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IACC: Lots of Redundancy, Little Innovation

Serenity-prayerBy Katie Wright

The Serenity Prayer isn’t just for AA meetings anymore. I find it to be a useful calming exercise while listening to an Inter Agency Autism Committee Meeting. It helps me not want to jump off a bridge.

Almost no IACC members (who were not compelled by law) attended, or apparently listened to the first Congressional Government Accountability meeting on autism since 2001. Apparently Dr. Insel’s policy to ignore the outside world and all public input continues in earnest. At the hearing Congressmen and women spoke, at great length, about their frustration over NIH and CDC failures, specifically the absence of vaccine safety research on our immunization schedule and the association between vaccination and autistic regression. Congressperson after congressperson spoke with incomprehension over the fact we have the world’s most aggressive, infant immunization schedule yet among the sickest children in the industrialized world.

An amazing thing happens in a democracy: commonsense has a voice. Good questions are actually asked and bureaucrats, like Dr. Coleen Boyle and Dr. Alan Guttmacher, are required to answer! This is how life should be.

OK so let’s review, Congress held a full day hearing on autism research, featuring incredible bipartisan leadership, noteworthy in and of itself! Meanwhile in the hermetically sealed world of Dr. Insel and most IACC members there has been NO news, no discussion of this historic hearing whatsoever. Lyn Redwood attempted to insert discussion of new vaccine studies as discussed in this ground breaking public congressional hearing, into the Strategic Plan. However, Insel refused to amend the banal 5 year old, 3-sentence commentary on the state of autism and vaccine science.

The NIH wanted public IACC members who were as opposed to vaccine research as humanly possible.

I am still unclear whom Matt Carey represents and to what capacity he serves the autism community? He is a blogger yes, but for a British site? Does he provide services to ASD families? Does he fund research or educational conferences? Does he train First Responders to work with ASD families?  Four super HF Asperger's or HF autism men were appointed to IACC. This is odd considering that these brilliant and accomplished men represent about 2% of the ASD community. Indeed, given the new autism guidelines in the DSM, I doubt any of them would be labeled as “autistic” today.

Obviously Insel and company wanted public IACC members who toe the “autism is genetic and not so bad,” and “autism is just a lifestyle difference” and “autism is never the result of over vaccination” lines. But the strategy is so clumsy and obvious. Naturally all members of the high functioning ASD community argued, sometimes vociferously, against research into vaccine induced autistic regression.

The result of, in essence, of this ballot box stuffing in regards to IACC appointees, this has been the least representative and the least productive IACC year in history. Last year’s Strategic Plan and 2010’s Strategic Plan were far superior.

Sadly, Carey, parent and autism blogger, and Scott Michael Robertson, Self Advocate and Co-Founder and Vice Chair of Development, Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) spent much of their time and energy trying to block the environmental research initiatives important to the other 98% of the autism community.  Aren’t we all better off advocating for our own issues rather than expending all that energy trying to block issues so important to others? I do not understand why Carey is positively obsessed with the vaccine issue. Why not spend that time advocating against the use of restraints, anti-psychotics and electro shock therapy. These issues are so critically important and relevant to the here and now for the adult and young adult autism population.

Listen if there was a big discussion about important issues pertaining to the Asperger's community I would just butt out. The last thing I would do is present myself as an expert on a subject on which I have no expertise.

Yet that is exactly what Matt Carey did with Idil Abdull, Lyn Redwood and Jan Crandy. Idil spoke about the need to study environmental factors, including immunizations. We need to find out what is behind the explosion autism among the Somali community in Minneapolis. Immediately Carey challenged Idil stating that she has no way of know that the autism rate in Somalia is not the same as in Minneapolis. Robertson followed up saying that due to cultural differences Idil doesn’t know the real extent of autism in Somalia. Oh for Pete’s sake, I remember thinking, "This woman is from Somalia and a leader in the Minneapolis Somali community and the mother of a child with autism." I think she qualifies as someone suitably sensitive to the  “cultural issues” of other Somalis! Idil argued that autism is a new disease. Neither she nor any members of her community had even heard or saw those with a disease that makes children stop speaking and start head striking.  You just don’t miss these children, as Idil stated.

Additionally IACC members Jan Crandy and Lyn Redwood are ASD mothers. Many of the ASD families they represent witnessed post multi vaccination regression firsthand. The NIH has spent tens of millions on eye gazing research yet almost nothing on independent vaccine safety research. The general public, not just autism families, wants independent vaccine safety research not conducted by criminals (Thorsen) and their associates or those with financial or professional ties to the vaccine industry. There is a reason why vaccine safety is the number 1 concern of all new American parents.

Why this need to undercut the experiences and concerns of these autism mothers and hundreds of thousands of literally voiceless children? Do Carey and Robertson believe families are just making up these horrendous adverse vaccination response stories? It sounds like they do. I will never understand this need to negate others’ experiences.

Other public IACC members were more respectful of others’ experiences but not very helpful. I really wish all IACC members watched last year’s meetings and read the past 2 Strategic Plans. There was too much redundant discussion this year and too little insight. I was rooting for Dr. Batra when the committee was nominating researcher experts to aid with the plan.

Dr. Batra pushed for contributors with new ideas, but she had few specifics. One needs to come to IACC prepared, knowledgeable about the specific nominees. In the treatment discussion the same early intervention specialists were nominated by the same federal members (Dr. Boyle, Dr. Lawson) for the 10th year in a row. Then Batra made a great argument for the inclusion a sensory integration expert/ OT on the treatment team. Anshu emphasized that parents are impatient for treatment research that encompasses issues beyond early intervention and ABA.  Terrific idea I thought! But nothing happened because Dr. Batra did not have the name anyone to nominate. So frustrating.

Too much time was wasted by IACC members discussing, as if for the first time, the issues Wendy Fournier and Lori McIlwain brought forward 2 years ago. It remains impossible to understand why Wendy Fournier, the initiator of the wandering program and the president of the national research and service organization, the National Autism Association was not given an IACC seat. Wendy has regularly followed and contributed to IACC for the past 10 years. Yet so few IACC apparently even read past plans or public comments. The IACC office maintains meticulous records of past IACC committees, public comments and Strategic Plans. It is all there! Please read it!

Thank you to Jan Crandy for advocating for research on medical conditions. I wish more IACC members shared your sense of urgency for GI treatment research. Thank you to Geri Dawson for successfully advocating for innovator contributors. Thank you to Lyn Redwood for being one of the few brave voices for environmental science and vaccine safety.

Katie Wright is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.

Comments

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Not to mention Steven Salzberg in Forbes 'Congress holds an anti-vaccine hearing'

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

Katie: Thank you for your vigilance and reporting on the IACC meetings.

Twyla: Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

Madvocate: Here is another site that gives an accounting of the November 29, 2012 congressional hearing on autism. After watching it on c-span (see http://www.c-span.org/Events/Lawmakers-Look-into-Federal-Response-to-Rising-Rates-of-Autism/10737436113/ ): Jennifer Hutchinson posts “I took notes throughout, jotting down a slew of unbelievable ignorance and outright lies combined with words of passion, brilliance, and truth. All amidst eye rolling and head shaking from Katie Wright and others in the audience.” See
http://vactruth.com/2012/12/04/congressional-hearing-on-autism/

Tim Bolen: Look at the how press is asleep while Dr. Colleen Boyle from the CDC calmly tells us that “About 0.74 percent of kids had received in autism diagnosis in 2006-2008, up from 0.19 percent in 1997-1999…[and the CDC concern] is raising awareness of the importance of this as a health problem and one we need to address.”

The reporters missed the fact that thirty thousand children born in the U.S. each year that will suffer a lifelong devastating injury is an epidemic.

Consider past reporters like Karl Fleming. He was nearly killed by violence in the streets (from both sides of the civil rights battle in the 1960's) as he reported for Newsweek. Here are the links to his 2005 book and his 2012 obit:

http://www.amazon.com/Son-Rough-South-Uncivil-Memoir/dp/1586483897

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/12/local/la-me-karl-fleming-20120812

And yet today’s press does not lift a shoe regarding Paul Thorsen, still on the FBI wanted list for defrauding the CDC for over a million dollars and called a “tremendous scum bag” by US Representative Bill Posey. Seriously, can’t a reporter go to Denmark with a cell phone camera to visit this guy?

"...it is clear that SafeMinds denied "changing the topic of the hearing away from vaccines/autism".

I see no denial anywhere in your copy and paste. Please cite the line.

"it is a shame to call this amazing event a failure."

I never said that.

"I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes..."

That is obvious.

"Tim Bolen's tone and approach are very divisive."

You don't seem troubled by Bolen's report that Blaxill attempted to censor an Autism One speaker by withdrawing a $9000 donation. But you object to the "tone" in which Bolen reported this and other facts?

"I don't think it makes sense to say or imply that Brian Hooker had the power to singlehandedly cause this hearing to take place..."

I never said he did it singlehandedly. I said it wouldn't have happened without him, and I think the evidence supports that. He was the primary force behind this hearing being scheduled on the original topic.


"She has to put up LiLady, Autism Newsbeat and all the rest and she does it and always manages to get in the last few blogs.....Does she have to do the same thing at home base?"

If she visits those blogs, then she should know that they are siding with SafeMinds and Blaxill in this controversy. (Hint: You're supposed to want Orac etc. AGAINST you.) If Twyla is responding to skeptics, I applaud her efforts, but I hope her comments are better informed and more precise than they are here.

Madavocate;
Have you ever gone over to those Huffington Piecies they do some times on autism and then read the blogs?

I just feel sorry for Twyla that she has this job to do constantly - and does it without complaint.

She has to put up LiLady, Autism Newsbeat and all the rest and she does it and always manages to get in the last few blogs.

Good Job Twyla.

Does she have to do the same thing at home base?

Madvocate, you say that SafeMinds/Blaxill do not deny changing the topic of the hearing away from vaccines/autism, but actually in their statement SafeMinds does deny this.

http://www.safeminds.org/news/safeminds-and-house-committee.html

"Over the years, SafeMinds has established a professional relationship with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (COGR) due to its ongoing interest in autism. Since 2000, six SafeMinds board members have testified before COGR, its precursors or subcommittees, in hearings regarding mercury, vaccines and the autism epidemic. The most recent hearing took place on November 29, 2012.

"Brian [Hooker] spoke to us directly and expressed his concern that we maneuvered to block him from testifying, which we did not do... Our contact there... concurred with our internal view of events that at no time did SafeMinds misrepresent our organizational affiliations to congressional staff, nor did we or any of our affiliates seek the recision of Brian Hooker’s invitation to testify before the COGR.

"Jake [Crosby] has criticized us for going light on the vaccine issue. Mark covered vaccines in his written testimony, hammered the government on its denial of the epidemic in his oral testimony and reintroduced these issues pointedly during the questioning by Committee members, calling them the 'Great Unmentionables, vaccines and mercury, as causation factors.' (See the entire public panel segment for Mark's words during testimony and Q&A here. Time segment 3:11:55). Committee members had been briefed by many members of the community including SafeMinds and Brian, so they knew what to ask. Members did an incredible job and we thank them.

"In addition, SafeMinds submitted extensive written testimony to the committee for those who wish to judge whether we ignored vaccines. These efforts included the distribution of Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted’s book Age of Autism to committee members.

"SafeMinds also organized a Congressional briefing on May 18, 2012 to engage Congress and educate members on the problems with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. This briefing highlighted the Unanswered Questions Report which links government-compensated vaccine injuries and autism, and it called for Congressional Oversight hearings. For this briefing, we chose as presenters Clifford Shoemaker, the Chairman of the Vaccine Injured Petitioners’ Bar Association, Dr. Peter Meyer who has written an exhaustive review of the inherent flaws of the NVICP, several parents of victims and Louis Conte, a long-time criminal justice professional, co-author of the paper and a Board member of EBCALA..."

Clearly SafeMinds did play a huge role in preparing the committee meetings. In addition, at the beginning of his testimony Mark said that he was submitting testimonials of 300 families. SafeMinds is not afraid of talking about vaccines.

In the various parts of his testimony, Mark talks about how real the autism increase is, how CDC has covered up research, how vaccines and mercury are prime suspects, how the majority of research on mercury is on the side of a link between mercury and autism, how genetics cannot explain the huge increase, how the agencies are not doing their job and we need congress' help, and more.

Again, I have no first-hand knowledge of what went on behind the scenes, but it is clear that SafeMinds denied "changing the topic of the hearing away from vaccines/autism".

Madvocate, if I call anyone divisive it's not because they disagree with me on something. People are welcome to disagree with me on anything. Expressing opinions is fine. But Tim Bolen's tone and approach are very divisive.

I don't represent any group, and I have no idea how many people agree or disagree with anything I say.

I don't know how different the hearing could have been, but I think it is incorrect to say that it was not about vaccines and autism. There was only brief mention of vaccines during the panel discussion, but there was lots of questioning about vaccines by the congresspeople, who had clearly been well educated on these issues which have been covered on the Age of Autism and SafeMinds sites for many years, among other places.

I don't think it makes sense to say or imply that Brian Hooker had the power to singlehandedly cause this hearing to take place and educate these congresspeople yet he had no power over the choice of panelists. And to give SafeMinds no credit for their advocacy and providing information to congress but they are blamed for the choice of panelists, as if they had so much power in just that area.

I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes but it seems to me that this hearing was a group effort, that many people are engaged in many kinds of advocacy, that there are always differences of opinion over strategy, and that it is a shame to call this amazing event a failure.

@ various comments directed to me from SafeMinds/Mark Blaxill supporters

You call those of us who disagree with you "divisive" and accuse us of "infighting," which implies that you represent the majority opinion in the vaccine injury/autism community. But you do not. You represent a small group that is run by an Autism Speaks board member. All you have to do is read the comments under articles critical of SafeMinds to know that you do not represent the majority opinion in our community. That said, I would never tell you to agree with me because you're being "divisive." What a poor reason to ask anyone to change their mind.

Feel free to stand behind Mark "I-don't-have-a-lot-of-hope" Blaxill. And I will find someone to stand behind who doesn't threaten Autism One with pulling his $9,000 donation to them unless they fire a speaker whom he doesn't like. (I don't support people who use their money to try to censor other people. If you do, that's your choice.)

I happen to believe that changing the topic of the hearing away from vaccines/autism (which SafeMinds/Blaxill do not deny doing) was one of the worst mistakes anyone representing our community has ever made. I also believe apologies are in order, from them to us. But I won't hold my breath.

Readers, seems the From Twyla Yes Vaccines comment thread turned into a URL and got wonky on the site - I have cut and pasted ALL of the comments in that thread and posted them here and deleted the rogue URL. I apologize for any inconvenience. The comments belonged on this post by Katie Wright RE IACC: KIM

Kelli Ann Davis shared "a “behind the scenes” build-up to the 2007 IOM Workshop: Autism and Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research to demonstrate how it usually works in DC." ...and thank you Ms Davis for taking the time to write this enlightening comment.

Yes, a great deal of work and discussion takes place 'behind the scenes'. Government committees also seem to work 'in mysterious ways', but somehow reforms DO happen eventually. As Ms Davis illustrates, a great deal of lobbying of government advisors is required. Such persons need to be convinced, before making representations to the appropriate Congress representatives, who in turn need to be convinced of the necessity to implement reforms. These 'reforms' may require legislative changes. It all takes time, a lot of time, and success is not guaranteed. What's needed is polite persistence, perseverence and a measure of patience.

Anyone who imagines everything can be quickly achieved with 'grand gestures' and 'street fighting' is living in cloud cuckoo land!! Ms Davis is absolutely right. We should not be wasting our energies on infighting. Solidarity is what's needed.

Posted by: Jenny Allan | March 09, 2013 at 08:01 PM

Wow. I’ve been observing all of this from the *sidelines* over the last several weeks and after reading some of the comments on this post, I felt I needed to interject my thoughts:

First, for those of you who are *new* to the community and may not know me….I worked for almost 8 years “behind the scenes” advocating in Washington DC; when I left in spring 2009, I was the D.C. Political Liaison for Generation Rescue – a position I held for 2 years.

Second, during those 8 years, I got to work with both Brian Hooker and Mark Blaxill -- two brilliant, hard-working individuals who have made a HUGE impact for our children and our community. I admire and respect them both tremendously and as you can guess, all of *this* has been disconcerting (to say the least)….

So with that said, I’d like to address a few comments:

@Madvocate: “My only loyalty is to the babies in the pediatricians' offices today, right now - whom Mark let down.”

You couldn’t be more wrong. Mark has gone to the plate FOR YEARS for our children and I’ve observed him *first-hand* in meetings with officials – he has not and is not one to “back-down” from speaking the truth! To try and equate a 5 minute speaking slot before a Congressional Hearing and “letting babies down” against all the years of hard work he has contributed to our children and community is ludicrous and quite frankly, way off base!

@Twyla: “I give Brian Hooker props - lots of props. But for others to use this event as an opportunity to bash a bunch of other people and belittle their contributions is wrong.”

Totally agree!

That said, your comment -- “I find it very hard to believe that one autism parent alone by himself caused this congressional committee to hold this hearing and ask these questions”

...is not necessarily true. Yes, most likely the individual members of Congress were interacting with their constituents, BUT there is usually a “catalyst” (individual/small group of individuals) that actually asks for and *secures* an outcome; in this case, the hearing. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that Brian (and his small group) did this.

I’m going to share a “behind the scenes” build-up to the 2007 IOM Workshop: Autism and Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research to demonstrate how it usually works in DC.

As you will read from Dr. Raub’s own account below, *MANY* people contributed to educating him on the issue, but it was a small group who “secured” the outcome. That’s just the way it works. (Also note: Mark and Jim were both members of SAFEMINDS.)

From Dr. Raub (Science Advisor to HHS Secretary at the time):

“In response to a recommendation from me, the Secretary of Health and Human Services requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) undertake the subject workshop. My recommendation, in turn, ensued from a meeting, which I hosted, involving three advocates for autistic children and adults (Kelli Ann Davis, Mark Blaxill, and James Moody) and Dr. Harvey Fineberg, the President of IOM. I called the meeting in the hope of generating better mutual understanding between autism advocates and
biomedical scientists.

Kelli Ann, Mark, and Jim are part of a group of autism advocates (almost all of them parents of autistic children) whom I've had to privilege to come to know over the last 18 months or so. Various subsets of the group have met with me about a half dozen times to discuss their concerns about the scientific community and possible ways to resolve them. Those who met with me are members of several different autism organizations - in some instances, more than one. But, in their interactions with me, they generally do not declare themselves as official representatives of any particular organization; nor does that matter to me. What matters is that they, as individuals, repeatedly have taken the initiative to spend considerable time and energy helping me understand their interests, frustrations, and suspicions and, I hope, act wisely and helpfully in response.

The change in language on the website was a clarification to assure interested parties that no potentially relevant environmental agent is off limits for discussion - whether or not the agent is or has been used in association with vaccines."

(And BTW: The reason the language was changed was because we *pressed* for it! One example of Mark not "backing down"...)

Bottom Line: Fighting amongst ourselves has never been beneficial to our cause. It’s one of the major reasons I backed away 4 years ago….too much energy expended in the wrong direction. The “enemy” is out there folks.

Just my .02

Kelli Ann Davis

Posted by: Kelli Ann Davis | March 09, 2013 at 06:38 PM

I admire you too, Benedetta.

Posted by: Twyla | March 09, 2013 at 05:47 PM

Gee, White Rose -- I don't think I ever had an admirer!

Thanks!

Posted by: Benedetta | March 09, 2013 at 05:37 PM

Thanks, Hera. I agree!

Posted by: Twyla | March 09, 2013 at 05:04 PM

Bendetta ....And Nora ....you people are the good guys .
You both have an admirer from afar .
Do not worry one iota , there will be no split .
How can we possibly split when we are the fools left picking up the pieces after the vaccine assault that left our children in such misery . My child spent most of his waking hours today in abject frustration screaming at me , a torture of love , that allows for only one outlet .Which is REVENGE of the thieving lying bstrds that defend and promote the poisons that are VACCINES . Arrange your car crashes for me now because it would be better than the life you have given me ....if you dont , be prepared to find me chained to the gates of downing street or attached to the small hand of Big Ben . The UK was a criminal outfit from the time of slavery right up tom the present day and nothing has changed . Autism a new form of BRITISH slavery .

Posted by: White Rose | March 09, 2013 at 02:14 PM

Twyla; I think you are speaking very fairly.
( and I have enjoyed your contributions and comments in a variety of places for years.)
IMO, lots of people have made lots of contributions, and hopefully will continue to do so in whatever way works best for them.
If Brian Hooker did indeed single handedly make a congressional hearing happen and influence the questions that were asked,then great. He can do it again.And again, until we get real help from congress.

Someone with that kind of ability to lobby congress is a great asset.But it does seem more likely that more people were involved.Often I notice that people in many situations are only aware of their own contribution, and not the work of others who have also contributed.

Similarly if Tim Bolen feels he has major advocacy skills that everyone else lacks, then he doesn't need permission from anyone here to do whatever it is he feels needs doing.

( Mo, for what it is worth, is that fact finding and investigative info on vaccines is fine,delving into peoples personal info so as to embarass them is not, whatever their points of view. However if they are taking money from vaccine companies etc that is indeed relevant.)

There is no need to attack other people who have broadly speaking the same goals.DO your thing, and let them do theirs.

Posted by: Hera | March 09, 2013 at 01:19 PM

I find it very hard to believe that one autism parent alone by himself caused this congressional committee to hold this hearing and ask these questions.

Brian Hooker was part of a team of many people. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said that 50 autism families had contacted her. Beth Clay had been calling for congressional hearings at least since April of 2012. Congressman Burton wanted to hold one more hearing on autism before he retired. I give Brian Hooker props - lots of props. But for others to use this event as an opportunity to bash a bunch of other people and belittle their contributions is wrong.

Posted by: Twyla | March 09, 2013 at 12:26 PM

So, Is there going to be a splitting of the ways amongest us all?

Are some going to go off and form a more harden Autism Panther Party?

I don't know if this will work -- I still get that dumb - sheep look from a lot of people out here-- when I say to them - you got diabeties/knee replacement/sick stomach/sluggish thyroid and you can't eat your wheaties-- it could be linked to all them vaccines you had.

So, there may not be the numbers - to split small forces -- only makes for really tiny teeny forces. Just saying.

Posted by: Benedetta | March 09, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Ottoschnaut accuses Tim Bolen of making personal attacks, and in the very next sentence calls him "a cowardly, manipulative, greedhead" and expresses his desire to "piss on him." And that's just the tip of the iceberg of Ottoschnaut's recent personal attacks on AoA. I'm surprised some of them were even posted.

Without Tim Bolen, we wouldn't know that Mark Blaxill threatened to pull $9,000 from the Autism One conference in an attempt to knock Bolen off the speaking schedule. How anyone can support Blaxill after that is completely beyond me. (Will AoA run an article about that threat? Don't bank on it.)

Twyla, Try rereading my comment. I didn't change my position that the hearing was not about vaccines. All I did was respond to your list of quotes. Your attempts to justify SafeMinds weak testimony by pointing to something they did ten years ago just doesn't wash - at least for me. You're very loyal to Mark Blaxill. My only loyalty is to the babies in the pediatricians' offices today, right now - whom Mark let down.

Posted by: Madvocate | March 09, 2013 at 09:31 AM

Twyla,

You claimed that the hearing was mostly about autism and vaccines in your failed attempt to prove that SafeMinds advocated effectively. Now that you've posted the above summary, you inadvertently showed that the strong mentions of vaccines at this hearing were actually thanks to congressmen briefed by Brian Hooker, not thanks to anyone from SafeMinds. No one ever said this hearing was not about vaccines at all; that's a straw man you've made up to cover for your blunders.

Brian Hooker didn't just do a lot, he was the reason why this hearing happened. SafeMinds is the reason why the hearing got gutted.

"I don't understand this turning against SafeMinds."

Then maybe you should inform yourself; here are two places you can start:
http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Jake%20Crosby%20on%20SafeMinds.htm
http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/02/jake-crosby-safeminds-ignores-major-allegations-while-replying-dishonestly-to-other-charges.html#more

Mark Blaxill's initial involvement with Age of Autism was apparently authoring a column titled "What's going on?" We don't need to ask what's going on; we know what's going on! It's interesting how Mark felt the part of his book he needed to plug in his testimony was all this information about the life of Donald Triplett without even mentioning his likely exposure to ethylmercury or his likely recovery with gold salts.

Lyn Redwood did not draw David Kirby to the topic of thimerosal; David Kirby was drawn to the topic when he heard about the secret Homeland Security Ryder that attempted to shield Eli Lilly and other thimerosal manufacturers from litigation. Unless you're arguing that Redwood snuck this ryder into the Homeland Security Bill, your claim that she got David Kirby involved is moot. She may have been mentioned a lot in his book, but unlike David Geier, she wasn't the one who discovered CDC researcher Dr. Tom Verstraeten's findings showing that thimerosal exposure can multiply one's risk for developing autism by 7.62-fold.

No matter how much you claim that the SafeMinds people are not afraid to bring up vaccines and autism, nothing can excuse the fact that Mark Blaxill left vaccines out of his testimony or the fact that Lyn Redwood's avoidance of vaccines at IACC meetings. SafeMinds may have been "advocating" for a long time, but it doesn't have much to show for that "advocacy," especially considering how long it's been "advocating" for.

Posted by: Jake Crosby | March 09, 2013 at 03:46 AM

So, Madvocate, before you said that this hearing was not about vaccines and autism, but now you're saying that it must have been Brian Hooker who "primed members of Congress with all this powerful, disturbing information about the vaccine/autism link". Sudden change of approach.

I'm sure that Brian Hooker did a lot, but I imagine others did a lot too. I don't understand this turning against SafeMinds. Mark Blaxill cofounded this Age of Autism web site and cowrote the book Age of Autism. He has been speaking out about vaccines and autism for many years. Lyn Redwood was one of the main subjects of David Kirby's book Evidence of Harm - I think she was one of the people who first drew him into the topic. The people from SafeMinds are not afraid of speaking out about vaccines and autism. They are long-time advocates.

Posted by: Twyla | March 09, 2013 at 12:07 AM

Twyla's entire comment should be dedicated to Brian Hooker, without whom the members of Congress she quotes at length would never have been so thoroughly briefed about vaccines' connection to autism.

I find it very revealing that her evidence for the hearing being "about vaccines" includes not a word of testimony from any of the witnesses - including Mark Blaxill whom she so vigorously defends.

And if anyone actually believes SafeMinds primed members of Congress with all this powerful, disturbing information about the vaccine/autism link, while at the very same hearing represented its organization with testimony that barely mentioned vaccines, I have a lovely bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell to you.

Posted by: Madvocate | March 08, 2013 at 06:12 PM

Ottoschnaut

I have not make a public comment and will not make a public comment. If you want to contact me offline. I can explain why. (brian@dream-big.us)

Best Regards,

Brian Hooker

Posted by: Brian Hooker | March 08, 2013 at 04:31 PM

@Ottoshnaut:

I was not "used" by Dr. Brian Hooker or Tim Bolen. Writing those articles were entirely my idea; that's why I wrote them. Dr. Hooker doesn't need anybody to boost his credibility; the reason the hearing happened in the first place was because of him. If it weren't for Dr. Hooker, there'd be no hearing. He did not create the controversy; the controversy was created by Safeminds when it stole the hearing.

If Dr. Hooker could get it launched, then an org like Safeminds with a former Burton staffer named Beth Clay as its own hired lobbyist could hijack it after it's already off the ground. And that's exactly what SafeMinds did by misrepresenting Dr. Hooker and minimizing his participation to congressional staff as revealed in email to him by Beth Clay. Issa's congressional staffer Mark Marin thought Safeminds' Mark Blaxill was speaking on Dr. Hooker's behalf at the hearing. This is not a "personal vendetta"; this is the autism hearing getting gutted, and it hurts all of us.

Brian Hooker has a lot to say, and he said it. I quoted him extensively in both my articles; he was not just "seconding" my reporting, he was the source of my reporting. My articles would have never been written were it not for him. Plus, Safeminds has since publicly acknowledged his complaints.

If I'm so credible and have good intentions as you claim, then why don't you trust my reporting to stand on its own merits? If I have credibility Brian Hooker doesn't have as you also claim, how would a public statement directly from him even be worth anything to you?

You yourself have said to me that you've been misled by Beth Clay. You told me she invited you to a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill only for you to be told to "shut up" by another organizer after you got there, even though you had taken a day off work just to be there. Yet when she goes and wrongs someone else, you jump on the apologist bandwagon and start defending her and her client. You are a total hypocrite.

Posted by: Jake Crosby | March 08, 2013 at 02:16 PM

Google Act Up - if you copy it from below the "IACC: Lots of Redundancy, Little Innovation" article where the comment was first posted you might get better formatting (e.g. bullets, paragraphs).

Posted by: Twyla | March 08, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Outstanding. May I repost this in full with attribution (including link) on a political forum where readers have been conditioned to avoid AOA?

This powerful summary is not to be missed.

Posted by: Google ACT UP | March 08, 2013 at 11:16 AM

"Some are saying...." Some? C'mom, Dan, I think we are capable of discussing this is a forthright manner.

The "some" is a nexus comprised of Jake Crosby, Tim Bolen, and Dr Hooker. None have offered an operating theory, much less proof, of how an advocacy organization such as Safeminds can cause a ranking House committee chair to alter a witness list for a hearing.


Dr Hooker is content to sit back and let Jake take the heat for a controversy that Dr Hooker created. I find it odd that a grown man, with a doctorate no less, has to use Jake's hard won credibility to launch an attack against Safeminds. If Dr Hooker has something to say, why doesn't he rear back on his hind two legs and say it himself? Why has Dr Hooker not made a public statement seconding Jake's reporting?

Tim Bolen's screed this week disgusting. The author could just as well have been Brian Deer himself. The same style of self aggrandizing bullshit, linked to unsubstantiated, irrelevant personal attacks. Obviously Bolen's objective is to publicly express some kind of personal animus towards Mark Blaxill, nothing more, nothing less. Bolen has revealed himself as a cowardly, manipulative, greedhead who will stoop to any level to advance the cult of....Tim Bolen. If Tim Bolen wasn't on fire, I would gladly piss on him.

Jake is the reporter who has published over 70 columns at AoA- Jake has something that Bolen and Hooker want- tremendous goodwill in the vaccine injured community, and credibility built up over years of hard nosed reporting. Hooker and Bolen are using Jake to exercise a personal vendetta. It is a crying shame to watch two grown men so cynically and deftly exploit Jake's good intentions.

Posted by: Ottoschnaut | March 08, 2013 at 10:07 AM

re: "(2) You don't respect each other's abilities or opinions, (3) you don't work together, (4) You don't help each other"
That's funny, Tim, because you don't seem to be respecting anybody's abilities or opinions here, and you don't seem to want to help anyone or work together - you simply seem to want to grandstand, throw your weight around, criticize, be the big boss.

re: "All together now, let's say the "V" word. Say it out loud. Go open your front door and yell it out into the street. Quit letting Thomas Insel and Paul Offit decide what words you can utter."
People constantly talk about and write about vaccines. There's not fear of saying the "v" word. You're focussing on five minutes of testimony by Mark Blaxill and ignoring his many years of work and advocacy. And ignoring that after that in the Congressional hearing he did talk about vaccines. If you want to bring the autism community together, why are you alienating a large part of that community with your hostile criticism of someone's decisions regarding the best strategy? I have no idea whether Mark was right or wrong, what has gone on behind the scenes, what is going on now, what is being planned for the future, but I do know that there are often differences of opinion on the best approach, and I give Mark the benefit of the doubt because of his track record of service to our community.

And overall, that was an absolutely amazing hearing. I have never seen anything like the congresspeople questioning those two agency representatives. How the panelists were chosen, I don't know. But that doesn't change the breakthrough nature of the rest of the hearing.

Your approach, TIm, does not build community or teamwork. You speak of uniting all the various groups, yet your approach seems to be "my way or the highway". You can't unite large groups with an attitude of disrespecting individual's decisions. You can't unite large groups with an attitude of only respecting those who hold the same position as you. And you can't unite with meanness and hostility.

Furthermore, one could ask similar questions to you: Have you succeeded in changing mainstream medicine? What have you accomplished?

Tim Bolen says:-
"From what we see from over here in the Health Freedom Movement is that (1) the Autism community simply lacks organizational skills, (2) You don't respect each other's abilities or opinions, (3) you don't work together, (4) You don't help each other, (5) you have no communications network, and (6) you certainly have no General Plan - and you don't know how to make one."

I'm afraid I cannot equate these statements with the autism campaigners I know, including the AoA Editors and contributers. Your final statement,about formulating a "General Plan" sounds grandiose, but in this fast moving world I prefer to to be 'reactive'. Formulating 'plans' can often become self defeating as 'events' supersede them. Our Scottish Bard, Rabbie Burns memorably wrote about 'The best laid plans o' mice and men', and yes, they often 'gang agley'!!

However, I am not one to denigrate anyone's efforts and hard work and I wish you well Mr Bolen with your new 'Health Freedom Movement Joining with Autism Parents' initiative. If your methods achieve success, I will be delighted.

Jim: Somebody, at some time, has to say it. What the Autism community is doing IS NOT WORKING.

So, I'm saying it.

This isn't about hurt feelings. This is about solving the Autism problem as quickly as possible.

nhokkanen: I have no client in this argument. No one is paying me to attempt to solve this problem. We are not living in Pollyannaville. You cannot continue the attitude that everything is fine. It's NOT fine.

You don't want to hear this, but: From what we see from over here in the Health Freedom Movementis that (1) the Autism community simply lacks organizational skills, (2) You don't respect each other's abilities or opinions, (3) you don't work together, (4) You don't help each other, (5) you have no communications network, and (6) you certainly have no General Plan - and you don't know how to make one.

It is a time to change strategy and tactics. Period.

All together now, let's say the "V" word. Say it out loud. Go open your front door and yell it out into the street. Quit letting Thomas Insel and Paul Offit decide what words you can utter.

Tim Bolen
www.bolenreport.com

Ottoschnaut

I have not commented on this and will not comment publicly. If you would like to know why, please email me at brian@dream-big.us or call me at 509-366-2269.
Best Regards,

Brian

@Ottoshnaut:

I was not "used" by Dr. Brian Hooker or Tim Bolen. Writing those articles were entirely my idea; that's why I wrote them. Dr. Hooker doesn't need anybody to boost his credibility; the reason the hearing happened in the first place was because of him. If it weren't for Dr. Hooker, there'd be no hearing. He did not create the controversy; the controversy was created by Safeminds when it stole the hearing.

If Dr. Hooker could get it launched, then an org like Safeminds with a former Burton staffer named Beth Clay as its own hired lobbyist could hijack it after it's already off the ground. And that's exactly what SafeMinds did by misrepresenting Dr. Hooker and minimizing his participation to congressional staff as revealed in email to him by Beth Clay. Issa's congressional staffer Mark Marin thought Safeminds' Mark Blaxill was speaking on Dr. Hooker's behalf at the hearing. This is not a "personal vendetta"; this is the autism hearing getting gutted, and it hurts all of us.

Brian Hooker has a lot to say, and he said it. I quoted him extensively in both my articles; he was not just "seconding" my reporting, he was the source of my reporting. My articles would have never been written were it not for him. Plus, Safeminds has since publicly acknowledged his complaints.

If I'm so credible and have good intentions as you claim, then why don't you trust my reporting to stand on its own merits? If I have credibility Brian Hooker doesn't have as you also claim, how would a public statement directly from him even be worth anything to you?

You yourself have said to me that you've been misled by Beth Clay. You told me she invited you to a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill only for you to be told to "shut up" by another organizer after you got there, even though you had taken a day off work just to be there. Yet when she goes and wrongs someone else, you jump on the apologist bandwagon and start defending her and her client. You are a total hypocrite.

The ed assistant in me wants to say, "T" (timeout!). Enough nasty comments. I agree with what Benedetta said about everyone having a role to play.
Let's think back to that important phrase, "the problem is the problem." The bad guys are the bad guys.

"Some are saying...." Some? C'mom, Dan, I think we are capable of discussing this is a forthright manner. The "some" is a nexus comprised of Jake Crosby, Tim Bolen, and Dr Hooker. None have offered an operating theory, much less proof, of how an advocacy organization such as Safeminds can cause a ranking House committee chair to alter a witness list for a hearing. Dr Hooker is content to sit back and let Jake take the heat for a controversy that Dr Hooker created. I find it odd that a grown man, with a doctorate no less, has to use Jake's hard won credibility to launch an attack against Safeminds. If Dr Hooker has something to say, why doesn't he rear back on his hind two legs and say it himself? Why has Dr Hooker not made a public statement seconding Jake's reporting? Tim Bolen's screed this week disgusting. The author could just as well have been Brian Deer himself. The same style of self aggrandizing bullshit, linked to unsubstantiated, irrelevant personal attacks. Obviously Bolen's objective is to publicly express some kind of personal animus towards Mark Blaxill, nothing more, nothing less. Bolen has revealed himself as a cowardly, manipulative, greedhead who will stoop to any level to advance the cult of....Tim Bolen. If Tim Bolen wasn't on fire, I would gladly piss on him. Jake is the reporter who has published over 70 columns at AoA- Jake has something that Bolen and Hooker want- tremendous goodwill in the vaccine injured community, and credibility built up over years of hard nosed reporting. Hooker and Bolen are using Jake to exercise a personal vendetta. It is a crying shame to watch two grown men so cynically and deftly exploit Jake's good intentions.

"Then Batra made a great argument for the inclusion a sensory integration expert/ OT on the treatment team. Anshu emphasized that parents are impatient for treatment research that encompasses issues beyond early intervention and ABA. Terrific idea I thought! But nothing happened because Dr. Batra did not have the name anyone to nominate. So frustrating."

"Too much time was wasted by IACC members discussing, as if for the first time, the issues Wendy Fournier and Lori McIlwain brought forward 2 years ago."

"The IACC office maintains meticulous records of past IACC committees, public comments and Strategic Plans."


It might help to create and make public a detailed analysis of all past IACC meetings. Specifically, get the records and make a chart. For each meeting list the issues raised, the community members present and their contributions, and then make columns: in one column the participant's name, in the next column the issue/problem that the participant raised or acknowledged, in the next column what solution/action the participant proposed (if any), in the next column what action was taken and by whom, and finally, in the last column, the IACC's evaluation of the effectiveness/outcome of the action and whether the action/results were evaluated/carried forward for further problem resolution in future meetings.

This would show in black and white exactly what has transpired, whether there has been any productivity and continuity, who is trying to get it done and who is there for decoration.

I feel that autism/vaccine is a new social situation - nothing like it before.

But as with any problem or cause that has gone on and on and on and enters a fourth or fifth decade frustrations begin to rise - esp with the exhausted leaders of the cause.

Martin Luther King wanted a peacful change in attitude but there were plenty in the Black community that became angry and frustrated and posters of the black fist started showing up.

We give Martin Luther King credit on his peaceful march in Washington. We give credit to all those brave and peaceful souls that marched in Washington and then took it to the deep south.

But there was an undercurrent of fear from that part of the Black community that was angry.

And even though no one mentions them much - I think they had their own role to play.

Twyla states:- "I had gone through this (Congress)hearing and made notes because I thought this would be useful"

Thank you Twyla. I found this very useful and enlightening and have copied and saved your notes. Some other commenters on this thread have told us about links etc, but there is no substitute for transcripts. Thank you for taking the time to 'scribe' these important comments, concerns and representations.

Jim Thompson, well said.

Some are saying that SafeMinds co-opted the topic of this hearing, preventing a discussion of vaccines and autism. For instance after I wrote, "The hearing was mostly about vaccines and autism," Madvocate responded, "Twyla, maybe in a parallel universe. Not in the one I inhabit. It's obvious you've rewritten history to suit your agenda. Enjoy."

Here are some excerpts from this hearing. I had gone through this hearing and made notes because I thought this would be useful in the face of vaccine defenders. Who would've thought I'd be sharing these in the face of vaccine critics. These are not exact transcriptions, but are generally accurate.

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/309672-1

00:38:27 Rep. Darrell Issa (R–CA) asks good questions (5 min. 30 seconds)
• Did autism predate vaccines? In other words, was there autism before there were vaccines?
• Is it fair to say that today the state of science is that autism has multiple causes?
• Is autism a group of afflictions with multiple causes, forms of treatment, prevention?
• Is it fair to say that we can rule nothing out in absolute terms as a contributor? Mercury in the air? Vaccines? We can rule nothing out including causes we have not yet looked at?

00:44:00 Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) In talking with the folks behind them there seems to be frustration about coordination of efforts, research. (“I wish you could see them behind you – there’s frustration!”) I want us to move towards making a difference. What can we do to help the folks behind you get to the coordination, the kind of things they’re looking for, to have an impact?

00:50:40 Rep. Dan Burton (R-Indiana) shows a video from the University of Calgary on the effects of mercury on nerve cells (4 min. 30 seconds) “I know there’s many causes of autism, but the one we’re talking about today is mercury in vaccines and in the environment.” “It is worse than an epidemic. It is an absolute disaster.” “How can anyone look at this and see the actual brain cells deteriorating and say that mercury does not have an impact on neurological problems?” “My grandson got 9 shots in one day and it turned him into a horrible situation, where we found him banging his head against the wall, unable to use the bathroom…” “I would beg you to take mercury out of all vaccines…”

01:04:36 Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona), who is a dentist, talks about his family history of celiac disease, how much his autistic nephew benefited from a GFCF diet, and what a shame it is that there is not more study of dietary intervention. “We should be focusing on the family; they’re telling you what’s going on... We’ve got researchers who don’t listen to them.” (5 minutes)

01:10:10 Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) talks some more about mercury in the environment. (5 min. 35 seconds)

01:15:46 Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pennsylvania) asks a bunch of hard hitting questions and gets woefully inadequate responses from the to govt officials. For example:
“Have you ever seen anything in which there has been such a dramatic progression in the incidence of diagnosis in a 6 year period, in your experience at the CDC?” Dr. Boyle says they look at trends blah blah blah, and Rep. Meehan follows up, “Has anything had a trend with this kind of accelerating pace?”
He asks why this is a referred to us a “public health concern” rather than a “public health crisis”, and says that this should be on the front burner of CDC every day. Dr. Boyle says that this is very important to the CDC and they are monitoring it. Rep. Meehan asks about accountability and asks who is in charge. Dr. Guttmacher says that the IACC comes up with a plan every year. Rep. Meehan asks who wakes up every morning and says “This is my priority. I am going to drive this train and make sure something happens today”? Rep. Meehan wants a “comprehensive national strategy with real accountability and timelines” and “dynamism in which emerging evidence is used” and a “real focus on a critical path”. Dr. G says they’ve seen an “acceleration in progress”. (6 min. 14 seconds)

1:22:20 Rep. John Tierney (D-Massachusetts) asks Dr. Boyle why thimerosal hasn’t been removed from all vaccines – is still used in multi-dose vials of flu vaccines. Dr. Boyle says she’s “not a vaccine expert” but her understanding is that multi-dose vials “are needed in certain contexts from an international or global perspective” and she’ll get back to him after confirming that. He asks about prevalence data in other countries and what is done to try to determine why there are different rates, and Dr. Boyle talks about a study of families. (5 min. 13 seconds)

01:38:53 Rep. Bill Posey (R-Florida) – one of the very best – don’t miss it!! Asks so many great questions that I can’t list them all, and he doesn't accept evasive answers.
• Congressman Weldon was a well respected medical doctor. Gleaned from him some certainty that he felt thimerosal in vaccines was definitely a contributing factor to autism.
• Recently read an article which said that until we introduced vaccines to Africa the African children were autism-free.
• Has the CDC done a study comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children?
• Do you believe additional study would provide useful data in assessing the safety of childhood vaccines?
• So clearly definitely unequivocally you have studied vaccinated vs. unvaccinated? (um, no)
• Stop right there, that was the meaning of my question, you’ve wasted two minutes of my time.
• What steps has the CDC undertaken to ensure the integrity of the research that was performed by Dr. Thorsen who as you know has been indicted for misconduct and misallocation of resources?
• Have you gone back to validate the variety of studies he participated in? I mean you know this guy is a humongous scumbag, one of the most wanted men on earth, and you relied on him for data to determine whether thimerosal had a negative effect?
• You mentioned that you only have thimerosal in multi-dose vials? Why is that?
• Because I would think that if they took it out of the other vials there was a reason. How many multi-dose vials are there?
• I’ve seen a chart that ranks the longevity of the 30 nations with the best mortality rates in the world… We didn’t even make the top 30 – we’re the 34th, and ironically we require more vaccinations than any other country that’s healthier and has a lower mortality rate than us.
• Nobody’s talking about/against vaccines. We’re talking about thimerosal in vaccines and multiple bomb blast of vaccinations in a short period of time…

01:50:10 Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) says that it hurts the effort when people keep saying that the increase is due to better diagnosis, such as Dr. G. quoted in a NYT article saying that “the jury is still out”. Rep. Smith chairs the African Global Health and Human Rights Committee Foreign Affairs and African committee and has worked on the Foreign Affairs committee for many years, and says that they have never seen such a prevalence spike in Africa as they have seen during the past 15 years [during a time of more and more vaccines being distributed in Africa – many of which still contain mercury in the preservative thimerosal]. Asks why NJ has high autism rates, also asks about gut flora, and suggests having an office devoted to autism. (7 minutes)

01:57:10 Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) – another one of the very best.
• Rep. Maloney calls autism a “growing epidemic”.
• Used to be 1 in 10,000, now 1 in 88. Asks why, and says, “And I don’t want to hear better detection. We have better detection, but detection would not account for a jump from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 88 – that is a huge, huge, huge jump. What other factors could be part of making that happen besides better detection?”
• Are you looking at vaccinations? Is that part of your studies?
• Are you having a study on vaccinations – and the fact that they’re cramming them down and having kids have 9 at one time? Do you have any studies on vaccinations?
• I must have had 50 different parents write me or come to me and say: I had a healthy child, then they had 10, 9, 6, vaccinations at one time and that child changed overnight and was knocking their head on a wall, was a changed child. In fact I had a family in my office today, and the mother broke down crying, she said my child was wonderful, bright, precocious, talking - she took those vaccinations and the child became incredibly sick and has never recovered.
• Now it used to be – my child never got more than three vaccines at a time. In the state of NY children are recommended to get 6 shots every two months. Why does the schedule require so many shots in such a short period of time? Why do you have to cram 9, 6 at one time when the verbal evidence seems so strong from so many people that they had a healthy child until they got vaccinated. You gotta just listen… Verbal evidence coming from parents – I had a normal child, gave them vaccinations, and then they came down with autism.
• Why do we have to have 9 or 6 vaccines every two months instead of spacing them over years, and wait for the scientific evidence?

