryonics, are the emails between Cryogirl and Jim Yount, of the American Cryonics Society (ACS). As I've already written, I couldn't care less what consenting adults do, when it comes to sex, but Mr. Yount crossed the line, when he paid Cryogirl funds from the coffers of a California non-profit organization. I'm quite sure he will claim to have been paying Cryogirl for some sort of marketing, in regard to the ACS money she received, and that the other funds he gave her were from his personal bank account, (in fact, Ben Best already provided this excuse, for Mr. Yount). My answer to that is, no reputable business, related to futuristic medical science, would have been found advertising on Cryogirl's MySpace page. (Note: Recent attempts to view Cryogirl's Myspace page, (which was, previously, easily accessible), resulted in warnings of security issues, so I have removed the link.)
The payments from ACS do not indicate they were for business-related services, but instead have labels such as "a spoonful of sugar." (I have screenshots of the actual PayPal transactions, if the State of California is interested). Judging by Cryogirl's MySpace page, or her Twitter page, (which has now been deleted, but was archived), I don't think anyone would believe marketing services from Cryogirl was a reasonable expenditure, for a non-profit organization. Her sites were not of the sort, on which companies said to be engaging in futuristic medical science-related research would advertise. More likely, Mr. Yount was interested in continuing his communications with Cryogirl, conversations that included discussions of the sexual activities of Cryogirl's 16-year-old sister, and nude photos of young women. While I think it's rather clear Mr. Yount was using money, and his position of power, at ACS, to influence Cryogirl's sexual communications, it's also quite clear that she was using him, and probably violating the conditions of the governmental support she receives, (allegedly for a psychological disability that the people taking advantage of her were said to have been aware of), by accepting money from him. (Our tax dollars at work.)
Cryogirl's husband claims Mr. Yount helped Cryogirl avoid questioning by the police, by funding her departure from her home state. A high-ranking person, in cryonics, admits he believes Mr. Yount provided Cryogirl the financial means for leaving her home, with the sole purpose of "shacking up with her for a few weeks." Cryogirl is an attractive young woman, and Mr. Yount is a man in his mid-to-late 60's, who, (judging from his emails), likes to engage in adolescent games, such as pretending to have an evil twin, who lives on Mars. (I don't know what the policy is on Mars, Mr. Yount, but here on Earth, we step down from positions of power, when we have embarrassed our entire professional community.)
ACS seems to serve no purpose, other than to pad the pockets and bolster the egos of two narcissistic old fools. They don't provide their own services, but act as a "middleman" for CI, adding to the cost of CI's services. It's time for the CI Board of Directors to take action, in severing ties with ACS. (No appeal, to Ben Best, as I am weary of his lame excuses.)
(Interestingly, "Cryogirl" can now be heard, on numerous Internet audiotapes, claiming she can "bring down" all of cryonics. She seems to be pretending to be some sort of super-spy, digging up dirt on the leaders of cryonics activities, yet some of them are said to still be funding her living quarters and expenses, in California, including a $1,300 a month apartment, (while she allegedly still collects social security income). This is what the decisions of people like Yount, Swank and Best have brought to the cryonics community. According to Cryogirl's husband, these men KNEW, through his warnings, that this young woman had psychological problems, yet they allowed her to cloud their judgment in running their organizations. The question is: "Is anyone going to do something about this, (other than try to "sweep it under the rug")???
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Did Brian Wowk, Stephen Valentine and Michael Iarocci bill LEF a small fortune, over a long period of time, for their ITS project, (and the cost of a patent), when a cryogenic freezer manufacturer could have delivered a spec-device, in a short time, for a reasonable price? How long has the ITS project been going on, and how many decades will it continue? Will it ever end, or will it linger on, like the liquid ventilation project? What is the true value of the associated patent?
Why DO cryonics companies seem determined to do nothing more than continually engage in endless engineering projects, mostly carried out by amateurs? Year-after-year, decade-after-decade, little-to-no REAL scientific research...just endless equipment fabrication projects, when most of the equipment could be purchased. Wouldn't it make more sense to outsource the ITS project, to a company that specializes in cryogenic containers, so that biophysicist Brian Wowk could work on improving those extremely toxic vitrification solutions?
Recently, on lesswrong.com, Dr. Wowk seemed to be arguing that Alcor's solutions are so extremely toxic, it doesn't matter how much additional damage the amateur patient care providers, at Suspended Animation and/or Alcor, inflict on Alcor's members, while attempting to perform the medical procedures needed to deliver the washout and vitrification solutions. So, why does his primary work seem to involve inventing/engineering? Has anyone, (other than Saul Kent, or Alcor), expressed interest in the patents of Brian Wowk, Steve Harris, and others being funded by LEF?
Yesterday, on the Cold Filter forum, Charles Platt indicated he doesn't believe Alcor meets the requirements of a non-profit agency. (I, and others, agree.) Mr. Platt seems to think Alcor could meet the requirements by engaging in, yet another, Rube Goldberg-esque project. In regard to an intermediate temperature storage unit, he laments "... I would not be surprised if the prospect of fabricating something more complex and totally different would seem very unwelcome to people at Alcor who feel they have better things to do...While I was at Alcor in 2003, I brought in Todd Huffman to do some preliminary testing of a simple ITS design, and I wrote about this in Alcor News. After Huffman left, I don't think anything more was done or said on this topic." It is BEYOND absurd for Mr. Platt to think having the Alcor staff assume the task of engineering a cryogenic freezer is a good idea, and cryonics DIY equipment projects probably do not qualify as real research, when it comes to "not-for-profit" status.
To the new Alcor CEO, Mr. More...do your best to determine if ITS is really the best way to go. If you believe it is, determine the required specifications, and then consult with several manufacturers of cryogenic freezers...unless, of course, you think amateur engineering projects constitute "research," and you won't mind sitting around, watching the same small group of DIY-ers bill Alcor and LEF for this project, for many years to come. If Alcor is going to charge $200,000 to preserve bodies, with the implied promise of a possible future resurrection, they should make an effort to provide qualified personnel using professionally-built equipment; not laymen using their own garage-project devices. Take all the money you save on these endless, (and mostly fruitless) projects, and spend it on REAL research, (carried out by scientists, not unqualified laymen, please).