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Hunting down the cause of ME/CFS & other challenging disorders - Lipkin in London
In a talk to patients in London on 3rd September, Dr. W. Ian Lipkin described the extraordinary lengths he and his team are prepared to go to in order to track down the source of an illness, with examples ranging from autism to the strange case of Kawasaki disease.
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Judy Mikovits has been arrested

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

  1. livingwithcfids

    livingwithcfids

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    How is this a pointless thread? It generated over 7000 views within a single day.A topic of this nature deserves attention, discussion, and criticism and to say otherwise is just pointless! And who is "shouting"?

    Your assumption is based on science fiction and does not contribute to this discussion or move it forward in any way whatsoever. I would argue it belittles the significance of the event. Now is not a time to be joking. I suggest you revise a few things.

     
    anne_likes_red likes this.
  2. livingwithcfids

    livingwithcfids

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    double post, as others have pointed out today
     
  3. max

    max *****

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    Also deleted.
     
  4. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    This made me laugh, which I needed today. Thanks for that :D

    However, I disagree that this thread is pointless. Many of us feel very distressed, stressed, and helpless watching this scenario unfold and grow more terrible over time. Many of us counted on the parties involved to focus on treatment and cure, not legal gambits, arguments, and profiteering.

    For some of us (and appreciate that that is not so for you) this thread is a way to process and untangle some of the pent-up energy this
    latest debacle has roused in us.

    So please, if it pointless to you, that's fine. Just be aware that by blanketly declaring it so, you risk deriding a whole lot of people who are already deeply hurt and unsettled.
     
  5. max

    max *****

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    mmmmm.............
     
  6. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    oops max, we cross-posted.

    did you eat something yummy?
     
    Lou likes this.
  7. max

    max *****

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    lol.........................
     
  8. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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  9. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Leela and Max, I don't know what you both have been eating, or DRINKING maybe, but I definitely want some!

    yummmmmm
     
  10. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    The point about speculation applies to you too, Waverunner. It's kind of funny...

    Who was it that earlier stated as fact that Dr Mikovits is guilty of the crime she's due to be accused of?
     
    jace, taniaaust1 and Wildcat like this.
  11. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    I've spent much of the day moderating this thread while wrestling with the performance problems many of you will have experienced (our apologies for those, we have been working on it).

    Having done so, I'd like to add a few comments of my own...

    Firtstly, big thanks to Tina for the very informative libel run-down (#109) - I suggest everyone take some time to read that, especially those who fondly imagine that "in my opinion..." or "it's a free country" is an automatic defence...

    I've done my best to identify potentially defamatory posts and remove them; there were a couple on both sides of the argument. Even though, before I read Tina's post, I rather thought that only the poster was potentially liable, potentially defamatory posts are also inflammatory and liable to provoke the kind of arguments we don't want to see, so I removed the worst examples. After reading Tina's post, I'm especially glad I did so. Certainly no malice on my part towards either side, and if I've missed anything potentially actionable, I hope somebody will report it, not particularly because I expect legal action, but because posts like that are not wanted here, and it's valuable to all of us to understand where the lines are drawn.

    Now to throw in my 2p on the matters we're all speculating about...

    The first important point I'd like to highlight is that just about the only thing we can conclude with (almost) certainty is that a crime has been committed. If what has been said about Dr Mikovits' contract is to be believed - and I think what's been said is reasonably clear - then the materials in question are the intellectual property of the WPI (though there may be detail there as to what entitlement Dr Mikovits may have to a copy of the materials, and ethically at least, in my opinion she should have a right to a copy). Given, though, that the materials are ultimately, in law, the property of the WPI, and given that the WPI claim they have disappeared, then somebody has committed a crime. There are some (barely) conceivable scenarios where an honest mistake might have been made, but I think those possibilities are so unlikely that they can pretty much be ruled out. So almost certainly, a crime has been committed.

    On the face of it, thinking as an open-minded detective, there is at present no reason to presume that the WPI's claim that the materials have disappeared is necessarily true. It seems no less extraordinary to me to suggest that Dr Mikovits may have stolen them than to suggest that the WPI may have hidden them and claimed they were missing. I have no prima facie reason to believe one party over the other, in a situation where one side or the other appears to be lying. In the absence of any material evidence on the matter, and given that Dr Mikovits is clearly stating that she does not have the materials, then we have no reason to conclude that Dr Mikovits is the guilty party.

    Even if we do assume that the WPI's claim that the materials have disappeared is true, this does not necessarily mean that Dr Mikovits has taken them. From the evidence we have seen (precious little), it seems entirely possible that a third party has removed them, and that the WPI have assumed that Dr Mikovits took them; she could have been framed or she could have ended up as the prime suspect by chance - we just don't know. To assume, to any extent, that Dr Mikovits took these materials, is to assume that the WPI are right to be certain that she did so, which assumes that they have certain evidence (not yet produced) that she did. I see no reason to assume that the WPI did not make a false assumption in this matter - for example, they have stated that only Dr Mikovits had access to the materials, but this has been disputed, and claiming perfect security in a setup with (apparently) no adequate backups would seem an excessive basis for this assumption that it Dr Mikovits who must have taken the materials. There appears to be (as far as we know) only circumstantial evidence for that.

    If Dr Mikovits did take possession of these materials, then her legal statement that she did not have them seems to be an untruth, and furthermore she must almost certainly, in law, have 'stolen' them. But proving such a theft would appear to require some evidence showing those materials in Dr Mikovits' possession - CCTV evidence or the materials themselves. Given what we've heard about the search of Lily's house, it appears that (all) the materials have not yet been located, which suggests that no such evidence exists, as yet.

    So where is all this getting us?

    Almost nowhere - except to highlight quite strongly that we ought to conclude that we just don't know. There are three candidates for committing a crime - the WPI, Dr Mikovits, or a 3rd party - and people can accord different percentages to those probabilities according to their own prejudices, but that is all pure guesswork and assumptions.

    It's really quite extraordinary to observe how many people have made their assumptions, some of them with considerable certainty, but with no good deductive arguments on either side. To go through debunking all the poor quality arguments would take far too long. But to pick out a few...

    - On the question of motive, assuming that Dr Mikovits had motive to conceal and perhaps even destroy the materials because they contain evidence that could be embarrassing or incriminating to herself, is an extraordinary assumption, because such a narrative requires that Dr Mikovits consciously sets out to destroy her own career over a period of years, somehow believing that she can get away with, and benefit from, a monstrous fraud. This scenario has always been extremely difficult to believe, because it has always been obvious, as documented on this forum, that such an enterprise could never hope to succeed, and this surely must have been obvious to Dr Mikovits herself. And yet there have been some opponents of Dr Mikovits on this forum who seem to assume this is the case, and find all other explanations extraordinary, with no apparent recognition that this scenario is itself quite extraordinary. Everyone would do well to recognise that, whatever has happened, it is absolutely extraordinary. All possible explanations are bizarre!

    - Again on the question of motive, it is assumed by some that there is no reason for anyone other than Dr Mikovits to have motive to commit a crime here. This in turn requires the assumption that the materials are worthless. And yet the materials are likely to contain data about research about which we know absolutely nothing, and it's worth pointing out that if the materials do have any value in terms of intellectual property, then the value of that intellectual property may well be counted in the billions or even trillions of dollars! What price on information crucial to a commercialisable cure for ME? Information capable of leading to a proof that ME is definitively not psychosomatic has been estimated at a trillion dollars or more, and that's considering only the potential cost to insurance companies of such a finding. Such information could potentially be 'disappeared' and used (years later) to inform future commercialisable scientific developments, or simply hidden if it was too inconvenient for some party. And there are plenty of other possible motives which I won't go into now...but there are certainly potential and plausible motives on all sides.

    - All the arguments based on appeals to authority, or personal trust, are no basis for a conclusion, of course. Some may implicitly trust Dr Mikovits, others may (suddenly) implicitly trust the Whittemores, and others seem to implicitly trust that nothing weird, suspicious, or nefarious ever happens except when one person acts alone. But all of those positions of emotional trust are a poor basis for an opinion on an open-ended case. I would not heavily criticise anybody for basing their stance on such faith - in the absence of evidence, all we sometimes have is human factors like trust and instinct - but I'd advise everyone never to be too certain in their faith. And I'll emphasise that much of the dogmatic disbelief in what are labelled, blanket, as 'conspiracy theories', is also an act of faith.

    Well anyway, people have their own beliefs about the matter, with varying degrees of certainty, but I think I can honestly say that at this point I'm genuinely neutral as to which of the three extraordinary and bizarre possibilities is most likely, because they all have implications that are just so difficult to reconcile, and they all seem equally bizarre to me at this point.

    But I'll finish with one particular aspect that strikes me as odd, based on the information we have heard. According to the timeline provided by Jace (which may not be definitive evidence but appears reliable), Dr Mikovits left Nevada before the writ was even issued. If this is the case, and her leaving the state is the issue on which she has been detained, and she is nevertheless defined as a 'fugitive' while residing in her own home, then she doesn't seem to be hiding very well, and if she wasn't supposed to be outside Nevada when the writ was served, then it seems odd that she would be required to return (what purpose would this serve?), odd that she wasn't asked to return immediately when the writ was served, and odd that we've not seen (as yet) any evidence that Dr Mikovits ever was instructed to remain in Nevada. It seems that the first relevant information we can expect to hear is an explanation of this 'fugitive' question and an explanation of why on earth Dr Mikovits would knowingly disobey such a directive and 'hide' in her own home in the face of certain arrest. Presumably we may expect information concerning those particular issues in the very near future, when the charges are revealed, and an examination of those details might be illuminating, because the weirdness of the entire question seems to me to be fractally reflected in this detail, and so an understanding of that matter might perhaps point to the truth of the whole.

    Hopefully we'll get some limited answers soon...but of course all we can do until then is speculate, and try to avoid making any untrue statements on factual matters which could be defamatory to either party.

    I hope my cold analysis doesn't seem too under-emotional - I think we are all deeply saddened and stressed by this latest episode - and I hope I've indicated some good reasons to try to reign in that emotion and be very cautious in drawing any firm conclusions at this stage.
     
  12. allyann

    allyann Senior Member

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    The Whittmore Peterson Institute Facebook page has this statement on it. They also state that they will make a full statement on Monday on the website:

    "The Whittemore Peterson Institute was required to report the theft of its laboratory materials to law enforcement authorities. These authorities are taking the actions that they deem necessary."
     
  13. citybug

    citybug Senior Member

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    This is not a fact. Science is following up allegations by a "snarky blog" with questions most of which have already been answered. Anyone can make allegations as we see here. No one uses the word misconduct. Also if you read the text in the original study they were taking a closer look at the controls in the slide in question.

    From Science Insider:
    Both Mikovits and WPI's CEO, Annette Whittemore, say the firing was not related to the XMRV theory's demise.

    The very next day, a graduate student who writes a snarky blog that has been highly critical of Mikovits and the XMRV theory raised questions about whether a figure in Lombardi et al. had been misrepresented. Science Executive Editor Monica Bradford said in a statement that the journal is investigating the allegation. "As is our policy in cases of alleged figure manipulation, we follow up with the research authors as soon as our own review of the allegation is complete," said Bradford. "Science takes all such matters seriously and seeks to respond thoroughly and efficiently."....

    Mikovits's collaborator, Francis Ruscetti of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, Maryland, who ran all of the Western blots, confirms that the Ottawa slide uses the same image that appears in Lombardi et al. Ruscetti and Mikovits, in a joint e-mail to Science for this article, said many patients and their doctor, Daniel Peterson (who since has had a falling out with WPI), knew the original coded numbers, so the researchers changed them for the Science publication to "protect the patient privacy." Ruscetti says it was a mistake for Mikovits to have used the original patient codes in Ottawa. "We were under so much pressure, we missed it," says Ruscetti.
    As far as the use of 5-azacytidine, Ruscetti and Mikovits stressed in their e-mail that "there was no attempt in the original paper to hide anything." They say for the purposes of Lombardi et al., the use of 5-azacytidine was not germane: They were simply trying to demonstrate that CFS patients had viral proteins not seen in controls. By the time of the Ottawa meeting, they say they realized that this experiment did not in fact show XMRV but proteins from a broader family of gammaretroviruses.
     
    currer likes this.
  14. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    I understand wanting to moderate for the sake of keeping the forum from getting inflammatory, but as far as legal issues I still have never heard of forum owners or ISPs being liable for what users post, at least not in the US. Everything I've read on this issue indicates that the opposite is true, and I believe according to the communications decency act, it is users only who are held legally responsible for their own comments. If I'm mistaken, can someone please share a reputable source that says so?
     
    ixchelkali likes this.
  15. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Mark - your good post 122 - I quite agree on something that stands out (and for me too) - the writ was served AFTER Dr M had left Nevada to return home. In which case a point of law could step in on this issue at least.
     
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  16. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    Mark, thank you for your logical reasoning (again!). For the benefit of anyone new to this thread, IMHO posts 85 ;) 109 and 122 are essential reading.

    From Mark's post 122:
    Like many of us, I have been watching this unfold, on many different internet sites. The timing is as I have experienced it, as events unfolded. I did give links to reports from opposed viewpoints, but I also got contemporaneous reports from many different known (to me) sources.

    At 21:30 UT tomorrow, Tuesday, Judy is in Court in Ventura County. I shall take a few minutes to focus what good energy I can muster that truth and justice shall prevail in that courtroom. Not much else I can do.

    [​IMG]? :eek: [​IMG]?
     
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  17. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Thanks jace.
     
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  18. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    Well done, Mark!
    Well done Jace!
     
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  19. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    As usual Mark, above the frey and completely logical. Thanks for trying to straighten stuff out.
     
    taniaaust1 and beaker like this.
  20. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    Can anybody say with certainty(providing references to support) that it was the WPI, or the WPI's actions responsible for Judy's arrest?

    Could it be a third party like science or somebody else that got Judy arrested for something unrelated to the alledged missing materials?

    It seems really strange and excessive to me the WPI would/could pull of this arrest.
     

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