02:03:05 Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Florida) asks whether children get 40 vaccines today. Dr. Boyle and Dr. G. don’t know! Rep. Buchanan asks why we are getting so many more shots than in other countries, and than 40 years ago. Have we looked at the impact of these combinations of vaccines? Are we over-vaccinating our children? 1000% increase in autism during period when # of vaccines increased from 6 to 40. Talks about costs of autism – 2.3 million per person cost of life-time care, 137 billion per year for the country? Dr G “doesn’t have the data to agree or disagree” with these figures, just knows it’s a high number. (4 min. 20 seconds)

02:07:25 Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) gets right to the heart of the matter: “There’s something wrong with this picture. There’s something wrong… When you’ve got this combination of shots, and you go from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 88, it seems to me somebody would say, Wait a minute, let’s put the brakes on this and at least let’s try to figure out whether, if I’m giving a baby 9 shots in a day, how much impact that’s having – I mean it just seems logical – if they gave me 9 shots I don’t know what that... Let’s put some brakes on this – look at whether the multiple shot situation is causing this. I wish you could see the faces behind your. Grown men crying, and women crying. It seems like someone would say, maybe there’s an issue here? And if we’re going to err, let’s err on the side of keeping children safe, even if we just give one shot per day?
A beautiful, simple, eloquent statement. Says, let’s put the brakes on this and at least figure it out. (1 min. 40 seconds)

02:09:22 Rep. Issa (R-CA) – Says that the committee is going to consider the question of FDA approving individual drugs or vaccines without thoroughly studying the interaction. There has to be a systematic approach towards dealing with all of what we put in our body.

02:11:10 Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) asks about the disparities in autism rates in different states. Utah has a rate of 1 in 47. He asks whether they are studying reasons for these disparities. Of course Dr. Boyle talks about differences in how states identify autism. Rep. M asks skeptically whether Utah is so much better at diagnosis? He asks whether they actually have validated that the reason for disparities is different rates of diagnosis, and do they have target dates for the current studies’ results. The response is vague assurances that they are looking at risk factors, vague statements about monitoring over the past ten years, “It’s a puzzle – we’re putting together the pieces”. Then he asks if there are any new effective therapy approaches emerging. Dr. G. says there are some behavioral therapies but they’re much farther from finding any medical therapies, but he hopes that they will find some eventually. (4 min. 30 seconds).

OK, we could argue about whether "most" of the hearing was about vaccines and autism. we could count up all the sentences spoken and compare the number of sentences on various topics. But there surely was a lot of airing of these issues. Groundbreaking.

Linda & John all that work is good work.

@ White Rose - yes it now needs a change in pace and to ratchet up the gears. We need marching on streets for sure and I will be there.

We need more cohesion as a community. Not necessarily a single voice but "CLARITY" on a few simple objectives.
There is huge value in these forums but the value is measured in the impact these forums have out in the real world. I am ready to March ....

Do we have UK and US reps who are leading the protesting element of Age of Autism. I think I can contribute heartily in this area of the movement ??


Thanks for sharing that, Bayareamom - good to know.

Tim Bolen:

It is easy to recognize your unique warrior style and your mentioned accomplishments are admirable. Yet your assault on the efforts of those in this community creates a potential problem of lost unity. For instance your mention of Martin Luther King Jr.’s gifts for speaking hardly qualifies one to assault the competency of those on our battle lines like Mark Blaxill, Lyn Redwood, and Sallie Bernard. Martin’s leadership skills and ability to unify were just as powerful as his social disobedience. We can all learn from his humility as well as his accomplishments.

Twyla,

I have made sense - loads of it. You want to continue with this merry-go-round, have a party. I've worked my bums off trying to help this cause, but I didn't have enough political clout, funding or NUMBERS of folks to get off their rear ends and DO what needs to be done.

FYI - I used to be the National Vaccine Information Center's Director for the State of California for approximately one year, until other priorities in my family's life changed and I had to change course.

But I can assure you that I have worked my you-know-what off for almost 20 years trying to get the word out about vaccines, and starting in a year (1993) when most people thought I was an absolute loon for even daring to mention the V word when it came to our son's health issues.

"The pharmaceutical industry uses its weight and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way including the US Congress, the FDA, academia, medical centres and the medical profession itself."

- Marcia Angell, former Editor, The New England Journal of Medicine.

Said by a woman who knew...

I find this all very sad, and a big setback. I have no doubt that every person involved here has the best interest of our children in mind. I think it is good that people are willing to step up and bring forward information that is in the interest of full disclosure.

We all know that our situations are difficult. I don't see how judging people's personal lives is helping our situation. If it is a concern certainly a blog is not the best place to do it. I am feeling a lot of sympathy for the people whose personal situations have been shared and the hurt people have to go through while fighting for what is right for our children. Creating a more difficult situation certainly does not help our cause. I think we need to remember our purpose while keeping in mind this makes all of our lives more complicated.

Jackie

So... Tim Bolen being paid to amplify schisms in the autism community, and then fill the leadership void he created.

How convenient for his pocketbook, and his ego.

His unwanted, unneeded power positioning is as offensive as his selectively myopic take on the Herculean efforts of thousands of autism advocates over the last decade.

If Bolen truly had his finger on the pulse of our issues, he would have stepped in years ago and offered some constructive suggestions. Instead he tosses off inflammatory cheeseball columns that end just like 1960s episodes of Batman. "To be continued...."

And in regard to my previous comment comparing him to Matt Carey, I was not at all suggesting that Carey was good by comparison. On the contrary, I was simply comparing two similarly offensive things -- like pig vs. horse excrement.

"The hearing was mostly about vaccines and autism."

Twyla, maybe in a parallel universe. Not in the one I inhabit. It's obvious you've rewritten history to suit your agenda. Enjoy.

I just submitted a comment to IACCPublicInquiries@mail.nih.gov for the Public Record. I listened to the IACC conference call yesterday on Basic and Translational Research, but the focus was on interventions and treatments rather than causes of autism and its increased prevalence.

Lyn Redwood objected at the IACC meeting in January to the proposal that services and treatments be made the new priority. No, the IACC was established to investigate reasons for the increased prevalence of autism. Lyn stated rather severely the need to stop this disability, and focus on prevention. She was the only one not yarning away in a lofty voice in favor of more services.

Lyn Redwood is a valuable asset on the IACC.

In my comment, I pointed out that impairment of brain maturation leads to the language disorder in autism. Also, aversion to noise suggests a problem within the auditory system. Stereotyped movements suggest impairment of the basal ganglia. Poor eye contact may result from problems of the oculomotor nuclei, and gastrointestinal disorders may point to impairment of brainstem autonomic centers.

Parents are desperate for a cure, and thus reluctant to consider brain injury. My son, who is now 50 years old, suffered head injury and oxygen insufficiency at birth. His birth predates the invention of the hepatitis B vaccine, but not the error of umbilical cord clamping. The hep B vaccine certainly will exacerbate injury caused by clamping the cord, especially if before the first breath.

All medical interventions must be looked at. Clamping the cord, vitamin K, hepatitis B vaccine, resuscitation by ventilation, and prophylactic antibiotic treatments were all adopted without consideration of long-term outcomes.

Linda have a dig at this one ..Lucija Tomljenovic

30 Years of Secret Official Transcripts Show UK Government Experts Cover Up Vaccine Hazards To Sell More Vaccines And Harm Your Kids

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/government-experts-cover-up-vaccine-hazards/

That was a year ago and it is now just getting coverage by What Doctors Dont Tell You(WDDTY)

Linda, this of course, is what I have been writing about these many years and much of it no one would know anything about if I hadn't.

Sorry correction ....Palm Beach Florida , Not California.

I'm afraid my opinion of the Beth Clay Safeminds skullduggery remains the same , and the more I read the worse it gets ....infiltration by PharmaHarma .

How can I get myself one of those big fat paychecks Beth ?
Nah ,upon further thought , sorry I refuse , my childs health was and never will be up for sale .

But maybe it isnt ca$h at all . Maybe its simple threats & intimidation but whatever it is , it has happened !

I love vaccines , they are the greatest , I want all these people to take their fill of them , Insel , Clay , Carey , JulieG , Bill & Mel , Salisbory , Profit , Godless , Dear , Elleman and so on .....Pls gourge yourselves

A boycott of the IACC ,has nothing to do with discontinuing contact or dialogue . A boycott would hopefully involve a pickett , and protest and vilification of everything Insel and the IACC stand for . 7000 marched about Autism in the US recently in California I believe ......the UK can only dream about those kind of protests .....but what about 7000 marching on the IACC to tell them what a load of ballcocks they are .....and that is being polite .

What is clear to me is our message and protests have to be racheted up a gear . We need more force ....this is the maiming of children on an industrial scale . After what they have done , what are we afraid of ?
I want to see Julie GelderBrewer(sp.) afraid for her libery for she has acted criminally . I want her wealth stripped away .

While commenting I'd like to applaud Nora and Bendetta and all the great women , mothers and grandmothers involved in this fight . You people are fantastic . And to all those protesting across the globe . They have to be feeling the heat now !

John,

I don't mean to devalue the efforts of everyone here. Progress is made every day by the posts here and on other sites, by lobbying and by attendance at committee meetings. Even if the members of Congress aren't acting, Pharma and it's government allies were exposed that day in full public view. That's a very good thing. But we shouldn't have a false sense of accomplishment or security either.

I think Tim Bolen is correct in how he's sized up the opposition. I don't have to tell you that for Pharma this isn't about vaccines. It's isn't about benefiting public health or about the public good. For Pharma, this is about selling products, efficacious, safe, or defective and harmful. It doesn't matter as long as they are profitable. They go to great lengths to market and defend them, to hide unfavorable research, to suppress opposition and do PR damage control.

This is an industry that has no problem advocating giving 2 and 3 year old children psychotropic drugs. I never in my life thought I'd see such a horrible thing, but it's done all the time. These are people who prey on orphans in state custody, pushing addictive, brain damaging drugs in order to reap financial gain. I wouldn't put it past them to try to start newborns on Adderal because they kicked too often in the womb.

I'm sorry to be so negative. I know that the readers here are dealing with so much. But this is the truth. If Pharma, which has become so powerful, was interested in public health, Dr. Wakefield would have been honored and would still be practicing. I agree that the Congressional committee members did seem genuinely motivated, but what will it take for them to act? Given Pharma's power, CAN they act? Why wasn't Dan Burton able to accomplish anything in all the years he tried?

As for this Gorski character, this life is over in the blink of an eye. Where he's going there will be no popcorn, no sick children, no grieving parents, and no honest doctors or journalists for him to dig his dirty claws into and entertain himself with. I'm sure that there will be a special place for him as a physician who, instead of using his gifts to provide comfort and healing, instead chose to be Pharma's viscous attack dog.

Twyla, with regard to this comment:

"...Lyn Redwood are not preventing anyone from taking aggressive political actions."

She is if she's preventing people from being on IACC who would use their positions constructively by holding people on the committee accountable for their past actions, which Lyn either can't do or won't do.

And this comment:

"No, but who does that? Very few people. Katie's articles reach a broader audience."

And Katie Wright is not even an IACC member, which makes Lyn Redwood's membership all the more worthless.

"I read somewhere that one Democratic congressman was able to prevent him from speaking, or at least from putting him back on the panel after he was removed."

That happened only because Brian Hooker was added within three days of the hearing; that wouldn't have happened if SafeMinds hadn't prevented him from being invited to speak when Mark Blaxill was.

"Mark Blaxill's testimony was excellent."

It was not "excellent" that he avoided vaccines, cut out any examples of CDC fraud and named no names, not even Thorsen's after it made OIG's list of most-wanted fugitives.

"Why not blame any of the other speakers?"

Because there is no evidence any of the organizations misrepresented Dr. Brian Hooker like SafeMinds did, and Beth Clay's own email to Dr. Hooker proves that.
http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/02/jake-crosby-safeminds-ignores-major-allegations-while-replying-dishonestly-to-other-charges.html

"Why castigate the one person who spoke out about mercury, vaccines, the undeniable huge increase in autism, the health crises among today's children?"

Actually, the one person who talked about vaccines in his testimony was Autism Speaks' Bob Wright of all people. He certainly did a better job highlighting the connection than Mark Blaxill did in his response to a follow-up question from the committee.

"the course of action SafeMinds is accused of seems totally inconsistent with what I have known of them over many years, based on all that I have read about their activities and advocacy, the articles they write, seeing SafeMinds individuals in the news etc."

Speaking as a former SafeMinds insider, whatever you've read about them does not accurately reflect how they operate.

"But I don’t believe that Brian Hooker singlehandedly initiated or organized the hearing. There were other people involved as well, and both SafeMinds and Beth Clay have a history of advocating to Congress regarding vaccines and autism."

Brian Hooker initiated the hearing; he had help organizing it, but none of that help came from Beth Clay or SafeMinds. He was at the meeting with congressmen and staffers where Chairman Issa committed to holding hearings on autism causation and the vaccine program; SafeMinds did not even hear about this until afterwards.

"The two are not mutually exclusive. Vaccines can have a role in combating disease..."

Yes, they are. Vaccines may have a role in combating disease, but for something to be one of the most important advances in modern medicine, it has to be an advancement that benefits a tremendous amount of people with minimal harm to the population. The latter can definitely not be said about vaccines; they are credited with ending the polio epidemic, but they caused the far-more-destructive, far-more-costly autism epidemic of the present day.

John, with regard to your opinion:

"I am also entitled to the opinion that Mark did not do that."

He cut out the one paragraph that implicated CDC's role in the government cover-up of thimerosal causing autism. That's not a "slip," that was deliberate. I know because I participated in SafeMinds' discussions and SafeMinds' President Sallie Bernard said to me that the cover-up should be kept covered up rather than presented at the hearing!

And Twyla, with regard to your quote:

"There are also segments of the autism world who don't believe that vaccines cause autism, and mainstream organizations like Autism Speaks and Autism Society of America which are pretty much avoiding the topic."

And Sallie Bernard is a board member of Autism Speaks, so there you go.

In thinking of Professor David Salisbury, Companion of the Order of the Bath 2001, Jenny Allan was probably remembering Tim Bolen's words:

"Why, I ask, do you people insist on playing nice? You are dealing with an opposition that is made up of some of the filthiest, rottenest, humans on Planet Earth."

Andrew Wakefield certainly remembered the meaner, nastier antics of the Director of Immunisation (aka King Rat) as he pressured the UK's medical regulator to prosecute, convict, and hang, draw and quarter his victim.

http://youtu.be/uhTYMoBTL6o

And while there is talk of filthy human beings, I note the 'appellees' have finally filed their brief to the Third Court of Appeals in Texas.

http://bit.ly/10lXjeR

May the Lord have mercy on their rotting souls.


Linda

Of course, a necessary belief for achieving anything is believing it can be done, and actually some of those congress people seemed quite motivated. You only have to think how upset the trolls were:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/12/prof-stephen-salzberg-and-the-congressional-autism-hearing.html

Nor, whatever training they've had am I impressed by their acumen of the people hanging out on Salzberg's blog.

John

Mark Blaxill's audience already knew what he was going to say or what he could have said or what Brian Hooker intended to say (which is why they stopped him). Congress, et all, could have written these presentations themselves. They knew. They know. They choose to do nothing. They are there to placate and obstruct. The proof is in the many years of inaction.

