Tag Archives: Omnibus

Canary Party-Led Group Behind Failed SB277 Opposition

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“Autism rates have continued to rise even though we are not using thimerosal in vaccines for children.” – Richard Pan, co-sponsor of CA SB277

“But there’s a hard bit of evidence here regarding the thimerosal argument. The rates in California never went down and as far as I can tell are still going straight up with no deceleration at all. And you’ve seen the Denmark numbers.” – Mark Blaxill, now founder and chairman of Canary Party

By Jake Crosby

One might say it was a repeat of what happened with the US congressional hearing failure of 2012-2013 – the undermining of a cause with the imposition of an ineffective strategy. That is what many Californians are saying happened at the State Assembly Health Committee hearing and in the general movement against Senate Bill 277, now a newly signed law that eliminates the choice to opt out of vaccination. As with the congressional hearing, a key witness Dr. Brian Hooker was prevented from speaking on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) malfeasance in covering up vaccine injury. The debacle over SB277 also bears the claw prints of the same leadership elements, chiefly those of a Minnesota-based PAC: the Canary Party.

Because media coverage of the bill was controlled by the CDC, testimony to the state legislature was all the more necessary to kill the bill. But kill effective testimony in favor of a “‘middle of the road’ strategy,” and the bill’s passing into law is practically imminent.

Such a strategy was taken by the organization through which Canary Party coordinates its activities relevant to SB277 in California: the “California Coalition for Health Choice” (CCHC). While trying to do damage control for Canary Party on Facebook threads, Canary Party’s State Director Sylvia Pimentel only revealed more negative information about her organization. Pimentel said she, Rebecca Estepp, Jude Tovatt, Dawn Winkler and Laura Hayes comprised the Canary Party leadership within CCHC that had input on the fight against the bill, despite previously admitting: “Laura and Dawn left the coalition a few weeks ago because they didn’t like the ‘middle of the road’ strategy that CCHC was morphing into.”

Pimentel further admitted that CCHC members were afraid of their own cause, “Some members were gun-shy about being publicly quoted because of possible push-back in their careers or private life for being ‘anti-vaccine’.” Moreover, one of Canary Party’s California leaders promoted vaccination. Rebecca Estepp – director of communications for CCHC – drew criticism for advocating “moderation” and promoting vaccination last year. Such an approach inherently conflicts with raising awareness of vaccine dangers.

Canary Party’s Dr. Toni Bark revealed to Autism Investigated that the other remaining Canary Party leader in CCHC – Jude Tovatt – was trying to discourage the coalition from tackling safety, corruption or fraud issues inherent to the vaccine program. Tovatt wanted to avoid the very facts that are most damning against SB277, making Canary Party responsible for the “middle of the road” strategy Pimentel admitted CCHC resorted to. Dr. Bark even said she suspected Tovatt is a shill.

The fallout from this strategy reached its climax at the Assembly Health Committee’s hearing on SB277. According to one eyewitness account reported in the AWAKE California Facebook group on how people were shut out of the hearing:

“I was with dr hooker when the guard asked for our names and then there were no seats left. But there were seats left, CCHC kept coming out and pulling people in. But we were closed out. Until I had two people from my regional group give up their seats timed with when the main guard was pulled away for a minute.”

The Facebook group member also said in that same post that CCHC falsely led people to believe that Dr. Hooker would testify, but he never did.

In response, Canary Party denied having any say in choosing speakers, asserting:

“The way the process works (or fails to work) in California is that groups who are opposing a bill put names forward on who they want to testify on their behalf, and the Committee Chair’s office decides who will be seated at the table.”

But a staffer from the Committee Chair’s office wrote in email that bill opponents chose who spoke for them at the hearing:

“The Committee does not organize testimony on either side of the debate. The author’s office organizes testimony in support and opponents typically organize amongst themselves and decide who will testify.”

Rather than explain why Dr. Hooker did not testify, Pimentel instead explained to a critic why he did not join CCHC:

“Dr. Brian Hooker was invited to join, but never responded. You are accusing me of sabotaging the fight – and that is absolutely obscene.”

