A visit to Scantibodies Laboratories, Tecate Mexico
I'm still sorting this out in my own mind, whether my host, the founder Tom Cantor was candidly baring his soul, or was about the most effective evangelical the world has ever known. Actually, it was both. I'm honored to have been treated to the full thrust of his VIP presentation for embracing his particular version of Christianity, and even though it was no sale, it was a transformational experience in many ways.
The trip started at the Santee facility of Scantibodies Laboratory where I first met Tom a month before an open house at the Creationism Museum, which he sponsors and is part of this complex.
The story of Scantibodies, Tom starting it with his wife in their garage in 1976 to grow to one of the major developers and producers of therapeutic and diagnostic antibodies is the archetype of the American financial success story. But Tom's story is different in many ways, as it intersects with the underside of corporate malfeasance, the ongoing struggle between Christian and secular dominance of our country, and an aspect of globalism that is not described in economic seminars.
It is a complex story with many facets that I was given a glimpse of during the time we spent together. I won't go into many of these details, and will just share a bit of this meaningful experience. We took the back road to Tecate past unspoiled vistas of mountainous terrain, during which time Tom told me the story of how he took on Quest Diagnostics in a five year battle to end their use of a defective diagnostic test that cost the country hundreds of millions in Medicare reimbursements along with great human suffering. . I won't go into the details here, which are worth recounting for the preternatural persistence of Tom in an epic battle where he was ultimately rewarded the accolade of Whistle Blower of the year for 2009 by Taxpayers Against Fraud. Whistle blower is the wrong phrase of his concerted effort of hundreds of meetings and letters to officials at every level of drug enforcement. The story that he told me was confirmed in every detail in this description from the Department of Justice web site.
In anticipation of my trip to Mexico, I joked with some friends that he could hold me hostage unless I succumbed to his evangelizing efforts, and got one man to promise to rescue me. When we walked across the border, and I shared my concern laughingly to Tom, I wasn't reassured when he told me that we were going to be picked up in an armored car. He wasn't kidding, as the SUV that came for us was reinforced with a ton of steel plating and one inch thick bulletproof glass, as seen here.
In a few minutes we were at the gate of the industrial park where the following two videos allows you to share my introduction to the facility, which is a combination of the latest in bio-technology and a living biblical museum, for example the dimensions of the building coinciding with the best guess of those of Noah's Ark, as articulate in Genesis.
Those trucks will leave the bay and go directly to New Jersey as if there were no international border as we see the effect of NAFTA at work. This did not make Lou Dobbs happy when it opened, and was a reason that the U.S. President kept a low profile at the event. Now to the front, where we start to see the multifaceted nature of this facility.
The walk from the driveway to the lobby is punctuated with biblical references, and Tom's personal dedication to making this enterprise a part of his celebration of his personal salvation. What follows shows more than Tom's rejection of the norm of separation between business and religion;, but his affirmation to stand boldly on the edifice of commerce to proclaim both his and His message
Make no mistake, this building in the dimensions of an ark whose reality is doubted by most scientists incorporates the highest level of bio technical, environmental and construction technology. If there were ever a world wide pandemic, being in this facility in a poor Mexican city may be the safest location in the world. Scantibodies produces antibodies for human therapy and testing which require a host, in this case tens of thousands of mice, to be carefully bred and protected from adventitious pathogens. To this end this facility must be hyper sterile. This will be touched on in the next videos, as we jump two millenia from biblical artifacts to explore this most advanced medical therapeutics facility in Mexico.
We now go past the vivarium, with this video that describes some of the critical infrastructure. Near the end you will share the discovery of a creature, doubted to exist, that has recieved a great deal of press during this mid term election of 2010.
We walked through the private elementary school for the children of employees as well as the public, and Tom described the bible centered approach that is used, with techniques to involve the children on multiple levels. Then we went through a door that figuratively separated church and state, creationism from established science and we were upon a space being prepared for a 2000 seat church. He then walked me through the backstage facilities for those who were taking the step to proclaim their acceptance of Christ in the form of baptism, complete with private conference rooms, changing areas and processional walkway to the public immersion in the sanctified water of redemption.
This was only an abbreviated version of this trip, and I hardly touched on the spiritual emotional changes that I underwent. For starters, I don't think I've ever even used the word spiritual in a sentence describing myself, they just didn't go with this hyper realist atheist. I guess the final stop was the convincer that this was not a sham, that the good vibrations I felt among all the employees from the packaging machine operators to the designers of ultra high security biolabs was genuine. It was a visit to the nursery, where the toddlers of workers spent the day. Three year olds are either happy or not. They don't do pretend, unless they are in the mood to. Here the final video of them.
Yeah, I'm getting a bit giddy. It had been a long day.
And then, the drive to the border, the walk through customs, and we were on the way home. I was a bit intoxicated by the whole thing. For this day, not only was I a part of the unique community of Scantibodies Tecante, but of all of Christiandom. For this day, I was not the Jew, later to be the atheist, the one who was different. For this day I was with the Ur-Christian, who espoused the exact words of Jesus and boldly plastered them upon the walls of his monument to God and to Mamon. If he made money, if his persistence in fighting Quest to get them to stop causing untold suffering resulted in a pot of Gold, it was to be put into this effort to prevent suffering. He would marshal his energy for the "little job of saving lives and the big job of saving souls."
But the transformation he offered me was not to take hold. I was not to be born again, any more than my brain was to be transported into one of those mice. For me, both were equally illusory. But I have a new found respect for illusion, for belief. It sure had one hell of an effect in motivating Tom Cantor to create something that should never have been possible. Someone with a BA in chemistry doesn't build an international biotechnology enterprise, or take on the largest diagnostic testing company in the country, and win to the tune of their forking over a third of a billion dollars to the feds.
That morning before we had driven to Tecate, Tom showed me his new building in El Cahon. There he is building a facility to draw blood plasma from four hundred people a day to produce antibodies that he is hoping, betting a bundle, will result in a cure for HIV/AIDS. No one else thinks it will work, any more than they thought he could defeat Quest pharmaceutical, and replace their defective test with his antibodies as the new standard for monitoring treatment of hyperthyroidism.
I think it's a long shot, but from what I've learned about this man, I wouldn't bet against him.
©2010 Al Rodbell
Reference: Letters to speakers at Creation Museum open house