Autism and Other Inconvenient Science Truths
In This Day and Age: Abuse, Deaths and Injuries in Schools and Institutions and the Debate Over Cameras to Protect the Disabled

Don't Do Anything You Wouldn't Want to See on the Front Page of The New York Times!

JuneBy Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

 Did your mother ever say things to you like that when you were growing up?

My mother did.

I couldn't help thinking of my mother's admonition when I saw the headline from the July 14, 2012 issue of The New York Times "Vast F.D.A. Effort Tracked E-Mails of its Scientists." The headline does a good job of explaining what happened, but I thought I'd let the lead paragraph give you a little flavor of the piece.

"A wide-ranging surveillance operation by the Food and Drug Administration against a group of its own scientists used an enemies list of sorts as it secretly captured thousands of e-mails that the disgruntled scientists sent privately to members of Congress, lawyers, labor officials, journalists, and even President Obama, previously undisclosed records show."

Let that swirl around in your brain for a moment.  Some F.D.A. official says to himself, "I don't think those scientists can be trusted.  Let's track their e-mails."  The spy software used captured screen images from government laptops of five scientists, tracked their keystrokes, intercepted personal e-mails, copied documents from their personal thumb drives, and even followed messages as they were being composed.

The article also states, "many Congressional staff members regarded as sympathetic to the scientists each got their own files containing all their e-mails to and from the whistle-blowers."  Congressman Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland was listed as No. 14 on the F. D. A. surveillance list.  A former staff member to Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican was also on the list.

The program grew out of a dispute that several scientists had regarding what the scientists claim were faulty review procedures which led to the approval of medical imaging devices for mammograms and colonoscopies.  The concern was that patients were being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.  Four of these scientists were fired from the F. D. A.

I spend time with this story because I think it illustrates so much of what is going wrong in science today, particularly in those institutions which are supposed to be protecting the country's health.  The question shouldn't be, what are scientists telling members of Congress about the safety of these devices, but whether those concerns are valid.

I share President Lincoln's conviction that if you give people the facts, most of the time they'll come to the correct conclusion.  I have no idea whether the medical devices approved by the F. D. A. are safe.  However, I do believe that the effort to squelch discussion of the issue is not in anybody's best interest.

In my position as a writer for Age of Autism I seek out stories which I believe will help our community.  Often that involves reading recently published scientific or medical articles and trying to learn more from the researchers involved.  It is common that these researchers don't want to be quoted, or to share publicly their suspicions about what is really at stake.  And I honor their requests.  While I believe this is an appropriate courtesy I worry the greater public interest is not being served.

I have heard terrible stories about the cost of searching for the truth, requests from superiors to go no further, and of being frozen out of previously generous research grants, among other acts of oppression.  These attempts at repression of honest inquiry are usually subtle, generally having to do with professional prestige or advancement.  What I hear from these researchers often doesn't sound like science, but of some corrupt oligarchy trying to protect its power.

In my efforts to help my community I have also become aware that the problems we face are not unique.  Other disease communities find similar obstacles placed in their way, as The New York Times story clearly shows.  Who among us, going into a mammogram or colonoscopy, wouldn't want to know if we were being exposed to unsafe levels of radiation?  It almost seems absurd that one has to defend the right of government scientists to voice their concerns about dangerous levels of radiation in certain medical devices.

But I do have to commend the brave scientists who banded together to raise these concerns.  I really do.  Bravo to you.  The cost to fight power can be expensive and personally exhausting.  It makes me think of the FBI agent who blew the whistle on the "Fast and Furious" program, and was fired.   He is still unemployed and faced with mounting debts.  When asked why he blew the whistle on his superiors he simply replied, "Because I want to be the man my son thinks I am."

Courage.  Sometimes it's that simple.

It's because others have also seen this pervasive pattern of intimidation of researchers who seek to uncover the problems of autism and other conditions that we have formed "The Canary Party."  I believe you will see great things come from this group.  We are motivated to have unbiased, oppression-free science so that we and our children can experience the health which should be the birthright of every human being.

And for those of you who would impede honest science, remember, there's always the possibility of making it onto the front page of The New York Times



Michelle Wandrack

"Because I want to be the man my son thinks I am." That says it all...


I guess I have to think twice about getting either one of those procedures. And do we trust the X ray scanners at airports to not be emitting dangerous levels--it's the same as you get in a cross continental flight (they say). Personally I never go through them but opt for pat down.
I have heard scary things about the genetically modified food that the FDA refuses to label as such--what does that do to our digestive tract? What do these horrid agencies tell their people: "do your job but not that well, or do your job but be ready to lie for the agency at any minute." Then, we get to the mother of all scandals, and that is the cover-ups associated with the vaccine-autism link. Why is the world so upside down?


