Tag Archives: Geiers

Major Opponent of Vaccine Safety Commission Conspired Against Scientists

Former Maryland Secretary of Health Joshua Sharfstein left, with FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Twitter of FDA Commissioner

Last year, Joshua Sharfstein wrote an article in JAMA vocally opposing the creation of a vaccine safety commission under President Trump. Entirely undisclosed in his article was the conspiracy Sharfstein led against two scientists for their views on vaccine safety while he was Maryland Secretary of Health. Autism Investigated subsequently contacted JAMA‘s editor-in-chief. JAMA‘s legal counsel responded instead.

From: Jake Crosby
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 4:41 PM
To: Howard Bauchner
Subject: Joshua Sharfstein’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest and Conspiracy Against Scientists
Dear Dr. Bauchner,

Last year, you ran an article by Joshua Sharfstein that opposed the Trump Administration’s commitment to vaccine safety.(1) Dr. Sharfstein omitted that as Maryland Secretary of Health, he led state government attacks on two vaccine researchers for their opposition to thimerosal in vaccines.(2)(3) By the time of Sharfstein’s article, a court ruled that the department he led violated their confidentiality by posting public their medical information.(4) Just last February, that same board Sharfstein was in charge of was ordered to pay them $2.5 million for its actions under Sharfstein’s leadership. The ruling judge even compared the actions of Sharfstein’s board members and staff to Watergate:

“If their testimony were to be believed, which the court does not, it is the worst case of collective amnesia in the history of Maryland government and on par with the collective memory failure on display at the Watergate hearings.”(5)

Sharfstein acknowledges in his article that a vaccine safety commission under Trump would also concentrate on scientific integrity. He has much to lose professionally and personally from the formation of such a commission due to his department’s conspiracy against two scientists for their views on vaccines. Given AMA’s organizational stance against the commission, it is all the more pressing for Dr. Sharfstein to disclose his department’s attacks on two scientists for their vaccine skepticism when he defends the existing public health system that he is a part of in JAMA.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH

Disclosure: I have done my epidemiology thesis on vaccine safety with the Geiers in 2013 and received funding from Autism Media Channel and Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute. I was also a paid campaign field representative and a volunteer for President Trump and other Republican candidates during the 2016 election cycle. I edit AutismInvestigated.com.

1. Vaccines and the Trump Administration https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2614172

2. In the Matter of Mark R. Geier, M.D.: Order for Summary Suspension of License to Practice Medicine, P. 5, Clause 8. April 27, 2011. https://www.mbp.state.md.us/bpqapp/Orders/D2425004.271.PDF

3. “O’Malley Ousts David Geier from autism commission,” by Frank D. Roylance Baltimore Sun, May 20, 2011.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-geier-autism-commission-20110520-story.html

4. “Court rebukes board for publicizing doctor’s confidential info,” Professional Licensing Report, February 11, 2016.
http://www.professionallicensingreport.org/board-in-trouble-for-public-release-of-doctors-confidential-info/

5. “Regulators who targeted anti-vaccine doctor may pay millions for humiliating him,” by Fenit Nirappil. Washington Post, February 3, 2018.

From: Joseph Thornton <Joseph.Thornton@jamanetwork.org>
To: Jake Crosby
Cc: Howard Bauchner <Howard.Bauchner@jamanetwork.org>
Sent: Fri, Jun 8, 2018 7:23 am
Subject: RE Joshua Sharfstein’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest

Dear Mr. Crosby,

The Maryland Board of Physicians [MBOP] includes 22 members who are appointed by the Governor, not the state’s secretary of health. Complaints regarding Dr. Geier were filed with the MBOP years before Dr. Sharfstein was appointed Secretary. The documents you submitted and the timelines within them do not support the allegation that Dr. Sharfstein “led state government attacks on two vaccine researchers for their opposition to thimerosal in vaccines.”

Sincerely,

[Description: cid:image001.png@01CF9202.5B3F03C0]

Joseph P. Thornton, JD
Editorial Counsel
AMA Plaza, Suite 39300
330 N. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-5885
312-464-4609
joseph.thornton@jamanetwork.org

________________________________

From: Jake Crosby
To: Joseph.Thornton <Joseph.Thornton@jamanetwork.org>
Cc: Howard.Bauchner <Howard.Bauchner@jamanetwork.org>
Sent: Fri, Jun 8, 2018 5:53 pm
Subject: Re: Joshua Sharfstein’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest

Dear Atty. Thornton,
 

Maryland’s Secretary of Health plays a direct role in the appointment of the majority of board members (boldface mine):

“11 practicing licensed physicians, including 1 Doctor of Osteopathy, appointed by the Governor with the advice of the Secretary of the Department of Health (MDH)”

“1 physician representative of MDH nominated by the Secretary(1)

 
A vaccine activist filed a complaint against the board in 2006, but the board suspended Dr. Geier’s license in 2011 only months after Sharfstein’s appointment. That timeline absolutely implicates Sharfstein’s role. The suspension also cites the Institute of Medicine’s 2004 report that attacked Dr. Geier’s research. Sharfstein writes about IOM in his JAMA article:
 
These reports blunted national concern and were one reason why the major outbreaks that occurred in Europe around that time (and since) have not been seen in the United States.
 
Sharfstein also leaves out of the article, his JAMA bio and disclosure statement that he was elected a fellow of IOM in 2014. 
 
Not only does the timeline of Sharfstein’s appointment correlate with Dr. Geier’s suspension, but Sharfstein’s resignation correlates with court decisions against the board. He announced in July 2014 that he would step down at the end of the year. According to the Professional Licensing Report article I cited, a board representative stood up a deposition by the Geiers’ attorney in June of 2014. The court would then grant the “ultimate sanction” in favor of the Geiers in December 2014, two weeks before Sharfstein actually stepped down.(2)
 
Joshua Sharfstein is completely conflicted. The kind of behavior his department engaged in and the fact that AMA’s and other physician groups’ positions are influenced by people like him is exactly why we need an independent commission to look into vaccines. Until that happens, I think the public should oppose them entirely. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Jake Crosby, MPH
 
1. About the Board, Maryland Board of Physicians, Maryland Department of Health. Accessed June 8, 2018.
 
2. Anne Geier et al. v. Maryland Board of Physicians et al. Md. 371761-V, 1-11 (Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD 2014)
 
 

WAPO: Med Board Ordered to Pay Millions for Conspiracy Against Dr. Geier

Autism Investigated Note: The Maryland Board of Physicians has been ordered to pay $2.5 million for its Watergate-like conspiracy against Dr. Mark Geier. Read The Washington Post story below for details. (pro-vax tone aside)

Regulators who targeted anti-vaccine doctor may pay millions for humiliating him

 February 3 at 5:19 PM 

Mark Geier built a medical practice in Rockville and a national reputation for propagating the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. The Maryland Board of Physicians suspended his license seven years ago because he was treating autistic children with a drug considered dangerous for young people and not known to alleviate symptoms of the disorder.

But the regulators who stripped Geier’s credentials are now in the hot seat, ordered to each personally pay tens of thousands of dollars in damages by a judge who says the board abused its power in an attempt to humiliate the doctor and his family. The board posted a cease-and-desist order on its website in 2012 alleging that Geier had improperly prescribed medication for himself, his wife and his son while his license was suspended. In an unusual move, the order named the drugs in question. Online critics of Geier took notice, mocking the doctor and his family in blogs and comments for their use of the medications.

The Geiers say the state publicized those details for vengeance, to punish a doctor with unconventional ideas. State officials say it was an honest mistake.

But Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin sided with the Geiers, awarding them $2.5 million in damages. He called the order a significant breach of medical privacy and accused the board and its staff of failing to preserve emails related to the case and pleading ignorance about the order on the witness stand.

“If their testimony were to be believed, which the court does not, it is the worst case of collective amnesia in the history of Maryland government and on par with the collective memory failure on display at the Watergate hearings,” Rubin wrote in a December opinion.

He ordered 14 board appointees, the board’s lead attorney and the lead investigator on the Geier case to pay half of the damages out of their own pockets, between $10,000 and $200,000 apiece, depending on their net worth.

A spokeswoman for the state health department, which oversees the board, says the agency tries to balance privacy with a responsibility to inform the public of risks.

The defendants, who are appealing the decision, mostly declined to comment or did not respond to interview requests. Three of them told The Washington Post that the judge’s version of the facts was wrong, and accused him of coming down too hard on volunteers who were donating their time.

“I felt Judge Rubin had a bone to pick with the Board of Physicians. Some of the stuff he came up with is outlandish,” said Jonathan Lerner, who left the board last year. “He set the tone for the future that no one else would want to serve on a board.”

Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Attorney General’s Officewhich represents the board, said of the ruling: “We believe there are serious errors in both the facts and the law and will vigorously pursue those on appeal.”

Controversial views

Dr. Mark Geier in 2011 (Jed Kirschbaum/Baltimore Sun)

Mark Geier developed a national following and drew widespread criticism — for espousing his belief that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative formerly used in childhood vaccines, contributes to autism.

Multiple medical groups and judges dismissed his research as seriously flawedand the vaccine-autism link has been repeatedly debunked. But a growing movement that sees vaccine requirements as an intrusion on parental rights has taken hold in California, Texas and other states, emboldened by President Trump’s embrace during the 2016 campaign of the discredited vaccines-and-autism link.

Public health experts consider “anti-vaxxers” a grave threat to one of the most significant medical developments in human history. Some Facebook users share Geier’s videos to urge against flu shots, even amid the worst flu outbreak in nearly a decade.

But it was Geier’s treatment of autistic children that caught the attention of the Board of Physicians in 2006.

Geier believed mercury from vaccines caused early puberty, aggression and symptoms of autism, and that suppressing testosterone with the drug Lupron — which is approved to treat prostate cancer, endometriosis and fibroids, but also is also used to chemically castrate sex offenders — would reverse those effects.

No credible medical research showed this treatment to be effective for autism, the Board of Physicians noted. The board suspended Geier’s medical license in 2011 and revoked it the next year, citing his methods and saying he had misrepresented his credentials. Several other states also revoked Geier’s medical license, and regulators targeted his son for practicing medicine without a license.

Maryland officials continued to track Mark Geier’s activities, according to the lawsuit the Geiers filed in 2012.

Many of the case records remain under seal. But Rubin’s order shows that board staff were tracking blogs and news articles chronicling Geier’s downfall, mocking him and his son in emails and reveling in their humiliation.

When they got a tip that Mark Geier may have still been prescribing medication, they vowed to look into it. Before holding an evidence hearing, board attorney Victoria Pepper drafted the cease-and-desist order.

Rubin described the decision to name the drugs in the order as an extraordinary breach of privacy for an agency that should know better than anyone else the importance of confidentiality in the medical profession. He pointed to emails sent later on during the probe as evidence of the board’s motivation to embarrass the Geiers.

Pepper referred derisively to the Geiers as “Daddy G” and “Baby G” in emails to Josh Shafer, the board investigator leading the probe of the Geiers.

“Maybe we can help make it a bad month” for the Geiers, Shafer wrote back, using a derogatory reference to the drugs they were using.

Timeline

April 27, 2011: Maryland Board of Physicians suspends Mark Geier’s license

Jan. 25, 2012: Board posts order accusing Geier of prescribing drugs to himself and his son while his license was suspended, naming the drugs in question.

Feb. 5, 2012: Attorney for Geiers sends board letter objecting to publication of private medical information

Feb. 22, 2012: Board removes private information from Geier order, but original still accessible online.

Dec. 29, 2012: Geiers file lawsuit against Maryland Board of Physicians

July 11, 2013: Board removes original order from website

Dec. 7, 2017: Montgomery County judge awards $2.5 million to the Geiers

At trial, Pepper said she knew the Geiers’ private medical information would be online as a result of the order, but didn’t think it would be embarrassing. She said she named the drugs to clarify that they weren’t dangerous controlled substances and named the recipients to clarify that Geier wasn’t prescribing the medication or juveniles. The judge called those reasons “fabrications,” adding that “Pepper viewed Dr. Geier and his practice to be so abhorrent that she was willing to do ‘whatever it took’ to tarnish his reputation.”

Pepper, who still works for the board, did not return repeated emails seeking comment.

All but one member of the Board of Physicians who voted to approve the cease-and-desist order on Jan. 25, 2012 later told the judge they didn’t actually read it.

“It is sort of like looking out an airplane window watching the pilot walking around kicking the rubber and pulling on the metal. I don’t have to go behind him and pull it. I trust the pilot to do his job,” testified Paul Elder, an anesthesiologist from Anne Arundel County who was appointed by former governor Robert L. Ehrlich (R) in 2003 and chaired the board at the time of the Geier investigation. “I trust the Board staff to do their job and construct a document that was ready for signature.”

Elder, who is no longer on the board, did not return repeated messages left at his medical practice.

A legal battle

The Geiers were horrified when they saw their private business was now available for the world to read. Their then-lawyer Jay Schwartz sent the board a letter calling the disclosure of private medical information illegal, and confronted Elder after an unrelated hearing in Annapolis to underscore his point.

The board uploaded a new version of the orderwith the personal information removed. But the original could still be found by a simple Google search, and was uploaded online by a local television station covering the board’s probe of Geier.

The order stayed online even after an administrative law judge decided the allegations it was based on were without merit — Mark Geier didn’t prescribe the drugs, his son David did and the family threatened to sue.

It was not taken down until July 11, 2013, a day after Rubin held a hearing in the lawsuit.

Mark Geier’s wife Anne, who died in October 2014, said during a deposition a few months earlier that she was “humiliated” by the contents of the order.

“How would you feel if somebody put your medical records up and then they laughed at you and made fun of you?” she said. They humiliate you. The whole thing has just ruined my life.”

Mark and David Geier, who moved to Florida in 2012, declined to comment.

Several board members acknowledged in court that posting private medical information was inappropriate, but said they didn’t take any steps to make sure the order was taken down from the website. In what Rubin dubbed “colossal amnesia,” some board members also said they barely knew Mark Geier — who had been the subject of one of their most high-profile cases.

“The Board of Physicians is not an ornamental office. It is a serious public trust. It was breached horribly in this case,” Rubin wrote in his opinion. “They knew, the court finds, that the problem had not been fixed. The court finds they simply did not care.”

Lerner, one of the former board members, said the reason they didn’t follow up was far simpler.

“We trusted the staff member and IT staff members when they said it was taken down,” he said. “I don’t think I’m responsible to go do a Google search.”

Rubin also criticized the board for failing to turn over key emails about the case, many of which were apparently lost when the agency changed email servers in 2012 or overlooked because officials didn’t properly search their private accounts.

“The negative and unprofessional tone and tenor of the few preserved e-mails is manifest,” Rubin wrote. “It is not believable that other e-mails, had they been preserved, would fare better.”

Only one of the 14 board members ordered to pay the Geiers still serves on the board: Beryl J. Rosenstein, who did not return a message left at his medical practice.

Jim Love, an attorney for the Geiers, suggested his clients were targeted for a simple reason.

“Everyone hates the Geiers because they say bad things about vaccines,” Love said. “I don’t know why it’s so personal.”

FAKE NEWS: FOUR VACCINE LIES FROM SCIENCE MAGAZINE

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Science Magazine is fake science news and lies routinely about vaccine safety like the rest of the damn mainstream media and major science journals. Here’s four examples from their dishonest post “Four vaccine myths and where they come from” by one of their hired liars Lindzi Wessel. Autism Investigated will not refute all the lies because there are too many, just the major ones below.

“False: Vaccinations can cause autism”

Citing further concerns about ethics and misrepresentation, The Lancet retracted the paper in 2010. Shortly after, the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council permanently pulled Wakefield’s medical license.

The truth is, all those findings against Wakefield and his paper were completely overturned in a court decision that said the GMC used “faulty reasoning” and came to “wrong conclusion”(s). Even The Lancet acknowledges this.

[Brian] Hooker reanalyzed the data in 2014 and claimed CDC had hidden evidence that the vaccine could increase autism risk in black boys. In fact, CDC noted in the paper that rates of vaccination in the oldest age group were slightly higher in kids with autism.

Wait, what about for black kids? The CDC didn’t cover up effects for race because they reported effects for age? That’s a logical conclusion to draw, according to Science Magazine?

“False: Mercury in vaccines acts as a neurotoxin”

Science Magazine completely dismisses Kennedy’s damning Deadly Immunity article of mercury in childhood vaccinations. The excuse was the ghostwritten retraction by the pedophile-defending Salon.com site. Science never went into the details of the retraction because it would show it to be worthless.

Science Magazine continued:

In 2001, well before Kennedy’s article or his related book, thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines in the United States except multidose vials of flu vaccine.

What it left out was that in 2004 those flu vaccines were recommended for pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy, which has since been linked to autism. It then went on to characterize autism declining post-thimerosal removal in Denmark as a “misinterpretation of epidemiogical data.” Actually, it’s seen in a graph of epidemiological data:

“False: Mercury in vaccines acts as a neurotoxin”

Remarkably, this entire section didn’t focus on work of any other doctor or scientist. It was merely an attack on the physician-son team Dr. Mark and David Geier, taking as gospel smears from the Institute of Medicine and the Maryland Board of Physicians. The Institute of Medicine was revealed in Kennedy’s own article as coming to a foregone conclusion about thimerosal being safe, and being paid to do so. The Maryland Board of Physicians was successfully sued by the Geiers for intentionally violating their confidentiality. Dr. Geier has also responded to the allegations publicly.

Will Science condemn hormones and genital mutilation for “transgender” autists and acknowledge that there are only two genders? Doubtful.

“False: Spreading out vaccines can be safer for kids”

This section is entirely based on the talking points of millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit. He is not only conflicted, but is also an unhinged maniac who said children can safely receive 10,000 vaccines at once. There is no comparison between a vaccine which contains loads of toxic ingredients injected directly into the body and antigens blocked by the human body’s natural defenses.

There is no room for the benefit of the doubt with Lindzi Wessel and Science Magazine. They are simply lying, along with the rest of the mainstream fake news.

Please form that vaccine safety commission soon, President Trump. We need it now more than ever.

UPDATE: Autism Investigated Video!

SafeMinds Summed Up In One Comment

safemindscomment

By Jake Crosby

In a now-deleted comment I recently left under a press release posted by Lyn Redwood on the SafeMinds website that tried to take credit for uncovering suppressed CDC evidence for thimerosal causing autism, I wrote:

David Geier discovered the “Generation Zero” data, Lyn, not anyone at SafeMinds. Similarly, these “new disclosures” have already been publicly available on the CoMeD site for months. That you’re linking to it now does not make it “new.” In fact, none of the discovered CDC data showing statistically significant associations between thimerosal exposure and autism has ever been discovered by anyone at SafeMinds. Those who actually have discovered these research results have either been excluded from testifying before Congress by SafeMinds or been excluded from testifying in the omnibus autism proceeding on behalf of petitioners, also by SafeMinds.

SafeMinds never exposed the thimerosal cover-up, but rather is a part of it. In the weeks leading up to the 2012 congressional hearing, Lyn Redwood wrote in an email that it makes her “crazy” that Andrew Wakefield is crucified and Danish fugitive Poul Thorsen evades justice. Yet right after she said this, she gave up her speaking slot to a man who went to absurd lengths to falsely play down Thorsen’s role in the fraud that sought to exonerate thimerosal.  She backed out on the excuse she was picking up her son from his first college quarter, even though it ended two weeks before the hearing. She later claimed she was “very sad” Thorsen was not mentioned in SafeMinds’ congressional testimony before Congress, even though her actions led to Thorsen not being mentioned.

Now Lyn Redwood is announcing the release of this latest CDC information without crediting its discoverer, Dr. Brian Hooker.

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 to Omnibus Attorneys: “how deeply f*cked up the world is when the Geiers are considered credible analysts and I am not.”

blaxillongeiers

By Jake Crosby

Click the above screenshot to enlarge the July 2007 email where then-Vice President of SafeMinds Mark Blaxill stated in email to omnibus autism proceeding attorneys Mike Williams and Tom Powers concerning petitioners’ expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier:

“I hope you understand how deeply fucked up the world is when the Geiers are considered credible analysts and I am not.”

Blaxill succeeded in turning Williams against his own expert witnesses, as Williams responded: “I do understand”.

Autism Investigated has acquired this latest installment of troubling emails about the Geiers between Blaxill and Williams from a source that wishes to remain anonymous. Last October, Autism Investigated posted emails dated 2003-2004 in which Mark Blaxill disparaged expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier to Mike Williams – saying the Geiers “can do our cause more harm than good,” calling their work “sloppy” and claiming he could “rip [their work] to shreds.” Those emails were also obtained from a confidential source. (See mercury toxicity expert Dr. Boyd Haley’s response to Blaxill’s claim.)

The long email from Mike Williams to which Blaxill was responding can be seen in the following screenshot and was addressed to Lyn Redwood, President of SafeMinds (now Vice President of SafeMinds). Copied on the email in addition to Blaxill were Tom Powers and SafeMinds’ then-Executive Director (now President) Sallie Bernard. Note also that Williams described pursuit of “experts other than Mark Geier” before lamenting, “if only Mark Blaxill had an MPH or equivalent.” (screenshot 1, click to enlarge)
fdup2

Further down in that email, Williams reveals how influenced he was by Blaxill, saying: “On the genetics issue, we need someone other than Mark Geier to say what Mark Blaxill and you all proved…” (screenshot 2, click to enlarge) Incredibly, Williams was persuaded that Dr. Geier, a geneticist, was incapable of speaking on the genetics issue even though his genetic research had won him presidential recognition. What’s more, his son David actually discovered results from CDC researcher Dr. Thomas Verstraeten’s epidemiological analyses of thimerosal exposure showing vastly increased risks for neurodevelopmental disorders including autism compared to those who weren’t exposed to thimerosal during the first month of life. That a seasoned attorney was so manipulated by Mark Blaxill should serve as a cautionary tale in light of current events.

fdup3
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Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

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

boyd haley

By Jake Crosby

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

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

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

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

Boyd E. Haley, PhD
President

CTI Science, Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

Age of Autism Deletes Canary Party Briefing Video

By Jake Crosby

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

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

CanaryBriefing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friendly fire is a waste of time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aoatechnicalexcuses

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

mark blaxill email

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.”