Webmaster Comment: Many components of global gangstalking operations conjoin in the unsavory character and career of Eric Lander, the Jewish-narcissist, MIT-Harvard mathematician-economist cum neurobiologist, microbiologist, geneticist, and Jeffrey Epstein associate who worked on the Human Genome Project and CRISPR gene-editing techniques. Lander recently resigned in disgrace as director of Biden’s OSTP (Office of Scientific and Technology Policy) after being accused of serial workplace bullying of subordinates. The many parallels between gangstalking, workplace bullying, and “DARVO” (Deny, Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender) indicate they are the same program, which in fact is national policy and the methodology and expanding for-profit enterprise by which government agencies, militaries, law enforcement, corporations, and citizen groups abuse, discredit, and destroy critics, activists, people of integrity, “dissidents,” whistleblowers, and/or people with less power. A Rhodes Scholar globalist, Lander was the perfect psychopath to head up the scientific-technological component of the national and international “organized stalking-electronic harassment” (OS-EH) program.
DARVO (Deny, Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender) (from the article below): … “complainants about harassment or mistreatment face institutional gaslighting and demeaning. (Professor) Jennifer Freyd called the process — DARVO. First employers deny the charges. Then, complainants are vilified and demonized. Their characters are assassinated. Then, the most remarkable thing happens — roles are reversed by the accused. The actual, true victim is portrayed as the offender, making the accused bully the fake victim. This sounds shocking, but the process is followed for all government whistleblowers. DARVO describes the retaliation all complainants suffer. This strange series of predictable events results in the exit of complainants, not people accused of bullying.”
DARVO is simply the latest descriptor for the vast, National Security Racketeering Enterprise often referred to as “organized stalking-electronic harassment (OS-EH). In 242 Names and Descriptions Of Gangstalking/Organized Stalking – Electronic Torture, I list 242 other names and descriptions for OS-EH. In fact, I question whether “DARVO” is simply one more “smokescreen” term or “limited hangout” deployed by intelligence agencies to conceal “the targeting or TI program,” which according to Dr. Rauni Kilde (former Chief Medical Officer of Finland) is “the most important policy of the U.S. government.” Another TI referred to “the program” as “covert transhumanism”- and this is the aspect of the program that Lander would have been in a position to advance.
I. Eric Lander – A Workplace Bullying Case Study
Making of a science guru …
Eric Lander was a Brooklyn-born math whiz kid. At 17, he won a science talent search contest. He graduated from Princeton with a BA in Mathematics. Earning a Rhodes scholarship, his PhD from Oxford was in mathematics. While teaching economics at Harvard Business School, he studied neurobiology, microbiology and genetics on the way toward a much different career. That supplementary training drove him to genomic research in 1986 at the origins. He taught at MIT and became one of the leaders of its Broad Institute.
At age 30, he won a MacArthur fellowship, dubbed the “genius award.” Besides early work on the Human Genome Project and CRISPR gene editing techniques, he launched at least two for-profit companies translating genome research findings (for which he holds patents) to patient care, one through cancer-treating drug development. His reported wealth is in excess of $45 million. To his credit, he serves on the Board of the Innocence Project after providing expert testimony on the group’s behalf in a legal case.
Lander is firmly established in the academic pantheon, showered with numerous awards and ratings placing him at #1 or #2 in the world in the genomic research field. The accolades led him to remorselessly treat rivals with disdain and rancor. His critics, recipients of his wrath called him “Eric Slander.”
The point of understanding his background is to recognize the source of his confidence in his narcissistic entitlement. In his mind, who could compare? One can wonder if he was a cocky, arrogant teen. But by the time Joe Biden met him, he was most certainly considered “brilliant,” with the caveat that he could be “difficult.” As with all high-profile, politically connected bullies, all that endorsers and supporters choose to hear or see is “brilliance.” The reputation for toxic interpersonal relationships with peers and subordinates is all too easy to disregard.
