Is it Ethical to Kill Children to Save Children? Friday Night NYC Event Explains
The Next Really Big Lie About Autism

Best of Age of Autism: Dr. Ari Brown Plays Liars Poker

Ari brown This post ran last spring. Dr. Brown was the "AAP autism expert" on Dr. Oz yesterday.

By J.B. Handley
Maybe doctors shouldn’t blog?
Along with many other bloggers with apparently no interest in actually reading Karl Greenfeld’s article in Time Magazine last week on Jenny McCarthy and the autism debate, Austin-based pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown wrote about it instead, and may have set a blogosphere record in the “lies per words typed” ratio.
Friday, Dr. Brown wrote a post titled “Jenny McCarthy changes her mind on autism” for the blog Basil & Spice.
Herewith, the incredible lies and ignorance of another doctor trying to defend the indefensible, in this case by just making stuff up:
#1: “Those of you who follow this blog and read my books know that I have never supported Jenny McCarthy's claims that her son developed autism from vaccines.”
You never have supported Jenny’s “claims” that her son regressed into autism? I am certain that a hallmark of good doctoring is to listen to the parents, particularly true when you’re a pediatrician. A second hallmark of good doctoring is to refrain from opining on the medical cases of patients to whom you have no direct access, like Jenny’s son. 
Jenny McCarthy has written about many things she observed in her son after his MMR shot. Interestingly, a small sample of the side-effects from the insert label of the actual MMR vaccine appear to describe many of the things Jenny has talked about: “fever, syncope, headache, dizziness, malaise, irritability, diarrhea, vomiting, parotitis, nausea, myalgia, encephalitis, encephalopathy, febrile convulsions, afebrile convulsions or seizures.”
#2: “Despite the overwhelming lack of scientific evidence, her "mission" to improve public awareness and draw attention to herself has been a pretty successful campaign.”
“Overwhelming lack of scientific evidence” is, of course, nothing more than the “Hungry Lie” I have written about many times where research regarding a single vaccine, MMR, has been generalized by pharma sympathizers to represent “all vaccines”, including the 10 other licensed vaccines given to our kids that have never been studied for their relationship to autism. Anybody want to bet that Dr. Brown tells the parents in her practice the same thing, falsely reassuring them that “the science has been done”?
Of course, Dr. Brown is right about one thing, and I’m sure she’s hearing it from parents every day: Jenny’s campaign has been successful. But, it’s been successful for reasons most doctors don’t want to admit: parents on every neighborhood corner in the country are telling the same story Jenny is telling. Without this chorus of confirmation, Jenny’s story wouldn’t resonate.
#3: “More parents are freaked about vaccines (and have decided to risk leaving their child unprotected) and Jenny has just taped a pilot for a new talk show with Oprah. Congratulations, Jenny.”
At the very least, this is some snarky stuff for a pediatrician to write. Insidiously, Dr. Brown helps perpetuate a myth about our side that serves pharma supporters interests that we are 100% opposed to any and all vaccines.

