Ah, vacation. It’s time to relax and unwind. Of course, blogging is one way that I relax and unwind; so my being on vacation this week doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll stop my usual blogging, but it does mean I’ll wind down. One way that I’ll slow down is that I’ll try to keep my logorrheic tendencies in check. I’ll also probably miss a day (or two, or three) of new material, although in its place I’ll probably post a couple “greatest hits.” (At least, I hope they’re “greatest hits” and hope they’re as interesting now as they were then—or at least not so uninteresting that no one bothers to read them.) Who knows? Maybe shorter posts will be better posts—for some things, anyway.
Fortunately the judge decided Andy Wakefield’s case last Friday on simple jurisdictional grounds; so I could write up a quick post about it and not worry about it this week. However, it is rather amusing, by way of followup to note briefly that already the conspiracy theories are flying thick and furious. For instance, our ace cub reporter and one trick pony Jake Crosby has already done his one trick and woven a conspiracy theory, which showed up on the antivaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism, like clockwork, yesterday. The only thing that surprised me is that it actually took him nearly two days to do it. He’s slipping, that Jake, even more so given how very unimpressive this “conflict of interest” he’s patting himself on the back for identifying really is:
Amy Clark Meachum, the judge who threw Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s case out of district court by essentially saying that BMJ, Fiona Godlee and Brian Deer can libel him all they want since they are from the UK, is married to a lobbyist named Kurt Meachum of Philips & Meachum Public Affairs.
According to Texas Tribune Lobbyist’s directory, Kurt Meachum’s client, the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, earned him $10,000-$25,000 in 2011 alone. What is the significance of this? Family physicians give many vaccinations as a considerable part of their practice. But that’s hardly the beginning of the story.
So let’s see. The judge’s husband is a lobbyist one of whose clients is the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. Family physicians are on the frontline of administering vaccines. So, by Jake’s logic, that must mean that either Kurt Meacham put the husbandly pressure on his wife to rule against Wakefield on jurisdictional grounds, all in order to protect his evil vaccinating clients or that Amy Clark Meacham didn’t want to risk hurting her husband’s lobbying interests and “threw” the case (while throwing Andrew Wakefield under the bus). Such is the way of the world in Young Master Crosby’s fevered imagination. Never mind that family practice doctors do a heck of a lot more than administer vaccinations. After all, family practice often means taking care of patients of all ages, meaning a lot of adults. In adult care, vaccinations are important, but adults don’t need nearly the number of vaccines that children do, nor do they need them nearly as frequently. My guess is that while, yes, the Texas Academy of Family Physicians does promote science-based vaccination policies, vaccination policies are probably a relatively small part of what it does.
In Jake’s world, however, because, first and foremost, it is always all about the vaccines, the TAFP is so focused on vaccines that its lobbyist would actually influence his wife to rule against Andrew Wakefield. But in Jake’s fever-brain world, that’s not all it’s about. Apparently in 2010 the TAFP co-sponsored with St. David’s Foundation, the World Health and Golf Association, the Tarrant County Public Health Department, the Texas Pediatric Society, the Texas Medical Association, and the Immunization Collaborative of Tarrant County a confab called the Texas Immunization Summit. Those bastards! Will they stop at nothing to vaccinate children and turn them autistic?
Look at the agenda! They even had the audacity to invite Allison Singer and Dr. Ari Brown! That alone must be reason enough conclude that there must be a massive conflict of interest because clearly, the pure evil of the dark lords of vaccination must have tainted the TAFP beyond all hope of decontamination. The only way this could be worse is if the organizers of this conference had invited Paul Offit himself. Oh wait! It did that already in 2008! And this year, Seth Mnookin will be there to “share his fascinating research into the antivaccine movement” and do a book signing! There’s also going to be a “surprise guest.” Maybe it will be Paul Offit again. Who knows?
Yes, Jake is definitely slipping. I’m doing a better job of “connecting the dots” than he did. He’s also regurgitating the same nonsense
There’s one last rather interesting aspect of Jake’s whole conspiracy theory. I noticed that Jake originally posted this “link” between Judge Meacham and the TAFP in the comments of the original AoA post lamenting the ruling against Wakefield. Mysteriously, the comment disappeared. At the time, I wondered if someone at AoA told Jake to lay off and that attacking a judge in this way after she rendered a decision he didn’t like was unlikely to help things and very well might hurt Wakefield if he actually did decide to pursue. Then, Sunday morning, this post appeared, which is basically a longer version of Jake’s original comment. My guess is that someone checked with Andrew Wakefield and cleared it before letting Jake post his comment as a full blog post.
If that’s true, it almost certainly means that Wakefield is not going to appeal. If he were going to appeal, he wouldn’t let his proxies attack the judge in this manner. Indeed, this post by Jake supports my original suspicion that Wakefield’s lawsuit had nothing to do with winning and everything to do with punishing Brian Deer and rallying the troops. Now they have a new enemy to rally to attack.
116 replies on “The Wakefield verdict: A one trick pony does his one trick again”
Crosby must be slipping: he hasn’t connected Judge Meachum to Kevin Bacon yet.
Wakefield will appeal, but he doesn’t want to win. If he wins, he then gets hit with an anti-SLAPP, or even a full trial, which he cannot possibly win, and cannot posssibly pay for.
He would be looking at maybe $2m in attorney’s fees, and if he lost an anti-SLAPP, about the same again (probably more given the calibre of their counsel) in the BMJ’s fees.
So, he’ll appeal on the understanding that it will drag the thing out past at least another Autism One event, after which he will say he was robbed on a technicality.
The tough question (not that anyone ever asks him these) is, if he can afford to sue in Texas, why couldn’t he afford to pursue his GMC appeal (apart from the fact that his attorneys told his insurers that, unlike Walker-Smith, he would lose)?
Whatever he does now, he loses. He is on the road to nowhere.
