Connect
To Top

Check Out Marie Kube’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marie Kube.

Hi Marie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
When I moved to Minnesota 20 years ago, I was a research scientist, I was happily married and planning to start a family, I was a homeowner, and I didn’t even know that I had PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Now, 20 years later, I am better than ever even though I’ve been unemployed for over 10 years, I am divorced and never got to have any children, I no longer own my home, and I am now diagnosed with PTSD, perhaps the most highly stigmatized mental disorder of all. How can I possibly consider myself better off after having achieved and lost so much? It is because I have learned the truth through my successes in spite of the injustices, disadvantages and hardships I have suffered. The truth (along with love) is what I’ve always cared about the most and that is why I sacrificed so much to be a scientist (Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1997 and B.A. in Chemistry with a minor in Math, University of Colorado at Denver, 1990). Truth is the only righteous authority. But in a corrupt capitalistic economy, the “truth” is for sale. That is why the businessman who laid me off from my last job working for a failed startup company developing a treatment for severe blood loss told me that it would be a long time before I would ever get another job again, if ever. I have not done anything wrong and the failure was the fault of others who were superior to me according to the organigram. In fact, I was extraordinarily successful as a scientist, having formulated a product that is still on the market, having granted patents (not just applications), and having quality peer-reviewed publications in respected scientific journals. I succeeded in different laboratories, in academic medical centers as well as in pharmaceutical companies, in different cities and states and even different countries. I even succeeded in alternative careers for scientists such as technical writer and patent agent. If those who have the money, which is power, were not corrupt, then they would not be afraid of the truth. But they are, which affects us all because they hold back the true leaders.

As promised by the businessman who laid me off from my last job, I have never been able to get another job. Contributors to the long-term unemployment and underemployment of an estimated 100,000 or more scientists in the U.S.A. are all the mergers and acquisitions of pharmaceutical and other scientific companies over the last decades, the contracting out of science to the lowest bidders in other countries, the influx of immigrant scientists who will do and say pretty much anything to be able to stay in the U.S.A., and the prevalence of nepotism, favoritism, and cronyism. When I was working as an ex-pat scientist in Switzerland, my ability to stay in the country was tied to my job and it was made quite clear to me that I had to produce what my boss wanted or leave, so I returned to the U.S.A. Whereas scientists from China, India, and other countries usually do not consider returning to their home countries where conditions and opportunities for them are even worse. The system has become so corrupt as to expel truth and honesty from a profession that purports to be noble, as evidenced by many observable facts such as the opioid epidemic, pollution of most of our drinking water and environment and oceans, disappearance of our farmlands even as the population keeps expanding, spraying of our food with carcinogens and neurotoxins, alarming declines in the number of bees that are essential for our food production, the poor health of our nation, the exorbitant expenditures on healthcare and war, the deforestation, the extinction of many species, and many other preventable tragedies.

Over the past 11 years of my unvoluntary unemployment, I have been able to work on several important projects with my now ex-husband, Michael, that otherwise would have never happened. I self-published books and zines and started blogging more than five years ago to tell my incredible story and to empower others with the truth. I blog on two websites dedicated to the confluence of science and spirituality, one of which features mature content. My publications include the book Sexiest at 50: PTSD PhD Marie, a proven guide for healthy living to age 50+; a journey into the spiritual realm from a non-religious, scientifically trained perspective entitled the Instructions for Helping to Improve the Human Condition; and a magazine dedicated to the Art of Living Smart, Art and Smart. I am dedicated to empowering others with the truth because we are in trouble and everyone’s help is needed. I advocate every way I can for an end to social injustices stemming from control by evil forces of our necessities: water, food, shelter, clothing and footwear.

I have developed a new product, truly natural herbal soap. I started making soap as gifts for family and friends, and after developing my soapmaking process for over six years with their feedback, I started selling my soaps about one year ago in person and online through my website. I set up my online shop myself on my WordPress website. It turns out that there is an even greater need than I had predicted for all-natural soap that does not contain harmful ingredients found in most other soaps, such as essential oils, fragrances, perfumes, colors, dyes, preservatives, endocrine disruptors and many more. For example, DMDM hydantoin, a preservative in shampoos, conditioners and other water-based personal care products, is the focus of several class-action lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and Unilever claiming exposure to the substance led to hair loss.

In addition to blogging and soapmaking, I have been teaching Zumba dance fitness classes for almost three years now. About half a year ago, I started making a small monthly income for the first time in over a decade working as a Zumba instructor for St. Paul Parks and Recreation. I grew up dancing and performing ballet, and I really wanted to be a dancer, but my parents insisted that I needed to go to college. My father was a scientist with a Ph.D. in Geology that he earned in Germany before relocating to North America. He lost his job when I was finishing high school, and I worked my way through college on my own as a cocktail waitress in Denver, Colorado. I then moved to the Midwest to work at a pharmaceutical company for three years before being accepted into a Ph.D. program and receiving a small stipend in exchange for research and teaching. I met Michael, my ex-husband, in graduate school and together we moved 13 times in 15 years to try and keep working as scientists. While I have been unemployed, he has been underemployed teaching Anatomy at a community college, a job that only requires a Bachelor’s degree and 18 graduate credits. Michael has a Ph.D. degree in Physiology and completed 2 years of medical school.

While unemployed, I have been studying herbalism and growing and using medicinal plants for over 10 years. Michael and I have removed all the grass and ornamentals from our property and replaced them with about 70 different plants, bushes, and trees that are edible, medicinal and mostly native. We have also been growing our own vegetables and we have backyard chickens, all in about one-tenth of an acre.

Perhaps my most important accomplishment is that I am a PTSD survivor. While being diagnosed with PTSD may seem like a death sentence, and often is, I am here to prove that it is possible for people with PTSD to get better. After being disabled for several years, I am now working as a Zumba instructor and starting my soapmaking business thanks to my ex-husband Michael. His understanding of Physiology was instrumental in my recovery. Together, we approached the problem as scientists, we read the literature extensively to understand the damage to my nervous system, and we made it through to where things are so much better now. We published the whole story on my blog for adult content in effort to help others suffering from this terrible injury to the nervous system.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My life has been a tragedy, not a smooth road. A lot of people have judged me and claimed that bad things happen to bad people. My response is that they are obviously not familiar with the story of Jesus and the Bible. My ex-husband and I could have been rich, but we quit our jobs working for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world to save our souls. Here is just one example of the corruption we escaped. One of the drugs being tested for obesity caused the tails to fall off of mice helping them to lose weight in addition to suppressing their appetite because they obviously felt ill. But our boss said, “humans don’t have tails,” and went ahead and tested the toxic drug candidate for obesity in a human clinical trial for safety that failed. If the animal experiments are irrelevant, then why torture, mutilate, and kill all the animals in the first place?

Upon returning to the U.S.A., we went to work at a renowned academic medical center where we were asked to lie about results of failed experiments, break the laws protecting patient data, and again mutilate animals, even though we had agreed before taking the temporary positions that we would not have to do any experiments on animals. Those experiments still haunt me and make it hard to sleep.

My first postdoctoral research position after completing my Ph.D. degree was at an Ivy League school. I was so honored to be there until I realized how dishonest and reckless the science was. I warned my boss that he was going to kill someone with his experiments. He scoffed at me so I quit because I did not want the blood on my hands, even though it was career suicide. In a couple of years, I was proven right when 18-year-old Jesse Gelsinger was the first death by human gene therapy in the U.S.A. But there have never been any reparations for me. In fact, things just kept getting worse for me as the Ivy League defended its sins to protect its reputation and those in power who are responsible.

When I met my now ex-husband Michael in graduate school at the largest medical school in the country, he was deathly ill. I was afraid he might die because his asthma, allergies, and severe flu-like symptoms were so bad that he could barely breathe or keep any food in his system long enough to utilize the nutrients. He figured out that the inside of the ductwork was lined with fiberglass insulation that had grown a carpet of different pathogenic molds. As the air flowed through the ductwork, the mold spores got picked up and distributed throughout the clinical building where he worked in a research laboratory. He started a class action lawsuit that was eventually squashed unfairly through a legal technicality in a highly biased court system using our tax dollars against us on behalf of the rich and powerful. Sadly, Michael was an M.D./Ph.D. student who had already completed the first two years of medical school. Then he spent five years working on his Ph.D. degree day and night in an extremely sick building. The plan was for him to finish the last two clinical years of medical school after finishing his Ph.D., but that opportunity was taken away from him. One would think that the largest medical school in the country would have been interested in being a leader in sick building syndrome and making a huge impact helping so many people who have been and are still being injured by sick buildings in general, and mold contamination in particular. But no one can seem to admit any fault in our system. I nursed Michael back to health over the years and we are still very disciplined about our diet and exercise regimen and avoiding immune system triggers.

Of all my struggles, PTSD has been the worst. I was diagnosed about six years ago after I needed surgery and was once again mistreated so badly by the medical system that I suffered a nervous breakdown from being left in extreme pain for 10 days. After being diagnosed, I learned as much as I could about PTSD. A lot of the PTSD literature just triggered me because it is funded by the same government that causes so much of the problem and tends to blame the victims directly and/or through insinuations. Yet, PTSD is not something that one can do to themselves. It should not surprise anyone that the same government that causes so much PTSD selects researchers who blame the victims or at least look the other way since they are not victims themselves. That is why Michael and I wrote the truth about PTSD in a comprehensive article available for free on my blog for adult content.

I realized that I have had PTSD since the first time I was raped was when I was 15 years old and lost my virginity. That time it was my teacher. I was bullied as a child for my German heritage, including being beaten up so badly by a gang of girls that I got a concussion. At 18 years old, I suffered domestic violence by a boyfriend and boss I lived with that left me unemployed with many stitches in my face and long-term problems with suture rejections, scars, and ingrown hairs trapped in the scars. I was so stressed-out during college working full time that I ground my teeth during my sleep until my jaws were painful in the morning. Still, I was always an “A” student and I won prestigious awards and honors. I was abused, exploited, stressed-out and sleep-deprived so much as a female Ph.D. scientist that I was hospitalized more than once. I was misdiagnosed as having endometriosis, which prevented me from having children. However, I actually had fibroids and by the time I had my hysterectomy, they were so large that I woke up during the surgery as the surgeon struggled to yank out my uterus. Nevertheless, I was never diagnosed with PTSD until I needed to have my Bartholin gland marsupialized.

More than 20 years ago when I first got a Bartholin gland cyst and was septic, the surgeon merely drained the gland instead of marsupializing it. I was a graduate student at the time and did not have enough money or good enough health insurance, so he did the minimum even though he knew that it could eventually get so bad again that I would need another surgery. During the next 20 years, I suffered pain every time I was even sexually aroused, let alone having sex. Finally, the cyst required surgery again. But the emergency room doctor decided to make me wait 10 days instead of having surgery right away while he gave me antibiotics that are known not to work for my condition. Even worse, the only pain medicine he would prescribe to me was hydrocodone-acetaminophen even though I told him my liver could not tolerate acetaminophen. But he treated me as a drug seeker even though I told him I was a Ph.D. scientist who had been over-exposed to chemicals in laboratories that didn’t have proper ventilation. After a few days of waiting for my surgery, I could no longer tolerate the pain and I took one of the pain pills. I then experienced altered brain function due to liver toxicity known as hepatic encephalopathy characterized by personality changes, intellectual impairment, and depressed level of consciousness. After I finally had my surgery, I was jabbed in my wound during the follow-up visit at the OB-GYN. Apparently, she thought my suture rejection reaction that I had warned her was likely to happen was instead due to me having sex before healing, which I did not. My nervous breakdown got much worse and I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD. Even though I used to work at a law firm, I have to ask who is a lawyer that can help me?