Leave a child unprotected? From what, exactly, I ask? Rotavirus? Chickenpox? Despite the fact that many first world countries give their kids far fewer vaccines, pediatricians in America like Dr. Brown don’t think for themselves and simply tell their parents to get every shot the CDC says they should.
Go to Generation Rescue’s website and you don’t find a note from Jenny saying, “please don’t vaccinate”, you’ll find alternative vaccine schedules.
#4: “But after years of this little campaign, Ms. McCarthy has suddenly changed her mind. (Perhaps the international flogging of the MMR Theory's creator or her new public image as talk show host was the inspiration?)”
I’m sure Ms. Brown subdues this snarkiness when meeting with concerned parents and saves it for her blogging…
Of course, we know that Andy Wakefield, who also lives in Austin, is NOT the “MMR Theory’s creator” but rather is a respected gastroenterologist who chose to listen to parents who had watched their children regress into autism after vaccination and develop severe bowel disease.
Dr. Wakefield is the kind of doctor we all love and respect, and Dr. Brown is the kind of pediatrician many of us had who we all hate.
#5: “An article this week in Time Magazine inferred that her son, Evan, had a different neurologic disorder (Landau-Kleffner syndrome)—NOT AUTISM.” 
The allcaps above, NOT AUTISM, are Ms. Brown’s words, not Time Magazine’s. Let’s look at what Time said in several parts:
“A psychological evaluation from UCLA's neuropsychiatric hospital, dated May 10, 2005, was ‘conclusive for a diagnosis of Autistic Disorder,’ and yet here, running toward us on a warm California afternoon, is Evan, shouting out, ‘Are you here to play with me? When are we going to play?’ McCarthy's boy is a vivacious, articulate and communicative child who seems to have beaten the condition. He is an inspiration, the fact of him as incontrovertible as any study done in any laboratory in the world.”
First off, what a beautiful description of Evan! Second, UCLA is one of the premier autism evaluation locations in the country. Thirdly, one of the great things about this description is that it quells the previous murmurings from the blogs that Evan hadn’t actually recovered and still had autism. Having seen that one fully debunked, time to create a new story!
Time goes on to speculate:
“Or is this the truth? There are dark murmurings from scientists and doctors asking, Was her son ever really autistic? Evan's symptoms — heavy seizures, followed by marked improvement once the seizures were brought under control — are similar to those of Landau-Kleffner syndrome, a rare childhood neurological disorder that can also result in speech impairment and possible long-term neurological damage.”
Let me just say, this is one of the most wildly irresponsible bits of reporting I have ever seen. Dark murmurings? Since the only two people from the Dark Side quoted in Time are Paul Offit and Alison Singer, “dark murmurings” may in fact be the perfect word choice. Get ready folks for the next chapter: a call for UCLA to retract Evan’s diagnosis!
This is absurd, but not at all unexpected. A child who recovered from autism either never had autism or still has it, there’s just no other way. And, black swans don’t exist, either. Until they do.
The irony here is that Ms. Brown is all too happy to perpetuate this irresponsible speculation, while just down the street in her own town Thoughtful House is recovering children! Let me ask you something, what kind of advice to you think Dr. Brown is giving to parents who she a) convinced that getting every vaccine on the CDC’s schedule was perfectly safe who are now b) dealing with an autism diagnosis? Parents: run, and run fast!
#6: “Ms. McCarthy reverses her position and now does NOT believe that the MMR vaccine was the cause of her child's autism.”
This is certainly Ms. Brown’s boldest and most blatant lie. It simply boggles my mind that a physician who treats children would waste her time to write this shit piece and just make something up. For those keeping track at home, here’s what the Time article (which Dr. Brown either didn’t read or just enjoys lying pathologically) actually said:
“It is enraging to the mother to hear that nothing was wrong with her boy — she held him during his seizures, saw his eyes roll up after he received his vaccines — and how can you say that she doesn't know what she knows?...The treatments promoted by McCarthy purport to treat an injury, specifically one to the immune or digestive system of the autistic child — and the agent that activists like McCarthy most commonly point to as the cause of the injury is the MMR vaccine.”
Jenny doesn’t blame MMR for Evan’s regression? Dr. Brown literally created this out of thin air. She should retract it, apologize to Jenny, and wear a T-Shirt for a week saying, “I will make up anything to convince you vaccines are safe, my career depends on it.”
Don’t worry, parents, I’m sure she’s far more thorough when researching the vaccine-autism link, and saves her lies and ignorance for her blogging and books, but you may want to go here just in case:
#7: “So her kid never had autism at all and she's suddenly changed her mind about vaccines.”
This is really just a continuation of the lies I have spelled out above, but I think it highlights how desperate the other side is to put the genie back in the bottle, with zero success: “Evan didn’t have autism, Jenny doesn’t blame MMR, yippee, it’s all over, we’re all OK!! What? He did, she didn’t? The parents are still fighting? Oh, crap.”
#8: “Great! The only problem is, there's a lot of blood on her hands. I'd like her give a public apology or have her volunteer for a public service campaign on vaccines with the CDC. It won't take back all the damage she has done, but it would at least it would show that she had some acknowledgment of personal responsibility.”
It’s amazing, really, to read stuff like this: this is written in a public place by a pediatrician who interacts with parents.
The one thing I will say, a view I know is shared, is that Jenny has demonstrated as much personal responsibility as any parent on the planet. She could have headed off into the sunset with her recovered son, and instead she is hanging out here in the trenches, fighting for all of our kids.
#9: “Today is a new beginning for me...the post-McCarthyism era. I hope it is for you, too.”
Today is a new beginning for me, the day when I show the world that Dr. Ari Brown is just another snarky, ignorant, shrill, close-minded pediatrician who literally makes stuff up to try and make us all go away. Parents, beware!
Of course, Dr. Brown is not just a snarky pediatrician. They never are. She’s also an author of books on parenting, and the author of a highly misleading piece that she wrote on autism and vaccines HERE that has been widely circulated by the Immunization Action Coalition, a front group for the Dark Side.
Dr. Brown’s entire piece on autism and vaccines is trash, here’s just one excerpt: “No, many of these kids are now diagnosed with autism instead of mental retardation. In other words, autistic kids were there in the 80’s and 90’s—we just didn’t call them autistic.”
Double sigh.
As some AoA readers know, this isn’t the first public humiliation our side has given Dr. Brown for her poor research and lies about autism. After her horrendous piece on autism was circulated by the aforementioned IAC, the Thoughtful House published one of the all-time great scientific beat downs that you can sit back and enjoy right HERE.
Dr. Brown, welcome to your Amanda Peet moment. In this case, for perpetuating and making up blatant lies about Jenny McCarthy and her son, ostensibly to try and put the genie back in the bottle. You bet the house on a bunch of lies and we all call your bluff.
Please step away from the table, put the vaccine down, and stop lying to parents.

