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The price paid
Reflections on the consequences of whistleblowing and notoriety
He notices the subtle furrowing of her forehead, the slight change in how she is holding her eyebrows, and asks “Are you OK”. She answers “No, I am depressed and angry. It’s not just the constant on-line attacks, it is also the lack of support from so many that I had thought were friends.”
And there it is. The unspoken truth which daily eats at our souls, the truth that we both are constantly aware of but try not to talk about, is out in the open between us.
How is an individual, or a close couple, supposed to deal with the daily reality of organized censorship, gaslighting, defamation, and on-line bullying persisting for years and years? There are no well established guidelines, and those friends and colleagues who have experienced some form of this only offer general platitudes. Platitudes which range from some variation of “suck it up, snowflake” to blaming the victim. I often state that I refuse to define myself as a victim, but I do not know of a better term.
The first wave of attacks mostly came from corporate media, beginning in 2020 (before the vaccine rollout). The “official” corporate media/keeper of the approved narrative had enthusiastically embraced the promoted story line that Drs. Katie Kariko (a female scientist, VP of BioNTech and former Hungarian spy) and Drew Weissman (a former Anthony Fauci Post-doctoral research trainee)- both of whom have academic appointments at the University of Pennsylvania - were the persons who came up with the idea (ergo: invented) of using mRNA as a drug and for vaccines. Now just to say it, inventorship is not established by peer reviewed academic papers. It is something that is formally determined, via strict guidelines, by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The Kariko and Weissman U Penn “pseudouridine” patent is derivative, and not even enabling. A composition of matter improvement on the art at best. Curevac proved that the technology works for eliciting a human vaccine response even without the added pseudouridine. But not a single member of corporate media bothered to call up a patent lawyer and investigate these matters. Instead, they just regurgitated the approved and promoted narrative. Jill was particularly incensed by this promoted lie, as she had lived through the traumatic events associated with my having made those discoveries almost a decade before Kariko and Weissman did any work in the area, and was acutely aware that I had carried the mental scars of PTSD ever since. Frankly, still wanting to just bury my experiences at the Salk Institute and UC San Diego in my mind (even after all of the ensuing decades), at the time I just wanted to hide from all of the injustice.
But Jill is a warrior, and decided to make the real story public. She got out our boxes of old data and documents, wrote a summary of the events, scanned relevant documents including the original patent disclosures, the original Salk Institute patent filing (since abandoned without notice sent to me), the nine issued patents covering DNA/mRNA vaccines and the use of mRNA as a drug and sent copies of all of this to a wide range of recipients including Salk Institute and UC San Diego leadership. No reply from any of these was received. She also sent a copy to various professional colleagues including a Professor at the Karolinska Institute who we both know (who works on RNA vaccines), and who happens to be involved in the Nobel Prize selection process. In that case, to his credit, we did get a reply which included validation that he did remember about those events and that timeline - and that we had visited the Karolinska a couple of years later at his invitation to discuss the discovery.
You can find a summary of the details together with “receipts” at this website. Jill’s original document (letter) can be found here. And then there is the patent record, as well as my CV, which is easy enough for any journalist to look up. Of peripheral relevance is that the Kariko and Weissman patent issued to U Penn decades later makes no claims about using mRNA for vaccines.
Objecting to this promoted (false) narrative, combined with my appearance together with Steve Kirsh on the Bret Weinstein “Darkhorse” podcast in early 2021 whereby I questioned the safety studies of the nRNA vaccine and promoted early treatment, triggered a barrage of attack articles from corporate media, coupled with very aggressive editing of my Wikipedia page and the related Wikipedia references to mRNA vaccines to basically write me (and my scientific contributions) out of history. The campaign to get Kariko and Weissman the Nobel prize continued, and they were awarded the US Lasker award (considered the closest thing in the USA to the Nobel), as well as analogous awards from governments all over the world. Millions of dollars. For the record, my total compensation for all of those issued patents covering mRNA delivery and vaccination was one Susan B Anthony Dollar. Thanks, Vical and Salk Institute. Muchas gracias. Have a nice day.
