Massachusetts Attorney Exposing Medical Kidnapping Threatened with Being Disbarred

by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff


Marvin Siegel was proud of his youngest daughter when she followed in his footsteps and graduated from law school. Now, attorneys won’t let him see his daughter at all. Photo provided by family.

Lisa Belanger says that she was always “Daddy’s girl.” She is the youngest daughter of Marvin Siegel of Boxford, Massachusetts, and she and her father have always been very close.

It has now been more than a year and a half since she has seen her father, not by her choice or the choice of her father. A court, guardians, and lawyers have medically kidnapped her father, essentially imprisoning him in his own home, and they have forbidden his baby girl from having any contact with him.

Lisa Belanger is an attorney who followed in her father’s footsteps, and she is not taking this cruel twist of life lying down. She has been fighting to get him back since he was taken under state guardianship in mid December 2011.

See original story:

Retaliation for Exposing the Truth

Now, in what she sees as retaliation for exposing the corruption in the guardianship system in and around the Boston area, an attorney, who has been fighting alongside the guardians against the family of Marvin Siegel, is attempting to have Lisa Belanger disbarred.

This attorney, Marsha Kazarosian, was hired by Mr. Siegel at one time, but just before he was medically kidnapped, he attempted to fire her. In a handwritten statement, he wrote:

I want to terminate your services for going against my wishes.

Attorney Marsha Kazarosian. Photo source .

Kazarosian refused to be dismissed. Now, almost 7 years later, Lisa Belanger is still fighting the attorney for one of the most basic of human rights – the right to have a relationship with her father.

She says that the complaint against her essentially boils down to this:

They’re saying, “We’re going after you because you dare to expose us.”

Because she dared to exercise her 1st Amendment right of Freedom of Speech by speaking out against corruption, Lisa says that they are trying to silence her:

This goes in the dictionary under “T” – for “tyranny.”

When it comes down to it, they know I’ve done nothing wrong.

No matter what happens, her message cannot be stopped. She says it is too late to stop the truth because both the local paper The Boston Broadside and Health Impact News have already reported what has happened to her father and to several other senior citizens in the Boston area. Their stories are out on social media like Twitter and Facebook.

You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.

Lisa says that her dad always taught her to fight for what is right, and that is what she is doing.

I’m exposing medical kidnapping, a systemic problem of them doing this to elderly people, and to people of all ages.

What I’m doing now is what he taught me to be. This is who he is, and who I am. We fought for other people’s rights, before this ever even started with my family.

She was not able to celebrate his 90th birthday with him on June 8. Instead, on that day, she joined the Memorial Prayer Vigil for Baby Steffen Rivenburg in Nashville, Tennessee, for the baby whose life was taken from him a year ago that day at Vanderbilt Hospital.

Lisa spoke at an event with the Tennessee Judicial Accountability Movement and the Family Forward Project the next day, educating attendees about the Medical Kidnapping of senior citizens through probate courts and guardianships.

Over and over during her speech, she spoke of things that her father taught her. It was clear to everyone who heard her that her beloved father was a huge influence in her life. She would not be who she is today as a justice warrior, if not for her daddy. [Link here. Lisa’s speech begins at the 1:27:00 mark.]
The impact of her father on Lisa Belanger’s life was readily apparent as she spoke in Nashville on June 9, 2018. Photo by Health Impact News.

Let Freedom Ring

In a recent interview with Health Impact News, Lisa told us that:

My dad was a warrior. He fought hard for “we the people.”

He taught me to have a moral compass and to have compassion.

He taught me to not be silent when wrongs are being done to others.

I’m just doing what my dad taught me to do. It’s my obligation as a human being.

Like most Americans, Lisa Belanger had no idea that this kind of thing could happen in the United States. She was shocked at the level of corruption that she saw and that she continues to see.

Instead of making her crawl into a hole and hide, what she has learned has ignited a fire within her. Lisa is determined to fight for what is right, just like her father taught her:

Everything that I’ve done is for my dad.

This is so much more than about just the law: it’s good over evil.

It’s about standing up and doing the right thing. It’s being loyal to your family.

I’m not just fighting for my father, but I’m fighting for every other person that’s been subjected to this inhumanity.

It’s about my moral compass. It’s about giving hope to other people.

Always “Daddy’s girl,” Lisa misses hugs from her dad. She vows never to stop fighting for him and others wronged by injustice. Photo supplied by family.

The Boston Broadside Continues to Expose Corruption

While many media outlets shy away from stories like this, the editor of The Boston Broadside, Lonnie Brennan, takes seriously the role of the press envisioned by the Founding Fathers. The cradle of the Boston Tea Party is home to a print newspaper that does not hesitate to hold government accountable to the people.

The most recent edition of the paper contains the latest chapter in Lisa Belanger’s fight for her father.

Excerpts from Governor Baker’s Appointee to the Supreme Judicial Court Nominating Commission, Atty. Marsha V. Kazarosian Attempts to Silence Whistleblower:

90-Year Old Marvin Siegel Remains Under 24/7 House Guard
as High-Profile Lawyers Drain Millions from His Estate

The Boston Broadside has previously detailed in a four-part series the systematic draining of the estate of 90-year-old Boxford resident Marvin Siegel by Governor Charlie Baker’s 2016 appointee, Attorney Marsha V. Kazarosian, and other lawyers.

During the past seven years, millions have been drained from the retiree’s estimated $9 million estate. He’s expected to be tapped out within a year. [Massachusetts is under Romneycare, a socialized medicine system that is the model for Obamacare.  Robbing the elderly becomes a convenient means of keeping the failing system afloat without raising taxes. This is how the wealthy elderly will be forced to 'pay their share'. If allowed to stand the Mass health system will become the federal model for any single payer health system. - ED]

Where has the money gone? To lawyers, lawyers, lawyers, elder service providers, and the like. Heck, the lawyers even charge one another to talk to each other and to send e-mails to one another, and then bill the estate. They also spend money on the daily care of Marvin, including their posted 24/7/365 “guards,” as Marvin’s daughter Lisa Siegel Belanger refers to his round-the-clock paid “caregivers,” whom she has detailed keep the senior isolated in his Boxford home. Lisa has also detailed how these “so-called medical providers have denied her dad his basic dignity: he can’t even use a cell phone to talk to his grandchildren!”

The Boston Broadside headlines corruption in the guardianship system. Photo sSource.

Fighting Back, Getting Betrayed

Marvin hired Atty. Kazarosian as private legal counsel in August of 2011 for the specific purpose of fending off a state “elder protective service” agency (Elder Services of Merrimack Valley) from unlawfully making him a ward of the state (assigning a guardian to him). He never envisioned that Atty. Kazarosian would quickly switch sides and work against him, as has been charged by members of Marvin’s family.

In March of 2015, Marvin’s daughter, Attorney Lisa Siegel Belanger, filed an extensive federal civil action in which she claims that Atty. Kazarosian is part of a long-embedded insidious enterprise of corrupt lawyers and judges using the Massachusetts Probate & Family Court system to exploit elders—and any person of any age for that matter who happen to be vulnerably labeled as “incapacitated.” Lisa’s extensive, detailed complaint and accompanying exhibits can be viewed by the public free of charge at http://www.belangerlawoffice.com/free-marvin/federal-civil-action-2015/.

Soon after Lisa filed her racketeering action with the U.S. District Court, she provided a copy to Governor Baker. In her complaints to the governor, Lisa revealed a systemic pattern of elder abuse, money laundering, and embezzlement. Governor Baker refused to reply to Lisa and in less than a year from the first complaint, appointed Atty. Kazarosian to the commission that nominates Massachusetts’ highest court judges—known as the Supreme Judicial Court Nominating Commission. [See link here.]

On December 1, 2017, Lisa filed another formal complaint, this time directly to Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Karen Polito, counsel for the Governor, and the Executive Director of the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission. In her complaint, Lisa extensively detailed what she termed the continuous, vicious exploitation of her elderly father and family by Atty. Kazarosian and her associates. As of press time, Governor Baker and the above-specified officials have not responded to Lisa’s complaint.

But it Gets Worse: Atty. Kazarosian Seeks to Disbar Lisa Belanger

Over the course of seven years, Lisa has fought to get her father released from what she terms the clutches of Atty. Kazarosian and associates. Lisa has filed numerous legal petitions, and has even received a court-ordered fine for speaking to her own father!

Marvin Siegel with his family in happier times. Photo supplied by family

In response to her actions in defending her father, Lisa has informed The Boston Broadside that Atty. Kazarosian seeks to disbar her. Lisa claims this is to silence her from fighting for her father. She has detailed that now that Marvin’s plight has been publicized in The Boston Broadside, Atty. Kazarosian has “made it her personal mission and vendetta to maliciously and unlawfully thwart my continuous exposing of this long-embedded corruption in the Massachusetts Probate & Family Courts. At the behest of Marsha Kazarosian, on May 25, 2018, Adam LaFrance, Assistant Bar Counsel, filed formal charges against me,” Lisa shared.

As Lisa has summarized, “the Office of Bar Counsel documentation states that they are prosecuting me to silence my exposure of this corruption of epidemic proportions and for specifically having sought legal relief in the federal court. Conspicuously, LaFrance, fails to state how my substantiated allegations are in any manner false or dishonest as they charge. The Office of Bar Counsel seemingly forgets that truth is an absolute defense.” [Emphasis added by HIN]

Good for the Goose, But not the Gander?

