Columbia University uses New York Police Department to attack Free Speech!

Some News Stories about my arrest for sending emails, see here, here, and here(third from top).

Details of the January 2004 arrest and charges for sending email exposing wrongdoings by Columbia.

Chronology of events leading up to the arrest.

Unhappy at my putting up this website and generating negative publicity about the email arrest, Columbia called up their friends at the US-DOJ; this website began to be monitored from wdsun20.usdoj.gov:
        (a) Specific actions Columbia took in my case
        (b) General threat to foreigners at Columbia by its administrators and their government friends

Pre-arrest (October 2003) prediction about Columbia University's freedom-hating behavior: The "One Principle" Paradox.

Welcome to Columbia and be a nice student/faculty and learn to always kneel before the Columbia administration powers-that-be OR ELSE!

The Bollinger-Lehecka connection

Ron Prywes – the poodle who is also a professor

Columbia and President Bollinger's earlier deception which ruined well-made plans to depart the USA.

USA and Columbia University authorities don't want the concept of genuine freedom to spread to their country or university.

Letter to Salman Rushdie who tacitly endorsed Columbia University and President Lee Bollinger as champions of Free Speech. 

 

Below are the two emails that landed me in jail, along with other details of arrest.

1. Email stating truths about former Columbia College Dean Robert Pollack, now a Professor at Columbia University in PDF format.

2. Email stating truths about former Columbia College Associate Dean of Student Affairs Karen Blank, now Dean of Studies at Barnard College of Columbia University in PDF format. This is the text document attached with the email in PDF format (this text is as sent -- original included truncation mentioned at end).

Background of below emails: Years ago, I left Columbia after a dispute with the administration which got Pollack (Dean of Columbia College & Head of Columbia College) fired. Later, on my suggesting an intention to seek legal recourse, Blank (then a dean) carried out a massive document destruction. 
Starting summer 2002 I had renewed contact with Columbia administration regarding various matters. In January 2004 I sent the emails.

The emails were about Pollack and Blank and were sent to others but not to these two themselves. The facts mentioned in the emails refer to actions by Pollack and Blank when they were administrators at Columbia College. Some news stories seem to imply some dispute with faculty while I was attending Columbia; my disputes were solely with administrators. Individual email IDs of recipients are not being mentioned on this website. 

Columbia College is the main undergraduate division of Columbia University.

In light of the arrest to curb free speech I got the present domain (cuspeech.org); note "cu" in the name, of course, stands for "Columbia University." 

These are the Charges filed against me, in PDF format

These are the Orders of Protection granted to four individuals in PDF format: Pollack, Blank, Prywes, Feiekman. The Court instructed me that violation by me of these Orders will cause me to be arrested again.

Around 5:30 pm on January 13 2004 New York Police Department (NYPD) Detective John Garvey made the arrest at my apartment. Somehow Garvey and his partner got through the building door without buzzing my apartment, then loudly knocked on my door, saying "Police" when I asked who it was. Detective Garvey went into the super-aggressive act about emails, saying I was going uptown (to 26th Precinct) with him. I said I could not believe he would arrest me for email and he suddenly moved and shoved me to the couch handcuffing me. I said there is no need for handcuffs and he replied I was trying to be smart with him. I said let me go down to the car without handcuffs but he refused and pushed me out. Neighbors and bystanders saw me being taken in handcuffs. One of my neighbors talked to me during the arrest and I told him that Garvey was not working for New York City but for was on a mission for Columbia University and that this detective is dangerous. In the drive uptown his partner joked that Bloomberg (Mayor of New York City) works for Columbia too.

I spent almost 20 hours in three different jails before being released. 

Is the 26th Precinct at the disposal of Columbia's administration and their security department? I believe Columbia and certain Columbia individuals conspired with detective Garvey and NYPD to abuse the police system for malicious reasons, one of which was to try to scare me into silence.

After I was photographed and fingerprinted at the precinct I again told Garvey that he was not NYPD but was working for Columbia. He asked "Are you calling my partner Columbia too" and I replied "No, your partner is NYPD." Then he said "You are saying Columbia bought us all this [office] equipment" and I replied "No, not this, but perhaps the stuff at your house." Basically, I was accusing Garvey, and he was twisting it into suggesting that I am attacking all NYPD.

How can Pollack and Blank successfully get me arrested and then get themselves Criminal Protective Orders because non-complimentary emails were sent about them to other people? How can Ron Prywes and Mike Feiekeman (two of the email recipients) successfully get me arrested and then get themselves Criminal Protective Orders in response to a single email they received about another person? Is email that extraordinary a means of communication that anyone can get anyone put in jail for it? On the Protection orders what does it mean when the "Specify other condition defendant must observe" is followed by handwritten requirement "No third party contact, no contact at all." What is this "third party contact" prohibition, and what law is being used here?


Columbia has massive power in New York, and its president Bollinger is willing to abuse it! He bent the rules to make make it a crime to expose wrongdoing by Columbia administrators. Perhaps he does not always go to this extent, but he considers the fact that the Dean & Head of Columbia College was fired to be a seriously embarrassing event and Columbia called in New York police to punish anyone trying to expose this truth! See news excerpt.

 

Chronology leading to Jan 13 2004 Arrest

In late April 2002 I called a Columbia Professor and informed him that his colleague, Professor Robert Pollack, had been secretly fired from the position of Dean of Columbia College (see above emails that led to arrest).

On May 1 2002 the head of Columbia Security sent this letter prohibiting me from calling anyone at Columbia. Columbia has never given any explanation for the letter.

On May 23 2002 Detective John Garvey of the NYPD (same one who later arrested me) and his partner showed up at my house. Garvey already knew about the letter and stated that the Columbia directive needs to be obeyed; his partner read it there for the first time and then reiterated that I should obey it.

In a letter dated October 25 2002 I inquired of the head of Columbia Security that supposing I were to re-enroll at Columbia would there "be any special conditions of any kind placed upon me such as Security wishing to monitor the contents of my communication with the Columbia Community." He did not reply to the letter but answered a phone call I followed up with; however the talk was not fruitful as he was not inclined to answer any questions or give me the reasons for his May 1 2002 letter.

On October 11 2003 I sent a letter to President Bollinger stating that I was putting up a website to expose Columbia and I would be informing Columbia affiliates of it and of wrongdoings by Columbia administrators.

On January 2 2004 I sent the above emails to inform certain Columbia people of the upcoming web site.

On January 13 2004 Detective Garvey and his  partner (a different partner from the one in May 2002) showed up at my house and arrested me for sending the emails.

 

Pre-arrest (October 2003) prediction about Columbia University's and its President Lee Bollinger's freedom-hating behavior

The University is headed by Lee Bollinger who, in his publicly projected image, is a leading scholar and supporter of freedom of speech; in reality he is the classic hypocrite and freedom-hater as evidenced by his behavior when speech is directed against his organization. See above.

Consider President Bollinger's Statement on Free Speech, from which I quote below:

"[T]here are few things more precious on any University campus than freedom of thought and expression. That is the teaching of the First Amendment and I believe it should be the principle we live by at Columbia University."

Consider this excerpt from my October 11 2003 letter to President Bollinger:

"In one of your public communications you emphasized principle[s] we live by at Columbia University. Specifically you mentioned Columbia's position on freedom of expression and the First Amendment; also, I happen to have your three books on the issue on my shelf. Very funny! The only principle Columbia University will not compromise is the principle that Principles are meant to be compromised!? The University is a paradox."

Who was/is right? I rest my case.

 

 

Welcome to Columbia and be a nice student/faculty and learn to always kneel before the Columbia administration powers-that-be OR ELSE!

Welcome to Columbia and be a nice student/faculty and learn to always kneel before the administration powers-that-be, and then all will be well. Don't dare challenge wrongdoing by Columbia administrators or you will be attacked by their gang on all fronts. Along with deans Pollack and Blank, involved front and center was Roger Lehecka, then Columbia College Dean of Student Affairs.

Having been victimized enough by Columbia administrators, resorting to secretly tape-recording was the only way left for me to defend against the continuous misbehavior of Columbia administrators, and try to counter the lies against me, which they filled my Official Student Record file with. Why fight back against this? "A man who does not defend his honor is assumed not to have any."

