Too far – attacks on autistic people

30 Oct

The level of debate continues to sink from the mercury militia. In various places over the web this past week or so, parents who believe vaccines caused their kids autism sunk about as low as you can get. They attacked autistic people – the same ‘sort’ of person their child is. And why? Because they don’t agree with what either they are saying or their parents or saying.

AutismWeb Forums

Over on Autism Web forums, Amanda was vitriolically attacked by two of the less stable members – sashasmom and respect (hilariously ironic username). She was attacked because she essentially suggested that death-threatening angry responses utilised by parents are not a good way to progress. This prompted sashasmom to question her autism and deride her sexuality to the point where the moderator edited part of sashasmom’s post.

It led ‘respect’ to label her input as ‘drivel’.

The hysteria on display here is incredible. If someone says something you disagree with its entirely possible to disagree with the idea and remain respectful. The notion that these two posters (both not autistic) know more about the experience of autism than Amanda as they have implied throughout her tenure on AutismWeb forums is both pathetic and laughable. Their voices are simply echo’s of ex-AutismWeb member Srinath, who called another autistic member a retard.

I personally find it deeply worrying that these people consider themselves part of any autism community.

But of course, however low one person can stoop, we all know another man from New Hampshire who can stoop lower.

John Best at AWARES

John has developed what seems to be an unhealthy interest in my daughter. I find it incredibly disturbing. More so than I can possibly convey in writing. I don’t give a stuff if he or his crowd insult me personally, I’m a big boy – but time after time he has seen fit to abuse my daughter. Who can forget his charming comparison of my daughter to a trained monkey:

My wife bought too many bananas so I’ll send some for your daughter

which came about as a result of me detailing her progress (the crime being of course that she’s progressing without chelation/ALA/megadose vitamins or HBOT).

Well now he’s stooped even lower. This years AWARES conference is well under way. John has apparently changed his stance from last year where he stated that AWARES was a made up conference solely to trap him (John has a little problem with ego and reality) and decided to attend again this year.

This time though he joined up with the username ‘Megan Leitch’ and made numerous posts abusing autistic members of the conference and pushing chelation as the only cure. When I was made aware of this, I contacted the conference administrator and after satisfying himself that what I was saying was true, he deleted all posts from that user and deleted the account.

What sort of utter coward _assumes the identity_ of a six year old autistic girl? I am in two minds at whether to follow up on this legally. I’m not sure what constitutes identity theft in a legal sense but I intend to find out. But of course this goes far beyond identify theft. To anyone with an ounce of morality, posting in the name of a child to further your own agenda is so tasteless that I don’t think there are adjectives to describe this particular act. Assuming the identity of an autistic child because you don’t like the child’s father or what he has to say is…..disturbing….

John has demonstrated moral ambivalence of many occasions, including telephone threats to women:

Lisa; Should I have Tim call you again to teach you some basics about autism that you’re incapable of understanding?

And a general dislike of women, whom he considers less intelligent than men:

Women will never be more intelligent than men although they may be smarter than men who won’t stand up for themselves.

Although it seems his wife came close to acting intelligently until John brow-beat her into submission:

I also have a wife who took two years of prodding before I could begin chelation. I finally started in May. We were also close to divorce…

And John’s approach to parenting his kids, seems to reflect his moral ambivalence to other children:

50mg 0f seroquel has worked for my son since age 5. It takes a while to knock him out but he is always tough to wake up after 8 or 9 hours of sleep. We use benadryl or waldryl(half the cost) once in a while to help knock him out sooner. We have now had two years of sleeping every night after three years of virtually no sleep. Good Luck

Seroquel is an antipsychotic neurole[ptic similar to Risperdal that: indicated for the treatment of acute manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and the treatment of schizophrenia.

On Josephs blog post I linked to above, John got into a protracted debate with Jannalou who takes medication for ADD and told her that the medication was causing suicidal thoughts and constipation. Apparently, John has never read the fact sheet on Seroquel which states that it can cause suicidal feelings and constipation. It further states:

The safety and effectiveness of SEROQUEL in pediatric patients have not been established.

No matter how I feel about John, I would _never, ever_ stoop to assuming the identity of his son or making comparisons between his children and animals.

I see John is trying to ‘recruit’ Maria Lujan on her new blog – this is the same person of whom he once said:

I don’t believe Maria Lujan is real, nor do I beleive Not Mercury is real. I think they are just identities that your side conjured up

(Source above).