J.B. Handley is Co-Founder of Generation Rescue



Please tell me that Jenny McCarthy is asking for some sort of retraction and if not WHY?

Jim Thompson

Thank you J.B.

This doctor that opines about blood on someone’s hands, while using ad hominem and false statements, appears to be carrying out either a Pharma or book promotion agenda--or both.

Shawn Siegel

Personally, I am indeed 100% against vaccinations; we have no idea, really, what myriad subtle reactions are elicited from our kids' - anyone's - immune systems by injected chemicals. We know it differs significantly from ingestion and inhalation, and do not have to wonder why - evolution simply never foresaw intramuscular injection as a likely route of introduction for a pathogen, let alone the long list of passenger toxins that accompany it, let alone multiple antigens simultaneously.

Ingest squalene? - sweet; absorbed easily, perhaps to join the other, necessary, squalene that each of us produces naturally, I'm not sure. Inject squalene? - expect antisqualene antibodies as a result, and expect them in turn to attack the good and necessary squalene, resulting in any of a host of seriously debilitating autoimmune diseases. The "medical procedure" of vaccination is an ironic contradiction.

As for Dr. Brown, it's most unfortunate that she wears the mantle of the white coat - it automatically makes her word gospel to so many. Nevertheless, on a daily basis, more people are waking up to the pervasiveness and seriousness of vaccine damage.


will post the following comment to save time searching for it....

Comment to Ari Brown MD blog, an AAP doctor on the Dr. Oz Autism/Vaccine show Thursday....

...Ari Brown, I know you. Not personally. But you are very much like me. I once had a perfect baby girl and I was mother of the year. My husband is a pediatrician. We lived in a cute little house and had a yellow lab and everything was sunshine and rainbows. She was 2.5 years old, time to have another baby! I had to do everything by the book, everything in the right order, have the perfect healthy family. Make all the right choices, do what the doctors tell you. Doctors know everything.

My son was born a beautiful healthy precocious child. Of course he was, he had perfect educated well-off parents, a doting big sister, he was breastfed. Once I told another mom who didn't vaccinate that she was ill-informed and "those anti-vaccine people are nuts" etc. My husband is a pediatrician, he regularly gives vaccines- they are safe!!

Well, on August 6 2004 my son turned 15 months old. That day he received the MMR, DTap, varicella, and prevnar vaccines. That night he screamed a sound I have never in my life heard before, he had a fever and he screamed and he screamed. He kept slamming his head into my arms and said "ow head" He screamed for 3 days straight- all day and night.

I brought him back to his pediatrician (same practice my husband worked in at the time) who said this was NORMAL!! Normal!! I can give him tylenol to bring the fever down and reduce pain. After that 3rd day, the screaming stopped, and my son was forever gone. He had just started taking steps prior to this event. No more. No more walking, no more talking, no more sweet engaging smile and giggles, no more eating (he would still nurse thank God), no more high fives, no more morning calls from the crib "momma". It was all replaced with chronic GI illness, eczema, and alternating between screaming and staring off to the side.

What happened to my boy Dr. Ari Brown? YOU TELL ME!! Vaccine injury is real. On an MRI my son's brain is "perfect". Obviously not! He is almost 7 and he has gained many skills back like motor skills but he also stims, hand flaps and still does not speak. Not one word.

The only thing that has helped has been biomedical treatments under the direction of a DAN! doctor. He is now not in chronic belly pain and the eczema is gone. The damage to his brain is permanent. I don't know which of those shots did him in or maybe it was the combo? People like you don't want to do any research on that. You want to declare the science done. What happened to my son is an event that many many many friends and family witnessed with their own eyes. They don't appreciate being called liars by "doctors" like you. I didn't have to tell them this story, THEY SAW IT.

You and your people can only perpetuate this myth of "the science is in" for so long. Sadly our numbers grow every day, we add people to "our side" every day, and each child brings their passionate friends and family. I hope you don't have to learn the hard way like I did.

Jennifer Friesen, autism warrior mom


Oh, and those people who say not to put infant car seats in the front if there's an air bag -- they're clearly both anti-car-seats and anti-air-bags!


It's amazing how the public is so easily fooled by the so called medical experts.

Like seriously, how is it possible to attribute the exploding incidence to extraordinarily improved diagnostic abilities... and then simply explain away recovered children by claiming they were misdiagnosed???


Christine, those car seat recalls are orchestrated by the "anti-car-seat" people!

C. Hicks

J.B., Your stuff is GREAT; I would only mention that using four-letter words does NOT help your (our) cause. Keep it professional, keep it clean. Profanity has no place ANYWHERE in this debate.

Let's keep the high ground. It's OURS.

Birgit Calhoun

It's interesting that you use the Black Swan metaphor. The following url is about the Theory of Black Swan Events:
With the help of people at AoA the theory will not be realized. Let's hope that the people on the Dark Side can be reduced to what they are: "Ignorant" and "Insignificant."


Would you put your child in a broken & dangerous car seat? I think not.


Notice Ari Brown's answer when Dr. Oz asked her, how does she respond to parents who are concerned about vaccines causing autism? She said that she compares not vaccinating to not putting your baby in a car seat. Typical! Skip actual question and go straight to "Diseases are dangerous!" response.

funny onesies

And on shot of prevention:



I love CT teacher's idea to critique those 14 studies publicly (JB's Dissection piece- only fine, get a scientist who's willing to put themselves on the line to point out all the errors/limitations in the studies).


People like Ari Brown do make stuff up out of thin air. That's what's so infuriating and eventually it will be their downfall! They think parents are stupid. That is the only explanation that makes any sense.


Thanks for reprinting this excellent discussion of that terrible Basil & Spice article. It's amazing how Dr. Brown (both here and on the Oz show) projects the demeanor of a nice, sweet, concerned lady, yet her words are so snarky, dogmatic, cold hearted, and dishonest.

