Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I had the opportunity to meet Michel Negroponte, the filmmaker whose HBO documentary METHADONIA exposing the problems of treating heroin addiction with legal methadone is premiering this week. We were at 9 Bleecker St. at the regular Sunday meeting of Cures Not Wars, which is a harm reduction group based in New York City. His brother John Negroponte is Director of National Intelligence for the United States. Brother John was formerly the ambassador to Iraq, ambassador to the United Nations and ambassador to Honduras under the Reagan administration. Michel seemed nothing like his brother, who is arguably a bonafide war criminal involved in covering up Honduran death squads who murdered political activists.

Michel was personable and interested in learning more about Ibogaine. He also gave us some family history background, about how his father traveled from Greece to Davos, Switzerland to be treated for tuberculosis at the famous clinic known as "The Magic Mountain" founded by Dr Alexander Spengler. There the elder Negroponte met the woman, also from Greece, who would be his wife. With the start of World War II the Negroponte's moved to London, where John was born before moving to the United States.

According to Michel to this day his family teases John, who because of his London birth can never become President of the United States. I guess John Negroponte has to settle with being the power behind the throne. Michel also told another story about his brother, who Michel says he calls a couple of times a month. John recently told Michel that he'd be hard to get in touch with because he would be in the "Midwest," where he said there might be problems with the cell phone connections. A few days later Michel said he got a call from his brother who was in the Middle East. I guess the government isn't worried about a Kansas branch of al Qaida.

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