Celia Farber & James Murtagh: The Irony of Common Ground

Celia Farber recently wrote an incredibly moving and poignant essay about the traumas of her childhood that manifested in decades-long deep depression and sleepless nights. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it. Ms. Farber courageously details just how depression and sleeplessness ruined her life for years.

I am not writing this post to discuss the specifics of Ms. Farber’s ordeal, but rather to discuss the vehicles of her salvation: Dr. Brooks and ketamine. Ms. Farber does not specifically say so, but Dr. Brooks must be a sleep specialist. This is ironic because Dr. James Murtagh is also a sleep specialist (as well as Pulmonary Specialist) who sometimes uses ketamine in his sleep practice. Back in 2011 Dr. Murtagh was the director of three sleep labs in Cincinnati until Clark Baker reignited his harassment.

Ms. Farber and Dr. Murtagh have a somewhat confrontational past, to say the least. However, after reading this essay and the horrible ordeal she went through, I wonder how she would feel about Clark Baker’s incessant harassment of Dr. Murtagh’s employment over the past ten years if she knew that Dr. Murtagh could be the vehicle to others’ salvation. I wonder how many people have suffered much the same horrible ordeal as Ms. Farber and have been denied the salvation she received as a direct result of Clark Baker’s harassment. And if Ms. Farber were made aware of this, would she appeal to her friend Clark Baker to finally end his childish behavior and let Dr. Murtagh treat other people like Ms. Farber?

I have often said that those of us engaged in the “debate” regarding the validity of the science of HIV probably have more in common than we would like to acknowledge. This truth was never more evident than by the fact that Jonathan Barnett and I, once long-time bitter rivals, acknowledged our similarities and buried the proverbial hatchet. We have since engaged in many civil discussions about our differences and have even met in person and had a nice lunch.

Now through Ms. Farber’s candid essay we can see that a person she considers to be a bitter rival could have actually helped her many years ago. And now that this truth is being acknowledged publicly on this blog, it would be a nice, humane gesture if Ms. Farber would contact Mr. Baker and ask him to let bygones be bygones and stop his harassment of a man who has the potential to help many people just like her.

Perhaps we can all take a minute to think about the humanity of our rivals before lashing out. Perhaps we can start a new social medium to engage with one another in a thoughtful, rational manner instead of name-calling in a vacuum.

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