There is a comment to Dr. Brown's post from "Jennifer Friesen, autism warrior mom" who uses the moniker "pediatrician's wife". She writes about her son's descent into autism after receiving the MMR, DTap, varicella, and prevnar vaccines all at once.
(on March 4, 2010 just below halfway down the page)
How can Dr. Brown hear these accounts and continue to say full speed ahead on the recommended schedule? At the very least, shouldn't she question whether the MMR and DTap and varicella vaccines should be given at the same time? Is she an automaton?


“I have no real or perceived conflicts of interest personally or professionally that relate to this presentation.” – Ari Brown, MD, FAAP Hmmmmm. Oh really! Tsk, tsk.

“Talking to parents about vaccine concerns” by Ari Brown, MD, FAAP.

“Brown is an official spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her document [1], is endorsed and published by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), a US organization funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the vaccine manufacturers. In short, it is the public relations arm of those who are legally and ethically responsible for vaccine safety.”

“Clear Answers & Smart Advice About Your Baby’s Shots”

Check out the list of plenary speakers and Gold Level sponsors of “The 9th National Conference on Immunization and Health Coalitions”. Is this not a conflict of interest or financial disclosure that should be made whenever the good Dr Brown writes or speaks?


J.B. Handley is the greatest! Dr. Oz is a sell out and talks out of both side of his mouth. I had to turn off the show half way through. Miss Brown and the rest of the white coats should be handcuffed and hauled to jail for maiming and killing children. She throws around the word "scientific" like it's all hers and no one without a white jacket can understand. What a bitch. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read the inserts of these horrific biological toxoids and then understand that seizures and death can occur as an unwanted result of injection. Permanent neurological damage lies somewhere in-between. Lying and maligning seems to be the only defense of these murderers. I have witnessed thirty years of vaccine damage in a major med/pharm/industrial/university complex. Unvaccinated children are healthy and rarely have autism, seizures, cancers, kawasaki ds, IBS, crohn's, OM, add, adhd, the list is too long. I've done the research on vaccinated vs. non and most people on this forum know the answer.

Steve Stocker

Let's just assume for the sake of argument that Brown's comments have some overlap with reality. In the context of Brown's editorial, if there was a negative reaction to vaccines, does which label put on the dreadful outcome have an impact on the credibility of McCarthy's call for action?

Media Scholar

When you are in the business of dispensing pre-fab news, I guess you need a polly parrot or two.

Six lab coats, eh? That's just sizzling hot.

No doubt, each one of the six lab coats was from the several vaccine manufacturing drug company store front "Autism" pill pushing operations? You know the big white buildings the vaccine manufacturers were required to build ahead of the Thimerosal ambush in the early 1990s.

These infomercial medical programs are immensely bad, devilishly bad, Trojan bad, metamorphic-ally and robotic-arm operated bad theater.

Look at the bright side, no one believes a word they say.

270,000,000 Americans survived the Swine Flu scamdemic WITHOUT a stupid Swine Flu vaccine, but we're actually going to believe vaccines don't cause negative neurological outcomes?

These drug company boondoggles have certainly much more to do with vaccine uptake than Andrew Wakefield. 220,000,000 unwanted doses of Swine Flu vaccine is the greedy industry's legacy.

Targeting America's infants, toddlers, and pregnant moms with Thimerosal-containing vaccines is stupid, stupid, stupid, dumb.

Theresa O

I have to say, I am pretty tired of the point of view that only vaccine proponents are allowed to speak their minds in public. Jenny McCarthy is entitled to get her message out without the constant attacks of people who don't know the first thing about her or her son.

Maybe it's time for paid celebrity vaccine endorsers (Mia Hamm, Chauncey Billups, I'm looking at you) to do a little apologizing.

I just read this article new "vaccines for teens" program sponsored by Sanofi:

...which doesn't seem to take into account the real danger of vaccinating every teen for diseases such as meningitis: medical complacency. Doctors don't recognize the diseases, and even when they do, they assume that no one will get them, because vaccines work perfectly! Our local paper recently carried this tragic story:,0,3568941.story

"In June, Jenna was far away, studying for her doctorate at the University of Sheffield in England, living happily in a big circle of friends and just a month away from a visit home.

