Author Archives: Jake Crosby

Autism Investigated Announces Awards for 2013

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On New Year’s Eve, Autism Investigated announces its awards for 2013 looking back on the highlights of the year and the lessons learned – an award for each of five categories listed below. As I told one reader:

“2012 was a year of blissful ignorance whereas 2013 was a year of hard lessons – they were not easy to learn, but I think we will all be better off because of them. Here’s to an enlightened new year.”

I feel this sentiment is very strongly reflected in Autism Investigated’s awards for this year – a year when Autism Investigated only existed for the second half, but an eventful year nonetheless.

So here they are: Autism Investigated’s Awards for 2013!

Scientist of the Year: Dr. Brian Hooker

A researcher, professor, parent and advocate, Dr. Brian Hooker exemplifies scientific integrity, courage and persistence. Having organized the congressional hearing in 2012, Dr. Hooker works tirelessly to expose the scientific corruption of CDC and related groups that are implicated in the government cover-up of vaccines’ role in causing autism in children, especially vaccines containing the mercury-based, neurotoxic preservative thimerosal. He has made tremendous inroads with Congress despite overwhelming adversity, even from groups that claim to agree with his activities. Nonetheless, he remains unyielding in his pursuit of justice for countless vaccine-injured children, including his own son.

Thank you, Dr. Hooker!

Scoop of the Year: Mark Blaxill’s Early Interference in Autism Omnibus

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(Click to enlarge.)

Last October, Autism Investigated was sent email exchanges from 2003 and 2004 between members of SafeMinds and the lead petitioners’ attorney  in the autism omnibus proceeding for 4,900 children who developed autism after vaccination and were seeking federal compensation. The emails reveal that members of SafeMinds were being retained as consultants in the litigation. The email exchanges also reveal some troubling remarks by Mark Blaxill, then-board member of SafeMinds. Below are statements he has made in those emails to the attorney against petitioners’ expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier as well as against suing in general. Also disturbing is his reference to his employer’s pharmaceutical clients.

Direct quotes from Mark Blaxill’s emails:

“The issue I will confess to the most difficulty with is the “sue the bastards” model…Please recognize, though, that my firm has clients on the other side and so I cannot–in fairness to my partners–get directly involved in the quest for money. I only am interested in the quest for the truth….I would say there are a few lawyers I’ve run into that make my discomfort really sharp.”

“As to the Geiers, I may be a bit of a minority voice here, but I worry very much that they can do our cause more harm than good. They are not very good scientists, write bad papers (both writing badly and reporting in sloppy fashion) and attract too much attention to themselves as individuals. In this last regard, they don’t show nearly as well as Andy Wakefield but they’re trying to play the same role. Frankly, if I were on the other side and were asked to critique their work, I could rip it to shreds. I’m surprised they haven’t been hit harder. So I think you are wise to diversify.”

I have not been a big fan of the Geiers. I worry they do not represent our side well. They often do sloppy work.”

In response to the last quote by Blaxill, the attorney replied:

“Thanks, Mark, very helpful.”

The autism omnibus eventually collapsed and thousands of children were denied justice. In a podcast interview last October, Mark Blaxill said he was not apologetic about anything he has done.

Quote of the Year: Dr. Boyd Haley on Mark Blaxill and the Geiers

After the above email passages were posted on Autism Investigated, emeritus chemistry professor, scientist and leading authority on mercury toxicity Dr. Boyd Haley responded in the below email:

I know both Mark Blaxill and Mark & David Geier fairly well. Mr. Blaxill does not have the biological science and medical training of the Geier’s and most of their articles address issues on the biological level. I have critically read most of the publications by the Geier’s and I seriously doubt that Mr. Blaxill could shred this research even though he may think he could.

Boyd E. Haley, PhD
President
CTI Science, Inc.

Irony of the Year: Tina Brown runs bogus autism-and-pedophilia-linking article, despite having son with autism.

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Last August, The Daily Beast ran an article by Eustacia Cutler – mother of internationally famous autistic advocate and animal scientist Dr. Temple Grandin – falsely claiming autistic men have an affinity for pedophilia. Dr. Grandin distanced herself after the article was written following an inquiry by Autism Investigated. The major irony to emerge from this is that Tina Brown – editor of The Daily Beast – has an adult son with Asperger Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. She did not respond when confronted about the story on Twitter. The following month, Tina Brown stepped down as editor of The Daily Beast.

Event of the Year: NVICP Congressional Hearing Cancellation

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The event of the year – or rather non-event of the year – goes to the cancellation of the congressional hearing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). By asking Congress to investigate NVICP, Canary Party was able to prevent the CDC cover-up of vaccine dangers from gaining exposure in a congressional hearing despite the organization’s false promises to Dr. Brian Hooker that it would ask specifically for an investigation into the malfeasance. Then at a Canary Party Briefing held the month before the anticipated NVICP hearing, the case of vaccine-injured child Hannah Poling was misrepresented. After her mother Terry Poling protested in the comments of Age of Autism – the blog sponsored by Canary Party and edited by its chairman Mark Blaxill – Age of Autism took down the video of the briefing without explanation. After the incident was written about on Autism Investigated, Age of Autism claimed technical failure before finally re-uploading the video three days after its removal. That night, Autism Investigated received word that the December-scheduled NVICP congressional hearing that Canary Party was instrumental in lobbying for was cancelled. The reason, according to one reliable legal source, was that NVICP is an “overly divisive issue.”