That he would not join CCHC is hardly surprising given its ties to Canary Party and Canary Party’s history of undermining his congressional efforts. The troubled history following Canary Party’s Chairman Mark Blaxill also goes back long before he founded Canary Party.

Blaxill consulted for pharmaceutical companies while at Boston Consulting Group and now sits on the board of directors of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, funded by his former employer. He was an invited speaker at the 2001 Institute of Medicine meeting despite his lack of credentials, organizational leadership or publication record where he failed to disclose his concurrent BCG employment. He has also interfered in the omnibus autism cases, turning attorneys against expert witnesses and even throwing the case against thimerosal. He told Brian Hooker in 2007:

“But there’s a hard bit of evidence here regarding the thimerosal argument. The rates in California never went down and as far as I can tell are still going straight up with no deceleration at all. And you’ve seen the Denmark numbers.”

Yet research at the time showed there was a deceleration, and autism went down in Denmark after thimerosal was removed. Not surprisingly, SB277’s co-sponsor Senator Richard Pan channeled Blaxill’s talking point, “Autism rates have continued to rise even though we are not using thimerosal in vaccines for children,” Sacramento Bee quoted Pan as saying. It is hardly surprising that the coalition through which Canary Party conducted its activities in California took a “‘middle of the road’ strategy” to fighting a law that will now keep children from attending school for not being fully vaccinated according to CDC’s own aggressive immunization schedule.

While answering for Canary Party’s troublesome involvement in failing the opposition to SB277 on Facebook, Sylvia Pimentel grew increasingly agitated and defensive. At one point, she dramatically stated, “I have been accused of horrible things, so I have had no choice but respond. But now I will make my exit. Peace.” She returned a short while later to make a legal threat against a commenter. One cannot help but wonder if the outcome of fighting SB277 could have been different had CCHC’s leadership fought the law with the same level of zeal as Pimentel’s attack on some advocates she claims to share common cause with.

Meanwhile, SB277’s architect Richard Pan wants other states to follow California’s example:

“As the largest state in the country, we are sending a strong signal to the rest of the country that this can be done, that science and facts will prevail to make sound laws”.

Far from Canary Party/CCHC’s “middle of the road” approach, ensuring that science and facts prevail over the fraudulent science and lies spouted by Pan is the best way to kill bills like his. Time to stop supporting Canary Party.

See on The Epoch Times.

Doctor Who Shined Light on Vaccine Injury Dies at 60

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet

By Jake Crosby

It comes with great sadness to announce the untimely passing of Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, a medical doctor and parent of a child who developed autism after vaccination. Having once stated at a conference that “autism taught me more about medicine than medical school did,” he has contributed heavily to the body of peer reviewed science implicating the vaccine schedule in autism’s etiology. He had produced research suggesting children with autism have a higher body burden of mercury as well as research detecting measles in a subset of children with regressive autism who received the live-virus measles, mumps and rubella vaccination. As such, he believed children who presented with these types of findings should be treated for them.

Dr. Bradstreet faced considerable scorn as a result of his research, practice and views. In 2004 his work was dismissed by the Institute of Medicine, which was paid by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce a report rejecting any association between autism and vaccination. He was also ridiculed for mercury detoxification treatment by a special master in vaccine court, where email evidence has since shown that petitioners’ attorneys advised by SafeMinds threw the case for the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal causing the autism epidemic.

Then shortly after an FDA raid on his clinic in Buford, Georgia, Dr. Bradstreet was suddenly found dead. The FDA – which continues to maintain that thimerosal is safe despite contrary evidence produced by him and other researchers – would not comment on why its agents visited his clinic. An investigation is ongoing and a fundraising effort has been set up by his brother “To find the answers to the many questions leading up to the death of Dr Bradstreet, including an exhaustive investigation into the possibility of foul play.”

