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Autism, scientology and the moonies

7 Nov

Introduction

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

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

Autism and The Moonies

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

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

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

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

Or as the Rev put it on another occasion;

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

And to what end?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coincidence? Maybe.

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

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

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

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

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

Autism and Scientology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another scientologist recently made national television in the US.

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Hedlund is described as;

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

And Michael Baum is described as;

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

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

Scientology and Recovery

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

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

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

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

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

The Moonies And Scientologists – In It Together?

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

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

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

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

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

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