Respectful Insolence

Today’s a holiday here in the U.S. You’d think that I’d be taking it easy, but, sadly, thanks to the insatiable needs of the NIH grant monster, today, as I was doing most of the day Saturday and part of the day yesterday, will be working on grants; that is, when I don’t take a couple of hours to get that jungle of a lawn that surrounds my house mowed. (Thanks to the almost daily downpours producing the wettest spring I can remember, “jungle” is a fairly accurate term to describe our yard at the moment.) Despite all this, I would still be remiss if I didn’t take a little time to followup on my post from yesterday about how two skeptics were kicked out of the anti-vaccine quackfest known as Autism One by armed police. The reason for the followup is that the two protagonists have posted their first hand accounts of what happened. All are worth your time to read in their entirety:

I’ve already written up my thoughts on the matter; so I’ll just make a few random observations based on Ken’s and Jamie’s accounts. And, as always, you can go to Liz Ditz for the complete roundup of Autism One’s history of ejecting those who do not agree with the quackery and anti-vaccine views promoted there. It goes back at least three years. In any case, here, in no particular order, are the thoughts running through my mind as I read through these accounts.

First, Jenny McCarthy’s pushing The Secret now. Well, she’s not calling it The Secret. Her self-help guru Katie Byron is calling it The Work, instead, but it’s basically a twisted variant of The Secret in which all the positive stuff about your “intent” bringing good things to you is subsumed to the darkest “blame the victim” bits of The Secret:

Here are some actual examples from the conference (note: since audio-recordings were not allowed and I couldn’t write fast enough, it is paraphrased):

Parent: I’m angry with my husband because he does not accept me as a whole package.

Katie: Does your husband not accept you, or do you not accept your husband?

Parent: I’m frustrated with my son because he always puts himself down.

Katie: Does he always put himself down or do you always put him down?

Parent: I’m angry with the pharmaceutical companies for hurting my son.

Katie: Did the pharmaceutical companies hurt your son or did you hurt my son?

She would then force them to repeat the opposite of their original statement.

“I don’t accept my husband as a whole package.”

“I always put my son down.”

“I hurt my son.”

Seriously. She forced people to say these things and then told them they had to change their thoughts accordingly. Her whole point was that any time you are angry or frustrated at someone/something else, you actually caused those things to happen because of your thoughts. Therefore you can’t change it without taking responsibility. It’s basically a blame-the-victim mentality — If anything bad happens to you, it’s your fault.

To me, Byron’s turning these statements around into questions that blame the victim strikes me more like an attempt to achieve pseudo-profundity using Yoda-like language constructions than anything that would be useful in a therapeutic setting. There’s also a difference between taking responsibility for one’s actions and their consequences and being told that you can change everything if you just accept blame, which is what Byrne appears to be doing. On the other hand, perhaps telling parents of autistic children who believe that vaccines caused their children’s autism feeds into the guilt that many of these parents appear to feel for having vaccinated their children if the discussion boards and blogs I’ve read are any indication. Maybe there’s a reason why someone like Byron peddling, as Jamie put it, “bullshit psychological theories” can find traction with Jenny McCarthy and then with her movement. It might also be an attempt on McCarthy’s part to keep her movement loyal while trying to dissociate herself from the paranoid anti-vaccine fringe as much as she can.

On the other hand, Byrne tries to sell her program as:

Despite such New Age trappings (and the sappy folk music on the P.A. system), Katie’s approach, with elements that recall Zen meditation, Socratic inquiry and Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step program, offers a pragmatic and simple way of getting people to take responsibility for their own problems. Says Katie: “It’s a way to cut through everything. It puts responsibility back on the person looking for their answers, not the world’s answers.”

One wonders whether Byrne succeeded in getting McCarthy to accept responsibility for her role in promoting vaccine rejectionism and endangering the health of children. Apparently not. After all, McCarthy is still president of Generation Rescue and still headlining Autism One.

A second observation is that it’s amazing how much the dietary woo manages to suck the flavor out of food. Both Ken and Jamie described the gluten-free, allergen-free pizza, chicken strips, and ice cream as particularly unappetizing.

Third, it’s unclear what anti-vaccine guru Andrew Wakefield has moved on to. He appears to be peddling a highly dubious story about five children in Arizona:

According to Wakefield, there is a family in Arizona where the parents believe all five of their children have autism. They have taken their children to many doctors who have subjected them to a variety of tests. The doctors concluded that there is nothing wrong with the children and that the parents either made the whole autism story up or may have Münchausen syndrome by proxy, meaning that they have a psychiatric issue that causes them to believe their children have autism when they don’t. Because subjecting children to medical testing for a disease for which there is no evidence is dangerous, these children have all been taken from their parents and put into foster care until it can be determined it is safe for them to return to their family. Wakefield said this is a conspiracy (a word he used multiple times) because, supposedly, there is a way for doctors to make money by taking children away from their parents and putting them in foster care.

