The return of J. B. Handley

Bleach-enema-autism-cure

He’s ba-ack.

Remember J. B. Handley? He and his wife were the founders of the antivaccine crank group Generation Rescue (GR) back in the day. When I first started blogging, GR was new and shiny, with JB and his wife showing up all over the media blaming autism on mercury. In fact, I think it’s worth reminding my readers, for the benefit of newbies (and in this case, newbies could be anyone who hasn’t been reading at least five years) just what GR used to say about autism:

Generation Rescue believes that childhood neurological disorders such as autism, Asperger’s, ADHD/ADD, speech delay, sensory integration disorder, and many other developmental delays are all misdiagnoses for mercury poisoning.

When you know cause, you can focus on cure.Thousands of parents are curing their children by removing the mercury from their children’s bodies. We want you, the parent, to know the truth.


Of course, that was a long time ago. The makeover that made GR more—shall we say?—flexible about autism causation, such that it now says that autism is caused by “an overload of heavy metals, live viruses, and bacteria.” And, of course, vaccines. Toujours les vaccins. Same as it ever was.

After Jenny McCarthy was recruited to be the public face of GR, JB faded into the background. We didn’t see him much. Oh, sure, he still pops up from time to time to say something incredibly stupid, such as his comparing the original antivaccine quack Andrew Wakefield to “Nelson Mandela and Jesus Christ rolled up into one,” attacking the American Academy of Pediatrics, likening a female reporter’s pro-vaccine article to her having been “roofied” by Dr. Paul Offit (classy, as ever), making silly bets as to the identity of pseudonymous pro-vaccine bloggers, and equating autism to “brain damage.” However, over the last couple of years, Handley’s been mighty quiet. It’s almost as though he’s disappeared from the organization he founded. He hardly shows up on the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, which is tightly associated with GR, any more.

So it was that I almost missed that he’s back, with a post entitled Who’s afraid of autism recovery? It seems to be a post commemorating ten years of Generation Rescue, which is akin to celebrating a decade of resurgent vaccine-preventable disease, but, then, this is GR.

He starts out with a bit of reminiscing about the old days of GR, when it was just a rag tag band of rebels fighting the medical establishment. To hear JB tell it, he was just interested in “recovering” children, but the message of “recovery” through biomedical quackery got lost:

So, the original plan for GR was really a colossal failure and I think understanding why tells us a lot about where we are now.

First off, no matter how hard you try, you can’t talk about recovery from Autism without talking about causation, and then you are officially wrestling with the Vaccine tar baby, which gets everyone dirty, sticky, angry, and confused. That happened to us, almost immediately. We really wanted parents to talk to parents about what was working to recover their children, but every reporter covering GR’s launch wanted to talk about mercury and vaccines. And we obliged. Before we knew it, the message of recovery was buried and the message of vaccine controversy was everywhere.

This is, of course, nonsense. GR was antivaccine from the beginning, because, as I described above, GR was founded based on the idea that mercury from the thimerosal preservative that was until early 2002 present in some childhood vaccines was the cause of what has been called the “autism epidemic” or even worse terms, like the “autism tsunami.” Never mind that the apparent increase in prevalence is mostly due to diagnostic substitution, better screening, and increased awareness.

I remember it well. Back in 2005, I was a freshly minted blogger just starting to make a name for himself, when I encountered the antivaccine movement, in particular the wing of the antivaccine movement known as the mercury militia for its insistence that mercury was The One True Cause of Autism. Leading the mercury militia at the time was JB Handley and GR, using the “intellectual firepower” of David Kirby, who had written Evidence of Harm; Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., all purpose antivaccine crank and author of a conspiracy-laden antivaccine screed, Deadly Immunity, that led to one of my earliest viral posts; and, of course, the father-son mercury militia researchers, Mark and David Geier. Sadly, Robert F. Kennedy is still around, having recently published a new book and managed to get himself and his partner in crime Mark Hyman on The Dr. Oz Show.

Yes, GR was an antivaccine group from the beginning. This whining about the “message” about “recovering” autistics getting lost due to the attention the antivaccine message garnered in the press is an enormous stinking pile of fetid dingo’s kidneys. It’s revisionist history.

Of course, Handley owes me a new keyboard (a new MacBook Pro, actually), as this one’s been fried because I was drinking iced tea while reading this:

The Autism biomed community goes through phases of recovery ideas that work for some children and then get broadly adopted. GF/CF, chelation, IVIG, B12 shots, homeopathy, HBOT, are just a few of the many treatments that have been innovated by members of our community and played a role in recovering children. It’s really a remarkable cycle of innovative and experimental medicine, and it’s the most likely way a solution (cure!) for Autism will be developed.

Innovation. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Experimental medicine? I suppose you could call it that. It is, as I’ve discussed before, unethical experimentation on children involving everything from chelation therapy causing the death, to hyperbaric oxygen chambers, to radical dietary manipulations, to injecting “stem cells” (it’s not actually clear at all that that’s what they are) into the cerebrospinal fluid of autistic children in quack clinics in Costa Rica, and even subjecting autistic children to bleach enemas.

Speaking of bleach enemas:

In the last few years, an entirely new theory has developed about what’s causing the behaviors and symptoms we call Autism: parasites. It’s a novel theory, spearheaded by three very innovative people: Kerri Rivera, Andreas Kalcker, and Jim Humble. (Parents like Robin Goffe have further added to the protocols.) As a ten-year veteran of biomed, I’m skeptical to any and all new ideas, and was extremely skeptical of the claims being made by these revolutionary parents and practitioners.

I hope all parents will take a closer look at the Parasite-Autism theory and see if their child may fit the profile of a child suffering from parasitic infection. What’s most shocking about this new treatment approach are the claims being made by parents. At last count, 163 parents claim their children have recovered from Autism by following Kerri Rivera’s protocol. One hundred and sixty-three kids? I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of kids, particularly for something that’s supposed to be impossible to do! And, as if we need to ask, how many people from the CDC, AAP, or Autism Speaks have looked into the parasite-autism theory or interviewed the parents of the 163 children they claim are recovered? You know the answer.

Regular readers might recall Kerri Rivera. She’s the one who thinks she can bleach autism away with something called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS). What it is, in essence, is an industrial strength bleaching agent, 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water. Before being given to autistic children, it is frequently diluted in acidic juices, such as orange juice, resulting in the formation of chlorine dioxide, which is, as the FDA characterized it, “a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment.” According to its proponents, MMS can cure almost anything: cancer, AIDS, and just about any other serious disease you can imagine. Over the last two and a half years, Rivera has popularized it (if you can call it that) among the autism biomed quackery underground. It’s a treatment that led to one of the greatest retorts of all time to parents subjecting their children to quackery, “Your son sounds adorable. Please stop feeding him bleach.”

Basically, Rivera claims that MMS kills “parasites,” as demonstrated by an anecdote that I like to cite whenever the topic of MMS comes up:

My 14YO son has autism. I’ve been treating him with a parasite cleanse system for 1.5 years (5 days on, 2 days off). He’s made some remarkable improvements, but every time I try to wean him off the cleanse, the parasite symptoms flare up. He is nonverbal and fairly low-functioning, so I don’t get any feedback from him as to how he is feeling. Last week, I started him on 1 drop of MMS then upped the dose to 1 drop, 2x a day this week. After about 4 days at 2 drops/day, he vomited once and had diarrhea all day. I am assuming it is the MMS . I decided to drop down to 1 drop/day again until he gets beyond this. He tends to have loose stools anyway, which I am guessing is related to this ongoing battle with the parasites. His gut tends to be very sensitive to anything I give him, so I have to go very carefully with anything new like the MMS . I am still giving him the other parasite cleanse (Systemic Formulas VRM 1-4). I would love to hear anyone’s ideas or insight into this. I am working with a homeopath who has done extensive research into parasite cleanses, but she has not researched MMS. I’m looking to get my son beyond these parasites once and for all. My homeopath and her colleagues are autism experts and do consults with parents from around the world. They have found that the children with autism who are considered “tough nuts” tend to also be parasite kids. With their compromised immune systems, it is difficult to eradicate parasites.

Not surprisingly, since 2012 Kerri Rivera has been a regular fixture at the yearly autism quackfest known as Autism One, because nothing is too quacky for that quackfest. Just last year, AutismOne advertised a bit of Bleach Enema Karaoke with Kerri Rivera.

You know what I see when I see someone like JB Handley go on about the “innovation” of the autism biomed movement, in which parents flit from quackery to quackery, seemingly willy-nilly? I see desperation. I see parents whose child is not “recovered” or “recovering.” If the child was “recovered,” all this quackery would not longer be deemed necessary by the parents. As despicable a human being as JB Handley is at times, it’s hard for me not to read this and feel a bit sorry for him. Far more than that, though, I feel sorry for his child. I’m also sorry for all the children of the parents who chimed in so proud and eager to tell their MMS stories in the comments of JB’s post, victims of what I consider to be child abuse, all of them.

Comments

  1. #1 Helianthus
    January 14, 2015

    he vomited once and had diarrhea all day. I am assuming it is the MMS .

    A fair assumption. If only these people could follow it logically, like their vaccine = autism assumption…
    I mean, what’s wrong with these people? If the intake of a mainstream treatment is followed by nasty side-effects, most people, including us pharma shills/sheeple, will want to stop taking it and ask their doctor for something else.

    I am still giving him the other parasite cleanse […] I’m looking to get my son beyond these parasites once and for all.

    And now we have spontaneous generation of parasites (I mean, where are they coming from?). Either that, or the cleanse is doing nothing and may as well be abandoned.

    I understand these people are deeply desperate. But still, for people so proud of “using their brain and doing their own research”.

  2. #2 herr doktor bimler
    January 14, 2015

    As a ten-year veteran of biomed, I’m skeptical to any and all new ideas

    It would be interesting to see the list of new ideas that Handley has rejected.

    My homeopath and her colleagues are autism experts
    No signs of intelligent life here, Captain.

  3. #3 Narad
    January 14, 2015

    Emphases added.

    “First off, no matter how hard you try, you can’t talk about recovery from Autism without talking about causation, and then you are officially wrestling with the Vaccine tar baby, which gets everyone dirty, sticky, angry, and confused.

    That thar’s the sort of nonlinear thinking combination that one doesn’t see every day.

  4. #4 Narad
    January 14, 2015

    ^ Oh, rats, I forgot that italics are implicit. “Wrestling” and “which” were the other styles.

  5. #5 herr doktor bimler
    January 14, 2015

    every reporter covering GR’s launch wanted to talk about mercury and vaccines

    That’s your refined, weapons-grade cowardice and evasion of responsibility right there. It was the reporters who came up with this idea of vaccines and mercury causing autism and forced poor Handley to talk about it!

    no matter how hard you try, you can’t talk about recovery from Autism without talking about causation, and then you are officially wrestling with the Vaccine tar baby

    There are a few missing steps in this explanation, like how the Vaccine strawman red herring True Scotsman Tar Baby became so irresistibly attractive as to lure him into its adhesive embrace whenever he tried to speak of etiology. A lot of other people manage to talk about autism etiology without succumbing to its attractions; in fact almost everyone else managed. It is as if Handley was being singled out in some way. It must have been the journalists again.

  6. #6 Rebecca Fisher
    That London
    January 14, 2015

    I’m intrigued as to the nature of these “parasites” that MMR is supposed to flush out. Do any of these people using the protocol claim to have actually isolated any and examined them? Perhaps sent them off to a lab for analysis? I know if my daughter had “parasites” and they were coming out in her faeces, I’d want to know exactly what they were; what kind of creature (insect? leech? woodlouse? Venusian Lobster-bear?), where they came from, how to stop her from contracting them again…

    Surely someone must have looked..?

  7. #7 Rebecca Fisher
    January 14, 2015

    MMR? MMS, obviously. D’oh.

  8. #8 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    January 14, 2015

    @Rebecca Fisher

    Oh, people using MMS on their kids claim to have found all manner of parasites in their stool. Unfortunately for the kids, these tend to be things like mucosal linings.

  9. #9 Nick K
    Beijing
    January 14, 2015

    The idea that parents can subject their children to bleach enemas horrifies me more can I can say. This is blatant abuse and assault. Why is it not sanctioned by the law?

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    January 14, 2015

    “he vomited once and had diarrhea all day. I am assuming it is the MMS .”

    A true alt med enthusiast would refer to these effects as resulting from “parasite die-off” or “toxins being flushed out of the system”.

  11. #11 MikeMa
    January 14, 2015

    Todd is right. I seem to recall some warrior mom displaying pictures of those linings after dosing her son with bleach.

    BTW, bleach is way less dangerous (in most cases) than chlorine dioxide.

  12. #12 CTGeneGuy
    January 14, 2015

    @Rebecca
    “Surely someone must have looked..?”

    Oh most definitely. And not just someone…. Doctor’s Data! A leader in innovative diagnostics!
    They have a full parasitology panel available for any GI symptoms or ASD, ADHD, and numerous other conditions, according to their brochures.

    I don’t understand the justification for such a huge battery of specific testing if one is just going to use bleach as treatment, but I guess it gives parents the peace of mind knowing their kid’s ADHD is caused by a super exotic intestinal pathogen.

  13. #13 Rebecca Fisher
    That London
    January 14, 2015

    Oh, I’ve seen the pictures of “ropeworms”, but have any of them actually tried to keep one alive and investigate it?

    Or are there any results from Doctor’s Data available?

  14. #14 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 14, 2015

    Oh, I’ve seen the pictures of “ropeworms”, but have any of them actually tried to keep one alive and investigate it?

    Or are there any results from Doctor’s Data available?

    Nope, none. Some of the parents will “self-diagnose” it’s a worm but not a single one has ever sent it to a parasitologist. Vile shitwits.

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    January 14, 2015

    Right.
    TMR ( see blogs by author, “Poppy”, June 2012) presented ‘Bugs, Moon Cycles and Lunacy’ wherein our heroine** explains how it all works:
    parasites are most active during the full moon – which is revealed to observers as deterioration of functioning- because they are laying eggs and then “kick up toxic stench that makes its way to the brain”. The fine organic foods and supplements parents push on their children are like unto ambrosia for these creatures which are turned into ‘superbugs’. AND as we all know, there’s only one way to deal with superbugs.

    ** guess how she had her ‘nym

  16. #16 Helianthus
    January 14, 2015

    ropeworms

    There was an article on SBM in 2014 by Harriet Hall on the topic, with pictures. She was not exactly convinced, and a lot of readers were certainly grossed out.

    @ CTGeneGuy

    a super exotic intestinal pathogen.

    Thinking of writing a thesis entitled:
    “From Alien to Goa’uld, the intestinal worm, endless source of modern faerie tales”

  17. #17 Denice Walter
    January 14, 2015

    That should be-
    how she CHOSE her ‘nym

  18. #18 JKW
    Danville, Tri-state area
    January 14, 2015
  19. #19 ruthq
    the couch
    January 14, 2015

    It seems to me that this is a pretty damning admission: “The Autism biomed community goes through phases of recovery ideas that work for some children and then get broadly adopted. GF/CF, chelation, IVIG, B12 shots, homeopathy, HBOT,…”

    It looks like they’ve been through at least 6 “phases” of ideas and are still looking for a cure. Never mind that none of these previous 6 ideas is logically or scientifically consistent with the next one in terms of the supposed mechanism of the “cure” and that they don’t mind promoting all of them at the same time. My last six ideas didn’t work? Well, don’t give up like those “autism acceptance” losers! You’re a fighter! A warrior! Here, buy my next idea. Ka-ching! See you next year with idea # 8!

    And how does a movement that draws in worried parents with safety concerns about vaccines lead them down a path to “experimental medicine” on their children? Where are the studies that show the safety of *these* treatments, alone or in combination?

  20. #20 Politicalguineapig
    January 14, 2015

    Helianthus: “I mean, what’s wrong with these people?”

    Fundamentally, most parents who blames autism on vaccines hates their kid, and wants to come up with a justification for reasons for that child to no longer be alive. There are a few who love their kids, and are kind of feeble-minded and easily lead, but they are few and far between.

  21. #21 Denice Walter
    January 14, 2015

    As an aside:

    I notice that anti-vaxxers have been rather quiet of late and frankly, it makes me suspicious-
    possibly they could have realised that they indeed have very little to say ( which is unlikely going by their past history) or else they’re plotting something
    – TMR is recycling old posts and sponsoring e-conferences ( the next one is on medical marijuana)
    – AoA shills its cohorts’ books and harkens to the past
    – Jake is strangely silent since the comment erasing debacle

    Perhaps they’re waking up? Not likely.

  22. #22 Nate
    January 14, 2015

    Gah, JB Handey. His wife was a year ahead of me in high school. She was the class valedictorian and went to Stanford.

    Darn you, Orac, you’re giving me h.s. trauma flashbacks.

  23. #23 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 14, 2015

    The Autism biomed community goes through phases of recovery ideas that work for some children and then get broadly adopted. GF/CF, chelation, IVIG, B12 shots, homeopathy, HBOT, are just a few of the many treatments that have been innovated by members of our community and played a role in recovering children.

    For no particular reason, I am reminded of http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Skinner/Pigeon/.

  24. #24 Krebiozen
    January 14, 2015

    Rebecca,

    I’m intrigued as to the nature of these “parasites” that MMR is supposed to flush out. Do any of these people using the protocol claim to have actually isolated any and examined them?

    I used to be virtually acquainted with a parasitologist who was driven to distraction by people asking him to look at bits of undigested food they had fished out of their feces that they had convinced themselves were intestinal parasites.

    IIRC correctly he was also the person who told me that the worms that were allegedly washed out of a patient through colonic irrigation turned out to be the sort of worms you can buy from any aquarium supply store to feed tropical fish, and were not human parasites at all.

  25. #25 Eric Lund
    January 14, 2015

    Basically, Rivera claims that MMS kills “parasites”

    Am I overreacting here, or would Rivera’s claims sound better in the original German? To me, at least, there are some Godwin-type overtones in a statement like that, particularly since the topic is an alleged treatment given to autistic children who, especially given what their parents are doing to them, are unlikely to grow up to enjoy anything even vaguely resembling a normal life. Not that the parents (in most cases, anyway; there have been one or two exceptions discussed here) are deliberately trying to kill the kids. The present legal system discourages that sort of thing, and the parents get the social benefit of playing the martyr card. But I wonder what they are really thinking here. “Parasite” does have another meaning.

  26. #26 MikeMa
    January 14, 2015

    MMS will almost certainly kill some/many parasites. It is used to treat water that can collect ‘green stuff’ which clogs pipes & pumps. Industrial cooling towers make good use of ClO2 to prevent the buildup of algae and other living stuff where it can be harmful.
    NOT INTENDED FOR INTERNAL USE! Idiots.

  27. #27 BA
    Prepping to deliver a talk
    January 14, 2015

    @JKW

    That’s so funny I had to work it into a presentation I’m giving in a few hours.

  28. #28 brian
    January 14, 2015

    Here’s an interesting article concerning the industrial bleach used to slough off intestinal mucosa to simulate “parasites”:

    Yes, it may be illegal to sell MMS

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/

  29. #29 justthestats
    January 14, 2015

    @Denice:
    It’s not an easy time to be an antivaxxer. The “CDC Whistleblower” story going over like a lead balloon has to be disheartening, and all the outbreaks of VPDs is putting them on the defensive.

  30. #30 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    January 14, 2015

    This site may also be of interest to folks: nomorebleach.

  31. #31 Sarah
    not in Kansas anymore
    January 14, 2015

    I could hardly handle it after the “roofied by Dr. Offit” part. Someone with that sort of character shouldn’t be given much leeway on anything- geeze.

  32. #32 Denice Walter
    January 14, 2015

    @ justthestats:

    Sure. And Andy isn’t currently suing anyone/ appealing a decision/ re-appealing/ etc .

    Has he finally quit?

  33. #33 BBBlue
    January 14, 2015

    Chlorine dioxide is used in the produce industry as an anti-microbial for food-contact surfaces, water flumes, and the produce itself. Hey, I think I’ve stumbled on a new marketing campaign selling ClO2-treated produce as a cure for autism. Fits right in with homeopathy since no active CLO2 remains on produce after it is washed. Thanks Orac!

  34. #34 Ruth/STL
    St. Louis, MO
    January 14, 2015

    I wonder what has happened to these kids in the 10 years the anti-vaxers have waged their futile war. I had enough science background to reject the Hg-autism stuff, which was popular when my daughter was diagnosed. We toughed it out with education, therapy and humor. She is still autistic, but set to graduate with honors in May. She understands she has language issues, but doesn’t feel “lesser” or “damaged”. How do these kids feel to hear themselves described as empty shells? I hope they can find the self-worth that their parents deny them.

  35. #35 RobRN
    January 14, 2015

    Having studied parasitology at both the undergraduate and graduate level, I love to dive in to the alt med forums where, it seems, EVERYONE has parasites. When I ask if they’ve sent a sample to a lab, it’s the same memes every time – “Labs are incompetent, I KNOW I have parasites” or some such nonsense like “I put a worm I found in my stool right on top of my sample and the lab didn’t see it!” Then they are always saying stuff like “I saw eggs!” when there is no parasite ova visible to the naked eye. And the symptomology attributed to parasite infestation is strikingly similar to what other alt med practitioners say is “Adrenal Fatigue” or “Overgrowth of Candida”. However, a recent full page ad in a Seattle area newspaper placed by a local chiropractor says all these symptoms are from thyroid dysfunction and he has a nutritionist on his staff to help you with all those symptoms.

  36. #36 lilady
    January 14, 2015

    I don’t feel one bit sorry for J.B., who, along with his wife, has subjected his autistic child to abusive autism “treatments”.