In the meantime, his brother requested that people not spread rumors or gossip about Dr. Bradstreet’s untimely death out of respect for his family. Autism Investigated will honor those wishes and will not approve any comments through moderation that do. May the circumstances surrounding Dr. Bradstreet’s passing be revealed soon, and may Dr. Bradstreet’s scientific contributions help lead to the end of the harm being done to so many children.

See on The Epoch Times.

Watch Jake Crosby’s AutismOne 2014 Talk

Props to AutismOne’s Teri Arranga for her introduction.

Originally posted on AutismOne

So often, when we think of investigating autism, we think of discovering the physiological underpinnings. But what about the sociological forces that perpetuate the autism epidemic? Politics from without? Or – surprisingly – politics from within? In this startling lecture, Jacob Crosby, MPH, discusses the obstructionist forces that have hampered progress within the autism advocacy arena.

Jake Crosby, MPH

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a bachelor’s degree in both history and health and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a master’s degree in epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a PhD in epidemiology. For nearly five years, he was contributing editor to Age of Autism.

Originally posted at AutismOne

AutismOne is a non-profit charity organization 501(c)(3) started by a small group of parents of children with autism. Parents are and must remain the driving force of our community, the stakes are too high and the issues too sacred to delegate to outside interests. AUTISM IS A PREVENTABLE/TREATABLE BIOMEDICAL CONDITION. Autism is the result of environmental triggers. Autism is not caused by “bad” genes and the epidemic is not the result of “better” diagnosis. Children with autism suffer from gut bugs, allergies, heavy metal toxicity, mitochondrial disorders, antioxidant deficiencies, nutritional deficiencies and autoimmune diseases – all of which are treatable. THE KEY IS EDUCATION The AutismOne Conference, AutismOne Radio, AutismOne Outreach and Autism in Action initiatives educate more than 100,000 families every year about prevention, recovery, safety, and change.

Originally posted at AutismOne

 

Addendum: See AutismOne Slides

Mark Blaxill Didn’t Disclose Pharma Conflict at 2001 IOM Meeting

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By Jake Crosby

In 2001, self-styled autism advocate Mark Blaxill failed to disclose his conflict of interest with pharmaceutical companies at the Institute of Medicine’s 2001 meeting on thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders. This non-disclosure would contradict what he would claim in a podcast interview 12 years later as Canary Party Chairman:

“The only time I had a conflict was when I was helping David Kirby and contributing to the Evidence of Harm book. And it’s even in the book, Curt; I have never hid the conflict. I’ve actually been public with people and open with people about the concerns I’ve had. So it’s not as though there is any great secrets I was keeping. And whatever concern I had, it is not operative any longer.”

But at his 2001 IOM presentation – discussed in “Evidence of Harm” –  Blaxill said, after being introduced by IOM Committee  Chair Marie McCormick:

“Thank you very much, Dr. McCormick. I am very pleased at the opportunity to present to the panel.

I had an easy time on the conflict of interest question. I am a parent, and I can guarantee you that the research that you will see has received no funding from anybody whatsoever. I also have an MBA, so I recognize that places me at something of a presumptive intellectual disadvantage. So be it.”

Other than identify himself as a parent, Blaxill revealed no conflict of interest whatsoever. He only stated that his research was not supported by any funding source as IOM requested that he disclose. What he did not reveal was that he was still in the employ of Boston Consulting Group, which still had vaccine manufacturers as clients. He would admit this in email to SafeMinds’ board of directors the following year and to omnibus attorney Mike Williams the year after that. Blaxill even consulted for Merck.

There is no evidence that his email to SafeMinds‘ board of directors in 2002 was made public prior to the 2005 publication of David Kirby’s book “Evidence of Harm”, in which the email’s contents were discussed. Blaxill’s email to Williams was not public until it was revealed last year on Autism Investigated. So prior to publication of “Evidence of Harm,” the only known public record of discussion concerning Blaxill’s potential conflicts was his non-disclosure of any such conflicts when he first presented to IOM in 2001.

