By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chair, Children’s Health Defense
Keele University recently returned a $15,000 check that I contributed to support research by the world’s leading authority on aluminum toxicity, Keele’s own Dr. Christopher Exley. That surprising act reveals the pharmaceutical industry’s ruthless and impenetrable power over the world’s educational institutions and scientific research. Dr. Exley is the British university’s Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry. He is the world’s most notable expert on aluminum poisoning. Unfortunately for Dr. Exley, his recent work has focused on the pharmaceutical industry’s dramatic expansion of its use of aluminum as an adjuvant in medicines, including vaccines, over the past two decades. Pharma embarked on that trend largely without critical attention to aluminum’s well-documented adverse impacts on human cells and organs. A few brave, independent scientists have moved to fill this vacuum; Dr. Chris Exley is by far the most renowned and prolific. Exley believes that a better understanding of the neurological and physiological effects of injected aluminum is crucial to public safety and public confidence in vaccination programs around the globe. Exley’s research efforts have documented grave toxic effects of aluminum exposures on human health. Towards the end of last year, I learned that future research in Dr Exley’s laboratory was in jeopardy if he was unable to raise further research funding. Fearing that his critical research would wither, I sent a personal check for $15,000 to Exley via Keele.
I never expected that my donation would be rejected. I’ve never heard of any university returning a donation from a private individual with no corporate conflicts. Furthermore, Keele had already gained notoriety throughout academia for ethical elasticity when cash donations are at stake. In 2018, University officials made the extremely controversial decision to accept $11.2 million from a sketchy online betting syndicate. Keele’s decision to return my donation was therefore somewhat baffling. I am an environmental and public health advocate and attorney who has spent years successfully suing the world’s biggest polluters and pharmaceutical companies in the public interest. Below is the back and forth correspondence to further detail the situation at Keele.
Letter from Professor David Amigoni to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Dear Mr. Kennedy,
February 20, 2020
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your very generous cheque of $15,000 towards the research of Professor Christopher Exley, who is based here at Keele University.
Although carrying out various research projects in his field of Bioinorganic Chemistry of Aluminium & Silicon, the area in which Professor Exley is most actively and widely followed relates to his work on vaccinations. This has particularly garnered interest overseas.
Whilst the University is keen to support all its academics and wholly embraces freedom in the area of research, there are certain undeniably controversial research fields of which the University is tolerant: but for which accepting any large donations from prominent public figures or foundations could place the institution in an ethical and reputational predicament. To do so could generate potentially negative media coverage and may also jeopardise the strong relationships it holds with its existing major funders and partners.
It is for this reason that following careful consideration we have taken the difficult decision not to accept your donation to Professor Exley’s research, and trust that this decision will be taken with the goodwill that is intended from this outcome.
We appreciate your interest in the University and in our research staff who are undertaking such a wide range of interesting and pioneering work, but hope you understand the delicate balance we must maintain to ensure our public and private reputation.
Please find enclosed your original cheque for the appropriate attention.
With kind regards,
Professor David Amigoni
Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise
Dr. Mark Bacon
Director of Research, Innovation & Engagement Keele University
Letter from Miri Finch (née Sloboda) to Professor David Amigoni About My Rejected Check
March 9, 2020
Keele holds a very special place in my heart, and I follow its fortunes very closely. I have always greatly admired Keele for its uniqueness and independence, bucking conventions right from its inception. So it was not a surprise to me when I discovered, in 2015, that one of the most innovative and pioneering scientists of his generation, Professor Chris Exley, was based at Keele.
I happened across Professor Exley’s work due to an increasing interest in issues of informed consent surrounding medical products and procedures, something that is, sadly, woefully lacking where it comes to vaccinations. The NHS and other providers of vaccination do not adhere to their own guidelines of informed consent, as per the Montgomery ruling, where it comes to vaccinations and their possible risks, and this is a very serious matter indeed. When further investigating this subject, I found that there was relatively little research being undertaken into the risks of vaccination, so I was most gratified to have discovered Professor Exley and his stellar research into aluminium – a common vaccine ingredient.
Inspired by conversations with Professor Exley and others, I decided to launch my own vaccine education site, aimed specifically at students, whom I know from experience are not given the full facts about vaccinations, but rather are, often, aggressively bullied into them instead. You can see my site here: www.striveuk.webs.com.
Since 2015, I have not only continued to follow and admire Professor Exley’s great work, but he has also become a good personal friend. So you can imagine my shock and disappointment when I learned last year that Keele was making it difficult for him to receive research donations to continue his vital research. It did seem eventually he was able to resolve this issue with Keele, about which I was very pleased and relieved – and so I was utterly astonished and horrified when I learned of the most recent development – that Keele had returned a generous research donation to Professor Exley from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., because it might fuel research that would spark negative media attention!
Professor Exley shared this information with longstanding colleague and confidante, Professor John Sloboda, and Professor Sloboda – my father – shared it with me. Having read the letter you sent to Mr. Kennedy regarding rejecting his donation, I find it to be quite devastating to my perceptions of Keele and everything I believed it stood for – and has stood for many decades in my family’s history. This letter openly states that allowing Professor Exley to receive funding from certain high-profile sources to continue his critical and world-class research might a) upset other funders (I assume you mean pharmaceutical ones), and b) generate bad press. This is quite shocking. A university is supposed to be a bastion of academic integrity, at the forefront of challenging the establishment and fearlessly confronting dogmas and corruption, not refusing to carry out sensitive research because it might upset rich people and media CEOs.
As you are undoubtedly aware, safety testing around vaccinations is wholly inadequate, and, as Professor Exley’s research has so clearly elucidated, a significant subsection of the population are at risk of serious, life-changing (and even life-ending) reactions as a result. To quash research that would seek to further understand – and therefore potentially prevent – these harms is utterly inexcusable. Have you ever met families dealing with vaccine injury? I have. Their lives are irreparably devastated, and they will be caring for profoundly damaged children and adults for the rest of their lives – with very little help or support from the wider world (who generally demonise and dismiss them as crazy anti-vaxxers). These families want nothing more than the recognition and support they deserve for submitting to a procedure they believed would protect their children’s health, but in fact did just the opposite. Professor Exley is one of the few scientists brave enough to carry out such research, and Keele should be offering their unerring praise and support. Instead, they treat him, in his words, as a pariah.
This saddens me extremely deeply, and casts a very dark shadow on what I thought was one of the best, most pioneering and progressive, places on Earth.
I hope very much that you will reconsider your decision to reject Mr. Kennedy’s generous research donation. As you will be aware, he and his family have been at the forefront of taking on the corrupt establishment for several generations, quite literally risking their own lives in the process. This is a true mark of integrity, something I sincerely believed was at the heart of Keele’s values, too. I hope you will not prove me wrong.
(Please note that Professor Exley had no role in the composition of this letter, and certainly did not encourage me to write it.)
Miri Finch (née Sloboda)
Email from Professor David Amigoni to Professor Sloboda and Miri Finch
March 14, 2020
Dear Professor Sobodda (sic) and Ms. Finch,
Thank you for the letter that you sent to me, copying in the Vice-Chancellor and the Academic Registrar and Secretary. I have consulted with my colleagues and am pleased to send a reply on behalf of us all.
We regret that you find our decision disappointing; however, we stand by our decision. As I am sure you will appreciate, we are not in a position to discuss further with a third party the rationale for our decision concerning a donation. That we did so with Professor Exley was out of courtesy and transparency, as I said to him in my covering e-mail: Professor Exley was independently aware of the donation having been offered.
In your letter, you include some observations about our approach to Professor Exley’s research. We handle this in accordance with the protocols of research governance and integrity to which all researchers in the university are expected to adhere.
If I may conclude with a moment of personal recognition: thank you for reminding me of your family connections. In fact, xxxxx was a neighbour of mine for a number of years: I would count her as a friend. May I thank you for the deep and valued contribution that your family has made to the academic and community life of the university.