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Dr. Boyd Haley: “I seriously doubt Mr. Blaxill could shred [the Geiers’] research”

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By Jake Crosby

Following a post on Autism Investigated in which then-board member of SafeMinds Mark Blaxill was quoted as having called Dr. Mark and David Geier’s work “sloppy,” Dr. Boyd Haley contacted Autism Investigated and weighed in on the matter. Blaxill also claimed in a 2003 email of the Geiers’ work, “…I could rip it to shreds.”

The Geiers – father and son scientists – have repeatedly published studies implicating the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal in causing autism. Dr. Haley, whose email is below, is president of CTI Science, professor emeritus of chemistry from the University of Kentucky as well as a world-renowned expert on mercury toxicity.

This is what Dr. Haley had to say about Mark Blaxill’s remarks concerning the Geiers:

I know both Mark Blaxill and Mark & David Geier fairly well. Mr. Blaxill does not have the biological science and medical training of the Geier’s and most of their articles address issues on the biological level. I have critically read most of the publications by the Geier’s and I seriously doubt that Mr. Blaxill could shred this research even though he may think he could.

Boyd E. Haley, PhD
President

CTI Science, Inc.

Dr. Haley gave his permission to post the above email on Autism Investigated.

Mark Blaxill made these remarks in email to Attorney Mike Williams, lead petitioners’ attorney in the autism omnibus proceeding where Dr. Mark and David Geier were both expert witnesses for the petitioners. Eventually, the omnibus collapsed and 4,900 children were denied justice. Years after disparaging the Geiers’ work to Attorney Williams, Blaxill cited the fraudulent Danish research of international fugitive Poul Thorsen to defend thimerosal in email to omnibus petitioner and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker.

Today, history is repeating itself as Mark Blaxill continuously works to keep research fraud like Thorsen’s from being exposed before Congress and undermines the advocacy of Dr. Hooker. The Canary Party (founded and chaired by Blaxill) falsely led Dr. Hooker to believe that the organization would ask Congress to specifically pursue research misconduct like that committed by Thorsen. Canary Party’s apparent deception ultimately culminated in the indefinite collapse of the congressional autism hearings altogether.

Nonetheless, it is encouraging to learn that Mark Blaxill’s earlier attacks on Dr. Mark and David Geier are not sitting well with Dr. Boyd Haley.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Forbes’ Matt Herper Cites Misleading Gardasil Press Release

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Editor’s Note: Above is the abstract of a study which was misrepresented by the drug company press release that Herper cited to endorse the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil; click to enlarge.

By Jake Crosby

Mainstream media’s coverage of the disputed safety and effectiveness of human pappilloma virus (HPV) vaccination is a shameful repeat of its coverage of the vaccine-autism cover-up.

Following Katie Couric’s recent investigative report on the safety and efficacy of vaccination against HPV, many familiar media mouthpieces of the vaccine industry came out of the woodwork to chastise Couric for her journalism. Included among those was Matt Herper, senior editor of Forbes Magazine. Using Twitter to cite a press release from Gardasil’s manufacturer, Herper challenged HPV expert Dr. Diane Harper’s contention to Katie Couric that HPV vaccine Gardasil only provides protection for five years. His tweet:

It appears that the claim on @katiecouric that vaccine efficacy wanes at 5 years is incorrect. http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/studies-demonstrate-gardasil-has-long-duration-of-protection-from-hpv-disease-182323031.html …

Herper’s tweet was retweeted dozens of times, including by vaccine industry media go-to guy Seth Mnookin. Herper also cited and linked to the drug company press release from his Forbes article attacking Couric for her program on Gardasil. According to the press release:

“The interim data, presented at the 28th International Papillomavirus Conference (IPV) in Puerto Rico, showed that young women[1] and adolescent girls and boys[2] vaccinated with Gardasil were protected from HPV-related diseases for up to eight years following vaccination.”

The press release also included quotes from Professor Susanne Krüger Kjær, lead investigator of one of the studies:

“These latest data show an encouraging trend of continued protection with Gardasil against HPV-related cervical, vaginal and vulvar disease in women through eight years,” said Professor Susanne Krüger Kjær, Danish Cancer Society. “These studies provide further evidence for the ongoing efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety of Gardasil.”

Absent from Sanofi Pasteur MSD’s press release, however, is the conclusion from Professor Kjær’s own study which reads:

“The qHPV vaccine shows a trend of continued protection in women, although there is as yet insufficient data to confirm that protection is maintained.”

If Matt Herper can go to the trouble of digging up a drug company press release from a year ago on research presented at a conference, then why couldn’t he go to the extra trouble to dig up the abstract of the actual research the press release was about? Why did he instead settle for the misleading press release written by a PR person employed by Gardasil’s manufacturer to second-guess the statements of Dr. Diane Harper – an international authority on HPV who was involved in clinical trials of Gardasil? Perhaps because the abstract would prove that the press release Herper cited is a misleading representation of research.

Herper’s use of a misleading drug company press release over actual research to push Gardasil is minor in comparison to his record of reporting on the vaccine-autism cover-up. He has endorsed Salon’s removal of “Deadly Immunity” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (which exposed CDC’s cover-up of the dangers of mercury in vaccines) prompted by a bogus rumor spread by Seth Mnookin that Rolling Stone Magazine secretly retracted Kennedy’s article. Salon is run by the brother-in-law of Arthur Allen, Mnookin’s predecessor as vaccine industry media go-to guy who vetted and ultimately approved of Mnookin’s since-dispelled rumor. So Matt Herper has a history of promoting scientific fraud to protect the vaccine industry. Even worse, such apologists now appear to dominate mainstream media’s coverage of vaccine safety issues, Katie Couric notwithstanding. Not surprisingly, Herper has not responded when informed on Twitter of what the actual research said.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

NVICP Congressional Hearing Cancelled

Cancelled

By Jake Crosby

Unconfirmed reports by several reliable sources including an attorney have been brought to the attention of Autism Investigated. According to these reports, the congressional hearing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has been cancelled by the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa. This information comes after a vaccine-injured child’s case was misrepresented at a congressional briefing by Canary Party, video footage of which was removed along with an entire post from the Canary Party-sponsored Age of Autism blog.

After Autism Investigated reported on the deletion of the video, Age of Autism restored the post without the video, claiming technical difficulties. Then, after Autism Investigated posted a link to the video and an Age of Autism reader requested AoA also provide a link, the video was fully restored with the technical excuses scrubbed. Below is the NVICP hearing cancellation message from the attorney who gives insight into the reasons behind the cancellation:

“I was just informed by the Counsel for Chairman Issa that due to ‘great deal of reluctance about participating or being drawn into what they, in their private candid discussions with us, say they see as an overly divisive issue’ they are canceling the hearing.”

Autism Investigated will provide updates as this story develops. If confirmed, it will be a tragedy that direct interference by Canary Party and specifically Mark Blaxill led to the collapse of the hearing. Blaxill said on Linderman last month that Canary Party asked for hearings on NVICP instead of CDC malfeasance (as was falsely promised to autism parent and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker) because that was the topic Issa wanted. Yet now Issa is cancelling the hearing because of the divisiveness of the topic itself – the very topic Blaxill claimed Issa wanted to hold the hearing about.

This is not the first hearing Mark Blaxill hijacked. After news of last year’s hearing was leaked at the 2012 AutismOne conference, Blaxill and SafeMinds – the organization whose government affairs committee he had chaired – hired a lobbyist who misrepresented Dr. Brian Hooker to congressional staffers. Dr. Hooker originally organized the November hearing and succeeded in having Issa commit to holding hearings on autism causation and the vaccine program.

Yet through questionable lobbying activities, SafeMinds and Mark Blaxill effectively changed the topic of the hearing to the “federal response” enabling autism epidemic deniers to be invited to give testimony. Blaxill testified instead of Dr. Hooker and refused to discuss the fraudulent research defending thimerosal that Dr. Hooker had planned to testify about. But what can one expect when Blaxill cited Thorsen’s fraud to defend thimerosal in email to none other than Dr. Hooker? Blaxill’s excuse for not mentioning vaccines in his testimony was that he pulled a few punches to ensure another hearing was in the works, yet Issa had already committed to holding multiple hearings. And now Issa won’t hold the scheduled Dec. 4th hearing thanks to the topic Canary Party requested of Congress.

Rather than paving the way for a second congressional hearing, Mark Blaxill prevented a second congressional hearing altogether. At the first hearing, he told me:

“I don’t have a whole lot of hope.”

Blaxill’s prediction was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For relevant posts on this sad saga, see below links beginning with most recent:

Age of Autism Deletes Canary Party Briefing Video

Mark Blaxill Defended Thimerosal With Fraudulent Danish Research

Mark Blaxill Admits COI When His Undermining Began

Listen to Jake Crosby on Linderman Unleashed

Mark Blaxill’s Early Interference in Autism Omnibus Revealed

Canary Party VP: “your judgement is compromised on this because of your autism”

How Dan Olmsted and David Kirby Helped Kill Landmark Autism Lawsuit

No More Federal Research Fraud – OPPOSE HR1757!

Age of Autism Condemned For Banishing Autism Investigated’s Editor

Mark Blaxill Publicly Attacks Critics

Outbound Links to other relevant articles:

SafeMinds Ignores Major Allegations While Replying Dishonestly to Other Charges – Age of Autism

SafeMinds Steals the Show, Literally… – Bolen Report

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Age of Autism Deletes Canary Party Briefing Video

By Jake Crosby

On November 7th, Canary Party organized a congressional briefing in Washington, DC on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) and then posted video footage from the event on the organization’s sponsored blog, Age of Autism. Barely a week had passed before that footage as well as 40 reader comments were suddenly taken down without explanation from the editors.* The video can no longer be found on YouTube either.

The video footage from Canary Party’s briefing was of a speech given by Rolf Hazlehurst (center in below photo), an assistant district attorney from Tennessee whose son represented one of the test cases in the omnibus autism proceeding. Hazlehurst alleged that one expert witness gave two conflicting opinions – one for vaccines causing autism on behalf of Hannah Poling and one against vaccines causing autism in his own son’s case. The problem is – that expert, Johns Hopkins neurologist Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, did not give his opinion in favor of vaccines causing Hannah Poling’s autism until AFTER the government conceded her autism was caused by her vaccinations. In fact, Poling’s case was never even litigated. This was pointed out in the comments on Age of Autism by Hannah Poling’s mother.**

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Perhaps most disturbing of all however are the possible ramifications of incorrect statements about Hannah Poling’s case being made under oath in a hearing before Congress. Should Rolf Hazlehurst repeat these statements in congressional testimony, he could put himself in jeopardy of facing perjury charges. As an assistant DA from Tennessee, he could also face disbarment. This would undoubtedly hurt the congressional hearings as well as any chance of reviving the omnibus cases, both sabotaged already by Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill (far left).

