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A Dunning-Kruger manifesto about vaccines and autism

I’ve frequently written about the “arrogance of ignorance,” a phenomenon that anyone who’s paid attention to what quacks, cranks, or antivaccine activists (but I repeat myself) write and say beyond a certain period of time will have encountered. Basically, it’s the belief found in such people—and amplified in groups—that somehow they can master a subject as well or better than experts who have spent their entire professional lives studying the subject on their own, often just through the use of Google University and the echo chamber discussion forums that they frequent with their fellow cranks. Thus we have, for example, the rambling clown car of antivaccine bloggers over at the crank blog Age of Autism declaring that, contrary to the mountains of evidence otherwise, vaccines cause autism, “brain damage,” autoimmune diseases and all sorts of mean and nasty other conditions. Skeptics quite properly point out that (1) there is no convincing evidence from well-designed and well-executed studies to support these links; (2) there is a lot of evidence from well-designed and well-executed studies that there is no link between vaccines and these conditions given that such studies invariably are unable to detect differences in the prevalence of these conditions associated with vaccines (or, in the case of the mercury militia, thimerosal-containing vaccines); meaning (3) the most parsimonious explanation for these results is that there almost certainly no link. What is the response? Antivaccine cranks will invoke the pharma shill gambit and all sorts of dire conspiracies on the part of the CDC, big pharma, the FDA, and the World Health Organization (WHO) to “suppress” smoking gun evidence that vaccines cause autism.

This is a well-known phenomenon known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, a phenomenon whereby people who are unknowledgeable or incompetent about a topic hold an unjustifiably elevated estimate of their own knowledge base on the topic. In the antivaccine movement, the Dunning-Kruger effect tends to take the form of parents who think that their University of Google knowledge trumps the knowledge of physicians and scientists who have dedicated large swaths of their lives to the rigorous study of conditions such as autism and the question of how vaccines work; in other words, exactly the arrogance of ignorance I just discussed. Nowhere is the Dunning-Kruger effect more concentrated than in a certain relatively young antivaccine crank blog that basically declares its arrogantly ignorant Dunning-Kruger in its very name. I’m referring, of course, to The Thinking Moms’ Revolution (a.k.a. TMR), or, as I like to call it, The (Not So-)Thinking Moms’ Revolution. Basically, depending on whether it’s day or night, it’s a coffee or wine klatch of mostly affluent, educated women who clearly don’t understand how easy it is for educated people to fall victim to the Dunning-Kruger effect and become good at motivated reasoning to defend a false viewpoint. And nowhere on the TMR website thus far have I seen a more concentrated example of all these traits, as in a post from earlier this week called the The Thinking Moms’ Manifesto. It’s 4,100 words of weaponized Dunning-Kruger, arrogance, and motivated reasoning.

You wouldn’t know it at the beginning because its author, known as “The Rev” (real name: Lisa Goes), jokes about how critics have sometimes dubbed TMR the “Drinking Moms’ Revolution,” based on the moms’ frequent mentions of how they like wine and their propensity to gather together periodically to indulge that like. (Another annoying characteristic of TMR is that its bloggers take on some truly annoying pseudonyms that range from the height of Dunning-Kruger arrogance, such as “The Professor,” to the cutesy, such as “Princess,” to the faux fantasy cool, such as “Dragonslayer” or “Goddess.”) I’ll give The Rev credit for a momentary bit of amusing self-awareness. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long, as, after the introduction, she lays down “guidelines” for what “Thinking Moms” do and believe. The first one is easily dispensed with, in that she simply declares, “If you call yourself a Thinking Mom, you treat every organization that recognizes what has happened to our children and wishes to advance their cause with respect,” which then is followed by a list of some of the quackiest, crankiest sites on the Internet, such as Age of Autism, Gary Null, NaturalNews.com, Mercola.com, GreenMedInfo, VacTruth, the Canary Party, and many others. You get the idea. If you’re a “Thinking Mom,” you treat pseudoscience and quackery websites with “respect,” but in reality you go beyond that. You believe them rather than real science.

