I am Bonnie Offit!

I hadn't planned on beating on that wretched hive of anti-vaccine scum and quackery, Age of Autism, again today so soon after having done so not just once but twice yesterday. I really hadn't. After all, AoA is the crank gift that keeps on giving (and has kept on giving for three years now), and there is such a thing as going to the well too many times; i.e., too much of a "good" thing. I say this even though I had been planning on posting a blog post "rerun" today because last night I went out to dinner with a job candidate for our institution and didn't get back until late. By the time I got back, I was so dead tired that my sainted wife had to put up with me crashing quite promptly on the couch upon arriving home. (Unfortunately, with my increased responsibilities at work, this sort of burning the candles at both ends seems to be happening more and more frequently.)

As they say, though, the best laid plans of mice and men...

It turns out that the big macher of the anti-vaccine movement fronted by Generation Rescue and AoA, J. B. Handley, just saved you and me from blog reruns today. I thank him (and so should you) for posting something so utterly hilarious that not only did it have me chuckling uproariously as I sat before my computer in the pre-dawn hour, but it also gave me something amusing to write about briefly before heading off to work. It's also terribly bad luck and bad timing on J.B.'s part that his post went live early enough on a day that I couldn't sleep through the whole night and ended up getting up nearly an hour earlier than I normally do. It's very rare that I can comment on a bit of AoA silliness on the very same day it's posted, but a confluence of my insomnia and my not having done a post today conspired against J.B., and that's not a bad thing.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Shortly after I awoke, not being able to sleep to my usual time to get up because, well, I had crashed too early last night, I decided to sit down in front of the computer for a little while before getting ready for work to check out what our favorite anti-vaccine cranks were up to, mainly because I was frustrated that I couldn't manage to sleep another hour or so. In particular I was curious whether they had noted my posts yesterday. Not that I expected them to, but sometimes they mention them in the comments, and it can be quite amusing. I never got to that point. As I watched the AoA front page load, what to my wondering eyes should appear on AoA but one of the most hilariously off-base attacks I've ever seen in my life, even more so than the infamous "cannibal Thanksgiving feast" bit of nonsense that AoA posted last November. I'll give you the title:

Is Paul Offit's Wife Internet Troll/Autism Father "Sullivan"?

That's right. J.B. Handley thinks that Sullivan, blogger for Left Brain Right Brain is Bonnie Offit, Dr. Paul Offit's wife. I kid you not. He even uses "research" and "reasoning" that make Jake Crosby's look like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and and Greg House by comparison!

Sadly, because I have to go to work soon, I don't have time to do a detailed deconstruction of this hilariously off-base "reasoning" used by Mr. Handley. I wish I did. On the other hand, I encourage you to read it for yourself. I can't resist a few tidbits, though. First, he paints Bonnie Offit thusly:

Bonnie Offit, a pediatrician, tours the autism Web sites late at night after her husband goes to sleep. "He's not the man they've created an enemy out of," she says. She wishes his critics knew him the way she does--a gentle, sweet, salt-of-the-earth guy. "What I've learned in all this is to stick to the truth, talk about the science," says Paul Offit. "It's not about me, it's about the data." Above all else, it's about doing right by the children.


The press has been very clear because Bonnie Offit has told them: she takes the time to watch the blogosphere, monitoring the pulse of those against her husband. Yet, for all the time Ms. Offit reportedly spends on the web, I can't find a single comment or post in her name. Unless of course she calls herself "Sullivan," and then everything makes perfect sense.

Sure it does, in the la-la land that is AoA. Handley then sets up the contrast:

"Sullivan" is a prolific, anonymous blogger. In the last few years, Sullivan has essentially hijacked a website, LeftBrainRightBrain --a site that used to be dedicated to the concept of "Neurodiversity." Sullivan's subject matter, in dozens of blog posts, is the vaccine-autism controversy, and really nothing else. Sullivan is also a prolific commenter, both in the blog posts written by Sullivan and in other forums.

I first came across the name Sullivan after I appeared on the TV show "The Doctors" because this Sullivan character was absolutely dominating the discussion boards about the show, as you can see for yourself HERE. In fact, Sullivan has posted comments at The Doctors website an amazing 223 times, as I learned from reading Sullivan's profile on The Doctors website

Leading Handley to write:

Let me be clear: I have circumstantial evidence that points to Bonnie Offit being Sullivan. I will spell out what I have, and let you be the judge.

His "evidence" consists of seven items:

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

Which leads Handley to speculate, true Mel Gibson-style (both in real life and in Conspiracy Theory:

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

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

Translation: I'm just asking questions.

Given this passage, I say right here, right now that I challenge J.B.'s argument. I have to. I can't allow Sullivan to be falsely accused of something of which he's innocent; i.e., of being Bonnie Offit using the 'nym "Sullivan" to hide behind. I feel obligated to challenge J.B. on this because...


Think about it. By Handley's criteria could apply to me (well, mostly). I bring up Dr. Offit a lot on both my blogs, particularly when he's being attacked. I have been in communication with Dr. Offit. I blogged a lot about the dubious lawsuit against Dr. Offit, true, but that was just a front to misdirect the credulous like J.B. It worked like a charm. I've also seen a draft of Dr. Offit's new book, Deadly Choices. In fact, I will make a confession right here that I failed Dr. Offit in that I didn't get around to reading it all and providing him with feedback before the time when needed me to because the manuscript arrived during a particularly rough stretch at my job. What I did read was excellent, and I can assure J.B. that he will not be pleased when the book is released, but I do feel quite bad that I actually let the Dark Lord of Vaccination down. Hopefully he won't come looking for me to give me 10,000 vaccines all at once as a punishment for failure.

