Â In an open letter to the president of University of TexasÂ Scott Rose methodically lays out the case that Professor Mark Regnerus has engaged in unethical Â so-called scientific research in a study Â about children of gay parents funded by Robert George
Via Certified MailÂ Return Receipt Requested
June 21, 2012
William Powers, Jr.
University of Texas, Austin
Office of the President
Main Building 400 (G3400)
Austin, Texas 78713-8920
In Re: Scientific Misconduct Complaint against UTAâ€™s Mark D. Regnerus
Dear President Powers:
I have filed, through the â€œEthicsPointâ€ online system, a complaint against University of Texas,Austinâ€™s Dr. Mark D. Regnerus for Scientific Misconduct in violation of UTAâ€™s Academic Dishonesty Policy,Â which forbids use of misinformation to hurt others.
Please respond promptly to this letter, which is being published at www.TheNewCivilRightsMovement.comÂ
Here are some facts of the case:
1) Â This is not a complaint that UTA Mark D. Regnerus is active politically. The complaint rather is that Regnerus accepted Â money from political persons and groups to further their political goals, and in preparing a study for them, rushed it through production for their use in the 2012 elections, though Regnerus himself has stated in a video interview given to the Daily Texanâ€™s Hannah Jane Deciutus that his methodology for the study does not work â€œto the long-term benefit of science.â€ In other words, in order to retain a large grant from political organizations, a) Regnerus knowingly failed to uphold acceptable standards for his discipline, and b) knowingly rushed through his study in time for his funders to use it in the 2012 elections, instead of c) working professionally to produce a study that would work â€œto the long-term benefit of science.â€ In that, Professor Regnerus’s behavior is antithetical to the raisonÂ dâ€™Ãªtre of a university.
2) Â UTA Professor Mark D. Regnerus alleges that he carried out a study comparing a) young adult children of â€œintact biological families,â€ with b) young adult children raised by homosexual parents up to the 1990s. However, to find study subjects, Regnerus worked through the company Knowledge Networks, which has a limited list of potential survey respondents from the general public. Regnerus had prior knowledge that Knowledge Networks would not be able to connect him with an adequate sampling of young adult children of gay parents raised by those gay parents up to the 1990s. Regnerus additionally knew that companies other than Knowledge Networks exist, which companies, with far greater likelihood would have been able to find him the class of study subjects he purported to want to compare to young adult children raised by â€œintact biological families.â€ Regnerus fraudulently classed as a present-day young adult raised by a â€œgayâ€ parent up until the 1990s, anybody from Knowledge Networks list who said that their parent had ever had a â€œromantic relationshipâ€ with a same-sex partner. In other words, a study subjectâ€™s parent could have had a one-night stand with a same-sex partner, and Regnerus would count that person as having been raised by a homosexual parent. Regnerus told Deciutus that he â€œassumedâ€ that if the person knew of their parentâ€™s same-sex â€œromantic relationship,â€ that it would have been â€œsubstantial.â€
Is that how scientists work, by â€œassumingâ€ and not verifying?Â Please note that one of Regnerusâ€™s study conclusions is that family stability is good for children. That was hardly news. Yet, Regnerus set up his screening questionnaire, such that those people he surveyed and counted as having been raised by a gay parent, were virtually certain to have experienced family instability, as they knew of a parent having a same-sex affair.
Given that Regnerusâ€™s funder Robert George has a long history of telling dehumanizing lies about gay people, and given that Robert George wrote the anti-gay pledge signed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, it would not be credible if Regnerus claimed he had no awareness that Robert George constantly seeks to dehumanize and to discredit gay people by whatever means. Regnerus screened those of his survey respondents to be classed as having been raised by gay parents, in such a way that those respondents were guaranteed to have experienced family instability, and then he compared them against persons raised in â€œintact biological familiesâ€ which he knew to have far less family instability, and subsequently, he reported that unlike most previous studies on gay parenting, his study shows that gay parenting produces bad child outcomes.
In fact, in his written study, he wrote that the idea that children of gay parents do not have worse outcomes than those of heterosexual parents “must go.” Â In sum, Regnerus dishonestly stacked the deck against gay parents, in a way favorable to the results his funders had paid him to produce. Nor was that the only way that Regnerus stacked the deck against his faux gay parents. Regnerus surveyed a disproportional number of children from broken African-American and Hispanic households, likely to be non-affluent families. He subsequently attributed to gay parents bad child outcomes that in reality were due to lack of financial resources. As an example, if a survey respondent said they are currently on public assistance, that counted as a â€œbadâ€ outcome. Yet, unemployment at the time of the survey was such that there was, in the economy overall, one job opening for every five job seekers; we know that the ratio is worse among the poor.Â Additionally, Knowledge Networks incentivized survey participants, by offering them $5 to take the screener, and $20 to take the full survey. Obviously, those stingy payments would be more attractive to unemployed than to employed people.
3) Â Regnerus took a â€œplanning grantâ€ of $35,000 from the Witherspoon Institute, where Robert George of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage is a Senior Fellow. That Regnerus took a $35,000 â€œplanning grantâ€ from Robert George/The Witherspoon Institute strongly implies that George/Witherspoon and Georgeâ€™s The Bradley Foundation might have withheld full study funding, had Regnerusâ€™s study plan not suited their political timetable and purposes. In particular, one wonders if Regnerus offered some sort of formal or informal guarantee to complete the study in time for the fundersâ€™ political exploitations of it for the 2012 election.
Many observers have noticed the extraordinarily short timetable by which Regnerus completed his study. And, as reported by Philip N. Cohen, sociologist Neal Caren noticed from a) the study design document online at the University of Texas and b) the article history dates listed by the journal Social Science Research that Regnerus handed his study into the journal before he had assembled all of his data. That increases oneâ€™s suspicion that Regnerus was under pressure to get the study completed for his funders in time for their political exploitation of it in the 2012 elections.
4) Â Regnerus knew, or should have known, that Robert George of NOM and the Witherspoon Institute is disreputable due to clear and demonstrated intent to lie about and to inflict harm on sexual minorities. The Southern Poverty Law Center repeatedly has noted that NOM falselyÂ conflates homosexuals with pedophiles, for the purpose of demonizing all homosexuals to the society. NOM routinely denies gay peopleâ€™s humanity. For example, NOMâ€™s William Duncan led a symposium session at Liberty University titled â€œHomosexuals or Homo Sapiens; Who Deserves Protected Class Status?â€ NOMâ€™s Maggie Gallagher has lied about statistics involving gay youth suicide in Massachusetts, attempting to gain political advantage for her group at the expense of gay people and their rights. Robert Georgeâ€™s NOM has sponsored rallies where NOM-approved speakers have yelled through megaphones that homosexuals are â€œworthy to death.â€
NOM repeatedly has made false allegations against the gay community in courts of law, and been rebuked by judges for having made them. NOM documents released through court order in March, 2012 described NOMâ€™s plans to â€œdrive a wedgeâ€ and to â€œfan hostilityâ€ between African-Americans and gay Americans, to divide â€œkey Democratic constituencies.â€ NOM also has resorted to fanning the flames of anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic sentiment in order to further its anti-gay political goals. NOMâ€™s Robert George once sent his representative Thomas Peters to attend a conference in Poland hosted by the notorious anti-Semite and Holocaust denier Father Tadeusz Rydsyk.Â NOMâ€™s strategy document also detailed intent to hire a person dedicated solely to finding children raised by gay parents, who would be willing to discredit their gay parents on camera. At the time of the court ordered document release, people scoffed, imagining that NOM would have no means of luring children of gay parents into denouncing their parents. Yet, it appears that the rush-job, stacked-deck-Regnerus study was contrived for political purposes to make it seem as though persons raised by gay parents had given â€œtestimonyâ€ against all gay people.
5) Â Regnerus told The Daily Texan reporter Hannah Jane Deciutis that he did not seek funding for this study from the National Institute of Health because â€œI had a feeling when we started this project that it would not survive the politics of, in my opinion, the peer review system at the National Institute of Health Â — and it takes so long to get money from them, and there are revisions and revisions; I understand that works to the long-term benefit of science, but some scholars don’t feel like going that route.” That statement from Regnerus verifies a suspicion that a) he produced this study according to a timetable of political convenience to his funders, in order that b) the study should be ready for illicit demonization of gay people during the 2012 elections, and not in the interest of c) science carried out to a world-class standard. Regnerus further excused himself from seeking funding for the study from NIH, saying â€œI donâ€™t have a shop with grant after grant.â€ It therefore is striking that Regnerus previously has worked with NIH, apparently when he did not have to rush a study to have it ready for political exploitation. Regnerusâ€™s study Race and Religion in Adolescent Sexual Norms and Conduct, for example, was funded through NIH.Â That is to say, Regnerus took easy money through Robert George to produce a commissioned, half-baked study for him, for political exploitation and demonization of sexual minorities, though he had already successfully negotiated carrying out a study for the National Institute of Health, which would have compelled him to live up to professional standards in his research.
6) Â Regnerus published his study in Social Science Research, edited by James Wright, who has written demeaningly of gay people and their relationships in some of his published work. Additionally, Wright published Regnerusâ€™s paper simultaneously with a paper by Loren Marks that also seeks to discredit past studies that showed positive results of gay parenting. Loren Marks is a NOM/Robert George collaborator. In a Proposition 8-related case in California, the anti-gay-rights side intended to use Marks as an expert witness, but under questioning Marks admitted that he had not read studies from which he was quoting, and that he did not know anything about same sex parenting. His testimony was disallowed. There was evident collusion between Wright and anti-gay-rights groups, to publish together two studies that those anti-gay groups could use for the 2012 elections to demonize gay people, the better to attract support for Mitt Romney, who has signed NOM/Robert Georgeâ€™s anti-gay â€œpledge.â€
7) Â Although in his written study, Regnerus states that he cannot claim causation between gay parents and bad child outcomes, in certain of his mass market media appearances talking about the study, he says that he found that children raised by gay parents had bad outcomes, leaving the viewers to suppose he is blaming the bad outcomes on the parents’ alleged homosexuality. Regnerus made one such appearance on ABC television. His misrepresentation of his own study there, corresponds to the uses of his study currently being made by anti-gay hate groups and his funders.
For example, the Family Research Council is an SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group. Robert George is a Board member of FRC. FRCâ€™s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg has been widely saying that Regnerusâ€™s study proves that there is causation between gay parents and bad child outcomes. Not only does Regnerus not publicly correct Sprigg; he appears on television reinforcing Spriggsâ€™ erroneous notions about the study to the public. The SPLC classifies as a hate group an organization that tells documented falsehoods about gay people. Robert Georgeâ€™s Family Research Council, however, goes far beyond telling lies. For instance, when Congressman Brad Sherman proposed a congressional resolution against the â€œKill the Gaysâ€ law in Uganda, and against Ugandaâ€™s generally inhumane abuses of homosexuals, FRC spent $25,000 lobbying against the resolution, on grounds it constituted â€œpro-homosexual promotion.â€ Meanwhile in Uganda, tabloids were publishing names and addresses of known homosexuals and calling for them to be executed; some executions of homosexuals were carried out. Robert George’s and FRCâ€™s willingness to be an accessory to manâ€™s inhumanity to man is one reason that the University of Texas, Austin Professor Mark Regnerus should have been concerned about creating even the appearance of political collusion with such monsters.
To sum up the case: 1) Regnerus admits that the way he carried out his NOM-Robert George-funded study was not in the best long-term interest of science; 2) Regnerus converted from evangelical Protestantism to Catholicism; his Church is very aggressively involved worldwide in fighting against gay rights, including in the United States, where in June â€“ July 2012, while making use of Regnerusâ€™s study, NOM and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops are joined in running the â€œFortnight of Freedomâ€ event; 3) in his Christian Trinity College biography, Regnerus says that he thinks his anti-gay-rights faith should inform his research and all his work; 4) Regnerus admits in his written study that he cannot claim any causation between having a gay parent and a bad child outcome, but, nonetheless; 4) he appears on ABC television, unambiguously suggesting that his study did show that homosexual parents are dangerous to children, and, his activity in misrepresenting his study that way to the public is 5) totally in line with the manner that NOM and Regnerus’s funder Georgeâ€™s other anti-gay groups are promoting Regnerusâ€™s study. 6) Â In multiple ways, Regnerusâ€™s study was designed fraudulently to stack the deck against â€œgayâ€ parents to make them look dangerous to children, which enhances NOMâ€™s anti-gay propaganda by which homosexuals are conflated with pedophiles. 7) Regnerus rushed his study to publication, apparently to meet a deadline set for him by his funders, and certainly against the interest of maintaining scientific integrity in the study. Â 8) Regnerus took a $35,000 â€œplanning grantâ€ from Witherspoon/Robert George, which obviously implies that had Witherspoon/George not liked the study plan, it would not have funded the study. 9) Sociologists from Brigham Young University were involved in the study design. This might in part explain why the study design was so heavily stacked against gay parents, in favor of â€œintact biological families.â€ BYU has an â€œHonor Codeâ€ that forbids members of the university community from doing anything that suggests that homosexuality is morally acceptable. To include BYU personnel in a study of gay human beings, is akin to asking the Ku Klux Klan to design a study about Jews.