Road to the White House …
While Lander was at the MIT Broad Institute, Bruce Reed, the once president of the overarching Broad Foundation, shared an orbit with him. Reed is currently serving as deputy chief of staff in the White House. VP Joe Biden in the Obama administration launched a pet project, the Biden Cancer Initiative. Lander was invited to serve on its Board. So, when President Biden took office, he nominated his close friend Lander to direct the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and to serve as his personal science advisor.
The OSTP is a small bureaucracy of 140 staff within the Executive Office of the President (EOP). Remarkably, Biden elevated OSTP directorship the President’s Cabinet, perhaps because of his closeness to Lander. Lander required Senate confirmation. He was confirmed by voice vote but not until he was challenged (by Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth) to apologize for previously discounting the work of two women researchers (who won the Nobel prize for their contributions to CRISPR advances and who engaged in patent disputes with Lander). There was also some questionable contact with Jeffrey Epstein, but most everyone rich and famous intersected with the pedophile.
Please understand that Lander enjoys what we call at WBI “Executive Sponsorship.” That is, if or when bullying is reported, the higher-ups — Reed and Biden — in Lander’s case will find a way to defend or deflect the accusations. Sponsors need not be actual executives. In Lander’s case, a POTUS had his back.
In normal times, complainants about harassment or mistreatment face institutional gaslighting and demeaning. Jennifer Freyd called the process — DARVO. First employers deny the charges. Then, complainants are vilified and demonized. Their characters are assassinated. Then, the most remarkable thing happens — roles are reversed by the accused back by employers. The actual, true victim is portrayed as the offender, making the accused bully the fake victim. This sounds shocking, but the process is followed for all government whistleblowers. DARVO describes the retaliation all complainants suffer. This strange series of predictable events results in the exit of complainants, not people accused of bullying.
DARVO used to be outrageous and shocking. I fear societally, we are normalizing the reversed world where truth and science are treated as opinions, denied by so many of our fellow Americans.
Positive steps taken to block DARVO in the EOP
When Biden swore-in individuals (on a zoom screen) joining his administration on day one, he pledged to “fire on the spot, no ifs, ands, or buts” anyone who treats another person with disrespect. I was certainly excited to hear such a bold proclamation. Here’s the video of his promise. (https://youtu.be/y-PN1WWVo4g)
Shortly after taking office, the EOP promulgated a “Safe and Respectful Workplace Policy” for the OSTP. It prohibits “repeated behavior that a reasonable individual would find disrespectful, intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive.” It covers bullying and degrading conduct that does not involve discriminatory conduct (e.g., status-based harassment). There is also a provision prohibiting exclusion from “meetings, conversations and assignments,” an anti-ostracism clause. The text of the policy is hiding from google’s tenacles. However, other agencies have policy extensions to include mistreatment above and beyond harassment.
In other words, the EOP, as employer, declared bullying unacceptable behavior. That step alone goes further than nearly every U.S. employer. All that’s left to effect the desired change is to faithfully enforce the policy when violations are confirmed. That second step is also rare.
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Landers’ lifelong bullying manifests at OSTP, Surprised?
Into the OSTP with career, non-appointed staff came the wunderkind, Eric Lander, science god. He began work at the start of May 2021. His tenure lasted a mere nine months.
The inside view of Lander as leader comes from the reports of 14 employees who shared illustrations of his cruelty with the author of a Politico article that ran on the morning of February 7, 2022. The accounts of abusive conduct included:
– being positive and ebullient with outsiders, changing moods when behind closed doors (Jekyll and Hyde)
– laughed or taunted subordinates in front of other colleagues
– asked questions that are obviously not in the person’s area of expertise until they admit they don’t know the answer
– bullies both men and women, but takes delight in trying to embarrass female colleagues in front of others
– retaliated against staff for speaking out
– asked questions by calling people names, disparaging them, embarrassing them in front of their peers
– asks the same question over and over, getting louder and louder each time
– yells, screams, everyone is afraid of him
– shunning staff
– taking away a person’s duties, replacing them or driving them out of the agency
– women have been left in tears, traumatized, and feeling vulnerable and isolated
Lander sometimes feigned contrition: said one staffer, “After repeatedly insulting and humiliating me in front of colleagues, Lander acknowledged his inability to control himself, telling me ‘I hate that I do it’.” But not so much that he stopped.