Or, as Ken put it:

The story first surfaced last fall, when Wakefield promised a giant December rally to focus the nation’s attention on the anti-vaccine movement’s “Rosa Park’s moment.” The rally fizzled, Rosa’s bus route stopped short of Crazy Town, and the Arizona 5 slipped down the memory hole.

Finally, it occurs to me that, as I pointed out yesterday, the anti-vaccine movement has become so paranoid that it routinely shoots itself in the foot. Both Ken and Jamie pointed out how dull it all was, with Ken pointing out that “so far, lunch was the big story” and how he “started to look at my watch.” Leave it to Teri Arrenga, the organizer of Autism One, to bring home the crazy and create a story where there wasn’t any:

At this point, Teri said she wanted my camera film… which is kind of a strange thing to ask since this is 2011 and most cameras don’t use film anymore. I told her I didn’t have film, but would be happy to delete the pictures I took. The police officer said that would be fine, but Teri would have none of it. With a shaking voice, she snapped “No, I demand the film!” I said (again) I didn’t have any film, it being a digital camera and all, but took my camera out and erased the two pictures that were on there. She seemed unhappy with this result, but was unable to overturn the police decision.

At this point, Teri and a police officer took Ken aside and I was questioned by the remaining Lombard police officers. They took down all my personal information and kept asking me paranoid questions like “Are you a journalist?” “Do you work for a magazine?” and “Who sent you here?” I answered all questions truthfully, though they weren’t happy with the answers. They seemed convinced I was some big-shot reporter for a magazine and kept harping on that point as I continued to deny such a thing.

After this, three hotel security guards and four armed Lombard police officers escorted Ken and Jamie off the premises, right past David Geier, the MD-wannabe who is currently facing legal action in Maryland for practicing medicine without a license. In the Bizarro World of Autism One, science-based skeptics like Ken and Jamie are escorted out with armed guards, while non-doctors like David Geier get to give presentations promoting their quackery to the parents of autistic children.

Comments

  1. #1 LW
    May 30, 2011

    Parent: I’m angry with my husband because he does not accept me as a whole package.

    Katie: Does your husband not accept you, or do you not accept your husband?

    This sounds like the output of an ELIZA-type program. Can these people pass a Turing test?

  2. #2 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 30, 2011

    Somehow, that exchange reminds me of the (terribly mysterious) character The Sphinx from the movie Mystery Men who said things like

    He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions.

  3. #3 Dr Sam Girgis
    May 30, 2011

    I am really quite amazed how this type of thing can continue to go on. This one particular statement really struck a cord with me:

    “In the Bizarro World of Autism One, science-based skeptics like Ken and Jamie are escorted out with armed guards, while non-doctors like David Geier get to give presentations promoting their quackery to the parents of autistic children.”

    It really is a Bizarro World when there are measles outbreak in Europe which ar now spreading to the United States because of this nonsense. There should be a law against giving unsubstantiated medical advise, just like there is a law against practicing medicine without a license. In essence, giving medical advice regarding the safety of the MMR vaccine and professing a fraudulent link to autism is very close to practicing medicine.

    Dr Sam Girgis
    http://drsamgirgis.com

  4. #4 Marry Me, Mindy (I'll stop doing fkaPablo soon)
    May 30, 2011

    Wakefield’s conspiracy claims about the Arizona 5 are pretty funny. Let’s see…parents keep giving their money to doctor after doctor trying to find one that will give them autism diagnoses, kids are taken away, and doctors somehow are making out rich on the deal?

    Wouldn’t the doctors be far better off with the parents constantly bringing them in for no reason whatsoever?

  5. #5 Composer99
    May 30, 2011

    Katie Byron’s methodology (to use the term very loosely) is as related to Socratic inquiry as our own augustine-troll’s pronouncements are related to the actual corpus of Augustine.

  6. #6 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    May 30, 2011

    “Can these people pass a Turing test?”

    Can they even pass water?

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    May 30, 2011

    Aha! I was trying to figure out how Andy would play MSBP!
    OK, here’s my take on the sordid affair: a person with a psychological need to be noticed by the medical community creates an imaginary illness by confabulating a series of symptoms and harming children physically in order to produce convincing evidence of this illness…. Sounds more like AW’s “project” to me. Got him plenty of attention.

  8. #8 Sarah
    May 30, 2011

    Why is it that the crasier Autism 1 gets, the more they resemble the Church of Scientology? I half-expect them to start accosting skeptics with, “What are your crimes?!”

  9. #9 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    May 30, 2011

    DW, you are SOOOO the Dark Lady!

    *bows down, pays hommage*

    You are, humourous stuff aside, probably right.

