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The Geiers’ Second Home

2 Feb

Mark Geier is well known within the autism alternative medicine community (think chelation, lupron) and as a consultant and expert for the attorneys in the vaccine court. David Geier is his son and has also been associated with the alt-med treatments (much criticised research, being accused of practicing medicine without a license) and tried to break in to the vaccine-court expert/consultant business. The Geiers are currently suing the attorneys who represented the families in the Ominibus Autism Proceeding (the vaccine court hearings on vaccine causation of autism). According to court papers, the Geiers are seeking $600,000 in fees and expenses they feel are owed to them. The vaccine court denied the application for paying for their fees.

In looking over the documents I was struck by an odd fact: the address given for the Geiers is not the same one I am used to seeing. It isn’t their usual home base in Maryland. So I decided to take a look at what sort of home they are currently claiming as their residence.

Here’s a picture (click to enlarge pictures):

House 1

The home is described online as 7,800 square feet, on a 20 acre lot. The backyard comes complete with a swimming pool.

House 2

Apparently, the estate was listed for $2.6M in 2011, but pulled from the market. Eidt to add: I’ve been informed that Mark and David Geier (not Mark and his wife) purchased the property in Nov. 2011 for $2M.

the Interior is not understated:

B-Room Geier

and

B-Room Geier

If you work out where they live, please don’t post it here. It is publicly available information, but it is not relevant to this discussion. What is releavant is this: there’s a lot of money in alternative medicine and promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism. Mark Geier has 20 years experience working with, and being critcized by, the vaccine court, including for double charging and for charging for costs well outside their roles (such as trips to Europe)

A single study they assisted in preparing for the Omnibus was billed at $440k, even though it was of low quality and was not useful in the case. The special master was very clear:

Clearly, no rational “hypothetical paying client” of the PSC would have agreed to pay for the production of such a flawed study. Thus, the fact that the Young-Geier article did not add any value to the petitioners’ causation presentation in this case is a very strong reason why I should decline to compensate the PSC for the cost of producing the article.

The Special Masters of the Court of Federal Claims (the vaccine court) appear to have closed the door on payments to the Geiers. But not until nearly two decades of low quality work was compensated. Mark Geier has lost his license to practice medicine in multiple states, but, again, not until after he was able to spend decades “treating” people with and charging people for therapies which make no sense.

The Geiers may not get the $600k they believe they are owed for work on the Omnibus. Their multistate franchise of lupron treatment centers may be closed. They may not be able to charge the American taxpayer for future low quality “expert” reports for the Court. Perhaps Mark Geier will have to retire a little early (reportedly, he’s 64), to his new home. Shared with his wife and son. Except for the living out one’s retirement with David Geier, I’m not seeing this as a difficult time for him. As to David Geier, one does wonder if he will ever amount to anything. Extrapolating from existing data, I’m not betting on it. But, as with his father, I don’t see cause to worry for his future. The U.S. taxpayers, and medical consumers, have taken care of this father/son team far better than we have our disabled citizens. And with less return to show for it.


By Matt Carey

What has become of Autism Science Digest?

26 Dec

Autism Science Digest was an effort by AutismOne to publish their take on autism science in a magazine format for a general audience. AutismOne is best known for their annual parent convention which focused largely on alternative medicine and vaccine causation.

It is about the time that AutismOne should be publishing their speaker list for next year’s conference so I checked their website. For those interested, the speaker list reads like most past lists.  Andrew Wakefield, the former researcher who promoted the idea that the MMR vaccine causes autism, will speak. So will Keri Rivera, who last year gathered much criticism for promoting forcing disabled children to ingest bleach or undergo bleach laced enemas. Interestingly, neither Mark nor David Geier are on the list. The Geiers have been frequent speakers at AutismOne and other venues favorable to their failed ideas about mercury in vaccines causing autism, as well as bizarre proposals that using drugs to shut down sex hormone production can be used to treat autism.  While not a regular at AutismOne, Luc Montagnier will not make a return visit.  Last year Dr. Montagnier brought the prestige of a Nobel Laureate to the convention. While his presence was touted strongly by supporters of AutismOne, Dr. Montagnier’s ideas were lacking the scientific rigor one might expect from a Nobel laureate (to put it mildly). Of course Jenny McCarthy returns, perhaps to tell us all once again that those who don’t follow her ideas wish for our children to remain disabled so we can bask in the sympathy of our acquaintances.

That all said, while perusing the AutismOne website I noted that the cover for their “Autism Science Digest” hadn’t changed since my last visit.  That was some time ago. The cover informs readers about the then upcoming 2012 AutismOne convention (last April), so my interest was piqued and I checked the page for the “Digest” and found this announcement: Autism Science Digest is temporarily unavailable.

One is left wondering how “temporary” temporary is in this case. Autism Science Digest was launched in August 2011 so the lifespan (should temporary=permanent) seems a bit short.


