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Get out the popcorn! This internecine war among antivaccinationists is getting interesting (part 4)

I’m running out of popcorn again.

I know I’ve been writing a lot about the latest internecine war among cranks. It’s a battle royale whose first shot occurred when everybody’s favorite Boy Wonder “reporter” betrayed his mentors with a missive published on a hive of scum and quackery even more wretched that the hive of scum and quackery at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, namely The Bolen Report. He even went so far as to publish private e-mails of prominent members of the antivaccine group SafeMinds. It didn’t take long for SafeMinds to unleash a counterattack, joined by Dan Olmsted at AoA, and it was on, as last week Jake Crosby posted a followup screed, in which he castigated Mark Blaxill, SafeMinds, and a lot of his former friends, all the while providing the lamest justification I’ve ever heard for betraying the confidences of friends.

To be honest, after that last broadside by Jake, I didn’t expect to hear anything for a while. From my point of view, it seemed as though Jake had only been allowed to post that final shot because of some sort of leverage over Dan Olmsted, whose introduction to Jake’s post sounded quite peeved and unenthusiastic. It was also obvious that Jake was being manipulated, used as a tool by forces he clearly doesn’t understand. Apparently enamored of an antivaccine former scientist named Brian Hooker, who really, really believes in the scientifically discredited idea that mercury in vaccines causes autism, Jake has been clearly serving as the mouthpiece for Hooker’s agenda, a clear case of old age and treachery overcoming youth and skill. Well, overcoming youth, anyway. You see, Hooker apparently believes that SafeMinds used lobbyist Beth Clay to push him out from getting to testify at the recent Congressional mummer’s farce of a committee hearing about autism. Yes, it’s a war between the True Believers, who want to speak antivaccine Truth to power no matter what, and the pragmatist wing of the antivaccine quackery movement, as embodied by SafeMinds.

Boy, was I wrong in my expectations!

Just yesterday, what to my amused eyes should appear but a post from Hulda Clark’s pit bull, the man whose sole talent is to slime anyone who brings science-based criticism to quackery and in the process making the denizens of AoA appear rational by comparison. I’m referring to Patrick “Tim” Bolen, also known as Tim O’Ranter, who has announced that he is going to take over the antivaccine movement in a post entitled Why Autism is Going to Be Here Much, Much Longer…Unless Major Change Happens… Seriously, it’s so awesome that I’ll cut to the punchline first:

There are a lot of Autism small groups reaching out and solving, or at least mitigating, small problems. But, in the Autism community there is no General Plan, and no effort to put one together. More, the top leadership groups, for the most part, are exclusive, not inclusive.

So, in my opinion, without a change in Autism leadership, strategy and tactics, Autism is very much here to stay.

So, what should we, in the Health Freedom Movement do about this?

Frankly, I think we should take this project over, and run it ourselves. We are much better organized, treat each other with respect, and we like challenges. Most of all we know how to win.

And, yes, I have a list of people, and groups, in the Autism world we could work with.

I’m not one for praying, as regular readers know. I am, after all, more or less a godless heathen. But Bolen’s success in this endeavor is something that might get me praying again. Can you imagine? If Bolen were to succeed in taking over the “project” of promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism and the various quackery known as the “autism biomed” movement, usurping the current groups that promote this quackery, he’d do for antivaccine quackery what he did for Hulda Clark: Complete the process of marginalizing it. Besides, Bolen would provide endless entertainment value while completely destroying any effectiveness of the antivaccine movement in promoting its message, because that’s just the kind of guy that he is. Imagine, further, the entertainment value to be had if Bolen, through his pet attack Chihuahua Jake Crosby, managed to succeed in becoming the big machers of the antivaccine movement.

My fantasies of being able to sit back and watch Bolen and Crosby destroy the antivaccine movement by taking it over aside, Bolen was originally going to speak at the yearly quackfest in Chicago known as AutismOne, but his having unleashed Crosby on his former buddies managed to piss them off so much that, well:

While I was at the private meeting in Washington DC I received a message from Teri Arranga (AutismOne) that Mark and Jennifer were going to pull the Canary Party’s $9,000 sponsorship of AutismOne if I, Tim Bolen, remained on the AutismOne Speaker Schedule. They were reacting to me having made Jake’s article available to Autism leadership. They said I was “destructive.” Teri and Ed refused to remove me, so they lost that sponsorship.

I have since removed myself from those speaking engagements. I need to stay neutral.

I love the way Bolen keeps referring to himself as “I, Tim Bolen.” It’s so self-absorbed and self-importantly pretentious that it never ceases to bring a chuckle to my lips whenever I see it. Particularly amusing is how Bolen refers to something he calls the “Autism Leadership Council” (a misnomer if ever there was one!) to which he sent a hidden link to Jake Crosby’s original “expose” that started this little internecine war. Of course, Jake rather ruined any sort of secrecy by Tweeting the secret link, which led to some bloggers (including me), who couldn’t resist doing what we do best and blogging about it. If Jake hadn’t Tweeted that link, it’s doubtful that anyone would have noticed it any time soon. But he did Tweet it; so we did notice it. No doubt Bolen knew Jake couldn’t resist publicizing his own work.