But, if you’re not a “Thinker” yet, don’t worry, The Rev’s got you covered. In the context of supporting a frequent criticism that we skeptics make about alternative medicine and the antivaccine movement, specifically that no woo is ever rejected and every woo is equally valid (even when they are mutually contradictory in their basis and claims), The Rev lets everyone know that they should just STFU (in public, at least) if they disagree with an organization or think it did them wrong:

If you feel you’ve been maligned or disrespected by a fellow activist or organization, please wait at least 72 hours before you choose to act on your feelings. If you cannot let it go, take the issue directly to the person who caused offense instead of social media. Above all, when talking to new parents, do NOT trash a particular organization because you felt wronged by them. New parents are overwhelmed and confused enough by the very nature of what has just happened to their child. Your slight, no matter how great, is of no interest to them. They want to know how to save their child’s life and give them a future, and, most likely, you are their first point of contact. Right now, we are being closely watched by everyone, including pre-Thinkers — there are no non-Thinkers, just pre-Thinkers hungry for the truth and learning discernment skills! While it may seem we are repeatedly preaching to the choir and our hard work is going unnoticed, on the contrary, we are under a microscope. Shine with dignity and admiration for your peers under this scrutiny. In addition to supporting our fellow organizations, RAVE about and proliferate the films that have been independently produced and are being shown around this country thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of their makers, concerned citizens and affected families.

Doesn’t this sound a bit like religion? Of course it does. There’s the emphasis on never speaking ill of a quack organization coupled with the idea that everyone out there is a potential convert. Apparently they don’t even view skeptics as “non-Thinkers” but rather as potentially convertible, although I’ll admit that’s not entirely clear that The Rev isn’t just referring to parents of children with autism and developmental disorders. She probably is. Whatever the case, not surprisingly, the list of movies that follows includes some incredibly quacky movies, such as The Greater Good.

This idea that nothing, no matter how quacky, should be rejected, that there is nothing (other than the evil big pharma vaccine-industrial complex, of course) that isn’t potentially helpful to autistic children, shows up in item #3 of The Rev’s manifesto, “The paths to recovery are many, and Thinkers acknowledge them all“:

Some parents cut out gluten and dairy, get a little OT, and spend a couple of years with a qualified MAPS doctor and their severely affected seizure kid is on the honor roll and captain of the football team. Some parents follow a multitude of protocols, see mainstream and alternative doctors, shell out thousands upon thousands of dollars, and potty training and pointing at the age of nine are considered monumental victories. I know kids who have fully recovered with dietary intervention, ABA and a parasite protocol. I know kids who are virtually indiscernible from their peers having used mitochondrial supports, mainstream gastrointestinal treatment and nutritional intervention. I also know kids who are rocking their high school years with nothing but Son-Rise and nutritional modification. There are quite literally hundreds of paths to recovery and improvement. I am partial to the protocols offered through AIM. Several of my friends have dropped 30+ ATEC points by using CEASE homeopathic intervention. Still others enjoy great progress with homotoxicology and neurofeedback. Since we know the one-size-fits-all immunization program is what landed many of us in this elite club, resist the temptation to narrowly define recovery. Because something worked for you does not mean it will work for them, and because it worked for them, it will not necessarily work for you. Thinking Moms know labs are crucial in accurately diagnosing a child’s specific metabolic and autoimmune anomalies. While you may have developed disdain for western preventative healthcare, you know when it comes to replacing a limb, stopping a heart attack, and piecing people back together after traumatic accidents and injuries, there is no better treatment option than allopathic medicine. Yet, you also know you must promote and protect our right to pursue homeopathy, herbalism, naturopathy, chiropractic, nutritional intervention, medical marijuana, etc. Thinkers fight not to destroy one, but to embrace all treatments so that our kids may have access to every healing option and treatment modality available to improve the quality of their lives.

Homeopathy, as I’ve described more times than I can remember, is The One Quackery To Rule Them All (possibly in concert with reiki and other forms of energy healing). It’s magic. It’s the idea that diluting a remedy makes it stronger, even unto diluting it far beyond the point where a single molecule is likely to remain. Similarly, naturopathy, which encompasses homeopathy, is what I like to refer to as a cornucopia of virtually every quackery known to humankind. Basically, The Rev’s manifesto is a defense of autism biomed quackery and for “Thinkers” never to criticize any of it because, if you are a “Thinker,” you have to believe that someone, somewhere, will benefit from almost anything, no matter how vile the quackery.

Even bleach enemas, which were once again featured at this year’s autism biomed quackfest known as Autism One.

