Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 8 No. 2 | Summer 1986 (Seattle) /// Issue 16 of 24 /// Master# 64 of 73

VOL. 8, NO. 2 SUMMER 986

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Clinton St. VOL. 8, NO. 2 STAFF SUMMER 1986 CONTENTS ^Zo-Editors David Milholland Lenny Dee Associate Editors Jim Blashfield, Michael Helm, Paul Loeb Washington State Coordinator Judy Bevis Design David Milholland Guest Designers Candace Bieneman, Jim Blashfield, Tim Braun, Reed Darmon Cover Separations Sharon Niemczyk Ad Sales—Oregon Dru Duniway Sandy Wallsmith Ad Sales—Washington Judy Bevis Ad Production Coordinator Stacey Fletcher Ad Production Joyce Fletcher Camerawork Tim Braun, Laura Di Trapani Typesetting Archetype, Harrison Typesetting, Inc., Lee Emmett, Marmilmar, Sherry Swain Proofreading Steve Cackley Contributing Artists John Callahan, Stephen Leflar, Craig Marsden, Tom Prochaska, Mary Robben, Carl Smool, Marly Stone, Robert Williamson, Matt Wuerker Contributing Photographers Jorge Garcia Interns Zola Mumford, Lil-E Restagno, Tracy Steinberg Printing Tualatin-Yamhill Press Thanks Dave Ball, Linda Ballantine, John Bennett, Stephen Conover, Chris Daniels, Edward/Natalie Diener, Jeannine Edelblut, Barbara Griswold, Gary Gunther, Michelle Hunt, Marianne Jones, Craig Karp, Susan Kronberg, Linda Keene, Shannon Kelley, Deborah Levin, Peggy Lindquist, Tyra Lindquist, Theresa Marquez, Melissa Marsland, Alice/Del Milholland, Kevin Mulligan, Bill Nagle, Jan Nicholson, John Pickett, Alex Specter, John Wanberg, Amos/ Marcia Vogel, The Clinton 500 The Clinton St. Quarterly is published in both Oregon and Washington editions by CSQ—A Project of Out of the Ashes Press. Oregon address: P.O. Box 3588, Portland, OR 97208, (503) 222-6039; Washington address: 1520 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 682-2404. Unless otherwise noted, all contents copyright11986 Clinton St. Quarterly. TOVEFEIGtUY GOT TO VO w /m /r? MATS EDITORIAL I his spring, the winds have voided all ideologies, boundaries, and barriers that divide us on this planet, bringing us much closer together. Well, not everyone. President Reagan, still smarting from the European rebuff of the U.S. bombing of Libya, responded to the Ukranian tragedy by demanding that the Soviets allow U.S. scientists complete access to their nuclear installations. The offer was not reciprocal. While in fact the Soviet response to the Chernobyl disaster was flawed by stonewalling, wherever such disasters have occurred in recent times, from Three Mile Island to the Florida missile pads to Bhopal, the “responsible” parties first concern has been to limit damages—to careers which might be derailed, to the companies’ or governments’ future freedom of action, and finally, after other bases are covered, to those people, be they astronauts or civilian bystanders, who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was eery to read of events in the Ukraine and days later be told that the highly volatile particles had made it halfway around the world to us here. While authorities in such matters typically tried to downplay the impact of radioactive iodine and other elements in our air, water, and foodstuffs, what emerged was even scarier—we simply | don’t know what safe levels of nuclear i waste products are in our environment. Most of Europe banned use of fresh H milk products and produce while radiation levels were highest, in many cases ten times what we received, though some were more concerned about the impact on sales of their agri- I cultural goods. France, specifically, allowed all products to be freely distributed and sold, while neighboring West Germany and Italy were holding theirs off the market. And then, reacting to criticism levied against the policy, the French Ministry of Agriculture decided to cut hard and deep, by banning all agricultural products from Eastern Europe. Our own guidelines were not much clearer. It was a heavy dose of the true uncertainty of the nuclear age. At least we've been able to deal with this situation somewhat openly. For at nearly the same time we received the first candid admissions about high level releases of radioactive iodine from Hanford during the 1940s, releases claimed to be for testing human re- soonsesto radiation. Though much information remains to be seen of Hanford activity in subsequent decades, of both purposeful and accidental escape of these invisible particles, we should at least understand the mentality that continues to hold sway over these matters. Hanford was constructed “way out west” to remove the still unknown technology from population centers. And now, more than 40 years later, despite literally failing the initial studies of sites for a national nuclear waste repository, Hanford leapt past two locations east of the Mississippi, where the largest number of commercial reactors operate, due to political pressure from those same population centers. Opposition to the waste repository here in the Pacific Northwest, even from many who have previously supported nuclear energy and development, has been gratifying. How much is sincerely felt, in the uncompromising interest of our regions’ citizens, and how much is momentary political Subscribe Now! Subscriptions are $16 for two years. Attractive postcards will be sent to all those on your list. TO ADDRESS FROM__________________________________________________________________________________ Send the following person a subscription. I have enclosed S16 for 8 issues. TO _____________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS CITY CITY FROM The first 100 subscribers get a two-year subscription plus a set of 10 Musicmaster favorites. Be the first on your block. Mail to: CSQ 1520 Western Ave. Seattle, WA 98101-1522 o v e r .............. Murder, Inc. Robert Sherrill Bye, Bye Baja Leanne Grabel Letter to a Friend Nils Peterson . Body and Soul Sara Graham . Anton Kimball 12 16 4 8 How to Relate to Handicapped People John Callahan................. Health Care in Nicaragua Andrew Himes......... Amusing Ourselves to Death Neil Postman..... On the Cold Storage Dock Mary Lou Sanelli....... Save the Best for Last Kirby Olson................ 20 25 28 32 33 An Eternal Dialogue with Czeslaw Milosz Doug Marx . . . Grey New World Craig Marsden AdIndex ...... 36 38 39 posturing, remains to be seen. What has become clear is that the people of our region have got to begin forging a unified front regarding this great unknown on our lands and near our waterways. Hanford’s N reactor which has no p acsimile of the Chernobyl reactor, is still allowed to hum away producing plutonium for our vast nuclear arsenal, out of reach of state authorities, operating as it does under national prerogative. The region’s commercial and military reactors are still producing “temporarily” stored wastes, with no clear end to that storage. And corroded tanks on the Hanford reservation continue to spew forth their wastes—out of sight, out of mind. The very invisibility of the problem has repeatedly allowed such crises to pass quickly from public concern back into the hands of “experts." If you write one letter this summer, let it be to inform all those who represent you that this time you won’t be silent— won’t wait for another incident to momentarily raise the public ire. It’s possibly too late to make our world nuclear-free, but it's never too late to try. DM STATE ZIP STATE____ ZIP Clinton St. Quarterly 3

