No Money From Jeff Epstein at MIT, Seth Lloyd Should Resign

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Dear President Rafael Reif,

We are writing you in regard to the available facts on the public record concerning deceased child rapist Jeffrey Epstein’s professional, financial, and personal connections to various MIT faculty, including Joichi Ito, former director of the Media Lab, Seth Lloyd, Nam Pyo Suh Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Physics, Frank Wilczek, Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics and 2004 Nobel Laureate, and the late Marvin Minksy, a co-founder of the Media Lab with Nicholas Negroponte.

As is known, human trafficking is the single largest illegal industry in the world—far eclipsing even the international drug trade. The untold misery this sick and evil institution has inflicted on children and women around the world—and continues to inflict—is incomprehensible.

We should like to note that unless MIT takes actual steps to demonstrate that there are consequences for those who chose to associate with (and thereby enable) Jeffrey Epstein, there can be no rational hope for thinking that these sorts of sex crimes against women and children will end. Indeed, unless MIT and other institutions of higher education take accountability for their actions by punishing those involved for associating with Epstein, the public has no reason to grant institutions as MIT any moral or civic credibility. Failing to do anything of real consequence is an insult to common sense and basic human decency. Above all, by indulging the unacceptable, it is a slap in the face of the victims of Epstein’s crimes, as well as other victims of sexual abuse and trafficking.

Therefore, we would simply note that the August 22, 2019 apologies from you and Seth Lloyd and the August 15, 2019 apology of Joichi Ito were neither sufficient nor to the point. Joichi Ito has resigned effectively immediately as of September 7, 2019. That is a step in the right direction. However, it is important to emphasize that Ito did so only after the shocking revelations reported in the New Yorker that he and others had been continuing to conceal the true scope of their financial and personal connections to Epstein. Thus, while Ito’s resignation is a start, the fact remains that the problem goes well beyond just him. Seth Lloyd, Frank Wilczek, and Nicholas Negroponte should also resign, as should any others that were involved in enabling Epstein. Because they have not yet followed Ito’s example and resigned, we hope that you along with the MIT community will encourage them to do so.