Author Archives: Jake Crosby

Protest Daily Beast’s Bogus Autism-Child Porn Connection

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Update, August 8, 2013: In response to an inquiry by Autism Investigated concerning Dr. Temple Grandin’s possible role in her mother’s article that associated autistic men with child pornography, a liaison of Dr. Grandin’s replied: “Dr. Grandin was not consulted on the article and was not aware of it’s publication until she saw it on the internet.” However, there is still no response from Tina Brown or anyone else at The Daily Beast.

Editor’s Note: It is appalling that The Daily Beast would run a damaging, unsubstantiated and offensive article falsely alleging that autistic men are more likely to look at child pornography than the rest of the population. The story was written by Temple Grandin’s mother of all people, who does not even have an autistic son – only an autistic daughter. She applies her false logic to autistic men but not to autistic women. Jonathan Mitchell, autistic author of the Autism’s Gadfly blog, wrote a great response re-posted below. However, I have removed the hyperlink to the article from his blog post because I do not want to publicize the Daily Beast story. Anyone who wishes to find it can do so. To make matters even worse, IACC member John Elder Robison publicized the article in the first sentance of his Psychology Today blog. I echo Jonathan Mitchell’s call to write the editors of The Daily Beast to protest this story at editorial@thedailybeast.com and also urge readers to protest this story to Temple Grandin herself from her personal website’s contact page:  http://templegrandin.com/ask.html Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown has written in Newsweek that she has a son with Asperger Syndrome. She can be reached on Twitter @TheTinaBeast.

Are autistic men pedophiles? Bizarre stuff from Temple Grandin’s mom

I’ve just read a very offensive, at least to me, article written on the Daily Beast allegedly by Temple Grandin’s mother who implies that many autistic men are pedophiles who spend their time looking at child pornography and end up being registered sex offenders.  Nearly three years ago, I wrote about Nick Dubin, a neurodiversity activist who as a matter of public record was arrested by the FBI for downloading and looking at child porn.  Dubin, a licensed clinical psychologist and one-time director of a school for special needs children, has made the somewhat dubious (at least to me) claim that he himself is on the autism spectrum.  I’m not sure what happened to his case, whether he plea bargained, was convicted or acquitted.  Other than this I don’t know of a single documented example of an autistic pedarest (or wannabe child molester).  I wish Ms. Cutler would provide one but she does not.    

Ms. Cutler makes the entirely alleged (with the emphasis on alleged) claim that an autistic man brought his computer into a repair shop and the technicians found child porn on his hard drive.  No name is given, no link or documentation whatsoever is provided as to the veracity of this story.  

She goes on to make the bizarre and bigoted claims (with no evidence) that autistic men as a general rule have abnormal sex drives and need children to teach them to have sex and this somehow drives them to download child pornography yet does not give a single example (other than her alleged one) of this phenomenon in practice.  She claims to quote University of North Carolina professor Gary Mesibov who seems to somehow concur that as a rule many autistic men are pedarests and pedophiles.  She provides no documentation of where Mesibov has said this.  

I wish she’d give some sort of documentation of this or some sort of published study that claims that autistics have a tendency toward pedophilia.  Or if anyone else reads this blog and wishes to comment on an example I’d be interested in hearing about this.  

I hope people can understand why I find this most offensive.  I wonder if ASAN will get involved with this, since they seem to take offense at something like the Ransom notes campaign which would seem to be considerably trivial compared to this.  I’ve written an email to the Daily Beast urging them to retract this article or at least apologize for it.  editorial@thedailybeast.com  I hope other people will do so also.  Somehow I think this is more offensive than some deragatory song lyrics or other (at least to me) lesser or more trivial matters that petitions have been started over. 

No More Federal Research Fraud – OPPOSE HR1757!

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By Jake Crosby

Yesterday, Age of Autism ran an action alert from its sponsor, SafeMinds, urging readers to ask their congressional representatives to support HR1757, or the “Vaccine Safety Study Act.” SafeMinds describes HR1757 as follows (boldface mine):

“Also known as “The Vaccine Safety Study Act,” this bill, introduced by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), directs the National Institutes of Health to conduct a retrospective study of health outcomes, including autism, of vaccinated-versus-unvaccinated children…”

In other words, this bill aims to mandate the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study of autism and other disorders before the NIH and other federal agencies are forced to clean up their act and stop engaging in the institutional research misconduct that causes the vaccine-autism cover-up to persist. Although the initiatives of congressional representatives like Bill Posey and Carolyn Maloney to investigate malfeasance by government agencies should be commended, HR1757 only helps to legitimize and facilitate federal research misconduct by agencies like NIH, while distracting from efforts to expose government corruption. Autism Investigated supports vaccinated versus unvaccinated research conducted by independent researchers at academic institutions, but not conducted by federal agencies that merely pursue predetermined results. NIH is one of those agencies. According to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in his Rolling Stone article “Deadly Immunity”:

“Even in public, federal officials made it clear that their primary goal in studying thimerosal was to dispel doubts about vaccines. “Four current studies are taking place to rule out the proposed link between autism and thimerosal,” Dr. Gordon Douglas, then-director of strategic planning for vaccine research at the National Institutes of Health, assured a Princeton University gathering in May 2001. “In order to undo the harmful effects of research claiming to link the [measles] vaccine to an elevated risk of autism, we need to conduct and publicize additional studies to assure parents of safety.” Douglas formerly served as president of vaccinations for Merck, where he ignored warnings about thimerosal’s risks.”

That alone should disqualify NIH from conducting research on vaccines and autism, but there’s more. When I had an opportunity to speak to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins at the July 2012 IACC meeting, he defended the 2004 Institute of Medicine report his agency co-sponsored for which the decision to reject autism as a side effect of vaccination was determined before the review of any scientific research. Dr. Collins also defended his agency expelling me from a talk by millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit, after Offit libeled me. Additionally, NIH destroyed video footage of my removal and then ran an article in its weekly newsletter repeating Offit’s libel. Most egregiously, in 2011 BMJ editor Fiona Godlee was invited to libel Dr. Andrew Wakefield at NIH. I asked her questions during her lecture, and none of her allegations held up to questioning.

The action alert itself, written by SafeMinds’ Executive Director Eric Uram, is wrong on multiple levels. He gives his organization full credit for CDC data obtained through FOIA showing cumulative thimerosal exposure from vaccines multiplies the risk for autism and other disorders exponentially, when in fact that data was actually discovered by Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs‘ Vice President David Geier. Uram also repeats one of the vaccine industry’s major talking points – that prospectively studying unvaccinated children would be unethical. In fact, there is no way one could argue a prospective study would be unethical as long as the study investigators have no control over the exposure.

A prospective study would be more rigorous and possibly more feasible to conduct with the increasing numbers of unvaccinated patients. Yet there is data obtained through FOIA showing significant harm done by just one ingredient in vaccines coupled with the fact that the vaccine schedule as a whole has never been tested. So a randomized controlled trial would not only be ethical, but necessary and way overdue. A retrospective study like the kind SafeMinds is asking for would be much easier for NIH to manipulate than a prospective study, whether experimental or observational. It is especially unfortunate that SafeMinds has succeeded at convincing congressmen like Bill Posey that such a study is the way to go.

To ask your representatives to oppose HR1757, follow the steps below:

•    Find your House Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.

•    Call and schedule a meeting at their district office and urge them or their staff to oppose this very destructive bill, knowing the outcome of any NIH vaccine study.

•    Contact the offices of Rep. Posey and Rep. Maloney. Explain to them very politely that while you support vaccinated versus unvaccinated research, you do not support such research being done by federal agencies that have committed scientific misconduct to cover up adverse side-effects from vaccines. Ask that they work instead to expose the research fraud committed by government agencies like NIH, not ask for more research from NIH.

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 BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.

 

Seth Mnookin Claims My Handshake Was Jab in His Chest

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By Jake Crosby

This fallacious and bizarre new allegation of Seth Mnookin’s came in his first and only blog post about me in which he wrote (boldface mine):

“Jake, as I told you the first time you accosted me at a talk, in New York City in June 2011 — you remember that, right? It was the time you refused to shake my hand and instead jabbed me in the chest in front of dozens of people…”

And yet, in my article about our June 2011 encounter which he did not dispute, I wrote (boldface added for emphasis):

“He [Seth Mnookin] continued about how I’m not going to convince him of my views and he won’t convince me of his, then he put out his hand, which I felt was merely the pinnacle of his suck-up ploy.

“So you aren’t gonna shake my hand, now? C’mon!”

Despite my hesitation, I shook his hand.”

What’s so remarkable is that not only does Seth Mnookin’s claim that I jabbed him in the chest instead of shaking his hand contradict what actually happened, but what actually happened was chronicled by me in my article that ran online one week after our exchange. His account of my jabbing him in the chest, among other fallacies of his about our encounters, came in a July 25th, 2013 blog post about me ironically titled:

“Crosby’s labyrinth, or why I couldn’t stop myself from replying to the vaccine conspiracy theorist to end all conspiracy theorists.”

That’s right – according to Mnookin, I’m not just the vaccine conspiracy theorist to end vaccine conspiracy theorists, but “to end all conspiracy theorists.” He responded to a comment I left on one of his blog posts slamming Jenny McCarthy for her views on vaccines after she was confirmed by ABC to co-host “The View” this fall.

His response was basically fictitious accounts of our past encounters that are directly contradicted by actual, verifiable facts that I detailed shortly thereafter. His description of our handshake as a jab in the chest was only the beginning.

Seth’s fiction
I accost him.
He asks me to shake his hand.
I refuse.
I jab him in the chest.

What really happened
He slanders Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
I defend Dr. Wakefield.
Mnookin shouts at me.
He verifies who I am.
He tells me who he is (even though I already know who he is).
I apologize for not introducing myself initially.
He asks me to shake his hand.
I shake his hand.

Not only does he give a false account of what happened during my first encounter with him, but also my second encounter with him where he booted me out of the room starting with his claim that the event I attended was “invitation-only.”

In summary, the contrast between what Seth Mnookin said happened and what actually happened goes like this:

Seth’s fiction
I crash his invitation-only event.
I introduce myself to his televised image and begin my “monologue.”
In the middle of my “monologue,” he disconnects.
While he’s disconnected, I’m asked to leave (presumably because I was not invited).
His connection comes back on.
By the time it does, I’ve already left.
The first thing he says after his connection is up is that I shouldn’t have been removed.

What really happened
I try to sign up for his event online.
I’m put on a waitlist.
I’m let into his event off the waitlist.
I introduce myself to his televised image and begin asking my question.
Suddenly he disconnects.
He returns and repeats the last words he heard me say.
I continue my question.
He cuts me off and accuses me of disrupting past events of his.
I’m ejected.
As I’m being ejected, he proceeds to answer my question unchallenged.
He’s still rambling even as I’m walking out the door.

After giving a heavily fabricated account of what happened at his event where I was ejected, he then attempted to address my very first article about him: “Seth Mnookin, Bob’s Your Uncle!”

He tried to play down his uncle Robert Mnookin’s connections to the mother-in-law of vaccine industry front group/“autism charity” president and founder Alison Singer, as well as to a board member of her organization.

Seth’s fiction
His uncle is presumably just a professor specializing in negotiation and mediation at Harvard Law School.
Alison Singer’s mother-in-law only taught mediation there “at various times.”
Her colleague, an Autism Science Foundation board member, has no direct connection to Harvard Law School.
To have known of Seth Mnookin, Singer’s mother-in-law and her colleague would have had to have looked “into the backgrounds of everyone they’ve ever worked with, served on a board with, or had professional dealings with.”
Seth Mnookin took a huge professional risk by parroting the talking points of a front group for a highly profitable and partially taxpayer-funded branch of the pharmaceutical industry.

What really happened
Seth Mnookin’s uncle chairs Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation.
The mother-in-law of the founder of Autism Science Foundation, a vaccine industry front group that poses as an autism charity, taught mediation in the program for 25 years according to her professional bio.
One of the mother-in-law’s colleagues co-taught mediation with her for that same time period.
That colleague also serves on the board of the Autism Science Foundation.
Seth Mnookin writes a book that echos the pharma talking points of the Autism Science Foundation.
In exchange, he gets rewarded with two years of media appearances, speaking engagements, book awards, a forum at PLoS blogs and even an MIT professorship.

Seth Mnookin’s accuracy at reporting events is truly dismal, as his own blog post about me shows. His year-and-a-half to two-year-after-the-fact accounts of what happened during our encounters are not only contradicted by what actually happened, but by what I wrote actually happened within a week of those encounters. Not surprisingly, his denial in his blog post that he specifically called my question to him at Harvard four months ago “insigificant minutia” that is “devoid of facts” is blatently false.

Of all his fictitious accounts in his blog post about our encounters, however, his suddenly claiming two years after the fact that our handshake was me jabbing him in the chest takes the cake. In fact, it takes the whole bakery.

Addendum, July 30, 2013: Seth Mnookin has now further embellished his sham account of what he falsely claims was my refusal to shake his hand and instead jab him in the chest in New York City. He said he stuck out his hand offering me to shake it when I first approached him, saying I refused to shake it. Not only did I shake his hand, but our handshake did not happen until well into our conversation. This was after he told me he agreed with me that there weren’t enough services for people with autism, in contrast to his claiming I disagreed with him on that point. At no point in our encounter did I discuss any “proof” of him being on the take, nor did I jab him in the chest as he repeatedly claims. Details of our encounter can be found in the article I had written one week later: “My Conversation with Seth Mnookin.”

Seth Mnookin
then discusses my ouster from Age of Autism, insinuating I was banished for claiming Age of Autism is conspiring with government officials to cover up vaccine injury. The latest article stemming from my ongoing investigation into the congressional activities of Age of Autism sponsors can be found in the following post: “Mark Blaxill Publicly Attacks Critics.” Nowhere in this article or in any article of mine written prior do I allege that those who hijacked the congressional autism hearings conspired to do so with those who have covered up vaccines’ role in causing the autism epidemic in the first place.

Addendum, August 2, 2013: 
Age of Autism’s UK Editor John Stone took Seth Mnookin to task in the comments of his blog over his fictitious accounts of our past encounters, specifically Mnookin’s bogus claim that I jabbed him in the chest.

It is appalling that a serious scientific publisher would give houseroom to such a column, which has nothing to do with scientific argument. I have had one or two disagreements with Jake but I don’t believe that he jabbed you “in front of witnesses”, and why mention it now instead of taking action at the time? A slight matter of character assassination aside it is a non-sequitur and ad hominem.

Whatever, Jake made a material point about how the Institute of Medicine selected its evidence – he did not even get into how they pre-arranged it (IOM closed meeting 12 Jan 2001) –

http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/chapter6.html

before we also note the fundamental problem that IOM preferred highly flawed statistical analysis to case studies of injured children (some of whom have received awards quietly from the VICP as they admitted to Sharyl Attkisson).

“The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20016356-10391695.html

An identical statement was given to David Kirby, reported in Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr-and-david-kirby/vaccine-court-autism-deba_b_169673.html

What we are really dealing with here is journalist led science. Anyone who steps out of line has to be taken out: Wakefield, McCarthy, Crosby…If I may say so it seems me that with all the hatchet work across the media on Jenny McCarthy the real issue is that she is a parent who stood up and called a spade a spade. And the things that she described happen: they’ve even been compensated on the quiet.

 

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 BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.

Age of Autism Condemned For Banishing Autism Investigated’s Editor

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Editor’s Note: Below is an email sent by an autism parent to Age of Autism complaining, in part, against my banishment as contributing editor to the site and ends by requesting that I be allowed to contribute again. While I enjoy my new forum, Age of Autism is nonetheless dishonest to continue listing me as a contributing editor when I can no longer contribute to the site. Though Age of Autism never published the email, it was then forwarded to the Bolen Report where it was first published online in full.

“I’m writing to all of you to tell you about my frustrations with the autism movement. I agree with Tim Bolen that right now we DON’T have an autism movement. We don’t have ANYTHING AT ALL. And it is time to change that. I looked at AoA and then the Canary party full of optimism. I contributed money. And what is the outcome? NOTHING to show of. The Canary party has made no progress whatsoever. And kicking Jake Crosby out of AoA is low and disgusting. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. You were supposed to be the glue that united all of us, but you’ve turned into one more…

So, what is the autism movement?

ARI, TACA, Generation Rescue, NAA, Autism Speaks (though I absolutely believe that this is big pharma in a sheep costume). and many, many others… all going in independent ways and nobody is accomplishing anything at all, we are too broken.

What is our message? We can’t even agree on one…

So, I understand (and welcome) Tim Bolen’s frustrations and harsh remarks. I think we need to listen to him. Let’s work with the Health Freedom Fighters and see if we can take this “autism movement” to some place…. From my side, I wanted to contribute some of my ideas, in case they take you to some place that you had not thought out. So, here are some of the top priorities in my opinion:

1. Winning the information battle regarding autism and vaccinations. This is a MUST.

We ABSOLUTELY need to change the social discourse on vaccinations. Big pharma keeps paying journalists to publish these bogus reports on how we are having measles outbreaks and those are horrible and the cause of them is the autism community (and Wakefield, of course). We need to stop just weakly responding to those statements and change the approach: we are the ones that need to keep publishing about how we have studies that vaccines cause autism, there are no studies to evaluate combinations on vaccines, big pharma wants to push for more vaccines because of money (and no risk to them), CDC is the marketing branch of big pharma, etc. So, we need to accomplish this through several actions:

a. Develop a list of journals and journalists that are on our side and can help us push these messages. We need to keep feeding them information and support them as much as we can.

b. Develop some standard messages with links to articles, etc where parents like myself can go and use to push specific messages to specific articles. Right now every parent has to make their own research to find all the links with articles, all the stories, etc. We don’t have that much time. But if we could have a central place (like the one on the 12 or 14 studies), that would be great. It would help us deliver more messages with less researching on content. And for you, the messaging would be much more clear.

c. We need to find a way to make it more “expensive or painful” for journalists to be on the side of big pharma. Right now, if they take the messages from big pharma they get the rewards from them with none of the responsibility. I think if we made a web page called “journalists encouraging autism” or something like that (with negative connotation) and we start adding the links to their articles and talk about how they are promoting more autism, eventually they may think twice about what they are writing as we are not going to forget who they are. I saw Trino Tsouderos evolution into prOfits best buddy. It still drives me crazy…

d. Once I thought about a game called: 6 degrees of freedom from big pharma (like 6 degrees of freedom from Kevin Bacon). The idea is to find how all the vaccine pushers are within 3-4 degrees of big pharma. If we could popularize such a game it could win us a huge battle in the world of misinformation (people would really start understanding how everything revolves  around the money of big pharma).

2. We need to make the US a place where our doctors can explore new ideas with our children without fearing about what happened to dr. Wakefield. So, this takes us back to my priority 1.

3. We need to get many more politicians on our side and for that, again, we need to succeed on number 1. And then we need to get the help of the politicians to help us stop the funding from big pharma into the CDC and FDA. I think that is a huge MUST. But we won’t be able to do it unless we win number one first. Which is why we need to change the social perception on vaccinations. Learn from what the LGBT movement has accomplished. We could certainly learn from them…

4. Another topic is a study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children. This is another important area of need. And we should do crowd-sourcing for it. I think we need to identify the doctors and statisticians that can help us set up the study (so that it is really tight and big pharma cannot dismiss it). We can get the money through parent supporters like myself. But we could use crowd-sourcing for many other things if we could just identify the areas of priorities.

I do realize that this is a very long and harsh email. I hope you all read it though and I’m writing it because I don’t know how else to make some progress on our battles. I’m just the mother of an autistic child. But I’m sick of our inability to get the message across that vaccines are very dangerous. And for starters, this is how I have decided to contribute to the cause… As always, I will offer my help. And I hope you work with Tim Bolen and his people. By the way, you need to open the doors to Jake Crosby again. He still represents what our children could be. He deserves all our help and support.

 

Editor of Autism Investigated Acquires NoMercury.org

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Editor’s Note: Lujene Clark, cofounder of NoMercury.org, will be passing on control of her website to me. I am honored to carry on the excellent work of her and her late husband, Dr. Alan Clark. See her announcement below.

Announcing the relaunch of NoMercury

As many of you know, my son, Devon, is a vaccine-injured child. He received a flu shot in December of 2002, and afterwards, he suffered severe neurological, neurobehavioral and immunological changes.

After much research, my husband, Dr. Alan D. Clark, and I discovered that Devon had been poisoned by Thimerosal, the mercury in his vaccines.  In our journey for answers, we soon discovered other parents whose children also suffered similar adverse effects from vaccines. Because of this, in January 2004, Alan and I decided to form our organization, titled NoMercury.

NoMercury’s website quickly became a major resource for the autism community, and we were able to successfully help parents with anti-mercury legislation in numerous states. We were very proud of our work and we were very honored to have met and assisted other parents in their search for answers.

Sadly, in August 2005, Alan was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, but, in spite of his ailing health, he was determined to continue on with the organization. My last promise to him before he passed away was that I would continue our efforts with NoMercury in order to educate legislators, the medical community and the public about the dangers of mercury, especially in vaccines.

In February of 2006, Alan lost his battle with cancer.  A devastating loss to not only our family and friends, but also the autism community.  Fortunately, I was blessed to have wonderful friends such as Linda Weinmaster and Bob Krakow, who joined me on the Board of Directors of NoMercury to help fulfill Alan’s mission.

Due to the circumstances surrounding Alan’s sudden passing, I needed to reduce the amount of time I was able to dedicate to the organization and my active presence in the autism community.  I needed time to grieve, to heal, to be with my son who needed my full attention, and to aid my father, who had also been diagnosed with cancer.  Life is about priorities, and my priorities drastically changed following Alan’s death.

By the year 2008, much to the dismay of many in the autism community, I also made the difficult decision to no longer maintain the NoMercury website.  I could be politically correct and offer up some innocuous reasons, but I’ve always been brutally honest so there is no point in sugar coating things now.

For quite some time, I had been disappointed in the direction some in leadership positions within the autism community had taken.  But, it seemed that with the passing of great leaders such as Liz Birt in December 2005, Alan in February 2006 and just a few short months later in November 2006, Dr. Bernie Rimland, the community had changed, and, in my opinion, not for the better.  It appeared to have lost its focus, its heart and to some extent – its integrity and accountability.

I had watched as the main focus of some in the autism community had become less about healing our children, fighting for legislation and working on getting neurotoxins out of vaccines to more about self-aggrandizement, individuals promoting themselves and their organizations.  Too many egos, too much posturing and jockeying to be “leaders,” organizational “branding” and too much subterfuge, and far too much “hero worship” for some who certainly did not deserve such adulation and blind faith.  In other words, it felt the mission of the autism community had been compromised, if not forgotten altogether!

Many of the “leaders” had either sold out the community to Autism Speaks for a “seat at the table” or their efforts had been more and more centered toward self-promotion. In my opinion, some of those moves were intended to undermine not only our efforts at NoMercury, but also the efforts of other wonderful groups such as TACA, NVIC, SAR, Moms Against Mercury, HEAL and other smaller organizations; all of whom valiantly struggled to stay above the fray and steadfastly clung to putting the children first, often at great expense and personal sacrifice.

Never one to suffer fools gladly, I had had enough of the egos, the back-stabbing and having my work co-opted (a polite term for others’ taking credit for my efforts and my work.)  I withdrew from a very active presence in the autism community in order to focus on medical research and to educate others more on an individual basis.  Even so, I still very much wanted and needed to fulfill my last promise to Alan – to fulfill the mission of NoMercury.

The thousands of pages of my research, thousands of hours of work product – it’s all been under-utilized, which has distressed me greatly. I knew that at some point I WOULD revive NoMercury, but I also knew that it would have to be placed in the hands of someone extraordinary.   So much of my heart and soul, as well as blood, sweat and tears had gone into this, it would take a very special person who had earned my trust and respect in order for me to relinquish this work product.

Due to recent events that have transpired within the autism community, the answer to this question of who could take the reigns became abundantly clear. This young man possesses an exceptional intelligence, a pure and sincere heart, tenacity, an unquenchable curiosity, personal integrity and an unrelenting commitment to the truth.

I have watched in awe as this amazing young man stood his ground against harsh criticisms and under-handed bullying tactics by some leaders in the community. He has dared to expose the truth in what was happening behind the scenes within leadership; incidents that most parents were (and still are) blissfully unaware of, and don’t realize may have been hindering their efforts as activists.  He bravely proclaimed that not only did the Emperor not have new clothes, in fact, he was naked.  In typical fashion, the guilty shot the messenger while denying the message.

Nonetheless, he has remained firm and stood his ground against those who mock him in an attempt to spin their own inappropriate behavior and who want nothing more than to see this young man fail. Despite everything that has been thrown at him, he has risen above this and formed his own blog, titled Autism Investigated – an honest, hard-hitting, no-holds-barred look at the autism epidemic.

He is a diamond among the stones, and there is no one more fit or deserving than he to take up the fight where Alan left off.  This young man is Jacob Crosby.  With Jake at the helm, I am more confident than ever that Alan’s dreams will be fulfilled.

Jake uses his unequivocal intelligence along with his fierce drive and determination in an effort to end this travesty of mercury-poisoned, vaccine-injured children.  He wants to see to it that future generations of children do not have to overcome the struggles and obstacles that he himself has endured and conquered.  He wants what he has always wanted – what MANY of us want – to end the harming of children through unsafe and untested vaccines.

Jake has amazing talents, not only his brilliant mind and perseverance, but he possesses outstanding analytical reasoning, investigative skills and is a very talented writer.  He does NOT feel the need to filter or sanitize the truth to make it more socially palatable for those who find the truth uncomfortable and inconvenient.  To Jake, the truth IS the truth and it needs to be told regardless of outcome or exposure, especially if it impedes our community’s ability to end this madness.  I could not agree with him more, and for all of these reasons I have listed, I believe Jacob Crosby is the perfect person to carry on this organization that Alan and I began almost ten years ago.  I know that this young man will do right by the community and remain true to Alan’s vision, and I know he will be successful.

Linda and I have agreed to remain on board in an advisory capacity to support Jake’s efforts.  He will soon be making the NoMercury website available once again as a valuable resource tool for the community, in addition to his investigative work.  We are so excited for the possibilities…so don’t be surprised if you once again see us in the halls of your State Legislature or up on The Hill.  After all, our track record for successfully assisting parents with their legislatives efforts remains unsurpassed.

Please join us in welcoming Jake and giving him your support.

Kindest regards,

Lujene G. Clark, MA, LMT
President & Co-Founder
NoMercury

Jacob Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated (http://www.autisminvestigated.com) and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing an MPH in epidemiology.

NYT’s Public Editor – A Public Relations Tool

new-york-times-vs-eli-lilly

By Jake Crosby

How could The New York Times publish “all the news that’s fit to print” when Eli Lilly’s board of directors member Ellen Marram also sits on the board of directors for The New York Times?

As evidence of this bias, The New York Times’ current public editor, Margaret Sullivan, recently bragged on her blog that Brendan Nyhan – former health policy research scholar for Johnson & Johnson’s philanthropic arm, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – praised The New York Times for carrying on the vaccine-autism cover-up in print in the wake of Jenny McCarthy’s confirmation as co-host for “The View.” As my past investigations have shown, The New York Times does not follow its own ethics policy, and the public editor is nothing more than a public relations tool.

There is perhaps no better proof of this, however, then my below exchange with The New York Times’ Office of the Public Editor two years ago, after the newspaper’s ethically bankrupt reporter Gardiner Harris wrote an article in 2011 praising IOM‘s latest whitewash of the vaccine-autism link. The exchange ended with Sullivan’s predecessor, Arthur Brisbane, dismissing my complaint and essentially admitting The New York Times does not follow its own ethical guidelines.

Jake Crosby 9/6/11
to Public/NYT/NYT.

Dear Mr. Brisbane,

My name is Jake Crosby; I hold a BA in both history and health: science, society and policy and am also a student at the GW School of Public Health and Health Services studying for an MPH in epidemiology. I have also been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (autism spectrum disorder) and am a contributing editor to Age of Autism: Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic.

I am writing to complain yet again about your reporter, Gardiner Harris, for his biased reporting in favor of the pharmaceutical industry when reporting on the vaccine-autism controversy while in possession of an undisclosed conflict of interest. Last year, I complained to your predecessor, Clark Hoyt, about the fact that Harris’ brother works for a firm that sells laboratory equipment to pharmaceutical companies. Hoyt wrote me back admitting that Harris assumed some of his brother’s clients are manufacturers of vaccines.

Yet since my complaint last year, Gardiner Harris’ name appeared in the byline of yet another story denying the vaccine-autism link that ran on August 25th; the title, “Vaccine Cleared Again As Autism Culprit,” speaks for itself.

As such, Harris is once again in violation of The New York Times “Ethics in Journalism” policy, which states:

“Similarly the journalist may be asked to affirm that to the best of his or her knowledge no household member or close relative has financial holdings that might reasonably raise doubts about the journalist’s impartiality. If such conditions arise, the staff member must alert newsroom management.”

http://www.nytco.com/press/ethics.html#affirming

This policy also includes brothers, as stated in the section, “Avoiding Conflicts Over Family”:

“A brother or a daughter in a high-profile job on Wall Street might produce the appearance of conflict for a business reporter or editor.”

http://www.nytco.com/press/ethics.html#B2

I was disappointed because I was left with the impression, following my first complaint to your newspaper, that Gardiner Harris was taken off the story because of his violations of The New York Times’ “Ethics in Journalism” guidelines. His name appeared in no byline of any such biased article about the vaccine-autism connection since my first complaint, until August 25th.

While Gardiner Harris is undoubtedly at ethical fault – having already been warned – I am open to the possibility that an honest fluke might have caused this article to somehow miss The New York Times’ newsroom management and make it to press, especially since The Times is undergoing a change in executive editorial leadership this month.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Jake Crosby
Contributing Editor
Age of Autism
www.ageofautism.com/jake-crosby

 Joseph Burgess of the Office of the Public Editor responded the next day, asking for my exchange with Clark Hoyt and senior standards editor Greg Brock:

Mr. Crosby, thanks for writing.  This might be an unrealistic request, but do you still have your correspondence with the previous public editor or Times staffers on this issue?  That would make it easier for us to process your email with The Times.

Best,

Joseph Burgess
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times
public@nytimes.com

Note:  The public editor’s opinions are his own and do not represent those of The New York Times.

So I responded, forwarding my previous exchanges with Hoyt and Brock:

Dear Mr. Burgess,

It is my pleasure. Your request is a perfectly reasonable one; thank you for asking. Below, you will find my exchanges with both the previous public editor and Greg Brock, Senior Editor for Standards, who Clark Hoyt shared my complaint with.

Thank you for your prompt reply, and I look forward to further correspondence.

Best,

Jake Crosby
Contributing Editor
Age of Autism
www.ageofautism.com/jake-crosby

The next day, Burgess responded again – asking where Hoyt or Brock gave the impression that Harris was removed from covering vaccines and autism (even though I noted in my initial email that Harris’ name did not appear on the byline of any such article since my initial complaint):

 Mr. Crosby, thanks for writing back and for providing the emails.  Just so that I understand, what gave you the impression that Mr. Harris was removed from  covering this angle of his beat?  It doesn’t seem from my reading of the emails that either Mr. Hoyt or Mr. Brock came to the conclusion that there was a conflict of interest for Mr. Harris due to his brother’s professional interests.  If you could point me to a specific place where they may have given you that impression that would be greatly appreciated.

Best,

Joseph Burgess
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times
public@nytimes.com

Note:  The public editor’s opinions are his own and do not represent those of The New York Times.

So I responded:

Dear Mr. Burgess,

It is – once again – my pleasure. The specific place where Mr. Hoyt and Mr. Brock gave me that impression was when I cited the ethical guidelines showing Gardiner Harris held an undisclosed conflict of interest in my last response to them, they did not take issue with any part of my interpretation. If they had, I think they would have said so to clarify the journalistic code of ethics for reporters at The Times. The fact that Mr. Hoyt and Mr. Brock did not appear to take any such issue, however, implied tacit confirmation of my points.  

That coupled with seeing Mr. Harris’ name absent from the byline of any further articles The Times ran about this controversy before August 25th left me with the impression up until then that silent action had been taken and that Mr. Harris had been effectively phased out of covering this angle of his beat, as you call it, for The New York Times.

Best,

Jake Crosby
Contributing Editor
Age of Autism
www.ageofautism.com/jake-crosby

Then after three days of back-and-fourth exchange with Burgess, Arthur Brisbane personally responded to my email to kill my complaint altogether. His excuse? “…ethic policy at The Times is open to interpretation…”:

Mr. Crosby: Thanks for your message. I have read through the history of your correspondence with Clark Hoyt and Greg Brock and also reviewed your current complaint. It seems to me that this matter was given an thorough review in the previous case. While the ethic policy of The Times is open to interpretation, I would concur with my predecessor on this. I don’t see a problem with Mr. Harris writing on the subject.

Again, thanks for letting me know of your concern.

Art Brisbane
public editor

In other words, The New York Times’ ethical policies can be spun any way The Times’ public relations “editor” sees fit, even if his “interpretation” is directly contradicted by the policy itself. Nonetheless, I responded asking for Brisbane’s “interpretation” of that policy:

Dear Mr. Brisbane,

It is my pleasure, and thank you for both reading my correspondence with Clark Hoyt and Greg Brock along with my current complaint.

I beg to differ with you that my previous complaint was thoroughly reviewed. Your predecessor did not make any reference to the ethical policies of The Times regarding conflicts of interest. In fact, his excuse for Mr. Harris not having a conflict of interest was contradicted by The Times’ ethical policies. If your reasoning is that the ethical policies of The Times are “open to interpretation,” then I would appreciate hearing what your interpretation of those policies would be and how you think they would absolve Mr. Harris.

Best,

Jake Crosby
Contributing Editor
Age of Autism

www.ageofautism.com/jake-crosby

I never received any word back. I sent follow-up emails to the newspaper’s executive editor Jill Abramson and publisher Arthur Ochs-Sulzberger Jr., but never received any reply from them either. Obviously, The Times’ ethics policy was not interpreted differently; it was flouted.

Eight months after my exchange, Gardiner Harris was re-assigned to India as a foreign reporter for The Times, where he came down with travelers’ diarrhea from eating a mango that the former public health reporter failed to wash. He continues to report from there to this day. Meanwhile, The Times continues to be complicit in helping the government whitewash away the scientific fact that vaccines cause autism in media as Ellen Marram of Eli Lilly – the company that introduced the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal to the market – continues to sit on The New York Times’ board of directors.

As justification for this, The Times’ current public editor Margaret Sullivan states on her blog:

“It can be important to state both sides of an argument — but only when both sides are legitimate.”

But “legitimate” does not accurately describe the position on autism and vaccines by the IOM, which privately stated “…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect…” before reviewing any evidence for or against, nor that of The New York Times which is based on such scientific misconduct.

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 BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.

The Vaccine Industry’s Many Talking Heads

mouthpieces

By Jake Crosby

The vaccine industry has many voices that echo the same talking points. While they may all deliver the same message, they each come from different backgrounds and are connected to the vaccine industry in different ways. Below are some of those people who have come out of hibernation to bash ABC for allowing Jenny McCarthy to co-host “The View.”

mnookinglassses

Seth Mnookin – As the vaccine industry’s media go-to guy, Seth Mnookin appeared in early-2011 on the heels of the pharma-sponsored British Medical Journal’s trial-by-media of British scientist Dr. Andrew Wakefield, accusing him of fraud (later officially found unsubstantiated). Mnookin took advantage of the ensuing media circus to promote his book “Panic Virus,” which was written from the vaccine industry’s perspective. One false rumor started by Mnookin – later disproved – was that Rolling Stone secretly retracted Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s article on the thimerosal-autism cover-up titled “Deadly Immunity.” Before RS dispelled the rumor, however, Salon.com used it as pretense to truly retract Kennedy’s piece. The CEO and Founder of Salon is a brother-in-law of Arthur Allen, the vaccine industry’s original media go-to guy whose wife is Senior Fellow of a Merck-funded think tank called the New America Foundation. While aggressively promoting his book, Seth Mnookin also claimed to have become involved purely as an objective journalist. This was later disproved – his uncle Robert Mnookin Chairs Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, where the mother-in-law of Alison Singer is also a professor. Singer runs and founded the “Autism Science Foundation” – a front group of the vaccine industry dedicated to stifling research into the vaccine autism link. Singer has also made false reassurances of Mnookin’s objectivity.  Seth Mnookin does not hold up well to criticism, as evidenced by his multiple encounters with the editor. During his last encounter, he refused to address a challenging question the editor asked him at his alma mater of Harvard regarding CDC research that inadvertently associated MMR vaccination with autism. During his second-to-last encounter, Mnookin booted the editor out altogether.

Jake-Tapper-AP

Jake Tapper – A CNN news anchor, Tapper appears to have quite a rapport with Seth Mnookin, at least on Twitter. CNN led the media lynching of Dr. Wakefield in January 2011 and Fred Hassan, former president of PhRMA, sits on the board of directors for Time Warner – the company that owns CNN. Tapper gave Seth Mnookin airtime as an expert while mentioning on Twitter the fact that his book won an award from the National Association of Science Writers – a pharma-linked union of “journalists.” Tapper’s father, Dr. Theodore Tapper, is a South Philadelphia pediatrician. After a virus that causes fatal wasting disease in piglets was discovered to have contaminated millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit‘s rotavirus vaccine, Dr. Tapper dismissed concerns about this as “much ado about nothing.” Like father, like son.

specter

Michael Specter – Having first came to the public scene in 2009 with the publication of his book “Denialism,” New Yorker Staff Writer Michael Specter appeared for a brief time to be the vaccine lobby’s new media go-to guy. He was later caught plagiarizing the talking points of millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit, indicating just how much original research Specter did on the topic. As a result, he apologized…to Paul Offit. Who Specter should have really apologized to were the very folks whose positions he merely dismissed. Today, Michael Specter continues to occasionally blog about this controversy from the sidelines of The New Yorker, despite his disgrace.

AlexPareene_Bio

Alex Pareene – Joining Salon from Gawker in mid-2011, Pareene has become Salon’s new in-house vaccine-autism cover-up apologist, starting with his endorsement of the 2011 Institute of Medicine whitewash of the MMR-autism link. That report came only months after Salon retracted Kennedy’s “Deadly Immunity” article from the internet, which included a quote by 2004 IOM review committee chairwoman Marie McCormick: “…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect…” of vaccination before looking at any evidence for or against. So Salon knows the IOM reports on autism and vaccines are produced in bad faith, but promotes them anyway. This makes Salon, and by extension Alex Pareene, complicit in the cover-up.

williamsme

Mary Elizabeth Williams – Before Salon hired Pareene, Mary Elizabeth Williams served the role of Salon’s resident vaccine-autism cover-up apologist. A long time colleague of Salon Founder and CEO David Talbot, Williams could not write the words “autism” and “vaccines” in the same article without also writing “Jenny McCarthy.” Before, she managed Salon’s forums.

szabo

Liz Szabo – USA Today’s answer to The New York Times‘ ethically bankrupt Gardiner Harris, Szabo first appeared in late-2009 to bash Jenny McCarthy. In mid-2010, Szabo won an award for her vaccine reporting from the Campaign for Public Health Foundation, funded by the vaccine industry.