4 Clinton St. Quarterly

* e Ihere are something over 1,500 men and women on the death rows of America. Given the social context in which they operated, one might reasonably assume that they were sentenced to be executed not because they are murderers but because they were inefficient. Using guns and knives and the usual footpad paraphernalia, they dispatched only a few more than their own number. Had they used asbestos, mislabeled pharmaceutical drugs and devices, defective autos and illegally used and illegally disposed chemicals, they could have killed, crippled and tortured many thousands of people. And they could have done it without very much fuss. Corporate criminals, as we all know, live charmed lives. Not until 1978 had a corporation ever been indicted for murder (Ford Motor Company, which was acquitted), and not until 1985 had corporate executives ever been brought to trial for murder because of the lethal mischief done by their company. The executives who made history last year were the president, plant manager and plant foreman of Film Recovery Systems Corporation, a ratty little silver-rendering operation in Elm Grove Village outside Chicago. The silver was recovered by cooking used X-ray films in vats of boiling cyanide. Film Recovery hired mostly illegal immigrants, who were afraid to protest working conditions so foul that they made employees vomit and faint. The illegals were preferred also because they couldn’t read much English and would not be spooked by the written warnings on the drums of cyanide. To make doubly sure that fright wouldn’t drive workers away, management had the skull-and-cross-bones signs scraped off the drums. Although the antidote for cyanide poisoning is cheap and easy to obtain, Film Recovery Systems didn’t keep any on hand. So it came to pass that Stefan Golab, a 61-year-old illegal immigrant from Poland, took too hefty a lungful of cyanide fumes and died. Charged with murder on the grounds that they had created such unsafe working conditions as to bring about “a strong probability of death and great bodily harm,” the three officials were convicted and sentenced to twentyfive years in prison. Will executives at other villainous corporations be similarly charged and convicted? Don’t bet on it. In this instance the law was applied so properly, so rightly, so common-sensically that one would be foolish to expect such usage to appear again soon. It was a sort of Halley’s Comet of Justice. The idea of treating corporate murderers as just plain murderers strikes many people as excessive. Some lawyers who cautiously approved the conviction in principle said they were afraid it would confuse people generally because a bald murder charge is usually associated with a bullet in the gut or an ice pick in the neck, and nice people would have a hard time adapting the charge to the way things are sometimes accomplished in the front office. Speaking for this timid viewpoint, Alan Dershowitz, Harvard’s celebrated criminal law specialist, said he though the Film Recovery case showed we need a new category of crime. “We should have one that specifically reflects our condemnation of this sort of behavior,” he said, “without necessarily assimilating it into the most heinous forms of murder”—as if the St. Valentine’s Day massacre were any more heinous than Bhopal. During the trial, the Illinois prosecutor accused the defendants of “callousness, disregard of human lives, and exposing people to dangerous products all for the sake of profits.” No wonder the verdict has been so modestly praised. If that's enough to rate a murder charge, our whole commerciaLsystem is at risk. If it were to become the rule, we could look forward to a lineup ofaccused corporate executives extending out of the courthouse and around the block several times. Since there is no statute of limitations on murder, prosecutors would be obliged to charge those executives at Firestone who, a few years back, allegedly killed and injured no telling how many people by flooding the market with en million tires they knew to be defec- : and the executives at Ford who sent the-Rgto into circulation knowing its gas tank w poorly designed that a rear- end collisi could turn the car into a fire trap (several dozen men, women and children were burned alive). From the pharmaceutical fraternity would come such as Dr. William Shedden, former vice-president and chief medical officer for Eli Lilly Research Laboratories, who recently pleaded guilty to fifteen criminal counts relating to the marketing of Or- aflex, an arthritis drug that the Food and Drug Administration says has been “possibly” linked to forty-nine deaths in the United States and several hundred abroad, not to mention the hundreds who have suffered nonfatal liver and kidney failure. is as how the folks at Lilly, when they sought approval from the FDA, forgot to mention that the drug was already known io have killed at least twenty-eight peo^e in Europe. (Shedden was fined $15,000; Lilly, which earned $3.1 billion in 1984, was fined W5,000.) And let’s be sure to save an early murder indictment for those three sly dogs at SmithKline Beckman Corporation who whizzed their product, Selacryn, through FDA without mentioning that it had caused severe liver damage in some patients in France. False labels were used to peddle it in this country, where it has been linked to thirty-six deaths and five hundred cases of liver and kidney damage. V ow comes a ripple of books that, were 1'there any justice, would put a dozen or so hangdog executives in the dock. Three of the books make particularly persuasive cases. Paul Brodeur’s Outrageous Misconduct: the Asbestos Industry on Trial (Pantheon) is an account of how the largest manufacturer of asbestos products, Manville Corporation (previously known as Johns-Manville Corporation) and other asbestos companies committed over the years what one plaintiff’s attorney called “The greatest mass murder in history,” which is posRobert Sherrill IllustrationbyCarl Smool Clinton St. Quarterly

