Tag Archives: camille marino

Camille Marino is Over!

Camille Marino, the animal rights extremist behind the Negotiation is Over organisation/website (currently down) was sentenced to six months having pleaded guilty to “Unlawful Posting of Message with Aggravating Circumstances” and “Trespassing”.

Her sentence comes after a campaign against the Wayne State University researcher Donal O’leary in which she flaunted earlier bond conditions to post further details about O’Leary.

Marino was sentenced to six months by the Wayne County Court

Marino was sentenced to six months by the Wayne County Court

Marino has long been known to police after campaigns of harassment at the University of Florida. She has brought widespread condemnation among the scientific community for her targeting of students (see below) as she stated:

When we attack professors, we can only expect limited gains. They are deeply entrenched in the holocaust, have vested financial interests, and enjoy a network of support and protection. Students, however, have no round-the-clock police protection, no access to the FBI, and no access to legislators. The weakest link in the chain is the student body. Vivisectors-in-training can be shut down with relative ease.

Screenshot from NIO website

Click to Enlarge: Screenshot from NIO website

Speaking of Research congratulate those that stood up to take legal action against her extremism. It has no place in our democratic society.

Regards

Tom Holder

Threats and Hypocrisy, A Steve Best Story

We get plenty of emails from people supporting the use of animals in research. We sometimes get an email from those against. Yesterday we got an email from Prof. Steve Best. Indeed, in the last few days it appears that a number of scientists have also been receiving emails and voicemails from him. Among his comments he states that “[we] are violating [his] academic free speech rights with these false unproven claims, and [he] will take the most aggressive legal action against all of [us]“. Let’s take a closer look.

Best, an associate professor in philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) (though he now only runs online courses), hasn’t been very happy with Speaking of Research in the last few days – not since we wrote an article exposing him for the hypocritical animal rights extremist he is.

In the comment section of that post, several people posted personal information about Prof. Best, his girlfriend and her child, making allegations about his conduct. The text of these comments had been copied from a post by Camille Marino (another animal rights extremist whom Steve Best is currently taking legal action against) on the Negotiation Is Over website (These allegations have been up several times for hours at a time on the NIO website). Because at Speaking of Research we condemn such personal attacks and the publishing of personal information the comment was removed and the thread blocked from further comments.

However, Best’s outrage does appear to smell of double standards when you consider that:

In April 2010, he posted on NIO a video of himself attempting to confront a man rumored to trap and poison cats that wandered into his yard. The man wasn’t home, but his wife and small daughter were. “If I hear he’s hurting cats, I’m going to be all over his office,” Best told them. “You tell him I’ll have a thousand people all over this place. You tell him Steve Best dropped by. You remember that name.”

Best posted the man’s phone numbers and addresses, along with pictures of his wife and children, beneath the video. In an update the next day, he thanked “all who called and expressed concern” for letting the alleged cat-poisoner know “he is being watched.”

Prof. Best feels some tactics are perfectly fine when directed at others but not himself and his loved ones.

But this is not all.  Prof. Best now takes issue with a statement made by Speaking of Research saying that Steve Best helped to fund Marino’s campaign against students at UF. This campaign, starting in early June, involved putting up flyers offering students money to provide details on fellow students who were carrying out animal research. He is now threatening to take legal action against Profs. Dario Ringach and David Jentsch (who, incidentally, is no longer writing for Speaking of Research as he focuses on his own blog “The Unlikely Activist“)

As a reminder, this campaign, starting in early June, involved putting up flyers offering students money to provide details on fellow students who were carrying out animal research.

Some of the facts on this campaign, including Best apparent financial assistance to NIO, were first reported in Carlton Purvis’ article, “Why is a UT professor collecting donations for an animal rights groups that target college professors” which we followed up in our post.  Sadly, the scientific community also blogged about one instance where a student, Alena Rodriguez at FAU, was successfully driven away from a life of research by such campaign by NIO and its associates:

Steve Best’s answer in his email:

I was not involved in Marino’s student campaign in any way except to give her a dormant account I was not using

So it is perfectly clear, by his own admission, that Prof. Best did help Marino fund Negotiation is Over and its campaigns by providing Marino with his PayPal account.  And let’s not forget that such support comes from a man who has implicitly called for the death of scientists (“Let every motherfucking vivisector be vivisected and thrown away like the shit they are“) and posted the address and pictures of those he wanted targeted by his followers (see above), and a man that co-founded the North American Animal Liberation Press Office.