  10. #10 Denice Walter
    May 30, 2011

    @ David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C.P.S.E.:

    Well, thank you so very much for your kindly recognition of my abilities! I find that the darkness complements my blondeness nicely! At any rate, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

    DW

  11. #11 Denice Walter
    May 30, 2011

    @ David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C.P.S.E.:

    Well, thank you so very much for your kindly recognition of my abilities! I find that the darkness complements my blondeness nicely! At any rate, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

    DW

  12. #12 Denice Walter
    May 30, 2011

    @ David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C.P.S.E.:

    Well, thank you so very much for your kindly recognition of my abilities! I find that the darkness complements my blondeness nicely! At any rate, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

    DW

  13. #13 Denice Walter
    May 30, 2011

    @ David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C.P.S.E.:

    Well, thank you so very much for your kindly recognition of my abilities! I find that the darkness complements my blondeness nicely! At any rate, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

    DW

  14. #14 Denice Walter
    May 30, 2011

    @ David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C.P.S.E.:

    Well, thank you so very much for your kindly recognition of my abilities! I find that the darkness complements my blondeness nicely! At any rate, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

    DW

  15. #15 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    May 30, 2011

    Nay worries, DW :)

    Like I say… you’re very likely right. I wouldn’t put anything past Wakefield now….

  16. #16 lilady
    May 30, 2011

    Sorry, I couldn’t get past the first 10 minutes of the medical cannabis for treatment of autism presentation, but did I hear that the cannabis is helpful in lieu of or as supplementing anti-convulsants for treatment of seizure disorders?…wow talk about medical neglect of your child!

    “The Arizona Five” has been featured on the Age of Autism website. I suppose Andy is seeking to become a court-qualified expert on MSBP and the Arizona Five children will be his entree into the court system. Could it also be that the parents, in additional to getting all this attention from doctors, have scored big time with all the goodies (fully funded day programs, around the calendar educational programs and therapies) and support from the State and the Feds (Medicaid and SSI) for each of their “disabled” children?

    Not being a “nutritionist”, but rather well-versed in dietetics, I perceive that the lunch offered was fully of carbs and fats…without any healthy salads or fruits. I presume that no yeast was used to make the pizza dough…lest children acquire an overwhelming yeast infection.

    Denice Walter, I suspect we are “channeling” each other.

  17. #17 TBruce
    May 30, 2011

    Here’s Jamie Bernstein’s description of lunch:

    Once Wakefield was done, it was time for lunch, which consisted of all gluten-free, allergen-free, everything-that-tastes-good-free pizza, chicken strips, and ice cream. Even the ice cream managed to taste like cardboard and the pizza was downright inedible.

    Not even the post-cannabis lecture munchies would make that taste good.

  18. #18 Prometheus
    May 30, 2011

    Re: cannabis for autism. Who is supposed to smoke/ingest the cannabis? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the parents taking the cannabis, if they are so unwound as to take this sort of “medical advice” seriously?

    I find it deeply ironic that the same parents who, in my community, deride giving Ritalin (methylphenidate) as “doping chidren” are usually the ones who promote the benefits of cannabis (which actually does “dope” children – methylphenidate is a stimulant). But nobody said that the “biomed” folks had to be consistent. Maybe they like cannabis and hate Ritalin because cannabis is “natural” (like foxglove and nightshade).

    I’m not surprised that Mr. Reibel and Ms. Bernstein got kicked out of “Autism One”, any more than I would be surprised to hear of skeptics being kicked out of a Scientology recruiting “retreat”. Religion is notoriously intolerant of dissent, even polite, quiet dissent that keeps its snaky comments to itself.

    Apparently, their “science” is too fragile to be exposed to any “negativism”.

    Prometheus

  19. #19 Denice Walter
    May 30, 2011

    @ lilady: Sure! If you think about it, there’s an uncanny resemblence to MSBP in many of the avant-garde *diagnoses* invented by woo-meisters. Fabricate symptoms of non-existent illnesses and get attention from the public with the added benefit of making money- which is not imaginary.

  20. #20 Ace of Sevens
    May 30, 2011

    @2. That was my thought. This seems like a parody of such situations. Sadly, this probably means they are beyond parody now.

  21. #21 Jacob
    May 30, 2011

    Very enlightening Prometheus; http://photoninthedarkness.com/?s=cannabis

    Perhaps research comes before comment only in quackland?

    Melanie Dreher and the Jamaican Study?

    When you say ‘Dope’ I assume you are talking about Dopamine? I think you need to be talking about cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, their receptors and the function of the endocannabinoid system as it relates to the gut-brain-immune system. Evolution is gambling with diet. Nutrition is driving the changes we see in autistic brains and bodies, not some random mutations, or some insignificant environmental ‘insult’.

    Take care, and watch out for the bias against the null hypothesis, and ruminate a while on what would happen if you turned the turing test on it’s head?

    In a double blind test, can a neurotypical child be trained, ABA style, to act in such a way as to earn an aspergers diagnosis?

    Ethics of ABA? Now I am not too sure ;)

  22. #22 lilady
    May 30, 2011

    @ Jacob: “Nutrition is driving the changes we see in autistic brains, not some random mutations, or some insignificant environmental ‘insult’. All the many science-based studies have concluded that many genes, gene pairings and de novo mutations have an impact on the developing embryo…and we are just at the beginning of that research.

    The IACC (Inter-agency Autism Coordinating Committee) is looking into environmental causes, especially the uterine environment for the developing embryo. I suspect that maternal and paternal age at conception, imbibing of alcohol during pregnancy, use of street drugs and abuse of “street” medication as well as certain medications actually prescribed, will be implicated in affecting the developing embryo.

