Tag Archives: Dan Olmsted

GARDINER’S REVENGE: Disgraced ex-NYT Reporter Erased HuffPo Vaccine Injury Stories

Lydia Polgreen likes Gardiner Harris’ tweet congratulating her on replacing Arianna Huffington.

After Autism Investigated’s future editor had New York Times’ vaccine propagandist Gardiner Harris kicked off health stories and dumped in India, he began working with future Huffington Post editor Lydia Polgreen. That’s the same editor who just deleted dozens of articles on vaccine injury on the site.

But at the time Harris was re-assigned, she was also a correspondent for The New York Times in New Delhi like Harris was. At the end of 2016, she left the rag to become editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post when its founder Arianna Huffington stepped down. Two years after that, the curtains came down on Gardiner Harris’ New York Times career when he couldn’t contain his anti-Trump bias while writing about the UN ambassador. He was then rehired, appropriately, as a pharmaceutical public relations agent. Before Autism Investigated reported on his new job in May, Autism Investigated sent the below email to his new employer Foresite Capital in April:

Hi,

I began the nine-year takedown of your communications director’s career at NYT.
https://www.autisminvestigated.com/jake-crosby-gardiner-harris/

I complained about him for his vaccine injury denial in 2010 and 2011, and he was taken off that beat. Specifically, I complained about his brother’s concurrent pharmaceutical connection while Harris was reporting on vaccines.
https://www.ageofautism.com/2010/04/the-new-york-times-indefensible-defense-of-the-drug-industry.html
https://www.autisminvestigated.com/nyt-public-editor-pr-tool/

I’d like to know if Gardiner Harris has any comment on the fact that his employment with your firm further confirms my longtime contention of his pharma bias.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH

Not surprisingly, Harris’ new employer never wrote back. After the discovery of his brother’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry in 2010, Gardiner Harris abusively wrote an autism mother that she believes “wild conspiracy theories about the roots of autism.”

Even though Harris’ ex-colleague Polgreen has been Huffington Post editor for years, her decision to remove articles on vaccine injury only took a couple months. She only decided to do so after Harris lost his job, became a de jure pharma PR agent and was deservedly humiliated for it on Autism Investigated. Autism Investigated’s editor is far from the only person in the anti-vaccination and vaccine skeptic communities that Harris has had a problem with.

The night before Hannah Poling’s parents held a press conference about the government’s concession that vaccines caused her autism, JB Handley wrote Harris all the way back in 2008:

On an historic evening, before the world hears the tale of a beautiful little girl felled by 5 vaccines in one visit, I just want you to know that I will never forget what an injustice you did to our kids.

Gardiner Harris also denied, against documentary evidence, that the CDC director encouraged a comparison of health outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated children. “david kirby got his story entirely wrong,” Harris wrote in email about one of the journalists who reported the news. Kirby was also the journalist who broke Hannah Poling’s story. In contrast to Harris’ attack on Kirby, the CDC director did tell UPI’s Dan Olmsted in 2005 that such studies could be done and should be done.

Now David Kirby’s landmark story breaking the vaccine injury concession has been removed from The Huffington Post along with dozens of other articles. So too has Hannah Poling’s concession document from the government that Kirby reposted. David Kirby and Hannah Poling’s father have spoken out against the deletion in statements to Autism Investigated.

Gardiner Harris doesn’t like Autism Investigated, JB Handley or David Kirby. Fair enough, we hate him right back. But Harris has now taken out his anger over his own professional failures on a disabled girl who is a victim of the lies people like him still spread. It’s no wonder his son got asthma, which is also caused by vaccines.

Mark Green Turns Yellow: Denies Vaccines Cause Autism Post-Complaint

Congressman and ER Dr. Mark Green, markgreen4tn.com

Following a vaccine troll‘s medical board complaint against the ER doctor and congressman from Tennessee, Rep. Mark Green released a statement saying he believes the CDC and FDA’s lies about vaccines after meeting with them. Following his election to Congress in 2018, he said he will stand up to the CDC and ask for the real data on vaccines. Autism Investigated even contacted his office and offered to meet with him at the time.

But Rep. Green came under fire from Tennessee’s baby-killing Senior Senator Lamar Alexander, who insisted vaccines were safe. He then invited teenage vaccine propaganda prop Ethan Lindenberger to testify against his mother for not vaccinating him at a Senate HELP Committee hearing. After that, Alexander coauthored a pro-vaccine op-ed in The Tennessean with just-elected Senator Marsha Blackburn. Before Green was elected to Congresss, Blackburn was the congressional representative for his district. Now Green is claiming to trust the CDC after meeting with CDC, go figure…

In response to Alexander and Blackburn’s op-ed, Autism Investigated submitted a letter to the editor but it was never published. It pointed out how Lamar Alexander allowed the vaccine industry to murder infants in his home state when he was Governor of Tennessee. The proof is in an internal memo of Wyeth in which the company agreed to disperse vaccine lots across geographic areas to hide that vaccines cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The memo is reproduced below and was uncovered by the late journalist Dan Olmsted.


As an ER doctor, Mark Green knows his colleagues have to deal with the mess caused by vaccine companies like Wyeth. Instead of having the courage to clean it up, Mark Green has turned yellow and swept it under the emergency room curtains.

DISAPPOINTED TO DEATH: The Long, Slow Suicide of Dan Olmsted (RIP)

When news hit of Dan’s death two years ago, it was a shock to everyone. Autism Investigated was no exception. The words “heart attack” and “stroke” came to mind, certainly never suicide. Autism Investigated dedicated a week-long tribute to Dan Olmsted, and then the cause of death became news: “overdose.” He wasn’t an addict, and he was one of the last people to make a fatal mistake when it came to medication. What happened was his realization that despite holding the title of AgeofAutism.com editor, he had no editorial independence and never did.

The tragic story of Dan’s death really begins in 2013, the year of Autism Investigated’s beginning. The 2012 congressional autism hearing was hijacked by a sponsor/editor of the site who even coauthored all of Dan’s books. He killed the story of the hijacking on his own blog. After the article about the fiasco ran elsewhere, Dan wrote a short post smearing the piece:

It’s bad journalism, glaringly unsourced and without giving the “targets” an opportunity to give their version of events. I stand by the choices I’ve made in dealing with this unfortunate situation, and will be following up in the near future.

Instead of following up, he ran a statement by the sponsoring organization behind the congressional hijacking. Only after that did he agree to publish a follow-up piece by the author of the original story. As reader outrage at the congressional fiasco mounted in the post’s comments, Dan closed the thread without consent of the author. “Go in peace for all mankind,” he derisively ordered his own readers.

The author of the piece voiced opposition to the site’s censorship of comments, before getting banned from ever contributing anything to the website again. Subsequently, another site was founded. That site is Autism Investigated.

But despite how heavily controlled the discussion became on Age of Autism, Dan could not ignore Autism Investigated’s reporting. When Autism Investigated broke the news of the 2013 congressional hearing cancellation, Dan appeared in the comments just to deny that a related post that suddenly disappeared from his site wasn’t taken down deliberately. He was so angry that he then wrote a post calling Autism Investigated “web conspiracist.” He also did not take well to being reminded of the fact that the 2012 congressional hearing hijacking involved the same key players as the 2013 cancellation. When reminded of their sponsorship behind his site, he dismissively said, “I confess! Shoot me now.”

“Shoot me now.” In just a few years, those words would take on a whole new meaning.

A year after the cancellation, the congressional committee that hosted the 2012 hearing and cancelled the 2013 one would have a new chair in Jason Chaffetz. And about a year after Chaffetz’s new chairmanship began, Dan Olmsted made clear he was not a fan of congressional inaction:

You’d think [Congressman] Cummings, after saying “something’s wrong with this picture” of multiple vaccines and a soaring autism rate, would take the logical next step and demand Thompson himself be called as a witness. (Even if Chaffetz said no, the public stink would be progress).

And yet in January 2017 – during the transition period – Congressman Chaffetz finally committed to hold a hearing on vaccine safety issues. The idea was shot down by Dan Olmsted’s books coauthor and site sponsor/co-editor who had played the instrumental role in the congressional failures of yesteryears: Mark Blaxill.

One would think the autism community would learn its lesson about involving someone like him. Yet wealthy vaccine crime apologist JB Handley insisted on guaranteeing Blaxill’s involvement in congressional outreach.

Days after the proposed hearing was shot down and the draft of his final book with Blaxill was completed, Dan Olmsted took his own life. Autism Investigated wouldn’t find out about how he died for another month. Three days before his suicide and on the day of the inauguration, he wrote in a final message to Autism Investigated:

I join you in wishing trump well. My progressive affinities have moderated lately and I am optimistic, as I have to say you were before the election

Knowing what may eventually happen, Dan Olmsted decided to die optimistic.

BACKING DOWN: President Trump says, “They have to get their shots.”

Well this election cycle didn’t last long for Autism Investigated. Yesterday, the Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden officially declared his candidacy. As vice president, Biden called on children to get an HPV vaccine with their MMR vaccine. Today, President Trump has called on people to “get their shots.” Asked about measles, he said, “this is really going around now.”

In 2016, Autism Investigated endorsed Donald Trump for president. At the time, both his primary opponents and both Democrat candidates were bought by the vaccine industry. One of those candidates is again running for the Democratic nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders. There is no one in the very wide field of Democratic candidates who express any skepticism of vaccines. Even President Trump’s only 2020 primary challenger was the running mate of a third party candidate in 2016 who endorsed vaccine mandates.

Without absolving President Trump of responsibility for his own remarks, the issue was mishandled from the very beginning. Despite repeated efforts by Autism Investigated to get infiltrator Mark Blaxill away from any involvement with Congress due to his 2012 hearing hijacking and instrumental role in the 2013 hearing collapse, he was part of congressional discussions during the transition period anyway. He played a key role in shooting down a proposal by then-Congressman Jason Chaffetz to hold a hearing on vaccine safety issues. Days later, Blaxill’s books coauthor and Ageofautism.com editor Dan Olmsted committed suicide. Blaxill also met with Donald Trump twice.

It wasn’t all Blaxill though, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. showed a blatant double-standard between President Trump and his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. Under Obama, Kennedy delayed release of his book on the mercury-based preservative thimerosal for a year and then released a hacked version for another year before finally publishing it in full. Only after Autism Investigated leaked the full manuscript did he do the latter. Just one year into Trump’s presidency by contrast, Kennedy decided it was a good idea to bash him to a pro-vaccine paper. Just one month ago, Kennedy also called President Trump the “worst president ever” at a press conference at Yale.

Kennedy has also refused serious efforts at reaching out to the Trump Administration. Last year, Kennedy shot down a letter Autism Investigated proposed for him to send to the NIH director with President Trump copied. Days later, Kennedy launched a campaign premised on a discredited doctor’s false representation of himself as a government whistleblower. Lately, Kennedy has been ignoring the government’s cover-up of vaccine injury in favor of asking for “placebo-controlled trials.” Of course, his uncle created the vaccine program.

Then there is the fact that the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who appointed the special counsel is the brother of CDC’s vaccine director Nancy Messonnier. She lied to Congress about vaccine risks with Dr. Anthony Fauci last February. Just last week, Rosenstein joined the current attorney general at a press conference to announce the release of the special counsel’s now-completed report. Rosenstein was reportedly part of a decision not to charge President Trump with obstruction of justice.

Regardless of the reasons that led up to this point, Trump has made a clear departure from what he said two years ago. In 2017, he promised “I’m not gonna back down” from addressing problems with vaccines. In 2019, it’s now clear he has.

Attorney John Morgan Apologizes For Telling The Truth

A high-profile lawyer should not apologize for saying what’s already on the minds of virtually every anti-vaccinationist and vaccination skeptic. But that’s exactly what Attorney John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan did after producing perfectly reasonable tweets and Facebook posts like that which is above.

No, Morgan did not say that autism, ADHD, depression, pain or poor concentration cause school shootings. However, they do cause children to be much more likely to take medications like those he listed above. What all mass school shootings have in common is that the shooters were all on psychotropic drugs.

The idea of drugs causing people to commit homicide is nothing new. Age of Autism‘s late editor Dan Olmsted first became drawn to vaccination issues from his previous investigations of the anti-malarial drug Lariam. At first he thought it was only linked to suicide, only to learn that it could do even worse. The same certainly seems true of numerous other drugs, especially psychotropics.

Just don’t say that. Certainly don’t suggest what causes (*cough* vaccinations *cough*) people to have conditions that get them put on such medication in the first place. One can only imagine what Dan would think of such language-policing insanity that causes people to go from making observations like that above to all-too-familiar dreck like…

AI Needs YOUR Help Tracking Down Lancet Father 11, Richard Demirjian

Letter from father to Brian Deer and Dan Olmsted, 2011 – BMJ Deceived Lancet Parent Into Attacking Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Citation 5

His name is Richard Demirjian. His alma mater is UC Berkeley, and he is an engineer. His wife’s name is Aida, and they apparently donated a large sum of money to found an autism charity in the early nineties. Autism Investigated has reached out to the charity, but there’s no obvious way to get through to him directly.

So Autism Investigated is reaching out to you the reader. We need help tracking down Mr. Demirjian and confronting him with the fact that he’s been misled by the British Medical Journal (BMJ). If you have any information about his whereabouts and/or contact information, feel free to post in the comments below.

It is not enough to out Mr. Demirjian, we need him to publicly take back what he is quoted as claiming in the BMJ. That has partially happened, but not fully happened. So we want BMJ’s sole parent witness to denounce the journal and take back what he said about Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Demirjian owes it to the entire autism community and to himself.

He and his wife did apparently commit $60,000 to found the California non-profit, Behavioral Intervention for AutismAutism Investigated has reached out to this group to hopefully get through to Mr. Demirjian. Any further help though would be greatly appreciated.

