Is Andrew Wakefield’s Strategic Autism Initiative failing?

3 Mar

When Andrew Wakefield left Thoughtful House he set up a charity, the Strategic Autism Initiative.  Interestingly even now, years after it was founded, it appears to have no website or Facebook page.  What it does have is tax forms because every charity must make those public.   Last year when I looked these tax forms, a few points became apparent.  Most of the money the SAI had taken in (58%) had gone to salaries, with the lion’s share of that going to Mr. Wakefield himself.  In 2012 more money was spent on salaries that was taken in.  SAI appears to have two employees, Andrew Wakefield and Terri Arranga.  Here are the contributions to the SAI, Mr. Wakefield’s salary and Ms. Arranga’s salary for the years 2010, 2011, 2012.

SAI contributions and salaries

And here are the tax forms:

Strategic Autism Initiative 2010 tax form
Strategic Autism Initiative 2011 tax form
Strategic Autism Initiative 2012 tax form

It is worth noting that the SAI was formed towards the end of 2010, hence the low salaries for that year.

Donations were down dramatically from 2011 to 2012 leaving one to wonder: what would 2013 bring?  Did the downward trend continue? Well, here’s the 2013 tax form:

Strategic Autism Initiative 2013 tax form.

Gross receipts: $50,498, down from $113,501 for tax year 2012.  A drop of over 50%.  The SAI ran a deficit of $97,514, nearly twice what they took in.  Mr. Wakefield took no salary, Teri Arranga only $5,000.  The SAI only had $21,396 in assets at the end of the year.

In short: the SAI appears to be failing. OK, in terms of benefit to the autism communities, the SAI has continually failed.

SAI 2013 form 990

Below are the “program service accomplishments” for the SAI in 2012 and 2013.  Program services are the heart of what a charity is doing.  Well, a standard charity.  That said, ignore the money amounts listed and tell me if you can see any difference in the text.  It looks to me like they copy and pasted the accomplishments from 2012 into 2013.  If I wrote the same accomplishments one year to the next, my management would likely let me go for accomplishing nothing in a year.

SAI 2012 program services SAI 2013 program services

This tax form–the most recent one available–is from 2013.  We will have to wait for the 2014 form but if this trend continued, the SAI is either failing or has failed as an organization.

By Matt Carey

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25 Responses to “Is Andrew Wakefield’s Strategic Autism Initiative failing?”

  1. Brian Deer March 3, 2015 at 11:34 #

    I commend your diligence in pursuing these things. In my view, it’s much the same story as with all the other entities he sets up, all the way back to Medical Interventions for Autism and others. It’s the relentless movement of money to Wakefield: sometimes from individual rich Americans with the sophisticated need to consider themselves smarter than doctors, but often from preyed-on parents of limited education and incomes, struggling with disability in the family.

    There have been a mass of such entities, usually with websites that are defunct as soon as they’re created. Even that crank David Lewis, who set up a page on a site run by his employment lawyers, let it to go moribund virtually the day it was posted, years ago. It’s all a sham.

    And, of course, there’s Carol Stott, to whom large sums of money have been moved through “Visceral”: something Wakefield set up in England with his buddy Robert Sawyer, and a crooked “whiplash injury” doctor called Harvey. Colossal sums of money down the toilet.

    But what is the product of all this dough for children with developmental issues? Nothing at all. It merely keeps the recipients in the style to which they have grown accustomed.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 18:19 #

      As to Carol Stott, I have wondered if she was the one who received funding for a “UK Somali Project”

      From the 2010 SAI form 990:

      I’ve lost track of how many ways have been created to get money to Mr. Wakefield. He had the “Dr Wakefield Justice Fund”, Visceral (as you noted), Thoughtful House, I believe he spent his first time in the U.S. with Jeffrey Bradstreet’s clinic (what a man who has no license in the U.S. was doing there is beyond me), Autism Media Channel, Autism Trust, not to mention multiple speaking engagements (including his Ireland tour with a new world order team). Of course there were his business in the UK (developing his testing kits, vaccine and supposed treatment) and Ireland (as I recall he was a partner with O’Leary in Unigenetics).

      His salary at Thoughtful House was $270,000 per year. His salary at the “Strategic Autism Initiative” is based on that same amount.

      And, benefit to the autism communities? None. Detriment? Absolutely.

      • Phillip Brandon Holmes March 3, 2015 at 19:41 #

        What would you know about being a benefit to the ASD community? You’re an anchor, an albatross around our neck.

        You’re just some snarky physicist that’s thrown up his hands in denial. You can’t see the forest for the trees. Why would anyone trust your opinion about anything. You’re completely unqualified and have absolutely no background in toxicology.

        You wallow in your denial and try to feed it to the rest of the world. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        “Civil servants don’t gain legitimacy by blogging under fake names while taking ownership of foreign domain names for websites. In fact, that’s a sure way to lose legitimacy, not that Carey has any.”

        God I wish I would have said that..

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 19:56 #

        I’m actually not that snarky. I am someone who usually calmly presents the facts and backs up his opinions with those facts.

        “You’re completely unqualified and have absolutely no background in toxicology.”

        OK. If you feel that strongly about this: your next approved comment here will be your presentation of your toxicology credentials.

