Thursday, June 9, 2011

Farewells and Epiphanies

I’d like all of you to get comfortable. Have a seat, open up a brewski (if that’s your thing) or a glass of wine (ditto) or your morning coffee and sit back and relax. This post will be vulgar; it will be raw; and most of all, it will more than likely piss off people on all sides of the argument. Likely, some people will never speak to me again. That’s fine; I’m ok with that. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. Besides, it lets me know who of you out there are truly my friends and those who just pay lip service (hey look…flowers!)

When we write online, we all use personas. Those who read our blogs or articles or whatever expect to see certain things from the person writing. In Orac’s case, his readers expect to see insolence and snark as well as biased scientific discussions. With Kim Wombles, her readers expect to read about community and acceptance while she calls the kettle black. With me, I’d like to think that many of you expect my usual dry wit, my sarcastic humor, and for me to point out and laugh at the false skeptics and hypocritical science poseurs.

Today, I’m putting aside that persona. I’d like all of you to imagine me sitting there with you, this big, tall, burly man, gray in my long brown hair and short beard, intelligent and earnest blue eyes behind my glasses. I look almost scholarly, and I look very very tired. You see, I’m going to talk to you straight; no sarcasm (well, not much), no poking fun at anyone (ditto), just me telling you things as I see them. If you don’t like it, too fucking bad. I could really give a rat’s ass; there’s the door, and don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out because I already have too much shit to clean up. And if you’re reading this and you’re curious about what I’m going to talk about and want to continue reading, then please continue.

One thing I’ve noticed about the online Autism wars is that things get nasty. People do and say things that are appalling and disgusting, and then they go on doing it. Each side wants to hurt the other in some way; one side tries to hurt someone’s livelihood, the other wishes that their opponents would all die of deadly diseases; one side thinks that their opponents should be jailed because they believe that those opponents are culpable in injuring and harming children, while the other wants to put their opponents on an island so that they can all die off. A while back, I noticed a comment on AoA that surprised and shocked me. Someone had posted information about Dr. Gorski and where he worked, etc. This, to me, was crossing a line. Gorski’s allies jumped in and showed their support, agreeing that it was an underhanded and tasteless thing to do. I spoke up on AoA and expressed my displeasure at what was done. Then, several months later, AoA did it again, showing a picture of Elyse Anders (Skepchick…she and I had a very pleasant email exchange afterwards..while she and I don’t agree about autism and vaccines, I can say she is a lovely and very sweet woman and that it was a real pleasure corresponding with her) and her child that seemed pretty threatening. Again, I spoke up, putting my foot down and refusing to post on AoA or defend them. Kim Wombles and Gorski and all of their clan stepped up and wailed about how horrible AoA was for doing something like that. When someone commenting on an article on attacked Ken Reibel’s son, I spoke up, castigating that person even though I cannot stand Reibel. No matter how much you loathe or despise someone, there are things that should not be pulled into the argument. You don’t attack their livelihood, and you don’t attack their family.

So, what do the false skeptics do when one of theirs begins stalking and harassing someone who isn’t in their little clique? When that person starts posting information about where someone lives, pulling up comments and posts from 5 or more years ago by the person’s wife and posting them online (meaning that they dug really deep to get them), making mysterious phone calls to the individual and then hanging up when the person answers, and posting information about where someone works? What do they do when the person being harassed politely asks for the false skeptic to please stop because the actions are threatening and frightening to his family? Do they gather and defend this person, expressing their support and castigating the offending individual and loudly, proudly, make him an outcast to their elite club?

*chirp chirp*

That’s right…they do nothing. Not a fucking thing, because in their eyes, he didn’t do anything wrong. You see, this is the very reason I started this blog.

I see this double standard all the time. The false skeptics wail and moan and gnash their teeth at how horrible those mean, cruel, evil “anti-vaxxers” are, but when they do the EXACT SAME THING, no one says a word. It’s ok when they do it, because they are righteous and holy in their cause. They are so assured that they are right and just that anyone who disagrees with them is anti-science/anti-vaxxer. It’s ok when they insult these parents, calling them tea-baggers and conspiracy theorists, because they KNOW they are right, and nothing anyone can do or say will ever change their minds. They are not open to new evidence. They do it because they feel that they are fighting for the health and welfare of children.