BMJ Deceived Lancet Parent Into Attacking Dr. Andrew Wakefield

The British Medical Journal (BMJ)’s commissioned writer Brian Deer duped the father of the 11th child described in The Lancet paper into believing his son’s case was misrepresented. That father, Richard Demirjian, was led to believe the paper said his son’s autistic symptoms began weeks after vaccination when the report said no such thing. The Lancet paper was perfectly consistent with what Demirjian said happened to his son.

So Autism Investigated wrote BMJ editor Dr. Fiona Godlee about how Deer misrepresented Demirjian’s son. Yes, it was that Dr. Godlee who Autism Investigated’s editor confronted back in 2011.

Despite past history, she replied cordially:

Thank you for your message. Might you or Richard Demirjian send a rapid response to the article on BMJ.com. We can then ask Brian Deer to respond. Best wishes. Fiona Godlee

But two months after Autism Investigated submitted a rapid response at her invitation, she coldly rejected it:

I have now had an opportunity to discuss this with our lawyer. We will not be publishing your rapid response. It is highly defamatory of Brian Deer and the allegations you raise have already been refuted in detail by Brian Deer on his website. Best wishes, Fiona Godlee

When asked for details, Godlee gave no reply.

In any case, read the below response and see for yourself if it defames Brian Deer. It doesn’t, but it shows Deer and the BMJ defamed Wakefield – in large part by deceiving parent Richard Demirjian.

Lancet father 11 hammers a nail into the coffin of Deer’s fallacious allegations

Brian Deer republished his Sunday Times accusations in the BMJ knowing that they were refuted in Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s 58-page press complaint against him and against the newspaper that ran the article two years prior.(1) Deer’s justification for doing so was the GMC’s ruling in favor of his earlier accusations of unethical research.(2) He has also misled a parent of one of The Lancet paper children (child 11) into believing The Lancet paper misrepresented the child’s case, but the wording in The Lancet paper itself confirms that the child’s case was not misrepresented.(3) The GMC’s findings have been overturned,(4) and a letter from the parent corroborates that The Lancet paper accurately represented his son’s condition.(5)

Two months after the article was published, Brian Deer received a letter from the parent of The Lancet child 11 that directly contradicts Deer’s account. Yet no correction has ever been made in the BMJ.

In the first article of Brian Deer’s MMR series for BMJ, Deer wrote of The Lancet Child 11:

But child 11’s case must have proved a disappointment. Records show his behavioural symptoms started too soon. “His developmental milestones were normal until 13 months of age,” notes the discharge summary. “In the period 13-18 months he developed slow speech patterns and repetitive hand movements. Over this period his parents remarked on his slow gradual deterioration.”

That put the first symptom two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy received the MMR vaccination. And this was not the only anomaly to catch the father’s eye. What the paper reported as a “behavioural symptom” was noted in the records as a chest infection.(6)

However, Deer’s claim that child 11 regressed before the vaccine was disputed by child 11’s father in the letter he wrote to Deer (that is currently posted on Deer’s website):

One of the incorrect statements in my son’s discharge report was that autistic symptoms were seen from 13-18 months, while the vaccination was at 15 months. This is clearly inaccurate as his symptoms began several months after the MMR, as reflected in my initial correspondence to the Royal Free requesting my son be included in the research study.(5)

In the private meeting between Deer and father 11 that was referenced in Deer’s article, Deer had apparently misled the father into believing The Lancet paper misrepresented his son’s case. In that same letter to Deer, father 11 echoed Deer’s false statement that The Lancet paper put child 11’s first autistic symptoms at one week after the vaccine when in fact, the paper makes clear that that was only when child 11’s first behavioral symptom (associated, as also described in Table 2, with recurrent “viral pneumonia”). The first symptom, that could have been any of a number of behaviors such as permanent or chronic change in sleep pattern, occurred after vaccination. The table father 11 referred to in The Lancet paper makes no mention of onset of first autistic symptoms.(3) Father 11 corroborates The Lancet paper and contradicts Deer’s BMJ article.

Despite Deer being told by father 11 directly that his son did not regress until after his vaccination, Deer made no effort to correct the misinformation in his BMJ article. On Deer’s personal website, he even continues to cast doubt on father 11’s account:

Which is true for child 11? Who can say, years later? The father says one thing, the medical records another. Nobody can time-travel back to the 1990s. And in lawsuits, it is the records that usually count. But, whichever version is right, Wakefield’s story was not. Neither can be reconciled with The Lancet.(7)

The fact is there is only one correct version: The Lancet paper account corroborated by father 11 twice, both in his correspondence with the hospital and with Deer. The incorrect version is the faulty discharge summary exploited by Deer to mislead. This is not the first time that evidence was submitted to BMJ that dismantles the article’s veracity post-publication.

