A Letter to Julia

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Chapter 23

My Turn

Genesis 18:

22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.[d] 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

May 8, 2014:As I’m struggling to find answers in all that has happened to our family I thought of these verses from Genesis.I was a cradle Catholic, but I never actually read the complete Bible until I met and married Helen.Today I can feel comfortable in any church and I consider myself a very spiritual, but not a particularly religious person.Nevertheless I find comfort in these particular verses.

I picture having a similar conversation with God, but now God is not concerned with Sodom and Gomorrah, but with my struggle to find meaning in our Mirapex emotional and financial train wreck.Lee certainly earned his share of the settlement as he went the extra mile supporting Mary through seemingly endless hearings, and legal maneuvering by the pharmaceuticals.But, the amount, which the Court deems so important that it must remain hidden forever, is so small that after all Lee’s allowable expenses are subtracted and also his 35% standard fee Mary and Joe only ended up with about 52% of what the Court forced her to accept.The smaller the forced settlement amount the more the allowable expenses cut into the final cash out amount.If Mary’s forced settlement amount would have been about $8,000 she would have gotten nothing---nothing!To add insult to injury we spent a couple of thousand dollars in travel expenses going to the phony settlement conference in Minneapolis and on all the mailing and copying; all in all--- pretty damn frustrating.

The pharmaceuticals never intended to deal fairly with any of the Mirapex victims.They never had to as the deck was stacked in their favor from the start with the prohibitive costs of litigation, the costly travel to useless settlement conferences and the Court ready to accommodate their wishes.We were lucky to get whatever crumbs we could.

May 16, 2014:I had to stop writing as I was overcome with hatred and frustration.Magistrate Judge Noel had no reason, no reason except to give the pharmaceuticals a giant gift in stopping Mary from telling her story---to anyone!!!That was totally unnecessary and not needed just to keep the actual amount of the settlement secret.Enough---enough!I have to stop this right now and concentrate on the positive.But first I have some things that I have wanted to say for several years.

First: This had to have been the job description that the pharmaceuticals posted when they were looking for lawyers and law firms to handle lawsuits brought by victims of Mirapex’s side effects.

“WANTED:LAWYERS WILLING TO FORGO ANY FEELINGS OF JUSTICE, FAIRNESS, AND KINDNESS, IN DEALING WITH VICTIMS OF THE DRUG MIRAPEX’S SIDE EFFECTS. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO CRUSH, INTIMIDATE, DISPARAGE, DISCOURAGE, AND MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF THESE VICTIMS.YOU MUST BE WILLING NOT ONLY TO SIMPLY BEND THE TRUTH, BUT TO USE OUTRIGHT LIES TO GET THE RESULTS WE WANT.MOST VICTIMS ARE ALREADY EMOTIONALLY AND FINANCIALLY WEAKENED SO THEY ARE NOT HARD TO FURTHER BEAT DOWN AND SILENCE.”

You might wonder who would answer such an ad, but throughout history plenty of hands have gone up when terrible things were asked to be done.When victims were to be driven by train to the gas chambers, there were people that said “I’ll do it!” In Rwanda hands shot up when people were asked to chop apart long time neighbors.There is an endless supply of these types of people.They are not the type that would break into someone’s home or mug somebody on the street on their own----but---given the cover of some type of “official” sanction are more than willing to do terrible things to other people.It is even more galling that these people pretend to be decent members of society.They attend church, kiss their kids goodnight, are nice to their friends and neighbors, on the surface appear to be good people.But would anyone call Idi Amin a decent person because he was sometimes kind?I doubt it.I thought that civilization had given up on the practice of making the family of a hanged person stand under the gibbet: apparently the pharmaceuticals have not.

Second: If another time I hear “it’s not personal, it’s only business”, I’ll choke.

Third: The Supreme Court of the United States of America has ruled that corporations can be considered as individuals in some cases.I’m sure then that these esteemed judges would not fault me for giving the legal arm of the Corporate Pharmaceuticals a personality assessment and deciding what kind of individuals they would be.Let me think-----?Someone that refuses to clean up their messes and blames other people instead of themselves is acting like a five year old.Someone that is totally devoid of moral responsibility or social conscience, has no empathy for others, and lacks remorse and shame is a sociopath. The unavoidable conclusion is the Pharmaceuticals, when acting through their legal arms are SOCIOPATHIC FIVE YEARS OLDS.

Fourth: We have been through three years of Mirapex financial and emotional horror and now five years of additional financial and emotional horror courtesy of the pharmaceuticals with only a pittance in remuneration.Helen and I only survived because of the strong rings of support that surrounded us.Mary, while emotionally distraught, nevertheless remained steadfast in her convictions that she needed to have her story told and the pharmaceuticals held accountable for the hidden side effects of their drug Mirapex.Her husband Joe soldiered on and kept his good nature despite grinding problems almost every day.Surrounding Mary’s family and Helen and I is another ring of love and support.It is made up of our other children Amy, Megan and Adam and their spouses Mark, Kyle and Sara, and our grandchildren Georgia, Annelies and Luke.Surrounding that ring is another made up of our friends, extended family and the other victims of Mirapex I’ve corresponded with.It is these concentric rings of love and support that made it possible to somewhat prevail as we have against the pharmaceuticals and all their arrogance, power and money.

17 May 2014:

The Lord said to me, “If fifty people were spared the revenges of Mirapex because of your ordeal would you consider it worthwhile.”

“I would.”

“If I find forty-five that were spared?”

“I would.”

“For the sake of forty?”

“I would.”

“For the sake of ten?”

“I would.”

Then the Lord said, “But let me speak just once more. What if only one can be found that was spared the revenges of Mirapex because of your ordeal would you consider it worthwhile?”

I answered “To keep only a single person from the living hell we went through, I would consider it worthwhile.”

March 19, 2014: I just read where some conservationists are arguing that since corporations appear to value the bottom line above everything else, then giving a dollar value to the money a corporation could save by sound ecological practices (mitigating flooding, reducing smog, etc.) is more effective than moral persuasion or censor.Perhaps assigning a dollar value to human suffering or human life instead of the zero amounts now used by the pharmaceutical’s legal teams might stop the “scorched earth” policy they now use in dealing with victims of drug side effects.But first I have to see if Hell is freezing over.

Postscript: The Fish that Got Away

March 22, 2014:“Now I’m in the driver’s seat” Mary told me last night.Mary is determined to make the most of her “limited” freedom to speak out and speak out she will.Our first task is to email all the “gagged” and not gagged Mirapex victims and other supporters and let them know the final outcome of the lawsuit.Most “gagged” victims will be surprised and gratified to find out that Mary did not have to sign the crushing 19 page release form.

Soon we will contact the reporter in Minneapolis and this time Mary can email him herself.We are hopeful, but don’t know if anything will come of this.Next comes the push to find an agent or publisher for this book.If this book gets published then all our pushing back against the pharmaceuticals will have been worth it.

I’ve been helping Joe in their basement when he gets home after work and on the weekends.We are making good progress on the water supply plumbing.Mary is still doing some flowers and helping her friend.Helen and I are enjoying our family and friends and watching Georgia.

Perhaps Mary will be the “fish” that got away!

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