Respectful Insolence

As I hang out at the San Diego Convention Center, I can’t resist one last note on the Chili’s debacle that I wrote about yesterday. Remember how Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association (NAA), the antivaccine group posing as an autism advocacy group, whined when Chili’s backed out of its deal to donate 10% of its proceeds from yesterday’s sales to the NAA that she isn’t antivaccine? I’ll refresh your memory, so that you don’t have to click on the link above:

Wendy Fournier, president of NAA, said, “It was obvious that the comments [Chili's was] getting were a fight about vaccines. Everybody was all heated up and wanting to boycott. It was bullying. It was orchestrated by a small number of people who wanted to deny assistance to families that we serve through our program.”

Fournier said that NAA is not anti-vaccination, and that she and her co-workers have vaccinated their children. She said that the statements on the NAA website about vaccinations and autism are the views of parents who “are entitled to their viewpoints without being attacked.”


Now note that, as has been pointed out by commenters after yesterday’s post, Wendy Fournier is scheduled to speak at the Give Autism A Chance Summit of The Autism Trust. Looky here:

After several years in the promotional products industry, Wendy founded a home-based web development company that allowed her to have a career in web design and be a full-time Mom. Her youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism in 2002. Wendy is committed to changing the perspective of autism from what was once considered a mysterious mental illness to a biologically definable and treatable medical disorder. She attends and speaks at conferences throughout the US. Wendy currently serves on the RI State Commission to study the education of children with autism, as a consumer reviewer for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for Autism Research through the U.S. Department of Defense.

Now look at some of her fellow panelists and speakers:

In other words, Fournier is going to be speaking at an antivaccine/”autism biomed” quackfest in Austin this very weekend. If the NAA weren’t antivaccine and in fact were concerned with science-based autism evaluation and treatment, there’s no way it would let any of its board of directors, much less its president, show up within 50 miles of such a wretched collection of antivaccine cranks and quacks.

And that’s it. Tomorrow’s post will have nothing to do with vaccines or autism. I promise.

Comments

  1. #1 Jeff1971
    April 8, 2014

    According to the promotion I saw, the NAA is actually sponsoring the quackfest.

  2. #2 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    April 8, 2014

    ” It was bullying. It was orchestrated by a small number of people who wanted to deny assistance to families that we serve through our program.”

    No. The people upset about Chili’s decision to raise money for NAA absolutely want to assist families. We just realize that working against the single greatest enhancement to the lives of children doesn’t really serve that end. Seriously. I’m not saying vaccines make kids lives better — I’m saying vaccines ensure more kids survive to *have* lives, and the evidence bears that out pretty well. Stop waving the disabled in front of people as a lure to trick them into funding your antivaccination efforts.

  3. #3 AutismNewsBeat
    Wisconsin
    April 8, 2014

    I thought Wakefield was the “stateless patron” of the anti-vaccine movement.

  4. #4 Chris Hickie
    April 8, 2014

    One can only conclude the NAA is most definitely anti-vaccination. Nobody with even a single neuron’s worth of common sense about vaccines would go anywhere that list of rabidly frothing anti-vaccine mouthpieces.

    And since their side is always making annoying claims that we provide proof that our kids our vaccinated…well, I won’t do that to them, because it’s not the right thing to do.

  5. #5 Shay
    where it's all in the vocabulary
    April 8, 2014

    Their protests – spontaneous
    Anyone else’s protests – orchestrated

  6. #6 Lawrence
    April 8, 2014

    Funny – seems like Ms. Fournier is lying, quite blatantly.

  7. #7 Chris Hickie
    April 8, 2014

    “And since their side is always making annoying claims that we provide proof that our kids are vaccinated…well, I won’t do that to them, because it’s not the right thing to do.”

    -danged homonyms, took me an hour to spot it.

  8. #8 lsm
    April 8, 2014

    From the Lisa “The Rev” Goes link:

    ” And once the general populace starts to realize they can understand and interpret data for themselves. . .”

    Dunning Kruger rises yet again.

  9. #9 Eric Lund
    April 8, 2014

    Nobody with even a single neuron’s worth of common sense about vaccines would go anywhere that list of rabidly frothing anti-vaccine mouthpieces.

    Wakefield’s name alone is enough to raise a red flag. The other names on that list (at least the ones I recognize without following Orac’s links; the others are presumably not much better) are also bad news; having any two of them on the program would also be a red flag. I could see one slipping through, but more than one means either they aren’t doing their homework or (more likely) they want anti-vax headliners.

    Wendy currently serves on the RI State Commission to study the education of children with autism, as a consumer reviewer for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for Autism Research through the U.S. Department of Defense.

    OK, this sentence leaves me confused (maybe Ms. Fournier left out an “and”). Is her funding coming from a congressionally mandated DOD program, the state of Rhode Island, both, or one via the other? Either funding source would be, at least as implemented, a waste of taxpayer money.

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    April 8, 2014

    “According to the promotion I saw, the NAA is actually sponsoring the quackfest.”

    It appears that the Give Autism A Chance Summit is sponsored by the Autism Trust, Polly Tommey’s organization.

    Tommey is an antivaxer who’s been featured on AoA (as a defender of Andrew Wakefield). Wakefield’s son Corin is identified on the Autism Trust website as a member of the AT’s “junior board”.

    http://autismum.com/antivaxers-autism-haters/warrior-momsmums/polly-tommey/

    Fournier should feel right at home.

  11. #11 ann
    April 8, 2014

    @Chris Hickle –

    My guess is that Fournier’s probably mostly speaking the truth in order to deceive when she says her children are vaccinated. (The truth being that they are, and the deception being that it suggests she doesn’t think vaccines cause autism.) Because:

    Her youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism in 2002.

    So the older two had probably gotten most of their shots by then.

  12. #12 kruuth
    April 8, 2014

    “And that’s it. Tomorrow’s post will have nothing to do with vaccines or autism. I promise.”

    These are some of your best posts orac :)

  13. #13 The Typical Pharma Shill
    Lord Draconis "Biggie Pharms" Zeneca's earth palace
    April 8, 2014

    More like Autism, TX

  14. #14 lilady
    April 8, 2014

    Aidan Quinn is a featured speaker?

    Q. Has he been duped or is he a true believe?

    A. He’s a true believer who blames his daughter’s autism on the MMR vaccine…and he’s a member of Team Wakefield:

    http://www.pageturnpro.com/Autism-Media-Channel/56399-AF54_AutismFile_FebMar2014/index.html#1

  15. #15 Colin
    www.violentmetaphors.com
    April 8, 2014

    I’ll be attending this conference–I’m writing a book about irrational ideologies and relevant communication strategies, and this seems like great research. If nothing else, I’m sure I’ll get some good sound bites.

    For the people more familiar with the science than I am, any panels I should be sure to catch? I was planning on missing Behavior Therapy, Gut Issues, Holding the Family Together, and Everyday Concerns, as they seem more related to actual autism issues. Definitely planning on catching Vaccines and Autism as well as the open mike period, and possibly Healthy Living.

    The panelists’ names are at http://www.theautismtrust.org/#!schedule/c1xdg ; I’m not familiar enough with this particular issue recognize anyone other than the most notorious.

  16. #16 Spectator
    April 8, 2014

    Colin — be sure to hit the social events at the end, people talk more and you get insight into what’s actually on their mind. There will probably be a benefit dinner for Wakefield, hold the gag reflex and attend.

    Test out and bring a pocket voice recorder, wouldn’t display it tho, the organizers have short tempers.

  17. #17 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 8, 2014

    Heh – I don’t see the kid listed. I wonder if he’s busy with his studies, or if he wasn’t invited. I know he has turned on a lot of his earlier friends, but I can’t keep track of who likes who. I know he’s a fan of “Doctor” Wakefield, but beyond that I’m not so sure who he’s on the outs with. Maybe AoA said ‘it’s him or us, not both’?

  18. #18 dingo199
    April 8, 2014
  19. #19 Narad
    April 8, 2014

    Is her funding coming from a congressionally mandated DOD program

    She has received no awards from CDMRP. Whether she’s actually qualified as a consumer reviewer is perhaps open to question.

  20. #20 Narad
    April 8, 2014

    She was also an ARP consumer peer reviewer for FY 2007–2010. (Mark Geier was on the list for FY 2008, presumably as a scientific reviewer.) Katie Wright seems to have taken up the role.

  21. #21 Colin
    violentmetaphors.com
    April 8, 2014

    Thanks Spectator, there is indeed a party afterwards. I intend to attend.

  22. #22 ann
    April 8, 2014

    The thing she’s talking about appears to be a state deal:

    http://sos.ri.gov/boards/index.php?page=board_detail&board_id=6185

    Her position is statutorily mandated. (“President of the National Autism Association or designee.”) The commission dissolves in June of this year.

  23. #23 ann
    April 8, 2014

    Does anyone have any thoughts about what motivated this?

    Fournier said that NAA is not anti-vaccination, and that she and her co-workers have vaccinated their children. She said that the statements on the NAA website about vaccinations and autism are the views of parents who “are entitled to their viewpoints without being attacked.,/blockquote>

    It’s not clear to me what she hoped to gain by it. It is anti-vax, and completely publicly so. Isn’t she worried about her donors?

    The only thing I can think of is that she took that position with Chili’s and felt obligated to stick with it.

  24. #24 ann
    April 8, 2014

    Blockquotes.