The interesting thing about this post is that Bolen lays it on the line. Obviously, because it’s Bolen, one has to take everything he says with more than a grain of salt. However, we do nonetheless learn some interesting things about how the schism between Bolen (and now Crosby) and the SafeMinds/AoA contingent occurred. It appears to have begun with the proposed global treaty being developed by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) designed to reduce health hazards by reducing products and processes that release mercury into the environment. The original version of the treaty would have apparently banned thimerosal containing vaccines, but the world public health community strongly objected because doing so would devastate efforts to bring vaccine-preventable diseases under control in Third World countries.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Apparently SafeMinds advocated a “phasedown” of the use of mercury in its press release on the issue. Anyone reasonable reading this press release could not interpret it as anything other than demanding the removal of mercury from all vaccines and pharmaceutical products. But this is Patrick “Tim” Bolen we’re talking about here. He saw the word “phasedown,” and completely lost his mind, ranting about how a “phasedown” is the industry term for “We’ll never do anything voluntarily. What kind of idiot would think we would?” So Bolen wrote an obnoxious letter to the SafeMinds board, an obnoxious and insulting letter being the only kind of letter Bolen is capable of writing. Apparently Sallie Bernard replied but didn’t satisfy Bolen with her answers, which then led Bolen to threaten SafeMinds thusly:

Your organization reminds me of the Detroit Lions football team story where Michiganders are waiting for an even colder winter – when the temperature drops to 500 below zero, and Hell freezes over, and the Lions will win the Super Bowl.

You should be careful how you answer my questions, for, frankly, your future as an organization depends on your answers. You, and yours, are under a microscope – and you certainly deserve to be. If there is an explanation for your abysmal success rate NOW would be a good time to explain yourselves.

Should you, foolishly, NOT answer my questions, or attempt to obfuscate again, I will take that as an answer, and proceed accordingly.

Alright, I know more than most that the Lions have been a national laughingstock for the last several years, but come on!

Apparently “proceeding accordingly” means in Bolen-speak unleashing someone like Crosby, who seems eager to descend into the same depths that Bolen routinely inhabits. typically, Bolen seems to be laboring under the delusion that I was defending SafeMinds when I made it clear that I have no dog in this fight and that I find Jake Crosby and SafeMinds equally objectionable. They are, as Gunnery Sargent Hartman would say, all equally worthless when it comes to science, medicine, and the threat to public health they represent. Yet somehow Bolen, true to form, misrepresents me as vigorously defending SafeMinds, while claiming that I have a $39 million grant from Sanofi-Aventis. Would that were true! If that were true I wouldn’t have to go groveling to the NIH every four months, hoping against hope to get another grant for a paltry few hundred thousand dollars (which won’t go very far in this environment), in spite of pay lines hovering around the 7th percentile range before my current funding is spent and I have to shut my lab down. Such is the life of a translational researcher these days. The claim that I have $39 million in super secret pharma money that only Jake Crosby and Patrick “Tim” Bolen can discover is so outrageously and verifiably wrong that it’s a claim that could only come from one or both of that particular not-so-dynamic duo. Funny, too, how Bolen somehow missed the part in the comments where, in response to a suggestion by a reader that people write to Crosby’s professors and the chair of his department, I strongly rejected any suggestion that skeptics try to counter people like Jake by harassing them at work or school. We are not, after all, Jake Crosby or Patrick “Tim” Bolen. I will not be a party to sinking to that level.

I will emphasize to Bolen, however, that I do not consider SafeMinds my “friend and ally in this argument,” as Bolen claims. As far as I’m concerned, SafeMinds is basically indistinguishable from AoA (they do share many members), and that I lump them in with the same group as Jake Crosby, Brian Hooker, and Tim Bolen. The only difference between SafeMinds and Bolen is that SafeMinds is a bit more dangerous. It has the potential to have a bit more success because it can hide the crazy briefly when it is strategically advantageous to do so. Bolen simply cannot hide or disguise his crankitude even temporarily, and these days, apparently, neither can Crosby anymore. Why else would I be praying that Bolen succeeds in his quest to take over the antivaccine movement? They’d be constantly flying its crank flag high.