With all good wishes,
Letter from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to Professor David Amigoni
March 17, 2020
Dear Professor Amigoni,
I was disappointed to receive your letter returning my personal $15,000 donation supporting Professor Exley’s aluminum research. The donation had no strings attached. I left it entirely to Professor Exley and Keele to decide how to spend my money. Professor Exley is the world’s leading expert in aluminum toxicity. His pioneering work on aluminum has already had myriad global impacts in manufacturing, food production and packaging, and medicine. I would expect Keele to be proud and supportive of his groundbreaking and internationally respected research contributions.
You explain that accepting my donation could “jeopardize the strong relationships [Keele] holds with its existing major funders and partners”. I assume that you mean to imply that some well-meaning philanthropist donor might have stumbled across, and believes, the defamatory pharmaceutical industry slur that I am “anti-vaccine”. If that is indeed the case, it still seems unfair to punish Dr. Exley—and those who benefit from his research—for a strategic slander against me that is patently inaccurate. I have always made it clear that I am not “anti-vaccine”. I want safe vaccines, robust science and uncorrupted regulators. By calling me “anti-vax”, vaccine companies seek to discredit, marginalize, silence me so as to prevent me from raising legitimate, urgent questions about the thoroughness of vaccine safety and efficacy assessments.
I have never made a statement that could be legitimately construed as “anti-vaccine”. To the contrary, I have spent my 37-year career as an environmental and public health advocate fighting for evidence-based science, and science-based policy. I have prevailed in many hundreds of lawsuits against the world’s largest polluters and I have helped build, and currently run, the globe’s largest water protection group; Waterkeeper Alliance, the umbrella organization of 350 Waterkeepers in 48 nations—including the U.K. I spent much of the past three decades fighting to get mercury out of fish, pesticides out of food, and to decarbonize our energy system. No one calls me “anti-fish” , “anti-food”, or “anti-energy”. Nor should Pharma be given credence when it attempts to dismiss me as “anti-vaccine” simply because I have challenged the use of toxic metals such as mercury and aluminum in vaccines.
The only people with genuine reason to object to my donation are the vaccine industry, it’s stakeholders, and captive regulators. I presume that these are the cohorts who actually pressured you to reject my donation.
Having spent 37 years as a law professor on a university faculty, it seems self-evident to me that financially interested industries should not be dictating the content of scholarly and scientific research at any legitimate public institution. Allowing industry to quash science for fear that it might expose profitable practices as harmful to public health, is offensive to every tenet of academic freedom, scientific integrity, ethics, and morality.
I must consider that your decision to return my personal check is likely the product of the pharmaceutical industry’s open, aggressive, and rather sinister campaign to defund Professor Exley. Vaccine makers view Dr. Exley’s efforts to accurately characterize, for the first time, the health impacts of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, as a threat to their profit-taking. Terminating Professor Exley’s research has been a central objective of the $50 billion vaccine industry. This cartel wants the world to believe that aluminum in vaccines is safe despite the lack of any safety studies to indicate that is possible, and plenty of peer-reviewed literature that suggests that it is not.
Aluminum is a potent neurotoxin linked, in the published science, to brain injuries including IQ loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The medical literature includes hundreds of articles pointing to aluminum exposure as the culprit in injuries to every lifeform; human, animal, insects, and plants. Aluminum causes mutation and death to fetuses and newborns, and long-term harms to many body functions and processes, including breast cancer and allergic autoimmune diseases. According to a 2015 study, “Aluminum has long been identified as a neurotoxic metal, affecting memory, cognition and psychomotor control, altering neurotransmission and synaptic activity, damaging the blood brain barrier (BBB), exerting pro-oxidant effects, activating microglia and neuro-inflammation, depressing the cerebral glucose metabolism and mitochondrial functions, interfering with transcriptional activity and promoting beta-amyloid and neurofilament aggregation.” (Gherardi et al. (05 February 2015) Frontiers in Neurology, available at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2015.00004/full). For these reasons, leading aluminum researchers have fiercely criticized its use in vaccines.
Aluminum exposure to the world’s children from recommended vaccines rose dramatically in the early 1990s. Today an American infant at his two-month “well baby” appointment, receives total concentration of injected aluminum adjuvants that is 49 times greater than FDA’s maximum allowed limit for IV feeding of an infant . Today’s generation of children receive 1,225 of aluminum at age 2 months, and 4,925 micrograms of aluminum by age 18 months.