Thank you Kent. I always try to remember that there are other medical communities out there besides ours that do know the truth about he origins of their own conditions and are just as frustrated. It is so easy to forget that when you are dealing with Autism. It is so sad for those scientist that have woken up to the fact that being honest has worked against them in such a corrupt atmosphere. I remember the days when all of this came together for me and the whole picture started to become clear. Those were some bad and scary times. Often, that's who I pray for-the newly diagnosed family who as figured out what is really going wrong and that they find their way from that hurt and disappointment to the light of day. I long to see the day when more of this corruption is exposed!!!

Cindy Stolten

Always love your articles Kent! Hmmm middle aged both male and female... mammograms, colonoscopies two of the only tests that most medical insurance pays for in full. Those scientists didn't have a chance.

Bob Moffitt

Unfortunately, former President Eisenhower's dire warning of a potentially corrupt "military-industrial" complex pales when compared to today's ongoing corrupt "public health-pharmaceutical industry" complex.

After all ... the FDA's effort to prevent "whistleblowers" from raising serious concerns regarding the safety of FDA approved medical imaging devices is only the latest example of wide-spread and far reaching corporate criminal acts being ignored by the US Justice Dept as well as State Attorney Generals.

Just about EVERY WEEK there is another report of some giant pharmaceutical corporation being given a virtual "slap on the wrist" FINE as penalty .. such as .. Merck's Vioxx settlement

which resulted in BILLIONS paid to State and Federal governments as penalty for the thousands of injuries .. including death .. suffered by the people of the United States.


John Stone

"In other news, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health has announced the appointments of JIM DONOVAN, PAUL HERRLING, RONALD L. KRALL, EDISON LIU, JOEL S. MARCUS, STEVEN C. MAYER, GARY A. NEIL, and NINA K. SOLARZ to its board. Donovan is managing director at Goldman Sachs and an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia. Herrling chairs the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases and is a professor of drug discovery at the University of Basel. Krall is former senior vice president and chief medical officer of GlaxoSmithKline and earlier served as senior vice president for AstraZeneca and ZENECA Pharmaceuticals as well as medical director for Abbott Laboratories and Lorex Pharmaceuticals. Liu, president and CEO of Jackson Laboratory and president of Human Genome Organization, earlier served as founding executive director of the Genome Institute of Singapore and as scientific director of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Clinical Sciences. Marcus is chair, CEO, and founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and Alexandria Venture Investments and earlier was a partner at the law firm of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP. Mayer, former CEO and co-founder of CoGenesys, Inc., earlier served in executive roles at Human Genome Sciences, Inc., GenVec, Inc., and TheraTech, Inc. Neil is corporate vice president of Johnson & Johnson and vice chair of PhRMA. Solarz, former executive director of Fund For Peace, also taught political science at Brooklyn College, served as New York mayor Ed Koch's representative in Washington, D.C., and was director of public affairs for the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy during the Reagan administration.";jsessionid=APXZQJ0BJJ0CDLAQBQ4CGW15AAAACI2F?id=385100008

"Just eight days after the Supreme Court of the United States ruling granting vaccine manufacturers virtual immunity over prosecution ( Bruesewitz v. Wyeth) , scientists and company representatives met at a congress in Baltimore to “Understand the Changes in the National Vaccine Plan to Maximize Government Sponsored Funding and Avoid FDA Scrutiny”. The “workshop” which took place on 2 March 2011 was the first event in a Vaccine Business Congress held under the auspices of the Institute for International Research USA . Amongst the many participants at the congress were representatives of Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Roche, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the National Cancer Institute (NIH) (IIRUSA Welcome, IIRUSA Agenda)."


If these agencies spent the money where it should be - there would not be enough money - and yet they have the money to spend where they have no right or bussiness to be in.

That is called corruption.
Isn't that always been the true enemy of a democracy?
I mean what happens when men no longer worry they are not what their son thinks they are because they have been starved out?

Jim Thompson

Thank you Kent. How many laws were broken when email correspondence to (and from) the Congress and the President of the United States are hacked?

“The surveillance campaign, according to the New York Times, gathered more than 80,000 pages of documents of communication between five scientists and journalists, members of Congress, lawyers and President Obama.
‘The extent to which the FDA spied on employees' personal email is shocking. The more we learn, the more disturbing it is,' Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said. 'The FDA's actions raise serious implications for the right of any agency employee to make protected disclosures about waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, or public safety to Congress or anyone else.’”

“After the surveillance began, four of the scientists lost their jobs.”

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