In sharp contrast, the Office of Bar Counsel has blatantly and flagrantly ignored Lisa’s filing of complaints against Marsha Kazarosian and other specified counsel since 2012. Repeatedly, from 2012 through 2014, the Office of Bar Counsel wrote to Lisa stating that no investigation would be conducted due to matters being actively “pending” in the Essex Probate & Family Court.

Yet, even though matters are still actively taking place in the Essex Probate & Family Court, in May of 2017 the Office of Bar Counsel opened an investigation against Lisa as a result of a complaint filed by Marsha Kazarosian—the very first complaint initiated against Lisa from the time this matter commenced in 2011. One year later, the Office of Bar Counsel began formal procedures against Lisa (May 25, 2018).

Marvin Siegel expected that his wishes would be honored when he hired Kazarosian. Instead, he has been robbed of his family. Photo supplied by family.

Self-admittedly, Marsha Kazarosian has close and substantial inner-workings with those presiding in the Massachusetts judiciary—all the way up to the state’s highest court justices. In Kazarosian’s many self-published profiles, she boasts being appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Advisory Committee for Clerks of the Courts and having served on the Superior Court Civil Working Group; that in 2014, she served on the SJC’s Access to Justice Commission Committee on the Bar Exam.

Of particular significance, Marsha Kazarosian openly flaunts her having acted as a Hearings Committee Officer for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers for a 6-year term.

Kazarosian has also openly touted having been a part of the Board of Governors during Deval Patrick’s administration, along with documented big-dollar political contributions to high-profile Democrats including former Attorney General Martha Coakley, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey, Joe Kennedy III, Barak Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Tom Daschle, and various Democratic organizations. [Boston Broadside Editor’s Note: So-called Republican Gov. Baker appointed a heavy-financial-donor to extremist Democrats? Then turned a blind eye on complaints against her?]

Lisa says, “It can be of no surprise by the outlandish backroom antics resorted to by Obama appointee U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs and First Circuit Court of Appeals Justices Sandra Lynch (Bill Clinton appointee), when they dismissed the federal civil actions I filed in 2015 and 2017.” Lisa added, “Kazarosian is high-profile and a big donor. Oh, and Judge Burroughs just happens to be one of the foremost, early-on federal judges to have nixed President Trump’s initial travel ban.”

Read the full article at The Boston Broadside.

How You Can Help:

Governor Charlie Baker may be reached at 617-725-4005 or contacted here. His Facebook is here.  His Twitter is here.

Representative James Lyons Jr. may be reached at 617-722-2460 or contacted here.

Senator Bruce E. Tarr may be reached at 617-722-1600 or contacted here.  Facebook is here.  His Twitter is here.

Attorney Lisa Siegel Belanger’s website is here. Her Twitter is here.


A Transhumanist Explores a New Type of Community - "Zero State"

[A 2014 article from transhumanist Amon Twyman who is an advocate of radical social and technological change leading to a zero state, no gender, no individuality, no freedom, where the majority are nothing more than engineered man-machines comprising the vast part of a one world community under autocratic control.  His statement; ".. direct democratic action to circumvent obsolete political institutions." promotes the 'social justice' of Aldous Huxley's eugenics world dream via 'mob rule' anarchy  - ED ]

Interview with Zero State founder and transhumanist Dr. Amon Twyman. [Emphasis DNI]

Rapid advances in technology are paving the way for new ideas about the future, including those of the communities we live in. I had a chance to catch up with transhumanist, Zero State founder, and cognitive scientist Dr. Amon Twyman, who is a leader of one such community that is exploring new directions for the betterment of humanity

Dr. Amon Twyman

 

Q. Dr. Twyman, What is Zero State?

A. Zero State (ZS) is a community that grew out of the transhumanist movement back in 2011. It’s now part of a broad coalition of groups and movements that we call WAVE, referring to a coming wave of radical technological and social change. The basic ZS idea is to create networks of people and resources which could evolve into a distributed, virtual State. Right now there are only a few thousand ZSers (albeit well connected to much larger networks), but in a hypothetical full-blown Zero State there would be tens of millions or more, all supporting each other and being part of a single nation no matter where they live in the world. Our motto is "positive social change through technology."

 Q. How does transhumanism relate to ZS?

A. Our core principles and ideas are deliberately compatible with transhumanism. That comes naturally, as ZS grew out of transhumanism and our most active “citizens” tend to self-identify as Transhumanists. That said, it’s important to stress that people don’t have to be transhumanists to join ZS. More generally, we consider ourselves to be a “Social Futurist” community, which is to say that we believe technological breakthroughs don’t happen in a social vacuum. There are social, economic, and political issues which not only stubbornly continue to exist in the face of techno-optimism, but which are sometimes greatly exacerbated by technological change. In short, we believe that technology should be applied to improving the human condition on both physiological and societal levels.

