Huge Internal Fight in Autism Community…  It’s No Wonder Autism is Still With Us…

Opinion by Consumer Advocate  Tim Bolen 


Autism – It’s the elephant in the room, that some say is so large, and so encompassing, that no one in authority even wants to hear about it much less deal with it.

On November 29th, 2012 at 2:00 PM in the Rayburn Building in Washington DC the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired, now, by Darrell lssa, Republican from California, held another hearing on Autism – the first in ten years.

And, it was a farce. 

I watched the whole thing on C-Span while it happened.  I advise you to do the same.

Dan Olmstead, over at Age of Autism, wrote a good piece, although short, on the hearing called “Landmark Autism Hearing: “The Troops Have Landed on Normandy Beach.”  Jump over and read it right now.

Dan makes good points about some of the good things about the hearing.  But Dan lives in the conflict.  He runs things over at Age of Autism – and does a very good job of it.  Let’s look at the thing from over here on the periphery, where we can see the whole picture.  When we do that something very ugly emerges.

Very ugly.

Let’s start with who it was that the Congressional committee SELECTED to represent what they see as Autism.  There were six speakers picked by the committee to “represent” Autism, half of which claimed to represent the Asperger Syndrome portion of the Autism Spectrum, indicating to any member of the public, or of Congress, watching, that Aspergers was, in fact, what Autism was all about.

Worse – The version of Aspergers depicted was absolutely despicable.

The Last non-government  Speaker – The person who had the FINAL WORD from the Autism speakers was sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, Ari Ne’eman, supposedly the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network who, to me, is a total goofball, and needs to be exposed for it.  Investment Analyst John Best writes in his blog “Debunking Neurodiversity and Ari Ne’eman” about Ne’eman, clearly, and concisely.

He says:

“Neurodiversity is a concept that began as a positive approach to equalizing treatment for people with disabilities. It was intended to raise consciousness, promote positive self-images and to change public opinion about the way disabled people are viewed. When it started, this included high functioning people who allegedly had autism and Asperger’s. It was quickly perverted into a massive propaganda campaign to abuse autistic children by preventing them from being cured.

More Age of Autism itself, last year, said, of Ne’eman:

“Dear President Obama:

We the undersigned oppose the nomination of Ari Ne’eman to the National Council on Disability. Although we salute your effort to include a person with an autism spectrum disorder on the council, the choice of Mr. Ne’eman is wrong for the autism community and wrong for our country.

We are a nation in the throes of an autism epidemic, with 1 in 110 afflicted and hundreds of thousands of families struggling to confront the enormous financial and emotional hardships of this disorder. It is an insult to our community and to the people of this nation who will bear the enormous costs of millions of children and adults with autism that a 22-year-old student has been nominated to this position. Mr. President, how can you praise this nominee’s “depth of experience” when he has not held a job, earned a degree or experienced life after college…?”

 It was bad enough that whoever in the Oversight and Reform committee picked the representatives from the Autism community, insisted on the Aspergers portrayal as though Aspergers was the sum total of Autism.  Anyone not familiar with the reality of Autism, watching the hearing, either there in the room, or on C-Span, would HAVE to get the impression, from watching Ne’eman, that Autistics were unconvincing, sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, weirdo, unsympathetic idiots.  There it was – right in front of us.  And that’s just wrong. .


Very wrong.

The Second-to-the-last non-government Speaker was, supposedly representing Autistic interests, in his own way, even worse.  Michael John Carley (where do they find these people?) allegedly the Executive Director of the Global & Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership was purporting that he and his son were Aspergers Syndrome and that he demanded special treatment in virtually everything.  Having this puke there at all, allegedly representing Autism was a travesty.  The committee Chair cut him off in mid-speech, I think, not so much to stop him from saying what he was saying, but to stop him from looking even more of a fool then he was.  He had no business being there at all.

The Third-to-the-last non-government Speaker actually was talking about real problems of real Aspergers Syndrome – Bradley McGarry, Coordinator of the Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst University.  It looked to me that McGarry wanted nothing to do with Ne’eman and Carley.

I’ll talk about the other three “Autism” speakers shortly, but first there is something that you need to know about what was happening in the background.

This wasn’t the hearing that was supposed to happen.  Not at all.  If you are properly sensing my anger and outrage within the words and paragraphs of this article, you are about to find out why.  Something REALLY important…

This was supposed to be a hearing examining the work of Brian Hooker PhD, pulling in members of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to answer hard questions about how they covered up the fact that Thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines causes Autism, ADD/ADHD, Asthma, and other neurological issues (one in six US children).

As we all know Hooker’s work, examining certain CDC employee’s criminal activity, is definitive (see table of articles to the right).  This hearing was supposed to be a STRONG follow-up to Hooker’s work, where this committee would DEMAND, and if necessary, SUBPOENA all internal government memos regarding Hooker’s concerns.

And, Hooker has TWO levels of concerns:  (1)  He wanted to see all of the communications concerning the so-called studies that the CDC claims prove NO RELATIONSHIP between mercury and Autism, and (2)  All information about Poul Thorsen and his involvement in these studies.

Hooker’s second area of concern, the Poul Thorsen involvement, may bring even more important information to light, showing the depth of corruption at the CDC.  Why?

Because, in the original Poul Thorsen scandal, Aarhaus University in Denmark was complaining that TWO MILLION dollars was stolen from the money (eight million dollars) that was supposed to fund the original “Danish Study,” the one that the CDC claims proves that there is no relationship between mercury in vaccines and Autism.  Poul Thorsen was criminally indicted in Atlanta, Georgia federal court for stealing ONE MILLION dollars.

So what happened to the other million?

That question was what Hooker wanted to bring, as the second issue, to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  And why is THAT important?

Because in order for Poul Thorsen to have re-routed the million dollars to himself he had to submit claim requests (bills) to Aarhaus University, and those forms would have had to have signature approvals from a whole chain of CDC employees before they were paid.  Got that?

In other words, this was the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s opportunity to find, not only the other million, but to look for evidence of collusion with Thorsen by CDC employees – who may well have shared the other million.

And, if there was collusion for money, why would we not believe there was collusion to create a fake study, falsely claiming that there was no relationship between mercury in vaccines and Autism?  Was the two million, itself, a payoff to not only Poul Thorsen, but others?

In short the Oversight and Government Reform Committee could have, on November 29th, 2012, began the process of turning around the Autism epidemic worldwide – and they didn’t.

I am furious.

And, there’s more…

Just below is an excerpt from an email I sent to an Autism Leadership Council group.  It shows the timeline of the arrangements for Hooker to speak.

“This hearing had been arranged, starting in March of 2012…  Somehow, at the last minute, it got changed.  Be assured I’m looking to see how that happened.

One of the absolute cornerstones of the CDC argument that “Vaccines/Thimerosal do not cause Autism” are the so-called “Danish Studies” that, they claim, prove that there is no relationship between Autism and Vaccines.

Brian Hooker PhD, most of you know, has taken on the CDC over these studies, hammering them with FOIA requests, and even suing them to force them to give him internal memos that talk about the details of those studies.  I have written five detailed articles about Brian’s efforts.  You can find them all by going to the first one and following the thread offered in the column at the right of the article found here.

In March of 2012 Brian Hooker first met, and discussed with Dr. Gary Kompothecras from Florida, the situation with the CDC.  Dr Gary is very influential with the Republican Party and is friends with two US Congressmen – Buchanan and Posey..  Dr Gary began using his high level contacts to see what could be done to help the situation.  As one result US Congressman Posey, from Florida, on April 24th, 2012 co-authored a letter to the CDC with Dan Burton, demanding more data from the CDC.

Then on May 1st, 2012 Brian Hooker, Dr Gary Kompothecras, and Dr Andrew Wakefield met with Congressmen Posey, Buchanan, and Darrell Issa (the head of the oversight and Government Reform Committee) where Issa suggested that he arrange a hearing on CDC’s cover-up activities.  Issa referred hooker to Sery Kim in his office to make arrangements.

On May 18th, 2012 Hooker met, in Washington DC, with Congressman Issa, Buchanan, Posey and their three staffers Kim, Fauls, and Leiberman.  There, Issa committed to hold hearings on the causation of Autism and the US vaccine program.

All throughout May, and the early part of June, of 2012  preparations were underway for the hearing.  However, on June 15th, 2012 Sery Kim took another job.  It wasn’t until August 24th, 2012 that someone new was assigned the job.  That person was Mark Marin.  At that point the committee hearing was scheduled for September 19th, 2012.  Hooker, along with Louis Conte and Rolf Hazelhurst from EBCALA met with Marin.

On September 8th, 2012 Mark Marin emailed Hooker and the others that the hearing would be postponed until after the election, so, they said, that the committee could request documents.

On October 26th Congressman Posey’s office received 500 documents requested and turned them over to Hooker for review.

On November 5th, 2012 Hooker and Dawn Loughborough met with committee staffers Mark Marin and Tegan Millspaw.  There Marin told them that the hearing would be on November 29th, 2012 and that the people to testify would soon be selected.

On November 9th, 2012, 0ne day later, SafeMinds announced via an email that they would be testifying at the hearing along with Autism Speaks, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Autism Society of America, allegedly representing the interests of the parents of Autistic children.

On November 13th, 2102 Brian Hooker was told by Mark Marin that he would be EXCLUDED from the testimony.

So, here we are…

So, tell me – how did seven months of work arranging, in effect, a full-on investigation of the CDC and their vaccine cover-up evolve into the kind of worthless presentation (“we don’t know what’s causing Autism, we know it’s not vaccines, but give us money and we’ll look into it”) that we got?

My inquiries about this, and the responses I got, make the story even worse.

The other three non-government speakers…

The First Speaker – I’ve been very active in the Autism world for almost two years now, and during that time I’ve asked a lot of important questions, the most important one being “Why hasn’t this Autism issue been solved?”  And the answer I got, time after time was the same “Because Autism Squeaks (Autism Speaks) gets all the money and the attention, and nothing they do is of any major benefit.”  And, as we saw, Autism Squeaks’ Bob Wright, was the lead-off speaker.

I don’t need to belabor the issue.  J. B. Handley said it very well today on Age of Autism – “The Unbearable Wimpiness of Being Autism Speaks’ Bob Wright.”   Apparently Wright’s presentation at the hearing was in usual character.

What I do need to tell you is that I have Autism Squeaks’ IRS Form 990s (Tax Returns).  In short, since 2006 they have been taking in between 50 to 60 million per year in SECRET contributions.  More, their so-called public fund-raisers (Walks) are a charade.  It costs them 1.7 million dollars per year to put them on, and they take in only 1.4 million – a $300,000 loss for that activity.  So, who are the secret funders behind Autism Squeaks?  And, what do they want?

Well, I suspect the answer to that is right on Autism Squeaks’ website, where they say take a pro-vaccination position.

The Second Speaker – Mr. Scott Badesch, President, Autism Society of America had probably the most forgettable speech of the day.  I’ve yet to figure out what these people do, besides taking in 3.5 million dollars per year in SECRET contributions. All I can tell is that they, also, are certain that vaccines don’t cause Autism.

The Third Speaker – Mark Blaxill of SafeMinds made the best points of all of the so-called Autism speakers..  But, frankly, not strong enough, nor specific enough for me.  I was told to expect this – as SafeMinds, acts wimpy,  officially doesn’t like confrontation.  And, SafeMinds Board Member Sally Bernard is also on Autism Squeaks’ Board, and I’m told, raised over  million dollars last year for Autism Squeaks – and nothing for SafeMinds.  What’s that all about?

So, let’s talk about the government speakers…

The First Government Speaker – Alan Guttmacher, M.D., Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health  (NIH) took his five minutes to rattle off pages of boring numbers, I guess, trying to tell the committee how wonderfully busy they were working on this Autism problem.  There was a lot of material but let me mock paraphrase it.  It went something like this:

Three years ago we bought some things called pencils.  No one in our organization had ever seen one of these before, so we hired a consultant, a trusted person named Poul Thorsen to do a study in Denmark and get back to us.  Poulson personally delivered his four million dollar report on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.  Thorsen recommended we look into something called a pencil sharpener.  Thorsen submitted a request for a ten million dollar grant to study whether pencil sharpeners cause Autism, and we have put together a committee to study his study grant request.  We should finish our study of his study grant request by the end of 2014, or mid 2015.

Several of our employees, after Thorsen’s report, noted that the pencils, once sharpened, acquire a sharp point and have asked for an OSHA Opinion.  Others noted that the action of pencil sharpening creates a waste product which may not have been evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency.  They demanded an Environmental Impact Report be completed before agency employees were required to use these new “pencil” devices.

Yes, I was being facetious.  But, did I make my point?    What he actually said was just about as spurious.  He was just using up his required five minutes.  If he had another minute I think he would have told us how often the agency vehicles went to the car wash.

The Second Government Speaker – Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., Director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should have been warned “You have the right to remain silent…”  Why?  She got the crap beat out of her by Congressional questions.  It was the highlight of the day watching her squirm on camera.

Boyles, I can tell, is going to have a rough ride.  Why?  Because several Congressman raked her over the coals, and none of them, I’m told, are through with her.  I’ll be doing a separate article on this alone.

But, let’s get to the points…

Dan Burton, bless his soul, conducted over twenty hearings on the Autism subject during his time in Congress.  Each hearing was revealing – very revealing.  But nothing came of them except a written report, which, obviously, no one read, or, if they did, they did NOTHING with the information.

Understand me, in this hearing there were some very positive parts.  But, even if this hearing uncovered some points – SO WHAT?

Was this hearing designed to be a soporific?  Something to lull our side of the argument to go to sleep thinking we had accomplished something?

The only really important thing, I think, that came out of this hearing is ANGER.  The internet is blistering with commentary.  My telephone doesn’t stop ringing.  Good.

So, we are all asking, “What’s next?”  More hearings?  Criminal Indictments?

So I hear.

Right now there is a lot of planning going on. And, it is about time.  You can watch the whole hearing if you click here.

Stay tuned.

Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate