I consider the folks at Speaking of Research my colleagues. They have spoken out publicly for medical and biological science and have fought against extremists who not only want to stop necessary research involving animals, but are often unstable and violent in expressing their beliefs. My patients and I have benefited from their activism.
Like most activists, they have enemies. Animal rights activists are the worst kind of enemy: fearless, violent, and stupid. Two of these enemies are Steve Best and Camille Marino.
The two arguably teamed up to terrorize university students for trying to learn. Marino is a famously unstable animal rights wacko with a criminal past who continues to harass her “enemies”. Best is a “philosopher” who the Southern Poverty Law Center has called Marino’s “chief ideologue”. One of his more awesome quotes effectively summarizes his philosophy:
“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. “May this upside down world be set right … and the human voice never again be heard.”
Anyway, while Marino sits in a tear-soaked puddle of mascara lamenting her inability to wipe the human scourge off the face of the Earth, Best, who apparently lent her his PayPal account to help run the campaign pictured here, is now whining that his “academic free speech” is being threatened. I’m not sure how that works. Folks have taken notice of his connections with Marino and made them known. Maybe a lawyer can explain the whole thing to him. Apparently, the two are having some sort of legal tete-a-tete at the moment, but Camille has other troubles to worry about (like today’s pre-trial felony hearing for Aggravated Stalking, Trespass, and Unlawful Posting of Message with Aggravating Circumstances–how do you like that tether, Camille? ).
Lay down with dogs, wake up with fleas, right? Stop you’re whining, Best. “Academic freedom” does not mean freedom from criticism. If you have a record of speech action that embarrasses you, you can always say, “I was wrong about all that stuff. Sorry.”
Postscript: “Extremist” or “Terrorist”?
Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.
Neither Best nor Marino has been convicted or formally accused of the crime of terrorism, but in my opinion both have implicitly and explicitly threatened animal researchers in a way difficult to differentiate from terrorism. Best is quoted above. Marino’s website Negotiation is Over speaks for itself, and the SPLC has documented her activities. This makes them, in my opinion, the form of extremist most of us would call terrorists, but I’ll leave my current title for now.