        Here’s the thing: you don’t even understand the messages in the misinformation you are spreading. I demonstrated that, point by point, for your comments.

        “Civil servants don’t gain legitimacy by blogging under fake names while taking ownership of foreign domain names for websites. In fact, that’s a sure way to lose legitimacy, not that Carey has any.”

        OK, you are quoting somebody. I don’t recognize the quote, but let’s take a look, shall we?

        I blogged for a long time under a pseudonym. I did this to protect my family’s privacy. Mr. Handley (founder of Generation Rescue and the Age of Autism blog) decided that I shouldn’t be able to do this and also came to the conclusion that I was a woman named Bonnie Offit. This set in motion the events that led to me being outed. I had been writing here for some time, from the time this was a group blog. When everyone else moved on, I inherited the website. How this is a way to “lose legitimacy” is unclear from the quote and, frankly, not a logical statement at all.

        But, OK, you’ve been using google to find out about me. Ironic given your previous claim that you know all about me.

        I’ll wait for your credentials.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 20:10 #

        “What would you know about being a benefit to the ASD community?”

        As a member of the community who has watched people like Andrew Wakefield cause us harm and profit from us, I feel qualified. If you have an issue with my statements, you could have addressed them. Instead you attack my character.

        What degree do you hold in toxicology?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 20:09 #

        Why do I suspect that if I was promoting your message, you’d defend me against all criticism as an expert because I’m an autism parent?

        But an autism parent with four degrees in science can’t have an opinion on a scientific question when he comes to a different conclusion than you. Nothing really new there, but it is worth pointing out.

      • Science Mom March 3, 2015 at 20:36 #

        You wallow in your denial and try to feed it to the rest of the world. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        Project much? And for your information, Matt’s views represent the vast majority of the autism community. Don’t confuse your “side’s” vitriolic volume with actual popularity.

      • Brian Deer March 3, 2015 at 20:37 #

        There was also the “Academic integrity fund” and “Defending Academic Integrity and/or Research”, both of which were fronts for covering up research fraud by channeling money to Wakefield to help him try to conceal his misconduct.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 20:44 #

        I’ve been waiting for the Defense of Academic Integrity in Research (D.A.I.R.) tax forms to become public. And now one is. I’ll be writing shortly
        http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/462/462842394/462842394_201312_990EZ.pdf

        About $20k in grants were given out (not hard to guess to whom) out of $100k taken in. Costs outpaced grants by a factor of over 2:1.

  2. Broken Link March 3, 2015 at 12:43 #

    It looks to me like Andy is using the Autism Media Channel as his source of income these days. As a for-profit org, it’s not required to post those awkward tax forms, which are so embarrassing when revealed on LBRB.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 18:07 #

      I think you are correct. As of late he has been giving his title as “director” and affiliation as “Autism Media Channel”. He was paid for his PR work about Brian Hooker’s paper last year (although if I paid someone and got that over-the-top bad “Tuskegee experiment” video, I’d be annoyed). He got funding from wealthy donors for his Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis (one example: Claire Dwoskin). Who knows who is paying for his current documentary. Certainly not his failed indigogo campaign.

      https://lbrbblog.wordpress.com/wp-admin/upload.php?item=14133
      From the credits for Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis

      • Brian Deer March 3, 2015 at 20:40 #

        I would guess that, leaving aside movements of money to Wakefield, the YouTube channel loses money. In business and professional terms, it’s an utter failure.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 20:49 #

        True. He had as a goal making his “autism team” idea into a reality show. That seems to have flopped. I think this failed even before his “Autism Team” failed so dramatically to help Alex Spourdalakis.

  3. passionlessdrone March 3, 2015 at 13:56 #

    If I wrote the same accomplishments one year to the next, my management would likely let me go for accomplishing nothing in a year.

    Hehe.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 18:00 #

      Good to “see” you again. I hope all is well in Droneville.

  4. Science Mom March 3, 2015 at 18:56 #

    What about that silly D.A.I.R? Is that a profit or non-profit? Wakefield is beneath contempt for his continued predation upon a segment of the autism community.

  5. Jo March 9, 2015 at 09:44 #

    In what way does merely pulling in funds equate to preying on this segment of the ASD community. I’m missing something?

    • Chris March 9, 2015 at 14:34 #

      Yes. You might try reading other articles on this site to understand.

      • Jo March 10, 2015 at 03:49 #

        Yeah, I don’t think I have the time to peruse something that should be easily explained in a sentence or two.

      • Chris March 10, 2015 at 13:29 #

        How do you know it would take just that? You don’t seem to understand Wakefield is a fraud who is scamming people for money.

    • Lawrence March 10, 2015 at 08:52 #

      Money being spent propagating anti-vaccine myths in relation to autism, is money wasted which could instead go towards assisting those with autism…..

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Six Things You Should Probably Know About Andrew Wakefield – Site Title - March 1, 2017

    […] Initiative he distributed only four grants – to the tune of $80, 000. During that same time, he collected $316, 000. In other words, he pocketed four times the amount of money that his ‘non-profit’ contributed […]

  2. The money behind AutismOne – Exposing AutismOne - May 2, 2018

    […] More than half of the donations go to paying salary for Wakefield and Terry Arranga of AutismOne […]

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