I am not suggesting that anyone become violent or that anyone break any laws when I say that what is influencing Congress is no less evil and much more insidious than Hitler. Could Hitler have been stopped by blogging, sitting on committees and with occasional, well written, heart felt presentations? No. He would have plowed through with his agenda unfettered. That's what we're seeing with vaccines, with the AAP fighting to keep thimerosol in vaccines for developing countries, with vaccine marketing and administration practices and flawed, inadequate safety testing exactly as they were, even with autism court cases blaming MMR being won, vaccine expansion moves full speed ahead with hundreds of new vaccines in development and aggressive legislative mandates appearing all over the US.

I posted about Nestle in the 1970s to make the point that Pharma is an industry that has, without conscience, deliberately caused the cruel death by starvation and disease of millions of babies for profit. This is the depraved criminal mentality that you're dealing with. It is understandable that some have a hard time accepting this depressing reality. It is very hard to internalize.

If you're asking me what then, to do, I'm sorry, I don't know. I just think it's obvious that these committees and blogging isn't going to be enough to stop them.

Tim Bolen says:- “Jenny Allen - You may not like street fighting, but it is absolutely necessary for the Autism community to understand who and what their attackers actually are - and what motivates them.”

Aha-“know thine enemies”. I agree this is essential, Mr Bolen; as for what motivates them, money, power and ambition will do for starters. Street fighting is criminal in the UK, but ‘peaceful protest’ is tolerated. Autism Warrier, Joan Campbell, uses her banner to keep Brian Deer in order. We were all there at that demo. I have read all of your internet blogs Mr Bolen and agree and approve. Here in the UK we just do what we can.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ0gL2Ltmws

Below is an extract from Professor David Salisbury’s ‘bio’. He seems to have the world’s vaccination business completely ‘sewn up’. I wish I had a £ for every official reply I have received quoting the World Health Organisation’s stance on the MMR and other vaccines:-

http://www.csap.cam.ac.uk/network/david-salisbury/
"Professor David Salisbury is Director of Immunisation at the Department of Health, London, responsible for the national immunisation programme……..In addition to his UK responsibilities, Professor Salisbury works extensively for the WHO on the Global Programme for Vaccines. He is the Chairman of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccines, Chairman of the European Region Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication, and is a member of the Eastern Mediterranean Polio Elimination Certification Commission, and the South East Asian Polio Elimination Certification Commission. He is an adjunct member of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety and is a Liaison Member of the US Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices and the US National Vaccine Advisory Committee. He is Co-chairman of the Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Group for the Global Health Security Action Group of G7 countries. He also chairs the European Vaccine Advisory Group for the European Centre for Disease Control and is a member of the Policy and Practice Committee of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.
Professor Salisbury has written around 80 publications on immunisation and paediatric topics."

re: "hoping that NOT mentioning the 'V' word will somehow get their master to accept them"

There are many people and organizations who constantly talk about vaccines causing autism.

There are also segments of the autism world who don't believe that vaccines cause autism, and mainstream organizations like Autism Speaks and Autism Society of America which are pretty much avoiding the topic.

I don't know any way of getting these mainstream organizations to get behind an initiative relating to vaccines.

Among other organization such as SafeMinds and NAA I believe there has been some cooperation on common goals.

As far as getting the autism community to unite, I don't think what I'm seeing you post here, Tim, is furthering that end - you seem to just be sparking conflicts and ill-will.

Mavocate asks, “which is it?...Are vaccines ‘one of the most important advances in medicine’ as Beth Clay wrote in the letter you cited? Or are vaccines the primary cause of the autism epidemic, making them the most tragic and costly medical mistake to befall this nation's children?”

The two are not mutually exclusive. Vaccines can have a role in combating disease, yet also have harmful effects which must be better understood. Vaccines in moderation may be o.k. for most children, but as the vaccine schedule has grown exponentially, more and more children have fallen by the wayside.

In the course of my life I have seen certain diseases disappear when vaccines were implemented. Some argue that vaccines were not actually responsible for the demise of smallpox, polio, and diphtheria. I’m not an immunologist, and I’m sure I can’t convince you otherwise, but to “distrust” anyone who believes that vaccines do play a role in fighting disease would be unfair to the many sincere people who hold this opinion.

And yes, there are various potential problems. Before the mumps vaccine we almost all came down with mumps in childhood. Now it’s very rare for children to come down with mumps, but the vaccine immunity wears off so this generation may be more vulnerable to mumps as teenagers/adults when it can be more harmful. Not to mention that the mumps vaccine we use may be increasingly ineffective, per a recent whistleblower lawsuit.

A lot of children used to die of diphtheria before the vaccine was invented. This changed. I don’t think this was just a coincidence, just like I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the rate of autism has escalated at the same time as the increase in vaccines, and that many children have regressed into autism after a round of vaccines, and that the rate of many other neurological and immune disorders have increased as well.

I’m meandering, but what I’m trying to say is that there can be sincerely held differences of opinion. To have a litmus test such as that only someone who thinks that all vaccines are bad is trustworthy is imo wrong.

I never said that only Beth Clay organized the congressional hearing, and I never said that “Brian Hooker simply hallucinated that he did”. But I don’t believe that Brian Hooker singlehandedly initiated or organized the hearing. There were other people involved as well, and both SafeMinds and Beth Clay have a history of advocating to Congress regarding vaccines and autism.

The hearing was mostly about vaccines and autism. The congresspeople demanded to know why our govt agencies have no explanation for the increase in autism, why thimerosal hasn’t been removed, why there has been no vaxed vs. unvaxed study, why we give so many vaccines at the same time.

Bob Moffit, I did not admonish you to hold your own rally, and thank you very much for the work that you have done.

Don't get me wrong. In my view there are a lot of people in the Autism world doing good work, but...

You are not winning neither the important battles, nor the war. And this is a war you need to win - personally and for society.

In general, I see the Autism community acting like a beaten puppy, whimpering, and sliding along the floor in obeisance, hoping that NOT mentioning the "V" word will somehow get their master to accept them, and do something for them.

Wrong approach. Very wrong.

You have allowed others to establish the dialogue. More, you do not actively counter attacks on you - instead, you actually accept, almost without questioning, the comments and the thought processes of dirt like Orac, or Kathleen Seidel, or Stephen Barrett.

Years ago I learned the value of the term "consider the source" when having to respond to commentary.

Jenny Allen - You may not like street fighting, but it is absolutely necessary for the Autism community to understand who and what their attackers actually are - and what motivates them - like Jake, so aptly pointed out about Orac (David Gorski and his 39 million dollar grant from Sanofi-Aventis). Or what I, Tim Bolen, found out about the so called "skeptics."

http://www.bolenreport.com/skeptics/index.htm

What the Autism community needs is a summit meeting with an organized situational analysis where the ENTIRE community can participate in establishing Goals and Objectives then identifying problems, possible solutions, make plans, execute plans, review situation.

You do realize, right, that even the "skeptics" have organized training meetings on how to control information on the internet? I can't imagine what a meeting like that would look like, but I get a mind picture of that hole in the ground where all those Orcs gathered in Lord of the Rings.

Dabbling her, and dabbling there is not going to make Autism go away. You need to understand the whole situation and devise a plan of attack. And learn to work together as a unit.

Last year at the Chicago Health Freedom Expo we had an all day strategy meeting with forty of our leaders as delegates. I arranged for three Autism groups to be invited. A lot of what happened there was symbolic - but frankly, most of the exchange strategy meetings happened over lunches, and in mini-meetings over the next three days of the Health Freedom Expo. That's easy because we all know each other.

We're doing that again this year.

But, in Autism, you NEVER do that. In fact you seem to do the opposite.

Tim Bolen
www.bolenreport.com

@ John

"And if there is no one there to advocate they will - as I have said before - be able to turn and say "You only have yourselves to blame". Her presence to my mind clarifies the narrative rather than obscures it. It really obscures it to blame her."

John .. my friend .. I am NOT "blaming or pillorying" Lyn Redwood for her hard work to make her participation worth the effort.

"Of course, people need to constantly appraise how they can be more effective."

As far as I can tell .. this is EXACTLY what people questioning the benefits of maintaining a "seat" on the IACC are suggesting.

In my humble opinion .. I would suggest SafeMinds issue a public statement announcing the issue is .. at the very least .. UNDER CONSIDERATION .. for the reasons stated in the public announcement ... which I am confident .. Lyn can personally attest to.

@ Jenny

"My own 'weapons' are politely expressed opinions, backed up as far as possible by factual evidence. I campaign about a number of health issues, and network informally with others, via the internet. I am not interested in being 'nice' but I always TRY to incorporate 'positive' solutions. Being overtly confrontational, simply does not achieve anything.

As for myself .. my nonverbal grandson is thirteen, eleven years since he "regressed" and our family became .. as one poster labeled herself .. "foot-soldiers" .. in the ongoing battle to gain justice for him as well as thousands of other families just like our own. I, too, am not interested in being "overtly confrontational" .. but .. I think we may have a differing opinion on what constitutes "overtly confrontational".

Such as .. the "early years of activism" that required my family in the New York City area .. to travel .. on more than one occasion .. .. sometimes more than once a year .. to "rallies" held in Washington, DC, Atlanta, Ga, Trenton, NJ, Albany, NY.

Except for the handful of "foot-soldiers" who gathered in front of national radio host Mike Savage's radio station in NYC .. to "loudly confront" his extremely hurtful and ignorant remarks that parents simply demand their nonverbal kid to "stop the nonsense and speak up" .. I don't consider any of the rallies mentioned above "overtly confrontational".

Twyla .. please don't admonish me to organize my "own rally" .. as I said .. our family consider ourselves loyal "foot-soldiers" .. of those who "paid their dues" (SAFEMINDS!).. through personal hard work, extraordinary sacrifice and tireless effort .. that have earned them .. rightly so .. leadership roles.

All I am asking is to CONSIDER resigning from the IACC. Is that too much to ask from a loyal footsoldier?

Madvocate

"If you think Mark Blaxill not talking about vaccines in his testimony, and changing the topic of the hearings AWAY from vaccines/autism was the right thing to do, you're entitled to your opinion."

I am also entitled to the opinion that Mark did not do that. I think people need to read or play back his speech to form their own view, rather than accept that he did this as fact. He was evidently very nervous - as well he might be - and he had to back track because he realised he had not said this very important thing. If it was in some way disappointing or not Brian Hooker's speech (it certainly wasn't) it is different from saying he deliberately diverted it from these issues. I agree there was a slip. I see no evidence at all that that was what he intended to do, and of course he fixed it.

Twyla, which is it?...Are vaccines "one of the most important advances in medicine" as Beth Clay wrote in the letter you cited? Or are vaccines the primary cause of the autism epidemic, making them the most tragic and costly medical mistake to befall this nation's children? I don't see how both statements can be true, and I mistrust anyone who claims they are.

If you want to believe Beth Clay organized the Congressional hearing from the start and Brian Hooker simply hallucinated that he did, that's your choice. If you think Mark Blaxill not talking about vaccines in his testimony, and changing the topic of the hearings AWAY from vaccines/autism was the right thing to do, you're entitled to your opinion. However, I'm also entitled to my opinion which is that the actions you support will not make a dent in the autism epidemic.

Tim

Inevitably my lobbying work is conducted mostly in the UK (it's tricky in quite other ways from the US) but frankly I don't think you've invented it.

Of course, people need to constantly appraise how they can be more effective. Judging by the performance of the committee Brian Hooker was very effective even if he didn't speak, and as far as I can see Mark's speech was in the area, though maybe he ought to have laid it on about Thorsen - but then the fraud of CDC/NIH science goes well beyond even that. There isn't really any kind of check on their deceit. Personally, I would prefer to keep them as the enemy.

Why, I ask, do you people insist on playing nice?-So asks Tim Bolen.

I cannot speak for any other campaigners, but I will NEVER, EVER resort to the ad hominem vile slurs and slanders, often with accompanying profanity, used by those persons who would seek to 'rubbish' us and our causes. To do this would simply bring us down to their level. Of course, this is exactly what our enemies want.

My own 'weapons' are politely expressed opinions, backed up as far as possible by factual evidence. I campaign about a number of health issues, and network informally with others, via the internet. I am not interested in being 'nice' but I always TRY to incorporate 'positive' solutions. Being overtly confrontational, simply does not achieve anything. Allowing the 'establishment'to 'save face' is not 'failure' if reforms are quietly implemented behind the scenes. Believe it or not this OFTEN happens.

re: "But if you can get numbers involved in this process, more numbers than you've been able to gather together in the past and really work with other healthcare groups that have a genuine interest in this issue, you will get further ahead than you've been able to, thus far."

If I'm understanding you correctly, that's what the Canary Party is about:
http://canaryparty.net/index.php/principles

Mark Blaxill's testimony was excellent. I know John already posted the text, but here is the video. It is worth seeing again.
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/309672-1

Mark's initial testimony starts at 2:36:48

At 3:12:00 Mark speaks again, rebutting the idea that autism hasn't really increased, and then discussing that mercury and vaccines are the two prime candidates for causation.

At 3:15 Rep. Mike Kelley mentions how far off the mark the IACC is. He asks Bob Wright about what should be done, and surprisingly one if the things Bob mentions is "especially safety research on vaccines."

At 3:18:24 Mark speaks again and discusses the "great autism gene hunt".
At 3:20:00 rep. Mike Kelley says that Rep. Issa has clearly stated the intention of this committee to continue to look at these issues. He says, "You would arm us if you would help us with identifying the kind of questions you would like to have asked if we had these same individuals from that coordinating committee sitting at this table, that would help us articulate in your voices the kind of inquiry that would shake that and produce a result that would help us deal on the front end..."

Will it happen? Will there be a congressional oversight committee with top people from the IACC on the hot seat, being interrogated by congresspeople armed with parents' questions? I don't know. I'm sure there are a lot of people working overtime to prevent this from happening. But it's possible. And all this discouraged nay-saying certainly isn't going to make it happen. There is momentum here which needs to be built on, not impeded.

Will Brian Hooker be allowed to speak to this committee? I sure hope so. I don't know what prevented him from speaking before. I read somewhere that one Democratic congressman was able to prevent him from speaking, or at least from putting him back on the panel after he was removed. There were some poor speakers there. I'm happy to have a speaker or two talking about services for adults, and the experiences of HFA/aspies, but I don't know why the neurodiversity advocates have to discount the experiences of people elsewhere on the spectrum and their parents.

Why do some people say that Mark took Brian's position? Why not blame any of the other speakers? Why castigate the one person who spoke out about mercury, vaccines, the undeniable huge increase in autism, the health crises among today's children?

Mark also mentioned that he had submitted the written testimony of 300 families.

The questions asked of Guttmacher an Boyle by the congressional committee members were for the most part excellent. They really did seem to have been armed with parents' questions. Clearly a lot of work went into educating them.

Bayareamom, you're really not making much sense. For one thing, participating in the IACC committee does not preclude other actions. Katie Wright and Lyn Redwood are not preventing anyone from taking aggressive political actions. They are not even preventing themselves from taking other actions. Attending IACC meetings is not a full-time job - far from it.

You say that "these political figures are ROTTEN TO THE CORE. They will sell their Grandmothers' souls to push their own agendas." OK, politicians are corrupt. That's not a plan of action. That's just a description.

Jake said, "Are you forgetting that every IACC meeting is videotaped and archived in the NIH VideoCast and can be viewed by anyone with a computer and internet access? And that anybody with a telephone can listen in to the conference calls?" No, but who does that? Very few people. Katie's articles reach a broader audience.

The misspending of the Combatting Autism Act is a travesty which must not go unnoticed. Resigning in protest would barely cause even the smallest ripple of attention.