willingham

Emily Willingham – An autism parent and “Science” Writer, Willingham also ascribes to the neurodiverse ideology – that autism is a difference to be celebrated. She is also a prominent member of the National Association of Science Writers, linked to the vaccine industry through its sister organization the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing – funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

mdmama

Dr. Claire McCarthy – A Boston Children’s pediatrician who also blogs, Dr. McCarthy became another public spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), heavily-funded by the vaccine industry. AAP’s position on autism and vaccines was perhaps best revealed by former president Dr. Renee Jenkins, who reportedly told ABC’s Good Morning America: “Ninty Seven plus percent of children don’t have these defects, so, when you look at what the risk and the benefits to children are, and, you really weigh the risks, then the benefits far outweigh the risks that occur.” The implication is clear – AAP is perfectly fine with giving up to 3% of American children autism to protect the vaccine program. This is the group Dr. McCarthy speaks for.

gorskibeer

Dr. David “Orac” Gorski – “Science”Blogger and vaccine industry mouthpiece Dr. David Gorski blogs under his moniker “Orac” where anyone who disagrees with him on vaccines is a “crank,” “anti-vaccinationist” and any other ad hominem attack he can dish out. In 2010, it was discovered that his employer was in partnership with vaccine maker Sanofi-Aventis as Dr. Gorski was conducting a clinical trial for Sanofi drug Riluzole, sponsored by his employer. Eventually, the trial was terminated before the enrollment phase due to funding running out. More recently, Dr. Gorski was discovered to have promised that if autism prevalence declines by a certain year, he would admit the vaccine preservative thimerosal might cause autism. That has since happened, yet Dr. Gorski refuses to come through on his promise. He can be seen squirming on YouTube when confronted with his broken promise at a talk he gave in March.

joseph moran photography

James Poniewozik – A TV critic for TIME Magazine, Poniewozik is a new voice in this debate. TIME, however, is not. That magazine has unanimously promoted pharma’s talking points and merrily carried the cover-up into print. Currently, the CEO of Time Inc is Laura Lang, former executive of Pfizer.

plait

Phil Plait – Perhaps best known for posing nude next to his telescope, penthouse astronomer Phil Plait is in-effect a less verbose, even less articulate version of blogger David “Orac” Gorski. Phil Plait formerly blogged for Discover Magazine and now blogs for Slate.com. He was previously president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. James Randi is a stage magician who is fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, an affiliate group of the Center for Inquiry which includes a retired Merck scientist on its board of directors.

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 BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.

Examiner.com: New peer reviewed study strongly links autism to vaccine induced type 1 diabetes

Examiner.com-logo

Originally published at Examiner.com in HEALTH NEWS

JULY 14, 2013

BY: 

On Friday, July 12, Classen Immunotherapies, Inc. issued a press release about a new peer reviewed study that was published in the current issue of Open Access, Scientific Reports (Volume 2, Issue 3, 2013) linking the autism epidemic to the epidemic of vaccine induced type 1 diabetes.

The press release stated:

Growing evidence shows that a large percentage of cases of autism have an inflammatory or autoimmune component. The new data shows autism is strongly linked to type 1 diabetes another epidemic inflammatory disease where the epidemic has been proven to be caused by vaccines.

Immunologist J. Bart Classen, MD authored the new paper. In the press release, Dr. Classen, says, “We have been publishing for many years that vaccine induced inflammation is causing an epidemic of type 1 diabetes and other diseases. Our new data, as well as the extensive data from others regarding the role of inflammation in the development autism, leaves little doubt vaccines play a significant role in the autism epidemic.”

The large number of vaccines given to patients is leading to an epidemic of chronic inflammation resulting in epidemics of autoimmune diseases and allergies according to Dr. Classen’s research.

An Italian court ruled in favor of the Bocca family whose nine-year-old son became autistic after receiving the MMR (Measles/Mumps & Rubella) vaccine. See: http://www.examiner.com/article/us-media-blackout-court-rules-that-mmr-vaccine-caused-autism

Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/autism-epidemic-linked-epidemic-vaccine-100000000.html

 

US News Betrays Legacy of Dr. Bernadine Healy

145_23

By Jake Crosby

When one types the words “autism vaccines” into the Google News search engine on July 13th 2013, two links to US News and World Report come up. The first one that appears at the very top is a typical pharma talking point-laden article peppered with ad hominem attacks at Jenny McCarthy for her position on vaccines. The author of the article, Pat Garofalo, is a former employee of a political think tank heavily tied to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has gone on-record saying HHS has been ordering media outlets to censor the vaccine-autism debate. Garofalo argued that McCarthy’s views on vaccines should prevent her from co-hosting “The View.” The second US News article that appears further down in the search engine results is a well-reasoned piece from four years ago by the late former NIH director Dr. Bernadine Healy – an actual doctor – who was health editor of US News and World Report at the time.

The difference between the two articles cannot be understated, both reflecting the inherent knowledge of their respective authors. First, let’s take a look at Garofalo’s piece, in which he states rather bluntly:

“As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has put it, ‘The medical and scientific communities have carefully and thoroughly reviewed the evidence concerning the vaccine-autism theory and have found no association.’”

Then you have Dr. Healy’s piece, which states:

“Youngsters like Hannah Poling, for example, who has an underlying mitochondrial disorder and developed a sudden and dramatic case of regressive autism after receiving nine immunizations, later determined to be the precipitating factor.”

That determination was also made by the Department of Health and Human Services. So how is it that HHS can make the statement that there is no association between vaccines and autism when it has made such a determination with Hannah Poling’s autism and those of others compensated through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program? Perhaps that’s because, as Dr. Healy said herself in a 2008 CBS interview, HHS has tried to bury the evidence that vaccines could lead to autism, rather than study it.

According to Dr. Bernadine Healy:

“There is a completely expressed concern that they don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people.”

Of course, not pursuing that hypothesis would be damaging to the public health at large, let alone the public health community. Such a pursuit in 1999 by CDC’s epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Verstraeten revealed that the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal multiplies one’s risk for autism by more than 7-fold. Dr. Verstraeten concluded, “…all the harm [e.g. autism] is done in the first month [of life],” but rather than publishing results, CDC chose to bury them. The federal agency also paid the IOM to produce a report rejecting autism as a cause of vaccinations. As the chairwoman Marie McCormick said in one closed IOM meeting on January 12, 2001 before examining any evidence, “…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect….” She also said, “…CDC wants us to declare, well, these things are pretty safe on a population basis.”

In short, government agencies have already proven that at least some vaccines cause autism, but have chosen to bury that information. Instead of citing what the Department of Health and Human Services actually knows as reflected in the troubling words of doctors such as Thomas Verstraeten and Marie McCormick, Garofalo instead decided to only quote the carefully-worded spin cranked out of the Department’s PR machine. He also chooses to cite the vaccine industry’s champion “journalist” Seth Mnookin, who has been shown to be very averse to critical questions when publicly challenged at his own events.

Additionally, Garofalo asserts Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s case series paper was fraudulent – never mind the fact that an actual investigation looking into the matter yielded nothing and that BMJ editor Fiona Godlee – whom Dr. Wakefield is now suing – cannot defend her accusations under critical questioning at NIH. That is in stark contrast to Dr. Wakefield, who eviscerated critical questions of him after he debunked the BMJ’s fraud allegations at Garofalo’s and my alma mater of Brandeis University.

What could explain Garofalo’s evangelical backing of the vaccine industry? Perhaps that could be the due to the fact that before his hiring by US News in March, he was Economic Policy Editor for nearly five years at ThinkProgress, a political blog owned by the think tank the Center for American Progress. The Center’s president was formerly a senior advisor to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. When asked in a 2010 Reader’s Digest interview what can be done to address public concerns about vaccine safety, she replied:

“There are groups out there that insist that vaccines are responsible for a variety of problems despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. We have reached out to media outlets to try to get them to not give the views of these people equal weight in their reporting to what science has shown and continues to show about the safety of vaccines.”

When questioned about the above quote the following year by HDNet investigative reporter Greg Dobbs, HHS back-tracked:

“No one here can remember or determine that this quote is factual.”

Nonetheless, neither HHS nor Sebelius ever denied making such remarks, and ThinkProgress certainly seems to be following through with her request of censoring vaccine safety concerns.

After Garofalo promoted his article, ranting, “Seriously, crazy anti-vaccine pseudoscience has no place on television,” ThinkProgress health reporter Tara Culp-Ressler egged him on shouting, “Preach it!!” Obviously, promoting vaccines is like a religion to these people – a religion that has to be preached. What more can one expect from folks with ties to a think tank aligned with an HHS Secretary who openly supported media censorship of vaccine risks? Not much.

What a blight on the legacy of Dr. Bernadine Healy that the publication she formerly edited is just another forum to back the vaccine-autism cover-up in media by encouraging censorship. If US News cared about journalistic integrity one iota it would toss Pat Garofalo back to the Sebelius-tied political hack blog ThinkProgress where he belongs.

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 BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.

Mark Blaxill Publicly Attacks Critics

ad hominem alert

By Jake Crosby

On the 4th of July, Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill made his first public statement responding to revelations of his role in hijacking November’s congressional autism hearing. He descended into a litany of ad hominem attacks against his critics, including myself.

The catalyst for his statement was a critical comment in a discussion thread on Age of Autism – the blog Mark Blaxill both sponsors and edits – from philanthropist and Focus Autism founder Barry Segal, who summed up some of what I had already written online about Blaxill’s involvement in hijacking the hearings. I wrote how he had prevented autism parent and Ph.D. biochemical engineer Dr. Brian Hooker from testifying on the government’s vaccine-autism cover-up through the deceitful actions of a hired lobbyist who pretended to represent Dr. Hooker. It was Dr. Hooker who originally succeeded in having Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chair Darrell Issa commit to holding hearings on autism causation and the vaccine program with other congressmen and congressional staff present. After Dr. Hooker’s co-organizer Dr. Gary Kompothecras – a wealthy chiropractor and autism parent of 1-800-Ask-Gary fame – spilled the beans about the hearing to Mark Blaxill at AutismOne, trouble ensued.

A lobbyist named Beth Clay was working on behalf of the Coalition for SafeMinds (Sensible action for ending Mercury-induced neurological disorders), where Mark Blaxill was Government Affairs Committee Chair at that time. It was Blaxill who ended up testifying instead, completely leaving any mention of vaccines out of his speech. SafeMinds also changed the topic of the hearing from the vaccine-autism cover-up to the “federal response,” enabling autism epidemic deniers to show up and give testimony. I had previously tried to leave comments raising these concerns on Age of Autism, only for them to be censored. Segal’s, in contrast, was allowed through.

Barry Segal formerly funded autism advocacy activities led by Mark Blaxill via an umbrella organization known as Facing Autism, which Blaxill chaired. Unhappy with the way his money was being spent, however, Segal withdrew financial support, culminating in Facing Autism’s dissolution. Immediately after saying he was opposed to “more friendly fire” Blaxill fired a barrage of insults at Segal including the following: “One way to be effective is never to ask for a nickel from Barry, I made that mistake once and don’t plan to repeat it.”

Blaxill did verify Tim Bolen’s claim that he had introduced him to Dr. Gary Kompothecras, who revealed plans of the hearing to Blaxill. He then claimed that he already heard about the hearing “through the grapevine” before receiving verification of it from Dr. Kompothecras at AutismOne. But as Blaxill admitted to me before his encounter with Dr. Kompothecras, Blaxill’s knowledge of the hearing was in the form of “rumors.” In any case, he did not hear about the hearing through SafeMinds.

Mark Blaxill continued by trying to deny having anything to do with oversight of SafeMinds‘ lobbyist, Beth Clay, only to later contradict himself. First he claimed he had nothing to do with her hiring or oversight, but later admitted to working on the SafeMinds‘ Government Affairs Committee with her.

Not only does Mark Blaxill contradict himself in terms of his professional relationship with Clay, but conveniently leaves out the fact that he was in fact Chair of SafeMinds’ Government Affairs Committee and therefore had to have worked with the lobbyist. Clay assisted him in writing his testimony, and he corresponded often with her on email threads.

Furthermore, Mark Blaxill did not deny that she misrepresented Dr. Hooker to congressional staff. In fact, Blaxill did not address that at all, stating:

“Lobbyists work behind the scenes always and since Beth is a lobbyist and SafeMinds was Beth’s client, I don’t doubt she worked to get SafeMinds placed on the panel.”

That does not explain the fact that Clay’s “behind the scenes” work to have SafeMinds placed on the witness panel effectively changed the topic of the hearing and prevented Dr. Hooker from being invited by the congressional committee to testify. Blaxill did, however, try to throw the following bone to Age of Autism readers:

“Brian’s exclusion was a highly unfortunate outcome, one I hope we can fix soon by getting him in front of Congress to represent his important work.”

But will he fix it soon? Blaxill’s Canary Party asked for the next hearing to be about reforming the VICP rather than focusing on the government malfeasance Dr. Hooker had been working to uncover. Blaxill then defended his speech that he gave before Congress that was totally devoid of the word “vaccines,” by admitting he “pulled a few punches.” That’s putting it lightly. His excuse, ironically, was to build momentum for the next congressional hearings. Never mind that his continuous interference is helping to lose that momentum and completely derail the hearings.

Mark Blaxill directs his final paragraph at me, calling my reporting “delusional.” He then flip-flops by stating I have “so much potential to do good work.” He also talks about wanting to “heal the rift between us” five months after unfriending me on Facebook.

Now, he plans to continue shutting off contact with critics like myself on the excuse that, “I have no intention of getting into any flame wars on this subject.”

Perhaps it’s time for Mark Blaxill to practice what he preaches.

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 BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.