I'm not a hero, but I'm trying to live a heroic life.
The other night I was in bed reading the latest adventures of my favorite supernatural detective, Harry Dresden, (often described as a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Phillip Marlowe), and I came across a scene which reminded me of the true nature of heroism.
Harry was in another one of his jams, under contract to the Queen of Winter, who in turn lent him to a villain, Nicodemus Archelone, who wanted to steal the Holy Grail from the treasure vault of the Greek god of the underworld, Hades. Yeah, it was one of those kind of days.
But Harry had the good sense to bring along his friend, Michael Carpenter, a Knight of the Cross, (yes, that Cross!) So this group is down in the treasure vault, all the bad stuff is coming down, with the villain Nicodemus about to double-cross them, and Michael offers Nicoedmus a chance to surrender. Michael's words don't seem to come from your run of the mill fantasy story, but might just be my new code for life.
Michael tells the villain, "You think your power is what shapes the world that you walk in. But that is an illusion. Your choices shape your world. You think your power will protect you from the consequences of those choices. But you are wrong. You create your own rewards. There is a Judge. There is Justice in this world. And one day you will receive what you have earned. Choose carefully."
Okay, maybe that last bit was a little too close to the famous line in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but it's still very powerful. And it made me think about the book I've been co-writing with Dr. Judy Mikovits for the last two years, PLAGUE - One Scientist's Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases, which is being released on September 2, 2014 (now available for pre-order on Amazon. You can also visit the web-site www.plaguethebook.com)
Because you see, in the past two years I feel as if I've uncovered a lot of villainy in the scientific world. And it makes me wonder what a true hero is supposed to do in such a situation. If you'll let me explain, I think a hero should try to understand the forces which created his enemies.
For those I might call the villains in my story, when they were young I believe they had an overwhelming desire to help their fellow man, and perhaps a bit of vanity that they could crack the great mysteries of our world. They learned that there was a rigorous scientific method in which they were supposed to tell the absolute truth. An experiment worked, or it failed.
And they believed in those values for many years, rising in their profession, always wanting to move up the pyramid to find that place where they were SAFE. But as they moved up that pyramid, never quite feeling SAFE, they became aware of little hints and clues that some facts were being covered up, or not even investigated.
Since there were those farther up on the pyramid whom they respected and admired, they figured their superiors possessed greater understanding or wisdom, and if they really sat down and talked with them, their fears would be allayed.
But the questions remained, even when they found themselves as far up the pyramid as they were ever going to go, and yet they still didn't feel SAFE. Because they found that there was no SAFE place in science and if they asked the wrong questions, advanced theories which went against corporate and government interests, they might find themselves out of science. For many, it was a crisis of conscience.
And yet there were bills to pay, mortgages, kids to get through college. There were always distractions, always the feeling that if something was wrong in science it was somebody else's job to fix it. Let some other scientist be burned at the stake.
However, a time is coming when those who have tried to play it SAFE, will not be SAFE. I strongly believe that it what PLAGUE will do. PLAGUE will show the infection of fear in science. I think a terrible reckoning is coming, and many who will be blamed will believe they do not bear resonsibility for creating the problem. And to some extent they are right. Those who created the problem have long since vanished from the scene. But they will be responsible for the years of silence.
And so I will act as Michael Carpenter did in the underworld. I will offer my enemies a last chance to surrender. I offer this not because I am better than them. In many ways I understand that if the positions were reversed I might have made similar decisions. Even though you are my enemy, and your silence has harmed millions, I do not think I am better than you. I've just seen things from a different perspective.
If you will make a full and complete confession of the acts which have allowed the autism epidemic to rage uncontrolled, to the point where MIT researcher, Stephanie Seneff predicts that if current trends continue, 1 out of every 2 children will be autistic by 2025, I will offer you my protection. I will stand next to you at any tribunal which is convened and argue for leniency. They say that confession is good for the soul, but in this case it will also serve humanity. You need to come on over to the side of the angels.
PLAGUE is well on its way to becoming a best-seller, even though we have done very little publicity. The pre-orders have been so strong that our publisher has already increased the initial print-run. I have pitched it to a well-known production company in Hollywood and they are interested in reading it.
I believe the wrath of PLAGUE is almost upon you. This is your last chance. Choose carefully.
Kent Heckenlively is a founding Age of Autism Contributing Editor and author of Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases.