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Autism and Redheads: The Canaries in the Epidemic Part 1

The Tipping Point: Questions about Autism, History, Race and Melanin

Melanin vaccines triptych Adriana Gamondes Part I

By Adriana Gamondes

I first started looking into the possibility of a relationship between race and brain injury two years ago because—to be blunt— I wondered if mercury was more toxic to certain ethnicities.

My children are part Hispanic, Amerindian and North African among other things and, when it comes to race and medicine,  the most paranoid fantasies of racially-motivated medical atrocity and negligence  have at one time or another been actualized in American history.  So I tried an extreme idea on for size: could the increase in thimerosal in vaccines in the 1980s have been intended to target certain populations?

As I’ll try to explain later, in the end it looked like the racial targeting concept was probably wrong. In fact, I might have run across some information that, if at all true, could confirm that the epidemic was a big “oops” after all, at least the first leg of it. That doesn’t mean the perpetuation of the epidemic once it was underway couldn’t have been accidentally-on-purpose. Again—just as an exercise in considering possibilities. Had the epidemic suddenly dropped off, say, when thimerosal was partially removed from vaccines, that could have looked quite bad for industry. It’s hard to forget Marie McCormick’s announcement in the wake of the 2001 Simpsonwood meeting that, despite Verstraeten’s findings that thimerosal levels and autism rates were showing strong correlation,  the CDC “wants us to declare, well, that these things are pretty safe” and “we are not ever going to come down that [autism] is a true side effect” of thimerosal. 

The timing of the wildly inflated “flu scare” of 2003 and attendant flu shot promotion created the appearance that industry and the CDC were trying to keep autism rates stable in order to avoid suspicion of iatrogenic factors if thimerosal was partly removed from other shots on the childhood schedule. Children born as late as 2005 or 2006 could have conceivably received higher levels of thimerosal than those born in the mid-1990’s due to the addition of the influenza vaccine and because, contrary to news reports, there was still old, full-mercury vaccine stock on the shelves in 2006. This is one of those open secrets—easily confirmed by a search of public documents but repeatedly denied or ignored in the mainstream press.

Though it’s debatable whether thimerosal is the central cause of autism, according to Simpsonwood transcripts, the CDC and industry may have suspected this themselves prior to the full mercury flu shot push. And of course there’s that monetary incentive: making the “lemonade” of almost limitless financial gains for anyone willing to sing along—from a $3.5 billion a year “autism drug market”; the sudden explosive need for clinical screening tools; grants for genes research, etc. — out of the “lemons” of an epidemic of autism.  That’s how disaster capitalism works: let the mess happen, or make it happen— or just be less than contrite that it did— and mop up the profits after the fact.

But that may all be part of the era of cover-up that simply followed an “epoch of f***-up”. In the process of figuring out I was probably barking up the wrong tree about initial motives for increasing mercury in shots, I discovered some clues which might be as disturbing as my original considerations in light of the CDC’s recent findings on the gap in autism rates between children of different ancestry (David Kirby’s report  HERE).

Two years ago, it was unknown whether African American or Hispanic children had lower rates of autism than white children. Now there’s evidence—for what it’s worth— that certain groups are less affected. This is not true across the board. Melody Goodman and Carolyn Gallagher discovered in their Stony Brook study that Hispanic male children who received the full-mercury Hepatitis B vaccine series starting at birth appeared to have the highest rates of autism (HERE)—though this isn’t necessarily a complete contradiction of overall lower rates of autism among Hispanic males, as I’ll get into later.  
Among all the other things that corporate media doesn’t see fit to print or inquire about autism, almost no one is publically asking the reasons for any racial disparity in autism rates except parents and scientists from the vaccine injury arena. Could this be because all roads lead to Rome? That no matter how you look at it, the gap may implicate environmental factors, even specifically vaccines?

Until it unfolded that the highest rate of autism in the world might be among the Minnesota Somali (1/28 or 1/26 depending on the source), it was a vague impression within the vaccine injury community that autism was, for lack of a better expression, a “blonde disease” or even a “redhead disease”. It just seemed to many that, with some exceptions, the paler the kid, the more likely they’d be impacted. There were discussions of how many of our injured kids— even those with dark eyes and hair and  Mediterranean ancestry—don’t tan even if their parents and typical siblings do; or the number of redheaded children with autism, which Age of Autism contributing editor Teresa Conrick has been researching at full force. 

