Corruption
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It is said that power corrupts, but actually it is more true that power attracts the corruptible.   The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.

-
David Brin

 


The Conclusion of the Cancer Diaries


Part Nine:
Corruption

Written by Rick Archer
November 201
4

The Cancer Diaries began fourteen months ago in July 2013.  That is when my friend "Mr. Skeptic" insinuated that I was an idiot for supporting mainstream cancer research.

At first I thought to dismiss him out of hand, but he was so adamant that I had to pause and wonder.  I had too much respect for him to condemn with at least some investigation.

So I decided to take a look.  That started me down a long and winding road.  Along the way, I learned that over the past century people in the Medical Community have gone to great lengths to suppress several promising 'natural' cures for cancer.

That has led me to ask why any health professional in their right mind would deliberately sabotage a cure for cancer.  And I got my answer... money.  It is definitely in the economic interests of certain powerful people to maintain the cancer status quo. 

   


WHO ARE WE TO BLAME?

Given that I was raised to believe that doctors are people to be trusted above all others, I found it disconcerting to think they were part of the treachery. 

It took me a while, but I eventually realized that the problem lies not with all doctors but rather with "some doctors".  I suspect many doctors are just as appalled by the situation as I am.  They probably feel just as helpless as I do at the overwhelming obstacles to change the widespread corruption in medicine. 

The problem isn't just "greedy doctors".  It lies with hospitals that are desperate to fill beds.  It lies with the Pharmaceutical industry desperate to push pills.  Health Insurance has a vested interest in this game as well. 

I have learned that the more wealth and power is vested in any particular industry or profession, the more ruthlessly it will protect itself from threats.

Every industry and profession has an infrastructure designed to protect itself from competition.  How far they take their defensive strategies, and how far they dare take them, is dependent on how powerful that industry or profession is.

The more concentrated that wealth and power, the more likely it becomes that ruthless activities will be employed to keep the competition at bay.

When I started my search, I naively thought these corrupt practices were limited to cancer research.  Now I know better.  This practice not only exists in the world of medicine, it  extends throughout banking, energy, politics, the pharmaceutical drug industry, the health insurance industry, and the auto industry.

   


"It is time you learned the facts of life. You see, there are really only two kinds of people in the world, the eaters and the eaten. You just have to make up your mind which group you're going to be in. 

When you have the power, you don't have to tell the truth.  That's a rule that's been working in this world for generations.  And there are a great many people who don't tell the truth when they are in power in administrative positions."  

- - Dr. Dean Burk, NCI biochemist and cancer researcher

The Nature of Corruption

History is lined with examples of people who will deliberately lie to the public to protect their own interests. 

• We know full well that corruption exists in our government.  My article on the Twisted Golden Rule (Chapter Eight) made this perfectly clear.

• We know that corruption exists on Wall Street.  Bernard Madoff comes to mind as a prime example as well as reports of widespread insider trading. 

• The stories of Wade Frazier concerning his experiences in the Savings and Loan industry leave little doubt of unbelievable corruption in this area. 

• We have strong evidence that corruption exists the American business world. The pharmaceutical industry, the chemical companies, and the tobacco industry are prime examples of businesses that appear to have no conscience.  Enron falls into the same category of immoral behavior.

However, it still remains difficult to accept that corruption exists in medicine.  It jars the mind to think that a profession dedicated to saving mankind contains people who will deliberately promote their own selfish interests over that of their suffering patients. 

But there seem to be little doubt that this violation of the public's trust can happen. 

One need look no further than the story of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) executives who deliberately discredited the value of Laetrile even though they knew full well that their leading researcher was coming up with strong evidence in support of the drug's effectiveness.
(Chapter Two: The Medical Conspiracy)

Since the interests of the entire pharmaceutical drug industry depended on the continued use of synthetic drugs in the fight against cancer, the executives at MSK weren't about to bite the hand that fed them. 

If Laetrile had to be sacrificed in the sacred pursuit of continued drug profits, so be it. 


"
I am not going to give up my career to die on the barricades of Laetrile."

- - Lewis Thomas, President of MSK (and cancer victim)

Assuming one has read my previous eight chapters, then the reader is well aware I have presented one anecdotal situation after another that suggests there are powerful people who are so ruthless they would do anything to suppress a natural cure for cancer. 

As a revenue producer, cancer is one of the largest industries in this country.  Doctors, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry are all deeply dependent on the cancer cash flow.

One need only multiply the number of victims per year, which runs around one million, by the average cost of treatment — tens and more often hundreds of thousands of dollars — to sense the profound economic dependence of the medical and pharmaceutical industries on the continued supply of patients who need cancer treatment.

One would assume that the people running businesses that benefit economically from the current status of cancer treatment in America would be noble enough to step aside if a legitimate cure for cancer came along for humanitarians reasons.  

But I no longer believe that will happen voluntarily.  This industry has to implode from within like tobacco did. 

My opinion of the people in the pharmaceutical industry has sunk so low that I think they would do anything to cling to their wealth. 

I compare them to the tobacco people who knowingly poisoned our entire country and didn't have a shred of conscience about doing so.  If tobacco made people sick, hey, it's their own fault for smoking the stuff.

It may be difficult to comprehend this, but so many people have become dependent on cancer income that they will do anything to hang onto their failing therapies. 

Meanwhile people die right and left. 

It is impossible to judge the magnitude of the guilt of the people who have suppressed the natural cures.  Fortunately for them, they will never be held accountable.  That is because they murdered the main witness - the cures themselves.  This means we will never know for sure whether those alternative therapies actually worked or not.

Isn't that the essence of the American model of competition?  

It's a dog eat dog world; let's just kill off the competition.  Isn't that the American Way?  Only one problem - by killing potential cures for cancer, they killed off a lot of American people in the process.  That is not an easy fact to overlook. 

We don't like to think about the victims, but anyone who has seen the pain and the suffering caused by cancer would have a hard time accepting that legitimate cures for cancer may have been cast by the wayside.

Meanwhile we are stuck with "mainstream medicine" - chemo, cut, radiation.  Aren't we lucky?  Everyone seems to die from cancer using mainstream medicine.  The question is only 'sooner or later'. 

At this point, any family bankrupted by the corrupt practices of the doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies has nothing to show for the loss of their loved one except overwhelming bills and the misery of watching someone they cared about suffer horribly during the prolonged march to death.

If more people understood what was really going on here, this situation would be a national scandal.

 

 

Who Are the Guilty Ones?

 


I know for an absolute stone cold fact that at least a dozen very effective cancer treatments have been suppressed by mainstream medicine in the last 70 some years.  - Gavin Phillips [ source ]

 


As we approach the end of our long and winding road, a brief retrace of our earlier stops might be in order.  I began this search because back in June 2012 a friend of mine I call Mr. Skeptic told me I was an idiot for supporting mainstream cancer research.  He suggested I watch a video titled Cancer-The Forbidden Cures.  That was where my path began. 

To my dismay, the video did a brilliant job making the case that several potential cures for cancer have been eradicated by mysterious forces over the past century. 

Now I was worried that my friend was right.  So I investigated three of the stories covered in the video - Rene Caisse, Harry Hoxsey, and Max Gerson.  The story about Max Gerson upset me the most.  My research showed that Max Gerson was most likely a medical genius.  But Gerson was shut down by a thug named Morris Fishbein and certain politicians in Washington.

I was shocked to discover that Morris Fishbein had also destroyed a towering medical genius named Royal Rife.  So now I took the time to study Fishbein as well. I learned that this sociopath made an entire career out of destroying every possible alternative cure for cancer that came across his plate.

While studying Fishbein, I discovered two more sabotage efforts.

The suppression of Laetrile in the Seventies and the Salem witch trials of Stanislaw Burzynski in the Nineties were nothing short of scandalous.  That was the last straw.  Now I was convinced that something was deeply amiss in our medical industry. 

I have a principle that I have lived by my entire life... The Three Strikes Rule.

If it happens once, it is an incident.
If it happens twice, it is a coincidence.
If it happens three time, it is a pattern.

And if it happens SIX TIMES, it is a conspiracy.

My first question was to ask if it was true that these alternative cures might have had potential. 

Truthfully, all we have is anecdotal evidence that these cures had potential, but certainly no rigorous scientific certainty.

What we do have is a messy trail of circumstantial evidence that points to deliberate sabotage.  Although I will never have a way to know if those cures "really worked", after reading the stories of disruption involved in six different stories - Essiac, Hoxsey, Gerson, Rife, Laetrile, and Burzynski - there was no doubt left in my mind that shadowy figures were determined to prevent these therapies from succeeding.  Each person met such intense interference with their work that I was left flabbergasted.

Now I was forced to ask myself this question:

Why would anyone in their right mind deliberately suppress a potential cure for cancer?

The more I concentrated on this question, the more I realized that each time "The Authorities" had been used to destroy them.  Time and time again people representing the government were involved in stopping people who seemed to be well-minded cancer researchers. 

So now I asked a second question:

Why was our government so profoundly involved in the harassment of these individuals? 

That is when the answer finally dawned on me.  Much of our health industry's problems could be traced directly to our politicians (read: The Twisted Golden Rule).  My mistake was that I had been looking at the trees, not the forest.  When I took a step back, I realized that our government is involved in all sorts of questionable activities - calling off regulation in the banking industry, supporting fossil fuels over alternative energy, and systematically ruining our health industry with its bizarre insistence on an outmoded system. 

So that led me to my third question, easily the most important of them all:

How on earth will we ever break this unholy alliance between the cancer industry and the various government officials who protect their interests?

Interesting enough, it may be possible.  It has been done once before.  Let's learn what happened.

 
 


The History of the Tobacco Industry


Feel free to disagree with me if you like, but in my opinion the U.S. Tobacco Industry has always felt like legalized homicide.

Dating back to the Sixties, the American public was first told of a direct link between smoking and cancer.  In the years since, this message has been repeated time and again.  At this point, it has been established beyond the shadow of a doubt that smoking carries with it a high risk of cancer. 

And yet some people keep smoking anyway.  Hard to believe, isn't it? 

The main reason 'smoking' persists as a problem is the tobacco industry's refusal to throw in the towel.  This industry continues to use every means at its disposal to find new victims for its products.  I understand that every person reading my article already knows what I am talking about, but let's go ahead and cover the details anyway.

A government report states that millions of Americans have health problems caused by smoking. 

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and diminishes a person’s overall health.  Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

Smoking also causes heart disease, stroke, aortic aneurysm (a balloon-like bulge in an artery in the chest), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), asthma, hip fractures, and cataracts. Smokers are at higher risk of developing pneumonia and other airway infections.

Knowing full well the dangers of smoking, nevertheless the tobacco industry desperately continues to hook the young and the old on addictive smoking.

According to a Center for Disease Control fact sheet,  in 2011 the cigarette companies spent approximately $23 million per day on marketing tobacco products here in the U.S.

The CDC says the tobacco companies continue to directly target youth and young adults.  The report states there is sufficient evidence to conclude that there is a causal relationship between tobacco company advertising and promotion and the initiation and progression of tobacco use among youth people.

There is scientific evidence that shows:

• Adolescents are exposed to cigarette advertising.
• They find the ads appealing.
• The ads make smoking appear to be a desirable activity linked to popularity.
• The ads increase adolescents' desire to smoke.

Adult Men are targeted by ads linking 'virility' and 'smoking'.  Think "Marlboro Man".

Women have long been targeted by the tobacco industry all the way back to the 1920s and the Torches of Freedom ad campaign. Tobacco companies have long produced brands specifically for women such as 'Virginia Slims'.  Marketing toward women is dominated by themes of social desirability and independence, which are conveyed by advertisements featuring slim, attractive, and athletic models.

The advertisement and promotion of certain tobacco products appear to be targeted to members of racial/minority communities. 

• Marketing to Hispanics and American Indians/Alaska Natives has included advertising and promotion of cigarette brands with names such as Rio, Dorado, and American Spirit.

• The tobacco industry has targeted African American communities in its advertisements and promotional efforts for menthol cigarettes (e.g., campaigns that use urban culture and language to promote menthol cigarettes, tobacco-sponsored hip-hop bar nights with samples of specialty menthol cigarettes, targeted direct-mail promotions).

Why people continue to smoke is one of the great mysteries of our society.  People know smoking is dangerous, but they do it anyway.  I tip my hat to the powers of advertising.  Anything that can get people to voluntarily shorten their life is powerful stuff indeed.


Big Tobacco Played Dirty and Millions Died


A 2009 study made by Kelly Brownell of Yale and Kenneth Warner of Michigan told the following story:  

In December 1953, the CEOs of the major tobacco companies met secretly in New York City. Their purpose was to counter the damage from studies linking smoking to lung cancer.

A year earlier Reader’s Digest — then the public’s leading source of medical information— had printed an article entitled “Cancer by the Carton” (Norr 1952)

After it appeared, cigarette sales plummeted for two years, the first such decline of the century except during the Great Depression.

Working closely with John Hill, the founder of the public relations giant Hill & Knowlton, the industry created “A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers”.  They paid to have it published in 448 newspapers on January 4, 1954.

To give the industry a human face, the statement included the signatures of the nation’s top tobacco executives and assured Americans that “we accept an interest in people’s health as a basic responsibility, paramount to every other consideration in our business.”

Furthermore, they promised that “we always have and always will cooperate closely with those whose task it is to safeguard the public’s health” (Tobacco Industry Research Committee 1954).

The “Frank Statement” was a charade, the first step in a concerted, half-century-long campaign to mislead Americans about the catastrophic effects of smoking and to avoid public policy that might damage sales.

Unearthed later, industry documents showed the repeated duplicity of its executives.  Everything was at stake. The industry wanted desperately to prevent, or at least delay, shifts in public opinion that would permit a barrage of legislative, regulatory, and legal actions that would erode sales and profits.

The 1954Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokersbecame Big Tobacco's counter-attack to the Reader's Digest article.  The tobacco industry had a playbook that emphasized using "Authorities" to reassure the public. These authorities stated that the public’s health was the industry’s concern above all others and promised a variety of good-faith changes.

 They paid scientists who delivered research that instilled doubt.

 They lined up physicians and celebrities who told the American public there was no harm in smoking.

•  They criticized the “junk” science that found harms associated with smoking.

•  They lobbied with massive resources to stifle government action.

•  They denied the addictive nature of their products.

•  They increased their marketing to children.

What followed were decades of deceit and actions that cost millions of lives.

This half century of tobacco industry deception had tragic consequences.

Since the “Frank Statement,” approximately 16 million Americans have died from smoking, and millions more have suffered from debilitating diseases ranging from emphysema to heart disease. Had the industry come clean in 1954—matching deeds with promises—many of these deaths would almost certainly have been prevented. No one knows how many.

Perhaps 3 million. Maybe 5 million. Maybe 7 million—just in the United States alone.

An honest approach by industry might have saved more lives than any public health measure taken during the past fifty years.

Furthermore, if industry had made good faith efforts globally, rather than exploit and addict the developing world, the benefits could have been stunning.


Invulnerable!  Big Tobacco
Wins Lawsuit after Lawsuit


According to Wikipedia, in September 1950, an article was published in the British Medical Journal linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease. In 1954 the British Doctors Study confirmed the suggestion, based on which the government issued advice that smoking and lung cancer rates were related.  In 1964 the United States Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health likewise began suggesting the relationship between smoking and cancer.

These studies emboldened cigarette smokers stricken with disease to sue the tobacco companies.  By the mid-1950s, individuals in the United States began to sue the companies responsible for manufacturing and marketing cigarettes for damages related to the effects of smoking.  These people got absolutely nowhere.

The tobacco industry has historically been largely successful in this litigation process, with the vast majority of cases being won by the industry (source).

During the first 42 years of tobacco litigation (between 1954 and 1995) the industry maintained a clean record in litigation.   This success was largely due to hardball legal tactics.  For example, an R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company internal memo stated:

"The way we won these cases, to paraphrase General Patton, is not by spending all of Reynolds' money, but by making the other son of a bitch spend all of his."

In the forty years through 1996, over 800 private claims were brought against tobacco companies in state courts across the country.  The individuals asserted claims for negligent manufacture, negligent advertising, fraud, and violation of various state consumer protection statutes.

The tobacco companies enjoyed great success in these lawsuits. Only two plaintiffs ever prevailed, and both of those decisions were reversed on appeal.  As scientific evidence mounted in the 1980s, tobacco companies claimed contributory negligence as the adverse health effects were previously unknown or lacked substantial credibility.

Thanks to its powerful army of lawyers, the tobacco industry seemed invulnerable.

And then in 1995 something happened...

Starting in 1995, the good guys began to win some of the lawsuits.  Between 1995 and 2005 only 59% of cases were won by the tobacco industry either outright or on appeal in the US.

In more recent years, Tobacco has been pinned on its heels.  At this point, the continued success of the industry's efforts to win future cases is questionable. In Florida, for example, the industry has lost 77 of the 116 “Engle progeny” cases that have gone to trial. The U.S. Supreme Court has also denied the industry's major grounds for appeal of Engle cases.

Are you curious what happened in 1995 to turn the tide?  Let's find out.

   
 


Jeff Wigand - The Man Who
Knew Too Much


Do you have heroes?  I have one huge hero.  His name is Jeffrey Wigand.

It took the bravery of this man to break the stranglehold of the tobacco industry.

Jeff Wigand is the person who, in my opinion, single-handedly nailed the stake into the heart of the Tobacco Industry.  It was Wigand's brave actions in the face of death threats, lawsuits and threats of imprisonment that brought the Evil Empire to its knees.

Stop and think about it: More people have died trying to be “Kool” and “Marlboro Tough” than Hitler ever killed.  Mind you, these deaths were rarely very pretty.

And yet no one could stop Big Tobacco. 

But then Jeff Wigand stepped forward and changed everything.

So who is Jeffrey Wigand??

Following a 25-year career in health care at companies like Pfizer and Union Carbide, in December 1988 Dr. Jeffrey Wigand became the head of research and development at the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, the country's third-largest tobacco company

At the time, Wigand had been specifically recruited by a headhunter to join B&W to develop a safer cigarette.  Wigand's initial assignment was to develop a new, healthier cigarette to put into a competitive market.  Wigand was initially impressed by B&W's seeming commitment to improve the safety of their products.  His department budget was more than $30 million and he oversaw a staff of 243 scientists and assistants.

However, after just one year, the program was mysteriously scrapped.  When Wigand was assigned to other projects, he started to become suspicious.  Over the next two years, Wigand learned how the company carefully engineered its products to make them more appealing and more addictive by using additives that it knew posed serious health risks

Wigand also observed that his company always denied doing just that.

Wigand dug deeper.  He came across internal memos that suggested as far back as the 1960s documents were beginning to claim that cigarettes were addictive and caused cancer. 

These memos used a type of code language.  For example, "increased biological activity" was tobacco-patter code for cancer and other diseases. 

Wigand discovered that notes were not allowed at certain meetings.  This was to protect confidentiality when status reports concerning medical findings were being discussed. 

Wigand also learned that the litigation department had a budget in the millions to keep any case from proving that a smoker was damaged from the use of the product.

Wigand was incredulous at these practices.

He had never seen such corporate duplicity.  

Finally Wigand decided to speak up.

Exasperated and disillusioned, in late 1992 Wigand wrote a sharply worded memo to his boss, then-CEO Thomas E. Sandefur.  In his letter, Wigand objected to the use of coumarin in cigarettes.  Wigand pointed out B&W internal findings that showed coumarin was proven to cause cancer in rats and mice. 

Wigand got nowhere.  He was told that the removal of the tasty, addictive coumarin would impact sales. 

Wigand was in shock. He could not comprehend why his attempts to suggest how to make a safer cigarettes were completely squashed. Why had they even bothered to hire him?  Now his anger began to intensify.  Wigand concentrated his research on the properties of these dangerous additives.

During this time, Wigand was being watched closely.  That internal memo had seriously alarmed B&W executives.  Once Wigand showed his hand, the higher-ups suspected they had a renegade on their hands.  Now that he was on their radar, Wigand's every move was carefully scrutinized.  As the B&W personnel closed ranks, Wigand soon learned he could trust no one. 

It was too late.  Once Wigand had become a marked man within company, it was only a matter of time.  In 1991, his evaluation at work read that he had "a difficulty in communication."  The evaluation stated Wigand was becoming a problem with his questions and criticism of company practices.  The tension mounted and things went from bad to worse. 

On 24 March 1993, citing that evaluation ("difficulty in communication"), CEO Sandefur fired Wigand.  Wigand was quickly escorted from the building.  His diary and all his research papers were confiscated.

Now Wigand faced a serious problem.  His daughter suffered from spina bifida, a serious spine deformity that required constant monitoring on a near-daily basis.  Wigand desperately needed to hang onto his insurance coverage.  Brown & Williamson knew they had him right where they wanted him.  In order to get his severance benefits, Wigand had no choice but to sign a powerful confidentiality agreement that made him promise he would not divulge company policy.  

As always, the tobacco people knew how to buy silence.  Over the past century, they had learned every trick in the book on how to enforce confidentiality.   

After being fired by B&W, Wigand remained optimistic for some time.  But he was surprised not to be hired immediately by another corporation.  As his bills mounted, now he began to worry. He reportedly groused about his severance package to a friend at B&W.  Big mistake.  The 'friend' turned around and repeated Wigand's remarks to Sandefur, his former boss.

After his departure, Wigand suspected that B&W had continued to keep a close eye on him.  Wigand was correct.  Behind the scenes, B&W had become aware that Wigand had been called to testify as part of a 1993 U.S. Justice Department investigation into Philip Morris' "fire safe" cigarette program. 

Six months after his dismissal, B&W sued Wigand for breach of contract.  They suspended his health insurance and severance benefits.  Based on what the 'friend' had reported, they contended that Wigand had violated his confidentiality pledge by discussing the terms of his severance with another company executive.

According to the suit, his medical benefits would be taken from him, a move that would leave his crippled daughter vulnerable.  Now B&W tightened their hold by insisting that Wigand sign a even tougher agreement of nondisclosure.  

Brown and Williamson was absolutely determined to shut Wigand up once and for all.  Wigand felt trapped, and he did not know what to do.  But ultimately Wigand had little choice. He reluctantly signed an onerous, lifelong confidentiality agreement so stringent that he could be in violation if he discussed even the slightest detail about the corporation.

However, this display of corporate hardball would subsequently rebound against them.  Wigand would later say:

“If Brown & Williamson had just left me alone, I probably would have gotten a new job and moved on,”

Soon after this came a turning point.  In April 1994, television made Thomas Sandefur a national figure.  Sandefur sat at a Congressional conference table with the chairmen of six other major tobacco companies in hearings before a House subcommittee.

"I believe nicotine is not addictive," Sandefur testified.

Sandefur consistently maintained that position, saying, "I am entitled to express that view, even though it may differ from the opinions of others."

Sandefur did acknowledge that his company did control nicotine levels in cigarettes, but added it was only to maintain the cigarettes' taste.

After Sandefur's testimony, Representative Henry Waxman, (D-California), contended that Sandefur may have "knowingly deceived" Congress about the dangers of tobacco. 

However, no tobacco executives who testified were charged with perjury. 

The seven CEOs would have gotten off scot-free except for one person - Wigand. 

Jeff Wigand was seething mad at what he saw on TV. 

To him, Thomas Sandefur was lying through his teeth. 

Wigand was not only fed up with being pushed around, he was having a difficult time living with his conscience. 

Wigand could not believe B&W knew full well their cigarettes caused cancer, but did nothing to solve the problem.  Instead their total focus was on keeping their dirty secret to themselves.

It was at this point that Wigand began toying with the idea of going public with what he knew to be the truth. 

By coincidence, Lowell Bergman, a producer on 60 Minutes, had contacted Wigand for information on a completely different matter.  Bergman was producing a story on Philip Morris' "fire safe" cigarette.  Bergman had been given a memo that he couldn't understand.  He needed help with the secret code language.  Someone suggested Bergman ask a man named Jeff Wigand to help him interpret the secret internal Philip Morris documents anonymously sent to Bergman in late 1993. 

Wigand agreed to help because he needed the consultation money badly.  During their conversations, Wigand let a few things slip.  Bergman's instincts picked up on the possibility Wigand knew a lot more than he was saying. 

These meetings were done covertly which gave Bergman the chance to draw out Wigand carefully.  Once Bergman won Wigand's confidence, it didn't take that much to get Wigand to tell the entire story. 

Bergman felt the goosebumps.  This was the chance of a lifetime.  Together, Bergman and Wigand might be able to slay the mighty dragon. 

But would Wigand talk on the record?

While Bergman begged Wigand to tell his story on CBS 60 Minutes, Wigand wasn't so sure.  He had a lot to lose. 

Bergman refused to take 'no' for an answer.  Bergman laid out a promising scenario to his reluctant witness.

 The most compelling reason to speak up was Wigand's outrage. 

Wigand still could not believe
that Sandefur had knowingly lied before Congress alongside six other tobacco company CEOs that nicotine wasn't addictive

Wigand knew for a fact that his former boss had known for years that it was addictive.  

 Another motivating factor were a series of promising anti-tobacco lawsuits that could actually be 'winnable' if he offered his expert testimony. 

 In addition, several internal B&W documents had been made public by a paralegal named Merrell Williams.  These documents completely corroborated Wigand's account.  

It looked to Wigand like Bergman was right... for the first time, Big Tobacco seemed vulnerable.  But it all hinged on Wigand's decision to speak up. Wigand took his time to think it over. 

It took a lot of coaxing, but Bergman finally got Wigand to tell him the entire story on camera.  When later asked about his decision to go public, Wigand would say:  "There was never an epiphany. It was more incremental."

Unfortunately for Wigand, he had no idea what he was getting himself into.  When Wigand finally agreed to do the 60 Minutes interview and his decision to testify in the Mississippi anti-tobacco lawsuit, it is probably just as well that Wigand underestimated the enormity of his decision because all hell was about to break loose.

Almost immediately Wigand was hit with a mess of frightening lawsuits by B&W.  Then he began to receive anonymous death threats for himself and for his children.  Then his reputation was destroyed by a 500-page document released to the press detailing every piece of dirt the Tobacco cronies could dig up. 

The tension leading up to the scheduled airing of Wigand's story on CBS became unbearable.  And just when the climactic moment was to take place, a bizarre complication arose.

On the night when the show was scheduled, something incredible happened.  Just moments before airtime, CBS panicked and pulled the story!  Mike Wallace had to go on the air and explain why the widely-publicized program would not be shown that night.

Wigand's decision to go public had led to one of the most dramatic showdowns in television history. 

So what went wrong? 

It turned out that Brown and Williamson was determined to kill the story.  They threatened CBS with the mother of all lawsuits for "encouraging" Wigand to break his air-tight confidentiality agreement.  The catch-phrase was "tortious interference".  

In a nutshell, Wigand had signed an agreement promising never to reveal details about the company.  Wigand was already being sued on this issue.

Now, in addition, CBS was being threatened with a lawsuit for "encouraging" Wigand to speak up in spite of his agreement.  In other words, B&W was prepared to sue because CBS was interfering with Wigand's binding agreement.

The tobacco company lawyers told the CBS lawyers something like this:

"If you let this show go on the air, it is just a matter of time before Brown and Williamson will own CBS and you guys will be working for us."

This threat hit home. The CBS lawyers blinked.  This high-stakes risk was way too scary.  The order came down - Pull the show STAT!

The cowardice shown by CBS at the threat of Big Tobacco has become the stuff of legends.  CBS absolutely folded. 

It would not be until the Wall Street Journal broke the same story a few days later that CBS regained its nerve. 

Now that the Wall Street Journal had broken the ice, CBS felt safe enough under the legal umbrella provided by the Wall Street Journal story to go ahead and finally show its Wigand episode.    Read Full CBS Story

   

So after much wrangling and hand wringing behind closed doors at CBS, finally in late 1995 Dr. Wigand appeared on 60 Minutes.

The effect was absolutely sensational. 

Wigand began by announcing to the world that cigarette companies had known for a long time that cigarettes were indeed addictive.

Even more sensational was Wigand's assertion
that the heads of the tobacco companies had lied under sworn testimony to Congress that cigarettes were not addictive.

Just as the Tobacco Industry feared, Wigand's story proved incredibly damaging. 

Lowell Bergman had been right all along... Big Tobacco was indeed vulnerable.  At the time that Wigand stepped forward in the mid-Nineties, Big Tobacco was facing one lawsuit after another.  These lawsuits claimed that tobacco causes cancer, that companies in the industry knew this, and that they deliberately understated the significance of their findings, contributing to the illness and death of many citizens in those states.

However, Tobacco was still undefeated.  They had never lost a court case.  They were so rich and powerful that they could buy the toughest, most blood-thirsty lawyers.  They could use their deep pockets to help elect politicians who were more than willing to pass legislation favorable to Tobacco.

And then Wigand spoke up. 

Practically overnight, Wigand changed all of that.  Tobacco's winning streak ended the moment the 60 Minutes story was finally aired.

