To: The Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago
Date: March 15, 2012
I am Dr. Antonio Martinez, co-founder and former director of the Marjorie Kovler Center for Treatment of Survivors of Torture. In this role, I was invited to speak at the EHSC on September 27, 1992. My presentation was about the moral and human concerns in treating survivors of torture. The purpose of this letter is to show my concern about the accusations against Gregory Koger regarding an incident that occurred on November 1, 2009 at the EHSC.
Gregory was the videographer for Sunsara Taylor, who was unethically disinvited from speaking at the EHSC just two weeks prior to her long scheduled talk based on anticommunist views and distortions of her positions, spearheaded by a member of your organization who is associated with the University of Chicago. Knowing the prestige and depth of content of your organization, I would expect that you would know the track record of the University of Chicago’s business school in Latin America, and their immoral association with the dictator General Augusto Pinochet. For me, a real morality is based on principles and not in who is funding or contributing to the organization.
Furthermore, it is difficult for me to understand how Mr. Koger, a survivor of torture and a person that I know and admire for his high standards of social morality and humanism, can be accused of these charges. He was simply acting as the videographer for the Ms. Taylor, who was disinvited from the event by the pressure of corporate America. In fact, the video taken by Gregory on November 1st contradicts completely the statements and accusations made against him prior to the trial by EHSC President Matt Cole and Board member David Hardesty.
I am really disappointed at this incident and I know that other members of the EHSC were also. It came to my attention that several members of the EHSC, including board members, left because of this obvious moral contradiction.
A moral response to this unfortunate event can be a courageous denouncement by the new EHSC leadership of these false accusations against Gregory and a public call for these false charges to be reversed and dropped.
Antonio Martinez, Ph.D.