Finally, I do seem to be "obsessed" with the same topics that obsess Dr. Offit. The anti-vaccine movement does get under my skin because I hate seeing children endangered. As for the whole autistic child thing, well, I don't have one. That's true. But, again, how does J.B. know that isn't a front also? We pro-vaccine pharma shills are quite clever, you know.

So, J.B., please. You've got the wrong Internet Troll/Autism Father"! Bonnie Offit is not Sullivan. Do not pursue him or punish him. I'm the one you're after.


ADDENDUM: Kev tries to claim that he is Bonnie Offit. Don't listen to him. Don't believe him. Don't be deceived by him. I'm Bonnie Offit!

ADDENDUM #2: Craig Willoughby opines in the comments of J.B.'s post:

JB, respectfully, I have to say that I disagree with you. This post seems like nothing by a smear campaign against Sullivan/Bonnie Offit, and I question the relevance and reason for doing this. Being someone who has a creepy internet stalker chasing me around, I can understand why people like Sullivan choose to use anonymous pseudonyms to post.

Sorry, you guys may not agree with me, but that's how I see it. I hate to say this, but I've lost a bit of respect for you, J.B.

It took something this ridiculous to get Craig to realize that J.B. likes to engage in smear campaigns against his enemies? It took this to make Craig "lose a bit of respect" for J.B.? Craig's bar for respecting people appears to be drawn laughably low.

ADDENDUM #3: Apparently the "I'm Bonnie Offit" campaign has reached Twitter under the hashtag #imbonnie.

ADDENDUM #4: Craig Willoughby tries to be the voice of reason on AoA in the comments in response to John Stone's bringing home home the credulity:

I disagree, John.

Personally, I feel that these accusations are a bit unfounded and, to be frank, quite ridiculous. This is not in any way meant to be disrespectful, but seeing this type of behavior from people I once held in high esteem is troubling.

I'm sorry, I just have a hard time condoning this behavior.

Sadly, he fails. Witness the following additional comments.

First, Katie Wright:

Amazing work JB!

This really makes sense. Who on earth would have such detailed information on Offit's finances, his personal travails, his book galleys...

But it is "Sullivan"'s hyper defensiveness that is the giveaway. This is how a parent would defend their child (their relationship sounds emeshed and a little scary) - totally unconditionally- this is not about "the science" at all it is a transparent attempt to rehabilitate Offit's reputation and promote book sales.

Poor Bonnie- this must be an all consuming obsession.

I feel most sorry for her patients! Bonnie cannot have time for anything else, I bet she is thinking about this 24/7.

Best projection I've seen all day. Or all week. Or all month.

Then there's Erik Nanstiel leaping in with this gem:

Since I trust the neurodiversity advocates as much as I do a hungry shark not to attack meat... I would expect that IF Bonnie Offit were really Sullivan... they'd all jump in to protect her identity. What a blow to her credibility such a revelation would prove.

That said, JB gets me thinking... circumstantial, yes... but he's a shrewd guy and has been following these blogs for YEARS. I'm unconvinced either way... but tend to side with JB's observations until proof to the contrary should surface.

Erik obviously isn't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but at least he retains a modicum of skepticism compared to Katie Wright. But even Erik and Katie seem like supernovas of brightness in comparison to Bendetta's observations:

Ohhh Craig;

I really like your blogs, you are really insightful.

But this time you are so wrong!

How many times have you listened to a debate and because there is so much deceitfullnes - out right lies- the truth gets buried? You walk away not any wiser, just more confused?

If JB Handley realiazed who someone is that is mudding the waters it is not only his right, but it is his (insert whatever profanity you like) duty to humanity to expose it.

Truth illuminates, although it may be so bright as to hurt your eyes for awhile.

How many times has the federal government put people in prison just for Flibbing????

Get me some popcorn. The meltdown in the AoA comments is truly entertaining!

ADDENDUM #5: The hilarity continues on Facebook at the AoA page, where AoA has posted, Queue the next GAP Band song - any ideas which one? Hmmmmm. JB is in the house! Wow! The comments there really bring home the crazy. At least whoever's posting for AoA has admitted that "JB is merely asking a question."

ADDENDUM #6: Stay classy, AoA. Stay classy, Sylvia:

Whoever Sullivan is, he/she is in bed with Paul Offit. But the pseudonym "Sullivan" is probably more tasteful than the more descriptive "Offit's Bit**".

ADDENDUM #7: And J.B. Handley loses another one, specifically AoA commenter AnaB:

I'm sorry, I just find it harder and harder to come over here any more. I miss the days when it was Olmsted style, stick with the facts muck-raking. IMO, this is so circumstantial that it borders on libel. I want no part of that.

Nor should you, Ana, although, as in the case of Craig Willoughby, I'm surprised it took this level of stupidity on J.B.'s part for you finally to realize that character assassination, no matter how flimsy the basis behind it, is AoA's stock in trade. As they say about computers, it's a feature, not a bug, in AoA.


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I know for a fact that Sullivan is male and he's not a pediatrician. He's also a parent of an autistic child.

Besides, as everyone knows, I'm the real Bonnie Offit.

This is pretty much exactly what went though my head when I was reading it.

The stupidity is totally amazing.

I know for a fact that Sullivan is not Bonnie Offit. I've communicated with him using his real-life name. He's done a little job for me, something that Bonnie Offit, even with all her undeniable talents, could not have done.

Hey Handley, look at me, I have an internet presence, I comment on blogs, I keep up with autism research, and I AM FEMALE. I am Bonnie Offit.

By Broken Link (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Handley is a farce of a joke. His eerily staunch support of Buttar and his stinky goo, Rescue Angle John Best and his psychosis, Amy and her yeast extract/RNA drops, and the disgraced Wakefield have laid out a multi-year track record of blatant and purposeful stupidity.

Handley is nothing more than a well-heeled loudmouth ranting about things he just doesn't understand.

This Bonnie Offit accusation is an act of sheer desperation. It shows that Sullivan needles the quack so GOOD ON SULLIVAN!

By Hey Zeus is my… (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

I'm Bonnie Offit, and so's my wife!

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Is it terrible of me to hope that Handley becomes more and more paranoid?

I am Bonnie Offit. It's true that I'm male, but I was just looking at some 30-year-old pictures my mother took of me during my hippie phase, and damn, I was an ugly girl. QED.

I haven't had time or energy to read Handley's quack but even supposing it were true, what would it matter? If the answer is evident in the quack's post, I'll get to it later today but even spouses get to have opinions, no?

Obviously, Sullivan is even more awesome than any of us ever knew...he is BOTH man and woman, father of an autistic child and a physician married to Paul Offit. Sullivan - and you never told me your secret. I'm SO hurt...

Can't speak for Kev or any of these others being Bonnie Offit, but, Orac, since I've met you in person all I can say is as I could (if we were both single) marry you legally in the state of New Jersey, you are NOT Bonnie Offit.

I am NOT Bonnie Offit (unfortunately, since Paul Offit seems to be an awesome type guy.)

By Triskelethecat… (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

I suppose Sullivan should be flattered that his work is so worrisome that Handley feels the need to smear him. On the internets you know you have made it when:
1) Someone calls you a pedophile or
2) Someone tries to "out" you (bonus if it is pathetically wrong (and desperate)).
Only truly great bloggers get this kind of treatment.

Orac, we all know you aren't Bonnie. I know, particularly well, since I'm Bonnie. I even revealed myself at Silenced by Age of Autism. So there!

You say you're Bonnie Offit but do you sometimes wear dresses and enjoy putting on makeup?

Said too much haven't I?

Orac and Kev, you dirty lying d-bags, cut it the hell out right now. I am the one and only Bonnie Offit and I want the world to know it.

Will the real Bonnie Offit please stand up?

By Richard Wolford (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

I am not Bonnie Offit, nor do I play her on TV.

Of course, only Bonnie Offit could be expected to publicly deny she's Bonnie Offit, so ...

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Broken Link wrote: "He's done a little job for me"

that sounds a little suspicious, like he made some cement vaccines for some kids to take before they go swimming.

Looks like you let the cat out of the bag, now we know someone is swimming with the thermisol impregnated fishes, and who is to blame!

(But maybe that's the Chicagoan in me talking.)

By plutosdad (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Well, if Bonnie Offit is the father of an autistic child, that's one big hidden conflict of interest Offit never mentions. Burn him!

Uggh, I just read the original article. A few things that stuck out to me:

Itâs hard to hide your gender when you write,

What is that supposed to mean? How, exactly can one tell if they are conversing with a woman or man? Don't the trolls who come here from AoA frequently mistake Chris for a man? What magical powers J.B. must posses! Am I being way to sensitive when I find this very offensive to women?

And perhaps my favorite:

* What parent of an autistic child would write, âmy main concern is to create a better world for all people, but especially for people with disabilities. Autism is a great challenge. People with autism deserve respect and supportâ? Give me a break! A real parent would only have one main concern, the concern we all share: giving our own child the best possible life!(emphasis mine)

So, one cannot possibly care about disabled people in general and be concerned about their own child's future? Isn't improving the lives and future of disabled persons taking care of our children's future also? It doesn't mean one doesn't have an autistic child.

And I hate how he keeps saying "we" like he speaks for all parents of children with autism.

I thank everyone for not outing me, but it's time to come clean. I am Sullivan and Bonnie Offit.

Sullivan, Kev and Orac have created a brilliant ruse but I can't let them cover for me any longer.

I am Bonnie Offit.

Damn you J.B., you are just too clever.

"Sorry, you guys may not agree with me, but that's how I see it. I hate to say this, but I've lost a bit of respect for you, J.B." - Craig Willoughby.

I felt the same thing about Jeffrey Dahmer when I heard he was a Kenny Loggins fan.

"Craig's bar for respecting people appears to be drawn laughably low."

Well, obviously not that low considering that he has absolutely zero respect for you, Orac.

By OracisaQuack (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

One internets to BonO at 25.

If I were Dr. Bonnie Offit ( and I'm *not*) I most certainly *would* be monitoring anti-vaxxers' blogs and internet chatter because, I seem to recall, that *threats* were made to the Offits who, BTW, have *children*. In that climate, any intelligent, cautious person would be watching and *looking for signs* ( and not in any mystical way). What's bizarrely funny here is that a *normal* reaction she reports ( checking the internet) is *interpretted* as evidence of a vast conspiracy ( creating a pseudo , commenting and blogging for several years, having special access, etc.)- actually, in a way, it is *quite* revealing of the inner workings of the conspiratorial, confabulating mindset. Any slight hint is expanded into a scenario that confirms the hidden fears/ wishes of the confabulator, *and* it really sounds like bad *noir*, c. 1950. Seems to be a common mode of functioning in woo-world. I know some excellent dudes** who battle HIV/AIDS denialism on the net who have dealt with very nasty business indeed.

** who will remain nameless because I don't want to send an influx over to their blogs.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Nice try at distraction, OracisaQuack, but we all know you're really Bonnie Offit too. Also.

By mad the swine (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Translation: I'm just asking questions.

We've all been distracted from the real issue. JB is obviously Glenn Beck.

By Daniel J. Andrews (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

I'm Bonnie Offit. Everybody knows that Sullivan is played by John Goodman.

