A look at the financials for Generation Rescue and the Strategic Autism Initiative

15 Feb

Generation Rescue is a well known charity with a focus on alternative therapies for autism and promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism. The Strategic Autism Initiative was formed by Andrew Wakefield after he left Thoughtful House (now the Johnson Center). Many of these organizations have close ties and, in fact, GR helped SAI get started with a $100k grant its first year.

The most recent tax forms are from 2011 and are below:

Generation Rescue IRS form 990Strategic Autism Initiative IRS form 990

Generation Rescue pulls in a great deal of money, nearly $1.2M. Of which about $240k goes to the “rescue grant” program. About $125k goes to running their website. Another $125k to pay their executive director.

Under grants, Generation Rescue (GR) has two:

$25,000 to the Strategic Autism Initiative
$20,000 to Jackson State University

Both “for researching causes of autism”. We see again the link between GR and SAI. Jackson State is the institution engaged by Generation Rescue and the SAI to perform a vaccinated/unvaccinated study using homeschooled kids. I’ll point out that when I reviewed the GR and SAI tax forms last year, I speculated that they were starting to fund the vax/unvaxed study.

Now consider the SAI’s form 990. SAI pulled in $284k. They paid out $250k in salaries and other compensations. Yep, 88% of intake went to salaries. Luckily they had a bit of a war chest from the year before to draw on. But let’s look at those salaries. Andrew Wakefield is compensated $200k/year for a reported 30hours/week. That’s $270k/year (his salary at Thoughtful House). Terri Arranga ( of AutismOne) was paid $28.8k for reported 15hours/week.

But, as I said, they had a war chest from 2010 (due in big part to a $100k donation from GR). How did they spend that? Well, they appear to have a grant of $25k to Generation Rescue for “research related to the vax/unvax study”. Which strikes me odd as GR gave SAI $25k, so it looks like the money went in a circle.

That said, what expenses did SAI report?

$158k to Dr. “Lenys G. Gonzalez” to work with Arthur Krigsman and Stephen Walker on “molecular and clinical signatures of inflammatory bowel disease and adverse vaccine reactions in autistic children.”

Lenny Gonzalez is a researcher in Venezuela who was funded by Wakefield at Thoughtful House in one of the supposed “independent” replications of Wakefield’s findings. Arthur Krigsman is a former colleague at Thoughful House, with a colorful history. Stephen Walker’s name comes up periodically in regards to a study he presented at IMFAR but never published which supposedly confirmed Andrew Wakefield’s finding of measles virus in intestinal tissues of autistics.

$43k for a study on “vaccination status and health outcomes among homeschool children in the United States”, with Anthony Mawson of Jackson State. Mr. Mawson was named as the lead researcher for this project back when GR was seeking funding from money left over from a class action lawsuit to fund it.

$86k for an “IRB approved” (are the others not?) investigation using the Florida Medicaid database. And, no surprise, this is to look at vaccines. (1) acute adverse reactions to vaccines as predictors of neurodevelopmental disorders and (2) age of vaccination and risk of adverse outcome.

I am curious if the Florida project is the same one the Geiers were attempting to get pushed through approval a few years ago. A t that time a vaccine-causation focused chiropractor and heavy political donor was pushing both access to the Florida medical records and for things like changing a bill to improve access to services for families with autistic children into a vaccine bill.

Many people might be wondering how Andrew Wakefield managed to gather half a million dollars in under two years. I can’t say for sure but I can put out some information for speculation.

One of his board members is Elizabeth Avellan. She also serves on the board for Mr. Wakefield’s “Autism Trust”, which lists her accomplishments as including ” highly successful film producer and co owner of Trouble Maker studios “. Troublemaker Studios has the “Spy Kids” franchise.

Another board member is Phil Rawlins. There was a Phil Rawlins in Austin who owned a soccer team. He has since moved to Florida.

So whatever skills he had, Mr. Wakefield is basically now a fundraiser. He’s good at it, you gotta hand it to him. I can think of a lot of ways that money could be better spent, though.


By Matt Carey

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14 Responses to “A look at the financials for Generation Rescue and the Strategic Autism Initiative”

  1. Gullivan February 15, 2013 at 15:43 #

    “I can think of a lot of ways that money could be better spent, though.”