Not disclosing his conflict of interest enabled him to win the trust of other parents present in the audience at that meeting. The following year, he would join SafeMinds‘ board of directors, enabling him to influence that organization’s agenda. When the rider to shield Eli Lilly and other thimerosal manufacturers was slipped into the Homeland Security Bill, Blaxill sent an email threatening to resign should SafeMinds slam the company for poisoning children. That was when he cited his own employer’s ties to pharmaceutical companies as his reason for threatening to resign from SafeMinds’ board . Remarkably, SafeMinds capitulated to Blaxill and he remained on SafeMinds’ board for another decade. His position further enabled him to do irreparable harm to the omnibus autism cases – denying justice to 4,900 vaccine injured children – and hijack the agenda of the 2012 congressional autism hearing as well as a tentatively scheduled 2014 congressional hearing.

Following public revelations of his 2012 hijacking, he left SafeMinds in 2013 but remains chairman of his own organization Canary Party that he founded in 2011. He continuously works to shield the scientific misconduct of CDC and its collaborators from exposure in a congressional hearing. Meanwhile, the evidence mounts that he was planted at the 2001 IOM meeting, as does the evidence for his “advocacy” being nothing more than carefully orchestrated infiltration by a man so unqualified to speak at the IOM, he even acknowledged that fact in his presentation.

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.

Was Mark Blaxill Planted at IOM in 2001?

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By Jake Crosby

On July 16th, 2001, Mark Blaxill gave a presentation to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled “The Rising Incidence of Autism: Associations with Thimerosal” despite his lack of scientific credentials, publication record or official title within any major autism organization – unlike any of the other speakers. His presentation elevated public perception of him to that of a chief proponent of thimerosal’s role in causing autism, especially concerning its epidemiological correlation. Ironically, he would later publicly backtrack on his position on thimerosal, purportedly based on statistics from the same database he presented on in his 2001 presentation – an apparent act to throw the omnibus autism cases and deny justice to 4,900 vaccine-injured children. Yet it all began with his invited IOM presentation in 2001 where he lacked the qualifications of the other invited presenters. What he did not lack, however, was employment with a consulting firm with a large number of pharmaceutical clients.

David Kirby‘s book “Evidence of Harm” misrepresents Blaxill as having presented to IOM on SafeMinds‘ behalf, but in fact Blaxill would not join SafeMinds for another year. A search for his name on PubMed does not return any hits prior to 2002. His only advanced degree was an MBA. Although his board membership with SafeMinds would not begin for another year at the time of his IOM presentation, his then-employment with the extensively pharma-tied firm Boston Consulting Group had already lasted two decades. He also used his work email address in his autism advocacy and consulted for Merck, having visited the company’s headquarters in New Jersey.

Mark Blaxill’s autism-related activities before his IOM presentation appeared limited to writing the occasional emailed newsletter for a group called Families for Early Autism Treatment (FEAT). He did not yet hold any official position within SafeMinds.

At the time of his 2001 IOM presentation of autism prevalence (how common autism is) in California’s developmental services system which he conflated with incidence (how frequently new cases occur) in his title slide, IOM’s sponsor, CDC, was already looking at that same data to see how it may be used to absolve thimerosal. Two years later, CDC then published a graph from Blaxill’s presentation in a paper aiming to clear thimerosal that also included data from international fugitive Poul Thorsen’s fraudulent research while it was still in press at the journal Pediatrics.

As the graph was merely correlative, it was hardly a threat to CDC, which had no problem publishing it in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM). Living up to public expectation of Blaxill being not only a chief proponent but also a chief defender of thimerosal’s role in causing autism, he then wrote a scathing letter to AJPM accusing the authors of misrepresenting his work. He would later call Thorsen’s paper “uninformative and potentially misleading” following its publication.

But only a few years later, he would publicly backtrack on his position on thimerosal’s role in causing the autism epidemic. His pretense was the continued increases in California developmental services department’s autism caseload among younger children, despite the admitted prematurity of such data based according to the state’s own health department. This was the very database from which Blaxill used statistics in his 2001 IOM presentation to elevate his position as a thimerosal-autism-link proponent in the first place.

In 2007, Mark Blaxill unwittingly revealed his earlier change in position to be more likely an act than anything else, when he cited Thorsen’s own fraudulent research in an email to an omnibus petitioner to defend thimerosal – the very research Blaxill dubbed “uninformative and potentially misleading” years prior. This led to the throwing of 4,900 omnibus cases, for which he acted as a consultant to the lead attorneys. Later that same year and long after IOM was found to have secretly decided it would never say autism is a true side-effect of vaccination, Mark Blaxill participated in an “Autism and the Environment” IOM meeting heavily sponsored by pharmaceutical interests and which never mentioned vaccines. Although by 2007 he left his job with the pharma-tied Boston Consulting Group (BCG), he maintains connections to the firm through his ongoing board membership of a non-profit both directed and funded by BCG.

With his changing the topic of the 2012 congressional hearing from CDC autism research fraud to the federal response, his deliberately avoiding mention of “vaccines” in his congressional speech and his continued undermining of any congressional investigation into the fraud committed by Thorsen and other researchers used by CDC and IOM to justify thimerosal’s use, Mark Blaxill’s activities over the years are consistent with those of an infiltrator. Similarly, his sudden rise to prominence as a perceived advocate against thimerosal with his 2001 presentation at IOM is consistent with the actions of a person who had been planted there.

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.

Mark Blaxill Remains Connected To BCG – A Pharma-Tied Consulting Firm

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By Jake Crosby

Revelations about Mark Blaxill’s ties to his former employer the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and its pharmaceutical clients – in contradiction to what he said in a recently recorded interview on Linderman Unleashed – have now come to the attention of Autism Investigated. These discoveries were made on the heels of even more troubling evidence coming to light: see the previous post about Mark Blaxill turning the lead omnibus attorneys against expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier with baseless and profane attacks against them.

In spite of Mark Blaxill claiming on Linderman Unleashed that he was fired from the BCG – suggesting his autism advocacy played a role – he appears to have voluntarily left the firm for the purpose of starting his own company and for reasons wholly unrelated to autism. In fact, Blaxill still maintains ties to BCG despite no longer being employed with the firm as Senior Vice President and despite claiming he no longer has a conflict of interest “of any kind.” Blaxill also falsely claimed to have always consulted for non-pharmaceutical clients while a BCG executive, merely admitting the firm had pharmaceutical clients but he in fact concealed from Linderman’s audience that he had consulted for Merck during his BCG employment.

Here’s the story he gave on his podcast interview with Curt Linderman, dated October 24, 2013, regarding his BCG departure:

“And then in 2006 – early in 2006 not very long after Evidence of Harm came out – all of a sudden I found myself without a job, and I was no longer at the Boston Consulting Group…I did have issues that concerned me, and it actually didn’t stop me from speaking out, Curt, but it did worry me a little, and who knows? Maybe my worries were founded because I’m not working there anymore, and that was not my choice.”

However, the book Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World by Walter Kiechel tells a story about Mark Blaxill’s departure from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) that totally contradicts what Blaxill told Linderman. According to Kiechel:

“Blaxill wanted to push on to the issue of motivation, of why people worked on Linux for free, even into issues of creativity, but couldn’t find the time or support within the firm for exploring those dimensions. “The antibodies resisted that,” he says. In 2006, Blaxill left BCG to set up his own firm, 3LP Advisors, to concentrate on the intersection of strategy, intellectual property, and innovation.”  

In his interview on Linderman, Blaxill said 3LP Advisors was founded as a result of his firing from Boston Consulting Group, claiming the termination of his employment “was not my choice.” Yet not only was it his choice according to Kiechel, but in fact Blaxill left Boston Consulting Group so that he could found 3LP Advisors to practice his own business strategy the way he liked – nothing to do with autism.

Linderman then further questioned Blaxill specifically about his conflict of interest with Boston Consulting Group since 2006:

“To me it would seem as if you were still with this company and you still had this conflict of interest, and that is not the case since 2006?”

