So, if you haven’t heard, Judy Mikovitz, one of the key researchers who discovered the link between XMRV and other HGRVs and CFS - was PUT IN JAIL on Friday. It is unclear exactly why, but it is linked to a missing file cabinet of research, that Judy may not have even had access to.
She recently was fired by the Whittemore Peterson Institute, due to personal conflicts with Annette Whittemore. Firing Judy wasn’t enough for Annette Whittemore. She and her lawyers have gone about wreaking havoc for Judy, filing a huge civil lawsuit, and now having her arrested.
Here are a few blogs and articles where you can read the timeline of events and a more detailed explanation of what is happening:
http://www.oslersweb.com/blog.htm (A news reporter’s blog about CFS/ME)
Now for my personal outlook and opinion on this…
If you want to know more about Judy, just do a search on Youtube for her name, and you will find numerous videos of this woman verbally going to bat for patients with CFS/ME. She is my hero! She is one of those people who is doing her work because she really cares for us, not just for financial gain. She has had to endure study after study of people trying to say her XMRV research is not sound, when most of the studies have never replicated her techniques. Often it seems like the media is making the call against XMRV and HGRVs not the FACTS. It would be politically unpleasant for many people if it turned out that we are all infected with an AIDS-like virus, and therefore ELIGIBLE for health insurance and other accommodation, that we often cannot get right now. It would mean we are owed a lot of apologies. I have read and watched as Judy has faced a firing range of scientists saying her research is false, that her research is contaminated with rat poop, and I don’t buy it. It was recently discovered that PCR testing, which is the standard in viral studies, may be offering false negatives, so her research has NOT been disproved, in spite of the media feeding us the message that it is. We have a ways to go before anyone should be saying it is disproved.
So fast-forward to the last few weeks, when Judy is fired, and then jailed, and forced to miss a conference she was supposed to speak at this weekend. In the past history of CFS/ME research, there has been a pattern of scientists and doctors being silenced, but never before have they been jailed. I think Judy is being made an example of… Somebody out there is saying: “This is what happens to people who get too close to the truth, and refuse to retract their science when called to do so. Directly, or indirectly, your career will be ruined, your finances drained, and you won’t know which way is up, once you’ve been dragged through the legal system.”
We are living in a police state folks, where standing on a sidewalk, making a copy of a file folder, or taking a photograph can land you in jail. Jail used to be for people who are a threat to society, but now we use it for anyone who is disliked by the Establishment. I have always been a “bigger picture” thinker, and I refuse to accept the WPI statement that they just reported the “theft” and it wasn’t their fault she was arrested. The Whittemores had other options than to vilify Judy Mikovitz, and there is something FISHY going on, I just feel it.
In this day and age, ANYTIME a member of a wealthy family has a problem with an ordinary citizen, they can call up the police thugs and have them jailed. This is how a fascist state works. If the tables were reversed, and Judy Mikovitz felt as if the Whittemores had stolen her belongings, it is laughable to think that Annette Whittemore would also be put in jail. In the US right now, wealthy people are above the law, because they are the only ones who can afford the kind of legal support you need to win a case.
These kind of arrests, of people who are NOT violent criminals, who are not such a danger to others they need to be detained, is one sign we no longer live in a free country anymore. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world, and Judy Mikovitz is the latest political prisoner. It is just sickening to watch.
I’m sure many people will disagree with me, or say I’m a conspiracy theorist, and to that I have one response: If you do the research, you will find that we ARE living in a scary situation right now, when it comes to the methods our “Justice” system is using to police our people. Our cops are getting turned into paramilitary forces, in the name of security, and innocent people have been killed and injured because of it. Anyone who threatens the ability for large corporations to make money, regardless of right or wrong, can be subject to imprisonment. I think jailing Judy Mikovitz is meant to be a signal to other researchers not to speak out too much if you actually get somewhere with your CFS/ME research. I could be wrong, but just mark my words…
Meantime, hang in there Judy Mikovitz. Thank you for being such a strong female voice, asking for government research funding into CFS/ME, and for helping keep CFS/ME in the spotlight. You are a modern day hero to many patients. It is thanks to your breakthrough research, and your willingness to speak up about it, that we have a renewed interest by science to get to the bottom of CFS/ME, regardless of whether or not XMRV is the culprit. If you keep fighting for us patients, we’ll keep standing behind you!
EDIT, 11/23/11: P.S. I would just like to say one more thing… Even if Judy ends up being fully guilty… I still stand by my opinion, because it is more about the state of our “justice” system than anything. Worst case scenario, if Judy took the notebooks… Let’s GET REAL HERE. Is the public at risk because Judy decided to go home to California? Hardly. Is the public at risk because a researcher took possession of her own work? Hardly. WHY are we spending public tax money to go after her? It is absolutely ludicrous, when our budget woes are so bad we are looking at cutting social services for elderly and disabled people! Jailing nonviolent “criminals” at the whim of wealthy people and corporations, is one place where we are wasting billions of tax dollars.
I recognize how valuable these notebooks are to WPI, but I believe there has to be a more peaceful way, mediation, or nonviolent communication, that could help resolve this issue without CREATING a fugitive and criminal out of a brilliant researcher and patient advocate. Anyway, the day WPI fired Judy, was the day they lost the most valuable asset they had.