    Let’s see, study #100 to see if autistic children show empathy?

    Or statistical manipulation study #300 showing that injecting infants with organic mercury is safe and makes them smarter?

    How about study #500 to show that the number of kids with autism hasn’t changed in the last 20 years. It’s just that the Doctors have gotten so much better at diagnosing.

    You’re right Sullivan. The billions spent by the U.S. mainstream medical establishment every year under the guise “autism” could use another couple thousand to buy some high efficiency toilets .

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 15, 2013 at 15:51 #

      Nice demonstration of why putting more money into the mercury-epidemic idea is not productive. If people wish to deny the mountain of evidence against their beliefs, more studies won’t change that. The vast majority of the population at large and the autism community as well have moved on.

      Wakefield is a mediocrity at science. At least he’s following his talents. Convincing people to part with money.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 15, 2013 at 16:06 #

      Have you considered that perhaps a shift to exploring the needs of autistic adults might be valuable? Your comment doesn’t indicate this. How do we support adults who have ID, autism, communication difficulties, self injurious behaviors…how?

      Throwing money at chasing Wakefield’s failed ideas isn’t going to help.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 15, 2013 at 18:12 #

      Gullivan–

      is it possible for you to stick to one pseudonym? Perhaps start with just one gender for your pseudonym?

    • chavisory February 16, 2013 at 02:47 #

      I was thinking more along the lines of effective educational and learning strategies, what would be the most helpful supports to self-determination for very communication-impaired people, or what the specific neurological features are of autistic people who seem to do well in their environments that could possibly be used to better understand and assist others.

  2. Broken Link February 15, 2013 at 20:33 #

    I wonder if that is Wakefield’s personal residence? If so, then is he sheltering his assets from seizure in case he loses one of his lawsuits?

    Ah, yes indeed, it is his residence, according to 411 reverse address search.

    • lilady February 15, 2013 at 21:36 #

      @ Broken Link: Wakefield will have a difficult time sheltering his 200K salary and the profits he derives from the Autism Media Channel, where he and recent ex-pat from the U.K. Polly Tommey are the sole owners. (Carmel Wakefield is the Advertising Director at the Autism Media Channel and also has her own radio show sponsored by Andy and Polly’s company)

      http://www.corporationwiki.com/Unknown/Unknown/autism-media-channel-llc/68622800.aspx

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 15, 2013 at 21:41 #

      It is public record, but we don’t really need to be posting his home address.

      That said, he may have decided that having a Pack-Mail shop as his business address did not promote the image he wanted.

      • lilady February 15, 2013 at 22:52 #

        Matt: If you type in “Andrew Wakefield, Austin Texas” on the “411 White Pages”, you come up with that same address (no need to use a reverse function).

        If you type in “Autism Media Channel LLC Austin Texas” on that same website, you come up with that same address.

        Me thinks that Andy is writing off a large portion of his “overhead” at that address for his business enterprises.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 15, 2013 at 23:43 #

        I know that his address is public. I recall people posting satellite images of it years back. I also recall an autistic blogger coming home one night to find a team of people waiting outside to show that they knew where she lives. Or vandalism at another blogger’s home. And more. People could claim (and probably will) that posting his address is a form of intimidation. I know it isn’t even a close comparison, but that’s the way things happen.

        As to whether he is claiming office space in his home for his businesses, that’s probably a good guess. And, within limits, legal.

        As to what else he is up to with this business: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2013/02/15/an-autism-reality-show-run-by-andrew-wakefield/

  3. Ruth Quint August 16, 2013 at 00:35 #

    I’m curious as to how GR spent 240K on the rescue grant program while listing $0 in grants to individuals (page 10, lines 2,3). In 2010, they did report about 100K in grants to individuals. In 2011, nothing. Am I missing something? No tax expert here. I know I’m late to this thread, but I’ve been curious about the revolving 25K grant for some time.

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  1. An autism reality show…run by Andrew Wakefield? « Left Brain Right Brain - February 15, 2013

    […] Andrew Wakefield has been spotted at a convention for reality TV people recently. And he has the support of a husband/wife film maker/producer team who have a studio in Austin, his home […]

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