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The Greed and Insanity of the American Funeral Industry: Dissolving your dead.

Editor’s Forward

From Deathcare Professional to Disposal Professional

At some point in time, the American funeral director has gone from deathcare professional to disposal professional. It’s really gotten out of hand and it’s time the American people started thinking better about themselves and started telling the government and the corporations to stop treating us like so much municipal waste. This doesn’t happen without the involvement of legislators and government. If funeral directors are forced into providing an immoral but legal service, who’s to blame them? We can boycott them and refuse to use them, and send our loved ones to someone who can treat them with human dignity. It’s our choice and we’d better start thinking about it before someone else makes the choices for us. This new movement in the funeral industry is just disgusting!

The Editor


Excerpt from the article by
Republished with Permission of the Author
Rev. Ch. Harold W. Vadney, BA, [MA], MDiv
Interfaith Bereavement Chaplain/Thanatologist

Dissolve and Flush: Funeralized Alkaline Hydrolysis.

The Newest Technology for Disposing of Dead Human Beings.


In the West, interment, inhumation, entombment have been the traditional  methods of disposing of dead human bodies, that is, prior to the late 19th century with the revival of cremation as an alternative. Until about 1880, cremation was anathema, unless, occasionally, at times of extraordinarily large numbers or dead, such as during war time, during epidemics, or following natural disasters, mass graves or incineration of the corpses was preferred to avoid further catastrophe in terms of public health. Fire cremation was revived in the West as a quasi-pagan option attributed to non-Christian freethinkers and masons or simply to anti-social elements but then took a different tack by appealing to the public health and environmentally conscious elements in conventional society. Today, economic concerns both consumer and industrial take precedence. The dominant market economies in the industrialized West, particularly in the USA, UK, and some Western European countries, as well as the insatiable appetite of post-modern, post-Christian cultures for novelty and individualism, have left the door ajar for the entry into the funeralization professions of an industrialized process called alkaline hydrolysis (AH), an industrial process invented in the late 19th century as a way of dissolving in strong chemicals farm animal waste for use as fertilizer.[1]


“Omnes homines terra et cinis” Sirach 12:32
[“All human beings are earth and ashes”]

In a particularly beautiful description of how the pre-Vatican II Church thought of the human being, and in poetry that was possible only in a more sensitive epoch of human history, one reads:[2]

“The old Church holds on to her dead with eternal affection. The dead body is the body of her child. It is sacred flesh. It has been the temple of a regenerated soul. She blessed it in baptism, poured the saving waters on its head, anointed it with holy oil on breast and back, put the blessed salt on its lips, and touched its nose and ears in benediction when it was only the flesh of a babe; and then, in growing youth, reconsecrated it by confirmation; and, before its dissolution in death, she again blessed and sanctified its organs, its hands and its feet, as well as its more important members. Even after death she blesses it with holy water, and incenses it before her altar, amid the solemnity of the great sacrifice of the New Law, and surrounded by mourners who rejoice even in their tears, for they believe in the communion of saints, and are united in prayer with the dead happy in heaven, as well as with those who are temporarily suffering in purgatory. The old Church, the kind old mother of regenerated humanity, follows the dead body of her child into the very grave. She will not throw it into the common ditch, or into unhallowed ground; no, it is the flesh of her son. She sanctifies and jealously guards from desecration the spot where it is to rest until the final resurrection; and day by day, until the end of the world, she thinks of her dead, and prays for them at every Mass that is celebrated; for, even amid the joys of Easter and of Christmas, the memento for the dead is never omitted from the Canon. She even holds annually a solemn feast of the dead, the day after “All Saints,” in November, when the melancholy days are on the wane, the saddest of the year, and the fallen leaves and chilly blasts presage the season of nature’s death.”[3]

The Church of bygone days frequently used prose poetically and quoted liberally from the Church Fathers and even from the ancient philosophers and historiographers like Plato, Seneca, Socrates, Cicero many of whom, though pre-Christian, did not eschew the notion of the immortal soul.  St Augustine writes, “We should not despise nor reject the bodies of the dead; especially we should respect the corpses of the just and the faithful, which the Spirit hath piously used as instruments and vessels in the doing of good works…for those bodies are not mere ornaments but pertain to the very nature of humankind.”[4]

Cremation made an occasional appearance in isolated periods of Western history or in outlier regions where Christianity had not yet attained dominance; cremation was largely associated with non-Christian, pagan cultures.

In the East, in places where Hinduism and Buddhism had a firm foothold, cremation was and continues to be the norm. In some geographical areas such as in parts of Tibet, where the ground is unfavorable to interment and wood is a scarce and valuable resource, exposure of the corpse or dismemberment of the corpse and consumption by carrion-eating birds, so-called sky-burial or, in its form where the dismembered corpse is cast into a fiver for consumption by fishes, water burial, is practiced.

A similar practice of exposure is found in Zoroastrian communities in Iran, in the so-called towers of silence or dakhma, where the dead are brought, exposed, and consumed by vultures; the skeletal remains are then later collected for disposal.

While isolated instances of cremation are reported both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, burial or entombment was conspicuously the norm. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, burning of a corpse was a final act of abomination, reserved for only the worst elements of society.

One of the common misapprehensions of the Church’s aversion to or discouragement of incineration of the human body as a routinely available option for final disposal is that it was associated with pagan or freethinker practice, or with attempts to dissuade believers from faith in a bodily resurrection. While this might have some historical substance and may be represented by some early writers, it is but a minor hypothesis.

Ancient flame cremation practiced by the ancients.

As Eusebius describes early Christian aversion to flame cremation in a statement that still holds plausible, “” they (the Pagans) did this (cremated) to show that they could conquer God and destroy the resurrection of the bodies, saying, now let us see if they will arise.” In other words, cremation was a challenge to the belief in bodily resurrection as taught and believed in the early Church.

Furthermore, no less a figure than Cicero advances the notion that incineration was of ancient practice in Rome, and suggests that inhumation was a practice that predated the Roman practice of cremation. In fact, some noble Roman families never permitted their bodies to be burned, and Sulla is said to have been the first Roman who ordered his body to be cremated after death, lest his bones should be scattered by his enemies.[5] The pontiffs of pagan Rome would not acknowledge a funeral to be complete unless at least a single bone cut off from the corpse, or rescued from the flames, had been de posited in the earth.

Ancient Greece and Rome did practice cremation at various points in their histories but the ultimate disposal of the remains continued to be burial; either a part not consumed by the flames or the “bones” of the cremated corpse were ultimately buried in the earth. Cremation was by no means consistently the norm or the preferred method of disposal in Greece or in Rome.

Pope Boniface VIII forbade all violent modes of disposing of the dead as savoring of barbarism. “The respect due to the human body requires that it should be allowed to decay naturally, without having recourse to any violent system;” so says Grandclaude. A forcible argument against cremation is also found in the Catholic custom of preserving and honoring the relics of the Saints and putting their bodies or portions of them in the altar. It would be no longer possible to have the most important relics of future Saints if their flesh were to be consumed by fire.

That brief sampling of ancient teachings and beliefs regarding the question of incineration of human remains, arguably a “violent system” of disposing of human remains, should suffice to provide a background for the remainder of this discussion. For a more detailed discussion, I refer the reader to the Reverend Bann’s article cited above.

It was only in the late 19th century that a cremation movement came into being, and then only owing to the deplorable conditions in the cities which were rapidly outgrowing their boundaries due to immigration from rural areas, and the resulting encroachments on the previously outlying churchyards and, with population growth and densification, poor sanitation, and high mortality rates, consequent overfilling of existing cemeteries literally to the point of overflowing.

The urban slums of the Industrial Age.

Such were the conditions that gave rise to the public health concerns of reformers who claimed that the dead in the cemeteries were evil, that their miasmas leached out into the water and the spaces of the living, causing disease, suffering, and death. It was the evil dead rotting in the earth and their juices that were public health enemy No. 1. The open sewers and living conditions of the larger cities, and the putrid waters of the rivers flowing through them, of course, were not to blame.

And so, an alternative method of disposal of the dangerous and filthy dead had to be found, one that did not threaten to gobble up valuable real estate, and one that could be justified in the face of Church and religious objections. Cremation was the most obvious answer for purifying the unclean corpses. After all, since time immemorial fire was the great purifier.

In the beginning, therefore, the initial impetus was the miasma theory of pestilence, and corpses were to blame. Then, around 1880, the germ theory of disease was born. It debunked the established miasma theory of disease, and stated that disease was caused by specific organisms, germs. No problem for the cremationists, who were quite agile in dropping the miasma theory and accepting the germ theory but corpses were not yet off the hook, so to speak.

If germs were the cause of many of the diseases afflicting the population, wouldn’t the putrid rotting corpse be germ heaven? And if you have all those corpses lying about doing nothing but what corpses do, that is, rotting and defiling the air with the aromas of putrecine and cadaverine. Those same rotting corpses were breeding grounds for pestilence and a simple hole in the ground was not very likely to contain the little vermin. Cremation, the great sterilizer, would be the cremationists’ next slogan. But it didn’t last long.

The interests of the economic-minded would carry the day both in terms of the environment and the economy, and that campaign agenda is with us to this day. Basically, the dirge goes: “Why allocate so much valuable land to the dead when the living can profit by it?” Land for the living! After all, as corporations like StoneMor can confirm, cemetery real estate and the real estate occupied by the cemeteries represents a vast fortune. Someone has to tap into it.

The countries of Europe afflicted with the spirit of rationalism had no problem dealing with cemeteries; they just overruled the Church and legislated that the state had ultimate control of the citizen in life and in death. The Church could fall back on canon law but ultimately had to acquiesce to the state’s overwhelming power, and so the cemeteries were secularized. Once secularized they were emptied and their occupants relegated to ossuaries or catacombs en masse, and anonymous in their tens, even hundreds of thousands. In many instances, their eviction from the cemeteries and relocation to the quarries was done under cover of night, in order not to offend the living or present an obstacle to commerce.

France was one of the first Western nations to desecrate consecrated ground and defile the dead.

In countries where the Church, Roman Catholic or mainstream Protestant dominated, the faithful were expected under established sanctions, to obey the doctrines of their faith. For most mainstream Christians, and for all Orthodox Jews and Muslims, cremation was an abomination, and burial in the earth or entombment were the only acceptable methods of sepulture. And so it remained until 1963, when the Roman Catholic Church relieved it’s ban on cremation and, while not encouraging cremation, did not censure those who opted for incineration as their preferred method of disposal. Upto then, those choosing cremation were pro forma classified as apostates, atheists, pagans, free-thinkers, or Masons.

The 1960’s was a decade of revolutionary reform in practically every aspect of life: politics, religion, morals, education, all of which ultimately found expression in attitudes towards life, death, dying and after-death.

Alkaline hydrolysis (AH)[6], aquamation[7], resomation[8], biocremation[9], call it whatever you like it all literally boils down [no pun intended] to taking a dead human body, placing it into a pressure cooker, adding water and chemicals, heating, cooking, draining, rinsing. The dissolved flesh and organic matter is then flushing into the sewer system. What is left is bones and any metallic or synthetic material in the body (artificial joints, pacemakers, sutures, etc.). The metal such as artificial joints etc. will be recycled or “repurposed.”  The bones will be dried and ground up into a sandlike powder and returned to the family or otherwise disposed of.

The actual patented process, alkaline hydrolysis (AH) is a process developed for waste disposal. “Waste disposal” is the actual term used in the patents. AH was developed for disposal of infectious or hazardous waste by dissolving it into a “safe and sanitary” end-product. In fact, the actual wording of one of the patents is: “it is an object of this invention to provide a system and method for safely treating and disposing of waste matter containing undesirable elements, such as infectious, biohazardous, hazardous, or radioactive elements or agents.”