During such discussions, some people wandered into racially dicey conjectures that African Americans were “less likely to seek early diagnoses” than whites for economic and cultural reasons and that this could explain a gap: the implication being the rates of autism among minorities were identical to whites’ but there was just “decreased recognition”. This was based on a study which found some Hispanic and African American children weren’t being diagnosed until after age three (since the study was mainstream, it was never considered whether some minority children might actually be regressing later than white children—i.e., taking longer to succumb to environment). Others speculated that vaccination rates among African Americans might be lower due either to socioeconomics or to long-standing suspicions of mainstream medicine that trailed incidents of grotesque medical racism like I mentioned above—particularly the Tuskegee syphilis experiment (HERE).

None of these theories really made sense to me except maybe the last one. First, they assume too much about parenting differences between races.  Secondly, any parental resistance to diagnostic stigma wouldn’t last too long once a child hit school age, particularly when schools receive federal funding for each qualifying diagnosis of learning disability. Plus, many white families drag their heels in labeling their child for as many “cultural” and economic reasons as minorities might; and whites are more likely to homeschool if they’re avoiding diagnosis. But the final conjecture—that African Americans in particular might have lower vaccination rates out of jaundice towards mainstream medical intentions towards their community at least gave me pause: history shows that minorities in the US certainly have good reason to be circumspect.

As some are aware, racist diagnosing and selective treatments go back to the time of slavery in the US, when slaves who didn’t sufficiently enjoy the brutality of slavery or who tried to escape were slapped with various bizarre psychiatric diagnoses like “dysaesthesia aethiopis” or “drapetomania”—respectively, “African laziness” and “running away disease”. According to Robert Whitaker, author of “Mad In America”, in a post-emancipation explosion of racial hatred, recently freed slaves faced a new threat of being locked up in mental institutions, with the risk of being labeled “insane” rising fivefold in the twenty years following the civil war.
This was regarded as “proof” by racist psychiatrists that freedom was detrimental, that blacks were “prone” to psychotic illness because they were “descendents of savages and cannibals” and that the “biological development of the race had not made adequate preparation” for living in “an environment of higher civilization”.  In 1958, Clennon King was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital solely for being the first African American to seek admission to Mississippi State University. Later, a study of 1,023 African American psychiatric patients diagnosed as schizophrenic found that over 64% had been misdiagnosed and that reports of severity of illness and “dangerousness” were typically exaggerated when patients were black.

Sometimes this boiled down to basic differences in reality between races. One of the most disturbing stories I read in a tome on posttraumatic stress occurred only about 20 years ago. A middle aged African American male was picked up on the side of the road in a Southern state, screaming that his son had been beheaded. He was taken to county, put under observation and subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia. But it turned out that his son had, as he had tried to explain, been decapitated when the boy was taken hostage by a racist gang, chained by the neck to the back of a truck and dragged to his death. The man’s white attendants hadn’t been able to corroborate the crime because it had happened in a neighboring state—and they simply had trouble understanding horror, grief and betrayal on such a scale, mistaking it for insanity.

For African Americans, “psychiatric disorders” were never traditionally assumed to be due to stress or poverty, which happened to be the prevailing state of existence for most nonwhites in the post civil war era. “Depressions of various forms are rare in the colored…These individuals do not react to the graver emotions…owing to the fact that they have no strict moral standard and no scrupulosity as to social conventions” explained Dr. Mary O’Malley of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (famed as Walter Freeman’s “lobotomy” center and, ironically enough, the proposed site for the new Department of Homeland Security headquarters).  In other words, anything “wrong” with African Americans could not be due to environmental factors— such as all the manifold ways that racism effects health, socioeconomics and stress levels. This could not have to do with the very bias and misinterpretation exemplified by powerful medical authorities like Dr. O’Malley herself: it had to be genetic.