Q. How can ZS help the world?

A. In the first instance, we are focused on helping ZS’ citizens, or more accurately, helping them to help each other. An increasing number of people are finding themselves in need of help of one type or another these days, and we would like to demonstrate that mutual support is made more achievable than ever before thanks to the power of cutting-edge technologies. We tend to focus on bringing together people and ways to access current technologies such as meshnets, cryptocurrency, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence, while exploring ideas such as longevity, super-intelligence & wellbeing, accelerating change, and direct democratic action to circumvent obsolete political institutions. Beyond working to help our own people, we actively work to support the wider network of like-minded groups and believe that compassionately, intelligently applied technology has the potential to improve the lives of everybody in the world.

 Q. How did you come to be the founder of ZS?

A. My background is in a combination of psychological research (consciousness and decision making, Artificial Intelligence) and digital & performing arts. Although I’d read my fair share of science fiction as a kid, I decided I was a transhumanist while studying at university, after reading “Mind Children” by Hans Moravec. Over time, my various interests in art, science, transhumanism, and contemporary social/political issues coalesced into a coherent worldview, and I eventually decided to form an organization to pursue these ideas. The result, Zero State, was heavily informed by my experience as a co-founder of the UK Transhumanist Association, which has since evolved into Humanity+ UK. I started building WAVE, the broader network ZS is part of, two years later. That was once we’d had time to realize that there was a bigger picture emerging; a large number of like-minded groups forming to address a vast array of specific issues with a common outlook. That common outlook is characterized by technological savvy, distaste for old thinking and limits, and a keen awareness of social issues.


A. What does the future hold for ZS?

Q. ZS-affiliated project groups continue to work on developing tools for our members. A lot of these projects are collaborative and many have a distinctly transhumanist flavor, such as experimentation with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (using electrical charge to help concentration—work being done in collaboration with Dirk Bruere and Andrew Vladimirov). Some of the projects seem more like simple fun than serious experimentation at first glance—such as the ZSers building Minecraft environments in which to test their AI software—but that’s half the point; For people to do something useful and have fun at the same time. Our most vigorous efforts are currently going into WAVE, expanding the wider, networked context in which ZS operates, doing what we can to help out like-minded groups. We’ve been establishing connections with large networks, such as The Zeitgeist Movement and an emerging coalition of online transhumanist organizations. We live in extremely exciting times, with lots of rapid change both good and bad, and it looks like Zero State will soon get its chance to help people help each other in that brave new world. If you believe in the promise of technology, the importance of social justice, and the power of community building then feel free to jump in and join the fun!


Zoltan Istvan is an award-winning journalist, philosopher, and activist. You can find him on TwitterGoogle+Facebook, and LinkedIn. Zoltan is also the author of the recently published #1 Philosophical bestseller novel The Transhumanist Wager. Available in ebook or paperback, the controversial novel is a revolutionary reading experience. You can check it out here

 



Zoltan Istvan

Zoltan Istvan is an American-Hungarian philosopher, journalist, entrepreneur, and futurist. He is best known as a leading transhumanist and the author of the controversial novel, 
The Transhumanist Wager, a #1 bestseller in both Philosophy and Science Fiction Visionary and Metaphysical on Amazon.[ He has a B.A. in philosophy and religious studies from Columbia University. The article first appeared here. If this doesn't give you reason to pause, I don't know what could - DNI]




FDA Ethicists Undisclosed Conflicts Of Interest in Prenatal Dex Case

by Alice Dreger and Ellen K. Feder


[A 2014 article that details the questionable practices of modern medicine which both involves fraud and an overt application of eugenics rather than health care.  It is offered as a public service information source along with the caveat to beware of scientific studies which are usually wrong. . [Emphasis - DNI] - ED]

Newly available documents show conflicts of interest for the FDA ethicist who investigated a fetal drug experiment.  

Pediatric endocrinologist Maria New, now at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, is an internationally-recognized specialist in congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a genetic condition that can cause female fetuses to develop intersex (in-between male and female) genitals. For over a decade, Dr. New has encouraged pregnant women at risk of having a child with congenital adrenal hyperplasia to take the steroid dexamethasone starting as early as 3 weeks of pregnancy to try to prevent intersex development.

Dr. New has consistently described this extremely controversial off-label (i.e., not government-approved) use as safe and effective. In truth, there has never been a placebo-controlled trial of this use, and the only long-term prospective trial ever conducted resulted in so many “severe” adverse events that, in 2010, that study’s research team (a Swedish group) went to their ethics board to say they were halting the use altogether.