    Furthermore, fertilization treatments that result in high order births and premature deliveries put infants at risk for all developmental disabilities…including autism and autistic-like behaviors. The lead “investigator” on the Pace law school study could tell you about high order births…he has triplets who each have been diagnosed with autism.

    You are out of your league with the comment about ABA therapies and the ethics of ABA therapy.

  23. #23 Jacob
    May 30, 2011

    Which league is that then? Ivy or Hazel?

    The ABA ‘Turing Test’.

    Take 100 children and 100 controls, all of whom have been screened and assessed as not qualifying for any psychiatric diagnosis.

    The 100 children are placed in an ABA type setting and for 40 hours a week, are trained to act like aspergers.

    They are not told this, they are told they are being trained to act ‘properly’ so that they can have a decent life when they grow up.

    Each child is told to act ‘properly’ as the were trained to do, then sent to a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist is informed privately that the child has been acting strangely for a very long time.

    A cover story is given to explain the absence of parents or guardians.

    The Psychiatrist must be blinded to the real intention of the study.

    Does the psychiatrist diagnose aspergers?

    The 100 controls are sent to the same psychiatrist(s) to provide a baseline measure of diagnostic accuracy.

    How many of the 100 children would get an aspergers diagnosis? If we sent each one to ten different psychiatrists, how many?

    What does this say about ABA? If an NT kid can’t do the reverse, is it fair to expect us to be able to do it?

    Awful I know, it smacks of Rosenhan, but we should have no need to carry this research out for real if we can simply get our heads around the implications of the study design intent.

  24. #24 lilady
    May 30, 2011

    @ Jacob: What does Turing Test have to do with ABA therapy for children diagnosed with autism? For that matter, what does your statement, “it smacks of Rosenhan” have to do with ABA therapy when used to develop social and learning skills for children diagnosed with autism?

    The “Autism Speaks-Treatments for Autism” web page should be your portal to find accurate information about ABA therapy.

  25. #25 Sharon
    May 30, 2011

    What I find most disturbing about all this, is Wakefield feeling qualified to comment on a complex psychiatric disorder (Munchausens by proxy). An area he has no training let alone expertise in. He uses this story to feed into people distrust of established authorities. Children are not removed from their homes on a whim. There must be substantial concerns for those 5 kids. To use this case to generate fear and suggest that it a conspiracy of any kind is most unsettling. Those who use their children to obtain attention from the medical community in the case of Munchausens are deeply disturbed individuals and it is no surprise to me that Andrew is drawn to such topics.

  26. #26 Jacob
    May 30, 2011

    Who watches the watchmen? Who tests the testers? Who doctors the doctors?

    Cult behaviour has a lot of parallels with unstable mood disorder!

  27. #27 herr doktor bimler
    May 30, 2011

    Evolution is gambling with diet. Nutrition is driving the changes we see in autistic brains and bodies, not some random mutations, or some insignificant environmental ‘insult’.

    Come now. If our ancestors depended so much on some specific diet for their development and survival, the human race would have died out before it evolved past the stage of Homo habilis.

  28. #28 Jacob
    May 30, 2011

    Tell me what happens to the schizophrenia rate wrt famine?

    Tell me, schizophrenia and autism are ‘related’. How much is the same, and how much is ‘the same thing is changed but it is changed in the opposite direction’?

    Tell me which of all the known risk factors for autism are incompatible with the conjecture that hyper-nutrition is the driving force which precipitates autism in genetically susceptible individuals?

  29. #29 Composer99
    May 30, 2011

    Further to herr doktor bimler’s comment, I should add that there is no way the present human species could thrive (numbers-wise) at 6.5+ billions of people on a limited diet as Jacob’s rather ridiculous ‘evolution is gambling with diet’ argument appears to suggest is required.

    And what is up with his comment @ 7:21? Hasn’t Jacob heard of peer review, IRBs, and regulation of research & ethics?

    If anything, it is the quacks and charlatans who feature so prominently at events like Autism One who profit the most from less, rather than more, oversight.

  30. #30 herr doktor bimler
    May 30, 2011

    schizophrenia rate wrt famine?

    Starvation: not recommended as a dietary variant.

  31. #31 Jacob
    May 30, 2011

    Can anyone please explain why this man: http://www.som.uci.edu/spotlights/spotlight_clayman.asp would allow this woman: Rebecca Hedrick, Associate Residency Training Director UC Irvine Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatric Center, 101 The City Drive South, Bldg 3, Route 88 Orange, Ca (714) 456-5770, rhedrick@uci.edu

    Do do research with Cannabis and 11 families with autism?

    The study is currently being reviewed.

    Meanwhile, just this last week, 55 US Pharmaceutical companies have been granted a license to grow cannabis.

    Herr doktor I believe that SZ birth rates are resilient in times of famine, even when baseline fertility drops to around 20% of normal. If the Chinese and Dutch studies are not flukes!

  32. #32 Heliantus
    May 30, 2011

    Each child is told to act ‘properly’ as the were trained to do, then sent to a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist is informed privately that the child has been acting strangely for a very long time.