Knowing what I know about TMR and “autism biomed,” I must admit, that I nearly spit out my coffee as I read #2, which claims, “When it comes to helping others, Thinking Moms are short on opinion, strong on scientific data, medical facts, nutritional healing options and documented legislative history.”

I’ll pause a minute. (Or two. Or three. Or ten.) If you know anything about the level of pseudoscience regularly promoted by TMR (and what I quoted above is just a taste, albeit one that comes after item #2), you’ll need it to bring your laughter under control. Seriously. But there’s more, so much more. In addition to having promoted homeopathy and energy healing, TMR has featured a woman named Laura Hirsch (pseudonym: Oracle) who has “learned Reconnective Healing and Quantum Touch, used homeopathy, essential oils, and flower essences, used EAV (electroacupuncture) and muscle testing for diagnosing” and “consulted with mediums to get answers from the spirit world” to help her son. Its book is loaded with anecdotes of autistic children treated with such quackery.

And things like this, advice from The Rev herself in her manifesto:

It’s all in the delivery, Thinkers. Suggest, don’t attack. Sometimes you just leave studies and do not say a word. Sometimes you listen and listen make one comment about causation and move on to something else. I know to us it feels disingenuous. “So Rev, if I’m at a dinner party you’re basically telling me to whisper to my hosts, ‘Hey those shiners, that headbanging, and posturing? Those are all signs that little PJ’s mitochondria is on fire. Those fever relievers you keep shoving down his throat are depleting glutathione. He needs a metabolic panel and organic acid test (OAT), stat. Pass the salt and pepper please.’” I know it feels wrong addressing something of such significance with such passivity, but trust us when we tell you people cannot hear you at the beginning stages of the discovery process if you are screaming at them.

In other words, be nice to convert “pre-Thinkers” to fully actualized, quackery-loving “Thinkers.”

Closely related to this is #4, which tells Thinkers that you can’t judge other Thinkers on the level of recovery their children have achieved (which is convenient, given that the vast majority of autism biomed is quackery), “Not all recovery is created equal, and not all Thinkers must approach it the same way“:

Thinking Moms do not measure the value of other Thinking Moms, based on the level of progress their child has made toward recovery. Please know that if I hear a single solitary self-proclaimed Thinking Mom allow the phrases, “Well, you know, she just didn’t follow through . . . ” or even worse, “You know, if it was my kid I would have done XYZ . . . ” to pass from their lips within earshot of other humans, I will sincerely lose my sh%t. You have not walked in their shoes. You do not know their story. You do not know their life. You do not sleep with them, eat with them, live with them, or deposit money in their bank account. You hear snippets of their perspective and form judgments that may or may not be accurate. Always give other Thinkers, and all parents with affected kids for that matter, the benefit of the doubt and treat them with understanding and compassion.

Even if they’re subjecting their child to bleach enemas, dubious “stem cell” injections by lumbar puncture (even if you have to hit your child’s grandparents up for $15,000), or dangerous chelation therapy, apparently, you must not criticize or, worst of all, be “judgmental.” Well, the hell with that! If someone is subjecting a vulnerable child (and, make no mistake, autistic children are among the most vulnerable of all), I’m damned well going to criticize and be “judgmental.” I understand that these parents often have good motivations and believe that what they are doing will help, but at the very least I can try to warn others away from their quackery.

The rest of the items in The Rev’s manifesto aren’t quite as amusing, as they are rather standard, dull platitudes about how, “Thinking Moms’ ditch canned positivism in favor of authentic outreach,” which apparently means providing tangible help without looking for acclaim, which would be all well and good were it not yoked to items #1 through #4 and activity such as that described in #6, “Healthy boundaries are essential for all Thinking Parents“:

I was enlisted to help a child here in Chicago, whose mother allegedly took his life after many years of seeking support and help through hospitals and government aid. His story is chronicled in the award-winning documentary Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? Having had this incredibly valuable life experience, I can tell you this: The child is always worth saving, despite the condition or situation of the parent. However, you must always ask yourself with great sincerity, “What is it that I have to give?” At the time I became involved with Alex, my son was profoundly affected. Our first TMR book had just launched, and I was the point person for public relations. But I delved headfirst into documenting Alex’s plight, despite this responsibility and the fact that I was managing tremendously complex medical and nutritional protocols at a time when a good night’s sleep amounted to three hours. Despite all our core team of seven attempted to do to help Alex, he died.

No, no, no, no, no! Yes, Alex did die, but, despicably, The Rev couched her version of his death in passive doublespeak that makes it sound as though it just happened, as bad things sometimes do. “Oh, Alex just died.” Worse, The Rev makes it sound as though Alex died despite her best efforts, when in fact what she appeared to be trying to do was to facilitate access to “autism biomed” quackery through “Autism Is Medical.” No, he was murdered by his mother after Andrew Wakefield had swooped into his hospital to be a publicity whore over the case during the Autism One quackfest in 2013 in the hopes of making a documentary over the alleged “injustices” done to him. Later, the antivaccine reporter Sharyl Attkisson (whom we’ve encountered many times before, going back to 2007) did a biased report that conveniently left out Andrew Wakefield’s involvement in the Alex Spourdalakis case. AI put it at the time, Attkisson lied by omission. She was also widely criticized, although my criticism once again led to an antivaccine activist trying to harass me at my job.

The Rev ends up by pontificating, “If you are truly a Thinking Mom, you are defined by what you are FOR, rather than what you are AGAINST” and how burdened they are with this Sacred Knowledge They Don’t Want You To Know About:

While we get with great clarity the immense burden associated with the knowledge we now carry, our commitment is to spread the truth, not destroy the liars. It is our hope that everyone will align under the guise of the whole-body medical model that benefits all our kids and embraces individualized healthcare, authentic nutrition, and integrative healing. This is what Thinking Moms embrace and fight for.

In other words, TMR is fighting for autism biomed quackery, which is something we didn’t need 4,100 words to discover. They wrap it in motherly camaraderie and extreme Dunning-Kruger, but at their core that’s what TMR stands for.

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]

248 replies on “A Dunning-Kruger manifesto about vaccines and autism”

I know kids who have fully recovered with dietary intervention, ABA and a parasite protocol.

A parasite protocol? What, they make the kid wear a flea collar?

shay, “parasite protocol” involves giving the child the eggs of intestinal worms.
I blogged about it here and here.
Long story short, unconvincing and quite possibly dangerous.

@Shay: re parasite control – you know that’s code name for MMS, right? (I assume, but want to make sure for anyone who is new to this).

Great to see all these problems pointed out in Orac’s inimitable style.

shay, “parasite protocol” involves giving the child the eggs of intestinal worms.
I blogged about it here and here.
Long story short, unconvincing and quite possibly dangerous.

And yet another example of the sheer pseudoscience and quackery promoted by “The Thinking Moms’ Revolution.”

@Shay: re parasite control – you know that’s code name for MMS, right? (I assume, but want to make sure for anyone who is new to this).

And, since I didn’t really explain what MMS is other than through links to it, MMS is “miracle medical solution,” which consists of a solution of 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water that generates chlorine dioxide when diluted with citric acid-containing or other acid-containing substances. It is, in essence, a form of bleach. It’s the quackery promoted by Kerri Rivera, who claims that MMS enemas (or, as I call them, bleach enemas) eliminate “parasites” from the colon.

@Julian Frost: I didn’t know about that one – thank you. I’ve only seen the term used in the context of MMS – I guess it comes in more than one format.

And thanks for clarifying both, Orac.

Sigh. Poor kids, either way.

When a pseudomedicine fan talks about a “parasite protocol,” you can’t necessarily tell when the person is talking about curing parasites (which probably aren’t there) or deliberately infecting someone with parasites. That’s pretty telling all by itself, that both are considered cures for the same types of symptoms.

Mitochondria on fire… or the fact the poor kid is overstimulated and is trying to calm themselves down, and should be helped to find relaxing behaviors that don’t result in self-injury and/or given a chance to get out of the dinner party and go somewhere quiet and safe.

Do these ‘Thinking Moms’ actually talk to autistic people, or do they pathologize anything that’s not acceptably normal and introduce dubious to abusive cures? I always get the impression that such groups seem to think autism vanishes at age 18 and/or that autistic folks are perpetual pre-schoolers. Maybe it’s just because it’s a parent group not a group for autistic people, but one would think checking in with autistic adults and their families would be comforting or informative.

Julian — feeding someone the eggs of a parasite found in pork. Presumably uncooked.

Words fail me.

There’s a telling exchange in the comments associated with the TMR blog article where Alex Spourdalakis is discussed. It says a lot about the mentality there:

Comment: Just one correction. Alex didn’t “die”. Alex was murdered.

