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Frozen: My Journey into the World of Cryonics, Deception, and Death Paperback – October 6, 2009
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"Dufris seems so comfortable reading about freezing people's bodies and heads for later reanimation that it takes scant imagination to hear him as the principal author." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
About the Author
Larry Johnson has over thirty years experience as a street paramedic and clinical director for major city 911 services. He was chief flight paramedic at the Waco, Texas, siege, has served as keynote speaker at national medical conferences, and was a contributing author for Prentice Hall’s 2005 Critical Care Paramedic, the most widely used textbook of its kind. After blowing the whistle on Alcor in late 2003 and receiving multiple death threats, Larry went into hiding.
Scott Baldyga grew up in West Springfield, Massachusetts, graduated from Boston College, then spent four years as a volunteer, teacher, and professional musician in Kingston, Jamaica. Living in Los Angeles since 1996, Scott has written screenplays for hire and has worked as a writer, script supervisor, editor, and composer for film and TV. Frozen is his first book.
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The book is not so much about cryonics itself as it is about the shocking practices that occur in this unregulated scientific endevour. Murder, conspiracy, death threats all make for an interesting read.
It is told in a anecdotal format, it is easy to read and well laid out. As a 'whistle blower' story it also has a few pictures and photocopies of evidence taken. It also talks about Ted Williams who I never knew of until this book. If you do not believe or follow or never even heard of cryonics it is still with the read.
I myself believe in the merit of cryonics, but this tale sacres me to think of what really goes on behind close doors.
A thing to note is this book does not discourage your belief in the science of cryonics. But it does address serious issues around it. I feel amazed and I nieve after reading this book. I will research alot more in the future.
After you have read the book I hope you will book I agree with Larry(the protaginist)as I do- that this is an industry that should be regalted, investigated and hopefully purged of the corruption.
I hope this review helps your decision.
This book is reccomended.
Johnson does raise the question "Is what Alcor does ethical?" And I think it's a legitimate question, one that Alcor should not resent, if its practices are indeed ethical. Judging less by his book than by cryonet's and Alcor's own revelations, I think there's enough question about whether Dora Kent was murdered for the matter to have been brought to trial, and it's an injustice that it never was. That Alcor markets its 'services' deceptively is a no-brainer, again thanks less to Johnson than to Alcor's own website with its video, which offers prospective buyers "more time!" That it charges too much and uses pressure tactics, and then badly mismanages what money it has hoodwinked from the ignorant, ditto and double ditto.
Is Johnson's book interesting and readable? Yes - mostly as Grand Guignol theater. Readers will be waiting for the gruesome parts, because the narrative itself is inconsistent. While alerting us to how strange the Alcorians are, Johnson doesn't adequately explain why he actually took the job with them. He claims to have done some research online before visiting and accepting; I don't know how he could have done this without being alarmed right off the bat.
Is he a praiseworthy whistleblower? About the state of cryonics as practiced today, no; most people never seriously consider it, and the few (like me) who were interested enough to research it are informed by the cryonicists themselves, on their own sites, about what a mess it is. About the Ted Williams fiasco -- no; again, most of the information was out there and Johnson's tabloidy 'expose' about the notes of the 'procedure' is just more sensationalism.
But about Dora Kent's death - yes. This should still be investigated. About Alcor's marketing and financial practices - to a lesser degree, yes, but the vast majority of people aren't being taken in by it to begin with. I was more concerned by Johnson's revelation about his fellow paramedic going on emergency calls to render critical aid to living people, while so hungover that he needed to medicate himself with oxygen and an IV. Now there's a situation that affects living people; blow the whistle on that one next time, Mr. Johnson.
And if you're going to go on and on about respect for the dignity of human remains, and simultaneously publish a ghoulish photo of someone who probably didn't give her consent for its use and definitely can't do anything about it now, you've made yourself look pretty hypocritical.