No one had ever made him stop. He was open and brazen, knowing he had support from the top.
This was his lifelong pattern. Why would anyone be surprised?
Rachel Wallace, successful complainant
Ms. Wallace worked at the OSTP during both Obama and Trump administrations. She was an EOP veteran since the Clinton administration. She served as both general counsel and chief operating officer at OSTP. Bullies tend to identify the go-to expert on-site and launch a focused campaign to destroy and undermine that person. It makes no sense, but bullying is an illogical, unreasonable phenomenon. This might have been what Lander did to Wallace. He demoted her to deputy counsel.
Wallace filed a complaint against Lander and “other OSTP leadership” in September, claiming violations of the “Safe and Respectful Workplace Policy.” The investigation took two months. An investigation followed. I assume it was conducted by internal White House staff because the person who reported the findings was Christian Peele, White House deputy director of management and administration for personnel (a long title for HR).
The finding was not the typical brush-off conclusion of “personality style differences.” To the EOP’s credit, Peele reported in a January briefing that the investigation found “credible evidence of disrespectful interactions with staff by Dr. Lander and OSTP leadership.” His misconduct was not “gender-based discrimination.” Lander was an equal opportunity offender. Several staff provided testimony, often granted anonymity for their safety. There was convergence of perceptions. The picture of Lander as abuser was clear.
“Corrective action” was warranted and ostensibly taken, according to the White House.
The failed institutional response
The White House said “leadership” (whoever that is, did it include President Biden?) met with Lander. The “corrective action” seems to have been left up to Lander to implement. In other words, he was told correct himself because the President expects it. This is a 65 year old man with a long track record of narcissistic behavior. How was he supposed to change? More important, why would he change with no pressure from POTUS to do so?
Delays are part of this story. The two-month investigation was completed in December. That meant it did not begin until one month after the complaint was filed. The holidays passed allowing another month to pass before a January briefing about the investigation’s findings.
Despite a confirmed violation of the policy with “Respectful Workplace” in its title AND despite Biden’s very public pronouncement that disrespectful actors would be fired “on the spot,” Lander remained OSTP director until his self-designated resignation date of Feb. 18. When Biden said termination with no if’s, and’s or but’s would result, he meant but for his revered confidante and buddy Dr. Lander.
Word reached Lander that Politico reporter Alex Thompson was preparing a damning article about the fiasco. We know this because on Friday Feb. 4 before release of the article on Monday Feb. 7, Lander wrote an “apologetic” email to staff regarding his “disrespectful or demeaning way” of speaking to staff.
Rachel Wallace blasted the half-hearted email as “disingenuous. It compounded the deep hurt and damage he has caused by ignoring these other acts of aggression, harassment and retaliation.” To her, this was no apology.
According to the transcript of the White House press briefing on Feb. 7, press secretary Jen Psaki actually said that Lander’s compliance with the unspecified “corrective actions” would be monitored moving forward. She confirmed that Lander had been allowed to outline his personal plan to build a respectful work environment at OSTP. Why was he still working despite the POTUS pledge to terminate? Because he was vetted by the Senate confirmation process. Huh?
Later that day, Lander crafted his letter of resignation, not to take effect until 11 days later. He characterized his actions as pushing colleagues to reach goals, sometimes “challenging and criticizing.” That’s “org speak” for justifying what “leaders” must do. He admitted guilt about the way he said things to people. But, as all bullies profess when caught, “that was never my intention.” His one genuine admission was that “it was my fault and my responsibility.” Yes. That’s true.