I think you fail to see the true hideous far-reaching nature of the conspiracy. I mean, the evil vaccination-illuminati actually conspired to have a lobbyist marry a judge and then convinced wakefield to issue his case in that judges jurisdiction all so that she could bend to their will and throw out the case because wakefield is dumb as rocks and didn’t realize the law in that very same jurisdiction! So so evil.
One of Jake’s buddies posted this…as another reason why Judge Meachum should have recused herself…and as another reason that Andy should appeal the decision to dismiss:
“I neglected to mention in my previous comment that the American College of Physicians (Texas Chapter) is also listed on the Texas Tribune Lobbyists Directory as one of Judge Meachum’s husband’s clients. This client puts up to $10,000 in her and her husband’s bank account.
So that makes TWO of his clients that contribute to their joint income who actively promote the current vaccine schedule, with ACP spreading the false accusations about Wakefield that originated with Brian Deer – one of the defendants in the case she just threw out!
ACP EVEN PROMOTES THE BMJ ARTICLE BY BRIAN DEER “How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed” in the very first sentence of its article posted earlier:
If Wakefield wins his appeal, these facts demand Judge Meachum’s recusal.”
Look at all the subversive articles (8,930), on immunizations that the American College of Physicians has on their website!
There is way that we can understand the fevered imaginings of Jake Crosby, allow me to show you the map to the treasure:
going back to the British Associationists ( and much,much earlier philosophers) we know a few solid important things about how long-term memory is organised; in the late 19th/ early 20th- Century, psychologists and philosophers like Wm James, Freud, Jung and writers like Joyce delved into the stream of consciousness and free association. MId-century and later, SB research embarked on this journey.
Basically, words and concepts clump together by *meaning* and some other qualities. If you say the first thing that comes into your mind after hearing a word ( e.g. think “Wakefield”- what’s the first thing that comes into your mind….) you’ll see what I mean.
Our friend Jake free associates what comes into *his* mind when he attempts to construct a scenario that links whosoever he hates with any possible malfeasance that could occur in any imaginable world.
Now people normally think like this: bad novelists often earn a good living by following their baser associations and a good verbal comic can have a field day- it can be fun if you are drunk. However, most of us *know* when we have to stop and check our facts and data. Especially when research and investigation are our prime motives. You can’t just say/ write anything.
Recently, E has been very complimentary to me and so has L – these guys know each other- I think that something is afoot: they usually aren’t so nice and there’s *something* about the tone of E’s voice – they want something from me. Little by little, I pick up a few choice clues from other things they say. I was right. Because this is only involves tennis politics- there’s no problem. Everybody knows this from working in offices.
Unbridled speculation into dastardly plots appears to be the fashion these days:” If you can think it, it must be true” might be their motto. As children mature, they usually look for verification outside their own wishes and want to understand why others think differently : but some people never progress. So Natural News, the Progressive Radio Network, Age of Autism and other darlings of the ANH have ready audiences clamoring for more. What makes me laugh is how they scoff at people who have better investigation skills than they do ( see comments at Jake’s latest post- and most everything else written there). Blame is attributed to other’s evil ulterior motives by a strained chain of associations that belong in a bad screenplay. Effort and attention are poised in this world of spurious plots instead of the real one: you might read research, these people read each other.
I predict we’ll hear more of the same.
OT- but Orac needs to have a peek-
MIke Adams investigates the Susan Komen Foundation.
I don’t know about the “can’t pay for.” If he’s getting pro-bono help, the costs are significantly lower. And by stating his intention to appeal, he gets to keep pumping the faithful for “defense” funds to cover whatever expenses he does have.
But I think you’re absolutely right: he doesn’t really want to see this go to trial. They even said they expected this outcome. Every attorney (plus one district court judge) I know who’s looked at the documents thinks he’d be in for a huge anti-SLAPP slap.
His only business now is maintaining his celebrity. He’s going to do whatever it takes to keep the speaking engagements and the donations coming. He needs to store up acorns for the long winter after he is replaced by some new cause-celebre.
You obviously haven’t been over to Orac’s not-so-super-secret other blog…
It’s even worse, because they had to rig her election after their getting married.
@ Old Rockin’ Dave:
Crosby must be slipping: he hasn’t connected Judge Meachum to Kevin Bacon yet.
But I’ve connected Jake to Kevin Bacon:
The controversy surrounding the appointment of Jake’s Uncle Alex Cranberg to the University of Texas Board Of Regents:
How’s this for two degrees of separation between Jake and Kevin Bacon?
(OOPS, Wrong Kevin Bacon)
No, he doesn’t want to win….if he did then the discovery alone would obliterate him. If someone is helping to fund this little endeavor, then they’re going to be on the hook in a full-on trial which is something I’d wager nobody wants to be on.
Texas may be a very woo-friendly state, but their SLAPP statue and their libel definitions are also very, very substantial and any two-bit lawyer could easily cite either in getting this dismissed at the appeal. Baring that, Texas doesn’t usually overturn decisions on appeals unless there’s a massive miscarriage of justice on some level. Jake’s reasoning is laughable at best. I can imagine the appeal:
William M. Parrish: “We’re appealing”
Appeals court judge: “Why? This was published in England”
William M. Parrish: “My client is a resident of Texas”
Appeals court judge: “Was he a resident of Texas when this happened?”
William M. Parrish: “….”
Texas really, really has no desire to become the England of the US as far as it comes to libel suits. They have a legal system structured as such.
Oh my! Well, UNLIKE Orac I am not everywhere and cannot answer woo-meisters’ rants prior to their posting.
He was; the suit is over the 2011 article “Secrets of the MMR Scare.”
@Narad. You make a good point…for some reason I thought it was in response to the earlier information put forth by Deer.
Still, in this case the issue still stands. This wasn’t published in the US but Britain, and Texas law is pretty solid on having to go after someone in their jurisdiction.
“Unbridled speculation into dastardly plots appears to be the fashion these days:”
Beats the hell out of thinking. Easier, too.