  25. #25 LIz Ditz
    April 8, 2014

    Hi Colin, thanks for going. I’d recommend the Gut Panel.

    10:50-11:50 AM: Gut Issues
    Jeanna Reed
    Arthur Krigsman
    Jill Rubolino
    Allison Edwards
    Debbie Hammil

    —–
    Jeanna Reed, Licensed Practical Nurse for fifteen years. Her continued advocacy in the area of autism spectrum disorders became crucial when her own child suffered medically from multi system disorders, including autism. The past six years she has worked tirelessly in focusing her efforts to bring the complicated medical needs, of this rapidly increasing patient population, to the forefront of our medical community.
    Jill Rubolino, Registered Nurse with over nineteen years of experience in the acute care setting. She began her journey in the autism community when her son became ill and was then diagnosed on the autism spectrum. She has spent the last seven years working to support parents and educate the medical community on the need for appropriate health care for this patient population.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/06/14/autism-biomed-and-murder-of-alex-spourdalakis/

    “In this post, Lisa Goes described a visit to LUMC with Jeanna Reed of Autism Is Medical, whose website if chock full of standard antivaccine and “autism biomed” tropes, such as a section on mitochondrial disorders, banners asking if autism is vaccine injury, and the like. It’s actually a pretty bare-bones website with lots of bugs, but the intent is clear. AIM is antivaccine to the core, and we already know that Lisa Goes is antivaccine, given that she has been a regular at the (Not-So) Thinking Moms’ Revolution. Indeed, in this very post, Lisa Goes unwittingly portrayed Jeanna Reed as ranting and haranguing Alex’s doctors with pleas to read quack studies and claims that “many of these children present with bowel disease and mitochondrial dysfunction. He could have GERD, duodenitis, esophagitis, ulcers in the small intestines, colitis. How can we know if we don’t test?” This was pure autism biomed rhetoric, leavened with the arrogance of ignorance. When one of the doctors referred to autism as a “mystery,” Goes totally lost it, yelling, “No! No! It’s not. It’s a medical illness that causes bad behavior. All you have to do IS READ*!”
    ——
    Arthur Krigsman
    http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2013/12/849-arthur-krigsman.html

    ——-
    Allison Edwards
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/07/and-now-the-unv.html

    That was an awful thing to see today, such a throng of autism, in one hall in one school in Shropshire. Young boys who should be able to do the simplest tasks but can’t, should be playing football with their mates, going off camping, bursting out of school ready to climb trees and soak up the summer fun but instead are being led out by the hand or hands to their buses by carers. An utter waste of beautiful children.

    I want the f^^king bastard who damaged them, held to account. Please help me to do this.

    Alli Edwards (one very angry mum) is with http://www.cryshame.org in the UK.
    (cry shame website is down, you can find more of Edwards’s writings at AoA)
    ——

  26. #26 ann
    April 8, 2014

    Or…

    Another possible explanation could be that she’s been soliciting funds from other institutional donors without mentioning the anti-vax-itude, and wishes to preserve the front.

    That might be interesting.

  27. #27 LIz Ditz
    April 8, 2014

    Hi Colin, I have a comment in moderation (too many links) on why going to the Gut Panel would be a good thing.

  28. #28 Colin
    violentmetaphors.com
    April 8, 2014

    Thanks, I was wondering about that due to the Wakefield thing. I think he lives around here, and I assume there are decent odds he’ll show up.

  29. #29 Colin
    April 8, 2014

    Actually, I see that Orac (and the Panelists page) list Wakefield as a panelist, but he’s not actually listed on the schedule under any specific panel. Maybe he’ll just give some opening remarks, or attend the afterparty?

  30. #30 Denice Walter
    April 8, 2014

    @ Colin:

    Follow Orac’s links about some of the people listed above.

    Also:
    yours truly has been following some of the lesser knowns-

    Kim Stagliano is an advocate mother with literary aspirations ( see AoA sidebar listing her books) and appears to be a personification of histrionics. Her work shrieks at AoA where she is managing editor.

    Lisa Goes writes for both AoA and TMR and was involved in the sad tale of the late Alex for whom she was an advocate. She bills herself as the ‘Rev ‘and she preaches @ TMR ( see link above from Orac about “Winning”, her recent post)

    Thalia Michelle ( Seggelink) is, to me, one of the least objectionable of the TMs ( “Tex”)- she seems friendly and pleasant- BUT she also believes in their *raison d’etre*- anti-vax. She does video interviews @ TMR.

    Curt Linderman: ( “Linderman Unleashed”) does a loud, Alex Jones wanna-be internet radio show featured @ Natural News. He has interviewd various TMs, Mark Blaxill and Jake Crosby.

    The women had all been participants at AutismOne but I haven’t seen their names listed there as of yet for 2014. Perhaps they’ve shifted over to this venue.

    Fortunately, their work is preserved for posterity and archived at the various sites I’ve mentioned. Fortunately for them, NOT at all wonderful for us who survey them from the outside with a gram or two of salt. Vodka might help that.

  31. #31 Colin
    April 8, 2014

    Thanks Denice! Orac’s links are very helpful, but your comments on some of the lesser-known figures are exactly what I was looking for. I really appreciate your help.

  32. #32 Politicalguineapig
    April 8, 2014

    Yeah, the gut thing isn’t a real medical issue. Also, if there are any panels on gluten or sugar-those get weird fast, so you might consider checking those out.

  33. #33 Colin
    April 8, 2014

    No specific panels, but presumably they’d fit into Gut Issues and Living Healthy.

  34. #34 Denice Walter
    April 8, 2014

    @ Colin:

    Any time.

    I must confess that I am slightly holding my tongue. I find some of these advocates to be misguided, self-absorbed, nasty horrid creatures whose strident views about vaccination and efforts to scare young mothers away from medical advice hover precariously close to the edge of legality; they lure frightened mothers into dangerous positions and if any child contracted a VPD and became very ill or disabled _nothing at all_ would be attributed to their vile tutoring because mothers are adults with choices.

    TMR and its denizens are a topic for you to look into:
    Orac has quite a few posts about their most egregious proselytising and self-aggrandising style.

  35. #35 lilady
    April 8, 2014

    Still one of the best articles about the epicenter (Austin Texas), of autism quackery, Colin:

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

  36. #36 squirrelelite
    April 9, 2014

    Just FYI, this popped up on my Google+ feed:

    http://neurosciencenews.com/brain-development-autism-lipid-levels-938/

    In a groundbreaking York University study, researchers have found that abnormal levels of lipid molecules in the brain can affect the interaction between two key neural pathways in early prenatal brain development, which can trigger autism. And, environmental causes such as exposure to chemicals in some cosmetics and common over-the-counter medication can affect the levels of these lipids, according to the researchers.

    “We have found that the abnormal level of a lipid molecule called Prostaglandin E2 in the brain can affect the function of Wnt proteins. It is important because this can change the course of early embryonic development,” explains Professor Dorota Crawford in the Faculty of Health and a member of the York Autism Alliance Research Group.

    Although the research points to something affecting neural development in the fetus, Crawford is still focused on some sort of environmental factor:

    “The statistics are alarming. It’s 30 per cent higher than the previous estimate of 1 in 88 children, up from only two years earlier. Perhaps we can no longer attribute this rise in autism incidence to better diagnostic tools or awareness of autism,” notes Crawford. “It’s even more apparent from the recent literature that the environment might have a greater impact on vulnerable genes, particularly in pregnancy. Our study provides some molecular evidence that the environment likely disrupts certain events occurring in early brain development and contributes to autism.”

    So, the pregnant mother wearing too much eye makeup somehow messes up the neural development of the fetus but male fetuses are more vulnerable to their mothers wearing too much eye shadow ?!?!?!?

    Or what?

    Anyway, the full paper might be worth a look.

  37. #37 herr doktor bimler
    April 9, 2014

    Although the research points to something affecting neural development in the fetus
    Not even that — the research is all in vitro
    There’s no connection to autism, or to any other developmental aberration, or to environmental toxins, except that the student is scouting for grants.

  38. #38 zackoz
    April 9, 2014
  39. #39 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 9, 2014

    The kid weighs in – http://www.autisminvestigated.com

    His conclusion:

    Whatever the reasons, NAA is now in full retreat as pharma advances.

    Like that would be a bad thing.

  40. #40 Jeff1971
    April 9, 2014

    So we are to understand now that “pharma” means thousands upon thousands of citizens? Fascinating.

  41. #41 Dangerous Bacon
    April 9, 2014

    “Actually, I see that Orac (and the Panelists page) list Wakefield as a panelist, but he’s not actually listed on the schedule under any specific panel. Maybe he’ll just give some opening remarks, or attend the afterparty?”

    He’ll be available for hugs and selfies.

  42. #42 Rebecca Fisher
    April 9, 2014

    He’ll be available for hugs and selfies.

    And donations to the “Andrew Wakefield is Fucking Great Fund” (Patron: Andrew J Wakefield) will obviously be welcome.

    Actually, the thoughts of hugs and selfies with Mr Fraudytrousers is making me feel decidedly queasy.

  43. #43 sullivanthepoop
    April 9, 2014

    Squirrel, I actually like the idea of the mechanism minus the causes. Not only was the evolution of the Wnt gene family extremely important, but disruption of Wnt protein activity is thought to be important in variations during embryogenesis. I have often wondered about autism and evolution.