Thankfully, Maria is far too intelligent to be taken in by a low brow thug like John Best. John however, is not intelligent enough to remember the fact that he abused someone before trying to wheedle his way into their life.

There is something very, very wrong with a person who would assume the identity of a six year old girl. I can’t imagine anyone other than John’s most recent crop of neophytes thinking otherwise. In fact, I don’t event think all of them would like it.

John likes to call people who don’t chelate child abusers. I wouldn’t call John a child abuser but I’ll leave you to formulate your own descriptions of a man who feels no qualms at abusing the identities of children.

37 Responses to “Too far – attacks on autistic people”

  1. HN October 30, 2006 at 16:05 #

    Yes, Bazooka Joe… these people existed. They just had to work harder and spend more money.

    I once opened my mail box (which was attached to the house, up a flight of stairs and marked clearly with my address) to find several sheets of photocopies on some strange medical “warning”. There was a handwritten note from someone I did not know to someone else I did not know (and who was not one of my neighbors… who I did know!).

    Also, these were the people who used to hang out on street corners with large signs full of gibberish.

  2. notmercury October 30, 2006 at 16:19 #

    Sometimes I have a hard time believing John Best is real. It almost seems like someone took all of the most over-the-top traits from the worst of the mercury militia and developed his character as parody.

    One thing for sure, John’s behaviors have driven more potential recruits away from the thimerosal cult than all science and logic combined.

  3. Matthew Pennell October 30, 2006 at 16:25 #

    What an utter cock. This Best character sounds like an ideal candidate for a Googlebombing – just say the word, Kev… 😉

  4. Ruth October 30, 2006 at 16:56 #

    A friend of mine worked with battered women. John Best is behaving just as batterers do when they realize their wife is getting ready to leave. At some level he is starting to understand that chelation is a dead end. He will lash out to prevent the full folly of his treatment of his son from sinking in.

  5. Joseph October 30, 2006 at 18:50 #

    John “Rescue Angel” Best Jr. is a disgrace to the autism community. He has stooped lower than it’s possible to fathom. The fact that Generation Rescue continues to associate with this guy says a lot about that organization.

  6. Judi October 30, 2006 at 19:50 #

    Hi Kevin…I saw this on the AWARES site and I was completely shocked. I have been an avid reader of the autism hub in the last few months and have also seen JBJr’s blog. I usually have to control myself from responding on his blog because his ideas are so ridiculous, but this is an all time low. I am so sorry that your family has to deal with this. I am the mum of an almost 3 year old autistic son, Andrew, and he also has come very far without any biomedical treatments. Good old fashioned speech therapy, OT and hard work on Andrew’s part! Keep up the wonderful work on the blog and the HUB. All the best to Megan, who, as it seems, has wonderful parents.

  7. David N. Andrews MEd (Dec 2006) October 30, 2006 at 21:20 #

    Kevin: “What sort of utter coward assumes the identity of a six year old autistic girl?”

    I’m assuming that this question is rhetorical…

    Kevin: “I am in two minds at whether to follow up on this legally. I’m not sure what constitutes identity theft in a legal sense but I intend to find out.”

    It might be worth following up, to be honest. I’m sure that there’s at least one route to justice that you can take.

    Kevin: “But of course this goes far beyond identify theft. To anyone with an ounce of morality, posting in the name of a child to further your own agenda is so tasteless that I don’t think there are adjectives to describe this particular act.”

    Absolutely, it doesn’t rest at identity theft, and it is not just ‘tasteless’… it is very much worse. But this is what JBJr is capable of and he has absolutely no problem hurting people to get his own way.

    Kevin: “Assuming the identity of an autistic child because you don’t like the child’s father or what he has to say is…..disturbing….”

    Absolutely. It is definitely pathological.

  8. anonimouse October 30, 2006 at 22:06 #

    I think there comes a point where you need to leave the psychopath alone. Well, other than calling child services in to make sure his kids are ok.

    There is no point in engaging John Best in any way other than ridiculing his preposterous ideas and cringing at the notion that this lout might continue to breed.

  9. bethduckie October 30, 2006 at 22:46 #

    Ugh. Just…. ugh.