"She called her mother one day, complaining of a miserable headache, a fever, a sore throat. A doctor had diagnosed a virus, so Betty wasn't unduly worried. But when her daughter called again — 'Mommy, I really don't feel well' — Betty told her to go to an emergency room...

"Betty is a veteran emergency room nurse at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Under other circumstances, Jenna's symptoms might have sounded an alarm: bacterial meningitis. The infection targets the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord and is deadly if not caught and treated early.

"But Betty knew her daughter had been vaccinated against the disease, at Bryn Mawr and again before going to England. So that diagnosis never occurred to her.

"Nevertheless, it's exactly what Jenna had. And she had gone from headache to terminal crisis in about 24 hours."

So who's to blame for Jenna's death? Meningitis, or the manufacturers of the TWO meningitis vaccines she got, that didn't protect her one bit? Or perhaps the celebrities who told her that she should get the meningitis shot before college and before grad school? Certainly not Jenny McCarthy. If we're having celebrities apologize for "blood on [their] hands," maybe we should start right here:

"GlaxoSmithKline tapped soccer phenom Mia Hamm for a new vaccine awareness campaign promoting vaccines as an integral part of adult health. Hamm fronted a MedImmune/AstraZeneca flu vaccine awareness campaign last summer. The GSK campaign, titled Give Your Health A Shot, promotes adult vaccination in general – from flu and whooping cough to hepatitis A and B, HPV and meningococcal vaccines – as a necessary part of “a healthy plan for living,” according to GSK spokesperson Amy Searfoorce."

(I wonder if Mia is going to apologize to any of the Gardasil girls...)

Carolyn M

I taped the Dr. Oz show and just finished watching it. Our side was not very well represented. He had a panel of 6 pediatricians, Dr. Ari Brown, Dr. Sears, Dr. Irva Herz-Picciotto, and Alison Singer. Dr. Oz even stated that his position on vaccination was that unless you (as a parent) could keep track of when each vaccination was due, that you should vaccinate according to the schedule.

The pro-vaccine side got to make a number of statements without being effectively challenged.

In my opinion, there was very little that was good about this program. Dr. Oz has too much influence. On the personal level, now I will probably have to argue with one of my female relatives again regarding vaccines.


The Dr. Oz show Thursday was a bit one sided as expected.

Only about 20 minutes were spent on vaccines with Dr. Sears (I guess on our side) stating that the vaccines might be spaced out a bit. The next 15 minutes involved the "older parent autism theory..."

A small army of white coat AAP's were on site with Ms. Singer spouting the usual hype.

They always fail to mention that vaccines are "liability free" and parents have to travel to Washington DC if they have a vaccine problem. They never mention Simpsonwood, or that no testing exists for giving 5, 7, or 9 vaccines the same day. ... or that 80% of AAP revenues comes from the "well baby vaccine program"

What is needed is two separate shows which each side given 100% of the time on two separte days. Dr. Oz should let each side present what they want to present... of course that would put an end to the pharma ads for his show.


Unfortunately, the link given to the "scientific beat down" of Brown isn't working, but I think the article intended is here:


Nothing scares me more than a pediatrician.


Great post, J.B.! You nailed it. Dr Brown has got to be near the front of the pack of pharma shills on a "lies per lines typed" basis. The word shill is a charitable descriptor, in her case. Do you suppose that she has any financial disclosures which should have been included in her article. Perhaps she will one day make herself a Hall of Shame inductee. All she need do is emulate Offit and Poland.

CT teacher

Great piece. I missed the Dr. Oz show yesterday, but I guess I didn't miss much. The mainstream network shows will never give our side a fair shake...nor will any of the mainstream publications. I am holding out hope that Oprah's network will be different. Send a copy of those 14 studies to Dr. John Ionnides at Stamford U. A debunking of those studies by an expert on research, which could be aired on National TV, is just what is needed to open up a fair discussion of this topic.

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