    Notice how science teacher/attorney, who already subjected his child to intrathecal stem cell treatments, chimed in to describe his success with treating his autistic child with MMS:

    “JB:

    Thank you for writing this article. I have also been actively working with the parasite protocol with my daughter and have seen significant improvements. My daughter has seizures and has been on the ketogenic diet for more than two years. Prior to the start of the parasite protocol she weighed just 70 pounds at the age of 16 years old. Within a few months she had gained 20 pounds, eating the exact same diet. We still have many issues, but that change is pretty dramatic. Although I think there may be more pieces, this parasite piece seems to be a significant one.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively”

    Kim Stagliano, who is on record as spiking her three autistic daughters breakfast foods and juices with Boyd Haley’s OSR #1 (an industrial mining chemical), is now using MMS to “treat” her daughters’ parasite-induced autism:

    “We have battled pinworms on and off for 15 years. Standard meds, herbs, diet, washing everything in the house….. You name it. Many of our kids have poor bathroom hygiene making it easy to re-ingest eggs. My daughter’s seizure disorder was launched by antibiotics during a parasite outbreak. Her body could not handle the assault to her gut. Brain problems and parasites go hand in hand. We are TOO clean and our microbiome had been decimated. Cleansing treatments have helped us too.

    Posted by: Stagmom”

    Can you all say…

    – Delusional Parasitosis?

    – Munnchausen Syndrome By Proxy?

  37. #37 TBruce
    January 14, 2015

    This site may also be of interest to folks: nomorebleach.

    OMG, that is horrible. Take a look at the photos of “parasites” that the bleach people recovered from their kids. As a surgical pathologist, I can be certain that these are large strips of intestinal mucosa that must have been sloughed off by this stuff. The bleach people should be arrested for child abuse.

  38. #38 CTGeneGuy
    January 14, 2015

    I’ll echo lilady’s above post; and specifically, re: nomorebleach, post 30.

    Thank you, Todd. That is one of the most horrifying things I have ever read.
    Quotes to haunt my dreams, paraphrased: “The school called CPS because of the chlorine fumes coming out of the bottle of my child’s treatment… …but I have to send some to school because he needs 16 treatments a day…” “Dr. Humiston has youtube videos about how he makes his two year old take it…” And all while lying to their spouse/doctor/teachers/CPS about what they are doing to their children.
    IMO, something about forced bleach ingestion crosses some line between the everyday misinformation and institutional mistrust common to, say, vaccine refusal, over to a much deeper, darker psychopathology. Their paranoia in the posts is palpable. It reminds me of a patient I saw while a medical student on a psychiatry clerkship. He would mutilate himself with sharp objects trying to remove insects, spiders, and “sensors” that he thought in his body. One difference, I suppose, is that these parents have enough insight to know they need to lie and be discreet.
    Delusional parasitosis, indeed.

  39. #39 Ren
    January 14, 2015

    What’s the over/under on JB Handley show up here in the comments and launching some accusations before retreating and not answering any requests for evidence?

  40. #40 KayMarie
    January 14, 2015

    “I used to be virtually acquainted with a parasitologist who was driven to distraction by people asking him to look at bits of undigested food they had fished out of their feces that they had convinced themselves were intestinal parasites. ”

    Oh gosh, I’d be so tempted to tell them their gizzard isn’t functioning properly and they need to eat a few more rocks.

  41. #41 Lawrence
    January 14, 2015

    Holy Mother of God – these people have completely ceased to be logical or rational human beings….

    They can’t possibly answer questions like:

    So where do these “parasites” come from?

    What are they, exactly?

    Can you tell the difference between a “parasite” and the intestinal lining of your child’s digestive tract?

    This is all so far into the tin-foil hat, Morgellon’s side of the house that I can only imagine what delusions these people must suffer from.

  42. #42 Politicalguineapig
    Land of typos
    January 14, 2015

    Krebozien: Were the aquarium worms added to the sample or did they come straight out of the patient?

    Eric: That’s pretty much my take on it too. You do have to understand that after the diagnosis, most of these parents stopped thinking of their children as human. Most of them also wouldn’t deliberately kill their children, but that doesn’t mean they’d shed any tears if the kids did die.

  43. #43 Matt Carey
    LeftBrainRightBrain.co.uk
    January 14, 2015

    Yes, GR was an antivaccine group from the beginning. This whining about the “message” about “recovering” autistics getting lost due to the attention the antivaccine message garnered in the press is an enormous stinking pile of fetid dingo’s kidneys. It’s revisionist history.

    Where did they put their money? A few hundred thousand into their failed “vax/unvaxed” survey? How exactly did that help clarify that their message was recovery?

    And let’s not forget their full page ads in USA Today and elsewhere. I recall checking at the time the ad rates and they were in the $200k range for nationwide coverage and full page. And GR put out at least 7 ads.

    1) autism is preventable and reversible
    https://web.archive.org/web/20101216052955/http://generationrescue.org/pdf/ads/050524.pdf

    Today, 1 in 166 children is diagnosed with autism. It is critical that we have all the facts about
    this epidemic, including recent developments about autism’s relationship to mercury poisoning and how
    the right detoxification treatment can entirely reverse the disorder.

    2) “Are we over vaccinating our kids”?https://web.archive.org/web/20101216052730/http://generationrescue.org/pdf/ads/070925.pdf

    3) NY Times: “Autism and mercury poisoning: not a coincidence”

    Basically a summary of the bad Medical Hypotheses paper claiming autism looks like mercury poisoning (it doesn’t).

    Plus a nice big full page ad for David Kirby’s book: “Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy”

    yeah, that’s on target. What’s the blurb in that ad?

    Thousands of children are reversing the symptoms of autism by having the mercury removed from their bodies through detoxification under the care of a properly-trained physician.

    4) Green Our Vaccines
    https://web.archive.org/web/20101216052657/http://generationrescue.org/pdf/ads/080212.pdf

    Yeah, that big banner headline “Are we poisoning our kids
    in the name of protecting their health?” was on message for treatment.

    5) “Thank you researchers”
    Apparently the Wayback Machine doesn’t have this one captured.

    November 14, 2005, New York Times
    An Ad thanking researchers and listing the science that has helped us gain a better understanding of what is going on with our kids.

    6) “If you caused a 6,000% increase…”
    Again, no capture by Wayback.

    But here’s the blurb

    April 6, 2006, USA Today
    The ad heard around the world? This ad caused the CDC to hold an emergency press conference. It featured the announcement of a new website, PutChildrenFirst.org that provided an explanation of how the CDC is covering-up the autism epidemic, including many emails captured through FOIA lawsuits.

    More “vaccines are causing autism” stuff.

    7) “Government again concedes vaccines cause autism…”

    All about the Bailey Banks case. https://web.archive.org/web/20101216052750/http://generationrescue.org/pdf/ads/090223.pdf

    We are talking about well over $1M. Likely $2M spent, mostly on promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism.

    So, whose fault is it again that their message somehow, inexplicably, got twisted into being all about vaccines?

  44. #44 Matt Carey
    January 14, 2015

    Lawrence,

    Someone sent me Kerri Riviera’s book. She admits that the “parasites” don’t show up in regular testing.

    She’s basically reworking the chelation marketing strategy. No surprise, she was big on chelation, even subjecting her kid to IV chelation.

    1) use testimonials. Those are extremely compelling. It’s what hooked JB Handley into chelation nearly 10 years ago, for example.

    2) use nonstandard (read: bogus) tests. With chelation it was all about “challenge” testing. Or hair testing. With hair testing if the mercury in your hair was below average, you needed chelation because your body couldn’t excrete mercury. If the levels were higher than average, you had a high amount of mercury in your system and needed chelation. If you excreted mercury in your urine in a “challenge” test (where you were given a chelator drug beforehand), you needed chelation (it’s like saying, “I am going to cut you. If you bleed you are a hemophiliac).

    With MMS/CD/parasite protocol, it’s all about finding things in kid’s poop. Look at them, but don’t get them tested. She says that parasite tests don’t detect these things.

    which brings us to

    3) Do it yourself. Don’t go to the people trained in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

    With faux mercury poisoning, one was never referred to a medical toxicologist. Or almost never. Jeffrey Brent discussed this in his Autism Omnibus testimony. Occasionally he would get an autistic kid who was “mercury toxic”. He’d test the kid and find no such issue.

    With the “parasite protocol” kids are treated by parents and not referred to doctors who specialize in parasites. Their tests just aren’t able to detect the parasites.

    4) it helps if you can get people to spend their own money advertising for you. JB Handley spent a lot of money (I seem to recall him posting somewhere about it being millions) on Generation Rescue, which was essentially free advertising for a whole raft of charlatans.

    Same business model. Apparently, it works on the same people.

  45. #45 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    January 14, 2015

    @PGP

    Please stop with the “they hate their kids” bit. Most of the parents in the quackosphere probably think that they are doing what is best for their children. They are horribly misguided. They are not accepting of their lot. They are angry. They want something else to blame. But I would wager good money that they care for their children and want what is best for them.

    That they are blind to the harm they are inflicting does not mean they hate their kids. There may be some who do, but they are more than likely a very small minority.

  46. #46 Denice Walter
    January 14, 2015

    I just had a few awful thoughts about what those who believe that their children are infested might do as an alternative to MMS:

    – traditional medicine from all corners of the globe includes herbal remedies for intestinal parasites**

    -there are also pet meds.

    G-d! I hope I’m not giving anyone ideas!

    ** see Michael Tierra’s ‘The Way of Herbs’ altho’ it’s not indexed as such, individual entries are listed for their antihelmintic or antiparasitic qualities.

  47. #47 KayMarie
    January 14, 2015

    If I can pile on with Todd W.

    I dunno what sub-grouping of parents of autistic kids you hang with, but the vast majority are not doing the most harmful woo they can find. Most eschew the woo and are loving parents who not just want but actively seek the actual best things for their kids so they can be as healthy and independent as possible by maximizing their potential.

    I do think most of the parents that dive into the woo do still love their kids and think they are doing the best thing for them. Some are misguided, and unfortunately some of these parents will be sociopaths or have other issues that make them unable to really understand the harms or the risks of what they are doing to their kids.

    I don’t see how a diagnosis of the child will turn every last parent (or a significant number) into a raging psychopath, and then what is the excuse for all the normal healthy kids that are getting abused even worse. I mean those parents manage to do horrible things to perfectly healthy kids who would thrive if only in reasonably normal household.

  48. #48 Lawrence
    January 14, 2015

    @Matt – my thoughts exactly, that they would never go to see an actual “parasite” expert because these are “special autism parasites” – and don’t appear on any real tests.

    Of course, a rational person would then ask, well why don’t they?

    Instead, the loonies just fall for it, hook line and sinker.

  49. #49 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    January 14, 2015

    lilady, quoting stagmom:

    We are TOO clean and our microbiome had been decimated. Cleansing treatments have helped us too.