Reply by “ProfessorTMR”: Allegedly murdered. That has yet to be determined in a court of law. Have you seen the film?

Our resident legal minds can sort this one out, but how do multiple stab wounds translate to ‘alleged’ murder?

Tapeworms do make the ideal pet. They go where you go and eat what you eat. 😉

@RobRN – My follow up comment which has yet to be approved says:

“Allegedly” murdered?

Poisoned, stabbed multiple times, wrist slit, hand nearly severed.

That’s not an accident. What would you call it?

And yes. I have.

Unfortunately, I’ve read TMs and their assorted sisters, advocate BOTH implantation of helminths and foreign microbiota ( the latter via poop) AND the destruction of intestinal parasites through MMS and other ‘treatments’. One of the TMs wrote about her child’s parasites going wild around full moons. The post was called ‘Moon Madness’ or “Lunacy’- which it clearly was.

I’ve had the dubious pleasure of watching the Rev in action, by a video of the TMs’ presentation at AutismOne 2015 titled “How Not to Die”, which I nearly did after 57 minutes of undiluted Thinking Mom Girrrl Power ( on TMR’s facebook )
The Rev appears to be a take-charge individual who confidently spews her woo and exudes an aura of superiority. The Rev, obviously, preaches.

TMR has enjoyed a position of privilege this year at AutismOne**, hosting a lounge ( for thinking, drinking and
b!tching). and presenting several times including giving a writing workshop.

When I read Goes’ Manifesto the other day I thought to myself- as I do whenever I observe such a grand effort going into the production of such drivel ( see Gamondes’ finale @ AoA)- if the perpetrator indeed has her head screwed on tightly enough. When a woo-meister goes on and on. at least he is selling something. Instead, these ladies have an axe to grind and a point to prove:
they are brilliant, far above the average, which is perhaps compensation for being ‘wasted’ as caregivers or even, if I dare mention it, POSSIBLY because some of their children have intellectual disabilities and will never be the shining star of academia to his or her mother’s delight who can be admired by all from afar. THUS their anger is directed at the offending agencies – the government, pharma, SBM- who destrotyed their child- which is certainly better than directing it at the child who has ‘failed’ them ( through no fault of his or her own).

** Bolen informs us that AoA is out- one member was even tossed at this year’s festivities ( Bolen Report, yesterday).Fearless Parent and Segal’s Focus on Autism/ Health are in.

Becca #8 Pretty much what I thought…It’s almost like some of these “thinking” folk don’t know a great deal about how autistic bairns experience things…

As I have said before in a few different places, if there was any convincing evidence for vaccines (or anything else for that matter) causing autism pretty much everyone who works in CAMHS and paediatrics would be marching on our Department of Health demanding action to remove that preventative factor.

I mean, it’s not like we would be short of things to do without autism – I would have been able to concentrate more on self-harm, gender identity and the other areas which interested me more, rather than have to start the ball rolling on ASD assessments…

RobRN & shay: Assuming that “ProfessorTMR” is correct about the case not yet coming to trial, it would be correct to claim that Alex’s mother is the alleged murderer, but not that Alex was allegedly murdered. (Based on what I know of the case, I am not aware of any other plausible suspect, but the prosecution has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense may well be playing for a manslaughter conviction rather than murder, though I would not expect that ploy to work here.) It says something about “ProfessorTMR” that (s)he seems to have mentally inserted the phrase “by his mother” after “Alex was murdered”.

I have run across info on legitimate research into helminth therapy for certain autoimmune diseases.

As for bleach enemas, I do not believe, but don’t know for sure, that there are any parasitic worms of humans, other than pinworms, which are tiny, that live low enough in the large intestine to be within reach of a conventional enema. Certainly eggs and proglottids will pass through, but none would even remotely resemble the physical structure of what the child torturers claim are expelled parasites.

@Shay: she is either suggesting that absent conviction, it’s alleged to be a murder and maybe the result will be different – maybe hoping for an insanity defense, or a plea bargain with a lesser charge – or she’s alluding vaguely to the documentary’s claim that the real killer is the medical system that failed Alex. Not sure.

I’ve never understood where these particular “parasites” were supposed to be coming from…..

I’ve never understood where these particular “parasites” were supposed to be coming from…..

Probably the vaccines – I’m sure they’re an adjuvant, preservative, or carrier.