AH was developed for dissolving, liquefying organic matter into a disposable liquid that can be recycled as a fertilizer or simply flushed down the drain. It’s actually a technology that was developed in the late 19th century for disposing of animal waste, and which was developed in the mid-20th century for disposal of farm slaughter waste and for elimination of medical school cadavers, is now being promoted as the new eco-friendly take on cremation. Alkaline hydrolysis a.k.a. water cremation a.k.a. biocremation —  in reality just using a Draino®-like chemical to dissolve the dead human body and flush the remaining human sludge down the drain into the public sewer system — is the new rage in technology. Some funeral homes in about 14 states, where the process is now legal in the United States are now offering it as an alternative to cremation. It’s disgusting and will be a hard sell, since it will be acceptable only to the really bizarre element out there. I hope to clarify some of the issues in this article.

This is not how human beings should be treating their dead.

Download the complete article here:
Dissolve and Flush_article draft


Notes

[1] See also History of Alkaline Hydrolysis by Joseph Wilson. Wilson is the chief executive officer of Bio-Response Solutions, one of the first companies involved in the industrialization and marketing of alkaline hydrolysis for the disposition of human bodies. Joseph H. Wilson, The History of Alkaline Hydrolysis, e-pub, September 2013, 3, http://www.goodfuneralguide.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/History-of-Alkaline-Hydrolysis.pdf last accessed on October 29, 2017). The original patent filed by A.H. Hobson, U.S. Patent No. 394982 (1888), describes the process as a “… process of treating bones, which consists in digesting the bones in an alkaline solution in the presence of heat, then separating and concentrating the solution, thereby forming glue, gelatine, or size, in then digesting the remaining hone in a strong alkaline solution, so as to completely dissolve the remaining nitrogenous matter, and bring-the same into a more readily assimilable form…” (Claim 2), and as “certain new and useful improvements in the treatment of bones and animal waste or refuse generally for the purpose of rendering the same more suited for fertilizing purposes, and for obtaining gelatine, glue, and size…” (https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pdfs/US394982.pdf last accessed on October 28, 2017).

[2] By way of precluding any possible suggestion of supercessionism, I would like to state from the outset that I am citing Roman Catholic writers in much of this discussion not because I am so biased but because I would rather use as my foundation a more systematized, mature, and stringent authority, which, if necessary can be attenuated or mollified mutatis mutandi in further arguments, rather than a more loose, liberal, or permissive approach as represented by the more progressive Protestant or post-Christian denominations. Although I practice as an interfaith chaplain, I am steeped in a more classical tradition than many of my contemporaries, and I ask that my readers take that subjective proclivity into consideration when reading my statements.

[3] Brann, Rev. H.A., DD, “Christian Burial and Cremation.” American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. X (Jan-Oct 1885). Philadelphia: Hardy & Mahony. p. 679. Reverend Brann provides a rather comprehensive background and discussion of Roman Catholic sources and thinking on cremation, which, in my reading, is remarkable in its tolerance, given the sociopolitical climate in which it was written (1885-6).

[4] De Civ. Dei Cap. XIII, p. 27, Vol. 41, Migne’s Patrologia.

[5] Desecration by scattering of one’s bones appears to be a thread running through much of ancient human history. Compare Sulla’s concern with the Biblical account (I Kings 31:12) of the incineration of the bodies of Saul and his sons to prevent desecration by the Philistines.

[6] US Patents 5,332,532, 6,437,211, 6,472,580, 7,183,453, 7,829,755, and U.S. Patent No. 7,910,788 (method).

[7] “Aquamation: A Greener Alternative to Cremation?” By Marina Kamenev/Sydney, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 (http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2022206,00.html, last accessed on October 28, 2017)

[8] “Innovation in sustainable end of life choices” the slogan of the Scottish company Resomation®(http://resomation.com/, last accessed on October 28, 2017).

[9] “Biocremation. A Natural Choice.” (http://biocremationinfo.com/consumers/what-is-bio-cremation, last accessed on October 28, 2017)

 

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Board of Education Disses 911 Remembrance!!!

All over the United States, in schools, churches, government offices, courtrooms the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, were being remembered by observing a moment of silence.

The Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Board of Education Disses 911 Remembrance

It’s all over the place in the RCS school district: The schools of the RCS Central School District refused to remember the victims of the 911 terror attacks with a moment of silence. Even the students are outraged as we receive reports of Facebook posts posted by RCS students and expressing their outrage that there was no moment of silence on Monday, September 11, 2017. We find this disgraceful but are very impressed that kids who weren’t even born yet or were infants at the time of the attacks express such compassion and sensitivity to be outraged by their adult handlers’ lack of compassion and sensitivity to a national tragedy that resulted in multiple wars that are still causing misery and suffering at home and abroad.

What’s next?
Will RCS start flying the Saudi flag?

What’s next parents, residents, taxpayers? Do we start pledging allegiance to the flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Will we next see the Saudi flag raised at the high school?

Most of us will remember 911 with a certain disbelief even today, years after the attack. We all know that the terrorists who planned and executed the attacks were from Saudi Arabia, a country with a long record of anti-West sentiments and whose human rights crimes are legendary. That’s Osama bin Laden’s home country and his family are affluent citizens of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia where Sharia or Islamic law requires women to be completely covered and still features public beheadings as their preferred capital punishment.

SABIC’s Flag Flies in Selkirk!

Right in our midst we have SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals and whose headquarters are in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares, with the remainder held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.Check out their website and tell us it’s not scary! SABIC is located in Selkiirk/Feura Bush and has recently been granted substantial school tax incentives locally. The plot thickens!

According to a 2014 Times Union report by Brian Nearing, “Selkirk plastics plant hit with third environmental fine in three years,” the Saudi company was fined $16,000 for those violations but in 2011 and 2013 paid $241,000.00 in fines for environmental violations. But then that’s mere pocket change to the Saudis. More improtantly, apparently the Saudis are not happy just killing Americans and destroying American property, they aim to destroy American environment, too, starting right in our own backyards. The plot thickens even more!

So why are we so concerned about a Saudi chemicals company in Selkirk who, like so many American companies, is intent on destroying our environment and our health? After all, it’s just a country several thousands of miles away with terrorist ties and human rights violations. Not much unlike so many of America’s “friends”. So what you might be thinking.

So what? Here’s why:

The property owners in the RCS Central School District pay millions in taxes to support the now more than $46 million school budget for the district, while local towns are giving companies like Sabic and Selkirk Cogen tax breaks. The residents of the RCS Central School District vote for the members of the RCS Central School District Board of Education. According to the RCS CD Board of Education website, the board is:

“A local board of education is an agency of New York State that is governed by state law and the regulations of the commissioner of education.”

The BoE website also states the five main responsibilities of the RCS BoE to be:

  • to establish all school district policies;
  • to develop an annual budget for public approval;
  • to approve or disapprove the superintendent’s recommendations regarding personnel matters and the many contracts the district must enter;
  • to review courses of study and textbooks;
  • to act as a two-way communications link between residents and the superintendent

The site also states that: “The decisions of your elected board of education affect your child, your child’s future, your tax rate, and the well-being of your community.

RCS BoE President James Latter is a SABIC Employee; Jason Hyslop, a BoE member is a SABIC Employee!!!

In 2013, we published two articles on this blog with very serious warnings: James Latter: Why He’s A Bad Choice and Latter-Hyslop-Brown: The VERY WRONG Choice! but somehow Latter and Hyslop got elected to the board, and it’s been downhill ever since. You see, both James Latter, RCS BoE president, and Jason Hyslop are employees of SABIC. Where do you think their loyalties lie? In their paychecks or in the interests of the school district?

So now you have two RCS Central School District Board of Education members, its president, James Latter, and a sitting board member, Jason Hyslop, both employees of Saudi-owned SABIC, “establishing school district polices” and to “review courses of study and textbooks“, and keep in mind that, according to the Board’s own statement, “the decisions of your elected board of education affect your child, your child’s future, your tax rate, and the well-being of your community.

So now that we have informed you AGAIN that you have two SABIC lackies on your board of education and you put them there, we hope that at the next meeting you will propose that courses for conversational Arabic be offered the elementary, middle and high school curriculums, because you’re going to need it to pledge allegiance to the Saudi flag. After all, the RCS CD Board of Education does establish all school district policies and their decisions affect your children, your child’s future, and the well-being of your community.

So why do you think there was no moment of silence in RCS schools on September 11, 2017? Do we really have to answer that question?

Here you go, we’ll get you stared. Repeat after Mr Latter:

لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله
lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muhammadun rasūlu-llāh
“There is no god but God: Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”


Get the Saudi Companies off our Board of Education!!!

The Editor


Let your RCS Central School District Board of Ed members know what you think!
James Latter, President of the RCS-CD BoE and SABIC Employee
Teddy Reville
Bray Engel
Tina Furst-Hotaling
Kristin Hill-Burns
Jason Hyslop, BoE member and SABIC Employee
William McFerran
William McFerran
Peter Ross

Email all board members

 

Bring Out Your Dead! A Monty Python Prophesy

A Message from the Editor

We’ve been sharing some posts on the funeral business and deathcare from several other sites. While this is not the focus of this blog, we don’t mind because the posts have attracted substantial interest. This post will be the last deathcare post we will be re-publishing on this blog. If you want to continue reading about deathcare in the US, please go to the following sites and follow them. Glad you are enjoying the posts so much but we have to get back to local political and social issues.

You can visit the following blogs for posts on death, dying, funeral services, and other death-related topics:

Thanatology Café
Spirituality, Bereavement & Grief Care
Pastoral CareHomiletics & Spiritual Care
The Church, Ministry, and Pastoral Care

Happy Holidays!
The Editor


Republished with Permission from Thanatology Café.

There is a great deal to be said about our healthcare and deathcare industries in the US, they are similar in many respects and exhibit similar functional flaws in a general sense. In the humanectomized materialist consumerism driven culture in which we live, the corporations have reduced most of us to human means to a corporate end. Most of US humanity has been dehumanized to the level of mere consumers. This is not a new development, however, and can be read in many quasi-prophetic sources.

In a recent conversation with a licensed funeral director and funeral home operator, who read our article on Nicholas Facci and Newcomer Funerals and Cremations (March 26, 2017), we discussed among other things the funeral chains’ exploitation of the demise of our traditions. We continue that discussion here together with some and some interesting anecdotes about the Albany County Coroner’s office.

After that discussion, I couldn’t help but think about one of the many hysterical scenes in the Monty Python film, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” or of the grim portrayal by Dr John B. Huber of the Manchurian Plague (20th c.) and the Black Plague (14th c.).

Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”

The scene takes place during the Black Plague in medieval somewhere, and opens with the sounds of strange medieval music. Discordant and sparse images. Wailings and groanings. Close up of contorted face upside down. A leg falls across it. Creaking noise. The bodies lurch away from and scene pans out to reveal they are amongst a huge pile of bodies on a swaying cart that is lumbering away from the viewer. It is pulled by a couple of ragged, dirty emaciated wretches, the cart drivers. Behind the cart walks another large man, a slightly more prosperous Porter, wearing a black hood and looking rather sinister. The Porter is carrying an emaciated old man over his shoulder who is still moving, and protests “I’m not dead!” The dialogue goes something like this:

The scene: (The Porter carrying an old man slung over his shoulder, approaches the cart and the cart driver…)
Cart Driver: Bring out your dead!
Porter: Here’s one!
Cart Driver: Ninepence.
Old man: I’m not dead!
Card Driver: What?
Porter: Nothing…Here’s your ninepence.
Cart Driver: Er…He says he’s not dead!
Porter: Yes he is.
Old Man: I’m not.
Cart Driver: He isn’t.
Porter: Well he will be soon. He’s very ill.
Old Man: I’m getting better!
Porter: No you’re not. You’ll be stone-dead in a moment.
Cart Driver: I can’t take him like that; it’s against regulations!
Old Man: I don’t want to go on the cart!
Porter: Oh don’t be such a baby.
Cart Driver: I can’t take him like that!
Old Man: I feel fine!
Porter: Oh, do us a favor…
Cart Driver: I can’t.
Porter: Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? He won’t be long…
Cart Driver: I promised I’d be at the Robinson’s. They’ve lost nine today.
Porter: Well, when’s your next round?
Cart Driver: Thursday.
Old Man: I think I’ll go for a walk.
Porter: (To the Old Man) You’re not fooling anyone, you know! (to the Cart Driver) Look. Isn’t there something you can do?
Old Man: (Singing) I feel happy, I feel happy!
The Cart Driver looks at the Porter for a moment. Then they both do a quick furtive look up and down the street. The Cart Driver very swiftly brings up a club and hits the Old Man on the head. (Out of shot but the singing stops after a loud bonk noise.)
Porter: Ah! Thanks very much! (Handing over the ninepence) See you on Thursday!
(Tossing old man onto the bodies on the cart)
Cart Driver: That’s all right! See you on Thursday.

(View the clip on YouTube)

While transcribing the dialogue I thought to myself how prophetic this 1975 spoof was.  More than 40 years later we can watch this clip and it sends cold shivers down your spine. Back then what was morbidly hilarious has become stark reality for us today.

“Bring out your dead!” Newcomer Funerals and Cremations TV Ads.

Cryptkeeper Newcomer Ad

There you are, sitting enjoying a snack thinking “Life is good!” And Warren “Ren” Newcomer, the cadaver-like founder of the Newcomer Funeral Services Group based in Wichita, Kansas, appears on your television screen. He’s the 21st century version of the Cryptkeeper and plays the part really well. He looks like an embalming gone awry and oozes a false compassion and insincere expression that makes you want to choke on your chips. Here’s a guy who has made millions exploiting the deaths of loved ones and doing his part to destroy our death traditions while grinning like a corpse on the way to the bank.  Newcomer Funeral Services Group has two locations in the Albany, New York, area, and has a presence in some 10 states. There are other similar funeral chains, Walmart-type factory funeral companies that have bought up private funeral businesses, cemeteries and crematoriums across the country. They operate under names like Service Corporation International (SCI), Dignity Memorial™, StoneMor Partners, Precoa, and of course, Newcomer Funerals and Corpse Disposal. What their advertising and marketing messages say to us, despite the actors and the phony compassion, is what Monty Python is teaching: “Bring out your dead!” Toss them on the cart and we’ll see you on Thursday (and don’t forget your checkbook or credit card).

“I’m Not Dead!” The Office of the Albany County Coroner declares a woman dead but she revives in the morgue

In New York Times article “They Said She Was D.O.A., But Then the Body Bag Moved” (Robert D. McFadden, 11/18/94) The author reports that Albany County Coroner Philip Furie and  Paramedics allegedly “found no heartbeat, no pulse, no breath or other signs of life, and the coroner declared her officially dead.”  So they “ zipped Mildred C. Clarke,  into a body bag, took her to the morgue at the Albany Medical Center Hospital and left her in a room where corpses are kept at 40 degrees, pending autopsies or funerals. About 90 minutes later, the chief morgue attendant went in to transfer her to a funeral home. “ The attendant noticed some movement in the body bag, unzipped it and found that Mildred was still breathing. She was moved to intensive care and treated but the case has never been explained. The L.A. Times reports later that “Mildred Clark, the 86-year-old woman who spent 90 minutes in a morgue cooler last week after mistakenly being declared dead, died Wednesday of undisclosed ailments, a hospital spokesman said…. Albany Medical Center Hospital spokesman Richard Puff said Clark’s family had requested that the cause of death be withheld.” Any guesses as to the cause of death?

According to the article, “Albany is the only major city in New York State that does not have a medical examiner, an official who is trained in forensic pathology, and this would be a real advantage,”  The office of the coroner is  a relic still found  in many American cities. Albany elects four coroners to declare deaths and investigate their  causes. They have no medical training but are required to attend a “death investigation course.”  The coroners are expected to evaluate crime scenes and suspicious deaths, but they have no medical training.

We’re investigating some leads relating to the performance of the Albany County Coroners, and will report on our findings in a future article. We suspect that the Albany County Coroner isn’t very popular among local funeral directors. But Hey! this is Smalbany, isn’t it? There’s a job for every misfit in the Albany Democratic Machine, isn’t there?

“Look. Isn’t there something you can do? Ah! Thanks very much! See you on Thursday.” Inconvenience of the Dying Process.

We’re so very busy and so much in a rush. Why? Because our handlers tell us we are. We’ve lost our sense for distinguishing what is nice and what is necessary. We no longer have to think. Advertisers tell us what we need. Marketers tell us what to ask for. Government tells us how to live. Churches tell us how to die. Emails tell us we need to Hurry! and to Rush! because time is running out to buy a certain something. Hell! We don’t even die in peace. Hospitals transform us into cyborgs with tubes and electrodes at every available spot, and when all else fails, they still want to provide “billable services.” Only when you have had enough watching the technology fail do you scream STOP! Even when the so-called healthcare team has the good sense to admit that they can’t do anything more, they recommend shipping what’s left of mom or dad to hospice. And so at hospice the saga continues. When death finally occurs, whether it’s helped along or drags out to the end, we are still in a hurry, still have other things to do. But yet again, the materialist consumerism we are addicted to has the solution for immediate relief of any inconvenience, even death. There are customized death packages for every budget ranging from direct burial or direct cremation to the “traditional funeral.” Just ask for the Detailed Price List required by the FTC’s Funeral Rule and prepare to be nickel-and-dimed. You have abandoned the traditional funeral home with the family funeral director and have opted for the Walmart funeral chain, the factory funeral service provider. And you deserve everything you get. Sorry but it’s true.

We’ve all read about states like Oregon and Washington that have legislated physician-assisted suicide (PAS), euthanasia in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. We all know about the hospice movement that has degenerated into another instance of corporate exploitation of death and the demise of the family. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Monty Python prophesied the hastening of death movement. True, we no longer use a club to help the dying along; we’ve become much more refined in the 21st century. We now use chemicals and drugs. Or, if we’ve made mom or dad into an ICU cyborg, we simply remove the respirator, inject some morphine and “Ah! Thanks very much. See you on Thursday” at the viewing. We’ve come a long way into our degeneration!

Get the shocking truth about Service Corporation International (SCI) here.

We really have to chuckle when we read such crapola like “Service Corporation International is dedicated to compassionately supporting families at difficult times, celebrating the significance of lives that have been lived, and preserving memories that transcend generations, with dignity and honor. (SCI site at , last accessed on April 6, 2017). If you’re ready to believe that operations like SCI or Newcomer, corporations with their eyes on the bottom line, with their programmed funeral directors and staff operating on a corporate agenda, are there to do what the family funeral home once did, you’re already brain dead. SCI is constantly being sued, settling, or paying out huge judgments resulting from their mistakes. But when you’re making billions, who cares. The living keep dying; sky’s the limit! Get on the cart.


A bit of history: In 1962, Robert L. Waltrip, a licensed funeral director who grew up in his family’s funeral business, founded Service Corpration International. SCI started out as a small network of funeral homes and cemeteries in the Houston, Texas, area.

SCI gradually increased its offshore presence, and it continued to acquire business interests in North America. Since the late 1990s the US and Canadian marketplaces a  saturated battleground of competing companies intent on buying up and exploiting the deathcare business sector. SCI, In the course of the melee, Alderwoods Group and Stewart Enterprises emerged as the three principal companies in the resulting funeral corporation industry. As of December 31, 1999, SCI owned and operated 3,823 funeral service locations, 525 cemeteries, 198 crematoria and two insurance operations located in 20 countries on five continents. In 1999, SCI introduced Dignity Memorial, the first transcontinental brand offering deathcare goods and services in North America. By consolidating its network of funeral homes and cemeteries under a single brand, SCI expected that they could create a recognizable and marketable brand image. In 2000, poor market conditions forced SCI to reevaluate operations. While foreign operations had once shown promise, nearly 70 percent of SCI’s revenue was generated by operations in the United States and Canada. The company decided to divest many of its offshore businesses, in addition to many North American funeral homes and cemeteries. The UK arm now operates as Dignity PLC.


“I don’t want to go on the cart!” How we treat our dying; how we treat ourselves.

Monty Python presents an interesting scenario at a time when Jessica Mitford was enjoying the fruits of her muckraking book, “American Way of Death,” (1963), and the funeral home chains and funeral service factory corporations were reaching their peak of exploitation when Mitford’s “American Way of Death Revisited” was poshumously published (1998). Monty Python had it right. But we all laughed our way straight to hell.

 

J.B. Huber MD: “Psychology of Grave Epidemics”
(Med. Times, 1911)

Moving from a 1975 comedy spoof we can cite a remarkable article that appeared in the December 1911 journal, Medical Times, by John B. Huber MD. Dr Huber writes about the great Manchurian Plague (1910-1900), and compares it to the Black Plague (1347-1351). I’d like to quote some passages from that 1911 medical journal article. See if you can draw any parallels with our 21st century society.

Yet business was conducted as ordinarily—by those still alive; and the stroller “viewing the manners of the town,” would hardly realize from the superficial aspect of things, that a dreadful scourge was gradually but surely destroying its people. Yet the plague had, from November last up to this New Year’s Day, done for one-fourth of the twenty thousand inhabitants of that community; and it was then expected that more than half the remainder would be doomed before the plague would expend its energies.

On this festive New Year’s Day in that Manchurian town, the mounted policeman’s horse had its tail brightly decorated with green and red streamers; a shop keeper burst merrily out upon a group in the street, scaring them with a bunch of firecrackers which he flung up into the air. A green house was decorated with bright red, gilt lettered posters, festive banners and green paper flags, all by way of celebration. Next door the yellow poster of the Sanitary Bureau was in evidence, sealing up that house, and marking it unclean; “eight dead, two dying,” are the tally with which it began the New Year. (Huber p. 353)

Sounds like our modern lifestyle: death looms around us but we just continue partying, ignoring it, until we have to go down that dark alley and have no choice but to confront the darkness, the gloom. Manchuria in the early 20th century doesn’t seem much different from Troy or Albany in the early 21st century.

“Eight dead, two dying.” Sound’s like Monty Python’s Cart Driver, “They’ve lost nine today.” Or like the handoff report in an ICU. Whether you’re tallying plague victims or scheduling body collections, or handing off your charges to the next shift, the language used tells it all: We’ve all become mere garbage bags laying about until we get collected, transported, disposed of. Don’t you think there should be more to the final chapter of a life lived, and the received legacy?

Plague: carting the dead, by Moynet
A cart with the dead.

“The carters that loaded the dead on the wagons and took them away would not walk, but sat companionably beside the corpses.”  (Huber p. 353)

And so do we in the 21st century. The 21st century carters load up the dead and take them away; the bereft sit complacently beside the corpses. One would hope that we have advanced a bit farther along than our ancestors, that we would observe the traditions handed down to us, perform the grief and mourning rituals so important to psychospiritual healing. Some of us do. Most haven’t a clue, and rely on the bean counters to guide them.

