“I’m searching life for observations, nuances, details. Because my interest in life is not the event as such, not war as such, not Chernobyl as such, not suicide as such. What I am interested in is what happens to the human being. How does man behave and react? How much of the biological man is in him, how much of the man of his time, how much man of the man.”
I reached the Wakefields at their home in Austin, Texas tonight. Andrew Wakefield answered the phone. April 6, 2016 was a historic day. We all got to read the unbelievable words of an accidental hero named Hunter Todd–the letter that “changed everything.”
“How does it feel?” I asked Andrew Wakefield. “What is going through your mind?”
“I am having a glass of gin,” he said, with a laugh. “I came home from yoga and had a gin, instead of a beer.”
After a brief pause, and being British, not one to yarn on about his feelings, he said this:
“I think you should title this piece, The Tribeca Syndrome.”
“The Tribeca Syndrome…”
“The Tribeca withdrawal had lacked any transparency. It was unknown people from unknown affiliations saying unspecified things…”
He has gotten to a point in his unfathomable life where a more brutal rejection, a “kosher throat slit,” would come as a relief. I could hear the relief in his voice. It was as though he’d happened upon–after twenty years of fiddling with a lock–the right combination. Now he was inside the vault.
“With the Houston rejection it was quite clear where the pressure had come from and what the nature of the threats had been, and that is why it was so important. It was particularly poignant that it was in the state of Texas where freedom from government interference in our lives is sacrosanct. Perhaps more so than any other state in the nation.”
“So what did it mean to you personally?” I asked.
He paused. His words came out with a certain slow gravity I had not heard before.
“It means …it was true all along. What the parents said from the very outset, was absolutely true.”
I heard his wife Carmel’s voice across the room.
“Carmel says “The parents truth is now manifest,” he said. “Hang on…”
Carmel took the phone.
We had a real good laugh about the pillow.
Well, that’s a story for another time.
“So what are your feelings tonight?” I asked.
“Well. I’m just about to become an American citizen,” she said. “I am genuinely excited and proud. One of the massive tenets for me of this country has been the freedom of speech which is the essence of America. The founding fathers would be horrified at these attempts to censor truth.”
“Free speech will prevail. Everybody must see this film. Like it or loathe it, it must be seen. This is a statement of fact to which we all have to face up, and make our decisions going forward.”
[See article in The Autism File, by Carmel Wakefield.]
“The Houston revelation,” she continued, “while massively disappointing, was a relief because the whispered, shadowed nameless, faceless thing now had a name and the name was suppression of freedom of speech. That name was cash dollars in the bank. That name was deceit and defilement of the American constitution.”
I thanked her, and wished the Wakefields a nice evening.
Afterwards, I wished I had shared my father’s quote, when I sent him the Houston-gate article, and he called me, beside himself, like everybody has been, all over the world, today.
“The correct prayer,” my father said, “is not, “We shall overcome. It’s they shall over reach.”