When other evidence was previously brought to the journal in November 2011 that also supported The Lancet papers findings,(8)(9) Deer deflected by referring back to the GMC findings.(10) Though Deer cited them to add credibility to all his allegations, the findings themselves have been deemed unsustainable by an English High Court ruling.

In 2012, Justice Mitting overturned the GMC decision that The Lancet paper had misrepresented its patient population, was unethical and was part of a litigation-funded project.(4) By extension, the paper’s lead author Dr. Andrew Wakefield could not have been dishonest for not disclosing that the paper was funded by litigation or was part of that project when neither was the case.

In fact, the court decision refutes all the GMC findings that Dr. Wakefield broke any rule of professional conduct as laid out in GMC’s Good medical practice guidance.(11)(12)(13) Likewise, there is no existing justification for the paper’s retraction.(14) The Lancet knows this. When I confronted The Lancet ombudsman, Dr. Malcolm Molyneux, with the fact that the GMC findings that served as the basis for the retraction were killed, all he could say was:

In the retraction statement, the editors of The Lancet stated that “several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect. In particular….’” The retraction then mentions the enrolment procedure and ethical clearance, but implies that there remain other elements on which the decision was based.(15)

As the above statement reveals, the ombudsman is unable to state a single reason for the paper to remain retracted. Furthermore, there can be no “other elements on which the decision was based” since the retraction statement only cites the GMC findings – now overturned.(14)

Of Brian Deer’s many false claims, among the most egregious is his deceiving father 11 and misrepresenting child 11’s case.

1.     http://www.autisminvestigated.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Complaint_to_UK_PCC1.pdf

2.     http://briandeer.com/solved/gmc-charge-sheet.pdf

3.     See Table 2: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(97)11096-0/fulltext

4.     http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/503.rtf

5.     http://briandeer.com/solved/dan-olmsted-child-11.pdf

6.     http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347

7.     http://briandeer.com/solved/dan-olmsted.htm

8.     http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/09/re-how-case-against-mmr-vaccine-was-fixed

9.     http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/17/re-pathology-reports-solve-%E2%80%9Cnew-bowel-disease%E2%80%9D-riddle

10.   Deer dismissed slides from The Lancet paper co-author Dr. Andrew Anthony later supplied by Dr. David Lewis on the excuse that Dr. Wakefield could have tampered with them. The only supporting evidence Deer offered of tampering was the GMC’s ruling that Dr. Wakefield had been “dishonest” based on the disciplinary findings that were since overturned. http://briandeer.com/solved/david-lewis-2.htm

11.    See 12a, which proves Dr. Wakefield was not professionally obligated to disclose his personal connection to litigation or his patent application to the editor of The Lancet. http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/30191.asp

12.    See page 8, endnote 7, which refers to the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) rules for when Research Ethics Committee (REC) approval is necessary. (NRES link in endnote no longer works) http://www.gmc-uk.org/Good_practice_in_research_and_consent_to_research.pdf_58834843.pdf

13.    NRES rules prove Dr. Wakefield’s birthday party blood draws did not require REC approval because they were not done on patients, therefore falling outside GMC’s authority to make any judgement on the matter. http://www.hra.nhs.uk/documents/2013/09/does-my-project-require-rec-review.pdf

14.    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)60175-4/fulltext

15.    http://www.autisminvestigated.com/the-lancet-dr-andrew-wakefield/

My Final Exchange with Dan Olmsted: Leaving Progressivism

It is with great sadness that Autism Investigated relays the announcement that Dan Olmsted – Age of Autism’s founding editor – has passed away. While I have had my differences with him and the Age of Autism site, I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship, advice and platform for my views. I’ve always respected him as a journalist and have never forgotten the excellent work he has done over the years, and I just had a very friendly exchange with him on the day of the inauguration. I will never stop missing him, and I offered my sincere condolences to the entire Age of Autism team. Autism Investigated devoted the entire last week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, which ended with a proper obituary. Since then, Age of Autism has given Autism Investigated permission to post its final exchange with Dan Olmsted. It is now published here in full. May we all honor Dan’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again! – Jake Crosby, MPH
Hello Dan,
 
How are you doing?
 
I’m writing you because the title of Anne’s post is: “Senators on key panel reject Donald Trump’s skepticism about vaccines” [Senators Reject Trump’s Vaccine Panel], even though there is no indication any of them did directly except perhaps Al Franken. She was probably confused by the wording of the title: Senators on key panel reject Trump’s skepticism about vaccineBut that “key panel” is the Senate HELP committee they serve on; the members were not asked to weigh in on Kennedy’s panel – only on their overall opinions of vaccine safety. It doesn’t mean they outright reject Kennedy’s panel. STAT News didn’t provide their exact questions, so we really have no idea what they asked the Senators or if they even mentioned Trump.
Obviously it’s your blog to do whatever you want with, but at this sensitive time I would say it’s best to correct that. 
 
Happy new year and president.
 
Jake
 
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Senators Didn’t Reject Kennedy Panel Idea
From: Dan Olmsted 
Date: Fri, January 20, 2017 9:46 pm
To: info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: amdachel@msn.com

Thanks for writing Jake we will check it out and let you know
 
I join you in wishing trump well. My progressive affinities have moderated lately and I am optimistic, as I have to say you were before the election
 
Best
 
Dan
 ——– Original Message ——–
Subject: RE: Senators Didn’t Reject Kennedy Panel Idea
From: <info@autisminvestigated.com>
Date: Mon, January 23, 2017 12:30 pm
To: “Dan Olmsted” 

My pleasure, Dan. Good post on Trump, btw. I don’t know if you saw my Newt Gingrich post, but he now supports RFK’s commission!
I’ll admit, I was much more optimistic about Trump being a good president if he won than I was about whether or not he’d win in the first place! So glad he did! 
And please dump the SJWs; they’re crazy, and you always struck me as a classical liberal guy anyway.
Best,
Jake 

Little did I know at the time that he would never get my final email to him. The following week, SJWs would burn Berkeley to cancel a talk by another gay journalist who had grown fed up with his community’s politics. Whether our opponents are wearing black ski masks or white lab coats, the best we can do to honor Dan’s life is to never shy from saying what needs to be said. It’s what Dan would want.

Remembering Dan Olmsted: The Journalist Who Taught Me That We Live in The Age of Autism

dan_award_3

It is with great sadness that Autism Investigated relays the announcement that Dan Olmsted – Age of Autism’s founding editor – has passed away. While I have had my differences with him and the Age of Autism site, I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship, advice and platform for my views. I’ve always respected him as a journalist and have never forgotten the excellent work he has done over the years, and I just had a very friendly exchange with him on the day of the inauguration. I will never stop missing him and offer my sincere condolences to the entire Age of Autism team. Autism Investigated devoted the entire week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, and is now ending with a proper obituary. May we all honor Dan Olmsted’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again! – Jake Crosby, MPH

How many journalists leave mainstream media to devote the rest of their lives to get to the bottom of the fastest growing neurological disorder among children in the United States? Because I can think of only one, and his name was Dan Olmsted.

“His loss leaves a huge vacuum for people who care about public health and children’s health in this country,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “He’s had as much integrity as any reporter I’ve ever met and more courage than any I’ve ever met. He was willing to walk away from his job for the sake of truth.”

Dan Olmsted passed away unexpectedly on January 23rd, 2016 at the age of 64, and is survived by his spouse Mark Milett and sister Rosamund McDonel Augsburger. The news came as a shock to many who knew him, myself included. That shock was compounded by Dan’s unceasing endurance, writing articles non-stop until two days before his death. He left behind an incredible library of articles and books going back over a decade – most about the autism epidemic, and all related to it in some way. Second only to coping with his loss, the biggest challenge for me was selecting which articles of his to re-post for Autism Investigated’s 7-day tribute to his life. There are just so many!

“Here was a true journalist, not a doctor or a scientist, who did what the medical and scientific communities didn’t do but should have done: investigate the cause of autism,” said exonerated British doctor Andrew Wakefield.

Finding some new insight or lead about the age of autism was never a problem for Dan. When I first met him in 2009, he told me about the time he decided to start writing his Age of Autism column for United Press International. His editor was reportedly concerned that he wouldn’t find enough material to keep the column going.

“Are you kidding me? I can write one every week,” he relayed back to me.

That was all the way back in 2005, but he kept the column going for two years straight until leaving the news agency. His commitment to the cause would only escalate in 2007 when he founded his own news website dedicated to the topic he loved writing about so much: AgeofAutism.com.

It was there that I got my start in 2008 when I first began contributing. While I was a contributing editor, I learned so much from him. It is hard to know where to begin. His ability to investigate, uncover and write was unique and unparalleled, and I always benefited from his advice.

But eventually, a rift grew within our friendship. And one day, that rift grew big enough that it forced me to leave and start my own site – thus marking the beginning of Autism Investigated. We had ceased speaking for awhile, with very little communication in recent years. And despite sometimes citing Age of Autism, Autism Investigated had also been critical of Age of Autism’s coverage at times – particularly during the election cycle.