What most amazed me about this early period of attacks was the willful ignorance of the corporate media authors (and many self-appointed social media “experts”) in completely overlooking the patent literature. In some cases these very public and widely circulated attacks were sponsored by various pharma-associated organizations such as the Wellcome Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Zuckerberg-Chan Foundation and others.
Then as I started speaking out about my concerns regarding the bioethics as well as toxicities of the genetic vaccines, and calling them what they were - gene therapy technology applied to vaccination - there came the second wave of attacks from corporate and social media basically asserting that I was a liar and/or a crank with an ax to grind. Attention seeking. Arrogant. Of course, before all of this, I had been attacked for trying to advance clinical research into the use of Famotidine and Celecoxib, with or without Ivermectin. An elaborate attack article including photographs of myself and our stallion “Jade” was prepared and published by the Associated Press. I can no longer find that article on the web, only this one. The story of the NY-based Northwell hospital chain involvement in all of this is one that I will tell some other day.
All of this seemed to be consistent with well known and documented biases and behaviors associated with corporate media, and for some (at the time but no longer mysterious) reason, any effort to discuss valid concerns regarding the ethics, safety and efficacy (or inventorship!) of the genetic vaccines was immediately and aggressively attacked by a wide range of corporate media channels. CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, Business Insider, Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone (!!) etc. The list went on and on. All superficial and poorly documented propaganda pieces composed by non-scientists. Which was basically what drove me (and Jill) to dive into the world of alternative media and the podcast.
Consulting with supportive colleagues who had very senior level media experience, the feedback was basically that this is just the way things are, the corporate media is wicked, cowboy up and get used to it.
Just to say, I did not sign up for this. No matter what people say, a constant stream of very high profile personal attacks in major media outlets is hurtful. You can try to put a smile on it, to remind yourself that all media is good media, but it still hurts. And it hurts those close to you.
And then there was the attempt by another physician (located on Maui, of all places) to get my medical license revoked. That one landed right before Christmas -2021, and the Maryland State medical board needed to have a prompt response, so that chewed up a good part of that holiday.
Whats to be done when a wide range of corporate media, factcheckers, social media companies, and on line haters (who we now know were at least partially supported by the CDC) are doing their best on a daily basis to destroy your reputation and generally write you out of history, or defame, slander, gaslight and disparage? Not to mention the various small opportunists seeking to elevate their own profile by attacking you.
The general non-specific answer is you pay a lawyer to write and send a cease and desist letter. Sometimes that works, but the devil is in the details. Never any apology forthcoming though, or anything even close to a recognition that what they were doing was wrong. Rarely are the on-line or published attack articles taken down. It appears that some entity pays Google to keep the infamously poorly written and researched “Atlantic Monthly” attack article at the top of the Google ranking when one searches my name (Atlantic Monthly proudly notes the following - “The Atlantic’s COVID-19 coverage is supported by grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”).
Then, having threatened to sue if the defamation is not rectified, you are left with two choices- tuck your tail and walk away, or follow through. Suffice to say, I am not one to tuck (yes, an intentional double entendre). Civil lawsuits alleging malicious defamation are among the hardest to prosecute and win. And notoriously expensive. So, unless you have the legal budget of someone like President Trump, you have to pick your battles, and build a strategy. Particularly when facing a barrage of cannon fire. Fortunately, our revenue from Substack allows us some greater freedom to pursue legal action, but it all comes out of our own bank account. No big donor has stepped up and said “oh, poor Robert Malone, there there, let me help you with your legal costs”. And the courts take forever to even decide if they will allow the case to proceed to the discovery phase.
I was prepared for this, sort of. To the extent that anyone can be. Jill and I consciously discussed and chose to expose ourselves to the risk of these types of personal attacks, although we had no idea of how nasty, persistent, long-lived and oppressive it would get.
What we were not prepared for, and still are reeling from, was the wave of attacks that followed. This is not my first rodeo as a whistleblower, the other one being the notorious Jesse Gelsinger gene therapy death in 1999 (also U Penn gene transfer experimental failure - notice a pattern here?). The consequences to my career were significant - due to my stepping forward and doing the right thing then. But just like during the COVIDcrisis, I had a duty to do what was right and I did it.
But then there came the attacks from within. From those that we had assumed were on our side in this fight. I cannot easily express how demoralizing it is to be cyberstalked, maliciously defamed, gaslighted on a constant daily basis by people that you thought were colleagues. Or their surrogates. Literally for years now. Et tu, Brute? To paraphrase from Julius Caesar- And you too, Brutus? Even you, my devoted friend, have turned against me? Then I may as well die. “Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar.” To have people that you once tried to help and mentor turn on you with on-line hate and venom, day after day after day. Or encourage surrogates to do their dirty work for them. That is indeed the unkindest cut of all.
If the only remedy for left wing corporate media malicious defamation is the cascade of “cease and desist” followed by lawsuit if no action is taken and the behavior continues, then should this only apply to those on the left who are attacking? What if the people, ostensibly on the same side opposing the same foes as you are, are also engaging in cyberstalking and malicious defamation (of you)? Should they get a pass? That makes no sense to me. Wrong is wrong. Damage is damage. Harm is harm, and hurt is hurt. Cyberstalking and malicious defamation are crimes against persons. Psychological pain inflicted on ones self and ones loved ones is still pain no matter the age, prior good works or background philosophy of the one inflicting the pain.
So many haters, so little money. You have to pick your battles. I have now been accused of being a mass murderer because I supported the “Mass Formation” model of Mattias Desmet (thereby in some way enabling the “global predators”), and for having invented the core mRNA vax platform technology (30 years ago), and attacked for not working full time to mitigate the damage caused by my technology. I have been accused for being a mass murderer for speaking out against the vaccines (the primary complaint of the Maui physician seeking to have my Maryland medical license revoked). We once counted six different forms of accusations during COVID by which I am asserted to be a mass murderer. I have been accused of having blocked the use of Ivermectin and promoting Remdesivir (both of which are clearly false claims). And recently, of somehow being involved in enabling both the 9-11 hijacking airline attacks AND the anthrax spore attacks. Repeatedly accused of being “controlled opposition” and an employee of the CIA, both of which accusations are verifiably false and seem mostly to serve the interests of governmental and pharmaceutical industry actors. The attacks are incessant, sometimes 3-5 times per day. A very small cohort of people in the medical freedom movement have put out literally 1000s of tweets and Substack articles, which get amplified and crossposted. Constantly. Month after month after month. All designed to delegitimize me in some way.
My criteria for taking legal action has been whether or not someone seems to be doing significant reputational damage, while also factoring in the quirky nature of various clauses in defamation law. In some cases I have proceeded to delivering a cease and desist and that was enough. Dr. Richard Fleming was one such case. I sent him a letter, and he stopped. Seems rational enough. Thank you, Richard (and I seriously mean that). Turns out that response is the exception rather than the rule. Others double down, go public, get even nastier and more personally vindictive. So then you have the same dilemma. Act on it or not. Fish or cut bait. First stop is to ask a mutual colleague to intervene. In almost all cases they refused.
So you then pay the lawyer to prepare and file the suit. And in some cases the accused gets even nastier, and seeks to cause yet more pain. Endless pain, stress, financial cost, in a bizarre form of a do-loop.
And as if this is not enough, then there are all of the armchair quarterbacks, some of who are employers, friends or associates with the ones doing the harassment and defamation. “Why are you suing the ____ (fill in the blank)!!??!!” “You just want to destroy the medical freedom movement!” (whatever that is). “You are just doing it for money!” (what a horrible business plan that would be, given the paltry odds of winning a defamation lawsuit).