Dr. New’s aggressive “safe and effective” promotion of this fetal intervention—an intervention designed to cross the placenta and change fetal development—would be shocking enough. But we were shaken in late 2009 when we discovered that, even while she was direct-to-consumer advertising the intervention as having been “found safe for mother and child,” she was taking NIH grant money to study retrospectively whether it was safe and effective.

 In February of 2010, we along with thirty colleagues in bioethics and allied fields sent letters of concern to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) asking them to investigate the actions of Dr. New. At the FDA, the investigation was assigned to Robert “Skip” Nelson, a pediatric ethicist. Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request suggest that Nelson proposed to OHRP that he handle the main part of the prenatal dexamethasone investigation for that agency as well. Ultimately the OHRP findings relied largely on a memo provided to them by Nelson as an FDA official.

While the federal investigation was ongoing, in May of 2010 the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB) circulated a manuscript (in advance of publication, inviting open peer commentaries) attacking our letters of concern, saying they represented an instance of “unethical transgressive bioethics.”

At the time, we were not aware of conflicts of interest in the federal investigation or the AJOB article, because none were disclosed. Here is what we now know, including from material obtained just this week through the Freedom of Information Act:

First, neither the original AJOB manuscript (May 2010) nor the final published article (September 2010) included a conflict of interest statement from the authors. The lead author, Larry McCullough, failed to disclose that he held paid positions with the two medical schools implicated in the investigation (Mount Sinai and Cornell). The second author, Frank Chervenak, failed specifically to disclose that he was (and still is) Chair of Obstetrics and head of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine unit at the medical school where New “treated” over 600 pregnancies with prenatal dex.  Chervenak also failed to disclose that he served as “key personnel” on New’s NIH grant.

Responses to our Freedom of Information requests show that Larry McCullough gave the AJOB original manuscript to the federal investigators at OHRP prior to publication, in an attempt to undermine the claims in our complaints. No conflict of interest disclosures were attached to the manuscript. This suggests that OHRP personnel would have seen the McCullough and Chervenak criticisms of our request for an investigation, but would not have known of the authors’ conflicts of interest.

Second, it appears that Nelson did not disclose to his FDA or OHRP colleagues that he was a member of the editorial board of AJOB – the journal in which the criticisms were published. One might feel less concerned about this particular undisclosed conflict were it not for the fact that, like the AJOB target article, Nelson’s official FDA findings on prenatal dex misrepresented key facts, including whether the FDA had previously reviewed New’s use of this steroid on first-trimester fetuses.

Third, this week we have obtained additional material through our Freedom of Information request showing that Nelson was, in fact, developing an even deeper relationship with AJOB while he was conducting the prenatal dex investigation. At the very time Nelson was investigating our complaints, he was also negotiating to become editor-in-chief of a new AJOB journal, AJOB Primary Research (since renamed AJOB Empirical Bioethics).

A May 2010 email conversation between Nelson and others at the FDA shows that Nelson was to be compensated by AJOB not only with the editor-in-chief title, but also with $10,000 per year, for editorial assistance. In the email conversation about the new position with AJOB, Nelson never disclosed that the journal was being used to aggressively (dare we say “transgressively”?) undermine complaints he was investigating.

Curiously, Nelson’s FDA memo and the associated OHRP findings on prenatal dex were released on virtually the same day in September 2010 that AJOB published the McCullough and Chervenak “target article” and responses to it. The timing of this “coincidence” was openly celebrated by Glenn McGee, then editor-in-chief of AJOB: “With the release of the September issue of the Journal, both the FDA and OHRP have released letters responding to the complaints that are the subject of the Target Article…”

What might once have been thought fortuitous timing must now be examined through the lens of conflicts of interest, as we now know that, by September 2010, Nelson was working in titled and compensated positions for both the FDA and AJOB.

Fourth, in December 2010, AJOB published a “vindication” by Dr. New that consisted mostly of a long quote from Nelson’s FDA response to our letter. Consistent with the established pattern of non-disclosure, nowhere in conjunction with New’s “vindication” does one find disclosure of Nelson’s dual role as FDA investigator and key member of the AJOB editorial team.

We have repeatedly appealed to the editorial board of AJOB to add disclosures to all the dex-related publications. That has gotten us nowhere, except to force disclosure of who is on the AJOB conflict-of-interest committee. The committee includes Larry McCullough, specifically representing AJOB Empirical Bioethics, the journal given to Skip Nelson.






Alice Dreger and Ellen K. Feder 

Alice Dreger, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. @alicedreger

Ellen K. Feder is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at American University, and author of Making Sense of Intersex: Changing Ethical Perspectives in Biomedicine, just issued by Indiana University Press.


