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Thu Aug 22, 2019, 10:50 PM

MIT sets review of donations, apologizes for Jeffrey Epstein ties

Source: Reuters

AUGUST 22, 2019 / 8:33 PM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO

Joseph Menn

(Reuters) - Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Rafael Reif said on Thursday that the elite university would review its process for accepting donations after taking about $800,000 from foundations controlled by financier Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide earlier this month while being held in jail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

In a letter to MIT affiliates, Reif said all the money received from foundations controlled by Epstein had gone to the MIT Media Lab or Professor Seth Lloyd.

Both Lloyd, a mechanical engineering professor at MIT, and Media Lab director Joi Ito posted apologies online for having accepted donations from foundations controlled by Epstein.

“Despite following the processes that have served MIT well for many years, in this instance we made a mistake of judgment,” Reif wrote. “I have asked Provost Marty Schmidt to convene a group to examine the facts around the Epstein donations and identify any lessons for the future.”

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-people-jeffrey-epstein-mit/mit-sets-review-of-donations-apologizes-for-jeffrey-epstein-ties-idUSKCN1VD04Y

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2019, 10:57 PM

1. Might as well keep the money and allow it to do something good for people. No harm there.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2019, 11:00 PM

2. Hmm, maybe these research scientists never knew about that research tool "Google"?

It's not like Epstein's crimes weren't already known, even though he'd pretty much gotten away with them for years after his first conviction.

I mean, I knew his name, knew he had a creepy fetish for young girls, and entangled others in his creepo parties. And I have no special information-- I just read Vanity Fair magazine.
They would have known if they'd tried. Well, they did know. But I guess one reason rich creeps donate money to universities is to burnish their reputations, and if universities don't accept dirty money, they would have to turn down a lot of big donations.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 12:57 AM

3. MIT Media Lab works on bitcoin, which is used for things like sex trafficking

The man in charge of the source code of the main bitcoin software is on the team of the MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative.

Bitcoin is used to facilitate all the big international black markets. Money laundering, child pornography, drugs, you name it.

I don't think it is a coincidence that Epstein, who had business and personal motivations to make these sorts of crimes easier, gave money to the group at MIT that worked on technology that makes these sorts of crimes easier.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 07:04 AM

4. The problem they have isn't solely that they took donations from Epstein: it's when they took the $$

Their media lab director Joi Ito took money from Epstein after his 2008 conviction and subsequent sentence and I think, after other accusations came out in 2015 concerning his supposedly sending a teenager to have sex with Dershowitz/Pr Andrew. Ito also had Epstein put money in some funds that he manages that invest in tech start-ups.

This was Ito's statement from last week:

The public controversy surrounding Epstein's donations to the lab date to 2015. In an apology he published last week, Ito said he first met Epstein in 2013 at a conference and had, in addition to inviting him to the lab, visited several of Epstein's homes.

"I was never involved in, never heard him talk about, and never saw any evidence of the horrific acts that he was accused of," Ito wrote. He said he regretted allowing Epstein to make donations to the lab and to invest in several of his funds, which invest in tech startups outside of MIT.


Imagine someone rationalizing taking money from Harvey Weinstein because he never appeared naked at a meeting with them personally, and tried to force them to have sex with him.

It's not just Ito/ MIT. Reuters did an article in 2015 following the Dershowitz/Andrew claims in which they spoke to several scientists who took money from him or had some kind of 'friendship' with him. This is from a now-retired highly praised evolutionary biologist from Rutgers.

Robert Trivers, a Rutgers University biologist... said Epstein is a person of integrity who should be given credit for serving time in prison and for settling civil lawsuits brought by women who said they were abused.

“Did he get an easy deal? Did he buy himself a light sentence? Well, yes, probably, compared to what you or I would get, but he did get locked up,” Trivers said. He said he got about $40,000 from Epstein to study the relationship between knee symmetry and sprinting ability.

Trivers also said he believes girls mature earlier than in the past. “By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous,” he said.

I'll give him 'credit' for one thing. He probably came closer to being truthful about why he didn't care about Epstein's actions: a complete lack of regard for the victims that I suspect affected pretty much everyone who looked the other way. Just last month, Epstein's attorney was still referring to them as prostitutes in court, as they had done back in 2008.

If you have the time, read the article: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-epstein-charity/exclusive-some-charities-to-refuse-money-from-u-s-financier-accused-in-sex-case-idUSKBN0L51G720150201

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