Tag Archives: Sallie Bernard

SafeMinds’ President Supports CDC “Sock-Puppet”

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By Jake Crosby

Sallie Bernard is the president of an organization which claims to oppose the presence of mercury in vaccines and to raise concerns about autism’s association with vaccination – the Coalition for SafeMinds (Sensible action for ending mercury-induced disorders). Yet Bernard – who has not responded when questioned for this article – is still a board member of and fundraiser for Autism Speaks even after it has been dubbed a “Sock-Puppet For The CDC” by the SafeMinds-sponsored Age of Autism blog. The criticism was in response to a position statement by Autism Speaks proclaiming that vaccines don’t cause autism and urging that all children be fully vaccinated. Yet the week after the statement, Sallie Bernard was quoted in a press release about her plan to raise money for Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue Aspen campaign:

“Light It Up Blue Aspen raised a great deal of funds for Autism thanks to dedicated supporters like Sentient Jet. We look forward to another successful event that will have a positive impact on the families in our community and all the people living within the Autism spectrum disorder.”

Though Bernard did not respond to questions concerning her continual support of Autism Speaks, the event details shed further light on Bernard’s role in the fundraiser that was held on February 15th, 2015:

“Bid on luxury items from Aspen Magazine’s ‘shades of blue’ silent auction table or on one-of-a-kind live auction experiences while raising funds and awareness for Autism.  Hosted by Tom and Sallie Bernard along with honored and celebrity guests Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley, Dr. Laura Berman of Emmy winning CBS show, The Doctors and more!”

The ongoing support of Autism Speaks by SafeMinds’ president is less surprising when put into context. Despite public perception of SafeMinds as crusading against mercury in vaccinations, the group has done more to undermine such efforts. The organization gained notoriety for hijacking the 2012 congressional autism hearing after its lobbyist misrepresented a key organizer of the event to congressional staff that prevented him from testifying about the CDC cover-up of vaccine injury. The misrepresentation also caused the hearing topic itself to be changed away from the cover-up and to the vaguer “federal response” to autism’s rising prevalence instead. The same organizer SafeMinds effectively kept out of the congressional hearing also criticized the group for not supporting a worldwide ban of thimerosal – the mercury-based preservative in vaccines. SafeMinds was also implicated in the throwing of the autism omnibus that denied justice to 4,900 petitioners for vaccine injury claims and also tried to set up a security trap for two expert witnesses at its 2012 congressional briefing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Back in 2004, SafeMinds was aware the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was operating in breach of its congressional charter at the behest of CDC only to later thank IOM for holding the very meeting SafeMinds initially protested against. That meeting would become the final precursor to the infamous 2004 IOM report that was produced to whitewash any association between autism and vaccines. When Autism Speaks put out a message concurring with the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report denying vaccine dangers, Bernard remained on the board without making a sound.

In 2012 shortly before the congressional autism hearing, a former donor to SafeMinds asked her to step down from Autism Speaks’ board due to the organization’s views on vaccines. She reportedly demanded $1 million in return for her resignation; the donor refused. Bernard did not reply to questioning for this article when asked to confirm the amount of money she allegedly demanded. She did not make any attempt to justify her ongoing support of Autism Speaks either.

Yet Sallie Bernard was raising money for Autism Speaks right after the organization was called a “Sock-Puppet For The CDC” by a blog that SafeMinds sponsors. If SafeMinds’ president would remain on the board of a CDC sock-puppet group and continue to raise money for it, then perhaps she is a sock-puppet for the CDC herself.

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 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.