  10. David N. Andrews MEd (Dec 2006) October 30, 2006 at 22:52 #

    Well, the sick bastard’s just carrying right on…

  11. clone3g October 30, 2006 at 23:00 #

    What a tool

  12. Ms. Clark October 30, 2006 at 23:05 #

    I think the more entrenched mercury parents like John Best Jr. are getting towards panicky because they see their likelihood of winning their lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers or the FDA or whoever they are suing… as fading, fading, fading…

    It doesn’t cost John Best Jr, of New Hampshire, anything to try to knock knowledgeable people out of his way. If he can abuse us who expose the mercury follies he can improve his chances that we’ll stop exposing the mercury lies, out of fear of dealing with harassment, like threatening phone calls and mail, or out of fear that we will watch our children being abused on the net by trolls like John.

    I expect we’ll see more and more outrageous behavior from the more psycho of the mercury parents in the next few months.

  13. itsy October 30, 2006 at 23:23 #

    Kevin: “I personally find it deeply worrying that these people consider themselves part of any autism community.”

    They don’t. Their children will grow up to be normal (just ask them).

    Funny that the loudest squeals regarding the certainty of a child’s future “recovery” seem to come from parents who have not “recovered” one.

  14. Bronze Dog October 30, 2006 at 23:32 #

    This Best character sounds like an ideal candidate for a Googlebombing – just say the word, Kev… 😉

    I’ve accidently done that for his pseudonym, “Fore Sam”.

  15. LB October 30, 2006 at 23:32 #

    So AWARES just deleted the posts and prevented him from posting any further ones? Did they put out a NOTICE to everyone who had read these posts? The problem is this kind of stuff is just mentioned on the Hub (preaching to the choir) and parents who are unaware will not know who GR associates are or their antics.

  16. Regan October 31, 2006 at 00:46 #

    Dear Kevin,
    Regardless of the kind of verbal jousting that adults do, and I have always thought of John Best/Fore Sam/(assorted pseudonym) as a kind of Extreme Troll, it is disgusting and creepy for someone to stalk a child this way. No one deserves this, and no justification excuses it. Unfortunately for this kind of a person, if that is still the appropriate term, I’m concerned that knowing it is disturbing will simply encourage him.

    As someone stated aptly, “ugh,…just ugh.”
    I am very sorry.

  17. little bo peep October 31, 2006 at 00:55 #

    The beleaguered moderator at AutismWeb tries to be impartial and keep up a moderate standard of civility. But he sure has his work cut out for him with some of these bio-med parents who continue throw their filthy slime all over anyone who opposes them. That “Joe Barton” thread is a particularly despicable example. Mr. Moderator has warned “respect” a number of times, but has not banned her. It seems to take an awful lot of personal bilge spewing to get banned at AutismWeb – which gives you an indication of just how far John Best and Srinath actually did go to warrant getting tossed from the place.

    A few of the bio-med parents did post pleas for the personal attacks to stop. I was heartened to see that some of them were willing to say something about those vile posts by “”sashasmom and “respect.”

  18. Soapbox mom October 31, 2006 at 01:35 #

    I was deeply disturbed and upset by the attacks on Amanda this weekend. Suffice it to say that my chin is bruised from crashing into my keyboard.
    My feeling is that these rabid parents have a deep and unsettling fear that their children will not recover, and they lash out at those who are a reminder of this.
    It’s far easier to accept my son and all my other children as they are, not what they could be or could have been. That way, I am always surprised and delighted with their accomplishments and achievments, ya know? It’s all gravy at this point.
    I won’t waste time or cyberspace with any commentary about that Fore Sam lunatic—have at it everyone.

  19. Mike October 31, 2006 at 03:55 #

    I am so very sorry that you and others are subjected to these things. I did not spend a lot of time reading their rage and certainly will not go back. It looks to be only three or four cowards hiding behind multiple keyboards. They are playing some type of sick “ping pong” by themselves. Eventually some family member may have mercy on them and remove the mirror. Then they may be able to rest.

  20. Kassiane October 31, 2006 at 11:48 #

    **It seems to take an awful lot of personal bilge spewing to get banned at AutismWeb **

    Not if you’re autistic. Remember KaliDOW? All she did was stand up to them.

    -friends with Kali, who has cursed the internet

  21. M October 31, 2006 at 11:51 #

    Yes, they existed before the internet existed. I’m the child of medics. When I was about the age that Megan is now, a patient became obsessed with our family. The behaviour (described to me afterwards; I’ve no first-hand recollection of this) was very redolent of JBjr – this sort of obsession, using the child to attack the parent etc. But since this individual lived in the same village as us, this was all conducted in person or on the phone.

