Respectful Insolence

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Longtime readers of this blog might be familiar with a certain regular commenter here who goes by the ‘nym Sullivan and also blogs over at Left Brain Right Brain. Back in November, our old friend at the anti-vaccine propaganda crank blog, J.B. Handley himself, founder of the anti-vaccine crank activist group now fronted by Jenny McCarthy herself, Generation Rescue, posted a hilariously off base “outing” of Sullivan entitled Is Paul Offit’s Wife Internet Troll/Autism Father “Sullivan”? Yes, that’s right. Apparently J.B., with the investigative skills of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau and Sergeant Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant Police Squad, all rolled into one, thought he had come across slam-dunk evidence that Sullivan was in fact Bonnie Offit. This post was idiotic, even by the standards of AoA, Generation Rescue, and J.B. Handley himself, so much so that I had a hearty chuckle at J.B.’s cluelessness.

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Let’s review the “evidence” that convinced J.B. that he had his culprit. In his post, seven observations about Sullivan are noted:

  1. “Sullivan brings up and protects Offit at every turn.”
  2. “Sullivan is in communication with Paul Offit, with great insight.”
  3. “Sullivan has spent considerable time clarifying how much money Paul Offit made from the Rotavirus vaccine, with remarkable insight and detail.”
  4. “When Barbara Loe Fisher sued Paul Offit, Sullivan didn’t even mention the case until the suit had been dismissed, despite the fact that Orac (a blogger who Sullivan cites frequently) had discussed the case 3 months prior.”
  5. “Sullivan knows what’s in Paul Offit’s new book, Deadly Choices, even though it hasn’t been released yet.”
  6. “If it has to do with Offit, Sullivan will defend the most arcane of topics (especially the Rotavirus vaccine).”
  7. “Sullivan is obsessed with the same topics that obsess Paul Offit.”

These observations led J.B. to conclude that Sullivan is:

  1. Female
  2. American
  3. A doctor or scientist
  4. Not the parent of an autistic child.

Therefore…a witch! No, wait a minute! Therefore…Bonnie Offit! At least, that’s what the intellectual firepower that is J.B. concluded, weaving all the disparate strands of evidence, real, nonexistent, or imagined, into a conspiracy theory worthy of Jerry Fletcher, complete with JAQing off:

So many questions emerge if Bonnie Offit is Sullivan. How much of Paul Offit’s upcoming book is written by Paul Offit? As an inside joke, does he thank “Sullivan” in his acknowledgements? Will the book’s writing style and Sullivan’s writing style be eerily similar? Is Sullivan the thoughts and words of Bonnie Offit, Paul Offit, or both?

Does the evidence I have presented prove anything? Again, I’ll let the reader decide, and either add to or challenge my argument.

The results were, I must admit, so ridiculous that even a fairly large segment of the band of sycophants, toadies, and lackies who infest the comments at AoA found J.B.’s conclusions…to put it politely, improbable. Of course, J.B. being J.B., it wasn’t enough for him just to speculate wildly based on his imaginings of the nature of a person who comments and blogs under the ‘nym of Sullivan. He had to double down on his foolishness and issue a challenge. Noting that Bonnie Offit had expressed extreme displeasure at J.B. Handley’s having purchased the domain pauloffit.com and packed it full of misinformation, accusations, and lies designed to slime Dr. Offit, he issued this challenge to “Bonnie Offit”/”Sullivan”:

Bonnie Offit, or Sullivan for that matter, I have a simple offer:

If you can produce a dad with a child with autism with a remarkable grasp of the medical and scientific literature who blogs under the name Sullivan, a man who has an inordinate grasp of the details of your husband’s patents, lawsuits, published studies, and web habits, I will make sure that the pauloffit.com website is given to you and your husband for good.

In fact, if you can produce this father, I promise to never, ever publicly write about or utter the name “Paul Offit” again.

I’m waiting, Bonnie, and I have a funny feeling I will be waiting a very long time.

It turns out that J.B. only ended up waiting five months and 11 days. Sullivan has “outed” himself. Not only is he traveling to IMFAR, but he’s presenting an abstract there. Moreover, unlike Orac (whose real identity is a poorly kept secret and who likes to refer to his real-life alter-ego with winks and nudges), Sullivan is completely out:

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Yes, Sullivan is an industrial researcher in computer hardware and the father of an autistic child.

So. J.B. Handley made an explicit offer. If Bonnie Offit or Sullivan produced Sullivan’s true identity and it wasn’t Bonnie Offit, J.B. promised never to write about or even publicly utter the name “Paul Offit” again. That leaves just one question for J.B.: Is he a man of his word? Is he a man of honor? Will he keep his promise to relinquish control of the domain pauloffit.com and never to write or publicly speak about Paul Offit again? Inquiring minds want to know! So, right here, right now, I’m joining Liz Ditz, Kim Wombles, and Todd W. in challenging J.B. by telling him it’s time to put up or be revealed as a man without honor.