No, I am suing because I am having something taken from me, and it is both wrong and illegal. My reputation, my peace of mind, and that of those close to me. Cyberstalking, cyberbullying, malicious defamation. These things are wrong. They are not what civilized, mentally healthy people do to each other. And they often seem to involve some odd perverse obsession. But it is also true that hate and defamation is a very good business model and a great way to build up a follower base. People are building their audiences by employing this strategy based on tall tales, lies, name calling and hate. But maybe, just maybe, if I win a case, this will become a disincentive for those prone to this sort of behavior in the future, directed towards me or to others.
And then there are the ones that are shunning me because I am (legally) fighting back against those that are doing this to Jill and I. That part is a real mind-bender for me. Somehow fighting back against those who are aggressively cyberstalking and defaming me on a daily basis makes me the bad guy. Now if that is not pretzel logic, I do not know what is.
I suppose, in an intellectual sense, it is a fascinating question to ponder - what makes these people behave in this way? Why do haters hate? Why do others support them? I do not have an answer, only informed speculation. Personally, I think it somehow relates to the mental state of other types of stalkers, such as the ones that shot President Regan and John Lennon. And it clearly relates to envy, jealousy, and greed. Spreading hate can be quite lucrative in the age of the internet, where attention seeking behavior can be monetized. So there is that.
In an effort to comprehend (as if that will make it better, less painful, to somehow understand the motivation of those trying to hurt me), I seek information from those with more experience in these matters. Most of whom seem to either be psychiatrists or lawyers who specialize in defending people who are being defamed and/or cyberstalked.
One such example is Minc law. I do not know this firm, and they do not represent me in any way shape or form. But what they have to say about these topics on their webpages strikes me as providing a lot of useful tips and insights. Useful to me, and perhaps also to you.
So, here are a few selected tidbits of wisdom from their on-line text:
Cyberstalking, also known as internet stalking, is generally understood to mean the use of the Internet or other electronic communications and mechanisms to stalk, harass, or attack a person, entity, or organization. It’s considered a form of cyberbullying – an electronic form of bullying and harassment – and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, do note that cyberbullying typically concerns itself with the bullying and harassment of minors.
When approaching the definition of cyberstalking, cyberstalkers generally boast the following four objectives:
Identify and locate the victim,
Watch and surveil them closely,
Emotionally harass and abuse them, and
Criminal manipulate them and instill fear.
Cyberstalking will also include one of the following elements:
Furthermore, cyberstalking may also include more sinister and unnerving actions, such as; identity monitoring, direct and indirect threats, identity theft, vandalism, solicitation for sexual acts, and the gathering of information with intent to later harass. And, internet stalking doesn’t just relegate itself to those seeking to harass and terrorize innocent victims online – it’s often accompanied by real-life stalking.
Both cyberstalking and real-life stalking are criminal offenses. We’ll address this below in Section 4: State and Federal Cyberstalking and Internet Harassment Laws.
Cyberstalking may also commonly be referred to as:
Online sexual harassment,
Online bullying, and of course
Cyber-trolling is considered harmless, and generally a single instance, while cyberstalking alludes to an extended campaign of harassment, threats, and bullying. Another fundamental element of cyberstalking is that there is usually a strategic element behind it.
Online Harassment Protection Tip: Documenting online harassment, defamation, and other malicious attacks is extremely useful in aiding your potential case and content removal. We generally recommend also having a trusted friend or family member assisting in the documentation process, as it can ultimately help refute claims from the opposing party that you’ve tampered with the evidence.
Cyberstalking of Public Figures & Celebrities
Cyberstalking sometimes is accompanied by an element of delusion, something commonly found in most celebrity and public figure cyberstalkers. Cyberstalkers and cyberharassers often reveal that they viewed themselves as having a close connection with the celebrity or public victim, due to constantly reading about them online, watching their television shows or movies, or viewing them via popular media channels.