  22. susan senator October 31, 2006 at 13:01 #

    As everyone has said, and you know, there are sick people everywhere. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are autism parents! Some are trolls on blogs. Some are worse. Don’t spend anymore precious energy on it. Life, and you and your daughter, are all beautiful things, deserved to be given their fullest due. And you know how to do that! Rock on.

  23. Ballastexistenz October 31, 2006 at 15:10 #

    I was talking to a friend last night about some of the stuff that I posted on that board about. About how, basically, I’ve never gotten the number of death threats (especially not so easily), the amount of vitriol, etc, that I have from parents in the autism community, sometimes even just for existing in their presence. Anywhere else. Even when doing things that pissed a lot of people off. I’ve just never seen the amount of garbage that gets thrown around in the autism community.

    She pointed out that it’s because society pretty much condones anything as long as it’s done to autistic people. This means that in the autism world, people inclined to behave like that are not basically put in their place by everyone else, they’re “understood” instead. And that since this even goes up to the point of torture and murder, we should not be surprised that bullies and people with little conscience can find refuge in this community.

    As I said, it’s not all parents, or even most parents, but it’s the fact that the worst among parents (and professionals) are given permission to behave like this if it’s in response to autistic people or even the fact that autistic people exist.

    When I was a kid, there were schools where there was only a handful of kids who did not bully me, if that. I am sure that some people who were bullies as kids saw the error of their ways as they grew up — kids are immature, after all. But some do not. Some remain that way their entire lives. And many of the worst I see in this community behave just like taller versions of the people I knew in the schoolyard.

    But it’s the broader acceptance of anything at all bad done to autistic people, that allows these sorts of people to flourish in the autism community more than in other communities. In most communities they’re around, but kind of shoved off to the side. That shoving off to the side doesn’t happen so much in the autism community. And the wider society sanctions all this.

  24. LB October 31, 2006 at 19:26 #

    You mentioned on another post that the IP addresses were the same for ForeSam and the poster using your daughter’s name. Just so I can explain this clearly – what is the connection between ForeSam, Hating Autism blog and John Best Jr.? Is it all the same IP addresses?

  25. LB October 31, 2006 at 20:55 #

    Actually I think having conditions like OCD, bi-polar (which are common co-concurring conditions in people on the spectrum anyway) leads those parents to be much more able to understand their kids because they themselves have had to deal with similar issues. I have found several people who have been more ND and we found out incidentally that we ALL had OCD so we didn’t buy into any of this mercury only stuff. Perseverating may be a tendency of those on the spectrum – but people with pure OCD do not tend to go on and on about the same subject – they mostly find the OCD annoying and intrusive. If anything these parent are either AS in denial – or so super NT they have no concept of value in any other way but there own.

  26. strangefairy November 1, 2006 at 01:09 #

    Kevin, I don’t know what the laws are in the UK about identity theft or stalking, but since John Best stole your daughter’s name in public and published your address, i think you’re right to think about legal action. Even i can tell this person is berserk and dangerous. Keep up the good work.

  27. Sophist November 1, 2006 at 05:47 #

    I am Sophist, the individual who got the “honor” of having the back and forth with “Megan”– John– on AWARES.

    Kevin, I really hope you persue legal action. Unfortunately I didn’t know your name or the name of your daughter, otherwise you would’ve known sooner. I’m glad Ilja told you about it after my frustrated thread post on AFF.

    The main posts are still on there and on my forum in a similar thread.

    JB Jr. does really seem to represent everything that’s wrong with the idea of “cure”. I feel so sorry for his child and I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this.

  28. bonni November 1, 2006 at 08:28 #

    I personally find it deeply worrying that these people consider themselves part of any autism community.

    I find it more worrying that they’re actually raising autistic children.

    As for JBJr, I’ve long thought that he’s mentally disturbed. This episode pretty much confirms that opinion.

  29. Kev November 1, 2006 at 10:02 #

    Thank you all for words of wisdom and solidarity. I cannot remember the last time I was so angry. I’m trying very hard to ignore it but its difficult. I don’t mind people having a pop at me and I can’t very well complain about people discussing my daughter seeing as I discuss other people’s kids (well, their medication routine anyway) but this is a whole other level. Assuming the identity of a child.

    OK, stopping as I’m getting angry again.

    Sophist – don’t worry about it. I understood immediately, there’s no way you could’ve known.

    As for legal action, I’m not even sure if its possible but I am checking it out.

