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Whistle-blower Falls on Hard Times

November 8, 2014

(left, Jake Gyllenhaal and Oliver Platt play  reps for Pfizer in the movie "Love and other Drugs")

Not every whistle blower
gets the support he deserves.

"You do in fact lose a lot when you are very poor and often broke- people in particular."

by Dan Abshear

The main factor in my economic decline was blowing the whistle against Novartis eight years ago.  (Essentially, pharmaceudical companies bribe doctors to prescribe their drugs.) Not only did that end my high paying job with them as a rep, but no decent employer will hire me even now because I did blow the whistle.  

No, I do not regret what I did.  I would most certainly do it again.  That lawsuit I filed is public record. I've applied for hundreds of jobs - jobs I'm most qualified to perform.  And no one replies.  The job I have now, setting up greeting card displays, they hired me out of desperation.  It's low paying and very physically demanding. 

After whistle blowing, I was abandoned by my own family and friends back home in Missouri.  No one could comprehend why I did it.  All they know is that I intentionally lost a very good job.  My ex-wife said all this to me weeks after learning I would not receive a settlement for this lawsuit. She then used a phony "abuse" charge to jail and clean me out. They all treated me great when I was middle class, these family members and close friends.  Once I became unemployed, they disowned me. 

 I miss the lifestyle I once had with the money and all.  But I'm a better person I feel without that life.  A much better person.  So I'll likely never have that life again.  What I'd like is a book contract.  That would get me out of poverty.  Right now I'm about trying to survive and doing good for others in some way. And I'd like to find a girl possibly within normal limits, if such limits can be defined.

Since then, I've lived in VA homeless programs in three major cities.  Presently I live in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  Thanks to my present very low-paying part-time job, I have access to a low income housing program for veterans.  So I have my own apartment now.  Thankfully I'm no longer homeless.
A lover is why I moved here now.  She eventually left me for a man who could better provide for her.  The lover I had after her was a black girl who also left me for a man who could better provide for her.  You do in fact lose a lot when you are very poor and often broke- people in particular.
Any money I make now goes to my cost of living.  But things were not always this way with me.

When I was a pharmaceutical rep, I wore thousand-dollar suits. I got company cars.  Often I'd take doctors out to very expensive steak dinners and things like that.  Limousines would pick me up at airports when I'd fly to meetings.  I've lost that life somewhat intentionally.  It is as if I've been teleported to this parallel universe where now I try to simply survive every day.  Yet, I'm much more awake in this universe.  I am very thankful for that.
At times I feel as if I'm living on borrowed time.  By some estimates I should be dead. Yet I continue to love and protect others.  That keeps me going- having others to sustain me in some way.  And I feel I sustain them one way or another.  They are beautiful souls these people.  We do not judge each other.
Severe parental alienation is also occurring.  I have a 16-year old daughter in Missouri who I've not see or spoken to in years.  I hand write her beautiful letters every week, and I mail these letters to her with beautiful cards to my ex in law's house, because I have no idea where my daughter lives now.  She does get these letters but she does not write me back or contact me.  This is a constant pain in my life.
Often I go to food pantries so I can eat.  I do get food stamps, but I sell these to a friend for extra money so I can pay bills.  Also, I shovel snow in the winter so I can keep this apartment  I always try to make extra money.

There is no atrophy of my essence.  My soul remains on fire always.  If I do get knocked down, I always get back up.  I was recently beat up at a bus stop here in Milwaukee.  Considering the trauma I've experienced in my life, this beating did not phase me much.  My jaw was broken.  I never fell when I was hit a few times at this bus stop by a very large black man.
When I don't work, I normally go to this VA hospital to see friends and use their computer.  This is where I'm at now.  Near there is a coffee house for veterans.  I also go there to use their computer and see more friends.  You see, I really do not like being alone at all.
I have post traumatic stress disorder.  Among other symptoms, I often experience nightmares normally involving my ex wife and daughter.  People really need to explore intrinsic pain more then they do.  High anxiety complicates my situation by the way.  I'm never at peace.  And I never sleep well.
While I'm suicidal at times, I'm overall very optimistic with my life- this life of struggle and striving to survive.  This is for really two main reasons.  First one is I'm somehow very healthy physically.  When I work, I often lift and move thousands of pounds of equipment.  And I never sweat.  I have no pain and no fatigue.  

At the age of 48, I could easily compete with any 20 year old at this time.  I often walk miles every day because I do not have a car.  Again no fatigue.  No pain.  My last physical revealed no issues physically whatsoever.  I'm very thankful for my present condition, but I'm very amazed I'm this healthy all things considered.
Second reason I remain optimistic is that I appear to be very likable.  You would think I'd be very angy and bitter considering all that has happened to me.  But I'm not at all.  My disposition remains pleasant.  I hit it off with strangers.  And I have solid relationships with friends in this city right now.
So try and remember this:   What does not kill you in life really does make you stronger.  Often much stronger.  I'm living proof of this.


First Comment by BDM:

Thank you for another relevant and engaging essay.

Mr. Abshear's story had me nodding my head. My whistleblowing was not nearly as significant, nor were the results so drastic and immediate. However, my half-hour spent disclosing a corporate problem, an exercise that would be rewarded in a sane environment, brought me a reprimand, a demotion and years of poor reviews and declining responsibility--despite good work. I finally quit, but then was laid off from my new company. I soon found that corporations value youth over experience. However, as your author pointed out, silver linings sometimes appear. During six months of unemployment, I exercised more and wrote a novel. I eventually found part-time work for one-fifth of previous income.