For starters, Wigand's interview unleashed a firestorm of rage throughout the country.  The entire country began to gang up on Tobacco with one state after another taking their turn at suing the industry.  Big Tobacco was being attacked in 50 different directions at once.

And guess who began to testify for the States?  Yes, Jeffrey Wigand.  Once he began telling the truth, Big Tobacco had no answer. 

This firestorm led to the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement

According to Wikipedia, the industry was found to have decades of internal memos confirming in detail that tobacco (which contains nicotine) is both addictive and carcinogenic (cancer-causing).

The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was entered in November 1998, originally between the four largest United States tobacco companies (Philip Morris Inc., R. J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard – the "original participating manufacturers", referred to as the "Majors") and the attorneys general of 46 states. The states settled their Medicaid lawsuits against the tobacco industry for recovery of their tobacco-related health-care costs.

The settlement became a heavy tax on the profits of the tobacco industry in the US.  And tobacco remains vulnerable to more lawsuits.

Today it is debatable if the tobacco industry has a money-producing long term outlook.

From this point on, Big Tobacco has never been the same.  

Jeffery Wigand broke their back. 

Today non-smokers across the country have seen smoking prohibited in many public places.  We all have Jeffrey Wigand to thank for that. 

However, the cost to Wigand was severe.  What many people are not aware of is the intense suffering Dr. Wigand went through to accomplish this goal.

•  He lost his $300,000 a year job.

•  He lost his severance package.

•  He lost his medical benefits despite having a very sick daughter and was forced to use savings to cover her expenses.

•  He lost his wife.

•  He lost his children.

•  He lost his home.

•  Wigand had his reputation assaulted.

His former employer, Brown and Williamson, developed a 500-page smear document based on flimsy half-truths and spread it to every major media outlet in the country, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Wigand was labeled a malcontent, a shoplifter, a lousy father, and a wife beater in front of the entire country as B&W tried desperately to discredit his credibility.

•  Wigand endured death threats and shameful threats to harm his children.

•  Wigand faced a series of frightening law suits threats that could conceivably leave him penniless.

•  Wigand faced a real possibility of prison time involving his decision to speak out despite having signed a powerful confidentiality agreement.

•  Dr. Wigand, who has a PhD in biochemistry, was blackballed in the industry. 

He had a tremendous problem finding work.  Unable to find a corporate job after his stint at B& W, he took a job at DuPont Manual High School, in Louisville, where he taught science and Japanese for $30,000 a year -- one-tenth of his former salary.

Guess what?  Wigand was soon named
teacher of the year in Kentucky.  
 

As one can see, Dr. Jeffrey Wigand is a very tough guy.  He suffered greatly.  His bravery came at a terrible cost.  It took a lot of courage for Wigand to stand up to Big Tobacco, but he didn't back down.  Thank goodness. 

There are some who say the Jeffrey Wigand episode is the most important story ever broken by 60 Minutes

In that one episode, Jeff Wigand not only slew the dragon, he changed the world.  Due to Dr. Wigand, our entire planet has become a better place to live. 

Now you know why Jeff Wigand is one of my heroes.

   


More About Jeff Wigand, The Insider


Although these events are 20 years in the past, perhaps Dr. Wigand’s story seems vaguely familiar.  In 1999, Wigand's David versus Goliath story became The Insider, a critically acclaimed movie starring Russell Crowe and Al Pacino.
  The film was very well done; it was nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award in 1999.

The Insider tells the entire story of how this one-time tobacco executive made front-page news by revealing his former employer knew exactly how addictive and lethal cigarettes were.  In addition, Wigand delivered a damning deposition in a Mississippi courtroom that eventually led to the tobacco industry's $246 billion litigation settlement. 

Not only did Wigand's contribution mark the first real break-through in the legal struggle to hold Big Tobacco accountable for its damage to our nation’s health, his stand was even more remarkable because he knew full well what incredible personal risks he was taking.  What Wigand did took a lot of guts.

Wigand has strong opinions about his decision to come forward.

"The word 'whistle-blower' suggests that you're a tattletale or that you're somehow disloyal," he says. "But I wasn't disloyal in the least bit.  People were dying.  I was loyal to a higher order of ethical responsibility."

Wigand acknowledges that he paid dearly for going public. Amid lawsuits, countersuits, and an exhaustive smear campaign orchestrated by the company, Wigand lost his family, his privacy, and his reputation. His wife divorced him, and their two daughters went to live with her. Eventually, he left Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Charleston, South Carolina, hoping to start over. He was on his own for the first time in years. "After it was over, I had to heal," says Wigand. "I didn't want to come out of this experience bitter."

Once the healing process was over, Dr. Wigand began to speak out even further on lecture tours across the country.

To his fascinated audiences, Wigand described how the tobacco industry "deliberately obfuscates the truth" about its lethal products. "It's the only product that when used as intended, kills you," he says, a line he returns to throughout each speech.

During his lectures, Wigand will recite a litany of statistics in his rapid-fire Bronx accent.

•  The number of people in the U.S. who die each year from smoking-related illnesses: 430,000.

•  The percentage of adult smokers who started before they turned 18: 80% to 90%.

•  The amount of money tobacco companies spend on advertising each year: more than $8 billion.

•  The percentage of 6-year-olds surveyed who associated Joe Camel with smoking: 91%.


"And now I have a question for the audience.  What do you people intend to do with the knowledge I've shared with you?" Wigand asks.

At this, people begin to nod.  The smokers who have come to listen know it is time to stop smoking.  Dr. Wigand is a very persuasive man up there at the podium.  Jeff Wigand has probably persuaded more people to give up smoking than any man in history.

I realize that many American heroes are decorated for risking their lives in wartime.  In my opinion, Dr. Wigand believed there was just as real a chance of losing his life as in any battle.  Wigand knew how ruthless the tobacco people were. He knew full well he was risking his life.  I contend his contribution and his courage make Jeffrey Wigand as much an American hero as any man who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.  

By single-handedly breaking the back of Big Tobacco, Jeff Wigand has probably saved more American lives than any person since Jonas Salk, the creator of the polio vaccine.

 


Further References:

Short version of Jeffrey Wigand's Story

Long version of Jeffrey Wigand's Story.  Marie Brenner of Vanity Fair wrote an amazing article “The Man Who Knew Too Much”.  This article became the basis for Best Picture Oscar NominationThe Insider with Russell Crowe and Al Pacino.  

   


The Many Faces of Evil

   


Rick Archer's Note: The movie The Insider was remarkable in many ways.  Of course the most amazing spectacle of all was watching the sudden and startling fall of Big Tobacco.

Trust me, as the movie made perfectly clear, Big Tobacco did not go down easy.  They fought back at every turn!!  Until you see the movie yourself, you cannot even conceive the extent to which Big Tobacco persecuted Jeff Wigand.

Earlier in this article I made this statement:

I have learned that the more wealth and power is vested in any particular industry or profession, the more ruthlessly it will protect itself from threats.

Every industry and profession has an infrastructure designed to protect itself from competition. How far they take their defensive strategies, and how far they can take them, is dependent on how powerful that industry or profession is.

The more concentrated that wealth and power, the more likely it becomes that ruthless activities will be employed to keep the competition at bay.

When I started my search, I naively thought these corrupt practices were limited to cancer research.  Now I know better.  This practice not only exists in the world of medicine, it  extends throughout banking, energy, politics, the pharmaceutical drug industry, the health insurance industry, and the auto industry.

Let's go ahead and add "Big Tobacco" to that list. 

Big Tobacco went down kicking, hissing and screaming like a horrible hydra monster fighting Hercules for its life... except in this case, it was Jeff Wigand slaying the monster.

The biggest weapon in Big Tobacco's arsenal was its army of pit bull lawyers.  As I watched in morbid fascination, to me these lawyers with their briefcases were just as terrifying as any Hydra Monster.  To see how these men operate without any soul or any sign of human compassion is chilling indeed.

After Brown and Williamson had gotten wind of the Wigand episode, they sent their army of lawyers to threaten CBS.  They promised a lawsuit to end all lawsuits for encouraging Wigand to break his confidentiality agreement. The catch-phrase was "tortious interference".  The tobacco company lawyers told the CBS lawyers something like this:

"If you let this show go on the air, it is just a matter of time before Brown and Williamson will own CBS."

As explained earlier, this threat hit home. The CBS lawyers blinked.  This high-stakes risk was way too scary for them.  The order came down - Kill the show immediately!! 

The case is still studied to this day.  Here is an example:

In Search of a Smoking Gun: Tortious Interference with Nondisclosure Agreements as an Obstacle to Newsgathering    [source]

Mark J. Chasteen, March 1998
Indiana University School of Law,

Though the timidity shown by CBS seems misplaced, the fact that a media institution as prominent and venerable as 60 Minutes chose to refrain from broadcasting an important interview means that this potential source of media liability merits examination.

Indeed, the assumption that fear of liability for activity on the boundaries of First Amendment protection would "chill" speech at the core of those values seems to be one of the driving forces that has historically led the Supreme Court to protect expression and activity that might be of dubious political value. 

 

There are some who say the Jeff Wigand episode is the most important show ever screened on the prestigious 60 Minutes


CBS wasn't the only one who blinked.  Jeff Wigand was absolutely terrified!  The Brown and Williamson lawyers assured him at every turn that he was not only going to be bankrupted for eternity, he would be going to jail for having the nerve to speak up.

Here's a New York Times excerpt on the degree of Wigand's legal intimidation:

After a tense day of courthouse maneuvers, a showdown was building tonight between Brown & Williamson and Jeffrey Wigand, its former research chief, over whether Mr. Wigand could divulge company secrets about safer cigarettes and the health effects of smoking.

On Monday, a state court in Kentucky, where Mr. Wigand lives and the Brown & Williamson Corporation is based, continued to bar Mr. Wigand from disclosing any sensitive information about his work at the company. After he was dismissed from the company in 1993, Mr. Wigand agreed not to divulge inside information in return for health benefits and other compensation. He also agreed that he would notify the company, which is a subsidiary of B.A.T. Industries of Britain, about any public statements he might make about his work.

Mr. Wigand became the center of a dispute when CBS News two weeks ago canceled the broadcast of an interview with him on "60 Minutes."

Brown & Williamson, the nation's third-largest tobacco company, sued Mr. Wigand last week in Louisville, accusing him of fraud and theft of secrets. It also won a temporary order from the state court in Louisville forbidding him from making disclosures before a hearing in January on a more permanent order.

By the end of the day today, lawyers for Brown & Williamson said they would ask the Kentucky court to find Mr. Wigand in contempt if he went ahead with the deposition on Wednesday.

"Since Wigand has not cooperated with B&W as required by his agreements and the restraining order, we have no choice but to seek to hold him in contempt," if he goes through with the deposition, Gary Morrisroe, a lawyer representing Brown & Williamson, said in a statement.


As the movie The Insider made clear, the tactics of the Brown and Williamson lawyers were unbelievably intimidating.

CBS was terrified.  Wigand was terrified.  When asked by a reporter for a comment, Wigand replied:

“My children have received death threats, my reputation and character have been attacked systematically in an organized smear campaign, and I have been warned I will end up penniless and in prison... unless someone is able to kill me first.”

“If they are successful in ruining my credibility, no other whistle-blower will ever come out of tobacco and do what I have done.”

From the Vanity Fair article about Wigand's ordeal:

That night we had dinner at the revolving restaurant at the top of the Hyatt. As we sat down at the table, Wigand looked out the window.

“I don’t believe this,” Wigand said. “We are directly across from the Brown & Williamson Tower.”

I [Marie Brenner] could see fluorescent light glowing on a single floor in the otherwise darkened building.

“What is that?” I asked.

“That’s the 18th floor. The legal department. That is where they are all working, trying to destroy my life.”

The restaurant revolves slowly, and each time the B&W Tower came into view, Wigand would grimace.

“Look at that,” he said. “They are still there, and they will be there tomorrow and they will be there on Sunday.… You can’t schmooze with these guys. They don’t take prisoners.”
 

Another excerpt from the Vanity Fair article about Wigand's ordeal:

The anti-tobacco forces depict Jeffrey Wigand as a portrait in courage, a Marlon Brando taking on the powers in On the Waterfront.

The pro-tobacco lobbies have been equally vociferous in their campaign to turn Wigand into a demon, a Mark Fuhrman who could cause potentially devastating cases against the tobacco industry to dissolve over issues that have little to do with the dangers of smoking.

According to New York public-relations man John Scanlon, who was hired by B&W’s law firm to help discredit Wigand, “Wigand is a habitual liar, a bad, bad guy.”

It was Scanlon’s assignment to disseminate a wide range of damaging charges against Wigand, such as shoplifting, fraud, and spousal abuse. Scanlon himself, along with B&W, is now the subject of an unprecedented Justice Department investigation for possible intimidation of a witness.

For First Amendment specialist James Goodale, the charges and countercharges B&W has attempted to level against Wigand represent “the most important press issue since the Pentagon Papers.”

Goodale, who represented The New York Times during that period, said, “You counteract these tactics by a courageous press and big balls.

The B&W executives appear to be convinced that they can break Wigand by a steady drumbeat of harassment and litigation, but they underestimate the stubborn nature of his character and the depth of his rage at what he says he observed as their employee. A part of his motivation is the need for personal vindication: Wigand is not proud that he was once attracted to the situation he came to find intolerable. According to Wigand’s brother James, a Richmond, Virginia, endocrinologist, “If they think they can intimidate and threaten Jeff, they have picked on the wrong person!”

It has become a dramatic convention to project onto whistle-blowers our need for heroism, when revenge and anger are often what drive them. There is a powerful temptation to see Jeffrey Wigand as a symbol: the little guy against the cartel, a good man caught in a vise.

However, Jeff Wigand defies easy categorization. As a personality, he is prickly, isolated, and fragile—“peculiar as hell” in Mike Wallace’s phrase—but there seems to be little doubt about the quality of his scientific information.

Wigand is the most sophisticated source who has ever come forward from the tobacco industry, a fact which has motivated B&W to mount a multi-million-dollar campaign to destroy him.

National reporters arrive in Louisville daily with questions for Wigand:

•  How lethal are tobacco additives such as coumarin? 

•  What did B&W officials know and when? 

• 
And what does it feel like, Dr. Wigand, to lose your wife and children and have every aspect of your personal life up for grabs and interpretation in the middle of a smear? 
 

The Brown and Williamson executives were more than willing to ruin Wigand's life to protect their interests.

This destroy-at-all-costs attitude was made clear in the Vanity Fair article:

“We were a quiet little company before all this happened,” an executive for B&W’s Kool brand tells me [Brenner] on a plane ride to Louisville.

“Then we wound up on page one.”

I ask him the standard question in Tobacco Land: “Do you want your children to smoke?”

The executive responds irritably, “I see where you are going with this. You are going to say that an unnamed Kool spokesman doesn’t want his daughter to smoke.… I think tobacco has been singled out unfairly.”
 

And here is my point: Both the Insider movie and the Vanity Fair article made it clear that the B&W executives and the B&W lawyers had no conscience.  They would stop at nothing to discredit Wigand and intimidate him. 

Throughout Wigand's ordeal, these men displayed a total lack of empathy or remorse for their actions.  While on the surface they might display a superficial charm and persuasive arguments in their favor, it was obvious they had no grasp of the incalculable damage their business did to society.  All they cared about was saving their business NO MATTER WHAT IT TOOK TO SUCCEED.

No one quite understands how a tobacco lawyer can kiss his wife and send his children off to school, then turn around and spend the rest of the day trying to destroy a man like Jeff Wigand. 

But maybe it is not necessary to understand what makes them tick.  All that is necessary is to know that these kind of men are dangerous as hell.  They will anything for the money.

In my opinion, the B&W lawyers were part of the many faces of evil.  It is men like these who have helped to create the widespread corruption that permeates all layers of American society.

 


The Sociopathic Personality


We have no trouble accepting that there is evil in the world.  People such as Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, Bashar Assad and Saddam Hussein have sent countless people to their death with a mere shrug of their shoulder.

These people took complete leave of their moral compass.  For that matter, Napoleon was just as much a monster as Hitler.  His brand of evil infected the entire country of France.  Millions died across Europe and for what? 

Not only does evil flourish in times of war, I think the Godfather Trilogy has make it clear that evil flourishes in the world of crime.  But how about everyday life?  Is it possible that evil lurks in churchgoers, business leaders, and trusted teachers?   The answer is unequivocally 'yes'. 

Evil is not limited to men who commit genocide or mobsters who assassinate their enemies with little remorse.  There are killers known as "sociopaths" among us in everyday life. 

It might surprise some to learn, however, that the vast majority of sociopaths aren't killers lurking in the shadows. Most of them are walking around among us, immersed in careers that nurture their psychological traits, and in some cases even reward them.

To the degree of the power they hold, they can do immense damage.

Like the B&W executives and lawyers in the Wigand situation, these sociopaths hide behind their glibness and superficial goodwill.  They are manipulative and cunning  They appear to be charming, yet when the cameras are turned off, they are covertly hostile and domineering.  They see their victims as merely an instrument to be used to gain their ends.

The heartless greed and sadistic ambition displayed on Wall Street before, during, and after the 2008 financial collapse has made it clear that many CEOs and financial czars have little or no conscience.  Capitalist positions of leadership offer power, autonomy, command, and status — a perfect battlefield for the ambitious and ruthless to compete. Where once pyramids towered above the desert in tribute to vain and all-powerful pharaohs, today it is the skyscrapers and corporate logos that have become the new symbols of ruthlessness.

Lawyers and CEOs go hand in hand.  They cloak themselves in the strange, arcane realms of the Law.  These complicated rules and laws make laymen completely reliant on their expertise to survive in a courtroom.

In the murky fog of these spin masters with their legalese and twisted logic, one can only hope your shark is better than their shark.

There's a good reason why Shakespeare hated the lawyers.  Lawyers have a well-earned reputation for distorting the systems of fairness and equality for the purposes of ensuring their financial success.  They don't care about what's 'right' or 'good for humanity'.  They only wish to serve their master and receive their blood money. 

For every white knight district attorney looking to uphold the pillars of justice, you are sure to find a teeming mass of amoral, bleak-hearted cynics and cutthroats hiding and scheming in the shadows.  These men are part of the many faces of evil. 

A sociopath is able to rationalize their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They see cheating as perfectly acceptable. 

Cheating at cards, cheating in sports, cheating on their wife, cheating in business... they f
eel entitled to behave any way they choose as "their right." They are typically pathological liars. They have no qualms about lying coolly to your face.  It is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis.

The major characteristic of a sociopath is their lack of remorse, shame or guilt.  They do not see their victims as people, but only as targets and opportunities.  A sociopath will use their friends and family if necessary to get what they want.  The end justifies the means; they let nothing stand in their way.

Carl Shapiro and Norman Levy considered Bernie Madoff to be their surrogate son.  Imagine how they felt when Madoff turned around and ripped them off for nearly $700 million! 

The question I ask myself all the time is how do these people live with themselves?  It is one thing to rob faceless people of their savings or deprive faceless people of a potential cure for cancer, but how does a man like Bernie Madoff exploit people he knows personally?  These were his friends!  They trusted him. 

Norman Levy was a giant of mid-century New York City real estate. Levy played a huge part by filling the giant skyscrapers with blue-chip tenants.

Norman Levy treated Bernie Madoff like son.  Indeed, Levy often called Madoff "my surrogate son".  They were also best friends, spending countless vacations together on Levy's yacht.

Throughout his life, Levy was very concerned with returning his good fortune to the community.  He often said the most important thing a man can do is to serve good causes.  With that in mind, he established the Betty and Norman F. Levy Foundation, a charitable institution used for causes ranging from cancer research to Yeshiva University.

Levy died in 2007. Levy had trusted Madoff so much that Madoff was named the executor of his will the and overseer of his charitable foundation.

When Madoff's scheme was revealed, Levy's reported $244 million in assets went up in smoke.  Now ask yourself what kind of man betrays the trust a decent person like Norman Levy, a man Madoff called his mentor of 40 years.  Levy had shown Madoff nothing but kindness and was rewarded with treason.

Prosecutors estimated the size of the Madoff's fraud to be $50 billion dollars.  Madoff was largely successful in duping so many people out of so much money because he preyed on his own kind... wealthy Jewish investors.

Bernie Madoff was described as the son Carl Shapiro never had.  Madoff took Shapiro for $400 million.

Bernie Madoff and Norman Levy shared many vacations together on Levy's personal yacht.  They were best friends.  Madoff took Levy for $244 million.  And that's how sociopaths treat their friends.

Madoff operated the largest private Ponzi scheme in history. In all, Madoff cost investors $50 BILLION dollars.

As I said: A sociopath will use their friends and family if necessary to get what they want. 

For that matter, a sociopathic attorney will work for a tobacco company like and never feel a bit of remorse.  This cold-blooded behavior was demonstrated time and again in the Wigand ordeal.

The truth of the matter is this:  There are people in our society who simply don't care about right and wrong.  And the rest of us are idiots if we expect them to care.  They aren't capable of it.

In its purest form, sociopathy is not simply a deficit of conscience.  Nor is merely a matter of not feeling as remorseful as society dictates that one should feel when one wrongs another person.

Sociopathy is a complete lack of empathy with other people on even the most basic level.  

If you explain to a psychopath why he should feel "bad" about the things he has done another person, rather than reflect on what you have said and possibly empathize with that person, the psychopath will simply wonder if there is any way to manipulate you to cut him a deal or 'forgive him'.  He will try to play you.  He will attempt to read you for the socially appropriate reactions and imitate the social cues of normal human behavior he has learned from you and other people.  

You can ask for mercy all you want, but why bother?  This person does not have a clue what mercy is.

On a certain level, he lacks a conscience to such a degree that he has to study other people in order to act how people act when they feel "guilt."

A sociopath is a very, very different kind of life form from you and I.  Some would call these men "monsters".

Imagine a world where a man has no conscience.  There is no limit to what he might do.  He can shoot turtles in the pond for the fun of it, molest little boys or rape helpless women.  A sociopath can rob someone at gunpoint and shoot them just for the pleasure.  He can burn down the house of a neighbor he doesn't like, embezzle money at work, and tell lies to ruin the reputation of an opponent. 

A sociopath sleeps just fine at night because he is totally free from and guilt, shame, remorse or concern for the people he has hurt.

The experts say that 4% of all people are sociopaths to some degree or another.  We understand that Hitler was a sociopath. We understand that the fascinating characters in the Godfather Saga were sociopaths.  By definition, criminals are all sociopaths to some degree of another.  That is their normal way of being.  How else does one assassinate unarmed and unsuspecting targets so carelessly?

What is hard for us to accept is that some of our neighbors, parents, spouses, teachers, children, co-workers and friends could be just as dangerous, especially if we corner them. 

Or in Madoff's case, he can be dangerous because he has control of our money.  Do you ever ask yourself if your own stock broker can be trusted?  I ask myself that question all the time.  I sometimes wonder if one day I will open a statement and find all my savings have disappeared. 

What I would like to point out is that the capacity for evil exists in all of us, not just the sociopaths. 

Sometimes the evil is not limited to just a few terrible men.  What about the Germans and Japanese during World War II?  How could these otherwise normal people from such great countries possibly commit such atrocities?  To me, it was mass insanity. 

Many of the German people in World War II knew right from wrong.  But through cowardice, peer pressure, and fear, they found it easier to cooperate with the Nazis than stand up to them.

Ethics, morals, and conscience can disappear in a flash under certain circumstances.  If someone's job at a hospital requires overcharging patients and one is well aware of how difficult a new job would be to find, well, then the choice might be to look the other way.

Pressure from one's superiors can make people lose their conscience in a hurry.  If a coach tells you to break the quarterback's leg and you know you will be cut from the team otherwise, then the choice might be a tough one to make.  You scoff... no one would openly suggest deliberately hurting one's opponent.   Sorry, wrong answer. 

The NFL began investigating the Saints in 2010 in response to allegations of deliberate attempts to injure players during the 2009–10 playoffs, but the investigation stalled until late in the 2011 season. On March 2, 2012, the NFL announced that it had evidence that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had created the program soon after his arrival in 2009, and alleged that "between 22 and 27 Saints players" were involved. (source)

Let's fact it... evil permeates every layer of society and we are constantly forced to make choices. 

If you believe that God does not want you to kill and your sergeant tells you to shoot the enemy, hmm, well, most of us would call that a moral dilemma. 

If the boss tells you that insider trading is the only way to succeed as a hedge fund trader, the temptation to follow his orders must be overwhelming. 

I say again that having a conscience is not a given.  It is a luxury.  Peer pressure does strange things to people. 

Witness the power of the Ku Klux Klan to turn citizens of the South into haters.  Witness the power of the Nazi Party to turn an entire populace into mass murderers. 

And I contend that there are a lot of people in the world of the cancer conspiracy who know exactly what is going on, but choose to do nothing about it.  Instead, like the rest of us, they stick their head in the sand and look the other way.

Then the next thing you know, we have a Holocaust.
 


First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

-- Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) commenting on the cowardice of the German people following the Nazis' rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

 

Adolf Eichmann was a German Nazi SS officer who became one of the major organizers of the Holocaust.

As the Nazis began the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, their Jewish policy changed from emigration to extermination. Eichmann and his staff became responsible for Jewish deportations to extermination camps, where the victims were gassed. After Germany invaded Hungary in March 1944, Eichmann oversaw the deportation and extermination of that country's Jewish population.

Most of the victims were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, where 75 to 90 per cent were killed on arrival. 

By the time the transports were stopped in July, 437,000 of Hungary's 725,000 Jews had been killed in the space of just four months.

Eichmann said towards the end of the war that he would "leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction".

After his capture, the Israelis were unwilling to take him to trial based solely on the evidence in documents and witness testimony, so the prisoner was subject to daily interrogations.

The interrogator was Chief Inspector Avner Less of the national police.

Using documents provided primarily by Yad Vashem and Nazi hunter Tuvia Friedman, Avner Less was able to determine when Eichmann was lying or being evasive.

When additional information was brought forward that forced Eichmann into admitting what he had done, Eichmann would insist he had not had any authority in the Nazi hierarchy.

Then he added that he had just been following orders.

Less noted that Eichmann did not seem to realize the enormity of his crimes and showed no remorse.

 


Becoming Evil

 


Is someone born a sociopath or does he develop into one? 

Although I suppose that some people are born that way, I am also fairly certain that people can go bad.  The reason I watched the transformation of Michael Corleone so carefully is that I believe people can start out decent and BECOME sociopathic.  At the start of Godfather I, Michael Corleone is a pretty decent guy.  He tells his girlfriend Kay repeatedly that he is not like his father.  Then by the end of the movie, Michael Corleone has all of his enemies executed. 

Ironically, the killings take place during Michael’s renunciation of the devil, as godfather to his nephew, at the baptism ceremony.  The transformation to sociopath is complete.

Regardless of whether Michael’s true personality is moral, it is clear that he no longer considers himself a decent person. The point of the murders exemplifies Michael’s transformation into a cold blooded monster.

Then he lies to his wife and claims he had nothing to do with all those executions.  In his denial of such deeds to his wife, Michael signals to the audience that his identity as a Mafia don has replaced his original personality. 

Walter White, the sociopathic anti-hero of Breaking Bad, started out as a decent human being with a conscience.  He was a teacher who took his job as an educator seriously.  However, when he got sick, a strange set of circumstances led him to cook methamphetamines to pay for his cancer treatment. 

Over time his new role as a drug manufacturer forced him to make evil choices.  Each time he was forced to quell his conscience to commit new crimes, he grew colder.  By the end of the show's run, White had turned completely dark. 

Admittedly Corleone and White are fictional examples, but I say they represent what can happen if evil is allowed to flourish.

It is possible for good people to go bad under stressful circumstances. 

Not only is it possible, it happens all the time.  If someone thinks it is important enough to suspend their morals, they will.  And each time they suspend their morals, it gets easier to do the same thing the next time as well. 

When people go bad, they put their selfish interests over the interests of the public good.  That is the basic meaning of the phrase "Power Corrupts".

The problem for decent citizens is that the people who have gone dark have a huge advantage over their soft-hearted, trusting peers.

A track star discovers his closest rival is doping.  Suddenly his rival begins to pull ahead.  What does the track star do... accept the situation or level the playing field by cheating as well?

Or a cyclist knows that Lance Armstrong is doping.  In fact, every cyclist at the top is doping.  What does the cyclist do?

These pressures abound throughout society.  The temptation to take the immoral route can be overwhelming at times.

Enron had an especially ruthless policy. They would automatically fire its 10% lowest-performing traders each year.  Think of the pressure that put on the traders to succeed.  This pitted every trader against each other.

This pressure to be the best according to the corporate mindset created all kinds of problems.  People were forced to do "whatever it takes" just to keep their job.  If the other guy was cheating as a way to keep his job, now you are probably forced to cheat as well.  That attitude created some serious moral dilemmas.  I think we can assume these dilemmas were responsible for sucking half the company over to the Dark Side.

