Mark Blaxill Thinks Bloggers Are Mean

4 Feb

Mark Blaxill, the token man of the mercury moms at SafeMinds, has written a lip-trembling post over on Age of Autism about how mean bloggers can be. Lets have a bit of fun with it shall we?

The rapid evolution of the Internet has created a host of fascinating, exhilarating and occasionally despicable new things. The Age of Autism is a blog and we’re proud to be a part of a new phenomenon called the blogosphere……But as one might expect with any new form of cultural expression, there’s a bizarre variant of the blogosphere out there. It’s a strange hybrid: it looks like a regular low end blog, based almost entirely on opinion, a dressed up version of the typical online discussion groups and chat rooms….In a disturbing way, this new hybrid has found its way into the debates and controversies around autism science…..Often connected with the so-called “neurodiversity” movement, many of these game players seem to define themselves by their own “autism”

So if I’m understanding Marky Mark, the blogosphere is a ‘new phenomenon’ upon which the light of the countenance of the Age of Autism has charitably fallen.

This ‘new phenomenon’ actually was first realised nine years ago Marky Mark. I await with bated breath Marky’s breathless announcement come 2017 that Age of Autism has discovered a ‘new phenomenon’ called Facebook. Truly the interweb is a wondrous thing. A piece of advice though Mark – never, ever type ‘Google’ into Google.

And these ‘low ends blogs’….my, my whomever could he be referring to? Surely not Autism Diva’s blog with a Google PR of 5 on the home page and over 1,150 Google backlinks to it? Or maybe Orac’s with a PR of 7 for the home page and which has over 6,100 Google backlinks to it? or maybe my own which has a PR 6 on the home page of the blog and over 2,700 Google backlinks to it.

Or maybe ‘low end’ might refer to a blog which has a PR of 3 on its home page and Google link operator can find no back link data for. I wonder, can anyone suggest a blog with user stats that low end?

Anyway, Marky Mark has a point to make and by god he’s eventually going to get around to making it dammit! Even if he has to rhetoricise our asses into verbal comas!!

But unlike people that engage in the blogosphere using their real names and identities, these avatars all have one thing in common.

They’re cowards.

Hmmmm, really? Is that why some people choose to blog anonymously?

I really hate to break this piece of news to Marky Mark but passing opinions online predates the web. Why go back to the old BBS’s and you’d find a whole bunch of people chatting away with (gasp!) fake names. In fact, I hear tell that some CB radio enthusiasts use fake names too!! The dirty cowards!

There’s a damn good reason why some people blog anonymously Marky Mark as I have good reason to know about – people who espouse similar views to you Marky Mark, target their children. People like John Best for example are very good reasons for preserving anonymity. Here’s what happens when one of his friends annoys him. What do you suppose he has in store for my child?

But who Marky Mark is really pouting about is Do’C and Interverbal, two bloggers who took the time out to look at a recent paper that Marky Mark was counting on to support his kook hypotheses. So annoyed by these two ‘low end’ bloggers (PR 5 on each of their blogs) that he elected to censor out the name of the blog they wrote at!

“Unfortunately, the main bloggers of [censored wackosphere site name] have taken the time to respond to almost all of the other blogs about this article

‘wackosphere’ (tee-hee!!) is the name Marky Mark has bestowed upon autism related blogs more popular than his it seems. That’s a lot of blogs.

So shocked was I at this blatant censorship that I nearly contacted the Ever So Important Editor on Age of Autism to ask if they would write a piece about this – after all they penned 10 blog entries last week decrying censorship – they must really hate it!

In fact so grasping does Marky Mark become that he actually says:

In fact, at a deeper level, there’s a widespread pattern of scientific intimidation and censorship underway in autism science that relies on a wide range of attack dogs…

Hey yeah – I know what you mean Marky Mark like what happened to Dr Paul Offit at the hands of the mercury militia:

….as Paul Offit, a vaccine expert who served on the committee, tried to make his way through the crowd, one of the protestors screamed at him through a megaphone: “The devil—it’s the devil!” One protester held a sign that read “TERRORIST” with a photo of Offit’s face. Just before Offit reached the door, a man dressed in a prison uniform grabbed Offit’s jacket. “It was harrowing,” Offit recalls.

He has since received hundreds of malicious and threatening emails, letters and phone calls accusing him of poisoning children and “selling out” to pharmaceutical companies. One phone caller listed the names of Offit’s two young children and the name of their school. One email contained a death threat—”I will hang you by your neck until you’re dead”—that Offit reported to federal investigators.

Or Paul Shattuck, also from the mercury militia:

One person said, “Don’t be surprised if you get a knock on your door in the middle of the night and I’ll be there.” Another message said it was easy in the age of the Internet to find out where people live.

Shattuck also had various utterly untrue allegations made about him by the NAA.

Or how about Arthur Allen and Professor Roy Grinker who have also been on the receiving end of threats of violence:

these people need to be horse whipped…

Or how about Ray Gallup, Director and co-founder of the Vaccine Autoimmune Project? here’s what he had to say recently:

Dear ****:

Since you seem to follow what is going on with the Leitch list let me know if Leitch, Deer and the others get hit with a fast moving truck or bus that leaves their carcasses mangled and bloodly on the street.