[Note:  Might wander through the typical profiles of the “bioethicists” identified in the following article: The article originally appeared here 

Larry McCullough, one of the founders of “bioethics”, pop control, research using children, pro-human embryonic stem cell research, etc.:  https://www.google.com/#q=%22Larry+McCullough%22+%22bioethics%22

Frank Chervenak, M.D., ObGyn specialist in maternal and fetal medicine, pro-abortion and woman’s rights, anti-personhood for the unborn, pro-euthanasia, etc.: https://www.google.com/#q=%22Frank+Chervenak%22+%22bioethics%22+%22controversy%22

Glenn McGee, partner with bioethics founder Art Caplan, pro-“designer babies” and human cloning, implicated in conflict of interest in the Celltex corruption case, etc.:  https://www.google.com/#q=%22Glenn+McGee%22+%22bioethics%22

Skip Nelson, Senior Pediatric Ethicist at FDA, promotes research using children, etc.:  https://www.google.com/#q=%22Skip+Nelson%22+%22bioethics%22&start=10

See also “Charges of editorial misconduct at American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), at: 

http://www.healthnewsreview.org/2011/06/charges-of-editorial-misconduct-at-american-journal-of-bioethics/.

For an extensive analysis and critique of “bioethics”, with extensive references, see my article, "What is 'bioethics'?" (June 3, 2000), UFL Proceedings of the Conference 2000, in Joseph W. Koterski (ed.), Life and Learning X:  Proceedings of the Tenth University Faculty For Life Conference (Washington, D.C.:  University Faculty For Life, 2002), pp. 1-84, at:

http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_36whatisbioethics01.html.  As a First Generationer in this “bioethics”, I hold one of the few Ph.D. concentrations in bioethics the field from the KIE and Dept. of Philosophy, Georgetown University (1991).

--  DNI]




Auto Insurers like Farm Bureau Financial Services Moving to Real Time Driver Surveillance (Updated 6/19)

by Allen Williams


Today's insurance market is simply the pits especially where automobile coverage is concerned. Consumer complaints are on the rise and even though one can get a feel for how he or she may fair under insurer policies from these complaints, there is little relief from industry abuses. One such example is Farm Bureau Financial Services of West Des Moines. Iowa, a holding company that has acquired a number of state farm bureaus through the years including Kansas in 2001.

Farm Bureau is a financial conglomerate that provides Home and Auto coverage through its subsidiaries as well as questionable innovative technologies like driveology'. View the FBFS Driver real time monitoring brochure here: (https://www.fbfs.com/insurance/auto-insurance/driveology) Whats that you may ask? Note that the company's safe driving software will be rating YOUR contribution to global warming as a qualifier for premium auto discounts.

We now live in a technological age where government and its affiliated partners can render total information control over every individual. Under real time driver management surveillance, most people will never qualify for any significant discounts. It will be nothing more than an intrusive incursion into ones privacy.

Farm Bureau has a history of making promises which never materialize. I was involved in several rate saving programs in the past promising discounts but about halfway through, a general rate increase nullified the discount. I even requested a 7500 mile travel limit option but it didn't result in any noticeable rate reduction as I wound up with double digit rate increases of 18%, 13.5%, 13% and 36% for the last four years.  See my complaint filed with Kansas Insurance Commissioner. The company raises insurance premiums on drivers with no accidents to help offset its uninsured loss claims.


As you might imagine in new technologies, the Farm Bureau website does not give any system details on its driver monitoring package. Their safety brochure mailed to potential insurance renewals is all the information that is available. They want you to talk to their agent where nothing promised is in writing to establish that the insurer wasn't acting in good faith in the event of future litigation. I'll define what that means a bit later.

Now before one can actually qualify for the kind of savings they hint at with their driver monitor (up to 30%) you need to own the right car. What might that be you respond? Well the advertisement I received with last years 13.5% rate increase infers that I may only expect to receive the maximum discounted savings IF my car qualifies. Now given the fact that Farm Bureau raised my auto rates 18% last year with no claims for the last 15 to 20 years that Ive been insured, I have to conclude that one must have the latest vehicle technology in addition to their software if any real savings are possible. So, what must a person do?

Well for starters I must accept their electronic surveillance package in my car (it could be as simple as a flash drive plugged into my cars USB port, if I had one) that would query and store my vehicles health, environmental and operating data.

Expect this to be a points based rating system not unlike trading carbon credits. For example, you just had a new CO exhaust monitor installed in the vehicle, that's +5 points but you also have a substandard performing catalytic converter and that's (-)50 points. Get the drift or am I going too fast?

In addition, the FB insurance system records how often the brake pedal is actuated, your distance traveled, the speed of the vehicle and if the driver is wearing a seat belt. I bet it will also test driver alertness on long trips as most new cars have a camera screen which is perfect for receiving visual messages and alarms from your driving safely monitor. It will send various messages that need to be responded to in a certain amount of time along the lines of a drunk detector on start-up which requires you to type in a random series of numbers in sequence in 10 or so seconds or you can't start the car. Remember, older drivers with arthritis and other physical impairments will be challenged to satisfy such tests. And, it would most likely result in a serious penalty (-)1000 points, etc in the driveology system if you fail it.

