My apologies to the 99.9% of AoA readers who have grown tired of this silly issue, albeit one I helped create. As some know, I wrote a post accusing a blogger named “Sullivan” of being Bonnie Offit, who is the wife of a well-known vaccine inventor.
It turned out I was wrong. Frankly, I couldn’t believe that the parent of a child with autism—which is what Sullivan claimed to be—would spend their time defending a denialist, profiteer, Merck-funded blowhard--it simply seemed inconceivable to me (and still does), but Matt Carey, Ph.D., aka Sullivan, proved me wrong.
I admitted as such and agreed to stop writing about the profiteer and make sure a website, www.pauloffit.com, ended up in the profiteer’s hands.
Here’s what’s transpired since.
Matt Carey wrote me a note on 4/29, it said this:
A few people have forwarded your piece to me today. I appreciate what you have said and I have offered a public apology on LeftBrainRightBrain for questioning your integrity in honoring your commitments.
20 minutes later, I responded:
I'll take care of it early next week, thanks for the guidance.
On a separate note, I wanted to ask you to submit to an interview via email for publication at AoA. I will generate the questions, you answer them, and I publish them in totality without editorializing. The topics will exclusively cover the science of autism, known and unknown, and include prevalence, vaccines, and medical issues.
My reason for asking is that you are really the first well-educated parent (although Harvey Mudd is no Stanford :) I have encountered on the other side of this topic who doesn't seem to be a nut job (Kevin Leitch, Autism Diva, etc.).
I honestly do not understand how you have looked at the same published research I have looked at and concluded that vaccines have been exonerated from causing a majority of today's autism. I really, truly do believe that the large-scale epidemiological studies that are constantly cited as "proof" are garbage, have yet to ask the right questions, and are typically managed to produce a previously determined outcome. I believe Allison Singer and P--- O---- consistently and knowingly misrepresent what has been studied in public statements, and it really drives me nuts.
As a Ph.D. scientist, I think your answers will be thought-provoking. I'd like to ask you pointed questions and let you answer them. Your writing has shown me you aren't a spin doctor and will answer things like a scientist, not a partisan. Despite my delight in provoking people I consider to be idiots (Orac), I actually do enjoy debating this issue, because my only genuine interest in all this is helping my son. If it really wasn't the antibiotics and vaccines that got him, I'm wasting a hell of a lot of time and money treating the wrong things.
My request for the interview has nothing to do with Offit's website, so no conditions here, I just hope you'll consider the interview for its own sake. There are a lot of extremely smart parents on our side of the table, and I'd like to see the different reactions a thorough and measured interview with an "opposition figure" brings.
Ball is in your court,
I never heard back from Matt Carey on my offer and still haven’t. I’m sure many haters will be very disappointed to see that I tried to bridge the gap with Mr. Carey, as I really have no interest in fighting with other parents and my disbelief over Mr. Carey’s views is sincere, I’d really like to interview him and hear what he has to say.
Early next week, as promised, I sent a simple request to the person who controls the pauloffit.com website that went like this:
“Give the site back to P--- O----, or at least give him the right to register the domain name. Can you do that? Please email the right to the domain to: firstname.lastname@example.org It's a long story, but basically I lost a bet. JB”
The person who controlled the site wrote me back on May 3 at 932AM:
This confirmed the email Matt Carey had directed me to had received the transfer of the domain, and I considered the matter settled.
In order to confirm that the vaccine profiteer got the domain, I confirmed things with Mr. Carey on My 5th and reiterated my offer of an interview:
“Just an fyi that pauloffit.com was unlocked and an email sent to Dr. Offit making it available to him was sent Tuesday afternoon this week. Case closed. The offer stands for an interview to be posted at AoA, thanks, JB”
I have still never heard anything from Mr. Carey, he has never responded. At this point, I considered the matter 100% closed.
* * *
72 hours after the email to said profiteer, the pauloffit.com site was unlocked, meaning it can now be claimed by anyone. At that point, it could be claimed by anyone. As an additional courtesy, on May 15th, 12 days after offering profiteer the site for the first time, I asked the person controlling the site to send a SECOND email, offering the site again. At the time of this writing, the site remains unclaimed. (I kept a screen shot of the confirmation of emails sent from register.com.)
Apparently, Todd W. reported that Matt Carey said this:
“After Mr. Handley emailed me I replied that he could transfer the domain directly to the Offits. He never contacted them.”
(By the way, I didn’t email Mr. Carey, he emailed me, just to be clear.)
And the profiteer himself apparently said this:
“I suspect that Mr. Handley did turn over the site. He just didn't turn it over to me or my wife. But his dishonesty isn't particularly surprising. I can live with Handley's ill-informed and misguided attacks against me. But he reaches a new low when he accuses my wife of something she never did. Frankly, I've never come across anyone so relentlessly mean-spirited.”
So, there you have it. The profiteer is right about one thing--I will remain relentless in trying to save our kids. On the topic of “dishonesty,” you be the judge. Mr. Carey can certainly confirm the back and forth of our emails and my interview offer, and I can easily prove the domain was made available to the doctor who lies.
I hope this clears up this topic, sorry to disappoint the many hair-trigger, blood-lusting anonymous bloggers looking for some reason to sully my reputation, including Mr. Carey himelf. If I am “mean-spirited,” the vaccine profiteer, who is denying the suffering of millions of children and their families and doing everything he can to ensure the poisoning of our kids continues, is the devil himself.
J.B. Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue.