Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
We, in the Health Freedom Movement are comfortable. We just take it for granted that those around us, in the Movement, are honest, kind, competent, caring, helpful, full of integrity, and know how to solve problems in an organized manner – because we see each other operating in situations constantly. Our friends are a phone call away, and when we run into someone we haven’t seen for a while, in a hallway, say, at a Health Freedom Expo, it’s time for a hug or a warm handshake, right now, before we rush off to the next meeting. And, those hugs and warm handshakes are real.
So, I really can’t be blamed if I expected something reasonably similar when I walked into the Autism world. Boy, was I wrong. There’s a resonance there that just isn’t right – a tension. A stress in the air that generates discomfort – like having to temporarily work in an office that has fluorescent lights, and three or four of the ballasts are buzzing so loud you can’t carry on a conversation with another, or on the telephone. Tension rises. And rises. And rises. Until those in the room become glassy-eyed.
Nobody is going to get anything done in that room.
This is the eighth article in a series focusing on the fact that Autism is a social issue that could have been, and should have been, solved a long time ago.
And, as many of you have figured out, I’m making the case that Autism is an issue that we, in the Health Freedom Movement, need to take over and solve. Many of you are already offering to participate.
So, for the moment, let’s continue analyzing Autism Leadership, for, without doubt, their situation represents the best case study of how NOT to conduct a campaign.
Autism Leadership’s Strategy…
If you could call it that.
In reality their strategy, if it’s not a fifth column operation, is a combination of unfocused tactics thrown wildly into the air, just to do something, anything, to try and get something going. Virtually everything they do has no chance of success – and they expend vital energy to get absolutely nowhere, and nothing accomplished.
I just received information, a few days ago, of their current “campaign” and I’m sitting here shaking my head in sheer wonderment.
Ever listen to your children, out in the sandbox, playing “house” with their friends? You can listen, sometimes with amusement, sometimes not, of how your children, and those of your friends and neighbors, see, interpret, and hence, characterize marital relationships.
Observing, from over here, Autism Leadership’s newest “campaign” it becomes clear, very quickly that, once again, there’s no real campaign. They are just playing house.
But, before I tell you about their newest effort, I want to show you the tactics they constantly employ, which when batched together, constitute a strategy I call…
Calling For Batman…
(1) (a) Their most commonly used tactic is to relate with government agencies. They get assigned, or try to get assigned, to committees having something to do with Autism – always, of course at the lowest levels. They seem to actually believe that personal contact with the lower level government employees assigned to those committees is somehow going to be of benefit. You can laugh here – but these people actually believe it, or say they believe it.
(b) They testify in front of these same committees.
Little, or no, thought is given to two things: (a) These are usually the agencies that caused the original problem, and (b) the simple fact that the person who picks all of the committee members will be, next week, at Merck, or Sanofi-Aventis, in their revolving door assignments, and that the lower level government committee members are sitting there wondering how long it will be before they, too, can trade in the ten-year-old Honda Civic for that Silver BMW 530i.
This tactic is a total waste of time and resources.
(2) The “Age of Autism” sop. Sop (definition) – “A thing given or done as a concession of no great value to appease someone whose main concerns or demands are not being met.”
The “Age of Autism” blog is a place where certain “approved” people can post articles and other “approved” people can comment on them. If the editors don’t like certain comments they can block them, and block the person from ever commenting on any other articles – a good way for Autism Leadership to root out and marginalize any one, or group, that disagrees with their tactics or focus, or lack of tactics and focus.
Their articles never embrace the real issues. Ever. So, they just serve as a relief valve giving frustrated Autism parents a way to blow off steam without actually taking any action to solve their problem.
Soporific – Tending to induce drowsiness or sleep.
It should be MUCH more than this. It should be the flagship for ACTION.
(3) They write angry books and sell them to themselves. It has to be disturbing to find out that a major publisher is not interested in their stories, and they won’t end up, for sale, in the entryway to Barnes and Noble. More, four years after they “self-published” five thousand copies, it is pretty hard to walk out into the garage and find 4,954 copies left in boxes.
(4) They jump on “the flavor of the month,” whatever autism related issue that comes up. They talk about it endlessly, but, they don’t do anything about those issues. The old adage “he climbed on his horse and rode off in all directions” fits rather well here. When a new issue comes along, there they are, and you won’t hear about the old one anymore.
