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The Brave Heart Behind Legal Victories: A Conversation with Leslie Manookian

The word I am looking for is "wow."

This story is a conversation with Leslie Manookian, whom I had the joy of interviewing the other day.

Leslie is … just wow. I am so taken by her courage. She is such a lioness. You know how sometimes you meet a human being, and their spirit is just so beautiful that you don’t have any words, and all you know is marvel at their beauty, and feel love and awe? This is how I feel as I am typing this. What a heart.

Now, remember when the airline mask mandate was struck down last year? Remember the videos of people singing and dancing and celebrating being able to fly mask-free?

For that, we can thank Leslie and her victorious lawsuit—one of many lawsuits that her organization had filed since 2020.  Even the hit piece that Bloomberg Magazine did on Leslie in 2022 acknowledged that.

Leslie is a stunning human being who is not afraid to put her actions where her mouth is. Years ago, she walked away from a star career as a very successful Wall Street executive—and from “many millions of dollars”—to fight for her truth and be a health freedom advocate.

One day in Leslie’s “past life” as a Director at Alliance Capital in London managing their European Growth Portfolio Management and Research, she had a conversation with a big pharmaceutical company about their troubled stock. The stock was troubled because the company was about to release a “blockbuster” drug (according to Leslie, it’s a drug we know) but the word had gotten out that people were dying in their clinical trials. And so, to reassure the big investors, the pharmaceutical company set up meetings and revealed that, yes, unfortunately, the FDA would have them put a black box warning onto the insert—but not to worry, they were still going to sell a whole lot of that drug.

Now, some people would just take that information in, shrink on the inside from the cynicism they’d imbibed, and carry on—but not Leslie! She realized that she had been naively “playing for the wrong team,” and, after she had fully processed the new information and revised her assumptions about the world, she resigned.

Around that same time, for personal reasons, Leslie encountered the world of homeopathy. (Today, she is certified as a homeopath.) When she first heard her homeopathy instructor mention vaccine injuries in class, Leslie, who had assumed that vaccines were the greatest invention of modern medicine, raised her hand and inquired what on Earth he was talking about. Initially, she didn’t believe his words and thought he was crazy to say that. But, an analyst at heart. Leslie went ahead and grabbed a book on the topic, read it in one sitting, discovered hundreds of scientific citations demonstrating vaccine injury, and “just sobbed and sobbed.”  

She was shocked that things were that cynical—that vaccine injuries were well-documented, well-known, and not even rare—and yet the pharmaceutical giants cared not about the suffering of the people—and just lied. And they lied and bribed and gaslit so effectively that your average “educated person” had no clue and just assumed that only crazy antiscientific yokels could distrust the vaccines.   

From there, Leslie made a documentary, The Greater Good.

And in 2020, Leslie, who was onto the scam right away, founded Health Freedom Defense Fund, on behalf of which she had filed over a dozen lawsuits for freedom and dignity—with great success.

I am grateful for Leslie’s existence on this Earth. May many people find the courage to be more like her and less like a good but helpless person who assumes that the world must be cynical, doesn’t fight back, and just shrinks.

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