I think it is quite amazing that I have survived so many hardships and so much cruelty. I believe there is a reason that I am still alive, and I believe it is so that I can help and inspire others with my stories, knowledge and experiences. I have already started. I have been blogging for more than five years to share information for free. I have been teaching dance fitness classes to help prevent diseases instead of discovering and developing drugs to treat diseases (most companies do not want to cure disease because a patient cured is money lost). And I am providing truly natural soap while raising awareness of toxic ingredients found in many other soaps that are causing a lot of preventable skin and other problems. Most importantly, I am showing that it is possible to be a good and nice person and still survive in a world that is full of evil.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
It took me five years instead of the usual four to finish my Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a minor in Math because I supported myself and paid for school myself working in restaurant and bar and food catering businesses. I was the Outstanding Undergraduate Student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado at Denver in 1991. The last I checked, the plaque with names of all winners past and present was still hanging on the wall in the science building. Next, I spent 3 years in Indianapolis, IN working at the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co. where I was instrumental in developing the formulation for an injectable insulin product, Humalog®, that is still on the market. I was accepted into graduate school at Indiana University School of Medicine, where I finished my Ph.D. degree in Microbiology and Immunology in about half the time of most others. I won the highest honor that Indiana University bestows upon its graduate students across all disciplines, the Esther L. Kinsley Ph.D. Dissertation Award in 1997. Most importantly, I met my now ex-husband, Michael, during graduate school.

My work as a graduate student in the field of human gene therapy landed me in one of the most famous laboratories in the world at an Ivy League school, University of Pennsylvania, for my first postdoctoral research position. It did not take me long to recognize data driven by reckless, cheating narcissism that would inevitably end badly. For example, monkeys were dying during experiments and not being reported to FDA, which is against the law. I warned my boss that he would kill someone, but he was obsessed with being first. So, I committed career suicide by leaving his laboratory. However, Michael and I both got jobs working at the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Switzerland. For once, my German heritage was an asset when it came time to rent an apartment or buy groceries, for example. At work, the official language was English, and cliques were mainly divided into groups sharing native languages, mostly Swiss, German, and French. Within three years of working there, Michael and I both were convinced that leadership was so corrupt as to exclude the possibility of true success. We left and returned to the U.S.A. at our own expense to start over again because you could not get a job in the U.S.A. without being in the U.S.A. The many years that have passed between then and now, with no big successes like our bosses claimed there would be, show how right we were.

Upon returning to the U.S.A., I worked as a freelance writer for magazines serving the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries while Michael sold cars. Eventually, we got opportunities to start over in science as postdoctoral researchers in temporary positions paying low salaries at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. We did all of our due diligence, but we had no way of knowing ahead of time that our boss had already spent most of the NIH funding for research that he had been awarded for the coming years. That was just one of many promises that he reneged on, including that we would not have to be involved in the gruesome orthopedic surgery animal research that we were forced to do. In the clinic, I was misdiagnosed as having endometriosis, which prevented me from having children. The Mayo Clinic ended our careers working as research scientists, but there were alternative careers for the growing number of former scientists in the U.S.A. I went into patenting of intellectual property working at a law firm in Minneapolis that worked for the Mayo Clinic. I passed the patent bar on the first try, and I am a registered patent agent. That means I can practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. After two years and two visits to the hospital, I could no longer endure the sleep deprivation, abuse and exploitation. Sadly, the lawyers traumatized and threatened me so much and people with PTSD go to great lengths to avoid their triggers, so the patent agent career path has been ruined for me. After I left the law firm, I was traumatized. I did not leave the house and Michael became worried about me. All the advice he got from family and friends was the same, that he should strongly encourage me to get back to work. It turned out to be too soon, and I ended up in another bad situation that truly did end my career in science forever. It is a fact that most biotech startup companies fail. The businessmen planned on 1 success for every 9 failures. Now I see very clearly why that is; now I have the truth; now I am free.

You can find my curriculum vitae, diplomas, awards, and lists of additional publications as well as lots more stories and details freely available on my websites.

How do you define success?
I define success as being a good person. That means working hard, being honest, sincere, believing in something greater than oneself enough to care about others, and caring about others enough to act on it.

Pricing:

  • Self-published books priced at under $10 each plus shipping through my website
  • Handmade soap priced from $5-$10 per bar plus shipping through my website
  • Zumba dance fitness classes through St. Paul Parks and Recreation that are either free or $4 or $5 per drop-in class

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageMinnesota is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Gunda Kube

    May 12, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    That is an amazing article and you are amazing! Congratulations!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories