Back in 2004, a self ordained minister (well, technically he was ordained by his brother but seeing as the ordination happened at a ‘storefront church’ I’m going to go ahead and call it a load of old twaddle anyway) killed an eight year old autistic boy, Terrance Cottrell Jr, and was convicted of:
felony physical abuse of a child causing great bodily harm
The ‘minister’ was attempting an exorcism…:
..to remove “evil spirits” of autism from Cottrell. Hemphill, who weighed 157 pounds, described how he would sit or lay on “Junior’s” chest for up to two hours at a time, whispering into the boy’s ear for the “demons” to leave his body.
This ‘man of god’ decided to appeal (de rigeur these days for those who have no sense of personal responsibility) and in August this year, his appeal was happily quashed.
I’ve written before about this story but I’m bringing it up again as I was notified about something pretty incredible – at least to me.
Jeff Bradstreet – Man of God
But in fact, Jeff Bradstreet is _three_ things. Just like that compassionate driver of autism demons Ray Anthony Hemphill of the above tragedy, Jeff Bradstreet is a keen advocate of Exorcism as a treatment for autism.
No, I’m not kidding. Here’s an email message from Holly Bortfield of a pro-chelation group ‘Autism Recovery Network’ made to the Yahooo Autism Biomedical Discussion (ABMD) group in Feb 2005, the group is not open to the public so you can’t read the original unless you sign up (if you do its message 49660) but I’ve linked to a screenshot of her message:
You certainly have a right to the opinion that Jeff [Bradstreet] is the diety himself, but as a former patient and friend to a number of former patients, I can assure you not everyone holds him in such high regard. If you’d like to check out list archives from 1998 and 1999 I bet you will find the discussions of his exorcism referrals (I kid you not)…
When someone on the list suggested the word ‘exorcism’ was too strong, Bortfield replied (message: 49764):
Honey, that was his word not mine. I can think of a dozen people he told to have their kid exorcised
And poster Larry Leichtman chimed in with:
Actually, I heard that from him myself. He is a true believer in the devil and exorcism.
And not only does DAN! offer exorcism, it seems the National Autism Association heartily endorse it, as this message (49765) from Jo Pike of the NAA in reply shows:
Well may[be] its working LOL! I’ve talked to so many parents who have told me their children are improving dramatically and they all give credit to their office. Bottom line is the outcome and it seems they’re helping a lot of families.
And Ricci, the owner and list-moderator for the ABMD board also voiced concern in a long list of troubling DAN! traits. Its too long to quote here (screenshot here, but the lsit included DAN! practitioners who:
1) Have had their licenses suspended for overbilling insurance companies
2) Have had their licenses suspended for substance abuse
3) Have pushed MLM (multi level marketing/pyramid schemes – outlawed in the UK I believe) and lied about their involvement.
4) Received their degrees from a diploma mill in a strip mall
5) Have treated children for conditions they didn’t have and ignored conditions they clearly did have
6) Charged outrageous fees (Ricci quotes $300 for a bottle of Japanese secretin one can buy onesself for $5)
*7) Have performed exorcism on their own autistic children and recommended others to do the same*
Frankly, this is a little more than disturbing. Its crazy. Here’s Jeff Bradstreet – who the Autism Omnibus lawyers are putting forward as an _expert witness_ recommending exorcism as a viable treatment for autistic kids.
How is this man still a DAN! Doctor? Are there really people out there who are happy about this person ‘treating’ their kids? Is the American legal system seriously going to make itself into a laughing stock by admitting this man as a viable expert witness?