Nor do we skeptics sink to the level to which Bolen sinks next. It’s a tactic so despicable and shocking that it surprised even me that even someone as vile as Bolen would sink this low in order to attack someone ostensibly on the same “side.” Basically, Bolen accuses Mark Blaxill of marital infidelity:

Throughout the discussions with Autism people about what I call the “Autism leadership problem” one other situation kept coming up – the relationship between Mark Blaxill and Jennifer VanDerHorst-Larson. Both Blaxill and Larson have children with Autism – and both seem to be married to someone else – that someone else who takes care of the autistic children while Mark and Jennifer (Ken and Barbie) travel together, endlessly, running, and/or influencing, various organizations (SafeMinds, Facing Autism, the Canary Party, Age of Autism), all of which claim to speak for the Autism community.

I’m told that the night before the infamous Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on November 29th, 2012, the one Jake Crosby talks about in his article, that Elyse Blaxill, Mark’s wife, confronted Mark and Jennifer about their “relationship.” Mark was quoted as saying “that was the worst night of my life.” I’m told that Capitol Police were notified to be on alert that Mark’s wife might try to disrupt the televised hearing.

Notice the insinuation. “I’m told,” Bolen says. No sources. No evidence. Insinuation without explicitly accusing Blaxill and Larson of having an affair. In other words, it’s a classic Bolen smear job. In fact, it’s such a vile smear job that I can’t believe I actually am feeling a little sympathy for Mark Blaxill, a guy whom I routinely refer to as Mark “Not A Doctor, Not a Scientist” Blaxill.

The rest of Bolen’s post is about a group called Facing Autism, which, I must admit, I had never heard of. But wow. This group had a board of directors with a lot of familiar faces, such as Mark Blaxill, Mary Holland, Lou Conte, Dan Olmsted, and other “luminaries” of the antivaccine movement and, if Bolen is to be believed, received $200,000 from a “philanthropic organization” in its first year and was to receive $100,000 a year for at least a year or two after that, but for some reason was defunded. Whether or not this is true, the odd thing is that Bolen says that the “philanthropist” pulled the funding because the organization “simply didn’t do what they said they were going to do with the money.” Nothing is said about what Facing Autism had promised to do with the money or how it had “failed.” However, with that board of rabid antivaccine activists, I must say that I’m glad Facing Autism failed, if fail it did. Sadly, there remains big money funding many of these antivaccine organizations; so great harm to public health by them is still possible.

Whenever I think that antivaccinationists and quacks can’t go any lower, they somehow manage to go lower. Usually, when that happens, Bolen is somehow involved. Now he wants to unify the autism-vaccine movement under the banner of his “health freedom” movement whose power and influence only exist in his mind. At this point, I don’t know whom I’m rooting for. Actually, I do. I’m rooting for all sides in this little internecine war to destroy each other, which would end the threat to children represented by antivaccine activists such as those in SafeMinds, Patrick “Tim” Bolen, Mark Blaxill, AoA, NVIC, and the whole rotten bunch. Finally, I don’t feel the least bit sorry for SafeMinds or AoA. Over the last couple of years, they decided to get close to Bolen, apparently thinking that they could work together, but Bolen can’t work with anyone. The internecine war they now find themselves in is entirely their own fault, and they now richly deserve the fallout.

You know, at this point, popcorn alone isn’t going to be enough. Can I have some more schadenfreude on that popcorn?

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

196 replies on “Get out the popcorn! This internecine war among antivaccinationists is getting interesting (part 4)”

Just when you think it can’t get any “better”…Jake tweets and provides the link on his AoA Twitter page, to Bolen’s latest screed.

Yes siree that soiree in Chicago should be full of jousting and intrigue. Um…to Jake’s handlers at AoA…payback is a bitch.

Bolen is an example of something “more organized” ? Has he watched his deposition video or read the transcript lately (or looked in a mirror). He’s one step away from living “in a van…down by the river”.

Is Bolen by chance getting worse?

“Facing Autism”? Harold Doherty is running a consortium of autism groups? 😉

Basically, Bolen accuses Mark Blaxill of marital infidelity

You’re absolutely right Orac. I don’t care for Blaxill, but that was a total dick move by Bolen.

He’s one step away from living “in a van…down by the river”.

He’s not still in a shack in a national park?

“Facing Autism”? Harold Doherty is running a consortium of autism groups? 😉

Actually, I have more respect for Mr. Doherty than I ever could muster for any of the other crank bloggers and their groupies. He is the one blogger, who, in spite of plugging into “teh ebil vaccines” and *Big Pharma* conspiracies, is actually proactive for his child…and for other ASD kids who are severely/profoundly intellectually impaired.

He so clearly loves his child, finds joy with his progress and does not dehumanize him. Mr. Doherty is quite aware of the paucity (non-existence, actually), of alternative homelike group homes with enriched staffing, so that when he and his wife can no longer care for his son, other loving caring individuals will provide the intensive care that his son will require. For his advocacy and for his persistence in changing the way New Brunswick cares for their most vulnerable developmentally disabled kids and adults, he has my respect.

Lilady:
I had no idea that Harold Doherty was from New Brunswick (the Canadian one), and from Fredericton. I need to talk to the folks, for all I know he might be my cousin.

@ Stewart1982: I’ve been following Mr. Doherty’s blog for a number of years. I sincerely believe that his activities to “push the bureaucracy and the system” have been noble and unselfish…so unlike the (“warrior”) parents who blog and post on AoA and other notorious anti-vaccine, anti-science websites and who whine and complain and speak about about their children in the most derogatory terms.

The “warrior” parents and their children have benefited immensely by the advocacy done on their behalf…but more, so much more, needs to be accomplished, for all kids and adults no matter where they are on “The Spectrum”.

If you find out that you are related to Harold, try to convince him that some of the people he follows on the internet are not worthy to be his allies. Tell him to come around to real science blogs and tell him “lilady” wishes him, his son and his family success in developing appropriate treatment and residential programs for his beloved child. 🙂

leading Bolen to threaten SafeMinds thusly:

Hard to see this as anything but a gang takeover. Bolen is trying to expand his Health Freedom operation into the autism field.

I, elburto, feel like Christmas has come early.

It’s like a chain reaction of idiocy, conspiracy-mongering, and anti-vax lunatics hoisting themselves by their own petards.

Hopefully the ultimate result of this series of events will lead to the implosion of these demented, disease-promoting, ableist coalitions, who use fear* to push their twisted agenda.

*Fear of children becoming “damaged, broken, lost, defective”, or becoming “polluted with toxins”

This now familiar post showed up on a new site. Some of us posted comments. My single comment was deleted as “unsupportive”. I thought we gave the mod a serious challenge and gave lurkers something to think about.

Then I looked at other things that Heidi Stevenson has written and realized she’s not just into woo, she’s a high priestess of woo.

“Since it now appears likely that the sense of smell is produced at the subatomic level, there is little to interfere with homeopathy’s claim to effectiveness.”
http://www.homeopathyworldcommunity.com/profiles/blogs/smell-is-a-quantum-physics

My apologies if this is old news.

Nor do we skeptics sink to the level to which Bolen…accuses Mark Blaxill of marital infidelity
mmm,er, it must be only those pseudoskeptics that resort to the false ad hominem attacks.

Can I take this opportunity to announce the formation of a new campaigning and coordinating organization, to bring together the many hundreds of organizations, and their many dozens of members, into a single representative organization to provide an alternative voice for those of us who know that vaccines cause autism?

Timothy Wakefield-Geier
President,
Autism Science and Society (ASS)

Thanks, Bolen, for continuing to stoke the fires.

This results from a realization that the autism-vaccines hypothesis really has been put to rest, scientifically speaking. The anti-vaxers believed that they had one last chance with the congressional hearing to make a strong case. And that opportunity was lost. It must be clear to all of them that they are losing, and now the finger-pointing has begun. Great news, it is. I, Broken Link, could not be happier.

In another outbreak of hostilities, you might have missed the comments in response to an AoA piece where Dr. Jay Gordon was quoted mildly criticizing St. Andy.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/03/weekly-wrap-lanza-newtown-autism.html

Pass the low salt popcorn, please.

You should be careful how you answer my questions, for, frankly, your future as an organization depends on your answers.

Ooh, threaty. Pass the popcorn. This is better than a Steven Seagal movie.

I am wondering where Barry Segal- with his Focus Autism Inc. org and mountains of money fit into the picture… Hooker and Wright are listed as being on its board.

Bolen believes that the health freedom fighters should take over the movement- and exactly which health freedom fighters would that be, pray tell?
MIke Adams’ battalion or Gary Null’s contingent? Each has amassed an army of supporters numbering in the hundreds of thousands or millions, respectively. Or so they tell us. Both have written and filmed tirades against vaccines and vowed to use political clout to change laws about them, as well as eventually re-vamp the entire health care system to replace SBM with dreck…worldwide.

Bolen characterises his group as being in the “millions”.. perhaps his millions will take on the others’ millions and the war will expand.

When I “conversed” with Jake, he informed me that I was never educated about how conspiracies operated.. well, now he’s showing us!

Imagine that! The chief shriekers in this opera usually think in a mode that relies on fantasy – that would certainly accelerate the escalation of hostilities..
-btw- Bolen mention both BD and DG and his minions.
Tim, we are only observers- like the ones the UN sends to strife torn regions. Oooops! Now I’ve gone and mentioned the UN…

Denice, you might as well bring the Illuminati into it. They’re bound to show up, sooner or later.

Anj @14: That post was new to me. The author’s physics is definitely in the “not even wrong” category. Molecules vibrate at certain frequencies. It is unlikely that they tested atomic hydrogen/deuterium because that stuff is reactive; molecular hydrogen/deuterium is more likely. And yes, the higher atomic weight of deuterium does cause a shift in the vibration spectrum. So even if the quoted study is true (this version does not provide the reference), it does not support the claims made in that article.

