By LJ Goes
(artwork Amy Einhorn books/Putnam Order the book here.)
Of the many complex pieces that form the autism parenting puzzle, it's the copious amounts of scientific and medical journal reading that I find the most arduous. It would be fair to say I hate it. For almost three years now studies, abstracts and books about behavioral therapy, diet, vaccine science and immune function have eclipsed my bedside table. Reading used to be a stress reliever but it’s become an anxiety producer. So, Icommitted to read one book for pleasure in August. Yesterday I trotted off to Target with a little spring in my step and picked up a pristine copy of, The Help. Every member of my chaotic household was willed to early slumber so I could devour it in peace surrounded by the relaxing sounds of sleeping children, a muted White Sox game and a snoring husband.
Within minutes Kathryn Stockett delivers and transports my autism weary mind to rural Jackson, Mississippi during the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. The main characters are popping off the pages as she describes their struggles to overcome the powerful bigotry, violence and fear-mongering that ruled the south for generations. Midnight approaches...1:00 am, 2:00 am. I’m dreading tomorrow but I can't seem to stop.
On page 184, our protagonist's soon to be ex-best friend, Junior League president, leader of all relevant southern housewives and pristine bigot, Hilly Holbrook, pen's her, "Home Help Sanitation Innitiative" in an effort to successfully promote the illusion of "separate but equal" and advance her husband's political career.
Hilly Holbrook introduces the Home Help Sanitation Initiative. A disease prevention measure. Low-cost bathroom installation in your garage or shed for homes without such an important fixture. Ladies, did you know that: 99% of all colored diseases are carried in the urine. Whites can become permanently disabled by nearly all of these diseases because we lack immunities coloreds carry with their darker pigmentation. Some germs carried by whites can also be harmful to coloreds too. Protect yourself. Protect your children. From the Holbrooks, we say, You're welcome!
It's like someone took pure evil, translated it into words, drenched the tidy little paragraph in African American blood and wrapped it in a lovely blue box with a white satin bow from Tiffany's. Had our government not so successfully pushed the Hepatitis B vaccine on all our newborns with nary a blink from the consumer public, I imagine they might have hired Hilly to do their PR for them:
Hilly Holbrook introduces the life saving Hepatitis B vaccine. A disease prevention measure. Low-cost administration of this miracle vaccine is available for your promiscuous newborn within hours of birth! Did you know that: Hepatitis B is primarily transmitted through sexual contact. While this exclusive vaccine was originally just made available to prostitutes and IV drug user by virtue of Pharma's extraordinary humanitarian efforts it is now accessible to just about every newborn in the world! Why, places that don't even have clean drinking water and food have access to this amazing product thanks to its generous benefactor, Pharma. Since Pharma has gone to such extraordinary measures to bring your baby this life-saving vaccine you should know that if your child suffers any debilitating side-effects as a result of its administration, thereby requiring a lifetime of care, Pharma is absolved of any cost associated with this unfortunate outcome. From pharma and the government we say, You're welcome!
Several pages later, our control freak leader has grown irritated. Her friend Skeeter doesn't agree with this separate but equal garbage because any fool can see the latter is a sham. People are starting to talk about Dr. King. The world is changing. Hilly says to her lap-dog friend, Elizabeth, "Separate but equal...that's what Governor Ross Barnett says is right...and you can't argue with the government."
Damnit if that's not the kind of idiocy I hear everyday from people who are telling me to let this go, move on with my life, this is just the way things are, no shots no school, how many time do you have to be told? Whisper, whisper, "LJ...conspiracy...looking for someone to blame...muffle, muffle...always making it harder than it has to be...Tell me, is Mads looking forward to first grade this year, hon?"
