Monday, March 5, 2012

There's No Business Like Show Business - CFS Chronicles

There's No Business Like Show Business
Some recurring positive attributes given to the Whittemores in recent news articles are along the lines of affable, friendly, likeable. And I will admit, in part, they are exactly that in my experience. Annette struck me as charming, sincere, and gracious. Harvey as in command, always smiling and a devoted family man. They invited me into their home. I took that as a great honor because of their high profile and need, I was sure, to be careful about letting their guard down, even with some lowly patient from the East coast. I had no other intention than to be helpful to the institute, to the family running it, and to the former NCI retrovirologist in charge. As my confidence grew in WPI's goals, I made plans to create county wide fundraisers for WPI along with penny drives in our schools to help make people aware of neuroimmune diseases. I, along with many other patients, made myself sick voting and soliciting votes daily for Chase giveaway and Vivant. All that was with the intention of raising money for Judy's research. Not WPI research with whomever Annette chose to plug into the grant, but Judy's research. In my eyes, and I think in most patients' eyes, Annette's main priority was to support and fund Judy Mikovits' research.
As my concerns grew with WPI about a year ago, my priority became praying that the stress from the fight for HGRV validity did not rip the institute apart. I blamed it on the government pressures and scientific political pressures. I was not inclined to say, even to good friends, that I believed part of the stress was in mismanagement on Annette's part, even though I knew better. I have several friends who would tell me what a fiasco the public relations was with WPI. All of them, highly intelligent, former business people. I made every excuse for WPI though, the primary one was what I was fed on a daily basis. They were straining financially and could not afford enough help.
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
If the Seenos are correct in accusing the Whittemores of embezzling Wingfield funds to support their lavish lifestyle and run WPI, then the Whittemores have made an art out of robbing Peter to pay Paul. In fact, after reading several recent news articles, it seems ever since the real estate crash that is what the Whittemores have probably been doing. They rob one person blind in a law suit, or embezzle, in order to pay someone off who is breathing hot and heavy down their necks. You would have to fall on desperate time to embezzle from the Seenos. This is, of course, all pending trials. We're asked to reserve judgement on their guilt, although this is something we surely were not encouraged to do in regards to their allegations against Judy Mikovits. And suing Judy Mikovits is about self-preservation, not about patients. If WPI was truly concerned about patients, they would never have fired Judy Mikovits. They would have understood why patients were donating in the first place. They donated to Judy's work. It borders on pure narcissism to be so out of touch with patient community feelings as to think firing Judy Mikovits would not directly result in withdraw of financial support. And the amount asked for in damages is the definition of extortion.
 "The Whittemore Peterson Institute is apparently attempting to sue Dr. Judy Mikovits for 'all costs associated with her work', according to today's article at, including every dime of her salary since she started working there, all of her research costs while working for the Institute, and, crazily, for the $133,100 drop in donations after Mikovits left." (CFS Untied – blog)
So, they want her full salary back? A salary probably paid for by the Seenos in the first place through Wingfield? In order to hand it over to the Seenos who are suing them for the money back? Takes a lot of chutzpah and a lot of buddies in the legal system to believe you could make those claims against a wrongfully terminated employee and actually receive the requested damages. And then to claim that patients have been swayed by Judy Mikovits to stop donating is ludicrous and insulting. As though we are not intelligent enough to make up our own minds based on what we see publicly. Dr. Deckoff-Jones exposed personal communications and threats sent to her from WPI. One patient left a comment that sums up what many former supporters of the WPI are feeling.
Polly – "The only reason that the whittemores are not receiving donations is the appalling way they have treated patients since all this blew up in sept . This has nothing to do with Judy that donations have stopped . Ask anyone in the ME community why they have stopped donating and I bet they al say the same .Many people have infact tried to get their donations back as they feel they were not used for the purpose intended . Very sick patients donated a lot of money much coming from the UK and Europe as all they wanted was to further the research and hopefully get some treatment out of it . Now patients are distraught , angry and feel like they have been sold up the river by the whittemores . I urge the whittemores to drop this case against Judy who has only ever tried to help patients . This case is causing huge distress and damage to the ME community who merely want the science to continue and a stab at normal life again before its too late . So my message to the Whittemores stop blaming Judy for the sudden stop in donations Judy has nothing to do with that . Patients can think for themselves , would you continue to donate money when it was highly unlikely you would ever see any benefit from it ? Only a fool would ."
Jekyll and Hyde
As most people, I have my list of faults. You will not find disloyalty to friends among them though. So, the last year has been a difficult one for me, the last few months even more so. I tried in every way to merge the people I knew in Reno with the people who could fire Judy, sue her, be accused of embezzlement from mafia moguls, be in business in the first place with mafia moguls, accused of funneling illegal campaign contributions (Las Vegas Review Journal), (more in one day for Harry Reid than ever recorded), and then threaten patients by lurking online or sending emails to intimidate them for speaking their minds. What CEO of any organization does that sort of thing with disgruntled customers? With friends like that, I don't need enemies. These people are not our friends, unfortunately. They have families too, of course. There are innocents involved, of course. And they do normal daily activities that would also make you feel there is good there. That humanity is not totally lost in that family. But, it reminds me of the story of Jekyll and Hyde. The overarching theme in many ways is how you can lose your soul to the evil side of your nature, that without proper maintenance of your integrity, you will metamorphosize permanently into the worst of who you can be.
Summary of the end of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:
The letter continues describing Jekyll's cry for help. Far from his laboratory and hunted by the police as a murderer, Hyde needed Lanyon's help to get his potions and become Jekyll again—but when he undertook the transformation in Lanyon's presence, the shock of the sight instigated Lanyon's deterioration and death. Meanwhile, Jekyll returned to his home, only to find himself ever more helpless and trapped as the transformations increased in frequency and necessitated even larger doses of potion in order to reverse themselves. It was the onset of one of these spontaneous metamorphoses that caused Jekyll to slam his laboratory window shut in the middle of his conversation with Enfield and Utterson. Eventually, the potion began to run out, and Jekyll was unable to find a key ingredient to make more. His ability to change back from Hyde into Jekyll slowly vanished. Jekyll writes that even as he composes his letter he knows that he will soon become Hyde permanently, and he wonders if Hyde will face execution for his crimes or choose to kill himself. Jekyll notes that, in any case, the end of his letter marks the end of the life of Dr. Jekyll. With these words, both the document and the novel come to a close.
It was with great sadness at first that I distanced myself from WPI and everyone there. Then it became anger for the reverberations felt throughout the patient community after Judy Mikovits was wrongfully terminated. Past the anger though is just shock at times that this never ends. That patients continued to be harassed regarding lost donations. That they continue libeling Judy by saying she tainted the integrity of the WPI. What a load of crap that is. The place would have had no notoriety without her discovery. That there is no concern over a lost UK blood sample. That NIH and DOD grants were handed over to a researcher lacking expertise in this field and who has never won a grant on his own accord. That grants were handed over to an institute president under investigation. That the Seenos feel comfortable enough exposing Whittemore crimes to take them to court. That a grand jury may indict the Whittemores on felony charges for illegal campaign contributions today. What next?
I think the metamorphosis is almost complete.

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