  44. #44 Adam
    April 9, 2014

    It’s funny how Wakefield became so idolized by the antivax movement when he in fact wanted kids to have MORE vaccines. Specifically the measles vaccine that he held a patent on and stood to profit from if MMR were suddenly hit with a health scare. A health scare coincidentally like the one he caused.

  45. #45 lilady
    April 9, 2014

    Thanks to a post on “the kid’s” blog we have the statement submitted by the NAA at the IACC Meeting:

    http://nationalautismassociation.org/naa-statement-for-april-8th-iacc-meeting/

    “….They often suffer from debilitating comorbid medical conditions that continue to go unacknowledged and untreated due to the blatant failure of our federal agencies to direct research funding toward effective treatment….”

    “….Although other countries share similar prevalence numbers, the autism surge in the United States is still sugarcoated as an illusion of diagnostic criteria changes, along with better overall awareness and diagnosis. As a community focused on the more severe effects of autism, we know these explanations to be invalid. The majority of new autism cases are the result of a very real rise in autism. Resting on unproven explanations only stalls progress for our entire community….”

    Take a look at the “Honorary Board Members”, including Deidre Imus and Mrs. Bono and her devotion to “biomedical treatments”.

  46. #46 Rebecca Fisher
    April 9, 2014

    It seems Wakefield’s supporters are getting somewhat lazy. The Andrew Wakefield Justice Fund (proprietor Ed Aranga) website has vanished, and the Academic Integrity Fund (As discussed here: http://jabsloonies.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/wakefield-still-wanking-for-coins.html ) website appears to be completely FUBAR.

  47. #47 squirrelelite
    April 9, 2014

    Thanks for the information, Herr Doktor Bimler and sullivan.

    I missed the bit about in vitro.

  48. #48 Jeff1971
    April 9, 2014

    “At the National Autism Association, we represent individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) at highest risk of injury or death.”

    Says who?

  49. #49 Jubilee
    April 9, 2014

    I really hate to see people abuse the word “bullying” so much. Although I guess since corporations are people now, it’s inevitable that even the mildest protest or boycott can be criticized as “bullying.”

    That summit sounds excreable. And as someone with an MFA, I find it truly bizarre it’s being listed as if it’s a meaningful credential here. And with all those MFAs and “editors” around, you’d think there’d be fewer typos and grammatical errors on their pages.

    But maybe it’s the fact that I have a “mysterious mental illness” that makes me so prickly, since the implication certainly seems to be that is inferior.

  50. #50 oldmanjenkins
    April 9, 2014

    “It was bullying.” It wasn’t bullying unless bullying is defined as standing up for scientific principles and the health and safety of our society. If that is “bullying” then let the “bullying” continue.

  51. #51 Dangerous Bacon
    April 9, 2014

    ” as someone with an MFA, I find it truly bizarre it’s being listed as if it’s a meaningful credential here.”

    That’s a standard woo tactic. Always list advanced degrees, no matter how little (or nothing) they have to do with expertise in a given area. It’s not even important if a real university awarded them.

    Ralph Moss has a PhD in the classics, so he is “Dr. Moss” when pushing woo. Right now, NaturalNews is promoting an antivax “doctor” who’s supposedly an analytical chemist. He doesn’t have to have training in immunology or infectious disease because he’s “Doctor” Woo.

    DB (who not only has an M.D. which enables him to render expert advice on every area of medicine, but also has a Masters degree in Science).

  52. #52 Chris,
    April 9, 2014

    DB: “Ralph Moss has a PhD in the classics, so he is “Dr. Moss” when pushing woo.”

    Barbara Loe Fisher’s co-author on Shot in the Dark was often referred to as “Dr. Coulton.” His PhD was in Russian and Russian political science, his day job was as a UN translator.

  53. #53 Chris,
    April 9, 2014

    Obviously I am having a brain fart: ” “Dr. Coulter.”

    His obituary:
    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=harris-l-coulter&pid=135222393

  54. #54 Roadstergal
    April 9, 2014

    I really hate to see people abuse the word “bullying” so much.

    Yes, when actual bullying is rather an important issue, using it to describe ‘disagreeing and showing the evidence’ is galling.

  55. #55 Chris Hickie
    April 9, 2014

    I earned my “bully badge” today–http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/health&id=9495648#comment-1326541886.

    Not that it was bullying–just another anonymous AVer who had nothing left to fall back on.

  56. #56 Politicalguineapig
    April 9, 2014

    Roadstergal: Yes, when actual bullying is rather an important issue, using it to describe ‘disagreeing and showing the evidence’ is galling.

    Especially when you know these people were the popular kids throughout their school years.

  57. #57 ann
    April 9, 2014

    I really hate to see people abuse the word “bullying” so much. Although I guess since corporations are people now, it’s inevitable that even the mildest protest or boycott can be criticized as “bullying.”

    Mild correction of a factually inaccurate statement is now sometimes called bullying. Mild disagreement, too.

    It seems to be a paranoid-libertarian-type thing. They feel bullied by reality.

  58. #58 Andy
    April 9, 2014

    “Fournier said that NAA is not anti-vaccination, and that she and her co-workers have vaccinated their children. “

    The fact someone’s children are vaccinated is not an indication the parents aren’t anti-vax. Indeed, it is the very thing many anti-vaxxers claim caused them to become anti-vax in the first place – when they decided their children were broken and something had to be blamed.

  59. #59 Rebecca Fisher
    April 10, 2014
  60. #60 Chris Hickie
    April 10, 2014

    Thanks for that link Rebecca. Are you in the Phx area (like ASU)? I just moved up here and the LBRB article about the Autism Society of Phoenix and it’s leader is bringing a lot of what I’ve seen since moving into focus.

  61. #61 Lawrence
    April 10, 2014

    Ms. Fournier responded to the “Boy Reporter” and he really isn’t happy with her response……

  62. #62 Rebecca Fisher
    April 10, 2014

    @Chris: Sadly not – I’m in London. A fact that Ed Arranga decided to seize upon. (Isn’t Arranga originally from this side of the pond?)

    http://jabsloonies.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/ed-arranga-cements-his-dickhead-tag.html

  63. #63 Denice Walter
    April 10, 2014

    Oh, I’ve been called worse than bully**

    At any rate, Lawrence, I find his writing fascinating. He has such an idiosyncratic view of how the world works and of how people interact with each other- it’s quite extraordinarily rigid. Although I sometimes have problems deciphering what he’s talking about, his tone is unmistakable:
    it’s righteous indignation, in a snit and a huff, as he speaks as if *ex cathedra*. He *knows* better than anyone.

    I’ve hardly ever encountered such adamance in face-to-face conversations but I have heard and read similar material in political tracts, sermons and lectures given by woo-meisters.

    He’s relatively young and his family is loaded down with excess money, so you’d think that someone with half a brain who deals with him on a regular basis would beseech him to get help- but who?- his mother is bent along similar lines; he’s probably involved with others ( anti-vaxxers) who think simillarly and concerned, reality-based professors and fellow students probably know that speaking to him would be to no avail and might create additional problems- and they have to interact with him in the future.

    As you know, I don’t diagnose anyone but merely describe how they speak and write and my own reaction to it.

    ** courtesy of Jake and Jay.

  64. #64 Lawrence
    April 10, 2014

    @Denise – he is definitely a “True-Believer,” as such the world will always be Black and White to him (which is why he’s surrounded himself with the likes of John Best and that White Rose) which means that any deviation from the “Path” will be seen by him as a betrayal of his core ideals.

    There is no way to possibly deal with an individual like that on any professional level – he will never be able to get real employment (and burning his bridges at AoA will probably hamper his ability to even get work with an anti-vax group, given his track record), which means that he will be left with his blog….sad really, but something we all predicted would happen years ago.

  65. #65 Denice Walter
    April 10, 2014

    @ Lawrence:

    Notice that I describe similar writing coming from political loons, religious scolds and all-knowing, grandiose woo-meisters but I wouldn’t expect him to fare very well in any of these career choices because in order to be successful he’d need to know how to sidle up to listeners ( readers/ customers) and get them to believe that he understands their problems, that he has been in dire straits himself and that he’ll assist them in their upcoming journey towards the Light.

    Jake doesn’t have any of those skills and it’s most likely too late for him to develop them- not things that you can learn overnight.

    @ Rebecca FIsher:

    ” shrivelled knob” -Ha ha.
    “E coli”- Ha ha ha!

  66. #66 lilady
    April 10, 2014

    We now know who isn’t going to show up at the “Give Autism A Chance Summit”, in his hometown.

  67. #67 Chris Hickie
    April 10, 2014

    @ Rebecca–your namesake is an associate professor at ASU here who studies tail regeneration in anoles (lizards). But you are the Rebecca Fisher who spoke up about Wakefield coming to Phoenix, correct?

  68. #68 SteveJ
    April 10, 2014

    @Andy #58

    “Fournier said that NAA is not anti-vaccination, and that she and her co-workers have vaccinated their children. “

    The fact someone’s children are vaccinated is not an indication the parents aren’t anti-vax.

    I’m not anti-vaccination. Some of my best friends are vaccines.

  69. #69 Denice Walter
    April 10, 2014

    Hilariously, right now (@ PRN.com) the idiot host is advising his thralls to MOVE to Austin because it is so progressive ( woo- friendly?). There’s a great demand for organic produce- you could set up a sprouting farm in your apartment! You could providehealth services, set up a business! There is not all of the red tape rigamarole you’ll find in _liberal_ places.

    So Andy, Mikey, Alex Jones, Krigsman, Jake and….