    I don’t get it. What would be the purpose of this (highly unethical) experiment? Show that neurotypical children could be taught to behave like they are lacking social and communication skills? We already know this, we call it acting. Or bad parenting.

    Can anyone please explain why this man [...] would allow this woman: Rebecca Hedrick…

    Because he believes in her line of research? What’s the point? We are in a free country, he can believe in this project and invest into it if he likes. That doesn’t mean that either are right. Myself, I’ll be waiting for some hard data.

    As an aside, please refrain from posting full addresses and e-mails of individuals on blogs. There are bots and other rude people who feed on these, you don’t want this woman to have her e-mail overloaded with spams.

    The study is currently being reviewed.

    Good. Once it’s published, let us know, so we can get the information at the source.

  33. #33 Todd W.
    May 30, 2011

    Added my thoughts on the AutOne conference over at Harpocrates Speaks. Every time I hear about something like this, I am filled with a sense of “What the hell were they thinking?” I really shouldn’t be surprised, but I am, every time.

  34. #34 Jacob
    May 30, 2011

    The details are from here: http://www.meded.uci.edu/education/residencyselection/psychiatry.html

    So the same details were always available.

    “I don’t get it. What would be the purpose of this (highly unethical) experiment? ”

    yes I know it is unethical, of course it is, it’s a thought experiment. Tell me, why is it unethical?

    If you turn the experiment around, you have a description of ABA. How is it not ethical to see if an NT can tolerate and succeed at autism training? (and I think you are wrong, I don’t believe you can train most children to fool a psychiatrist into diagnosing aspergers when there is no prompt as to what they are looking for).

    How can one be ethical and the other not, when all we have done is swap the NT kid with the Autistic kid?

    If ABA is ethical, why isn’t it tested on NT controls?

  35. #35 plutosdad
    May 30, 2011

    Funny that Wakefield quote is mentioned, because just recently I’ve been wondering if some of those parents have Münchausen by proxy, especially the ones that went to Geier or put their children through similar invasive and painful procedures. This came up after watching The Sixth Sense which was on tv a few weeks ago.

  36. #36 DrDuran
    May 30, 2011

    Forget the Turing test, Could any of these people pass a Voight-Kampff test?

  37. #37 Heliantus
    May 30, 2011

    @ Jacob

    You forget one important thing in your ethical considerations.

    Is there a potential benefit for the subject?

    There are no benefit in teaching a NT child into becoming autistic.
    There are obvious benefits in teaching social skills to an autistic child.
    Of course, the considered treatment should have some scientific basis of having some chance of success.

    Also, your idea of that ABA should be tested by using it “in reverse”, to change NT children into autistic chldren, is, I’m sorry, utterly silly.
    You don’t test plaster by using it to break legs of undamaged people. That you should do is to compare the outcome of two sets of people with broken legs, one set being treated with plaster, the other without.
    A proper control of ABA would be two sets of autistic children, one receiving ABA, the other not.
    Using healthy subjects to test a treatment is only done for one reason: test for toxicity.
    And actually, that’s one main reason why teaching children to misbehave is highly unethical: you can cause lasting, serious damages to their personality.

    “I think you are wrong”

    WTF? You train young children to act like they have Aspergers, basically stilting their social development, and you tell the psychiatrist to expect to find autistic children, priming his diagnosis. Why wouldn’t it work? The children will suddenly magically display social skills they never had a chance to learn and/or practice?
    If it doesn’t work, it’s because you are not training these poor children hard enough.

    Oh well, enough of this. Have any evidence for your cogitations?

  38. #38 Heliantus
    May 30, 2011

    @ DrDuran

    Could any of these people pass a Voight-Kampff test?

    Good idea.
    You see a tortoise on its back. What do you do?

    I would also like to ask them: what’s the first thing you will take out of a burning house?

  39. #39 Matthew Cline
    May 30, 2011

    @Heliantus:

    You don’t test plaster by using it to break legs of undamaged people.

    You don’t? Darn, I’ve been doing it wrong for all these years!!

  40. #40 Gray Falcon
    May 30, 2011

    What’s the first thing you will take out of a burning house?

    The fire?

  41. #41 Gopiballava
    May 30, 2011

    What’s the first thing you will take out of a burning house?

    Your portraits of your Dear Leader and Eternal Leader, of course.

    (Disturbingly, there are stories on North Korean TV of people doing that.)

  42. #42 Gopiballava
    May 30, 2011

    What’s the first thing you will take out of a burning house?

    Your portraits of your Dear Leader and Eternal Leader, of course.

    (Disturbingly, there are stories on North Korean TV of people doing that.)

  43. #43 Chemmomo
    May 31, 2011

    I would also like to ask them: what’s the first thing you will take out of a burning house?

    ….. Ummmm…… Myself?

  44. #44 Eugenio Mastroviti
    May 31, 2011

    On a partially unrelated note, you might be amused by this (mildly NSFW):

  45. #45 Jacob
    May 31, 2011

    @Heliantus (which means man dressed as lion)

    Dillenburger K, Keenan M. None of the As in ABA stand for autism: dispelling
    the myths. J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2009 Jun;34(2):193-5. PubMed PMID: 19404840.

    We are aware, are we not, of ABA being used extensively in non-autistic populations?

    With autistic populations we must ask the question do the benefits outweigh the costs? My issue is that the costs the the autistic recipient of ABA are not understood in their entirety.

    I reject you plaster cast analogy due to the obvious inversion of a critical dimension to your argument:
    “You don’t test plaster by using it to break legs of undamaged people.”

    No, but new formulations for the materials used in plaster casts are tested for safety both in the lab and ultimately on healthy skin. I’m no expert…

    You realise what I am trying to tell you, but you don’t even realise it!

    Are you aware of a computer based intervention, called ‘mind reading’, which was developed by SBH’s team at the ARC, Cambridge UK?

    I would use the fire to cook the turtle.

  46. #46 Scottynuke
    May 31, 2011

    Annoying and link-morphing troll is annoying and link-morphing.

  47. #47 Man Called True
    May 31, 2011

    @Jacob, 7:12 AM: We have a replicant! Call the Blade Runners!

  48. #48 Jacob
    May 31, 2011

    @Sn; Busted :) A witch disguised as a patrol. Does this mean we have to end the discussion and burn someone now?

  49. #49 Jacob
    May 31, 2011

    555

  50. #50 Scottynuke
    May 31, 2011

    Only if someone weighs the same as a duck…

  51. #51 Heliantus
    May 31, 2011

    Heliantus (which means man dressed as lion)

    You flatter me, but no. I’m just a guy with a sunny disposition. Try again.

  52. #52 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    May 31, 2011

    I thought that the kid with the actual diagnoses would take the canabis to escape the fact that thier parent/s are using them as a biomed test dummy because of the mind numbing stupidity of the anti-vaccine movement.

    Isn’t that the way that is supposed to work? I was pretty sure….

  53. #53 Jacob
    May 31, 2011

    The watcher, the watched, and the instrument of seeing are one and the same.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cannabis-for-angry-parents/117178425030440

    Somebody beat you to it!

  54. #54 Jacob
    May 31, 2011

    If you go far enough back in etymological time, you find Lion, Leo, Solos, Helio, Holy etc are all the same word.

    Lion is singular. Multiple lions were expressed as liolioliolioliolioliolioliolio then the information could be ‘sung’ to others in the group.

    The name the sun gives itself, is RA, the same as the name the lion gives itself.

    This is why the personification of the sun god was called RA, or Roar! His job was to dress up as a lion and be the ‘cry-est’ The one with the loudest roar.

    Nowadays, autistic people are the cry-est. That’s why you need to give them the Christ, or Cannabis as it’s know known. Cannabis, or Canaans-bliss as it was known. Was good for calming the cannibals. Modern cannibals are called autism.

    Even your name tells the story of the secret history of Ganja.

    We haven’t even touched on the Photic Sneeze Reflex and how it has inspired all those names for God!

  55. #55 han
    May 31, 2011

    Jacob, what the hell are you even talking about? Way to make potheads look like rambling psychos. You’re really not helping your cause.

  56. #56 novalox
    May 31, 2011

    @jacob

    What in the hell are you trying to say?

    I certainly hope you are a poe.

  57. #57 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    May 31, 2011

    As a pagan, and someone who has studied anceint mythology as a hobby since she was ten years old, let me be the one to tell you, Jacob, you have no clue what you are talking about!

    For one thing, Ra is not associated with the lion, but with the son! It is Sekmet, the goddess in form of a lioness who is , wait for it now, associated with the lion! I could go on and on, but I won’t. I wish to spare the others on here who care nothing for this topic.

  58. #58 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    May 31, 2011

    I did a typo with the word sun.

    It was supposed to read

    “For one thing, Ra is not associated with the lion, but with the sun!”

  59. #59 Jacob
    May 31, 2011

    From where are you getting your information about what was said between 107,000 and 11,000 BC?

    I’m interested in whether or not the descendants of our sources used to have some embarrassing misunderstandings over who eats who?

    And who were the Who? (or the Hoo, or the Hu?)

  60. #60 Jacob
    May 31, 2011

    That deaf, dumb and blind kid sure played a mean pinball.

    But how do we measure his intelligence?

    To write off all aspergic idiosyncratic language as ‘pothead’ or ‘rambling psycho’ is to show little knowledge of ‘field autism’.

    Autistic people really do act strangely sometimes. You must see it in their writing, yet you seem unable to connect it their my condition. How curious?

    Are you discounting my claims about cannabis because I don’t have the write ideas about pre-historic language?

    Or are you discounting my abilities with data and systems analysis because I am perceived to be a cannabis user?

    Coming to a new crux. Autism is clearly genetic. Those anti-vaxers are people like the parents of my own autistic friends.

    They are not morons. They know there is a conspiracy in medicine. All the evidence is there in the history of Cannabis in the 20th century?

    It is a cover up, it WAS a cover up, and YOU are STILL covering it up by unquestioningly following your programming.

    Bunch of insolent replicants! Can’t even tell the difference? Trolls can’t read maps. Tashkin 74

  61. #61 Composer99
    May 31, 2011

    I’ll take Jacob’s word salad over the ugh troll’s misogynist nastiness any day.

  62. #62 Brian Morgan
    May 31, 2011

    “I didn’t have any film, it being a digital camera and all, but took my camera out and erased the two pictures that were on there.”

    If this ever should become a serious issue for me (I’m a photojournalist) I’ll delete the images, knowing full well that (provided I don’t overwrite the memory card with new images) that I can recover the pictures as soon as I’m at my computer.

    My late partner once accidentally deleted a whole shoot on an unfamiliar camera, and rang me late at night for guidance. I said: “No problem – take the card out – put it safe.” Once home she used this amazing application that came free with a card reader and there they were, perfect.

  63. #63 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 31, 2011

    We are aware, are we not, of ABA being used extensively in non-autistic populations

    Jacob, many people with ASDs are completely unaware of the impressions they are giving socially and the effects those impressions have. So I will put it bluntly: You are coming across as a condescending, egotistical git, and it does not make people want to listen to and consider what you say.

    The only people who use phrasings like “we are aware, are we not” are people who think they’re so much smarter than everybody else that they have to take people by the hand and guide them along the path of truth and wisdom like an adult guiding a toddler’s first steps. In reality, people who think they are that much smarter than everyone else are usually very naive; the answers all seem so simple to them not because they’re as brillliant as they think they are, but because they don’t actually understand the problem’s complexities.

    Try talking to us as though you thought you were human like the rest of us, as if you were open to the idea that maybe someone else might have something to say on the subject that you haven’t considered.  You’ll be surprised how much better that works.

  64. #64 Jacob
    May 31, 2011

    Antaeus, If I could communicate my feelings and thoughts in a way that did not unintentionally come accross as arrogant, I would be fine, and would probably loose any hesitant aspergers diagnosis that I may have.

    As it stands, only cannabis can do this for you and me, I wish that there were another way but sadly there is not.

    The most damaging thing for an asperger is the ‘veneer of arrogance’ that is always present.

    Would you rather I be an intelligent arrogant, or an intelligent stoned, or an intelligent normal?

    Or would you like me to deliberately under-perform in order to avoid bullying like I had to at school?

  65. #65 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    May 31, 2011

    Lets start with this, if you are wanting to use a reference about reliefs that predate the worship of Ra, and the Ra reference doesn’t fit what you are trying to say,don’t use it. Now there was talk of lions in the shamanistic beliefs that predated what is now called Kemeticism, but even looking at those beliefs, what you said and what we actually know of their beliefs don’t seem to mesh. Granted there is limited knowledge about those times.

    My point is, use another reference for your argument. One that you know throughly, and can use correctly.

  66. #66 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    May 31, 2011

    Also, as a girl aspie, something that is rare, I can understand being the outcast and being misunderstood. I didn’t understand all the mind games the popular girls would play with me, and would get deeply hurt when they spread rumors about me. However, I never felt pressured to dumb myself down for them, or for anyone for that matter. My intelligence matters to me very much, I do what I can to cultivate it and to expand my circle of knowdlege everyday. It was the one thing I had up on everyone else, something that no one could ever take from me.

    I never felt the pressure to be anything other than what I am. And because of this, I eventually got angry at all my tormentors and started fighting back. By the time I was a junior, things leveled out for me. Perhaps that is why I don’t understand why someone would be so desperate to be like everyone else that they would be willing to try anything to become as like everyone else as they can. I do understand the stress of being us. I could see there where pot would be of service. But being direct treatment for autism? I don’t see it. Though it has been toted as something to deal with the anxiety part of it.

  67. #67 Julian Frost
    May 31, 2011

    Re giving Cannabis to Autistics:
    I’m sorry, but to me this is a damn fool idea. We are known for obsessive behaviour. Giving an addictive substance to people who have obsessive behaviour is a surefire way to make a whole bunch of addicts.

  68. #68 Jacob
    May 31, 2011

    Anglachel I must admit, aspergers are split into 3 camps.

    1. Haven’t tried it. They usually have an opinion but it’s worthless.
    2. Have tried it but didn’t like it (not didn’t work, didn’t like it). Oh well.
    3. Have tried it, like it, and it works.

    Group 3 are fine. Group 2, I wonder, if they had a different dose of a different strain, might it have been better?

    Group 1 will only get they chance to benefit if that chance is forthcoming form their doctors.

    I’m sorry Julian but I don’t believe you have any expertise on Cannabis, correct me if I am wrong? Cannabis is the best thing for reducing my obsessive behaviours. Of course it is. THC combats autistic rigid thinking. Please research more :)

  69. #69 ArtK
    June 1, 2011

    Antaeus, If I could communicate my feelings and thoughts in a way that did not unintentionally come accross as arrogant, I would be fine, and would probably loose any hesitant aspergers diagnosis that I may have.

