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Laura Hewitson’s Stinker

18 May

Sorry about the title, I couldn’t find a word to rhyme with her last name to infer wrong-doing a la Age of Autism’s ‘Grinker’s Stinker. Anyway….

Meet Laura Hewitson. Laura is the lead and joint author of a trio of papers presented at this years IMFAR as posters.

These papers (also shredded by Orac) purport to show how it is possible to mimic the 1999 US vaccine schedule and give monkeys autism as a reult. Never mind the fact that the results reported don’t sound or present anything like autism (<em>”survival reflexes, tests of color discrimination and reversal, and learning sets”</em> huh??), lets look at Laura Hewitson a bit more closely then I managed to in a quick 10 min post last time.

As I mentioned at the time, Laura Hewitson claims affiliation with DAN! Thats enough in my book to place a rather large red flag against her impartiality.

Now I’ve learnt that her entanglement with the vaccine/autism hypotheses goes very much further than that.

It turns out that Hewitson’s partner is Dan Hollenbeck, an Age of Autism contributor. Hollenbeck owns the website and in the top right hand corner of the FightingAutism website are the words:

FightingAutism is now part of Thoughtful House Center for Children.

And we all know who is the big cheese at THoughtful House don’t we? That’s right – one Andrew Wakefield. He’s also the co-author to the three studies poster presented at IMFAR.

Hollenbeck’s asociation with Thoughtful House goes beyond just having a website affiliated with them however. He’s also an employee of Thoughtful House.

Director of Information Technology for Thoughtful House, Dan Hollenbeck received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992


When their son was diagnosed with autism in 2001, the Hollenbecks relocated from Oregon to Pittsburgh in order to accept employment as an Information Technology Manager for a large NIH (National Institutes of Health)-funded medical research organization


He is also on the Board of Directors, as well as the Research Committee, for SafeMinds…

So, here we are with three poster presentations from a woman who has an autistic son, affiliated with DAN!, is married to the Thoughtful House IT guy (who also happens to be on the Board of Directors of SafeMinds) and these afore-mentioned poster presentations are also co-authored by Andrew Wakefield.

I wonder just how impartial this science can be?

How about when we throw one more fact into the equation?

437. Laura Hewiston (sic) and Dan Hollenbeck on behalf of Joshua Hollenbeck, Dallas, Texas, Court of Federal Claims Number 03-1166V

That’s right. Hewitson and Hollenbeck are suing HHS for vaccine injury visited upon their son Joshua.

Now, lets turn our attention to IMFAR where Hewitson made her three poster presentations. INSAR have regulations governing the papers and abstracts submitted.

INSAR requires authors to disclose their sources of contributed support (commercial, public, or private foundation grants, and off-label use of drugs, if any). INSAR also requires authors to signify whether there may be a real or perceived conflict of interest. Any potential for financial gain that may be derived from reported work may constitute a potential conflict of interest.”

Now, maybe Hewitson did note the fact that:

a) Her husband is an employee of an organisation that makes money from treating what they allege is vaccine caused autism.

b) She has an autistic child.

c) Said child has been registered for compensation for alleged vaccine damage resulting in autism (I assume they’re part of the Omnibus proceedings then?)

But if she did, then it isn’t recorded in the abstracts posted on the Age of Autism website.