Katie Wright’s big day

6 Apr

Yesterday three big things happened to Katie Wright. Firstly, she joined the board of Directors of SafeMinds. Secondly she joined the board of directors of the National Autism Association. Thirdly, she appeared on the US Oprah Winfrey show.

The elusive Ginger blogged the NAA and SafeMinds news which was announced just before/during/after (depending on your timezone) the Oprah show.

The Opera show itself was a mixed bag apparently. There was a lot of self pity at the start:

“he’s not there, I don’t know where he is but he’s not there”

Oprah: A mystery affecting millions of families

“A bad day is a bad day and a good day is a bad day waiting to happen”

Please. Spare me. Not there?

However, a lot of people have also said there were some great moments:

I like the way the show ended with every single parent talking about the gifts their autistic children have given them! “He has made me more spiritual,” “He has made me look outside of myself,” “He takes people just as they are.” “He has given me someone to love way beyond what I ever thought possible.” Amen.

Sue also noted that no autistic adults were on the show and none were interviewed. That’s ridiculous.

However, part way through the show was the Katie Wright Experience. Apparently what happened was that Oprah asked a Doc on the show about vaccines and he repeated the scientific consensus – which is that vaccines have been refuted as a cause. Which is true. The show cut to a break. When it came back on, viewers were greeted by a visibly pink and flustered Katie Wright and then the host of the show told the audience that …..in fact I’ll quote from someone (who I won’t name so don’t ask) who was watching the show carefully:

To me it all seemed quite sane, except for Katie’s little blurt. A pediatrician of south Asian descent whose name I didn’t catch was periodically consulted from the dais by la Oprah, and gave what sounded like reasonable advice. At one point Oprah asked about causes–she didn’t use the word epidemic but said ‘what the cdc calls a health threat–and the pede gave a general response, genetics, possibly some environmental thing, and then Oprah said, “what about vaccines?” the pediatrician responded, “that’s controversial.” and oprah said, ‘well yeah, and?” or words to that effect. The pediatrician said the vaccine theory had been pretty well refuted. That was that, but after the next break, Katie Hildebrand, who was sitting next to Oprah, must have been chewing her ear off because la O told her to say her piece which she did in the usual incoherent shrieking way, “vaccines are not cleared of being responsible, children are given 37 different vaccines, my child has all kinds of immune problems, there’s an epidemic that keeps growing” etc. Oprah said, “there i can see you needed to get that off your chest, you don’t want to go home with that all bottled up. After all, you’re a mom.” the studio crowd applauded though they did not hoot or yell anything specific that i could detect on my tv screen.

Following that, Oprah apparently told the audience that this is what _Katie_ personally believed and it wasn’t supported by any CDC evidence.

Here’s _my_ summation of Katie Wright’s life at the moment.

Katie campaigned to get a Generation Rescue member on the board of Autism Speaks. Here’s how Brad Handley reported that event in a rant:

Kevin Barry, our former President, was hired by Autism Speaks. On his first day of employment, Mark Roithmayr informed Kevin that he was only there “as a favor to Katie” [ the mother of Bob and Suzanne Wright’s autistic grandson]

Katie has spoken of Brad and Kevin Barry as her mentors. Here’s Brad’s mention of Katie Wright:

I just want to share how damn proud I am of this family. Remember, there is no Christian Wright, his name is Christian Hildebrand.

Katie’s decision to be more public about her point of view is not some impulsive move. For almost two years now, quietly but firmly, she has lobbied her parents on the growing morass that Autism Speaks was becoming. By choosing to listen more to the “experts” than their own daughter, Katie’s parents selaed their own fate.

Two years. After which the Wright’s continue to listen to science, not Brad’s people.

Katie Wright has come to believe, after a long association with Brad Handley, that vaccines caused her sons autism. Katie had the king Rescue Angel himself hovering over her for the last two years. Has anyone ever told Katie that Brad is often wrong and never admits it even when its clearly demonstrated? I guess not.

Kim Stagliano (autism blogger – big on pooh) said:

This is a very big day when the SS Minnow overtakes the Titanic.

Really? _Really_ ?

From all I’ve read and seen, all that’s apparent is that the newest mercury mum on the block got appointed to two antivaccine groups and that made a bit of a fool of herself on television. The only difference is that this mercury mum happens to have parents who own and run an autism organisation that she’s just cut her ties from.

What I actually feel the Wrights are guilty of is: Listening to dinosaurs with degrees instead of their daughter, Deirdre Imus, and others speaking the truth, myself included.

In Brad’s world there is no greater sin than not listening to him. Maybe they did listen to you Brad and thought you were wrong.

So, after Katie Wright’s big day – the day the SS Minnow overtook the Titanic – what’s changed?

The world saw a visibly unstable mercury mum on TV being thrown a bone to rant about her pet theory for a few minutes and then the show carried on.

…and thats that. No scientific facts changed yesterday. Katie Wright confirmed herself as a woo-meister. All that means is people will be even less likely to listen to her than they were before. Autism Speaks must be breathing a sigh of relief she’s jumped ship.

29 Responses to “Katie Wright’s big day”

  1. jypsy April 6, 2007 at 11:52 #

    Dr. Anshu Batra is a “she”
    Katie got a few “seconds” not “minutes” to rant about her pet theory.

  2. Bonnie Ventura April 6, 2007 at 13:15 #

    The analogy of the SS Minnow overtaking the Titanic is quite fitting, I’d say. After all, everybody knows what happened to the Titanic… it’ll be interesting to see which group hits the iceberg first.

  3. daedalus2u April 6, 2007 at 13:24 #

    Yes, and everyone knows what happened to the SS Minnow too:
    If not for the courage of the feerless crew,
    The Minnow would be lost
    The Minnow would be lost
    Good thing the SS Minnow had the Skipper and Gilligan running things!

  4. Estee April 6, 2007 at 15:59 #

    Did anyone notice that her son Christian was autistic before she claims he wasn’t? It was clear from the video she showed of her son in his younger years, that he was echolalic. So much for her degeneration theory. I hesitate in diagnosing anyone without knowing them, but it seemed pretty obvious to me.

  5. anonimouse April 6, 2007 at 16:29 #

    On a slightly lighter note, it appears that Deidre Imus’ husband is at it again:


    I guess Don can add racism to his list of core vales, which as we know already include calling autistic kids poisoned and believing that drug companies are inherently evil.

  6. notmercury April 6, 2007 at 17:56 #

    I see JB is still practicing science by intimidation and deception.

  7. Ms. Clark April 6, 2007 at 20:51 #


    They made a movie about David Kirby and his book!!! Wow!!

    (not really, but I predict this is how the EoHarm movie will end up, exposing Kirby, not glorifying him)

  8. Friend in California April 6, 2007 at 21:42 #

    One notable thing about the various parents appearing on yesterday’s show was the difference in composure from person to person. Most of the parents were calm, though there were some shaky voices and emotional pauses (let’s face it – this is an emotional issue for many of us parents regardless of where we sit on the various debatable issues). Katie Wright was too, for a while. Then, after she burst out with her mention of vaccines, she sat there very fidgety and red-faced. She completely lost her composure at that very moment. It’s a perfect illustration of the effect of playing the “blame game” instead of moving towards acceptance.

  9. caseofthevapours April 7, 2007 at 01:50 #

    I very much noticed Katie’s son’s very autie behaviour “before” he “regressed” according to his mother. Perhaps this is what Suzanne was referring to (heard/read somewhere quite recently) about being concerned with her grandchild and debating how to approach her daughter on the matter. It’s so startlingly apparent in that video that it almost makes me feel sorry for Katie being in such obvious psychological denial. However, I am weary of the reign of the “frantic moms” and their assuredness in knowing exactly what causes autism and how to treat it. From Portia on, these moms have done no favours for the precious auties of this world. Katie please stop. Just friggin’ stop.

  10. Friend in California April 7, 2007 at 04:37 #

    Great link, Ms. Clark. You seriously crack me up 🙂

  11. Ms. Clark April 7, 2007 at 07:11 #

    Thanks, Friend. 😀 Seriously.

  12. daedalus2u April 8, 2007 at 11:48 #

    I agree with Ms Clark. I would give my children the full vaccine schedule even if they still had thimerosal in them.

    The immune stimulation of vaccines is negligible compared to the immune stimulation of living in the “wild” and having bacteria, viruses and parasites in everything that is touched or eaten.

    The problem is the immune system doesn’t have enough to do, so it does things it shouldn’t, such as cause allergies.

  13. Ms. Clark April 9, 2007 at 18:13 #

    😀 Very funny, Li’l Buddy.

  14. Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay April 12, 2007 at 12:26 #

    This is Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay again.
    The cause for Autism can be anything. But blaming is no solution.
    The solution is ‘instead of trusting’ all the experts, one should know that expert of all experts is their trust in their child.
    Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay

  15. Ms. Clark April 13, 2007 at 20:00 #

    I would expand on what you said a little and say trust that the child is not a bad child, even if it looks like the child is just being stubborn.

    I remember trying the “you will eat this or you won’t have anything else until you do” technique on my autistic child who refused to eat something “normal” like baked beans or corn or something… The child would have starved to death first, rather than eat that food. So I gave in, wisely. Autistic kids are not experiencing life as typical kids do, so some things like not flapping or eating a normal food are not fair to ask the child to do.

    Mcewen had an interesting post about how a “peer” tried to get her son to eat a (yummy) cookie, and how her son finally tried a bite of it after much prompting, and then spit it out and ran to wash his mouth out in the bathroom sink.

    Parents are told that their autistic children are so alien, so outrageous and unhuman that only and expert can deal with them. Look at how Bettelheim basically robbed autistic children of their families and put them in his institution to cure them, the parents were told to stay away!

    Now kids spend countless hours away from their parents with therapist up on therapist, at least the rich parents deal with their kids this way. Look at Portia Iversen who says she spent abnormal periods of time away from her autistic son when he was growing up.

    Parents need to be “empowered” by being told that their kids love them even if they don’t seem to, and that the parents shouldn’t be forcing the kid to learn some things that are too hard, and forcing them to learn these these on a certain time schedule or it will be too late.

    Experts need to take the back seat. Of course, there are some bad parents out there, of the too involved and the not involved kind, but giving the family over to “experts” is a big mistake.

  16. Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay April 13, 2007 at 23:56 #

    Yes Madam Clark,
    Instead of ‘bad’ behaviour, we can say ‘alternate’ behaviour. Instead of ‘behaviour correction’, how about ‘behaviour acceptance’?
    And yes, there are alternate methods to reach each other. We can choose one, and move on.
    Instead of giving ‘speeches on importance of cure’, how about ‘work to know your child’?
    Possibilities would emerge out of the impossible. Some of mother’s clients are already buying and selling stocks in the stock markets. Mother is encouraging them to learn business. It is wonderful to see them seeing themselves as possibilities instead of pity.

    Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay

  17. Ms. Clark April 15, 2007 at 02:14 #

    Thank-you, Tito. I appreciate your mother’s emphasis on practical skills. There is an intrinsic kind of power in the autistic mind, I believe. My child is probably never going to make it “big” in this world, but there is a precious quality there, even so. You’re writing is fabulous, a “normal” person, I think, could never write what you write.

  18. Ms. Clark April 15, 2007 at 02:14 #

    hmm. duplicate comment, never mind this one.

  19. Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay April 15, 2007 at 14:37 #

    Madam Clark, I am flattered.
    I write in English because I know that my words can reach the more people if I write in English although I began writing in Bengali.
    And I write in English because I feel it’s words are musical.
    Proust could have more readers if he wrote in English although he is one of my favourite writers and I read only the translations.

    But I am now working on a project, and it would be my pleasure if you could give a feedback on one of the chapters. The book is my new work to show ‘perception difference’.
    This is the 21st chapter:

    ‘The Image of a Clock’

    There was some kind of a mystery in the image of the clock, which imitated it from behind the mirror. As if it was secretly jeering the clock, with some mocking gesture through that imitation. ‘Wonder what was going on in its mind!
    And could it possibly have a mind?
    Could be or could be not. And why could it not?
    -Just because it has no solid structural brain it could not have a mind?
    There may be other ways to think than through a central nervous system.

    The clock in the real world was right in front of the mirror. It was performing its own duty of telling my eyes the time in the real world with its complete earnestness.
    The mirror hung right in front of the clock. It was performing its own duty of reflecting the clock. It continued to follow the laws of reflection and produce the reflection of the clock the way it should be.
    The rays of light emerging from the clock, performed their own duty of forming the angles of incidence and reflections at the point of incidence on the surface of the mirror, being precise and accurate about maintaining the equality in the measurements of angles of incidence and reflection.
    The image, on its part performed its own duty of maintaining the size and distance from the reflecting surface equal to the size and distance from the clock.
    However, there sure was a secret on the face of the image, which made the symphony between the clock and the itself, somewhat distinct from each other. And this distinction was not related to any of the laws in Physics.
    The discord was in their ‘essence’.

