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Judy Mikovits has been arrested

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by santi, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Well, if we're simply looking at imaginative speculation about possibilities, I could think of some (without venturing any opinion about their likelihood).

    One, Dr Mikovits doesn't have the materials and the lawsuit is meant to discredit her and/or impugn her integrity (that could influence the NIH decision about who the grant money goes to).

    Two, Dr Mikovits doesn't have the materials and unknown parties with access to the lab took them.

    Three, Dr Mikovits does have them and there's information on them she doesn't want made public, or fears would be used against her.

    Four, Dr Mikovits does have them and there's information on them the WPI doesn't want made public, and that Dr Mikovits feels she needs for leverage.

    Five, Dr Mikovits does have them and thinks that she needs the data on them to protect her professional reputation (e.i., to prove her theories and assertions). Although in that case, a copy might do.

    Six, Dr Mikovits does have them and believes that they are her intellectual property and that the WPI has no right to them. In which case, her lawyer probably wouldn't have sent that letter denying she has them.

    Seven, Dr Mikovits does have them and hopes to be able to use the data in the future to continue her research, either on her own or in someone else's lab, so she doesn't want the WPI to have access to them.

    Eight, Dr Mikovits does (or did) have them and is afraid that if she returns them she would be accused of wrongdoing for taking them in the first place, and thinks that if she doesn't return them it will be hard to prove that she took them.

    Nine, neither Dr Mikovits nor anyone at the WPI took them. There really is a big, well-funded, multinational conspiracy to conceal the truth about retroviruses and/or ME/CFS, and their thugs got the notebooks (or bribed an underpaid lab tech to steal them). I really don't think this is a likely scenario, but it would play well in the movie version of this drama.

    But the truth is that no one except the parties directly involved knows what really happened. At this point, we can speculate 'til the cows come home, and I don't see that it gets us anywhere. It's more like guessing what's going to happen in the next episode of your favorite HBO drama, except there are real people's lives and reputations at stake. Besides which, every time an ME/CFS researcher has their reputation trashed, it is used to cast doubt upon the disease itself, besides discouraging new researchers from entering the field.
  2. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    Actually, in cases of libel on the internet, forum owners have been held responsible for allowing libel to be posted on their forum.

    Opinions can be considered as libelous, if the opinions are knowingly false. Lets say somebody writes "in my opinion X is a crack head" and the person posting this has no evidence whatsoever and are just trying to make X look bad, then the statement is libel. If the person has read some information about X that leads them to believe what they are saying is correct, then it's not libel. Courts deal with the facts surrounding what has been written.

    It is possible to sue anonymous people on the internet. A lawsuit can be filed against "John Doe" and John Doe's identity is obtained by subpoenaing the Internet Service Provider. If a person can't be found eg. using proxies etc, another option available to a judge is to force the shutdown of the website or forum. Worst case scenarios.

    It's very complicated but that's the gist of it.

    I really don't see any libel on these threads because people are posting comments that are not knowingly false because we really don't know much at this point and there have been legal statements posted by both parties that certainly leads to all sorts of differing opinions.

    Just thought I would make these points.

    Many people who feel they have been libeled on a forum, contact the adminstrator or moderators and ask them to remove the offending information.
  3. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Wasnt Judy also suppose to be giving a talk today at a seminar, maybe the arrest was good timing to stop the cat out of the bag????
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  4. rebecca1995

    rebecca1995 Apple, anyone?

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    Keep in mind that the Whittemores have merely alleged that the materials are missing. No one has provided proof that the materials are not still in the Whittemores' possession. Why are people taking as facts the Whittemores' claims that the materials have disappeared, and that they did so around the time of Dr. Mikovits' termination?


    That's an excellent point. However, journalist Hillary Johnson has published a letter on her website written by Dr. Mikovits' lawyer, Lois Hart, Esq. The account of events provided in that letter differs markedly from the claims made by Annette Whittemore in the blog she posted eight days ago.

    Many of the statements in the Hart letter were confirmed by a witness who must be of interest to the Whittemores because her home was evidently searched by police yesterday.
    justinreilly, RL_sparky and Lily like this.
  5. rebecca1995

    rebecca1995 Apple, anyone?