Direct Burial: Coffinless in Pits

“Nine hundred were buried coffinless in pits; above two thousand frozen corpses, in a most desolate stillness, awaited burial near the town, in a heap a quarter-mile long. Some coffins were in evidence, standing upright, without covers, the bodies erect in them; here an arm stuck upright out of its receptacle; there a naked leg protruded. Near the pile of which he was soon to become a member, was seen an outcast kneeling, worshipping, half falling in his weakness, as he bowed his head and rose again, before the grave of an ancestor.´ (Huber p. 353)

On the one hand we get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes at one of the funeral home chains or factory-funeral homes as described by a young licensed funeral director now employed by Newcomer Funerals and Cremations. On the other hand, we are presented with a feeble suffering wretch who, despite his own suffering, has not forgotten his obligations in continuing his bonds with the dead, one of whom he shall soon be. It’s a rich, telling image; in a sense very real but very metaphorical. Once you create that image in your mind, you’ll not soon forget it.

“[T]he plague was coming to its most dreadful stage, for it was now destroying the family affections…Thus, most gruesomely, does the twentieth century repeat the fourteenth.”  (Huber p. 354)

While Dr Huber is describing a real epidemic, the Manchurian Plague of 1910-11, and describes the Black Death of the 14th century that swept away a substantial part of medieval Europe’s population, we are faced with a more insidious plague that is robbing us of our core values to family and kin, both living and dead. Huber, a medical man, calls this the “most dreadful stage” because it was destroying the core of the culture, the bonds of family. I’d guess he’d probably go further to say that the 21st century repeats both the 14th and the 20th, but that our plague is materialist consumerism promoted by greed and the catastrophe of so-called individual choice.

“Next to the fear of death was the fear of desertion.” (Huber p. 354)

Early 20th century China had very strong family ties, ties of responsibility, filial piety. This sense of duty was the basis of the veneration of ancestors, a form of continuing bond with the dead, similar to the West’s veneration of its sacred dead, the saints. Huber is describing a fear of abandonment, of “desertion” to be on a par with the fear of death. In clinical practice, whether in the nursing home or the hospital setting, or hospice, we find persons who are ready to confront death but fear doing it alone; they have a fear of desertion. We might extend that fear of desertion to the bereaved, as well, but their desertion is far more subtle than committing the dying to some remote corner of the medical ICU or to a hospice facility. The bereaved are not only saddled with their loss but also with the daunting confrontation with the corporate funeral director with his endless list of goods and services with their respective prices. All is done with the sensitivity of an embalming trocar. What ever happened to the compassionate family funeral home and its director, frequently assisted by his family.

Black-Death-Plague-Doctor-Clothing

“Who, then, would be so foolhardy as to throw good life after bad, by nursing a dying friend, when the Black Death lay per chance in his last sign, in the farewell pressure of his hand. So the nearest and dearest ties were dissolved, the calls of kindred and humanity neglected; the sick left to die and to be carted to the grave by hirelings…” (Huber p. 354)

Indeed, who today would be so traditional as to give up his or her self-time to care for a dying relative or friend, especially one who is in the disturbing phases of life’s end. Most persons are ambivalent about the whole process: On the one hand they look to the death as something unbearable in its finality; on the other hand they just want to get it over with. The death occurs and the bereaved are fed the 20th century psychological pablum that their connection with the dead person has ended, that they have to get on with a productive life. That was Freud’s teaching: You had to cut your ties with the dead. Quite the opposite of that in the East or in traditional societies, and quite a contrast to what we now teach in the 21st century. We now teach continuing bonds with the dead, a transcendence phenomenon, meaning-making, that the living’s relationship with the deceased is not only normal and healthy, it’s encouraged! We do it in the rituals of the support group or in ways like the AIDS quilt. We may do it differently than the poor wretch venerating his ancestors described by Huber but we nonetheless do it. We do it because it’s the human thing we do. But it’s also so very inconvenient for the chains and the corporations; they don’t encourage humanity, they encourage production and consumerism. Take three days and get over your grief. Back to work with you. See you on Thursday.

“Boccaccio attests vividly how the human organism in all its phases—physical, spiritual, moral, intellectual—deteriorated in stamina and in co-ordination. Compassion, courage and the nobler feelings were found in but few; whilst cowardice, selfishness and ill-will, with the baser passions in their train asserted their supremacy. In place of virtue, which had been driven from the earth, wickedness everywhere reared its rebellious standard and succeeding generations were consigned to her baneful tyranny.”  (Huber p. 354)

Boccaccio here is describing the pitiful demise of humanity in the Middle Ages. We could describe the present state of affairs without changing a word, couldn’t we? Take a moment and go to the Newcomer Funeral Service Group or their Albany/Latham websites for Newcomer Funerals and Cremations and read their ridiculous claims of what they offer the bereaved. Go to the Service Corporation International site and read about their “compassion”, their caring, their sensitivity to the needs of the bereaved. That’s worse than General Motors telling you they care about your lower back pain. Yet how many consumers actually swallow that sordid brew. These factory-funeral corporations aren’t making billions because no one’s falling for the marketing hype, the sales pitches pressuring the bereaved in their most difficult moments to sign and buy. We say look at the lawsuits and how much they’re paying out for failing the bereaved, for causing the bereaved more suffering than they had ever bargained for.

“[t]he Black Death “seemed to arise the worst passions of the human heart, and to dull the spiritual sense of the soul.” Who would think, declared Papon, “that in the midst of horrors so suitable (it would seem) for extinguishing the passions, there were two—libertinism and greed—which should be carried to so high a degree!” (Huber p. 354)

Indeed! Who ever thought that liberties, individualism, choice could lead to the present situation we find ourselves in. How is it that human beings in their worst possible moments should be exposed to the worst possible motivations and motives of modern mankind: libertarianism and greed. Those very libertarians preaching choice and liberty are deeply rooted in the horrible hypocrisy that such choice and liberty give life to. The plague that is upon us now in the 21st century is not a plague that is carried by fleas, and it’s not a plague that kills in five days. Our 21st century plague is called materialist consumerism, market economy, capitalism and it’s carried by fellow human beings, and it kills insidiously but totally in mind, body and spirit. There’s no way to discern with any certainty the extent of the infection but one thing is certain, there’s no effective vaccine, and most people would not want to undergo the cure.

One woman was married five times in one day—four of the bridegrooms having been buriers of the dead, dressed in the clothes they had stripped from the bodies of the deceased.” (Huber p. 354)

Huber describes the total depravity of the people who now have lost all sense of morality and values, and who now in a devil-may-care attitude of let’s be merry because we’re dead anyway. He describes a woman who marries five men in succession who are carried away just as quickly. She describes those who profit from the belongings and property of the dead, whom they have stripped. For all of Jessica Mitford’s muckraking, she would have had a picnic with this line, somehow drawing a connection between these “buriers of the dead” and those “dressed in clothes they had stripped from the bodies of the deceased.”

Like horrors disgraced many other communities. He: is furnished another example—such as are so deplorably frequent in history of how fanatical frenzy, associated with hatred and the play of the baser passions, will work powerfully upon nations and peoples to the utter exclusion of the restraints of reason, of law, or of any other wholesome factor. And the greater part of those who, by their education and rank, might have been assumed to raise the deterrent voice of reason, themselves led on the savage mob to murder and to plunder the Jews. (Huber p. 355)

Throughout history, Satan has always been the “other”; humankind has never really been able to see its true self, it’s never been able to accept its shadow side. Huber is describing the desperate search for a cause of the plague and, then as now, hatred and baser passions take control, and the necessary scapegoat is found. Whatever doesn’t support the new agenda has to be demonized and sent packing. The dead are not producers, the bereaved are not efficient workers. The dead are distracting the living from their production or consumption. Make the dead and dying disappear, marginalize the traditions, deny grief, exploit the bereaved, then send them back to work. The voice of reason is muted. Our institutions teaching and training the healthcare and deathcare professionals teach technology and business law, not ethics and humanities. The mortuary science programs wouldn’t want to whisper a word against the multinational funeral chains and factory funeral homes, after all they pay the bills and hire the graduates. Why cut your own throat? Why bite the hands that pad your pockets? Of course they won’t hire anyone teaching real deathcare, psychospiritual support, tradition, ritual, healing. The bereaved are, after all, consumers. And you wouldn’t want to keep them from their producing activity for any longer than necessary. Besides, there’s always another body and we have to keep turning over the visitation rooms and chapel. Headquarters wants to see numbers, you know.

That the emotions played a part regarding the plague was observed by many. Those who were terrified were more prone to contract the disease. Those who feared not and were of a cheerful, equable mind were, to the extent at least of that benign influence upon the organism, the more likely to escape. Boccaccio, in writing the Decameron, recognized that pleasant thoughts were the best preventive….Those who despaired threw away their one chance of life; those of sanguine temperament resisted well. (Huber p. 355)

It’s really ironic that I should close with this passage from Huber’s article. Not really. What Huber is saying here is that if you despair you’re lost already. If you become complacent, you’re dead in the water. Those who step up, ask the questions like: Are you part of a funeral home chain? Are you owned by a funeral service corporation? Are you still family owned? will likely come out on top. It’s not necessarily the pleasant thoughts that get you through any plague, it’s the positive, affirmative thoughts that will prevent you from being taken for a ride. It’s really very true what Huber and Boccaccio are preaching here: You have to have the courage to ask the questions, to look beyond the bells and whistles, to see through the smoke screens, and to assert what you feel you need in your bereavement, not what’s on the corporate menu. The more you do your own thinking and planning the more likely you’ll escape the snares set by the corporate funeral directors. The article may have been written in 1911, over a hundred years ago, but it still has substantial relevance today. I hope to have shown that in my analysis.

Thus are all phases of individual existence mutually and inextricably interrelated: extensive and prolonged deterioration in any one aspect is bound in time to affect perniciously the others in time; such hideous psychic phenomena as are here stated do not obtain in the beginning of any such calamity as the Black Death. But it is the circumstance (and a most pathetic one) that the exercise of the heroic virtues for any lengthy period is contingent upon the maintenance of normal living conditions in general; otherwise the psychic stamina deteriorates, manners become dissolute, morals depraved and consciences debased. (Huber p. 355)

What Dr Huber is saying in this paragraph is that life events are intimately interrelated — I understand these life events to be the basis of our traditions and rituals — and that if we allow any of those events to be exploited or to lapse into irrelevance, all others will suffer as the result. Huber’s phrase “heroic virtues” equates with human values and ethical conduct, which logically rely on “normal” living in our society. When “psychic stamina deteriorates” we have a disturbance in coping and resilience, we forget the ritual and become lost, we forget our obligations, and our whole mindset, our worldview, deteriorates. This, in the 21st century, is what happens when we fall victim to the materialist consumerism of our age and become slave consumers of the corporations and their perverse messages.

And so you have it: From none other than Monty Python’s 1975 depiction of the Black Death, and from a physician writing in 1911 about the pneumonic plague in Manchuria, China, do we have the evidence that really nothing has changed; we have learned nothing. What more can one say?

Support Your Local Funeral Home

(And don’t forget to ask for some time with
the interfaith bereavement chaplain!
(518) 479-0525 or compassionate.care.associates@gmail.com)

 

Our Editor’s Response to the Newcomer-Facci Exposé

Update

A reliable source has reported that Mr Facci has allegedly been reprimanded by his Newcomer keepers for failure to comply with Newcomer policies. Surprised? He’s also been reported by his colleagues at Newcomer Funerals and Cremations for alleged noncompliance and misconduct. Could it be his mouth? His attitude? We also hear Facci’s taken down his Facebook page. Wonder Why? Facci’s really quite unhappy, we hear, and is considering relocating to Florida. We suggest Cuba. We wonder if he’s that immature to think his reputation won’t follow him? We can’t say that we didn’t expect these developments. Facci made his bed; now he has to sleep in it. Too bad he didn’t appreciate what he had from the start.