But the important tactic one is one I call…
(5) Calling for Batman…
People in the Health Freedom Movement are going to find it hard to digest that the MAJOR tactic employed by Autism Leadership, the one that permeates the entire common thinking of the group is the idea that they, meaning the autism community, need to find SOMEONE to come in and save them. So, they keep looking for that someone, or those someones, that can perform that function. It never ever occurs to them, what-so-ever, that they could organize the solution of the autism problem themselves. Never.
I know – that sounds crazy – but it’s true. In Health Freedom we are self-reliant. Autism is not. Period.
The characters in the books I read as a young person were all self-reliant, coming from a long line of self-reliant people.
When I was eight years old I was staying with my grandparents one weekend and I found, on the lower shelves of their library, row, after row, of books, obviously written for my age group. Titles like “Tom Swift and his Submarine Boat” jumped out at me. And, inside the cover of every one was the signature of then eight-year-old Robert E. Bolen, my Dad. When I went home on the train from Detroit to Grand Rapids my bag of books was twice the weight of my suitcase. Tom Swift, and all of the characters in those books were self-reliant. My sister, my cousins, my aunts, had to rely on Nancy Drew. Self-reliance was instilled in us.
But, the next generation, Autism parents, it appears, grew up on comic-book heroes – Superman, Plastic Man, Aqua Man, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and, of course, Batman and Robin.
In those stories there was a common theme – when there is a big problem you need to call for a superhero, not handle it yourself. Self-reliance is never mentioned. Not at all.
Frankly, self-reliance is a trait I see throughout the Health Freedom Movement, but strangely, not something commonly found in the Autism world.
Let me give you an example…
The latest AutismOne, last May, was the epitome of a gathering of superheroes. Invited to the event to be present on a panel, were former US Congressmen Burton and Weldon, and current US Congressmen Bill Posey and Darrell Issa.
More, Bobby Kennedy Jr. was there..
So, what were they there for, exactly? I’m told that they were so they could see, and hear, firsthand, about the autism problem.
Autism Leadership had, in essence, turned on the Batman light.
There is a new development…
A couple days ago, right when I just had the original version of this article completed, I was approached by an “intermediary” making a request that I “talk” to a representative from the Autism Leadership I have been describing. It seems I am causing a disturbance in the force.
Ummmmm – that’s what my newsletter is FOR people…
So, we did have a “talk…” and I made an offer to “get off of their back” under certain conditions. What conditions?
I want to see a Plan. I want to see, almost immediately, a Summit Meeting of Autism Leadership to make that Plan. When that Plan is done I want an identifiable standing autism strategy committee to operate and maintain that Plan.
I offered to bring to that meeting at least ten significant, influential, members of the Health Freedom Movement to assist in the research and preparation of that Plan. I offered to coordinate the situation analysis heading toward that Plan using a Crisis Management situation analysis.
I explained that in that type of situation analysis the group must first discuss Goals and Objectives, answering questions like “where do we (the autism world) want to be in three years? Five years? What objectives can we put in place to act as benchmarks, marking progress to achieve those Goals?”
Put the right people in a room for this and answers appear. Every time.
The response was “OK, let’s do that…”
So….. There is a new, newest effort. One I support – so I will wait on telling you about the other one.
One Last Thing…
I keep saying the same thing about Autism. I say that it is “only two things” and that the answers to those two things are here right now. They are. What two things?
(1) What’s causing it? And, what do we do about that?
(2) How do we fix the children and the families?
How do we bring together the questions and the answers?
That’s what a Summit Meeting is for. There we can ask the simple but hard questions “Where do we want Autism to be three years from now? Where do we want Autism to be five years from now?”
Then we can set REAL Objectives.
Example 1: In three years we want 50% of all Autistic children being treated by a health professional using the bio-medical approach and paid for by health insurance. In five years we want 100% of all Autistic children being treated by a health professional using the bio-medical approach and paid for by health insurance.
Example 2: In three years we want 50% of all school districts, nationwide, to hand out literature warning about the dangers of vaccines, a copy of local vaccine exemption forms, and a pen and clipboard. In five years 100%.
Example 3: In three years we want everyone at the CDC and associated agencies and contractors, involved in “fake” studies allegedly proving no relationship between vaccines and Autism indicted, convicted, and on the way to prison.
Example 4: In three years we want a total reconstruction of the Vaccine Court system.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate