JB Handley Writes Gaffe-Filled Book About The Autism Epidemic

 ***Correction: Verstraeten study was published in 2003, not 2013 as stated in the video.

“This is a complete waste of everyone’s time. Every person involved in the dust-up has been a champion of our kids and they all deserve our respect. This is a movement fraught with tension, stress, and confusion. Time for everyone to grab their toys, leave the playground, take a deep breath, and get back to the task at hand.” – JB Handley dismissing the revelation by Autism Investigated’s editor that false representation to congressional staff was committed by SafeMinds.

Years ago, Generation Rescue founder JB Handley accused the wife of a known vaccine shill of secretly operating a neurodiversity blog. So confident was Handley, he even promised her a website he created to expose her husband’s lies on condition that she wasn’t the blog’s operator. Six months later, JB Handley turned over PaulOffit.com to Bonnie Offit. Eight years later, Handley still hasn’t learned his lesson about the importance of knowing stuff. His book How To End The Autism Epidemic proves it. Filled with inaccuracies, it’s reflective of just how out of depth JB Handley is on an issue that’s preoccupied his life for two decades.

His book gives disproportionate importance to events that happened this year, even as the epidemic has been raging for decades. Reading it, one might get the sense that the most important events all happened in 2018. The most featured study, for example, was published nine months ago. That, however, may partially explain why Handley gets some key facts wrong. He has a personal stake in committing the gravest error, however. In his book, JB Handley pushed the damaging myth that a doctor gave two conflicting expert opinions for different children seeking vaccine injury compensation. Although Dr. Andrew Zimmerman had expressed an opinion that compensated child Hannah Poling’s autism was caused by vaccination, he was never her expert witness. His opinion was also given after the concession.

A congressional hearing was almost held in 2013 over the falsehood that was spread by Canary Party. The hearing was cancelled after the falsehood was corrected by Hannah Poling’s mother in the comments of the Age of Autism blog that Handley’s group sponsors. Congressional counsel then announced the hearing’s cancellation for being “overly divisive.” That clearly meant it would pit parent against parent. Autism Investigated broke the news of the cancellation. Instead of stating the real reason for the cancellation, Handley wrongly blamed a vaccine front group.

JB Handley played a role in the failure. Prior to the 2012 hearing, a lobbyist working for Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill falsely represented parent-scientist Brian Hooker to congressional staff. Handley dismissed the news entirely, calling it “a complete waste of everyone’s time” in the comments of Age of Autism. He then demanded “everyone…get back to the task at hand,” indicating Hooker and Blaxill should work together.

Mark Blaxill was subsequently discovered to have turned the autism omnibus attorneys against their own expert witnesses. He brutally smeared Dr. Mark and David Geier and even disparaged Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who would never be invited to testify. This was revealed publicly for the first time in emails shared with Autism Investigated. Even after all that, Handley’s support of Blaxill never wavered. Handley has a lot to answer for in his role of pushing Mark Blaxill on the movement against toxic vaccinations, contributing to the congressional failure.

Yet JB Handley goes even further than the cancelled hearing would have gone by demanding the father Jon Poling testify and be cross-examined about his daughter’s case by politicians. Yet Handley also acknowledges that the parents were given a $20 million concession to stay quiet. Strangely, he says that he wouldn’t begrudge other parents for doing exactly what the parents of Hannah Poling had already done. So why is he channeling the vaccine people by hitting her parents up for their daughter’s confidential medical information?

Though Poling is the worst example, there are other key facts that Handley gets wrong. For example, the senior author John Walker-Smith did not stand by the interpretation of the 1998 study as Handley falsely writes. Walker-Smith cosigned the fraudulent interpretation retraction with nine other coauthors. CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer Thomas Verstraeten also did not say his 2003 study of the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal was “neutral” with respect to autism, but rather with speech delays and tic disorders. He wanted to cover his autism findings up. These are not trivial errors to make, and both doctors are subsequently let off easy. The probable reason for the errors is simply that Handley did not give either study the attention it deserved when writing his book.

Finally, JB Handley has already taken criticism from many people because his book even recommends certain vaccines albeit far less than the current schedule. Handley later changed his position in a radio interview to say that you should have a right to get some vaccines if you want them. He obviously had not thought about that issue very hard. His below defense of the vaccine program on Facebook says it all, demanding of people vastly more knowledgeable than him: “unfriend me.”

(The vaccine program needs to go away, and getting rid of it is the most effective argument at this time.)

It’s totally disingenuous of JB Handley to play the victim when he is trying to dictate the message of the movement with his ignorance. Why Handley demonstrates such poor knowledge of the issues surrounding the autism epidemic after apparently dedicating so many years to it is a mystery. He can’t think of effective policy solutions either. One explanation could be that he conflates ending the autism epidemic with ending his own son’s autism. Whatever the reason, his insistence on controlling the narrative of an issue he has so little understanding of is an unmitigated disaster.

One time Autism Investigated criticized him for saying the government studied “one vaccine and one ingredient” since it’s akin to saying the government ruled them out. He responded, “Don’t spread bullshit.”

Told that the government didn’t study them but rather lies about all vaccines, he grudgingly agreed with Autism Investigated.

“Yeah, no shit.”

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20 Thoughts on “JB Handley Writes Gaffe-Filled Book About The Autism Epidemic

  1. Hans litten on December 30, 2018 at 5:47 pm said:

    Yes jake we are riddled with paid collaborators‘ how anyone with more than 2 years of concentrated exposure to the lie of vaccination can talk about anything other than their complete and total abolition is quite beyond me ‘ And what is all this nonsense about Facebook friends jb ? None of us are friends ‘ we are activists , campaigners, righters of wrongs , as for blaxhill well ?

  2. Thank you for the thoughtful review. Handley is disingenuous by demanding that no one opposed to vaccines criticize his work–as if he denies the existence of (corrupt) controlled opposition to the vaccine paradigm, while openly positioning himself as a controller. He can’t be that naive.

  3. Hans Litten on January 2, 2019 at 3:45 pm said:

    The Guardian giving us good information FOR ONCE :

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/21/rightwing-populists-ride-wave-of-mistrust-of-vaccine-science

    Justyna Socha, an insurance agent and mother of four from Poznań, in north-west Poland, started to campaign after she was fined for refusing to vaccinate one of her children.

    Socha is the president of Stop Nop (a Polish acronym for undesirable vaccine reactions). This year the group gathered more than 100,000 signatures calling for a change in the law on mandatory vaccination. The proposals were considered by the Polish parliament before being thrown out.

    Socha and her supporters argue that the medical profession in Poland is engaged in a large-scale cover-up of the adverse effects of vaccinations on young children, a conspiracy they attribute to pressure from regulatory institutions and financial inducements from vaccine producers.

    “We don’t identify as anti-vaccine, we are pro-patient,” Socha told the Guardian. “Doctors who try to report their concerns are threatened with medical tribunals and with losing their jobs, so it falls to me as a patient, and as a mother, to change the system.”

    The group evokes the spectre of the authoritarian past. “This is a post-communist country, where various cliques rooted in the previous system are exploiting our children,” said Socha, citing other countries in the former Soviet bloc where vaccination is also compulsory. “The citizen is a slave to the authorities.”

    Poland’s rightwing government refuses to make vaccination voluntary, but Socha’s cause is backed by small numbers of populist politicians. Most prominent among them are members of Kukiz 15, an “anti-systemic” party similar to Italy’s M5S. Socha has stood as a parliamentary candidate for the party.

    Socha’s supporters in the party include Piotr Liroy-Marzec, a former hip-hop artist, and Wojciech Bakun, an MP and IT specialist who has said he will not vaccinate his young son because he blames vaccines for his daughter’s type-1 diabetes.

    Across the border in Ukraine, the dynamic is different but just as troubling. Here, politicians have whipped up a culture of suspicion about foreign medicines.

    In early November, Olga Bohomolets, a dermatologist and head of parliament’s medicine committee, said Ukrainians should be given locally produced vaccines created “according to the nation’s immunity needs”. The health ministry later called her comments “unscientific” and said it was the vaccines that used to be produced in Ukraine that did not comply with international standards.

    Oleksandra Ustinova, a board member of the Kiev-based Anti-Corruption Action Centre, said the low vaccination rate was a result of several antivax campaigns.

    Both Ustinova and Kateryna Bulavinova, a medical expert at Unicef Ukraine, said vaccination was likely to be an issue in parliamentary and presidential campaigns next year. “With any elections, with any power change, politicians speculate on vaccines, which is very bad,” Bulavinova said.

    Five signs of denialism

    Until the turn of the century, around 90% of French people were pro-vaccine, but then scandals involving drug companies shook public confidence, said Jocelyn Raude, a sociologist who has studied the French anti-vaccine movement. In 2009 the French government ordered huge quantities of vaccine against the swine flu epidemic, but less than 10% of people took up the offer. Later it emerged that the vaccine caused a small increase in narcolepsy cases in children. The government was accused of wasting money and having ties to Big Pharma.

    Also in 2009, the weight loss drug Mediator was withdrawn in France, triggering a scandal. It was found to cause heart valve damage and was believed to have killed at least 500 people. The maker, Servier, and the drug regulator faced trial. Anti-pharma groups sprung up. Henri Joyeux, a doctor who promoted healthy eating and opposed the pill, led a petition against aluminium in vaccines that gained 1m signatures.

    Faced with low vaccination rates, in January the French government added eight more vaccines to the three that were already compulsory for school entry. The far-right leader Marine Le Pen opposed the change, citing arguments used by antivaxers that nobody could be sure of the long-term safety of multiple vaccines.

    “So the populist far-right did not start the anti-vaccine movement in France, but the populist far-right later sought to opportunistically get on board with it when they saw it was becoming a public issue,” said Raude.

    There was a time when health experts studiously ignored the antivaxers. But as misinformation spread on social media, they realised they needed to take them on. The WHO produced a document entitled “How to respond to vocal vaccine deniers in public”, based on psychological research.

    “Addressing vocal vaccine deniers in the media can be fraught with danger and angst,” it says. The first rule is that “the general public is the target, not the vaccine denier”, who is unlikely to change their mind. It notes “five characteristics of science denialism”: conspiracies, fake experts, selective use of evidence, impossible expectations (such as 100% safety) and misrepresentation and false logic.

    Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, believes public health officials should engage on social media. They too often shied away, she said in the Lancet recently, “but they and other relevant stakeholders need to go where the discussions are happening and where influence is being leveraged.”

  4. Maurine Meleck on January 4, 2019 at 6:10 pm said:

    Growing up I was pegged as the child in the family who should act as mediator of family dissension. But who really cares about that? I’m no longer that child(at least I hope I’m not). Yet, I still carry some of that inclination. The only thing I refuse to do that with is where I stand on Trump as my negativity towards him runs deeper than his wish for fracking holes. Somehow with only one functioning eye, I can see both sides of this issue, having been in the trenches for 19 years. I have tried to stand on both sides of this argument at different times. When I pushed too hard to elimination of vaccines ie they are all dangerous for everyone, I often had to retreat back “at least give parents the choice” if that’s all we can get out of the gov’t. It’s better than nothing.
    In Florida, after numerous letters to the editor on same issue, one letter I pushed so hard on the lies of the CDC, the Florida Times Union banned me from further communication with them. Looking now at whom people elected as president and some continue to support, including congresspeople, I have zero faith in our politicians and zero faith in our American society for ever resolving the vaccine issue in my lifetime anyway. So kudos to all those that continue to fight the battle, whichever road you choose to ride. It takes me back to my anti-Vietnam war stance in the 60’s and my fight with other University students to end it. It was the young people that ended it(albeit 10 years too late). I feel the same about the vaccine battle. We can’t look to politicians. We can only to “we the people” for change.

  5. I am a bit surprised that J B Handley does not mention how the likes of the deceased Dr Jeff Bradstreet advocated Medical Cannabis for the management of Autism. Also from experience many so-called Autism Advocacy groups like Autism New Zealand from what I have experienced is despite showing them research from Israel done by Dr Adi Aran or Dr Raphael Mechoulam, they will ignore the research or they will use excuses like more research or clinical trials is needed. Earlier in the year when I did a submission to the New Zealand Select Health Committee in a attempt to have Autism made a qualifying condition for Medical Cannabis, that plea was ignored by the New Zealand Government as I have mentioned to them that there is no need for anymore clinical trials, all that is need to be done is to obtain the research from Dr Raphael Mechoulam or Dr Ari Aran and start a Medical Cannabis Scheme which has Autism as a qualifying condition with other health conditions as part of the scheme. Instead the New Zealand Medical Cannabis scheme at the moment is for people on their death bed. On facebook from what I noticed there a groups like MAMMA and Whole Plant Therapy for Autism that advocate for Cannabis to be used for Autism Management but talking with people from some of the mentioned groups, some of them are very disillusioned with the mainstream autism advocacy groups as they would not look at Medical Cannabis.

  6. Hans Litten on January 8, 2019 at 9:13 am said:

    https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2019/01/07/mistaken-identity-influenza-narcolepsy-autoimmunity-link-confirmed/

    Published on
    January 7, 2019

    There’s a theory in immunology, called the molecular mimicry hypothesis, that autoimmunity (where the immune system turns on the body’s own tissues) is the result of mistaken identity: The immune system confuses a tiny chunk of a protein residing in a healthy person’s body for a chunk of a protein found in an infectious microbial pathogen, then winds up attacking the tissue containing that protein instead of standing down as it should (and usually does).

    Now there’s a proven precedent: A team led by Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD, has shown that the same set of helper T cells responds angrily to both an antigen from a viral protein and an antigen from the bodily protein that’s destroyed by the immune system in the course of an autoimmune disease called narcolepsy.

    Mignot has devoted much of his career to the study of narcolepsy, a rare and strange sleep disorder that affects 1 in 3,000 people. People with narcolepsy experience irresistible daytime drowsiness and frequent, sudden sleep attacks: intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep throughout the day.

    In a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Mignot’s team provides strong evidence confirming a theory Mignot has pursued since the global swine-flu pandemic of 2009-10: namely, that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease, and that a trigger for it is an antigen not only found in swine flu (as well as in other versions of the “A” strain of influenza), but — alas — also included in the vaccine hastily developed and massively administered during the pandemic to protect people.

    This possibility was suggested by an uptick in narcolepsy cases among patients receiving a version of the vaccine (there were two). Mignot’s group believed they’d firmly established the connection in a study they published in 2013, but this study was later retracted at Mignot’s urging when he found himself unable to reproduce results of crucial experiments conducted by a co-author.

    In the new study, however, Mignot’s team used a more-rigorous method to track down the specific set of helper T cells that, indeed, react strongly to both a protein found in the flu virus (and, more so, in the narcolepsy-inducing vaccine version) and a protein residing on key brain cells whose loss induces narcolepsy. The findings carry constructive implications for modifying flu vaccines to exclude autoimmunity-provoking antigens.

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  12. Empty, desperate and grasping.

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