It’s a terrible thing what the AoAers make misogynistic comments about how a doctor is under the table giving Offit a hummer, but it’s ok when they say that Jenny McCarthy is a blonde bimbo who shows her bewbz, and why should you listen to her? It’s absolutely traumatizing when the eebil “anti-vaxxers” say that the Pharmaceutical industry and their shills are harming children, but it’s ok for them to call these people killers, or to open a website that accuses Jenny McCarthy of killing thousands of people. The world is going to end because the “anti-vaxxers” compare the tactics of the false skeptics to Nazis, but it’s ok when one of their number (the same fuckwit I mentioned that was stalking and harassing someone he doesn’t like) makes a shitty movie parody that casts one of the AoAers as Hitler and the rest of the editors of the site as his cabinet.

Really, it’s all very, very sickening.

The thing is, though, that AoA does the same thing. They are so assured in their righteousness, that they are right and just in their actions, that anyone who disagrees with them is a pharmaceutical shill, etc. etc. They do it because they feel they are fighting for the health of their children.

The only thing I see are a bunch of fucking assholes pointing fingers at each other and calling each other names. And you know what? It doesn’t do a damned thing to help our children.

That’s right…every single one of them should be fucking ashamed of themselves. And that includes me.

Orac isn’t fooling anyone but his sycophants and lickspittles. He claims to be science and evidence based, but then he declares from on high, with the angels above singing “The Science Has Spoken.” He’s critical of everything that contradicts his warm, safe little world view. He goes through the studies that call into question his paradigm, picking them apart and going through them with a fine toothed comb. He says he is not a friend of the Pharmaceutical industry, but he doesn’t question the crappy studies they release that supports his point of view. He doesn’t question the studies that, when they discover that the rates of autism in children with MMR are significantly higher in one age cohort, the study writers adjust the age cohorts to massage the data. He doesn’t question when a researcher compares autism rates in one city to vaccine uptake in another, then uses that to claim there is no association. Those are all fine and dandy in his book, and they reinforce what he already knows, so you can add confirmation bias to his list of tricks. And then he turns around and laughs at the parents and scientists who obviously have confirmation bias when presenting their studies. To Orac, real scientists don’t make a claim that states that vaccines could cause autism. And when a scientist is presented that shows a method and mechanism that shows that, he repeats that no real scientists would make the claim that vaccines could cause autism. He complains about censorship, but doesn’t want anyone who disagrees with him to have a say.

He doesn’t do a damned thing to help our kids. It’s a game to him, a way to make himself feel superior. But in truth, he’s a narcissist who can only make himself feel better by ridiculing others. His only goal is to be right, and rubbing it in the faces of those he doesn’t like. But, when he’s proven wrong on something, the subject is never broached again…the subject is no longer mentioned.

Kim Wombles is, quite possibly, the biggest violator of the “Oh no he DI-IN’T” club. She gets all flustered and angry and offended when people she doesn’t like insult her or her friends. It’s awful, you see? It’s terrible! They should instead write about building communities and talking about the joy that their children bring, and not about calling people dumbasses and going on and on and ON about how much better they are than their opponents because they believe one way and their opponents believe another (like she does). She can insult them, though…that’s ok, because that’s all part of building a community. They should write about love and friendship, but not write hateful comments about others’ beliefs (like she does). And flowers…don’t forget the flowers! And woo…gotta say woo at least 40 times an article. Oh, and when they do write about the joy that their children bring, it’s ok for her to ridicule them because she says they are dumbasses. And even dumbasses have feelings (you all may think I’m kidding or being sarcastic here…I assure you, I am not. This is how she really is). She complains about censorship, but doesn’t want anyone who disagrees with her to have a say.

Do as she says, not as she does. Pot…kettle…cunt. It’s all a game to her, you see. A way to prove to herself that she’s better than the people she doesn’t like. In actuality, she’s an even lower form of scum than she thinks they are. Again, not a damned thing to help our kids.

