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On Friday afternoon, an hour before the courts closed for the weekend, my former lawyer received an email informing him that I was being sued for defamation and conspiracy.
Every thread and forum that mentions me or my story is now apparently my responsibility to shut down. Which is laughable, especially since in many of those threads not so pleasant things are said about me, so to assume I have control over it is beyond bizarre.
99 people who are current or former graduate students of my former university are listed as co-conspirators. There is only a small handful of actual names of people listed as co-conspirators. Several of whom I have never met or spoken to either in real life or online. The claim is that all these alleged co-conspirators have acted to deliberately harm the reputation of [sic]. Just to make clear, these are people who simply shared my story, out of concern or outrage. My story is but on instance of a broken and dysfunctional system, which is why I believe it was shared so much. Anybody who has power’s name is intentionally left out. Instead, detailed descriptions of unnamed persons that are very specific, and thus identifiable despite the absence of their names, are listed as evidence. I find that interesting, since they are technically the ones who helped spread my story the farthest. And yet, they are exempt from this.
I am also accused of trying to persuade reporters to publish my story, which I never did. While I was contacted by journalists, I ultimately did not follow up with them because I feared a lawsuit.
My case is just one example of a larger systemic injustice, where most of students, unemployed and underemployed PhDs and adjuncts, out of fear of losing their careers or financial support, are forced to remain silent about the economic and psychological repression they are facing. I choose to speak out because it should not be this way. We should not be punished for being a whistle-blower. This is why I believe my blog has picked up so much traction. I truly hope this blog has helped give voice to so many cases of abuse which have been kept silent for far too long.
This blog is about injustice in academia, and is not about just one aspect of the personal story I have shared. I hope to be able to continue to post about the bigger implications of systemic abuse and bullying in order to advocate for academic reform. I am asking for solidarity and support.
But for that to happen, I need assistance. Without help, I will be forced to shut down and remove posts. If you, or anyone you know, has contacts with firms who take on pro-bono cases or lawyers who can consult on my care, please get it in touch with me.
This is so much bigger than me or my story, and that I am being sued for speaking out reveals exactly what we are up against.
Next post: Why This Blog Matters: Adjuncting
Update August 2018: I'm still being sued, it's a long drawn out process even when the first amendment is on your side. If you want to support me in some way, consider pitching in $5 to support this blog, this blog will ALWAYS be free.