    The image of the clock seemed to drag its needles, not wanting to be a mere imitation of the real clock, despising every bit of its virtual existence, as it continued to do exactly what the clock did.
    My eyes saw everything in front of me. It was up to my thoughts to interpret the possible unbalance, which the object and image placed in front of me.

    Real space and time has many more possibilities to offer whether it was measured in a human scale or on an atomic scale or some larger scale.
    Space-time can be interpreted as a complicated four -dimensional if time got included or a flat two -dimensional world if time got excluded.
    However, if we probe it further, to the shortest distance, we would see that there are possibly as many as ten or eleven dimensions in the same space and time.
    If all dimensions were of micro size in magnitude, it would be very difficult for us to observe them.

    If a bacteria or a living thing of atomic size acquires eyes of vision, it would have a very different view of the world compared to my own view. The clock and its image would look like scattered atoms within a vast field of other atoms, which would move, collide, react, and dissipate. There would be no boundary of separation in the clock in from its view- point. There would just be boundaries of atoms and charged ions in the limits of its perception. I would stand in front of it as ‘a body of massive atomic build up’ and it would not know how high it would need to float to go on the other side of the wall created by my body. The reflecting property of the mirror, would not be detected by its micro eyes. It would see the mirror as one of another body of molecules.

    It would be the same world from my view point.
    And it would be the world ‘all the same’ for those eyes of atomic size and power.
    And it would be the same world for the massive eyes of the Creator who can see the world in every type of dimension as He can choose.
    Only the definition of the world would get altered according to the perception.

    The world could be defined in terms of each of those ten or eleven dimensions. Most of those dimensions are very small. However one or two dimensions out of them may be comparatively very large or infinitely large.
    Large extra dimension would mean that we live in a world of ‘branes’.
    A brane could be a four dimensional surface or in a higher dimensional space and time which my limited perception cannot show.
    A p=1 brane is a string.
    A p=2 brane is a flat surface of a membrane.
    A p=3 brane is what my vision can show of the world.
    As the value of p changes, so does the image.
    P branes are extended in p dimensions. They are created to be hypothetically equal and can solve the mysteries in super gravity theories in ten and eleven dimensions.

    In the world of brane, matter and non gravitation forces like electric force would be confined to a brane.
    The atomic size eyes would be able to perceive electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom held by the electric force and not fall into the nucleus.
    This would be in accordance to the Anthropic principle that the universe is suited for intelligent life form because atoms are stable. Otherwise I would not be standing in front of the mirror to observe the mystery in the image of the clock.

    So what is Anthropic principle anyway?
    It says that we see the universe the way it is because we exist.
    It is opposed to the predictive Unified theory in which laws of nature are complete and the world is the way it is because it could not be otherwise.

    I watched the predictable moments of time which the arms of the clock showed and would continue to show as long as the battery inside it powered it. I watched its image bounded by the laws of reflection so that it could not do any other way than faithfully follow the clock.

    According to the Anthropic principle the reason why the Big Bang occurred about ten thousand million years ago is that, the universe must be old enough so that some stars would have completed their evolution to produce enough elements like carbon, nitrogen and oxygen out of which we are made, and young enough so that some stars would still be providing energy to sustain life.

    The microscopic eyes of the atomic size life form would perceive my body staring at the clock in the light of all those atoms combined together. If it got lucky it could make its way through my nostrils while I breathe in and realize that it has entered a zone of darkness wondering whether this was the place called ‘Hell’?

    The brane world picture in the imaginary time is a four dimensional sphere on which we live, bounded by a five dimensional bubble with the remaining dimensions curled up very small. We may live in a four dimensional world made out of three special dimensions and one time dimension.
    We may be shadows cast on the brane corresponding to what is happening inside the sphere in larger dimensions, just like the image of the clock is the shadow of the three dimensional world in space.

    The size of the atomic eyes would need to be smaller than what their sizes are in atomic length, in order to verify that while the eyes of the Creator must be infinitely large to be able to witness the magnitude of His creation as well as infinitely small to see the reality in the higher dimensions, whose projections we are in our own space-time dimensions which we perceive.

    How would the image of the clock seem to be, for those infinite eyes of the Creator and something smaller than the atomic size creature?
    Well, they would not care.

    Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay

  20. Ms. Clark April 16, 2007 at 05:12 #

    Hi Tito,

    It’s beautiful, it’s amazing. I wish I had your understanding of atomic physics, even though I don’t, I think your chapter is still educational and beautiful at the same time.