Thanks to Enron's ruthless corporate culture, the decent people were soon weeded out and now only the most corrupt remained. It was these guys who then moved into the positions of power. 

Wikipedia: The California electricity crisis, also known as the Western U.S. Energy Crisis of 2000 and 2001, was a situation in which the State of California had a shortage of electricity supply caused by market manipulations, illegal shutdowns of pipelines by the Texas energy consortium Enron, and capped retail electricity prices.  As a result of Enron's "gaming the market", California was plagued by constant multiple large-scale blackouts over a two-year span.

And look how that strategy worked out for Enron.  These sociopaths considered themselves "The Smartest Guys in the Room".  In the end, by letting the crooks run the asylum, the entire company went down in smoke.

Another business with similar ethical shortcomings was Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm that was vaporized thanks to the Enron Scandal.

Barbara Ley Toffler, an Andersen staff member, wrote a book about her experiences there.  She said it was a pity for 85,000 ex-staffers that Andersen's ruling partners never saw the need for a mechanism to police themselves. Otherwise they might never have been dragged into ruin by the seemingly see-no-evil work they did at such tarnished giants as Waste Management (WMI), Sunbeam, WorldCom, Qwest Communications (Q), Global Crossing, and, most deadly of all, Enron.

Instead, Toffler suggests in Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed, and the Fall of Arthur Andersen, the once squeaky-clean Andersen had grown so obsessed with revenue that its leaders waffled on the firm's ethics and those of their notorious clients.

In her book, Toffler expressed contempt for an outfit that "represented the worst in American business".  She wrote about the peculiar culture that brought about the debacle. Toffler's Arthur Andersen was a place where the pursuit of revenues was the Holy Grail.  Andersen was dedicated to "Billing Our Brains Out".

Thus the slide from the demanding and disciplined audits Andersen once did into far more lucrative--but ethically compromising--consulting. Partners told her to drive up her billings, even if they were unjustified. And so exalted were the partners in Andersen's hierarchy-is-almighty milieu that underlings feared speaking up. Worse, thanks to a bizarre revenue-crediting arrangement, staffers spent as much time trying to cut one another out of new business as they did trying to develop it. Andersen, she suggests, was a "brutally cutthroat" place where "I learned to try to screw someone else before they screwed me."  (source)

Arthur Anderson, of course, was the accounting firm that let Enron get away with murder on its financial statements, then turned around and tried to hide its complicity by shredding thousands of documents once Enron began to implode.

It does not an accident that Arthur Andersen and Enron became bed partners.  Both companies had something in common - a hunger for profits no matter how they were obtained and a tendency to look the other way at unethical behavior.

•  What does the Savings and Loan Crisis of the Eighties say about American Business Ethics?
•  What does the Enron example say about American Business Ethics?
•  What does the Wall Street collapse say about American Business Ethics?
•  What does Bernie Madoff say about American Business Ethics?

All four examples show that Power Corrupts.  The Twisted Golden Rule prevails.

So why do so many human beings immediately look the other way when they see evil?  I think the answer is simple.  They want to enjoy their lives.  No one wants to go through the horror of what Jeff Wigand experienced.  In the end, they prefer to see no evil and keep their mouth shut.  Then they concoct some stupid rationalization about "just following orders".  

Labaton Sucharow is a powerful New York law firm.  In 2012, people from this firm conducted a survey of 500 banking and trading professionals.  Labaton Sucharow published their findings in a remarkable report titled "Corporate Integrity at a Crossroads".

Here is an excerpt:

Here in 2012 we approach the fourth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the harbinger of the global financial crisis. Companies went out of business, millions of employees lost their jobs and countless investors lost their life savings.

What prompted the scandals that played a central role in the downfall of so many institutions? Call it greed. Call it slack compliance. Call it conflicts of interests. The fact is, too many organizations –both central to the crisis and in its periphery– have lacked a strong culture of integrity.

In the end, one of the most significant lessons to emerge from the global economic crisis is that corporate ethics matter

We surveyed 500 professionals–evenly split across the United States and the United Kingdom–working in various segments of the financial services industry. We asked about personal ethics, corporate culture and possible misconduct. We asked about competitors. We asked about the regulators and law enforcement authorities that oversee the financial services industry.
The results were both alarming and, in some cases, encouraging. Among our key findings:

•  Misconduct is still widespread in the financial services industry; 26% of respondents indicated that they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.

•  Nearly one-fourth of respondents believed that financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful.

•  An alarming number of financial services professionals, 16% of respondents, would commit a crime – insider trading – if they could get away with it.
 

As one might gather, 'Corporate Integrity' is a phrase that is rapidly becoming an oxymoron along the lines of "Military Intelligence".

So who should we worry about more, the 4% of the sociopaths in society or the 16% would-be Bernie Madoffs on Wall Street who would use Insider Trading to take our money if they thought they could get away with it? 

To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if the two groups were actually the SAME PEOPLE.

There are theories that suggest sociopaths are drawn to certain professions... Wall Street being one of those professions.  The less talented are drawn to criminal behavior or jobs like police work or prison work where they get to exercise their thirst for power. 

The more talented sociopaths are drawn to become lawyers, business executives, politicians, and financial investors. 

This is not to say all financial investors, lawyers and business executives are sociopaths.  But many are.  Look at the Wigand situation.  Are you telling me that CEO Thomas Sandefur wasn't a sociopath?  Here is a man who knew his product killed people, but that didn't stop him.  And how else could those B&W lawyers defend a lying Tobacco executive with a straight face? 
 


It is said that power corrupts, but actually it is more true that power attracts the corruptible.   The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.

--
David Brin

"It's time you learned the facts of life. You see, there are really only two kinds of people in the world, the eaters and the eaten. You just have to make up your mind which group you're going to be in.  When you have the power, you don't have to tell the truth. That's a rule that's been working in this world for generations.  And there are a great many people who don't tell the truth when they are in power in administrative positions."

-- Dr. Dean Burk, NCI biochemist and cancer researcher

And what about politicians?  Hmm. 

One morning I watched as Brian Stelter, the 'Reliable Sources' anchor on CNN, spoke with Politico CEO Jim VandeHei.

Stelter asked Vandehei what was the reason for his company's recent expansion.

VandeHei replied,

"There are a lot of politicians and a lot of stories, but not many people covering them.  And what happens when politicians don't have people covering them?   Not Good..."

Amen to that.  Do any of us trust our politicians?   I certainly don't.  Although I believe that many politicians are good people, I also believe some of the most dangerous people in America represent us in Washington. 

The story of Harry Markopolos will demonstrate quite clearly why I feel this way.

 


Harry Markopolos


A whistleblower is a person who exposes misconduct, alleged dishonest or illegal activity occurring in an organization.

The alleged misconduct may be a violation of a law, rule, or regulation.  The misconduct may pose a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health and safety violations, and corruption.

Whistleblowers typically make their allegations in one of two ways.  They can work internally to other people within the accused organization. 

For example, Sharron Watkins of Enron fame used this route, but unfortunately no one listened to her.  Jeff Wigand initially used this same route, but got fired for his efforts. 

Usually the more effective way is to go outside the organization  externally to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues.  This doesn't always work either.

 

 

Ethical questions abound about the legitimacy of whistleblowing and the moral responsibility of whistleblowing.  Jeff Wigand had this say:

"The word 'whistle-blower' suggests that you're a tattletale or that you're somehow disloyalBut I wasn't disloyal in the least bit. People were dying. I was loyal to a higher order of ethical responsibility."

"They can't blow smoke at me," Wigand added. "I constantly keep them (Tobacco) on the truth course. I keep the truth lit, and they don't like it."

"But I'm not afraid because I am not alone anymore.  I've got more people who have stepped forward to shine the light on them now."

"Either you're part of the problem, or you're part of the solution."

"If you think you're moral and your company is immoral, you're by definition amoral until you step forward."

Whistleblowing is definitely not for the weak at heart. 

At the very least, Whistleblowers frequently face reprisal.

The repercussions usually start at the hands of the organization or group which they have accused, but sometimes from related organizations, and sometimes under law.

Depending on the level of corruption, there could be serious danger as well. 

As Jeff Wigand's situation makes obvious, it took real guts to come forward.  Wigand had everything to lose... and he did lose it.  At the time, Wigand lost everything in this world he held dear. 

Wigand also feared for his life. 

And so did Harry Markopolos.

So you ask who is Harry Markopoulos?  This is the guy who spent 8 years trying to get someone to listen to him about Bernie Madoff.  Had someone listened to Markopolos, perhaps this terrible tale might have had a better ending.

Harry Markopolos was an accountant and private fraud investigator who was unknown outside of Boston.  Oddly enough, Markopolos never met Bernie Madoff in his entire life.  But Markopolos used math and a gut instinct to smoke the man out from afar.

In a remarkable 2009 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft, Markopolos was asked how many times he tried to blow the whistle on Madoff.

By his own count, Markopolos attempted FIVE SEPARATE TIMES to warn the SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission, that Madoff was a crook. 

Read that number again: Markopolos blew the whistle on Madoff FIVE TIMES

Here is what Markopolos told Steve Kroft:

"I made five separate SEC submissions.

• 
May 2000
• 
October 2001
• 
October, November, and December of 2005
• 
June 2007
• 
April 2008

 And no one ever chased down any of my leads."

It staggers the mind to think that no serious effort was ever made to look into Markopolos' suggestions.

Imagine the damage that could have been avoided if someone had taken Markopoulos seriously in the beginning.

In the end, Markopolos had a theory why his warnings were ignored.  He believed certain people in the SEC and government knew about Madoff and protected him.

Harry Markopolos never actually met Bernie Madoff in his life. Markopolos got onto Madoff's trail for an unusual reason... his boss chewed him out for not being as good as Madoff!

The boss had read a business article praising Bernie Madoff's unusual success.   He called Markopolos into his office and said, "Why the hell can't you produce numbers like that?"

Markopolos was taken aback.  He had no response.  Clearly Madoff was a genius of some sort. 

His boss said, "Markopolos, I want you to take a look at this Madoff operation.  Maybe you can figure out what his strategy is and use it for your own gain."

Chastened, Markopolos decided to take his boss up on his suggestion.  This is what what happened next.


Excerpts from the Harry Markopolos Interview with Steve Kroft

Kroft Narration:  It began a decade ago, when Markopolos was working for a Boston investment firm. His boss told him that Madoff, a former chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange, was running a huge unregistered hedge fund that was producing incredible returns.  He wanted Markopolos to reverse-engineer its trading strategy and revenue streams so the firm could duplicate Madoff's results.

Markopolos:  "Madoff had the patina of being a respected citizen. One of the most successful businessmen in New York, and certainly, one of the most powerful men on Wall Street. You would never suspect him of fraud. Unless you knew the math..."

Kroft:  "I mean, you're like a math guy, right?"

Markopolos: "I've taken all the calculus courses, from integral calculus through differential calculus, as well as linear algebra. And statistics, both normal and non-normal"

Kroft Narration:  I asked Harry Markopolos how long it took him to figure out something was wrong

Markopolos:  "It took me five minutes to suspect that it was a fraud. It took me another almost four hours of mathematical modeling to prove that it was a fraud. "

Kroft Narration:  It was the performance line that caught his attention.

Markopolos:  "As we know, markets go up and down, and Madoff's only went up. He had very few down months. Only four percent of the months were down months.  That would be equivalent to a baseball player in the major leagues batting .960 for a year. Clearly impossible. You would suspect cheating immediately."

Kroft:  "Maybe he was just good."

Markopolos:  "No one's that good."

Kroft Narration:  Markopolos said there were only two plausible explanations: either Madoff was using insider information to rack up the huge profits or he was running a giant Ponzi scheme.

Kroft:  "So either way, he was doing something illegal?"

Markopolos:  "Either way, I knew he was going to go to prison"

Kroft Narration:  In May 2000, Markopolos took his suspicions about Bernie Madoff to the Boston office of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).  I asked him if he had any financial motive

Markopolos:  "Yes. Madoff was a competitor of mine in 2000 to 2004, while I was still in the industry.  And when someone who's a dirty player is competing on your playing field,  you want him tossed off the field."

Kroft Narration:  Markopolos also thought he might be eligible for a sizable reward if the fraud involved insider trading, but that turned out not to be the case.

Kroft:  "In your first letter to the S.E.C. back in 2000, you're a little tentative.  You say, 'Look, I have no hard evidence, no smoking gun.'"

Markopolos:  "In 2000, it was more theoretical. In 2001, it was a little bit more real. By 2005, I had 29 red flags that you just couldn't miss on. By 2005, the degree of certainty was approaching 100 percent."
 

As Steve Kroft pointed out, Harry Markopolos began sounding the alarm about Madoff to the S.E.C. in 2000. 

When the S.E.C. took no action, Markopolos was incredulous.  Now he began a crusade to prove his point. In 2005 he sent regulators a 19-page memo entitled “The World’s Largest Hedge Fund Is a Fraud.” 

The 19-page memo contained a list of 29 different red flags pointing to reasons why anyone with a brain should be suspicious.

29 RED FLAGS and still nothing was done. 

Madoff continued to walk around scot-free for three more years.  Ultimately Markopolos had nothing to do with Madoff's demise.

Instead Madoff was done in by the incompetence on Wall Street in 2008.  The crashing markets led to an old-fashioned "run on the bank".  When the markets went bad, many of Madoff's investors needed some of their money at the same time.  Madoff was unable to raise the cash fast enough to cover his Ponzi Scheme. 

In other words, in the end, despite eight years of desperate attempts to call attention to the crook, Markopolos didn't have a thing to do with exposing Madoff. 

However, once Madoff was caught, now people began to notice that some guy named "Harry Markopolos" had been pointing his finger at Madoff for the past eight years.  Finally Markopolos had their attention.

Markopolos hinted that corruption was what protected Bernie Madoff from being caught sooner.

For example, Markopolos found it fascinating that none of the largest firms on Wall Street were hurt by Madoff's collapse.  Here is what he told Steve Kroft: 

Kroft:  "Who else figured this out besides you?"

Markopolos:  "I would say that hundreds of people suspected something was amiss with the Madoff operation. If you look at the people who were NOT victims of Madoff, you'll notice that the major firms on Wall Street had no money with Mr. Madoff."

Kroft:  "I'm quoting from the letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, red flag number 20.

#20: 'Madoff is suspected of being a fraud by some of the world's largest, most sophisticated financial services firms.'

And then you list some of the firms.  Your report included names of the biggest firms on Wall Street.  And you quote conversations with people high up in those firms."