But despite the mixed signals Age of Autism may have sent about our now-president before the election, Dan Olmsted eventually came around to fully embracing President Trump. On the day of the inauguration just three days before Dan’s death, I was fortunate to have had an extremely friendly email exchange with him where he expressed the same optimism about the new president as he would do the next day in his final “Weekly Wrap” post.

But most encouraging of all was his colorful plea at the very end, one that Autism Investigated hopes will soon become a reality again:

…there is much more common in our cause than anything we might occasionally fight over – that the autism epidemic is real, and excessive vaccinations are the cause.

Rebel Alliance, unite!

Dan Olmsted: The Amish anomaly

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It is with great sadness that Autism Investigated relays the announcement that Dan Olmsted – Age of Autism’s founding editor – has passed away. While I have had my differences with him and the Age of Autism site, I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship, advice and platform for my views. I’ve always respected him as a journalist and have never forgotten the excellent work he has done over the years, and I just had a very friendly exchange with him on the day of the inauguration. I will never stop missing him and offer my sincere condolences to the entire Age of Autism team. Autism Investigated will devote the entire week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, including a proper obituary. May we all honor Dan Olmsted’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again! – Jake Crosby, MPH

The Age of Autism: The Amish anomaly

By Dan Olmsted

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

Lancaster, PA, Apr. 18 (UPI) — Part 1 of 2.

Where are the autistic Amish? Here in Lancaster County, heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, there should be well over 100 with some form of the disorder.

I have come here to find them, but so far my mission has failed, and the very few I have identified raise some very interesting questions about some widely held views on autism.

The mainstream scientific consensus says autism is a complex genetic disorder, one that has been around for millennia at roughly the same prevalence. That prevalence is now considered to be 1 in every 166 children born in the United States.

Applying that model to Lancaster County, there ought to be 130 Amish men, women and children here with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Well over 100, in rough terms.

Typically, half would harbor milder variants such as Asperger’s Disorder or the catch-all Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified — PDD-NOS for short.

So let’s drop those from our calculation, even though “mild” is a relative term when it comes to autism.

That means upwards of 50 Amish people of all ages should be living in Lancaster County with full-syndrome autism, the “classic autism” first described in 1943 by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner at Johns Hopkins University. The full-syndrome disorder is hard to miss, characterized by “markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests,” according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Why bother looking for them among the Amish? Because they could hold clues to the cause of autism.

The first half-dozen articles in this ongoing series on the roots and rise of autism examined the initial studies and early accounts of the disorder, first identified by Kanner among 11 U.S. children born starting in 1931.

Kanner wrote that his 1938 encounter with a child from Mississippi, identified as Donald T., “made me aware of a behavior pattern not known to me or anyone else theretofore.” Kanner literally wrote the book on “Child Psychiatry,” published in 1934.

If Kanner was correct — if autism was new and increasingly prevalent — something must have happened in the 1930s to trigger those first autistic cases. Genetic disorders do not begin suddenly or increase dramatically in prevalence in a short period of time.

That is why it is worth looking for autistic Amish — to test reasoning against reality. Largely cut off for hundreds of years from American culture and scientific progress, the Amish might have had less exposure to some new factor triggering autism in the rest of population.

Surprising, but no one seems to have looked.

Of course, the Amish world is insular by nature; finding a small subset of Amish is a challenge by definition. Many Amish, particularly Old Order, ride horse-and-buggies, eschew electricity, do not attend public school, will not pose for pictures and do not chat casually with the “English,” as they warily call the non-Amish.

Still, some Amish today interact with the outside world in many ways. Some drive, use phones, see doctors and send out Christmas cards with family photos. They all still refer to themselves as “Plain,” but the definition of that word varies quite a bit.

So far, from sources inside and outside the Amish community, I have identified three Amish residents of Lancaster County who apparently have full-syndrome autism, all of them children.

A local woman told me there is one classroom with about 30 “special-needs” Amish children. In that classroom, there is one autistic Amish child.

Another autistic Amish child does not go to school.

The third is that woman’s pre-school-age daughter.

If there were more, she said, she would know it.

What I learned about those children is the subject of the next column.

PART 2: The Age of Autism: Julia

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

Leola, PA, Apr. 19 (UPI) — Part 2 of 2.

Three-year old Julia is napping when I arrive at the spare, neat, cheerful house on Musser School Road near the town of Leola in Lancaster County.

She is the reason I have driven through the budding countryside on this perfect spring day, but I really do not need to meet her.

In the last column, I wrote about trying to find autistic Amish people here in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, and noted there should be dozens of them — if autism occurs at the same prevalence as the rest of the United States.

So far, there is evidence of only three, all of them children, the oldest age 9 or 10. Julia is one of them. I found out about her through a pediatrician in Richmond, Va., Dr. Mary Megson. I had been asking around for quite some time about autism and the Amish, and she provided the first direct link.

Megson said she would give my name to this child’s mother, who could call if she chose. A few days later the phone rang. It was Stacey-jean Inion, an Amish-Mennonite woman. She, her husband Brent and their four children live simply, but they do drive a vehicle and have a telephone. After a few pleasantries, I told her about my trying to find autistic Amish.

Here is what she said, verbatim:

“Unfortunately our autistic daughter — who’s doing very well, she’s been diagnosed with very, very severe autism — is adopted from China, and so she would have had all her vaccines in China before we got her, and then she had most of her vaccines given to her in the United States before we got her.

“So we’re probably not the pure case you’re looking for.”

Maybe not, but it was stunning that Julia Inion, the first autistic Amish person I could find, turned out to be adopted — from another country, no less. It also was surprising that Stacey-jean launched unbidden into vaccines, because the Amish have a religious exemption from vaccination and presumably would not have given it much thought.

She said a minority of Amish families do, in fact, vaccinate their children these days, partly at the urging of public health officials.

“Almost every Amish family I know has had somebody from the health department knock on our door and try to convince us to get vaccines for our children,” she said. “The younger Amish more and more are getting vaccines. It’s a minority of children who vaccinate, but that is changing now.”

Did she know of any other autistic Amish? Two more children, she said.

“One of them, we’re very certain it was a vaccine reaction, even though the government would not agree with that.”

Federal health officials have said there is no association between vaccinations and autism or learning disabilities.

“The other one I’m not sure if this child was vaccinated or not,” she added.

During my visit to their home, I asked Stacey-jean to explain why she attributed the first case to vaccines.

“There’s one family that we know, their daughter had a vaccine reaction and is now autistic. She was walking and functioning and a happy bright child, and 24 hours after she had her vaccine, her legs went limp and she had a typical high-pitched scream. They called the doctor and the doctor said it was fine — a lot of high-pitched screaming goes along with it.

“She completely quit speaking,” Stacey-jean said. “She completely quit making eye contact with people. She went in her own world.”

This happened, Stacey-jean said, at “something like 15 months.” The child is now about 8.

For similar reasons, Julia Inion’s Chinese background is intriguing. China, India and Indonesia are among countries moving quickly to mass-vaccination programs. In some vaccines, they use a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal that keeps multiple-dose vials from becoming contaminated by repeated needle sticks.

Thimerosal was phased out of U.S. vaccines starting in 1999, after health officials became concerned about the amount of mercury infants and children were receiving. The officials said they simply were erring on the side of caution, and that all evidence favors rejection of any link between Autism Spectrum Disorders and thimerosal, or vaccines themselves.

Julia’s vaccinations in China — all given in one day at about age 15 months — may well have contained thimerosal; the United States had stopped using it by the time she was born, but other countries with millions to vaccinate had not.

Stacey-jean said photographs of Julia taken in China before she was vaccinated showed a smiling alert child looking squarely at the camera. Her original adoptive family in the United States, overwhelmed trying to cope with an autistic child, gave Julia up for re-adoption. The Inions took her in knowing her diagnosis of severe autism.

I tried hard — and am still trying — to find people who know about other autistic Amish. Of the local health and social service agency personnel in Lancaster, some said they dealt with Amish people with disabilities, such as mental retardation, but none recalled seeing an autistic Amish.

Still, I could be trapped in a feedback loop: The Amish I am likeliest to know about — because they have the most contact with the outside world — also are likeliest to adopt a special-needs child such as Julia from outside the community, and likeliest to have their children vaccinated.

Another qualifier: The Inions are converts to the Amish-Mennonite religion (Brent is an Asian-American). They simply might not know about any number of autistic Amish sheltered quietly with their families for decades.

It also is possible the isolated Amish gene pool might confer some kind of immunity to autism — which might be a useful topic for research.

Whatever the case, Stacey-jean thinks the autistic Amish are nowhere to be found.

“It is so much more rare among our people,” she said. “My husband just said last week that so far we’ve never met a family that lives a healthy lifestyle and does not vaccinate their children that has an autistic child. We haven’t come across one yet.”

“Everywhere I go (outside the Amish community) I find children who are autistic, just because I have an autistic daughter — in the grocery store, in the park, wherever I go. In the Amish community, I simply don’t find that.”

UPI researcher Kyle Pearson contributed to this article.

This ongoing series on the roots and rise of autism aims to be interactive with readers and welcomes comment, criticism and suggestions

Originally posted on UPI