By Orange Lantern (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Have we considered the likelihood that "Sid Offit" is really Bonnie Offit, posting drivel in order to make antivaxers look bad? It's just the sort of false flag smear campaign we'd expect from Big Pharma.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

You can all stop covering for me. It was a great run...
but the truth must be revealed that I am the true Bonnie Offit as I have written only a few posts so can I aid my husband control the minds of the world with my shadow empire. My over the top evil is so great it must be so!

I wanted to find another current example of incredibly, egregious conspiracy mongering in woo-topia and - *Voila!* -I didn't have to look very far! ( Mikey never disappoints!): ( NaturalNews; today) "Senate Bill S510 Food Safety Modernization Act vote imminent : Would outlaw gardening and saving seeds ".

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Well, I've clearly been outed. The real reason I identify myself as Not House is because I'm really ANOTHER doctor, Bonnie Offit.

But, by his logic...who do we know who comes on multiple pro-vax boards to promote his anti-vax worldpoint, someone with a single minded focus on vaccines as the cause for autism (while blatantly disregarding all other points of view), and seems to have an intimate connection with Age of Autism?

My God...JB Handley is Sid Offit!

No, I'm Spart...I mean I'M Bonnie Offitt.

By Old Rockin' Cave (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

I'm Bonnie Offitt and this is SPARTA!

Oops, sorry, getting my movies mixed again.

By the bug guy (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink


And so's your old man!

By LovleAnjel (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Might I recommend people that are on Twitter tweet links to the various "I'm Bonnie Offit" articles, like Orac's, Kev Leitch's, KWombles', Just the Vax's, etc. Use the hashtag #imbonnie.

Clearly, if:

(1) As per Not House (comment #37), JB Handley is Sid Offit


(2) As per Dangerous Bacon (comment #33), Sid Offit is Bonnie Offit

then we must conclude:

(3) JB Handley is Bonnie Offit



Orac's confession has made me realize the terrible truth that They don't want you to know.

Paul Offit is married to a plastic box of multicoloured blinking lights!!1!


Whoa. This making up BS thing is both easy and fun.

Give me a break! A real parent would only have one main concern, the concern we all share: giving our own child the best possible life! (emphasis mine)

So, one cannot possibly care about disabled people in general and be concerned about their own child's future?

Beyond the fact that everyone is self-centered to some extent, and that JB appears to be more self-centered than most, what he says is still mind-boggling. If your child is disabled, why wouldn't you want to advocate for the rights and well-being of disabled people in general? What the heck is he thinking? Does it have to do with the fact that he's rich, so he thinks his kid won't need any assistance from (or need to come in contact with) society at large?

Either way, now we know that JB Handley has stated, unequivocally, that he doesn't care about disabled people, and furthermore, that no one should.

I actually think there's something very interesting to be seen here. JB's argument, briefly summarized, is "both of these people disagree with me, therefore they must be the same person". The thinking seems to be that the "opposition" must be comprised of a very small conspiracy, because there's no way any significant number of people could not instantly understand that JB's right about everything.

Who is Sullivan?

By Damacleeze (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

@Composer99 (#43)

Of course! It's so obvious! Why didn't I see it now? Bonnie Offit is PRETENDING to be JB, in a clever attempt to drum up straw-man opposition to her husband, so that his ideas seem saner by comparison, and his vaccines will sell, earning them both millions. But, what Bonnie doesn't know is that Paul is actually cheating on her with the maid, and plans to run off to Tijuana with her as soon as he cashes out his shares in Big Pharma. Of course, this all gets turned on its head in season 3 when it's revealed this whole storyline was just a dream, dreamed by Sid Offit, who had been in a coma the entire time.

[/Days of Our Lives]


? Don't the trolls who come here from AoA frequently mistake Chris for a man?

And they are still wrong because I am Bonnie Offit.

Damacleeze, Sullivan is a big blue furry monster that comes out of the closet at night to scare naughty children. He sounds like John Goodman.


Beyond the fact that everyone is self-centered to some extent, and that JB appears to be more self-centered than most, what he says is still mind-boggling. If your child is disabled, why wouldn't you want to advocate for the rights and well-being of disabled people in general?

Exactly. Having a disabled child changed my entire focus, and gave me an understanding I would have never had. I was going to be one of those terribly annoying parents whose child was going to be perfect, and screw the other kids! But instead I relaxed, let my younger kids actually enjoy their childhood and have helped in my school/district with advocating for kids with special needs (which is why one particular elementary school playground has a ramp... funny how we had to fight for that!).

Hehehe, this makes me chuckle a bit. And his guy is one of the leading people in their "movement"? The paranoia is high, the logic low.

I am very curious what his reaction will be when he finds out this is all garbage and embarrassing.

Has anyone ever seen Bonnie Offit and Miley Cyrus in the same room at the same time? I'm not implying anything. Just raising the question.

You are assuming that
a) JB will find out
b) He will believe it

Neither of these things is likely.

Finding out would be to reverse the normally one-way spew from his mind. Not going to happen. He likes knowing all and dumping that valuable crap wherever it will be absorbed.

Believing it is even less likely. Conspiracy theorists never give up on a theory. They may change it, add convolutions, add new players but never believe anything that contradicts the theory.

I can assure you that no humans or fish were harmed in the course of the little job Sullivan did for me.

@Not House #49 LOL!

By Broken Link (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

What's even funnier (or sadder, depending on how you look at it) is that there are actually people in the comments at AoA who are lapping up Handley's paranoid rant.

If Sullivan is just a parent of an autistic child and nothing else why doesn't he just identify himself? What does he have to hide? Wouldn't that end all this nonsense? Call Handley's bluff. If you can't do that I'm sorry, he's probably right.

By Damacleeze (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

So... They threatened to sue LBRB when I made a post challenging the authenticity of a suspicious document they reposted from sources unknown, but they have no problem with making this accusation?
I noticed an especially amusing comment from John Stone, lecturing Kev Leitch for not verifying someone's identity.