The Farm Bureau software surveillance system is capable of virtually infinite expansion as any new WIFI device can communicate with your vehicle WIFI. So say, there is a new device marker for a school zone, the marker will notify the FBFS system in your car enabling it to determine if you're speeding in that region, and if so (-) 100 points. And lets not forget that weather is available across the WIFI network which allows insurers to determine that you're driving too fast on wet slippery roads and then more point penalties. Also, they will know what you' re listening to on the radio and if you are texting because these are all WIFI access devices. And because most fast food restaurants also have WIFI, the company will be aware of what you're eating and drinking. This information will be sold to their business partners per their privacy notification policy.

The Farm Bureau driver monitor will also know the last time your car was serviced and if the environment is being harmed by using the AC too often. [UPDATE] These intrusive measures are being offered as a 'social responsibility' effort but also a 'profit enhancer' for companies. Telogis offers real time driver monitoring.  See (https://www.telogis.com/benefits/social-responsibility)
Here's an example of what's already underway in commercial fleet operation: "Using Telogis Fleet (https://www.telogis.com/solutions/fleet) you can measure progress on green metrics. Using baseline data, ongoing collection and record-keeping of GHG outputs, you can report on your current carbon footprint and track green fleet initiatives. ..It all adds up to shrinking your carbon footprint and minimizing carbon emissions. Calculate your potential CO2 reductions using our GPS ROI calculator."
(https://www.telogis.com/benefits/your-roi/gps-roi)

Driver monitors can also interface with the police license scanner system ALPR - (http://www.theiacp.org/ALPR) alerting an expired license (-)1500 points (plus a ticket). Or perhaps, you did not schedule that emissions test when told to by the system within the time window allotted (-) 500 points. The FB driveology data is viewable externally as their brochure claims but you cant correct it. It will testify against you in any legal proceeding resulting from a citation or an accident.

Now after your car has spied on you for a period of time, I mean monitored your driving habits for a year or so, you become eligible for advanced premium discounts. But I'd be surprised if anyone could qualify for a dime of rebate under such a program, more than likely the FB system will document scores of reasons why one can't earn a premium break and will then be justification for endless rate increases just as one experiences each year for those over retirement age.

Statistics is the lifeblood of the insurance industry; these people are always looking for ways to minimize their risks and boost profits at the drivers expense so your personal freedom and privacy under the 4th amendment is of little concern. So, do not be surprised if the insurance industry is already lobbying government to require this invasive technology under penalty of law. Forcing individuals to upgrade equipment and purchase services they do not need or want is a time honored globalist tradition right along with getting the government to do their dirty work. (If you have forgotten that just revisit Obamacare.)

Companies like Farm Bureau also force you to subscribe to their quarterly Kansas Living magazine as a condition of purchasing their auto insurance. Kansas Living is no longer the voice of agriculture but a paid platform of partner advertising subsidized by the policy holder. You can't cancel it because your FB auto insurance is contingent upon remaining a Kansas Living subscriber.

So, how effective is Farm Bureaus claim management you may think? Well, in short, they almost never return your phone calls. Particularly, if you have a question about their rates do not expect to get an answer in your lifetime. For a supposedly rural company they come off like the snobbish global company they truly are. One recent user named Rachel from Kansas (https://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/farm-bureau-homeowners.htm) laments: 

"Extremely dissatisfied with Farm Bureau. We have paid additional to get residential home equipment breakdown coverage. Our heat and air unit outside needs replacement. It has been eleven days since we have filed our claim. We have tried to contact the insurance agent several times. He does not pick up his phone and neither does he answer back."
I certainly have to agree with her assessment based on my personal experiences with Farm Bureau.

Then there is Debra (https://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/farm-bureau-homeowners.htm) from the Indiana branch of Farm Bureau:
"I've had Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance for 6 SIX years, paying approx $200/month which equals over $14k and had NO ZERO claims, not even 1 speeding ticket, yet my insurance rates keep increasing - on my 11 yo vehicle! I am even over 50. Called my agent and he said "Well, I can't explain it. Sorry. I'll even shop around for you!"
" Here are more FBFS complaints from the consumer protection website (https://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/farm_bureau_auto.html).

Folks there is a reason behind Farm Bureaus rude and callous behavior, they simply don't have to perform because if there is any misdoings you're the one (or your attorney) who has to prove that the insurer was not acting in good faith and its just about impossible to prove given the legal boundary conditions that have to be satisfied simultaneously. Now you know the value of insurance lobbying. Yes, state governments have provided some cushy legal protection for the insurance cartel's deep pockets. Here is an excellent example from Findlaw as to how the claim game is played.

