Respectful Insolence

Alright, I give up. I’m getting out the popcorn. It’s a Friday night, and it’s on, baby! It’s so on that I’m breaking one of my blogging rules and writing up a blog post on Friday night, which is when I usually try to relax. I suppose that it helps that I’m working tonight anyway, with a grant deadline coming, something I usually don’t do on a Friday night either if I can help it, and could use a brief entertainment break. Besides, right now I’m watching my favorite guilty pleasure Spartacus:War of the Damned, and wasn’t going to be working while I watched anyway. So off we go! The reason is that the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism’s “editor” Dan Olmsted has responded to Jake Crosby’s attacks on the other antivaccine crank group SafeMinds, an incident I had a whole lot of fun with over the last week.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about blogging and satire, it’s that if you have to label a post “satire” then you have no business trying to write satire. Good satire doesn’t need to be labeled as such, nor does it need explanation. If it needs to be labeled or explained, then, with rare exceptions, it’s not good satire. Let’s just say that Dan Olmsted is not one of those rare exceptions. Right after he wrote up what he considered to be a “satire” of the whole incident, he was forced to post a followup post explaining to his confused readers what the heck he was talking about. For instance, after the first post, a commenter named Kristine was lost:

Those of us not in the inner circle are going to need this spelled out. Honestly.

While a commenter named Taximom was equally confused:

Dan, I have no clue what either you or Tim are talking about. Can you please explain this so that people who are not privy to all the politics can understand what is going on?

As I said, whatever Olmsted’s talents might include, they don’t include journalism or satire.

A brief bit of background: It all began a week ago, when the resident attack poodle at SafeMinds and Age of Autism, a young man who fancies himself a budding epidemiologist and investigative reporter by the name of Jake Crosby, was unhappy that the pragmatic wing of the antivaccine movement had won out over the more “activist” wing in an internal battle in the antivaccine group SafeMinds in determining tactics that it wanted to use and topics it wanted to cover in its chance to testify before Dan Burton’s old Congressional committee in one last antivaccine hurrah by Dan Burton before he rode off into the sunset of wingnut retirement. So he attacked the only way he knows how. SafeMinds responded a week later, and now it’s on! Now, let me be clear. By “pragmatic” I mean “not completely batshit crazy,” or at least in control of its craziness enough to know that it can’t afford to be perceived by a Congressional committee as being complete and total cranks. By the “activist” wing, I mean completely batshit crazy in its antivaccine wingnuttiness. In other words, this is the group that is completely antivaccine and doesn’t mind letting the world know it’s completely antivaccine. No “I’m not ‘anti-vaccine’; I’m pro-safe vaccine” for this group. Oh, no! it proudly lets its antivaccine freak flag fly, not even being willing to downplay the pseudoscience, quackery, and conspiracy mongering, even for a little while, even if only for tactical purposes. They are the true believers and will preach their message no matter what.

Guess which wing Jake Crosby belongs to. Hint: To show his displeasure, he teamed up with Patrick “Tim” Bolen, who makes Jake look like a model of reason by comparison, but Jake’s working on becoming more like Bolen, as his post SafeMinds Steals The Show, Literally… demonstrates. As I said before, if you want to make sure that reasonable people perceive you as a total loon, write for Patrick “Tim” Bolen’s website. That’ll do it, and that’s just what Jake did. Even so, his revelations were quite interesting. First, he completely betrayed his comrades in arms against vaccines by publicly revealing private discussions and e-mails, while accusing the leadership of SafeMinds of manipulating the Congressional hearing to put a “sane” face on the antivaccine movement. Meanwhile, he expressed great butthurt at SafeMind’s only smart decision: Not to let Jake testify and to try to keep Jake as far away from the Congressional hearing as possible.

For over a week, Age of Autism remained silent. It was only yesterday that SafeMinds released a press release denying all the allegations and proudly proclaiming that it had investigated itself and found that it had failed to find any wrongdoing.

Olmsted’s satire is, as you might expect, really, really dumb. Seriously, it’s embarrassing in its ineptness, so much so that I felt a bit embarrassed for Olmsted and I don’t even like him or what he stands for! He affects a fake Yosemite Sam accent and tells the tale and then at the end publishes—yes, you guessed it!—an e-mail exchange between Bolen and him. Olmsted expresses confusion about Bolen’s saying “if I publish” Jake’s piece because it’s already up on and the web. After all, as Olmsted so astutely noticed, I’ve been having a field day with Jake’s post. (What he not-so-astutely didn’t notice is that I’m going to have a field day with his own attempt at satire and his followup explanatory post.) In any case, Bolen replied:

No, that’s not true. I haven’t published it. Notice that it was intentionally not dated. I put it in a hidden place where certain key people could see it to comment on it. It was supposed to be private. … So far, I can’t guess how many people have seen it, but if I do the teaser, and hit the send key, roughly 285,000 subscribers will get it seconds later. Then, it gets picked up by our network and rebroadcast to even much larger readership.

Dan, were I you, I’d be very careful about what you do with this. Rumor has it that 50% of AoA’s income is dependent on either Mark Blaxill or SafeMinds. Were I you, I wouldn’t even touch this. You might be just betting the farm. The last thing you want to be, right now, is a part of the problem. You were right not to touch it in the first place. Perhaps this is a good time to wet your finger and see from which direction the wind is blowing in the Autism world.

This clarifies a lot. I had noticed the odd format of the post and how it didn’t show up on the front page of Bolen’s website. The way I found out about it is from people sending me links to Jake’s Tweet in which he announced the publication of this “expose.” Equally amusing is the threat Bolen makes, which is completely toothless. I might not have 285,000 subscribers, but I’ve already spread Jake’s post far and wide over the Internet because Jake himself Tweeted it. It’s out. It doesn’t matter if Bolen hits the “send” key or not. It really doesn’t. His threat is impotent, as usual, and I’m guessing he’s probably exaggerating how much support SafeMinds lends to AoA. After all, AoA has a bunch of advertisers selling autism woo. But, given the incestuous relationship between AoA and SafeMinds, in which several members are active in both groups, it wouldn’t surprise me if SafeMinds is a major source of AoA’s funding.

Olmsted’s followup to his “satire” is actually far more amusing than the satire itself. After lamenting how “some of our worst critics have now had plenty of time to relish its attacks on our friends while the rest of us could only watch in distress,” Olmsted writes:

Jake is someone I have long admired for his autism advocacy and writing for Age of Autism. He remains a Contributing Editor. However, this article does not stand up to scrutiny on a number of levels. The invasion of privacy of a number of SafeMinds board members here is unconscionable and, really, inexplicable given the far less-than-critical issues involved. Furthermore, based on preliminary inquiries, the facts do not seem to be as described in this article; certainly, SafeMinds has denied them vigorously. It’s bad journalism, glaringly unsourced and without giving the “targets” an opportunity to give their version of events. I stand by the choices I’ve made in dealing with this unfortunate situation, and will be following up in the near future.

I can hardly wait.

It’s also amazing that AoA is keeping Jake as a Contributing Editor. I don’t see how this can end well. It’s not entirely unexpected, though. Olmsted appears to be too much of a chicken to pull the trigger and fire Jake, which is what pretty much anyone with even a modicum of management savvy would do without hesitation. The guy just launched a full frontal assault on a very important member of your collective (Mark Blaxill), among others, and you’re going to keep him on to do more damage? Not smart. However, it’s also possible that Olmsted thinks he can gently rope Jake back into the fold. Also not smart. Jake’s already shown himself to be too much of a loose cannon. Success in such an endeavor is highly unlikely. It does, however, guarantee me some highly productive grist for more amusing blog posts, which is why now I am, like Dieter, “as happy as a little girl.” As a commenter on AoA points out:

What Jake did cannot be excused as simply a “young journalist.” When Jake released private conversations (without permission to do so), he essentially killed any chance that he has to be a “trusted” journalist. Whether one wants to admit it or not likely anyone who has ever corresponded directly with him or even including Jake, is now having to think back whether they ever ever said anything about someone that Jake may decide at some point, to release to the world.

Indeed. I’d bet that pretty much everyone with any position in the antivaccine movement is doing just that. Another commenter observes:

This is a serious question, which must have already occurred to Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill:

What are the probable positive versus negative effects of having Jake Crosby continue as a contributing editor to this site? (Will you ever trust him again?)

The only positive effect I can think of is that maybe Olmsted and Blaxill think they can rein Jake in. Now that Jake’s gotten a taste of being the “rebel” and the only “pure” antivaccinationist in the bunch, this is a strategy fraught with risk. It will, however, almost certainly produce some highly amusing blog fodder for me.

In the meantime, while waiting for Olmsted’s followup and to see what happens next, I can’t help but point out that Jake’s invasions of privacy didn’t bother Olmsted in the least when Jake was doing what he did it in the service of attacking AoA’s enemies. I could hardly restrain myself from laughing uproariously at Olmsted’s characterization of Jake’s article as “bad journalism, glaringly unsourced and without giving the ‘target’ an opportunity to give their version of events.” As if anyone else on AoA ever gave the ‘target’ an opportunity to give their version of events! In fact, I can’t help but ask: Who taught Jake? Who nurtured his journalistic “talents,” if not Olmsted? In particular, my irony meter exploded when Olmsted introduced his post by saying that Jake had offered his article to him first to publish on AoA, but he had rejected the article because it “did not meet the standards that I try to apply to everything submitted to Age of Autism.”

Seriously?

Look at the articles Jake’s published on AoA over the last three or four years. Look at them! Now Olmsted gets religion about journalistic standards? Now? And this one article by Jake suddenly “bad journalism” and “standards that I try to apply to everything submitted to Age of Autism”? Seriously? Can anyone tell the difference, from a perspective of journalistic standards,” between Jake’s post on the Bolen Report and anything else he’s published on AoA? I can’t. In fact, if anything, Jake’s article on the Bolen Report might even be a little bit better than his average character assassination screed, at least in terms of his “journalism.” I realize that’s not saying much, akin to saying that rancid fish smells a little bit better than human excrement that’s been sitting around fermenting a while, but it is, I suppose, slightly better. Of course, nowhere did Jake really document that Beth Clay, the lobbyist hired by SafeMinds, ever actually misrepresented SafeMinds as he claims, but that’s about par for the course for a typical Jake Crosby screed. Either way, whether Jake’s accusations have a grain of truth to them or whether they were made up from whole cloth in his fevered mind, AoA wasn’t going to publish something that attacked an organization with which it was so tightly affiliated.

Amusingly enough, Jake has appeared in the comments of this post to complain:

You never made any of these criticisms about my piece when I first submitted it to you. Did Mark Blaxill tell you to say this? I gave him plenty of opportunities to give his version of events – he sent me 14 emails. In the last one he cut me off with:

“…it’s not worth arguing with you anymore. So I won’t.”

(and Mark [Blaxill] copied you on it)

Later, Jake whines:

When I asked you if there would be repercussions from Age of Autism if I posted my article elsewhere, you just said you wouldn’t can me. What you should have said was yes, there would be repercussions from Age of Autism – like what you wrote about me in this blog post.

I’m telling ya, you can’t make stuff like this up. Even better, I now know that Olmsted almost certainly had to approve Jake’s previous posts, because Jake said he submitted this one for publication, implying that the way articles get posted to AoA is through its managing editor Dan Olmsted.

As I said before, I actually do kind of feel sorry for Jake. He’s starting to realize that he’s been used, played, and abused by those whom he considered his friends and mentors. Men like Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted. Olmsted, Blaxill, and the crew at AoA published his stuff for the last four years or so. They let him think that the smear jobs he routinely did, coupled with his hilariously inept “six degrees of separation”-style conspiracy theories actually constituted good journalism. Meanwhile, Jake’s fans, the readers of the antivaccine crank blog AoA, swarmed in the comments, egged him on, pouring out effusive praise after each new piece of ludicrous conspiracy mongering and character assassination, hanging around him at quackfests like AutismOne like so many groupies, telling him what a great guy he is, how it’s so awesome that they have someone on the spectrum on their side, how he is the next generation, a future leader of the movement. Then, all he has to do is to gore one wrong ox, say bad things about allies of his comrades at AoA, and suddenly he’s persona non grata. I bet he thought he could do anything if he thought his cause to be just. Sadly, that’s not how the world works, and Jake is finding that out. As they say, old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill, and unfortunately Jake never had much in the way of skill, anyway. But he is young.

Time to pop up another bag of popcorn! I can’t wait to see what the next phase of this conflict brings. In the meantime, it’s back to working on my grants.

ADDENDUM: It just keeps getting better and better! For instance, after Olmsted’s post we have a commenter by the ‘nym nd writing:

To prevail in a public debate, we need to be credible.

Jake’s association with Tim Bolen is not helpful. Jake’s association with Brian Hooker is not helpful. Age of Autism’s association with Jake is not helpful. Age of Autism’s association with Brian Hooker is not helpful.

We have to do better.

Sadly, nd can’t make the further leap of reasoning that to prevail in debate you need a credible argument, which the antivaccine movement has never had. He or she is right about one thing, though. Associating with Patrick “Tim” Bolen is not helpful. He makes the entire crew at AoA look like the very picture of sober scientists by comparison.

Finally, you know it’s really on when the big dog himself weighs in. I’m referring to J.B. Handley, the founder of Generation Rescue and big macher at AoA:

This is a complete waste of everyone’s time. Every person involved in the dust-up has been a champion of our kids and they all deserve our respect. This is a movement fraught with tension, stress, and confusion. Time for everyone to grab their toys, leave the playground, take a deep breath, and get back to the task at hand.

(Jake, you shouldn’t use people’s private emails without heir permission, I wouldn’t respond to an email from you if I thought that was a risk)

Let me fix that for ya, J.B.: “You shouldn’t use people’s private e-mails without their permission if they are friends. If we think they’re our enemies, feel free to violate their privacy by publishing their private e-mails as much as you want if by doing so you can make them look bad.”

That is what you really meant, isn’t it, J.B.? After all, I don’t recall your ever telling Jake to cool it when he was publishing the private e-mails of journalists, scientists, and others. In fact, you egged him on. Hypocrite. In fact, you more than egged him on. You gave him the example to follow by publishing private e-mails yourself! Remember how you posted a private e-mail from an autism researcher to AoA, even though she explicitly told you that you did not have her permission to do so? She wrote:

Mr. Handley none of you have permission to share emails that i have sent to you as individuals with anyone besides the intended receiver nor do you have permission to quote me publicly. Unlike the newspaper which was public, private emails to individuals sent confidentially are not for public quotation.

Your response:

Says who?

And, tough shit.

Stay classy, J.B. Stay classy. As usual.

The bottom line: You taught Jake. You provided an example for him. You don’t like it now that he’s used your very own techniques on Mark Blaxill and other members of the leadership of SafeMinds, do you? Not so great, is it, when you’re on the receiving end of such slimy behavior?. And you wonder why I find it so utterly just, so completely appropriate, so much an example of karmic retribution that your friends are finding yourselves on the receiving end of the very same behavior. Meanwhile the very same crowd of your readers who egged you on when you violated trust and courtesy are now shocked—shocked, I say!—when the same violation has occurred to their heroes at the hands of one of their own. You, sir, are a joke, as are Jake Crosby, Dan Olmsted, and Mark Blaxill. You all deserve each other.

Comments

  1. #1 I. Rony Meter
    February 8, 2013

    I loved this comment snippet from someone trying to bash ScienceBlogs

    They also seem to have a very few regular posters with a lot of time on their hands.

    Heh. Not like AoA…or, *cough* Anne Dachel *cough*….

    Glad to know they remeber the thanksgiving piece they had to take down. What a disaster that was for them.