9 sibly true if one means industrial mass murder, not political. People who regularly inhale asbestos fibers are likely to die, or at least be crippled, from the lung disease called asbestosis or the even worse (at least it sounds worse) mesothelioma. It sometimes takes twenty or thirty years for asbestosis to appear, so a measure of the slaughter from it is somewhat vague. But the best experts in the field, which means Dr. Irving J. Selikoff and his staff at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, estimate that aside from the many thousands who have died from asbestos diseases in the past, there will ~ be between eight and ten thousand deaths from asbestos-related cancer each year for the next twenty years. These deaths are not accidental. Manville et al knew exactly what they were doing. Brodeur’s book is mainly an account of how the asbestos companies, though they claimed to be ignorant of the deadly quality of their product until a study by Dr. Selikoff was released in 1964, had for forty years known about, and had suppressed or disregarded, hundreds of studies that clearly showed what asbestos was doing to the people who inhaled it. Did the companies even care what was happening? Typically, at a Manville asbestos mine in Canada, company doctors found that of seven hundred and eight workers, only four—who had worked there less than four years—had normal lungs. Those who were dying of asbestosis were not told of their ailment. The other two books, Susan Perry and Jim Dawson’s Nightmare: Women and the Daikon Shield (Macmillan) and Morton Mintz’s At Any cost: Corporate Greed, Women, and the Daikon Shield (Pantheon), remind me of what Dr. Jules Amthor said to my favorite detective: “I’m in a very sensitive profession, Mr. Marlowe. I’m a quack.” The murderous quackery of the Daikon Shield, an intrauterine device, was committed by A.H. Robins, a company that should have stuck to making Chap Stick and Sergeant’s Flea & Tick Collars, and left birth- control gadgets to those who knew how to make them properly. These two books should convince anyone, I think, that compared to the fellows at A.H. Robins, the Film Recovery executives were pikers when it came to showing disregard for human lives for the sake of profits. Profits were plentiful, that’s for sure. A.H. Robins sold more than 4.5 million Daikon Shields worldwide (2.8 million in the United States) for $4.35 each; not bad for a device that cost only twenty-five cents to produce. The death count among women who wore the shield still isn’t complete; the last I heard it was twenty. But wearers of the shield also have reported stillbirths, babies with major congenital defects, punctured uturi, forced hysterectomies, sterilization from infection, and various tortures and illnesses by the thousands—some generous portion, we may presume, of the 9,230 lawsuits that A.H. Robins has settled out of court. And as both books make clear, the company launched the Daikon Shield fully aware of the shield’s dangers, sold it with false advertising, kept on selling it for several years after the company knew what its customers were going through, and pulled a complicated cover-up of guilt. Dershowitz is right in one respect: corporate murderers are not like your typical killer on death row. Corporate murderers do not set out to kill. There’s no profit in that. They are simply willing to accept a certain amount of death and physical torment among their workers and customers as a sometimes necessary by-product of the free enterprise system. Mintz has uncovered a dandy quote from history to illustrate this attitude. When it was suggested to Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., president of General Motors circa 1930, that ■he should have safety glass installed in Chevrolets, he refused with the explanation, “Accidents or no accidents, my concern in this matter is a matter of profit and loss.” The Sloan spirit is everywhere. Brodeur quotes from a deposition of Charles H. Roemer, once a prominent New Jersey attorney who handled legal matters for the Union Asbestos and Rubber Company. Roemer reveals that around 1942, when Union Asbestos discovered a lot of its workers coming down with asbestos disease, he and some of Union Asbestos’s top officials went to Johns- Manville and asked Vandiver Brown, Manville’s attorney, and Lewis Brown, president of Manville, if their physical examination program had turned up similar results. According to Roemer, Vandiver Brown said, in effect, Sure, our X-rays show many of our workers have that disease, but we don’t tell them they are sick because if we did, they would stop working and sue us. Roemer recalled asking, “Mr. Brown, do you mean to tell me you would let them work until they dropped dead?” and Brown answering, “Yes, we save a lot of money that way.” Saving money, along with making money, was obviously the paramount objective of A.H. Robins, too. This was evident from the beginning, when Robins officials learned—six months before marketing the device nationally—that the Daikon Shield’s multifilament tail had a wicking tendency and could carry potentially deadly bacteria into the uferus. Did the company hold up marketing the shield until it could be further tested and made safe? No, no. That would have meant a delay, for one thing, in recovering the $750,000 they had paid the shield’s inventors. Though Robins knew it was putting its customers in great jeopardy, it hustled the shield onto the market with promotional claims that it was “safe” and “superior” to all other intrauterine devices; and never, during the four years the shield was on the market, did A.H. Robins conduct wicking studies of the string. The shield’s promotional literature, by the way, was a classic example of phony drugstore hype. A.H. Robins claimed the shield kept the pregnancy rate at 1.1 percent; the company was well aware that the shield allowed at least a 5 percent pregnancy rate, one of the most slipshod in the birth-control business. A.H. Robins also advertised that the device could be easily inserted in “even the most sensitive woman,” although in fact many doctors, before inserting the shield, had to give patients an anesthetic, and many women were in pain for months. Not long after the shield went on the market, Wayne Crowder, one of the few heroes in this sorry tale, a quality-control engineer at Chap Stick, which manufactured many of the shields for its parent firm, rejected 10,000 of them because he was convinced the strings could wick bacteria. His boss overruled him with the remark, “Your conscience doesn’t pay your salary.” Crowder also suggested a method for stopping the wicking, but his technique was rejected because it would have cost an extra five cents per device. Crowder kept on complaining (he would ultimately be fired as an irritant) and