I’d really like to see more than just the order dismissing. Wakefield’s assertion of personal jurisdiction is based squarely on the Texas long-arm statute, the assertion being that (1) having subscribers in Texas constitutes doing business in the state and (2) a tort was committed “in whole or in part” in the state, “to wit, authoring, editing, and approving articles and making statements with knowledge or intent that said articles be published and statements be made and directed to residents” of Texas. By virtue of the special appearance, BMJ assumed the burden of “negating all bases of personal jurisdiction that the plaintiff has alleged.” Am. Type Culture Collection, Inc. v. Coleman, 83 S.W.3d 801, 807 (Tex. 2002). It would thus seem that they took out both the issue of minimum contacts and the tort assertion.
Mr Deer’s website has the defense brief on the jurisdictional issue. To me, it says that Mr Wakefield has brought an action he cannot win, and that leaves us to draw our own conclusions.
I have also found the suit that one supposes will become active in the event of the case being heard in Texas, which again Mr Wakefield cannot win.
So he will have to show that the defendants directed their journalism at Texas, which they obviously did not, then that they published without caring whether what they said was true or false, which Mr Deer’s lengthy statements evidence beyond question they did not, and then that there was no basis for calling Mr Wakefield’s research fraud, and there clearly was.
No, Mr Wakefield is not suing to win. He has a different agenda.
@AoA: Stay classy:
And somewhere in the wide world, there is an Olympic-sized swimmming pool that could be filled** with the copies of the thousands and thousands of pages that Mr Wakefield’s lawyers will have to read.
** hyperbole in the service of jest
Does Jake realize that amount of money doesn’t even cover a year’s worth of college or graduate school education?
@Chemmomo – I believe there is quite a bit that Jake does not understand about modern society & the amounts of money that actually matter.
I am so enjoying my day off working! Thanks, everyone for your brilliant contributions- you made my day !
And it was only last summer that Jake informed yours truly- and other RI minions- that we didn’t REALLY appreciate how history was underwritten and interwoven with widespread conspiracies- or something like that…I guess he learned that… somewhere.
But I am famished and in need of curry. ( -btw- being an atheist, I’m not observing Ramadan but I think that the chef at my Pakistani restaurant may be so much is expected)
To Narad – 2.39pm Thanks for reminding me about AoA – took a look as a result. They didn’t post my most recent response. I’ve saved it as copy for use later – for now I’ll just keep an eye on what’s being said about me, mostly invented. SBS and vaccine – never written about any supposed links. So where’s that come from ‘background’ whoever you are? And antipathy to Wakefield – where’s that come from Dr Struthers? Wakefield just doesn’t respond to questions so I have to defer opinion. I don’t go along with taking children’s blood samples at parties for payment though and I’d want to talk about that. Using fake professional qualification after your name isn’t usually approved of – Wakefield does of course and I’d like to ask him why.
And still Jake Crosby has not responded to any of the comments about his article.
Texas statutes have clear steps for complaining about a judge’s conduct – conflicts of interest and actions of relatives and co-householders. But of course there’s no suggestion that Wakefield or his lawyers are going down that route. Nor Crosby. Just bleating about it.
@Brian – trust me, I’m pissed that he’s actually going to be Alma Mater for his degree….how his professors deal with him, I have no idea…..
So, Wakefield and his cronies set up a business in Texas where he can provide illegal medical advice, since he is no longer licenced to practice medicine anywhere in the world. A UK journalist wins a libel lawsuit against Wakefield that was brought to court in Texas, although none of the material Mr Deer had documented, published, or televised was available outside of the UK, except via internet. All this happens well after Wakefield is erased. So, he’s out of jurisdiction, out of money, and out of luck if he tries filing another suit. Honestly, this nutjob is out of his min, out of morals, and really ought to be on ICE’s list for detention and removal – as in out of here. He’s a threat tossociety, if you ask me…
I really don’t think AoA thought this whole thing through. There are official channels for filing a motion to recuse the Judge – but kind of late for that – on top of that, the Judicial Community is fairly tight-knit. They really don’t like it when one of their own is criticized outside of official channels.
The do realize that none of their baseless accusations is helping AW’s cause, and if anything is probably doing at least a bit of damage to his case, if and when it comes up for appeal.
They are truly idiots – because they aren’t going after a public figure like Dr. Offitt or criticizing the CDC or NIH, they are accusing a siting Judge – which kind of puts it in a different category – since it has a direct bearing on a legal case with which they have stock in.
There are official channels for filing a motion to recuse the Judge
Am I correct in guessing that these channels for requesting recusal are designed to be pursued *before* a case proceeds, rather than sitting on one’s complaint and waiting for the Judge to deliver a judgement one dislikes?
@herr docktor – yes, normally it is one of the first motions filed in a case. I am sure that AW’s attorney doesn’t want to commit career suicide by making groundless accusations against a popular judge.
It could be brought up during appeal, but again, Michael Parrish has to keep practicing law in Texas, so I don’t think he likes AW enough to end his law career.
You know, I asked a very innocent question there regarding why Dr Wakefield didn’t ever file libel charges at the beginning of this mess (which you would think they would have loved to address) and they never let it through. Looks like they don’t like that email address anymore either. I wonder if I’ll have to start masking my IP address to get any comments posted over there?
I’m not as well educated as most (possibly all) of you, and I can’t ask really impressive questions, but it makes no sense to me that if Britain’s libel laws require proof of innocence by the defendant instead of proof of guilt by the complainant that Dr Wakefield would have been much better served to have sued in England when the story first broke.
Why the wait? Why suing over another story years later?
I feel kind of sorry for Texas. I can’t believe that the majority of its citizens are exactly proud that a disgraced doctor from England ran and hid in their state, covers himself with the label of “proud Texan” and pretends to be persecuted by publications from his home country.
How about you channel these questions to me and I’ll post them?
so far, I’ve had all my comments approved.
@Alain. Wow… I have never had anything mean or controversial that I’ve ever asked them, but this is at least the second one that didn’t pass muster.
All I really asked them was for an explanation as to why Dr Wakefield chose to sue for libel, now, in a US court when he had previously been a citizen of Britain and the libel in question all happened on British soil. At the time I hadn’t realized it was a second article and not the original that the libel suit was about (now I understand that part), but I still don’t understand why they are trying to put a British publication under Texas law.
I suspect they either assume I’m too stupid to explain it to or that if they really tried to they would realize the argument really doesn’t make sense on its face.
@Mrs. Woo – someone else pointed it out on another thread, but I’ll just reiterate it. Being “educated” has nothing to do with whether or not you’re able to think critically. IMHO it’s not about WHAT you know – it’s about WHY you think you know it.
In my humble career I’ve known PH.D’s who couldn’t find their elbow with a compass, and GED’s who made me (a relatively lowly BS in engineering) look like a fool. IMHO the psychology of belief and “intelligence” as measured currently are totally separate things.
@ Brian Morgan:
re: Jake not responding / what is said about you @ AoA
Last summer, I attempted to get Jake to question his conspiratorial bent and to imagine how being a contrarian might adversely affect his future career in his chosen field Relax, I am formally trained for this and have stalwartly interviewed ‘hostiles’ previously- in person.
I did not fare so well: obviously he didn’t think much of my sparkling personality and charming manner. He rigidly upheld the party line; I forgot what he called me and of what he accused me but neither was very nice. I believe you work independently, which is good because he has called his critics’ employers more than once. His own history of “questioning” is quite interesting.( see his articles at AoA)
I only went out on a limb because I enjoy working with young people who want to get an education and hate seeing opportunities and young lives going up in smoke..
Well, Benedetta stopped asking me questions about my diagnoses when I brought a bit too many facts on the table so that his cognitive dissonance was too much to overcome. It hasn’t been going too well because I provided what I though were sufficient answer to his long paragraph (full of assumptive questions) but if he had been asking questions, I would have went into more details.
Perhaps I’ll do it on my blog someday (www.securivm.ca).
@Alain – thank you so much for your blog link! I will add it to my list. I do have a lot of fun confronting woo-believers with real-world reasons as to why their opinions are off base. Sadly, there are times when they do the equivalent of putting their fingers in their ears and yelling loudly, “Nah nah nah! I can’t hear you!”
@Infuriatingly Moderate – Since I haven’t had access to journals, etc., anymore, it can be challenging to find good information. I had to admit that I used to work at a university a long time ago and can remember ironic things like professors who had “broken” computers where their monitor was unplugged from the CPU, etc., so I can agree that common sense and a Ph.D. might not exactly go hand-in-hand.
However, it would be much easier to debate if I had the knowledge that others here have acquired in their educations. Intelligence is nice, but educated intelligence is better.
I will add some english content in the next few days.
Regarding AoA, I’m still waiting for my question to show up and actually have an answer…
I still want to know why Québécois truck-drivers used “poup-poup” rather than “10-4” on the CB radio.
Narad, it sounds almost like a computer ping than code. The “10-4” was code, just like the ham radio “73.”
don’t know…I’m trying to recall if and when we had a CB.
It is in fact suggested by Aléong & Chrétien to be a “metaphor.” I’m just not sure quite what for.
The AoA thread linked to in the main Orac article above has turned out to be a real gold mine – diverting totally from Wakefield and the legal action to cobwebbed historical issues with wild creepy crawlers accusing myself and others right left and centre of (alleged) misdeeds. Why don’t these people just set up their own blogs and websites instead of riding whoo-aa on the back of Jake Crosby, who has gone very silent.
@Brian – kind of fascinated by all they are sure they know about you. Wasn’t sure if it is mostly allegations that took on a life of their own when people were upset or speculation. Recently I have dealt with something like that in real life. Honestly when you get to that kind of behavior, if it is insistent enough, you find yourself calling friends asking, “Okay. I’m pretty sure that I remember who I am, but can you go over it again just in case?” ~shakes head~
I’ll say this – don’t work alongside an investigative journalist when you have matters you would not rather get known.
Don’t accuse that journalist of actions he or she has not done to try and cover up what is coming out. You may have been right on some things, but that does not excuse what was not right.
Best to just keep quiet and not bring it all up again. But, to be honest, I have seriously better things to do and they don’t, obviously.
One example that just been cited – I “sabotaged the Consensus group work” – No I didn’t. It included confidential information from someone I had worked with exposing false allegations of child abuse without the consent of the family concerned – who were very very angry. I recognised the material and told the family. If I could recognise them so could others. The attacks that came my way on an open discussion list were appalling. The attackers are still out there and one has just re-appeared. That so-called Consensus group was not Consensus based – it was effectively a one person anonymous campaigner trying to rescue their credentials – but they got identified and and their own lack of reputation killed Consensus. That’s the way it goes. If you can’t put your name behind something there’s often a very bad reason. Google – consensus group child protection – and it’s the top item – from the Guardian and not written by me either. I’m not sure linking will let me post so I’ll try link in next comment.
The link: http://www.mensaid.com/fl-consensus-guardian-2006-05-24.htm
@Brian – people will latch on to anything they think will allow them to gain an advantage.
I am still puzzled as to why AoA would encourage personal attacks against a sitting judge while AW’s case is still active, especially in Texas these types of vendettas are frowned upon.
Jake is going to find that it is a much different situation to play “connect the dots” with the judiciary. Lawyers tend not to have much in the way of a sense of humor, and judges even less so.
AW’s attorney is going to bear the brunt of any response -judges have long memories and protect their own (for good or bad), so god help Michael Parrish’s next client.
Hello, I’ve been reading this excellent blog for quite some time now but never posted a comment. I’m sorry that my first one will be off topic, but I only came across this paper today and Wakefield is history anyway. It was written by Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD, who Orac blogged about once regarding her research about aluminum and autism.
Here is the paper: http://www.ecomed.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/3-tomljenovic.pdf
So my question is: How come anti-vaxers don’t quote it everytime they engage in a “debate”?