On October 9, 1999, Roger Bellville (Bellville) and his wife, Sue Ellen, were involved in a motor vehicle accident with Guy Schueler. Ellen died at the scene Bellville was unharmed. (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ia-supreme-court/1256710.html)

Now here's the explanation of 'good faith' in legal terms as I mentioned earlier: 
2. Subjective element: knowledge of lack of reasonable basis. Even when the insurer lacks a reasonable basis for its denial of a claim, liability for bad faith will not attach unless the insurer knew or should have known that the basis for denying its insured's claim was [Sampson, 582 N.W.2d at 150; Kiner v. Reliance Ins. Co]., unreasonable. An insurer's negligent or sub-par 463 N.W.2d 9, 13 (Iowa 1990). investigation or evaluation of a claim is relevant to the fact finder's determination of whether the insurer should have known its denial lacked Reuter, 469 N.W.2d at 254; Bad Faith Actions a reasonable basis. 5:08, at 5-42 ([A] breach of the duty to investigate constitutes a § But an improper investigation, standing substitute for knowledge.) alone, is not sufficient cause for recovery if the insurer in fact has Reuter, 469 an objectively reasonable basis for denying the claim. N.W.2d at 254-55; accord Seastrom v. Farm Bureau Life Ins. Co., 601 5:08, at 5-42 (stating N.W.2d 339, 347 (Iowa 1999); Bad Faith Actions § a negligent investigation does not constitute bad faith by itself). With this background, we turn now to an analysis of the plaintiff's bad faith claim.

So bad faith actions ARE NOT proof of bad faith itself and precisely what insurance adjuster actions could ever be deemed unreasonable in a court of law? And how could you prove that the insurer knew or should have known that his basis for denying the claim was unreasonable? Anything the adjuster does will be deemed reasonable; the appellate court has already affirmed that assumption in this particular case.

Farm Bureaus real time driver monitoring system is a privacy threat and a consumer rip off.


Austria to Shut Down Seven Mosques and Expel Dozens of Imams

By Chris Agee


The Austrian government is pursuing a controversial plan as part of a broader effort to address concerns of radicalization among refugee and immigrant communities.

Amid a wave of right-wing electoral victories, particularly last year’s win by the populist Freedom Party, lawmakers have increasingly targeted Islamic groups for added scrutiny under the country’s so-called law on Islam.

That legislation prohibits any religious group from receiving foreign funds as well as imposes a duty on Muslim groups to respect Austrian tradition through “a positive fundamental view towards state and society.”

In recent statements, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz accused dozens of Islamic leaders of violating the law, revealing that they could be removed from the country or have their visas revoked.

The chancellor, who helped craft the law before he was elected to his current post last year, made his position clear in Friday’s news conference.

“Political Islam’s parallel societies and radicalizing tendencies have no place in our country,” he said.

Government data suggest 40 imams are believed to be part of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria, also known as the ATIB. These individuals receive money directly from Turkey’s religious authority — known as the Diyanet — in violation of Austrian law.

At least 11 of these cases are reportedly under review and two imams involved have already been found to be in violation.

This week’s remarks by Kurz and others suggest even more individuals could have direct monetary ties to the foreign entity.

Austrian officials indicated that as many as 60 imams are thought to belong to the ATIB and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache said the response being announced at that news conference was “just the beginning.”

Although an ATIB representative recently confirmed Diyanet was paying imams in Austria, he said there are efforts in place to shift those payments to a domestic source.

“We are currently working on having imams be paid from funds within the country,” Yasar Ersoy said.

In addition to the individual imams found to be in violation of Austrian law, leaders say at least seven mosques are set to be shuttered for alleged links to extremism.

The Grey Wolves, a Turkish nationalist youth organization, operates one illegal mosque in Vienna, according to the Austrian government. Another six believed to be funded and operated by a different entity will also be shut down.

Despite the legal and national security arguments for their actions toward some within Austria’s Islamic population, Turkish leaders have decried the recent announcements as bigoted.

In a statement, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan described Austria’s response as evidence of an “Islamophobic, racist and discriminatory wave” within the country.

Erdogan spokesman Ibrahim Kalin went further in a tweet posted Friday.

The Austrian government’s ideologically charged practices are in violation of universal legal principles, social integration policies, minority rights and the ethics of co-existence. Efforts to normalize Islamophobia and racism must be rejected under all circumstances.

“The Austrian government’s ideologically charged practices are in violation of universal legal principles, social integration policies, minority rights and the ethics of co-existence,” he wrote. “Efforts to normalize Islamophobia and racism must be rejected under all circumstances.”




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