Markopolos:  "That is correct. And the SEC ignored that.  All the SEC had to do was pick up the phone. They never did."

Kroft:  "If you had executives at the biggest investment houses on Wall Street that knew something was wrong, why do you think they didn't go to the SEC?" .

Markopolos:  "Because people in glass houses don't throw stones. And self regulation on Wall Street doesn't work."

Kroft Narration:  In January 2006 the New York office of the Securities and Exchange Commission finally opened a case file to look into Markopolos' allegations about Bernie Madoff.  Despite uncovering evidence that Madoff had mislead them about his investment activities, the SEC closed the case 11 months later without ever opening a formal investigation.

The SEC staff said there was "no evidence of fraud."

 


More About Harry Markopolos


Rick Archer's Note:
 
The film Chasing Madoff is actually about Harry Markopolos.  Here Markopolos the thought processes that led him to suspect Madoff was dirty. 

I consider Harry Markopolos to be a hero along the same lines as Jeff Wigand.  He was clearly driven by a sense of duty and the struggle of right versus wrong.  In addition, he is to be commended for trying as hard as he did.

Although Markopolos did not succeed in bringing Madoff down himself, it obviously wasn't for lack of trying.  To me, the fact that Markopolos did not succeed is very interesting in itself... I agree with Markopolos that Madoff was being protected.

The Chasing Madoff film made it clear that Markopolos came to fear for his life and his family's safety just as Wigand did. 

As Markopolos began to discover just how vast was the extent of Madoff's crooked dealings, he was worried enough to begin carrying a weapon. 

Markopolos:

"I know it sounds a bit paranoid but Bernie was stealing from the Russians and Columbians.  As you know, those two groups have a unique way of handling their manager termination. If Bernie was discovered stealing from them — he had a lot of risk on the table. That meant I had a lot to fear. The FBI told me: With that kind of money, bad things happen."

Markopolos displayed a clear distaste for Madoff.  He called Madoff a "pathological liar" and compared him to a Mafia chief.  The Chasing Madoff film often compared Madoff with Al Capone, an analogy Markopolos said is accurate.

Markopolos:

"Bernie was a modern day organized criminal, but instead of using Tommy guns he used pens and a set of golf clubs. Madoff had vast array of people working for him as feeder funds; they were just preying on other people."

What Harry Markopolos did has earned my complete admiration

Markopolos:

"It's not over. Someone has to go forward. If people shirk their duty as citizens, then society falls apart.

I'm proud to say I stepped forward.  I may have had no effect on ultimate resolution of the Madoff case, but at least I tried."
 

Mario Puzo, author of the Godfather, once said, "The lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun." 

Markopolos more or less said the exact same thing about Bernie Madoff.

Markopolos said one more thing in his Chasing Madoff movie that I have not been able to get out of my mind. 

In the Steve Kroft interview, there was this exchange:

Kroft:  "If you had executives at the biggest investment houses on Wall Street that knew something was wrong, why do you think they didn't go to the SEC?"

Markopolos:  "Because people in glass houses don't throw stones. And self regulation on Wall Street doesn't work,"


In the
Chasing Madoff movie, Markopolos gave a very sinister answer to a similar question.  Markopolos was asked why he believed that none of his reports on Madoff were taken seriously. 

Markopolos made it clear that he believed unknown people in very high places were protecting Madoff. 

For Markopolos to report Madoff five separate times and get nowhere, Markopolos believed someone at the top had to be sabotaging these whistleblower attempts.

I firmly believe Markopolos is right. I completely believe there are people in Washington and New York who knew about Madoff and protected him.  And why would someone protect a monster like Madoff?  Probably because they had skin the game.

It is preposterous to think that Markopolos could have reported Madoff five times and been ignored each time. 

I say the biggest cheat in world history operated scot-free because people in government and positions of power protected him.  To me, this is the only explanation that makes sense. 

Markopolos was asked to testify to a Madoff fact-finding committee.  Here are two excerpts: 

"I feared for my safety as well as my family's safety until after Madoff's arrest.  Bernie Madoff was one of the most powerful men on Wall Street. I felt there was great danger in investigating him.  My team and I surmised that if Mr. Madoff gained knowledge of our activities, he may feel threatened enough to seek to stifle us.

During my European visit to investigate Madoff, I discovered that a large number of funds invested with Madoff operated offshore. This meant that the Russian Mafia and Latin-American cartels almost certainly had money with him."


"Government has coddled, accepted, and ignored white-collar crime for too long.  It is time the nation woke up and realized that it's not the armed robbers or drug dealers who cause the most economic harm, it's the white collar criminals living in the most expensive homes who have the most impressive resumes who harm us the most. They steal our pensions, bankrupt our companies, and destroy thousands of jobs, ruining countless lives."  (source)


As Michael Corleone said in the Godfather:

"All my life I kept trying to go up in society. I wanted to get where everything higher up was legal. 
 But the higher I go, the more crooked it becomes."


So here is a question.  If Bernie Madoff could find people in government to protect him, is it really that much of a stretch to ask if there are people in government who protect the interests of the pharmaceutical drug industry??
 


The Outline of a Cancer Conspiracy
 


"It took me years to realize that the people in control of the cancer treatment world today did not want a simple, quick cure for cancer. It was not in their economic or career interest. They want complicated disease syndromes and all the paraphernalia of techniques, expert analysis, peer group conferences, papers, discussions, research grants and clinical trials for years before a new cancer therapy might be allowed. It is a horrendous crime which serves only those on the "inside" who are playing the great, lucrative "expert" game."

- Barry Lynes, author of "The Cancer Cure That Worked" p. 126


Rick Archer's Note:

In the previous eight chapters of the Cancer Diaries, I have listed one story after another that suggest a handful of shadowy, morally-bereft sociopathic medical executives have systematically impeded the search for an alternative cure for cancer over the past century.  These men represent hospitals, health insurance companies, and government medical agencies.

If you don't believe me by now, there is nothing more I can say that will change your mind.  But I am completely convinced there is a major conspiracy in the domain of cancer treatment. These shadowy have made sure to bribe politicians to rig our laws so that doctors, hospitals, drug companies and health insurance giants can rob the American public blind.

These shadowy men are the anonymous, faceless executives who make cold-hearted 'business decisions' to persecute people like Royal Rife or Max Gerson in an attempt to protect their highly profitable cancer-based empire.

I don't have a clue who these men are.  I wouldn't know them if I bumped into them on a street.  I feel the anger, but it is targeted towards invisible faces.  Nevertheless, I completely believe that these people exist.  Like germs, we can't see them, but we know they are there and we know they are dangerous.  I contend that their cynical decisions have led to the death of many innocent people who were unable to benefit from natural cancer cures.


So how do we get rid of these people?  How do we solve the cancer crisis? 

Funny you should ask.  I have given this a lot of thought. 

The breakthrough could come from several directions.

One possibility is that Stanislaw Burzynski's antineoplaston cancer treatment might turn out to be effective.  Burzynski is to be admired for his brave 30 year battle against FDA corruption.  However, one has to wonder why there seems to have been so little progress in the past few years. 

Another possibility is that mainstream medicine seems to be getting closer to defeating cancer.  From the start, the rationale for suppressing "alternative" forms of cancer treatment has been to allow cancer research enough time to find a cure that will enrich the pharmaceutical industry.  The problem is that synthetic drugs don't seem to retard cancer anywhere near as effectively as natural cures.  That said, recent computer breakthroughs and gene sequencing tools seem to suggest that mainstream medicine is on the verge of just such an accomplishment. 

A third possibility is that a hero in the mold of Jeffrey Wigand may emerge to expose the widespread corruption.  Don't laugh.  If someone can single-handedly take down Big Tobacco, it might just happen in the world of cancer corruption as well.

And the fourth possibility is that people in the media who are not under control of the Cancer Conspiracy will continue to speak. As long as the media is not completely controlled by the shadowy forces of evil, then there is hope. 

In regards to Jeff Wigand, let's review this quote:

For First Amendment specialist James Goodale, the charges and countercharges B&W has attempted to level against Wigand represent “the most important press issue since the Pentagon Papers.”

Goodale, who represented The New York Times during that period, said,

You counteract these tactics by a courageous press and big balls.
 

Along this line, I applaud 60 Minutes.   60 Minutes seems to target corruption more effectively than any other news outlet in America. 

With this in mind, I would like to turn your attention to a recent October 2014 60 Minutes program that reminded me in many ways of Jeff Wigand's fateful appearance back in 1995.  Perhaps if 60 Minutes pushes hard enough, lightning will strike twice...

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have 60 Minutes find the cancer equivalent of Jeff Wigand and see the entire cancer fraud come tumbling down??  

Don't laugh... it could happen.  By coincidence, just as I was wrapping up this final chapter, 60 Minutes did a story on Cancer Drug corruption. 

Wonders never cease.  Let's have a look.
 

   
   


60 Minutes Reports on t
he Cost of Cancer Drugs

October 2014:

Lesley Stahl discovers the shock and anxiety of a cancer diagnosis can be followed by a second jolt:

The astronomical price of
cancer drugs!


Click here to watch this Episode on the Internet


The following is a script of "The Cost of Cancer Drugs" which aired on Oct. 5, 2014.

Lesley Stahl is the correspondent.

Richard Bonin is the producer.

Lesley Stahl is one of America's most recognized and experienced broadcast journalistsLesley Stahl has been a 60 Minutes correspondent since 1991.


Lesley Stahl Narration:  Cancer is so pervasive that it touches virtually every family in this country. More than one out of three Americans will be diagnosed with some form of it in their lifetime. And as anyone who's been through it knows, the shock and anxiety of the diagnosis is followed by a second jolt: the high price of cancer drugs.

They are so astronomical that a growing number of patients can't afford their co-pay, the percentage of their drug bill they have to pay out-of-pocket. This has led to a revolt against the drug companies led by some of the most prominent cancer doctors in the country.

Dr. Leonard Saltz: We're in a situation where a cancer diagnosis is one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy.

(LS Narration): Dr. Leonard Saltz is chief of gastrointestinal oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, one of the nation's premier cancer centers, and he's a leading expert on colon cancer.

Lesley Stahl: So, are you saying in effect, that we have to start treating the cost of these drugs almost like a side effect from cancer?

Dr. Leonard Saltz: I think that's a fair way of looking at it. We're starting to see the term "financial toxicity" being used in the literature. Individual patients are going into bankruptcy trying to deal with these prices.

"I do worry that people's fear and anxiety's are being taken advantage of."

Lesley Stahl: The general price for a new drug is what?

Dr. Leonard Saltz: They're priced at well over $100,000 a year.

Lesley Stahl: Wow.

Dr. Leonard Saltz: And remember that many of these drugs, most of them, don't replace everything else. They get added to it. And if you figure one drug costs $120,000 and the next drug's not going to cost less, you're at a quarter-million dollars in drug costs just to get started.

Lesley Stahl: I mean, you're dealing with people who are desperate.

Dr. Leonard Saltz: I do worry that people's fear and anxiety are being taken advantage of. And yes, it costs money to develop these drugs, but I do think the price is too high.

 

(LS Narration): The drug companies say it costs over a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market, so the prices reflect the cost of innovation.

The companies do provide financial assistance to some patients, but most people aren't eligible. So many in the middle class struggle to meet the cost of their co-payments. Sometimes they take half-doses of the drug to save money. Or delay getting their prescriptions refilled.

Dr. Saltz's battle against the cost of cancer drugs started in 2012 when the FDA approved Zaltrap for treating advanced colon cancer. Saltz compared the clinical trial results of Zaltrap to those of another drug already on the market, Avastin. He says both target the same patient population, work essentially in the same way. And, when given as part of chemotherapy, deliver the identical result: extending median survival by 1.4 months, or 42 days.

Dr. Leonard Saltz: The two drugs looked to be about the same. To me, it looked like a Coke and Pepsi sort of thing.


(LS Narration): Then Saltz, as head of the hospital's pharmacy committee, discovered how much it would cost: roughly $11,000 per month, more than twice that of Avastin.

Lesley Stahl: So $5,000 versus $11,000. That's quite a jump. Did it have fewer side effects? Was it less toxic? Did it have...

Dr. Leonard Saltz: No...

Lesley Stahl: ...Something that would have explained this double price?

Dr. Leonard Saltz: If anything, it looked like there might be a little more toxicity in the Zaltrap study.


(LS Narration):  Saltz then contacted Dr. Peter Bach, Sloan Kettering's in-house expert on cancer drug prices.

Lesley Stahl: So Zaltrap. One day your phone rings and it's Dr. Saltz. Do you remember what he said?

Dr. Peter Bach: He said, "Peter, I think we're not going to include a new cancer drug because it costs too much."

Lesley Stahl: Had you ever heard a line like that before?

Dr. Peter Bach: No. My response was, "I'll be right down."

Lesley Stahl: You ran down.

Dr. Peter Bach: I think I took the elevator. But yes, exactly.



(LS Narration): Bach determined that since patients would have to take Zaltrap for several months, the price tag for 42 days of extra life would run to nearly $60,000. What they then decided to do was unprecedented: reject a drug just because of its price.


Dr. Peter Bach: We did it for one reason. Because we need to take into account the financial consequences of the decisions that we make for our patients. Patients in Medicare would pay more than $2,000 a month themselves, out-of-pocket, for Zaltrap. And that that was the same as the typical income every month for a patient in Medicare.

Lesley Stahl: The co-pay.

Dr. Peter Bach: Right. 20 percent. Taking money from their children's inheritance, from the money they've saved. We couldn't in good conscience say, "We're going to prescribe this more expensive drug."

"It was a shocking event. Because it was irrefutable evidence that the price was a fiction."


(LS Narration): And then they trumpeted their decision in the New York Times. Blasting what they called "runaway cancer drug prices," it was a shot across the bow of the pharmaceutical industry and Congress for passing laws that Bach says allow the drug companies to charge whatever they want for cancer medications.



Dr. Peter Bach: Medicare has to pay exactly what the drug company charges. Whatever that number is.

Lesley Stahl: Wait a minute, this is a law?

Dr. Peter Bach: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: And there's no negotiating whatsoever with Medicare?

Dr. Peter Bach:  No.   
 


(Rick Archer's Note:   I discussed this exact issue in my previous Chapter titled
The Twisted Golden Rule.
 
Here is Excerpt One from my article:

Of the total $2.8 trillion that will be spent on health care, about $800 billion will be paid by the federal government through the Medicare insurance program for the disabled and those 65 and older and the Medicaid program, which provides care for the poor. That $800 billion, which keeps rising far faster than inflation and the gross domestic product, is what's driving the federal deficit. The other $2 trillion will be paid mostly by private health-insurance companies and individuals who have no insurance or who will pay some portion of the bills covered by their insurance.