Recently in the United States, anti-gay preachers have called for homosexuals to be placed in concentration camps, and others for them to be killed. Others have given their adult parishioners â€œspecial dispensationâ€ to break the bones of gay-seeming children. In that connection, note that the 3-year-old Ronnie Paris, Jr. was beaten to death by his father, who thought he seemed gay. In still other churches, adults have laughed while a 4-year-old sang â€œAinâ€™t no homos gonna make it into heaven.â€ Robert George and his NOM and FRC are militantly opposed to sexual-orientation-specific anti-bullying protections in the nationâ€™s schools. This year in Brooklyn, public school eighth grader Kardin Ulysse was relentlessly bullied as gay, though it not certain that he is. He and his parents complained many times to school administration, who did nothing. In a last anti-gay bullying attack, Kardin was set upon by attackers yelling â€œFaggot!â€ and other anti-gay pejoratives at him; he was left blinded in one eye. Within the last year, Robert Georgeâ€™s NOM had very actively anti-gay hate-mongered in Brooklyn, during the special election to replace Congressman Anthony Wiener.
With that as background, why are you not sanctioning the University of Texas, Austinâ€™s Professor Mark D. Regnerus for –Â 1) creating a study designed so as to be guaranteed to make gay people look bad, through means plainly fraudulent and defamatory; 2) humiliating your institution in front of the world, by admitting he took money from an anti-gay political organization for his study, rather than from the National Institute of Health, even though, by his own admission, doing so was not â€œin the long-term best interest of science”; 3) unethically rushing his study to completion to meet a deadline convenient to his fundersâ€™ political goals for the study; 4) misrepresenting his written study to an ABC-TV audience, in ways certain to make his political funders happy with him. 5) The University of Texas, Austin, has an academic dishonesty policy thatÂ forbidsÂ using misinformation in an attempt to hurt others.
The University of Texas logo image courtesy of Wikipedia
New York City-based novelist and freelance writerÂ Scott Roseâ€™s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His â€œMr. David Cooperâ€™s Happy Suicideâ€ is about aÂ New York City advertising executive assigned to aÂ condom account.
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‘Confessing to the Crime’: Reporter’s Claim About Trump Being ‘Reluctant’ to Return Records Ignites Legal Experts
Legal experts including Neal Katyal, Andrew Weissmann, and others are responding to a claim made by a right wing reporter that they say indicts rather than vindicates Donald Trump.
The claim was made by Paul Sperry, a former D.C. bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily, who has worked for the far right wing website WorldNetDaily. He is described as having a “long record of promoting anti-Muslim conspiracy theories” by Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative Team.
If his reporting is true, legal experts say it is a confession to unlawful actions regarding the 35 cartons of White House records that belong not to the former president, as he reportedly stated, but to the National Archives.
“BREAKING,” Sperry’s post on the right wing social media site Gettr begins. “Sources close to Trump say the former president was reluctant to furnish presidential records to the National Archives after he found out partisan Democrat political appointees there were releasing thousands of his White House documents to the January 6 Committee in spite of his lawyers’ claims of executive privilege. They say the former president simply ‘does not trust’ the Obama and Biden political appointees running the National Archives to act in good faith and in bipartisan spirit.”
That post was included as a screenshot and tweeted by attorney Ron Filipkowski.
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann responds by saying: “Legally, this is a confession, not a defense, even if Trump thinks this plays to his base. The more Trump keeps talking, the more he keeps digging his legal grave.”
Weissmann also served as an Assistant United States Attorney, chief of the criminal fraud section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and worked under Robert Mueller during the Trump investigation.
This “is Trump confessing to the crime,” says former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal. “If this report is accurate, Trump is saying he took these doc[uments] for his personal gain. It’s no defense to say ‘the govt was going to be unfair.’ These are the govt’s docs, not his. He doesn’t get to hide them& benefit.”
The nonpartisan watchdog Citizens for Ethics (CREW) writes: “So Trump was intentionally breaking the law. That’s really not the winner they think it is.”
Attorney Owen Barcala offers up this sarcastic response: “‘How dare you say he negligently retained classified documents! He did so intentionally and with the specific purpose to interfere with a Congressional investigation!'”
National security lawyer Mark S. Zaid: “These ‘sources’ close to Trump are undermining any possible factual or legal defenses he might assert. Please keep talking!”
Journalists are also weighing in.
Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler: “These ‘sources close to Trump’ LITERALLY just confessed to concealing official records to thwart an investigation, which is one of the crimes under investigation, 18 USC 1519.”
Columbia Journalism School Professor Bill Grueskin: “Each story is more confession-y than the previous one.”
New York Times opinion columnist Farhad Manjoo: “he’s admitting to taking classified documents from the White House in order to keep them away from government officials? convenient, because that is … specifically one of the crimes he’s being investigated for.”
‘It’s Not Theirs, It’s Mine’ Trump Told Aides About White House Records Including Classified Documents: NYT
Donald Trump last week claimed all the Dept. of Justice had to do was “ask” for the classified documents, and other items the FBI confiscated a week ago Monday, and he would have returned them, while multiple aides reportedly have quoted him saying those items belonged to him.
“Pat A. Cipollone and Patrick F. Philbin, the White House counsel and his deputy under President Donald J. Trump, were interviewed by the F.B.I. in connection with boxes of sensitive documents that were stored at Mr. Trump’s residence in Florida after he left office, three people familiar with the matter said,” The New York Times Tuesday afternoon reports.
Both were named as Trump’s representatives to the National Archives, so when the Archives discovered it was missing items, including the highly classified documents, NARA reached out to Philbin.
“Mr. Philbin tried to help the National Archives retrieve the material, two of the people familiar with the discussions said. But the former president repeatedly resisted entreaties from his advisers,” the Times’ Maggie Haberman reports.
“’It’s not theirs, it’s mine,’ several advisers say Mr. Trump told them,” according to the Times.
That’s a different response to the one Trump posted to his Truth Social account last week.
“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump wrote, a claim experts question.
“Number two,” Trump added, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”
“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continued in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”
Despite NARA retrieving the 15 cartons in January, there were more items they wanted returned. In May Trump was sent a subpoena, and yet those items were not returned.
In June, a Trump lawyer signed a statement saying there were no classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Two months later, on August 8, the FBI executed the search warrant that reportedly secured 11 sets of classified documents.
The Times adds that in June, “officials then used a subpoena to obtain surveillance footage of the hallway outside a storage room at Mar-a-Lago and saw something that alarmed them.”
The Times on Tuesday does not state what “alarmed” them, but Maggie Haberman at the Times on Saturday reported the surveillance footage revealed items being taken out of that locked storage room.
“The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room,” Haberman reported. “According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room.”
“They also received information from at least one witness who indicated that more material might remain at the residence, people familiar with the investigation said,” she added.
Trump Tweeted ‘Highly Classified Image Taken by a Secret Spy Satellite’ in 2019: Report
In late August of 2019, more than two and a half years into his first and only term, Donald Trump tweeted a photo that many at the time thought might be a classified spy image, setting the internet on fire.
As it turns out, it was.
Calling it “an infamous moment in the Trump presidency — one that former intelligence officials say perfectly illustrated his approach to dealing with state secrets,” NBC News on Tuesday reported that on August 30, 2019, a “former senior intelligence official with firsthand knowledge told NBC News that Trump did indeed tweet a highly classified image taken by a secret spy satellite, as many experts suspected at the time. And in doing so, the official and others said, Trump gave U.S. adversaries keen insights into the U.S. capabilities to spy from above.”
Trump’s Twitter account is gone, permanently suspended after the Jan. 6 insurrection, and with it all the tweets he posted over many years.
But this is a screenshot of that tweet captured by the Internet Archive (with what appears to be Finnish):
“The president tweeted a picture of an Iranian missile launch site that showed a failed ICBM test launch that everybody acknowledged was a highly classified picture taken from space,” former national security adviser John Bolton told NBC News. “He tweeted it out, and that of course declassified it by definition, but also showed what could happen when such a picture, even on a Twitter attachment, was then able to be analyzed by foreign intelligence services.”
“We had this image of the Iranian missile blown up, and it was exquisite intelligence, and he didn’t even wait,” a former senior intelligence official said. “As soon as we showed him, he said, ‘Hey, I’m tweeting this.’”
Trump “spent no time understanding what made something a secret and what we protected,” that former official also told NBC News.
“CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire tried to talk Trump out of doing it,” NBC News adds, “noting that the U.S. spent billions of dollars developing capabilities to capture images from space, and told Trump, ‘You can’t do this. If you put this out, they’re going understand what our capability is.'”
Falsely, he responded: “Look, I’m the president, I can declassify anything.”
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