    I suspect AoA will lose a little momentum and go on. They lost a lot more momentum when Jenny and Jim walked away. And they keep on going. And charging their sponsors the same amount (per the SafeMinds form 990′s)

  2. #2 I. Rony Meter
    February 8, 2013

    I stand by the choices I’ve made in dealing with this unfortunate situation, and will be following up in the near future. — Dan Olmsted

    at least Olmsted realizes that his actions are up for scrutiny.

    Poor damage control. Making matters worse. He can stand by his choices if he wishes. He’d do well to learn from them.

  3. #3 Ren
    Couch, popcorn in hand
    February 8, 2013

    Unlike our esteemed host, I don’t have a thing to worry about tonight. I’m just relaxing in my nice, big, comfortable couch after a long day of chasing down infectious diseases and beating them over the head with the CCDM book.

    I love how now they’re holding Jake up to high standards. Now they want him to tone it down a little.

    Too late, folks. That cat is out of the bag, so to speak.

    Mr. Olmsted has obviously not heard about the Streisand Effect. One very smal sliver of their audience would have heard about this on their own while the rest would have been in the dark. Now, they all know and it’s going to be epic.

  4. #4 I. Rony Meter
    February 8, 2013

    I think Olmsted realized that Bolen was going to make it more visible to the AoA audience.

    Olmsted seems to have decided they could weather the storm of Orac’s attention and a couple tweets by Jake. Try to ignore it and hope the problem goes away. But, let’s face it, “Tim” Bolen is not one to let things lie. The email quoted makes it clear he wasn’t going to. Olmsted should have acknowledged the problem right away. And not with bad satire. Now it would be old news and Bolen would look like a bully. Instead Olmsted just looks foolish.

    Funny how these guys who think that every action by the government is damage control didn’t learn such simple lessons. Take your hits early and move on. Don’t hope the problem will solve itself.

    What are they thinking keeping Jake as an editor? No way that will end well. They should have just told Jake that it’s time to part ways and move on. Keeping him on while bashing him at the same time is just foolish. Just put out a simple, “We wish Jake well in his future” and cut him loose.

  5. #5 Denice Walter
    February 8, 2013

    Over the past few years, AoA’s editors and commenters have rewarded Jake for writing far-fetched, seethingly angry exposes about anyone who calls them out, and now, when he continues carrying on in the same manner, they wonder why he behaves like that.
    They shaped and modelled his act, now they’re stuck with it

  6. #6 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    February 8, 2013

    This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The complete lack of self-awareness is just mind-boggling. Take, for instance, this comment from one person (emphasis added):

    BTW, since when is SafeMinds hiring Washington lobbyists? Pharma does it so we have to also? That really inspires confidence. Maybe our side should start falsifying studies, too. Fight fire with fire and all that.

    Umm…their side did. Remember Wakefield?

  7. #7 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 8, 2013

    It’s like the Judean People’s Front vs. The People’s Front of Judea!

  8. #8 Melissa G
    February 8, 2013

    It’s like I’m watching the antivaxx Superbowl, and I’m Grumpy Cat!!!

  9. #9 Melissa G
    February 8, 2013

    Also, is it just me, or did anyone else get the impression Olmstead was trying to lay down the funny like Orac in his Hitler Zombie posts? Imitation yada yada flattery.

  10. #10 lilady
    February 8, 2013

    I love this explanation from Bolen.

    “No, that’s not true. I haven’t published it. Notice that it was intentionally not dated. I put it in a hidden place where certain key people could see it to comment on it. It was supposed to be private. …”

    (Translation)

    “I put Jake’s rant in a hermetically sealed envelope…..”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m_dT0wsrGI

  11. #11 Narad
    February 9, 2013

    I think Olmsted realized that Bolen was going to make it more visible to the AoA audience.

    An excellent point. Anyone who can suffer even briefly the AoA commentariat can note that a number of the regulars are of the colander-with-chin-strap variety. In some sense, Jake has moved to a higher stage.

  12. #12 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    colander-with-chin-strap…

    I never engage in text speak but will break my policy, as Orac has broken his policy.

    LOL.

  13. #13 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    Bolen asked Olmsted “will I see you at the Health Freedom Expo?”

    Bolen will be there as a moderator on a Panel with Andy Wakefield. All the purveyors of other quackery will be there including Kerri Riveri (of MMS infamy)…

    http://www.healthfreedomexpo.com/hfe/speaker_detail.php?fmid=3044

  14. #14 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    colander-with-chin-strap is far better than a tinfoil hat.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=247×20188

  15. #15 FulfilledDeer
    February 9, 2013

    @Marc….Fuck off!

    ….we’re the popular front!

  16. #16 Brian Deer
    February 9, 2013

    They will try to extricate themselves from this embarrassment, but the underlying issue remains to gnaw away at them.

    The total burden of thimerosal in US vaccines for children fell to almost nothing more than a decade ago. And yet, not only has there been no collapse in autism diagnoses (as any rational theory would predict), those diagnoses continue to rise. Meanwhile, across the states we see huge variation, wholly inconsistent with the consequence of a uniform, ubiquitous cause.

    Similarly with MMR. When uptake dropped in the UK because of Wakefield, there was likewise no drop in autism diagnoses. Again, they were up. In the US, against a virtually constant uptake of MMR, autism diagnoses rise. Wakefield’s purported theories have been proved false at every point in the tortuous chain he made up, and now nobody believes it, probably not even him. On submission from his principal medical collaborator, the English high court has ruled that “no respectable body of opinion” supports his claims.

    In vaccine court in 2007, the petitioners swung from blaming thimerosal, to MMR, and back again. And all their arguments failed. Some of their witnesses were a disgrace to themselves. Their pivotal potential witness – one John O’Leary of Dublin, who claimed to have found vaccine strain measles virus associated with autism – refused all invitations (including the court’s) to attend, give evidence and be cross-examined.

    So now – more than a decade on – we have these anti-vaccine organisations, individuals, book authors, angry twerps, the Geiers and Uncle Tom Cobley, all standing on the wrong foot: a “science” that was made up and promulgated by lawyers in the late 1990s, at the taxpayer’s expense.

    Now, scientists have lost interest, journalists have accurately conceptualised what was going on, and the public has heard it all before. The dog has barked and the caravan has moved on.

    The Safeminds manifesto just does not play. Intelligent, honest people, concerned about children’s health, must know this. So what do they do? Convene a convention perhaps, like a religious cult, and announce that the cause of autism is now too-many-too-soon vaccines, and not what they said before. Or do they just beat on, blind to the evidence, sucking money from vulnerable families who often don’t have much, increasingly nagged by their own lack of integrity and the threat they pose to other people’s children?

    Mr Crosby’s abusive attacks on his masters are only straws in the wind. But I think it’s the beginning of what old European leftists would call the “death agony” for everything these people said they stand for.

  17. #17 flip
    February 9, 2013

    I put it in a hidden place where certain key people could see it to comment on it. It was supposed to be private.

    Evidently Bolen’s mad webmaster skillz have not discovered the password protect function yet.

    @IRM

    Just put out a simple, “We wish Jake well in his future” and cut him loose.

    Is it possible this is a case of keeping enemies closer?

  18. #18 Guy Chapman
    February 9, 2013

    Only one thing remains constant: it’s always about the vaccines. Just as it always has been.

    I wait with baited breath to see what they will pin on vaccines next. Safe bet that it won’t be the substantial reduction in recorded cases of preventable diseases.

  19. #19 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 9, 2013

    Apparently, Bolen was relying on security by obscurity, the concept that there are so many places to look on the Internet that nobody would ever think to look here, especially if they don’t know there’s something to bother to search for.

    We’ve all learned an important lesson – security by obscurity stops working when someone deliberately removes the obscurity.

    I suspect he also felt it was not significant enough to try to secure more.

  20. #20 Lawrence
    February 9, 2013

    This has certainly exposed the “public” personas of AoA / Safeminds vs. the personas that are used to pander to the base. It is all well and good to spin the various conspiracy theories in the relative bubble of the anti-vax community, but even Safeminds / AoA realized it would be suicide to have those same views front and center in front of Congress (and the national media).

    They would have been forced to defend, with actual evidence, their claims of a government conspiracy to hide a link between autism and vaccines – and when they would be publicly refuted, it would have been a PR nightmare….this is what Jake & his ilk would be more than happy to do, air all of their various theories in the public domain, which is exactly what people like Olmsted and Blaxill are trying to avoid.

    They can continue to milk the anti-vax gravy train by just being “public” enough – without actually having to defend their accusations in front of a wider audience…..it is pandering to the base at its worst, and Jake has exposed their hypocricy for everyone to see – the Emperor has no clothes people, and they have none other than their own “attack dog” to blame for the revelation.

    As to the recent AoA comments that somehow exposing Crosby’s ties to the chemical and pesticide industries (in fact, using that money to most like pay for his education) is “not playing fair” I would only point to Jake’s own screeds over the past several years that have been used to smear numerous individuals for extremely tenuous ties to whatever industry-of-the-week AoA ties to their conspiracy theories…..when in this case, there is an extremely close and direct link between Jake Crosby, his family, and some of the very industries AoA has blamed for the increase in autism…..we just can’t make this stuff up.

  21. #21 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    Let’s no forget that Bolen didn’t publicize Jake’s rant…Jake himself (using his AoA Twitter account), bragged about it and linked to it. Poor Jake, who has libeled people on his AoA posts, slandered and stalked people on their jobs and at meetings, is now publicly begging Blaxill to keep his gig on AoA. After reading the 90 sliming posts by Jake, as well as the comments from Jake’s groupies who urged him to continue his stalking and his yellow journalism, they have now turned on him…as if that mitigates their collective culpability. Jake, and his groupies and his *handlers* have finally gotten their comeuppance.

    Not content to have exposed the underbelly of AoA, SafeMinds and their lobbyists Andy Wakefield and Beth Clay, Jake *takes the bait* and posts at the Texas Observer blog and pulls his “six, sixty, six-hundred degrees of separation act” on the blogger Alex Hannaford…then beats a hasty retreat, to leave John Stone to attempt to clean up his mess.

  22. #22 dan olmsted
    falls church va
    February 9, 2013

    ok orac, so you don’t like my satire. i get it. but how come nobody does a proper satire of me? am i chopped liver? don’t say no one could out-parody my own writing, that’s too obvious. i will hold a contest — the best parody of me, judged by you and me, will appear on age of autism and receive a copy of my book. second prize, two books.

  23. #23 Lawrence
    February 9, 2013

    @lilady – even John Stone seems have beat a hasty retreat over at the Texas Observer as well…….I guess my ability to use PubMed scared him off.

  24. #24 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    @ Lawrence: Yup Stone beat a hasty retreat, when faced with an onslaught of posts…but not before we had the opportunity to take a few whacks at him. He couldn’t produce the later studies by Wakefield where Andy *proved* that children immunized with the triple antigen MMR vaccine, caused their autism and their *autistic enterocolitis*.

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    February 9, 2013

    Over the past few years I have seen an interesting phenonemon amongst the anti-vaxxers ( both in the groups primarily dedicated to that issue AND by alt med purveyors of various stripe who despise vaccines):
    possibly knowing deep in their hearts that they’re not right about mercury, they have expanded their list of culprits that ’cause’ autism AND expanded the list of conditions ’caused’ by these multiple toxins.

    Groups like the Canary Party are saying that vaccines+ toxins cause autism + myriad other condiitons ( asthma, IBD, cancer, whatever). Or in other words, everything causes everything. This makes their thinking akin to woo-meisters who forever spurn modernity and innovation instead of naturalness.

    About the current feud: well, what would you expect from people whose motivation for supporting pseudo-science lies in deeply troubled emotionality? They’re not involved because they want to research solutions, they want to prove – perhaps to themselves- that their child’s condition is due to external causes like medical malfeasance and pharmacological profiteering rather than to genetics, pre- and perinatal environmental factors and bad luck .

    Everyone is to a degree motivated to believe what benefits them and/ or makes them ‘feel better’ BUT usually, reality comes a- knocking and tempers our self-serving ideas with glances towards the outside world of data and the opinions of others, including those we don’t agree with.

    When your basis for belief is not circumscribed by sources other than your own needs and idiosyncratic views, you can expect conflict between yourself and those of similar bent.
    Even their main source of ‘data’ ( AJW) is skewed from the start by personal aim and need to the exclusion of reality and the findings of other researchers.

  26. #26 Orac
    February 9, 2013

    Dan,

    The ineptitude of your satire is really fairly unimportant, although it did provide me an amusing “hook” for my post. What is important is how you, Mark, the rest of the crew at AoA, and AoA’s readers (the latter through their nauseating praise of his inept screeds) turned Jake, someone who’s obviously smart and could have made a useful contribution to society if he hadn’t become convinced that vaccines “damaged” him, into a character assassinating, conspiracy mongering weapon to be used against people like me (i.e., anyone who strenuously disagrees with you and views the antivaccine movement as embodied in AoA, SafeMinds, and their ilk as a profound danger to public health). Now that he’s turned on you, suddenly you’re shocked—shocked, I say!—to discover that he uses those same character assassination techniques against Mark Blaxill and the leadership of SafeMinds as a tactic in a political disagreement. Those of us on “this side” knew that sooner or later he would go beyond the bounds and turn on his creators at least once. It is the nature of such “weapons” to do so, and, quite frankly, posting private e-mails, stalking, conspiracy mongering, and character assassination are the only skill set he has for political warfare. And now you think you can bring him back into the fold by keeping him as a Contributing Editor of AoA. Well, maybe you can, but I wouldn’t lay money on it. The odds are too unfavorable. It’s a risky game you’re playing with the little character assassinating, “six degrees of separation”-obsessing conspiracy theorist that you and the crew at AoA have created, nurtured, and encouraged.

    Bolen is far more nutty than, I suspect, even you know. I’ve followed his antics for years, longer even than I’ve been a blogger. I remember encountering Bolen back in the day on Usenet around 13 years ago. He’s known for originally being Hulda Clark’s pit bull, threatening with lawsuits anyone who criticized her quackery, which involved claiming that all cancers (and AIDS and a host of other diseases, too) were caused by a liver fluke. She also marketed a device to cure it known as the Zapper. It looked for all the world like a Scientology E-meter and did about as much good; i.e., none. Since then, Bolen has been weaving conspiracy theories and attacking, above all, Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch. Seriously. Read his website. it makes AoA look sane by comparison. Did you really think that cozying up with Bolen to do a West Coast edition of AutismOne wouldn’t come back and bite you on the posterior?

    If you want an idea of just how off the farm Bolen is, check out Peter Bowditch’s discussion:

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/timoranter.htm

  27. #27 Tom Herling
    February 9, 2013

    Why does it not surprise me that people with a warped sense of reality which requires unsupportable conspiracy theories to justify their worldview also have difficulties in their relationships with other people?

  28. #28 Tom
    February 9, 2013

    How did this comment get through the AoA censor?

    “It’s bad journalism, glaringly unsourced and without giving the “targets” an opportunity to give their version of events.”

    Oh, ’cause you guys always give your targets an opportunity to give their version of events? For crying out loud, Dan, you don’t even let them comment! How detached from reality are you?

    Posted by: Reuben Gaines | February 08, 2013 at 07:22 PM

  29. #29 dan olmsted
    February 9, 2013

    ill take that as a no!

  30. #30 Lawrence
    February 9, 2013

    @dan’o – when your entire website is a parody in itself, it defeats the purpose.

    As to Jake, any reasonable organization would treat the unauthorized release of private communications as a serious breach of trust and ethics, not to mention, in Europe, it would be considered a crime / violation of data privacy laws.

  31. #31 Orac
    February 9, 2013

    Dan, Dan, Dan…

    I thought I did you a favor by giving you that link that aggregates many of Bolen’s antics, and you don’t even give us the honor of a more substantive response? I’m disappointed.

  32. #32 Dangerous Bacon
    February 9, 2013

    “It’s like I’m watching the antivaxx Superbowl”

    More like the Puppy Bowl during a rabies epidemic.

  33. #33 Orac
    February 9, 2013

    We’ve all learned an important lesson – security by obscurity stops working when someone deliberately removes the obscurity.

    Indeed. One wonders if it ever occurred to Bolen to warn Jake not to publicize the link to the “hidden” screed. Does Jake not know that some of his “fans” monitor his Twitter feed in the same way that, I’m sure, he and some of his fellow antivaccinationists monitor the Twitter feeds of their opponents? Heck, I have a Stanislaw Burzynski shill who goes by the Twitter handle @BurzynskiSaves monitoring my Twitter feed. I’m sure there are many more. Of course, I rarely post to Twitter, although links to all my blog posts are auto-posted to my feed; so there’s not much there that can’t be gleaned from following my blogs, but even so…

    Actually, I suspect that Jake and Tim wanted the link to become public and came up with this ploy as “plausible deniability,” except their deniability ain’t so plausible unless you posit that both Tim and Jake are so clueless that they actually thought that anyone would fall for their ploy.

    Oh, wait…

  34. #34 Chris
    February 9, 2013

    Mr. Olmsted, the less humorous aspects of your antics in the decade plus has been the suffering (including death) of lots of children due to your idiocy, along with SafeMinds, TACA, NAA, etc. And this rampant stupidity has destroyed a young man’s life by convincing him he was damaged by vaccines and encouraging his evidence free rants and stalking.

    And the worse bit is you and your friend do not even know what went wrong now that you are imploding in a mass abject cluelessness.

  35. #35 Denice Walter
    February 9, 2013

    @ Tom Herling:

    Surprisingly- well, maybe not- there are people who study those topics. To be able to function amongst others as an adult, you need certain skills that are based in higher order mental abilities: a group of psychologists looked at how these interpersonal skills ( understanding others’ point of view, needs, abilities, recursive thought etc, loosely grouped together as ‘social cognition’) related to more purely cognitive skills like those which Piaget studied. There’s not total overlap: so you can be able to think abstractly about physics and not be able to imagine what your friend or partner likes or needs.

    Obviously other problems may interfere with the development of these skills- LDs, mental illness, injury, psychological trauma etc.
    People can have problems with reality- be it in physical or in social /interpersonal/ communacativel terms- sometimes both.

    People may have problems being realistic when attributing causation for various phenomena: when they answer, “Are my problems due to what I do or what the others do?”
    The tendency to externalise negative outcomes is an interesting characteristic in of itself.
    I won’t go into that here.
    I could write a book .

  36. #36 I. Rony Meter
    February 9, 2013

    dan,

    Your challenge shows the same fundamental mistake you made in publshing your parody. You are just trying to dodge the issue.

    When Bolen threatened you, you took the opportunity to write about him, not Jake. The parody was an attempt to diffuse the situation with humor, but that’s a side point. You should have taken on the fact that Jake was being publicly critical.

    And now, here, you act as though it is your parody that is the issue. You made some serious blunders in how you handled this. The fact that you tried a parody was the major blunder. The fact that your parody was bad was just secondary.

    As to your challenge, a wise man once told me, “you can’t parody a farce.”

  37. #37 Lawrence
    February 9, 2013

    To quote a popular Internet meme:

    Your parody is bad and you should feel bad too!

  38. #38 Denice Walter
    February 9, 2013

    that should be COMMUNICATIVE terms..

  39. #39 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    February 9, 2013

    Mr. Olmsted, here is a reminder for you and your friends:

    The science has been done, the link between vaccines and autism does not exist. It is a dead link… “It’s not pinin’! ‘It’s passed on! This link is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-LINK!! ” (hat-tip to Monty Python and the dead parrot sketch)

    And it was a dead link when you first popped onto the scene with your regrettable Amish article, just after an article on AP about the Clinic for Special Children (which was brought up on UseNet, and elsewhere). It was dead when Blaxill and friends got published in “Medical Hypothesis” claiming very wrongly that autism was a form of mercury poisoning. And it was very dead when Wakefield held a press conference on a paper that did not show the MMR caused autism, but he told parents to get single vaccines.

    It was also dead when Handley was touting chelation with a cream, which we dubbed Buttar Cream.

    But because of you and your friends actions a little boy was strapped to a table and had a chelator forced into his bloodstream, which killed him. Because of you and Barbara Loe Fisher pertussis has claimed the lives of several infants around the globe. Because of you children have suffered needlessly from tetanus. Because of you and Wakefield measles and mumps have robbed children of sight, hearing, health and even life.

    This is not the kind of stupidity you, Blaxill, Wakefield, Fisher, Handley, McCarthy, Crosby, and on and on should be proud of. And it is not funny.

  40. #40 Chris
    In the land of typos...
    February 9, 2013

    Ugh, I hate it when a good rant is muddled by bad HTML. There are two links, the first includes a UseNet thread where the Clinic for Special Children is mentioned. The second is the one about the little boy who got tetanus, and almost died (but now gets to spend a year learning how to walk and talk).

    But this gives me an opportunity to present an article about a little girl in Germany dying from SSPE:
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2011/11/another-sspe-case-angelina-is-dying.html

  41. #41 Ren
    Closer to Philadelphia than I'd like to be
    February 9, 2013

    You have to give credit to Mr. Olmsted’s “satire.” It was based on reality:

    “Even though Safminds done cooked up that therismole (sic) idea in the first darn place!”

    “Cooked up” sums it up nicely, doesn’t it?

  42. #42 I. Rony Meter
    February 9, 2013

    I speculate that if these groups haven’t gotten Andrew Wakefield to call Jake, they will soon. Who better to play to Jake’s trust. Who better can say what people want to hear.

    How will he, or whoever talks to Jake, take on the fact that AoA is a blog where people don’t even accept Jake as a “real” autistic?

    Heck, when Lenny Schaefer made this clear, Dan, your team gave him a T-Shirt as comment of the week.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/07/age-of-autism-comment-of-the-week-2.html?cid=6a00d8357f3f2969e2011571229a2c970c#comment-6a00d8357f3f2969e2011571229a2c970c

    When Jake makes serious accusations about how your sponsor acted, you ignored him and tried to make a joke out of the guy who hosted his post.

    You’ve got Mark Blaxill who is so concerned about how his organization is perceived, but has spent the past three years pushing Jake to destroy his own reputation. His own future. Jake is basically the cannon fodder of your little war. And you didn’t even have the guts to take him on like a man.Whetever you think of what he wrote, perhpas you could break your long-standing tradition and admit a mistake and apologize. Don’t stand by bad decisions.

  43. #43 Chris
    February 9, 2013

    Ren:

    “Cooked up” sums it up nicely, doesn’t it?

    Yes, it does. The whole “vaccine causes autism” meme was cooked up by these clowns.

    That horrible satire using Saturday morning cartoons reminds me of another “brilliant” bit of commentary from a review of idiotic anti-vax children’s book:

    Measles was never a dreaded disease. Fred Flintstone and Gomer Pyle had television episodes on it that clearly showed what a benign illness these things were just a generation ago.

    Uh, huh. And humans actually used dinosaurs on construction sites, and the US Marines never heard of Vietnam in the 1960s.

    Olmsted and friends are just as divorced from reality as 1960s cartoons and sitcoms.

  44. #44 I. Rony Meter
    February 9, 2013

    Dan,

    you make a joke out of people wanting a copy of your book. Are you aware of how the idea of contributing to Age of Autism, even as a parody, is perceived? Seriously, you just don’t get it. AoA isn’t a joke. It’s a site causing serious harm. I’d sooner add content to a militia website.

  45. #45 Ren
    Even closer to Phila
    February 9, 2013

    Thanks, I. Rony, I had almost forgotten about that kerfuffle. They keep putting their feet in their mouths about the very people they intend to help, if those are their intentions (I can’t read people’s minds and hearts).

    Just like when they post a study that they think supports their theories when it really doesn’t. Or when they quote an expert who really isn’t.

    It’s “bizzaro” over there.

  46. #46 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    Oh Dan…I’m only halfway through the 300 + page Bolen Deposition that Peter Bowditch linked to. This is the *investigative journalist* you and Jake have made deals with him? Perhaps you should have your resident lawyer/science teacher Ken Heckenlively read that deposition.

    “Jake is someone I have long admired for his autism advocacy and writing for Age of Autism. He remains a Contributing Editor. However, this article does not stand up to scrutiny on a number of levels. The invasion of privacy of a number of SafeMinds board members here is unconscionable and, really, inexplicable given the far less-than-critical issues involved. Furthermore, based on preliminary inquiries, the facts do not seem to be as described in this article; certainly, SafeMinds has denied them vigorously. It’s bad journalism, glaringly unsourced and without giving the “targets” an opportunity to give their version of events.”

    Where were you Dan, when Jake wrote those libelous attacks on Dr. Offit, Dr. Gorski and Brian Deer and a host of other respected doctors, researchers, scientists and journalists?

    Where were you Dan, when Jake blogged about stalking these same people at public meetings and going after Dr. Gorski and others at their places of employment?

    Do you want us to believe that you NEVER looked at the 90 scurrilous posts that Jake put up on your blog, and ONLY turned down Jake’s rant that he handed over to Bolen, Dan?

    How about this vicious slanderous YouTube video that was provided by the Canary Party?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7LKrOPFt2A

    “I stand by the choices I’ve made in dealing with this unfortunate situation, and will be following up in the near future. — Dan Olmsted”

    Let us know Dan, how you are going to handle “this unfortunate situation” with the monster you created, coddled and mentored.

  47. #47 Narad
    February 9, 2013

    but how come nobody does a proper satire of me? am i chopped liver?

    Closer to Kix cereal, I’d say.

  48. #48 Denice Walter
    February 9, 2013

    So mercury has been removed from vaccines ( US) and there has been less vaccination ( UK, other places) and STILL the rate of autism climbed? What? How can that be?**
    What do you do when your hypothesis has been shot down?

    Blaxill has resuscitated it through several projects ( AoA, SafeMInds, the Canary Party) which discuss the effect of vaccines “administered over a backdrop of multiple toxic exposures from prescription and non-prescription medications.. foods made from genetically modified organisms, laden with pesticides and preservatives and tens of thousands of industrial compounds that did not exist a century ago” ( Canary Party website) which include organic and inorganic mercury to exhibit “synergistic toxiticy” (Safe Minds website). That’s what you do.

    Thus the theory of causation expands in order to be wide enough to cover his and Olmsted’s @sses.

    And additional chronic illnesses like asthma, cancer and IBD ( Canary Party) are added to the mix, attracting parents whose children don’t have autism as well as adults with these conditions : a much larger audience.

    ** must be the psychologists’ fault

  49. #49 herr doktor bimler
    February 9, 2013

    SafeMinds Steals The Show, Literally…

    I know there is so much else here, but it is the use of ‘literal’ to mean ‘non-literal’ that catches my eye.

  50. #50 herr doktor bimler
    February 9, 2013

    a hidden place where certain key people could see it to comment on it.

    Bolen’s distinction between “key people” and “the rest of you rubes” warrants more attention, given his reliance on the paranoid stance in his rhetoric (i.e. a faceless circle of conspirators are manipulating the sheeple).

  51. #51 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    Chris,

    I am “debating” with a guy on Andy Lewis’s Quackometer blog about the vaccine/autism connection (er, lack of connection). He believes all the bunk about mercury, toxins, etc. (He also believes megadoses of Vitamin C can cure AIDS and cancer too…) Just for fun I am going to post your Dead Parrot parody, with credit of course. I’m also a major MP fan and love what you wrote!

    “There are eels in my hovercraft…”

  52. #52 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    Here’s a *clever quote* from Bolen, directed at Dan:

    “Please don’t worry about Orac. His readership is incredibly small, and, according to one of their insiders, *all live in their parent’s attics.*”

    Okay, which one of you *insiders* is deep-throating Timmy?

    I’ve finished reading Peter Bowditch’s revealing blog about Timmy, including his 300 + page Deposition regarding Hulda Clark and her cancer-curing “Zapper”. Dan and Jake simply do no know this man’s past history with the legal system, his defaults on loans, his lack of filing Federal Income Tax returns, his sources of income and his pleading of poverty when his wife/partner was hospitalized for an extended period of time.

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/timoranter.htm

    I knew Beth Clay the lobbyist hired by SafeMinds to promote this hearing was a familiar name. The posters at AoA are truly **SHOCKED that she was hired as a lobbyist** yet she was a guest blogger, September 2012, on AoA. The ex-legislative aide to former Congressman Dan Burton/Concept Doula has her very own “Clay Report”

    http://www.theclayreport.com/the-clay-report-blog.html

    *Now I know why momma Crosby is fighting the establishment of a synagogue in her neighborhood. Jake, shouldn’t have to look at a paved parking lot when he moves back home to live in his parent’s attic.*

    **The posters at AoA are NOT SHOCKED that Wakefield represented their *cause* by wining and dining Congressmen and the wives, however.

  53. #53 herr doktor bimler
    February 9, 2013

    I’ve finished reading Peter Bowditch’s revealing blog about Timmy,
    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/timoranter.htm

    Bolen forgot Rule #3: Do not take on an Australian in a battle of invective.

  54. #54 Denice Walter
    February 9, 2013

    @ lilady:

    Why should they mind Tim’s interesting legal history?
    They seem to like Andy: look at HIS.

  55. #55 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    February 9, 2013

    MSII, go ahead and use the Parrot skit. You don’t need to attribute it to me, just Monty Python. Orac also uses a version of the skit, usually emphasizing “pining for the fjords.”

  56. #56 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    @ herr doktor bimler: Take a long look at Timmy’s sworn Deposition. He admits to a rather long (15 years) college *career* at 4 or 5 community colleges and never got a degree. He’s evasive about the reasons why he left a *law enforcement* career after one year and evasive about his longer career working for a power utility company and his *separation* from that company. (He says the reason that he left was because he had *stress*, when the Aetna lawyer deposed him.)

    He fund raised $ 160,000 for Hulda Clark’s legal defense and tens of thousands of dollars for other “alternative” practitioners and drew off $ 60,000/year for “expenses” from that fund-raised money…which in reality was his and his wife’s sole source of income…and never filed Income Tax returns.

    Timmy, in sworn under oath testimony, has *trouble* remembering where he lives:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmEIF7DNnas

  57. #57 Xplodyncow
    My parents' attic
    February 9, 2013

    Please don’t worry about Orac. His readership is incredibly small, and, according to one of their insiders, *all live in their parent’s attics.*

    Like this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USHZZ5bwASU

  58. #58 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    lilady,

    Didn’t Bolen go to work for Burzynski before Hulda Clark’s corpse was even cold? It was pointed out that if Clark was right (about the “cause and cure for ALL cancers”) then there is no way that Burzynski could also be right. But I guess whores can ignore such cognitive dissonance when money is being waved in front of their faces.

    In my year or so of quack watching, I haven’t encountered anyone who is as contemptuous, vile, hateful and despicable as Bolen. The words he uses to insult our host, Stephen Barrett and other people on his enemy list is lower than anything I’ve seen in any hate literature anywhere.

    And he has a daughter with some New Age name like Rainbow or Sunbeam who is following in his footsteps.

  59. #59 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    *all live in their parent’s attics.*

    We all live in ONE parent’s basement? Must be crowded.

    (Sorry to get pedantic…it’s aimed at the original commenter. I’ve noticed most of the comments of AoA are barely literate.)

  60. #60 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    I took a Gravol before wading into some of the rest of AofA today. Do those whackaloons now also think vaccinations cause diabetes? Is that new?

    lilady: they really don’t like you there. You must be doing something right.

  61. #61 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    “lilady: they really don’t like you there. You must be doing something right.”