Best now claims that after the campaign he withdrew the PayPal account from Marino and “began to distance [himself] more and more from NIO“. However, he was still co-authoring articles with Marino several months later and left Marino in charge of the PayPal account for almost 6 months after her original campaign. Furthermore, NIO and Best’s blog were also simulposting for most of early 2012.

Steve Best and Camille Marino Co-authoring an article in October 2011

According to Best’s email his opinion on Marino’s campaign was “I disagreed with [it] and when I got wind of it, it [sic] told her to find another PayPal account“. As previously mentioned, it took him six months to get wind of it! Indeed in November 2011 Best’s email address was still linked to NIO campaigns.

Steve Best’s email for NIO PayPal Donations

and yet you have not one shred of proof beyond my my dormant email account” – Best writes.

Let’s see what used to be on NIO then:

“Please use the Paypal link in the right sidebar of this site or send your enrollment fees through PayPal to sbest1@elp.rr.com.”

and the email sent to us at SR…

The email above is definitely Steve Best’s email

Very dormant email account Steve. But maybe he just revived it for us – however it seems in May 2011 he was also actively using this account in his own blog (middle content removed):

Despite the weight of evidence, Best hammers home his threat when he says:

you are violating my academic free speech rights with these false unproven claims, and I will take the most aggressive legal action against all of you, just as I have against Marino, who is soon to go down on federal charges for further violations of my PPO.

Absolutely not.  We are not acting against his academic freedom. If anything we are merely defending the academic freedom of those of his academic colleagues at UTEP and elsewhere that Prof. Best wants “to be vivisected and thrown away like the shit they are.”  Most universities have an ethical code of conduct that make such speech unacceptable academic behavior.  One must wonder if UTEP has one or not.

Prof. Best is free to speak up his mind and support animal rights extremists and their actions, but he must understand that such freedom does not entail freedom from the consequences of such speech or acts. Here and elsewhere, we have simply explained and documented the connection between Negotiation is Over, their campaigns to harass and intimidate students, the PayPal account they used to accept donations, and its link to Prof. Best email account.

Speaking of Research

Update: Janet Stemwedel has blogged about this story in Adventures in Ethics and Science. PalMD has added his perspective in White Coat Underground.  Orac bring all these points together in Respectful Insolence.  Popehat has commented as well.

Prof. Steven Best gets a taste of his own medicine… and doesn’t like it

Every motherfucker who hurts animals is gonna feel the fear!”  The words come courtesy of Dr. Steven Best, from the Philosophy Department at the University of Texas, El Paso, in the YouTube video below.

Among the “motherfuckers” one will find a medical scientist searching for cures to terrible diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, a farmer raising animals for food, and a gardener eating a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. It is no secret, however, that the ultimate target of his moral philosophy is more ambitious — “May this upside down world be set right … and the human voice never again be heardhe declares.  Such expressions of deep, self-hatred for mankind as a whole are commonly shared among animal rights extremists.

For a number of years the UTEP Professor and co-founder of the North American Animal Liberation Press Office has been widely known for endorsing violence in his quest for “total animal liberation” under the concept of “extensional self-defense.”  Acting as a “proxy agent” for the animals, Best and his associates have concluded they (or preferentially someone else that can be solicited for the crime) are justified in using violence to impart their views of morality on the rest of society.  For these groups, “justifiable homicide” becomes an acceptable way to deal with moral disputes.

And what about the law?

In Dr. Best’s words: “Fuck the law. When the law is wrong, the right thing to do is break it”.

There are three points to clarify here.  First, he is not simply talking about civil disobedience or property damage.  “Let every motherfucker who shoots animals be shot; Let every motherfucker who poisons animals be injected with a barrel of battery acid; Let every motherfucking vivisector be vivisected and thrown away like the shit they are,” he wrote in 2011.  Second, it appears the premise is that Prof. Best is the one to decide if the law is wrong or not (society does not really have much of a say).  Third, Prof. Best thinks that event if the law is right, he is entitled to take it into his own hands. For example, it has been reported that:

In April 2010, he posted on NIO a video of himself attempting to confront a man rumored to trap and poison cats that wandered into his yard. The man wasn’t home, but his wife and small daughter were. “If I hear he’s hurting cats, I’m going to be all over his office,” Best told them. “You tell him I’ll have a thousand people all over this place. You tell him Steve Best dropped by. You remember that name.”