he finally stirred Daniel French, president of Chap Stick, to convey Crowder’s criticisms to the home office. French was told to mind his own business and not worry about the safety of the shield, which prompted him to go into the corporate softshoe routine he knew would please. He wrote A.H. Robins: “It is not the intention of Chap Stick Company to attempt any unauthorized improvements in the Daikon Shield. My only interest in the Daikon Shield is to produce it at the lowest possible price and, therefore, increase Robins’ gross profit level.” Of course, when thousands of women begin dying, screaming, cursing and suing, it gets a little difficult to pretend that all is well with one’s product, but for more than a decade A.H. Robins did its best, never recalling the gadget, never sending a warning to doctors about possible deadly side effects, and continuing to the last—continuing right up to the present even after losing hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits—to argue that the shield is just hunkydory. The A.H. Robins school spirit was beautifully cap- sulated by one of its officials who told the National Observer, “But after all, we are in business to sell the thing, to make a profit. I don’t mean we’re trying to go out and sell products that are going to be dangerous, fatal, or what have you. But you don’t put all the bad things in big headlines.” Where is the corporate executive who will not savor the easy insouciance of “or what have you”? One of the more fascinating characteristics of corporate murderers is the way these fellows cover up their dirty work. They are really quite bold and successful in their deviousness. When one I The they were afraid it would confuse peopl $ idea of treating corporate murderers as just plain murderers strikes many people as excessive. Some lawyers said generally because a bald murder charge is usuallya s s o c ia te d in tiegut or an ice pick in the neck. ♦I * s * t * considers how many top officials there are at places like Manville and Robins, and when one assumes (obviously naively) among the lot of them surely there must be at least one or two with a functioning conscience, the completeness of their cover-ups is indeed impressive. Which isn’t to say that their techniques are very sophisticated. They simply lie, or hide or burn the incriminating material. When the litigation flood began to break over Manville Corporation in the late 1960s, the asbestos gang began thwarting their victims’ attorneys by claiming certain Manville executives couldn’t give depositions because they were dead (when they were very much alive), by refusing to produce documents ordered by the court, and by denying that certain documents existed when in fact they did. A.H. Robins was just as expert at that sort of thing. According to Mintz, “Thousands of documents sought by lawyers for victims of the Daikon Shield sank from sight in suspicious circumstances. A few were hidden for a decade in a home basement in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Other records were destroyed, some admittedly in a city dump in Columbus, Indiana, and some allegedly in an A.H. Robins furnace. And despite court orders, the company did not produce truckloads of documents for judicial rulings on whether the women’s lawyers could see the papers.” A.H. Robins’s most notorious effort at a cover-up ultimately failed, thanks to one Roger Tuttle, a classic example of what can happen when the worm turns. Tuttle was an attorney for A.H. Robins 4 • • I f I in the early 1970s. He says that immediately after the company lost its first Daikon Shield lawsuit, his superiors ordered him (they deny it) to search through the company’s files and burn every document that he thought might be used against A.H. Robins in future lawsuits—documents that, in Tuttle’s words, indicated “knowledge and complicity, if any, of top officials in what at that stage of the game appeared to be a grim situation.” Unfortunately for the company, Tuttle did not fully obey orders. He took pos- session of some of the juiciest documents and kept them. Just why he rebelled isn’t clear. Perhaps it was because Tuttle, a plain little guy who admits he isn’t the smartest attorney in the world, was tired of having his employers push him around, which they often did. He says he did it because he was ashamed that “I personally lacked the courage” to challenge the order and “I wanted some sop for my own conscience as an attorney.” Whatever his motivation, Tuttle sat on the purloined files for nearly ten years. He moved on to other jobs, finally winding up, a born-again Christian, on the Oral Roberts University law faculty. Watching the Daikon Shield trials from afar, troubled by the plaintiffs’ inability to cope with A.H. Robins's coverup, Tuttle finally decided to step forward and provide the material their attorneys needed for the big breakthrough. A lucky windfall like that is the only way victims can overcome the tremendous imbalance in legal firepower. In the way they muster defense, corporate murderers bear no resemblance to the broken-down, half-nuts, penniless drifters on death row, dozens of whom have no attorney at all. Corporate killers are like 6 Clinton St. Quarterly

the Mafia in the way they come to court with a phalanx of attorneys. They are fronted by the best, or at least the best known. Griffin Bell, President Carter’s Attorney General, has been one of A.H. Robins's attorneys. There are two other significant differences between corporate killers and the habitues of death rows. In the first place, the latter generally did not murder as part of doing business, except for the relatively few who killed coincidental to a holdup. They did not murder to protect their rackets or territory, as the Mafia does, and they did not murder to exploit a patent or to increase production and sales, as corporate murderers do. One judge accused A.H. Robins officials of taking “the bottom line as your guiding beacon and the low road as your route.” Killing for the bottom line has probably not sent a single murderer to death row anywhere. In the second place, most of the men and women on death row were lonely murderers. No part of society supported what they did. But just as the Mafia can commit murder with impunity only because it has the cooperation of police and prosecutors, so too corporate murderers benefit from the collusion of respectable professions, particularly doctors (who, for a price, keep quiet), and insurance companies (who, to help Manville, did not reveal what their actuarial tables told about the risks to asbestos workers; and for Robins, worked actively backstage to conceal the Daikon Shield’s menace to public heath), and government agencies who are supposed to protect public health