Of course the Medical Industrial Complex (government and pharma) is not showing up on our doorsteps with burning crosses. They are not lynching our men in front of our children or bombing our churches. That's not their style. They get their point across much like Hilly's housewives disciplined their help. The housewife claims a piece of silver is missing. The MIC has your doctor's office call you to let you know little Johnnie's shots are not up to date. The housewife says she'll let it go this time but sure enough, when that maid returns home from work she discovers her husband has been fired from his job. No idea why. Little Johnnie comes home from school with a note that says he may not return until his shots are current. The maid shows up for work and her toilet isn't working. She can't use the bathroom in the house, that's illegal. She has to go. She's on the clock...she can't just leave. What is she going to do? She takes the infant she is watching with her to the neighbor's separate toilet. She is fired for exposing the baby unnecessarily to colored diseases. You send a note back to school saying you are going to have a titre performed on your son and you will submit the results ASAP. Social Services shows up at your door to assess your parenting skills and informs you that if your home environment is deemed unsuitable for your child, he will be removed. Be prepared for unexpected visits.
The housewife and the MIC--they have your best interest at heart. It might not seem like it. It may actually seem unfair. But, it's not. Trust them. And try not to take this all so personally, will you? It's just the way it is.
I wonder if that’s the sort of thing the family of NAACP activist Medgar Evers was told after he was mercilessly slaughtered in front of his children. While the government was not the perpetrator of this heinous crime, they certainly did little to deter it. And what did the British officials do to protect Dr. Andrew Wakefield when he dared challenge the MIC? He may still have breath in his lungs but Merck and their cousins at the BMJ along with their American media subsidiaries disemboweled him professionally. The GMC stripped him of his ability to practice in the mainstream medical community and destroyed his reputation among the scientific literati and the public at large. For what? Daring to bring to light a significant manufacturing flaw that is harming children worldwide. Unlike the iconic Medgar Evers, The Good Doctor didn't intend on a life of activism. I am guessing Medgar knew with great certainty the great risks involved with his chosen path. Dr. Wakefield was simply a research physician across the pond who discovered an inconvenient truth. He accidentally became the face of a movement because he dared to believe that real science is still practiced in our medical institutions and research facilities. He dared to believe that those in power would do the right thing when faced with scientific truths. Autistic entercolitis is as real as gravity my doubting friends.
The destruction of Mr. Evers and his subsequent martyrdom was the impetus for meaningful change in America. For the first time people opened their eyes to the brutality that was a daily occurrence for people of color in the genteel south. When Dr. Wakefield spoke for the first time parents opened their eyes to the unchecked power of pharma and the medical community's reckless disregard for our children's health. The unfounded hatred by the KKK's, Byron De La Beckwith, actually lead to the healing of a nation, the exact opposite of what he had intended when he pulled the trigger and ended Medgar's life. The MIC and Dr. Wakefield's superiors know this. They know hate is stupid and rash and makes bad decisions. Hate implies concern. They don't care about the children. The don't care what Dr. Wakefield asserts. They are not offended by his accurate, repeatable science--they simply need to make him stop talking. He has a tragic effect on profits.
What's that saying--the opposite of love is not hate, but rather, apathy?
The southern housewives way, the MIC's way, allows injustice to flourish quietly, unchecked and unnoticed. The poisoning of minds with "separate but equal" in contemporary times translates into the look away mentality promoted by the terribly misguided and uniformed supreme court decision of Bruesweitz vs. Wyeth--the notion of "unavoidably unsafe". Those who dissent from vaccine mandates are crazy, ignorant, dirty promoters of disease and death. The greater good, without the socially conscious spin, means the financial good for some. Seems the establishment with whom one cannot argue, has a long history of using "science" in combination with the greater good spin to control public opinion. The government that now tells us we need to ply our children with over 70 doses of various vaccines or they will die and we may very well be held legally responsible for their death, once told us we could get diseases specifically from people of color. They deliberately communicated to the people they were supposed to protect that the other people they were supposed to protect, exclusively harbored dangerous diseases that could kill us all. Because they were a different color. This was public policy based on popular science. A mere half century ago.
The detective's lie circa 1960:
"So you say a bunch a white kids come up behind you with a baseball bat and cracked your skull? I asked around at the corner store and ain't nobody seen nothin'. You sure about this son?"
The doctor's lie circa 2007:
"So you say the high fever, eczema, lethargy, pica, and bowel problems developed within 24 hours of your son's 12 month vaccinations, Mrs. Goes? Well you know, in all honesty, it could be anything."