This is what's increasingly burdening businesses that pay for their employees' health insurance and forcing individuals to pay so much in out-of-pocket expenses.

Increased out-of-pocket costs to Medicare beneficiaries and the often catastrophic costs of long-term services and supports are major threats to middle-class security for retirees and family members, who often end up in caregiving roles.   (Click here to read complete paragraph)
 


Lesley Stahl Narration: 

Another reason drug prices are so expensive is that according to an independent study, the single biggest source of income for private practice oncologists is the commission they make from cancer drugs. They're the ones who buy them wholesale from the pharmaceutical companies, and sell them retail to their patients.

The mark-up for Medicare patients is guaranteed by law: the average in the case of Zaltrap was six percent.
 

Dr. Leonard Saltz: What that does is create a very substantial incentive to use a more expensive drug, because if you're getting six percent of $10, that's nothing. If you're getting six percent of $10,000 that starts to add up. So now you have a real conflict of interest.
 

(LS Narration): But it all starts with the drug companies setting the price.

Dr. Peter Bach: We have a pricing system for drugs which is completely dictated by the people who are making the drugs.

Lesley Stahl: How do you think they're deciding the price?

Dr. Peter Bach: It's corporate chutzpah.

Lesley Stahl: We'll just raise the price, period.

Dr. Peter Bach: Just a question of how brave they are and how little they want to end up in the New York Times or on 60 Minutes.
 

(LS Narration):  That's because media exposure, he says, works. Right after their editorial was published, the drug's manufacturer, Sanofi, cut the price of Zaltrap by more than half.


Dr. Peter Bach:
It was a shocking event. Because it was irrefutable evidence that the price was a fiction. All of those arguments that we've heard for decades, "We have to charge the price we charge. We have to recoup our money. We're good for society. Trust us. We'll set the right price." One op-ed in the New York Times from one hospital and they said, "Oh, okay, we'll charge a different price." It was like we were in a Turkish bazaar.

Lesley Stahl: What do you mean?

Dr. Peter Bach: They said, "This carpet is $500" and you say, "I'll give you $100." And the guy says, "Okay." They set it up to make it highly profitable for doctors to go for Zaltrap instead of Avastin. It was crazy!



(LS Narration): But he says it got even crazier when Sanofi explained the way they were changing the price.

 

Dr. Peter Bach: They lowered it in a way that doctors could get the drug for less. But patients were still paying as if it was high-priced.

Lesley Stahl: Oh, come on.

Dr. Peter Bach: They said to the doctor, "Buy Zaltrap from us for $11,000 and we'll send you a check for $6,000."

Then you give it to your patient and you get to bill the patient's insurance company as if it cost $11,000. So it made it extremely profitable for the doctors. They could basically double their money if they use Zaltrap.

"High cancer drug prices are harming patients because either you come up with the money, or you die."

 

(LS Narration): All this is accepted industry practice. After about six months, once Medicare and private insurers became aware of the doctor's discount, the price was cut in half for everyone.

 

John Castellani: The drug companies have to put a price on a medicine that reflects the cost of developing them, which is very expensive and takes a long period of time, and the value that it can provide.



(LS Narration):  John Castellani is president and CEO of PhRMA, the drug industry's trade and lobbying group in Washington.

 

Lesley Stahl: If you are taking a drug that's no better than another drug already on the market and charging twice as much, and everybody thought the original drug was too much...

John Castellani: We don't set the prices on what the patient pays. What a patient pays is determined by his or her insurance.

Lesley Stahl: Are you saying that the pharmaceutical company's not to blame for how much the patient is paying? You're saying it's the insurance company?

John Castellani: I'm saying the insurance model makes the medicine seem artificially expensive for the patient.


(LS Narration):  He's talking about the high co-pay for cancer drugs. If you're on Medicare, you pay 20 percent.



Lesley Stahl: Twenty percent of $11,000 a month is a heck of a lot more than 20 percent of $5,000 a month.

John Castellani: But why should it be 20 percent instead of five percent?

Lesley Stahl: Why should it be $11,000 a month?

John Castellani: Because the cost of developing these therapies is so expensive.

Lesley Stahl: Then why did Sanofi cut it in half when they got some bad publicity?

John Castellani: I can't respond to a specific company.



(LS Narration):  Sanofi declined our request for an interview, but said in this email that they lowered the price of Zaltrap after listening "to early feedback from the oncology community and ... To ensure affordable choices for patients..."


Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: High cancer drug prices are harming patients because either you come up with the money, or you die.


(LS Narration):  Hagop Kantarjian chairs the department of leukemia at MD Anderson in Houston. Inspired by the doctors at Sloan Kettering, he enlisted 119 of the world's leading leukemia specialists to co-sign this article about the high price of drugs that don't just add a few weeks of life, but actually add years, like Gleevec.

It treats CML, one of the most common types of blood cancer that used to be a death sentence, but with Gleevec most patients survive for 10 years or more.


Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: Gleevec is probably the best drug we ever developed in cancer.

Lesley Stahl: In all cancers?

Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: So far. And that shows the dilemma, because here you have a drug that makes people live their normal life. But in order to live normally, they are enslaved by the cost of the drug. They have to pay every year.

Lesley Stahl:
You have to stay on it. You have to keep taking it.

Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: You have to stay on it indefinitely.


(LS Narration):  Gleevec is the top selling drug for industry giant Novartis, bringing in more than $4 billion a year in sales. $35 billion since the drug came to market. There are now several other drugs like it. So, you'd think with the competition, the price of Gleevec would have come down.


Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: And yet, the price of the drug tripled from $28,000 a year in 2001 to $92,000 a year in 2012.

Lesley Stahl: Are you saying that the drug companies are raising the prices on their older drugs.

Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: That's correct.

Lesley Stahl: Not just the new ones. So you have a new drug that might come out at a $100,000, but they are also saying the old drugs have to come up to that price, too?

Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: ExactlyThey are making prices unreasonable, unsustainable and, in my opinion, immoral.
 

(LS Narration):   When we asked Novartis why they tripled the price of Gleevec, they told us, "Gleevec has been a life-changing medicine ... When setting the prices of our medicines we consider ... the benefits they bring to patients ... The price of existing treatments and the investments needed to continue to innovate..."


Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: Gleevec is quite an expensive medication.


(LS Narration): Dr. Kantarjian says one thing that has to change is the law that prevents Medicare from negotiating for lower prices.



Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: This is unique to the United States. If you look anywhere in the world, there are negotiations. Either by the government or by different regulatory bodies to regulate the price of the drug. And this is why the prices are 50 percent to 80 percent lower anywhere in the world compared to the United States.

Lesley Stahl: Fifty percent to 80 percent?

Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: Fifty percent to 80 percent.

Lesley Stahl: The same drug?

Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: Same drug. American patients end up paying two to three times more for the same drug compared to Canadians or Europeans or Australians and others.

Lesley Stahl: Now, Novartis, which makes Gleevec, says that the price is fair because this is a miracle drug. It really works.

Dr. Hagop Kantarjian: The only drug that works is a drug that a patient can afford.
 


(Rick Archer's Note:   I discussed this issue in Chapter Eight titled
The Twisted Golden Rule.

In 2004, Congress and the G.W. Bush administration established the Medicare Part D drug component they eliminated competitive bidding by the pharmaceutical industry and created a windfall for both industries.
 
Here is Excerpt Two from my article:

In his 60 Minutes segment titled Under the Influence, Steve Kroft opened with this statement:

"If you have ever wondered why the cost of prescription drugs in the United States are the highest in the world or why it's illegal to import cheaper drugs from Canada or Mexico, you need look no further than the pharmaceutical lobby and its influence in Washington, D.C."

Steve Kroft went on to expose a series of highly questionable moves on the part of several Congressman in regards to the passage of a controversial pharmaceutical drug bill in 2003.

If you had any doubt before, this story will make it perfectly clear that our government is run by certain people with highly questionable integrity.  Let me say this again - Whoever owns the gold makes the rules.    (Click here to read complete story)

 

(LS Narration):  The challenge, Dr. Saltz at Sloan Kettering says, is knowing where to draw the line between how long a drug extends life and how much it costs.

Lesley Stahl: Where is that line?

Dr. Leonard Saltz: I don't know where that line is, but we as a society have been unwilling to discuss this topic and, as a result, the only people that are setting the line are the people that are selling the drugs.

 

Follow-up Story:  The Eye-Popping Cost of Cancer Drugs

(LS Narration):  As the 60 Minutes team reports, cancer drug prices have the potential to bankrupt a family.
 

Lesley Stahl:  "People don't just take one drug. It accumulates. They take two, or sometimes three. And each drug can cost $100,000," Stahl tells 60 Minutes Overtime. "It's really heartbreaking."

60 Minutes Producer Peter Bonin:  "Secondly, I never knew that for many oncologists, when they prescribe cancer drugs, they actually get a commission."

The argument is that if you can make 6% off $10,000 versus 6% off 1000, there is an unspoken incentive to opt for the more expensive drug."

Lesley Stahl: "So there is a built-in conflict of interest.  This means there is a built in incentive to prescribe the highest priced drug.  The whole system is out of kilter."
 

   
   


Final Words: 

Is there really such a thing as an Alternative Cancer Cure?

 

 


"I know for an absolute stone cold fact that at least a dozen very effective cancer treatments have been suppressed by mainstream medicine in the last 70 some years.

See my research into some of these treatments and the books referenced on my site for the enormous amount of evidence supporting my conclusions. 

-
Gavin Phillips [ source ]  

Rick Archer's Note:   In my heart, I believe this quote from Gavin Phillips is true. 

My Cancer Diaries consists of nine chapters.  In each chapter, I have discussed stories of suspicious circumstances where potential cures for cancer appear to have been deliberately suppressed by dark figures within the medical and pharmaceutical industry.

In the quote above, Gavin Phillips suggested he knows of "at least a dozen very effective cancer treatments have been suppressed by mainstream medicine".  As for me, I have written stories on six of the treatments that Mr. Phillips might be referring to:

  1. Rene Caisse and her Essiac herbal treatment
  2. Max Gerson and his Gerson diet
  3. Ernest Krebs and laetrile
  4. Royal Rife and his beam ray
  5. Harry Hoxsey and his herbal treatment
  6. Stanislaw Burzynski and his antineoplaston cancer cure

Do any of those cures really work? 

To be honest... and I have been honest throughout... I don't know the answer to that

What I do know is that I have read startling reports on the Internet that suggest all six of these people were subjected to intense intimidation.  This intimidation was so extreme that the degree of harassment in itself is clearcut evidence that someone feared them enough to suppress them. 

That speaks volumes.  If you want a good place to start reading about "suppression", read the story of Royal Rife.  Another startling story deals with Stanislaw Burzynski, a victim of well-documented systematic intimidation for nearly forty years.

If the stories about Burzynski can be believed, someone appears to have been determined to sabotage these cures and ruin his work at all cost.   Whether his treatment is any good or not I cannot say, but I am appalled at the lengths the medical conspiracy has gone to suppress his research efforts. 

Always keep in mind that I can't "prove" any of this.  All I do is read stories on the Internet and then pass them on to you. You don't have to take my word on anything; these same stories are available to you as well.  Please note I post my sources at every turn so that you can read the same stories as I did and draw your own conclusions. 

At some point, the adage "Where there is smoke, there is fire" kicks in.  There is so much circumstantial evidence surrounding these suppression of these cures that it defies all credulity to think something sinister isn't going on.

To quote Sherlock Holmes, "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?  Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth."

After reading the stories of those six individuals - Caisse, Hoxsey, Gerson, Laetrile, Rife, Burzynski - the most likely explanation is that there has been an ongoing conspiracy determined to suppress any cancer cure that the pharmaceutical industry deems dangerous to their financial interests.

Considering what a scourge cancer is, I have said repeatedly how shocked I am to believe someone would deliberately deprive humanity of a cure for cancer.  What kind of depravity exists to allow this to take place? 

This anti-life behavior makes absolutely no sense to a naive person like myself.  And yet I find myself convinced that this is exactly what has happened.  In writing these stories, one can assume all naivety is long since gone.  At this point, I firmly believe that there was promise in every one of those cures, yet we will probably never know the truth because each one of those people were stopped in their tracks and their cures abandoned to wither on the vine.

To call these saboteurs "immoral" doesn't even begin to convey my feelings of disgust and disbelief.

I continued to investigate because I wanted an answer to this question:

Why would doctors and the Medical Community suppress a potential cancer treatment? 

After nine chapters, I think I have my answer.  I have decided there is so much evil in this world that certain individuals could care less about letting innocent cancer victims die if it meant more money and more power.
 

Genocide

Look no further than genocide.  Man's cruelty to man knows few limits.  Man is capable of unspeakable atrocities.

The fatality totals due to genocide are unbelievable.  When Man concentrates hard enough, he is a far more effective killer than Mother Nature will ever be (extinction events excluded).

For example, in the Twentieth Century, there were seven Genocide situations that counted their victim totals in the millions.   Sorry to bring up such a depressing topic, but I don't think we can turn a blind eye and sweep these atrocities under the carpet.

Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Japan, Belgium (atrocities in Congo), Turkey and Cambodia were the parties responsible. Rwanda came close.

Let's face it -  Men like Hitler, Stalin and Mao were Monsters who would stop at nothing to maintain power.  They did not care if someone died. 

With the lives of 6 million Jews on his hands, Hitler of course is the most hated man of our time.  That said, people are surprised to find that Josef Stalin killed three times as many people as Hitler.  At 20 million some deaths, I had always assumed Stalin was the league leader. However, when I took a closer look, I found that the all-time champion is Mao Tse Tung. Thanks in large part to his disastrous agricultural experiments, China is estimated to have lost between 49 to 78 million people during Mao's reign of terror.  (source)

So here is my point.  If monsters like Stalin, Hitler, and Mao can murder people at the drop of the hat, it doesn't take much of an imagination to believe certain American Psychopaths could turn a blind eye to the suffering of our cancer victims. 

So what would I do if I received a diagnosis of cancer? 

The one thing I know I would do is AVOID our mainstream practice of chemo, surgery and radiation.

During my research, I ran across all sorts of material that suggest our mainstream practice of chemo, surgery, and radiation is just one step short of barbaric.  Since I am not a medical person, I cannot speak to the truth of this assertion.  So please don't depend on me for any advice about treatment.  However, I don't mind sharing some of quotes I ran across. 
 