I appreciate Jenny Allan's perspective from across the pond, "From my side of the Atlantic, that Congress meeting was a huge success, publicly exposing the weasel words and useless actions of those persons, who are supposed to be in positions of leadership, in terms of ensuring vaccine safety and efficacy in the US." I found the questioning by the congresspeople to be absolutely amazing, unlike anything I've seen before. What will come of it? I don't know. Is there something else which should be done? Surely there is. But in the context of the almost universal blanket denialism on these issues, it was truly amazing to see that some of these powerful people got it and were not afraid to ask the right questions, and to see the two govt agency officials squirm and blither. Their non-answers to the questions were pathetic, worse than pathetic, and it is accessible to view on the internet. How anyone can call this a failure is beyond me.

John, Tim was not insulting your stellar contributions to Age of Autism, he was criticizing the ineffective conduct of some "advocates" with regard to a legislative body and a federal advisory committee that are not even within your own country. In fact, we would be in much better shape if what was said at the congressional autism hearing and IACC meetings were as strong as your AoA posts.

Unfortunately, that's anything but the case. In his oral testimony, Mark did not provide a single example of the CDC's fraudulent actions while substituting any mention of the word vaccines with "environmental" causes of autism. He named no names, not even Poul Thorsen's after he was placed on the OIG's list of most wanted fugitives. That's anything but a conspicuous attack.

"I have further pointed out that no sensible person reading Katie's column over the last several years would think that Lyn Redwood sits on this committee to help rubber stamp its policies."

Until they actually attend one of those committee meetings and see for themselves what Lyn Redwood's IACC presence is amounting to: tokenism for Tom Insel. Ideally, it would be great if Lyn Redwood used her IACC position to hold some very bad people accountable. Unfortunately, she's just not up to the task.

Case-in-point: at the last meeting, Jose Cordero was presenting a prevalence study he conducted of autism in Puerto Rico.

Lyn Redwood asked, "Dr. Cordero, could you also break this out in terms of ages? Was there any trend in terms of the rates being higher in the younger children versus the older children? Was there any attempt to look at it by age?"

Now, here's what she should have asked:

"Dr. Cordero, how do you expect your research to even be trusted when you asked the journal Pediatrics to fast-track a fraudulent report exonerating mercury in vaccines whose principal investigator is now a most-wanted fugitive by the Office of the Inspector General? Are you aware that he along with the first and second coauthors as well as your subordinate Diana Schendel deliberately suppressed information showing autism prevalence and incidence declined after mercury was taken out of vaccines? Do you condone these activities?"

I doubt questions like the latter will ever be asked as long as Lyn Redwood is on the committee, enabling Insel et al. to say our views are being represented without having to be held accountable by anyone.

John,

During California's most recent AB 2109 issue, one of the Assemblywomen who voted on the bill is/was a recently convicted shop-lifter (her husband is a well known Judge). This woman came up with the most inane excuse re: her shoplifting. I read the story myself in our paper. But there she was, voting on AB 2109, a bill (now law) that will impact many California's parents.

I'm all for forgiveness, believe me, but for the most part, these political figures are ROTTEN TO THE CORE. They will sell their Grandmothers' souls to push their own agendas.

In our political realm, it's about who scratches these guys' checks, John - it's not about doing the right thing!

John:

When I say "Attack. Political issue activism is kind of like sex - there is merit in talking about it - but nothing as good as just doing it." I'm not referring to just writing about it on the internet. For that activity, although full of merit, has only the effect of informing SOME people.

What makes things happen is the next step. And the step after that. One action leads to the next.

And yes - sitting there all those years was ONLY the appearance of doing something.

To me this is like coming in and buying a last place NFL team. The management tells you how well they have been doing - but the bottom line is that all those customer seats are empty because the team, with the current management, despite their claims of wonderfulness, isn't winning.

If you and yours, are unfamiliar with how to use the system, I'll be glad to show you.

Years ago I owned a monthly magazine in South Orange County, California. There, I uncovered that a local Water and Sewer District was covering up the fact that they were the biggest polluter of the Pacific Ocean in California's history. Yes, I wrote about it, but what really did the trick was when I turned over my investigatory material to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. It's been so long I don't remember the details, but the DA filed about seventeen Felony charges, and twenty Misdemeanor charges under the Clean Water Act. THAT forced the changes and the cleanup.

Use the system. All it costs you is time.

Mark Blaxill's testimony was timid, vague, and unconvincing. Bob Wright of Autism Squeaks was better, more direct, and to the point - and we KNOW where he is on the vaccine issue.

If when you come to speak, and there are NO police with water cannons waiting, you are not getting people's attention. Martin Luther King, with just a hesitation, could emit more message power than Mark did in five whole minutes.

Tim Bolen
www.bolenreport.com

Thats the way to John we are all doing pretty well just now...


Angus

Tim

I spend all my time attacking these people (and researching them). You can check my 200 odd articles on this website. And I also pointed out that Mark Blaxill conspicuously attacked them at the congressional hearing. I have further pointed out that no sensible person reading Katie's column over the last several years would think that Lyn Redwood sits on this committee to help rubber stamp its policies. I make these points yet again because you've suggested something quite different, which doesn't hold water.

Bayareamom

We will never win on the big gesture front (we will always be out-gunned). We can and will win by wearing the other side down with cold, hard facts.

John,

If a doctor prescribed a certain antibiotic to you - you took it and had a reaction, what would you do. I would think you'd call said physician up, explain your situation, and the conversation might proceed, thusly: Well, John, you need to continue to take this antibiotic, even though it caused you to faint.

I had this happen to me, believe it or not. I actually keeled over in a dead faint after I'd taken a certain antibiotic a few years back. I realized my life could have potentially been at risk, so I called my physician back, explaining what had just happened.

He actually told me to continue taking the prescription, unbelievably. I was thoroughly disgusted with his response and told him in no uncertain terms that I didn't intend ever taking that antibiotic again. On top of this, this physician knew my family background with various allergies to certain antibiotics. My mother was so allergic to penicillin, that one more dose of ANY antibiotic containing a derivative of penicillin, would have killed her. My issues with this physician were justifiable; he saw me as but another statistic/client in his busy everyday practice and didn't take the time and the EFFORT to counsel me appropriately about my situation. He didn't care enough to do so.

So I fired him.

Eventually, a physician's assistant - in this same medical office - came out and stated that most likely my infection would clear up ON ITS OWN. So yes, I used common sense, dumped the antibiotic in the trash, and two days later I felt much better.

My point? WHY would you continue to sit on these committees when they CLEARLY don't have your best interests at heart? Your answers, above, don't even make sense, John.

Please understand these government entities are involved in gamesmanship with the tokens they 'allow' to sit on these committees. They make all nice, listen and smile at opportune moments and then...NOTHING HAPPENS afterwards.

For all the lauding that Dan Burton has received for holding those mercury/vaccine hearings, what TRULY happened afterwards to CHANGE all of this?

Honestly? Absolutely nothing.

What's the fear, here, if you let go of these governmental groups and think of another better aimed at the target, strategy? From where I'm sitting, this strategy hasn't worked very well.

John:

Matt Carey of NoBrain/PeaBrain (I tend to call a spade a spade)is there for a reason. They are REQUIRED to have public input. But, as you can readily see, that "public input" is cherry-picked. Why? Because they need an outcome to justify the expenditure of that 1.6 billion dollars they spread around in useless to Autism solution places.

So, whoever suggested, before, that they picked people who fit their planned outcome was right. That information needs to be gathered, correlated, and presented in at least two important places.

Example: What information is available, right now, about Allison Singer and Matt Carey? What are their sources of income? Where do they live?

Why, I ask, do you people insist on playing nice? You are dealing with an opposition that is made up of some of the filthiest, rottenest, humans on Planet Earth. Treat them like that, and your outcomes will come out far better.

Example - years ago, in what was then called "the quackbuster" operation, replaced by the "skeptics" there was a their star expert witness/testifier named Robert S. Baratz MD, DDS, PhD. But, when this piece of garbage came after one of my clients it was simply time to hire a few investigators. The result was that, pretty much, his testifying career took a nose-dive. These days he's known as "bobbie baratz." Here's why:

http://www.quackpotwatch.org/opinionpieces/quackpot_baratz_goes_on_trial_in.htm

So, Autism world, quit sitting there like victims letting the neighborhood bullies have their way. Those are YOUR children these scum have damaged, and are blocking their recovery.

Attack. Political issue activism is kind of like sex - there is merit in talking about it - but nothing as good as just doing it.

Tim Bolen
www.bolenreport.com

Bob

Maybe, but I don't think in Katie and others' narrative of this over the years, or in view of what Mark said that anyone could have considered Lyn Redwood's presence on the committee as endorsement by her or Safeminds of the committee's decision making. My personal view was that sitting this out with all the disagreeable back-chat (remember particularly the Story Landis incident)

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/10/dr-story-landis-autism-not-a-multi-symptom-disease-but-a-money-making-scheme.html

was a courageous thing to do, and not the easy option. The purpose of course was to advocate for the things they won't consider or do. And if there is no one there to advocate they will - as I have said before - be able to turn and say "You only have yourselves to blame". Her presence to my mind clarifies the narrative rather than obscures it. It really obscures it to blame her.

John

John .. you posted the following comments by Mark Blaxil:

"In 2006, Congress gave the NIH a mission to “combat autism.” You authorized $850 million for that mission. Frustrating to most in the autism community, NIH spent most of that money on the great autism gene hunt while blackballing environmental researchers and defying parent concerns. It’s been a colossal waste of money and time. Not a single case of autism has been prevented. Not a single child received improved treatments. American families deserve better."

Which begs the question .. once again .. with all due respect .. after clearly recognizing such a dismal performance record .. why would anyone think it wise to participate in this ongoing fraud by serving on the IACC? To me .. continuing to serve has become more "problem" than "solution".

MB: "In 2011, autism parents asked Congress to fix the bill. We told you that when you spend that much money on the wrong things, you haven’t just wasted taxpayer dollars, you’ve compounded the problem by reinforcing the denial. Unfortunately, Senate leaders didn’t take the time they needed to fix the problems; they simply extended the old bill for three more years and the House went along rather than see nothing move forward."

Wouldn't resigning from the IACC .. rather than "staying the course" .. bring an end to "compounding the problem" of the IACC's deceptive "pretense" they value the opinions and input of "all" Committee members?

MB ".... We need accountable, new leadership on autism at the NIH and the CDC. We need an advisory committee that believes in combating autism, not one newly stocked with appointees who oppose the mission, who want us to surrender to autism and oppose prevention and treatment research. We need a Combating Autism Act that truly combats autism."

John, in my humble opinion .. these people have NO SHAME .. and .. until/unless someone PUBLICLY resigns from the IACC in protest .. we can rest assured the "newly stocked appointees will be opposed to the mission".

Tim

As you ought to know Matt Carey of LeftBrain/RightBrain was appointed to the IACC last year as part of a committee packing operation. So, perhaps they were actually scared of something. But Carey doesn't matter: it's Insel and Collins, and industry cronyism (as Mark said).

Avoid mercury avoid Autism ..

Angus

Something else I've learned from this very wise lady in my life. She said to me the following, "To know your friends, you need to know who your enemies are first."

@Tim -

I like the approach you've stated in your last comment.

Twyla,

If you'll look back on some of my prior posts, you will see that I HAVE, actually, identified who I really am.

I've personal reasons for posting as Bayareamom - they're PERSONAL - so I won't get into all of that for now.

And yes, Linda - thank you for your comment. Your statements identify with exactly what I've been trying to say.

Talk is CHEAP - make your efforts PRODUCTIVE ONES. Someone very wise has said this to me repeatedly in my past - she knows what she's talking about.

Just mo, but there is room for a lot of people and a lot of different approaches to help to save this generation of children from vaccine injury. I really don't care if everyone likes everyone else or agrees on the minor details of their approaches or not; every person who is acknowledging vaccine injury in any way is valuable.
Donald Trump, A of A,Jake Cosby, Tim Bolen,Mark Balxill, Dan Olmstead, Dr Hooker, Dr Gordon, Dr Wakefield, the many posters here; they are going to say things differently, they are not all going to agree with each other about every little detail; but every one of them is bringing this issue further forward.
To be honest, imo its a bit like the story of the 100 monkeys; there is a saturation point that preceeds the whole population understanding an issue, and we are very close to it now.
Even the media stories are changing..People who consoled themselves with the idea that vaccine injury was producing kids who were like Einstein and there were very few of them anyway are now being hit in the face with the huge rise in numbers.The numbers don't go away, the kids don't go away, the parents don't go away. And many of the children are becoming adults who need lifelong care. Eventually, autism special interests is going to be one of the biggest voting blocks in the country.
One thing about the new DSM; if as seems likely high functioning people who don't want to be "cured" ( fair enough) aren't going to be given a diagnosis ( which I think is also fair ; why diagnose someone who from self report does not have a problem?) it will be much harder for people to confuse their life with the life of the majority of people with autism.
It seems that many of the "no cure" parents are already less than convinced about it, while paying a bit of lip service to the sentiment.
News flash; if you are giving your kids psychotropic drugs to change their personality, you are not a "no cure " parent.
i think with all the rising costs of special ed etc, the general public is starting to question things a lot more.
Its a bit like a tidal wave; starts as a small swell, but as more and more people join in, it becomes overwhelming.

John:

So, get a team together, investigate, correlate information and begin the process of putting the IACC on the path it is supposed to be on - not the one that some NoBrain/PeaBrain hardly read blogger wants it on.

I simply cannot believe that any of you have put up with this crap for this long.

TODAY is the first day of the rest of your life...

Tim Bolen
www.bolenreport.net

John, the following paragraph you quoted was not in Mark's testimony; he edited it out:

"A CDC analyst also discovered in 1999 that higher levels of infant exposure to a mercury compound in vaccines increased autism risk more than tenfold relative to zero exposure. The analyst wrote about this result to his supervisors: “It just won’t go away,” he said. But he and his colleagues used more statistical tricks and published a finding that made the risk go away."

Figures, SafeMinds sat on the above information for years, whereas the person who actually discovered it was David Geier. To cite Geier's finding would draw more attention to that embarrassing fact.

@Twyla:

"...its BS would never see the light of day."

Are you forgetting that every IACC meeting is videotaped and archived in the NIH VideoCast and can be viewed by anyone with a computer and internet access? And that anybody with a telephone can listen in to the conference calls?

"...Lyn are witnesses..."

The whole point of being a member of a committee is to actually do something useful, not to simply witness what other members of the committee are doing. If Lyn is just a witness, then there is no reason for her to be a member of IACC since she can just as easily be a witness without being a member. All she needs is a telephone, a computer and internet access; she doesn't even have to leave her house, much less travel to Washington.

"...and they are thorns in people's sides."

Lyn is a thorn in peoples' sides alright; she's a thorn in our side by being a token in Tom Insel's pocket.

Tim

What a really great idea. May I remind you what Mark Blaxill actually said at the Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in November:

"In the midst of this crisis, the federal agencies responsible for the health of our nation’s children have failed in their duty. CDC’s negligence has led the way. Many believe CDC has actively covered up the evidence surrounding autism’s environmental causes

"NIH has received the lion’s share of Congressional funding, money they have wasted on status quo research and gene studies. It’s absurd to focus on genetic research in this crisis, there’s no such thing as a genetic epidemic.

"CDC first started investigating environmental causes in 1999 in Brick NJ. Their survey data showed that autism rates went from zero in 1989, to 1 in 128 four years later. But they used statistical tricks (and the fact that autism surveys miss many three and four years olds) to publish a finding that there was no increase.

"A CDC analyst also discovered in 1999 that higher levels of infant exposure to a mercury compound in vaccines increased autism risk more than tenfold relative to zero exposure. The analyst wrote about this result to his supervisors: “It just won’t go away,” he said. But he and his colleagues used more statistical tricks and published a finding that made the risk go away.