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    Dr. Mikovits was indeed slated to participate in a panel discussion at the Mt. Sinai conference tomorrow (Sunday). We don't know what she intended to say--we may never know--but we can reasonably conclude that the Whittemores sure as hell didn't want her to say it.
    RL_sparky likes this.
  6. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Ye, sure. She completed a joint PhD program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology but is not able to follow simple court orders. It was all just a BIG misunderstanding...
    Sean likes this.
  7. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Ten, Dr Mikovits does have them but doesn't want the material to be published because they contain evidence that she committed fraud.
    taniaaust1, Jenny, mon me and 3 others like this.
  8. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    My point exactly. If she had well and truly been advised that she was not allowed to leave the state under penalty of felony charges and arrest, I find it hard to imagine she would have blithely waltzed back to her home.
    Is this how you would behave if you were willfully fleeing justice? With your PhD?
    Of course I am still speculating.
    beaker and ixchelkali like this.
  9. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    weird posting glitches today--removing double post.
  10. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    from Science Insider

    "On 7 November, a judge from the Nevada court granted a request for a temporary restraining order against Mikovits to prohibit her from "destroying, altering, disseminating, or using trade secrets and confidential information." The order contended that "immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to WPI if it does not get this relief." But the order does not explicitly forbid Mikovits, who lives in Ventura, California, from leaving the state of Nevada."

    http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/11/controversial-cfs-researcher-arr.html?ref=hp
  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi ixchelkali, I am going to violate my own advice and comment on this case again. Ironic, perhaps, but I am also emotionally charged over this.

    The two scenarios, 2 & 9, have overlap. Industrial sabotage, not exactly an international conspiracy, is a distinct possibility. If I were an agent of a rival concern, whoever they might be, the time I would take the notebooks would be exactly when there was reason to look elsewhere for the person to blame. I would also not leave the WPI. Please note that anyone with access to the room is potentially a suspect, not just the researchers.

    Speculation sometimes serves a point. In this case I don't think it does. In speculating about research we are looking for ways to understand things very important to our future, and occasionally come up with ideas that docs/researchers might find interesting. We also future proof ourselves - things are less of a shock.

    In the case of pending legal action:

    1. We have almost none of the facts. It is possible to generate a huge number of scenarios from a very sparse data set. Nearly all will be wrong, and potentially every one is wrong. Reality can indeed be stranger than fiction.
    2. In terms of likelihood we have no way of knowing which claims are more important. For example, if someone who was there said they saw a light in the sky and small grey looking people in the dark, would it be fair to speculate that the Greys are back and they are practical jokers?
    3. There will be multiple investigations, or at least one. Until we have the findings of such an investigation, nearly every speculation will just serve to increase tension and further speculation. Alas, I am now doing that too. I understand why this is important to us, why we want to speculate, but it is hard to see how it helps.

    The only productive reason to speculate here is to vent, to help control our stress - as a community we have been very stressed by events lately, it might indeed help us to talk about how we feel, rather than facts of the case. We have too little information to be saying anything with any degree of certainty.

    I have sympathy for everyone involved. This is a highly unfortunate series of events and has not been a good year for the WPI and their associates.

    I am personally unhappy about the events that have unfolded in this area for the last several months. Its not just that things are negative, its the way they are negative and the speculation in the media. I wonder how much of a media frenzy this will induce over time? What slant will it take? Based on past media coverage it is likely that media coverage of the current legal issue will have a slant very much against the interests of the ME community. That is where I think we should focus - we need to deal with negative media spin as it arises.

    Bye,
    Alex
  12. Jill

    Jill

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    Judy now in Jail : Fugative from Justice

    On Friday, Nov 18, the Whittemore Peterson Institute had Dr. Judy Mikovits
    arrested in Ventura County, CA (her home) and taken to the Ventura County
    Jail.

    She has been charged as a "Felony; Fugitive from Justice," in another state
    (Nevada).

    Mikovits is to be held at Ventura County's Todd Road Jail
    <http://www.vcsd.org/> in Santa Paula, California until Tuesday, Nov 22 at
    1:30 pm. At that time, she will have a hearing before the Ventura County
    Superior Court. That also is the time Dr. Mikovits and her attorneys was
    scheduled to appear at a hearing in Reno ("Whittemore Peterson Institute vs.
    Judy Mikovits").

