Dan Olmsted: Columbo, Hero, Friend
I miss you.
Dan Olmsted was a hero to me and so many others who have children and young adults diagnosed as, "AUTISTIC." His Columbo investigations about the FIRST CASES of Autism, convinced me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there was an epicenter to Autism and exposure to certain toxins -- Mercury and Vaccines -- seemed to be a huge trigger to increasing numbers of children being diagnosed. The search for cause and then treatments became a passion of mine, as well. Dan's support and frequent emails helped me through many a rough day, as well as his encouraging me to keep on investigating how Megan, and so many others who regressed into Autism, became so ill. Dan told me how much he was learning about the MICROBIOME from all of the articles I had posted over these past years on Age of Autism and told me -- "keep going as nobody is tying it together like you." He cut out an article from the NYT when they were finally mentioning "viral and bacterial issues of the gut" and gave it to me one night at dinner. I have it on my fridge always as a pledge of not giving up on the research (or Megan and so many others!) and also of how motivating an influence Dan was in my life. I could not attend Dan's Memorial today in Virginia but wanted to share how fortunate I was to know Dan and be involved in the investigations regarding the Age of Autism:
It was a very warm, September night in 2008, when I first met with Dan Olmsted. I had first seen Dan in a large auditorium at an autism conference a few years earlier. He had been up on the stage in a plaid shirt, talking about mercury, seeds, and Ceresan. With glasses and a laid back way about him, he seemed like Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper in Jaws, ready, willing, and able to take on Autism's menacing monster -- MERCURY.
I didn't understand why this "lumberjack guy" was talking to all of us parents about trees, Lignasan, and ethylmercury. My daughter became sickly and regressed in skills after vaccines -- many with the vaccine mercury called thimerosal. Bacterial and viral infections were then to be constant unwanted parasites in her life as her immune system took a direct hit. Meg was diagnosed with autism shortly after and just recently has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Dan seemed to me to be on the wrong trail. It took me a while to connect the research and see that these clues Dan, along with Mark Blaxill, had been discussing and writing about for quite some time were the first "puzzle" pieces to Autism.
I shared Dan and Mark's passion about the origin of AUTISM. MERCURY, both environmentally and in pharmaceuticals, like VACCINES, has been, and continues to be a significant culprit in the damage being seen in both the BRAIN and the MICROBIOME .
I was lucky to be invited into some of the before and after research that both Dan and Mark were investigating in their groundbreaking book, The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic. I was able to find "Barbara" [Barbara's father is a prominent psychiatrist] and "Virginia," [Virginia, the younger of two siblings, was the daughter of a psychiatrist] two of the three girls that Dr. Leo Kanner included in his original eleven patients, all children born in the 1930's. Dan mailed me all 467 pages of the 1941 American Psychiatric Association's, Fellows and Members Biographical Directory. He, Mark and I would have many emails and conversations about potential psychiatrist, father candidates for Barbara (real name Bridget Muncie) and Virginia (real name Vivian Murdock). Ironically, in years of searching and of all the hundreds of psychiatrists in those 467 pages, Wendell S. Muncie was on page 295 and inches away, on page 296, was Harry M. Murdock.
I jump on Ancestry still, looking for "Elaine." Finding these first-ever, diagnosed children is important to me. There were hundreds of emails about those, "11 Kanner Kids," that I exchanged with Dan and Mark over the years. Our search for them often felt like a rescue mission, as for many of them, their existence became a trail of group homes and state mental hospitals .
Dan's passion in establishing The Age of Autism was also out of compassion for so many ill children -- children with damaged immune systems; violent seizures; painful gastrointestinal disease; excruciating obsessions and compulsions; life-threatening allergies; self-injurious behaviors; and the devastating inability to communicate (SPEAK) -- My daughter, Megan, is one of them, severely affected. I remember Dan coming in to Chicago and meeting him for dinner about six years ago. Megan had begun to have severe catamenial seizures, aggression, and self-injurious behavior. We were investigating medically with doctors and labs, to see what was happening to cause the behaviors. I was hardly getting any sleep, missing work, and so very worried about Megan. Dan sat across from me, tears filling his eyes, as I tried to explain our very hard life. He was always a good listener and a good friend. I need to add that Meg is better now, seizure-free almost 2 years and agitation and pain much less in her life. The reason - our focus on her MICROBIOME!