I will be devotely praying night and day that something like this happens to them and their followers. Especially since these creeps say such hurtful things to parents. They deserve all the best in something terrible happening to every last one of them and I will pray daily.

I usually pray for good things for families that suffer but in their case I will make a big exception.

Ray Gallup

Or what about this Marky Mark?

A-YEAR-and-a-half ago, a vaccines expert in the eastern US received a phone call at home. The man on the line did not identify himself; he simply stated the names and ages of the researcher’s two children and the schools they attended, then hung up. The threat was shocking, but not a surprise. “I get hate mail every day,” says the researcher, who asked not to be named.

Many vaccine scientists in the US have received similar threats in recent years. They are thought to come from a hard core of parents who, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, are convinced that small amounts of mercury in vaccines have made their children autistic. What’s more, they believe that researchers are complicit in the scandal.

How about what EoH member and mercury militia jackass Brian Hooker did to Dr Sarah Parker? He harasses her to the point her campus security services had to get involved and she sent this email to Hooker – which he proudly displayed online:

Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 14:03:17 -0600
From: Sarah Parker
Subject: Re: Sarah Parker on the show “To The Point”

I have received your phone messages (yesterday evening and today) and emails. I would like to inform you that due to your previous threat to me in November and the tone and content of these current calls and emails I consider these as threats/harassment as well and am documenting them with the campus police department. I respect your right to disagree and wish you would respect that same right with me. Please do not contact me again in the future.

Sarah Parker

How about Brad Handley of Generation rescue saying to me:

If we were on a rugby pitch, Kev, I’d put my boot in your eye and twist…

Marky Mark is quite right that there are wacko’s in the online autism community. All he has to do to find them is look to his left and right. He closes his diatribe with:

We need to defend some minimum standards for how people are permitted to participate in a public debate. At the top of the list of these standards should be this: if anyone wants to participate in a debate about autism, put your real self on the line: your real name, your actual body of work (if you have any) and your professional accomplishments and reputation. Put the things that really matter — your family’s future and your personal career prospects — out in public for everyone to see if you want to exercise the privilege of participation in civil society. If you’re willing to do that, then you have a right to be heard. If you’re not, then you should go back to your game and keep playing with yourself. Let serious people do serious work.

And he’s serious. He means it. How he:

a) Expects to set himself up as the arbiter of whats acceptable online and;
b) Expects people to be comfortable using their real names when he stands alongside the people listed above

I really can’t imagine. Believe me, if I’d known that pond scum like John Best shared a planet with me I would never have used my real identity. Its also quote clear that Mark Blaxills friends and colleagues hold no compunctions about besmirching reputations with groundless attacks and or threats of violence upon them or their children.

Look around you Marky Mark. That rarefied air you’re sucking down? Its the polluted air of the real wackosphere. A land where threats against children is fair game and where killers and paedophiles are welcomed in with no checks and open arms and the leaders of the many antivaccine kook organisations encourage and salivate after violence against anyone who disagrees with them.

50 Responses to “Mark Blaxill Thinks Bloggers Are Mean”

  1. kristina February 4, 2008 at 01:41 #

    Back in September, “Mercury Militia” sent me this comment:

    “Kristina, If you want to change yourself to live in an autistic world, just start drinking mercury. Then your husband will have two vegetables to water.”

    I decided not to let the comment appear on my blog but it seems to fit in with the tone of things you’ve noted.

  2. MJ February 4, 2008 at 01:51 #

    You know, I would have thought that you would have learned that personal attacks aren’t worth it after your run in with John Best. I guess some people never learn.

  3. Matt February 4, 2008 at 02:52 #

    Big Ben, this is Rubber Duck. Looks like you put the hammer down!

    Mr Blaxill made the comment

    Most of us have learned the old saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it.” Of course, few ever live by that motto

    I guess calling other people “wacko” falls in his version of “nice”?

    “Let serious people do serious work”. I can’t think of a better description of the efforts of these bloggers:

    DeSoto & Hitlan, 2007: Revisited – Part Three

    An excellent analysis. Anyone know if Dr.’s Desoto and Hitlan have responded?

  4. Broken Link February 4, 2008 at 03:05 #

    Mark Blaxill, is, I believe, a person who is simply not informed about the goings-on of various people who support the autism-vaccine hypothesis. I think that he is heavily invested in the idea that chelation would help his child. He made the decision to treat her that way, and so perhaps ignored other options. Now, it would be difficult for him to admit that his decision was incorrect. Let’s not forget, he’s an MBA, not a scientist, and he thinks in these terms. When he reads something that seems to support his invested position, he is very grateful. Let’s be frank, these days, it must be very difficult for him to find hope in the news media or scientific literature for his position. So, when he saw the DeSoto and Hitlan paper, he was probably very thankful. And when the authors complained to him about how unfairly they were being treated by AutismStreet, he likely believes that he’s found a case of harassment.

    I sincerely hope that he reads this blog entry, and looks at the links that you have provided. I used to think, and still hope that he is basically a decent person, and if he examined the evidence with clear eyes, he might be able to understand the truth. He’s an influential person. He needs to make his way out of this darkness in which he’s invested himself.

  5. Synfonia February 4, 2008 at 03:08 #

    Come on, Kev. Tell us how you really feel 😉

  6. Do'C February 4, 2008 at 03:28 #

    I’m sure Mr. Blaxill will be along any moment to explain the significance of Gundacker et al. 2007 to his beloved readers, who may be wondering what will become of the “poor excretor” hypothesis.

    He didn’t seem to address ANY of the acutal concerns raised by our article about potential errors in DeSoto and Hitlan, and went straight to whining about anonymity. Surprising.

  7. culvercitycynic February 4, 2008 at 04:58 #

    Yeah, and Wade, the guy who is the epitome of boorish rudeness when it comes to Paul Offitt, was lecturing about having good manners today over at 29 marbles.

    When you’ve reached the point in your argument when you begin to admonish others about alleged improper manners, as well as condemn others for not wanting to publicize their full names, then it’s time for you to sit back and seriously re-examine your entire argument.

  8. Orac February 4, 2008 at 06:23 #

    I posted this over at the Age of Autism. I realize Blaxill almost certainly won’t publish it; so I’ll post it here as well:

    Silly people Especially you, Mark; your recent discovery of the blogosphere is on par with a sudden realization that MP3 players are a great way to play music, even though the iPod was introduced more than six years ago. Blogs have been around several years.

    Be that as it may, why is it that an antivaccinationist’s first inclination when encountering serious criticism (and make no mistake, beneath all the sarcasm is substantive criticism based on science) is to “out” their opponents? I’ve speculated about this before. Based on my experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that at least one true mark of a crank, particularly medical cranks but certainly not limited to them, is that they are obsessed with who the opposition is. Pseudonyms drive them crazy. When they find someone posting material refuting their pseudoscience to Usenet, discussion boards, or a blog under a pseudonym something that criticizes their views, their first reaction is to try to unmask that person, not to refute their criticism. Because their position is so tenuous and because there is no legitimate scientific rationale for it, their only fallback it to attack the person. Pseudonyms make it more difficult for them to attack the person.

    Let’s just put it this way. Nearly three years ago, a certain unhappy alternative medicine maven spent a lot of time Googling and managed to figure out my identity. He then sent threats of legal action to my Department Chair, my Division Chief, and the Director of the cancer institute where I work. I’ll admit that it caused me some significant consternation, but all of them ignored it. My Chair, in fact, laughed it off and mocked the idiot who did it. However, in a less understanding environment, the tactics of “your” side are a concern and a legitimate reason to post under a ‘nym, as are people like J. B., who’s known for cybersquatting variations on oracknows domains.

    One also wonders what you think of members of “your” side like John Best, who drove Kevin Leitch. The day I see you criticizing John Best for his vile behavior. I might take your ludicriously self-righteous pontifications about anonymity somewhat more seriously than the joke they are.

    By the way, I realize that you probably won’t publish this comment; so I’ll also post it over at Kev’s blog in his post that’s making fun of you for this.

  9. isles February 4, 2008 at 07:49 #

    I, too, have observed that people sympathetic to Mark Blaxill’s point of view very frequently have difficulty recognizing appropriate personal boundaries. I respect the autism-friendly bloggers who use their real names, but I have concern for them as well; I worry that they will draw the attention of someone who is not only inclined to harass them, but unable to differentiate between being a bother and being a criminal.

  10. Kev February 4, 2008 at 10:22 #

    Oh no MJ, what I learned is that its OK to make personal attacks – after all, my ‘opponents’ all indulge so who am I to abstain?

  11. Brian February 4, 2008 at 10:31 #

    Kev: Where did Mr Gallup say this thing about the fast-moving truck, and how he would be praying for this every night?

    These kind of sentiments are so revealing with regard to his character that I’d like to add it to my collection.

    Have you got a text or reference?

  12. Kev February 4, 2008 at 10:34 #

    Hi Brian 🙂

    It was sent to me via a closed access list from a member of that list who was appalled he would say such a thing. I’ll try and track down the original email for you and forward it on.

  13. Harold L Doherty February 4, 2008 at 11:50 #

    As someone who has never believed that thimerosal was involved in causing my son’s autism, and who has never been persuaded by the thimerosal theories, I am still surprised, 10 years after my son’s autism diagnosis and after 10 years of local advocacy, at the hostility generated by discussion of this and other autism issues.
    You mock this Blaxill person for whining but your comment is nothing but whining.

    I hope I never sink to the level of your commentary in this post or those of your ND friends who have commented here and who themselves routinely attack the person rather than the argument or the evidence.

  14. Kev February 4, 2008 at 12:13 #

    Actually Harold, attacking his argument is exactly what I did. Mocking him for his ignorance is merely an added bonus 🙂

    Oh and should I bother going over to AoA to see you giving Blaxill on equally stern ticking off? Of course I shouldn’t because you haven’t right? Your issue is nothing to do with his or my argument, its simply an opportunity for you to tsk tsk over the evil ND.

  15. Broken Link February 4, 2008 at 13:06 #

    Oh, Mark. Kev forgot to mention this gem coming from the keystrokes of your co-writer on AoA. I’ve removed the e-mail address of the person he was ticked off at, but it was a person at a pro-immunization organization. Note carefully how he provided the entire e-mail address so that the other members of EoH could contact her as well.

    On EoH bradfordhandley wrote (message 24598)

    Here’s my valentine from this morning, you can reach her at:

    XXX @ XXX . org (without the spaces):

    From: J.B. Handley
    Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 10:49 AM
    To: ‘diane@…’; ‘deborah@…’
    Subject: From Generation Rescue and PutChildrenFirst

    Hi Diane:

    It was a pleasure to read in the LA Times that you are actually a
    front for the CDC.

    You are spending your time advocating to inject a potent neurotoxin
    in tiny babies. As I said before, and I think you need now more than
    ever, may God have mercy on your soul.

    J.B. Handley
    Generation Rescue

  16. alyric February 4, 2008 at 14:58 #

    Odd that our Harold made an appearance, because I was thinking quite seriously that Blaxill and our Harold were sounding remarkably alike not just in the whingeing department (what they like to complain about – the topics to be whined about) but also in the manner of whingeing. We, the evil ND have the effrontery etc etc to argue about the merits of whatever and so on. Because, they and all of their friends and relations of course have the moral high ground. Therefore we shouldn’t be criticising and so on and so forth from this lowly position.

    Which now comes to the crux of this comment – the point of posting anonymously is that people cannot bring in argument from authority and associated logical flaws. They have to deal with what you say, not who you are and of course, that’s anathema to people for whom a fact really isn’t unless it belongs to the ‘right’ people or in the case of our Harold, one happens to be a lawyer.

  17. Jemaleddin February 4, 2008 at 15:34 #

    Does “Let serious people do serious work” remind anyone else of “I am serious cat – this are serious thread”?

  18. notmercury February 4, 2008 at 15:38 #

    “As you probably can guess, I find
    the mercury arguments pretty compelling and have written numerous
    pieces defending the argument. Does that mean I am a raving
    irrational advocate of the “mercury causes autism” argument?
    Absolutely not. I simply want plausible theories to get the hearing
    they deserve and not be dismissed prematurely for unscientific
    reasons. I have one interest only and that is I want to figure out
    what happened to my child. Period.”

    -Mark Blaxill 2004

  19. Prometheus February 4, 2008 at 18:39 #

    Somehow, I find it hard to take Mark Blaxill seriously when he tries to lecture on either morality or science, as he clearly has little practice in the former and no education or experience in the latter.

    It’s rather like having Sister Mary Elizabeth lecturing the high school girls on sex.

    Amusing,at times, but not enlightening.

    (anonymous because of previous threats of violence from mercury-obsessed individuals)

  20. Kelli Ann Davis February 4, 2008 at 20:36 #


    I have never been to this site before today.

    Kevin, to be honest, I don’t know all the “history” surrounding your contact with some of the individuals cited in this piece – and of course, I cannot speak for anyone but myself – but I do want to make clear that I PERSONALLY do NOT endorse violent and/or threatening behavior of any kind, from either side – especially when it’s directed towards a fellow parent!

    I think I’ve made this clear in most of my public posts/comments.

    Granted, I may not have succeeded every time, but IT IS the intent of my heart to try and be respectful of parents who hold opinions that differ from my own.

    I just wish we ALL could have more compassion for one another and stop all the attacks.

    I know it may be too late for that, but if we could all monitor our OWN behavior maybe we could change it together?

    Your thoughts?

    Kelli Ann Davis

  21. HCN February 4, 2008 at 20:48 #

    Kelly Ann, perhaps you should read what Kev wrote more carefully. Follow the link he posted after mentioning “John Best”.

    Do you think what John Best was a good thing or a bad thing.

    Also, look at the comments and see who did cybersquatting (noted here: )… Was that a good thing or a bad thing?

    Can you please tell us when and where Kev, or any other of the bloggers who post here have threatened violence, called up employers or done something that is in anyway violent?

    By the way, there are handy links on the left side of this page that will bring up blog posts about certain subjects. You may wish to find incriminating evidence there.

  22. Patrick February 4, 2008 at 20:49 #

    This is my real name 😀

    Obviously his name is missing the middle name, and mine additionally is missing the last name, so once again 😀

    And you know, I have seen he who shall not be named use the exact same argument about people using real names (etc) on the blog that shall not be named. Icky Poo, Icky Icky Poo!

  23. Kelli Ann Davis February 4, 2008 at 22:17 #

    I’ve already stated that I don’t condone any type of threatening or violent behavior from ANYONE.

    So if any of that is contained within the links that you’ve mentioned then be assured that I am opposed to that type of behavior.

    I’m sorry but I may have not made this clear in my initial post: When I said I wish we could all be more compassionate and stop all the attacks, I was referring to ALL types of attacks – not just the violent/threatening attacks.

    I don’t know if anyone on this site has issued any violent/threatening attacks (you’re telling me they haven’t) and so I’m not addressing those – I was referring to the “mudslinging” type of attacks.


    PS….I’d still like to hear Kevin’s thoughts on this as well.

  24. alyric February 4, 2008 at 22:28 #

    Kelly Ann wrote:

    “I PERSONALLY do NOT endorse violent and/or threatening behavior of any kind, from either side – especially when it’s directed towards a fellow parent!”

