Heroes of Science: Survival of a Whistleblower

Peter Gøtzsche, MD
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“Survival of a Whistleblower.” On June 27, 2018, I gave an invited talk with this title at a meeting at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin organized by directors Gerd Gigerenzer and Ralph Hertwig.

If I had known what was in store for me, the title would have been “Death of a Whistleblower.” I describe the problems I have had with the leadership of the organisation I co-founded 25 years ago, the Cochrane Collaboration, particularly in relation to my criticism of psychiatric drugs.

On September 13, the Cochrane Governing Board expelled me from the board and from Cochrane after a show trial and after Cochrane’s own hired lawyer had exonerated me of all charges raised against me (see the documents on Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime). It played a key role that my research team had criticised a Cochrane review of the HPV vaccines published in May 2018. Our criticism was highly warranted and strengthened a month later, in the same scientific journal, four days after my expulsion. It was considered very bad behaviour that I had criticised a Cochrane review although our own policy encourages this; we even have an annual prize for the best criticism. This is outright scientific censorship, which is highly damaging to any scientific enterprise, as also described by Bob Whitaker recently.

Back home in Denmark, my hospital announced that I would be fired, for no good reason. It seems to be a political firing coming from the Ministry of Health, which has paid no attention to the fact that I have saved Danish taxpayers billions of crowns though my research; have created a research centre of international repute; and that the patients appreciate my initiatives. Now the time had come to silence a vocal critic of the drug industry, psychiatry and the establishment.

I am just the messenger, the symbol that healthcare is in many ways absurd and harmful because the drug industry is too powerful. The Cochrane Collaboration is in deep crisis because it is too close to industry, practices scientific censorship and has a business model that focuses on “brand” and “our product,” rather than open scientific debate or getting the science right, even though a few people might become upset by being told that their work wasn’t good enough.

Below is my whistleblower talk. In it I discuss how Peter Rost’s book The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman described the fate of 233 people who blew the whistle on fraud in the healthcare system: 90% were fired or demoted, 27% faced lawsuits, 26% had to seek psychiatric or physical care, 25% suffered alcohol abuse, 17% lost their homes, 15% got divorced, 10% attempted suicide and 8% went bankrupt. But in spite of all this, only 16% said that they wouldn’t blow the whistle again.

I also share my view, as a biologist, that a “hero” is someone who has different genes than non-heroes. During evolution, it’s an advantage to stay in the middle rather than being a hero, so that you have less risk of dying. But then there are a few odd people who have something else in our genes, where we don’t really think much about the risk for ourselves, we just do what we think is right despite the risk. So how did these genes survive during evolution? I think it’s because when a tribe comes under threat, grave danger, the people in the middle don’t know what to do. But then those with these special genes take over and become leaders. And then you might get through the crisis.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Um, I was right with you until you got in to the genetics (eugenics?) part at the end. Is courage genetically determiined?

    Regardless, thanks for accepting the difficult role you have been assigned by the Universe of messenger/martyr, I don’t envy you. I hope what you are undergoing is worthwhile and useful in widely exposing the totalitarianism and deception inherent in pharmaceutical propaganda/marketing.

    I noticed something else:

    It played a key role that my research team had criticised a Cochrane review of the HPV vaccines published in May 2018.

    Let me guess — Cochrane gave the green light to these vaccines and you challenged that? Because the hysteria directed at those who oppose the mass “vaccination” of children rivals that slung at those who oppose psychiatric drugging. In addition naturopathic and other healers have been mysteriously dying and disappearing for years, with the common factor seemingly their research into the dangers of vaccines. So be careful.

    • I have a little problem with this “special gene” theory as well. It reminds me of “the great man theory”. Alexander earns the moniker “the great” through a hostile take over of all these independent nations. Julius Caesar comes along, and says, “that means there are people specially endowed to rule the world. People like me.” Caesar gets his just deserts, but the empire rolls on, until the barbarians anyway. Napoleon comes along, and says, “The revolution is over! Hail, the new emperor!” Traditional monarchies object, and take him down. Hitler comes along, and says, “I’m the man particularly endowed to rule all the nations of the world.” Anybody sense a pattern here?

  2. You are a hero as far as I am concerned. I have seen you toss paper aside during debates when you become frustrated by ignorance, and you can be abrasive, but so what? When you have ethics and integrity, you irritate those who don’t. Loved a scripted dialogue scenario exchange you did with Olga on anti-sex pills, the “anti-depressants” in a you tube video on a conference u spoke at.
    You are correct about it all- the harms of the psychiatric drugs, mammograms, and this particular vaccine. You are pissing off dangerous people with no humanity or decency, so watch out for yourself.
    I hope Cochrane can be purged of corruption and regain its original focus.
    You are a whistleblower who deserves to be reinstated- it is obvious that something is not right when half the board resigned in solidarity with you.
    Without people like you, Robert Whitaker, and a few others like John Read and Nial McLaren who are passionate about the truth and well being of human beings everywhere, the evil forces of psychiatry and pharma would have free reign. Good luck in all you do.

  3. Thank you for your community service; I am sorry that it is causing you hardship.

    I am also a biologist and disagree with your belief that biology can address a philosophy (a philosophical concept of a “hero”); “evolutionary psychology” is too abstract to pass for biology.

  4. Can you do a brutal ladder, Peter? Was Hitler able to do it? If not, that means you are genetically lazy.
    Nazis fixation over body and genetics do not concerned their main leaders…. I am not saying you are Hitler, but it is very primitive and rude to submit biology and genetics over INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL ARCHETYPE.