In one of the most famous cases of cyberstalking, actress Patricia Arquette decided to delete her Facebook completely after severe internet stalking. 7 She warned Facebook friends and users to refrain from accepting friend requests from persons they didn’t actually know.
Online Harassment Tip: Remember, online harassment is a broad category, and can include everything from attacks and derogatory comments about one’s race, gender, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or religion, all the way to email obscenities and threats. Doctoring photos in an explicit and offensive way may also be considered online harassment.
5 Steps to Protect Against Cyberstalking & Online Harassment
Are you wondering what you can do if you are being cyberstalked or harassed online? Look no further. In this section, we’re going to take you through five actionable steps you can take to protect yourself against cyberstalking and online harassment.
When combatting cyberstalking, online harassment, and other Internet harassment, it’s important to stay vigilant and proactive. Oftentimes, there are tell-tale signs which can shed light on a perpetrator’s future intentions and actions. Additionally, it’s extremely important to understand what doesn’t constitute cyberstalking, online stalking, and online harassment, as this could help prevent bringing a frivolous claim and provide you with some peace of mind.
So, what are five actionable steps you can take if you are being harassed online?
1. Preserve & Document All Evidence
Cyberstalkers and online harassers are oftentimes highly tech savvy, and know how to hide their tracks. This can entail having past threatening messages/content removed or changed, which could ultimately make for a tough case when bringing a cyberstalking action.
We always recommend preserving all communications, content, and evidence of threats, comments, and attacks by cyberstalkers and online harassers. Doing so can ultimately help strengthen your case and refute any claims by the perpetrator that you fabricated evidence. We also recommend having a trusted family member or friend assist in the process to further legitimize its authenticity.
Due to the poor construction (and lack thereof) of adequate internet stalking and cyberbullying legislation in the United States, it’s important to paint a clear picture of what exactly happened.
2. Install an Email & Content Filtering System
The installation of an email and content filtering system could help assist in the prevention of malicious cyberstalkers and online harassers gaining access to your personal details (and your child’s). Phishing scams and malware are popular methods by which online perpetrators gain access to one’s computer, pictures, and personal information.
A comprehensive email and content filtering system can help weed out all the junk, while protecting you and your online persona.
Installing an email and content filtering system is an essential for parents looking to protect their children from online harassment and cyberstalking, as minors are more likely to fall victim to online phishing and malware scams.
Furthermore, make sure to switch out old passwords every month or two, and refrain from entering personal information into unsecured websites online. This is an extremely important thing to remember if you are leaving a relationship, as intimate cyberstalkers are some of the most common types on the Internet. Always look for the green “SSL” certificate at the beginning of the URL address search bar.
Do note that just because there is an SSL certificate installed, does not mean it is always safe to enter your information. However; it generally is an indication that the website went through property security hoops and processes.
3. Don’t Respond or Retaliate!
Internet harassment and cyberbullying can be extremely overwhelming and invasive, leaving you in a state of disbelief and highly stressed. This can lead to heightened emotions, and a desire to respond to the perpetrator. Don’t!
We strongly recommend refraining from responding or retaliating against the online harasser or cyberstalker, as it could result in the further spread of personal information or physical violence. Engaging with irrational and malicious online stalkers is often futile, as they are often unpredictable and seeking out an emotional response.
The reality of the situation is most cyberstalkers don’t care whether your response to their threats and attacks is positive or negative – they are simply looking for a reaction.
Even if an online stalker threatens to release intimate photographs, personal information, contact your friends and family (or employer), or disseminate unsavory material, don’t respond. All of your energy should be focused into compiling and documenting the evidence.
4. Understand the Most Common Defenses to Cyberstalking & Internet Harassment
While we’ve touched on the various definitions of cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and online harassment, it’s important to understand the flipside of the coin when protecting yourself against cyberstalking and Internet harassment.
When bringing a cyberstalking, Internet harassment, or online stalking claim, perpetrators (and defendants) may likely rely on one of the following defenses, which will enable them to skirt liability for their actions.
No Imminent Threat of Danger: A good portion of cyberstalking and online harassment legislation in the United States requires there be an imminent and credible threat towards a victim. Ultimately, if a perpetrator has no actionable way to carry out their threat, then a cyberstalking charge may not likely stick. Furthermore, a defendant might argue that they are dealing with a “hypersensitive” plaintiff, where a reasonable person would not perceive such words and comments to mean cyberstalking/threats.
No Actual Intent: One of the fundamental elements of stalking and cyberstalking is the element of intent. If a defendant never intended to place the victim in fear, then there may possibly not be an actionable cyberstalking claim in. For example, this could occur in instances where a party makes a one off joke or statement.
Not Made Repeatedly: One of threats or instances are not typically considered cyberstalking, as the consistent and repeated “stalking” is required. Sporadic conduct may act as a legitimate defense to internet stalking charges unless it can be proven that there was a “continuous purpose” behind it.
False Accusations: We’ve addressed the notion of false accusations in a previous, comprehensive blog post, “Suing Someone For False Accusations: U.S. False Accusations Law Guide” which we recommend checking out in further depth. Simply put, false accusations are claims and allegations that are unsubstantiated and not verifiable as fact. False accusations might be made by a former spouse in order to further a specific goal, however; it may not always mean cyberstalking or stalking is at issue.
5. Consider the Photographs & Information You Make Public
While there’s no guarantee of complete protection from online harassment and cyberstalking, it’s worth noting that the less you put out there (online), the less malicious cyberstalkers and online harassers have to draw from and use against you.
Simply put, the smaller the target, the better your chances of not falling prey to malicious online harassers.
Before putting content, photographs and media, and other personal information online, remember to ask yourself if you are comfortable with it possibly being seen and used by millions of visitors. It’s also not unheard of for internet harassers to use photographs from social media profiles to post to “rating” websites or doctor them completely – making it appear as though the victim is engaging in an unsavory or illicit act.
For example, if you run your own parenting website, consider refraining from placing photographs of your own children and family on the website, as this could draw unwanted attention to your personal life.
Or, if you run a personal blog solely meant for keeping friends and family members in the loop, consider setting up a verified login and registration system, so unauthorized parties are unable to gain access.
Finally, consider re-evaluating your current social media privacy settings, to prevent unauthorized third-parties from gaining access to your photographs and personal life.
I do not claim to be an expert on cyberstalking or malicious defamation, but it seems I am rapidly becoming one due to the school of hard knocks. Living the age of COVID as a whistleblower has certainly provided me with a rich tapestry of examples to draw from.
What I know is that if you have never experienced unrelenting daily unjustified attacks in press and social media for years, then you cannot understand what it is like. This is painful, demeaning, threatening, and for someone who already has an elevated PTSD set point, sometimes it can provoke a sense of breathless panic.
But that is what courage is all about, isn’t it? Courage is encountering fear, panic, anxiety and still persevering. Day in and day out. Many people have this kind of quiet courage, and you would never know it. But they are all around us.
When both on-line and in person, please keep in mind that your capacity to hurt others by your words and actions is significant. Maybe that is part of the motivation- for those who feel powerless in their own lives, causing others pain and suffering can give them some sense of power over others.
Here in this part of Virginia, we have a word for these sorts of folks. We call them assholes. They are everywhere, but for some reason seem more highly concentrated in the big city. I think it is harder to remain an anonymous asshole in a small rural town.
Please try to be kind to others. We all have a bit of inner asshole, and it comes out from time to time. But try to not let it get the better of you.
Thanks and best wishes to all, from here down on the farm.
Now that this essay is finished, I have to go figure out why we have a sudden pump failure in a 400 foot deep well….
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