Originally published at The Last American Vagabond.
Shortly before he took office, President Joe Biden announced that he would be elevating the director Office of Science and Technology Policy to a cabinet-level position, meaning that his nominee to lead that office, geneticist Eric Lander, would require confirmation by the US Senate. Lander is currently serving as director of that office but has yet to serve in cabinet-level capacity as he awaits confirmation.
Mainstream media reports described Biden’s move to place Lander in his cabinet as “meant to highlight his commitment to science,” which has been used to contrast his approach with that of Trump, who was accused of second-guessing “authoritative” voices from academia and the medical establishment. Lander is deemed to be one such “authoritative” voice, having previously served as external cochair on former president Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
However, Biden placing Lander in this role begs the question of exactly what type of science he will promote in his new position, given that eugenicist and intelligence-linked pedophile Jeffrey Epstein bragged on his website about having “had the priviledge [sic] of sponsoring” Lander’s research via the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation. Lander’s spokesperson told the New York Times in 2019 that “Mr. Epstein appears to have made up lots of things and this seems to be among them,” regarding whether or not Lander had indeed received funding from Epstein.
In addition to the issue of funding from Epstein, Lander, who is also a biology professor at MIT, is known to have met with Epstein at least once, as he was pictured taking part in a 2012 meeting with Epstein at the office of Harvard’s Martin Nowak, a mathematical biologist who received millions in funding from Epstein. After Epstein’s 2019 arrest, Lander claimed that he had been invited to the meeting by Nowak and had been unaware of who was set to attend the event. He additionally stated that he “later learned about [Epstein’s] more sordid history” and denied having had a relationship with Epstein.
Yet, there remains the issue that Epstein himself included Lander in a list of scientists he sponsored, with the other scientists on that list having indeed been supported by Epstein in some fashion. If we are to believe Lander, it remains unclear why Epstein, before he became so infamous, would falsely claim to fund Lander and why Lander would wait to deny any association until only after Epstein’s arrest. Given that the other scientists listed alongside Lander on Epstein’s website did receive funding from his foundation, it seems unlikely that Epstein would deceptively throw in Lander’s name among a list of several other scientists he was funding at a time when he was not yet publicly controversial and did not present a grave risk to his associates’ reputations.
However, Lander’s denials seem to have been more than sufficient for some mainstream media outlets, following his nomination to serve in the Biden administration, with some outlets now claiming that Lander was not reported to have received funding from Epstein, despite Epstein’s own claims to the contrary. For instance, BuzzFeed wrote on January 19, 2021, that Lander “has not been reported to have received any money from Epstein.”
The Broad Institute, Silicon Valley, and Intelligence
Despite Lander’s denials of a personal relationship, Epstein had very close ties to Lander’s employer, MIT. Epstein donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the institution, and he was also used as a channel for making donations to MIT by billionaire Bill Gates. Gates has yet to explain why he would funnel his donations through Epstein as opposed to publicly donating via his well-known “philanthropic” foundation. Epstein’s funding of the MIT Media Lab in particular led to the resignation of its director, Joi Ito, in September 2019 following Epstein’s arrest and subsequent “suicide.”
In addition, Epstein was particularly close to one of the biggest names at MIT, the late artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky. Minsky organized a two-day symposium on AI at Epstein’s private island in 2002, and Epstein victims have alleged that they were forced by Epstein to engage in sex acts with Minsky. Both Minsky and Lander were fellows of the Thinking Machines corporation, a DARPA contractor that made supercomputers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That company’s various components were acquired by a web of intelligence-linked companies such as CIA-linked Oracle and IBM, while many of its engineers left for Sun Microsystems, where future Google CEO Eric Schmidt was then serving as chief technology officer.
Lander, more recently, has again become closely associated with tech companies deeply tied to the US national security state, as the founding director of the Broad Institute, an independent genomic research institution partnered with both MIT and Harvard. Incidentally, MIT and Harvard are the two academic institutions most closely linked to Epstein’s “philanthropy,” particularly in the field in which the Broad Institute specializes.
The Broad Institute depends heavily on “private philanthropy” according to its website, and its board of directors includes Apple chairman Arthur Levinson; chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute James Manyika; current chairman and former CEO of IBM Louis Gerstner Jr; and former Google CEO and current chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) Eric Schmidt. Also on the board is Seth Klarman, owner of the Times of Israel and a major donor to the DNC in the last election cycle. Klarman’s family foundation has donated heavily to the Broad Institute. In addition, Klarman announced his rejection of former President Trump in a coordinated PR push alongside Leslie Wexner, Epstein’s main backer who was integral to his intelligence activities and sex trafficking operation in 2018. More recently, Klarman was outed as the main financing source for the dysfunctional Iowa Caucus app during the most recent DNC primaries.
Right before Lander joined the Biden administration, the Broad Institute announced a new partnership with tech giants Microsoft and Google subsidiary Verily, further reflecting the Broad Institute’s ties to Silicon Valley. As part of that partnership, Microsoft and Google will share the companies’ cloud data and AI technologies with a “global network of more than 168,000 health and life sciences partners” to accelerate the Terra platform. Terra, originally developed by the Broad Institute and Google’s Verily, is an “open data ecosystem” focused on biomedical research, specifically the fields of cancer genomics, population genetics, and viral genomics. The biomedical data Terra amasses include not only genetic data but also medical imaging, biometric signals, and electronic health records.
