Kathleen Seidel

5 Apr

There’s no point at all in my rehashing what has happened to Kathleen. We all know. The blogging communities response has been swift and fierce – rightly so. I don’t imagine the lawyer in question has made many friends in his profession over the last couple of days.

I wanted to write a blistering, thundering post too because, believe me, that’s how I felt after reading the subpoena Kathleen received. I consider her a friend and ally of a good many years now – as I do Dave. They both do what they do because they care. They care about their own autistic children and they care about all of our autistic children and they do what is right – they question what is suspicious and they support what is worthwhile.

But I can’t write a blistering, thundering post. The last few weeks have been something of an education for me on how the world works. I am even having to be incredibly careful about how I write this post, a tribute to the tenacity of my friend Kathleen.

Where my American friends can rest easy in the knowledge that their law supports them in their right to speak freely, mine does not. Where Kathleen can put together such an excellent response, I – and all other British bloggers – cannot. Unless we are very rich, or insured or employed by a paper that is insured, we are totally stymied.

Please rest assured that I have very recent knowledge of this process. To the extent that whilst I can say that I have first hand knowledge I cannot discuss it, I cannot (and will not) name names. I don’t like this but I have no option. This is modern Britain. Bloggers can be silenced. I hope that Kathleen is never, ever silenced. The world needs truth and integrity.

8 Responses to “Kathleen Seidel”

  1. Sharon April 5, 2008 at 21:51 #

    I know what you mean. Shoemaker is probably wishing he hadn’t bothered with this. His google hits are not looking too good right now.

    I am also more aware of the risk to bloggers of legal action. I rephrased a few things I’d written in my post about this to clarify that I was just stating my opinion.

  2. Kev April 5, 2008 at 22:05 #

    Unfortunately, even stating your opinion in the UK can still be actionable 😦

  3. Joseph April 6, 2008 at 00:43 #

    I still think the internet could reroute around it. We’ll see.

  4. Matt April 6, 2008 at 05:18 #


    I hate to tell you this–but Seidel is the best in autism blogging.

    You are pretty darned good, but no one comes close to her thoroughness and professionalism.

  5. Justthisguy April 6, 2008 at 05:20 #

    Yep, Kevin, I had read about that. I just looked at the entry from the link you provided. I had no idea it was that bad. So, if I were to print about someone, in the Land of Uk, “I hate you, because you suck!” I could be hauled into court, have a judgement against me, and have to pay money?

    Your government also does not allow you to have personal weapons.

    Not even pocket-knives, from what I read lately.

  6. Ms. Clark April 6, 2008 at 07:28 #


    you left out another of Kathleen’s traits, compassion.

    I think she and Kev are about tied. Kathleen’s style is very professional and she’s very thorough, but Kev produces articles on a broader range of topics that get a lot of coverage because they are more … topical… newsy?? current?

    The problem is that Kathleen’s stuff ought to have been making it into the NYT for the past two years or so, it’s not her fault that the stuff she covers isn’t in the news exactly, it’s the fault of the major media outlets.

    Not that Kev would mind taking second place to Kathleen. 🙂 I think maybe she’s in her own category… like the Pulitzer-Prize-worthy kind of category.

  7. Kev April 6, 2008 at 08:10 #


    I also had no idea until my recent blogging adventure just how suer-friendly the UK laws were. According to the legal advice I received it literally comes down to how much money you have.

    Matt & Ms Cark,

    I think Matt is absolutely correct, but I also think that Kathleen left behind the realms of simple blogging a long time ago – what she does is beyond that.

    If I might make a comparison I think I’m more the burger n chips (fries) of autism blogging whereas Kathleen (and Kristina and Amanda and MOM-NOS too) are where you go to have a nice quality steak and a bottle of decent Californian red wine to go with it.

    (there are a few autism blogs where you can get a nasty case of food poisoning too)

    But really, the point is – everyone should be able to write their own thing and speak their mind.


  1. Kathleen Seidel Has Received a Sub-Poena: Streisand, Spartacus, Shoemaker, They Start with S and End the Same Way « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science - April 6, 2008

    […] Orac at Respectful Insolence More legal thuggery, this time against neurodiversity.com Walter Olson of Overlawyered Vaccine lawyer subpoenas Kathleen Seidel Pal M.D. at Denialism Autism cranks going after blogger Jake at Pure Pedantry Autism Cranks Try To Intimidate Blogger by Subpoena Matt Johnston of Going to the Mat Bloggers and legal action Leslie Graves of Open Records Blogger intimidation with a twist Jane Genova of Law and More Kathleen Seidel’s Blog: Influence Means You Get Subpoeaned and Olson’s Trumpet – Blogosphere Unites Behind Kathleen Seidel Liz of I Speak of Dreams Kathleen Seidel Slapped With unconstitutional, illegal, barred by the journalist’s privilege, and needlessly invasive subpoena P. Z. Myers of Pharyngula Attempted suppression of Seidel Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit Subpoena abuse (link only) Sharon of The Voyage Neurodiversity Blogger Unfairly Subpoenaed Ms Clark at Grey Matter White Matter Evidence of Slime Whose planet is it anyway? Clifford J Shoemaker and Lisa Sykes: Putrid Lawyering Autista at eponymous Rediculous You are my minions Awareness Sandy of Crux of the Matter Blogger on autism hit with subpoena Letting off steam We are all Kathleen Seidel Matt at Pooflingers Anonymous Another day, another gasket D o’ C at Autism Street I am Kathleen JREF Forums Subpoena Being Used As Intimidation Tool vs Vaccine Blogger Aspies for Freedom Forums Aspies for Freedom discussion Ken of Popehat Vaccine-Litigant Thuggery: Subpoenaed For Blogging Elf Sternberg mentions Seidel Friday’s Brain Is Small But Inspired: Kathleen Seidel of Neurodiversity faces down a legal thug Kassiane of The Rettdevil’s Rants We are Kathleen Rev. Big Dumb Chimp of the eponymous blog Anti-Vaccination Parents stoop to new lows Update April 5 Odd Jack of the Jaded Skeptic Autism troubles in law and blogs Sabrina W of Women’s Bioethics Blog Neurodiversity blogger subpoenaed in “vaccine-autism link” lawsuit Bev of Asperger Square 8 Welcome to the “I am Kathleen” Scavenger Hunt Axinar (eponymous) Autism-Vaccine / Neurodiversity War Getting UGLY jypsy from The Run Man We are Kathleen too Joseph of Natural Variation – Autism Blog Clifford Shoemaker and Other Views Malcolm Stanley of Strategic Thinking and Execution Blogger ensnared in hotly contested autism-vaccine lawsuit Dr Mary Johnson of Dr J’s HouseCalls The Plane! The Plane! Steve D of One Dad’s Opinion How to Treat a Bully Mythusmage of Mythusmage Opines Rallying the Blogosphere Again and again on Live Journal Rallying the Blogosphere Again codeman38 of Normal Is Overrated All for one and one for all Club 166 Kathleen Slapped-Blogs Slap Back Moon Cat of Left In Alabama Blogger Troubles – SLAPP Ralph Smith of Homo Autistic Kathleen Seidel “Subpoeaned” Grumpy of I Call BS When bullies get a subpoena to wield (mention) Law bites Vaccine lawyer subpoenas Kathleen Seidel Woman Scientist (eponymous) Links to the absurd (mention) Bronze Dog of The Bronze Blog Anti-Vaxxer Thuggery (mention) Bug Girl (eponymous) Chilly climate for blogging? dkmnow (eponymous) Shoemaker’s Witch-Hunt: An Open Letter (dkmnow is a little hurt to have been left off the subpoena and might be interested in rectifiying that) New York Personal Injury Attorney Blog Abuse of process Swiftspeech! Quash this unconstitutional, unreasonable, irrelevant, excessive, invasive, burdensome, frivolous, and clearly retaliatory subpoena (mention) Vicky at Victoria’s Corner The Mozlems Want You to Have Autistic Babies John Timmer of Ars Technica Blogger ensnared in hotly contested vaccine lawsuit Lisa of Liv’s Journey Can I Play Sykes Google Hit Too? Liesl of Clotted Cognition You gotta fight for your right to blog Mike Stanton of Action for Autism Shoemaker’s subpoena is a load of cobblers Jannalou at ASD :: Commentary on Autism, Disability, and the World. Implication by Association? Legal Schnauzer eponymous blog Bloggers As Targets – discusses own situation and parallels with Seidel Emily of A Life Less Ordinary Emotion and irrationality run amok Update 6 April: Kev of Left Brain Right Brain: Kathleen Seidel […]

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