Now, the video of Rolf Hazlehurst’s speech is gone from the internet, but what is not is Age of Autism editor Dan Olmsted’s article quoting excerpts from the briefing that erroneously describe Hannah Poling’s case albeit without naming her.

With the hearing only weeks away, Canary Party is left in an awkward position for which the choices are either to risk committing perjury or abandon its primary but false example of malfeasance within the NVICP.

When Hannah Poling’s mother Terry Poling pointed Rolf Hazlehurst’s error out in a lengthy and critical comment on the Canary Party-sponsored Age of Autism blog stating that release of the document in which Dr. Zimmerman gave his opinion would constitute a violation of her family’s privacy, she was attacked relentlessly in comments from anonymous readers and known supporters of Canary Party. Ironically, Canary Party opposes “infighting.” One of the most hostile comments*** came from a key organizer of the Canary Party briefing, Dawn Loughborough (pictured far right). Commenting as “MotherofPossibility,” Loughborough wrote:

 Terry Poling – Do you believe your daughter is the only one who had this experience? What about justice for all the other families? Vaccines cause autism. Why aren’t you making this public to help support Rolf. Why did Zimmerman only help a Hopkins physician’s  [Dr. Jon Poling’s] family? Many families in the autism community feel you got a fair deal and no one else will, as a result of the records being sealed and Zimmerman changing his opinion. That is what stinks, not Rolf mentioning the name of your daughter. I wish you well but please stop getting on Rolf. It just makes you look bad to continue to be unsupportive of anyone else’s child who is in the same situation as your daughter. You are compensated.

What’s so remarkable is that perhaps no one has done more to help the autism omnibus by exposing the hypocrisy of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program than the Polings, who opened themselves up to considerable public scorn by doing so. Ken Reibel, a blogger whose wife formerly worked for the well-known pharma PR firm Edelman, was removed from AutismOne in 2008 for harassing the Polings about releasing their daughter’s private medical records. And yet, similar harassment of Terry Poling on Age of Autism is not only deemed acceptable, but appeared to be a coordinated effort. By harassing the Polings to release their daughter’s private medical information, Dawn Loughborough put herself in the same category as  Ken Reibel as well as Brian Deer – the conflicted reporter who obtained confidential records of children whose medical histories of regressing into autism after vaccination were reported in Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s paper published in the Lancet. Deer has bragged about making the Polings concerned about the possibility that he obtained their daughter’s private medical information in the weeks leading up to his Johns Hopkins lecture.

Meanwhile, emails have recently surfaced showing that if anyone had a hand in undermining the omnibus it would be Dawn Loughborough’s superior Mark Blaxill. He advised the lead omnibus attorney despite his own admitted COI with vaccine manufacturers while trashing expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier and saying Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s work is not supported by the epidemiological data. Now with Age of Autism readers turning against the Polings, including a key organizer of Canary Party’s briefing, Blaxill appears quite adept at exploiting the divide-and-conquer strategy to his advantage, despite claiming in a podcast interview last month in response to revelations about his ongoing role in hijacking the congressional hearings:

Friendly fire is a waste of time!

Added to the irony is that in his blog post about the interview, Age of Autism editor Dan Olmsted wrote of Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill:

Mark says fighting amongst ourselves is misguided, and makes the useful distinction between standing up for oneself against untrue allegations (which he does) and infighting (which he doesn’t, we don’t, and nobody should).

This is also used as a pretense for moderating out comments, including one I had left not long before I was banished from contributing to Age of Autism. Yet Age of Autism has no problem allowing a flood of comments bullying the parents of a vaccine-injured child into releasing confidential medical information after the child’s own mother said that doing so would be a violation of her family’s privacy while yielding no apparent benefit. The sudden influx of comments after hers mirrors a similar pattern that followed another critical comment in the thread of Olmsted’s post about Mark Blaxill’s podcast interview. That commenter – a reader of Autism Investigated who has complained of having comments censored by Age of Autism – said:

I too have listened to both the Lindemans [sic] radio shows.
Jake appears to me to have uncovered something solid. Mark appears compromised by those recordings and with this issue there is no compromise.

I cant in earnest support Mark any further I dont believe he is on message with me and many other parents.

Even though this comment was left three days after Olmsted’s post ran, comments from Age of Autism editors, Canary Party supporters and anonymous posters suddenly poured in lauding Mark Blaxill, including those from Dan Olmsted and managing editor Kim Stagliano. Apparently, and as I observed shortly after my banishment from Age of Autism, Blaxill and his followers systematically load down the threads underneath AoA posts with supportive comments to counter the rarely allowed dissenting comment. That combined with Mark Blaxill’s history of turning advocates against each other for his benefit strongly suggests this to be the case, especially since Dawn Loughborough is one of Poling’s anonymous attackers and was a key organizer of Canary Party’s briefing.

Though Blaxill deflects criticism by discouraging “infighting,” the comments on the Age of Autism video from the Canary Party’s recent briefing were dominated by infighting against Hannah Poling’s mother. The angry comments continued to pour in even four days after Terry Poling’s criticism. As recently as November 15th, someone commenting on Age of Autism as “Mama Grizzly” wrote:

Forgive me, I’m confused. Although Mrs. Poling says she has not allowed the release of Hannah’s records, an article in the Atlanta Constitution on 3/6/2008 states: “Cliff Shoemaker, the Polings’ attorney, said the family has filed a petition with the vaccine court to unseal all of Hannah’s records and allow both the family and the government to fully discuss the case.”(
http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2008/03/meet-hanna-poling.html) Mr. Hazelhurst is only requesting something the Polings’ attorney said the family wanted.

The URL was a link to the blog of Canary Party VP Ginger Taylor, who had copied and pasted the article [UPDATE: The blog post has since been removed****]. Another quote in that article the commenter had neglected to post was this:

Shoemaker said the government’s November concession in the case is public, but the government’s reasons aren’t.

Dr. Zimmerman’s information about Hannah Poling wouldn’t count, as it was not produced until after the government conceded Poling’s case.

There is, however, still the issue of Mark Blaxill’s interference in the omnibus cases in which he trashed expert witnesses and doubted a key scientist’s research to the lead attorney while working for a firm with pharma clients. The problem, of course, is that Mark Blaxill runs Canary Party.

*Google listing for deleted post (click to enlarge):

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**Terry Poling comment, first half (click to enlarge):

polingcomment1

Terry Poling’s comment, second half (click to enlarge):

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***Dawn Loughborough’s comment to Terry Poling as “MotherofPossibility” (click to enlarge):

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****The blog post has not been removed as previously reported here; the commenter posted the URL incorrectly, then correctly posted it in the following comment.

Addendum, November 18, 2013: The text of the post has now been restored along with all 40 (not 38 as Autism Investigated first reported) of the comments previously removed, but the video has not. Age of Autism claims to have trouble embedding the video, although it remains down from the entire internet. Additionally, Dawn Loughborough has since apologized in the comments for her harsh words to Terry Poling.

Addendum, November 19, 2013: Despite Age of Autism removing the video, it remains online after all. A commenter here has posted the link. It has not been posted on Age of Autism.

Addendum, November 19, 2013, 8:31pm CST: After Autism Investigated posted the link to the video and a reader requested Age of Autism do the same in the site’s comments, Age of Autism has now embedded the video again while deleting all their technical excuses for its removal (click below screenshot to enlarge).

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Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

 

Mark Blaxill Defended Thimerosal With Fraudulent Danish Research

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By Jake Crosby

Recently emerging emails from 2007 show that Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill has cited the fraudulent Danish research continuously used by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to argue for thimerosal‘s safety, even after autism parent and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker explained to him exactly how it is fraudulent: Thorsen and his colleagues buried data showing autism prevalence and incidence were declining after thimerosal’s removal from Danish childhood vaccines. Not only that, but Blaxill even compared Thorsen’s “research” to more recent and similarly flawed data from California to further doubt the significance of thimerosal’s role in causing the autism epidemic. He wrote:

“Brian,

There’s no one more committed to the mercury argument than me. But there’s a hard bit of evidence here regarding the thimerosal argument. The rates in California never went down and as far as I can tell are still going straight up with no deceleration at all. And you’ve seen the Denmark numbers. As I’ve said many times, this can mean only one of three things: the theory is wrong, the numbers are wrong, or the issue is more complex than everyone thought. I vote for number three, but am open to any answer that gets closer to figuring out what happened to [his daughter]. Because something did.

Personally, I have chosen not to enter into the criminal side of this and to try to engage people on the facts and the data rather than the question of justice. That’s not to say I don’t believe there may be criminal behavior in here somewhere and that justice needs to be served; it must be. It’s just that I would degrade my own particular contribution by engaging in that way.”

Years after Mark Blaxill chose “not to enter the criminal side of this,” the principal investigator of such fraudulent research from DenmarkPoul Thorsen – was indicted on fraud charges and was added to the list of DHHS Office of the Inspector General’s list of most-wanted fugitives. In the weeks leading up to the November 2012 congressional hearing, Blaxill persistently tried to play down the significance of Thorsen’s role in the fraudulent research on group email threads for SafeMinds – the group that co-opted the hearing when Blaxill was still chairing the organization’s government affairs committee. He even went so far as to assert that Thorsen probably lied about being principal investigator in email to Dr. Brian Hooker. When confronted with the archived webpages of the website for Thorsen’s now-defunct NANEA website listing him as “Principle Investigator,” Blaxill admitted that he too had access to those very same webpages despite arguing against what they said.

During his 2007 email exchanges with Dr. Hooker, Blaxill was planning to participate in an environmental autism panel held by the IOM where he similarly refused to bring up vaccines: (as with his 2012 speech before Congress nearly six years later). Just three years prior, IOM put out a report rejecting vaccines’ causal role in autism after the institute secretly decided it would never come down that autism is a true side-effect of vaccination prior to reviewing any science. Concerned about Blaxill’s reliance on data that is ecological – inherently incapable of even showing whether children who received more thimerosal had higher rates of autism – Dr. Hooker commented in email to fellow autism advocates (boldface mine):

“Mark Blaxill is NOT a scientist and should not think that he can represent the science around the issue.  I’m frankly sick of him playing “cowboy” scientist acting as if anyone can do what a lot of us trained so long and hard to do. If I see another stupid ecological study or an argument about an ecological study, I’m gonna hurl…  From my email conversations with Mark, it is apparent he is going to conceed [sic] the whole thimerosal argument because the rates in California didn’t go down.  ‘Scuse me but he’s dangerous.

Brian” 

The following year, Blaxill practically did just that when he wrote in Age of Autism regarding autism in California:

“The continued increases in autism rates provide strong evidence against the idea that early thimerosal exposure, and only thimerosal exposure, is causing the increased population rates of autism.”

He would also repeat this same statement – in the 2010 book “The Age of Autism” that he coauthored with Dan Olmsted – in a way that eerily echoed the wording of a CDC press release urging patients to receive the thimerosal-laced swine flu shot. I alerted Blaxill and Olmsted to this problem months before their book release, warning them that the California statistics were likely no better than the fraudulent Danish autism statistics, but they included it anyway. This is in spite of the continued exposure of children in California to mercury from flu shots and the fact that autism prevalence was restricted to very young children – most likely driven by downward shifts in age of diagnosis. I had written an article for Age of Autism based on these observations months before. Little did I know at that time that Blaxill had himself compared the California rates to the Danish data in email to Dr. Hooker three years prior – not to point out how the California data is uninformative as I had done, but rather to validate it on the basis of Thorsen’s fraudulent research.

Despite Blaxill’s claim that autism in California was “…still going straight up with no deceleration at all,” changes in the overall autism caseload not limited to a specific age group were decreasing. Then in 2012, Mark Blaxill refused to bring up the first CDC-reported, statewide decline in autism prevalence in children born in 2000 – a possible connection to thimerosal’s removal – when he addressed a press conference held by Canary Party on the newly released statistics. In practice, Mark Blaxill has apparently been exercising the position of IOM – ignoring evidence favorable to thimerosal’s role in causing autism and publicizing evidence which purports to go against it, while never coming to the firm conclusion that autism is a true side-effect of thimerosal. This is in spite of the fact that CDC’s own epidemiologist concluded in email to colleagues that perinatal thimerosal exposure caused autism as written in “Evidence of Harm,” by David Kirby. Yet Blaxill had reportedly convinced Kirby to insist such proof does not exist, only “evidence,” hence the book title.

After Danish research was just recently published showing autism prevalence declining in years corresponding to thimerosal’s removal from vaccines, Age of Autism ran the following action alert: 2003 Danish Study on Mercury Fabricated? New Study Completely Different Results.” What the post did not say was that documents obtained by Dr. Brian Hooker through FOIA have already answered that question affirmatively. Moreover, Age of Autism only drew attention to Mark Blaxill’s public criticism of Thorsen’s work, but not Blaxill’s clandestine endorsement of it while ignoring Dr. Hooker’s email telling him exactly how it was fraudulent. AoA’s action alert also made no mention of the fact that Mark Blaxill’s Canary Party falsely promised Dr. Hooker that it would ask Congress to make the next hearing specifically about research fraud like that committed by Thorsen, but instead asked Congress to make the hearing be about something else.

No matter how much the evidence for the government’s thimerosal cover-up mounts, Mark Blaxill works to prevent that evidence from being exposed in the congressional hearings as much as possible in favor of his rhetorical and eternal question about the autism epidemic: “What’s going on?”

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Mark Blaxill Admits COI When His Undermining Began

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By Jake Crosby

Mark Blaxill appeared on Linderman Unleashed Thursday to “rebut” my interview with Linderman last week (both interviews embedded below). Unfortunately, Blaxill avoided much of what I said despite admitting he’d had a conflict of interest with vaccine manufacturers while David Kirby was writing the book “Evidence of Harm.” Mark Blaxill also made tacit reference to my autism – and not in a positive way – near the end of the interview.

In Kirby’s book, Blaxill was quoted as threatening to resign from SafeMinds‘ board should the organization speak out against drug companies poisoning children – companies that he admitted at the time were clients of his then-employer, Boston Consulting Group. The period when Evidence of Harm was still being written also corresponds with when Blaxill and others from SafeMinds were secretly advising the Vaccine Injured Petitioners’ Steering Committee for the autism omnibus, where he trashed petitioners’ expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier and said Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s work was “not well-supported by the epi data.” Blaxill did all this despite his connections to the vaccine industry. He claimed on the show that “no one worked harder” than he did in showing how CDC cheated with numbers using the Vaccine Safety Datalink, and yet, it was David Geier not Mark Blaxill who discovered the CDC’s early results showing thimerosal caused harm including autism.

It should  be stated that while on Linderman, Blaxill also denied possessing a conflict of interest any longer – claiming to not have one since 2006. Nonetheless, the troubling trend of his undermining advocacy against vaccines causing autism began during his employment with the Boston Consulting Group, which has vaccine manufacturers for clients.

The latest example of this trend can be seen in the congressional autism hearings in which Mark Blaxill has been consistently working to prevent CDC malfeasance from being exposed both before Congress and on national television via dishonest lobbying practices. While Mark Blaxill chaired SafeMinds’ Government Affairs Committee, SafeMinds succeeded in changing the topic of last November’s hearing so it would no longer be about CDC malfeasance as originally planned and organized by autism parent and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker. Blaxill and SafeMinds’ actions prevented Dr. Hooker from testifying.*

In a more recent example of such undermining, Mark Blaxill’s Canary Party released an action alert asking Congress to investigate the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program last April – a complete betrayal of trust to Dr. Brian Hooker. Just two weeks prior, Canary Party President Jennifer Larson had promised Dr. Hooker that the alert would ask Congress to hold the next hearing specifically on CDC malfeasance, which the last hearing would have been about had SafeMinds not changed the topic. Age of Autism – both sponsored and edited by Blaxill – covered up such revelations about the alert by refusing to publish my critical comment on the pretense it was “picayune.”

Yet in spite of these activities – SafeMinds’ lobbying, Canary Party’s action alert and most recently Canary Party President Jennifer Larson’s $40,000 contribution the PAC of Congressional Committee Chair Darrell Issa – Mark Blaxill insists any involvement of his in sabotaging the hearing is “a lie” and that he has “no power” over how the hearing topics are chosen or who is invited to testify. While Issa, other congressmen and their staffers have the final say, Mark Blaxill consistently avoids discussing his ongoing role in attempting to influence their decisions to keep exposure of the vaccine-autism cover-up out of the hearings.

Instead, he denies having any explanation for all the failures that have occurred concerning the hearings and similar initiatives – many of which he contributed to – and essentially blames his followers for not being rich and powerful enough to defeat DHHS or big pharma rather than his own largely self-styled and unwanted leadership. He told Linderman:

“To be honest, you know we’re fighting with pop guns, man, and the other side has tanks…but you go to war with the army that you got, not the one that you wish for. And the fact is, we’re not making enough change, and I don’t know what to do about it to be honest, other than to keep fighting and to keep fighting the best way that we can.”

And that would be, according to Mark Blaxill, with the analogous equivalent of pop guns fighting tanks while he thwarts yet another hearing and his vice president Ginger Taylor tells people my judgement is compromised by my autism. At the end of the interview (which began with my name being stated by Curt Linderman as the very reason for the interview), Blaxill clearly made another derogatory reference to my autism without naming me:

I think we need to love our kids whether they’re  low-functioning or high-functioning, and when they’re high-functioning and they’re not functioning the way we hope they would, we love them anyway. 

Yet just days after my first article on how SafeMinds hijacked the last congressional hearing went online, he unfriended me on Facebook. I guess I really must not be functioning the way Mark Blaxill hoped.

Interviews:

Mark Blaxill’s response

My interview on Linderman

*Linderman mistakenly asked Blaxill to verify if the Canary Party influenced the November hearing when it was actually SafeMinds’ involvement in that hearing that I had taken issue with during my interview. I had also noted that Blaxill’s base of operations later shifted from SafeMinds to Canary Party in his efforts to influence Congress.

 

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

 

Listen to Jake Crosby on Linderman Unleashed

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Addendum: Press the play button below to hear the full interview.  

Interview with Jake Crosby of Autism Investigated

Today’s interview will be eye opening for all of my listeners whether you are affected by autism or not. It is a story of corruption that is found in so many organizations. Jake Crosby is an investigative journalist and a respected member of the autism community who has in recent months been opening the eyes of many in the community to some corruption and shenanigans that I feel people need to know about. The vaccine/autism link is true…it’s real…it needs to be heard. This interview is about why the truth isn’t getting out. Join us at 2 PM EST at Natural News Radio.com and check out the links for this show at our LU FB page or at www.lindermanunleashed.com

www.autisminvestigated.com 

For relevant articles on Autism Investigated, see below links beginning with most recent:

Mark Blaxill’s Early Interference in Autism Omnibus Revealed

Canary Party VP: “your judgement is compromised on this because of your autism”

How Dan Olmsted and David Kirby Helped Kill Landmark Autism Lawsuit 

No More Federal Research Fraud – OPPOSE HR1757!

Age of Autism Condemned For Banishing Autism Investigated’s Editor

Mark Blaxill Publicly Attacks Critics

Outbound Links to other relevant articles:

SafeMinds Ignores Major Allegations While Replying Dishonestly to Other Charges – Age of Autism

SafeMinds Steals the Show, Literally… – Bolen Report

 

Mark Blaxill’s Early Interference In Autism Omnibus Revealed

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The following are excerpts from and links to 2003 and 2004 email exchanges between members of SafeMinds and Mike Williams – lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the Autism Omnibus Proceedings of vaccine court – disclosed to Autism Investigated from a confidential source that gave permission to publish these correspondences. Particularly telling are the exchanges between Williams and now-former SafeMinds director Mark Blaxill. Click the hyperlinks below to see the email exchanges in full.

 

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10-6-03 Email from Mike Williams to SafeMinds Stating that He Considers Them Consultants & Thus Their Discussions Are Legally Protected

** This email is important because it establishes that SafeMinds folks are being considered consultants in the Vaccine Court autism litigation, and establishes that Mike Williams and the SafeMinds folks thought that all of their communications would be confidential. The email states, “One other thing: when I consult with you folks at Safeminds, the communications should be treated the same as if you were retained expert consultants. That way all of our communications between each other that I am on will almost certainly be privileged and never subject to non voluntary disclosure. Lawyers and parties to lawsuits are always allowed free and confidential consultation with experts of all types, and never have to disclose to the court or other side that such consultants exist, and have no obligation to disclose communications with them, until and unless that expert consultant agrees to become a testifying expert witness, which is extremely unlikely in this case. Such an understanding does not prevent you from expressing your ideas in any forum, so long as you don’t express mine.”

10-6-03 Email from Mark Blaxill to Safeminds Members & Mike Williams Stating, “Please recognize, though, that my firm has clients on the other side…”

** This email from Mark Blaxill to Mike Williams, Esq of the PSC states, “Unfortunately, since the activist side has so many possible divides…and so much passion, we have a very hard time bringing things together…

-genes vs environment
-penetrate the science vs. reject the scientists
-compromise on legislation vs hold out
-support litigation vs stay away from it
-anti-corporate vs shaping corporate
-focus on biomedical vs focus on therapy
-“sue the bastards” vs ask the bastards for research money
-alternative medicine vs drug therapy and “by the book” treatments
-etc. etc…

The issue I will confess to the most difficulty with is the “sue the bastards” model…Please recognize, though, that my firm has clients on the other side and so I cannot–in fairness to my partners–get directly involved in the quest for money. I only am interested in the quest for the truth….I would say there are a few lawyers I’ve run into that make my discomfort really sharp.”

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11-23-03 Email from Mark Blaxill to Mike Williams – “…[the Geiers] can do our cause more harm than good.” – “I could rip [the Geiers’ Work] to shreds.”

** This email is from Mark Blaxill of Safeminds to Mike Williams, Esq of the PSC and other members of Safeminds. Mark Blaxill states, “As to the Geiers, I may be a bit of a minority voice here, but I worry very much that they can do our cause more harm than good. They are not very good scientists, write bad papers (both writing badly and reporting in sloppy fashion) and attract too much attention to themselves as individuals. In this last regard, they don’t show nearly as well as Andy Wakefield but they’re trying to play the same role. Frankly, if I were on the other side and were asked to critique their work, I could rip it to shreds. I’m surprised they haven’t been hit harder. So I think you are wise to diversify.”

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2-24-04 Mike Williams Responds to Mark Blaxill’s Previous Email That Stated He is Not a Fan of the Geiers’ Work & of the Geiers’ Not Representing our Side Well & Sloppy Work by Thanking Him

** This is an email exchange between Mark Blaxill of Safeminds to Mike Williams, Esq of the PSC and other members of SafeMinds. Mark Blaxill states, despite the many peer-reviewed papers published by Dr. Mark and David Geier, “I have not been a big fan of the Geiers. I worry they do not represent our side well. They often do sloppy work.” Mike Williams responds to everyone by stating, “Thanks, Mark, very helpful.”

Canary Party VP: “your judgement is compromised on this because of your autism”

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By Jake Crosby

After repeated denials of reports that she made discriminatory statements about me, Vice President of Canary Party Ginger Taylor has finally admitted that she believes my criticism of her superior, Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill, is because of my autism and not because of his continued role in hijacking and undermining the congressional autism hearings. In a Facebook message to me, she wrote (boldface mine):

Jake… I am tell [sic] you this because I have respect you [sic] and I believe that you are better than all this.

You are making poor choices.

You are slashing and burning people who care about you.

I WANT to believe that being this cruel, that making these poor choices are because of your autism, because you do not see the extent of the damage that you are doing to good people doing good work, and NOT because you actually realize how much harm you are doing.

So yes… I beileve [sic] that your judgement is compromised on this because of your autism, because the alternative is that you mean to tear our friends apart and hurt them. And I just don’t want to believe that you are that cruel of a man.

If I have misjudged you, and you are hurting people on purpose, then please let me know and I will be happy to retract my belief. But until you tell me that you truly see how much damage you are doing, and that you don’t care, I will continue to believe that you are not doing this out of spite, but out of not being able to see the impact of your actions.

Previously, Ginger Taylor denied telling people in the autism community that my autism was the explanation for my criticisms of her former employer, Mark Blaxill, but now she has expressed her bigotry directly to me, in a Facebook message that defies logic. She offers only two explanations for my criticisms: 1) “spite” and 2) my autism – while never actually addressing any of the issues I have raised with her or others in Canary Party.

Since my first article on how the Coalition for SafeMinds‘ hijacking of the congressional hearing was published last February, Mark Blaxill waited five months to publicly address any of the revelations about his role in undermining the hearings, and only then in response to similar concerns raised by philanthropist Barry Segal on Age of Autism – the website Blaxill both edits and sponsors. In his comments, he gave contradictory information about his relationship with the lobbyist working under him prior to the last hearing and then called my reporting about his role “delusional overall.” He also said he refused to address any such criticism of him again.

Now added to the long and growing list of reasons Canary Party should be shut out of the congressional autism hearings permanently is Vice President Ginger Taylor’s admitted bigotry against people with autism. Her willingness to dismiss them for their views is characteristic of the dismissals by Canary Party and affiliated groups pertaining to criticism of their activities within the months since the November hearing. Such bigotry compromises Canary Party’s entire leadership.

Over the years, Mark Blaxill has directly accused at least one other critic (Jonathan Mitchell, via email), of irrational thinking due to his autism. Last spring, I learned that both Mark Blaxill and Ginger Taylor were using my autism to discredit me. It now seems that Blaxill is letting his subordinate do his dirty work for him.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.