    Owwww. That gave me whiplash.

  50. #50 Charlotte
    January 14, 2015

    On the silence of the anti vaxxers: maybe we can be a smidge optimistic. They have been getting a fair bit of mainstream recognition recently, but to a great extent the sheeple, on ‘waking up’, have been telling them to fuck off. Which is probably not quite what they were hoping. Maybe this is in part due to the rise of pro-science groups with popular appeal such as the ‘Science Babe’ group which is drawing intelligent people who are horrified by the anti-vax movement. They’ve proved that they are just as good at rallying and spraying ammunition at online discussions as the anti-vaxxers. (Oh, and they construct better arguments and have better spelling).

  51. #51 Politicalguineapig
    January 14, 2015

    Kaymarie: “I dunno what sub-grouping of parents of autistic kids you hang with, but the vast majority are not doing the most harmful woo they can find. Most eschew the woo and are loving parents who not just want but actively seek the actual best things for their kids so they can be as healthy and independent as possible by maximizing their potential.”

    That’s as may be. Most of what I read on the web suggests that the best thing is to be 5,000 miles away from a parent of an autistic kid. Especially if you have a learning disability, depression or some other ailment that doesn’t readily respond to Western medicine.
    The kids themselves tend to be smarter and nicer than their parents. (Except for Autismum, Sciencemum, CallieArcale and the ladies behind Squidalicious and Emma’s Hope Book who are all amazing people raising amazing kids.) Sadly, Age of Autism and TMR represent the majority.

    Todd W: “But I would wager good money that they care for their children and want what is best for them.”

    You are an optimist. I haven’t seen much evidence that they care about their kids. As I said, a few may be misguided, but I believe most of them know that what they are doing is wrong or questionable, and they don’t care.

  52. #52 Kiiri
    January 14, 2015

    I hate these posts mostly because of how sad I feel for the children and how angry it makes me at the parents. With therapy and assistance most children now who are diagnosed on the spectrum at an early age are beginning to fall off as they get older. Early intensive therapy to build language and social skills has been proven to work while the child’s brain is still elastic and can adapt more easily. These children can adapt so well that they may not even be diagnosed as autistic later. I think a lot of the hard core woo moms (and dads) are those whose children are severely autistic and unlikely to make significant gains. I have noticed from posts high levels of parents saying their children whom they are treating are non-verbal, have seizure disorders and other medical concerns. I think their desperation is very real. I just wish they wouldn’t fall for this fantasy. No lab can detect these ‘special’ parasites. I mean come on, this harkens back to the good old travelling snake oil salesman and his bottle of ‘cure everything that ails you’. Plus I just don’t see how they can know its bleach, apparently smell how potent it is, see their child vomiting and with diarrhea, and still carry blithely on as if this is somehow normal. And they call people who go to a regular doctor deluded. If I gave my small child medication prescribed by a doctor and he began vomiting and having diarrhea you can bet your sweet cheeks we would be stopping that and finding out why pronto. I feel for their problems but these people need to get a grasp on reality and stop poisoning their children. To the commenters who have discussed child abuse, well I assume most of these people are middle to upper class suburban parents. Good luck getting CPS interested unless the kids are coming to school covered in bruises and maybe not even then. Plus these parents are paranoid (as pointed out above) and they will lie through their teeth while presenting a charming façade to the case worker (provided you even get one interested enough to come out) and it will be dismissed. Most case workers aren’t familiar enough with this stuff to even realize what they are looking at much less figuring out how harmful the solution is.

  53. #53 Matt Carey
    January 14, 2015

    “With therapy and assistance most children now who are diagnosed on the spectrum at an early age are beginning to fall off as they get older”

    Not really. Some fraction has always “lost” their diagnoses. That fraction today seems low. The question is whether “biomed” increases, does nothing, or reduces the number of kids who lose their diagnoses.

    A recent government survey found that about 3% of parents reported that some treatment resulted in their kid losing their autism diagnosis.
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2013/12/27/details-about-the-potentially-recovered-autistic-kids-in-the-national-survey-of-childrens-health/

    Of those, many still had other diagnoses such as anxiety disorder, intellectual disability, seizure disorder, etc.

  54. #54 a-non
    January 14, 2015

    The only thing JB Handley is good at is hiring lawyers, peddling useless remedies and spending other people’s money.

  55. #55 justthestats
    January 14, 2015

    @PGP:
    I’m also raising an amazing autistic kid, who probably is in fact smarter than me. I don’t think my kid is nicer than me yet, but we’re working on that.

  56. #56 brian
    January 14, 2015

    This was an interesting comment in response to Handley’s article at AoA

    By using this treatment you could be open to attacks or reported to child protective services if you are not careful.

    Yep.

  57. #57 Eric Lund
    January 14, 2015

    Sadly, Age of Autism and TMR represent the majority.

    I’ll grant you that they are the most vocal, but that doesn’t mean they are a majority. Your post named several regular commenters here who are most definitely not AoA/TMR parents. I suspect that an even larger number of parents of autistic kids don’t even bring the subject up on the internet. Unless somebody volunteers this information, it’s none of my business that there is an autistic kid in the household.

    As I’ve mentioned previously, there is a young man (early to mid 20s), whom I suspect may be autistic, living in the neighborhood with his parents. I don’t actually know if he is autistic, because his parents have never said so in my presence and it’s not my business to ask. But the parents (who are aging hippie types, the sort you might expect to be vulnerable to woo) have tried to give him a chance at as close to a normal life as he can have. The kid went to college, and has even had a girlfriend or two. There is certainly no evidence that the kid was subjected to chelation therapy, MMS, or any of the other forms of autism quackery Orac has discussed.

    Anecdotal, yes. But I’m not prepared to accept your unsupported assertion that AoA/TMR parents are representative of a majority.

  58. #58 Dangerous Bacon
    January 14, 2015

    Denice: “I just had a few awful thoughts about what those who believe that their children are infested might do as an alternative to MMS…-there are also pet meds.

    G-d! I hope I’m not giving anyone ideas!”

    I have seen people who believe they have Morgellons disease discussing buying animal antibiotics/antiparasitic drugs at farm supply stores. One can imagine deluded parents of an autistic child going the same route, and it apparently would not be difficult for them to buy drugs from an online pharmacy.

    I was just looking at a website of a person who believes he/she has systemic strongyloidiasis and has been taking quantities of antibiotics like Bactrim and the antiparasitic moxidectin (used on dogs, cats, horses and cattle). He/she lists multiple online drugstores where you supposedly don’t need a prescription.

    The Internet has greatly increased the potential for self-harm through medication.

  59. #59 Denice Walter
    January 14, 2015

    @ Kiiri:

    I think that you may have something there:
    that parents whose children have more severe symptoms may be more susceptible to the call of woo.

    Quite a few of our faves @ AoA and TMR may fit that description.

  60. #60 Denice Walter
    January 14, 2015

    @ Dangerous Bacon:

    Exactly. I know that’s easy to get pet antibiotics w/o a script.

    I also looked on-line for (cat) de-worming meds but the sites I viewed did require a prescription. I do recall however seeing something similar in brick-and-mortar shop w/o rx,

    So the kitteh weighs 10-15 lbs and the kid weighs 50. Easy math- even for them.

  61. #61 Denice Walter
    January 14, 2015

    that IT’S easy

  62. #62 Politicalguineapig
    January 14, 2015

    Justthestats: Sorry, didn’t know! I think this is actually the first time you’ve talked about your personal life. So, me culpa, I’d’ve included you for sure, and I think Kiiri too. I don’t have kids myself- terrified of the parent police, and too poor.

    Eric Lund: Does it make a difference who’s actually got more numbers if one side’s louder than the other?

  63. #63 Gemman Aster
    January 14, 2015

    Woah… I was pretty horrified by this chap’s use of ‘Tar Baby’… Maybe its something to do with differences in English and American-English, but in Britain that is a serious racial slur – right up there with the ‘N-Word’. Once you hear someone talking about ‘tar-babies’ you start expecting them next to tell you all about their swastika bedding!!!

  64. #64 Denice Walter
    January 14, 2015

    @ PGP:

    Although you asked Eric, I’ll also respond-

    it DOES make a difference because we can demonstrate – as social scientists or pollsters- what the true numbers/ proportions are and that the virulent anti-vaxxers are a rarity as are other extremist alt med proselytisers.

    Throughout the world, there are many factions who hold extreme, maladaptive beliefs about diverse subjects and their influence is often weakened because of their non-negotiable positions. AoA/ TMR/ Health Choice/ the Canaries are decidedly outside the mainstream and their wild ideas will not ever appeal to a majority of parents. They make themselves appear as though they have more followers than they do in reality- look at facebook figures- can any of them boast truly large numbers ( and you know that they must pad the meager results they have by adding each family member and probably pets as well)? And facebook is probably apropo for their age cohort.

    A popular café or shoe designer could get numbers like that in no time flat,

  65. #65 rk
    January 14, 2015

    You’re not vaccinating your kids, are you? Don’t you know vaccines are full of TOXINS? Here, use this bleach instead.

  66. #66 LouV
    January 15, 2015

    And, as if we need to ask, how many people from the CDC, AAP, or Autism Speaks have looked into the parasite-autism theory or interviewed the parents of the 163 children they claim are recovered? You know the answer.
    … this is basically admitting that no clinical trial was put in place by the MMS proponents themselves before subjecting one hundred and sixty-three kids to this treatment. Waow.

  67. #67 Narad
    January 15, 2015

    Wait, did I forget to mention that the Failosopher’s DVD production seems to be on archive-dot-org?

  68. #68 Brian Deer
    January 15, 2015

    Obviously, these people have been driven into this corner by the failure of their previous claims. The trial lawyers who lurked behind them had given up much hope with mercury almost a decade ago. Then they clung to MMR for a while, but Wakefield took them down the toilet on that.

    So now they move to an argument that is effectively unfalsifiable. One could hardly conceive of any research programme that could show that no combination of heavy metals, viruses and bacteria cause autism. Indeed, there’s every reason to think that some infectious agents do.

    A strategic problem, however, is that there is no obvious enemy: nothing much to inflame the passions of the vulnerable people who need to be recruited to turn a buck for the rich lawyers and people like Wakefield. This was the energy that drove the theories in the past and helped to keep Wakefield et al in the lush style of life to which he believes he’s entitled.

    So the money needs, more than ever, to be suckered from the vulnerable at conferences. The quacks sponge from the vulnerable, GR, the Arrangas et al, sponge from the quacks, Wakefield et al sponge from GR, the Arrangas and the vulnerable rich.

    So, “recovery” is the mantra: exploiting phenomena that have been recognised in developmental disorders probably since the Romans. But, one way or another, a whole bunch of people will be living high on the hog from this strategic repositioning.

  69. #69 Orac
    January 15, 2015

    So now they move to an argument that is effectively unfalsifiable. One could hardly conceive of any research programme that could show that no combination of heavy metals, viruses and bacteria cause autism. Indeed, there’s every reason to think that some infectious agents do.