"It is better not to apply any treatment in cases of occult cancer; for if treated (by surgery), the patients die quickly; but if not treated, they hold out for a long time." - Hippocrates, (460-370 BC)

"After excision, even when a scar has formed, nonetheless the cancer disease has returned, and caused death; while ...the majority of patients, although no violent measures are applied in the attempt to remove the tumor, but only mild applications in order to sooth it, attain a ripe old age in spite of it." - Celsus, (1st century AD)

"When [a tumor] is of long standing and large, you should leave it alone. For myself have never been able to cure any such, nor have I seen anyone else succeed before me." – Abu’l Qasim, (936-1013 AD)

 


Wade Frazier:  I have a favorite quote that is appropriate here, as it will apply to the medical establishment in dozens of instances before this essay is finished.

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation without investigation."
- Herbert Spencer

For instance, Hardin B. Jones, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, studied 23 years worth of cancer mortality statistics. His research was simple: when was somebody diagnosed with cancer, how long did they live after diagnosis, and did they have mainstream cancer treatment?

His study was done in the 1950s and was published in 1956.  For treated patients, their life expectancy after diagnosis was three years, a number that is about the same today.  

Hardin Jones' study appeared to suggest that the death rate for treated cancer patients and untreated cancer patients was largely identical.

- - Wade Frazier,  The Medical Racket


I would like to share a story written by Wade Frazier, a man I admire very much.  His web site, A Healed Planet, is the most profound website on the Internet I have ever run across.  I read with slack-jawed amazement his stories about the Savings and Loan scandals of the Eighties. I found his stories about conspiracies to halt free energy to be disturbingly believable.

And of course I credit his article The Medical Racket for many of my own jaundiced views on the Medical Industry.  Here is a remarkable story from the Medical Racket article.

Wade Frazier, from The Medical Racket  (Click the link and search for the word "Holler".  It will take you right to this anecdote.)

"I (Wade Frazier) have only met one person who ever pursued an alternative cancer treatment.

At age thirty-eight, in 1992, Maria developed an ovarian cyst and underwent surgery to remove it. When Maria awoke from surgery, her doctor gave her the bad news. While operating, he discovered ovarian cancer and gave her a hysterectomy. He said that Maria's only chance of survival was beginning chemotherapy immediately.

My friend Maria is quite a woman. She escaped the Kentucky holler where she was raised, got an education and became the kind of schoolteacher that every student wants and remembers. The woman is not possessed of a dazzling intellect, something she readily admits, but she did something unusual that not one person in a hundred (thousand?) would have done in her position.

Maria knew nothing about alternatives.  She knew almost nothing about cancer.  However, she vaguely remembered an acquaintance who was seemingly cured of prostate cancer by using an alternative method.

Her naďveté worked to her advantage. She asked her doctor if he had ever cured anybody of ovarian cancer. After beating around the bush, he admitted that he had not. He said he had three living patients, but that one would likely die soon. He added that he had only been an oncologist for five years, and did not have a record of accomplishment built up yet. She then asked him then if his experienced colleagues could give her the names of their surviving patients. Her doctor said that he did not know anybody.

Maria called and talked to the Fred Hutchinson Research Center (one of the most respected cancer clinics in the world, here in Seattle, which has recently been the center of scandal, because it performed involuntary human experiments), the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, various cancer treatment centers in the United States, and cancer hotlines and support groups. Her ear was red and sore from being on the phone for about two weeks, calling all over America, spending hours on hold.  

Maria got copies of her slides and medical reports, obtained as much literature as she could find, and shopped for a doctor. She talked to her acquaintance about his prostate cancer cure. He said his doctor was Glenn Warner, and Dr. Warner cured him using immunotherapy. Orthodox medicine repeatedly told her that the survival rate for her cancer was about 10%. Maria was not encouraged.

Maria went to seven doctors, all orthodox oncologists except Dr. Warner. She asked each doctor for the names and phone numbers of surviving patients. To those orthodox oncologists, giving references to patients was beyond the pale of appropriate doctor-patient relations. Only Dr. Warner consented to give her names of his surviving patients (the others may not have had any, or none that were willing to talk about their experiences under that doctor's care). That was the main reason she chose Dr. Warner. The other reason was that he treated her the most kindly and personably of the seven doctors.

Maria and her husband radically changed their diets and became vegans. Today her husband is a stricter vegan than she is and runs marathons, and is in better physical condition than anyone I know.

My friend Maria underwent Dr. Warner's gentle treatment, fully recovered from ovarian cancer and began to look forward to living to a ripe old age.

Unfortunately, things took a bad turn for Dr. Warner.

The same year Maria began treatment with him, the witch hunt began. The medical authorities swooped down on Dr. Warner, although practically everything he was doing was mainstream treatment.

As with other doctors who attract the medical inquisition’s attention, Warner’s greatest defenders were his patients, and my friend Maria was active in campaigning to protect him.

It did not matter, however, and they yanked Warner's license to practice medicine. Recently the state also revoked the license of about the only other alternative cancer treatment doctor in Washington, Dr. Bolles.

With the alternative doctors taken care of, the only remaining Seattle option is to go to mainstream oncologists who will never give out the name of a patient who survived their treatment.

Dr. Warner died in 2001 at a ripe old age, and my friend Maria attended his funeral. She considers Dr. Warner about the kindest and most loving person she ever met, who also possessed integrity of the highest order. At his funeral, the church was packed to the rafters with hundreds of people, coming to celebrate his life.

During the ceremony, somebody stood up and asked if everybody who was a patient of Dr. Warner would raise their hand, and most did. Then those whose loved ones were treated by Dr. Warner were also asked to raise their hand, and nearly every hand in the church was raised.  Probably no mainstream oncologist ever had a funeral like that."

 

 

Throughout my Cancer Diaries, we have played a game called "Let's Guess the Truth". 

We know that anyone can lie on the Internet.  That includes Wade Frazier and that includes me.

I have said repeatedly that I have told the truth, but that doesn't mean you have to believe me.  I could be the biggest liar of them all.

So at some point, people have to look to their instincts.  Does what Rick Archer say make sense? Does Rick Archer support his statements with sources?  Does Rick Archer seem to have anything to gain by making these statements?

In other words, at some point we all have to decide who we can trust and who we can't trust.

So I have a question for the reader. 

Did Wade Frazier's story about Dr. Warner sound like a scam to you?  Or did it sound on the level?

 

Unfortunately, "Truth" can be a very elusive thing.  I have no possible way to verify Frazier's anecdote.  I have never met this man in my life.  How am I supposed to know if he is telling the truth?

It all boils down to what you wish to believe and where you choose to put your faith.

As for me, personally speaking, I thought Wade Frazier was telling a true story... but I can't prove it nor will I try.

Here is my final word on the subject of cancer.

Have you noticed all the cancer commercials on TV?  Maybe it is just the channels I watch, but hospital after hospital is advertising cancer care.

Cancer is Big Business in America.  Now that the Medical Conspiracy has made sure to eliminate all competition, if we get sick, then we have little choice but to turn to mainstream cancer treatment.  Good luck with that.

I firmly believe that every day American cancer victims die right and left because over time certain men with about as much compassion as Josef Stalin have systematically eliminated potential alternative cancer cures and practitioners. 

It is my belief that all six alternative cures discussed in my Cancer Diaries had the potential to cure cancer.  If these cures had been nurtured instead of destroyed, I am certain at least one of them might have solved our cancer dilemma long ago.

Trust me, if alternative medicine had been allowed to proceed, I would choose cancer-killing fruits, coffee enemas and herbal tea over mainstream medicine's cut, slash, and burn concept of cancer treatment any day of the week.

But we aren't given that choice, are we?  Those alternative methods were destroyed and now look what we are stuck with. 

Instead, countless millions have gone to their death just to make sure those hospital beds stay full and those awful Big Pharma drugs keep selling.  Meanwhile the suffering continues.

To me, the actions of these psychopaths fall just short of deliberate genocide. 

That realization when coupled with the overall mediocrity of America's healthcare system (Twisted Golden Rule) has left me completely disillusioned with our American medical system.  

Imagine how it feels to know you could go bankrupt if you develop cancer in this country and suffer horribly in the process.  Then for the exciting conclusion... you lay there dying while your doctor explains how he has prolonged your life for 42 weeks using chemo, radiation, and surgery.  Too bad you were so nauseas from the chemo that you didn't get to enjoy those precious final weeks. This frightening scenario could happen to anyone.  It is very upsetting.  

In fact, I am so profoundly disgusted that I have written nine chapters on the subject in an attempt to bring this situation to the attention of more people.  

 


Now What Do We Do?


The big question is how much patience do we have left with mainstream medicine?

The official war against polio was started in 1938.  The war against polio was finally won in 1955.  Unfortunately, those fast results raised everyone's expectations that cancer would succumb just as quickly. 

Although medicine tried to find a cure for cancer throughout the Twentieth Century, the signing of the National Cancer Act of 1971 by President Richard Nixon is generally viewed as the beginning of the official war on cancer. 

Now after 40 years of research involving many billions of dollars, there is still no sign that this war is going to end any time soon. 

This lengthy period without any obvious progress has led many to lose hope that cancer will ever be cured in their lifetime.

Meanwhile the cancer statistics have grown to such an alarming degree that many people now refer to cancer as an ‘epidemic’. The ominous trend in the statistics is alarming.

•  At the start of the Twentieth Century, one person in 20 got cancer.

•  By 1940, that ratio had changed to one in 16.

•  By 1970, the start of Nixon’s War on Cancer, it was one in 10.

•  By 2000, one in three people were likely to develop cancer in their lifetime.

•  By 2010, one in two men and one in three women will get cancer in their lifetime. 

•  In 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancer deaths in the U.S. 

•  Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for 1 of every 4 deaths.  

Take another look at those numbers.  Half a million Americans die of cancer each year.  One million new Americans can expect to be diagnosed with cancer each year.   With numbers like these, it doesn't take much of an imagination to see we have a growing epidemic on our hands.

The physicians will say this is because we are all living longer and cancer seems to automatically kick in at some particular age the same way cars are rumored to be programmed to fail at a certain mileage.

I cannot help but wonder if this age excuse is a smokescreen for the truth. 

Another equally valid explanation might be the environmental problems across the country such as pollutants in our air, chemicals in our water, chemicals in our land, and toxins in our food supply. 

People will naturally ask me the question, "Well, Rick, what would you do about this problem?"

I say we need to unite.  We need to make as many Americans aware of the Medical Conspiracy as possible. 

Jeff Wigand said that he no longer lives in fear because he has so many people backing him.  There is strength in numbers.

Most of all, we need to identify a leader, be it a media person, medical person, or politician. We need to find someone who is willing to harness the outrage that Americans feel toward the corruption in the American medical system.  And then we need to empower this person with our support.

If we shine enough light on this problem, I think we can kill the Cancer Hydra Monster the same way that Jeff Wigand killed the Tobacco Dragon.

Rick Archer
November 2014

Rick@ssqq.com

Rick's Note:  I am not a Democrat nor am I a Republican.  I am an American citizen who wishes to speak up.  And thank goodness I live in America, the greatest country in the world, a land that allows me this freedom.


Rick Archer's Note:  Study after study confirms the USA has one of the most miserable health systems in the world.  Yes, it is true that if you are rich, you can get excellent health care in America.  But how many of us are rich? 

 

According to this chart, only one country in the world pays more per person than the USA.  That would be Switzerland.  Before you feel too sorry for Switzerland, this country is rated as one of the Top Ten best health care systems in the world. 

In the USA, we pay $8,608 per person. According to this chart, you could go to Iran and get better treatment for $346.  17% of our earnings go to medical care.  No other nation is even close!   It is absurd to think how much we pay and how little we get in return.

That "$8,608 per person" is a legitimate statistic.  At age 64, I pay $830 a month in insurance.  That means I pay close to $10,000 a year up front.  That is a stiff price for a person like me who is retired.  THEN there is the $2,500 deductible....

What is darkly fascinating is that America is clearly slipping in the rankings.  In 2006, the USA was #37.  Now we are #46!  All that hype about America with its finest doctors, the finest hospitals, the greatest medical schools... well, some of it may be true... but our actual national system of medical delivery to the citizens is completely and totally broken.

   


 


The origin of all revolutions and corruption, and the spur and source of all base morals are just two sayings:

The First Saying: 'So long as I'm full, what is it to me if others die of hunger?'

The Second Saying: 'You suffer hardship so that I can live in ease; you work so that I can eat.'

- Said Nursi

 


The fight for justice against corruption is never easy.  It never has been and never will be.  It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and especially our children.  In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity.

- Frank Serpico

 


In 1927, Justice Louis Brandeis wrote:

Men once feared witches and burnt women.  It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.  The freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth.

 


If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it.

But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.

- George Orwell, author of '1984' and 'Animal Farm'

 



 

 


“Of course the people don't want war.  But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.

That is easy.  All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”

- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials.

 


The biomedical and pharmaceutical companies essentially own the FDA.  It is a classic case of capturing the regulator, transforming a public watchdog into an industrial attack dog.

Consequently, the FDA’s general philosophy is protecting and promoting drugs and other lucrative products sold by its rich patrons, and wiping out natural remedies and other inexpensive health solutions.

Under the FDA's ministrations, natural remedies, health supplements and their practitioners are wiped out, replaced by lucrative artificial "medicines."

The FDA has been trying to regulate vitamins and herbs for many years.  Every time they try it, there is public outcry, senators and congressional representatives feel the heat from their constituents, and the FDA is beaten back.

They are not thwarted for long, however, as health supplements can be a lucrative business, once they become classified as drugs and can only be made by drug companies, sold only with a doctor's prescription.  That might seem extreme, but it accurately describes what the FDA has been doing for generations.

- Edward Griffin

 


The outcries against any proposed new cancer laws will be loud, emotional and designed to distract attention from the real questions and legitimate health concerns.

The behind-the-scenes actions by the Medical Monopolists will be cold, calculating and brutal.

Too much money is at stake to imagine that this conflict will be anything but bloody, with good and evil having a monumental showdown before it is over.

- Barry Lynes

 


I
t is difficult to get a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it.

Upton Sinclair

 


The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians and other healthcare professionals swearing to practice medicine honestly.

It requires a new physician to swear upon a number of healing gods that he will uphold a number of professional ethical standards and act at all times in a beneficial, healing manner towards his patients.

The Hippocratic Oath speaks to the sanctity of human life.

Today many doctors kowtow to the same failed cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation that they know full well will create great suffering while offering little chance at any lasting cure.

One can only wonder when the Hippocratic Oath became the Hypocritical Oath. .


Rick Archer

 


 


   
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