The Editor’s Response

We recently republished an article about a recently licensed funeral director, Mr Nicholas J. Facci, and his online activities, his relationships with former mentors and associates, and his recent hire by a local chain funeral services provider, Newcomer Funerals and Cremations (Albany and Latham), a member of the Newcomer Funeral Services Group, a Kansas based organization with funeral homes in some 10 states. We’d like to make our own statement on that article. We’d like to respond to some of the private comments we have received in response to the article, “Birds of a Feather? Lying down with dogs? The Politics of Funeral Corporations….”


Despite the appearances and although Nick Facci is plastered all over the Internet as being associated with Riverview Funeral Home and Simple Choices Cremations, he was fired from his employment with Riverview and Simple Choices; furthermore, Facci has published numerous times on his Facebook page that he is no longer associated with Riverview or Simple Choices. He has recently been hired by the Newcomer funeral home chain, a “Walmart-type” provider, and is now working in the Albany-Latham area.


We vetted the author and verified the sources of the article. The facts were true and the majority of them came either from public sources, the Troy Record newspaper, or from Mr Facci’s own Facebook page. The facts, opinions and conclusions stated by the author were credible and truthful, and based on research of information available to anyone who is interested.

Some readers — apparently those with short attention spans — have suggested that the article is a bit long-winded. Yes. The article is a bit longer than our typical article, and while it may be a bit hard on Mr Facci, we feel that given the circumstances and Mr Facci’s conduct as well as the environment in which Mr Facci is employed, the article is important and the facts and conclusions are of significant interest to the pubic. We had and continue to have  the opportunity and the control to edit material out of the article but we chose not to do so. We continue to stand by the author and the content of the article. As for being hard on Mr Facci, Whose fault is that? The facts are the facts.

That having been said, we’d like to make some editorial remarks about some of the feedback we’ve been receiving from readers, both in the funeral services business, consumers of those services, and persons who just found the article of interest. We would like to note that we have information that Facci, Newcomer and some of the funeral directors who know Facci have been very responsive but have kept their responses pretty much under wraps. That’s how the funeral profession is, we guess. Others with personal knowledge have come forward with their information. Nothing we have received so far indicates that the article is in any way misleading or untruthful. Far from it. Most of what we have received so far actually confirms the author’s facts.

Here, in a nutshell, are our responses to the article and to our readers’ responses:

The article has been vetted and found to be substantially true in its facts. As our regular readers and followers are aware, we are very diligent in assuring that what we publish on the Smalbany blog is factually true and credible. Our community of readers and followers also know that we don’t take sides, and our sole purpose is journalistic integrity and community service. Enough said.

The author of the article was vetted and found to be reliable. The author of the article has no personal, political or economic interest in publishing the facts of the article. The author of the article is a well-known figure who has a fine reputation, is known for his defense of truth and ethics, and has excellent professional qualifications. The author is credible and the facts truthful.

Mr Facci is responsible for his conduct and his statements. The article points out a disturbing trend in the funeral services industry, how funeral director candidates are educated, trained and licensed, the importance of ethics in the funeral services profession, and the fact that poor education and immaturity can result in serious detriment to the reputation of the funeral services profession and significant injury to the customers served by unscrupulous providers. While we feel our funeral directors and family funeral homes provide a necessary and very important service to those who have lost a loved one, we have our concerns about the direction the funeral services business has been taken by the corporations and funeral home chains. We also share the author’s concerns about the quality of the people working for these funeral home chains and their motivations, and their character. These are all reasonable concerns and are presented in the article.

The article may have scared the hell out of Facci and/or Newcomer and Facci was forced to remove his Facebook posts but removing them doesn’t undo the fact that they were posted, read, and noted. Just because he removed his posts doesn’t undo the fact that he posted them in the first place. Unfortunately for Mr Facci, he can’t undo the Troy Record article and the statements he made in that article. Too bad, Mr Facci!

Unlike Facci’s former employer, we do not underestimate Facci nor are we ready to present our back to him for target practice. We are monitoring these developments closely and have our ears to the ground, so to speak.

It is all about Mr Facci, not about the author. As stated above, the article points out Mr Facci’s character and professional flaws, using Mr Facci as a so-called stereotype of a trend in the industry. The article is about Mr Facci and how he got to where he is, wherever that may be. The article is about how one immature and flawed individual can manipulate situations for his own selfish benefit, and how even veteran professionals and a large funeral home chain can be taken in by such a person.

One commenter suggested that Newcomer has a “file” on the author. Our response was: “Big deal!” If Facci or Newcomer feel that they have something interesting about the author of the article, share it! If it’s good information, we’d love to know about it. But all things considered, we can’t imagine what they could have because we’ve already checked. The so-called “file” may be printouts from anonymous Internet sites, anonymous blurbs by critics who don’t have the guts to use their real names, or sociopaths who think they have an ax to grind. No doubt, if Mr Facci had anything to do with the assembly of any file it must involve some breach of confidentiality or other unethical practice. Sorry, gentlemen and ladies, that’s not the kind of information or the sources we tend to use on this blog. Hard facts and reliable sources are what you get here. Our suggestion: Go stuff your file!

For the sake of argument, even if the author has a skeleton or two in the closet, what difference would that make. None at all. If the facts are true as presented in the article, nothing in a so-called “file” about the author can change Mr Facci’s character or conduct, nor can it justify Newcomer Funeral Services Group (Kansas) or Newcomer Funerals and Cremations (Latham and Albany) in deciding to hire Facci without even checking with his former employer(s). And if Newcomer had checked with Facci’s former employer and hired him anyway, despite the facts disclosed and Facci’s unethical conduct, Shame on Newcomer! The article is about Facci and Newcomer, not about the author.

Silence is an admission of complicity. We provide ample opportunity for anyone with something to say to say it by leaving a comment. If no one comes forward with contrary facts we have to assume that they have no defense. Fair enough. After the appearance of the article, Mr Facci was very quick to clean up his Facebook posts and many of his scandalous posts disappeared (fortunately we had already collected some of them such as those exposed in the article). A number of persons who know Facci either personally or professionally have provided comments by email or by electronic message confirming the facts in the article. Other parties have contacted us with concerns that the article could be misinterpreted. Alternative interpretations are in the head of the reader, not in the text of the article.

We are grateful for the comments about the facts. Any time we receive confirmation of facts or clarification of the facts we are very grateful because we place great value on the quality of the information we provide. Regrettably, most commenters don’t have the ability to comment, and tend to rewrite. Those comments are worthless and they don’t get published.

As for the concern that the article could be misinterpreted. Misinterpreted? How? Does it make Facci’s former employer look bad? We think not. Facci’s former employer has an outstanding reputation; even Facci made that clear in the Troy Record article, even while Facci was badmouthing Newcomer! Facci’s former employer did everything possible to teach Facci the trade and to get him through the licensing process. Even so, Facci bit the hand that literally fed him. It’s ridiculous for anyone to suggest that Facci’s mentor should have been able to have second guessed Facci’s devious mind. We cannot take responsibility for the state of mind of some readers. The article is pretty clear. If some bleeding heart wants to make believe that Facci’s conduct is excusable, that’s their problem. If some hard-nose wants to lynch Facci or Newcomer, while we wouldn’t go that far, we can’t control such a reaction. The article says what it says, no more no less. Repeat: Alternative interpretations are in the head of the reader, not in the text of the article.

Again and again and again, we have stated in our articles that we don’t want to take control of minds, we only want to get them working, thinking, and learning about what’s going on in our communities. That’s all. Our readers are free to make any decision they feel is right; we just provide the facts.

Our personal take on the situation: If Mr Facci were an elected official or a municipal employee, or if Mr Facci were a doctor, a dentist, a car dealer, whatever, we’d have the same response to the conduct and character described in the article: He’s got problems. He needs to fix those problems. Anyone who knows about his problems and continues to do business with him or hires him assumes responsibility for those flaws and problems and the repercussions. The same applies to Facci. In fact, we hold Facci’s feet to the fire particularly because he is in the position he is in. Facci is responsible for what he did, said and posted. Facci was fired from his former position when his employer had had enough of Facci’s shenanigans. Facci had even prepared for that possibility and was already providing a way out for that eventuality. Newcomer chose to ignore these facts and hired Facci. Newcomer now has to deal with those facts having been made public. Either Newcomer is willing to carry Facci’s baggage for him or they can free themselves of him; it’s their choice, and Newcomer has to live with the consequences.

We have also been informed that one person who provided Facci with a letter of recommendation actually demanded that Newcomer Funeral Service Group disregard that recommendation. The person making the recommendation, upon learning of Facci’s conduct, decided to withdraw the recommendation for reasons of conscience.

Facci and Newcomer are the authors of their own crisis. To be honest while not violating a confidence, it must be said that when the article first appeared, Facci’s former employer wrote to us requesting that we remove the article. Here is a guy who has sustained considerable damage to his business done by Facci, and he’s asking that the exposé be removed. We politely declined to remove the article. But that’s how funeral directors are. They are so used to doing their jobs and remaining behind the scenes, not intruding that they tend for forgive and not to make waves. That’s why Facci is such an interesting subject because he doesn’t care as long as he comes out on top. He’s an individual that the article uses to draw attention to the way the funeral home chains and corporations are changing the politics of death and deathcare. It’s not pretty.

Facci and Newcomer are not the only players in this dirty game. Without offering any excuses for Facci’s conduct or Newcomer’s choice of employees, we cannot avoid pointing an accusing finger at the Hudson Valley Community College Mortuary Sciences Program and the New York State Bureau of Funeral Directing, and the New York State Department of Health, all of which have their fingers in the pie. As organizations involved thickly in the training and education, the oversight, and the licensing of funeral homes and funeral directors, those organizations should be put in the spotlight. While we are informed that the Hudson Valley Community College Mortuary Sciences Program curriculum was put on hold and substantially revamped last year, it remains to be seen whether that has any concrete effect on the quality of candidates it churns out. Is Facci a perp or a victim? Is Newcomer a perp or a victim? What is Warren “Ren” Newcomer,  and Arthur Fitch, manager of Newcomer Funerals and Cremations in Albany and Latham, doing to defuse the situation? Jury is still out on those questions.

Mr Facci and Newcomer Funerals and Cremations have another reason to be grateful. Mr Facci had to be reminded to be grateful to his former employer and mentor for the fine training and formation he received. We mentioned that  in our original article. Mr Facci’s former employer and mentor has again asked that we withdraw the article; he’d like to put the experience behind him. While we don’t agree to letting Facci or Newcomer off the hook that easily, we have considered the request, and on compassionate grounds, have complied with the request as of March 31. This is an unusual action taken only at the request of the victim of an offence, we do not routinely remove an article from public view, unless we are convinced that  the victim might benefit. While the article is no longer visible to the general public, it still exists and, if a reader makes a specific request to rcs.confidential@gmail.com for access to the article, we will provide a password for accessing the article; otherwise it will not be visible to the wider public. Mr Facci and Newcomer Funeral Services Group will continue to be monitored, if only to ensure that they do not engage in any further self-destructive behavior, however.

All that having been said, we can’t ignore such headlines as, “Funeral Chain Exploits Demise of Tradition,” which asks the question “Newcomer Family Mortuary ignored industry taboos by advertising discount funerals on television. Will competition usurp tradition in this high-growth industry?” That article was nothing less than current, relevant and prophetic article and appeared in the online magazine Inc. It’s an historic article but could have been published today.

As usual, if our readers have anything to add, comments to make, information to provide, we will be very grateful if you leave a public comment by using the comment feature on this page, or if you want to leave a more confidential message please use our email at rcs.confidential@gmail.com.

Reminder: Mr Facci’s former employer and mentor asked that the original article be withdrawn. We do not withdraw articles but in compromise and out of respect for Mr Facci’s former employer and mentor,  we have restricted access to the original article by requiring a password. Readers interested in accessing the original article may request a password by making a request to rcs.confidential@gmail.com.

Thank you all for your interest and loyalty. It’s now a time for healing.

The Editor

 

 

Coxsackie Dental Arts/Kurt Froehlich on Professional Misconduct Watch List

Wrapping Up 2016

First of all, we’d like to thank our many thousands of readers for their generous moral support over the past couple of years to make the Smalbany blog one of the most-read blogs in the region. If it weren’t for the contributions and leads from our many readers and followers, we wouldn’t be able to bring the news and the truth to so many avid readers. Thank you all! And best wishes for a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year 2017!

 

Coxsackie Dental Arts, West Coxsakie, and Kurt Froehlich, Dentist

froehlich

Froehlich posing for his prey.

We have received information that Kurt Froehlich of Coxsackie Dental Arts in West Coxsackie, has been investigated by the New York State Department of Education, Professional Misconduct Enforcement investigation unit, and has been put on a watch list, and will be “in the system” should any further complaints be received about him.

This successful and very happy event is the result of a local resident’s formal complaint filed with the NYSDoE, the state department responsible for licensing professionals and for disciplining misconduct in New York state. We reported on the complaint last year, and followed up with a number of very negative reviews of Coxsackie Dental Arts and Froehlich in our article Fraud, Crook, Liar — Keep Your Mouth Shut When You’re at Coxsackie Dental Arts in which we expose his crooked and sleazy practices aimed at taking advantage of unwary patients.

trott

Bruce Trott

Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts came to our attention when several local residents contacted this blog with a request to investigate and to expose Froehlich and his unethical practices at Coxsackie Dental Arts. The reports ranged from alleged insurance fraud, to overcharging, to charging for work he did not do, and multiple other abuses. A search of the sites on which patients can rate dentists and physicians revealed a large number of negative comments about Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts. We found that many of the complaints confirmed each other, including the fact that Froehlich charges up to 3x what other local dentists charge for the same work, and bills patients’ insurance even before the work is done, in one case depleting the patient’s insurance coverage while allegedly falsifying the patient’s records. This was discovered by another local dentist consulted by the patient.

Coxsackie Dental Arts dentist Kurt Froehlich appearing in court.

Coxsackie Dental Arts dentist Kurt Froehlich appearing in court.

Froehlich has a great trick to get into your pockets. First his office manager will hand you a pile of forms to read and sign. So you think they’re the usual benign forms you always get to sign when you go into a medical or dental office. READ THEM AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. You see, Froehlich thinks that if you get handed a ream of paper, you’ll just scan and sign. Most people do. But you must read them because Froehlich or his shyster friend Kinderhook lawyer, James “Pudgey” Kleinbaum (YES! Another JINO!) have concealed in those seemingly innocent forms clauses that make you liable for ANYTHING, even work Froehlich has not done!!! Froehlich and his JINO lawyer recently dragged a local resident into court suing the resident for work that Froehlich claimed he did but didn’t do. The resident even brought in a letter from his usual dentist and dental records clearly showing that Froehlich didn’t do the work. But of course, in Cairo town court and with the likes of Lehland Miller hearing the case — Miller get his instructions from the lawyers appearing before him, doesn’t know shit from Shinola about the law — and so Froehlich’s lawyer told town justice Lehland Miller what to say and what to do, and the stupid hick did as he was told. Meanwhile, Froehlich’s standing there like a mini-Jabba the Hutt lying his way through the proceedings.  Decided against the resident, who was refused his rights to present his evidence. Local justice at its finest!

Lawyer James Kleinbaum (Kinderhook JINO) made up for court.

Lawyer James Kleinbaum (Kinderhook JINO) made up for court.

Oddly enough, Froehlich appears to have recruited a corpselike creature, Bruce Trott, to join the Coxsackie Dental Arts den of thieves. Trott must really need a job badly if he has to practice with the likes of Froehlich!

In our well-founded opinion, Kurt Froehlich and anyone working with him at Coxsackie Dental Arts, should be tarred and feathered and run out of town. Froehlich, a JINO (Jew in name only) is an insult to any ethical Jew and to the dental profession overall. Froehlich needs to leave West Coxsackie and Coxsackie Dental Arts should be avoided like trench mouth!

Froehlich is  apparently creating ratings for himself on the Internet

In our experience, it appears that Froehlich is constantly re-inventing an image on the Internet, and he’s apparently creating ratings for himself and for CDA, in order to counteract the negative image his unethical and crooked business practices have created. He’s really a sleaze and we wouldn’t put anything past that bastard.

As mentioned in our previous article on Coxsackie Dental Arts and Froehlich, Froehlich has a job with a practice in Port Jervis, NY, Aesthetic Family Dentistry (Dr. Seth Horn and Dr. Dide Tosyali, 155 East Main Street, Port Jervis, NY 12771), and he’s there on Fridays, which means he has to close the Coxsackie office on Thursday afternoon. Aesthetic Family Dentistry must be scraping the bottom of the barrel if they need the likes of Froehlich. And if Froehlich’s practice is so great in Coxsackie, why would he need a second job in Port Jervis? Sounds like he’s not doing all that well in Coxsackie for obvious reasons. Check out our article Fraud, Crook, Liar — Keep Your Mouth Shut When You’re at Coxsackie Dental Arts for more information.

If you have had any negative experiences with Coxsackie Dental Arts and Kurt Froehlich, please let us know. We acting as the clearing house for complaints against Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts in this area. There are a number of people in our community who have been screwed badly by Froehlich and need your support. Help us to clean up our community and let’s get together to rid our community of the crooks, liars, and frauds. (Let us know if you need help in filing a complaint. We can provide you the name of the investigator and the address for the investigations department.)

monster-dentist

Steer Clear of Coxsackie Dental Arts and Kurt Froehlich!



Bob Krug’s Barking Dog Nuissance and New Baltimore Town Hall

Bob Krug’s constantly barking dog and the New Baltimore Town Board incompetence

We reported on the problem of National Historic Resident and convicted bank robber Bob Krug’s constantly barking dog and the New Baltimore Town Board incompetence in enforcing New Baltimore Animal Control Law to bring some peace and quiet to residents in the NHD.

We reported that New Baltimore Animal Control Officer Joseph Tanner, holds a full time job with the Department of Transportation, while receiving about $4,000 a year in salary plus mileage, and a cell phone paid for by the town as Animal Control Officer. Our question was how can he enforce town law when he’s miles away. The answer we found when we demanded town records was: HE CAN’T! And he doesn’t.

Definition of Stupidity

Definition of Stupidity

Stupid is Defined, Mr Dellisanti, as doing the same thing over and again and expecting different results!

We demanded that something be done by the Town of New Baltimore to bring peace and quiet to the suffering neighbors in the National Historic District, who have to put up with listening to the barking dog day-in-day-out, sometimes all day long, and even on Saturday and Sunday included. Entertainment provided by Bob and Bonnie Krug and courtesy of the Tow

New Baltimore Supervisor Dellisanti: Nope! No dorgs barking 'ear!

New Baltimore Supervisor Dellisanti: Nope! No dorgs barking ‘ear!
[That’s because all the “dorgs” are in Town Hall!]

n of New Baltimore Animal Control Officer Joe Tanner. So New Baltimore Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, feeling a mild surge of testosterone, decided he would man-up and “check out the situation” on his way to do his weekly “park inspections.” Mr Dellisanti reported back to the upset resident that he, Dellisanti, had been by the Krugs several times over the period of several weeks and heard no barking dog. What Mr Dellisanti did not report is that he drove by the Krugs property every Sunday at the very same time in the morning. We all know the definition of STUPID don’t we? (See the Stupid Elf, above.) Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Right? So what do we call Mr Dellisanti who drives by on the same day of the week at the same time and expects to find something different? You guessed it!

We know for a fact and have personally investigated the barking dog kept on Robert and Bonnie Krug’s  property in the National Historic District of New Baltimore, and we have verified by personal visit that the dog is barking almost constantly at any given time of the day, even on Christmas and New Year’s day (both Sundays!). One of Krug’s neighbors stated to us that, “Their dog needs daycare!” If Mr Tanner or Mr Dellisanti had the brains and balls to stop and ask the Krugs’ neighbors about the problem, they might have done the community the service that they are being paid for as town officials. But that might take brains, balls and some effort. They don’t have any of these.

We hope New Baltimore voters remember the names of the town board members who pull this sort of crapola: Dellisanti, Ruso … We’ll be reminding voters before the next elections. We have in the past demanded that Joe Tanner be fired, since he can’t possibly do the job he’s being paid to do. He’s still on the payroll and the dog’s still barking!


New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan: “Let them sue us!”

Late last year, in about October 2015, we started reporting on the New Baltimore Highway Department’s failure to maintain drainage installations in the National Historic District. One resident has been keeping tabs on the Highway Department’s incompetence under the supervision of Mr Denis Jordan for about 6 years, but over that period, despite getting regular reports, complaints, and notices, the Town of New Baltimore did nothing, and Denis Jordan ignored both residents and the town board.

In our article New Baltimore Town Supervisor Dellisanti to Resident: “When does this turn into Harassment?” (published in November 2016), we reported on the residents multiple requests for a traffic cone to mark a dangerous hazard created by Jordan and his circus monkeys on New Street. We also reported on the damage to the foundation of a residential structure caused by Jordan’s failure to maintain storm drains, drainage ditches, and culverts in the National Historic District of New Baltimore. The water draining from the road surface and the overgrown and non-functioning drains caused water to flow into the building’s foundation and the building is now unusable and collapsing. In September 2016, Town Supervisor Dellisanti, Deputy Town Supervisor Ruso, Town Boad Member Shelly vanEtten together with Jordan and his Deputy, Scott vanWormer, participated in a show and tell tour led by a local resident. Two days later, Jordan and his crews were digging up New Street. When asked to stop work to discuss the work and how it was to solve the problems, the resident offered to provide photos and measurements to help solve the problem, Jordan never responded. When pushed by the town board, Jordan responded, “Let them sue us.”

When Deputy Supervisor Jeff Ruso remarked that a culvert seemed to be going nowhere, and the New Baltimore Highway Department Deputy Supervisor, Scott vanWormer and his crew followed the culvert to discover a storm drain buried under several inches of soil, remarked that in some 18 years he never knew that the storm drain (or the culvert) were there! Wonder why there’s a drainage problem? Says a lot, too, for the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department meeting it’s maintenance responsibilities under the law. Actually, the New Baltimore Town Board could get rid of that imbecile Denis Jordan but they don’t have the cojones or the political guts to do that. Instead, they’ll let him waste taxpayer money, cause as much damage as he can, then he can retire and collect a hefty pension. Now that’s good government, isn’t it?

All that’s going down the drains in New Baltimore, it seems, is taxpayer money!