    At some point, it ceases to be a reason and becomes an excuse. Although you may not be able to easily internalize it, you can learn appropriate ways of expressing yourself. Antaeus just gave you an example — you now know that the phrase “we are aware, are we not” is inappropriate, so you can drop it from your lexicon. You may have to do things consciously, that NT’s do instinctively, but it’s not impossible.

  70. #70 W. Kevin Vicklund
    June 1, 2011

    1. Haven’t tried it.
    2. Have tried it but didn’t like it (not didn’t work, didn’t like it).
    3. Have tried it, like it, (not works, likes it).

    FIFY

  71. #71 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 1, 2011

    Antaeus just gave you an example — you now know that the phrase “we are aware, are we not” is inappropriate, so you can drop it from your lexicon.

    Just as a suggestion, I usually go with: “I’m sure I don’t have to tell you….”

  72. #72 Jacob
    June 1, 2011

    @FIFY

    UKFAFO

    The VRBoK, thank you, i’ll try that instead next time.

    Anytime I want to say something, I just need to look up someone doing it right online, copy and paste, and put my own nouns in.

    But there are two problems:

    1) How can I trust your words to be appropriate? If I can’t tell the difference, how am I supposed to know you’re not just encouraging me to substitute mine with something ruder.
    2) If I use your words, or someone else’s words, who am I?

    answer: someone else. That is what you really want all autistic people to be: someone else. I’m not quoting you, I’m inferring correctly that you miss the point of aspergers entirely.

    Your intentions were kind.

    If I do get everything right, consciously, why would I choose that over the obvious better option?

  73. #73 ArtK
    June 1, 2011

    Well, Jacob, aren’t you the most special snowflake to ever drift in.

    Your rendition of “I’ve gotta be me” was singularly uninspiring. Why? Because we all have to make choices between who we are and who we have to be to get along in society. The Very Reverend, W. Kevin, me, Orac; all of us. Your diagnosis doesn’t make you unique in that respect.

    If you want to opt out of that because you don’t want to conform, that’s your choice. But that choice comes with a two-part price. The price is, first, that you will fail to communicate with many people, and second, that you can’t whine about the consequences of that choice. You got called out for a poor choice of words — you don’t get to complain about being called out.

    Your diagnosis isn’t a free pass to be offensive. You can be whoever you want to be, just don’t whine and make excuses when other people don’t like you.

    As far as not understanding what Aspergers is about, you speak from ignorance. Among the people I know well is one man, an Aspie, who decided that he couldn’t adapt well to society and so lives mostly alone in the back woods of Alaska. I admire him a great deal for that. He doesn’t use his diagnosis as an excuse to be a jerk.

  74. #74 Jacob
    June 1, 2011

    ArtK, you talk bollocks, you jerk.

    Fuck you, and my dog fucks the hole in the tree-stump you crawled from.

    Who taught you to scrawl your name in the ground with a stick?

    4 Billion Years of Her Tells Ye, Ye are a Copy of A Coyp of A Cpyo with mistakes making bass for her choosin.

    Tet la pute

  75. #75 Jacob
    June 2, 2011

    bit feisty yesterday. apologies.

  76. #76 delurked lurker
    June 3, 2011

    Apologies accepted
    Now please do us a favor and piss off

  77. #77 Jacob
    June 5, 2011

    Piss off who?

    I’m pissing off everyone who deserves it.
    Entertaining those who remain to watch, lurking, laughing at you!
    Both of you hadrocodium can piss off, via a quick google search for ‘cannabis + autism’
    You are soooo out of your comfort zones and it really shows what’s pushing your buttons and who’s pulling your strings.

    You are a Muppet. Accept apologies properly or you choose more abuse.

  78. #78 Linda Rosa
    June 8, 2011

    I sympathize with Ken and Jamie regarding their unpleasant experience, but isn’t this sort of treatment fairly routine for any critics attending private CAM functions? These are cult-like groups who are looking mainly for solidarity and support when they get together. The bad vibes critics bring into a gathering, just by their mere presence, threaten to neutralize the flow of warm fuzzies.

  79. #79 Melody
    June 21, 2011

    Jacob strikes me as a troll-puppet (I hope anyway). As someone dx’d with autism, I find him truly incomprehensible and offensive. It’s one thing to say, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to cause offense when I said X, I really meant to say X (phrased some other way to give another implication/connotation)” and another thing entirely when you say, “Well, I’ve got a diagnosis, so I can say X whatever way I damn well please so there you have it!” There are times I abandon tact, too, but that is usually when I see the situation as utterly futile arguing and I just want to have some fun taking jabs at anti-vaccine advocates, or something, and I know there is always some consequence to that. I might say later that the reason I spoke that way was to let off steam, but that doesn’t make me immune to the consequences.

    Like this prof of mine who is antivaccine, promoting the cancer/cell phone thing, etc. I’ve taken to openly objecting to certain mangled reasoning (such as giving equal weight to evidence on both sides of the vaccine “debate”), but I also know that while I should not get marked down for disagreeing, that if I don’t do so carefully I could end up going with lazy arguments that could count against me.