Ken Reibel trolls the internet looking for articles on vaccines and autism. He deliberately makes inflammatory comments to offend and humiliate parents of vaccine injured children. He accuses them of lying, of making up stories about their children’s injuries. He hounds parents like myself relentlessly, stalking them, pulling up posts and comments from their spouses that are years and years old. He harasses them endlessly, then laments when he is kicked out of conferences hosted by the people he hates. You see, it’s all a game to him. He gets his jollies by intimidating these parents, hoping that his badgering will get them to just shut the fuck up! He complains about censorship, but doesn’t want anyone who disagrees with him to have a say. But is he doing anything to help our kids?

Age of Autism is an online website that focuses on the vaccine/autism link. Once, they posted lots of information about diet, treatments, and doctors who assist with helping autistic children feel better. Lately, they’ve been focusing on calling people names, lamenting about how everyone is so mean to them, and complaining about how no one takes them seriously. They write scathing articles about those that oppose them, claiming that they are all pharma-shills. They focus on the studies that show no link between vaccines and autism, running through them with a fine toothed comb, but they aren’t critical of any of the studies that do show a connection. They relentlessly support a failed doctor and researcher who was shown to be unethical and sloppy in his research, even if he had good intentions. They relentlessly perseverate over another failed researcher who stole money and went into hiding. They complain about being censored, but they censor any disparaging comment posted on their site.

But, is what they are doing helping any children? Are they helping parents of autistic children?

Me, I talk about hypocrisy and double standards. I ridicule these doctors and science poseurs, showing that they aren’t really science and evidence based. I show them that they are just as much of a cult and a religion as those they deem “anti-vaxxers” because they cling so desperately to their dogma, because they worship science. Anyone who disagrees with anything they say is a heretic. And for that, I am outcast. For that, I am anathema! Just because I disagree with them about how science really works, just because I point out that science is not a god and should not be worshipped, I am shunned. While I don’t think I’m playing a game, I do enjoy bringing them down a notch or two. Their arrogance deserves to be mocked. Their hypocrisy deserves to be ridiculed. Their ignorance deserves to be brought to light.

But am I doing anything to help our children?

Nope, none of us are helping our children. Oh, sure, Orac and his cronies will say that by supporting vaccinations, they are helping children. They’re not, though…they’re just laughing at those they feel are inferior. And Kim will say that she’s building a supportive community that these parents can share their stories. She’s not, though…she focuses on the “angry places” like AoA and instead waxes poetic about how much better she is than these angry parents. AoA will say that they are trying to help vaccine injured children by exposing the corruption in the Pharmaceutical industry. They aren’t really helping children, though, because this whole thing has descended into name calling and finger pointing.

I include myself in all of that, too. I think it’s important to acknowledge your faults, especially when you are pointing out the faults in others. To really expose hypocrisy for what it is, self knowledge of your own flaws and hypocrisies is essential. But, again…that’s not really helping anyone.

I sometimes wonder if people like David Gorski and I could have been friends. He has great taste in music, and he and I share a lot of the same interests. I also find some of his blog posts extremely fascinating, and sometimes downright funny. Same with Reibel…could we have been friends? I admit, the guy is downright hilarious sometimes (that is sincere, btw). I tried being friends with Kim Wombles, but I have this little bias about being betrayed and stabbed in the back.

So, with this realization, I am going to quit writing as MySocratesNote. I’m sure many of you have seen this coming for a little while, but I don’t think I’m helping my son by doing this. In fact, I am going to follow the advice of a friend of mine and stop writing as myself entirely. I will be going underground and writing behind the wall of anonymity.

At this time, I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to close the site, leave it alone floating in cyberspace, or turn it over to a friend and let him write as MySocratesNote. One thing I will be doing is creating a new website. On it, we will discuss things that help our children. We will discuss things like how to stop a severely autistic child from playing with his feces, or the best way to potty train them. We will discuss treatments, both biomedical and mainstream. All will be welcome. All will have a say. Oh, there will be rules, yes. One of them will be no discussions about Vaccines, because to be honest with you, I am sick to fucking death of hearing about it, and those discussions are taking place in earnest on dozens of other sites around the web. And those that break my rules will get my usual 3 strikes before they are banned.