Thank you and sorry for the off topic again. 🙂
Lawrence – they are grasping at those vaccine laden straws over there. One or two of them do however check the facts and backgrounds. Too few, and anecdote is good enough for most, including John Stone – he’s admitted that. They’re convinced of course that vaccinations are the cause of all illnesses suffered by children. So when a parent is accused of harming a child it must be the vaccination at fault. Well that doesn’t help in court when the real illness is no way capable of being linked to vaccination, and it is for example the result of an unethical, unauthorised and unconsented secret research intervention? How on earth is pleading ‘it was the vaccination, your honour’ going to help that family?
One has just asked what ‘cot death’ is – is that just irony or real lack of knowledge. Another question is what did Dr David Southall have to do with the tragic Sally C case? That’s just been asked. Some of us don’t have to ask these questions – we know and they’re just delving into it – some for the first time.
I just want to see some of that old discredited crowd put their names on the AoA discussion board as one has just done.
Some of them, including those who took me on, subsequently found themselves banned from submitting to the BMJ instant responses because of what they were saying. One even fabricated an email account to post appalling stuff about me there. He used the name and email account of a doctor who had been his best man at his wedding. The person attacking me was a convicted paedophile and had been struck off from the register – was still allowed to submit to the BMJ. But for the first time ever the BMJ then had to delete a whole sequence of instant responses he’d submitted. I’m writing a book about all of this.
Just curious, but has Young Jake ever been brave enough to comment here?
Presumably Jake Crosby is active in campaigning against his University’s own vaccination policy?
Haven’t seen him in a while, but yes.
Oh yes! He duelled with several of us here last summer and has dropped in at other times. I refer to him above in two comments.
Peebs, yes. He has posted here and also here</a. We often took to calling "Young Master Crosby" , warning him that his behavior could be seen by all future employers.
Ugh, missed a closing bracket. But the link is still there.
Over the past year it seems as though he has ramped up his campaign to be noticed: witness his questionning of vaccine advocates in public, presence at Autism One ( photo ops with the Thinking Moms) and recent forays into speculation about judicial bias.
Lately, Jake has been stepping on my nerves because I think he makes us (autistic) look bad in important settings (grad school, work and maybe a few others). I’m concerned.
Ah, the good old days when Jake came to have conversations and launch accusations. I do wish he’d drop by again.
I’d remind him that his grandfather (an awesome physicist who worked on many levels of science) was utterly devoted to science, unlike Jake.
Ren: Jake’s grandfather was a physicist? I had no idea. Do you know what field he worked in? (I’m a physicist as well, and might just take a stroll through the literature)
Physicists – interesting company. I trained as physicist/mathematician but went into industry where it was more to do with getting stuck into making kit work to turn out the goods properly – nylon fibres at first – much, much later into higher education journalism and then whatever reporting was interesting – medical-legal was one sort.
Definitely “interesting company”. One of my female friends and colleagues described the dating situation (at least in high energy physics) as “the odds are good, but the goods are odd”.
BTW: if anyone has a juicy postdoctoral position in experimental high-energy particle physics filled… I’m your man. (true, but just kidding around).
Ahh, typos “…that needs to be filled”.
Hi Alain formerly known as Autistic Lurker! Say, I posted a link to your blog at The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism:
Regarding Jake’s grandfather Lawrence Cranberg…
The Cranbergs of Austin Texas are well-connected in Texas, including his daughter Nicole Crosby who now runs the family business…and his son Alex Cranberg…who recently relocated from Colorado to be appointed as a regent on the Texas University Board of Regents, by Governor Perry.
Alex Cranberg has beaucoup money; he is the President/CEO of an oil exploration company. The “Crosby” fortune is from the Cranberg side of the family.
Who knows how Nicole came up with her theory that her son Jake was misclassified, for years, as having ADD or ADHD, until he was *correctly* reclassified as having Asperger Syndrome circa late teen years…which Nicole attributed to the vaccines that Jake received in early childhood.
Thanks for the publicity Liz.
Governor Perry? THE Governor Perry? The one that, according to anti-vax groups the world over, is at the beck and call of Merck? That Governor Perry?
Wow. Someone should ask Jake who HIS uncle is.
I would guess that attributing a condition to an external cause (vaccines) and institutional malefeasance would be ego-enhancing: ADD/ ADHD is usually attributed to genetics mediated by early environment, sometimes other factors- much like the SB theory of causation of ASD.
Basically, she could say that she produced a ‘perfect’ ( whatever that is) child who was then ‘damaged’ by wrongdoing by the establishment rather than attributing it to genes or luck. These LD conditions also have co-incident neurophysiological differences which might be hard to swallow for some people.
After hearing AJW’s slant on ASD, perhaps she found that scenario more to her liking than what medical and educational professionals had already told her for many years. That is the allure of autism/ vaccine pseudoscience in a nutshell. And just maybe, she thought Andy was super.
I already “did” (parodized) Jake’s “Bob’s Your Uncle” routine up thread.
Where were you Ren, this past weekend…whilst I was entertaining friends from Germany? I heard you had a meet-up with one of our other posters. 🙂
@ Denice Walter: Have you seen this post from our favorite Asperger Syndrome journalist?
I haven’t been on Ritalin for decades. When I was first put on it which had been around the time I was in Kindergarten, it gave me full-body tics. They were so bad the teacher even complained about it to my mother. The shrink who prescribed it to me insisted that I stay on it, citing some improvement in my attention as a benefit that supposedly outweighed the tics, but they were so awful.
Luckily, a father of one of my friends was a child psychologist and gave my mother an article about how Ritalin can cause children to develop chronic tics who would otherwise not have them. Only then did my mom take me off of it. She then gave a copy to the shrink who prescribed me the drug in the first place, who then “lost” the article. After being taken off Ritalin, my tics continued to persist for another six months.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | October 02, 2009 at 03:25 AM”
Here, Jake attributes his *success* in college because he was shooting up methylated Vitamin B 12…
Ain’t *Big Pharma* wonderful…when it can change a previous diagnosis of ADD or ADHD…to Asperger Syndrome?
I was… you know… around.