  70. #70 lilady
    April 10, 2014

    @ Chris Hickie: Our Rebecca (Becky) Fisher’s activities regarding Wakefield’s trip to Phoenix, covered here.

    WARNING: Put down hot liquids before opening the link. :-)

    http://jabsloonies.blogspot.com/2010/07/teri-arranga-is-liar.html

    (

  71. #71 Rebecca Fisher
    April 11, 2014

    Hi Chris – yes, that’s me. I tend to send a couple of polite emails to venues whenever I know Mr Fraudytrousers is making an appearance.

  72. #72 Rebecca Fisher
    April 11, 2014

    I don’t know anything about lizards.

  73. #73 Lawrence
    April 11, 2014

    @Rebecca – unfortunately, most venues aren’t really concerned about the content of the Presenters they rent space to – given the number of MLM or Motivational Speakers that routinely hock their wares in places like that.

  74. #74 Rebecca Fisher
    That London
    April 11, 2014

    @Lawrence – Agreed. However, private spaces are far more amenable. I pointed out to a TV production company that a Wakefield event was going on in one of its studios, and they cancelled it on the day. It had been a private booking and they had no knowledge of the nature of the event.

    I think it’s worth emailing venues – in the same way that a friend of mine sends polite emails to venues hosting British National Party events. Sometimes they cancel, sometimes they value the cash over morals and ethics. Often they don’t realise the nature of the booking, but ultimately it’s their choice.

  75. #75 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 12, 2014

    The kid has a new post on the topic. He’s complaining that people send postings down the ‘memory hole’. I’m sure he thinks *all* site admins that do this are scum.

    You know it’s good because it moved John Best to comment.

  76. #76 lilady
    April 12, 2014

    Johnny: I saw that post of Jake’s and his comments about Ginger Taylor….pot meets kettle…and hilarity ensues.

    I’ve been busy over at this blog, where some of our “favorite” cranks, including Dr. Toni Bark have posted. I’m kinda lonely there. :-)

    http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/04/measles-outbreak-traced-fully-vaccinated-patient-first-time

  77. #77 Narad
    April 12, 2014

    I’ve been busy over at this blog, where some of our “favorite” cranks, including Dr. Toni Bark have posted.

    Here’s a leg-up if you need it.

  78. #78 lilady
    April 12, 2014

    Thanks Narad. I won’t need the leg up, yet. Toni Bark is getting nasty and calling Dorit Reiss a bot. Schoolyard taunts are all she’s got.

  79. #79 Narad
    April 12, 2014

    Toni Bark is getting nasty and calling Dorit Reiss a bot.

    Yeah, that one seems to be spreading like the clap at a Burning Man festival. You could always ridicule her for having this PubMed Commons remark, her only one, deleted:

    “To limit adverse events to those seen in vaccine trials is criminal. For anyone who examines these trials closely, we know placebos are often other vaccines which have never been tried against placebos for their own adverse events, are neurotioxins and stimulators of autoimmunity as in Aso4. Drug trials often employ tricks like ‘wash out periods’ and so on. It is in the manufacturers best interest to ensure the most adverse events in the placebo group in order to minimize accountability for their product. Are we really willing to blindly trust the industry when they have shown time and time again to be guilty of corruption and criminal behaviors?”

  80. #80 lilady
    April 12, 2014

    I got a few good replies posted at Toni Bark. Pavlovic is yelling at me “shill,shill,shill” and a few people have linked to Suzanne Humphries. Pathetic.

  81. #81 Narad
    April 12, 2014

    Pavlovic is yelling at me “shill,shill,shill”

    Wanna bet whether he’s also resorted to commenting under his son’s name?

  82. #82 lilady
    April 12, 2014

    (Because) there were so many claims on behalf of autistic children who had the same surname Pavlovic in the Vaccine Court, it was difficult to locate the claim that was tossed due to lack of plausibility and lack of evidence. :-)

  83. #83 Dangerous Bacon
    April 13, 2014

    Here’s a good example of how to spoil an otherwise good vaccination article – by making an attempt at false “balance”.

    The Columbus (OH) Dispatch, following up on the current mumps outbreak in central Ohio, looks at the issue of vaccine refusal/delay. Towards the end of the article it quotes Barbara Loe Fisher of NVIC, identified only as a “non profit” organization in Virginia (nowhere is it mentioned that NVIC is a rabid antivax group).

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/04/13/skipping-vaccines-creates-risk.html

  84. #84 Kathryn
    April 14, 2014

    Jeff @48 said:

    “At the National Autism Association, we represent individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) at highest risk of injury or death.”

    Says who?

    Well, every March there is a vigil for disabled people (particularly Autistics) murdered by their caregivers. Every time the media reports on one of those murders, the comments (and often the article) express sympathy for the parents and say that the victim’s life wasn’t worth living.

    https://autisticadvocacy.org/2014/02/day-of-mourning-2014-2/

    I think I know why someone would consider the life of a “severely” autistic person at risk…

  85. #85 Matt Carey
    April 16, 2014

    Barry Segal says that NAA board member Katie Wright is

    Katie Wright is not only an advocate against vaccines but is also the mother of a vaccine injured child

    http://focusautisminc.org/bob-wright-of-autism-speaks-should-know-better/

  86. #86 brian
    April 16, 2014

    @Matt Carey
    I wonder how Barry Segal can deal with the evidence that autism begins with aberrant brain development early in gestation. I suppose it must be by sticking his fingers in his ears while chanting “la la la!” because, of course, it’s always the vaccines.

  87. #87 Colin
    April 17, 2014

    As promised, I attended and wrote up my experience in a short piece: http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/04/16/marketforfear/

  88. #88 Denice Walter
    April 17, 2014

    @ Colin:

    Excellent job!

    I’ve noticed that parent advocates may aim at creating a career based on their experiences- witness the blogs, book deals, internet radio shows, speaking engagements etc.- in which mothers ( mostly) from AoA and TMR present themselves as advisors and instructors. I’ve always thought of it as ‘secondary gain’- using a bad situation to personal advantage.

    There’s another aspect to this: like many alt med advocates, they capitalise off of others’ fears about illness and mistrust of the medical profession in order to sell themselves, products or both. So they bill themselves as ‘autism parent’ rather than “nutritionist’ or ‘life coach’.

    They already have role models in the snake oil salesmen ( and it is mostly men) who manipulate followers for cash. How really different are these martyred parents from Mike Adams? No appropriate education, pontification on topics beyond their ken and adulation by the desperate.
    Alright, they earn much less.

  89. #89 lilady
    April 17, 2014

    Colin, that’s an excellent job of reporting. I especially like the most recent comment. :-)

  90. #90 Colin
    April 17, 2014

    Well, it’s not the most recent anymore! But thanks for the substantive information, I really appreciate the data.

  91. #91 lilady
    April 17, 2014

    Colin: It would be nice if someone (an ex-pat Brit), had published a very thorough article about the epicenter of autism quackery…Austin Texas.

    Oh wait.

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

  92. #92 Colin
    April 17, 2014

    It’s a very good article indeed–I cite it in my post.

  93. #93 Denice Walter
    April 17, 2014

    Austin is fast becoming the central locus of altie-ville:
    Mike Adams resides there as does his BFF Alex Jones; Jake is a student there with family domiciled as well.

    AND I believe there’ll soon be an announcement about a major alt med money making scheme nearby. It should involve multi-dimensional claptrap focusing on anti-aging protocols, organic farming, homesteading, vegan gourment cooking and artsy busy-ness.
    Probably in June.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  94. #94 Denice Walter
    April 17, 2014

    That would be GOURMET.

  95. #95 Colin
    April 17, 2014

    Yup, we live in Austin and I listen to Jones frequently. Interestingly enough his station in town, 90.1, appears to be a pirate signal.

  96. #96 lilady
    April 21, 2014

    Curt Linderman showed up on Colin’s blog to defend Wakefield, Krigsman and the speakers at the Conference. He’s also got some “interesting” comments about his child’s ASD diagnosis and how he “recovered” his autistic child:

    http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/04/16/marketforfear/comment-page-1/#comment-25294

    Linderman will be ranting about Colin today on his radio show:

    http://www.lindermanunleashed.com/

    “April 21, 2014 Attacking the True Pseudo Science Morons

    “Today on Linderman Unleashed I attack a moron blogger who apparently came to the Give Autism a Chance Summit in Austin Texas. “Colin” is a real idiot that just can’t grasp real science and seems to delightfully revel in his religiosity of pseudo science. I also take on a conservative website that attacks Jenny McCarthy and basically gets it wrong from the very beginning. When an article is based on a lie, when the very premise of the article is downright wrong, nothing good comes from it. Hypocrisy must be attacked from all sides and this “conservative journalist” is equally wrong in his religious fervor. Calling it “science” doesn’t make it right and attacking parents of vaccine injured children makes you a target for the Linderman Attack Dog which I will be unleashing on a regular basis. Join me at 2 Pm EST at Natural News Radio.com and check out the conversation on our FB pageHERE”

  97. #97 Shay
    April 21, 2014

    Someone should remind Linderman that they shot Old Yeller.

  98. #98 Colin
    April 21, 2014

    God has granted me Voltaire’s prayer.

  99. #99 novalox
    April 21, 2014

    @Colin

    Oh yes, I’ve shown some nurses and doctors some of curt’s posts at the hospital that I volunteer at. Everyone has said that he is an utter loony and would not take him seriously, much less health matters.

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