Dr. O’Malley, the first female president of the Psychoanalytic Society, probably made this statement in the 1920’s. Then, also according to Robert Whitaker, two sociologists at Indiana University—Brian Powell and Marti Loring—had 290 psychiatrists review written case studies of patients that were alternately labeled black or white. The group generally diagnosed the conditions of black males as “more severe” and white males as “less severe”. The researchers concluded that “Clinicians appear to ascribe violence, suspiciousness, and dangerousness to black clients even though the case studies are the same as the case studies for the white clients”.

If anyone thinks this kind of medical bias is a thing of the past, the Loring-Powell study took place in 1988 (here HERE). And it goes right to the top. Here’s another bit of relatively recent history that’s interesting in light of the neurodiverse community’s attempts to equivocate their movement to civil rights and racial pride: Frederick Goodwin,  psychiatrist and Thomas Insel’s predecessor as director of the National Institute of Mental Health—who sits beside professional vaccine defenders Steven Novella and Paul Offit on the science advisory board of ACSH (industry front group American Council on Science and Health); friend of Drugwonk friends of Quackwatch (I feel like I’m channeling Lewis Carroll)— once compared minority inner city men to "hypersexual" monkeys in the jungle who just mate and kill.  He made this statement while heading the former federal Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA):

"If you look, for example, at male monkeys, especially in the wild, roughly half of them survive to adulthood. The other half die by violence. That is the natural way of it for males, to knock each other off and, in fact, there are some interesting evolutionary implications of that because the same hyperaggressive monkeys who kill each other are also hypersexual, so they copulate more and therefore they reproduce more to offset the fact that half of them are dying. Now, one could say that if some of the loss of structure in this society, and particularly in the high impact inner city areas, has removed some of the civilizing evolutionary things that we have built up and that maybe it isn't t just careless use of the word when people call certain areas of certain cities jungles, that we may have gone back to what might be more natural, without all of the social controls that we have imposed upon ourselves as a civilization over thousands of years in our own evolution".

No, that’s not your imagination: the former most powerful shrink in the country actually echoed the eugenic view that minority men are evolutionarily less advanced. Contrary to Goodwin’s later claims that he misspoke, in documents attained by FOIA, Goodwin expressed serious intentions to put government money where his mouth was. Unsigned statements stamped with Goodwin’s department, which reiterated Goodwin’s own spoken views, intimated that Goodwin advocated the prophylactic drugging of minority youth due to the "genetic contribution” to “antisocial personality disorder" to which "minority populations are disproportionately affected". In other words, anything “wrong” with African Americans could not be due to environmental factors— such as all the manifold ways that racism effects health, socioeconomics and stress levels. This could not have to do with the very bias and misinterpretation exemplified by powerful medical authorities like Goodwin himself: it had to be genetic. Oh how far we’ve come.

After two blatantly unethical and baldly racist federally funded “Violence Initiatives”  (HERE), which attempted to “prove” a link between race and violence— and after more than a century of “eugenetic” research— no genetic link to crime or violence has ever been found. The two modern Federal Violence Initiatives went so far as to plan mass lobotomies on black urban rioters, actually did approve and fund spinal taps on black toddlers (interesting in light of charges of “unethical” lumbar punctures leveled against Drs. Wakefield, Murch and Walker-Smith) and subjected the younger siblings of black juvenile detainees to doses of fenfluramine that would be dangerous for adults.

It was all for nothing. As geneticist Patrick Levitt put it, there are no “genes for behavior”. But you’d never know it from the mainstream press, which still periodically refers to “crime genes” as if this were an established finding. Sound familiar?

The government was so embarrassed by Goodwin's statements and his conduct in spearheading the second Federal Violence Initiative that he was immediately made director of the NIMH from 1992 to 1994. National Public Radio was so embarrassed by Goodwin's history that they gave him his own radio show until he was caught taking $1.3 million in fees from GlaxoSmithKline, fees which presumably influenced Goodwin’s constant promotion of certain psychiatric drugs on the air (HERE).

One also has to wonder, particularly since NPR producers had every reason to know about Goodwin’s financial ties to industry, if Goodwin was fired because then-Senator Obama was ahead in the polls and only a few months away from being elected. Did NPR sense the change of guard might shed new light on old crimes?