Believe it or not, as much as J.B. and I detest each other, I still like to believe, deep in the recesses of my heart (or perhaps delude myself into thinking) that, underneath that twisted, bull-in-a-china-shop facade that revels in bravado, character assassination, intimidation, and promoting anti-vaccine quackery that J.B. presents to the world might still lurk an honorable man, or at least some vestige of honor. Crude and obnoxious J.B. most definitely is, but at the very least he does seem to think of himself as a man who stands by his word. Is he? It takes more than just a positive self image to prove it; so let’s find out. J.B. made a very clear and unambiguous promise that if Sullivan’s identity were revealed and it was not Bonnie Offit that he’d give up pauloffit.com and stop attacking Dr. Offit. There’s no wiggle room, at least not for a reasonable man not trying to twist his way out of the unpleasant consequences of a stupidly offered promise.

Sadly, I fear that J.B., having lost his own challenge fair and square, will fail to settle accounts and do what he said he’d do if he lost. Somehow, some way, I predict that he’ll find a way to move the goalposts or try to claim that he didn’t say what he said or didn’t make the promise he clearly made. Perhaps he’ll try to weasel out of it by claiming that he was just joking (which would, quite frankly, be the lamest and least defensible strategy of all). Perhaps he’ll claim that only Bonnie Offit can claim pauloffit.com and then attach a bunch of conditions, such as her personally calling him to claim it, or something like that. Perhaps he’ll find another way to renege on his promise that I haven’t yet thought of.

Or maybe, just maybe, he’ll do the right thing, give up ownership of pauloffit.com and stop his vicious attacks on Dr. Offit.

And monkeys might fly out of my butt.

Come on, J.B., isn’t keeping your promise a small price to pay to prove Orac unequivocally wrong about you once and for all, on this one issue at least? Think of it this way: If you don’t, I and the rest of us who try to defend science-based medicine against the lies and misinformation of the anti-vaccine movement will never let you forget it. For once, it’ll be us gloating.

And you wouldn’t want that, would you?

In the meantime, any time J.B. mentions Paul Offit, Bonnie Offit, or Sullivan (a.k.a. Matt Carey), post links to this post and these other posts calling him out to keep his promise:

Comments

  1. #1 reasonablehank
    April 28, 2011

    Is it too much to wish that Handley had promised to never utter another word, unless it were true?

  2. #2 sharon
    April 28, 2011

    Is that crickets chirping?

  3. #3 Narad
    April 28, 2011

    A tangential point, but this Tweet from Stagliano raised my eyebrows:

    Our house alarm went off at 4am “INTRUDER!” Police came in 5 min. 1st thought? Bella and bus cases – revenge. No intruder found. K

    about 18 hours ago via TweetDeck

    That’s right, there are powers arrayed that will break into your house for a post at Today Moms.

  4. #4 Narad
    April 28, 2011

    And by that, I mean to question the paranoia, not the case itself.

  5. #5 Narad
    April 28, 2011

    Actually, the remark was utterly offensive. I apologize to the RI readership and Ms. Stagliano and will shut up now.

  6. #6 MikeMa
    April 28, 2011

    Narad,
    The ‘utterly offensive’ apology seems excessive after the many lying, hurtful statements made by Kimmy over the years. It is easy to drift toward the dark side.

  7. #7 lilady
    April 28, 2011

    @ Narad: I myself only learned of Stagliano’s child’s abuse at the hands of a school bus driver…through a posting by Seth Mnookin on his blog. Mnookin wrote a very nice blog about Stagliano and her efforts with the courts to get justice for the shameful abuse of her young disabled child.

    I was so tempted to reach out to her, with some good advice about getting meaningful legislation passed to protect vulnerable kids about school buses…and also to wish her well for her efforts; but then there is the association with the loonies and Age of Autism. No need to apologize to this RI reader/poster; I’m sure Kim appreciates your sincere apology.

    I don’t think I’ll be waiting with bated breath for Handley to “put or shut up”, now that Sullivan has outed himself.

    Nor do I think that Handley has it in him to ever back down from any of his crackpot theories due to his overinflated ego, his paranoia and his unbridled animosity toward anyone who questions his expertise.

  8. #8 Hubbub
    April 28, 2011

    Time for a Handley clock to count up the coming years?

    “Time since J.B. Handley promised to release pauloffit.com”

    I am not an expert on Handley’s antics, but has he ever publicly apologized about anything on his site… ever? Did he eventually apologize over the baby-eating picture, or did he just pretend it never happened?

  9. #9 DLC
    April 28, 2011

    JB Will be astounded when he sees that his comments did not just disappear down the memory hole.