In a conversation with Assistant Dean Blake Thurman, discussing the behavior of his bosses, Pollack and Lehecka, and (through their actions) Columbia's behavior, Thurman said (what is within quotes are exact words): "Unfortunately I find it not as unusual as I would like to find it . . . because this is the way Columbia operates too often," and Thurman gave specific details of strange and irregular behavior by Lehecka. Asked about the illogical way he said Columbia operated, Thurman countered I was making the "assumption" that "everything here works logically, which it doesn’t," and though he blamed both deans -- Pollack and Lehecka -- he attributed such administrative misbehavior more to Lehecka than to Pollack. (As above, Lehecka's boss Pollack was fired; but Lehecka should have been too). I secretly recorded this entire conversation. Lehecka, not having been fired by Columbia, was free to continue his abuse of administrative powers. President Bollinger has one phone conversation transcript documenting Lehecka's continued misbehavior, and thus further exposing his irregular and irrational character, sent to Bollinger on October 11 2003. See details

When it comes to wrongoing by his Office Lehecka seems to have been at center of it all. For context click here  to read about document destuction by Columbia’s Dean Karen Blank (Lehecka was her boss at the time). I add here additional details about my meeting with Dean Blank (conversation was secretly taped by me). At the second meeting Dean Blank stated that Dean Lehecka is in agreement that the document (which she was about to tear up and was stopped by threat of physical struggle) should be a permanent part of the my Student Record file.  What was Dean Lehecka's role in the document-destruction act and who is he to state that it is okay with him that the document Dean Blank mistakenly failed to destroy (among her massive document destruction) can stay in the file? It stayed in the file because Dean Blank backed off from a physical fight over the document. What exactly was Lehecka "agree[ing]" to?

Would Blank have destoyed documents without her boss's support and direction? I think not, and the above conversation suggests a conspiracy between the two of them in the act.

 

The Bollinger-Lehecka connection

See paragraphs immediately above for details about Roger Lehecka.
Bollinger holds full responsibility for the police action against me. As above: Columbia has massive power in New York, and Columbia President Bollinger is willing to abuse it! He bent the rules to make make it a crime to expose wrongdoing by Columbia administrators. Perhaps he does not always go to this extent, but he considers the fact that the Dean & Head of Columbia College Robert Pollack was fired to be a seriously embarrassing event and Columbia called in New York police to punish anyone trying to expose this truth!

Both Bollinger and Lehecka seem to truly enjoy being victimizers and freedom-haters; with so much in common it is not surprising that they also share a natural mutual admiration and a great chemistry!

Columbia President Lee Bollinger says about Roger Lehecka  "Very rarely someone like Roger comes along ... virtually embodying the values of the College and University"  (empasis mine). Around time of this quote Lehecka was also elevated to a new role by Bollinger as an "ambassador" to Columbia alumni.

Lehecka headed the committee that chose Bollinger to be Columbia president (after Bollinger was rejected by Harvard). Of course, I don't have the details of why Harvard rejected Bollinger. But one fact seems apparent: Character matters to Harvard, not to Columbia (whether it is in selecting the president or choosing the team to head the selection)! If Bollinger was at Harvard, no way could he get away with using police for his freedom-hating prosecution of human rights. Things like this do not happen at leading USA universities (and, as far as I know, they don't happen at universities in Iran either, though Bollinger may claim otherwise). But Columbia is different and Bollinger and Lehecka are twins in the "values" they  share (see Bollinger quote above) -- and with all the glitter of their shared "values," not even their mothers can tell the twins apart!

Lehecka was Executive Director of Columbia's 250th Anniversary Celebration (held under Bollinger's presidency). Yes, how can anyone find someone better than Lehecka to lead the celebration of 250 years of Columbia "values" ? Leheck has been "hailed by President Lee C. Bollinger" as "someone who defines Columbia!" (Emphasis mine). Yes, Lehecka absolutely does, and equally well (or equally badly), so does Bollinger himself. "Hail Columbia" for bringing Bollinger and Lehecka together so they can cement their "values" into the university and "define" Columbia for the future decades!

Who defines Columbia?
Oh, who defines Columbia?
Oh, who defines Columbia?
Oh, who defines Columbia the people say.
Why, Bollinger and Lehecka define Columbia!
Why, Bollinger and Lehecka define Columbia!
C-O-L-U-M-B-I-A!

(Song Reference "Who owns New York": here, here, and here.)

Ron Prywes – the poodle who is also a professor

Columbia Biology Professor Ron Prywes, a friend of Robert Pollack, chose to take part in the malicious abuse of process which led me to be arrested by the police.

All I did was send Prywes a single email about Robert Pollack. Prior to this January 2004 email I had never had any kind of previous contact with Prywes (or with the other email recipients in the Biology department). In response, Prywes managed to get me arrested and get himself a Criminal Protective Order which stated that any contact with him, such as my sending him another email, could cause me jail time of up to seven years. The same email was sent to other Biology department faculty and none of them acted like Prywes. What makes Prywes so different from other recipients of the email in that he would join Pollack and the Columbia administration in using the police against me?

Why did Prywes lend his name for involvement in Pollack’s and Columbia administration's despicable police games? A possible reason is suggested here.

 

Columbia asks USDOJ to take action against me

I was making preparations to leave the USA and go to Canada or India in January 2004 .These plans were spoilt by Columbia's illegal demand in October 2003 that before they forward my academic records I should waive any right to sue them for any past misbehavior . See details below.

I had come to Columbia as a foreign student from India and had grievances against certain administrators . Over the years Columbia had openly complained to officials in New York that I had visa issues and action should be taken, but I was not a priority for the authorities . Unhappy at my putting up this website (cuspeech.org) in late January 2004  to disseminate information about Columbia's misusing the NYPD, the Columbia administration called up friend(s) high up in the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) head office in Washington, D.C. -- the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) falls under the USDOJ. Starting early February 2004, the computer host-named "wdcsun20.usdoj.gov" began to frequently access this website and thoroughly review documents, the "wdc" I believe stands for Washington-D.C. In accordance with Columbia's wishes, the USDOJ then instructed the New York INS to take action against me based on immigration issues. One would think the USDOJ, on examining this website, would be appalled by Columbia's using the NYPD to attack freedoms that the USDOJ allegedly and historically claims to protect. Instead  the USDOJ, like the NYPD, was working to satisfy Columbia's needs. Columbia and the authorities working with them did not want a criminal trial because they all realized the bogus arrest and Columbia's outrageous illegal acts to silence my right to free speech would be an embarrassment and there was no chance of conviction at any jury trial. 

But USDOJ's concern for not putting Columbia in a bad light went further. At the New York INS office, the head of the Investigations department came to specifically inform me that I was wrong to believe that it was Columbia who notified them. I had neither discussed nor suggested to their personnel who might or might not have called them, so why did he want to make that statement? It was because on this website (which Columbia and the USDOJ had been watching) I had stated that Columbia had called the USDOJ/INS, and Columbia did not want that truth to be stated. He then went on to explain that Columbia would not do that and argued "why would they after all these years." 

I explained to the Immigration Judge that I had planned to leave the USA in January 2004 and presented my correspondence with Canadian universities and other information showing my intended departure. I explained to the Judge that it was actions by Columbia that prevented my plans from going forward. I also made the Judge aware that a major civil rights organization had contacted me to provide possible assistance in bringing Columbia and NYPD to justice for violating free speech laws with this arrest.  I beseeched the Immigration Judge to allow me to stay and have time to consult attorneys regarding filing a lawsuit to bring Columbia to justice for false arrest for prosecuting for me exercising a basic human freedom.  The Judge would not listen and wanted me to take "voluntary departure" or they would have me deported. I urged the Judge to give some leeway because freedom of speech is a major human freedom which should be protected and cherished within the USA. The Judge and the government (USDOJ/INS) attorney gave no consideration that there may have been violations of constitutionally protected freedoms which should be prevented from occurring in the future. Further, the government attorney asked the Judge to warn the airline to put me "under watch" as a criminal threat based on the pending charges -- this was despite the fact that I had never been charged with any crime prior to this email arrest and had not even a summons of any kind  (the Judge declined saying he does not fully understand that request, though he had sympathy for the suggestion). I took "voluntary departure" and left New York for New Delhi. 

 

 

Columbia administration poses general danger to foreigners 

Any foreigner at Columbia who cuts off ties in unplanned circumstances automatically goes into visa violation, even if this happened as a result of wrongs by Columbia. If the person makes trouble claiming that the University did her/him injustice, Columbia can call the INS. In the above letter from Columbia Security there was a direct threat to make a trespassing arrest if I came to Columbia or called anyone at Columbia. Such arrest is enough to get  priority by INS in investigating your immigration status because you are a threat as shown by the "police action" against you. So Columbia Security and administration has an arrest scenario in place which arrest, even if false, gives them a big advantage against a foreigner who wants to contact people at Columbia with his/her grievance. September 11, 2001 is a bonanza for Columbia administrators and they know how to play the game to their advantage. As my experience here with the false police report and arrest shows, the Immigration Judge will not allow time to stay in New York and consult attorneys to investigate possible legal action for any damage caused by false arrest by Columbia. 

 

Columbia spoilt plans to move on from the USA

As I told the Immigration Judge, I was making preparations to leave the USA and go to Canada or India. I had planned to leave the USA in January 2004 and presented my correspondence with Canadian Universities and other information showing my intended departure. I explained to the Judge that it was actions by Columbia that prevented my plans from going forward. 

In October 2002 I had made a written payment agreement with the Columbia financial officer to get my academic records but the agreement was never executed and the person left Columbia. In summer of 2003 my representative contacted senior people at Columbia regarding the issue, and we were informed that the matter was on President Bollinger's desk for resolution. Many phone and email contacts with Bollinger’s office and my representative followed. A payment arrangement was reached on execution of which my records would be available for forwarding to any institution(s) . 

However,  when it came time to sign in October 2003, Columbia suddenly inserted a clause effectively saying that I agree to waive any claims against Columbia and its employees for any alleged wrongs they may have done me. It read “By execution of this Agreement, Sirohi releases Columbia and its employees and agents from all claims and causes of action.” This complete surprise insertion was a breach of agreement and I refused to sign. I believe Bollinger's office was responsible for this sudden demand; this was inserted to violate my rights and protect Columbia's wrongs from being addressed in the future. Columbia said this was a standard clause when they make a financial deal such as they were doing with me, but that was another lie; as above, in October 2002 I had been offered a similar written agreement and that contained no such clause.  I had no intention of  suing anyone at Columbia for any wrongs that they had done, but a University is not entitled to put these arbitrary last-minute surprise clauses in providing records. I believe having me sign this clause was Columbia's hidden plan all along. I have learned that such behavior by Columbia and Bollinger constitutes fraud and breach of contract.

In effect my plans to depart the USA in January 2004 were ruined by Bollinger and Columbia's October 2003 demands.

USA and Columbia authorities don't want the concept of genuine freedom to spread to their country or university

Freedom of speech and thought have, for thousands of years, been part of the fabric of Indian culture and its is grossly unfair to expect someone from India to realize that they must give up taking this freedom for granted because they are no longer in India but are at Bollinger's Columbia in the USA. At Bollinger's Columbia, and in other places of power in the USA, freedom is not actual but is only a propaganda tool to be used by authorities in their speeches where they talk down to the rest of the world. Columbia Security, the New York police, the New York prosecutor's office, and USDOJ made it clear that the kind of freedom of speech that people in India take for granted will not be tolerated within their jurisdictions! Bollinger belongs among the "Lords" (as they were respectfully called) of England who for centuries were all over the world causing great harm to humanity by oppressing and arresting people who talked of freedom. There is a similar great harm and stigma for an individual associated with an arrest situation and the question of whether you have ever been charged with a crime is asked on many forms for employment, background, travel etc. Indeed just an arrest by these powerful enemies of cherished  human values is enough in today's world to harm someone's life permanently;  no one will listen that there was no crime and that it was just the freedom-hating "Lords" who want to prosecute and block those trying to introduce and spread the concept of actual and genuine freedom to the USA and Bollinger's Columbia!

-- Ashish Sirohi

Email: as7y (at) yahoo (dot) com

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This site was started around January 22 2004.

My other sites:

physicsnext.org
Physics community's mistaken belief that Einstein's two 1905 postulates could only lead to one possible set of equations (except for one highly-respected physicist who broke from the crowd in mid-20th century and suggested otherwise).

infiniteseriestheorem.org
Infinite Series and their basic property regarding convergence to rational and irrational numbers -- the simple truth that holds in all known cases but was never realized

ashishsirohi.com