The fact that, of the 60% of children in foster care who are currently being subjected to dangerous drug cocktails, the vast majority are African American shows that the tendency to overdiagnose minority children with “conditions” for which the “treatments” are cheap, cruel and restrictive is still a problem.  But at the same time, when Dr. Herbert Needleman did a study on widespread “silent lead poisoning” among urban children in the 1970’s showing that the condition could affect academics and behavior, rather than launching a lead treatment and abatement program—which would have been a complex and astronomically expensive undertaking— the government lambasted Needleman and the lead industry did everything it could to counter and bury reports. Government health authorities showed their preference for a view of “genetic” behavioral explanations rather than anything pointing to pricey cures or ecological racism—the fact that minorities are more often forced to live near industrial dumps and in lead infested housing. The refusal of government regulators and health authorities to contend with lead exposure is ongoing (HERE).

So, to recap, African Americans and other minorities have traditionally been overdiagnosed with any disorder which might add to subjugation or act as an excuse to curtail freedom such to antisocial behavior disorders, “oppositional-defiant disorder”, etc. This seems to be particularly true for conditions which are treated cheaply. Conditions which are expensive to treat, and for which cause points to industry culpability and government negligence, would of course be underdiagnosed (as for all children) and research into racial susceptibility has traditionally been sorely lacking. Again, the risk of clinical abuse is even beyond what all medical consumers in the US face.

With this history of official attitudes and officially sanctioned medical abuse, it may not have been so “out there” to wonder if African Americans—poor or not—had the same uptake of certain medical interventions such as vaccinations for their children as whites. At the same time, assuming that many African American and Latino parents are just as concerned about a toddler who won’t talk or won’t toilet train as white parents (particularly if we assume many urban households, like suburban ones, can scarcely afford eternal diapers), some may have trouble getting an early diagnosis if the diagnosis comes with expectations of (expensive) early interventions. 

So are African Americans and Hispanics underdiagnosed or are they “undervaccinated”? Or both or neither? When I hit the roadblock of lack of data for any of these issues,  I moved on to the question of whether African Americans and Latinos were having a different reaction to the same vaccine schedule as whites, if in fact their vaccine uptake was relatively similar.  
Adriana Gamondes lives in Massachusetts with her husband and recovering twins.


Ralph Gomez

I have long suspected that there is a connection between autism and environmental factors. At my advance age of 76, I take many medicines for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I see side effects; however, I can't simply refuse to take these medications because of side effects, unless they are serious in nature. I also take a flu shot each year, perform rigerous exercise at the Senior Center and am mindful of good eating habits. Nonetheless, I am saddened by people who decline medications out of fear. I hope they will consider the overall benefit of medications and avoid what I see as paranoid reactions. Due deligence should be exercised. Do your due deligence - avoid a "siege" mentality!


Carolyn C-- it's so interesting. I mention exactly what you brought up in Part II. A lot of people have made that observation-- Autism One was like a math and science symposium-- and that was just the parents.


I believe you Tereasa, Adriana;
I am truly sorry. We love our elders too, and not just our children.
My father gets one his flu shot ever year, and brags that he never had no problems. Yet he can not lift his legs, and shuffles to get to one place to another. That is really hard on him since it is usually across a cow pasture he wants to shuffle across.
Last year I at least talked him out of the N1H1 shot.
My mother became ill in her early 40s and she blames the flu shot. She said she was fine untill then. All that year, even in the summer time she would start running a temperature just like she had the flu. At the end of the year she had developed inflammatory bowel disease, anxeity attacks, sleeplessness(I never could get away with anything in my teen years). In recent years it has turned into rheurmatoids, espcially in her shoulders. When she moves you can hear her bones pop.
Immune problems all her entire life.


Teresa, I'm so sorry about your aunt. It doesn't make it any easier when we know what harmed our loved ones unless there's still time to remedy it.

My father lost his speech and ability to walk but remained lucid about what had happened to him and why to the bitter end. Being able to talk to him was a blessing, but I'm not sure it was easier for him to have full awareness. He wept for what children were being subjected to. On his deathbed, he only wanted to hear what was being done about it. What did him in was an undiagnosed GI lesion-- he bled to death. We saw on the record that he'd been given a final flu shot a few days earlier. He could not have protested. My sister, who quit nursing after this, calls flu shots "snuff medicine".

Understanding why and still being unable to do anything to save them actually makes it much harder. Ignorance may not be bliss but knowing can be torture too. It takes spine to face the truth. If there's a coalition in the sweet hereafter, perhaps our relatives are all members. Peace and many condolences.

Teresa Conrick

I think it appropriate to share here that my spectacular Aunt Teddy, a mother to me for the past 15 years since my own mother's death, had her first flu shot in Dec. She had just turned 85 in October. It was our one and only disagreement in my entire relationship with her but she was very firm that she HAD to go with her doctor's wishes because she trusted him. I told her we could order one without mercury if she was that firm. She didn't want to upset me and quietly went and got it.

She never told me when she got it but on Christmas Eve, I noticed her more quiet. A week later, she was having memory problems and losing track of her thoughts when talking.

By January this worsened. She became more frail and feeble and stopped attending church. She had problems walking to meals by February and ended up in the hospital in March as she fell one night, luckily no damage to bones or head except she was having psychosis and dementia while there, a "side effect" the doctor called it from being in a strange place.

My aunt was a Chicago school teacher then Principal for all of her life. She was one smart and sharp person and never did I see her with any cognitive issues, until now.

In April, I needed to go over each night and help her get ready for bed. She could no longer dress or undress let alone remember to take her medicines. She was never a pessimist though not remembering and losing track of her words was so very frustrating for her. She was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration over 20 years ago and was fair-skinned, blue eyed and Irish. I know that melanin deficiency was an issue.

In May, someone needed to be with her more, virtually blind and her mind now going, to help in most ways. Having Megan and the responsibilities of her care required hiring someone for Teddy. On my way to dinner with friends at Autism One, I got the call that Teddy was in an ambulance. She had passed out. When I arrived at the hospital, she barely knew me.

She died six days later. This is all anecdotal and not my usual fact based, peer-reviewed data, but I can tell you with certainty that the flu shot ended her life as it began her journey to mental and physical deterioration.


I found this fascinating and a sad but very educational and appreciated history lesson.

I kind of wondered if it was possible mercury and heavy metals conveniently target the smartest members of society and thereby cripple them and their parents. I formed this theory based on the incredibly smart people I met in autism bio-med land . . but there actually is at least one researcher who said that the more glutamate receptors you have, the smarter you are but the more receptive to toxins you are. . .


So many provocative questions, and so many shameful historical episodes explicated in all their gruesome detail.

Thus, how can one avoid examining all these medical and policymaking possibilities when vaccines have had documented abortifacient qualities (the Philippines), to name just one horrible side effect?

It's absurd and deeply insulting for theorists to suggest that Somali families are not observant enough to detect early autism signs within their close-knit, loving and informed communities. Thank you for spotlighting the foolishness of that and other reckless speculation.


Thank you for the insights and testimonies all.

Sarah-- I'm so sorry to hear about your father. Mine-- flu shots a year and a half ago. The alibi? Anything but the shots. So we speak for the dead to protect the living-- but it doesn't make it any easier.

On the thread that you, Julie and Maria started-- there's a case study called "Chemo Brain" by a psychopharmaceutical expert (and critic) named Dr. Grace Jackson. With Depakote as the final blow, chemo brain led to an "autistic like disorder" (autism, though it reversed with the removal of Depakote, leaving other types of brain damage) in a seven year old, formerly NT boy who'd undergone chemotherapy for childhood cancer 5 years earlier. The key to the progression, starting with seizures (from chemo) to autism (from Depakote), was suspected to be the ways in which both toxic injuries overlapped, creating almost precisely the types of brain and immune system damage seen in vaccine induced autism. All roads still lead to Rome.


Julie said; "If a disease --- cancer or autism--- is "genetic" then nobody's to blame right.."

so true.. they also have the a---s covered on the side effects from the forward thinking

According to last Sundays Parade Magazine piece called "Living after Cancer", cognitive impairment aka "chemo brain" is likely genetic...

I suppose my father's reaction to the radiation he received to treat his cancer was genetic also.. he died last month of lung burn...