The detective knows he's lying (hate). The doctor believes what she is saying because frankly, it’s just easier. Except of course, for my son who suffers rampant viral infections, chronic dysbiosis and mitochondrial disease, as the result of excessive vaccination (apathy).
Both scenarios are Human Rights violations. One deliberately malicious, the other, medically irresponsible and intentionally lazy.
As I wound my way through this fluid and universal book I could see so many people in our movement brought to life in these fictional characters. My friend Rhonda (not her real name) was raped, and gave birth to a daughter who later developed autism. Her child was taken from her by social services, brought up to date on her vaccines, and given back to her, now severely affected. She fights this battle alone. My friend, Michelle (also not her real name), has spent more nights than any young mother should in homeless shelters with her severely autistic son and neurotypical daughter. Imagine just for a moment trying to control a stimming, screaming child in a room full of sleeping strangers. Women raising their children tossed about by an indifferent system. Take a kid away, shoot her up, give her a disabling disease that will forever affect her ability to communicate and protect herself. Beat a child blind for using the wrong bathroom. In both situations, then and now, the government creates the problem through policy and expects the parents to clean it up.
But where do our modern day doctor's fit? Our AAP physicians and family practitioners? They are certainly not the enforcers of the MIC agenda, the housewives. The housewives are Julie Gerberding, Kathleen Sebelius, Paul Offit, and Seth Mnookin. They are the agents of the good message of abundant vaccination for the little people--the wealthy, connected benefactors of the greater good (financial good for some) philosophy. Could our doctors be the help? Nope. The help is on the inside. They have an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the system and they know how to use it to their advantage. Celebrity doctors like Ari Brown and executives like Geraldine Dawson and Allison Singer, they're the help. The rest, the unconnected docs in the trenches serving the upper middle class, middle class and the poor? They're the cotton pickers. The replaceable laborers toiling away in the fields. They are regularly reminded they are darn lucky to be where they are, providing westernized preventative medicine to the masses. They have no freedom. There is no real meaningful exchange of scientific ideas or medical investigation unless such musings have at their core a lucrative pharmaceutical solution. They can't speak up in the face of group think for fear of being Wakefield'ed. Dissent in the MIC is not tolerated. Instead of adhering to their principles and their sworn oath to "do no harm" (the very qualities that make them human) the cotton pickers simply sit on their questions and concerns thereby allowing the illusion of mutual respect to remains intact.
I don't know, it really is a lot of shots.
They want me to have my nurse give Hepatitis B to a newborn with jaundice?
Why can't I even ask a question about the clinical trials performed on this vax without the sales rep jumping down my throat?
Man, why are all these kids so sick all the time?
Why aren't the moms listening to me anymore?
This doesn't add up, why don't I have answers for these parents?
Sure, doctors drive BMW's instead of riding the bus. But all those years of schooling for this? To be told what you can and cannot do by a pharmaceutical sales rep? Learned physicians, specialists in medical science, capable of saving lives--ordered around by a sales rep with a BA in Communications from the local state college.
I've talked to enough of you to know this is true. If you are in the medical profession and you do not feel this hostile under current, the pressure from the MIC and the resistance from parents that has resulted in your precarious existence in between, then I suggest you approach today with a fresh new attitude and open eyes. You are about to discover you are nothing more than a thin and fraying rope in a deadly game of tug of war over our children's health.
I planned to end there, but as I was proofing I received some disturbing news about fellow autism mom, Detroit resident, MaryAnn Godboldo . She refused to medicate her disabled, vaccine-injured daughter with Risperdal. Thus the MIC has charged her with neglect and had determined she's no longer fit to parent her only child. Ariana has been removed from the only comfort and care she has ever known and is now the property of the State of Michigan where she will remain medicated and institutionalized.
You see, the housewives claim Maryanne absconded with the silver. They’re on their way to your house now to see if you know anything about it. It's probably nothing to worry about though...after all...they have your best interest at heart. It might not seem like it. It may actually seem unfair. But, it's not. Trust them. And try not to take this all so personally, will you? It's just the way it is...
LJ Goes is Managing Partner of The Misuta Project, Contributing Editor to the Age of Autism and Executive Board Member of the Illinois Canary Party.