"In the financial world, the result of the pressure to manipulate numbers to provide the answers bosses want has a name - securities fraud. In medicine there are similar pressures: they’re called special interest politics and peer review and what the CDC has given us is the medical equivalent of securities fraud. All to avoid the inconvenient reality of the autism epidemic.

"In 2006, Congress gave the NIH a mission to “combat autism.” You authorized $850 million for that mission. Frustrating to most in the autism community, NIH spent most of that money on the great autism gene hunt while blackballing environmental researchers and defying parent concerns. It’s been a colossal waste of money and time. Not a single case of autism has been prevented. Not a single child received improved treatments. American families deserve better.

"In 2011, autism parents asked Congress to fix the bill. We told you that when you spend that much money on the wrong things, you haven’t just wasted taxpayer dollars, you’ve compounded the problem by reinforcing the denial. Unfortunately, Senate leaders didn’t take the time they needed to fix the problems; they simply extended the old bill for three more years and the House went along rather than see nothing move forward.

"In the face of a national emergency, government agencies, especially CDC and NIH, have performed poorly and behaved badly. We need accountable, new leadership on autism at the NIH and the CDC. We need an advisory committee that believes in combating autism, not one newly stocked with appointees who oppose the mission, who want us to surrender to autism and oppose prevention and treatment research. We need a Combating Autism Act that truly combats autism. We need to stop investing in the autism gene hunt and identify what has changed in the environment that could have possibly injured so many children.

"We need to conduct independent research into the great unmentionables, mercury and vaccines, connections that we’ve documented in the earliest cases. (I have provided to the Committee copies of my book, The Age of Autism which provides this history). These are the only environmental factors identified so far that are plausible causes for the magnitude and timing of this crisis.


"Ultimately, we need to face and answer the question, why are so many American children sick? We will only do that hard work if agency leaders are held accountable to the American people, not powerful interests in the medical industry. So we’re asking you, the members of the Committee for your help..."

http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/12/safeminds-mark-blaxill-testimony-at-autism-hearing.html#more

And if you tell me that Brian Hooker should not have been displaced, I won't disagree with you, but I don't see any 5th column message here from Mark.

John

Ok so my head feels like it just might explode. I've just finished reading Tim Bolen's new article, "why Autism is Going to be here Much Much Longer" http://bolenreport.com/Mark%20Geier/autism%20infighting3.htm
If you haven't yet read it, you MUST and I mean MUST read it!
@Bayareamom First I would like to thank you for being involved with Autism even though you do not have an affected child. I admire people like you and Dan Olmsted,David Kirby, Dr. Wakefield and Deirdre and Don Imus, just to name a very few, who do not have a child affected yet care enough about our children to be involved. Secondly, I agree with your comments that we are not going to win this war for the future of our children without help from those not touched by Autism. We should have long ago been seeking others help in this battle for our childrens' health. After all adverse reactions to vaccines manifest themselves in many ways, Autism is just one of them. I believe we should be running not walking to accept Tim Bolen's offer of help ( if he will still have us). We must unite with all groups willing to put forth the agenda that vaccines are what is damaging the health of now two generations of children throughout the world. Sadly, IMHO, the Autism community is too fractured right now, and has been for quite a while, with way too many Chiefs and not nearly enough Indians to get anything much accomplished and time is not on our side.We need to stop beating around the bush and just say it to anyone and everyone. Vaccines are harming our children. Let's everyone put egos aside and unite to get our message out there, which is : Vaccines are causing the majority of the serious health issues facing the worlds' children. As always, I stand ready to be a foot soldier in this war, and that is what it is, to save the children.

Good job Katie...

And I love the comments, which, to my way of thinking, are a LARGE step in the right direction.

Obviously, it has occurred to most of you that the IACC is being abused, and misused, intentionally. So, wouldn't you think it might be a good idea to gather overwhelming evidence of that and hook up (pun intended) with Brian Hooker to schedule a scathing expose of Insel's operation in front of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee?

Then too, all of you need to start thinking about using the government against itself. The US government is a "check-and-balance" system designed to provide built in accountability. The IACC had to have originally written a Mission Statement. So, find that Statement and analyze whether, or not, it has been following that Mission - and if it has not (and it certainly HAS NOT) file a wave of complaints with the DHHS Inspector General's (IG) office.

Does that work? Oh yeah...

And, if when that evidence is gathered, and you want to start leaking out to certain media, what you've found, well, the North American Health Freedom Movement, myself included, get the attention of around ten million email recipients at the press of the Send button.

More, My friend Robert Scott Bell hits about 1.7 million radio listeners. George Noory (Coast-to-Coast) hits ten times that five nights a week.

"Tinfoil Tim?" Take another look at all of those photos of me. Those piles of metal in the photos in the links below aren't tinfoil...

http://www.quackpotwatch.org/opinionpieces/tim%20bolen.htm

http://www.bolenreport.com/who_is_tim_bolen.htm

Am I recommending aggressive action?

Yup.

Tim Bolen
www.bolenreport.com

re: "can you name even one person who has spent a decade building legislators' trust? If that was the case, SafeMinds wouldn't have needed to hire a lobbyist to pretend to be collaborating with Brian Hooker so they could shove him aside, take over the hearing and leave vaccines out of the discussion."

Beth Clay is not just a hired "lobbyist". She has been working on the issue of vaccines, thimerosal, and autism for many years. For example, here is a letter to the editor she wrote in 2004:
http://www.vaccinationnews.com/DailyNews/2004/January/BethClay5.htm
Here is a post from 2009 standing up for Dr. Wakefield:
http://www.autismone.org/content/science-behind-dr-wakefield
and on her own blog:
http://www.bethclay.com/blog/category/autism
She joined the AutismOne community in 2009 because, "I joined this community to stay plugged into the autism community and to continue interacting with the hundreds (or thousands) of families I have come to know since the first autism/vaccine hearings in 1999 that I coordinated for Congressman Burton."
She was calling for people to advocate for the recent congressional hearing on autism at least since April of 2012.
Beth has many years invested in this fight - she is not just "a lobbyist". It was not some kind of corruption to pay her for some of the work she did on advocating/planning for this hearing. It made sense to use her services. She was Rep. Burtons congressional aid for many years.

SafeMinds denies that they "pretend to be collaborating with Brian Hooker so they could shove him aside, take over the hearing and leave vaccines out of the discussion."
http://www.safeminds.org/news/safeminds-and-house-committee.html
I have no firsthand knowledge of this, not a witness to anything, but the course of action SafeMinds is accused of seems totally inconsistent with what I have known of them over many years, based on all that I have read about their activities and advocacy, the articles they write, seeing SafeMinds individuals in the news etc.

A very unfortunate trashing of some of the most valued members of our community who have worked long and hard on these issues. Conflicts are bound to arise in any organization or movement, but these conflicts need to be resolved constructively.

SafeMinds did not "take over the hearing" - I wish they had control over this Congressional committee but I'm quite sure that Congressman Issa did not hand over the reins.

An example of people fighting back against the unethical, murderous practices of Pharma is the Nestle Boycott started in the 1970s that still goes on today http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9_boycott.

It was started because Nestle was marketing formula to poor women in developing countries who had no means to safely bottle feed, deliberately interfering with lactation so the women had no choice but to become a steady customer (like the free first dose of heroin). The reps would enter maternity wards dressed in white, to blend in with the nurses, and give out free samples intended to dry up the mother's milk supply. Having no access to clean water, money to buy enough formula, or fuel to boil water to sterilize bottles or nipples or to make formula with, this resulted in literally millions of deaths from what was called "baby bottle disease".

It isn't the same as vaccines, but it is similar in that it was a transgression by a pharmaceutical company, deliberate misuse of a pharmaceutical product that resulted in great harm. It is different in that governments were not in collusion with Nestle (as far as I know). I don't know how successful the boycott ultimately has been, but it is an example of an active effort to fight back to save children that did have some positive effect.

I thought maybe there is something in this history that can help.

Bayareamom is being realistic. Pharma has a long history of getting away with murder. I think what she's saying is talk is good, but talk without action, or enough action, and meaningful results, isn't enough. It is true that because of AOA and other sources that awareness has been raised. The question is, what more should be done? I think that's a fair question.

Re: Boycotting IACC

How can we boycott a group that's boycotting us?

Re: "Thank you to Geri Dawson"

For telling us to "change the conversation" when the subject of vaccines comes up? Or for "collaborating" with four major vaccine makers who now want to make money off of autism?

Re: calling Tim Bolen "Tinfoil Tim"

Who are you quoting - SafeMinds? It wouldn't surprise me. Nhokkanen, can you name even one person who has spent a decade building legislators' trust? If that was the case, SafeMinds wouldn't have needed to hire a lobbyist to pretend to be collaborating with Brian Hooker so they could shove him aside, take over the hearing and leave vaccines out of the discussion.

Re: "Honestly, I can't believe the amount of negativity and criticism lately of people who are working hard on issues of vaccine safety and autism."

Who? Where? I haven't seen a single criticism of anyone who is working hard on issues of vaccine safety and autism.


Although, Twyla quoted me rather a lot I think she put her finger on something - we spend a lot of time imperturbably holding people to account where simply venting and going off in a huff would serve no purpose. I recall a retired senior news editor who rang me up in 2007 and said something like "Things may be bad but there is some agreement that they would have significantly worse if you hadn't done what you've done", which at the time was keep putting the case (mostly politely) in BMJ Rapid Responses and Guardian 'Comment is Free'. Note that in the latter case I was holding my position against a tide of venomous personal abuse, but actually I probably was being rather effective because simply being angry didn't cut anything, and what I did keep doing was showing that underneath the orchestrated propaganda effort there were serious holes. It doesn't change the policy but perhaps a few professionals take note that the emperor wasn't wearing too many clothes that day. And actually, if there were not just a few people patiently questioning it would make things significantly easier for the other side. In the Guardian we were so effective in the end that they simply shut down on opportunities to comment.

The question about the grand gestures is how you make them effectively and not just look foolish or vacuous. As to Lyn Redwood, I haven't examined the IACC transcripts, but I doubt whether retrospectively pillorying her for being there at all is either fair or helpful.

Bayareamom, thanks so much for your anonymous posts saying that you don't have time to get involved but that someone else should get it all together. That's very helpful. Really appreciate your wisdom and insight.

Good to know that your heart tells you that things won't work out for the best. Soaking up the positive vibes.

All written comments submitted to the IACC become part of the “public record”. How do you find this public record? Finally, someone at the Government Printing Office told me to request these comments from IACCPublicInquiries@mail.nih.gov. I have requested and received these for the past two meetings.

Since 2003 I have repeatedly tried to request a research focus on the language disorder. I have repeatedly pointed to published evidence that the auditory system is predictably damaged by many toxic substances, and by a brief period of asphyxia at birth. Anoxia at birth has frequently been reported in histories of children who develop autism. Components of the hepatitis B vaccine will compound any effects of oxygen insufficiency at birth.

At the congressional hearing Dr. Guttmacher reported that “Progress has been painfully slow.” Then why is the committee so reluctant to discuss the public comments submitted to the IACC? Clearly any suggestion of medical error is to be denied. I will continue to submit comments, and I encourage everyone to add their concerns to the public record.

John,

There was a meeting last year where several people gave public comment against the IACC. I was among those who gave public comment back when I was on SafeMinds' Government Affairs Committee. Since leaving SafeMinds, I gave public comment to IACC again last January.

Unfortunately, public commenters are not allowed to ask committee members questions, only to give "public comment." Hence the name. Because of her place on the committee, Lyn Redwood is in a unique position to hold some very bad people accountable who sit on the IACC with her. The fact that she does not ultimately defeats the point of her being there in the first place.

Her continued presence does nothing but give IACC Chair Tom Insel the token "mercury mom" he needs to claim the views of panelists are fairly balanced in accordance with HHS policy, even though they're clearly not. If Lyn Redwood is not up to the task of calling iatrogenic criminals who sit alongside her like Jose Cordero and Coleen Boyle to account, then Redwood ought to realize she's just being used and resign.

It's not as if people can only do one thing. Katie Wright and Lyn Redwood go to several IACC meetings a year and Katie writes about them, but they do lots of other stuff too. It's not as if by boycotting the IACC meetings they would be unleashed upon the world, freed to do something else that would change everything.

If they stopped attending these meetings, this committee would be completely unanimously happy with itself, and its BS would never see the light of day. This committee is responsible for spending millions of our tax dollars, and not monitoring them would be a lot worse than monitoring them. Katie and Lyn are witnesses, and they are thorns in people's sides. This is important.

I totally agree with John that "If you don't put any effort in these bodies might become ideologically even more repugnant. I suspect it would be unwise to vacate the territory altogether," and that "they would be only too delighted if everyone walked away and ignored them - that's an utter state of bliss for a government committee," and, "I think that the continuing attempts which have been made to interact with them have just dramatised how out of touch and warped they are. It is a chronicle of stupidity which has been superbly told by Katie over the years... Who else, after all, is paying them any attention for the millions they spend?" and also that if nobody from the biomedical/vaccine injury side participated they could say "If you don't want to contribute you only have yourselves to blame."

Honestly, I can't believe the amount of negativity and criticism lately of people who are working hard on issues of vaccine safety and autism. There are so many different ways that people are active. Does it make a difference when people meet with their congresspeople? It would be easy to say no, yet many of the congresspeople who spoke at the November hearing had clearly been educated by their constituents. Does it make a difference when people post comments online? It would be easy to say no, but without those comments it would just be unanimous CDC/pharma/AAP spin out there. TACA provides help with biomedical treatments and a lot more. AutismOne holds a huge conference every year. The Greater Good producers keep advocating and posting information. The Guardasil moms keep speaking out. Shall we disparage all of them because the world hasn't changed enough? Should we just do nothing at all?

When my son was born 20 years ago I had total faith in the CDC. When our pediatrician said that the CDC recommended a hepatitis B vaccine on the day of birth, I said, "OK, sure!" without questioning. I had no idea there was mercury in that shot, that it was completely unnecessary for him, that there were questions about it's safety. Our son continued to receive all the recommended vaccines on schedule, without my husband or I questioning the wisdom of this course of action. At least now people have doubts and raise questions. At least now there is information available. There has actually been quite an increase in general awareness of vaccine problems in recent years. When my daughter had a febrile seizure after getting the MMR and varicela vaccines at the same time it did not even occur to me that this could have been caused by the vaccines. At least now people would stop and think.

My son was addicted to graham crackers and yogurt. We said, "Wow he's like a drug addict!" We had no idea that gluten and casein were an issue with autism. Now at least people have heard of a GFCF diet.

But really, everyone is free to take the actions that they feel are most valuable. Rather than disparaging others' advocacy, take action yourself and change the world.

@Jenny,

Lucky? Your definition's decidedly different than mine.

@Autism Groups/AOA, et al:

Oh my. I have just about finished Tim Bolen's latest report and it isn't pretty.

All I can say to the autism community is...well, the only words that come to mind...

...YOU ALL NEED TO PULL IT TOGETHER.

PLEASE.

As I've said in another post quite awhile ago. I, too, have a lot on my plate, more than you would care to know. I would love to be able to help in an up front and personal way with this issue, as I once did in the past, but time just isn't on my side these days.

This vaccine/autism issue could have been SO done and over with if physicians in the know, researchers, scientists and the general autism community as a whole had been able to gather together en force and do whatever it took, to get to the core of the issues and get the job done.

My intellect continues to provide me with hope that things will work out for the best...my heart tells me otherwise.

I'm with John Stone. If that makes me 'unpopular' so be it. In the UK we metaphorically 'bang our heads against brick walls', trying to get through to government committees and inquiries. I've wasted gallons of printer ink writing letters, most of which are not replied to. My written evidence to the Leveson Inquiry was disregarded. Evidence submitted by other persons re Brian Deer's Sunday Times articles was 'challenged' by Murdoch's News Corp lawyers and ruled inadmissable.

My written evidence to a Scottish Inquiry on hospital superbugs was ruled inadmissable by the 'Inquiry Solicitor'. All parliamentary evidence from the public is vetted beforehand as are any public questions or deputations. Everything is carefully 'stage managed' by an army of spin doctors, who are also responsible for any press releases.

Why do we bother? Well, in the case of Leveson, I was pleased to see he apparently at least agreed with my evidence about the utter uselessness of COPE and the PCC; the latter is being reformed. The Scottish Inquiry Judge, has not yet given his verdicts, but I was pleased to see most of the points made in my evidence, have been very carefully examined by the Judge. Our letters to the Government Science & Technology Committee, re Godlee and the BMJ Deer articles, may not have been acknowledged, but Godlee's attempts to discredit all of Dr Wakefield's colleagues and have every single Wakefield research paper retracted, backfired spectacularly, after the S&C Committee told Godlee to take her concerns elsewhere!! It's good to see Dr Wakefield's other published research papers now being referenced in other papers, researching what are now acknowledged links between gastrointestinal problems and autism.

From my side of the Atlantic, that Congress meeting was a huge success, publicly exposing the weasel words and useless actions of those persons, who are supposed to be in positions of leadership, in terms of ensuring vaccine safety and efficacy in the US. You folks should think yourselves lucky.

You give 'our' presence in these groups far too much importance, John. Things are just as cozy with these groups as they've always been, with or without members of the autism groups movement.

These governmental groups see 'our' people as mere tokens; they stay polite and act as though they 'care' about our issues, but the reality is their 'caring and willingness to HELP our cause,' is but an illusion.

We are, in point of fact, being manipulated by others far stronger in numbers and in funding then we have at our disposal, so unless we can gather numbers in strength and purpose and figure out another strategy with this mess, we will continue to see this train wreck of an issue careening and imploding faster than we can say BOO.

@John: I just picture this panel of community members who essentially all have the position that we are not disabled, and either, we don't want you to do anything for us, or to do anything to us, left surrounded by people assigned to appear to "do something" about the epidemic because a bunch of parents who have children who cannot speak for themselves annoyed a bunch of politicians and wonder how long that can last, but I worry you might be right about where things could go.

As I don't have any brilliant ideas of how to do the following I should probably stop, but, if our continually raised points could get out to more of the public than I think they actually do, the IACC has at least given us a great case in point of how "sincere" the federal agencies are in performing responsible vaccine safety research (not like we needed more).

OK I am not going to be very popular, I don't speak for Safeminds, I am not sure whether I have ever had a personal email exchange with Lyn Redwood, but I don't think it is necessarily an easy option to hang in when you don't like what's going on - actually it is the easiest thing in the world to walk away. Well, for all I know it may possibly be the time to make the gesture - if somehow it could be made very effectively.

Does Lyn Redwood's presence on the committee constitute support for its policies? It doesn't seem an obvious conclusion.

I would like to make it clear I am only talking about the IACC issue, but I do recall there was a meeting last year in which various members of the community (were they all Safemind's people?) got to speak and successfully made Insel bluster.

"Listen if there was a big discussion about important issues pertaining to the Asperger's community I would just butt out."

Except that you said earlier that you doubt the IACC members with Aspergers are still autistic because of the DSM change.

"Thank you to Geri Dawson for successfully advocating for innovator contributors."

Never mind that she endorsed the IOM's whitewash.

"Thank you to Lyn Redwood for being one of the few brave voices for environmental science and vaccine safety."

Thank you Lyn Redwood for being IACC's token representative of "vaccine safety" while not calling the criminals who sit on the IACC with you to account. :S

My point over the IACC is that the only thing that you can go on doing with them is showing them up as before. I don't know of any moment when anyone connected with our side has been on-side with the IACC nonsense. There is always the issue whether we have been as effective as we could but in this instance I don't see anything to complain about.

I think they would be only too delighted if everyone walked away and ignored them - that's an utter state of bliss for a government committee.

"Plainly, these points or ones like them go on being made year after year, but I don't think they would disband if we went away, they would just feel a whole lot cozier."

John .. with the greatest of respect for all you do and have done .. do we really care if they "would feel a whole lot cozier" if we "went away"?

After all, since day one .. even with our participation .. they couldn't possibly be any "cozier" as they pursue an agenda that is directly opposed to "points or ones like them" that have been made "year after year". As I said earlier .. give me SOMETHING besides the IACC feeling less "cozy" .. that you expect to be accomplished by remaining a willing participant of the IACC?

By the way ... do you remember Alison Singer .. former Executive Director of Autism Speaks .. who .. as Autism Speak's member of the IACC .. was faced with the decision to cast a critical vote regarding "vaccine safety research" for the IACC's Strategic Plan for Autism Research? Alison resigned her (lucrative?) position .. stating "for some time I have had concerns about Autism Speaks' policy on vaccine research. Dozens of credible scientific studies have exonerated vaccines as a cause of autism. I believe we must devote limited funding to more promising areas of autism research".

I suspect the IACC (Insel) was greatly relieved when Alison's resignation and vote helped defeat that particular Strategic Plan for Autism Research .. which is why I suspect (please let me know if I am wrong on this point) she was rewarded by remaining on the IACC even though she no longer represented Autism Speaks.

Think retaining Alison on the IACC was meant to send a message to all those willing participants who saw their hard work evaporate right before their eyes? It must be me .. but .. that's the way I view it.

Just one more comment, then I'm through with this bandwagon I'm on.

My husband and I saw, just on the local school district level, how the political process really works. I've seen this on the state and federal levels as well, with my activism in the vaccine movement.

It's all the same.

Special interests are SERVED - PEOPLE ARE NOT.

I see SO MANY fractionalized efforts (if that's a word) on behalf of the autism movement; everyone wants to be heard, everyone wants 'credit' for this, that and the other.

But I just ponder as to how much true productivity has been accomplished whatsoever. All of us have extended our efforts in only the best way that we can - perhaps. But productivity is the name of the game, or at least it should be, NOT who gets credit for what have you.

The point with all of this is that things are not getting any better - they are, indeed, and quite miserably so, getting far worse.

Quit thinking these 'legislators' are your FRIENDS. They are NOT. They are like the pediatricians that Mark Blaxil once stated during his IACC speech, are NOT your friends.

But if you can get numbers involved in this process, more numbers than you've been able to gather together in the past and really work with other healthcare groups that have a genuine interest in this issue, you will get further ahead than you've been able to, thus far.

An individual who has posted, just proves my point. QUIT with the name calling and conjecturing as to who you feel is wearing a tin-foil hat, or whatever. Do you want this thing to stop or are you going to admit you may need some help, and ASK for it. Because it's out there, if you've a mind to take it.

Legislators' trust? You've got to be kidding me. Why on Earth would you TRUST these people?

You need to wake up. These people are not there to SERVE YOU - they are there to serve special interests...PERIOD.

Typo above "you're' should have been 'your.' Typing too fast...

@John,

Note quite sure what you're stance is. Are you actually stating that the autism community should continue on with these various no-good governmental entities and remain status quo, or are you agreeing that a different strategy needs to be undertaken?

I think history has proven repeatedly, at least since I've been involved with this movement, that working from 'within' isn't working very well, here. If the GOAL is to lower the numbers of damaged kids and adults, then that goal sad to say is far from being accomplished.

There are those of whom want to continue to see this cover-up continue - for whatever reasons - that have indeed infiltrated the various autism groups.

The autism community is a fractured community; until/unless egos are put aside and collateral efforts are extended on a global effort, then the articles such as the most recent of Katie Wright's will continue on.

As Drs. Wakefield and Blaylock have stated - this is a tsunami waiting to happen. You cannot stand in front of that tsunami with a pail and shovel and expect to be able to stop it. It's not about just connecting with the folks who REALLY want to stop this, but it's connecting with NUMBERS of individuals around the globe who have a genuine interest in stopping this as well.

I can guarantee you that those few up on that last governmental panel last November - who seem to have a keen interest in this issue - have been told to STOP their efforts.

The Big Pharma industry has a stranglehold on this issue in far more insidious ways than perhaps most would dare to imagine. It will take a monumental effort with many involved COLLECTIVELY, to thwart that stranglehold. These powerful entities are working non-stop to not only continue to force vaccines down the throats of every man, woman and child in this world, but they are working diligently, as we now speak, to take away the rights of U.S. citizens to utilize their exemption rights.

Have any of you seen the bills over at the National Vaccine Information Center's Adovcacy Portal? There are SO many of them! Bills to either limit exemptions and/or bills proffered to now mandate more vaccines, including the Gardasil vaccine, are now being added to the tables in numerous states. It is a virtual feeding frenzy out there and it is only going to get worse...

So again - I would urge some of you that contribute here at Age of Autism and/or those of you of whom work with these various groups such as SafeMinds, the Canary Party, etc., to connect with Curt Linderman, Sr. and Tim Bolen and just LISTEN to what they have to say. There are healthcare movement groups out there that have resources in the media AND the funding necessary to get some MOVEMENT on this thing.

To bayareamom:
"Tinfoil Tim" Bolen is doing more damage to our cause than Matt Carey.

Autism parents and advocates who've worked a decade or more building legislators' trust don't need so-called help from a self-serving loose cannon who refers to financed targets as "nipple ripper."

On Dec 26, 2012, Insel put out the piece, Autism Progress, on the NIMH website.
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2012/autism-progress.shtml

So what does Insel consider "progress"?

He cited numerous things about the genetics of autism, early diagnosing using brain imaging and early intervention.

He made stunning statements like:

"According to PubMed, there were over 1,000 ASD papers related to genetics or brain imaging since January 2011 - more than three times the number of papers from the same interval a decade ago."

He was quick to tell us that he really doesn't know anything about autism's cause:

"We still do not know enough about what causes ASD."

"What about environmental causes? Several environmental factors, such as exposure to air pollution,15 agricultural pesticides,16 and antidepressants,17 have been reported to increase ASD risk, mostly based on exposure during pregnancy. While most scientists assume that environmental factors interact with genetic susceptibility, we still know far too little about either genetic or environmental factors to make this link."

The strongest language I could find in the article was the need for "urgent attention."

He made a clever, but ambiguous comment, "The 1 in 88 figure in 2008 may still fall short of the mark. In the absence of a more complete explanation, as I have said in an earlier blog, the safest assumption is 'more affected not just more detected.'"

Following that he wrote, "If there is a true increase in children affected, what environmental factor or factors are driving this increase?"

"IF"??...Insel still isn't quite sure IF MORE KIDS REALLY TRULY HAVE AUTISM?

Acting like we have all the time in the world to ponder this issue, Insel isn't alarmed. Autism isn't even a crisis to this man. I still can't fathom how he could actually put the title "Autism Progress" on this piece, deluding himself into believing that there's actually been any.

Jeannette

Plainly, these points or ones like them go on being made year after year, but I don't think they would disband if we went away, they would just feel a whole lot cosier.

I'm not sure a boycott is wise either, though I would think they would just disband the whole effort if parents concerned about the epidemic went away. I think the committee's main function is to keep us as pacified and in a state of sitting back and waiting for results as much as possible.

But maybe some kind of collective public outreach? Point out something like how little in understanding of involved environment factors has been sought out by this unique government commitment set up to appear to address an epidemic now 30 times more common than paralytic polio? How, despite many "anecdotal" reports of illness and loss of development following vaccination, and the majority of parents wanting more vaccine safety research, not one vaccine study has been commissioned by this committee? Maybe how these vaccine exposures that were not routine (even though they are always being called "routine vaccinations"), were untested, unprecedented vaccine combinations at unprecedented early and accelerated exposures? How we do not have a single study looking at the overall health impact of giving so many vaccines, so early, but we do have a generation of children now exposed to this schedule that, coincidentally, seems to have unprecedented levels of learning disabilities, allergies, asthma and autoimmunity, etc.?

I don't think we are going to make a very strong point since everyone already on our side regards them fundamentally with contempt. I think that the continuing attempts which have been made to interact with them have just dramatised how out of touch and warped they are. It is a chronicle of stupidity which has been superbly told by Katie over the years. That's probably been the major result and it is one worth having. Who else, after all, is paying them any attention for the millions they spend? Also they can turn round and say "If you don't want to contribute you only have yourselves to blame". Strategically, I'd say it is better to let it bleed on as before - a madhatters teaparty that goes on for ever.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/10/but-theres-mercury-in-the-h1n1-vaccine-curiouser-and-curiouser.html

What's happened is the creative response: it doesn't endorse them in any way.

Jilly Ann Beret - as you say it may be the best tactic, by far, to shun or boycott the IAAC. AND, generate a press release stating exactly why.

There may be some intrepid (not intimidated by the Medical Gangster Goons running NIH and CDC) reporter or media outlets. THINK national medical news reporter Sheryl Atkisson (spelling?).

Yes, boycotting the IAAC seems an excellent tactic.

The more I re-read your above statement, John, the more I have to shake my head. Ideologically repugnant? Really? What is MORE repugnant to me is the FACT that these groups are not doing one thing to help these kids and truly get down to the business re: stopping this world-wide epidemic. These bureaucrats which so many of you seem to want to latch onto are tied into the VERY organizations/groups that are actively covering up this epidemic!

There are groups available out there to assist - they've spoken out and are willing and able to HELP.

I care so very deeply about these kids and their families, even though my own family has not been touched - per se - by the autism issue. I know in my heart my own family could have become easily just another autism statistic.

I would beg of you - those of whom read these comments and website - to try to start thinking about various outside options that have been proffered as a means within which to help. stop. this. thing.

Get rid of the egos; remember what this fight is really all about - our kids...mankind's future.

I don't know what happened to a prior comment of mine wherein I stated that perhaps all of you may want to have a listen up re: Curt Lindermnan's radio show about this very issue.

I agree with Mr. Linderman. It is time to quit being so politically correct and get down to the business at hand. Do whatever it takes (and no I'm not advocating violence here, gawd forbid), but there ARE forces out there who can help.

What's that saying - fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

How many times do you all need to be conned and fooled by these guys before you re-think your strategies?

John,

No disrespect, but it seems to me this issue is as about repugnant NOW as it could possibly be! SOMETHING needs to change and clearly the government bureaucracies are not doing a thing to stop this epidemic for a variety of reasons (which are far too lengthy to reiterate here).

How much more time do you think our children have? Do we need to wait until the figures reach 1 in 3 children before the skid marks can be clearly seen?

I don't get it. People in this movement keep scratching their heads, wondering what's going on. What's going on seems CRYSTAL CLEAR to me.

This is one massive cover-up - on a global scale. So again, it just seems as though a different strategy seems to be the answer here.

Bayareamom

I am not altogether sure. If you don't put any effort in these bodies might become ideologically even more repugnant. I suspect it would be unwise to vacate the territory altogether.

John

"...I would welcome learning of ANY success that has been gained by having members serve on the IACC? Surely there has to have been SOMETHING gained?"

This is what I've been trying to say. The answer may be to stop participating in these governmental programs and start thinking about different strategies. This merry-go-round isn't doing a thing for your kids; it's NOT stopping this epidemic. If these government bureaucrats were so keen on helping these kids and stopping this epidemic, they would have done something about this by now!

I don't have all the answers, but I darn straight know that accepting what amounts to cookie crumbs from these folks is not going to get the job accomplished.

Tim Bolen's got connections; he may have funding to help. Why not start there, or at least have a listen to what he has to say.

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