Well, now the residents are suing the Town of New Baltimore, and initial hearings have been held with the Town of New Baltimore’s insurance company’s lawyers. The evidence is very powerful in showing the town’s negligence and the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department’s fault in causing the damage. In fact, evidence shows that the work done by Jordan and the Highway Department made matters even worse after they dug up New Street and they never fixed the problem of water draining into the foundations of the damaged building; in fact, they made it worse. This is how New Baltimore’s taxpayer dollars are being spent.

We reported on the hole and the sharp grate in our article “We asked for a traffic cone … to prevent this …

The residents have on multiple occasions advised the Town of New Baltimore that the hazard created by Denis Jordan and the New Baltimore Highway Department is even worse now that the hole is filled with leaves and snow, and the jagged sharp metal of the grating in the hole will tear flesh and tires. But the Town of New Baltimore has refused to even provide a traffic cone to mark the hazard.

money-down-the-drain

There are several other complaints and an ongoing lawsuit against the Town of New Baltimore because of the New Baltimore Highway Department’s mismanagement and incompetence. All that’s going down the drains in New Baltimore, it seems, is taxpayer money!

At this point, the residents intend to contact the town’s insurance company, Trident, to make a direct claim for the damage and to point out the indifference and the negligence of the town and its officers and employees, asking how Trident can justify insuring a town that doesn’t lift a finger to protect its interests or the interests of its residents, property owners and taxpayers.

If you have similar problems, we’d like to hear from you, too. The Town of New Baltimore is treading on thin ice with its insurance company. A couple of years ago the Town of New Baltimore couldn’t get insurance. Wonder why? Once the cat hits the fan and Trident is advised of what’s going on in New Baltimore, New Baltimore may not have any insurance. And you’ll know who to thank for that, won’t you?


Well, that’s a start for our recap of 2016. We’ll move on to Ravena and Coeymans shortly. But we did want to bring these couple of current and continuing issues to the attention of our friends in New Baltimore. If we can be of any help, please let us know.

Another happy Coxsackie Dental Arts patient! Don't let this happen to you! The Editor

Another happy Coxsackie Dental Arts patient!
Don’t let this happen to you!
The Editor


Upcoming Articles

  • Coeymans Police Department: Chief McKenna more than $61,000 under Budget. Why are Crandall and Youman’s trying to screw things up?
  • Progress Report: Lawsuits against the Town of New Baltimore.
  • Town of Cairo Justice Court: Justice Leland Miller is a Lawyer Lackey! Miller scared of attorneys and gets led around by his snotty nose. Formal Complaint to be Submitted to New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
  • Exposé of Town and Village Courts. Why they need to be abolished. Some local examples from New Baltimore, Coeymans, Ravena, and Cairo.
  • Local Resident to Break Biggest Story Ever to Smalbany! We’re investigating. Details to be published soon!
 

Fraud, Crook, Liar — Keep Your Mouth Shut When You’re at Coxsackie Dental Arts

If you’re thinking about changing dentists or are looking for a dentist in the Coxsackie area, steer well clear of Coxsackie Dental Arts and Kurt Froehlich. And if you’re in the Port Jervis, NY, area, and are considering Aesthetic Family Dentistry (Dr. Seth Horn and Dr. Dide Tosyali, 155 East Main Street, Port Jervis, NY 12771), Think again! Aesthetic Family Dentistry obviously doesn’t take great pains in vetting who they share their patients with.

BEWARE Kurt Froehlich Coxsackie Dental Arts

BEWARE
Kurt Froehlich
Coxsackie Dental Arts

He’s not local and travels to Coxsackie from his downstate lair, and lives in a small room in the building housing Coxsackie Dental Arts. He travels back downstate on Thursdays so that he can work at Aesthetic Family Dentistry in Port Jervis. His unethical business practices and abuse of patients in Coxsackie must be profitable enough for him to come to Coxsackie for those 4 days a week. We say he has to go. He has to get out of town and fast. He has to go before a NYS professional misconduct disciplinary panel and have his licence revoked. He has to go to jail for insurance fraud. If you have any experience with this quack, we want to know; email us at rcs.confidential @ gmail.com. Help to clean up our community!

We’ve been watching Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts for about a year now, and we have received a number of really disturbing reports about this guy who can be considered only as a carpetbagger taking advantage of suffering people in our community. Here’s one review you can find on the Internet, and it’s not the only one:

Kurt Froehlich is a fraud, a crook and a liar. Watch out for his so-called “Financial Agreement” you may have signed in his office! He’ll use that to charge you for anything and anything. Don’t rely on your insurance coverage; that Financial Agreement authorizes him to charge you anything above what your insurance covers and YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE!!! There are numerous complaints against Froehlich, even reports of fraudulent billing.

Cairo Town Justice Leland Miller

Cairo Town Justice Leland Miller

Yes, dear readers, you really need to think about that stack of documents you’re handed and asked to sign when you go to your doctor or dentist for treatment. Especially if that dentist is Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts. You may very well be signing your insurance coverage, your bank account, your health away and have little or no rights left when you need them most. That’s Coxsackie Dental Arts’ and Kurt Froehlich’s game. Apparently when you want to get treatment from this crook, you have to sign a stack of papers, including his sneaky “Financial Agreement“, which Froehlich will use to charge you anything for anything he pleases. Yes! If you sign that “Financial Agreement”, Froehlich will use it to make you liable for anything your insurance doesn’t pay. He bills your insurance company way higher than they pay so that he gets as much as he can from your insurance and Guess who’s liable for what your insurance doesn’t pay?!? And if you don’t pay this insult to all decent Jews, his hired gun Scheister will haul your sorry ass into court and flash the “Financial Agreement” in the face of some dumbass town justice (Like Joe Farrell or former town justiceLee Davis (New Baltimore) or Leland Miller (Cairo)), who don’t know their asses from their elbow and are scared shiteless of any attorney, and Guess what? You’re in debt to Kurt Froehlich and you don’t even know Why? Well, dear friends, we’re telling you Why? right here and now.

Froehlich runs Coxsackie Dental Arts in Coxsackie, New York, but is from downstate, Port Jervis, or that area. He spends Monday to Thursday in a room somewhere in the building where he operates his scam practice. And he returns downstate on Thursday afternoons to practice on Fridays at Aesthetic Family Dentistry in Port Jervis.

Kurt Froehlich bleeds Coxsackie residents of their lifeblood and then goes back to Port Jervis to enjoy his takings. No, he doesn’t contribute to this community, unless it’s to its bad reputation for being a bunch of hicks ready to be used by downstaters and carpetbaggers like Froehlich.
We’ve done some research, obviously, on Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts, and what we’ve found isn’t pretty. So if you have a weak stomach or are easily depressed, you should reconsider reading on. If you want to be informed and avoid loosing your pants to a crook, liar and fraud, you need to read on.

First of all, even before we review any of the reviews on the Internet, we want to be clear that we have interviewed persons who have contacted us and reported their terrible experiences with Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts. Here are just a couple of the reports:

monster-dentist

DP reported how she went to Froehlich for some minor repairs and got his pitch for more and more “required” work. He did a root canal and allegedly broke the file he was using to ream the root of the tooth and, according to DP, never told her what happened. She found out only after she went to another dentist, who pointed out the broken instrument in her tooth. Froehlich also claimed to have put in 5 fillings and DP’s dentist told her that was a load of crapola. The new dentist could identify only 3. In short, DP was very distraught because Froehlich had gobbled up all of her insurance and allegedly had handed her a load of steaming bullshit in return.

In another case, the patient allegedly didn’t have insurance, so Froehlich demanded that he write a number of post-dated checks to cover his treatment. No doubt Froehlich padded that bill to finance his greedy fat gut.

In another case, the patient went to Froehlich simply to have a temporary crown repaired before a trip. The patient called Coxsackie Dental Arts because he was unable to get a non-emergency short notice appointment with his regular dentist, and wanted to avoid problems while traveling. Froehlich gave his pitch for a crazy amount of work for a crazy amount of money but the patient insisted that Froehlich do only what the patient requested: check the temp and repair it, if necessary. The patient’s regular dentist had already prepped the teeth, placed the temps in, and had the permanents ready to cement in. All of that work was done and paid for in full by the patient’s insurance coverage. Froehlich wanted $2400 and insisted on $1200 down, in advance. Froehlich seems to assume that everyone is as crazy stupid as he thinks they are in Coxsackie.

Well, this patient would have none of the bullshit when Froehlich asked for a post-dated check, and just to get out of the office, the patient gave a credit card number, which Froehlich billed almost immediately. What’s worse, still, is that even though the patient told Froehlich he didn’t want any further work done until he returned from his trip and could discuss it, Froehlich went ahead and billed the patient’s insurance company for the full amount of the proposed treatment (this is illegal and fraud), which the patient had refused! If that’s not bad enough, Froehlich billed the insurance company twice for the initial visit.

While traveling, the temporaries installed by Froehlich’s bumbling dental assistant fell out. The patient couldn’t get in touch with Froehlich and got only a recorded message telling him to go to an emergency room! The following Monday, the patient tried to contact Froehlich’s office and got a recorded message. He tried again at noon and got a recorded message. Finally he sent an email and got a return call telling him to get some Fixadent!!!

The long and the short of this is that the patient told Froehlich to stop any work or plans until the patient returned from his trip, because the patient didn’t know what was going on, but was still very uneasy about the quality of the work done by Froehlich’s assistant. Get this: While in the chair, the patient saw Froehlich driving away through the window and the dental assistant confirmed it was Froehlich. Froehlich was not available when the dental assistant was having trouble with the patient’s temps and Froehlich never came in to see the patient after the dental assistant had finished his mess. Of course, not! Froehlich wasn’t even in the building!!!

Add Insurance Fraud to the Long List of Froehlich's Abuses

Add Insurance Fraud to the Long List of Froehlich’s Abuses

Not only did Froehlich break every insurance rule in the book, he fraudulently billed for services not rendered, he broke NYS dentistry law and made his dental assistant liable for violating licensing law.

To add insult to injury — and this is where Froehlich’s scandalous “Financial Agreement” comes into play — Froehlich dragged the patient into small claims court for the amount billed to the insurance company and which the insurance company refused to pay because the work had already been done and paid for, and in small claims court (Cairo Justice Court, Leland Miller, town justice) heaped lie upon lie with the help of his Scheister from Kinderhook. Apart from the lies, Froehlich produced the so-called “Financial Agreement” and claimed that required the patient to pay him the full amount of the services never requested, never needed, and never rendered!!! Cairo town justice Leland Miller (another big disappointment but what can we expect from hicks in black robes?) is to give his decision in 30 days. Let’s wait to see if we can get a final report on this one. In the meantime steer clear of Coxsackie Dental Arts and Kurt Froehlich.

Editor’s Note: We’ve seen a copy of Froehlich’s so-called “Financial Agreement”, and can say that it is the tool of a real sneak. It looks very innocent but so does a cyanide capsule. Whatever you do, DONOT SIGN any such “Financial Agreement”. Most insurance companies require their providers to agree to accept the amounts the insurance pays as full payment for the services, and the provider (the dentist, doctor, etc.) agrees to those terms. You should not have to pay anything but your co-pay, unless of course you get sucked in by the likes of Kurt Froehlich at Coxsackie Dental Arts. You are entitled also to a complete description of any work to be done and to a written treatment plan. You must sign an informed consent for the work to be done, agreeing to that work. You can request an itemized list of treatments proposed by the provider and their costs. In most instances, especially in dentistry, you should insist on a pre-approval or predetermination from your insurance company that approves the treatment and the amount to be paid by the insurance company. Never write post-dated checks when asked by the likes of Froehlich. If necessary, use a credit card so that you can dispute any charges later and have the case investigated by your credit card company. Once someone like Froehlich cashes your check you’ll NEVER see that money again. We also strongly recommend that, before you leave the dentist’s office,  you make certain you get a copy of any and all documents your dentist or the office manager asks you to sign. Also, make certain you request a copy of your dental records and patient notes made during the visit. (We have reason to believe that some dentists — we won’t mention any names — alter or edit their notes if they get into a sticky situation. That’s highly illegal but who’s going to know?) Always remember: There’s no sure and good defense against a sneak and a liar.

types-of-dental-fraud

Kurt Froehlich bleeds Coxsackie residents of their lifeblood and then goes back to Port Jervis to enjoy his ill-gotten gains. No, he doesn’t contribute to this community, unless it’s to its bad reputation for being a bunch of hicks ready to be used by downstaters and carpetbaggers like Froehlich.