[Don’t cry for Lander. He is no victim. He can return to his two positions: professor of biology at MIT and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School. Wondering if either of those institutions have policies to shield staff from Lander’s wrath certain to play out there. They better prepare themselves.]
The first step to accountability is when offenders take personal responsibility.
However, the institution of the EOP did not fulfill its leader’s promise in a responsible manner.
Yes, a good policy that extended protections against mistreatment beyond the narrow guidelines for discriminatory misconduct was written — Safe and Respectful Workplace. Yes, an investigation of complaints was done. The EOP did not DARVO Rachel Wallace like Eric Lander did. And finally, the findings reflected the reality of the toxic work environment Lander created for OSTP staff.
However, the EOP gets failing grades for delaying the start of the investigation. Why did it take two months to speak with between nine and 14 staff? Then, why were the findings held for another month after the fact finding ended?
EOP deserves no credit for pushing the complaint out of public view without press scrutiny, treating it as an HR-level concern. Lander’s political experience has been shaped by Reed and Biden. His misdeeds should be their concern and their responsibility to fix. OSTP is probably too small an agency to have its own HR office. That’s why Peele from the White House got involved. But Peele is HR. HR in no organization has the authority to hold an agency director accountable. Lander outranked Peele.
It was up to Reed or Biden to terminate Lander. Oops. They were the bully’s sponsors and enablers. Therein lies the explanation for allowing Lander to self-correct without any adverse consequences, despite being guilty of violating the policy.
Ironically, Lander attended a public presentation after the investigation and after the confirmed violations in which Biden put Lander in charge of his “cancer moonshot” project. I hope Biden was not aware of Lander’s transgressions. HR feels obligated to “protect” executives from negative news. Biden needs to tell Peele and White House counsel he needs to be notified in the future of similar cases. If Biden was aware, did he think the meek self-correction decision was adequate?
My reading between the lines of news accounts is that complaints were made about others in OSTP leadership. Were these colleagues of Landers who followed him into government service? If so, they certainly would be loyal sycophants of his, accustomed to, and approving of, his management “style” that had been deemed unacceptable. If they are not removed also, the toxic work environment at OSTP will likely continue. Stay tuned. Lopping off the leader’s head is rarely sufficient to restore safety and health to a workplace.
In conclusion, EOP’s most tragic failure was to expose 140 people to a tyrannical boss who inflicted stress-related health damage with impunity. As the months passed when EOP dithered over the investigation, reporting the findings and waiting for Lander to self-correct, people suffered. Rachel Wallace knew this. Bullying is not simply about the litany of tactics and shenanigans, it’s about the health-harming destructive consequences of abusive conduct. Before OSTP can move on, healing has to take place.
II. Eric Lander From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (September 2020)
This biography of a living person relies too much on references to primary sources. (January 2021)
Eric Lander, PCAST Co-Chair (cropped).jpg
11th Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
June 2, 2021 – February 18, 2022
President Joe Biden
Preceded by Kei Koizumi (acting)
Succeeded by Alondra Nelson (acting)
Science Advisor to the President
January 25, 2021 – February 18, 2022
President Joe Biden
Preceded by Kei Koizumi (acting)
Succeeded by Francis Collins (acting)
Born February 3, 1957 (age 65)
New York City, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse Lori Lander
Education Princeton University (AB)
Wolfson College, Oxford (MS, DPhil)
Awards Rhodes Scholarship
MacArthur Fellowship (1987)
Dickson Prize (1997)
Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service (1998)
Max Delbrück Medal (2001)
Gairdner Award (2002)
Harvey Prize (2012)
Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2013)
William Allan Award (2018)
Institutions Broad Institute
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis Topics in Algebraic Coding Theory (1980)
Doctoral advisor Peter Cameron
Doctoral students Julie Segre
Erez Lieberman Aiden
Eric Steven Lander (born February 3, 1957) is an American mathematician and geneticist who served as the 11th director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Science Advisor to the President, serving on the presidential Cabinet. Lander is a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, a former member of the Whitehead Institute, and the founding director of the Broad Institute. He is a 1987 MacArthur Fellow and Rhodes Scholar. Lander co-chaired President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Lander announced he would resign from the Biden Administration effective February 18, 2022 after allegations surfaced he had engaged in bullying and abusive conduct directed against his subordinates and other White House staff.