To which Blaxill replied by emphatically denying possession of any conflict of interest:

“Curt, I don’t have a conflict of interest of any kind now, and I have not had one for years. I haven’t had a conflict since I started the Age of Autism with JB Handley and Dan Olmsted and Kim Stagliano back in 2007. I haven’t had a conflict since I wrote the book The Age of Autism. I haven’t had a conflict since starting the Canary Party. The only time I had a conflict was when I was helping David Kirby and contributing to the Evidence of Harm book. And it’s even in the book, Curt; I have never hid the conflict. I’ve actually been public with people and open with people about the concerns I’ve had. So it’s not as though there is any great secrets I was keeping. And whatever concern I had, it is not operative any longer.”

However, Blaxill remains a board member of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), which has received over $25,000 annually from Boston Consulting Group. Serving on the board with him is none other than Boston Consulting Group’s Chairman of the Board Carl Stern.

ICIC’s chairman and founder as well as Harvard Business School Prof. Michael Porter was thanked in no uncertain terms in the acknowledgements section of the book Blaxill coauthored in 2009 with his business partner Ralph Eckardt, “The Invisible Edge: Taking Your Strategy to the Next Level Using Intellectual Property:

“[The Boston Consulting Group Founder’s] ideas have been extended and enriched by the academic and consulting community in Boston, most notably by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, on one hand, and our former colleagues at BCG on another.”

Blaxill and Eckardt then summed up their relationship with Prof. Porter as follows:

“Michael Porter has been a teacher, a collaborator, a client, and a friend.” 

It seems Blaxill and Eckardt are not the only ones with high praise for Prof. Porter. When Porter was awarded a prestigious University Professorship at Harvard, Merck’s then-chairman, president and CEO Raymond Gilmartin (who later resigned over the Vioxx scandal and became a Harvard Business School Professor himself) told the Harvard Gazette:

“Through his research, teaching, and writing, Mike Porter has made an indelible mark on businesses and markets everywhere. His leading-edge research has directly influenced the strategies and competitiveness of individual firms and the nation. More recently, he has helped to identify the key drivers of innovation, which has now become the basis of global competition. His insights are directly relevant to understanding the vital ingredients for success in a host of industries, including pharmaceuticals.”

Clearly Blaxill has much to gain by serving on ICIC’s board of directors with his former employer BCG’s Chairman of the Board while under Prof. Porter’s chairmanship. ICIC’s website boasts that the organization’s partners “gain as well as give.” It’s hard to fathom how Blaxill could honestly claim on Linderman to not possess a conflict of interest “of any kind.”

But Blaxill was not even honest in the Linderman interview about what he did during his past employment for BCG. He claimed:

“…I always worked with industrial companies, automotive, forest products, computers-type companies, but they also had pharmaceutical clients.”

But he did not solely work with those companies, because Blaxill consulted for Merck directly as a BCG employee himself. In 2010, he told me he had visited Merck’s headquarters in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Later at a 2011 gathering in Waltham, Massachusetts, where Blaxill announced his preliminary plans to found the Canary Party – I overheard him telling someone about his experience consulting for Merck, describing his former clients as “not that smart.”

Despite suggesting his departure from Boston Consulting Group was some sort of martyrdom for his autism advocacy and that he no longer has any ties to the firm, it appears that Mark Blaxill was not fired, but left on his own terms wholly unrelated to autism and even remains connected to his former employer who continues to serve pharmaceutical clients.

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

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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)
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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.

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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.

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 Admits COI When His Undermining Began

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By Jake Crosby

Mark Blaxill appeared on Linderman Unleashed Thursday to “rebut” my interview with Linderman last week (both interviews embedded below). Unfortunately, Blaxill avoided much of what I said despite admitting he’d had a conflict of interest with vaccine manufacturers while David Kirby was writing the book “Evidence of Harm.” Mark Blaxill also made tacit reference to my autism – and not in a positive way – near the end of the interview.