  30. Kev November 1, 2006 at 11:29 #

    _”One way to prove for definite that it is JBJr would be to have AWARES send you the IP addresses linked to the posts made under Megan’s name.”_

    That’s already taken care of. Even if I didn’t already have the IP, the fact that the user name in question has been deleted is enough. I passed on John’s details and asked AWARES admin to only act if they found a match. They acted. The issue for me to decide is if that’s enough legally (John could claim that he was impersonating a totally different Megan Leitch, I couldn’t prove otherwise I don’t think) and even if its worth doing in the long run at all. I don’t want to let anger impair judgement. Is John worth it? There are other ways to tackle John.

    In this instance, I don’t think its fair to involve Brad in this particular nastiness. What John has done goes beyond any issues related to autism advocacy and as such I couldn’t really hold Brad to account for it. I disagree with Brad on numerous things but I can’t see him thinking what John has done is acceptable. Whatever faults he may have I don’t think he’d condone usurping the identity of a child.

    As for kevin_1000 et al – I’m concerned with the organ grinder, not his monkeys.

  31. HN November 1, 2006 at 19:12 #

    I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for GR to do anything about Best. But just for kicks I ran the GR website through the Quackmeter: … and got this response “This web site has more quackery than my village pond.”

    Then for fun I ran it through a Buttar loving blog: and it responded that it couldn’t do it because “This isn’t really my bag. Way off the village pond. This is a quackometer, not a crankometer.”


  32. Ballastexistenz November 1, 2006 at 22:48 #

    Oh I didn’t know they’d erased him. I sent the AWARES people his IP addresses from my blog and such too.

  33. Sophist November 2, 2006 at 06:15 #

    I don’t know if anyone’s noticing this, but JBJr. seems a bit… autistic. Wouldn’t that be the perfect irony/revenge?

    I mean, not the logic-loving autie but the schizotypal, comorbid Bipolar type. (I’ve noticed people similar to him on other forums. Although they might not take their craziness THAT far.)

    He’s definitely got something (I wouldn’t call him “neurotypical” by a longshot). And his son’s autism came from somewhere methinks…

  34. Kev November 2, 2006 at 07:08 #

    LB –

    ‘Fore Sam’ is another name that John Best Jr uses. ‘Hating Autism’ is his blog.

    Its not possible for them to all use the same IP address. Let me explain:

    Every computer accessing the internet has a unique IP address (IP stands for ‘Internet Protocol’), whether that computer is being used to serve content (like the computers this site, or or any other site sits on) or if the computer is the one being used by a person visiting sites on the internet.

    Every IP address can tell you certain things – where the computer is in the world(not to an exact location but there are ways to find that out too), what ISP they use and the exact time/date.

    So, resolving the IP address for a website gives you the location etc of the computer that that particular site sits on. main server is physically located in California for example so that’s where John’s blog address would resolve to.

    However, when John (or anyone else) visits another site its possible to track that by recording the IP address of the visitor. This will resolve to the physical address of the visitor. In John’s case, New Hampshire.

    Tracking IP addresses is one way to prevent abuse of a website. If someone knows someone elses IP address and they become a pain in the arse you can filter comments by IP, excluding the ones you wish to. Just about every decent bit of blogging software allows you to record IP addresses but even if it doesn’t its easy to script your own solution.

    It is possible to use a masking IP address (called a proxy server) but it isn’t possible to ‘take over’ someone else’s IP address. There are also ways to either filter all proxied visitors or, with a little extra digging, unmask the proxy. Most proxies originate in the Far East and are pretty crackable.

  35. LB November 2, 2006 at 08:04 #

    Thanks Kev !

  36. Sharon November 2, 2006 at 13:18 #

    This is despicable. I’m so sorry you and your family have been subjected to such nastiness.

  37. David N. Andrews MEd (Dec 2006) November 3, 2006 at 09:53 #

    It’s a pity that the people doing it can’t think of better ways to get their jollies, really. Isn’t it?

    I guess that their limited mental capacities don’t allow them to engage in real fruitful discussion, so they have to denigrate those who can in order to feel good about themselves… typically lazy thinking: denigrate, disparage and make downward social comparison based on the delusion.

    And why?

    Because thinking about the lack of truth of their own position is too hard for them.

    Instead, they can only come up with more ways to show how distasteful they can be.

    For this sort of behaviour, their parents *can* be blamed, since it is obvious that their parents never set an example of how to treat people properly and be a decent human being.

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