I met Liz Ditz while I was in San Francisco for business. What kind of business? Well, let’s say that the person who wants to bring public health to it’s knees could have done so with one strategically placed piece of Salmonella-ridden chicken in a hotel in San Francisco. Alas, we all gathered and conspired to bring about something new… Something that will make anti-vax heads (figuratively) explode (unless they do explode literally, in which case I recommend not watching “Scanners”).
If you’re ever in the Washington, DC, area, Lilady, you should look me up. We’ll go over to GW and hang out. 😉
@ Brian Morgan (August 7, 9:58 am): One has just asked what ‘cot death’ is – is that just irony or real lack of knowledge.
Charitably, it could be geographical; we call it “crib death” in the U.S.
Uncharitably, that person was connected to the internet when they posted the question…
Am I alone in thinking that “One Trick Pony” would be a good Olympic event?
Oh where, oh where, have I heard that before? Toss those meds, vitamin B is the answer for psychological issues! Woo websites and Scientology.
Those entries you link explain a lot.
Chris provided an entertaining link to Jake’s summer visit to RI which I re-read.. The fellow doesn’t like yours truly. Or anyone else here.
AoA has a new *bete noire*: expect an expose of another investigative reporter named Brian: Morgan, that is. They really don’t like him.
-btw- they don’t like you either.
A simple question: now I’m just a psychologist who studied literature and a few other things but I would think that an epi would need to understand a bit about ways of ameliorating the spread of illness- which include vaccines.
Wouldn’t a person who frowns upon the use of vaccines be at a great disadvantage when seeking employment ( or taking exams, for that matter)? Seriously, wouldn’t it be a bit like me ( female atheist) seeking employment as a RC priest?
i.e. not very likely to happen.
I venture that we’ll all make their enemies list. Oh good!
Am I alone in having a Billy Jack vibe creeping up?
no; for one, I’d be interested into psychoanalising JC (my one trick pony…)
Go ahead! Psychoanalyse! I personally don’t try to hang diagnostic labels on anyone via internet ( also it’s not my job!) although I have on occasion given my opinion that someone does NOT have serious problems or does, as well as their relationship to reality.
It is another thing to talk about a person’s abilities and / or difficulties. For example, someone asked me if X had serious problems: I responded that probably not, as he had been employed in an exacting career, dealing with the public for 30 years. Then I might observe that Y behaves in suspicious ways or has odd beliefs.
Seth Kalichman goes as far to say that some denialists have a particular personality disorder- however, he’s met most of them, I believe, so he should know.
All people speculate about others’ capacities and traits: it’s part of being human, Some psychologists say that people act like ‘naive psychologists’- I’d add- in some cases VERY naive.
I won’t psychoanalyse on the internet, I’d like to meet him at AutismOne.
They don’t like me? Aw, shucks.
“Wouldn’t a person who frowns upon the use of vaccines be at a great disadvantage when seeking employment ( or taking exams, for that matter)? Seriously, wouldn’t it be a bit like me ( female atheist) seeking employment as a RC priest?”
Well, yes. Part of the work of an epidemiologist is to suggest control measures for what is being observed. If those control measures include vaccines, then we need to recommend it. The person in question would be in a heck of a pickle if they gain employment in a health department of any sort for that reason. If there is an outbreak of measles, would he risk being responsible for someone getting hurt because he’d recommend against the MMR? So my thinking is that he will seek employment with someone close to his worldview, trying to give some credence to flawed studies. Not that any of them will get published in reputable journals.
As for your second question, I believe firmly that many of the world’s religions could do with a little more objectivity and reason. Imagine if a non-believer was consulted on matters just to get a different point of view, and if their opinions held weight in the decisions of a church? “You want to move the pedophile to a different parrish? That doesn’t sound like Jesus.” Yeah, we would have avoided a lot of trouble if someone like you (and others) would have been consulted on some church decisions.
Personally, I welcome the point of view of non-scientists and non-believers in both matters of science and matters of faith (respectively), so long as they keep it objective, reasonable, and respectful. I’m not the end-all-be-all of all things, not even epidemiology… Yet.
I appreciate your kind words.
There are lots of openings for woo-meisters because they usually set up their own shop and there are no (real) degree requirements, professional standards or governmental supervision.
I can imagine a recruitment brochure:
” Is woo for you?
No degree, experience or ethics required.
Do and say as you like,
no one’s really watching”
@ Ren: I think, at a minimum, that Jake would be required to have his Tdap booster, before his was admitted to his MPH-Epidemiology program.
Let’s suppose he is employed at a local health department and there is dirty food handler, who has already infected some restaurant patrons with hepatitis A. Would Jake be willing to recommend the vaccine to contain the food-borne outbreak?
Oh come now, don’t you think he used an exemption and haughtily shoved it the face of some poor unsuspecting administrative worker? I don’t quite get the continued speculation about Jake’s future employment either other than sport I guess. He’s not going to get a PH job ever. Period. He’s relegated himself to the depths of writing rubbish for AoA and whatever circle jerk of vanity press there is. The only difference is is that if/when he actually graduates he will present himself as Jake Crosby, MPH before he pokes his stalking victim in the chest.
Somehow I’ve managed to have two different email addresses banned from AofA for just asking questions, but haven’t made enough of an impact to actually have them hate me. Perhaps because I don’t have a blog of my own?
Jake is unlikely to get a job except in the “niche” he has already carved out for himself. That being said – when you look at what the likes of Joe Mercola et al seem to rake in, would we really worry that he won’t be able to find lucrative employment?
That being said, the clips I have seen of him speaking suggest he had better stick to writing instead. However, since his “investigative journalism” always falls within the expectations and world view of his echo chamber, it is likely if he were to write books along the same lines he would at least make enough to get by on. With family wealth there to provide more than enough cushion, it is likely that Jake would consider the lifestyle I live to be skirting, if not part of, poverty itself, and definitely not a lifestyle he would wish to live or understand. I expect that he can continue to exist in the alternative world view as their “brave, maverick epidemiologist” until retirement.
Which is sad. It also means that I believe there will always be charlatans pandering unproven and sometimes dangerous supplements as either part of or an alternative to scientifically based and/or proven medications and treatments.
Several posts have elements of what I think Jake’s career path will be.
He’s going to start getting a job with some unsuspecting health department. Whatever damage he can do on the way is great, but it will come to a head when they make getting vaccinated a condition of employment. He will then switch into martyr mode with lawsuits and plenty of time on the anti-vaccine rubber chicken circuit.
From there he’ll get a position with a sympathetic organization, perhaps even a paid staff position with AoA. There he’ll use his degree in a perpetual argument from authority.
Kind of like Dana Ullman pushes his MPH degree before misrepresenting studies claiming homeopathy works.
@ Art K.
Regarding Jake’s job prospects…
“He’s going to start getting a job with some unsuspecting health department.”
Perhaps, if there is a health department on a distant plant…where the personnel wonks don’t have access to the internet:
If immunization causes autism, why wouldn’t someone on the spectrum choose to have all the vaccines they could?
I’m sorry, if immunization caused…
Thanks for your very humorous blog. I am the President and CEO of The Immunization Partnership, the organization that hosts The Texas Immunization Summit every two years. We applaud the judge’s decision in this case and continue to work with TAFP, and countless other organization around the state to ensure that Texas is protected against vaccine preventable diseases. As you might imagine, we are at ‘ground zero’ in the anti-vaccine debate. We fight everyday to counteract the egregious flow of misinformation and erroneous assertions that are propagated by Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues. As for the conspiracy theory, if working in collaboration with all of the stakeholders locally and nationally to ensure that families do not suffer the consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases is conspiracy, then color us guilty. In the meantime, we will continue to advocate for evidence-based immunization laws and policies, educate the public and support immunization best practices. We welcome your participation in our upcoming Texas Immunization Summit, September 27th and 28th. Come see how Texans are stepping up to the plate on this critical issue.
Posted by ArtK, August 8, 4:28 pm:
/Users/narad> whois -h whois.enom.com http://www.ageofautism.com
Registration Service Provided By: Namecheap.com
Contact: [email protected]
Creation date: 15 Aug 2007 21:38:41
Expiration date: 15 Aug 2012 21:38:41
Freaking automatic linking.
Expiration date: 15 Aug 2012 21:38:41
Meanwhile, back at AoA, Boy Wonder Ace Reporter is complaining that Seth Mnookin has blocked one of his tweets.
(Courtesy of the BWAR)…Jake’s new twitter page:
Too bad I don’t do twitter. I *might be* tempted to tweet the twit.
@Lawrence & @Chemmomo:
Don’t forget that Jake is still a student. A few $1000 can be a lot of money for a student.
It’s easy to forget how the other half lives. I use $100 bills to wipe my son’s butt (I find that toilet tissue irritates his reptilian skin).
Jake’s comment that “vaccine industry spokesman Seth Mnookin blocked me on Twitter from responding to his tweets” seems on its face to be completely incoherent. I presume he means that he was blocked as a “follower,” but he’s still perfectly capable of typing “@sethmnookin” into a tweet. The complaint, in fact, seems to be once again that he’s not being provided somebody else’s venue, i.e., being rebroadcast in Mnookin’s Twitter feed. The irony of AoA’s “moderation” policy is not exactly subtle.
Jake’s got some stuff clanging around in his head that is broader than I had expected, though. (Apparently following on the Managing Editor, who promptly connected the autism dots.)
@ Narad: At least Stagmom doesn’t block/or rid her Twitter page of comments that don’t agree with her…which Jake has been doing.
For once, AoA joined other autism groups by roundly condemning the insensitive remark by Joe Scarborough “Holmes could very well be autistic, like my son…they are loners, blah, blah, blah.”
The *latest* cause at AoA is disparaging any and all psychotropic drugs, prescribed by any doctor, for any condition. (A gambit to draw more people into the Canary Party).
So now, any good will that AoA derived from the Scarborough incident, has now disappeared.
Hmmmmmm……I wonder if they’ll even think to renew the registration. Anyone got an extra $29.99?
Jake is merely an individual who is compelled to be abusive, and has found an approving audience for his abusiveness. I have to wonder why so much attention is paid to these people.
As GB Shaw noted long ago: don’t wrestle with pigs. You get dirty and the pig likes it.
As a Twitter user, I don’t even know what “blocked me from responding to his tweets” even means. As Narad says, he can still use @user in his tweets. Following is irrelevant.
Jake truly believes that he should be allowed to express his views in any forum that suits him – and doesn’t seem to realize there is a difference between “public & private.”
I doubt the NAACP would appreciate a KKK spokesman coming to all of their events & making a spectacle of himself…..
I personally pay attention to Jake ( and others like him @TMR) because I believe I might be observing the development of a future alt med ‘thought’ leader as if *in utero*( i.e the protective, nuturing environment provided by a sympathetic venue) : alt med ‘thought’ leaders are a sideline of mine.
I’d like to understand them because they can do so much damage by providing mis-information to vulnerable people. Although their messages may be rooted in whimsy or psychological disturbance, as well as avarice, the consequences are real, as we’ve learned with AJW. I’d like to understand how these people operate psychologically.
Plus I’m up 20 hours a day and it takes my mind off my other responsibilities.
I’ve been hearing an anti-meds campaign for a while there and at other intellectual anti-vax cesspits; as you know , alt med gurus especially despise anti-psychotics and anti-depressant for any condition. I wonder why that is?
Denise, I’ve wondered about this quite a while too. My best understanding, from what I’ve heard from these people over the years: A lot of people are very attached to the idea that however the brain chemistry operates on its own with no modification is the “real” state of the person, and no matter how dysfunctional that state is, it’s automatically better than any “artificial” state that was reached with the help of medication, because it’s “real.” The way these people think, if you spend every waking hour in agony because your brain won’t stop screaming messages at you about how you’re worthless and the worst person in the world, that’s better than taking a medication that slows those thoughts down and lets you talk back to them, because one is “natural” and therefore “real” and the other isn’t.
correction: “anti-vax intellectual cesspits”
you might enjoy TMR’s entry today where a ‘thinking’ mom deals with medical professionals at a walk-in med office.
Although I was hinting that woo-meisters have empathy for their clients because they both share a dislike of meds which stems from anosognosia of both parties…
However, you’re right: ‘natural is better’ even if it means suffering.
Oddly enough, some even deny the existence of psychological conditions’ relationship to neuro-transmitters at all ( what they call the “chemical imbalance theory”) – in other words, people aren’t depressed/ SMI because of how serotonin, dopamine et al are utilised but because of LIFE itself- SBM pathologises LIFE. One needs spiritual counselling and exercise as well as a healthy diet and supplements, instead.
From what I understand, we can expect a massive effort in opposition to SB mental health care coming down the pike. They hate meds for mental illness as mcuh as they hate ARVs, vaccines and chemotherapy.
Well Denice, They have their very own political party now which seeks to admit everyone into their tent…not just those who claim vaccine injuries…but everyone who wants to fight “The Medical-Industrial Complex”.
Another reason perhaps, is they don’t “believe” in medications developed by “the man”…only megadoses of “pure” vitamins, “purifying” bleach enemas and the like…because “the man’s” vaccine damaged their kids and anything and everything can be used to “cure” them.
I think the one-trick pony and his pals are upset with us because we all know how to play “Bob’s your uncle”…and each and every time he indulges in that game…I’ll play Alex’s your uncle.”
The canaries aren’t the only ones, I’ll venture.
There’s still a whole song and dance afterward were it actually to expire (although Enom seems to reserve the right to completely ignore this procedure in their registration agreement). The minimum bid for the backorder is $69.
@ Denice Walter:
“you might enjoy TMR’s entry today where a ‘thinking’ mom deals with medical professionals at a walk-in med office.”
So “thinking” mom uses a doc-in-the-box for her five kids’ medical needs…that’s the childrens’ “medical home”, eh?
I know you missed church services today, so here’s some *inspiring* reading for you:
Oh, I’ve seen it!
Believe it or not, I slog through their muck faithfully every day.. and it usually inspires me to mix a stiff drink.
Truthfully, they make me thankful that I had a family who valued education and made sure I got one.
Re ‘church services’: to paraphrase Wm James: if it improves your life, who am I to scoff? Well, IIRC he probably said “floats your boat” in *Pragmatism*..
@ Antaeus, and yet these are the same subset of people who think nothing of shovelling megadoses of vitamins, injecting immunoglobulins, secretin, anti-virals, stem cells and performing bleach enemas, DIY foecal transplants and chelating their special needs children. Oh the sweet hypocrisy if children weren’t suffering.
August 12, 10:41 am
Once again jumping in to the middle of an OT sprout, but I think in the spirit of things here:
Objections to psychoactive drugs may be rigid and doctrinaire because of ideology, or because of experience. The antidepressant wonder drugs were oversold, that is now commonly acknowledged. There are both practical and philosophical issues with many of them, roughly corresponding to acute and diffuse side effects.
Obviously if one has a crippling disease one must use any effective means to combat it and accept that the cure may bring it’s own, though smaller harms.
One effect of the casual attitude towards prescribing antidepressants of several classes without balancing and managing the deleterious effects of same is that some people are now suspicious of all such drugs in all cases. There are beneficial uses for such drugs; blithely writing a scrip and presenting that to a patient as amazing solution for their troubles is not one.
Once trust is broken it is difficult to regain.
One needs spiritual counselling and exercise as well as a healthy diet and supplements, instead.
This works so well with diabetes.
@Spectator 12:04 am
Completely agreed. I was originally going to write a longer comment touching on some of the same complications, but a deadline I had moved up unexpectedly, so I had to oversimplify.
I completely agree that psychoactive drugs are not a magic bullet; I’ve shared here my experience with my brother and I taking the same medication for the same condition and getting wildly different results, and I could also talk about a medication I took that achieved its primary goal incredibly well, but came with side effects so intolerable they completely disrupted my life.
But notwithstanding all that, I’ve spoken with several anti-medication people who seem to perceive psychoactive medication as a “anti-magic bullet”; it’s an article of faith for them that the medication cannot helpfully modify the brain chemistry to give the person a better quality of life while they still remain the same person. They are convinced that anyone who reports improvement on a psychoactive medication is experiencing medication-impaired judgment; they cannot be actually happy, but are merely mistaking the effect of “happy pills” for happiness. Like solipsism, this dubious paradigm cannot be falsified by evidence.
I was addressing extreme *activists* who decry the usage of ANY anti-psychotic/ anti-depressant by wildly exaggerating side effects while not mentioning the desired *effects* which control or tone-down symptoms for SMI that can be very dis-abling.
There is an entiire movement in alt med concerning this issue that parallels their anti-medication stance for ALL illness, usually accompanied by anti-pharmaceutical industry-governmental collusion rants. As I mentioned earlier, there is often denial of the physiological basis of mental illness itself.
Obviously meds can be over-prescribed by physicians but I wonder how much of that is in response to *patient* demand for them. If a patient complains of ‘feeling low’ or ‘being stressed’. Similarly those who promote woo also deny that doctors advise patients about eating healthier diets or exercising- ALTHOUGH THEY DO- and neglect to observe that patients may turn a deaf ear and not follow through.
I was addressing extreme *activists* who decry the usage of ANY anti-psychotic/ anti-depressant by wildly exaggerating side effects while not mentioning the desired *effects* which control or tone-down symptoms for SMI that can be very dis-abling.
I’d like to know what the folks would have prescribed for the bi-plar woman one county to the north of us who decided to stop taking her medications last fall. She shot and killed her husband, three children and herself the week before Christmas.
Probably 5-htp, melatonin, niacin, valerian and spiritually-based counselling including prayer.
Yes. As we often say around here; Read and weep.