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