  10. #10 Craig Willoughby
    April 28, 2011

    Narad,

    I have an alarm installed at my home as well; not to just warn about intruders, but to warn us about my severely autistic son trying to escape. I’m quite certain that Kim Stagliano has an alarm stalled for the exact same reason. This has nothing to do with paranoia; just the safety of our families.

    I do appreciate the apology, though. I only ask that you consider the above before making such accusations.

    Thank you.

  11. #11 Orac
    April 28, 2011

    Fair enough. That makes sense.

  12. #12 passionlessDrone
    April 28, 2011

    I have an alarm installed at my home as well; not to just warn about intruders, but to warn us about my severely autistic son trying to escape.

    Yep.

    - pD

  13. #13 Todd W.
    April 28, 2011

    Craig beat me to it. Alarms are quite useful for alerting caretakers to wandering. Back when I knew some folks that worked at a residential school for kids with autism, the houses all had alarms on the doors and windows so that staff could respond quickly before a student had a chance to bolt and get hurt.

    That said, we cannot be certain exactly what happened with Kim. Her assumption that it was an intruder with revenge on the mind may be right. More likely, though, are several other possibilities: random burglar, someone leaving without disarming the alarm or a glitch in the system.

    Back to Handley, there are a number of ways for him to weasel out of his word. He could, very simply, state that he doesn’t believe that Matt Carey is Sullivan, or that Matt Carey is just another ‘nym. It’s a cheap, low way out and would show that he’s a man without honor, but his followers would still back him and swallow whatever excuse he gives, most likely. Time will tell how this plays out.

  14. #14 Chezjuan
    April 28, 2011

    I’m sure JB is going to say that since it wasn’t Bonnie Offit who outed Sullivan, and he specifically made the comment to her, he doesn’t have to do anything.

    But then, what else would you expect a weasel to do?

  15. #15 Todd W.
    April 28, 2011

    @Chezjuan

    Actually, he did make the offer to Sullivan. The full quote is:

    Bonnie Offit, or Sullivan for that matter, I have a simple offer:

    If you can produce a dad with a child with autism with a remarkable grasp of the medical and scientific literature who blogs under the name Sullivan, a man who has an inordinate grasp of the details of your husband’s patents, lawsuits, published studies, and web habits, I will make sure that the pauloffit.com website is given to you and your husband for good.

    In fact, if you can produce this father, I promise to never, ever publicly write about or utter the name “Paul Offit” again.

  16. #16 Andy
    April 28, 2011

    I’m going to guess that JB will either

    (a) Claim that since (according to the LBRB bio) “Sullivan” is an “industrial researcher in computer hardware” and not a medical researcher, he cannot have the requisite “remarkable draft of the medical and scientific literature”, or

    (b) Claim that Bonnie Offit is still really Sullivan, and that Mr. Carey and LBRB are lying when they say otherwise.

  17. #17 Todd W.
    April 28, 2011

    BTW, Orac. Thanks for linking!

  18. #18 Scott Cunningham
    April 28, 2011

    Yeah, I hate to join the chorus but I think we can count on JB to wait and see what the birthers do about the long form birth certificate and then do the same thing two days later, then deny he borrowed the idea from anyone.

  19. #19 JohnV
    April 28, 2011

    “That leaves just one question for J.B.: Is he a man of his word?”

    Cause he’s such an honorable and decent person….

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    April 28, 2011

    I wonder about “outing”- I like “Sullivan” and wish him the best: he’s doing a service. More power to him!

    *However*- I am acquainted with another fellow who battled a *different* area of medical pseudo-science on the web at his own blog -*under his own name*- and had a difficult time because of-
    - interference (phone calls, e-mails) to him *and* family.
    - continued harassment at his job ( to him directly and “reports” to his employers @ a university lab).
    He decided to stop the blog and find another way to do his work. More power to him also!

    I also know someone using his own name who was sued twice- the suits were thrown out of court- but still….this interferes with your life : he’s a scientist employed by the government, 50-something, but has younger kids.

    Who would think that writing about things realistically would get you in trouble?

  21. #21 Chezjuan
    April 28, 2011

    Oops… I stand corrected. Skimmed over that first line, although the rest of his “challenge” is based on the assumption he is talking to Bonnie.

    I guess he’ll have to jump through a couple more weasel hoops if he even bothers to try to respond. Or maybe he’ll just ignore it.

  22. #22 Jim
    April 28, 2011

    Knowing J.B., he’ll be posting about how it’s all a scam in a hoax for years to come. Probably somehow twist this moment into being a triumph of some kind.

    On the subject of alarms, I worked with a kid with Prader-Willi and the family had the house alarmed and every kitchen cabinet.

  23. #23 lilady
    April 28, 2011

    Notice how the non-trolls on this site “correct” themselves and notice how quickly Narad re-posted; I love the mature, intelligent comments on RI.

    Just to add something; nursing homes where the elderly with dementia reside also have alarms. Sensor impregnated mats with alarms are also useful for wanderers…alongside their bed or at the doorway to the their bedrooms.

    Still waiting for Handley’s statement…..

  24. #24 Composer99
    April 28, 2011

    Hopefully someone’s saved a cached/screenshot copy of JB Handley’s post so he can’t just shove it down the memory hole.

  25. #25 Kristen
    April 28, 2011

    @Composer99,

    There are several someones who have it saved.

  26. #26 Broken Link
    April 28, 2011

    JB Handley will not “lower” himself to respond in any way. He’s the type of person who can never admit any personal errors. The people I feel sorry for are his wife and children.

  27. #27 Crommunist
    April 28, 2011

    I don’t buy it. I want to see the long form of Sullivan’s birth certificate to prove that he wasn’t secretly born Bonnie Offitt at some Kenyan terrorist camp in Indonesia. If it’s so easy to prove, why hasn’t s/he done it yet?

  28. #28 Sid Offit
    April 28, 2011

    Looks like the ever-resourceful Bonnie Offit has pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes by hiring a so-called industrial researcher (professional actor?) to impersonate this Sullivan character.

  29. #29 dedicated lurker
    April 28, 2011

    Looks like the ever-resourceful Bonnie Offit has pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes by hiring a so-called industrial researcher (professional actor?) to impersonate this Sullivan character.

    She had all those big pharma payoffs to do it with, too.

  30. #30 JohnV
    April 28, 2011

    Hard to tell if that’s the real sid offit or not, and if it is if he’s being serious or not :p

  31. #31 Sid Offit
    April 28, 2011

    Real Sid, but not serious.

  32. #32 Matt Carey
    April 28, 2011

    The whole thing has been rather surreal.

    JB Handley got one part right: I am a scientist. He somehow concluded that I am a doctor/scientist, which I think is clearly not supported by the facts. While I do much discussion of autism research I do not take on issues of biology.

    I’d have preferred to remain behind the pseudonym for reasons of my family’s privacy. That gone, I have no intention of changing how I blog at LBRB. I do intend to make use of the fact that I can now use my real name. The IMFAR abstract is a good example of this.

    “Outing” doesn’t seem to be beneficial at all. I doubt people will learn that lesson. I know of one surgeon/scientist/blogger who has not changed his tone one bit after being outed (over and over), for example.

    The part I will take away from the whole experience is this: there are good people on both “sides of the fence”. There are people of lower integrity on both “sides of the fence”. Long before the Bonnie Offit blog post, a couple of people noticed that I had inadvertently revealed my identity. One person might be considered to be “on the other side of the fence” from me, as we have often disagreed. That person contacted me about the information leak. Also, Mr. Willoughby notably disagreed with Mr. Handley’s logic. Agree or disagree with him as you may, he is his own man.

    In the end, it wasn’t JB Handley or anyone at AoA who outed me. It was former members of the autism hub blogs. One person who was quite aware of my reasons for using a pseudonym.

    I plan to do more, not less, having been outed.

  33. #33 Chris
    April 28, 2011

    Real Sid, but not serious.

    respected author.

  34. #34 Hey Zeus is my Homeboy
    April 28, 2011

    Handley doesn’t have the courage to apologize. People like him are not prepared to ever admit being wrong or to accept new information and amend/reform a hypothesis. He is as anti-science as he is anti-vax. The black helicopter silently hovering over his house has communicated this fact to me.

  35. #35 Narad
    April 28, 2011

    I only ask that you consider the above before making such accusations.

    Indeed I shall. Thank you for the enlightenment.

  36. #36 JohnV
    April 28, 2011

    @sid

    Well done in that case.

  37. #37 Rtcontracting
    April 28, 2011

    Now that Sullivan has been outed, I can’t wait for Jake Crosby’s inevitable investigation into Mr. Carey’s hidden conflict of interest. No doubt Jake is currently working overtime on this.

    I predict the smoking gun will be something like:

    Mr. Carey once dated a girl in high school who had an uncle that sold a used car to some guy that worked for the power company that supplied electricity to a major pharmaceutical company.

    Flow the money, Jake.

  38. #38 lilady
    April 28, 2011

    @ Matt Carey: A great posting and thank you for clarifying the circumstances of your “outing.”

    I too, prefer anonymity for the very same reasons. While I never encountered the viciousness that you, the surgeon/scientist/blogger and others have experienced, I wanted to protect my both children. My 10 year old daughter was the recipient of a very threatening telephone call after a column I authored was published in a newspaper. I never “used” my younger multiply disabled child to garner pity for the many causes I was involved with.

    I so enjoy all your blog postings for their sensitivity and advocacy on behalf of all children with disabilities.

  39. #39 Liz Ditz
    April 28, 2011

    Thanks for the link, Orac.

    What I want to know, Matt Sullivan Carey, is if the furry blue persona stays. I like him as well as you. (For those of you who don’t know the Sullivan character, here’s a clue.

  40. #40 Matt Carey
    April 28, 2011

    1. “Sullivan brings up and protects Offit at every turn.”

    I have only 4% of my posts with the tag “Paul Offit”. My guess is that Mr. Handley spends a considerably greater percentage of his blogging efforts focused on Dr. Offit. He has also paid his attorneys in what I consider a frivolous lawsuit against Dr. Offit. Mr. Handley can be found claiming that Dr. Offit is participating in online discussions as far back as the previous incarnation of RI.

    Add to this the Bonnie Offit fiasco.

    I ask you: who is obsessed with Paul Offit?

    2. “Sullivan is in communication with Paul Offit, with great insight.”

    I don’t know what Mr. Handley considers to be “great insight” since he doesn’t read my emails with Dr. Offit. But, yep, I’ve emailed Dr. Offit on occasion. I didn’t know that to email him was to marry him.

    3. “Sullivan has spent considerable time clarifying how much money Paul Offit made from the Rotavirus vaccine, with remarkable insight and detail.”

    Not really. The effort taken to get a correct estimate of the CHOP payout to Dr. Offit was minimal. The search involved (included in the email that Mr. Handley posted in his “Bonnie Offit” post) was obvious and effective. Which begs the question: why didn’t a journalist (Dan Olmsted) nor an intellectual property expert (Mark Blaxill) do the minimal amount of work to get the answer right?

    4. “When Barbara Loe Fisher sued Paul Offit, Sullivan didn’t even mention the case until the suit had been dismissed, despite the fact that Orac (a blogger who Sullivan cites frequently) had discussed the case 3 months prior.”

    Either I am too interested in Dr. Offit or I am not interested enough?

    JB Handley threatened a lawsuit against the blog I currently write at. Shortly after that posts were removed and policies changed. I could figure out what probably happened even if the details weren’t made available to me.

    Somehow getting involved with blogging the Barbara Loe Fisher lawsuit didn’t appeal to me, given the people involved and the UK laws.

    5. “Sullivan knows what’s in Paul Offit’s new book, Deadly Choices, even though it hasn’t been released yet.”

    Yes, I did. And one can check that my name is in the acknowledgments. I read a draft and gave some feedback.

    6. “If it has to do with Offit, Sullivan will defend the most arcane of topics (especially the Rotavirus vaccine).”

    Again, am I too interested or not interested enough? I’ve corrected misinformation about the vaccine.

    7. “Sullivan is obsessed with the same topics that obsess Paul Offit.”

    I don’t see Paul Offit discussing special education, rights of the disabled, or abstracts of autism science.

    Between Mr. Handley and myself, one of us is placing the vaccine question on low priority.

  41. #41 Andrew
    April 28, 2011

    “6. “If it has to do with Offit, Sullivan will defend the most arcane of topics (especially the Rotavirus vaccine).”

    I think this means “No matter how many times I lie about the Rotavirus, Sullivan corrects me.”

  42. #42 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 28, 2011

    To be fair to Stagliano regarding this particular incident, I’d also point out that no one does their best thinking when wakened by loud noises at 4 AM.

    I remember an incident in college when I was awakened by a study partner who had gotten very drunk and had decided to show up at my room in the middle of the night and monologue at me incomprehensibly from the doorway. If I’d been thinking clearly, I’d have been irritated at the intrusion and the interruption of my sleep, but in my foggy state, my thought was “Oh, no! I didn’t plan well enough, and now I’m paying the price; I agreed to get together with Kath for a study date on Saturday, but I forgot to specify ‘during daylight hours’!”

  43. #43 Big News Articles
    April 29, 2011

    well done in that case…i think so

  44. #44 Broken Link
    April 29, 2011

    Well, I was wrong. JB Handley has admitted his error on AoA.

  45. #45 Dangerous Bacon
    April 29, 2011

    “JB Handley has admitted his error on AoA.”

    I like the part where Sullivan is supposed to e-mail Handley so that they can “work out the details” whereby Handley keeps his promise. Is there something complex about this? Is a team of lawyers needed to handle the negotiations?

    J.B. is also continuing fulminations about Poul Thorsen, urging AoA readers to check out revelations on NaturalNews, which he refers to as a “media outlet”. :).

  46. #46 Todd W.
    April 29, 2011

    So, he’s living up to part of his word. It still remains to be seen if he will ever write about Offit again. Note that he mentioned he won’t utter his name again, but the original promise was that he wouldn’t even write about Offit again. Ever. Even through veiled references like “he who shall not be named”.