All people of goodwill should be applauding Dr. Exley’s groundbreaking studies on the health impacts of aluminum adjuvants. Scientists, toxicologists, physicians, and public health regulators have long questioned the controversial use of aluminum in vaccines, urgently demanding definitive research on the industry’s unsupported safety claims.
In 2008, two years after the FDA approved Gardasil—including its aluminum adjuvant—a panel of experts from the FDA, CDC, WHO, and the Gates Foundation, conceded that “the adjuvant’s mechanism to produce immunity are not well understood,” and that researchers have been “relatively negligent” about adjuvant toxicity. That same year, Dr. Jesse L. Goodman, former director of the FDA’s vaccine program, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) urged caution in injecting aluminum into children. “The toxicology of vaccines, not to mention the toxicology of adjuvants, has been a really neglected area.”
Dr. Christopher Exley is leading global efforts to end this neglect. Dr. Exley is the world’s foremost authority on aluminum toxicity. Pharmaceutical companies were particularly alarmed by his 2018 peer-reviewed study documenting extraordinarily high levels of aluminum in donor brain tissue from deceased individuals with autism. Exley and his researchers found aluminum in the brain’s immune cells, the microglia, and the cells that provide support and protection for the neurons, the glia.  Exley’s studies suggested the possibility that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines are causing 15-year-old teenagers to accumulate aluminum in their brain comparable to senior citizens many decades older who had died of Alzheimer’s disease. Shouldn’t we be interested in the answers to these questions? Tomljenovic L and Shaw CA. Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are They Safe? Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2011, 18, 2630-2637.
 Miller NZ. Aluminum in Childhood Vaccines is Unsafe. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Volume 21, Number 4. Winter 2016.
 Transcript of “Workshop on Adjuvants and Adjuvanted Preventative and Therapeutic Vaccines for Infectious Disease Indications,” Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, December 2, 2008, at 32.
 Mold M, Umar D, King A, Exley C. Aluminum in brain tissue in autism. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2018 Marc, 46: 76-82. Epub 2017 Nov 26.
I would hope that Keele would proudly support Dr. Exley’s critical work, rather than to obstruct it. For these reasons, I ask you to reconsider your unprecedented decision, and accept my contribution for Dr. Exley.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Email from Professor David Amigoni to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
March 18, 2020
Dear Mr. Kennedy,
Thank you for your e-mail. We regret, of course, that you are disappointed with our decision to decline your donation. However, we stand by it. Thank you for the very detailed points that you made, which I note. I should like to point out, however, that any income that we, as a university, derive from the pharmaceutical industry is not only negligible, but immaterial to our thinking. Our decision was principally motivated by our relationship with our major public health research funders, the National Institute for Health Research and the Medical Research Council; and our major public health provider, the National Health Service. They were the truly important funders and partners to which we alluded in our original letter. The public health advice that the NHS shares with our communities, nationally, is very important to us as university attached to a teaching hospital.
As we sought to underline in our letter, while it is always a sadness to decline generosity we did so in a spirit of goodwill. We continue to express our goodwill and enduring respect to you and your family.
Professor David Amigoni
Research and Enterprise
The controversial $11.2 million donation made in November, 2019 was from Bet365, a large online betting company based in Stoke-on-Tent, for the purposes of bulding a management center on the Keele campus. The center is named after the CEO of Bet365, Denise Coates. Officially, the contribution came from Ms. Coates’ foundation. Last year, Keele received $49.6 million in funding classified only as “other” in the financial records. It’s a fair guess that at least some of this funding came from drug companies including vaccine manufacturers.
Conflicts of interest between academic research institutions and the pharmaceutical industry hamper the ability to conduct genuine scientific inquiry into topics deemed off-limits by vaccine makers. These same conflicts also negatively impact our ability as concerned citizens to support efforts that would shed light on the true effect of vaccines and vaccine ingredients upon the health of our children. Children’s Health Defense encourages the support of the most promising research for future generations such as that of Dr. Exley.
CHD Note: Dr. Exley’s latest research is available here.