Has anyone seen Sullivan and Superman in the same room? Clearly, Sullivan isn't Bonnie Offit, he's Clark Kent.

Even better, STY has made an appearance and promises to reveal his research soon!. Oh, this is going to be great.

(I have got to get away, I need to make phone calls which will be hard when I am stifling laughter)

That polygamous WRETCH! All this time I thought I was Bonnie Offit.

So if Kev and Sullivan and Orac are Bonnie ... who is that guy I've been sleeping with?

By Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink


If Sullivan is just a parent of an autistic child and nothing else why doesn't he just identify himself? What does he have to hide? Wouldn't that end all this nonsense? Call Handley's bluff. If you can't do that I'm sorry, he's probably right.

Frankly, I don't think Sully should. I actually don't believe Handley believes his rant. Rather, it seems to me to be a rather sorry attempt to goad Sullivan and/or Bonnie Offit into revealing who they are, thus opening them up to even more harassment by the AoA faithful, much as they have done to Dr. Offit, Orac, Rene Najera and others.

Damacleaze, why should he identify himself to Handley? In case you are new here, Handley has a habit of using lawyers to silence people who disagree with him. That includes Dr. Paul Offit (which resulted in both giving money to a charity of Dr. Offit's choosing, plus some edits in the book in question, though those edits are no more flattering to Handley).

Do yourself a favor, go up and actually read the links.

That polygamous WRETCH! All this time I thought I was Bonnie Offit.

So if Kev and Sullivan and Orac are Bonnie ... who is that guy I've been sleeping with?

Oh, that was me. Shows you the trouble one minor spelling mistake can cause, doesn't it?

By Pall Offit (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Damacleeze--I am always amused when anonymous posters demand that other people identify themselves.

I know, or know of, quite a few people who have good reason to blog anonymously or pseudonymously, because what they're doing is legal and reasonable, but other people or organizations dislike it and will attempt to take revenge or silence the blogger. Do you want a random stranger to threaten to get you fired, rape you, or kill your dog because you state opinions they disagree with? Neither do other people want that to happen to them.

If Sullivan is just a parent of an autistic child and nothing else why doesn't he just identify himself?

I think Sullivan should not respond at all at this point. Let the AoA regulars continue to suspect whatever they want to suspect.

At best, they would try find out who his employer is and try to get him fired like they did with a "friend" of Orac's. Worst case, JB would look for any writing by Sullivan critical of him, and would try to silence him through litigation, even if he doesn't have a case.


If Sullivan is just a parent of an autistic child and nothing else why doesn't he just identify himself?

Because he wants to protect his family's privacy, which to me is a pretty compelling reason.

You had me going for a moment there, Orac. Then, I realized that this is the script for another "Downfall" parody.


At best, they would try find out who his employer is and try to get him fired like they did with a "friend" of Orac's.

Look for a post by Handley's disciple, Jake, soon.


Ich bin ein Bonnie Offit.


By Scottynuke (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Here's Handley's offer (emphasis added)

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

In fact, if you can produce this father, I promise to never, ever publicly write about or utter the name âPaul Offitâ again.

I need legal advice. What would be convincing evidence? I mean, I know Sullivan personally and would be willing to swear that Sullivan is a man and the father of a child with autism. What form would that take? A notarized letter or would I have to do more, like appear before an officer of the court?

I AM Bonnie Offit, damn it.

Oh, come offit! Everyone knows that I am Boffie Onnit. I am also Sullivan (as in Andrew). Not to mention Solomon (King, not Wilcots).

By Just Sayin' (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Bonnie Offitt is Spartacus!

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

#54, MikeMa
True. I always figured that they must he must hear about what his enemies are saying even if there is often very little understanding going on of what they have said. But perhaps that assumption is incorrect.

As for his response, if he did I really did not expect much. I imagine much weaseling or outright denial. Just as we seen in the comments over there. Nothing will convince them this is spurious and silly.


"I am very curious what his reaction will be when he finds out this is all garbage and embarrassing."

He is absolutely shameless when caught out.

You can see him in an NBC interview saying: "Well, we immediately realized - and I think this is something that's a big surprise for people - that autism is a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning. If you line up a hundred symptoms of mercury poisoning and a hundred symptoms of autism they are exactly the same."


(Really? Kidney failure, loss of hair, teeth and nails, shedding of skin, profuse sweating, tachycardia, ...? Perfect match for autism.)

But these days he denies ever claiming that it was all down to mercury.

By shortshrift (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

@LizDitz: You could ask JB Handley if a sworn affidavit would be sufficient to him, before you go through the trouble. From reading the web, it appears that any notary public can take sworn affidavits.

I am Bonnie Offitt, but from a parallel earth.

Occasionally, I cross the barriers of space-time to post under a pseudonym on blogs. Yes, it's an odd use for someone with so much power and responsibility, but given the depth of this conspiracy...the mission to mislead the world into thinking the scientific and medical community is not responsible for victimizing the mighty JB by making his child autistic...someone has to do it. Alas, the task has fallen to me.

I'm guessing JB is REALLY into CSI these days. Guess the vinegar market has soured. (ooo, that was bad. Sorry.)

On second thought, why wouldn't a sworn affidavit be sufficient to Handley? His bar for evidence is so low, that he considers the pronoun "she" (directed at someone other than Sullivan) evidence that Sullivan is Bonnie Offit.

Well, JB fell for the misdirection. Had he but considered that "Bonnie Offit" is an anagram for "Fib? None of it" he might have avoided making such of fool of himself.

Waitaminit! JB? I take that back.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

@76 "But these days he denies ever claiming that it was all down to mercury."

The bottom line is that his 'victimization' is somebody else's fault, regardless of what the cause is today. Someone's misdeeds have victimized 'JB the martyr' with an autistic child.

I was Shirley MacClaine in a past life, and I will be Bonnie Offit in the next.

By ceilingcat (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

@RJ (#79)

With all the Bonnie Offit's running around, it's only a matter of time until they are all retconned into one singular Bonnie Offit.

I can picture it now: Crisis on Infinite Vaccines

i am the walrus.

Who is John Galt?

@Rene #77 -- egg-zackaly.

Is there in truth no Bonnie Offitt?

By Scottynuke (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Considering the damage that "Sid Offit" has done to the credibility of the "vaccines-cause-autism" movement, it wouldn't surprise me to find that he is Bonnie Offit. After all, if I were trying to come up with a way to make the "vaccines-cause-autism" movement look ridiculous, I couldn't do any better than he's done.

Here's a little hint for the readers of AoA:

When writers attack the messenger, it's because they can't find any flaws with the message.

And, by the way, "Sid Offit" isn't Bonnie Offit because I am.


The best part of JB's article is where he argues that Sullivan can't be a layperson because Sullivan clearly understands the medical and scientific research as if he/she/it were a doctor.

I can understand why JB thinks so --- just look at what JB believes and writes. Me, I think that it is possible for a layperson to actually learn the hard stuff. It isn't common, but others (not me) have done it, such as Kwombles. Wait... that must be it, Kwombles is Bonnie Offit.

Guess what? Kwombles has outed herself. She is Bonnie Offit. http://kwomblescountering.blogspot.com/2010/11/no-no-no-im-bonnie-offit… Except that I can't figure out how she teaches classes at the same time that Dr. Bonnie Offit sees patients? FTL, anyone?

Yojimbo: Handley probably fantasizes that he is.

Kristen, Chris: Remember that Handley comes from a line of business where being compared to Gordon Gekko is a high compliment. Someone like him wants, more than anything else, for his child to surpass others in a zero-sum fashion, and that means he wants and needs other people's kids to fall behind his. To a ruthless competitor, winning is as much about taking pleasure in other people's losses as it is in gaining something for oneself.

Education critic Alfie Kohn [*] has documented cases where parents have opposed expansion of special education programs, not just because they'd "take resources away from" their own kids, but because it would make special ed students better able to compete against their own kids.

* Yes, I know that Kohn has a major blind spot regarding ADHD.

Wow. I followed the link, and that's the silliest and most ardent conspiracy theory mongering I've yet seen on AoA. And that's something.

Also, Salman Rushdie is Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa.

By Scott Cunningham (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

I'm Bonnie Offit. I believe Sullivan is actually Kaiser Soze.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

sheldon101: As I mentioned on KWombles' site, Handley's argument that Sullivan is "too well informed to be a layman" is exactly the same one that Cliff Shoemaker used to justify his subpoena of Kathleen Seidel.

Sullivan is a layperson when it comes to medicine, but he's not really a layperson. I understand he's formally trained in a scientific field.

That's where JB's confusion lies. At AoA, none of the editors are formally trained in science or engineering. They obviously never had a real interest in science, i.e. how the world works. They simply stumbled upon a scientific discussion, because of personal circumstances.

Either way, we now have a statement by JB to the effect that laypersons like him cannot have a good understanding of the science.

There is only one explanation for the publication of the article. JB gives AoA so much of its money that they don't have a choice.

We need to know if this is true. I am calling on AoA to list all its sources of money. I want to know who is actually calling the shot.s


Kristen, Chris: Remember that Handley comes from a line of business where being compared to Gordon Gekko is a high compliment. Someone like him wants, more than anything else, for his child to surpass others in a zero-sum fashion, and that means he wants and needs other people's kids to fall behind his.

Sounds like a sociopath.

I am NOT Bonnie Offit.
But, as the person who calculated and confirmed Paul Offit's share of CHOP's Rotateq patent, apparently I am "Offit's accountant or lawyer" (comment Dianne W Farr).
I have been struck by the fact the I leave no question of my identity (and a search of my sometimes-handle "evil possum" should lead to my site even faster than my real name), and AoA appears to choose to ignore my existence.

@RJ (#82)

You may have something there.

Overachiever has autistic son, not (as expected) future summa cum laude graduate and captain of college football team. As an uber-aggressive managing director there's always someone to blame, but if the cause might be genetic... Checks out of Chateau Reality.

Would make me feel sorry for him if it weren't for his unpleasant character, shameless reinvention of his own past positions, baseless undermining of confidence in vaccination, and the distraction he's been to serious research into autism.

What sort of person openly berates a parent for saying, "my main concern is to create a better world for all people, but especially for people with disabilities."? Think #96 has the correct one word answer.

By shortshrift (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Ah, Soros' master plan is coming along nicely. I knew through sources that it involved boosting Offit's book sales (the reasons should be obvious), but I had no idea Handley was in on it.

"I suggest that you remember that my operatives would avenge my death....
and some of them are Bonnie Offit.."

I am actually J. B. Handley. The new world order and the masons have got you all fooled!!!!!!!

We are using vaccines and age of autism to distract you from the real cause of autism, which is the fluoridation of the water (pollutes precious bodily fluids). Autism is misdiagnosed fluoridation poisoning!

By Bonnie Offit (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Prometheus: "And, by the way, "Sid Offit" isn't Bonnie Offit because I am."

Prometheus is Sid??!?

Next thing, you'll be telling us clams got legs.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Did you ever notice that when "Sullivan" is posting, Jenny McCarthy is mysteriously out of sight? Do you think?...is it possible?...is this all just a ruse? Is Bonnie Offit actually Jenny McCarthy, and that she posts as Sullivan so that we would be fooled and she would foster her stardom in the autism light? Truly diabolical!