1 Early life and education
2.1 Early mathematical career
2.2 Contributions to genomics
2.3 Beyond genomics
2.5 Translational ventures
2.6 Forensic science and criminal justice
2.7 Science Advisor to the President
3 Recognition and service
5 External links
Early life and education
Lander was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to Jewish parents, the son of Rhoda G. Lander, a social studies teacher, and Harold Lander, an attorney. He was captain of the math team at Stuyvesant High School, graduating in 1974 as valedictorian and an International Mathematical Olympiad Silver Medalist for the U.S. He attended and later taught at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics program. At age 17, he wrote a paper on quasiperfect numbers for which he won the Westinghouse Science Talent Search.
Lander graduated from Princeton University in 1978 as valedictorian and with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He completed his senior thesis, “On the structure of projective modules”, under John Coleman Moore’s supervision. He then attended Wolfson College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and he wrote his Doctor of Philosophy thesis on algebraic coding theory and symmetric block designs under Peter Cameron’s supervision.
Early mathematical career
As a mathematician, Lander studied combinatorics and applications of representation theory to coding theory. He enjoyed mathematics, but did not wish to spend his life in such a “monastic” career. Unsure what to do next, he took a job teaching managerial economics at Harvard Business School. At the suggestion of his brother, developmental biologist Arthur Lander, he started to look at neurobiology, saying at the time, “because there’s a lot of information in the brain”. To understand mathematical neurobiology, he felt he had to study cellular neurobiology; this in turn led to studying microbiology and eventually genetics. “When I finally feel I have learned genetics, I should get back to these other problems. But I’m still trying to get the genetics right”, Lander said.
Lander later became acquainted with David Botstein, a geneticist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Botstein was working on a way to unravel how subtle differences in complex genetic systems can become disorders such as cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, and even obesity. The two collaborated to develop a computer algorithm to analyze the maps of genes. In 1986 Lander joined the Whitehead Institute and became an assistant professor at MIT. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1987. In 1990, he founded the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research (WICGR). The WICGR became one of the world’s leading centers of genome research, and under Lander’s leadership made great progress in developing new methods of analyzing mammalian genomes. It also made important breakthroughs in applying this information to the study of human genetic variation, and formed the basis for the foundation of the Broad Institute—a transformation Lander spearheaded.
Contributions to genomics
Two main groups attempted to sequence the human genome. The first was the Human Genome Project, a loosely organized, publicly funded effort that intended to publish the information it obtained freely and without restrictions. Many research groups from countries all over the world were involved in this effort. The second was undertaken by Celera Genomics, which intended to patent the information obtained and charge subscriptions for use of the sequence data. Established first, the Human Genome Project moved slowly in the early phases as the Department of Energy’s role was unclear and sequencing technology was in its infancy. Officially, the Human Genome Project had an eight-year head start before Celera entered the race, though discussions for the Human Genome Project began fourteen years before Celera announced their own project. Because the Human Genome Project was a $3 billion publicly funded venture, the consortia raced to enter as much of the human genome into the public domain as quickly as possible once Celera began work in 1998. This was a change of strategy for the Human Genome Project, because many scientists at the time wanted to establish a more complete copy of the genome, not simply publish the many fragments individually. Lander aggressively pressured Human Genome Project scientists to work longer and faster to publish genome fragments before Celera. Lander himself is now listed on 73 patents and patent applications related to genomics.
