The story should begin with the victim. This is Kim Suozzi, 23 years old, and diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer that was going to kill her within a few months. She’s doomed and she knows it, so she has gone to Alcor, signed over her life insurance money, and asked to have her head frozen after death in the unlikely hope that someday, someone will be able to revive her. I feel a deep sadness for her; for someone so young, for anyone, to be confronted with an awful mortality is tragic.
She did die too soon after this video was made. And now we learn about the bumbling corpse mutilation that occurred afterwards.
You might want to stop reading right here. It’s a hard story, especially after seeing the young woman alive.
Within minutes of taking custody of the body, the bumbling Alcor team began experiencing a series of equipment failures. A temperature monitor didn’t work because, as it turned out, the batteries were dead. Shortly thereafter, their expensive mechanical chest-compression device stopped functioning. Then, having moved Suozzi’s body into a tub of ice, the Alcor team realized they’d forgotten to bring along a key piece of cooling equipment. Alcor’s after-action report, compiled from the haphazard “free-form” observations of an unnamed but “experienced” observer, determined that such mistakes could in the future be remedied by “the use of a checklist.” Now there’s a thought.
Forty-five minutes after Suozzi was declared dead on the morning of January 17, 2013, her corpse arrived at Alcor headquarters, where a crack team of quacks shaved her head and drilled a number of sizable holes into her skull. Microphones were then inserted in order to detect the cracking sound of tissue-destroying ice crystals—a freezer-burned brain being even less useful to the imaginary reincarnators of the future than an otherwise undamaged one.
At 9:33 a.m., Suozzi’s body was moved to an operating table. Ten minutes later, Alcor’s technophilic necromancers completed “cephalic isolation”—a euphemistic neologism that means they cut off her head. Such bloodless jargon obscures the macabre slapstick of the antics in the morgue—er, “operating room.” As the magazine account went on to relate:
9:45 a.m.: Cephalon placed in holding ring of cephalic enclosure.
[Translation: They put Suozzi’s head in a box.]
9:51 a.m.: Cephalon fell out of holding ring.
[Translation: Her head fell out.]
9:52 a.m.: Cephalon repositioned.
[Translation: It’s a good thing that, as far as anyone knows, none of these people have been operating on live human bodies.]
Suozzi’s bodily fluids were flushed and replaced with a specially formulated and questionably effective “cryoprotectant”—antifreeze. The official recap alludes to a certain amount of rubbernecking and bickering consistent with past insider accounts of Alcor operations. That wasn’t all. “Unfortunately,” the Cryonics report notes, “there was some confusion and disagreement regarding the ideal temperature at which to perform surgery.” One might assume a forty-four-year-old organization devoted to storing body parts on ice would have reached some working consensus on this question by now.
In the months ahead of the procedure, Alcor boasted of the important research data it would glean thanks to Suozzi’s corporeal donation. But afterward, the official notetaker lamented that the only information collected during the procedure came from the thermometer crammed into her nose.
In Alcor’s account, “the actual success of perfusion in this case appears negligible.” (Perfusion is the term for pumping fluids through blood vessels.) A CT scan later confirmed that “cryoprotective perfusion was not generally successful”—meaning that Suozzi’s brain would not be well preserved. (Or, in Alcor jargon, “cortical cryoprotection” was “minimal.”) In other words, the procedure was a failure. The Times glossed over this and other facts that undermined its bizarrely credulous narrative, which tacitly endorsed Alcor’s ongoing con job—and, by extension, the agenda of its Ayn Rand–worshiping techno-fetishist leadership.
Read the whole thing. These guys are running a scam, motivated by extreme libertarianism, a misbegotten transhumanism, and an ugly combination of ignorance and wishful thinking. They’re also bankrolled by a lot of young, stupid, filthy rich Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
I’ve complained before about the bogus ‘science’ behind these vultures, but this story exposes the outright venal stupidity driving it all. It isn’t mere incompetence, it’s malicious ineptitude.