Lawrence – to me a parasite protocol would involve protecting the child from someone like Kerri Rivera.

@ shay:

However to woo-meisters, ‘parasites’ are governments, central banks, the medical establishment, the media et al.
I just heard that meme at prn.

Perhaps they would be happier in a country where there is no government, central banks, or medical establishment.

I understand Somalia’s lovely this time of year.

Lisa Goes is the very same who boasted of stalking and barking orders at medical staff at the hospital where Alex was and is now extolling the virtues of subtlety? I’d love to be in the presence of one of these skanks at a social event when they start spewing their “medical” diagnoses and advice.

Indeed, one oughtn’t to forget The Rev’s nauseating attempt to retcon the events after her biomeddling (and walking away) set the stage for the killing:

I cannot accept that a 230 lbs 15 year old, was released to his mother’s care after a steady regimen of restraints, sedation, and psychiatric medicines.

Hey, remember the “safe secret place” after the vampire brigade managed to remove Alex from Loyola?

IANAL, but I think “murder” is a criminal act that has a definition involving intent; a person can cause another person’s death without being a guilty of murder.

I’d think there’s little doubt, though, that the poor boy’s death was a homicide. Whether it was a murder, and the degree, remains to be determined.

Doesn’t the myriad of different “treatments” coupled with the myriad criteria for “improvement” show that the entire process is just random? A good example of the human propensity to find patterns in random noise?

I cannot stand these horrible people. I hate them. They torment autistic kids, have no compassion for them. Don’t even TRY to understand the world through their eyes or empathize with them and they want people to shut up and just blindly follow their ridiculous child torturing cult? I think NOT!

Lisa Goes is the very same who boasted of stalking and barking orders at medical staff at the hospital where Alex was and is now extolling the virtues of subtlety?

Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. Otherwise I would have mentioned it in my post. 🙂

Of course, she would likely claim that she’s yelling at the ignorant doctors and nurses who don’t understand autism biomed but would never, ever treat a parent of an autistic child that way. Somehow I doubt that’s true.

Intriguingly enough, I scanned TMR’s posts by author and there don’t seem to be any archived for The Rev.
I may be mistaken but I recall that around the time of Alex’s death, Goes said that she’d take some time off from writing.
I remember that she wrote quite regularly there.

Even more curiously, there don’t appear to be any of her posts saved at AoA either. ( She was rather active at both cesspits of unreasonability) I wonder why that is?

Correction:
in my last paragraph- there don’t seem t be any of her posts ABOUT ALEX saved at AoA either. Other posts are available

Alright I did manage to link up to her TMR posts thru’ About Us/ Getting Personal’ BUT there aren’t posts about Alex.

Yeah, the TMR moms are all wackadoodle. An entire manifesto to lay out the facts that you support any type of woo out there that any parent wants to force on their poor child without judgment while simultaneously espousing the belief that everyone in the woo world should just smile sweetly at each other while unicorns fart rainbows in the background. Its a creepy cult world they live in.
@Denice – Re Alex – I wouldn’t be surprised if they scrubbed things off the interwebs after the murder and pending trial. They still defend themselves of course, because they were only trying to ‘help’ but I guarantee none of them want to get caught up in court. I think most of them have enough sense left to know that what they did was wrong, and they don’t want to take chances. Plus given the lengths of quackery and outright torture these parents get up to with their own children I doubt any of them want family services checking in to what they are doing with their kids.

Indeed. I’d be shocked if Lisa Goes, at least, hasn’t already been questioned by the police and perhaps even the DA, given the involvement of her and “Autism Is Medical” with Dorothy Spourdalakis before the killing.

I’d be shocked if Lisa Goes, at least, hasn’t already been questioned by the police and perhaps even the [Cook County State’s Attorney]….

Well, Goes is based in the area,* but given that the mess she helped make proved to be too much for delicate sensibilities and led to her unceremoniously dumping them in advance, I suspect that the real interest would be from the side of the defense, if there’s going to be much of one.

And I would love to see these vampires haled to the witness stand.

* Vice President of Public Relations, indeed.

Having had this incredibly valuable life experience, I can tell you this

“I involved myself in the Spourdalakis case and facilitated the boy’s death, but the important part was the ‘incredibly valuable life experience’ for me.”