    Indeed, this is something I pointed out years ago when the studies exonerating mercury in vaccines as a cause of autism started really destroying the hypothesis. I noticed how antivaccine activists immediately pivoted to far less concrete, vague, multifaceted claims, which, as you note, are far more difficult, if not impossible, to falsify.

    One of these is what I like to call the “toxins gambit,” in which autism is blamed on one “toxin” after another in the vaccine. Given that it would be impossible to test each one separately and that antivaccinationists would just then say it’s a “combination” the toxins gambit is essentially non-falsifiable except on basic science (e.g., formaldehyde at the concentrations in vaccines is not harmful and completely overwhelmed by the amount of formaldehyde the body generates on a daily basis through metabolism).

  70. #70 Helianthus
    January 15, 2015

    @ LouV

    no clinical trial was put in place by the MMS proponents themselves before subjecting one hundred and sixty-three kids to this treatment

    that we know of. These 163 kids are the ones touted as “recovered”.
    The actual number of children under bleach abuse is likely to be much higher.

  71. #71 Denice Walter
    January 15, 2015

    Not only do the anti-vaxxers require biologic or chemical agents on which to blame autism but they also need culprits**- human agents who caused or covered-up the crime and were well compensated for their deeds. Obviously their secret deals are unfalsifiable as well.. By continuously pointing out this criminality, the prevaricators distract attention away from their own shady actions and earnings.

    Our alt media contingent behaves in a similar manner.

    ** I can name two of them commenting just above- to whom I tip my hat .

  72. #72 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 15, 2015

    I was pretty horrified by this chap’s use of ‘Tar Baby’… Maybe its something to do with differences in English and American-English, but in Britain that is a serious racial slur – right up there with the ‘N-Word’.

    While J.B. Handley is repulsive and vile in much of his thought and deed, I honestly doubt he had any intention of racial implications with that comment.

    The problem is that even though the folktale from which the very useful metaphor originates exists all over the world in various forms, few people in the intended audience would recognize a reference to one of the other variants, such as “gum doll”.

  73. #73 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 15, 2015

    @Gemman Aster – I agree, the use of “tar baby” is somewhat problematic. In this context it’s a literary allusion. However, some do consider it a racial slur. I’ve not heard it used that way myself, so cannot speak to how commonly it is used in that sense.

  74. #74 Chadwick Jones
    January 15, 2015

    So these autistic children are being experimented on? Imagine that…

  75. #75 justthestats
    January 15, 2015

    @Gemman Aster
    I’m familiar with the metaphor, but I wasn’t aware that there was a story that goes along with it, and I’m not aware of it being considered a racial slur around here, although I can see how you could infer that.

    @Eric Lund

    I suspect that an even larger number of parents of autistic kids don’t even bring the subject up on the internet.

    This. I’ve not mentioned that my child is autistic under any other ‘nym on the internet, and you could probably even Facebook friend me and not realize it.

    @PGP
    I’d mentioned it before on this blog, but I haven’t made a big deal about it. Partially because I’m a fairly private person, but mostly because my child’s challenges don’t define us.

  76. #76 Dorothy
    Oz--the other one
    January 15, 2015

    PGP–I have to ask you: Where is your evidence for you very serious claim (that these parents could care less if their kids die–or worse)? I’m not siding for or against, just wondering how you know this–the same thing I ask my woo friends.

  77. #77 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    January 15, 2015

    Regarding the purchase of veterinary drugs, it’s getting harder to do that if we’re talking about pet dogs or cats; the pharmacies are more likely to insist on a prescription from a vet first. This may have something to do with the increasing number of people pharmacies now filling veterinary prescriptions as well. But a feed store won’t ask as many questions. And then there’s another resource, though I’d be extremely hesitant about using it. I have heard of others using it, especially those without health insurance: the fish store.

    You can buy tetracycline over the counter with no questions asked if it’s for fish. Also a range of antifungals and antiparasitics for such “fun” fish diseases as ick and fin rot.

  78. #78 shay
    January 15, 2015

    The Tar Baby comes from the Br’er Rabbit stories.

  79. #79 herr doktor bimler
    January 15, 2015

    The Tar Baby comes from the Br’er Rabbit stories.

    Earliest known version is the Buddhist parable (Jātaka 55) of Prince Five-weapons versus the Ogre Hairy-Grip.
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/j1/j1058.htm

  80. #80 Maggie McDaniel
    January 15, 2015

    You are, without a doubt, the most ignorant asshat I have encountered….and having two vaccine injured children aged 18 and 20,,,I have met my share. Vaccines Do contribute to autism…and so do parasites. MMS….chlorine dioxide is NOt bleach. Any basic student of Chemistry can tell you that. Why don’t you stop attacking people that are saving children..Grow up….and smell the coffee. At least you could get your facts straight. Geeeez…

  81. #81 Lawrence
    January 15, 2015

    @Maggie – well, first – anyone that knows anything about chemistry knows that “bleach” isn’t a single thing, but an entire range of molecules – which includes what MMS is made out of – so yes, it is, in fact BLEACH!

    And your little rant, well, perhaps you should look in the mirror.

  82. #82 novalox
    January 15, 2015

    @maggie

    [citation needed] for your assertions, because they fly in the face of science and logic.

  83. #83 justthestats
    January 15, 2015

    @Maggie McDaniel

    If chlorine dioxide is not bleach, why does the paper industry use it to turn wood pulp white? The definition of “bleach” is any chemical that whitens things via oxidization. Chlorine dioxide fits that bill. Any basic student of chemistry would look at that Lewis diagram with the totally disconcerting three-electron bond and refuse to touch it.

    Of course, you’re probably trying to say that chlorine dioxide is not sodium hypochlorite, which is true, but given that the two chemicals behave fairly similarly, but chlorine dioxide is more hazardous, pointing out that they are different is not exactly in your favor. After all, it dissolves human tissue.

  84. #84 herr doktor bimler
    January 15, 2015

    You are, without a doubt, the most ignorant asshat I have encountered….and having two vaccine injured children aged 18 and 20,,,I have met my share.

    Yep, to be capable of describing her children as “vaccine injured”, Maggie McDaniel has most certainly been influenced by her share of ignorant asshats.

  85. #85 lilady
    January 15, 2015

    *Someone* needs to take some basic chemistry courses and that same *someone* needs to stop treating her autistic children as guinea pigs:

    http://www.thinkingautismguide.com/2013/01/mms-yes-it-is-bleach.html

  86. #86 Denice Walter
    January 15, 2015

    re:
    “Grow up… and smell the coffee”

    At least you could get your tag lines straight.

  87. #87 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 15, 2015

    MMS….chlorine dioxide is NOt bleach. Any basic student of Chemistry can tell you that.

    I guess Maggie isn’t a “basic student of chemistry”. I’m guessing Narad would have something more clever to say than I about the quoted.

  88. #88 Politicalguineapig
    January 15, 2015

    Dorothy: Well, for a start, see Maggie below your comment. Many parents involved in woo describe their children as vaccine-injured- another red flag, since they’d apparently rather have dead kids than disabled ones. And then there are anti-vax people who go and harrass parents who’ve lost their children to VPDs, suggesting that they’re not rich in empathy.

  89. #89 Diana Spencer
    United States
    January 15, 2015

    Child abuse? As a parent who uses CD on myself, as well as on my child with autism, this is extremely insulting. My son is getting better every day because of this protocol. He has been released from the excruciating gut pain he suffered from for 11 years when nothing else helped. He is now able to verbalize his wants and needs. The color is back in his face. He is no longer bloated and miserable. Call it bleach if you want (it’s not) but at least interview some parents who are actually using it and healing their kids instead of making ignorant assumptions about something you know nothing about. It’s not only bad manners, it’s bad journalism.
    P.S. I have jars and jars of worms for you to look at when you feel up to doing some real investigative journalism.

  90. #90 Vicki
    January 15, 2015

    PGP: “Vaccine-injured” doesn’t mean they’d rather have a dead kid than a disabled one. Would you throw that same accusation at someone who said that their child (or other relative) had been disabled by a car crash, or by measles encephalitis caught from an unvaccinated stranger?

    A person can very much value their own life, while also wishing they were stronger, or smarter, or could see, or had better executive function, or could still ride a bicycle….

  91. #91 brian
    January 16, 2015

    @Diana Spencer

    I have jars and jars of worms for you to look at

    What did the qualified parasitologists to whom you’ve sent samples from your “jars and jars of worms” tell you?

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/rope-worms-cest-la-merde/

    Yes, many people would think that what you are doing is in fact child abuse.

  92. #92 brian
    January 16, 2015

    @Diana Spencer

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2015/01/15/if-mms-cd-chlorine-dioxide-parasite-protocol-is-safe-why-does-clo2-dissolve-tissue/

    BTW: Since I’ve spent more years studying chemistry and, yes, even parasitology than you have, I think that you should consider what you wrote: you know, the part about “ignorant assumptions about something you know nothing about.”

  93. #93 Helianthus
    January 16, 2015

    @Spencer

    Child abuse?

    For heaven’s sake.

    One of your affiliates described how the water canteen she gives everyday to her son is frecking smoking. That’s chlorine gas being released by the chlorine dioxide.
    And since the average human stomach is acid, chlorine dioxide is going to generate chlorine gas when swallowed.

    At the risk of godwining the thread, back in 1917 chlorine gas was one of the chemicals used in trench warfare. The exposed soldiers who survived had respiratory issues for life.
    Explain to me how giving a chemical WMD to your children is not abuse?

  94. #94 Helianthus
    January 16, 2015

    OK, I got confused. Chlorine dioxide is the final product of MMS, It’s the hypochlorite (NaClO2) which is releasing the chlorine dioxide (ClO2) under acidic conditions.
    (not sure chlorine dioxide isn’t forming chlorine gas; it does form superoxide radicals)

    We are still talking strong oxidizers here. That didn’t change much of my previous post.
    What’s the reasoning to deem a chemical able to dissolve clothes and organic matter safe for drinking?
    A smoking canteen, for pete’s sake.

  95. #95 Narad
    January 16, 2015

    A smoking canteen, for pete’s sake.

    Wait, canteens? What did I miss? Surely not this.

  96. #96 Narad
    January 16, 2015

    The problem is that even though the folktale from which the very useful metaphor originates exists all over the world in various forms, few people in the intended audience would recognize a reference to one of the other variants, such as “gum doll”.

    I don’t think this really clarifies what that recognition is going to refer to, especially in the intended (imagined?) audience.

  97. #97 Helianthus
    France
    January 16, 2015

    @ Narad

    I got the smoking canteen bit (actually, a water bottle – my bad, I wanted to use the word “canteen”, so much more poetic) from the website indicated by Todd #30, nomorebleach
    After the line “The general public”, a copy of an online discussion mentions the “vapor coming out of the bottle”.

    These people are really infuriating me.
    On one hand, its “mercury is toxic at any level”, and “aluminium oxide is bad”, so let’s get all freaked out when there is some in vaccine, even in quantities vastly inferior to what you would get monthly by other sources.
    On the other hand, we put a bit of chlorine in public water so its OK to dose your children with 10 or 100 times more of it on a daily basis.

    Let’s also mention the “injecting vaccines is unnatural because it’s bypassing the digestive tract”, and then injecting aggressive chemicals through the rectum. Talk about bypass (or should I say “by the a..”).

  98. #98 Narad
    January 16, 2015

    I would like to take this opportunity to note, not too far OT, that yes, Christina Waldman is not just this brain-dead, but THIS brain-dead.

    (What she takes to be the nefarious “graduate school” curriculum of “they” is actually a banner-ad wrapper.)

  99. #99 Narad
    January 16, 2015

    More directly on the MMS front, I don’t know how I’ve missed out on this federal case.

    Smith is pro se.

    No, really.

  100. #100 Krebiozen
    January 16, 2015

    Maggie McDaniel,

    MMS….chlorine dioxide is NOt bleach. Any basic student of Chemistry can tell you that.

    If you really believe that, please ‘activate’ some MMS and pour it over a favorite piece of clothing. Then have a think about what it does to a child’s gastrointestinal tract.

    The diarrhea and vomiting it causes isn’t due to parasites dying, it’s a reaction to the severe irritation to the lining of the stomach and intestines that a solution of chlorine dioxide causes.

  101. #101 Krebiozen
    January 16, 2015

    Diana Spencer,

    My son is getting better every day because of despite this protocol.

    I think that reflects reality more accurately.

  102. #102 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 16, 2015

    Yes Diana Spencer you are abusing your special needs child.

  103. #103 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 16, 2015

    I chose the approach I did for a reason, actually.

    If someone were only aware of “tar baby” as a racial pejorative, they would probably be surprised to learn that it derives from a folktale which in fact has variants in hundreds of cultures all around the world, where a clever person tricks an enemy into fighting some kind of doll or manikin which is covered in a sticky substance like tar, pitch or gum. However, searching on “tar baby folktale” would be enough to turn up that information, and more. If they didn’t quite understand the metaphor, they would encounter links that spell it out: a “tar baby” is a situation that, the more you fight it, the more it entangles you. They might even, depending on how extensively they search, turn up something less obvious, such as that the OED warns about the racial implications in its UK editions but doesn’t in all of its US editions (which I found out here: http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1221764,00.html )

    Of course, there are also other possibilities, including: the person is completely aware of the origin of the “tar baby” phrase, but still opposes the use of the phrase no matter how useful a metaphor it provides. Such a person might react badly to information they already know being reiterated to them, just as the regulars here roll their eyes whenever someone shows up and imparts the “shocking” “news” that the NVICP has actually made payments over twenty-five-plus years and expects that to be information unknown to us that completely changes our views.

    And frankly, some people don’t WANT to know anything which might merit reconsideration of positions they’ve already adopted, and when given a hint that there’s more to the situation, will ignore that hint. That information can be important to elicit as well. In short, I did have reasons for phrasing my response as I did.

  104. #104 LouV
    France
    January 16, 2015

    @Maggie and Diana
    I am a bit torn about the use of the word “bleach”, but as I don’t know many things about chemistry I won’t discuss it.
    However, what I DO know (as well as any basic student in medicine), is that personal testimony are full of limits and mistakes, no matter the intelligence of the person interviewed. That’s why we have have clinical trials, and that’s why I’m scandalized : who would spread this without doing the required tests FIRST ? It’s not the FDA et co’s job, it’s the job of the person who created the therapy !

  105. #105 Lawrence
    January 16, 2015

    Okay MMS supporters:

    Challenge #1 – give us the actual scientific name and description of these “parasites,” including genus and exact recognized species.

  106. #106 Renate
    The Netherlands
    January 16, 2015

    @ Heliantus

    These people are really infuriating me.
    On one hand, its “mercury is toxic at any level”, and “aluminium oxide is bad”, so let’s get all freaked out when there is some in vaccine, even in quantities vastly inferior to what you would get monthly by other sources.
    On the other hand, we put a bit of chlorine in public water so its OK to dose your children with 10 or 100 times more of it on a daily basis.

    It’s quite logical in this line of thinking. If something is harmfull in a large dosis (mercury), it’s also harmfull in a very small dosis. If something is harmless in a very small dosis (chlorine in public water), it’s also harmless in a large dosis.

  107. #107 Denice Walter
    January 16, 2015

    And I thought that Diana Spencer was dead.

    At any rate, Dan Olmsted shills his new book ( with Blaxill) @ AoA today. According to his video ( in which we get a sample of his speaking style) he, Blaxill and various other AoA/ Skyhorse authors will present at a day-long event at the University of Minnesota a week from Saturday.

    He opines that his book is useful for parents making risk/ benefit decisions about which vaccines to choose and which to avoid precisely because he ISN’T a doctor.

    If anyone lives nearby and would like to waste some time and money, it costs 25 USD to attend.

  108. #108 brook
    January 16, 2015

    @ Renate – that is brilliantly twisted logic

  109. #109 Helianthus
    January 16, 2015

    @ Renate

    It’s quite logical in this line of thinking.

    I haven’t seen it this way, and the worst part is, it’s consistent. It’s binary thinking – right or wrong, good or bad – but it’s self-consistent.
    Heck, it’s a way of thinking which is quite easy to catch, finally.

    But coming to chemistry/food/substance abuse, there are some real world counter-examples, so it shouldn’t be that hard for people to get a hint of the proper perspective.
    I invite people to replace their evening pint of mild beer by an equal volume of a stronger beverage – vodka, whiskey, scumble – and see if it is as harmless.

  110. #110 JGC
    January 16, 2015

    Maggie, chlorine dioxide is a bleach by definition (a strong chlorine-based oxidizing agent).

    Two questions for you:
    What injuries do you believe your children suffered as a consequence of vaccination? Be specific.
    How has it been factually established those injuries actually were caused by the vaccines? Again, be specific (I trust it was on some basis other than a post hoc ergo procter hoc logical fallacy).

    Child abuse? As a parent who uses CD on myself, as well as on my child with autism, this is extremely insulting.

    No more than describing Bernie Madoff’s handling of his clients investments as ‘fraudulent’ is extremely insulting: it’s simply an accurate description.

    Direct questions for you, Diana:

    How have you factually established what you perceive to be improvements in your son’s condition are the result of feeding him bleach? It’s on some basis other than “What else could it be?”, I would hope.

    How has whatever is in those “jars and jars” you have been positively identified as parasitic worms, Diana? It’s on some basis other than “Sure looks like worms to me…”, I trust.

  111. #111 brook
    January 16, 2015

    and Diana – if you don’t intend to have those “jars and jars of worms” identified by an ASCP or NAACLS certified lab why are you keeping them? Sounds unsanitary to me.

  112. #112 Denice Walter
    January 16, 2015

    Funny, but when I adopted cats ( on separate occasions), the veterinarian’s assistants had no problem * testing* the poo samples immediately and cheaply –
    results: cat 1- worms and giardia; cat 2- coccidia.

    Easy to treat, no bleach required.

  113. #113 JGC
    January 16, 2015

    There’s something else operating besides “safe at low doses menas safe at all doses and toxic at high doses means toxic at any dose”–there’s a whole lot of “us versus them’ going on as well.

    If it were a major pharmaceutical company peddling a known hazardous substance like chlorine dioxide as a cure for ‘vaccine injuries’ without having done any kind of clinical testing, demonstrating efficacy, etc., you can bet there would be universal rejection amid loud cries of outrage at the attempt to ‘poison our kids’.

    But since it’s instead other warrior moms, etc., well–it’s all good.

  114. #114 sadasd
    January 16, 2015

    Doctors hate him–cure autism with this one weird trick!

    Parasites? Hey, why not. Toxins are soooo 2005. Gotta hand it to him; he does have a remarkable talent for monetizing human misery. Now if you’ll excuse me, my gluten be actin’ up.

  115. #115 Andreas Johansson
    January 16, 2015

    JGC wrote:

    If it were a major pharmaceutical company peddling a known hazardous substance like chlorine dioxide as a cure for ‘vaccine injuries’ without having done any kind of clinical testing, demonstrating efficacy, etc., you can bet there would be universal rejection amid loud cries of outrage at the attempt to ‘poison our kids’.

    There’d be the exact same outcry if a big pharma company peddled a known hazardous substance as a cure having done clinical testing demonstrating efficacy etc.

  116. #116 Denice Walter
    January 16, 2015

    Now wait a minute!

    IIRC weren’t AoA momsters advocating FOR (implanting) parasites in autistic kids’ GI tracts as therapy?
    I suppose those were the GOOD parasites- just like GOOD bacteria…
    Oh. Excusez-moi, *microbiome*.

  117. #117 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 16, 2015

    Now wait a minute!

    IIRC weren’t AoA momsters advocating FOR (implanting) parasites in autistic kids’ GI tracts as therapy?
    I suppose those were the GOOD parasites- just like GOOD bacteria…
    Oh. Excusez-moi, *microbiome*.

    Yes, consistency isn’t exactly their strong suit.

  118. #118 JP
    January 16, 2015

    Here’s something I’ve been wondering for a while: just what is it with quacks and their followers and their weird obsession with the gut, and pooping, and things of that nature anyway? It seems like a weird thing to spend so much time and energy worrying about.

  119. #119 Denice Walter
    January 16, 2015

    @ JP:

    Oh yeah!
    We’ve discussed it quite a few times here.
    It can be compared to the alien abductees’ tales and early natural health enthusiasts’ obsessive interests in their colons. A person’s insides are part of the Great Unknown and thus, fertile ground for fantasies.. Needless to say, there is a possible erotic/ taboo aspect to this as well. Not that they’d admit it

    Woo has often centred on intestinal causes for various ills..

  120. #120 JP
    January 16, 2015

    Huh. And I gues if you’re hostile to science anyway, the fact that we can take a look inside the gut and show that everything is fine isn’t going to convince you, or make the gut any less a part of the Great Unknown.

    Still, though, what a weird obsession. I mean, baseball, pretty girls, Star Trek, horses, dinosaurs, shoes. Not that I have all of those obsessions, but I can see how one might. This one, though…

  121. #121 herr doktor bimler
    January 16, 2015

    P.S. I have jars and jars of worms for you to look at

    I’m guessing that Diana Spencer also has matchboxes full of skin fibres.

  122. #122 herr doktor bimler
    January 16, 2015

    Whoever called them “Mason jars” has never tried to fit a Mason into one.

  123. #123 lilady
    January 16, 2015

    Just one of *multiple posts on The Thinking Mom’s Revolution blog on eliminating parasites by dosing your autistic child with industrial bleach treatments

    http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/bugs-moon-cycles-and-lunacy/

    * Appropriately titled Bugs, Moon Cycles, and Lunacy.

  124. #124 herr doktor bimler
    January 16, 2015

    what is it with quacks and their followers and their weird obsession with the gut, and pooping, and things of that nature anyway?

    Here’s WIlliam Burroughs on line 1.

  125. #125 Narad
    January 16, 2015

    @Antaeus

    I chose the approach I did for a reason, actually.

    If someone were only aware of “tar baby” as a racial pejorative, they would probably be surprised to learn that it derives from a folktale….

    Well, OK, but if this is to be viewed as a learning opportunity, how does Joel Chandler Harris’s Gullah channeling become a standout, its recent heyday notwithstanding? I’d wager that Uncle Remus is more obscure than the racial epithet (cf. the demise of the Sambo’s chain).

    At least one thing that I think can certainly be inferred about J.B.’s “intended audience” is that they’re White.

  126. #126 Narad
    January 17, 2015

    But if I may ramble a bit further, I do recall a stern warning that was for some reason provided at the beginning of 6th-grade algebra, to wit, that the use of the obscure term jigaboo would not be tolerated.

    This is not to defend the obvious epithet (aside from its attempted reclaiming), but to try to point out that the decontextualization of Br’er Rabbit may not be as simple as learning what “tar baby” really means.

  127. #127 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 17, 2015

    This is not to defend the obvious epithet (aside from its attempted reclaiming), but to try to point out that the decontextualization of Br’er Rabbit may not be as simple as learning what “tar baby” really means.

    It is possible to use the phrase “tar baby” and not have any racial implications whatsoever in mind, because, even in a theoretical world where mankind had never devised the concept of “race” and no demeanment of others on the basis of same had ever occurred, we would likely still have stories warning that an overconfident fighter can still be bested by a trap that tangles them deeper precisely because they’re striking hard and true.

    And of course, there are certain loathesome specimens of humanity who are brimming over with racial animus, and who eagerly collect expressions which allow them to inflict the maximum of racial offense while avoiding responsibility for such (“What? How can you criticize me for working the adverb ‘niggardly’ into every conversation?? It just happens to come up! You’re being oversensitive!”) If it was John Best we were talking about, I’d have no doubt that he intended any racial offense he caused by whatever modality. As wretched a specimen of humanity as Handley is, however, I’m not aware of any past incidents where he’s ever displayed racist tendencies, and I believe it is counter-productive to conclude too readily that racism is among someone’s offenses – even if we would be entirely unsurprised if we later discovered them there. Your mileage may vary.

    If people are aware of those possibilities, then everything I hoped to do is done, by whatever circumstances.

  128. #128 sadmar
    The straight poop
    January 17, 2015

    “what is it with quacks and their followers and their weird obsession with the gut”

    Going back to “what is semiotics”… semiotic analysis often compares the meanings of a term with other terms that might have been used instead: Why “gut”? Rather than stomach, intestines, GI tract, digestive tract, etc. None of those terms have the sense of “the guts of a thing” which implies both essence and ickyness. So there’s both a body revulsion, and a kind of holistic/vitalism thing: where else would all problems stem from but the ‘guts’?

    Denice mentioned taboo. The study of taboo in cultural anthropology suggest taboo surrounds ‘limnality’, things that can’t be easily sorted into one conceptual category or another, or that cross borders. So big taboo areas are where the individual crosses with something else. Birth is a taboo: there was one person, and then this other thing comes out, but there’s still a cord attached… But the most common human limnaltiies are eating and shitting. There was a Whopper Jr. on the counter a couple minutes ago, and now it’s inside me and part of my body. There was just me here a couple minutes ago, and now there’s me and Mr. Hankey. So human cultures have had all kinds of taboos about putting things in our mouths, and pooping things out of butts. The gut itself isn’t that big a thing in traditional taboo, but it connects the two big taboo points.

    So, a lot of woo stuff does connect at a mythological level. Don’t put the bad ‘poison’ food in your mouth. Put the magic plant thing in. “You are what you eat.” Cleanse that gut. Make it not icky. Poop out all those toxins. Mercy, how does anyone come up with the idea of a coffee enema?

    So, I’d say from a mythology standpoint, the gut isn’t the Great Unknown, but the Great Known. It is my inside. It is me. I have a gut feeling. I know it in my gut. (Who would say, ‘I know it in my GI tract.’)

    So the fear is the invasion of the known by the unknown. Thus abductees tell of alien probes up their bums and into their gut, just as Alien articulates the violation of the human known by the unhuman unknown: the face-hugger forces a tube into Kane’s mouth, down his throat, depositing a parasite in his gut, then he dies giving violent birth to a penis with teeth. The alien kills Lambert by raping her with it’s tail. Ash tries to kill Ripley by sticking a magazine rolled into a tube into her mouth…

    There’s probably some insight to be gained from GI-tract freak-outs with other types of crazy dealing with the brain or head as the site of fear — a more modern take — tin-foil hats, pyramids, radio transmitter implants… For me, one of the creepiest sci-fi images is the mind-controlling little Ceti eel larvae crawling in and out of the ears of characters in Star Trek II. What’s odd, for a modern perspective anyway, is that such little woo is tied to the brain and so much still to the gut.

    That could be because things that go in or come out of the GI tract are so much material. Another body site NOT figuring much in woo it seems is the pulmonary system. Why not blame something we breathe in? Maybe because it’s vapor. And what would there be to pull out as ‘evidence’ like the ‘worms’ (intestinal linings) extracted with bleach enemas?

    Connect the dots, people! Autism is caused by nano-particle parasite larvae inserted into the MMR by reptilian alien shape-shifters who have gained control of Big Pharma and the CDC! The larvae travel through the bloodstream and settle in the gut quickly growing into a false intestinal lining that transmits undetectable energy pulses through the CNS altering DNA structures in brain tissue resulting in debilitating neuroatypicality, destroying the ability of American youth to fight for freedom against the conspiracy… if you are, in fact, people… Trust no one. Watch the skies.

  129. #129 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    January 17, 2015

    @Denice Walter:

    IIRC weren’t AoA momsters advocating FOR (implanting) parasites in autistic kids’ GI tracts as therapy?
    I suppose those were the GOOD parasites- just like GOOD bacteria…

    Actually, that was seriously looked at by proper researchers. And the parasitic worms in question were supposed to be of pigs, not humans, so they wouldn’t attach. How it was supposed to help I don’t know.
    I blogged about it here. Long story short, I found it unconvincing.

  130. #131 Denice Walter
    January 17, 2015

    @ Narad:

    I recall that Spike Lee was criticised for use of the term, jig____ in his film about skin tone issues at a black college.

  131. #132 Denice Walter
    January 17, 2015

    @ Julian Frost:

    You are correct: AoA curebies jumped to conclusions immediately after hearing of the research. I’m not sure who wrote their ode to parasite transplantation, perhaps Kim.

  132. #133 Dangerous Bacon
    January 17, 2015

    “Diana – if you don’t intend to have those “jars and jars of worms” identified by an ASCP or NAACLS certified lab why are you keeping them?”

    I’m sure they look good on the mantel.

  133. #134 herr doktor bimler
    January 17, 2015

    AoA curebies jumped to conclusions immediately after hearing of the research.
    So it’s helminthic therapy but applied to autism because it has that ‘novel treatment’ smell.

  134. #135 sadmar
    Be My Tar Baby
    January 17, 2015

    I’d say Antaeus and Narad are talking about different things, not disagreeing.

    I concur with Antaeus that it’s unlikely Handley had any intention of racial implications with that comment. The referent of the metaphor to folk tales is only part of the story though. A more telling point is common usage. Not only do dictionaries define ‘tar baby’ as ‘sticky situation’ a quick Google reveals many instances of well-know not-racist public figures being criticized for using the term thoughtlessly.

    Context matters. As an epithet, ‘tar baby’ needs to be directed at a person not a thing. But it’s not an either or. There are middle positions. If Rush says “America’s gonna get stuck in the Obamacare tar baby,” we know where that’s going.

    Anyway, I’d say Antaeus has used the methods of rhetorical criticism to make an exemplary skeptic point taking exemption to the claim: ‘Tar Baby is a serious racial slur indicative of racist attitudes by Handley’ That is, he demonstrates the claim of bigotry is unwarranted by the evidence, and he makes no assertion about Handley’s attitudes on race. He just says we can’t know what they are on the basis of that utterance.

    However, in making his argument, Antaeus can be read as making claims about the meaning of ‘tar baby’ that are too narrow, and fail to consider the baggage it carries outside any individual intent in it’s use.

    Thus, I’d say Narad has used the methods of cultural studies to make an exemplary skeptic point about the meanings evoked by the use of ‘tar baby’ regardless of intent: “the decontextualization of Br’er Rabbit may not be as simple as learning what “tar baby” really means.” He suggests Uncle Remus may be “more obscure than the racial epithet”, and offers a graph suggestive of that possibility. Again, the skeptic need not definitely establish that “Uncle Remus is more obscure than the racial epithet” but only that the counter-explanation invalidates a claim ‘absent a racialized conetxt, Tar Baby will be read only as a metaphorical evocation based on the folk tale.’

    To add to the discussion, I would look not only to the subject of the original story Harris published in 1881, that became a staple of children’s literature for generations, but to the Walt Disney 1946 film version Song of the South which was widely seen before being tucked away in more recent times lest it inflame contemporary audiences. More than the Harris stories, the film is a painful to watch catalog of stereotypes and minstrelsy. Anything associated with the film with carry some baggage. Though younger folks may never have heard of Uncle Remus or the film, they will have learned the meaning and usage of ‘tar baby’ from an oral tradition in which both the story and film had a long presence.

    In the fable, the characters are ll animals, representing human archetypes: rabbit, fox, bear. This universalizes and de-racializes them to an extent. The Tar Baby, on the other hand, is a distinctly human figure, with three dominant characteristics: 1) blackness, 2) passivity 3) entrapment. A more obvious metaphor for Jim Crow blacks would be hard to find: shiftless, lazy, good for nothing, interact with them and you can only get yourself entangled deeper and deeper into a mess.

    In the film, the tar completely covers Brer rabbit, turning him into a Black. Remus then says, “He learned a powerful lesson, but he learned it too late, But it just goes to show you what comes of mixin up with somethin you got no business with in the first place. And don’t you never forget it.” Now, who’s the student of that lesson in 1946?

    The dual role of Brer Rabbit in this scene is typical of pop culture. The mythic figure goes from delivering a message to whites, “just trouble messin with coloreds” in mere seconds to delivering a message to blacks, “stay in your place, boy!” driven home by the wisdom of the old slave narrator.

    None of this to say that the Disney filmmakers were conscious racists. Narad referred to “channeling” and that’s just what it is. The Disney folks would say they were just trying to tell an engaging entertaining story, but how they define those concepts is framed within broader ideologies so familiar as to unrecognizable as just how things are, and so the ideology gets channeled into the work. By the same token, any given use of ‘tar baby’ by an individual today may tell us absolutely nothing about what that person believes, but it carries some small measure at least of a long history of cultural belief still being channeled at the margins in the present.

    sadmar says: Good work Antaneus and Narad. Cool stuff.

  135. #136 Politicalguineapig
    January 17, 2015

    Vicki: “Would you throw that same accusation at someone who said that their child (or other relative) had been disabled by a car crash, or by measles encephalitis caught from an unvaccinated stranger?”

    No, because car crashes and measles are things that happen, whereas “vaccine-injured” is made up, as well as being weaselly. I.E. : ‘There’s nothing wrong with MY genes, or spouse’s, so it must’ve been the vaccines!’

  136. #137 anion
    January 18, 2015

    I love how these people think 162 children “healed” is a HUGE, enormously significant number, but the hundreds of children dying from vaccine-preventable diseases are too small a number to bother with and why are we all such nervous nellies freaking out about three or four hundred dead kids? Pshaw, that’s nothing at all!

    And is it just me, or did one of the comments on that nomorebleach link, where the mother is desperate to get a bowel movement out of her twins, describe a child with diarrhea? She’s trying to get poo out of a child who is passing brown liquid. I would think more laxatives and enemas are the last thing a child who is passing liquid anally needs. Give the kid a gallon of Gatorade and quit with the emetics, ffs!

    (Please forgive the length of this comment, and the semi-graphic discussion of bowel movements and stool a few paragraphs down. No pictures, I promise!)

    My eldest daughter is sort-of autistic. By which I mean, she’s been tested and given therapy and we were told she was right on the border so they couldn’t officially diagnose her, and then we were told she probably was autistic, then we were told no, she was just quirky, but then maybe she was after all, and we finally gave up. It wasn’t like diagnosis was going to qualify her for the super Autism medicine that would “fix” everything.

    She’s thirteen now, and she’s still quirky and socially awkward, but she is also beautiful and smart and funny, and we love her.

    I comment here (longtime off-and-on reader, first time commenting) because I once fell slightly into the woo myself. It was fairly early on–she was about four–and I happened to read about the GF/CF diet and, more specifically, digestive enzymes. (Well, no, actually; I had a friend who was taking the enzymes while pregnant to aid digestion, and I read about them after that.) I read that they could help some spectrum kids with gut issues, and that helping with the gut issues could help with their behavior. There was a whole thing about how the gut and digestion affected the mind. It all sounded very convincing.

    I suspect there is a reason why some parents are so concerned with guts and poop: some of these kids have problems with their stools and with potty training. Mine did. She was able to control her urine and use the potty perfectly well by the time she was three, but she could not seem to do the same with her bowel movements and her stool was abnormal, or rather, I don’t know that it was clinically “abnormal” but instead of being one solid stool it was little tiny pellets, like rabbit poop. She could not seem to feel when she had to go or when she had gone, and we were constantly finding clumps of these little pellets in her underwear, or individual pellets falling out of them.

    So I gave the enzymes a try, figuring if they helped with her bathroom capabilities and her behavior, then great. (I note that I showed the enzymes to her pediatrician and we discussed them before administering.)

    I don’t know how much it actually helped her behavior. At the time we really thought it made a difference, but in retrospect it may just have been that she made another small developmental leap.

    But I will say that it made a huge difference as far as her stool. They became normal overnight (literally; the day after her first dose she passed a completely normal stool) and she did not have another accident, ever (save one time when she had a stomach flu, but I don’t think that counts).

    We continued with the enzymes for several years after that, but eventually decided the expense was too much for whatever little benefit she got from them, since we’d skipped doses and had no further troubles with her stools.

    My point is, (aside from just sharing a little anecdote and possible reason for some of the poo obsession) I can understand some of the desperation of these parents. For some, yes, I totally believe there’s a sense that their child is an empty vessel not worth being loved for what he or she actually is. But for some of us there’s just a feeling that if we can do something to make our child happier and better able to cope with the world, we would be remiss if we didn’t try it. I never considered doing anything like chelation and I certainly would not have given my daughter bleach; I only tried the enzymes because they were simply (basically) probiotics, which are safe enough to be put in yogurt and sold in grocery stores; my daughter’s pediatrician confirmed that that’s pretty much all they were and that they were safe, and so I figured the worst that would happen is they wouldn’t make a difference for her.

    But as the mother of a child “on the spectrum,” it does indeed infuriate me to see some of these “vaccine warriors” who are basically spreading the message that a dead child is better than an autistic one. We’re lucky, I know, that our child isn’t non-verbal and unable to do things independently. But it’s painful to think of how much these “warriors” might be able to accomplish if, instead of spreading dangerous crap about vaccines and bleach, they fought for real, effective, better care for these children and stronger institutional support for themselves.

    (Oh, and as an aside: it was clear to me that something wasn’t quite “normal” with my daughter almost from birth; she failed to hit some of her developmental marks and hit others in odd order–she could creep on furniture before she sat up, for example; she didn’t roll a ball back to me; things like that. No one else saw this but I knew something wasn’t quite right. I don’t doubt parents who insist their child’s development was perfectly normal until they received their MMR, but I also wonder how many of those little earlier signs they just missed, or failed to recognize, or just plain deny.)

    Again, sorry for the length!

  137. #138 Interrobang
    January 19, 2015

    None of this to say that the Disney filmmakers were conscious racists.

    Oh, I’ll go there for sure, sadmar. Disney filmmakers were in fact conscious racists; it came down all the way from the top. Walt Disney didn’t much like people of colour, Jews, women, or cats, all of which are strikes against him in my book.

  138. #139 Denice Walter
    January 19, 2015

    @ anion:

    re parents’ reactions to training problems and woo.

    Sure. They have a difficult daily situation which severely impacts their quality of life ( for all concerned) They feel desperate and are prime candidates for charlatans who are selling products or theories. Also I imagine that they feel as though their caretaking responsibilities will never end- projecting into the far future.

    AND your *conversion* sounds like a milder version of James Lailder’s ( Autism Watch) who discovered that when his children accidentally ate the forbidden foods- nothing bad happened . He’s a doctor who overcame his erroronous ways.

  139. #140 Denice Walter
    January 19, 2015

    @ Interrobang:

    I didn’t know about the cats.
    Makes sense. No wonder. I’ve always loathed him- even when his miserable company made money for me via a mutual.

  140. #141 sadmar
    Black Magical Thinking
    January 19, 2015

    interobang:

    Disney filmmakers were in fact conscious racists; it came down all the way from the top. Walt Disney didn’t much like people of colour, Jews, women, or cats, all of which are strikes against him in my book.

    Lacking a specific cite to Disney, I’ll just note that’s not how it usually works. An entertainment mogul may disapprove of people of colour, Jews, women, and cats — but that’s likely to be their background frame of reference of ‘reaity’ — and still view his job as providing ‘family entertainment’ in terms that to his mind are utterly non-ideological.

    Rarely is word ever handed down from the top — it’s just that the boss’s views color who he thinks is a ‘good entertaining writer’ or ‘good entertaining artist’ and the standards of ‘good entertaining writing’ and ‘good entertaining art’ his employees are trying to meet.

    Thus, my point was that in terms of the cultural politics of ‘Song of the South’ it doesn’t matter whether the Disney filmmakers were conscious racists or not. It matters that the text is racist.

    Obliviousness to ones own ideology is a hallmark of the entertainment biz, and even more so in Disney’s era. (Again I make not specific claims abut Uncle Walt himself. But Disney was a large operation even back in the day, and it would have been impossible for Walt to micro-manage everything.)

    This has been demonstrated anecdotally so many times with such consistency it’s now a commonplace in Film Studies. A researcher will interview an auteur whose work couldn’t be richer in consistent socio/political subtext — and just come away in frustration as the auteur expresses again and again with total sincerity that none of that was on his mind, and he was just trying to tell a good story, create suspense or get laughs. In classic Hollywood, folks who actually did think about such things — Orson Welles, for example — were the exception, and soon found themselves shown out the door.

    Today, ‘serious’ films are no longer mad for true mass consumption, so the kind of self-consciousness of subtext that emerged in post-classical Hollywood — Arthur Penn, FF Coppola, even Peckinpah — will be found among some makers of ‘arthouse’ pictures — e.g. George Clooney or Ben Affleck as directors. Others could talk about it, but won’t — e.g. the Coens.

    But the true multiplex stuff? All the comic-book adaptations, action extravaganzas and Disney/Pixar/Blue-Sky animations? Clueless. The absolute WORST film direction I have ever seen was Mockingjay part 1 which was absolutely contentless. I knew it was director’s fault because I knew the story, and the talents of the cast, and I know how directorial choices communicate, so I could imagine the other ways to have played and shot the scenes to give them some resonance. They just don’t think about this stuff…

    As for the creative workers who actually churn the stuff out: This was created by Disney animator/director Tim Maloney, who is now (of course) former Disney animator/director Tim Maloney.

  141. #142 The Grouchybeast
    January 21, 2015

    @anion

    Severe constipation can lead to what’s known as ‘overflow diarrhea’, when liquid stool squeezes around the blockages in the colon. So it’s very possible for a child to have both constipation and diarrhea at the same time.

  142. #143 Jeff Prager
    Minnesota
    February 18, 2015

    I wonder how many people commenting here have actually taken the time to read the independent, uncontested, published peer reviewed literature by pro-vaccine medical professionals and researchers? Think you might be surprised?

    https://www.facebook.com/prager1/posts/10152538305782282?notif_t=like

  143. #144 Narad
    February 18, 2015

    There hasn’t been anyone commenting here for nearly a month, Prager.

  144. #145 Lawrence
    February 18, 2015

    Mr. Prager recently visited “Just for Vax” with his cornucopia of anti-vax rants…..

    He’s also a 9/11 Truther and holds many other conspiracy positions as well.

  145. #146 Narad
    February 18, 2015

    The funniest thing about Prager is this installment of Crank vs. Crank. (Bollyn is apparently too dense to figure out to put posts on separate pages; sorry.)

  146. #147 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 18, 2015

    I wonder how many people commenting here have actually taken the time to read the independent, uncontested, published peer reviewed literature by pro-vaccine medical professionals and researchers? Think you might be surprised?

    Independent? Uncontested? Pro-Vaccine? Yes I am surprised…surprised that you didn’t use “world-renowned” and “prestigious” in your description of the biggest cranks of anti-vaxx propaganda.

  147. #148 novalox
    February 19, 2015

    @jeff

    Thanks for the laughs and confirming that you don’t live in reality,

  148. #149 Emma Crew
    February 19, 2015

    It’s particularly funny that it all starts off with a quote about how studies are not to be trusted!!!! before going into a laundry list of studies we should read.

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  150. […] his fraudulent study about the MMR and autism was retracted. They reveal anti-vaccine advocate J.B. Handley for who he really is, using profanity on television to say he doesn’t care about a study that […]

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