Autism, scientology and the moonies

7 Nov


I never imagined when I started blogging about autism just how deep the rabbit hole of quackery went. It never ceases to amaze me how the relationships between some of the people deeply involved in the mercury militia start to unravel with some occasionally disturbing results.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve come across some of the most disturbing relationships yet. As the title suggests, there seem to be disturbing links between some mercury militia members and the Unification Church (the moonies) and there are definite links between established scientologists and DAN! as well as other non-DAN! mercury militia resources. Most disturbing of all is the suggestion of a relationship between The Moonies and Scientology with an apparent agenda to encourage the mercury militia and possibly even help finance or otherwise aid the legal fight some parents are undergoing with relation to vaccines and autism.

Autism and The Moonies

The most direct connection between autism and the moonies is that of Dan Olmsted. Olmsted works for UPI which the Unification Church owns. As we all know, Dan Olmsted is a more than ready exponent of the mercury militia belief system, churning out credulous and easily refuted piece after piece. Clearly the aim here is not debate but propaganda.

But still, it never occurred to me that Olmsted might be working towards a UPI agenda until very recently. Not until a second UPI journalist, Lidia Wasowicz started working on the exact same story. Then I became interested. Why have two reporters covering the exact same story from the exact same perspective but independently of each other? Is it possible that some of the senior people at UPI felt Olmsted alone wasn’t getting the job done?

After all, the Moonies make no secret of their aim with UPI (and the Washington Times which they also own):

And how independent is the once-proud UPI? As Moon noted on Nov. 30, 2000, shortly after buying the news service, “The best way to become famous will be to write articles about Rev. Moon. The media organization that employs the reporters who write such articles and publishes them will be respected around the world. UPI was purchased just as it was about to collapse, and it is being supported now. UPI can write such articles.”

Or as the Rev put it on another occasion;

…to establish “the journalism of the Kingdom of Heaven” one first needs “the wire service of the Kingdom of Heaven…”

And to what end?

“Merely reporting the facts of the news will be much too elementary,” explains Moon. A more important role of the media is “to determine how to interpret and evaluate the facts, and thus provide the direction in which the audience is guided.

Quite. Its my opinion we’re now seeing that born out with the doubling up of autism-mercury journalism on UPI these days.

The editor-in-chief at the Washington Times felt so strongly about this that:

Washington Times editorial page editor William P. Cheshire and four of his staff members resigned during Borchgrave’s tenure as editor-in-chief charging that he had allowed an executive of the Unification Church to dictate editorial policy.

Some executives of UPI as well as being Moonies are also in the Korean CIA.

But what’s the motive? Why would the moonies want to push the idea of a vaccine link to autism?

If we take a look at the sort of businesses the Moonies own and/or invest in we can see that they have very healthy interests in two interesting money makers – sea fish restaurants and homoeopathic/naturopathic medicine. One of these interests is blamed for increases in mercury and the other is big business amongst autism/biomed practitioners. I’m given to understand that the US CAM market (Complimentary/Alternative Medicine) is worth about US$28billion per annum. It would definitely be in the Moonies interests for more people to eat mercury containing sea fish and to also buy more CAM products.

But that’s pretty spurious in terms of a link. Its a ‘maybe’. Its certainly not proven.

However, the odd coincidences keep mounting up. Dan Olmsted used to work closely with fellow UPI journalist Mark Benjamin until the latter left UPI. Before he did however, Benjamin also grew interested in the vaccine/autism hypothesis.

So where did Mark Benjamin go after leaving UPI? It seems that in March of 2005, Benjamin published his first story for his new employers – Three short months later, RFK Jr published his misbegotten Deadly Immunity piece. Indeed, two Benjamin articles are quoted on the thiomersal links page on

Coincidence? Maybe.

Maybe this is too: An accompanying piece to RFK Jr’s piece was Lujene Clark’s sidebar describing the work of and her son’s autism. Its never been clear to me how Lujene and RFK jr came together to set this up. Until now:

Believe me, Dan Olmsted gets the connection! He is builing (sic) up to a climax with this series to debunk the Kanner theory of autism….He and Mark Benjamin broke the Larium story as well as being instrumental and the driving force behind exposing the Gulf War Syndrome.