    OK but you seem not to have a problem endorsing any amount of seriously troubling dishonesty. The level is enough to merit being called malicious, which is really what Blaxil’s post is. I could be wrong, but when a person seem to think that the rational point is always equidistant between two extremes, then I tend to think of that person as being part of the problem and not part of the solution.

  25. Kelli Ann Davis February 4, 2008 at 22:46 #

    Orig cali biomed xprt:

    “Playing nice” and respecting fellow parents SHOULD be important to you.

    That’s my whole point.

    There will always be individuals who disagree with your opinions (and mine) and it DOES NOT give you (or me) the right to resort to character assassination of another parent – it’s just wrong.

    “Bordering on delusional” falls within this definition and is unwarranted and is a false representation of who I am.

    And it’s this type of “attack” that I’d like to see diminish among parents – no matter what “side” of the issue we support.


  26. Ashley Anderson February 4, 2008 at 23:05 #

    I remember when Kelli Ann got sent to the penalty box for unnecessary roughness by Lenny… though at least she didn’t accuse Lujene Clark of needing a makeover or say that Lyn Redwood had a big derriere like Debi Haney did.

    “Hello list members,

    Kelli Ann Davis has responded further to Bob’s rejoinder of her criticisms of his initial comments. In my opinion, the post continues its rude temperment and is inflammatory. In response to earlier
    complaints, I have moved her post off the list and into the group file section where curious readers can access it should they care to. Go to the group website (if you are reading this in email) and click on the “Files” section. The file name is “KAD on RJK”. Her posts will now be monitored and those which continue in the same vein will be redirected to the file section.

    EOHarm List Host”

  27. isles February 4, 2008 at 23:11 #

    Well, aren’t we just high-minded.

    The continued belief that vaccines cause autism is prima facie evidence of delusional thinking.

    Politeness that allows children to be harmed is no virtue.

  28. Ms. Clark February 4, 2008 at 23:11 #


    What exactly did you say to an autism mom blogger after she gave testimony to the IACC about where autism research money ought to be spent. I heard that people saw you corner her and say something really cranky … what was it?

    Sounds pretty aggressive to me.

  29. Kev February 4, 2008 at 23:15 #

    I’ll strike you a deal Kelli – you stop all the nutjobs on ‘your side’ from threatening kids and doctors and parents with implied or explicit violence, get DAN! to vet their members _before_ exposing them to children and I promise never to say a bad word ever again about Mark Blaxill.

    Because those are the terms you are asking for. You get respect when you earn it Kelli. Your compatriots are about a zillion miles away from having any respect from anyone not caught up in your belief system who happens to be involved with autism. Until your colleagues can clean house, there’s absolutely no reason any of you who cite their crap to have any kind of respect whatsoever.

  30. Kassiane February 4, 2008 at 23:50 #

    When people stop threatening me, kids like me, and parents who want to let their kids like me grow up to be adults like me, I’ll stop making fun of them.

    Now, is that so hard?

    Kassiane, yes that is my real name, who is all of 100 pounds and who has been physically attacked at autism conferences by such high minded individuals.

  31. Kelli Ann Davis February 5, 2008 at 00:00 #

    Actually Camille,

    I was telling this mom that I thought the comment made by her “colleague” (who was sitting next to her) in which he called Alison Singer a “murderer” was completely out of line. Alison Singer, as you may know, is also a mom and she was sitting in the room.

    I went up to her directly after the meeting (she was sitting next to me) and I told her I thought his remark was completely uncalled for and over the top. She agreed and told me she had tired to talk him out of including that in his speech. And yet knowing this, she still referenced his upcoming speech twice while giving her own.

    So yeah, if you want to call me “cranky” because I don’t approve of underhanded tactics like those used by your mom friend and her colleague, then color me guilty.

    But, remember the major difference — I didn’t make my remarks on a public forum!

    By the way: Dr. Insel thought it was pretty low as well. He reprimanded the “colleague” as soon as he finished.


    PS….Yup Ashley you’re right. Not perfect.

    Since you went into digging for it, can you post what it was I was actually saying in that set of posts? If I remember correctly, it was during the CAA “mudslinging” fest and I was appealing for “civility and mutual respect” within the community – pretty much what I’m trying to do here.

  32. Kelli Ann Davis February 5, 2008 at 00:32 #


    Of course your “deal” is impossible based on the mere fact that no one can “control” what another person says or does – that’s why it’s called “Freedom of Speech.”

    I can’t account for anyone else’s actions BUT MY OWN.

    But, if you insist on judging me personally for what someone does then that’s your choice.

    All I can say is I’m glad that when I die, God will be judging me based on MY actions and not someone else’s.


    P.S. I’ve got to go so this will be my last post.

  33. Kassiane February 5, 2008 at 01:10 #

    Maybe if Alison Singer doesn’t want to be called a murderer she shouldn’t put out videos where she talks rapturously about killing her daughter. There’s a novel thought. It isn’t like HUNDREDS of people haven’t suggested it already, BEFORE the IACC meeting.

    Certainly not in blogs and on a petition website and on other websites and in letters and emails directly to autismspeaks. No, never. Because it is SUCH an out there idea.