Another thing Dan was exquisitely good at was pointing out those who had a piece in causing and denying the growing epidemic cases - here is a sample of Dan's writing (some co-written with Mark Blaxill, too) on that topic and links to longer articles:
That truth, as you know, is that autism is the defining disorder of our age, man-made and thus treatable and preventable. It is “made,” largely, by a reckless and bloated vaccine schedule that has long since passed the risk-reward point, wherever that might be, and is wreaking all kinds of havoc. So the epidemic is real, the causes are clear, the remedy we embrace is investigating and telling the truth and bringing like-minded people to a common platform.....
...The Age of Autism will be wide-open and transparent in its reporting and commentary on causes and treatments; I am beholden to no individual, organization or fixed point of view. My commitment is to in-depth reporting. I am not a social worker or an autism parent, I'm a journalist drawn to what I called, in my last UPI column, "the story of a lifetime." Based on my own work, I do believe mercury – including the horrendously neurotoxic ethyl mercury in vaccines – is clearly implicated in the rise of autism, and that its continued use in flu shots for children and pregnant women is catastrophic......
...If someone asked what our goal is, I guess I’d say it’s to rally the troops – those who know what is going on and need some reinforcement and sense of community. That’s why I sometimes think of us as the “pirate radio station of the rebel alliance,” broadcasting every day to those in the fight. Some might call that preaching to the choir, but that’s OK, to my mind. As more people, sadly, learn the truth first-hand, they will find their way to us.Others can blast away at us -- it's good for our circulation! There are some vaccine injury deniers out there who would pretty much be rendered mute without us to give them something to spew about.
Our other goal, I’d say, is to hasten the day of reckoning – and to make sure it finally comes.....
Voting Himself Rich: CDC Vaccine Adviser Made $29 Million Or More After Using Role to Create Market
An Elaborate Fraud, Part 8: In Which The British Medical Journal Tries to Debunk a Clear-Cut Case of Regressive Autism
Olmsted on Autism: ABC, NYT and the Verification of Truth
OLMSTED ON AUTISM: CDC triggers measles outbreak
Dan Olmsted: The Amish All Over Again
......We'll follow the truth wherever it leads, and we hope you'll come along with us and, if you can manage it, donate to The Age of Autism and help us pursue this story. Fasten your seat belts – it's going to be a bumpy ride...
Eloquent and correct were these words from Dan and they will live on always. Our hero and friend will always be here with us.
Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.
I am glad I knew Dan. I wished I could have known him better. Now there is a void. I hope Dan's quest for knowledge about the origin of autism and the need to keep searching for a way to convince the world of those facts will be ever expanded. I would like to see this quest to continue, and I would like to see the world to subscribe to the science that shows what causes autism. It was an eye-opener to see how Sigmund Freud did not consider the significance of mercury when he described his patients. "The Age of Autism" exposes that so well. I hope all the world will subscribe to the continuing challenge to convince the rest of the world.
Posted by: Birgit Calhoun | March 20, 2017 at 02:42 AM
Thank you. Grief is not a pretty or politically correct thing -- it's gut wrenching, and it's cunning, sneaking up on you when you least expect it, and walloping you with an invisible baseball bat to the knees. We all loved Dan, even those of us who never met him. He's not gone. He's monitoring what's going on, and when right does triumph, he will be there; we just can't see him as clearly as before. I wish for peace for his family. Thank you, AoA, for carrying on so well.
Posted by: Denise Anderstrom Douglass | March 19, 2017 at 10:37 PM
I will never tire of reading tributes to Dan Olmsted. He really kept us all on the right track in his own kind way. I never met Dan, but Ill always remember him as I imagined him on the day before I learned of his death- Standing there in the midst of a joyous crowd of autism parents in a brightly lit ballroom- celebrating the end of "Autism" .
Posted by: Cherry Misra | March 19, 2017 at 01:26 AM
Thank you for the nice comments. We will keep Dan in our hearts and keep AoA going as strong as ever as that is what he would want.
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | March 18, 2017 at 11:49 PM
Terrific piece. Dan was an is an inspiration.
Posted by: James Grundvig | March 18, 2017 at 07:44 PM
Teresa- thanks so much for this post. Much needed for all of us.
I am there in spirit with all of Dan's family, collaborators and compadres.
Posted by: msbiskind | March 18, 2017 at 07:24 PM
Thank you, for this tribute, Teresa.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | March 18, 2017 at 06:22 PM
It's hard to talk about losing Dan. I talked to him every few days. He was never in a hurry, always listened to every point I was making, answered every question. His voice was always so calm.
I still find myself thinking, "I've got to call Dan about this.................."
I know I'd have never done the writing I have without his encouragement. For a long time I just wrote to reporters and editors, explaining the truth about vaccines and autism.
Dan said I should write about the press, although I really couldn't see myself doing that. I said, "I am not a writer. I'm not trained in journalism." He told me I was, and I believed him!
It's very hard to move on.
Posted by: Anne McElroy Dachel | March 18, 2017 at 04:05 PM
My son, too, has been devastated by his vaccines and at 17 his autoimmune disease, along with mito, gut dysfunction define every aspect of his life. Our family has paid a tremendous price for the greed of vaccine manufacturers and their paid friends (federal agencies, legislators and media). Dan was one of a kind - and a journalist uniquely on the right side of history regarding a topic few have courage to even discuss, much less investigate so thoroughly and report so honestly. I miss him badly and am eternally grateful for his contributions.
Posted by: Leslie | March 18, 2017 at 12:35 PM
Benedetta, That says it all--A Twisted Up Knot of Lies.
[and the many liars]
Posted by: michael | March 18, 2017 at 12:29 PM
I wish I could attend the memorial today. Dan's family and our community lost so much with his passing. Dan Olmsted, we speak your name. See you in another life, brotha. <3
Posted by: Heidi Roger | March 18, 2017 at 11:59 AM
Dan could write! He slowly untangled the twisted up knots of lies from out so called health care establishment; and laid it all out straight and clear like no one else.
Teresa Conrick You can write too. You too are into the untangling and laying it out straight for us too.
I remember when you wrote those articles on the lost identity to the first autism kids and found out what happened to them. Good sleuthing.
Posted by: Benedetta | March 18, 2017 at 11:09 AM
Thank you for sharing this Teresa. Your contribution to autism research has been incredible. You and Dan and the rest of the team at Age of Autism have made history. There is so much sadness and struggle in our community, but you guys are the literal A-Team, kicking butt and taking names to find truth and justice for our kids. Thank you! I just can't believe Dan won't be with us any longer. The unfairness of that hurts so much. He will be profoundly missed!
Posted by: Sylvia | March 18, 2017 at 10:44 AM
Teresa, Your efforts exposing vaccines' toxicities are astounding, complementing the investigative work of Dan and Mark, and so many well-know others via the Age of Autism web newspaper.
Your short list of five of Dan's previous Posts going back eight years is invaluable for all of us to pass on to those still ignorant of why so many millions of kids have been stricken via their vaccinations, and what spurred me to also focus (and post) on AoA about the horror of flu vaccines, that still here in 2017 have high neurotoxic levels of mercury-laden Thimerosal in the vast majority of pediatric flu shots.
Thank you so, so much. If you could have made it to Dan's service today, I would have liked to have met you in person.
Posted by: david m burd | March 18, 2017 at 07:11 AM