In February 2001, both the Human Genome Project and Celera published drafts of the human genome in the scientific journals Nature and Science, respectively. In the Human Genome Project’s Nature publication, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Center for Genome Research, was listed first, with Lander listed as the first named author.
Leveraging Celera’s sequencing and analysis techniques, the Whitehead Institute also made a contribution to the sequencing of the mouse genome, an important step in fully understanding the molecular biology of mice, which are often used as model organisms in studies of everything from human diseases to embryonic development. The WICGR has since sequenced the genomes of Ciona savignyi (sea squirt), the pufferfish, the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, and multiple relatives of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one of the most studied yeasts. The Ciona savignyi genome provides a good system for exploring the evolutionary origins of all vertebrates. Pufferfish have smaller-sized genomes than other vertebrates; as a result, their genomes are “mini” models for vertebrates. The sequencing of the yeasts related to Saccharomyces cerevisiae will facilitate the identification of key gene regulatory elements, some of which may be common to all eukaryotes (including both plant and animal kingdoms).
Lander was the founding editor of the Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics. He remained editor till 2004.
Sequence data is a list of bases found in a given stretch of DNA. Its value lies in the discoveries and new technologies it allows. For Lander, one of these applications is the study of disease. Lander is the founder and director of the Broad Institute, a collaboration between MIT, Harvard, the Whitehead institute, and affiliated hospitals. Its goal is “to create tools for genome medicine and make them broadly available to the scientific community in order to apply these tools to propel the understanding and treatment of disease”. To this end they are studying the variation in the human genome and have led an international effort that has assembled a library of 2.1 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). These act as markers or signposts in the genome, allowing the identification of disease susceptibility genes. They hope to construct a map of the human genome using blocks of these SNP called linkage disequilibrium (LD). This map will be of significant help in medical genetics by allowing researchers to link a given condition to a given gene or set of genes using the LD as a marker. This will allow for improved diagnostic procedures. Lander and his colleagues are hoping the LD map will allow them to test the Common Disease-Common Variant hypothesis that states that many common diseases may be caused by a small number of common alleles. For example, 50% of the variance in susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease is explained by the common allele ApoE4. Lander’s group has recently discovered an important association that accounts for a large proportion of population risk for adult-onset diabetes.
Lander’s most important work may be his development of a molecular taxonomy for cancers. The cancers are grouped according to gene expression and information such as their response to chemotherapy. The division of cancers into homogeneous subgroups will increase understanding of these cancers’ molecular origins and help devise more effective therapies. Lander’s group has also identified a new type of leukemia, MLL, and a gene that may serve as a target for a new drug.
For several years, Lander has co-taught MIT’s required undergraduate introductory biology course (7.012) with Robert Weinberg. Since 2013 he has also taught two online courses, “Quantitative Biology Workshop” and “7.00x Introduction to Biology – The Secret of Life” via the EdX platform by working with the MITx Bio group.
Lander is a founding advisor of Foundation Medicine, a company that aims to bring comprehensive cancer genomic analysis to routine clinical care. He is also a co-founder of Verastem, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by targeting cancer stem cells.
Forensic science and criminal justice
In 1989, Lander provided expert testimony in the New York criminal case People v. Castro. He showed that the then-current method of interpreting DNA evidence was liable to give false positive matches, implicating innocent defendants. Two of the defense attorneys in that case, Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck, went on to found the Innocence Project, an organization that uses DNA analysis to exonerate wrongly convicted prisoners. Lander is a member of the Innocence Project’s board of directors.
Science Advisor to the President
Lander places hand on ancient text
Vice President Kamala Harris swears-in Lander as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, June 2021
In January 2021, President-elect Joe Biden nominated Lander as Science Advisor to the President and announced that he would elevate the position to a Cabinet-level post. In January 2021, 500 female scientists published an editorial in Scientific American to consider naming someone else to the position, because he was well known within the scientific community for offending women. His nomination had been held up possibly due to requests for clarification about his having attended two gatherings where Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy large-scale donor to science who was also a convicted sex offender, was present. On April 29, a confirmation hearing was held in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. On May 20, the committee voted to report favorably on the nomination, with five Republican senators voting against. On May 28, 2021, before a Memorial Day recess, his nomination was confirmed by voice vote by the full Senate. Lander was sworn in as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy on June 2, 2021. He took his oath using a rare 1492 copy of the Pirkei Avot.