We’ve done some research, obviously, on Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts, and what we’ve found isn’t pretty. So if you have a weak stomach or are easily depressed, you should reconsider reading on. If you want to be informed and avoid loosing your pants to a crook, liar and fraud, you need to read on.

First of all, even before we review any of the reviews on the Internet, we want to be clear that we have interviewed persons who have contacted us and reported their terrible experiences with Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts.

On the one hand we are generally cautious when using ratings of services we find on the Internet but given the reports we received from local persons having such horrible experiences, we can believe some of the reports we’ve found on the medical and dental rating sites, and we’re sharing some of them below:

Kurt Froehlich: "But you really need to have this done!"

Kurt Froehlich: “But you really need to have this done!”

From Rate MDs (https://www.ratemds.com/doctor-ratings/118672/Dr-Kurt+D.-Froehlich-Coxsackie-NY.html, last accessed on October 27, 2016) publishes these:

⇒ Stay far away from this con artist. He will try to sell you a finance plan and then he proceeds to do dental work you do not need and the workmanship is the worst. You won’t know this immediately. He has a horrible “bedside” manner and yelled at me in front of his staff that he needed money to keep the office running. I had paid him $3000 already and he was basically bullying me into another payment. I had to use my home equity to pay him. Suffice to say, here I am 5 years later and the work he did fell apart, I have had other dentists have to repair it which cost me an additional $5,000 so far and I am not done. RUN, don’t walk away from this quack. RUN. I am writing this as a warning to you. Don’t listen to the folks that are there that day and walk away. Listen to someone that was a patient and has had work that has fallen apart because it never should have been done and the workmanship was shoddy!

⇒ They Performed unnecessary and expensive procedures. But what really irked me was that, instead of addressing something elementary, they always tend to gravitate towards more complicated, and therefore expensive, procedures. Case in point – I had a filling done and after a few weeks, experienced pain in the same area. The Dr looked at the X-ray and suggested that the filling was done too close to the root. I explained that the filling was actually done there – the response? – Get a root canal and it should be. Immediately contacted another dentist whom correctly diagnosed that the impact on the tooth was causing the excessive pain, did some basic grinding and all is fine…saved a bunch!

⇒ After having my appointment rescheduled, their appointment person wrote down a different date on the appointment card then what was in their computer and being told one thing about my balance after insurance and being surprised by a bill that was even wrong, I will no longer go there.

⇒ In 2012 I went in for a dental cleaning and “exam” and was told I had 9 small cavities in my teeth that should be filled. I was shocked because A. I have never had any cavities and B. They hadn’t performed X rays to confirm that I actually had any of these cavities. Froehlich said that these 9 “cavities” were soft spots that looked like the beginning of a cavity and recommended that get all 9 filled ASAP. His analysis didn’t sit right with me so I went for a second opinion with a dentist in Delmar who told me that he had no idea what Froehlich was talking about and that there were no signs of any cavities in my mouth! I called the office to complain and the secretary Mary was incredibly rude on the phone. I also notified my insurance company to make them aware of what he was doing. Also, my neighbor went into his office for a checkup a week after I did and he tried to pull the same stunt with her. Thank goodness for the other dentist at 1st Advantage Dental – his honesty and expertise saved me a lot of money. 2 years later and I am still cavity free. AVOID THIS SCAM ARTIST!!!!

⇒ Mary at the front desk is rude! The dentist himself is nothing special. I wouldn’t go here for anything but a cleaning.

⇒ The place is horrible their rude as can be and not to mention my teeth are worse than before!!

⇒ Went there with my wife to have an old filling updated. afour hours later her face was swollen and had to go on antibiotics. Ended up with a root canal, because of shoddy work, she hadn’t had any issues until they touched her tooth. Then had the gall to say it would have happened anyway???? Really?

⇒ This office is run terribly! After noticing several discrepancies with my bill and having the front desk lady tell me I was “wasting her time” I will never go back again. I also want to point out that after seeing a new dentist I was told that the work done by Dr. Froehlich was very poor.

OK. We think you get the overall picture. There are more, many more ratings but why beat a dead horse. But think of it this way, if these are the ones that took the trouble to post their ratings of Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts, how many more have not and just hide and lick their wounds cursing and wishing they had taken our advice in our previous articles about this scoundrel crook? Our Editor has a favorite saying, “Hope for the best and plan for the worst.” We can’t make any decisions for you but we do encourage you to take no chances, and to do just that if you don’t take our advice and avoid Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts: Plan for the worst.

Please share your comments and ratings of Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts with us and do your part to keep our community better informed and safe from scoundrels.

some-examples

Thank you! Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts!
We love what you did to us!

If you’re thinking about changing dentists or are looking for a dentist in the Coxsackie area, steer well clear of Coxsackie Dental Arts and Kurt Froehlich. And if you’re in the Port Jervis, NY, area, and are considering Aesthetic Family Dentistry (Dr. Seth Horn and Dr. Dide Tosyali, 155 East Main Street, Port Jervis, NY 12771), Think again! Aesthetic Family Dentistry obviously doesn’t take great pains in vetting who they share their patients with.

Kurt Froehlich is a fraud, a crook and a liar. Watch out for his so-called “Financial Agreement” you may have signed in his office! He’ll use that to charge you for anything and anything. Don’t rely on your insurance coverage; that Financial Agreement authorizes him to charge you anything above what your insurance covers and YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE!!! There are numerous complaints against Froehlich, even reports of fraudulent billing.

Froehlich won't hesitate to send his debt collector!

Froehlich won’t hesitate to send his debt collector!

Yes, dear readers, you really need to think about that stack of documents you’re handed and asked to sign when you go to your doctor or dentist for treatment. You may very well be signing your insurance coverage, your bank account, your health away and have little or no rights left when you need them most. That’s Coxsackie Dental Art’s and Kurt Froehlich’s game. Apparently when you want to get treatment from this crook, you have to sign a stack of papers, including his sneaky “Financial Agreement”, which Froehlich will use to charge you anything for anything he pleases. Yes! If you sign that “Financial Agreement”, Froehlich will use it to make you liable for anything your insurance doesn’t pay. He bills your insurance company way higher than they pay so that he gets as much as he can from your insurance and Guess who’s liable for what your insurance doesn’t pay?!? And if you don’t pay this insult to all decent Jews, his hired gun Scheister will haul your sorry ass into court and flash the “Financial Agreement” in the face of some dumbass town justice (Like Joe Farrell or Lee Davis (New Baltimore) or Leland Miller (Cairo)), who don’t know their asses from their elbow and are scared shiteless of any attorney, and Guess what? You’re in debt to Kurt Froehlich and you don’t even know Why? Well, dear friends, we’re telling you Why? right here and now.

Froehlich runs Coxsackie Dental Arts in Coxsackie, New York, but is from downstate, Port Jervis, or that area. He spends Monday to Thursday in a room somewhere in the building where he operates his scam practice. And he apparently returns downstate on Thursday afternoons to practice on Fridays at Aesthetic Family Dentistry in Port Jervis. (Read their pandering fiction “Family-Owned Dental Practice Welcomes New Member to the Team“)

OK. We think you get the overall picture. There are more, many more ratings but why beat a dead horse. But think of it this way, if these are the ones that took the trouble to post their ratings of Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts, how many more have not and just hide and lick their wounds cursing and wishing they had taken our advice in our previous articles about this soundrel crook? Our Editor has a favorite saying, “Hope for the best and plan for the worst.” We can’t make any decisions for you but we do encourage you to take no chances, and to do just that if you don’t take our advice and avoid Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts: Plan for the worst.

Kurt Froehlich is a major narcissist and can’t help himself from drawing as much attention to himself as possible. This might be because he suffers the Jewish mama syndrome and when mama’s not around to fondle her son the dentist, her son the dentist has to fondle himself. Froehlich is posting himself all over the place like some 14 year old immature kid. But he seems to have to flaunt the fact that he’s a Jew and apparently needs that to have an identity. But Kurt Froehlich is the embodiment of very worst stereotypes of the Jew since Shakespeare’s Shylock (“Merchant of Venice”) and isn’t doing any respectable Jew or Jewish business organization any favors by being listed by them. Here’s an example: JBiz of TechValley:  “This online directory contains contact information for Jewish business owners and Jewish professionals, Jewish-run not-for-profits and non-Jewish businesses that cater to the Jewish community in the Capital District.” You have to read this to believe it: JBiz TechValley.

jbiz-tech-valley

Please share your comments and ratings of Kurt Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts with us and do your part to keep our community better informed and safe from scoundrels.

Another happy Coxsackie Dental Arts patient! Don't let this happen to you! The Editor

Another happy Coxsackie Dental Arts patient!
Don’t let this happen to you!
The Editor

 

A New Feature: Articles and Essays

skulls

Learn More about Death and Dying.

The Principal Facilitator at Thanatology Café writes about a number of subjects relating to death, dying, grief, and the funeral services profession. Published on several blogs these articles have stimulated interest among people who never thought they’d be talking about the dread subject of death, and those readers and participants in local Thanatology Cafés have asked for more about the subject of thanatology; so many readers have requested copies of the Chaplain’s essays and articles that responding to every individual request has been quite a task. To make it easier for anyone interested in reading the Chaplain’s articles, he’s decided to create an online page on the Thanatology Café blog, where you can click on the essay title and either read the article online or download it. It’s that easy!

The article “Interfaith Bereavement Chaplain — An Essential Asset” is actually an article written for the benefit of funeral homes and funeral directors, and gives them a good talking-to about how they are failing to provide the bereaved with essential grief services and aftercare. It’s a must read if you are going to make pre-arrangements or are making arrangements for a loved one. Local funeral homes like Babcock Funeral Home (Ravena), especially (!) with their expensive and shoddy services, and A.J. Cunningham (Greenville and Ravena), the Capital District’s very own “factory funeral home”, Newcomer Funeral Home, could learn a lot from that articel.

The article, “Why is Funeralization Desirable and Necessary” is directed more to the consumer than to the funeral director, although funeral directors could benefit considerably from this article. It focuses mainly on the benefits of the traditional funeral for survivors and mourners. It’s a must-read for anyone who is or will be involved in funeral arrangements — that means everyone!

One of the most interesting articles is “Plain Talk About Cremation,” which is a real eye-opener for anyone considering cremation as a final disposition of their mortal remains.

Those articles and more are available on the Thanatology Cafe Blog page, “Articles & Essays.”

Click this link to go directly to New Feature: Articles and Essays.

As soon as we have it, we’ll also be publishing the September and October Thanatology Café program for the RCS area. Stay tuned and stay informed!

Please let me know how you like the Chaplain’s new service.

Happy reading! The Editor

Happy reading!
The Editor

Source: A New Feature: Articles and Essays

Other blogs by the Chaplain include: