Tag Archives: Libel

“Autistic Rights Together” = Libel, Censorship and Cry-Bullying Together

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Autistic Rights Together (or ART as it is abbreviated) is a crooked, basement-style group of special snowflake activists purporting to promote neurodiversity and “autistic rights”. It is a mean-spirited gang of character assassins against doctors and scientists whose opinions merely reflect the emerging science that autism spectrum disorders are treatable medical conditions caused by vaccination. When ART’s censorship and defamation activities are rebuffed, they resort to the familiar cry-bully tactics employed by so many trolls for the pharmaceutical industry. ART’s leader Fiona O’Leary has become neurodiversity’s Irish replacement for Kathleen Seidel: the proprietor of the dormant neurodiversity.com website and who has engaged in the same activities. 

O’Leary played a key role in ruining the practice of the late Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, who has contributed to significant research discoveries shedding light on vaccines’ link to autism. Now she is trying to block screenings of Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe, a documentary on how the government has covered up associations between vaccines and autism. In response, the film’s distributors sent her a much-deserved cease-and-desist letter. 

O’Leary has gone crying for sympathy to Jezebel blogger Anna Merlan of Gawker Media, which is now being sued into bankruptcy for libel. ART and Gawker couldn’t be a more perfect match for each other.

But even more perfect than that unholy alliance is an online petition that has been started against “unqualified advocates” like O’Leary. Please sign and spread the word.

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.

PLoS Enables Seth Mnookin to Violate Community Guidelines Unchallenged

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Editor’s Note: Below is my rejected guest submission to the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Blogs Network responding to a libelous post that Seth Mnookin had written about me on PLoS last year in violation of PLoS’ own community guidelines listed above.

Jake Crosby Responds to Seth Mnookin

I am responding to the most egregious of the false allegations made on PLoS by Seth Mnookin, July 25th, 2013, that I “jabbed” him “in the chest” and that I also “crashed” his “invitation-only event” at the PRIMR conference in December of 2011. Please refer to the announcement of his event, which still exists on the Duke University website (scroll down to page 2 at 11:45am).

Mr. Mnookin’s event was clearly open to the public – no invitation necessary:

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These false jabbing and crashing allegations appeared in his first and so far only blog post about me where 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…”

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. It included this quote from him followed by what transpired, which he did not dispute (boldface added for emphasis):

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

Despite my hesitation, I shook his hand.”

His account of my jabbing him in the chest, among other fallacies of his about our encounters, came in a blog post almost two years later – ironically titled:

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

After I wrote a post refuting his allegations titled, Seth Mnookin Claims My Handshake Was Jab in His Chest, Mnookin responded by doubling down on his lie that I jabbed him in the chest with the following embellishment:

“When Jake approached me, I stuck out my hand, which he refused to shake…Then he came back to make a final point about his “proof” that I was on the take — and when he came back, he marched over and jabbed me in the chest.”

Although he is considered a “science writer,” what Seth Mnookin alleged on his PLoS blog is not at all about science, never happened and amounts to nothing more than libel – a violation of the PLoS Blog Network’s community guidelines. Please read my aformentioned article correcting Seth Mnookin’s false statements about me as well as my Age of Autism article titled My Conversation with Seth Mnookin which details my first encounter with him. Those who follow Mnookin’s writings, whether on the PLoS blogs or elsewhere, should not accept anything he writes as factual unless it can be independently verified by a reliable source.

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.