Also note the date of this post. Also about three months or so before ‘Deadly Immunity’. The common thread between RFK Jr and Lujene Clark is Mark Benjamin via Dan Olmsted. One current UPI journo and one ex-UPI journo, both coming from a background of a news agency less interested in facts than making sure the ‘right’ interpretation is placed upon events.

But this is still just conjecture. I think its interesting and worth pursuing but it was just playful fantasy until a second UPI journalist suddenly started sharing mercury-militia propaganda publishing duties with Olmsted. That’s the most suspicious thing so far, but even that isn’t _very_ suspicious.

Of much more solid and worrying connection is the one to Scientology.

Autism and Scientology

Everybody knows that Scientology has an almost rabid outlook on psychiatry and what they deem psychiatric labels. Its so bad that Xenu-lover John Travolta is allegedly hiding the fact of his son’s autism for fear of offending his masters in Scientology.

Scientologists have a natural theoretical affinity with the mercury militia and in particular the DAN! ideology. They are firmly against medication and firmly in favour of ‘detoxification’ when combined with saunas. The belief is that detoxification ‘loosens’ the toxins which are then sweated out in intense saunas. Sounds familiar right?

Just like the moonies, scientology has untold business interests in all-natural and CAM based treatments, particularly detoxification treatments. So, when you combine business interests with religious zeal you get people highly motivated to move in on people they target.

Are there any scientologists targeting autism? Oh yes. Scary but true.

There is Nancy Mullan, MD, nutritional psychiatrist and Scientology owned Safe Harbor Medical Director. She attended a conference wherein she:

…reviews one of the most critical nutritional biochemical cycles which, when faulty, can contribute to autism, schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder.

I’ve also been notified by commenter ‘culvercitycynic’ that Ms Mullan is also a registered DAN! doctor.

And here’s another Scientology front: Narconon Arrowhead. The Medical Director is a man named Gerald D. Wootan – he’s also a DAN doctor. Thank you to my anonymous friend who forwarded me that info :o)

Then there is Dr. Julian Whitaker who is with the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, established by the Church of Scientology to expose what the church calls psychiatric violations of human rights and who pushes a variety of CAM treatments including chelation. Guess who he’s friends with?

a special thanks to some special people – […] Dr. Julian Whitaker, Dr.Rashid Buttar…

Then there’s scientologist David Minkoff who once attended a Defeat Autism Yesterday conference, sharing a platform with Rashid Buttar, DAN! doctor Gunnar Heuser and Erin Giffin of Amy Yasko’s practice.

Minkoff is also well regarded by teh folks on Evidence of Harm email list such as MarK Sircus who says of the Scientologist:

…a fine physician…in the chelation and toxicology field like Dr. David Minkoff…

Amazing how far Scientology has managed to insinuate itself into DAN! isn’t it? But is that the end of it? Not by a long chalk.

Scientologist husband and wife team Jean Ross and karl Loren are actively marketing Chelation to autism customers

Another scientologist recently made national television in the US.

In 2002, a schizophrenic named Jeremy Perkins visited a Scientologist doctor called Conrad Maulfair at the behest of his Scientologist mother. Maulfair told Jeremy’s mother that it wasn’t Schizophrenia but in fact high levels of arsenic and metals that were causing Jeremy’s issues. Maulfair _had_ to say this as he cannot, by virtue of his belief in Scientology, accept or diagnose a psychiatric reason to explain Jeremy. He recommended chelation. Jeremy’s mum decided on her own treatment – also not psychiatry – and then in 2003, in the grip of schizophrenia, Jeremy stabs his Scientologist mother to death.

This scientologist, Dr Conrad Maulfair, is a DAN! Doctor. His failure to correctly diagnose has now led to a death.

And here’s Hubbard and Scientology worshipper Dr Arturo M Volpe expounding the benefits of treating autistic children with Methyl B12 and FIRS (far infrared saunas) – he even quotes DAN! Doctor, Sidney Baker.

And then there’s Boyd Haley. Haley was amongst a gaggle of Scientologists making sworn depositions for an amalgam/mercury case in 2002. They lost of course but amongst the Scientologists testifying were: Raymond G. Behm and our old friend David Minkoff. Once again, Boyd Haley demonstrates the calibre of his rationality in the company he keeps and the ‘science’ they present.

There’s also significant Scientology representation amongst the law firms involved the autism/thiomersal litigation. For example, in June 2001 legal firm Baum Hedlund announced a class action lawsuit against thiomersal containing vaccine manufacturers as part of the now defunct Mercury Vaccine Alliance.

Paul Hedlund is described as;

has also been in business with several other Scientologist lawyers, including fellow Slatkin investor George “Skip” Murgatroyd. He and Michael Baum were also both investors with Scientologist ponzi artist Reed Slatkin.

And Michael Baum is described as;

….a former staffer with the Church of Scientology’s Guardian Office (the Church’s secret service operation that preceded the Office of Special Affairs) and is an Unindicted Co-conspirator for his work on Operation Snow White, the domestic espionage case which sent eleven Scientologists to prison, including L Ron Hubbard’s wife.

Its clear to see that Scientology has its claws well into the mercury/thiomersal/chelation/autism community. What that community decides to do about that is a matter for their conscience.

Scientology and Recovery

Last year, Generation Rescue launched a full page advert thanking scientists for their work in establishing a thiomersal/autism connection. Embarrassingly, most of the quoted scientists co-signed a letter stating that their work had essentially been misrepresented.

The background of the advert used the image of a young boy called Baxter Berle who the advert stated was recovered from autism. KNBC News in the US presented a report which contained the following:

So, the school district first diagnosed Baxter and then later removed his diagnosis. What school did Baxter Berle attend at that time? Baxter Berle attended a school called ‘The Learning Castle’ which is alleged to be an elementary ‘feeder’ school for the Renaissance Academy with which it shares a campus (there seem to be about seven separate units on campus all feeding the Renaissance Academy). Here’s a little bit of information about the Director of the Renaissance Academy, Ann Hazen;

Renaissance Academy is truly bringing education back to life through the use of a full academic program, athletics, the Arts, a warm and caring staff coupled with the brilliant study and educational philosophies of humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

Yup, they’re Scientologists too. Here’s Ms Hazen’s personal site and here’s a Scientology official website featuring Ms Hazen.

The Moonies And Scientologists – In It Together?

There seem to be disturbing signs of a pact between the Moonies and Scientologists to further their agendas jointly. bear in mind they seem to have mutual interests so it would make sense.

The Council for National Policy was a group started in 1981 by a man called Tim Lahaye. It brought together powerful members of both the Moonie and Scientology groups. From the link;

Beverly LaHaye, as was previously noted, is the wife of Tim LaHaye. She also was and still may be part of the CNP, and also founder of Concerned Women for America. She joined forces with Citizens Council on Human Rights, a group affiliated with Scientology, and Gary Bauer’s Family Research Council, which has benefited as well from Rev. Moon organizations and money. This all under the umbrella of social change and “Christian family values” in America. Mrs. LaHaye and Bauer appeared and spoke together in a 1995 rally against psychiatric practices on children. The question is, regardless of a good cause, is it necessary for these evangelical leaders to join forces with Moon, Scientology and the Intelligence community? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that many groups use charitable giving/participation, patriotic associations and demonstrations of community or national good will to obfuscate their true objectives and agenda, or to conceal and deflect attention from their wrong-doing……LaHayes group, the Council for National Policy, is just one example of evangelical organizations being filled with Intelligence officers, Moon representatives and Scientology members.

Another ‘front’ group was called ‘Americans Preserving Religious Liberty’ (APRL) which was established in 1982. Renowned sociologist Dr Anson Shupe Jr;

….was cognizant of APRL’s ties with Scientology, stating in a 1984 publication that “[b]oth Scientology and the Unification Church were extremely active” in the organization…

So we can see that Scientologists and Moonies have acted together in the past. Whether they are again or not is not a settled question but I hope someone with more resources than me can follow these things up. Autism shouldn’t be associated with cults.

35 Responses to “Autism, scientology and the moonies”

  1. Jemaleddin November 8, 2006 at 00:52 #

    Small correction: The moonies own the Washington Times, not the Post.

  2. Mercury Dad November 8, 2006 at 02:24 #

    Kevin, we are no match for your genius! Or, rather, Va-genius.

    Once again, you have caught us bare-handed!

    The Moonies and the Scientologists must fight against this almighty blogger!!