    Damn straight…I’m doing all I can to post back at the AoA denizens on a bunch of science blogs and the Ho-Po. :-)

  62. #62 Narad
    February 9, 2013

    Take a long look at Timmy’s sworn Deposition.

    I refuse to grant Bolen the name “Tim” even as a diminutive. His cousin, who is Timothy Bolen, is also an epidemiologist and has asked him to knorck it off.

  63. #63 Narad
    February 9, 2013

    ^ “knock”

  64. #64 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    This comment was just posted at AoA. The choice of wording sums up how some parents of autistic children think of their kids as damaged. See if you read this sentence the same way I did:

    Keep fighting to expose the truth, Jake. Don’t ever stop trying to get the word out about the vaccines that are destroying the minds of our children.

  65. #65 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    I’m sure the kids would love to know that their mothers consider their “minds are destroyed.”

  66. #66 Melissa G
    February 9, 2013

    #65, That makes me ill. Our brains, whatever their configuration, are what make us WHO WE ARE. The fact that these folks cannot accept their kids as people and worship some ideal child they feel deprived of by circumstance just makes me feel really sick.

  67. #67 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    Okay Narad..hereafter his name is Patrick Bolen.

    @ MSII: The animus that the groupies at AoA feel for me is nothing compared to the low regard I have for them and their wallowing in self-pity, their abusive *treatment/cures* for their autistic children (castration, chelation, industrial bleach, stem cell treatments, do-it-yourself fecal transplants and other quackery). They truly are vile people who refer to their children as “vaccine-damaged”, “damaged goods” and “train wrecks”.

    Their choice of *heroes/heroines* (Wakefield, the Geiers, Patrick Bolen et. al ) is an abomination.

  68. #68 Narad
    February 9, 2013

    Okay Narad..hereafter his name is Patrick Bolen.

    I’m totally fine with “Pattimmy.”

  69. #69 Narad
    February 9, 2013

    A recent glance at AoA has alerted me to the fact that NPG is now issuing Scientific Reports. I probably should have been aware of this before. It appears that they’re trying to position themselves in the OA game:

    Rigorous — peer review by at least one member of the academic community

    Ye gods. It appears to be a weaker version of PLoS One.

  70. #70 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    I guess I objected to the word “mind” as opposed to “brain.”

    The mind to me applies to more than just the organ in the skull that may or may not have been damaged. Saying someone is “brain-damaged” is not the same as saying “their mind is destroyed.” Lots of people suffer brain damage, as a result of accident, for example. But I would never use the expression “destroyed mind” for those victims.

    The “mind” is almost like the “soul” or the “personality” and to say it’s destroyed implies there is no soul or personality.

    I’m not as articulate on this as I’d like to be, but I hope I’m making myself clear.

  71. #71 lilady
    February 9, 2013

    Our very own “Autismum” posted about her experiences as the mum of her autistic son “Pwd” (“Pudding” in Welsh) and her advocacy on behalf of her child and other children diagnosed with ASDs.

    http://autismum.com/2012/08/29/you-cant-possibly-know/

  72. #72 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    I also object to “destroyed” rather than ‘damaged.” I’ve often heard autistic parents say their kids are damaged, and while that’s offensive enough it’s not the same as destroyed. I pulled an online dictionary definition of destroy (pasted below.) Are these parents implying “useless fragments” of their kids’ minds?

    Sorry to dwell on semantics. It’s the use of those two words, not the concept of damaged kids, that stuck in my craw. (Someone tell me you understand what I’m stumbling to express here.)

    de·stroy
    [dih-stroi]

    verb (used with object)
    1.
    to reduce (an object) to useless fragments, a useless form, or remains, as by rending, burning, or dissolving; injure beyond repair or renewal; demolish; ruin; annihilate.

    2.
    to put an end to; extinguish.

    3.
    to kill; slay.

    4.
    to render ineffective or useless; nullify; neutralize; invalidate.

    5.
    to defeat completely.

  73. #73 Melissa G
    February 9, 2013

    No, MSII, I completely agree that the commenter’s choice of language was calculated to signify as much contempt for autism as possible, and by extension, the children they claim to love. It’s utterly dehumanizing, and perhaps that is how they justify to themselves subjecting their kids to torture in the name of making them human.

  74. #74 Melissa G
    February 9, 2013

    Also– all right, who’s the wiseguy hereabouts that mentioned the ASEA Fan Mail thread on SBM??? I’ve fallen into it, and I can’t get up! :D

    Among those comments, nybgrus had a lovely compliment for our esteemed host, while simultaneously insulting a woo-pusher– “I’m thoroughly impressed. This is downright Oracian in length… if only it were also Oracian in scientific literacy.”

    It describes a couple of our more recent trolls here so nicely!

  75. #75 Vasha
    February 9, 2013

    #48, I’m pretty sure there is somewhat less inorganic mercury being released into the environment than there was a century ago. Pollution regulations have had some effect.

  76. #76 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 9, 2013

    I take the blame for the ASEA thread. Sorry.

    There are a couple of new posts there today, so I’m sure Tracy will be back any minute now.

    We had a lot of fun deliberately misspelling her name for a while. Didn’t faze her; she’s on a holy mission to cure the world. With magic salt water.

  77. #77 Narad
    February 9, 2013

    Among those comments, nybgrus had a lovely compliment for our esteemed host

    Nybgrus is very much a force to be reckoned with.

  78. #78 I. Rony Meter
    February 9, 2013

    lilady,

    They are out in full smear mode. And the wonder why people use pseudonyms. Blaxill mocked people with pseudonyms as “the wackosphere”. Of course when it’s his team hiding behind pseudonyms to smear, it’s ok. Just when other people use pseudonyms and, gasp, science that there’s a problem.

  79. #79 I. Rony Meter
    February 9, 2013

    Another ignorant and damaging comment at AoA:

    “Using the current defining characteristics of autism, by definition, a truly autistic individual would be incapable of representing/comprehending any view that differed from their own”

    Jesus, can’t anyone there tell this guy he has zero idea of what autism is? Hell, when Jake is wildly speculating about other people’s motives, no one there questions it (he’s wrong because he’s wrong, not because he’s autistic, by the way)

  80. #80 I. Rony Meter
    February 9, 2013

    “The “mind” is almost like the “soul” or the “personality” and to say it’s destroyed implies there is no soul or personality”

    They do more than imply it. From The forward to Jenny McCarthy’s book:

    “Autism … steals the soul from a child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life’s marrow out of the family members, one by one.”

    Even “damage” is not an accurate statement in at least many cases. Is a different developmental trajectory “damage”?

  81. #81 Melissa G
    February 9, 2013

    I. Rony, the phrase “Not even wrong” applies to that wretched statement.

    MSII– GIVE ME BACK MY LIIIIIIFE! ;)

    Narad, I am particularly enjoying the discussion of the NMR science! You folks really bring it!

  82. #82 Narad
    February 10, 2013

    Narad, I am particularly enjoying the discussion of the NMR science!

    I assure you that I am the least of the players in this corner of the exchange.

  83. #83 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde..... now pass me the popcorn!
    February 10, 2013

    @Vasha

    It’s true; the regulations for releases of Hg to the environment have gotten much stricter in the last century (hell, within the last 30 years), however not from one of the main source: coal fired power plants.

    Until recently, those were not regulated for mercury emissions.

    http://www.epa.gov/mats/actions.html
    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/21/health/epa-mercury-rule

    Now, from first glance, the new ruling appears to be for new plants and not existing ones, which means it might not be as effective as we’d like; because most existing plants are ‘grandfathered’ into being excluded from laws like this, newly built plants are becoming rarer.

  84. #84 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 10, 2013

    Hell, it’s almost impossible for a consumer to buy a real mercury thermometer anymore. I have access to a lab-grade mercury thermometer but it’s only used to calibrate the others, which I believe use some kind of tinted alcohol.

    Of course most people use digital thermometers these days so it’s almost a moot point. I still like to see the rising column of red as things come to a boil.

  85. #85 Denice Walter
    February 10, 2013

    This is an important issue:
    amongst alt med advocates, including the anti-vaxxers**, frequently the unsubstantiated belief persists that our recent ancestors lived in a pristine world, free of toxins, drinking water that was pure and eating fresh-off-the-farm comestibles.

    Even if you are not a student of history, you’d know that this idea is crap. A quick look at a television show like ’1890s House’ will show you that our ancestors lived a lot differently from how we do now. Anyone over age 40 or so should remember massive efforts to clean up industrial sites that contaminated ground water and, if you live in the US or UK, similar efforts to clean up rivers surrounding major cities.A prominent antivaxxer, Robert Kennedy, was involved- loudyl- in one of them. I know people involved in both ( cousins, cousins’ exes).

    Speaking to younger people about how contaminated the world is now- after 1970- is somewhat ludicrous because that period of time involved has been one of *increasing* awareness of pollution and action upon it. There was this thing called the ‘Industrial Revolution’- which now continues re-vamped in Asia- spewing pollution and toxic waste.

    Two of the larger sites I survey suggest that we vacate the cities and go “back to Nature”, becoming organic farmers, living the sustainable life-style, independent of Big Agra’s factory farms, Big Pharma’s power, govermental intervention and -probably- the western educational system.
    Sites like AoA and TMR also occasionally echo these sentiments- usually in a weaker form.

    I have heard tales spun about simple farm life that bear no resemblence to what history teaches us- this fantasy is peddled as an option for young people distressed by corporatism and modernity***. Leave it all! Strike out on your own! Start a new society of enlightened equals… probably in Austin, Texas.

    Sounds like what we’ve heard in the 1970s: everything old is new again- and stilll doesn’t work.

    ** -btw- the tussle continues @ AoA.
    *** and they’ll sell you non-hybrid seeds, instructions about organic gardening and well drilling, raising free-range chickens, emergency medical kits, how to live off the grid ( it’ll crash soon, you know), etc etc etc ( Natural News; Gary Null.com)

  86. #86 Denice Walter
    February 10, 2013

    that should be LOUDLY-

  87. #87 Narad
    February 10, 2013

    Anyone over age 40 or so should remember massive efforts to clean up industrial sites that contaminated ground water and, if you live in the US or UK, similar efforts to clean up rivers surrounding major cities.

    And that Iron Eyes Cody was actually Italian.

  88. #88 Melissa G
    February 10, 2013

    I often wonder when, in their mythical history, this Edenic existence was supposed to have been possible. Then I realize I’ve just answered my own question.

  89. #89 Denice Walter
    February 10, 2013

    But Melissa G, you see that all of this has happened within living memory of woo-meisters now currently with us – and is POSSIBLE – and being done-today! As I will now illustrate**:

    Null regales his audience wth tales about his aunt who lived an organic, vegan existence alone on a farm alongside the Ohio River in the 1950s. She grew fruits and vegetables, dried and canned them, kept bees and did heavy farm chores well into her eighties; she had “hundreds” of types of fruit trees growing and distributed her products to hungry people during hard times.

    Similarly he visited farms in Italy in the 1970s and feasted upon their natural bounty- such as “40″ types of olives, home-pressed oils, fresh organic vegetables and home-made bread from organic wheat and their own organic wines and cheeses… each meal was leisurely, going on for three hours: while loving family members gathered around and discussed the youngsters’ problems, the women served all of the incredible cuisine, course after course. No one ever argued or hurried. ( I wonder how a gluten-free, non-drinking vegan fared with Italian traditional foods) These elderly people worked hard all day long in the fields or kitchen and were never sick because of their knowledge of herbals.

    We moderns can emulate these wise elders by doing “homesteading”, under the master’s guidance, of course- recruiting now, I’m told, for an experimental village.

    MIke Adams lives the natural life oday, outside of Austin Texas, where he grows his own…. foods, raises chickens and works hard all day long, digging wells, cleaning his guns and picking fruit. He had previously set up digs in Ecuador, recruiting others for a village of like-minded, enlightened naturalists, in the Valley of Longevity, but for some reason, he moved back to the states, first to Arizona, and then to Austin.

    As life in and around the cities deteriorates beyond redemption- power failures, gang rule, corporate and medical oligarchical rule, toxins galore, “intelligent people” will flee and follow Mike’s lead, purchasing his heirloom seeds ( non-GMO) and storeable organic meals while learning how to re-create Eden in Texas or elsewhere.

    Alt media can enable you to visualise this paradise on earth and set to work, substantiating your vision.

    I’ve heard that people in the 19th century used to drink absinthe- another herbal- to get to a similar mindspace as those which I’ve described. Mushrooms may also work.

    But then, what do I know being a tenth generation ( or thereabouts ) city slicker.

    ** in somewhat excruciating detail….

  90. #90 I. Rony Meter
    February 10, 2013

    Looks like even Handley has come to the surface to comment. Must by a major disturbance in the force. Dan Olmsted writing more than his usual 30 words a week and Handley making public comment.

    Handley makes it clear what everyone knew reading this: Jake is not going to be trusted again.

    So Jake can stay on in an even more junior capacity on a blog where his autism isn’t really accepted. Where Blaxill protects his own reputation and that of SafeMinds while goading Jake to burn his future for low impact blog posts. Jake can stay and be put in the same bin as Broken and the Geiers–used but not respected.

    The path forward seems clear to me. Walk away. Don’t hammer those groups with your inside knowledge, but find your own path. They don’t respect him but he can work on respecting himself.

  91. #91 I. Rony Meter
    February 10, 2013

    Broken should real Bolen above.

  92. #92 THS
    February 10, 2013

    We have Pacific Northwest anarcho-primitivism out here. John Zerzan, the anti-civilization theorist. “Theorist” indeed, with nothing real to offer except the obvious non-issue that things can be most frequently are all fiorked up. But there is so much delusional stuff he spouts – I don’t know where to start. Magic return to a never-was ideal state is what it’s all about.

  93. #93 Andreas Johansson
    February 10, 2013

    @Denice Walter: I have recurrent discussions with some acquaintances about relative toxic chemical burdens today vis-a-vis 1970, or 1870. Arguments about improved air quality or the like are usually met with claims about the (allegedly) wildly increased amounts of “unnatural” additives in food, hyigien articles, etc. The idea that stuff that’s gone through testing to establish harmlessness might be less dangerous than stuff that’s been banned because of proven harmfulness is usually dismissed with vague allusions to conspiracy or synergistic toxicity.

    In part, I suspect, it arises out a more-or-less subconscious desire to believe things are going to hell in a handbasket. There’s something perversely appealing about impending doom, esp. if you’re one of the few enlightened who can see it coming, and if it could be averted if only everyone was as enlightened as you – but alas the sheeple are far to stupid to be saved.

  94. #94 Orac
    February 10, 2013

    Note the addendum, everyone!

  95. #95 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde med fastelavnsboller!
    February 10, 2013

    @Denice

    Null’s aunt might have lived a ‘vegan’ existence, but the Ohio river is (and has been) one of the most polluted rivers in the US.

    If she lived ‘alongside’ the river, then I’m 99.999999999999% positive that her soil was absolutely polluted to the gills, and thus most of what she grew.

  96. #96 Narad
    February 10, 2013

    colander-with-chin-strap is far better than a tinfoil hat.

    Would the invoking of Arte Johnson constitute a Godwin?

  97. #97 lilady
    February 10, 2013

    I just received an E-Mail notification from Forbes that a new comment was added to Steven Salsberg’s blog about the Congressional Autism Hearing:

    *Someone* now had the opportunity to publicize the dirty underbelly of the anti-vaccine organizations…and the schism between AoA and SafeMinds. (Expand All Comments, page 47-Comments Section) :-)

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2012/12/03/congress-holds-an-anti-vaccination-hearing/

  98. #98 dingo199
    February 10, 2013
  99. #99 Denice Walter
    February 10, 2013

    Skimming over the current discussion @ AoA, I can only hope that SOME of their readers will sit back and take a long, hard look at how their “leaders” behave amongst themselves.

    Rather than taking sides in the present “he said, she said” ( actually – it’s “he said , he said, he said, he said” ) or looking to the resident evil resplendent here @ RI, they might wonder why it has all come to this.

    A commenter decries Orac’s lack of “science”, commenters here are vilified as being nothing more than pharma employees and today’s new article praises the wealth of information available via “research” on the internet – in contradistinction to that which the establishment offers.

    Does anyone REALLY believe this about us? Do any of them REALLY believe that stray websites of random musing by dilettantes dredged up by google are superior in outlining reality than that which is offered by people who have spent years studying and working in science?

    Shouldn’t the way we speak and write give it away that most of us are indeed intelligent people? Orac does this as a hobby, so do I. I have never received money from any company to write anything; I do not work with clients who need medication; I have no investments in pharma companies other than what my mutual funds buy or sell without my say: if that portion of my funds were cashed in, it wouldn’t buy me two decent silk scarves.

    I do this because I fear that the influence of alt med can harm people. I managed to get a great and far-ranging education myself and believe that others less fortunate than me should benefit from my own good fortune.

    I hate seeing liars manipulating trusting people. It’s wrong.

    I ask interested lurkers to ask themselves a few questions:
    you take your explanation about the causation of ASDs from compromised parties- not scientists- all of your leaders either have an ax to grind about their own child’s autism or offer a service ( medical or as journalist ) connected with their this minority position.

  100. #100 I. Rony Meter
    February 10, 2013

    After all, I don’t recall your ever telling Jake to cool it when he was publishing the private e-mails of journalists, scientists, and others. In fact, you egged him on. Hypocrite.

    Handley did more than egg him on. Handley set the standard. Long before Jake started blogging for AoA Handley posted private emails from an autism researcher he considered an enemy. He did this even though the researcher asked him not to. There has been speculation over the years that the “concerned father” in that conversation was Handley himself, trolling for just such an opportunity.I

    Handley’s response to the researcher when she asked that the exchange remain private? “Tough shit”

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/02/dr-nancy-minshe.html

    Sounding tough and being a man are different things. As JB demonstrates.

  101. #101 lilady
    February 10, 2013

    @ Narad…a *classic* from TV’s Rowan and Martin “Laugh-In”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQyUKnCf0YY

  102. #102 lilady
    February 10, 2013

    A confession here from a *Big Pharma Shill*

    I never received any *filthy lucre*, except a few crappy leaky pens, including the one which destroyed a very expensive silk blouse.

    I did receive some *small checks* from a newspaper as payment for two columns I wrote about about the care provided in a large State institution, which was under Federal Court to de-institutionalize their back wards where developmentally disabled people were warehoused…and the misuse of $ 8,000,000 for in-home respite care for families who cared for their disabled children at home.

    * Both checks were promptly donated:

    - To United Cerebral Palsy Association

    - To a new parents whose infant was born with biliary atresia.

  103. #103 Orac
    February 10, 2013

    @I. Rony Meter:

    I totally forgot about that incident. I’ve altered my addendum to include that link and urge everyone to click on it. I want J.B. to know what a hypocrite I consider him.

  104. #104 herr doktor bimler
    February 10, 2013
  105. #105 Denice Walter
    February 10, 2013

    Clarification:
    I have never been paid to write anything in support of SBM on the internet, here or elsewhere.
    One of my positions involved writing on an occasional basis.
    Guess that makes me a propagandist. Ooops.

  106. #106 MJ
    New York, NY
    February 10, 2013

    With respect to amalgam fillings, we know that:

    1) Mercury is extremely toxic even in relatively tiny amounts;

    2) Amalgam fillings contain around 50% mercury; and

    3) Even ‘mainstream’ sources admit that amalgam fillings progressively deteriorate over time, releasing increasingly higher amounts of mercury into the mouth 24/7/365.

    And yet, those of us who logically conclude from the above that mercury exposure from amalgam fillings may potentially cause latent health problems must be ‘nuts.’ Brilliant!

    No wonder the medical field gets such a bad rap these days. And not surprising that the more an individual seeks out healthcare ‘professionals,’ the worse their health seems to become.

  107. #107 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    February 10, 2013

    MJ, do you know there is a difference between vaccines and dental fillings?

  108. #108 herr doktor bimler
    February 10, 2013

    That seems somewhat of a non-sequitur, MJ, and there is the minor issue that metallic mercury — though toxic — is not “extremely toxic even in relatively tiny amounts”. There are toxicology textbooks. You can look it up.

    Perhaps if the mercury-in-filling alarmists are described as ‘nuts’ is because ranting about “mainstream sources” is what crazy people do.

  109. #109 MI Dawn
    February 10, 2013

    @MJ: Citation needed, please. And please link to peer-reviewed studies showing that the amalgam fillings cause problems over time. Not the quack sites or the “holistic dentistry” sites. And please remember Scopie’s Law.

  110. #110 novalox
    February 10, 2013

    @mj

    You do know that thiomersal has been removed from most vaccines, right?

  111. #111 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 10, 2013

    With respect to amalgam fillings, we know that:

    1) Mercury is extremely toxic even in relatively tiny amounts;

    How much are you calling “tiny”? If you’re talking about the amount that’s in, say, a tuna fish sandwich, that is indeed a tiny amount but it’s also an amount that’s not “extremely toxic” by any sane interpretation of the term.

    I don’t consider everyone who thinks it’s possible for the mercury from amalgam fillings to cause health problems “nuts.” However, when those people don’t ask themselves “how does the finite dose of mercury that goes into one person’s mouth via amalgam fillings actually compare with doses that we know have no appreciable effect? If mercury was really so toxic even in tiny doses, why did it take so very long to realize that mercury was toxic? Is the premise ’causes latent health problems’ so vague that it is unfalsifiable and will always look true regardless of whether it actually is?” I do regard them as misguided.

  112. #112 Mu
    February 10, 2013

    MJ, as a chemist, I much more prefer the old mercury in my mouth than the methacrylate they are using nowadays. You know, the stuff you smell when they put it in your mouth. The stuff in the bottles with the skull and crossbones on it. The volatile and never fully bound stuff. But that’s science, and doesn’t go with the narrative. So feel free to keep ignoring it.

  113. #113 a-non
    February 10, 2013

    J.B. Handley is the guy who publicly threatens anyone who disagrees with him with lawsuits and the destruction of their livelihoods. For him to try to be the voice of reason when it comes to private communication would be laughable if it was so hypocritically infuriating.

  114. #114 I. Rony Meter
    February 10, 2013

    That seems somewhat of a non-sequitur

    not even somewhat. Nice threadjack attempt, though.

    The interesting thing about non-sequiturs is watching various people trying to work out what the actual point of the comment is.

  115. #115 Denice Walter
    February 10, 2013

    I venture that the point of the comment was that the SB crowd- by not being terrified of mercury- doesn’t know ANYTHING therefore whatever we say about Jake, Dan, JB et cie. is inconsequential.
    Right.

  116. #116 herr doktor bimler
    February 10, 2013
  117. #117 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 10, 2013
  118. #118 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 10, 2013

    @MJ,
    Seasons don’t fear the Hg, nor do the wind, the sun, or the rain. We can be like they are. C’mon baby. Don’t fear the Hg. Baby, take my hand. Don’t fear the Hg. We’ll be able to fly. Don’t fear the Hg. Baby, I’m your man.

    Or do we need more cowbell?

  119. #119 Melissa G
    February 10, 2013
  120. #120 Kelly M Bray
    February 11, 2013

    Melissa best ending song too.

  121. #121 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde... Mmmm... popcorn OMNOMNOM
    February 11, 2013

    Seriously MJ – there’s more than one chemist that posts here. If ‘tiny amounts’ were toxic, we’d all be dead – since we breathe ‘tiny amounts’ on a daily basis.

    Mercury is ubiquitous in the environment.

    Toxicity is a dose/response phenomenon.

  122. #122 Bill Price
    At the keyboard, hoping that the braindead lack of preview doesn't bite me
    February 11, 2013

    Toxicity is a dose/response phenomenon.

    To honest folks, that’s true. But to a CAM grifter, it goes like this:

    Toxicity is an income phenomenon.

  123. #123 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 11, 2013

    What I have discovered from this hot mess is that the AoA crowd is very afraid of Orac and their appearance of being “loons” by him, not that they actually are. JB Handley and Dan Olmsted are slimy hypocrites (moreso than I thought). And they really really believe they are engaged in some kind of war that will determine the fate of children everywhere. Ironically, Jake’s screed on Bolen’s site is probably the only factual reporting the jerk every produced and was rejected by journalist extraordinaire Olmsted.

  124. #124 Colin
    February 11, 2013

    I followed a link to post 114 which stated “Get out the popcorn! This internecine war among antivaccinationists is getting interesting”. I want to warn anyone else who decided to follow the link that there is nothing exciting going on here, and I would advise you to stop reading now, and find something more interesting to look at. Try Youtube.

  125. #125 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 11, 2013

    Gosh, Colin, I’m sorry this didn’t meet your standards for excitement. Unfortunately, I stopped reading when you said “I would advise you to stop reading now”, so don’t know if you had any useful suggestion.

  126. #126 novalox
    February 11, 2013

    @colin

    What do you find not exciting? Please post your criticisims, for interested minds would like to know

  127. #127 I. Rony Meter
    February 11, 2013

    Ironically, Jake’s screed on Bolen’s site is probably the only factual reporting the jerk every produced and was rejected by journalist extraordinaire Olmsted.

    Well, can anyone tell for sure if Beth Clay represented herself as representing Brian Hooker? This is a point where Jake doesn’t have an email, apparently bit is hearsay. Neither Jake’s track record nor Blaxill’s is good enough for new to weigh one story over the other.

    Jake’s idea that SafeMinds “replaced” Hooker with Blaxill is not backed by email nor by any chain of logic. The idea that SafeMinds would want to jump on this bandwagon is not far fetched. There idea that this was to be a one-man-show for Hooker is (granted, I don’t think Jake makes that explicit). Even the idea that the hearing was a sure thing with only Hooker’s lobbying seems far fetched to me. And if Hooker did have the committee’s tentative approval and he wasn’t planing on suggesting padding out the table with allies, he’s rather naive, isn’t he. First for support, second to block opposition voices.

    And if SafeMinds and Hooker think they have better connections in DC than Autism Speaks, they are fooling themselves. Of course Autism Speaks would push its way into the hearing and ride the fence.

    Not that I don’t think Hooker is good at self promotion. He may have had a part in getting the hearing going. And he certainly was able to get Jake to promote the “Hooker the new star” myth for him. He’s neither confirmed nor denied publicly Jake’s account. He has sat back, absorbed the compliments and avoided the controversy. Well played.

  128. #128 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    More than a year ago ( Nov 2011), Hooker was a guest of Null’s, representing himself as being from CoMeD ( the Geiers’ project). I noted his appearance here @ RI, because he seemed to have a lot to say about Hg.

    Today, via search engine, I got a listing and mini-bio of him for that particular show BUT when I went to the archives to listen in- * Vioila!* – it had gone disappeared, like so much else at that sinkhole. There was instead an interview with a political writer and editor.

    At the time when I heard his spiel there, I assumed that since the Geiers’ were experiencing legal problems perhaps he would be the new face of their endeavor. At the time there was a web entry associating Hooker with that organisation.

  129. #129 Rich
    February 11, 2013

    Great article (and I appreciate the ‘Sprockets’ reference).

  130. #130 Edith Prickly
    the peanut gallery, throwing shells at the screen
    February 11, 2013

    which is why now I am, like Dieter, “as happy as a little girl.”

    Their agony is gooorgeous. (http://snltranscripts.jt.org/90/90asprockets.phtml)

  131. #131 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    What we can learn from this episode is how woo ‘prentices with an idea ( or bug up their….) shop their effluvia around, forever searching for release:

    quick checking shows Hooker @ Robert Scott Bell, Polly Heil Mealey, live in the now, life health choices and a few other sites in and after Oct 2011 prior to showing up at AoA in 2012.

    Jake informs us that he tried to get AoA to publish his… efforts before he went to Bolen.

    Lord, does that mean that AoA may actually hold a relatively high rank in the heirarchy of atrocious anti-vaxx miasmae?

  132. #132 Edith Prickly
    my own house, which doesn't have an attic
    February 11, 2013

    Here’s a *clever quote* from Bolen, directed at Dan:

    “Please don’t worry about Orac. His readership is incredibly small, and, according to one of their insiders, *all live in their parent’s attics.”

    That’s pretty rich coming from a guy whose “office” is a PO box.

  133. #133 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 11, 2013

    Well, can anyone tell for sure if Beth Clay represented herself as representing Brian Hooker? This is a point where Jake doesn’t have an email, apparently bit is hearsay. Neither Jake’s track record nor Blaxill’s is good enough for new to weigh one story over the other.

    I shouldn’t have implied that Jake’s hissy fit was all factual, rather containing more facts than any of his exposes of his “enemies”. Which isn’t a hard bar to set considering the latter are completely devoid of factual content.
    Beth Clay has long been a conduit between the antivax ignorati and Dan Burton’s office so it may not be off the mark that she muscled her way in on behalf of her long term associates, but purely speculative.

    Jake’s idea that SafeMinds “replaced” Hooker with Blaxill is not backed by email nor by any chain of logic. The idea that SafeMinds would want to jump on this bandwagon is not far fetched. There idea that this was to be a one-man-show for Hooker is (granted, I don’t think Jake makes that explicit). Even the idea that the hearing was a sure thing with only Hooker’s lobbying seems far fetched to me. And if Hooker did have the committee’s tentative approval and he wasn’t planing on suggesting padding out the table with allies, he’s rather naive, isn’t he. First for support, second to block opposition voices.

    This is also very dodgy but it does appear as though Hooker (along with Wakefield) did start courting congress critters before SafeMinds got involved. Hooker’s proposal was of the freakshow variety with his obsession on thimerosal and his alleged FOI CDC documents regarding falsifying study results so it is conceivable that SafeMinds did want to scale the colander-with-chinstrap (thanks Narad) narrative down to appear more sane than they actually are. How they actually accomplished this is anyone’s guess but I have no doubt there were dirty-dealings and back-stabbing going on in their ranks. Jake did post a vapid conciliatory email from Lyn Redwood that they (meaning Crosby and Hooker) would be “allowed” to testify at some future, non-existent congressional hearing.

  134. #134 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    @ Edith Prickly:

    Right. And the reason we frequently use pseudonyms** is because NONE of us have any assets that a barratry-happy woo-meister would like to get his greedy hands on after assailing us with spurious lawsuits that take up precious time and cause considerable aggravation and stress.

    Well, they don’t want their anti-vax *aficionados* to read what we have to say because they might then realise that
    AoA is basically fiction.

    ** in my own case, I drop the second last name, It’s also a masculine personal name, like ‘Howard’.

  135. #135 Edith Prickly
    February 11, 2013

    @DW

    I have heard tales spun about simple farm life that bear no resemblence to what history teaches us- this fantasy is peddled as an option for young people distressed by corporatism and modernity***. Leave it all! Strike out on your own! Start a new society of enlightened equals… probably in Austin, Texas.

    Ah yes, the prelapsarian pastoral fantasy, pristinely untainted by ugly realities such as: farming is backbreaking physical labour and carries a high risk of injury; crops are vulnerable to any number of “natural” threats including bad weather, plant diseases, insect and animal predators; and going off the grid requires a huge initial outlay of cash for solar arrays and geothermal heating systems. There is nothing simple about this version of the so-called simple life.

    Similarly [Null} visited farms in Italy in the 1970s and feasted upon their natural bounty- such as “40″ types of olives, home-pressed oils, fresh organic vegetables and home-made bread from organic wheat and their own organic wines and cheeses…

    Gary Null eats food? I thought he just took supplements named after food. All natural, doncha know.

  136. #136 Edith Prickly
    February 11, 2013

    Continuing on the simple life fallacy, I’d suggest anyone considering going back to the land and giving up on modern medicine read the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder series of books for a reality check. The highlights I still remember now are; the entire family nearly dying of malaria out in “Indian country” and being saved by a visiting doctor who just happened to be in the area; losing their entire wheat crop to grasshoppers; the oldest daughter going blind following an infection (possibly meningoencephalitis); the birth of a son who only lived for 9 months; the entire town nearly starving during a severe winter that literally stopped the supply train in its tracks – and the Ingalls family survived the winter only because they had a house IN TOWN that they moved to before they got snowbound on their homestead.

    As an adult Laura had to send her baby daughter to live with her grandparents when both Laura and her husband came down with diphtheria (which left him permanently disabled), lost her second child within two weeks of his birth, and had her house burn down shortly after. That combined with several years of crop failures forced them off the land for quite a long time. So there’s your simple life, people.

  137. #137 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    I just had a thought:
    fellows like Jake and Tim might not be so cavalier with their accusations of malfeasance by SB advocates IF they had any assets and could be sued for the tripe they produce..

    Jake may come from money but I doubt he has much to his name at this time: wealthy people often keep money away from offspring who might be, shall we say, foolhardy…
    perhaps he may come into his own at age 40, when and if he gets married or when his parents die.

    Other woo-meisters WITH money may surround themselves with armies of lawyers and launch legal pre-emptive strikes at their critics.
    We know a few of those.

  138. #138 lilady
    February 11, 2013

    This is Dachel’s “interview” of Brian Hooker, posted on AoA one week after the Congressional Hearing. Hooker provides details how he was introduced to Wakefield by Mark Geier…and how they have all become BFFs .

    Wakefield and Hooker wined and dined Congressman Issa and other Congressmen and their wives, since early March 2012. I’ve been posting here for the past two months and on other science blogs and the Ho-Po, about how they all schemed to set up the agenda for the Hearing…to turn it into a fiasco about the *role* of vaccines in the onset of autism. The Congressmen are bought and paid for, by these rogues.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/12/brian-hookers-testimony-autism.html

    Since that November, 2012 Hearing, Jake has been posting some snide remarks about the “setup”…and what he perceives as being *out of the loop*…when he was told to “walk the halls” during the hearing.

    Jake has had plenty of time to gather up information.. to determine just how their *own lobbyist* (Wakefield) represented them in Washington. Heh, heh, and they call us paid *Pharma Shills* and *Pharma Whores*.

  139. #139 I. Rony Meter
    February 11, 2013

    fellows like Jake and Tim might not be so cavalier with their accusations of malfeasance by SB advocates IF they had any assets and could be sued for the tripe they produce..

    I am reminded of the deposition where Bolen is asked repeatedly about his claim that “New York Ad agencies” (or something to that nature) were doing things he didn’t like.

    When pushed about “New York Ad Agencies” he claimed it ” was a euphamism”. I think he was using “euphamism” as a euphamism for “something I just made up that sounded good and I don’t really care to be accurate.

  140. #140 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    @ lilady:

    A guy who fights hiv/aids denialism on the ‘net calls himself “Pharma Slut”- probably has a (TM) on that moniker.

  141. #141 Colin
    February 11, 2013

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien: Nothing I posted was intended to offend, especially since I was referring to the sum of the thread, and not to your individual comments. However, you’re a Goethe worshiping faggot, so I suppose your dramatic rebuttal should have been expected.

    You did read my entire post, just as you’ll read the entirety of this one. Then you’ll cross reference Faust for a juicy comeback, which I won’t read, since I don’t intend to return to such a boring thread.

    Anyways, I hope you choke on your boyfriend’s semen. Bon appitit!

  142. #142 I. Rony Meter
    February 11, 2013

    The anti-vaccine crowd is classy, as always.

  143. #143 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 11, 2013

    Wow Colin, you represent well. The anti-vaxx loons don’t need any opposition with tools like you defending them. You’re a disgusting slob.

  144. #144 I. Rony Meter
    February 11, 2013

    Science Mom,

    Do you think anyone really believes that he isn’t lurking? The dramatic exit is never believable, especially by a troll.

  145. #145 novalox
    February 11, 2013

    @colin

    Stay classy, troll, stay classy.

    With people like you representing the anti-vax loons, why should we be worried? Your lack of class and lack of basic argumentative skills shows well.

    At least you shows how much of an vulgar idiot you are.

  146. #146 lilady
    February 11, 2013

    About “Colin”. I think a detect some smelly socks…or perhaps dead fish…as in OQF. Perhaps it is “….isaquack” who has been lurking here and posting some slime at AoA.

  147. #147 Kelly M Bray
    February 11, 2013

    Wow Edith, that is a hell of a summation. What a difficult life they had in the 1870. . All of the Holistic Mamas that yearn for the *natural ways* would be dead if they were not surrounded by the artifacts of modern science.

  148. #148 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 11, 2013

    Golly, Colin, I don’t know how you decided I was personally offended by your first comment. I posted my sincere regret that this thread didn’t meet your standards for excitement. I then made a small jest at taking literally your advice to “stop reading now”.

    I’ve decided you’re not worth the effort of a literary allusion in my response. However, in the words of Zaphod Beeblebrox, “Don’t try to outweird me, three-eyes. I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.”

  149. #149 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    February 11, 2013

    Kelly M. Bray:

    All of the Holistic Mamas that yearn for the *natural ways* would be dead if they were not surrounded by the artifacts of modern science.

    I have suggested to a few that try to stick to “natural” things to avoid all unnatural things like indoor plumbing, refrigerated food, computers and the Internet. I have even explained that the Internet was created by the Defense Advance Research Project Agency, a part of the US Government’s Industrial/Military Complex. But, still they keep logging onto teh internets. Obviously they are very wedded to their unnatural computer surfing.

    Colin, thank you for brilliantly illustrating the general level of intelligence at Age of Autism.

  150. #150 Lawrence
    February 11, 2013

    Stay classy Colin…….

  151. #151 Edith Prickly
    February 11, 2013

    Nice going Colin, you just outdid the homophobic scat fetishist troll for the most tasteless comment ever posted on RI. The antivaxx movement certainly attracts first-rate minds.

  152. #152 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    19th century novels give details about how our ancestors lived in harmony with Nature and received her benificent gifts of weather and bounty, uncontaminated by industrial waste and modern food science-
    note Thomas Hardy, writing about enjoying life on the heath and
    Willa Cather whose tales involve those happy immigrants who lived on the prarie..
    cutting furze in the heat of August and living in sod houses in blizzards, respectively: haven’t we missed out on the adventure?
    And Eugene O’Neill whose ancestors lived to hale and hearty old age on the bogs..if they didn’t get tuberculosis first.

  153. #153 herd
    February 11, 2013

    A bit off topic, but nevertheless: Orac, could you comment on Tetyana Obukhanych’s book (author of Vaccine Illusion) – this thing is going viral! I have a bunch of friends who are young mothers and they’re buying into it – especially because ”she earned her PhD in Immunology at the Rockefeller University in New York and did postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. and Stanford University in California”. I haven’t managed to find any debunk of the book yet. Could you tackle this?

  154. #154 Hah!!!!
    February 11, 2013

    The funny thing about this is that I don’t think Colin is actually an anti-vaxxer….

  155. #155 Edith Prickly
    reading 19th century novels of a different sort
    February 11, 2013

    @DW – I have been on a Brontë sisters reading kick lately, and can’t help but note that all of them and their brother Branwell died of TB before the age of 40. There were also two other sisters who died as children (Jane Eyre features a terrifying typhus outbreak at a boarding school and a death from TB based on their experience.) I’m sure the alties would say they brought it on themselves for writing such depressingly realistic novels. Too bad no one told them about The Secret!

  156. #156 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 11, 2013

    @Edith Prickly,
    Guess that explains why Madeleine L’Engle lived to be 88 and Jack Williamson 98.

  157. #157 herr doktor bimler
    February 11, 2013

    Not to mention Williamson’s old mate Fred Pohl, 93 and still writing; or Jack Vance, 96 (but retired).

  158. #158 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 11, 2013

    And let us not forget Andre Norton, who died at age 93.

  159. #159 Orac
    February 11, 2013

    Colin is history.

  160. #160 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 11, 2013

    Another comment on AofA today called vaccinations a “holocaust.” Overdramatize much?

  161. #161 lilady
    February 11, 2013
  162. #162 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 11, 2013

    And now the AoA braintrust is suggesting that the pharma cabal has orchestrated this round of in-fighting in an effort to “divide and conquer” because, you know, they are terrified of the defeats that the anti-vaxx rebel band have inflicted upon them.

    Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

  163. #163 Shay
    February 11, 2013

    To quote an Albertan I ran into in NYC once:

    I ain’t had this much fun since the hogs ate my little brother.

  164. #164 Lawrence
    February 11, 2013

    Yes, obviously all our fault that they couldn’t control their own attack dog…..

  165. #165 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    Science Mom,
    I knew it! I told you that they would find us out

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( WAVY LINES))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    one year ago. A luxurious hotel in London
    several well dressed, sophisticated, independent-but- compromised women are having drinks.

    “I hate that Pim’s cup, more like crap’s cup, I’d say”
    “Stick to the agenda: how do we destroy the tightly-knit advocacy group, known as Age of Autism?”
    “Hey we’re pharma tarts, do we need to be creative as well as devious and decadent- like regular tarts?
    “Yes.”
    “We should research into their history in order to determine if any long-standing rifts or rivalries exist within their cadre”.
    “Won’t work, they’re too loyal to each other and never self-interested- one for all and all for one”
    ” I suggest we bribe someone with extra access to Andy.”
    ” Bribe? Are you gonzo? These people are in-corruptible and honest as the day is long! It’d never work.”
    “Suppose we sow seeds of discontent among them. Start a nasty rumour.”
    ” Are you mad? They don’t gossip.”
    “OH let me think; barkeep, make my next double a double. On the double”

    ten minutes later

    ” I know: DIVIDE and CONQUER”
    ” Right. Split’em into three parts, like Gaul”
    ” AND of course, we can write about them here and write about them, write about them everywhere – like that d@mned ,elusive… whatever the h3ll they called him”
    ” We will fight them in the blogs, we will fight them in the comments, we will never give up until we’re bored.”
    “But if these people are so honest, decent and close, how can we ever split them up?”
    “Just like in a marriage, trouble can come from outside”
    ” YES! Someone enticing, new and different might turn a young man’s head away from his homelife and work”
    ” I know the perfect candidate for the job”
    ” No.They’re smart, we’ll never get away with it; they’ll find us out”
    “Don’t be daft, WE’RE the smart ones”
    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((WAVY LINES)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    I told you so, BUT does anyone ever listen to me?

  166. #166 Melissa G
    February 11, 2013

    THE IRONY, as it was many of us who wished Jake well and advised him to take a step back and examine his allies, assumptions, and critical thinking facilities before he did himself real professional damage.

  167. #167 Melissa G
    February 11, 2013

    *raises hand*

    Denice, I would like to join the Pharma Tarts, but only if we are a roller derby team.

  168. #168 novalox
    February 11, 2013

    Well, as an old saying goes, aoa and their leaders made their bed, it’s time for them to lay in it.

  169. #169 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 11, 2013

    Denice and Melissa G. My Pharma Tart beret goes off to you two. We do have berets with nifty patches and silk trim right? And I can totally do roller derby (if someone would be kind enough to tell me the bits beyond putting roller skates on).

  170. #170 Narad
    February 11, 2013

    Another comment on AofA today called vaccinations a “holocaust.” Overdramatize much?

    They’ve still got Fimbulvetr.

  171. #171 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 11, 2013

    Denice Walter – as an aside, I’ve made more trips to England the last 3 years than I ever thought I would. I have seen a lot of advertisements for Pim’s, but have never had the nerve to order a Pim’s Cup at the local (I generally stick with Best Bitter if it’s real ale, or Guinness if they only have lager). What’s Pim’s like?

    By the way, I strongly recommend The Pheasant, Harlington, Middlesex near Heathrow.

  172. #172 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 11, 2013

    My apologies – Pimm’s.

  173. #173 herr doktor bimler
    February 11, 2013

    a roller derby team

    The Pharmakazis.

  174. #174 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    @ Mephistopheles:

    It is Pimm’s. I had some at an art gallery last summer from a punch bowl- probably had wine in it- oh and floating fruits- not in my top ten- but drunk at Wimbledon.
    I used the name solely in order to say “crap’s cup”- a reference back to yesterday’s discussion about a video invoving a cup et al.

    That’s how I roll, Mister, wheels within wheels.

  175. #175 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    @ Melissa G:

    I experienced an odd incident involving a roller derby team in California last year:
    I stayed at a hotel which had a pool and whirlpool – while I was in the whirlpool @ 9pm, in walk several young women who ask if they can come into the spa- so what can I say? It’s not mine- so I stay because I don’t want to be impolite and beat a hasty retreat- thus, I am in a hot tub with all of them crammed in and I learned that they are a roller derby team from So Cal and just had a match ( meet? game?) nearby and won. Which explained all of the purple bruises about their knees and their war whoops.

    Right now, anyone who is a lesbian or a straight man is thinking… well, I can imagine. So, I left them carrying on, uproariously laughing and discussing the preceding sporting event in good spirits.
    For some reason, both my ex and the other guy ask me to relate this story again and again- you think they’d know it by now.

  176. #176 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 11, 2013

    Wait – 2 girls, one cup refers to Pimm’s? That’s not at all what I was led to believe.

  177. #177 Kelly M Bray
    There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.
    February 11, 2013

    Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is based on gin and can be served both on ice or in cocktails. It has a dark-tea colour with a reddish tint, and tastes subtly of spice and citrus fruit. It is often taken with “English-style” (clear and carbonated) lemonade, as well as various chopped fresh ingredients, particularly apples, cucumber, oranges, lemons, strawberry, and borage, though nowadays most substitute mint. Ginger ale is a common substitute for lemonade. Pimm’s can also be mixed with Champagne (or a sparkling white wine), called a “Pimm’s Royal Cup”. Its base as bottled is 25 percent alcohol by volume.

  178. #178 Kelly M Bray
    February 11, 2013

    Are there any single Phrama-Tarts ® around? Sounds like my kind of woman, especially with that monthly pharma shill check!

  179. #179 Narad
    February 11, 2013

    Pimm’s is quite possibly the vilest beverage I have ever been subjected to. And I like bäsk. I would sooner consume cheap vermouth. Or Stone’s ginger wine.

  180. #180 Narad
    February 11, 2013

    So Cal and just had a match ( meet? game?) nearby and won.

    “Bouts,” I believe, which are composed of shorter “jams.”

  181. #181 Denice Walter
    February 11, 2013

    @ Mephistopheles:

    It is metaphorical to call the drink ‘crap’; the video’s crap was not.

    @ Narad:
    Right. It is pretty bad. I have no idea why it is associated with tennis.
    I have much better ideas for drinks at tennis events. Dry not sweet. Shaken not stirred. My instructor gets sloshed on Heineken. Champagne ain’t bad either.

  182. #182 Tom Herling
    February 11, 2013

    re: the “back to the simple life on the farm.”

    Both my father and my grandfather (on my mother’s side) worked like mad to get the hell off the farm. One reason among many: they liked the idea of a toilet in the house when it was 20 below outside.

  183. #183 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    February 11, 2013

    Tom Herling:

    One reason among many: they liked the idea of a toilet in the house when it was 20 below outside.

    The last time I used one there was a high chance of bears! Seriously, we had arrived at the property and saw they had stripped the apple trees. Going to the outhouse that evening was a little freaky.

    I’ll take freezing cold over bears, since I know they should be hibernating.

  184. #184 Melissa G
    February 11, 2013

    I like Pimm’s cups ok, but every time I have one I think I would rather just take the apples, cucumber, oranges, lemons, strawberry, herbs and ginger ale and put them in rum instead.

    In addition to Little House, there’s the All Creatures Great and Small books to REALLY turn one off of the glamor of farming and give one an idea of the backbreaking work it is to tend animals and land Every. Day. Most of the farmers in those books were eking out a living, and a single livestock disease would nearly bankrupt them! The first book, too, happens before penicillin even– those farmers were SO HAPPY when cattle vaccines came along!

    There’s a reason that sociologists and historians credit having a food surplus as being the start of civilization, and if everybody has to farm for a living all day, who’s going to provide our roller derby audience?

  185. #185 Jake Hamby
    Silicon Valley
    February 12, 2013

    I feel really bad for Mr. Crosby for the numerous “career limiting moves” that he’s made in his obsession to prove that autism, including his own neurological challenges, must all be the fault of some conspiracy of evildoers, “millionaire industrialists” polluting the land, air, and sea with toxins, and selling dangerous pharmaceuticals and vaccines to destroy people’s brains. It seems like this narrative was instilled into him from a young age, but as an adult, he’s responsible for his decisions and his beliefs, and more to the point, for the damage he’s caused to his own professional reputation by his thoroughly unprofessional conduct as an advocate for his cause.

    I’ve said it before, but speaking as someone with ADHD, who wasn’t properly diagnosed until my mid-20s but at least wasn’t laboring under the burden of believing I had some even more complex and mysterious condition like Mr. Crosby was told he had (it seems by his parents and maybe some alt-med practitioners but apparently not any official medical diagnosis?) when he was told his problems were due to Asperger’s syndrome.

    As far as I can tell from his limited autobiographical posts (relative to his total output primarily consisting of completely unwarranted invective against real doctors and scientists) that Jake’s symptoms consist primarily of having difficulties paying attention, staying on track, and social anxieties, depression, and insecurities related to those difficulties. Well, those are all ADD/ADHD symptoms, not ASD or autism related necessarily. And in the complete absence of any actual spectrum-related symptoms, I’m afraid Jake may have some difficulty convincing his own “team” that he has the condition he’s been boldly speaking out on the behalf of.

    It’s interesting that the B-12 supplements that he speaks of as being so helpful for him are also highly touted in alt-med circles as an ADHD treatment, and I should also note that his comments about its effectiveness for his own symptoms were referring to improving his concentration rather than helping with something ASD-related.

    More to the point, one of the challenges someone with ADD/ADHD frequently deals with is using conflict, deadlines, or some other stressor to boost their dopamine levels in order to function effectively. It’s not a great coping strategy, but if you can produce something wonderful by waiting until the last possible minute before the deadline (I think everyone has had this experience some time in their lives, but imagine it greatly magnified) then it can be an effective one. The trick is harnessing one’s attention span, such as it is, and finding ways yo accomplish your goals in life. For many people, including myself, medications are highly effective in managing the fundamental ADD symptoms (in contrast to autism/ASD symptoms that don’t have such effective treatments) but regardless of whether or not you want to go that route, you still have to come to terms with how to work with one’s own brain and it’s proclivities, rather than against it. IOW, it’s a question of introspection and learning cognitive behavioral skills that ate adaptive rather than maladaptive.

    And I’m afraid that ranting bitterly against all of the people Jake’s attacked over the past few years, combined with stalking and verbally abusing his targets IRL, regardless of whether or not Mr. Crosby has Asperger’s, if he has ADHD or something else completely, is not a wise strategy if he hopes to make a positive contribution to society. I can completely sympathize with the feeling of aliveness that I’m sure he experiences when he’s deep into the dopamine rush that comes with knowing with religious certainty that one is fighting a noble Crusade, but, well, I just feel embarrassed for the guy more than anything…

  186. #186 Jake Hamby
    February 12, 2013

    Apologies for the typos and awkward sentence structure of the previous post. The JavaScript in the comment box does very strange things with the cursor on my Nexus 4 so it’s difficult to edit.

  187. #187 lilady
    February 12, 2013

    Well stated, Jake Hamby. I’ve read may of the 90 articles I linked to, written by Jake Crosby, and each of them is a libelous attack on someone who is respected in the science community. His *handlers* have encouraged him to write his scurrilous rants, and encouraged him to stalk people at public meetings and at their places of employment. Each of the commenters at AoA (with rare exceptions), also urge him on…such is the *quality* of the *journalists* and the denizens at AoA.

    If he was my child, he would have gotten professional help years ago, for his anger issues and for his acting out behaviors.

  188. #188 Jen
    February 12, 2013

    I’m not buying the whole “Colin” thing. It seems like one of your own made some strange attempt to have anyone one who question’s vaccine safety to look bad. Perhaps a minor attempt to try and offset what horror your fellow skeptics at SAVN did to M. Dorey, which was horrible and involved pornographic rape/mutilation. I would think you guys might want to not make these ‘calls for action’ to launch hate campaigns against any who speak out about vaccine safey- such as what ‘herd’ has done regarding Tetyana. How can you be sure your fellow Skeptics won’t join in and do something illegal or immoral to her? Then there’s just the obvious question of just how are you going to keep up with all these hat campaigns- there’s also Tomljenovic and Bialik that I can think of I this brief time. You can’t keeping with all these growing numbers of people who question safety- even with social media!

  189. #189 Melissa G
    February 12, 2013

    What, precisely, are you alleging was done to Meryl Dorey, Jen? “pornographic rape/mutilation” is a pretty serious charge, and all I saw the SAVN do was call her out on her pseudoscience.

  190. #190 Shay
    February 12, 2013

    “just how are you going to keep up with all these hat campaigns”

    If the PharmaSluts get cool hats, I want to join.

    Geez, Jen, how much over the top can you get? I understand how it may be difficult for someone as deeply involved in the anti-vax quagmire as you to indulge in, y’know, actual thinking, but give us a break on the rhetoric.

    Lilady, you were right. Jen can’t stick the flounce.

  191. #191 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 12, 2013

    Jen,

    I am unaware of any general call to launch hate campaigns or harass people. If you are aware of such things, please point out evidence and not vague accusations. Note that I’m not doubting that some people with anti-vaccine sentiments have been harassed. What you’ve apparently asserted is that these incidents are the result of concerted effort by various skeptic groups or encouraged by skeptic blogs. Do you have evidence of same, and how is this different from the harassment performed against people you class as “our own”?

    I found no particular reason to doubt Colin’s sincerity in his/her/its postings, but don’t see any particular evidence that they were or were not inspired by anti-vaccine sentiment. There are jerks in this world; Colin apparently likes to act like one. Frankly, I’m surprised you jumped to the conclusion that it was a disinformation/smear attempt rather than taking the simpler view.

    Naturally, the way to combat someone’s mistaken view that someone in “your group” did something heinous is to a) denounce the activity; b) demonstrate better behavior; and c) move on. You could have done that by simply stating that Colin did not speak for you and that Colin’s vulgarity does not reflect the people you know who question vaccine safety (if you felt so inclined).

  192. #192 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 12, 2013

    She’s just repeating all the nonsense about Peter Bowditch again.

  193. #193 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 12, 2013

    P.S. If some organization did encourage someone to harass someone by means that would include sending rape/mutilation porn or similar tactics, that would be wrong and I pre-emptively denounce it. Likewise, if some individual thought that this would be a good way to silence what he/she/it saw as an enemy, then that would also be wrong and that person would be, in my view, deranged.

  194. #194 Lawrence
    February 12, 2013

    @Jen – since you’ve been active on numerous websites where articles are posted and discussed, I find it hard to believe that you’ve not seen the various conspiracy-ladened diatribes or expletive-filled posts by anti-vaccine activists in response to the reasoned and evidence-supported (Science-supported) posted by pro-vaccine individuals…..because if you haven’t (or you’re just blind to it) I am more than happy to point you to some…..

  195. #195 lilady
    February 12, 2013

    @ jen:

    “I’m not buying the whole “Colin” thing. It seems like one of your own made some strange attempt to have anyone one who question’s vaccine safety to look bad.”

    So says “jen” who for months here on RI posted under a sock puppet.

    The filth that “Colin” posted is still up, “jen”…so we have to assume that you derived some sick pleasure by reading Colin’s puke.

  196. #196 Edith Prickly
    February 12, 2013

    @Melissa G – I loved the All Creatures books too, and watched the entire TV series when it was in syndication on CBC in the ’80s. I can still fake a passable Yorkshire accent when the mood takes me.

  197. #197 novalox
    February 12, 2013

    @jen

    Got any evidence.

    It is also noted that you did not denounce colin’s posts, so I can assume that you implicitly agree with him.

  198. #198 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    February 12, 2013

    @Jen:

    Perhaps a minor attempt to try and offset what horror your fellow skeptics at SAVN did to M. Dorey, which was horrible and involved pornographic rape/mutilation.

    Meryl Dorey has repeatedly claimed that members of “Stop the Australian Vaccination Network” have engaged in cyberstalking and harassment of her. Yet puzzlingly she has never gone to the police to lay charges against SAVN members. Nor has she posted examples of this cyberstalking. Most extraordinary, no?

  199. #199 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    February 12, 2013

    @Jen:

    Perhaps a minor attempt to try and offset what horror your fellow skeptics at SAVN did to M. Dorey, which was horrible and involved pornographic rape/mutilation.

    Meryl Dorey has repeatedly claimed that members of “Stop the Australian Vaccination Network” have engaged in cyberstalking and harassment of her. Yet puzzlingly she has never gone to the police to lay charges against SAVN members. Nor has she posted examples of this cyberstalking. Most extraordinary, no?

  200. #200 Renate
    February 12, 2013

    I think there are some very tasteless things coming from anti-vax people and other quack lovers, like a cartoon of a dinner table with people eating a baby, or a cartoon comparing chemo-therapy with Nazi death-camps.
    And those cartoons exist, so perhaps Jen can prove her point of those nasty skeptics with some links.

  201. #201 Renate
    February 12, 2013

    I think link to this cartoons, are somewhere on this blog.

  202. #202 flip
    February 12, 2013

    It’s interesting that Jen posits that Colin is a sock puppet intended to smear, without evidence, but then also expects us to swallow the AVNs accusations without evidence as well. One wonders whether she cares about evidence at all… Or realises she’s a hypocrite.

    @Julian

    Meryl Dorey has repeatedly claimed that members of “Stop the Australian Vaccination Network” have engaged in cyberstalking and harassment of her. Yet puzzlingly she has never gone to the police to lay charges against SAVN members

    To be fair, and from my own experience, she might have gone to the police… and had them tell her there’s f* all they can do. Exactly what happened to me when I was harassed via online methods. (Clause: I’m not in the same state as her. It could be different there, but I highly doubt it)

  203. [...] skeptics and supporters of SBM are out to get them. For instance, last week I also took note of an internecine conflict developing among the crew at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism. What interests me now is not [...]

  204. #204 herr doktor bimler
    February 12, 2013

    I’m not buying the whole “Colin” thing.

    Jen is making less sense than usual. What is a “hat campaign?”
    Perhaps excessive flouncing can cause concussion.

  205. #205 Lawrence
    February 12, 2013

    @HDB – given the usual vitriol that is thrown at all by the anti-vaccine folks, I’m “shocked” that Jen hasn’t come across some of our usual trolls before….I think we can think of a few.

  206. #206 brian
    February 12, 2013

    Jen wrote:

    It seems like one of your own made some strange attempt to have anyone one who question’s vaccine safety to look bad.

    Ah, Jen, now that you’ve caught on to our pharma-funded false flag operations, I confess that I’m personally responsible for at least one-quarter of the posts at Age of Autism that praise Jake Crosby’s failed journalism; I also sometimes masquerade as an outlandish character I call “Tony Bateson” and offer, but then fail to grant, a reward for anyone who can identify an unvaccinated child who developed ASD. You’re too clever for us, Jen—do don’t get me started on how I comment-bomb news articles with transparently ridiculous anti-vaccine posts in a successful effort to make your lot look like fools.

  207. #207 herr doktor bimler
    February 12, 2013

    our pharma-funded false flag operations
    Interesting point there. A troll “Colin” pops up (claiming to have followed a link to comment #114) and launches a few insults — anodyne by trolling standards — before incurring the ban-hammer.
    Jen’s response is to assume that Colin is a false-flag operation, intended to make anti-vaxxers look stupid (I like to think that if “Colin” were one of the regulars then the insults would have been more creatively targetted).

    The amusing part is Jen’s conviction that raising this false-flag possibility makes it seem more plausible that the alleged attacks on Meryl Dorey come from her opponents (and not from someone on her own side). It is as if Jen has never heard of “projection”.

  208. #208 Throught the looking glass
    February 12, 2013

    Following Jen’s advice, I’ve assumed that all antivaxxers who make obviously embarrassing statements are actually big pharma shills. So far, I’ve got Kim Stagliano, J.B. Handley, “MJ”, Jake Crosby, Anne Daschel, Tony Bateson, Jen herself and John Best down as “false flag” operators. Are there any real antivaxxers out there?

  209. #209 herr doktor bimler
    February 12, 2013

    I’m not buying the whole “Jen” thing. It seems like one of your own made some strange attempt to have anyone one who question’s vaccine safety to look bad.

  210. #210 brian
    February 12, 2013

    I’m not buying the whole “Jen” thing. It seems like one of your own made some strange attempt to have anyone one who question’s vaccine safety to look bad.

    Well, now that it’s out in the open, I’m proud to admit that I earn most of my salary as a pharma shill by posting under the ‘nym amdachel in response to autism-related news items that AoA’s Anne Dachel has missed. It’s been quite useful (and, of course, extremely lucrative) to post precisely the same tired, thoroughly-refuted nonsense that Dachel herself would have posted had she noted the articles, so that her special brand of wacky scientific illiteracy can be exposed to a wider audience.

  211. #211 Denice Walter
    February 12, 2013

    @ brian:

    I’m so glad you’ve identified yourself: confession is good for the soul…. wait a minute, I don’t have a soul, you probably don’t have one either. At any rate, your disguised writing is superb! I would never guess that it’s you. Take a bow, Mister.

    As I revealed yesterday, the ladies and I have worked very hard for over a year to sow discord amongst AoA supporters and I think we’ve done a bang up job. Uncle Rupert and cousin Bill are so proud of us: that will bring us much reward but personally, I’m holding out for an invite over to Anderson Cooper’s place.

    Come out, Pharma shills and minions! Be proud of your work If you try hard perhaps Alison MacNeil will add an addendum to her dirty, rotten scoundrels post ( TMR) to include us.

  212. #212 LW
    February 12, 2013

    @Jen:

    I’m not buying the whole “Colin” thing.

    You don’t think there are foul-mouthed anti-gay trolls on the Internet?

    It seems like one of your own made some strange attempt to have anyone one who question’s vaccine safety to look bad.

    Why do you say that?

    In his first comment, Colin said “I want to warn anyone else who decided to follow the link that there is nothing exciting going on here, and I would advise you to stop reading now, and find something more interesting to look at. Try Youtube.”. In his second and last comment, he launched into a totally bizarre attack on Mephistopheles O’Brien.  At no point did he say anything anti-vaccine. Or pro-vaccine for that matter.

    Do you just assume that any foul-mouthed anti-gay troll would naturally be mistaken for anti-vaxxer?   

    Perhaps a minor attempt to try and offset what horror your fellow skeptics at SAVN did to M. Dorey, which was horrible and involved pornographic rape/mutilation.

    For the benefit of lurkers I will explain that Jen asserts that Dorey claims that someone calling himself/herself a skeptic sent her pornographic emails. Not even Dorey or Jen claims that rape or mutilation, pornographic or otherwise, was actually practiced on Dorey. Amusingly, someone suggested that the reason Dorey might have received such filth is that her organization’s initials, AVN, are also the initials of the Adult Video Network, where such emails would, perhaps, be entirely acceptable. 

    I would think you guys might want to not make these ‘calls for action’ to launch hate campaigns against any who speak out about vaccine safey- such as what ‘herd’ has done regarding Tetyana.

    What guys?  What calls for action?  Who’s Tetyana?  (Google was no help since there are a lot of people with that first name.  Or maybe it’s a last name.)  What ‘herd’ did what to him or her? If you’re going to accuse the entire population of skeptics of evil acts, you might at least tell us what the evil acts are, and maybe who the victim is.  

    How can you be sure your fellow Skeptics won’t join in and do something illegal or immoral to her?

    I don’t even know who she is and have no control over the millions of skeptics in the world, some small number of whom probably do engage in illegal or immoral acts, since that is true of any group of millions of people. Are you under the delusion that there is some grand council of skeptics to which all skeptics report — Protocols of the Elders of Skepticism, perhaps?  If so, you need help.   

    Then there’s just the obvious question of just how are you going to keep up with all these hat campaigns- there’s also Tomljenovic and Bialik that I can think of I this brief time.

    What hat campaigns?  Or hate campaigns, for that matter?  I had to google those people.

    Bialik, I’m guessing, is Mayim Bialik who breastfed her son until he was four. There’s a certain ick factor in that, but I don’t see that skeptics would especially see it as icky.

    I dound that Orac commented on Tomljenovic, but after reading his entire post, I didn’t see any call for action or launch of a hate campaign.

    If you want to convince me that hate campaigns exist, you need to actually produce evidence that they do,

    You can’t keeping with all these growing numbers of people who question safety- even with social media!

    That is not an English sentence.  At a guess, I would say that it means that we can’t keep up with antivaxxers which is, sadly, probably true.

  213. #213 LW
    February 12, 2013

    Two errors above: “Then there’s just the obvious question of just how are you going to keep up with all these hat campaigns- there’s also Tomljenovic and Bialik that I can think of I this brief time.” should be blockquoted — Jen’s words, not mine; and “dound” is a new word meaning “found”.

  214. #214 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    February 12, 2013

    One of the “calls to action” that Butthurt Jen implies was the DitchJenny campaign, which to the best of my knowledge didn’t even start here. I think some people in Ottawa started that on their own, and for good reason. They didn’t want her in their town and launched the campaign. And it worked.

    How is that any different from the recent campaign they spearheaded to stop Brian Deer from speaking? Shoes don’t fit when they’re on the other feet, do they sweetie?

    Also, the accusations regarding Meryl Dorey and the AVN are unabashed lies. Peter Bowditch, who is the “culprit” she is accusing, has discussed the issue openly on his blog. It’s another smear campaign. Tim Bolen, friend of the anti-vaxxers, is one of Peter Bowditch’s biggest enemies and spreads vicious, nasty, personal lies. You should read the correspondence from Bolen to Bowditch on Peter’s blog. It’s despicable, but typical of the tactics our opponents use.

  215. #215 LW
    February 12, 2013

    Oh, I know about the accusations against Peter Bowditch. I believe him over Dorey, Jen, and Bolen any day of the week. Dorey got an ex parte order against him and he’s been patiently waiting to get his day in court since September. She seems to be dragging her heels and stalling to avoid a hearing. I wonder why.

  216. #216 Denice Walter
    February 12, 2013

    @ Marc Stephens Is Insane:

    When I first got involved as a sceptic, I deliberately left my second last name off because I knew I would address provocative issues concerning the shoddy work and unscrupulous tactics of alt med prevaricators and be a target of their wrath.

    You mention the crusade against Brian Deer’s speaking engagements: he has also been sued- vexatiously, more than once. Also:
    -a physicist writes about a radio woo-meister and gets sued for 10 million USD + 3 million by the woo-meister’s assistant ( vexatious suits as well, thrown out of court)
    - a lab guy writes about the antics of hiv/aids denialists and gets harassed through phone calls/e-mails to his family and employers.
    - an epi guy writes about anti-vaxxers and suffers recupercusions at work
    - a doctor writes about anti-vaxxers and learns that his employers were given mis-information about his “pharma connections”.

    All five of these men have been around RI. You may not recognise them all but you’ve read what they have to say.
    Three of them were targetted by the same person.

    It’s rather ironic that we’re being called out for our activities.

  217. #217 Melissa G
    February 12, 2013

    Ok, I’m glad I’m not alone in not knowing wth Jen was talking about. I do, however, know what horrible things Bolen has said to Peter Bowditch, and I certainly know whose company I’d rather be keeping.

    As to “hat campaign,” is she trying to refer to a Black Hat campaign? Or maybe she’s referring to our Pharma Shill hats?

    Hey, we should get Pharma Tart hats!!! I’m going to Bedazzle mine!… until I get bored. Look for the Pharma Tart with a weirdly-shaped sparkly patch on her hat, that’ll be me. I will of course claim I meant to do that, and it’s Pharmoeba, our mascot.

  218. #218 Narad
    February 12, 2013

    What guys? What calls for action? Who’s Tetyana?

    Best guess is Tetyana Obukhanych, who wrote Vaccine Illusion and a defense of the execrable Melanie’s Marvellous Measles. A rather minor figure, to say the least, and if she is whom Jen is referring to, I still have no idea what Jen’s babbling about. Then again, Jen’s connection to reality, as well as the English language, seems to be weakening.

  219. #219 Narad
    February 12, 2013

    You should read the correspondence from Bolen to Bowditch on Peter’s blog.

    Try taking a look at Bolen’s archived Usenet stuff at derkeiler-dot-com. He’s like a less creative version of DJT.

  220. #220 Narad
    February 12, 2013

    Tetyana is also not showing up for me in the Stanford directory. She was a postdoc there, so either she’s moved on, which is perfectly normal, or has just been cut loose. Looking at her eight PubMed entries, only one, from when she was at Rockefeller, lists her in a significant authorial position, which is not the way to roll a postdoc.

  221. #221 Khani
    February 12, 2013

    @Jake Hamby
    #185 “…one of the challenges someone with ADD/ADHD frequently deals with is using conflict, deadlines, or some other stressor to boost their dopamine levels in order to function effectively.”

    … I really ought to be tested, because you just described me and how I function well at my job.

  222. #222 Shay
    February 12, 2013

    @Melissa

    I have a black hat already. Do I have to take off the crossed sabers, the “8th Michigan” and the fancy black plume? Because if I do, I don’t think I wanna play.

    Yes, reading the Bolen saga at ratbags is eye-opening, not to mention stomach-churning.

  223. #223 I. Rony Meter
    February 13, 2013

    I don’t believe in the whole “AoA” thing. Obviously some pro vax front group created AoA to make vaccine safety advocates look bad…

  224. #224 Liz Ditz
    Being the kitteh pillow
    February 13, 2013
  225. #225 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    February 13, 2013

    @Liz

    Once again, your curating skills astound me. Not to mention the fortitude required to slog through all those posts.

  226. #226 Denice Walter
    February 13, 2013

    @ Liz:

    Really great!
    Well, I didn’t know that Jake’s resume of bad science-conspiracy mongering included the OPV variant of hiv denialism. But it makes sense, in a way: if vaccines cause ASDs, they probably cause other illnesses identified by acronyms.
    Probably also MS, IBD, oh no wait, that’s the Canary Party.

  227. #227 Ren
    On pins and needles
    February 13, 2013

    “I don’t believe in the whole “AoA” thing. Obviously some pro vax front group created AoA to make vaccine safety advocates look bad…”

    I once, in my now defunct blog, postulated that they were in fact Big Pharma employees tasked with lowering the level of vaccine uptake to levels that made vaccine-preventable diseases come back. If those diseases come back, the only ones who benefit are Big Pharma and Big Healthcare because of the increased morbidity and mortality. How much money will a family spend on a child who gets their limbs amputated from N. meningitidis (serogroups A, C, Y, W) in a lifetime versus what that vaccine costs?

    Think. About. It. (Do. Your. Own. Research.)

  228. #228 Scottynuke
    Cookie jar
    February 13, 2013

    Thin mint, bitte. :-)

  229. #229 Alain
    February 13, 2013

    A new (brief) post, I have to reconsider my decision to enrol in the armed forces:

    http://www.securivm.ca/2013/02/les-forces-armees-reconsiderer.html

    Alain

  230. #230 Melissa G
    February 13, 2013

    Shay — you totally get to keep it. But you’re now the designated Pharma Tart Enforcer. ;)

    Pharma Tarts could have our own Tartan. Pharma Shills could have Pharma Shillelaghs. The ideas for accessories are endless! …Actually, nope, just those two’s all I got.

  231. #231 Shay
    February 13, 2013

    (ahem). I already have the shillelagh.

    I think we need a pharma tart tattoo. Crossed syringes over “de mortuis nil nisi bonum” or something classy like that.

  232. #232 Melissa G
    February 13, 2013

    I like the way you think, Shay!

  233. #233 lilady
    February 13, 2013

    I’ll go for the pharma tart motto “interrumpitur infectivis morbus transmissio” (I’m not *into* tattoos)

  234. #234 Edith Prickly
    February 13, 2013

    I already have a hat (leopard-skin pill box with a tasteful brim) but I like the sound of a Pharma shillelagh…

  235. #235 Melissa G
    February 13, 2013

    Lilady– I like that one, and it goes well with the crossed syringes on our crest!

    Edith– excellent! All the better to pounce upon the unsuspecting Pharma-prey!

    I have realized I can’t actually find any of my hats except for a Laplander cap knitted to resemble a sock monkey. Hey, I could be the Pharma Tart Sock Puppet!

  236. #236 Mark McAndrew
    United Kingdom
    February 13, 2013

    Jen obviously sent the porn to Dorey. That’s why she reckons moron anti-vaxxer behaviour is just false flag, because she does all the pro-vaccine moron false flag stuff herself.

    Note that she described details about the content of the porn which were never made public. A smoking gun…?

    (Would be for AoA…)

    PS. Jen, Google AVN. Top result is Adult Video Network, they of the famous AVN Awards. That wasn’t too difficult now, was it? #mysterysolved

  237. #237 Shay
    February 13, 2013

    @Alain:

    Don’t give up yet. There are medical conditions for which they may offer a waiver. It’s worth asking.

    (I wasn’t supposed to be allowed to enlist due to hay fever but got in anyway).

  238. #238 Narad
    February 13, 2013

    Of course what is known for certain is that Meryl herself has broadcast pornography to her adoring readers, none of whom apparently noticed.

  239. #239 Denice Walter
    February 13, 2013

    @ Ladies:

    Although I like your enthusiasm, speaking ONLY for myself:
    No tattoos. Ever.
    I have family crests that I ignore
    I have a motto already
    I have a nice tweed hat and a beige summer chapeau
    I don’t do tartans – Burberry is bad enough and then only if it’s sufficiently disguised, i.e. crypto-plaid

    I think the fact that we’re tarts is advertisement enough-

  240. #240 Alain
    February 14, 2013

    @Shay,

    Maybe….the officer I spoke was a medical officer and he was clear on that count; I must not need any medication while in the field and that include my synthroid. Given that I need my synthroid for proper function, I cannot enlist in the armed forces.

    Alain

  241. #241 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    February 14, 2013

    funny, Da served in the Canadian Armed Forces – wounded three times, made Sgt twice – when I told him of my intention to enlist, he looked at me and said, “are you phuqqin stupid” and walked away…

    So then I thought of his alcoholism and that of all his buddies, the unrelenting nightmares decades later etc., and went into IT.

  242. #242 Shay
    February 14, 2013

    @alain — I’m sorry. I was not allowed to take my allergy meds for the initial training period but after that was over, I could.

    (October in Virginia…boy did I sneeze a lot).

  243. #243 Jen
    February 14, 2013

    For the record: per “lilady’s” vile suggestion, I in no way condone what “Colin” said. Period.

  244. #244 lilady
    February 14, 2013

    @ Jen: I never said you “condone” what “Colin” said (see my post above). I suggested that you enjoyed Colin’s puke. I also reminded everyone of your history of posting under a sock puppet here…for months.

  245. #245 novalox
    February 14, 2013

    @jen

    It is also noted that the first comment you posted after colin’s post was to accuse posters here of a false flag operation instead of condemning his actions.

  246. #246 LW
    February 14, 2013

    @Jen: “For the record: per “lilady’s” vile suggestion, I in no way condone what “Colin” said. Period.”

    Someone who accuses an entire group of strangers of having made “these ‘calls for action’ to launch hate campaigns against any who speak out about vaccine safety” is hardly in a position to complain about “vile suggestions”.

  247. #247 Alain
    February 14, 2013

    @ al kimea,

    Got it, I thought that being an engineering officer (for the first 10 years of schooling and working) & a medical officer would be less stressful than being directly in combat forces and I know I would not be good at combat forces but a lot better in a supporting role.

    @ Shay,

    I guess the difference in our case is that I use prescription medication and these are not available to stockpile for 6 month (whether I have them in my stuff or else, that would require a pharmacist to be on the field during field mission).

    Alain

  248. #248 Broken Link
    February 15, 2013

    It seems that Andrew Wakefield was paid $200,000 per year by his own charity, the Strategic Autism Initiative.

    http://lbrbblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/gr-2011-form-9901.pdf

  249. #249 Denice Walter
    February 15, 2013

    @ Broken Link:

    I would imagine that that’s not his only source of income.
    He also has a wife and adult children who may be employed in related ‘careers’.

  250. #250 lilady
    February 15, 2013

    I’ve hooked a *live one* on Alex Hannaford’s blog that appeared in the Texas Observer.

    “Joanna” is using VacLib as a resource, touting Great Plains Laboratory and has *expertise* in nutrition. Anyone want to join me?

    http://www.texasobserver.org/autism-inc-the-discredited-science-shady-treatments-and-rising-profits-behind-alternative-autism-treatments/

  251. #251 lilady
    February 15, 2013

    @ Broken Link: LB/RB also has the 2011 Tax Returns up for The Strategic Autism Initiative. I’ve posted at LB/RB and I think you are going to enjoy my post.

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2013/02/15/a-look-at-the-financials-for-generation-rescue-and-the-strategic-autism-initiative/

  252. #252 lilady
    February 16, 2013

    Alex Hannaford’s blog at the Texas Observer has a Dr. Jones who is singing the praises of a DAN! doctor in Austin Texas, who was interviewed by Mr. Hannaford. I’ve just replied to Dr. Jones about the lab tests used to determine “viral overloads” and “mercury toxicity”.

    http://www.texasobserver.org/autism-inc-the-discredited-science-shady-treatments-and-rising-profits-behind-alternative-autism-treatments/

  253. [...] Merola is referring to this bit of yellow journalism in 2010 from an antivaccine propagandist named Jake Crosby, entitled David Gorski’s Financial Pharma Ties: What He Didn’t Tell You. The long version of [...]

  254. #254 Shay
    February 24, 2013

    cookie.

  255. [...] been well over two weeks since I urged everyone to get out the popcorn and sit back to enjoy the internecine war going on over in the antivaccine movement. The reason for [...]

  256. [...] hearing was put together, specifically Mr. Hooker’s and SafeMinds’ roles (see here, here and here), it is interesting to see the organization he works with taking such a harsh stance [...]

  257. [...] group SafeMinds. It didn’t take long for SafeMinds to unleash a counterattack, joined by Dan Olmsted at AoA, and it was on, as last week Jake Crosby posted a followup screed, in which he castigated Mark [...]

  258. [...] (For alternate views/opinion on what’s going on in that crumbling anti-vaccine organization, check out Todd’s take and Liz’s summary… And Orac’s latest on the whole thing.) [...]

  259. [...] in their view — some improper actions. This led to infighting which you can read about here, here, and here. Get out the popcorn, [...]

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