Like Mr. Abshear, I have no regrets. Several others wanted to do what I did, but chose to cower. It became an education on how some "professionals" get by by being deceptive and petty. Mr. Abshear's  testimony encouraged me and I want to encourage him. I wish him well and I hope there is a book, or a financial break, in his future.

Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Comments for "Whistle-blower Falls on Hard Times "

S said (November 17, 2014):

Jesus, thank you for sending the miracle of Love to Dan Abshear; help him live free and easy.

Joe said (November 10, 2014):

Henry, in regards to the man who is now poor as a results of being a whistle blower, King Solomon said it best when he wrote Proverbs 28:6

"Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich."

Coastx said (November 9, 2014):

The pharmaceutical prevarication this fellow is describing nearly got my youngest daughter killed, kaiser in the backdrop telling me I should let her die of a then indeterminable disease. Their words precisely were, "You will eventually need to walk away." They were killing her w/ADPS medications on top of a toxicity issue with her Sorbitol laced MMR vaccination. She survived 6 episodes of acidosis before I figured out what was happening to her, the last time nearly killing her. A whistle blower nurse alerted me. It took the police to get her released. Had I gone along w/Kaiser's little lie dance she would have died in 2009. I took her home from the hospital semi comatose and turning blue.

We're dealing with monsters. Know it, and gullible, poorly informed and insouciant public possesses no actual or real defense against this. People are too isolated. They won't organize. Gonna let God BLESS America JESUS handle it while they party 24/7.

JM said (November 9, 2014):

Your article moved me in such a way that I have decided to spend some of my Sunday afternoon to write to you.

It must be difficult to face all the problems you have on your own. I can put myself in your shoes, because I am in a similar situation: living in moderate poverty with no real friends and aching for a woman that would share my view of life.

I was lucky to discover God when I was a boy. I remember one evening when I was praying and I said something like: "I believe that Jesus died for my sins and that he is the only way to the Father and from now on, after you have cleansed me and you have forgotten my wrongdoings I want you God to lead me through life the way you want it." This simple prayer changed my life forever, however I didn't fully understand the importance of it. When I started studying and dating I found out I didn't really wanted to go His ways. I wanted to party, to take drugs, have sex with as many girls as possible. I wanted to live life to the fullest, meaning: earn a lot of money, have an easy life and be happy. To make the rest of the story short, God allowed me to lose myself and then, at one party, I was really high and I felt incredibly good - it was the feeling of absolute, physical pleasure - and it was then when I understood it wasn't real, it was empty. I made a lot of bad choices then. I had a huge debt and I couldn't find work.

My fiancée broke up with me. All the things that happened to me then broke me totally. I wanted to kill myself, but I didn't have the courage. Years past and it turned out all the things I wanted in life were worthless and they were unable to make me happy. I made a decision that I would no longer do what I want but I would ask God what was right for me.

The road to where I am now was really difficult but after years of praying I found out what I should do in my life. I stopped trying to find a job as an English teacher and I started making wedding videos. Although I earn little money, I love what I do and I am in peace with everything the way it is. This doesn't mean I am happy. The truth is we are unable to experience total, true, everlasting happiness in this life, because the life on Earth isn't designed to be like that. I feel anxious every day without a reason and I cope with other problems, but that's ok, cause I know where I am going. My body will be dead one day, but I will never die. I will experience real life the way it was designed to be.

Tanveer said (November 9, 2014):

Dan Abshear's article was a great read --- particularly because my life fell along the lines of his, many times, in the past decade or more. I wish I could tell brother Dan that he should stay even stronger, since those that have gone through such untold sufferings from the toxic essence of the rise of the NWO have most likely been 'chosen' by the One and Only Creator, God, for superior virtues within their souls, and in preparation for some tremendous responsibility in the upcoming years [pertaining to the emergence of the AntiChrist and his consequent destruction and disposal into history's garbage bin by the return of the REAL Jesus (Peace be Upon Him), within the coming decade].

Meanwhile, in extended relevance to this article ... please read this : . I guess more and more people are waking up, indeed.

Marco said (November 9, 2014):

That was a good read. I have always wondered why homeless people are sometimes called 'bums', it is insulting because it is totally unjust. I have found homeless people to be some of the wisest and most interesting people I have ever met, and this article asserts this further, "They are beautiful souls these people. We do not judge each other."

They are a wealth of knowledge that was received from the best teacher - experience. They are infinitely more interesting than those who never suffer anything, and/ or are so ignorant and cruel that they call the homeless 'bums'...

And it's a tragic irony because as in the story of this man, a homeless person can be one of the best of men, insulted by some of the worst.

Chyrs said (November 9, 2014):

. I implore you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and are so already there, you are so already in the direction of
his sweet heart, give him your heart and he will turn your life around in a way that you could never even imagine. You can have your daughter back, you can find work that is
financially and spiritually rewarding...everything that has been taken
away from you can come back to you but in a way that is richer and more beautiful than ever! Your care for others is a strong indication that Jesus is moving in your heart.

Ask Jesus to come into your heart and be Lord of your life. Trust him to move in your life and keep trusting. Nothing is impossible with God. God bless you, Dan

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at