    Read the scant details on the arrest and comment in the Blog section of
    http://www.me-cfscommunity.com.

    Daniel Moricoli
  13. sosumi

    sosumi

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    According to her attorney, she left the state long before the lawsuit and injunction.
  14. Jill

    Jill

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    Also, a patient and friend of Judys, Lilly Meehan, was met at the door by police officers with a search warrant, and her home was searched from the attic down.


    Something just ain't right about this. Think about it. Judy doesn't need to steal anything - I suspect she is being shut up.

    Moderator: Content removed: Speculation, conspiracy theory, possible defamation of WPI and Dr Lipkin.
  15. JT1024

    JT1024 Senior Member

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    I am disgusted by the events as they have unfolded. I'm equally disgusted by individuals who've taken it upon themselves to be jury and judge in this case.

    Everyone on this forum is free to make their own decisions.

    Many are sick and looking for hope and treatments...*****Good luck to everyone hoping for effective treatment or cure in the near future.

    Moderator: Removed content contained wild and unsubstantiated allegations regarding the motives of forum members, the forum itself and other organizations.

    Forum rule 5. Critiques of individuals or organizations should be done in the spirit of constructive discourse; simply dumping on a person or organization is not conducive to the kind of conversation we strive for.
  16. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    We don't know what really happened, but this seems on it's face to be too heavy-handed and less likely to have occurred if the Whittemores were not so prominent. There are also tyranical judges out there who clamp down hard on anything that they perceive as someone flouting their authority. Anyway, this is all speculation; we have too little info to really say.

    The chances are great that nothing bad will happen to Judy in jail. Plenty of people pass thru the jails, many of whom are not criminals. I think jail staff usually realize this so they aren't out to mistreat the typical person in jail, they're just doing their jobs of having custody of people and getting them to their court dates so the justice system can operate.
    dipic, Guido den Broeder and Wildcat like this.
  17. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    I've never heard of this in the U.S. and have always heard the opposite in specific cases, such as where forum owners were able to maintain questionable sites specifically due to this type of protection. Are there any specific cases you can recall? I'd like to know for my own future knowledge.

    ETA:

    Here is a NYT quote on the issue regarding another internet forum, and some links on the issue:

    "Topix, as an Internet forum, is immune from libel suits under federal law, but those who post could be sued, if they are found. "

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/u...web-anonymous-and-vicious.html?pagewanted=all

    http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/200...website-does-not-contribute-to-the-liability/

    Again, I could be wrong, but from what I've read and am reading here, it seems it's users not forum owners who are liable. I'm no lawyer so that is my lay opinion based on the cases I've encountered in my reading.
  18. joshualevy

    joshualevy

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    And remember: we already know there is data out there that Dr. Mikovits doesn't want to see the light of day. As part of the partial retraction of the Lombardi paper, Dr. Mikovits did some contamination measurements, but then refused to provide that data to Science. (Dr. Silverman's team did provided their data.) So that shows pretty clearly that there is some data that Dr. Mikovits doesn't want out in public.

    Joshua (not Jay) Levy
  19. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Good points. I agree.
    Wildcat and Sean like this.
  20. citybug

    citybug Senior Member

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    I don't care who has the notebooks. I think when WPI fired Dr. Mikovits when she was outside the office and locked out the regular staff they left themselves open to losing the documents to anyone in the building. A great many people were probably very upset and materials could even have been thrown away accidentally. Also these court documents sound like they do not want her to have copies of anything even if they have copies. I'm for sharing research information as Science Insider said was the standard in academic circles (non-profit).

    I think it is worth discussing these things in the hopes that WPI will realize the numbers of people who are against their actions. They could still drop the charges if they did not realize they would be taking away someone's freedom. They could still share intellectual property with those that created it and allow research to continue on as many fronts as possible.

    I am against the principle of a CEO in a non-profit without an active board that includes patients acting hastily in ways that hurt all parties and the research.

    The rest of my reply was eaten by the forum.
    ukxmrv, justy and beaker like this.

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