Teresa Conrick

Great writing, Adriana, as usual! This whole melanin issue is very intriguing and so onward we go......thanks!


Exactly, Maria. If a disease --- cancer or autism--- is "genetic" then nobody's to blame right? Nobody can be held liable. How convenient.

Fear of cancer and fear of viruses are two of the hugest propaganda tools keeping people in thrall to the utter fraud that is modern American medicine. Disclaimer: I'm a nurse, so I make a living off of this beast.


How intriguing - "the gov preference for the genetic behavioral conditions" - It is so true! I never thought of it this way out of the autism realm. I think we all have been brainwashed into this myopic thinking as well. It is a fact that toxins, chemicals and the like cause conditions but when do you here of these treatment campaigns?

Brilliant piece Adriana! How do you find the time to write such intelligent and fascinating pieces?????

Heather Zelikov

Thank you for another thought provoking, interesting piece. As always, full of information. I will read this all day today! The paper, plus the citations.


Brilliant, very well written.


Great job Adriana and Teresa!! It will be people like you guys who end up figuring out and uncovering this problem. Not the loser "scientists" at the pharma labs. I love how you just came out and said they fx#$d up and then they covered up. I don't care if people at Gorski's site think we're paranoid to think that. It really was a great cover up to have promoted the thim-laden flu shots on the tails of "removing the thimerosal." Not to mention the other neurotoxins like aluminum. On a positive note, my local library accepted my donation of "Callous Disregard" and I noticed some of Jenny's videos there as well. Democracy is still alive and well in Alberta. Maybe I'll buy some more to infiltrate the system- bwahahahah.....

Theodore M. Van Oosbree

The Tuskegee study was conducted by a black-run institution and likely reflects the eugenic ideology prevalent among the medical elite of the time and not just racism per se. Vaccines and thimerosal were administered to all racial and ethnic groups and the practice also reflects a primitive ideology (vaccines good - no vaccines bad)re-inforced by economic calculation.


I have many thoughts on this topic, not "scientific" just observations & hypotheses.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's are also more prevalent in whites. Dr William Shaw connected the dots between autism, bowel disease, wheat and schizophrenia. I wonder if AA kids with autism have the same rate of bowel disorders?

I think vaccine damage in African American kids shows up more as athsma and early diabetes, less frequently as autism although of course it happens.

We can't even get a vax vs unvax study, so it's a pity no one will take a serious look at any of this.


I find it very odd that white people don't think that white people are the target. I do. If we are going to create a nation of serfs, the people in the middle have to be eliminated. The whole eugenics thing is to get rid of competiton. It's sold as a way to get rid of the weak but that's a lie. The people viewed as competition must be eliminated. Wake up people.


Because we listened and vaccinated the crap out of our kids. My findings "Autism is not prejuicdice it hits rich people; poor people; all races. Treat the immune disorder. Its not a psycho illness. Our kids were genetically vunerable to toxins.


Adriana wrote: "could the increase in thimerosal in vaccines in the 1980s have been intended to target certain populations?"

excellent piece... you know I had the same thought when I heard about the Somali children in Minnesota and how the rate of autism is so much higher than in the general autism population.. the Somali had no concept of this disorder back in Somalia.. they call it the "American disease" .. it's devastated their community.

I do think there are populations with an inborn immune vulnerablity like the Somali or anyone with a family history of mental illness, diabetes, MS. Studies have shown
children with autism have a family history of auto immune disease (See link). Some might view autoimmune diseases in a population as undesirable, a weakness so why bother.

Whether these populations are being targetted accidently or on purpose there seems to be a reluctance to consider a sensitive population even though the evidence is there. Genetic cleansing by complacency and indifference.

Association of family history of autoimmune diseases and autism spectrum disorders.


What was that study that came out "this year" from the CDC. The more educated the more prone to autism.

CDC tried to twist this information - that most educated people were smarter and thus dignosing autism which years ago would not have been dignosed.

I on the other hand, have been through college sat through lectures by preachy professors (even in the most basic science classes) religously spread the word, vaccines is the modern science marvel, that conquer or will conquer all diseases, forever,and ever more.

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