but look the other way. It was an old, and in its way valid excuse that Film Recovery’s officials gave the court: “We were just operating like other plants, and none of the government health and safety inspectors who dropped around—neither the Elm Grove Village Public Health Department nor the Environmental Protection Agency—told us we shouldn’t be letting our workers stick their heads in vats of boiling cyanide.” They were probably telling the truth. That’s the way health and safety regulators have usually operated. Brodeur tells us that a veritable parade of government inspectors marched through the Pittsburgh Corning asbestos plant in Tyler, Texas, over a period of six and a half years without warning the workers that the asbestos dust levels were more than twenty times the maximum recommended for health safety. One Department of Labor official later admitted he had not worn a respirator when inspecting the plant because he did not want to excite the workers into asking questions about their health. Though the Public Health Service several times measured the fallout of the asbestos dust, never did it warn the workers that the stuff was eating up their lungs. Finally things got so bad at Tyler that federal inspectors, forced to bring charges against the owners for appalling infractions of health standards, recommended that they be fined $210. Today the men and women who worked at that plant (since closed) are dying of lung cancer at a rate five times greater than the national average. The most impressive bureaucratic collusion A.H. Robins received was, not surprisingly, from the Food and Drug Administration. When trial attorneys brought evidence that the Daikon Shield’s rotting tail strings were endangering thousands of women and asked FDA officials to remove the device from the market, the agency did nothing. When the National Women’s Health Network petitioned the FDA for a recall—paid for by Robins— that would remove the shield from all women then wearing it, the FDA did nothing. For a full decade it pretended to be helpless. There is one more significant difference between the people on death row and the corporate murderers: the former sometimes say they are sorry; the latter never do. Midway through 1985, Texas executed Charles Milton, thirty-four, because when he stuck up a liquor store the owner and his wife wrestled Milton for the gun, it went off, and the woman died. Shortly before the state killed him with poison, Milton said, “ I am sorry Mrs. Denton was killed in the struggle over the gun." There. He said it. It wasn’t much, but he said it. And that’s more than the folks at Manville have ever said about the thousands of people they killed with asbestos. When it comes to feeling no remorse, A.H. Robins doesn’t take a back seat to anybody. In a famous courtroom confrontation between Federal Judge Miles W. Lord and three A.H. Robins officials, including company president E. Claiborne Robins, Jr., Judge Lord asked them to read silently to themselves a long reprimand of their actions. The most scathing passage, quoted both by Mintz and Perry and Dawson, was this: “Today as you sit here attempting once more to extricate yourselves from the legal consequences of your acts, none of you has faced up to the fact that more than 9,000 women [the figure two years ago] have made claims that they gave up part of their womanhood so your company might prosper. It is alleged that others gave their lives so you might so prosper. And there stand behind them legions more who have been injured but who had not sought relief in the courts of this land.... “If one poor young man were by some act of his—without authority or consent—to inflict such damage upon one woman, he would be jailed for a good portion of the rest of his life. And yet your company, without warning to women, invaded their bodies by the millions and caused them injuries by the thousands. And when the time came for these women to make their claims against your company, you attacked their characters. You inquired into their sexual practices and into the identity of their sex partners. You exposed these women—and ruined families and reputations and careers—in order to intimidate those who would raise their voices against you. You introduced issues that had no relationship whatsoever to the fact that you planted in the bodies of these women instruments of death, of mutilation, of disease.” Judge Lord admitted that he did not have the power to make them recall the shield but he begged them to do it on their own: “You've got lives out there, people, women, wives, moms, and some who will never be moms.... You are the corporate conscience. Please, in the name of humanity, lift your eyes above the bottom line.” It was a pretty stirring piece of writing (later, when Judge Lord got so pissed off he read it aloud, they say half the courtroom was in tears), and the judge asked them if it had had any impact on them. Looking sulky, they just stared at him and said nothing. A few weeks, later, at A.H. Robins’s annual meeting, E. Claiborne Robins, Jr., dismissed Lord’s speech as a “poisonous attack.” The company did not recall the shield for another eight months. Giving deposition in 1984, Ernest L. Bender, Jr., senior vice-president for corporate planning and development, was asked if he had ever heard an officer or employee say he or she was “sorry or remorseful about any infection that’s been suffered by any Daikon Shield wearer.” He answered, “I’ve never heard anyone make such remarks because I’ve never heard anyone that said the Daikon Shield was the cause." f they are murderers, why not the death Jsentence? Polls show that eighty-four percent of Americans favor the death penalty, but half think the penalty is unfairly applied. Let’s restore their faith by applying justice equally and poetically. In Georgia recently it took the state two 2,080 volts spaced over nineteen minutes to kill a black man who murdered during a burglary. How fitting it would be to use the same sort of defective electric chair to execute, for example, auto manufacturers and tire manufacturers who knowingly kill people with defective merchandise. In Texas recently it took the state executioners forty minutes to administer the lethal poison to a drifter who had killed a woman. Could anything be more appropriate than to tie down drug and device manufacturers who have killed many women and let slow-witted executioners poke around their bodies for an hour or so, looking for just the right blood vessel to transport the poison? At a recent Mississippi execution, the prisoner’s protracted gasping for breath became such an ugly spectacle that prison At a recent Mississippi execution, the prisoner’s protracted gasping for breath became such an ugly spectacle