I was about to say that there were two possible reasons Goes might be of interest to the defense (one that would put her on the hook), but it turns out that diminished capacity isn’t a recognized defense in Illinois.

Thinkers fight not to destroy one, but to embrace all treatments

It is heartwarming to learn that someone will stand up for the right of grifters to grift and scammers to scam; someone will shield them from harsh criticism and negative consumer reports.

Similarly, “If you are truly a Thinking Mom, you are defined by what you are FOR, rather than what you are AGAINST.”

That is, you are for being against the Forces that cause trivial observations that you’re more overflowing with shіt than Poughkeepsie but hew to an ordained marketing strategy nonetheless.

shay:
“Our resident legal minds can sort this one out, but how do multiple stab wounds translate to ‘alleged’ murder?”
I am reminded of the NYPD detective I once saw on the evening news who referred to “the alleged decedent.”
In any case, in most jurisdictions, it’s the coroner or equivalent who makes the determination of homicide. Whether or not that homicide is murder is determined at trial, assuming there is a conviction.

Thank you, Cranky Spider. I think we all need to read what you have written again from time to time. It’s simple truth that helps us to keep our eyes on the ball.
Also, as someone with an autism spectrum condition, and as the uncle of an autistic person who has been raised with love and science both, I appreciate it.

Whether or not the prosecution’s case proves that that homicide is murder is determined at trial

Modify’d. There’s also the matter of lesser included offenses, but one would have to look at model jury instructions. What it boils down to is merely whether one is a convicted murderer, not whether the three elements were actually present. The jury is the trier of fact, but that extends only to those that it can extract from the state’s presentation.

I think a lot of these mom’s forget that even without treatment, children may lose the ASD diagnosis at a rate as high as 25% (the debate over whether those kids actually had ASD or something like it is a debate for another day).

Even amongst those children who never lose their diagnosis, most eventually make some degree of progress against their symptoms (this is a condition of neurodevelopmental delay, after all – not stagnation).

So it is entirely conceivable that a majority of the children subjected to any random quack protocol (or no protocol for that matter) get better, even if there were no confirmation bias on the part of the parents.

Yet they still wonder why doctors insist on clinical trials instead of anecdotes….

But what does this logic matter anyway? If your child doesn’t get better, you weren’t doing it right, or you weren’t thinking positively enough, or wait wait, try THIS type of enema instead!

Always give other Thinkers, and all parents with affected kids for that matter, the benefit of the doubt and treat them with understanding and compassion.

Understanding? Absolutely. Compassion? Were it anything like the compassion they show their own disabled children, they’d be shackled to Rev. Humble, pushed in a ditch, and buried in lye. Narcissistic child abusers should consider themselves lucky if harsh words are the worst they receive; jail terms would be far more appropriate.

Gadam #52,

It’s good to see that everyone is so sure about the subjects they’re making fun of.

You link to a couple of articles looking at helminth therapy as a possible area of research to see if it might help autoimmune disorders, and if so what the dangers might be. It’s an interesting area of research. Don’t you see the difference between this and a parent deliberately infecting their child with a parasitic organism (and who knows what else as well) for a condition that may or may not even be autoimmune in nature?

Years ago I suffered an incompletely treated parasitic infection for over a decade and it was horrible*. I was constantly sick and fatigued and would not wish that experience on anyone. The idea that some well-meaning but deluded parent might inflict that on their child horrifies me.

I can think of a dozen different treatments that might be beneficial for autism but which might also kill or permanently disable a child. I won’t mention them in case someone gives them a go.

* Incidentally, for the record, I tried Hulda Clark’s parasite program out of sheer desperation but it did not work, even with a zapper (I made it myself so it didn’t cost much, but still felt a fool using it), but Big Pharma drugs did, once I managed to convince my doctor to prescribe them.

The Rev’s Manifesto got only 8 responses: 3 of which were by Orac’s minions and 3 were replies to them by the Prof.

Krebiozen #55

Certainly there is a difference if a parent takes some “medical” action without the requisite knowledge or information. However, comments like “A parasite protocol? What, they make the kid wear a flea collar?” simply display the poster’s ignorance, which is directly on par with the parent making such medical decisions.

In short, there’s a lot of research going on and there is much that is unknown, so to arbitrarily ridicule people, especially when it is clear that the posters are unfamiliar with the topic, makes them look foolish.

Read up on these people sometime, Gadam. Mocking is the least of what they merit.