In the case of Google, the data accessed via this partnership will likely inform their obvious AI health-care ambitions, some of which are being pursued in partnership with the US military. Google recently announced a partnership with the Pentagon to “predictively diagnose” cancer and COVID-19 using AI. Google’s ties to the US military have become overt in recent years, and the company is well represented on the NSCAI, which is chaired by former Google CEO Schmidt. In the case of Microsoft, the company was recently awarded the massive JEDI cloud contract by the Pentagon, though litigation may soon change that. Microsoft also recently launched a new “secret” cloud service for US intelligence and classified government data systems and, like Google, is also well represented on the NSCAI.
In addition, Microsoft and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt have ties to Israeli intelligence, particularly Israel’s Unit 8200. Microsoft’s ties to Start-Up Nation Central, Unit 8200 fronts, and Isabel Maxwell (Ghislaine Maxwell’s sister) have been discussed at length in my previous articles. Schmidt, among other connections, helped finance and launch Team8, the start-up accelerator for Unit 8200 alumni set up by the unit’s former commander, Nadiv Zafrir. Team8 controversially hired Mike Rogers, former director of the National Security Agency, and is also associated with the private company IronNet Security whose CEO is another former NSA director, Keith Alexander.
These US-Israel intelligence ties are notable given the Epstein connections explored earlier in this article, as many of Epstein’s activities – from sex trafficking and sexual blackmail to money laundering – were done on behalf of both US and Israeli intelligence agencies, specifically factions within both intelligence communities that share ties to the same organized crime syndicate.
Those same factions are also intimately involved in the activities of Silicon Valley, making it no coincidence that, following his first arrest in 2007, Epstein attempted to rebrand himself as a hi-tech investor and patron of “transhumanist”-related sciences, showing that his benefactors’ interest had moved from sexual blackmail and human trafficking to the electronic forms of blackmail and the trafficking of data.
Just months before his 2019 arrest, Epstein would brag about having compromising material on prominent Silicon Valley figures and is known to have entertained LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Google cofounder Sergey Brin. Epstein’s close associate Ghislaine Maxwell had similarly directed her attention at Silicon Valley following Epstein’s first arrest, and her sisters, Isabel and Christine, have been intimately involved in Silicon Valley and hi-tech contractors for US intelligence for decades.
Praising Eugenicists for “pushing the frontiers of science”
Aside from the intelligence connections via Silicon Valley and Jeffrey Epstein, Lander has also courted controversy for a controversial toast he led in honor of eugenicist James Dewey Watson in 2018. On Watson’s ninetieth birthday, Lander praised Watson for “inspiring all of us to push the frontiers of science to benefit humankind.” Watson, though best remembered as the codiscoverer of the DNA double-helix structure, was also a notorious eugenicist who stated his belief that people of African descent have genetically inferior intelligence on numerous occasions. Watson first began to retreat from public life in 2007, when he told the BBC that Western government projects in Africa were likely to fail because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really.”
Lander was later forced to apologize for his public praise of Watson. Yet, since his nomination to serve in the “diversity-focused” Biden administration, some former critics of Lander for praising Watson have now warmed up to the MIT geneticist, citing the fact that his deputy, Alondra Nelson, is an African American woman.
Lander’s relationship with Watson goes back to Lander’s extensive work as part of the Human Genome Project, a project in which Watson was also intimately involved. Though the Human Genome Project is normally credited to three scientists that “independently” all had the same idea in 1990, the original call for the Human Genome Project was first published in 1986 by geneticist Walter Bodmer. Bodmer joined the Eugenics Society, today called the Galton Institute, as a young man back in the 1960s and soon after went to work with Stanford biologist/geneticist Joshua Lederberg. Lederberg was a key scientific adviser to US presidents and the US military during the course of his decades-long career. Bodmer then served as the Eugenics Society/Galton Institute president from 2008 to 2014. One of the organization’s current officers, David J. Galton, wrote that the Human Genome Project that Bodmer originally proposed had “enormously increased . . . the scope for eugenics . . . because of the development of a very powerful technology for the manipulation of DNA.”
Once the Human Genome Project was underway, Watson was placed in charge of the US government-funded effort backing the project via the National Center for Human Genome Research. Watson used that position to fund seven genome centers involved in large-scale gene-mapping projects, including at MIT. Much of the sequencing for the Human Genome Project was done by the MIT-affiliated Whitehead Institute, where Lander worked on the gene-sequencing project and other projects until the Broad Institute was spun off from the Whitehead Institute’s Center for Genome Research and formally launched in 2004.
The Whitehead Institute was cofounded by David Baltimore, who served as its founding director and went on to become president of Rockefeller University. Baltimore is currently on Lander’s Broad Institute. As an aside, Joshua Lederberg is another past president of Rockefeller University, and Jeffrey Epstein had previously served on the university’s board after being personally appointed by David Rockefeller. The Rockefeller family’s ties to eugenics are discussed at length in this documentary, and Epstein’s obsession with eugenics has been detailed in several reports since his 2019 arrest and “suicide.”
Given the association with eugenicists like Jeffrey Epstein and J. D. Watson, it is essential to spread awareness of these ties while Lander awaits Senate confirmation, since the Senate could be pressured by the public to raise these issues at Lander’s upcoming confirmation hearing. Yet, the fact that Lander was even nominated for this position, particularly following the Epstein scandal, is stunning; he should have been investigated and, at minimum, blacklisted from holding public office. Lander’s nomination to such a prominent post is unsettling confirmation of the continued influence and power of the network that not only created Jeffrey Epstein but financed and protected his nefarious activities for decades.