  47. #47 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    April 29, 2011

    It’s already begun over at AofA!

    What was perdicted here, the searching for loopholes so that the anti-vaxxers don’t have to give up their slanderous site.

    Pass the Popcorn wrote this:

    “JB — you have no hard proof that Matt Carey is Sullivan. If the ID of an anonymous internet blogger could be proven, our Deer friend Rebecca (aka Becky) Fisher would have been outed long ago.

    However, if you insist on taking Carey at his word (which is more than he has ever done for us), you said you’d give up the website http://www.pauloffit.com, but you did NOT state who you’d give it up to. Certainly not Matt Carey or anyone defending the vaccine program. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of advocates of safer vaccines who would be willing to take over, pay for and host http://www.pauloffit.com right after you give it up.

    As for never saying Offit’s name again, that’s easy enough. Simply refer to him as Dr. Proffit. There should be no confusion about who you’re referring to.”

    Classy, just classy A of A!

  48. #48 Todd W.
    April 29, 2011

    @Anglachel

    Pass the Popcorn seems to have missed this bit from Handley’s promise:

    I will make sure that the pauloffit.com website is given to you and your husband for good.

    In fact, if you can produce this father, I promise to never, ever publicly write about or utter the name “Paul Offit” again.

    The implication being that he will hand the site over to the Offits, and that he will never talk about Dr. Offit again, even via epithets like “the dark one”.

  49. #49 Anton Singov
    April 29, 2011

    Looks like he’s adopted the predictable strategy of referring to him as the “not-to-be-mentioned vaccine millionaire”. Problem is he also promised to not write ABOUT Offit either.
    This whole thing is really childish though, honestly

  50. #50 Beamup
    April 29, 2011

    @ Todd:

    Technically he promised not to write about the name not the person so “not-to-be-mentioned vaccine millionaire” is arguably within the letter of the promise.

    The spirit, not so much.

  51. #51 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    April 29, 2011

    Wow, are people really this dumb?! I wish I could break out the chips and dip, the meltdown at A of A today should make for some prime entertainment! The conspiracy theories are already starting!!

    “If Matt Carey is being paid by Offit’s Autism Science Foundation, when did that deal happen and why is he only now taking the fall for Bonnie? As well, Mr. Carey’s employer. Hitachi, makes vaccine manufacturing equipment:

    “The First Hitachi Industrial Type Vaccine Production Centrifuge (CC-40) in India has been successfully installed and 3Q completed (IQ,OQ,PQ) with the joint effort of Hitachi Koki , Techcomp and Blue Star Ltd.

    CC-40 centrifuge has been widely accepted in vaccine production facility that accounts for 100% market share in Japan and also having high market share in vaccine production facilities throughout the world.

    This signifies as the milestone of CC-40 centrifuge in South Asia and ASEAN area.”

    I wouldn’t be too quick to trust that Mr. Carey is simply a parent.

    - Inquiringman”

  52. #52 Pablo
    April 29, 2011

    So from now on, Handley is going to refer to Paul Offit as “He-who-must-not-be-named”?

  53. #53 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    April 29, 2011

    I hope not! Surely if he is going to be such a weasel he could at least come up with something a little more creative than that! JB, no stealing names, if you want to refer to Dr. Offit by another name, you have to create one yourself!

  54. #54 augustine
    April 29, 2011

    This entire post. Every single bit of it is an ad hominem attack based on a silly internet argument. An ad Hominem designed to attack an Ad Hominem. So much for champions of logic and science. That has never been the issue anyway.

    It’s easily apparent. ORAC doesn’t like J.B. Handley. He doesn’t want anyone to listen to any of Handley’s arguments or facts. Dismiss the man with as many personal attacks of credibility so EVERY single thing he says can not be trusted.

    The purpose of the ENTIRE article is to destroy credibility of the witness. A courtroom tactic by lawyers who aren’t necessarily interested in the truth. They are interested in getting their clients off the hook. SBM’s client is the vaccine program. The charge is murder. Motive is delusions of grandeur and financial.

    Happy Friday!

  55. #55 Beamup
    April 29, 2011

    “JB Handley is an idiot therefore everything he says is wrong” is an ad hominem. “JB Handley is an idiot” is just an insult. Learn the difference.

  56. #56 augustine
    April 29, 2011

    Handley is an idiot” is just an insult.

    The purpose of the insult is what makes it an ad hominem. The purpose is to destroy credibility and trust of information.

  57. #57 Dangerous Bacon
    April 29, 2011

    How do we know that Bonnie Offit and Michelle Obama are not the same person?

    When’s the last time you saw them together?

    If I’m proven wrong I promise to give up the domain http://www.antivaxtrolls.com

  58. #58 Heliantus
    April 29, 2011

    @ Anglachel

    Wow, are people really this dumb?!

    Don’t ask me. I consider myself an average sort of guys, intellectually speaking, but these past 3 days watching the rantings of birthers, antivaxers and a few other religious loons make me wonder if I’m not in the upper quartile. Without me getting any smarter in the process. Since I know how dumb I could be, that’s truly frightening.

    As well, Mr. Carey’s employer. Hitachi, makes vaccine manufacturing equipment:

    Does this Inquiriman (cute ‘nym – way to say “just asking questions”) has any idea how big corporations like Hitachi are? And how comparatively little they will lose if a highly specialized industry (live vaccine producers) was to go down the drain? It’s not as if their customers are going to buy a new centrifuge every 6 months (unless they plan a heck of business development).

  59. #59 Lawrence
    April 29, 2011

    Hmmmm….boring troll, here we have a situation where one individual (JB) made a singular claim & the stakes for that claim being correct(or incorrect).

    Said claim is now proven to be wrong, therefore we expect JB to man up & admit he was wrong and follow through with what he said he would do.

    What’s your problem with that?

  60. #60 Beamup
    April 29, 2011

    augie seems to be learning from the Thing, redefining words as it suits him.

  61. #61 augustine
    April 29, 2011

    Hmmmm….boring troll, here we have a situation where one individual (JB) made a singular claim & the stakes for that claim being correct(or incorrect).

    What does said claim have to do with Science and/or Science Based Medicine?

    Why is it so important that it needs to be defended and counter attacked? How does that advance science?

    Why is it so important that it deserves a 1000 word essay replete with mocking pictures?

  62. #62 Thomas
    April 29, 2011

    One aspect of this event interests me in particular. JB was positive that Sullivan was Bonnie Offit. Now that he acknowledges that he was very wrong, will he reevaluate his own ability to assess evidence, and decide that perhaps he shouldn’t be quite so sure about things? Or perhaps, he was lying when he claimed to be so sure, and was just attacking Sullivan for fun, with whatever tool came to hand (knowing that his followers would accept his words as Gospel (literally, since of course Wakefield is Jesus)). We’ll see by Handley’s next few weeks whether he really has learned from this incident, or whether he was always a cynical manipulator who cares nothing for the truth.

  63. #63 Thomas
    April 29, 2011

    Thomas,
    I have thought similar things many times in the past and have brought it up a few times when people have demonstrated a history of getting things wrong repeatedly. So far the advice has been ignored. Sadly they always just seem to move on, ignoring their incorrect statements, and talk about something else. There is no self-critical eye pointed at themselves.

  64. #64 Travis
    April 29, 2011

    Opps, I somehow copy and pasted that or it somehow got filled into the name slot. Sorry, the name is Travis not Thomas. How embarrassing.

    Now I look like a sockpuppet.

  65. #65 Travis
    April 29, 2011

    I cannot get to ageofautism at this moment. Whenever I go I am told Chrome could not open the page. Anyone else have this problem?

  66. #66 JohnV
    April 29, 2011

    “The purpose of the ENTIRE article is to destroy credibility of the witness.”

    JB Handley’s actions destroy his credibility (except in the eyes of his sycophants.) This article highlights his actions, but they are his actions.

    “Motive is delusions of grandeur”

    Yeah, no projection there. You keep up the good fight.

  67. #67 augustine
    April 29, 2011

    This article highlights his actions, but they are his actions.

    Again how does this impact science?

    You keep up the good fight.

    You too.

  68. #68 Jarred C.
    April 29, 2011

    Augie said,

    What does said claim have to do with Science and/or Science Based Medicine? Why is it so important that it needs to be defended and counter attacked? How does that advance science? Why is it so important that it deserves a 1000 word essay replete with mocking pictures?

    So, because Orac often talks about science-based medicine, he is not allowed to talk about anything else? Huh.

    From this site’s About page:

    Respectful Insolence™ is a repository for the ramblings of the aforementioned pseudonymous surgeon/scientist concerning medicine and quackery, science and pseudoscience, history and pseudohistory, politics, and anything else that interests him (or pushes his buttons).

    I think this topic falls well within the scope of this blog.

  69. #69 lilady
    April 29, 2011

    Ugh Troll, why don’t you post at Age of Autism where they might appreciate your “science”? J.B. is sure to allow your posting through.

    @ Dangerous Bacon: If you give up your domain, internet users could still find Handley on the internet at:

    Encyclopedia of American Loons (# 167).

  70. #70 Prometheus
    April 29, 2011

    “augustine” whines:

    “What does said claim have to do with Science and/or Science Based Medicine? Why is it so important that it needs to be defended and counter attacked? How does that advance science? Why is it so important that it deserves a 1000 word essay replete with mocking pictures?”

    Why is “augustine” so concerned about what Orac puts on his ‘blog? Is “augustine” afraid that Orac will use up all the Internet and there won’t be enough left to post really important stuff?

    My general rule of thumb is that people who complain (like “augustine” and “Dr. Jay”) that the ‘blog-fodder isn’t “worthy” are struggling (and failing) to find a way to attack the ‘blogger.

    Get over it, guys – ‘blogging is completely at the whim of the ‘blogger and the “worthiness” is irrelevant. It’s not like Orac is taking up column-inches or broadcast minutes that could be put to “better use” – if you don’t think the subject is “worthy”, don’t read it.

    Whinging that the subject isn’t worth the effort is just concern-trolling.

    Prometheus

  71. #71 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 29, 2011
    This entire post. Every single bit of it is an ad hominem attack … It’s easily apparent. ORAC … doesn’t want anyone to listen to any of Handley’s arguments or facts.

    “JB Handley is an idiot therefore everything he says is wrong” is an ad hominem. “JB Handley is an idiot” is just an insult. Learn the difference.

    The purpose of the insult is what makes it an ad hominem. The purpose is to destroy credibility and trust of information.

    So, maybe I’ve lost track here. Goofus claims that we are committing ad hominem of the kind that could be expressed as:

    1) J.B. Handley puts forth the following arguments and facts: __________________
    2) But J.B. Handley is an idiot.
    3) Therefore, the arguments and facts that J.B. Handley put forth in premise 1 must be incorrect.

    Here’s where I’m puzzled. What are the arguments and facts that Handley supposedly put forth in premise 1?? Even Goofus can surely see that the “arguments” and “facts” put forth by Handley which are the subject of the post have already been refuted by, well, actual facts. It’s not necessary to argue that Handley is wrong about Sullivan’s identity because Handley is an idiot, when it’s already known that Handley is wrong about Sullivan’s identity because Sullivan is not Bonnie Offit.

    It violates the principle of charity for Goofus to assert that all the comments to which he refers must be in service of arguments which would be both a) obviously fallacious and b) wholly redundant. If we are to throw the principle of charity out the window, why, then I could with just as much justice say “Goofus is obviously accusing Orac of wrongdoing as part of an argument that the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution should be repealed, but that means Goofus is using the non sequitur fallacy, since Orac’s alleged wrongdoing has no relevance to the Eighteenth Amendment.”

    If Goofus intends to argue that there is an ad hominem argument constructed from the facts that J.B. Handley is being derided for idiocy here, and that Handley is putting forth “arguments” and “facts” somewhere other than here, why then let’s see if Goofus is willing to live under the same standard he wants to apply to others. Has Goofus insulted person X? Has person X ever put forth any argument or offered any fact to try and convince others? There you have it, it could not be clearer: by the very standard he wants to apply to others, Goofus is committing the ad hominem fallacy and should be excoriated for it.

  72. #72 Jarred C
    May 2, 2011

    Today is May 2nd; I notice that Augie was quick to respond to posts concerning him until my own completely refuted his point. I just thought that was amusing.

    Thanks to lilady, Prometheus, and Antaeus (and all others who spoke up earlier) for joining in.

  73. #73 augustine
    May 2, 2011

    Today is May 2nd; I notice that Augie was quick to respond to posts concerning him until my own completely refuted his point.

    What’s amusing is you patting yourself on your back for making a strawman argument.

  74. #74 MI Dawn
    May 2, 2011

    @augie: point out the strawman argument he used, because I sure don’t see it. But that doesn’t surprise me, because you don’t know what one is anyway.

    From Wikipedia:

    A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.[1] To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.[1][2]

    Where did Jarred C misrepresent your post?

  75. #75 augustine
    May 2, 2011

    Because I didn’t say that he wasn’t allowed to talk about anything he wants to.

    And certainly not by this logic.

    So, because Orac often talks about science-based medicine, he is not allowed to talk about anything else? Huh.

  76. #76 lilady
    May 3, 2011

    @ Jarrad: Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for civil discourse. We all (trolls exempted) think that J.B. is a paranoid crank. The Bonnie Offit/Sullivan fiasco is merely one manifestation of his “problem”.

    What makes him dangerous is the fact that Age of Autism “holds comments” and any and all comments that might question the bunk presented as science or the party line. J.B. is all ego…notice how he posts the rambling letters he has written to mainstream media…that were not accepted for publication. He hypes up the fringe types who have threatened people perceived as the enemy.

    Some trolls who post here are J.B. wannabes, without the education, without the following, without the power that J.B. wields.

    Yet, Ugh troll continues to post here, continues to interject itself into discussions and insults Orac and posters alike. Troll needs to go to a friendlier site such as Age of Autism.