Tag Archives: Attorney

Seth Mnookin No Longer Blogging At PLoS After Libelous Remarks

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By Jake Crosby

On July 21st, “Panic Virus” author and MIT assistant professor Seth Mnookin wrote on his personal website: “From mid-2011 through the end of 2013, I was blogging at the Public Library of Science; those archives can be found here. In the summer of 2014, I began blogging again on this site.”

He no longer links to his PLoS blog from his Twitter bio either. The announcement came only 10 days after I wrote the post PLoS Enables Seth Mnookin to Violate Community Guidelines Unchallenged, calling out PLoS for allowing him to blog there despite the fact that he wrote a libelous post about me one year prior.

The month after Mnookin’s last PLoS blog post, PLoS’s attorney received and acknowledged the evidence that was provided showing Mnookin fabricated the claim that I “crashed” his “invitation only event” at the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Resesarch (PRIMR) conference in December, 2011. In Mnookin’s same libelous blog post, he claimed I “jabbed” him “in the chest” even though I did no such thing. This accusation of jabbing him came two years after the event, and Mnookin provided zero evidence of it ever taking place. That, combined with his provably false allegation above likely led to his expulsion from PLoS.

Mnookin wasn’t nearly as excited about returning to his old blog as he was when he first joined PLoS blogs three years ago, having written:

“…this blog is being relocated to the PLoS Blog Network, which has been built up by the indefatigable Brian Mossop, another #SciO11′er. At  PLoS, I’ll be joining #SciO11 superstars Misha Angrist (Genomeboy), David Kroll (Take As Directed),  Hillary Rosner (Tooth and Claw) and the inimitable Steve Silberman (NeuroTribes), as well as Deborah Blum (Speakeasy Science)…

…so head on over, check out some of the other offerings, and enjoy!”

It is quite amusing to compare that to his terse, two-sentence departure announcement from PLoS. There is not even a farewell post to rave about what a supposedly great experience it was blogging alongside all those “indefatigable” and “inimitable” “superstars.”

Like Mnookin, I never wrote any farewell posts either when I was banished from contributing to Age of Autism. Unlike Mnookin, however, I was still up front about why I was no longer writing for AoA. That did not stop Mnookin from seizing on my ouster in his libelous post about me, concluding:

“Now he’s wandering in the wilderness, hoping that by including my name in the titles to his posts, someone will notice him throwing a tantrum in the corner.”

Looks like my “tantrum” was noticed by someone.

Welcome To The Jungle, Seth.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. 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’s Thimerosal Backtrack: An Act To Throw The Omnibus?

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By Jake Crosby

Following the disclosure of emails on Autism Investigated in which Mark Blaxill responded to the lead omnibus attorney in vaccine court with attacks on expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier, Autism Investigated reader John Best made an astute observation about the attorney’s email. Within that email, the attorney wrote:

“…we realize that we have to  deal with the fact that the increase has continued beyond the removal of thimerosal, but we have to convince the Special Masters that something in the environment, perhaps several somethings, is triggering symptoms of ASD in many kids.”

To which John Best responded in a comment:

“The lawyers claimed they had to account for the increase [in autism] after thimerosal was all gone and that they had to blame something in the environment. So, the lawyers admitted right there that they were throwing the case intentionally. Too bad the statute of limitations for legal malpractice has passed. Those words are all that are needed to hang them.
Did they think the whole world was too stupid to know that shooting 25 mcg of thimerosal into pregnant women equated to 200 times the alleged “safe” dose of mercury?
Jake, you should have entitled this: Lawyers Admit Throwing Case.”

To which I responded:

“That was almost certainly Mark Blaxill’s doing:
http://www.autisminvestigated.com/mark-blaxill-danish-fraudulent/

He claimed to change his views in a 2007 email to Dr. Brian Hooker based on the premature conclusion that reported autism prevalence still going up in California was evidence against thimerosal’s role in the autism epidemic, yet also cited the very Danish numbers Blaxill once called “uninformative and potentially misleading” to defend thimerosal right after being informed of their fraudulent nature by Dr. Hooker. What this would suggest is that Blaxill’s representation of himself as a leading proponent of thimerosal’s significance in causing the autism epidemic only to backtrack from his position later was all just an act to sink the omnibus and strike a PR victory for pharma.”

The latest component of this act that I did not mention in the above comment, however, is Blaxill’s downplaying of harm from thimerosal and vaccines in general. Neither was mentioned in Mark Blaxill’s speech before Congress, nor are they in the mission statement of the Canary Party that he chairs and founded. Such minimization of thimerosal’s harm helps prevent some of the worst perpetrators of the thimerosal cover-up from facing justice for burying evidence of its role in causing the autism epidemic. And the lead actor pretends to have no ties to the pharmaceutical industry when he still does.

It is about time someone drew the curtain on his act.

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.

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.

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.

 

Emails1


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.”

Emails2

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.”

Emails3

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.”