I’m not sure I’d like a united anti-vaccine front, even with a lunatic like Bolen at the head. If the 20th century has shown us anything is that all it takes to convert a civilized society into a bunch of mass murdering lunatics is one guy telling them “it’s ok, it’s for the good of us all”. Especially in the US, where a well organized splinter group can have a huge influence via primaries with 20% voter participation. How long until you can’t become a bay area congressman without professing anti-vaccine views?
I sleep better with a multitude of groups fighting each other, divide et impera.

Matt Carey at LB/RB has another great post up…featuring another big macher/donator to the Congressional Committee members (just around the time Wakefield was wining and dining them, months before the Autism Hearing took place):

http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2013/03/05/gary-kompothecras-and-the-congressional-autism-hearing/

The “new” wealthy guy, “Dr. Gary” had a case before the Vaccine Court (since discontinued). Am I the only one who is questioning the ethics of the Congressmen (and their wives) who accepted the largesse of disgraced former medical doctor Andy Wakefield…and contributions from wealthy men who are involved with these anti-vaccine groups?

@ Mu:

I doubt that the anti-vaxxers – or alt med advocates- could really unite: much of their zeal is based on self-promotion and self- interest, looking for an avenue for recognition and possible earnings. I doubt that they can work together- too many captains, not enough sailors (notice I avoided the ethnic version of that phrase).

“I’ve gone and mentioned the UN…”

Yeah with budget cuts and the move to drones, my UN/Pharma/Illuminati paycheck this month was a slightly used black helicopter. At least it’s got cup holders.

I want a copy of Bolen’s email to the autism community people he will approach to bing into his “takeover”.

“I’m Pat…er…Tim Bolen. I live in a shack in the woods and have no money. You run an organization with a million dollars a year in donations. I propose you let me run things. Health Freedom and all. In return I’ll write about you on my website. If you piss me off, I’ll slime you and your family online, just so you know.”

No, no, no. It’ll be:

“I, TIM BOLEN, command you to join my Autism Leadership Council, as I, TIM BOLEN, am the awesomest Health Freedom fighter of all.”

🙂

Quite frankly, I’m getting confused as to who is in the Judean People’s Front and who’s in the People’s Front of Judea. And anyways, what did doctors and their vaccines ever do for us?

Unfortunately, I must bow out: I have to speak with normal people soon and can’t possibly sabotage my interaction by putting my mind into the prerequiste gear neccessary in order to write like Bolen. Not sure I want to, either. It might leave a lasting scar.

Bolen characterises his group as being in the “millions”.. perhaps his millions will take on the others’ millions and the war will expand.

It’s going to get awfully crowded in that post office box.

Oh my. This is from the Bolen Report:

The Last non-government Speaker – The person who had the FINAL WORD from the Autism speakers was sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, Ari Ne’eman, supposedly the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network who, to me, is a total goofball, and needs to be exposed for it. Investment Analyst John Best writes in his blog “Debunking Neurodiversity and Ari Ne’eman” about Ne’eman, clearly, and concisely.

John Best an investment analyst!?

sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, Ari Ne’eman

Ne’eman is NOT greasy.

Because I work with students, I can’t help but wonder how the juvenile ‘journalist’ allowed himself to become embroiled in an e-mail-blog civil/ flame war amongst several sputtering, warring factions when he is supposedly nearly at the end of his studies.. now correct me if I am wrong, but don’t those who are to receive a graduate degree have to produce an individual thesis, experiment or project? Perhaps this IS his thesis?

@Orac

Who can come up with the best parody of a Patrick “Tim” Bolen rant?

How can one parody a parody? Not sure I can do much better than the original.

@Liz Ditz

John Best an investment analyst!?

Hehe. “Investment analyst” jumped out for you, but for me it was, “clearly and concisely”.

And yeah, for rational opinions of people, the first person I turn to is, John “Makes a sailor blush” Best.

@Denice Walter

don’t those who are to receive a graduate degree have to produce an individual thesis, experiment or project?

Generally speaking, yes. And I think our own GW grad has mentioned that the project includes a public presentation of the work.

Oh my goodness. I started laughing out loud at the idea of SOOPER-SEKRIT grants. I don’t know how your lab works, but every time my department gets a big grant, there’s probably going to be a press release about it. It’s very much a mentality of “if you can show you can get big grants and handle them well, you’ll continue to get big grants.”

Furthermore, what sort of corporation wants to hide that they’re giving money to scientific research? That stuff is PR gold!

@ Todd W.:

Do you think that the public presentation will include a Q&A session?
Asking for a friend.

Denice @39, They almost always do barring special circumstances that I have never encountered.