On February 7, 2022, Politico reported on a White House investigation in which fourteen current and former Office of Science and Technology Policy staffers accused Lander on February 4 of having bullied and demeaned his subordinates. Lander admitted to the behavior and issued an apology to staff on February 4, his apology includes, “I am devastated that I caused hurt to past and present colleagues by the way in which I have spoken to them… I believe it is not possible to continue effectively in my role, and the work of this office is far too important to be hindered.” He later resigned on February 7.
Recognition and service
In 1999, Lander received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.
In 2004, Lander was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of our time for his work on the Human Genome Project. He has appeared in numerous PBS documentaries about genetics. He was ranked #2 on the MIT150 list of MIT’s innovators and ideas.
In December 2008, Lander and Harold E. Varmus were named co-chairs of the Obama administration’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 2012 he received the Dan David Prize.
Lander is a member of the advisory board to the USA Science and Engineering Festival.
In 2013, Lander was awarded the first Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. In 2016, Semantic Scholar AI program ranked him #1 on its list of most influential biomedical researchers.
In 2017, Lander received an honoris causa doctorate from the Université catholique de Louvain. Also in 2017, he received the William Allan Award from the American Society of Human Genetics.
In 2019, he served on the Life Sciences jury for the Infosys Prize. In 2020, Pope Francis appointed him a member of the Pontifical Academy of Science. In 2021, Lander, who holds many patents, disclosed ownership of assets worth more than $45 million.
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III. How Narcissists Use DARVO to Escape Accountability
Posted on 30 Apr, 2020
26 Oct, 2022
What is DARVO?
SOMETIMES IT CAN SEEM as if highly narcissistic people possess such extraordinary manipulation skills that they appear to bend reality to their will. In many cases, survivors of narcissistic abuse are left reeling as the perpetrator blithely revises the fact of their aggression, twisting the truth into a narrative that bears no semblance to what actually transpired.
This is because narcissists have mastered a tactical maneuver that effectively grooms individuals and, indeed, entire social groups by controlling their perception of events.
The name of this strategy is DARVO.
What is DARVO?
DARVO is an acronym for Deny, Attack, Reverse, Victim and Offender. It is a defense mechanism used by manipulators to evade accountability for the abuse they inflict on others. It is a blame-shifting tactic used for gaslighting in the context of emotional abuse.
The term was first presented in a 1997 article by Jennifer J. Freyd, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon and founder of the Center for Institutional Courage.
According to Dr. Freyd, “The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim – or the whistleblower – into an alleged offender.”
Denial is used by the abuser and bystanders in their clique. It usually sounds like:
I didn’t do anything, but if I did, it wasn’t that bad.
It never happened, but if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
At the local level, this strategy is common among perpetrators of sexual offenses, psycho-emotional abuse, and domestic abuse. DARVO is a regular feature of coercive and controlling behavior.
At the structural level, Dr. Freyd refers to this tactic as institutional DARVO.
Who gets targeted for DARVO?
For DARVO to occur a power imbalance must exist. It is most effective when the abuser has more social capital than the survivor.
If the abuser is a member of a dominant group and the survivor is a member of a disenfranchised group, generally the survivor is less likely to be believed.
People who are likely candidates for DARVO are:
Survivors who confront their abuser.
Socially vulnerable individuals or groups, e.g. women are more likely to be targeted for DARVO than men.
What is the purpose of DARVO?
The DARVO tactic serves many purposes.