that prison authorities ordered witnesses out of the death chamber. That sort of execution for Manville executives who specialized in spreading long-term asphyxiation over thousands of lives would certainly be appropriate. □ authorities, in a strange burst of decorum, ordered witnesses out of the death chamber. That sort of execution for Manville executives who specialized in spreading long-term asphyxiation over thousands of lives would certainly be appropriate. But these things will never happen. For all our popular declarations of democracy, most Americans are such forelocktugging toadies that they would be horrified to see, say, Henry Ford II occupying the same electric chair that cooked black, penniless Alpfta Otis Stephens. Nor will we incarcerate many corporate murderers. Though some of us with a mean streak may enjoy fantasizing the reception that our fat-assed corporate killers would get from some of their cellmates in America’s more interesting prisons—I like to think of the pious chaps from A.H. Robins spending time in Tennessee’s notorious Brushy Mountain Prison—that is not going to happen very often either, the precedent of Film Recovery notwithstanding. The Film Recovery trio had the misfortune of working for a crappy little corporation that has since gone defunct. Judges will not be so stern with killers from giant corporations. So long as we have an army of crassly aggressive plaintiff attorneys to rely on, however, there is always the hope that we can smite the corporations and the men who run them with a punishment they probably fear worse than death or loss of freedom: to wit, massive loss of profits. Pamela C. Van Duyn, whose use of the Daikon Shield at the age of twenty-six destroyed one Fallopian tube and critically damaged the other (her childbearing chances are virtually nil), says: “As far as I’m concerned, the last dime that is in Claiborne Robins’s pocket ought to be paid over to all the people that have suffered.” Author Brodeur dreams of an even broader financial punishment for the industry he hates: “When I was a young man, out of college in 1953,1went into the Army Counterintelligence Corps and went to Germany, where I saw one of the death camps, Dachau. And I saw what the occupational army had done to Dachau. They had razed it, left the chimneys standing, and the barbed wire as a monument—quite the same way the Romans left Carthage. What I would do with some of these companies that are nothing more or less than killing grounds would be to sell their assets totally, reimburse the victims, and leave the walls as a reminder—just the way Dachau was— that a law-abiding and decent society will not tolerate this kind of conduct.” He added, “I know perfectly well that this is not going to happen in the private enterprise system.” How right he is. The laws, the court system, federal and state legislatures, most of the press, the unions—most of the establishment is opposed to applying the final financial solution to killer corporations. As it became evident that juries were inclined to agree with Mrs. Van Duyn’s proposal to wring plenty of money from A.H. Robins, the corporation in 1985 sought protection under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code. It was a sleazy legal trick they had picked up from Manville Corporation, which had declared bankruptcy in August 1982. Although both corporations had lost hundreds of millions in court fights, neither was actually in financial trouble. Indeed, at the time it copped out under Chapter 11, Manville was the nation’s 181st largest corporation and had assets of more than $2 billion. Bankruptcy was a transparent ploy—or, as plaintiff attorneys put it, a fraudulent abuse and perversion of the bankruptcy laws—but with the connivance of the federal courts it is a ploy that has worked. Not a penny has been paid to the victims of either corporation since they declared bankruptcy, and the 16,500 pending lawsuits against Manville and the 5,000 lawsuits pending against A.H. Robins (those figures are climbing every day) have been frozen. Meanwhile, companies are not even mildly chastised. Quite the contrary. Most major newspapers have said nothing about Manville’s malevolent cover-up but have clucked sympathetically over its courtroom defeats. The New York Times editorially seemed to deplore the financial problems of the asbestos industry almost as much as it deplored the industry’s massacre of workers: “Asbestos is a tragedy, most of all for the victims and their families but also for the companies, which are being made to pay the price for decisions made long ago.” Senator Gary Hart, whose home state, Colorado, is corporate headquarters for Manville, pitched in with legislation that would lift financial penalty from the asbestos companies and dump it on the taxpayers. And in Richmond, Virginia, corporate headquarters for the makers of the Daikon Shield, civic leaders threw a banquet for E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. The president of the University of Virginia assured Robins that “Your example will cast its shadow into eternity, as the sands of time carry the indelible footprint of your good works. We applaud you for always exhibiting a steadfast and devoted concern for your fellow man. Truly, the Lord has chosen you as one of His most essential instruments.” After similar encomiums from other community leaders, the top man behind the marketing of the Daikon Shield was given the Great American Tradition Award. Robert Sherrill is a much- published author and investigator. This story is from the Spring 1986 issue of Grand Street, 50 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10024 (U.S. subscriptions $20/year). Carl Smool is an artist living in Seattle whose work has appeared in recent issues of CSQ. CSQ award-winning writer Leanne Grabel lives in Portland. Mary Robben is an artist living in Portland. Clinton St. Quarterly 7