[email protected], Eric [email protected]:
The paper in question is at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/02/08/1012293108.full.pdf+html?with-ds=yes. There’s a more recent paper (2013) in PLOS One, http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0055780. Luca Turin, a longtime researcher on scent (see Chandler Burr’s bio of him: “The Emperor of Scent”) and an author on both papers, has long been an advocate of the vibrational theory of olfaction (that the smell of a molecule is dictated by the vibrational frequencies of the molecule) – as opposed to the better-accepted shape theory (that the smell is dictated by the 3-D shape of the molecule). An aspect of the vibrational theory is that, for example, replacement of some or all of the hydrogen atoms of a molecule with deuterium atoms should alter the smell of the molecule, as carbon-deuterium vibrational frequencies differ from carbon-hydrogen vibrational frequencies. Note, of course, that this has nothing to do with “subatomic” vibrations and is no justification for homeopathy – Heidi Stevenson nothwithstanding.

Orac,

I, Patrick called Timothy called Bolen, King Under the Mountain, hereby order you to cease and desist with your slanderiferous discussion of my most revered Health Freedom Fighter self. Submit now or face the wrath of the AUTISM LEADERSHIP COUNCIL, which is my council, run by me, Patrick Patrick bo-batrick, banana-fana fo fatrick, fee-fi-mo matrick, Timmy! Bolen.

Among the many falsehoods being disseminationed on your repellent blog are the snide remarks about my living situation. I DO NOT live in a post office box or a shack in the woods. The PO box is my OFFICE and my residence is beside the dumpster out back. Get your facts straight!!

My phasedown is currently set on “stun,” but should you refuse to cooperate, I will set it to “EXTERMINATE” and all the combined might of the FDA, CDC, Sanofi-Aventis and Lord Draconis Zeneca will not be able to save your or your disrespectful minions. EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE!!

I, BOLEN

Hello–my name is Timothy Bolen. Your posts have injured my pride. Prepare to be derided…

Let’s see if comments are working again….

@Denice Walter

From the GWU web site:

Culminating Experience

The Culminating Experience (CE) is a graded course which consists of the following four products that stem from research and practice involving a specific public health issue:

(a) Concept Paper – The concept paper is a brief description of the goals of the proposed study and should outline how it will be performed.
(b) Proposal – The proposal is an expanded version of the concept paper, outlining the study in detail; it can be used for IRB submission.
(c) Final Report or Manuscript – The final Report or Manuscript is a write up of the completed study and analysis which should be written in formal scientific language.
(d) Oral Presentation – The oral presentation is a 20-minute presentation highlighting the key findings of the study and analysis.

Although it is not required, many students choose to link their Practicum and Culminating Experience so that the content of the selected Practicum is linked to the planning and interpretation aspects of the CE. Students may also choose to conduct a Practicum that is independent of their CE; in this case, the Practicum needs to be conducted first and a separate project needs to be identified for the CE.

And from the PDF giving more detail on the culminating experience:

Students are expected to prepare a concise, 20-minute oral presentation using PowerPoint slides. The basic outline of the talk should include a Title Slide, Background, Hypotheses or Objectives, Methods, Results, Summary and/or Conclusions, Recommendations, and Acknowledgments. The number of slides presented should be limited to about 20, as each slide takes about one minute to present. Each presentation will be followed by a 10-minute question and answer session with Department faculty and other students.

So there you have it. This is what will be expected of Master Crosby.

I, lilady, will donate the first prize (***two tickets to attend the Quackfest), for the best parody of Bolen’s screed.

***Eligibility For Contest Entry: Employees of *Big Pharma* or their advertising/publicity agents are ineligible. The winner must use their RI “nym on their Quackfest I.D. badge.

Edith Prickly, you are *a contender*.

“All professional degree students must develop skills in basic public health concepts and demonstrate the application of these concepts through a practice experience that is relevant to the students’ areas of specialization.”

So a valid experience would be to start a new rumour about the motivations of other autism advocates, introduce it into a susceptible population of conspiracy-prone fanatics, and trace its spread and mutation?

Edith Prickly, you are *a contender*.

Needs a play on his trademark phrase “homoskepticals,” though.

Lilady @11
I must admit that I said that he might be a cousin half in jest (Fredericton is a small city), but ONLY half in jest. We have a large family on both sides, so I will have a chat with the folks to see if we are connected by blood or marriage with the Doherty family.

Having read some of his writings, I agree with you that he is different from most at AoA or Not-so thinking moms and seems to really care about children with autism… Just terribly misguided.

@ Stewartt1982: I’m not defending the autism pseudoscience that Mr. Doherty espouses and his attacks on ASD people who have the ability to advocate for higher education and competitive employment opportunities. I am impressed with his activism and advocacy on behalf of his child and other children with ASDs who are also profoundly/severely intellectually impaired with complex medical needs.

It’s been a few years since I heard mention of John Best.
As far as I’m concerned he’s up there with the most odious in any of the ‘Vaccine/Autism’ promoters.

If memory serves he subjected his child to repeated Chelating and physically threatened violence to the chap who runs RB/LB.

Am I thinking of the correct pond life?

@ Narad: I read Bolen’s rant where he first used that ugly word. What a vile human being he is.

Lilady @53
I know you don’t, sorry if I sounded like I thought you did.

I must admit, until yesterday Mr. Doherty was just a name. Having only read a few of his writings, I didn’t realise that he attacks ASD people who advocate for higher learning and employment opportunities (now that I know I’m a bit ticked off by Mr. Doherty).

To be entirely clear:

I hope that no one mistakes my queries about degree requirement presentations ( above) as an invocation for sceptics to crash Jake’s : perish the thought! Nothing could be further from my mind, I just found it hilarious that he- who has repeatedly barged in on others’ public addresses to badger them, could indeed be in the same position himself. I’m sure his professors will question his work enough for all of us. Questioning him might interfere with the wheels of academia that have already been set into motion. And who would want to interfere with the wheels of academia. Not me.

On the other hand, it might be fair game to question any woo-meisters who appear at public events, especially if they are paid speakers and/ or use the platform as self-promotion to sell products, books or services.

Many presenters at AutismOne make a living off of spurious treatments or writing efforts that veer far afield from SBM and I personally think that they ARE fair game. Supposedly, the event promotors screen out known sceptics so if you aren’t anonymous, you might get caught. You may possibly have to register in your real name or use real ID or credit cards.

Being only semi-anonymous and thousands of miles away, I certainly cannot do it. I almost wish I could: study in my own area has helped me to develop effective interviewing skills, especially in person.

If I were evil enough, I’d go get a prepaid cash card under an assumed name to register for Autism One with said assumed name. I’d then show up and let hilarity ensue. But, frankly, I have better things to do with my time. Besides, they’ll post their nonsense online, where we can all deconstruct it. Why line their pockets any more?

As for crashing Jake’s presentation, I also would recommend against it. For my presentation, one of the founders of the epidemiology department attended and gave me the third degree. He didn’t let me get away with a visual trick on a slide. (I was young and stupid, what can I say?) I hope the professors can take him to task if indeed his project takes a turn for the anti-science.

The person who had the FINAL WORD from the Autism speakers was sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, Ari Ne’eman, supposedly the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network who, to me, is a total goofball, and needs to be exposed for it.

Such is Bolen’s determination to hi-jack the autism advocacy movement — sorry, grace it with the benefit of his highly-paid leadership — that he will not allow himself to be put off by the visceral disgust and contempt he feels for people with autism or AS.
Also reassuring to know that in contrast to the current “Autism leadership problem”, Bolen has no personal stake in the issue — no autistic relatives — such as might distract him from his duties.

But “supposedly the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network”?? What an odd thing to express suspicion about. Does Bolen drop the word ‘supposedly’ into his sentences at random, as a form of linguistic MSG, to cultivate the air of someone who will not be led astray by mere facts?

Does Bolen drop the word ‘supposedly’ into his sentences at random, as a form of linguistic MSG, to cultivate the air of someone who will not be led astray by mere facts?

Um, yes.

Orac, I see your offensive hive of superskeptuals are still speaking ill of I, Patrick Pattycakes Tim-Tim Bolen, Supreme Health Freedom OverLord, I hereby challenge you to a duel – of wits. If you have the guts, meet me with your second (I suggest that Narad fellow, he strikes me as the most expendable of your supposed Oracolytes) at the Myrick Park gun shed in Lacrosse, WI. JC is looking forward to asking you many, many questions.

“The person who had the FINAL WORD from the Autism speakers was sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, Ari Ne’eman, supposedly the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network who, to me, is a total goofball, and needs to be exposed for it.”

Hmmm…must be a *different* Ari Ne’eman…

http://autisticadvocacy.org/about-asan/leadership/

That howler is for his new BFF/Partner Jake Crosby…whose only *claim to fame* is organizing a speaking engagement for Andy Wakefield at Brandeis. In his dreams, Jake envisions himself as the spokesperson for autistic self-advocates.

@ lilady:

Oh, I thought that Jake was going to dis-entangle and reveal the baroquely intertwined conspiracies that maintained hegemony of the trans-Atlantic medicopharmatocorporatocratic oligarchy.

@ Denice Walter…That baroquely intertwined conspiracies story that maintained hegemony of the trans-Atlantic medicopharmatocorporatocratic oligarchy, has been played out by Jake…dozens of times.

Meanwhile, back at AoA, Jake’s latest gossip that he piped over to Bolen…is being ignored.

#32, 62, etc.

… out of curiosity, do you folks see any anti-semitism in that sentence, or is it just me?

@Khani:

do you folks see any anti-semitism in that sentence, or is it just me?

Not anti-semitism, but a great deal of dickishness from a crass, olympic class [swearword not posted so that comment not filtered].

… out of curiosity, do you folks see any anti-semitism in that sentence, or is it just me?

Hulda Clark, with whom Pattimmy got his start, had a publishing outfit (New Century Press) that published Adοlf Hıtler: Founder of Israel.

If, however, one wants the mother lode, the Jews are keeping a lid on ibogaine.

… out of curiosity, do you folks see any anti-semitism in that sentence, or is it just me?

I read it as a general sense of envy directed at anyone who has shiny things which Bolen feels he should have, rather than anything as specific as anti-semitism.

Someone else owns a valuable wristwatch? That other person is “Rolex-flashing” (evidently Bolen pays close attention to such things).
Other people fly the world when he is living in a shack? Trigger the grievance: “Mark and Jennifer (Ken and Barbie) travel together, endlessly”.

#67 @Narad Oh lord, I think I just lost 10 IQ points reading that.

That page should be banned by the Geneva Convention.

I just re-read Bolen’s article and was struck by a few phrases:
– CoMeD ” had, through persistence, put the discussion of mercury in vaccines before the UNEP”
– “SafeMInds’ representative at the UNEP meeting, Executive Director Eric Ulam”
– SafeMind’s representative at the IACC
– Blaxill’s testimony at the congressional hearing

which jogs my memory about Hooker’s and AJW’s meetings with congressmen and John Stone’s mentioning governmental committees ( and probably calling his MP every other day, I’d venture) .

Does it disturb anyone else that these people have the ear of those in national and international governing bodies?

I know that if you have a representative government you have the right to contact your rep but it sounds to me like these groups may actually have someone listening to them.

What a scary thought that is.

I’ve been posting regularly on science blogs about the wining and dining of Congressmen and their wives by Wakefield and Brian Hooker, ever since Dachel’s “interview” with Brian Hooker’s appeared on AoA:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/12/brian-hookers-testimony-autism.html

“Brian explained how he became involved in the hearing.

“….My initial thanks go to Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier, who strategically linked me up with a friend of theirs, who in turn has become my good friend as well. Through the work of this individual, Dr. Andrew Wakefield and I were invited to meet with Rep. Darrell Issa, Rep. Vern Buchanan and their wives in early May, 2012 to discuss malfeasance in the CDC regarding autism and vaccines. Andy discussed the MMR vaccine and the vaccine schedule. I talked specifically about thimerosal and the cover-up of CDC data that affirm a causal relationship between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism. Rep. Issa was concerned regarding the CDC information and stated that this was the type of government misconduct that his committee (Oversight and Government Reform) specifically addressed….”

IMO, Mark Geier and SafeMinds were exaggerating their importance and their *progress* with their testimonies at the UNEP hearing, to have Thimerosal banned from multi-dose vaccines. I believe the expression is *blowing smoke up posteriors”.

Now, using an important (unknown) Republican supporter to get Congressmen to meet with Wakefield and Hooker, (and to accept Wakefield’s wining and dining largesse), reeks of violations of Congressional ethics. Matt Carey at LB/RB in a series of recent posts has uncovered some Republican machers who *might be* the influential Republican(s) who arranged for the meetings and the wining and dining of the Congressmen and their wives.

I’ve met with members of Congress and there is a whole vetting process through their legislative aides. So how did Andy and Hooker get their meetings and how did they get their dinner dates with the Congressmen and their wives?

You’re going to love this.

Jake Crosby and Patrick “Tim” Bolen have posted at AoA…without linking to Bolen’s latest screed. Denise Ferraro, another poster provided the link. Obviously she didn’t read the new Bolen slime that she linked to, and the piece of tawdry gossip provided by Jake and repeated by Bolen, that Mark Blaxill is sexually involved with one of his Canary Party pals. Denise Ferraro also *missed* another piece of Bolen’s rant, that Mrs. Blaxill is incensed and threatened to create a major scene by confronting Blaxill during the Hearing.

It makes me *wonder* why John Stone posts a nice comment back at Bolen. WTF?

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/03/iacc-lots-of-redundancy-little-innovation.html

@lilady – the subtext of John Stone’s reply is anything but “nice” – very passive-aggressive, actually.

Passive-aggressive, Lawrence? Okay. But what about this latest comment of Jake’s back at Stone?

“John, the following paragraph you quoted was not in Mark’s testimony; he edited it out:

‘A CDC analyst also discovered in 1999 that higher levels of infant exposure to a mercury compound in vaccines increased autism risk more than tenfold relative to zero exposure. The analyst wrote about this result to his supervisors: “It just won’t go away,” he said. But he and his colleagues used more statistical tricks and published a finding that made the risk go away.’

Figures, SafeMinds sat on the above information for years, whereas the person who actually discovered it was David Geier. To cite Geier’s finding would draw more attention to that embarrassing fact.”

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