DARVO is a smokescreen used by narcissists, psychopaths or other manipulators to conceal the truth of their behavior.
DARVO enables the narcissist, psychopath or other manipulator to control how others perceive the target and the conflict.
DARVO often stuns the targeted person into confusion and silence.
Thus, the abuser is able to craft a scapegoat story which is used to cultivate biases against the target and rally bystanders to their cause.
“This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of ‘falsely accused’ and attacks the accuser’s credibility and blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation,” explains Dr. Freyd.
In a DARVO climate, no amount of evidence will suffice as proof of the abuser’s transgressions. The target will not be believed within a social circle that has been groomed by a narcissist, psychopath or other manipulator. On the contrary, the target will be subjected to a terrifying campaign of victim-blaming by the group.
Once the abuser has successfully secured the bystanders’ support and conditioned them to perceive the survivor as the perpetrator, the clique collectively subjects the survivor to the merciless process of scapegoating.
If the survivor lives through it, they are usually driven into isolation and social death. Other outcomes can include homicide or death by self-annihilation. The narcissist, psychopath or manipulator’s endgame is the complete destruction of the target.
DARVO as a collective grooming tactic
The cognitive distortions created by DARVO cultivate an ecosystem of moral corruption. Members of the peer group are encouraged by the narcissist to engage in polarized or black and white thinking.
The group’s empathy for the narcissist is weaponized and used to encourage negative biases about the recipient of the abuse. Narcissists, psychopaths and other manipulators do this in order to ensure that members of the dominant clique become indifferent and callous about the betrayal of the survivor.
The desensitization of the group opens the door to the objectification of the targeted individual and once this is accomplished every kind of violence becomes acceptable.
Examples of this can be seen in manifestations of anti-semitism, racism, sexism and homophobia.
Why do bystanders participate in collective betrayal?
According to Dr. Freyd betrayal blindness is a survival mechanism that arises “when awareness would threaten necessary relationships.”
In other words, bystanders yield to betrayal blindness in the interest of looking out for themselves and to avoid the loss or pain they might risk if they sympathized with the target.
They assign more value to their relationship with the abuser so it follows that it’s in their best interest to empathize with the narcissist not with the survivor.
In fact, in many cases bystanders may stand to gain more social capital if they lend their support to the narcissist. So it is usually a combination of greed for gain and an instinct for self-preservation that eclipses any ethical or moral considerations in the bystander.
In other words, members of the clique adapt to conflict within the group by “turning a blind eye,” to the harmful behaviors of the narcissist.
The longterm effects of DARVO on survivors
Many survivors feel psychologically obliterated by the trauma of experiencing DARVO. It can have disastrous consequences for the survivor’s mental health. For example, it can cause severe anxiety, panic, depression, and post-traumatic stress which, in turn, can adversely impact the survivor’s physical wellbeing.
DARVO invalidates the survivor’s lived experience. It inflicts further pain and suffering as the wronged party is cheated out of any measure of justice. Instead, in addition to the original violation, survivors are persecuted and blamed in spite of the fact that they are the wronged party.
Rejection from their peers and the narcissist’s immunity to being held accountable is a constant cascade of salt poured in the survivor’s wounds, causing them to be repeatedly re-traumatized.
More about DARVO
Learn more about DARVO with Dr. Freyd in their lecture ‘Institutional and Interpersonal Betrayal.’
Freyd, Jennifer J. “II. Violations of Power, Adaptive Blindness and Betrayal Trauma Theory.” Feminism & Psychology 7, No. 1 (February 1997): 22–32.
Sarah J. Harsey, Eileen L. Zurbriggen & Jennifer J. Freyd (2017) “Perpetrator Responses to Victim Confrontation: DARVO and Victim Self-Blame,” Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 26:6, 644-663
Freyd, Jennifer J. “Institutional and Interpersonal Betrayal.” Freyd Dynamics Laboratory (August 2014): 08.48 minutes.
IV. Videos on DARVO