In Kirby’s book, Blaxill was quoted as threatening to resign from SafeMinds‘ board should the organization speak out against drug companies poisoning children – companies that he admitted at the time were clients of his then-employer, Boston Consulting Group. The period when Evidence of Harm was still being written also corresponds with when Blaxill and others from SafeMinds were secretly advising the Vaccine Injured Petitioners’ Steering Committee for the autism omnibus, where he trashed petitioners’ expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier and said Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s work was “not well-supported by the epi data.” Blaxill did all this despite his connections to the vaccine industry. He claimed on the show that “no one worked harder” than he did in showing how CDC cheated with numbers using the Vaccine Safety Datalink, and yet, it was David Geier not Mark Blaxill who discovered the CDC’s early results showing thimerosal caused harm including autism.

It should  be stated that while on Linderman, Blaxill also denied possessing a conflict of interest any longer – claiming to not have one since 2006. Nonetheless, the troubling trend of his undermining advocacy against vaccines causing autism began during his employment with the Boston Consulting Group, which has vaccine manufacturers for clients.

The latest example of this trend can be seen in the congressional autism hearings in which Mark Blaxill has been consistently working to prevent CDC malfeasance from being exposed both before Congress and on national television via dishonest lobbying practices. While Mark Blaxill chaired SafeMinds’ Government Affairs Committee, SafeMinds succeeded in changing the topic of last November’s hearing so it would no longer be about CDC malfeasance as originally planned and organized by autism parent and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker. Blaxill and SafeMinds’ actions prevented Dr. Hooker from testifying.*

In a more recent example of such undermining, Mark Blaxill’s Canary Party released an action alert asking Congress to investigate the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program last April – a complete betrayal of trust to Dr. Brian Hooker. Just two weeks prior, Canary Party President Jennifer Larson had promised Dr. Hooker that the alert would ask Congress to hold the next hearing specifically on CDC malfeasance, which the last hearing would have been about had SafeMinds not changed the topic. Age of Autism – both sponsored and edited by Blaxill – covered up such revelations about the alert by refusing to publish my critical comment on the pretense it was “picayune.”

Yet in spite of these activities – SafeMinds’ lobbying, Canary Party’s action alert and most recently Canary Party President Jennifer Larson’s $40,000 contribution the PAC of Congressional Committee Chair Darrell Issa – Mark Blaxill insists any involvement of his in sabotaging the hearing is “a lie” and that he has “no power” over how the hearing topics are chosen or who is invited to testify. While Issa, other congressmen and their staffers have the final say, Mark Blaxill consistently avoids discussing his ongoing role in attempting to influence their decisions to keep exposure of the vaccine-autism cover-up out of the hearings.

Instead, he denies having any explanation for all the failures that have occurred concerning the hearings and similar initiatives – many of which he contributed to – and essentially blames his followers for not being rich and powerful enough to defeat DHHS or big pharma rather than his own largely self-styled and unwanted leadership. He told Linderman:

“To be honest, you know we’re fighting with pop guns, man, and the other side has tanks…but you go to war with the army that you got, not the one that you wish for. And the fact is, we’re not making enough change, and I don’t know what to do about it to be honest, other than to keep fighting and to keep fighting the best way that we can.”

And that would be, according to Mark Blaxill, with the analogous equivalent of pop guns fighting tanks while he thwarts yet another hearing and his vice president Ginger Taylor tells people my judgement is compromised by my autism. At the end of the interview (which began with my name being stated by Curt Linderman as the very reason for the interview), Blaxill clearly made another derogatory reference to my autism without naming me:

I think we need to love our kids whether they’re  low-functioning or high-functioning, and when they’re high-functioning and they’re not functioning the way we hope they would, we love them anyway. 

Yet just days after my first article on how SafeMinds hijacked the last congressional hearing went online, he unfriended me on Facebook. I guess I really must not be functioning the way Mark Blaxill hoped.

Interviews:

Mark Blaxill’s response

My interview on Linderman

*Linderman mistakenly asked Blaxill to verify if the Canary Party influenced the November hearing when it was actually SafeMinds’ involvement in that hearing that I had taken issue with during my interview. I had also noted that Blaxill’s base of operations later shifted from SafeMinds to Canary Party in his efforts to influence Congress.

 

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.