Comments on: The Armories of the Latter Day Laputas, Part 8 A revolution in time. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 01:11:28 +0000 hourly 1 By: admin admin Sun, 24 Jul 2011 02:48:37 +0000 It occurs to me that you may be asking for a critique of the decisions I did make the led up to the Dora Kent incident; e.g., those decisions which preceded the 1986 Christmas Eve news conference. If that is the case, within limits, I am amenable to dissecting those decisions and to relating the history of those events. If I were to do that, I’d need to read Alan Kunzman’s book MOTHERMELTERS, which I have previously only skimmed. I don’t think it is the best use of my time, but on the other hand I don’t want to seem evasive. I made plenty of mistakes and I am not at all reluctant to catalog them, to the extent that I am able to do so.

As to the 1980s being a good time for cryonics? Well, I suspect that depends on what your perspective was, and is. My suspicion is that the people involved in tTans Time would say that the 1970s were a great time for cryonics. Even though I wasn’t closely involved with TT then, I could sense their excitement and satisfaction with their progress, and they were well deserved. Similarly, I think 1964-67-68 were good times for the folks in CSNY. To some extent, it is relative, and to a great extent it depends upon the misery quotient. If you are making steady progress, however modest, and you are not in agony, then it i is a good time in cryonics. Pain and suffering tend to attenuate joy. I guess what I am trying to say is that being able to be optimistic about your future and to feel good about what you are doing free from crushing worry and fear are a good part of having a good time doing anything. –Mike Darwin

By: admin admin Fri, 22 Jul 2011 23:04:38 +0000 I wish I could take credit for how the Dora Kent affair was handled by Alcor, but I’m afraid I can take very little credit there. I was not defending “my actions” vis a vis Dora Kent, I was defending Alcor’s. My actions re Dora Kent pretty much came to a halt following the raid on the Alcor facility, and the arrest of the 6 people who were present in the building at that time. The reason for this is as simple and straightforward as it is unflattering; I was completely psychologically incapacitated. I was not even physically present for much of the core decision making, since I was secreted away in the San Fernando Valley in the home of Alcor Director Brenda Peters, who kindly offered to care for me. This she did; seeing to it that I was fed, kept distracted by renting videos for me to watch when I was awake, and just generally being there to provide care and comfort.

Those decisions which I can take credit for fall into two categories: the harshly criticized and the not commentated upon, except by me. The first was the hasty press conference that was held minutes after CNN and a blitzkrieg of media showed up at Alcor unexpectedly on Christmas Eve and relayed the fact that the Coroner had just accused us of killing Dora Kent! I was savagely criticized for saying” that we had made mistakes.” I don’t know if these criticisms were correct or not, because effective strategy in a crisis often involves not admitting you did anything wrong, even if you did. My “admissions” as best I can recall them now, consisted of acknowledging that 1) We should not have brought Dora Kent into the facility prior to medico-legal death and 2) we should have had a physician present when she was pronounced, given the unusual nature of cryonics (though this was NOT required by law).

The other critical decision I “made” was not really a decision by me, but rather a recommendation to the Board – one which was subsequently acted upon after much thoughtful discussion. My father was an Indianapolis police officer for 30 years. He made Sergeant and he took pains to expose me to the harsh realities of police work and the justice system. I saw him arrest people out of uniform when he felt public safety was at risk, and I met, talked with, and listened to conversations with his colleagues about police work. Most people are still astonished that the police can (and do) lie to suspects and fabricate both credible and incredible stories to manipulate them into confessing – sometimes confessing to things they didn’t do. I witnessed such interrogations as a boy and, to be frank, they terrified me. To this day I wonder how many people are sitting in prison for crimes they did not commit, but nevertheless confessed to. While sick with the flu after the Dora Kent cryopreservation I was lying on the floor in my office upstairs in the loft at the Alcor facility listening to NPR’s “All Things Considered” when I heard Deputy Coroner Rick Bogan say that the coroner’s office was convinced we had murdered Dora Kent and that they were going to do everything they could to ensure that we were prosecuted to the full extent of the law. My reaction to that was that they were going to raid us and, at least take Dora Kent (cephalon) for autopsy, and possibly the other patients as well. My response was to move Dora from the facility and possibly to evacuate all the patients (i.e., convert the whole bodies to neuro, put them in to the A-2542) and move them to an undisclosed location. I didn’t feel I could make this decision as CEO, and in any event , it would have required the cooperation of everyone at Alcor. So, I called a special Board meeting and argued my case for both options. There were three other people on the Alcor Board at that time who were savvy about police procedures and were cynical enough, or realistic enough, to find my scenario of what was likely to unfold soon credible. They were Jerry Leaf, who had had extensive career experience in the US military with police in many venues, Paul Genteman, who was a “draft dodger” who had reentered the US from Canada under the amnesty program, and Carlos Mondragon, who had had his own experiences with the police and the justice system. The rest of the Alcor Board was, understandably, clueless. The Board made the decision to relocate Dora Kent – the more radical proposal to relocate all the patients was deemed too extreme.

The raid I anticipated came a short while later and it left me incapacitated, and subsequently with PTSD. I had modest input into decisions made thereafter, but mostly those decisions were made by Jerry Leaf, Saul Kent and Carlos Mondragon in conjunction with Alcor’s attorneys, Chris Ashworth and David Epstein, of the law firm Garfield, Tepper & Ashworth. The reality of this change in leadership at Alcor was made public with my subsequent resignation as President and replacement by Carlos Mondragon.

Thus, the decisions I am defending were (mostly) not made by me – the careful strategics, the defensive and offensive moves that were made were exclusively the work of others; no self defense or self justification is expressed or implied. — Mike Darwin

By: unperson unperson Fri, 22 Jul 2011 08:39:54 +0000 The 80s certainly seemed like a wonderful time to be involved in cryonics and Alcor. When I got out of the military in the early 80s, I received a job offer on the phone as I was being debriefed by the military in Southern California. I almost stayed there in the California, but instead went back home to Texas. By 1987 I was already interested in cryonics. Maybe if I had stayed in California, I could have been involved in Alcor in that time frame.

On another note, you return once again to the Dora Kent affair. As before you defend your actions, and you do so without qualification or weighing the possible choices that were not taken. Doesn’t that type of perspective run counter to the idea of objectively weighing matters, without emotion, and exposing the truth, no matter what happens afterward? Isn’t that the sort of approach you espouse?

What I am saying is, where is the objective and even-handed weighing of what happened in the Dora Kent affair? Maybe your decisions hurt cryonics? I am not saying they did, but you seem to have shut out any possibility of this possible interpretation, which seems counter to what you say is “right.”