The Rev’s Manifesto got only 8 responses: 3 of which were by Orac’s minions and 3 were replies to them by the Prof.

For certain values of “got.” I have a strong sense that they’re lucky to have drawn even this traffic; the place seems to be a dead zone in terms of engagement.

However, comments like “A parasite protocol? What, they make the kid wear a flea collar?” simply display the poster’s ignorance, which is directly on par with the parent making such medical decisions.

It would be an awful shame if you were doing the exact same thing, now, wouldn’t it?

I have no idea how anyone came to the conclusion that “parasite protocol” in this context had to do beans with helminths.

But Narad, they have c. 30000 on facebook!
At any rate, they supposedly moved their traffic to the more privacy-friendly MeWe – whatever that is.
Alos the moms counsel one-to-one.

It’s good to see that everyone is so sure about the subjects they’re making fun of.

Gadam, feeding your child raw pork or a “smoothie” made from faecal samples taken from a family member to ingest are hardly in the realm of helminth therapy for autoimmune conditions. Which, by the by as Krebiozen already stated, is still in the research phase and not yet ready for prime time. What we are (rightfully) mocking are literally DIY treatments because some shitwit read what you just posted.

“In short, there’s a lot of research going on and there is much that is unknown, so to arbitrarily ridicule people, especially when it is clear that the posters are unfamiliar with the topic, makes them look foolish.”

Ridiculing these people is *exactly* what we should be doing. There is a lot of research going on, and a lot that is unknown. These parents are forcing treatments on their children when no one knows what the treatments will do!

Throwing random chemicals at your children is child abuse – it doesn’t matter that you hope it will turn out alright.

It seems there is no quackery too quacky for the drinking moms. Perhaps they should lay off the juice a bit.

In reality I feel that has has this exactly to rights. These are a group of narcissistic child abusers who define themselves by their children’s disability and simply won’t accept that the best way to deal with genetically-inherited disorders is to manage the symptoms, not assume their is a cure out there.

I have seen this sort of sickening attitude elsewhere. As the parent of two children with a genetically-inherited disability I gave up associating with other parents with the condition due to narcissists like the drinking moms turning up. The madness they were putting their children through and injecting this into useful discussions like how to get the Education Department to provide appropriate facilities to schools just sickened me. If I didn’t stop having any dealings with these people, I was going to be incredibly rude to them.

I am still on the list of contacts for new parents though. My key message to them is: it is not that difficult to manage the condition, here are some tips and contacts (and we have managed to import a crate of a very useful device from the US and if you want one, just drop around and pick it up at no cost) and take the time out to enjoy your children as much as you can.

It seems there is no quackery too quacky for the drinking moms. Perhaps they should lay off the juice a bit.

Yah, glutathione seems to be a flexible babbling point.

Speaking of the D-K effect, Jake Crosby has moved on to PubPeer as a vehicle for his concerns

Oh, G-d, maybe RW will bring the weekly Pubpeer feature back for an encore, what with Jake’s calling for a congressional investigation of Ivan and all.

re “Perhaps they should lay of the juice a bit”

But hey, then they’d be missing out on all of that luscious *resveratrol*

Jake’s self-citation is genuinely bizarre. “Accessed May 14, 2015”?

More Jake:

children who received a dose of the MMR vaccine before age four had a risk of ASD diagnosis by age four that was more than twice as high as children who received a dose after age four but before age five (Ratio=2.23, 95% CI 1.23-4.05)

Actual PEPI output:

INVERSE SAMPLING
The following results are applicable if, in each group
(A and B), subjects were added until a prespecified
number of cases (subjects with “Yes”) were found.

[…]

ODDS RATIO = 2.24 [reciprocal = 0.45]
90% C.I. = 1.35 to 3.70
95% C.I. = 1.23 to 4.07
99% C.I. = 1.02 to 4.92

Why doesn’t it seem apparent to them that if no two recoveries followed the same therapeutic path, then the therapies can’t be said to have been the agent of the purported recovery?

I mean- we’re supposed to have one cause here, right? The evil vaccines? Why is does one thing have some specific (if unknown) mechanism of action that causes all the damage, but there’s not one discover-able solution to this specific cause?

It just doesn’t make sense. Cause and effect can be fairly complex in some cases, but not THAT complex. Somewhere there has to be a trail one can follow.

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