As an attorney I learned that people often don’t readily tell the truth. Especially when they have done the wrong thing…
Federal Court documents say:
“Throughout their professional relationship, Lipkin made clear that he expected Plaintiff to be his largely-silent and always subservient partner, forced to work almost exclusively on his projects and to give him undue credit for her own work, to the detriment of her own professional growth, stature in their shared field, and productivity.”
That’s why my approach was always to ask questions, listen to the answers, and act as if I totally got what they were saying. You’ve probably seen the same act on pretty much every cop show.
But what I was REALLY doing was seeing how they answered the questions.
You see, among lawyers, the LOGICAL presumption is that if you catch them lying about ONE THING, you’re probably going to catch them LYING about a LOT of other things.
If you catch them acting ABNORMAL OR CORRUPTLY in one circumstance, you have a window into how they’re likely to act in similar circumstances.
On the night of September 19, 2013 I spent time with Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig at a small cocktail party in Manhattan.
I knew who they were and they knew who I was. I had HOPED that there was the possibility of making movement in answering important questions about chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and autism.
In light of Mady Hornig’s lawsuit against Ian Lipkin and Columbia University, it is interesting to review my visit with the two of them.
I have ALWAYS believed that if my enemies want to end this war, I will be happy to go the extra mile for peace and truth. Some of my fellow autism activists thought it was a fool’s errand. But I always like to get an up-close look at my enemy. Sometimes I will discover I have misjudged them. Other times I will realize that there is no way we can be allies and that there is only ONE Way all of this will end.
I give you the account of my night with Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig as detailed in my book, INOCULATED: How Science Lost its Soul in Autism.
“I must confess that I was nervous as I dressed in my New York hotel room for what was billed as a “Cocktail Reception to Celebrate the Work of The Center for Infection and Immunity Featuring W, Ian Lipkin, M.D., Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health – Hosted by Emanuel Stern at the SoHo Grand Hotel, 310 West Broadway, New York City.” I couldn’t help but feel like some barbarian tribal leader, summoned by Caesar to Rome for an audience. I dressed in black and when I looked at myself in the mirror thought I looked a little like Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi, surrendering myself to Darth Vader to be taken to the Death Star. I mean, isn’t that what heroes are supposed to do? Venture into the very lair of the enemy? Luke at the Death Star? Frodo and Sam at Mount Doom?
I took a cab to the SoHo Grand Hotel, entered the lobby, got directions to where the event was being held, and made my way to the location. I opened the doors, expecting to see some grand ballroom, but instead saw a cramped little space with six to seven tables, a buffet and drink table set up at the back with folders on the work of the center, along with some cute little blue plastic circular hand sanitizers emblazoned with the crest of the Center for Infection and Immunity as well as a line drawing of a microscope, and a podium with microphone at the front for the speakers. There were maybe thirty people in the room. I’d seen bigger crowds at a PTA meeting. “This is the grand citadel of science?” I thought to myself.
Looking around the room I quickly identified Mady Hornig. She is an attractive woman, with a lean, angular face, surrounded by ringlets of dark hair. I made my way over to her and introduced myself.
She smiled broadly, cocked her head a little to the side, and extended a hand. “Kent! It’s so nice to finally meet you!”
“Really?” I asked, with a laugh. “It’s nice to meet me?”
“Yes. Why not?”
“Well, I’ve written articles which have criticized some of your research.”
“Were they mean? Or rude?”
“I don’t think so. I didn’t make it personal.”
“Then we don’t have a problem.”
“Okay, Mady, I’ve got a question I wanted to ask you for years.”
I paused for a moment and she gave me a look which seemed to say, “Proceed.”
“I consider your article, ‘The Neurotoxic Effects of Thimerosal are Mouse Strain Dependent’ to be one of the most important papers in autism. But you published that in 2004 and now it’s 2013. Why no other papers?”
She rolled her eyes and said, “You don’t know?”
She proceeded to tell me that after the publication of her paper, a blogger named Autism Diva had published many articles criticizing her work, referring to it as the “Rain Mouse” experiments[i] and it had caused her a great deal of difficulty with the Columbia administration. “I felt like I was under probation for like five years after that paper came out.”
“Did this Autism Diva person have any academic credentials that would make the administration sit up and take notice?” I asked.
“And they listened to her?”