By Matt Carey

AAP opposes worldwide ban on thimerosal

17 Dec

In a series of articles released today, the American Academy of Pediatrics outlines its opposition to a proposed UN treaty which, if approved, would ban the preservative thimerosal from vaccines worldwide. The ban is also opposed by the World Health Organization and the US Public Health Service. It is estimated that multidose vaccines with thimerosal as a preservative are used in 120 countries to immunize approximately 84 million children, saving about 1.4 million lives each year.

The AAP’s opposition reverses the professional organization’s call in 1999 for the removal of thimerosal from the US pediatric vaccine schedule. That action is frequently cited by anti-vaccine groups as evidence that health officials know that vaccines cause autism and other neurological conditions. But Dr. Louis Z. Cooper and Dr. Samuel L. Katz, co-authors of  one of today’s articles, directly take on that concern:

Had the AAP (and, we suspect, the USPHS) known what research has revealed in the intervening 14 years, it is inconceivable to us that these organizations would have made the joint statement of July 7, 1999. The World Health Organization recommendation to delete the ban on thimerosal must be heeded or it will cause tremendous damage to current programs to protect all children from death and disability caused by vaccine-preventable diseases.

The 1999 domestic ban surfaced during a Nov. 29 congressional hearing on autism, where representatives of both parties repeated long-debunked anti-vaccine talking points. Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) asked the CDC’s Dr. Colleen Boyle why thimerosal was taken out of childhood vaccines if there were no concerns about its safety. Boyle wisely agreed to get back to him with an answer. An anti-vaccine hearing is no place for reasoned discussion.

In another article, researchers Katherine King, PhD, MSc; Megan Paterson, and Shane K. Green, PhD; reaffirm that “there is no credible scientific evidence that the use of thimerosal in vaccines presents any risk to human health.” They continue:

Extensive pharmacologic and epidemiological research has shown early, theoretical concerns about links to autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders to be false. Indeed, the exculpatory strength of the data now available on thimerosal is well evidenced by recent statements from the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, US Institute of Medicine, and American Academy of Pediatrics, all of which have concluded that thimerosal exposure through vaccination is not harmful to human health.

The AAP’s latest action is a shot across the bow to anti-vaccine groups. The UN’s proposed thimerosal ban has been championed by Mark Geier, the disgraced Maryland geneticist best known for chemically castrating disabled children. Two years ago, he told a group of African delegates gathered for a session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee in Japan that thimerosal “is favored by the pharmaceutical industry because it is cheap and enables the industry to keep making vaccines in old and dirty factories.”

Geier is a regular at Jenny McCarthy’s annual anti-vaccine conference, where he receives standing ovations from anti-vaccine parents. Ten states have either revoked his medical license over the last two years, or allowed it to expire, for Geier’s ethical lapses which included lying about his qualifications risking children’s health with unproven medical treatments.


By AutismNewsBeat

Controversial autism doctor Mark Geier loses licenses in Missouri, Illinois

4 Nov

Mark Geier has been discussed a great deal here on Left Brain/Right Brain. Including very recently on the topic of this article. Much of that discussion has recently centered on his belief that not only is autism caused by mercury, but that mercury somehow is bound to testosterone and that by reducing the amount of testosterone in the body one can reduce the amount of mercury and, thus in his flawed model, treat autism. Mr. Geier’s clinical practice was found to have been flawed as well and he lost his license to practice medicine in his home state of Maryland. He was licensed in multiple other states as well, including Missouri and Illinois. With the loss of his license in Maryland, other states have followed in license actions.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports: ” Controversial autism doctor Mark Geier loses licenses in Missouri, Illinois”.

Todd W. Of Harpocrates Speaks writes about this in “Mark Geier on his Last Leg” where he notes that Mark Geier is still licensed in Hawai’i only.

Todd W. keeps a map of states where Mark Geier has lost his license.


By Matt Carey

Mark and David Geier, holed up in Missouri?

5 Oct

There is really no fun in writing about people whose lack of ethical standards harm disabled children. Seriously, it is painful. I know at least one autism blogger who quit in no small part because it was just too hard to keep writing about these topics.

And here in one week, both Andrew Wakefield and the Geiers (Mark and David) come back up in the news. A recent story in the St. Louis Post Dispatch discusses the Geiers: Controversial autism doctor loses license elsewhere, but can still practice in Missouri, Illinois

Mark Geier is an M.D. and was licensed in multiple states (I’ve lost count of how many and which ones). His home base is Maryland. His license was suspended there and many other states have followed suit. David Geier holds no medical credentials and is charged with practicing medicine without a license in Maryland.

As noted above, most, but not all, states have followed suit with suspending Mark Geier’s license.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch writes (reminding me of which states Mr. Geier has been licensed):

Dr. Mark Geier has opened eight autism treatment clinics called ASD Centers across the country but is only allowed to practice at two of them — in St. Peters and Springfield, Ill.

Missouri and Illinois are among the last states to seek discipline against Geier, whose hormone therapy for children with autism has been called dangerous, abusive and exploitive by various medical boards.

In the last two years, his medical license has been revoked or suspended in California, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Missouri, Illinois and Hawaii have filed complaints against Geier based on other states’ actions, but his license remains active in all three states. A disciplinary hearing in Geier’s case is set for Oct. 19 before the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts in Jefferson City

The Geier hypothesis is that mercury binds with testosterone in the brain, making it difficult to chelate. They prescribe Lupron to reduce testosterone. The idea would be laughable if it weren’t being used on humans (or any animal for that matter).

Briefly–the Geier’s cited a paper showing that in hot benzene,
(more details in Miscellaneous Mercury Nonsense), mercuric chloride and testosterone can be induced to form chemical complexes.

I had hopes that the Geiers had moved away from this idea, but they stand by it:

David Geier said Wednesday that “many peer-reviewed scientific studies” have been published that support the theory. All of the research articles cited on the ASD Centers’ website are co-authored by Mark or David Geier.

The fact that the Geiers were able to get papers published in third rate journals doesn’t make their ideas true. Or even feasible.

Mr. David Geier did not attend medical school. Neither did I but I will offer him this small bit of medical advice: Among other logical problems with your idea, the human brain is not the same thing as a beaker of hot benzene.

Point two: even if your idea held any merit, Lupron lowers the level of testosterone in the blood, it doesn’t break up these mythical mercury-testosterone complexes.

The Geiers are demonstrating a major problem with the medical license system in the U.S.. It took years to bring the Geiers to hearing. Now that Mark Geier has lost his license in his home state, he has moved to other “safe havens” to continue business? How is this right.

I recall a number of med students and premeds I knew while in college and grad school. The hoops they had to jump through to get their degrees and get licensed and start working seemed enormous. Now we see why: it’s so hard to stop someone from practicing.

Mark Geier’s license suspended in Florida, revoked in Indiana

22 Aug

Dr. Mark Geier is well known within the alternative-medicine and vaccine-causation segments of the autism communities. As a practitioner, Dr. Geier is probably best known for therapies purporting to treat autism through approaches claiming to work on removing mercury. The idea that mercury is involved in autism etiology is a failed hypothesis on it’s own. But Dr. Geier’s treatment ideas included a frankly incredible notion that mercury is bound in the body by testosterone, so, he hypothesized, by reducing the body’s production of this hormone, one could better remove the mercury. To reduce testosterone, Dr. Geier proposed (and prescribed) drugs such as Lupron. It is not a bad idea–it is a series of bad idea. Very bad ideas.

These ideas are so poor in concept that it is difficult to get insurance companies to pay for Lupron for reducing mercury in the body. In an apparent move to avoid this difficulty, Dr. Geier diagnosed autistic children with precocious puberty. Dr. Geier’s methods were lacking and due to this and other factors, Dr. Geier’s license came under suspension in his home state of Maryland.

Dr. Geier was licensed in many states. When a doctor faces disciplinary action in his home state, he is supposed to report those actions to other states where he holds a license. As Catherina reports in Bad month for the Geiers: Mark R. Geier’s medical license suspended in Florida, Dr. Geier appears to have failed to inform Florida in a timely manner. The full decision is linked on the Just the Vax site, and also can be found here.

Todd W. of Harpocrates Speaks further notes that Dr. Geier’s license had been revoked–not suspended, revoked–in Indiana. In Mark “Castrate ‘Em” Geier’s License Suspended – Part 7 Todd W. notes:

Indiana also made a further step, going beyond mere suspension to actually revoking his license in that state. The revocation comes because he failed to appear before the board regarding his suspension, thereby defaulting on any appeal to their decision. The final order, dated July 5, 2012 further imposed a $5 fee and a fine of $3,000.

Further reading about the “Lupron Protocol” can be found at Neurodiversity.com, where Kathleen Seidel’s thorough reporting was the first to expose many of the questionable practices.

If I understand correctly, Dr. Geier remains licensed in both Illinois, Missouri and Hawai’i. However, he faces more charges in his home state of Maryland.

Missouri notes the fact that Dr. Geier has faced license suspension in other states. His license is up for renewal there Jan 31, 2013. In Illinois, his license is active, with a notation that he has not been “ever disciplined”. His license comes up for renewal there July 30, 2014. His Hawai’i license is “current, valid and in good standing” and valid through 01/31/2014.


by Matt Carey

(note, the last paragraph was added shortly after this article was published)

David Geier ordered to pay $10,000 for practicing medicine without a license

13 Aug

David Geier is the son in a father-son team which ran a clinic purporting to treat autism through such unproven and biologically implausible methods as chelation and lupron.  In addition, the team produced questionable quality research promoting the link between autism and vaccines.  While Mark Geier holds an M.D., David Geier holds no degree nor other qualifications in medicine.

The Maryland State Board of Physicians charged Mr. Geier with practicing medicine without a license and, recently, the board found him guilty and fined him $10,000. Mr. Geier has the right to appleal. More details can be found in the Board’s order.


by Matt Carey