y t has been 11 years exact- ly ... one decade plus one ... since I lost my virginity through rape within the first few hours of a spring vacation in Baja, California. It has been two years since a relationship that was straining to last forever, exploded after four years and died. He said it was because I actually hated him all along. Because I hated men. Because of Baja. I said, “Eek.” One year ago I became infatuated with a member of the highly disciplined literary intelligentsia. He was utterly convinced that the only way to keep wild, let alone terrorized, psyches intact was through cathartic writing. “Write about Baja!” he implored. “Only then shall you be released!” I thought: Why is he talking to me? Did I have a terrorized psyche? Nine months ago I began writing about my night in Baja. Perhaps the 10- year-old terror ... the terror that had controlled my life for four hours more completely by far than anyone or anything ever has . . . the terror that was instantaneously stuffed into an IGNORE FOR NOW file in the e fficie n t blocking system of my brain ... perhaps that terror was actually powering the movement of the keys. Perhaps that terror had organically matured and already been quietly released. Or perhaps that terror still sits within ... rotted and runny. All I really know is that terror was ... and I felt it. So ... atrocities may simply be too large for the human imagination to grasp, but having lived one, I’ve got to try. So here I grasp.... 'y t was spring break from college, 1971. Carol, John, and I were going off this year ... south of the border ... down Mexico Way. I’d known Carol since the first week of school, two and a half years before, and we’d both known John for a year and a half. Carol was a pale, soft- “yttrooitieA ore wr/y^yy too /ar^o for fA& /uonao ima^oiatioo. to jyrasf-. a roio/t, feofde i/uyA,, or- eaxuso t/iem (oit/i neo- OOOAyyuyyy/e& ...” spoken, and extremely active friend whom I had lured through my darkness and sparks. She was yellow ... sun-yellow ... and she shone. But Carol was somehow pitless, like the part of California from which she hailed . .. the southern section ... no clouds and no shading. John was little, warm, and wonderful. John was one of the empathetic souls whose hearts live as strongly for bunson burners, car-sick pills.... friends as for self. Perhaps more so, which may have been the cause of his loneliness. His heart overwhelmed you. His warmth intimidated you. And his stomach was always churning as he walked the thin edge just this side of despair. Then there was me. Nineteen years old, smalltown, and starving ... for something bigger, smarter, and not so damn flat. I had tasted my first bit of sophistication at a great western university, and it had moved me ... right into chaotic confusion. The first person I met as a college student was a depressive. She coped with the perplexing independence of life away from home by wallowing. And even though I don’t think I even knew what depression was ... smalltowns rarely acknowledge psychology ... I copied her. And my confusion, hencefortl}, had a name. Comely coedness hadn’t fit. Radical politicality hadn’t fit. But gloom. Gloom was easy. We hated ... and we made fun. It fit well. So, the three of us were off ... the shy ones ... going south of the border in our borrowed van with our borrowed tape deck, King Crimson tapes, ice chest filled with sugared and sugar-free sodas, marijuana well hidden, We left late in the afternoon from Carol’s mother’s house in San Diego. We crossed the border with no trouble and drove about 60,miles into Baja before deciding to stop for the night on a small beach. Darkness was approaching. We pulled in, turned on the cassette deck, laid out our sleeping bags, smoked a joint, started a small fire, and relaxed, watching the waves fluoresce, turning shades of red as the hot sun set. The pitiful ramshackle poverty we had passed was but a fleeting wound. It was ugly, but we were strictly on vacation. Our political dedication was flimsy. Suddenly something made me turn around.. -.away from the stunning beauty of the waves sparkling within this Mexican sunset. There was a movement in the brush behind us. I saw two male figures wearing full-face black masks, walking over the small hills. They were screaming, “Viva Zapata!” I saw a longbarreled rifle and a golden-and- ruby-jewelled sabre. They pointed their weapons at us lying prostrate and screamed, “Don’t move!” Bam! There was a major movement in my mind. Everything changed. Instantaneous terror. I was jacked right into high speed. Stay rational. Stay rational. But those weapons. The terror. My body immediately began convulsing ... subtly .... incessantly. My bddy grabbed the terror and housed it, leaving my mind comparatively free to devise plans ... for my survival. And my mind searched efficiently like a supercharged, finely tuned motor. And this search pulled my life more tightly by far than anyone or anything ever has ... for four hours. The two teenage bandidos bound, gagged, and blindfolded the three of us and shoved us into the back of the van. Thev drove off, stopping 20 minutes later, at a house. One went in, then came out. We drove on. We soon stopped again. Somewhere. A dark stretch of beach. They took off our gags and blindfolds. One hustled John away. The other got out our sleeping bags and set up two camps. John was gone. I heard Spanish chatter. I heard John angry and pleading. Stop it. Stop it, you motherfuckers. Just stop it. John. John. I was with John. I knew they were taking him off to his death. I thought I heard gunshots. I thought they got John. I couldn’t believe it. My mind switched into a higher gear, and my body switched into a more convulsive Clinton St. Quarterly ■ " , I ——— — ,1 ,. Drawing by Mary Robben

shaking. And I knew then I must befriend them. Befriend them. They directed Carol away by sabre point. They demanded she sit down at one of the camps. They directed me by rifle point to the same spot. They brought out bottles of tequila and a joint rolled up in a newspaper the size of an arm. A party, no less. Jesus Christ. Befriend them. Stay rational. Befriend them. They passed the bottles and the joint around. I knew I couldn’t be stoned. I needed clarity. A process. My wits. I pretended to party, though. I looked in their faces, faintly expressing celebratory gaiety. I tried to make light conversation. Befriend them. Look happy. Befriend them. They won’t kill one of their friends. But John. Where was John? And thank you, oh thank you for my darkness. Surely they wouldn’t harm their own kind. My mind imagined the newspaper headlines: “College Coeds Raped and Slaughtered in Baja.” “Dgath Comes to Coeds.” And I was wondering what was next. What would it feel like? Where was John? What were they saying? Why hadn’t I taken Spanish instead of French? How the hell were we going to get out of this alive? And I was shaking. Shaking. There was never a question in my mind that these guys were going to kill us. I always thought they would ... such a small, effortless movement ... one quick bend of the finger ... one quick thrust. That was clearly the reason for the terror. I hardly even thought about them raping us. Hell, I’d barely considered rape to be a possibility in reality. But then I suddenly knew that they were going to rape us, and my head again changed. Not only did I believe our chances of survival would greatly increase, but ... well ... and this is the part that has always been so hard to own ... this rape was going to be my deflowering. I was a virgin. I was embarrassed about it. And I was facing my goddamn first sexual experience ... by weapon-point. I had been intensely frightened of sexual intercourse ... enough so that the fear had always been able to beat the passion down. It is ironic now, in retrospect. Passion soon after took the lead in my life and has been a problem ever since ... wrenching my life into flaming chaos. But I was a virgin. And being from a small, hot, valley town, where the whole concept of being or not being a virgin was quite significant, well, I was over-anxious about it. I had pretended that I was not a virgin at college ... in the hip Bay Area where I believed every girl had been fully expressing herself sexually since age 14. My virginity was one of the major issues of my life. I was curious. Very curious. And I was relieved that I would be leaving the world of virginity so anonymously. I was glad. And ashamed that I was glad. And over-anxious that I was so overanxious. It was embarrassing, but then I believe my mind was being my friend ... finding small pleasures ... distractions ... under the circumstances. The party was soon over. The boy with the sabre led Carol away to the first rape camp. My convulsing picked up, but still my mind ... my friend ... was terror-free. It was consumed with curiosity, survival plans, headlines ... curiosity. There was total silence. I stared at the remaining captor. He pointed his rifle at me and told me to remove my clothes. For a moment ... an absurd moment ... I was ashamed. I was overweight ... another major issue of my life ... and I didn’t want to bare myself because of it. And then I was further shamed that I could possibly be worrying about such a thing ... what a grotesque display of my superficiality. (Earlier we had offered them sodas from our ice chest. They came back with four Pepsi’s. I declined one. “Can I have Tab? I only drink Tab.” The absurdity.) I took off my clothes, ignoring my body completely. This boy lay on top of me. He couldn’t have been more than 16.1couldn’t really focus, but he didn’t gross me out. I turned my head away. He was almost tender. He kissed my frozen mouth. And the only violence ... straight, objective violence ... was the presence of the rifle ... albeit, a mighty presence. He grabbed my breasts. It didn’t hurt. He was obviously thrilled. And I was grasping for pleasure. I had to. It was mandatory. There had to be another perspective besides the how-soon- till-l-die one. I had to find pleasure here ... intricate ironies ... suck them out ... make it laugh ... anything ... I had to find another perspective. If I didn’t, I knew I’d snap right into something so horrifying ... so far away ... I’d never get back. I tried to come. I tried hard to come. I had to come. I tried. Hard. But I didn’t. And then it was over. There was total silence. I thought for certain Carol was dead. It was too quiet. I imagined her bloodied, punctured body. I couldn’t stand it. My mind was suddenly hit ... slapped ... dulled. Everything became faded ... very faded. Reactions were clearly going to be delayed for a long time now. I had no responses left ... just the shaking. Carol was not dead. Her sabred rapist came over to my camp, and my rifled rapist went to hers. I don’t remember the second encounter. I felt for Carol. I felt for John. I could no longer feel for myself. I wasn’t there anymore. John was not dead. They untied him and brought him back. He was folded ... looking down ... inward, closed, and lifeless. Tied up out of sight, his imagination ' had severely taunted him ... stretching the sounds into frightful monsters. We were bound up again and they drove around for about an hour ... throwing out everything we’d brought ... ripping out upholstery, panelling scavenging the insides of our van ... talking rapidly in Spanish. All I could hear was the word mort ... and I knew this meant death. I was shaking and waiting for our end. We sat in silence. And my mind came back and took another turn. I began to justify their actions. I was confused ... bleeding from the heart ... I needed some help ... a gimmick ... rationalization ... to digest this. I empathized with them. Our captors. I thought: well, after all, their life is impoverished and ugly, and we are the rich Americans with cassette decks and panelled vans. I would probably want to hurt us too. We were the oppressors ... not them. I couldn’t hate them. I wanted to understand. Oh, the pox of the educated ... understand ... then respond. We sat in more silence in the back of the van. Waiting. Convulsing. Hoping. Stunned. Waiting. How was my family going to take this ... my death ... slaughter and defilement? And if I survived, what would I be? Suddenly the van stopped. They untied us. They walked away. Just walked away. Gone. It was over. Over. echanically, the three of us got back in the front of the van. We didn’t know where we were but drove away. In silence. A few minutes later I broke the silence: “Shit.” That was all. We arrived at the American border. We told the guards what had happened. They -didn’t believe us. They would not assist us. They ordered us out of the van and searched it and us for drugs. They put me through a ridiculous, explanatory dance to prove I was not, indeed, a wetback senorita escaping into the promised land. I could easily justify hating them. I hated their power-bloated guts. We drove on. Back to Carol’s mother’s house. John and I dropped woodenly into two overstuffed chairs in the living room. Carol shuffled her mother off to tell her what had happened. There were uncomfortable looks. And more silence. Carol went to bed. John went to bed. I just sat there. Stunned. Frozen. About an hour later, Carol’s mother came into the living room. She looked at me impatiently. “My dear,” she said, “no use crying over spilt milk!” No use crying over spilt milk??? I could easily justify hating her. I suppose I slept some that night. I don’t know. The next morning Carol went off with her mother to a doctor. I wasn’t invited. John and I decided to fly back to school. We had no money and had to call our parents to wire some down. We decided to keep /uunor... i/wue& COOLM ta/c& care ofnze. kneor It. coor CL efferent the story clean. It would be stupidity to tell parents about the rape part. Rape. The word itself packs too mighty a punch. Rape. Scrape. Slice. There is so much violence in the sound of it. Rape. I knew it would tear my mother up. And it would shame my father. And make him angry .. . at me. John called and managed to stay calm. I called and didn’t ... my mental preparation falling prey to the warmth of my mother’s voice. I said, “Hi, Mom. Guess what happened?” and crumbled into quiet hysteria. She didn’t know how to react. Rape. Rape. She told me later that she Clinton St. Quarterly 9