    I kept picturing the image of Alice going through the looking glass, there is a clock on the mantelpiece in front of the mirror. On the other side of the looking glass the clock is alive, probably has a mind.

    I think the Creator does care, about everything, even about clocks and mirrors, even if they don’t have minds or eyes.

  21. Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay April 16, 2007 at 10:59 #

    Thank you Madam,
    Its an experience to learn that branch of science and write.
    Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay

  22. Friend in California April 17, 2007 at 04:42 #

    Tito –
    I have read and re-read your chapter. I am both humbled and confused by it.
    I am a fully neurotypical person, someone who has had the patience to wrestle with concepts such as space-time on only a limited basis. One such occasion was my attempt to read Hawking’s book – “A Brief History of Time” (one of the most clever titles of all time – no pun intended, Tito). I use the term “attempt” because I had the birth of my first son occurring at about the time I was trying to digest the book, and I never really mastered any of the concepts in it.
    I hope you will continue to commit to writing your understanding of this complex issue, as I greatly appreciate all potential sources of information that can help me to understand the “big picture”.

  23. Friend in California April 17, 2007 at 04:46 #

    To elaborate on my previous comment, this is from Wikipedia:
    “The book is considered by many to be an “unread bestseller” [1] which is a book many people own but few have finished.”
    This sums up what I was commenting on before – my inability (due to motivation) to finish the book. Have you read and understood it? And, if so, do you have any comments on the contents?

  24. Ms. Clark April 17, 2007 at 05:32 #

    Somewhere, I think it was on the TV I heard that only 2 people have ever finished the book. (Probably an exaggeration) One of them who hadn’t was someone who also worked in particle physics, who was also a friend of Hawking if I remember correctly…

    it was amusing how people admitted to not being able to understand the book. I for one have never tried to read it. I love the idea of physics and I took a basic physics course before I transferred to UCD, it was fun, but I had no gift for understanding even Newtonian physics. I got a “B” in the class, though. I thought the professor was pretty much a good candidate for an Asperger’s dx.

  25. Kev April 17, 2007 at 08:02 #

    I finished it but it took me about 9 months to read the damn thing. It was a great book of which I understood about 10% of. At some point, reading it become an exercise in remote admiration – its clear _he_ knows what he’s talking about and I’ll just enjoy watching him exercise his mental muscles.

  26. Kev April 17, 2007 at 08:04 #

    By the way – Tito – I’m humbled and honoured you elected to post your writing on my site. Thank you.

  27. notmercury April 17, 2007 at 12:33 #

    I like the way you think.

    I’d like to read more of that so please let us know when the book has been published.

  28. Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay April 17, 2007 at 12:57 #

    I must thank you in some way after all the support I received from this site. And now it has become an obsession to visit here on a regular basis.

    Yes about the passage…
    When we see the big picture of the whole, which that branch of Science wants to show us, we feel how petty our own troubles are to the entire game played by the Cosmos.
    The question of ‘What am I in the great eyes of Cosmos?’ becomes a thing to wonder. And how the Creator sees my problems compared to my petty perception also becomes a reason to think about.
    And that becomes a motivation to understand the differences in perceptions.
    As from inside, Autism looks perfect to me. However certainly there must be something wrong to it. Otherwise why should there be so much worry related to it? Is it because of the differences in perception?

    But thank you for reading.

    Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay

  29. Friend in California April 17, 2007 at 15:17 #

    Tito wrote:
    “And now it has become an obsession to visit here on a regular basis.”
    I can relate, Tito. I think I glance here for new information about 3 times per day. Thanks a lot, Kev 😉

    Tito wrote:
    “As from inside, Autism looks perfect to me. However certainly there must be something wrong to it. Otherwise why should there be so much worry related to it? Is it because of the differences in perception?”
    I think the worry stems from a very human trait – fear of the unknown. For Neurotypical parents, there is a period of adjustment that follows the realization of differences between their own child and what they have seen in other children. It is a scary time for a parent when you don’t really know how your child is perceiving you or understanding your actions and communication. For those of us who have espoused acceptance of the autistic condiditon as a non-negative situation, this worry goes away. In other words, once the “unknown” is known, there is no longer cause for worry.
    And, Tito, from the outside autism looks perfect to me too. Well, as perfect as any of us are anyway. I have yet to meet a perfect person.

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