Best posted the man’s phone numbers and addresses, along with pictures of his wife and children, beneath the video. In an update the next day, he thanked “all who called and expressed concern” for letting the alleged cat-poisoner know “he is being watched.”

His hateful rhetoric has been duly noted by UK’s Home Office which barred him from ever entering the UK in the future, and by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), one of the largest nonprofits dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry. The SPLC recently ran an article highlighting Best’s connection and support of the animal right extremists group “Negotiation is Over”. The leader of this group, Ms. Camille Marino, follows her mentor’s teachings when she writes about a UCLA professor in the following terms:

If you spill blood, your blood should be spilled as well. [W]e’re no longer playing games. We will print your information. And we’ll be at your homes. We’ll be at your work. We’ll be at your country clubs and golf courses. We’ll see you at your manicurist and we’ll be kneeling next to you when you take that next holy communion wafer on Sunday. If I have my way, you’ll be praying to us for mercy.

Prof. Best not only provided the ideological basis for Marino’s hate campaign, but as we learned last year, he helped to fund her harassment of scientists and students.

Prof. Best clearly relishes a bit of harassment and intimidation.

Up to a point, that is.  When the same acts are directed his way then he prefers to have the law of the land enforced.

Camille Marino (left) and Steve Best (right)

In Steve Best – Animal Rights Activist vs Camille Marino he wrote that she “apparently has a fondness for blackmail, cyberstalking, harassment, threats, intimidation and slander for she has targeted a number of prominent people she considers her enemies in the US animal rights movement, me above all” (emphasis Best’s).  In the petition Dr. Best alleges verbal, mental and emotional abuse and wrote

She is crazy and she has done this to others so she will not stop with me.  She is suicidal but she told me she won’t go alone and she tastes my blood,  She is very dangerous and I fear for my life.

He adds:

I hope you see how little regard this woman has for the law, I want a full cease and desist order to stop her from ever again contacting me in any way, including ever mentioning my name in any public forum or context whatsoever, including her website and Facebook.

I hope you see how little regard this woman has for the law, for the rights and respect of others […]

I am a Dr. Professor at UTEP and I can’t have her slandering my name and the threats she is posting. Please help me.

So finally Dr. Best gets a taste of his own medicine… and doesn’t like it.

And now, he begs for help from the same organized society he hates and wants to see destroyed.

Really?

[Update: Nature is blogging on this ongoing developing story]

Marino is Over … Hopefully

Speaking of Research has spent spoken many times about the dangers of Camille Marino and her Negotiation is Over blog (here, here, here and here … oh and here) , but finally the end may be nigh. On Friday, July 12th 2012, a judge ordered that Marino must stand trial for stalking Wayne State University researcher, Donal O’Leary. Furthermore, Marino was sent to jail after breaking the conditions of her bond – namely by posting threatening materials regarding O’Leary.

Camille Marino

Marino has shown time and time again that she has no qualms with pushing the legitimate limits of free speech. Her threats against individual researchers, as well as harassment and intimidation of students, shows an individual whose moral compass is substantially out of sync with the rest of society .

For more information I recommend reading the blog post by David Jentsch, founder of Pro-Test for Science. Here is an excerpt:

The pattern of criminal harassment and threats she directed against Michigan researchers was nearly identical to behavior she directed against me and other UCLA researchers since 2009 and that she has since repeated in her efforts to intimated Florida scientists. As I have previously stated, this pattern of behavior must not be tolerated in a civil society; it is neither Constitutionally protected, nor decent.

Regards

Tom

Follow the Law or Your Extremist Convictions?

This is the question that animal rights activist Camille Marino must be pondering as she heads back to Florida with an order by Wayne Circuit Court Judge Susan L. Hubbard to remove threatening statements from her web site against a Wayne State Professor, for which she will face trial on May 2nd.

Marino’s lawyer, John F. Royal failed to convince the judge that the court had no jurisdiction over the case. He remained convinced that “Our position is that everything that was posted so far is protected by the First Amendment”.  This is a view that other animal activists have expressed before.

Mr. Royal argued that O’Leary can’t prove his client wrote the threatening postings on the blog, including statements such as the professor is a “serial torture-murderer” and “a piece of human excrement.” Yet earlier Wednesday, Ms. Marino was once again expressing her view that researchers are “torturing” animals and that her job is to “use a sledgehammer and expose what they are doing.”  The judge rejected this argument as well.

The judge’s decision is not surprising.  Because of her hateful and threatening language, Ms. Marino has been recently featured in the Hate Watch column of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In that interview, she apparently acknowledged writing the statements Mr. Royal now seems to deny.

“I simply published information about a man who tortures dogs to death for money. He’s euphemistically called a researcher,” she said of the Wayne State professor. On NIO’s (Negotiation is Over) website, she described the researcher as a “Serial Torture-Murderer” while encouraging “[l]ocal NIO activists” to “show up at his home and snap pictures of his blood-money mansion and his miscreant spawn for publication.”

But, as we know now, O’Leary’s lab was inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and an internal group. There was “no evidence of noncompliance in Dr. O’Leary’s lab with the federal policy on humane care and use of laboratory animals” in his important work to study cardiac diseases. In other words, despite Marino’s inflammatory words, Dr. O’Leary was doing the research society has charged him to do, according to the mandates of the Animal Welfare Act and the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

As Ms Marino heads home the judge’s advice to her was simple: “If you continue to engage in posting where you are threatening him and he’s in fear, you are violating the law.” But we know how she feels about the rule of law. In her recent interview with SPLC Ms. Marino offered that: ” […] the law does not exist to protect the innocent. The law exists to regulate and enforce the agenda of the corporate industrial complex. Their job is to make money, to make money off the animal holocaust. When we talk about laws, it’s all relative […]”

There is no doubt that Ms. Marino has been faithful to her deepest held convictions and principles in the past. We will have to wait and see if she decides to remove the threats from her web site, as ordered by a Judge whose job is merely to “enforce the agenda of the corporate industrial complex”, or if she will stick by her principles, challenge the order, and exercise what she and her lawyer are convinced are her first amendment rights.

In the meantime, society and hate-watch groups – the Southern Poverty Law Center has just published a new and more detailed report on NIO and its activities – will continue to view the actions of Marino and her accomplices for what they are: the organized harassment, intimidation and threats from animal rights thugs who cannot accept their failure to convince the public of their ideas by means of reasoned debate, and have decided that it is now time to force them unto others by means of threats and violence.

Speaking of Research 

Best of Friends: University of Texas Professor helps to fund Extremism

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the activities of Dr. Steve Best, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso and long time supporter of animal rights extremism. Indeed, only last month we discussed his support for campaigns of harassment and intimidation against students and scientists, prompted by a recent post on the Southern Poverty Law Center Hatewatch blog which reported on the hate campaign being waged against students by the animal rights extremist Camille Marino.

While Best has been open in his enthusiasm for Marino’s campaigns of harassment and intimidation, and Marino has in turn peppered her “Negotiation is Over (NIO)”website with his videos and essays, he has appeared to limit his involvement to moral support.

Until now…

In a fine report on the online newspaper “Death and Taxes” entitled “Why Is a UT Professor Collecting Donations for an Animal Rights Group that Targets College Professors?” , journalist Carlton Purvis has uncovered evidence that Best’s support for Marino’s campaigns goes well beyond moral support, writing that:

The NIO membership section directs members to a small PayPal button on the right column of the page if they wish to donate. The group also sells annual memberships for $20 and lifetime memberships for $50.  Since that appeal for money, the site has been rapidly pushing out content.”

Why do they need money? Other than website upkeep let us remember that NIO has been offering $100 to anyone who can provide information on biomed undergraduates. See the poster below.

Nonetheless, the article continues:

Click on NIO’s donation button and it takes you to a donation page set up to send money to an account managed by someone using a Road Runner provided email address – the kind that you get for free when you sign up for Internet service.

A quick Google search of the email address reveals the owner of the address, none other than Steven Best, isn’t shy about putting his contact information on everything he touches.”

Oops…providing practical support for a campaign against fellow academics clearly isn’t a good career move for Best, and Marino’s next move proved that they realized this, as Carlton Purvis picks up the story:

Within hours of my email contact with Best on Friday night, the PayPal donation button had been removed from the Negotiation is Over website. Unfortunately, if someone was trying to cover Best’s tracks, they forgot to remove text on the membership page that says, “Please use the Paypal link in the right sidebar of this site or send your enrollment fees through PayPal to sbest1@elp.rr.com.””