    (why yes, I am being terribly sarcastic. And also know for a fact that the word murderer wasn’t used at IACC, and that the person with whom you had issue wouldn’t have been NEARLY so sarcastic as I’m being).

  34. Joseph February 5, 2008 at 01:10 #

    When I first heard of Mark Blaxill my impression was that he was an intelligent and reasonable person, although perhaps wrong. With time, my impression of him has changed.

    I’m not sure what he gets out of name-calling bloggers and speculating about motives. It would be much better if he could engage in the scientific debate and try to convince us of his position with logic and arguments.

  35. Schwartz February 5, 2008 at 04:54 #


    All to often I find you a calming voice of reason! Although I do not share your exact impression of him, I did find the wachosphere article over the top, and although more civil than this, it was still distasteful to me. I think he was really taking a shot at Orac and his propensity to use similar names. Why lower yourself to that standard is my question.

    However, this article is also distasteful but I suspect that is due to the extreme anger that Kevin still has. I side with Kelli and find it sad.

  36. orig cali biomed xprt February 5, 2008 at 06:01 #

    I don’t think Mark was so much taking a shot at Orac as he was perhaps unconsciously lamenting the loss of his own career. It’s not at all too late for him to re-evaluate his now-rejected premise and find a new direction. I used to read what Mark wrote with some interest years back, although I did not agree with him. The last few years, I’ve had scant interest in any of his postings. The real problem I am seeing over and over is the need, for some, is an attempt to focus this discussion onto the needs of the parents — the parents-as-victims, if you will. I am sorry, but I must say I find this intolerable. It’s not good for the psychological health of children to have to hear their parents lament about them being toxic and poisoned by the government — according to the incorrect thought processes of said parents.

    Schwartz, I don’t know why you need to choose between Kev and Kelli Ann or why you need to announce your choice, but the theme here … with what Kev is saying, what I’m saying, what the other posters here are saying is that we are attempting to protect our kids from the likes of the worrisome-sociopathic John Bests and the near-paranoid, delusions of the Eli Stone moms who’ve made themselves the center of this story — a story that is not [remotely] exclusively their own.

    Like Isles says:
    _Politeness that allows children to be harmed is no virtue._

  37. Steve D February 5, 2008 at 06:22 #

    Schwartz –
    This is the second time in a few days you have referred to things posted on the Autism Hub as making you ‘sad’.

    You and I have a (brief) history of respectful exchange, and therefore I am hoping you will listen carefully and really pay attention while I explain that your “tsk-tsk”, patronizing tone is not appropriate here (or on my blog). If you want to disagree, make your associations and anti-vaccination stance clear, take a firm stand on the issues, and challenge yourself to the intelligent, appropriate debate that follows (I know you’re up to it – you are a smart guy with some of the best anti-vax stuff I’ve yet seen). There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion, Schwartz. Just spare us the sanctimony, please.
    I could be mistaken, Schwartz, but isn’t your primary interest in autism related to vaccines? Are you autistic, or do you have any autistic loved ones?

  38. Ms. Clark February 5, 2008 at 07:03 #


    Interesting use of historical revisionism. The person you were referring to, who had sat near the blogger-mom NEVER used the word “murderer” or called her a murderer. Or hinted that she was a murderer. We have the text of what he said, exactly. Maybe you could clear up that hearing problem you seem to be suffering from before the next IACC public meeting.

    To refresh your frail memory….

    Testimony to the Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee on November 30th, 2007:

    Members of the Committee,

    Thank you for this opportunity to give comment on the IACC’s important work. My name is Ari Ne’eman and I am here today in my capacity as the President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), a volunteer non-profit organization run by and for adults and youth on the autism spectrum. ASAN works to promote the autistic culture movement and other opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum to interact with each other as well as work to improve the representation of the autistic community in public policy deliberations about autism and disability affairs.

    As an individual on the autism spectrum myself – I am an Asperger’s autistic – I am heartened to see the interest and resources being directed towards the autism spectrum as of late. Unfortunately, as positive as the strong awareness campaign about the autism spectrum could be, it is counterproductive without an equally strong commitment to autism acceptance. Upon the passage of the legislation authorizing this committee – the Combating Autism Act – a prominent parent-lobbyist announced “a federal declaration of war on the epidemic of autism.” The problems with that statement are many. A “War on Autism” approach is not in the interests of people on the spectrum. It offends and alienates the autistic community. This is the community of verbal and nonverbal individuals on the autism spectrum – distinguishable from the autism community of the parents, professionals and others who often claim to speak on our behalf. We are usually the last to be consulted on autism policy; the autistic community should be the first to have input into policy making about our own futures.

    While the rhetoric surrounding autism has focused on the idea of cure, many people on the autism spectrum are not interested in pursuing as a goal making autistic individuals normal. Instead, we agree with the opening language of the proposed Expanding Promise for Individuals with Autism Act, which states “Autism is a natural part of the human experience.” This is NOT to deny in any way the very real and pressing hardships placed on families and people on the autism spectrum. Instead, it is to promote research that will truly do something about it. We encourage the IACC to re-focus its research exclusively on how to improve the quality of life, communication, independent living and educational opportunities of America’s many autistic citizens.

    The promising research leads are already present and are not being followed up on, due to a misguided belief that the goal behind autism research and advocacy should be to, “make autism a word that we only see in the history books.” The Autistic Self Advocacy Network encourages the IACC to make the focus of the federal research agenda Augmentative and Assistive Communication (AAC) technology, positive behavioral supports, restraint reduction methods, adult supports, educational inclusion, employment and independent living services and other possibilities that provide tangible improvements in our lives. If one-tenth of the attention and funding now focused on finding a cure was put towards the promising possibilities in assistive communication technology, many people on the autism spectrum today viewed as “low-functioning” would be communicating successfully today.

    I applaud the IACC for beginning to fulfill its moral obligation to have autistic representation on the Committee. The inclusion of Stephen Shore, a respected self-advocate with a long history of contributions to the autistic community, is a great first step. At the same time, I note that there remains a distinct under-representation of autistic representatives on IACC as compared to the number of parent and professional organizations and individuals represented. I hope to see the inclusion of autistic self-advocate organizations in the near future, such as Autism Network International and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

    We must also express concern over one of the public members appointed: Allison Tepper Singer of Autism Speaks. Ms. Singer’s comments in the fundraising video Autism Every Day where she discusses refraining from driving her daughter off the George Washington Bridge, “only because of…the fact that I have another child.” sparked massive outrage throughout both the autistic self-advocate and the parent community. It should be noted that four days after the release of said film a mother did in fact kill her autistic daughter and that there has been a notable increase in such murders in recent years. Many self-advocates and parents believe Autism Speaks to be morally complicit in these murders through its continued dehumanizing advertising, encouraging a lesser value for autistic life.

    We live in a society where the lives and opinions of individuals with disabilities are viewed as less valuable and less deserving of basic human respect than those of other citizens. The IACC must break with that mindset and we encourage the Committee to pursue a new direction in autism research to maximize quality of life and opportunity for every person on the autism spectrum, not by insisting that we attempt to become what we are not but by recognizing that – with the right services, education, and a supportive environment – we can succeed as we are.

    Ari Ne’eman
    The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, President

    So, Kelli, did Allison Tepper Singer appoint you as her personal bulldog, or what? Why did you think it was *your* job to scold Ari through the mom who had been sitting next to him? Or were you just feeling menopausal or something. 🙂

  39. Kev February 5, 2008 at 10:19 #

    _”Of course your “deal” is impossible based on the mere fact that no one can “control” what another person says or does – that’s why it’s called “Freedom of Speech.”

    I can’t account for anyone else’s actions BUT MY OWN.”_

    You’re not wrong Kelli Ann, I’m not getting at you personally. However, I find it very, very difficult to try and have respect for a crowd of people that tacitly or explicitly endorse the sort of tactics I listed in my post.

    I also find it very difficult to take people like Mark Blaxill seriously when he calls people who are discussing their opinions online ‘wackos’ and yet utterly ignores the behaviour of people he considers friends and/or colleagues.

    You personally can change nothing Kelli Ann. But you can stand up and say you think these kind of things are utterly wrong. Not here, you’ve done that and I acknowledge it. But on EoH, on AoA. Be clear.

    Schwarz, you bet I’m angry. I have a stake in this. The biggest stake of all – the future of my kids. The well-being of my friends. The tolerance (or lack of) within society at large towards autistic people.

    I have nothing but disdain and contempt for a man like Mark Blaxill when he whines about ‘wackos’ and utterly ignores the utter psychos he calls friends. But if he wants to choose that tone and set the agenda down that route I am *more* than happy to reciprocate in kind.

  40. Joseph February 5, 2008 at 13:58 #

    Wow, that was a huge misrepresentation of what Ari Ne’eman said. Thanks Ms. Clark for informing us of what was actually said. I’d expect an explanation or apology from Kelli Ann Davis.

  41. Kev February 5, 2008 at 14:48 #

    I doubt one will be forthcoming.

  42. Kathleen Seidel February 5, 2008 at 16:53 #

    “Clausewitz is cool.” — Mark Blaxill

    So, with respect to the question of anonymity, we might ask: What would Clausewitz do?

    It seems that in at least one instance, Clausewitz sought to influence public opinion without letting his name get in the way:

    “Early in August 1831 Clausewitz wrote to his wife that a letter by him — refuting claims that Prussia, in violation of her announced policy of non-intervention, was aiding Russian forces against the Polish insurgents — had appeared in several newspapers…”

    “Early in the new year [1831], after he had familiarized himself with the information and views of the foreign ministry, Clausewitz wrote two papers on the international situation. The first, “The Condition of Europe since the Polish Partitions,” was apparently intended for private circulation; the other, “Reduction of the Many Political Questions Occupying Germany to the Basic Question of Our Existence,” Clausewitz hoped to publish. He anonymously submitted his manuscript to the most prestigious newspaper in Germany, the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, which, however, rejected it. A second attempt by Eichhorn to place the piece in the Augsburger Allgemeine also failed. The specific grounds for the rejection are not known, but, as Hans Rothfels suggests, at a time when most educated Germans tended to interpret international affairs as a conflict between the principles of autocracy and liberalism, an analysis based wholly on the concept of raison d’etat would hardly be welcomed.”

    “That Clausewitz wished to influence German liberal opinion is evident both from his sending the manuscript to the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, which enjoyed a large readership among the educated middle classes in all German states, and from a comment in his diary: “I sought to make it clear to the good people (Leutchen) that something besides cosmopolitanism should determine our position on the Belgian, Polish and other questions…”

    (Peter Paret, An Anonymous Letter by Clausewitz on the Polish Insurrection of 1830-1831. The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Jun., 1970), pp. 184-190; included in Peter Paret, Understanding War: Essays on Clausewitz and the History of Military Power. Princeton University Press, 1992.)

  43. Kev February 5, 2008 at 17:16 #

    Bravo Kathleen 😀

    Ah Marky Mark, for shame….

  44. Another Voice February 5, 2008 at 17:19 #

    Thanks to Ms. Clark for posting what was actually said at the conference. Mr. Ari Ne’eman had a wonderful statement, it was enlightening to read the actual text. I am personally gratified by his statement.

    Supposedly, Kelli Ann Davis was present and heard the statement directly. Why would she falsify what was said? This is not a matter of opinion, or if you agree or disagree with what Mr. Ne’eman said, her statements clearly misrepresent what the man said.

    Then to show up here and pontificate about civility and respect??? Falsehoods should be met with disdain whenever they are encountered.

  45. Bonnie February 5, 2008 at 18:15 #

    I think it was Kelli who was the one that put a halt to the ridiculousness about Dr. Chung.

    That was really the most telling example of the hostility of the Age of Autism crowd.

    1. Olmsted publishing any of this when he is supposed to be a journalist. 2. Olmsted apparently never interviewing anyone in his own posts. 3. Allowing Katie Wright and others to attribute commments to her that she never said, 4. the silence of the SafeMinds people who attended the various meetings and must be familiar with Dr. Chung, 5. the bizarre conspiracy theories that permeate the posts, 6. the sexism of calling Dr. Chung “Joyce” but referring to men by Mr. or Dr., 7. the posting of private emails! 8. I personally find the tone of the comments and posts on that site a bit scary and can’t believe someone like Blaxill would have the temerity to think he can tell other people how to behave. I think the people on that site are panicked and are taking it out on everyone else. I posted once on that site. Never again. They really freak me out.

  46. notmercury February 5, 2008 at 18:46 #

    I sometimes wonder if Mark doesn’t look back and wish he had some of the things he’s said under a pseudonym. Of course that’s a moot point for one who so enjoys the spotlight and listing his credentials for the next DAN! conference, but it sure is fun to stroll down memory lane to read some of Mark’s predictions.

    I truly expected Mark to have more class than to end up blogging on the Island Of Misfit Boys but I guess there could be no other outcome for a Princeton degree followed by a Google PhD.

  47. Schwartz February 6, 2008 at 05:28 #


    I responded on your site to a post and situation which I found very troubling and even worse, resonates with some legal discussion going on where I live right now. I will certainly refrain from posting there again. Feel free to remove it if you wish.

    My post here is a matter of opinion (as was my post on your site) not a debate on facts as this thread is pretty much an opinion piece.

    I do not condone name calling as I find it quite distasteful (especially the occasions when I caught myself doing it out of anger), and that is what a good deal of this discussion is about. I will not soften my stance on that, even if some may find it irritating.

    I hold no association, although I do not typically agree with the scientific conclusions drawn on this site. That doesn’t mean I disagree with everything Kevin publishes as I find I agree with a good number of his opinions even if I sometimes dislike his style of writing.

    I am not Autistic. A good friend and colleague of mine has an Austic son and my daughter has an Autistic boy in her classroom. I am learning much more about Autism all the time and barring the (hopefully less frequent) writing gaffs (for which I apologized for when pointed out), I am trying to avoid ignorant terms or ideas. My other positions and opinions on the scientific debate are clearly stated elsewhere where it is relevant.

    orig cali biomed xprt,
    I would never condone any sort of abusive behaviour described by Kevin. That is not my intent at all. Unfortunately, the only thing I can personally verify is the way people are communicating. What I can safely conclude based on facts that I can personally verify, is that the methods of communication vary widely in both camps, and that both camps have ample examples of abusive communication. I have no reason to doubt what is written here, but I have also seen accusations hurled in the opposite direction.


    At first I questionned the bitmap of JB’s site because I had been reading it and did not see that post. However, I did a little investigating, and it certainly seems that he has a propensity to delete posts (several were deleted from that time period that I did see) so I’ve accepted your word on it. To be honest, I am truly baffled by him.

  48. orig cali biomed xprt February 6, 2008 at 06:29 #

    An aside:

    _”I would never condone any sort of abusive behaviour described by Kevin. That is not my intent at all.”_

    I am sorry, Schwartz, if I conveyed that somehow, because I did not think that was your intent.

  49. Regan February 8, 2008 at 15:45 #

    Bonnie said,
    “They really freak me out.”

    I hadn’t really read AOA until the post by Mr. Blaxill, but the posts and comments of the last few days there are starting to freak me out too. I don’t think that I am going to surf that site anymore. What civilized discourse was Mark Blaxill talking about?


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