By Kent Heckenlively, JD
On March 25, 2015 I received the following e-mail from Kevin O’Malley of the Commonwealth Club of California regarding a scheduled appearance on April 9, 2015 by myself, Dr. Judy Mikovits, and Dr. Brian Hooker for a presentation entitled “American Whistleblowers”.
Kent and Judy,
Unfortunately it seems that Kent's blog two days ago set up a chain reaction that is causing some challenges with the Commonwealth Club, and we have come under a lot of fire from outside the Club directed at us.
Given the timing, and the challenging environment right now, the conversation has become a much different one than our program intended, and not one that will support getting the word out about your book, or any of our positive messages. As such, I am going to have to postpone the program and revisit how to best present this all at a later date.
This is a very tricky issue in a Public Affairs Forum, and it appears the Kent's warning about drawing attention was correct. There is also concern about how we are framing the discussion, and the focus on whistle-blowers seems to have back-fired, and taken us away from our primary intent.
Please let folks know that we are postponing the program -- and PLEASE DO NOT include any editorial comments about this in anything further you make public. Just let them know that we need to postpone due to a scheduling challenge. Any further editorial input around any of this will just make things worse; we need to let any outside attention fade away from what we tried to do here.
It’s probably worth backing up a little bit to recount how all of this came to pass. On February 18, 2015 the wonderful documentary Trace Amounts, detailing the history of mercury in vaccines, was showing at the Opera Plaza Cinemas in San Francisco. I was the master of ceremonies for the event. Prior to the showing of the movie, I met Christie Dames and her husband, Kevin O’Malley. Christie was enthusiastic about the book I had just co-written with Dr. Judy Mikovits, PLAGUE: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth About Human Retroviruses, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases.
Dr. Mikovits is a government scientist of more than twenty years’ experience and was Director of the Lab of Antiviral Drugs Mechanisms at the National Cancer Institute. Her research indicated a possible retroviral cause to chronic fatigue syndrome and autism, making it similar in many ways to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, although without the fatal consequences. I am a public school science teacher and an attorney. Christie wanted to get us to speak at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Her husband Kevin, is Chairman of the Business and Leadership forum at the Commonwealth Club agreed and we quickly made plans for an appearance. Christie thought we should broaden the scope from just our book, and include Dr. Brian Hooker, a biology professor from Simpson University, who had recently burst onto the public stage with revelations of a whistleblower for the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. William Thompson. The allegations of Dr. Thompson were that that public health officials had covered up a link between the MMR vaccine and autism in African-American males.