DOH!!

The question is now what disciplinary action the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) will take against Best for actions, for although Universities are traditionally – and correctly – very keen to protect their staff’s freedom of expression, it is difficult to argue with the view that:

…despite the university’s policy to not get involved with what faculty do on their personal time, it seems like it would be problematic for a university to employ someone who is affiliated with a bounty program that funds harassment targeting university students and faculty.”

We will be watching this developing story with interest, and welcome Carlton Purvis’ tweet that “Rogue animal rights group stops selling memberships after I uncover a #UTEP professor behind the curtain w/this story”.  While we have our doubts about the popularity of NIO memberships, it is always good to see an extremist funding stream closed down.

UTEP President Diana Natalicio will need to think hard about whether her administration can afford to turn a blind eye to behavior directed against other students and staff at other universities that they would never tolerate if it was targeting their own staff and students.

We were also pleased to learn over the weekend that a federal judge has upheld an ordinance that has been critical to UCLA’s efforts to protect its researchers, their families, and their neighbors from harassment by anti–animal research extremists. This ruling makes it clear that there is a difference between legitimate protest and harassment, and shows that society will not stand by and allow citizens to be intimidated and threatened by those who disagree with their work.

All in all a bad week for those who favor harassment and intimidation over dialog and democracy!

Speaking of Research

Putting Animal Rights Extremists on the Hate Map

Those who believe themselves to be morally righteous have a virtue — they are usually candid in their public statements.  With an absolute conviction in their world views, it is not surprising they also have a rather loose tongue.  The hate and violence that lives within animal rights extremists is always near the surface.  This was evidenced in a recent interview by Camille Marino of the extremist site “Negotiation is Over” with Leah Nelson, a journalist with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a well-known and respected nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry in our society.

The SPLC blog is worth a read as it will raise the eyebrows of anyone that has a minimal respect for our democratic institutions, highlighting the hateful speech that comes from the fringe of the animal rights movement.  Apparently, Ms. Marino had second thoughts about the views she offered to the journalist and attempted to backtrack.  The SPLC Editor refused, noting that:

Marino was fully aware during the interview that she was talking with a blogger from the Southern Poverty Law Center, even volunteering that she is familiar with the SPLC’s history of denouncing radical animal rights activists like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). She approved a transcript of her interview, writing in an E-mail, “I think you captured everything I said perfectly.” Hours later, Marino contacted the blogger and said she wanted to withdraw her consent to be quoted, saying that she did not want to be quoted on “a blog filled with the most contemptible groups of racists, bigots, madmen, and hatemongers … groups that I despise.

It was too late for that…  the SPLC editor further explained:

Following widely accepted journalistic practice that once an on-the-record interview is conducted, permission cannot be withdrawn, Hatewatch decided to publish quotes from the interview.”

Of course, Ms. Marino is accompanied in her crusade against the use of animals in biomedical research by Dr. Steve Best (Caution: extremist website), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso, an active contributor and participant in the NIO web-site and vocal defender of Marino’s words and actions.  Dr. Best has previously been banned from entering the UK.  He was deemed a threat to the “public good” and “public order” and joined a list that also includes Islamic extremists and neo-nazis.   Here is an example of the kind of speech that probably prompted the Home Office to keep such individual away from British soil:


Hopefully, and given the available evidence, SPLC will take the logical step of declaring animal rights extremist groups like NIO hate groups.  This is, after all, what these groups are and, hopefully, they will formally be recognized as such in the SPLC hate map where they belong.

Of course there are many who do not need to be told that animal rights extremist groups like Negotiation is Over and the Animal Liberation Front are hate groups.  The University of Florida students newspaper “The Independent Florida Alligator” recently published an editorial strongly condemning the harassment of students and scientists by extremists, indicating that any students who may be targeted by extremists will find a lot of support among their fellow students, and in California the neighbors of scientists target by extremists have made their support for their harassed neighbors very clear. We’ve also seen the success of the Pro-Test movement in Oxford a few years ago, when students, scientists and members of the public joined to express their support for animal research, and delivered a decisive blow to the campaigns of harassment, intimidation and violence then being waged by animal rights hate groups in the UK.

Extremism and hate can be defeated, and the first step in doing so is to recognize it for what it is, and we applaud the SPLC for once again doing so.

Speaking of Research