    There are many kinds of heroism. One of them is being trapped in psychological reality beyond your control. It so easy to be a hero in apollonian state of psyche. Their psychological archetype, their easiness is almost stupid. From psychological perspective death is the truth and apollonians, and those who called themselves healthy, are crazy utopians.

    When your ego is being shaterred you are becoming a hero of psychological descent. Spiritual fascists do not give a damn that they are in the simplest psychological archetype. And they think that lack of ability to see gives them a right to judge.

    Do you think, Rockefeller was there? Or Ghandi? Or maybe Jesus? Do you think that famous, shallow people were in that reality? No.
    Spiritualists and apollonians completely forget about psychological reality.
    There are heroes of descent. Apollonians as the least psychological, are the greatest heroes…… of psychological blindness.

    Strict psychological realty can kill you, like it kills Anneliese Michel and many more also rejected by church and condemned by psychiatry, because psychiatry does not believe in psyche. PSYCHIATRY BELIEVES IN SATAN.

    “Re-visioning psychology” James Hillman.
    Manufacture of madness – Szasz

    Read it Peter, because you are nice.

    • You should see photos and clips of Josef Goebbels, spokesman for the master race. He was short, dark and club-footed. He went through life singing the praises of the alleged Master Race, while doing his best to stay out of sight. Naturally he killed himself, his wife and kids when he realized his Russian/Slavic inferiors were going to take Berlin (they were overrunning the city, going wild) and nothing could stop them.

  5. I knew there was something wrong with Cochrane when they gave a neutral to favorable assessment of Aricept/donepezil, a highly destructive drug given to old people with memory problems. I’d read enough and seen enough to know it is a terrible drug. Of course all the published trials show a moderate positive effect. But if you can find studies where it is used as an active placebo in the trial of a newer drug, or when subjects in new drug trials who were already taking it are allowed to continue taking it, you’ll see that they decline faster than people who don’t take it. A study supporting the above has just been published. https://www.practiceupdate.com/content/association-of-concomitant-use-of-cholinesterase-inhibitors-or-memantine-with-cognitive-decline-in-clinical-trials-of-alzheimers-disease/75573

    Cochrane giving it a thumbs up was very, very wrong.

  6. From the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen… “The Procession Must Go On!” (And so it does.)

    “But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child.
    “Listen to the voice of innocence!” exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.
    “But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! And the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold.

    http://www.online-literature.com/hans_christian_andersen/967/

  7. Thank you, Peter, for all you have done for those who are being threatened with death and injury through the legalized drug trade.

    This age, particularly hard in its whistle blowers, hopefully will be succeeded by another. What is the problem? Obviously, greed, immorality, and corruption. (If everybody wants to be a member of the 1 %, you’ve got nobody to apply the reins to the 1 %, and to hold the 1 % in check per se.) You let people get away with murder, and there’s no end to it, unless we call an end to it. The drug companies in league with the mental illness industry have been killing people with abandon for some time now.

    What is needed? I don’t know. Maybe a Whistle Blowers Union that could take on corruption in general.

  8. I reckon the “Hero gene” is just being a Leader – you naturally want to protect the tribe at great risk to yourself. That serves a genetic purpose, as well.

    Thank you for all you do. When I saw you speak in Australia a few years back, I wondered how it was possible that you were employed, prestigious, and that the Cochrane Collaboration was the last bastion of objective science in medicine.

    Sadly, that is past tense now. I trust your work, but Cochrane no longer. You will always find a place to fully utilise your great gifts of diligent, clear thinking, precise language, and passion for humanity.

  9. Very informative talk on whistleblowers and a most fitting quote from Desmond Tutu.
    It is pernicious when people in positions of trust stay neutral to protect their own interests, turning a blind eye to lies, corruption, censorship and harm inflicted on others It takes great strength of character, morals and courage to stand up for your convictions and do what is right and honest. Thank you for being a crusader for justice and truth. The world desperately needs more like you Peter! Wishing you much success in your battle.

  10. Hi Peter,
    I saw you and Robert talk in Christchurch New Zealand earlier this year and it was a great privilege to be able to after following your work over the last 5 years. You both really opened my eyes to what I had been taught, resulting in me only using psychotropic drugs when I really need them as opposed to every day.

    I hope that all of this will make you even stronger in your resolve to continue to expose the truth. You have supporters all around the world. In my eyes you are a hero as I know personally I am always conscious about what I say in order to not bite off the hand that feds me, especially when I lack the scientific skill to do so in such an objective way that you do. But I do use your material and other material to point out to as many people as I am able to see the truth. We, the world, psychiatric survivors we all need you and more like you. So we can go back to a humane health system that is about people not profits.
    Wishing you the best in your future journey as you continue to fight off the corporate greedy, drug pushing monsters.

    • The evolution of the soul will be, when everyone starts reading Hillman and will defend SOUL and phenomenology against psychopathic tentacles of pseudo science. When we are perceived only as genetic biological beings, we will remain only meat – healthy or not healthy. We are perceived as soulless meat and this should offends us.
      We must fight for soul, to bring it back to our world. Hillman was trying.He left us his books.
      The soul – mythic reality, phenomenology of the psyche are main reasons why I believe that hostile and anti psychological system of deceitful materialists (eg.psychiatry) can not last forever.

      http://www.terrapsych.com/hillman.html