    Mr. MercuryMoonHubbard

    P.S.: you may want to stop whatever medication you were on during this comical rant. And we’re the ones who believe in conspiracies?

  3. Kev November 8, 2006 at 03:08 #

    Hi MD – which part did you think was an allusion to a conspiracy theory? I’m quite upfront that none of the parts involving the moonies are anything more than spurious. Of possible interest but certainly unproven.

    Or are you denying that scientology is playing an active role in certain autism related activities? Do I have it wrong about all these scientologists?

  4. Orac November 8, 2006 at 03:24 #

    Gee, that was pretty fast for a scientologist to pop up. Maybe Kev’s right to be concerned. 😉

  5. Kev November 8, 2006 at 03:31 #

    Well, I don’t think Brad himslef is a $cientologist (or maybe you are?) but its interesting he only appears on this blog when he’s rattled by something.

  6. Scared of Co$ November 8, 2006 at 03:37 #

    Kev, I’m glad you took this on. Mercury dad seems pretty freaked by what your wrote, even linked to Co$ so that they’d follow the link back here, maybe. These people are scary.

    $cientologists and Moonie$, I’m not sure, but I think autism would be way better off with the KGB. I wonder who else is a closet $cientologist or Moonie, the SAFE MINDS gang? The NAA gang? Lujene Clark?

    Scary people.

  7. Bright Chapper November 8, 2006 at 03:37 #

    “Va-genius” Oh, I see. So when I want to slam on a guy I basically call him a girl? Is that because girls are stupid? Don’t bother with the explanation, moron.

    Kev, $cientologists fight back. The upper ranks of the clams are a no good bunch of crooks and it’s a crying shame that the common $cult foot soldiers are being abused and brainwashed. The Co$ cult cares about one thing only: money. They won’t let laws or families get in their way.

  8. culvercitycynic November 8, 2006 at 04:53 #

    For a few reasons Nancy Mullan (on the ARI/DAN Dr list) has always pinged for me as being C0$, but I could never find the link. Safe Harbor – but of course. Thanks much for confirming my suspicions. And those schools. That C0$ schools even exist for kids is just so, so wrong.

  9. clone3g November 8, 2006 at 05:04 #

    Hey, maybe it was alien thimerosal that Xenu cast in to the volcanoes. That would explain all the mercury that comes from active volcanoes.

    Elron was against breast feeding though and we all know baby formula causes autism, not sure if it’s the barley or milk.

  10. Orac November 8, 2006 at 05:25 #

    Brightchapper is right. Please be very, very careful, Kev.

    Scientologists are utterly ruthless about trying to silence those who speak out about them, usually with threats of lawsuits, threats that they have no compunction about following through on. Also remember that the libel laws in the UK are perhaps the most plaintiff-friendly of any in the developed world, as we were reminded in 2000 when David Irving sued Deborah Lipstadt for correctly calling him a Holocaust denier. Lipstadt ultimately won, but it cost wll over a million dollars to defend.

  11. Ballastexistenz November 8, 2006 at 06:19 #

    $cientologists (and for that matter, disgruntled psychoanalysts, and quacks of all stripes) are almost impossible to keep away when a group of people are trying to do legitimate work against human rights violations within psychiatry. And they give the rest of us who are genuinely concerned about those things (as opposed to simply being a business rival with psychiatry, as $cientology is) a bad name. I don’t think, will never think, the answer to $cientology is to unquestioningly believe psychiatry, there’s such a thing as “neither of the above”.

  12. Kev November 8, 2006 at 07:07 #

    Well, I think if CoS stumbled across this they’d see I’m merely collating and quoting from source pages. I don’t want to misrepresent them as such. They have their religious beliefs I guess, which is their right. All I’m doing is showing their connection to Rev Moon and autism.

    Que sera, sera ;o)

  13. Kev November 8, 2006 at 07:31 #

    Yeah, it was Brad.

  14. notmercury November 8, 2006 at 14:15 #

    So let me get this straight. Someone writes a far out piece of science fiction and a group of followers accept it as fact no matter how bizarre it might seem, the group achieves cult like status and tries to crush all those who stand in their way. They try to actively recruit new members as they spread their message of truth using news media organizations and the internet. They engage in strange ceremonies and rituals involving ointments and strange appliances. Oppose pharmaceutical use in favor of herbs and vitamins, and they quote liberally from a best selling book (now in paper back)?

    Yeah, that sounds about right.

  15. Catherina November 8, 2006 at 14:48 #

    This seems to be a global penomenon. In Germany, an active anti-vaccinationist is a (former, he claims) member of the Moon Church and anti-vaccinationist activities are broadly advertised in the newsletter of a German Scientologist, workshops are run on Moon premises. There are also a lot cross-references between web sites of Scientologists and the anti-vaccine sites. AND I don’t spell out names, because I have been stalked (online rather than offline), defamed and threatened with law suit for pointing out the connections. I guess I should feel honored for being perceived as a threat.

  16. Hawise November 8, 2006 at 15:25 #

    Legend, and I will repeat legend, has it that Hubbard created Scientology to prove his claim that all religion is just a cult of personality. It is for the individual to decide on the merits of the claim. The problem with any cult is that it gets out of the control of its originator and takes on a life of its own, for good or ill. The People’s Church, referred to as Moonies, is a cult of personality that has moved into the next generation and as a result is recreating itself for the long haul. I doubt that it is very spiritual in its intent, it is more like a cult of Walmart employees.
    I just wish that both of them would stay out of my life but they are too ubiquitous and obnoxious for that.

  17. Mcewen November 8, 2006 at 15:28 #

    I’m just glad that someone is out their to ‘follow the money’ and report back to the rest of us. Cheers.

  18. d e s November 8, 2006 at 16:07 #

    web sites for you to look at: scientology // applied scholastics // narconon // scientology volunteer ministers 9/11 // criminon // the way to happiness // citizens commision on human rights // A.B.L.E. // now to keep those organizations running it takes money like any organization out there including the catholic you see the catholic church closing schools it’s because people slowed their contributions and maybe that came about cause of lack of trust, so find something you can believe in and back it with money to keep it there.

  19. Joseph November 8, 2006 at 16:56 #

    I think Brad doesn’t understand the difference between a vast conspiracy theory and agenda pushing. In a vast conspiracy theory you supposedly have hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who are managing to keep extreme wrongdoing secret, usually in govenrment and corporations. Because of their apparent size, vast conspiracy theories are unlikely; you’d expect there to be some whistleblowers. What we have here in Kev’s post are simply some indications of money behind the pushing of an agenda. We’re not talking about black helicopters or anything of the sort.

    That said, I think most or all of the connections could simply be indicative of affinity of belief systems. I’m skeptical that they are due to something more sinister, beyond the provision of funds to support an agenda.

    As Amanda noted, Scientology makes it very difficult for anyone to express any sort of anti-psychiatry argument, without people wondering if the person making the argument is an agent of Scientology.

  20. David N. Andrews MEd (12-2006) November 8, 2006 at 22:25 #

    “… wonder how s/he would feel about it being squandered this way.”

    From the way that she seems to be behind him to the hilt (ooh-er!), I’d say she’s not bothered…

    Unless JBJr’s advised him to horsewhip her till she agrees that it’s all okay….

  21. jackparsonsghost November 8, 2006 at 23:49 #

  22. Mike Stanton November 9, 2006 at 02:00 #

    Well done Kev!
    I prefer cock-ups to conspiracies and it seems to me that a lot of people in DAN and the mercury militia have been very careless about the company they keep. Will they take more care in the future or will they follow Brad in trying to shoot the messenger?

  23. Engram Cupboard November 9, 2006 at 02:26 #

    The whole episode used to be on youtube, but it’s gone. There are animations of the bombers dropping aliens into volcanoes and so forth but not on youtube, now.

    According to the lawyer on that Boston Legal video, sweating and crying and urinating all rid the person of his Engram, so is an Engram made of mercury? Can one chelate an engram out of a person and skip the auditing? Hard to say which is more expensive. I guess if you chelate someone enough he could live forever? Didn’t work for Abubakar, though.

  24. jackparsonsghost November 9, 2006 at 03:05 #

    David if you’d like to see the whole storyline, it should be here, at the link.

  25. David N. Andrews MEd (12-2006) November 9, 2006 at 04:17 #

    JPG, thank you every so much for that!

    I’m up at 5am in the middle of a pulling-together of psychometric data from an assessment of a kid who is going to have some interesting difficulties at school if certain things don’t get written into her IEP. Schools here are notoriously poorly funded, and this work is pro bono (which I can’t afford to do much these days). Midst of a sad situation, you chuck me that link and I get a smattering of light relief from the stress and anxiety I’m feeling much of the time lately.

    Thank you. I really appreciated that.

  26. Kev November 9, 2006 at 10:36 #

    Mike: I agree, this is much more what’s becoming a typical DAN!/mercury militia cock-up. I’d be very surprised to find an _actual_ conspiracy anywhere in all this. The moonie thing is an interesting side-issue but not really indicative of anything other than my amusement ;o)

    The Sci thing is much more serious. Those people are not people you really want to mess with and try and foster some professional medical credibility.

  27. Susan November 9, 2006 at 13:17 #

    JB is great. He has done so much to help families who want help. You even pull in Baxter , a child, into your mean comments.You are narrow minded .What have you all done besides ridicule people publicly?

  28. Kev November 9, 2006 at 13:46 #

    Hi Susan,

    I’m glad you find JB great. I don’t. I find him narrow minded, dogmatic, bullying, abusive and possessed of an inability to admit to mistakes, even when they are documented on TV. In the long run I assure you he will hinder more autistic people than he will ever help.

    People from yours and JB’s side of the debate have seen fit to use my child as the butt of their jokes. A Generation Rescue Rescue Angel recently took it upon themselves to assume the identity of my six year old daughter on an online autism conference. Simply pointing out Baxter Berle attends a Scientology feeder school pales by comparison – its not his fault. Probably his parents don’t even know. The issue regarding this is not with the Berle’s but with the Scientologists.

    I would never do those things to _any_ child. It goes well beyond the autism/thiomersal debate and into very disturbing areas.

    As to the question ‘what have I done’, there are numerous reasons you don’t know. First, I don’t need to brag about them like some. Secondly, they are carried out at a local level. The advocacy work I undertake online as is you see it – exposing quackery, dangerous practices, addressing the fallacious beliefs that vaccines case autism and advocating for the rights of all autistic people to be respected and valued as they are. Hope that answers your questions.

  29. Joseph November 9, 2006 at 20:15 #

    About Baxter, it’s really Generation Rescue with its ads which has plastered the kid’s name all over the place. That’s very unfortunate indeed. You can find a video of this kid in YouTube, portrayed as a “recovered” child. Here’s a kid (who by all accounts looks like a child with a genetic syndrome of some kind) who will be pressured all his life to appear “normal”, because it’s “bad” to be autistic and he’s supposed to have been “recovered” with biomed. I contend this alone will affect him throughout his life more profoundly than any label or treatment.

  30. DJ November 10, 2006 at 19:34 #

    This all points to one more weird connection:
    Moonies … LaHaye….
    Discovery Institute (INTELLIGENT DESIGN)

  31. Agnes November 13, 2006 at 15:17 #

    With 8 million members, scientologists are utilizing infallible technology developed by a physicist and war hero. But they’re lying. None of their procedures can be proved right scientifically. Although they claim they does. Isn’t that ethically and religiously wrong?
    Flowers England – Online Florist

  32. Formerly Fooled November 19, 2006 at 04:12 #

    Excellent article!! I was in scientology for many years and I can tell you that the motive is not to help these children. The motive is to make money.
    Here are some helpful links for your readers. Thank you for your concerns.
    Exposing The Con

    See ” Friend Of Mankind: A documentary

    Scientology Brainwashing

    What is wrong with scientology?

  33. Kev November 19, 2006 at 16:54 #

    Thanks for your comment ‘formerly’ :o)

    I’m trying to identify as many DAN! scientologists as possible – I’ve posted on alt.religion.$ci


  1. Left Brain/Right Brain » Autism extremists - December 28, 2006

    […] There’s also the small matter of at least one ARI DAN doctor being a paedophile, another being very closely associated with a convicted paedophile, DAN doctors belonging to cults like Scientology and, of course, the DAN! hierarchy happy to accept killers. These aren’t conspiracy theories. These are established facts. Why have these people been given any time at all in a supposed mainstream autism publication? […]

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