Not true, I've been living of rain water and grain alcohol for years, and it didn't help!

Two of my favorite comments to date:

Writing styles are almost as good as fingerprints, and can be analyzed against known work to determine the author. The timing and content of some of the "Sullivan posts" are a bit telling. The scammers have been caught again.

JB's writing style is always easy to determine, as it simply makes sense.

Posted by: cmo | November 16, 2010 at 04:11 PM


Love it. Game on. It is disgusting that the whole Adam Blye "everyday science blogs" are paying people to do their dirty work. Especially now that more researchers are coming out and saying the science is f'd. on HuffPo right now in the Health section Dennis Whittle has a little article on " How much can we rely on the medical experts? "(based on John Ioannidis's review of medical research- and he takes a pretty dim view of it). check it out.

Posted by: Jen | November 16, 2010 at 04:11 PM

No, no, no. I am Bonnie Offit

And I can see JB through his monitor every time he clicks on LBRB.

Is that a smidgen of spinach wedged between your upper incisors there JB? Or something else?

No, no, no. I am Bonnie Offit

And I can see JB through his monitor every time he clicks on LBRB.

Is that a smidgen of spinach wedged between your upper incisors there JB? Or something else?

I know I've been lurking not posting for a long while but the time to confess has come. I'm Bonnie Offit. and I'm also Paul Offit. And Sullivan, I might be Napoleon as well - if it is Thursday.

How many times has the federal government put people in prison just for Flibbing????

No wonder US prisons are chronically overcrowded!

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

I have to say it, I am Bonnie Offit.
I pretend to be a French guy with a random grasp of English grammar to throw off Mr Handley, but he is too smart. He already found out my UK alias, it's just a matter of time before he discovers what I am also Boris Yeltsin, the lead singer of ABBA, Skippy the kangaroo, and Carla Bruni.
(you should admit I have a knack for deep cover jobs)
I am also the sole daughter of the late Peruvian president, and for reasons too long to explain, I am now living in Ouagadougou, Burkinafaso.


I feel left out. I am one of the few who is *not* Bonnie Offit.

Liar! Everyone is Bonnie Offit!!

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 16 Nov 2010 #permalink

Shoot, came in too late for this.....

You don't understand, people. There is no Bonnie Offit.

Kim Stagliano, who apparently makes her living at Age of Autism, isn't too fond of me, because of comments I made at Huffington-Post in response to her blog entries.

More likely it is that she got dressed down by Huff-Po for amazingly inappropriate comments she made when I made a comment that discussed by brother's ALS. Since then, she's really toned down the nastiness.

And of course, I am well hated at Huff-Po because I write a lot of comments on vaccines and vaccination and even worse, I actually research my comments before I write them. That's considered really nasty. So I keep getting accused of being a shill, even though that violates Huff-Po rules.

The above explains why the editors of AoA allowed this comment to appear, which I've turned into a a short entry at my blog www.vaccineswork.blogspot.com

---- start---
Ok. Now who is Sheldon on huffpo?
Posted by: HFAmomto3HFAgirls | November 16, 2010 at 06:44 PM

To which I replied, but expect AoA won't publish.

Re: Ok, Now who is sheldon at huffpo?
I am and I would like thank HFAmomto3HFAgirls for making my day.
Posted by: sheldon101 | November 17, 2010 at 01:19 AM
----- end ---

You see...AoA can be force for humor.

Maybe Augustine is Bonnie Offit, working under deep-cover.

Hi, I repeat, I am NOT Mario!

I'm sorry, Bonnie Offit, but you vax is in another castle.

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 17 Nov 2010 #permalink

Thread winner spotted at #123

I can't be Bonnie Offit because apparently it would be unlikely for her to troll the internet yet never post/comment or blog. These comments are all too funny. The real Bonnie must be quite flattered to think that she was so articulate. But she must have quite a bit of restraint for posting even though she reads them all!

By Bonnie Offit (not verified) on 17 Nov 2010 #permalink

[Bonnie Offit: I can't be Bonnie Offit because apparently it would be unlikely for her to troll the internet yet never post/comment or blog.]

Sort of like the real Peyton Manning could put on his own Jersey and walk down Bourbon Street undercover because so many Peyton Manning imposters already have his jersey on.

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Nov 2010 #permalink

yes, great analogy. But if I were Bonnie Offit I would also like to thank everyone for all the support for Paul and even for me for the day. Apparently there are times where the temptation to post just overwhelms.

By Bonnie Offit (not verified) on 17 Nov 2010 #permalink

OK, now that JB has shown his amazing ability to sort through a complex pile of facts and unerringly come to the wrong conclusion, maybe we should critically examine some of his other conclusions.

JB said (and I paraphrase) that a non-physician with no biological education or training can't be expected to grasp the complex field of autism or vaccine safety. Whatever possessed him to pontificate on those topics if he believes that people like himself are incompetent to participate in the discussion?

Like a lot of successful business people (and politicians), JB seems to think that he's the smartest person in the room - no matter which room he's in. This may make for business success, but it is a recipe for scientific disaster. It also hasn't served JB well in his more recent role as "master Internet sleuth".

I have to admit that I agree with him - to a point: while it is perilous for "self-taught experts" to assume that they know more than actual experts (i.e. people with education, training and experience in the field), it is possible for a diligent layperson to grasp much of a complex topic, even if they remain ignorant of the details and nuances. This allows them to participate in the discussion, but not to dominate it.


"You don't understand, people. There is no Bonnie Offit."
Then we will just have to invent her.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 17 Nov 2010 #permalink

Dangerous Bacon (#103),

Just to clarify, I said that "Sid" couldn't be Bonnie Offit because I am Bonnie Offit - or Sullivan, I can't keep it straight.

BTW, will we later be treated to JB saying "I never said Sullivan was Bonnie Offit, I was just asking."? Or will he say it was "all the toxins" or perhaps even "too many, too soon"?

Maybe Dan Olmsted will back JB up by saying "I looked for Sullivan in the men's room and didn't find him, so he must be Bonnie Offit."?

You can't make up comedy like this.


on a more serious note. Does anyone really think that Handley would take down the pauloffit.com web page? If if so who could convince him?

By Bonnie Offit (not verified) on 17 Nov 2010 #permalink

I believe I have an analogy for Handley's "challenge":
If I say JB is Bigfoot, then he IS Bigfoot, until Bigfoot comes out of the woods to make a statement that he/she/it isn't JB.

There was another self-labeled expert duped into a belief that he labeled as science simply because his belief in his own cognitive powers was all-encompassing. His name was Fred Leuchter and there was an amazing documentary done on him.

And no, I'm not calling JB a neo-Nazi, just that blind faith, an undeservedly inflated assessment of one's own cognitive ability, and an unwaivering desire to say something (anything) are common traits for both men.

By belt-fed, air-cooled (not verified) on 17 Nov 2010 #permalink

on a more serious note. Does anyone really think that Handley would take down the pauloffit.com web page? If if so who could convince him?

Do I think Handley would remember an offer or promise like that one second later than convenient for his worldview? Not in the least. Just look at how Handley completely forgot all the assertions he made about "autism is just a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning" when autism rates failed to plummet after thimerosal was removed from vaccines as he had predicted they would.

An honest man would have said "Wow, I made a confident prediction based on something I was certain of at the time, and that prediction failed miserably. I really need to re-examine all the things I was so certain of back then, because any of them could be just as wrong as this one was!" A shameless man would just pretend he'd never made those bold statements and refuse to learn from their refutation.

Handley chose the course of the shameless. We should never forget this, and never credit him with integrity that he has not demonstrated.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 17 Nov 2010 #permalink

I think it's obvious by my name that I'm not Sullivan but that I must be Bonnie Offit.

Awwww! That's cute! The little skeptic atheists feel like they are being oppressed so they band together with the cute little "I'm spartacus" theatrics.

For a brief moment they share a sentimental bond. Yet in the end they eat their own!

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Nov 2010 #permalink

To keep in the line, I must add that I am Bonnie Offit as well.

Don't be silly, everyone. I know you aren't Bonnie Offit.

I am.

Okay, seriously, here's how it works:

Orac is really Rachael Dunlop while she's busy with that,
Steve Novella is taking her place. Steve Novella was replaced by Phil Plait; Phil Plait was replaced by P.Z. Myers, who needed a break from all that difficult biology so decided to just deal with somthing easy for a while.

P.Z Myers, surprisingly, is a pseudonym of Ken Ham. Ken Ham, as we know him, is an elaborate construct to try and throw doubt on creationism, similar to Kent Hovind (Richard Dawkins) and Meryl Dorey (Rachael Dunlop, that is, Orac). Meryl Dorey is also Jack of Kent, who is Sullivan, who is Paul Offit, who is Bonnie Offit.

Everything clear?

For a brief moment they share a sentimental bond. Yet in the end they eat their own!

Pfft, no. Our Big Pharma⢠masters threatened us with not being able to go to the holiday shindig this year if we didn't stick up for our own (you haven't lived until you have seen PZ table-dancing to Orac's rendition of "Free Fall'n"!).

And of course I would stick up for Bonnie Offit, she and I are one and the same.


Our Big Pharma⢠masters threatened us with not being able to go to the holiday shindig this year if we didn't stick up for our own (you haven't lived until you have seen PZ table-dancing to Orac's rendition of "Free Fall'n"!).

Now THAT is something to travel for. But I didn't get my invite to the shindig yet. I think it must be going to the same post office that keeps losing my Big Pharma checks.

MI Dawn (who is NOT Bonnie Offit)..

By Triskelethecat… (not verified) on 18 Nov 2010 #permalink


Attention, all embedded forum agents and drones: Our Pharma Mastersâ¢, in order to protect the identity of "Bonnie Offitt" who has been so successfully plaguing the antivaxers, has issued Bonnie Offitt name tags to be distributed to everyone, in order to continue to confound our righteous enemies.

If yours has not yet arrived by express messenger, you can pick one up at the next indoctrination meeting (Friday night, 8 sharp) at Orac's palatial estate. Thimerosal cocktails (diluted 200C for extra potency) will be served.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 18 Nov 2010 #permalink


By Orange Lantern (not verified) on 18 Nov 2010 #permalink

The only shots with thimerosal still in use in the US are SOME flu shots. ACCORDING TO THE NVIC, the flu shots that do contain thimerosal are NOT recommended for children under 2.

Although, now that I say the above, I'm not sure that I should be discussing the Reptilian OverlordsTM in public.

As neither an atheist nor self-identifying as a skeptic I might not be senior enough in the hierarchy to do so.

Hopefully this will not lead to punishment from Lord Draconis.

I want my thimerosal cocktail!

Bonnie Offit

By Autistic Lurker (not verified) on 18 Nov 2010 #permalink

Thanks for responding, short shrift. I still think some of the performance measures point to some interesting questions. I liked your grammar analogy.

David, I don't think BLF thinks of thim as a dead issue as a quick look at her NVIC site mentions mercury quite often- in the 'flu shots for pregnant women, vaccine ingredients calculator and in other articles ( Continued Use of Mercury in Vaccines Questioned). Hers is a vaccine-based website but most other sites concerned with safety of mercury mention other sources ( I.e. Dental amalgams etc.).

I I have tested the ingredients calculator, and found that it would not work if I entered an age of 2, because thimerosal shots are not recommended for children so young.


Now that's funny.