So, expect one more post after this from me as MySocratesNote. That post will have the new address of a site I am building that will focus on the things that help our children with special needs.

I encourage everyone to link to this article here. I want everyone who is in this war to read this. I want everyone to know just how petty this war has gotten. I want everyone to come up with ideas and thoughts about what I should write about on my site. I’d like the new site to be a sandbox of sorts, and I will even allow people to submit articles and ideas. I would like everyone to share their ideas about how to calm our children when they go into their rages. I’d like ideas on how to prevent meltdowns when you think they are coming. How to deal with SSI; how to deal with Medicaid; what resources to use to supplement insurance. I want this to be a REAL community that is focused on helping our children, not a pseudo-community that excludes people because you don’t like how they think or because you think they are dumbasses.

Even if you hate me; even if you think I’m full of shit, I am 100% positive that EVERYONE can agree that this is about our children. So, I challenge all of you to put aside the hatred, the bickering, the bigotry, and help each other out. Many of us have autistic children, and we are all in this together. So, let’s do this, people!


  1. Congratulations, my brother from another mother.

    This post is the one I've been fighting with you to, and hoping you would eventually, make for about two years now.

    You are, and always have been, better than the cesspool 99% of this particular community- and yes, we're all a community, just on different sides of the debate- has become.

    I'm glad you finally saw that you were worth more than the slime you were coating yourself with in order to score points.

  2. I have a feeling that many people will perceive this post as an angry rant (and I know one person, if the stupid cunt ever reads this, who will say exactly that). If so, they can go fuck themselves. I am a little angry, yes, but mostly disgusted. Grown people acting like fucking children because they want to push their point of view on the rest of the world. People who are doctors and scientists acting like snot-nosed brats.

  3. Yes Craig, I'm sure you and I would get along just fine. If you ever find yourself in Milwaukee, after we take that hospital tour you promised me, I'll take you out for a Lake Michigan perch fry.

  4. Craig I get 99% of your post. You have spent years funneling that emotion until it's apparent this avenue has fizzled out. I'm proud of you it shows you are evolving and that is a good thing.

    That said.

    I guess I'm not that evolved yet. I cannot have a discussion about *my* son's autism without bringing up vaccines. His frontal cortex is damaged. I'm still angry about that.

    I wish you and your family the best, always.

    Warm Regards,

    Heather White

  5. Gambol...I deleted your comment. Enough, dude.

    I respect what you are saying, and I understand. The only thing I ask you is to ask yourself if what you are doing is helping your son.

    My goal going forward is to find a way to help our families. And I want you to know you are certainly welcome to join me.

    Reibel, that comment was posted over 2 years ago. If you were so worried about me, you would have pressed charges ages ago. So drop one's buying your false outrage.

    I did see this excellent Hispanic restaurant over there on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives that looked fantastic.

  6. I'm not sure you could set up a site that discusses treatments and therapies without constantly bumping heads with the vaccine question, since so many of them respond to theories about the causes of autism. Though you should be able to have good vaccine-free discussions about behavioural interventions and what methods have worked to advance abilities and skills. Either way, I applaud you for wanting to set up such a site, and specifically aiming to get away from the anger and personal attacks.

    I wish you all the best with it and look forward to checking it out once it's up and running.

    (As a side point, I'd just like to say that Kim did everything in her power to help a desperate family that I told her about. She sought out professional advice for them, and shared their story with the specific aim of getting suggestions from various communities (not just the blogging community that she helped set up). As time went by she didn't stop either - it wasn't a one-day thing - she continued to try to help them in the following weeks. I don't agree with everything she says, but in my own experiences with her, she *does* do things to help our children. And through being part of that blogging community, I have become a much stronger advocate for my son and other autistic children, and have become a much happier mum too, which also directly benefits my son. I just felt that was worth saying.)

  7. "I'm not sure you could set up a site that discusses treatments and therapies without constantly bumping heads with the vaccine question, since so many of them respond to theories about the causes of autism."

    I certainly see your point. I'd like to still try it out, and see how things go. If there's too much blather from those commenting about vaccines and autism, I'll stop allowing those types of articles and discussions. But, I am reluctant to do so because I think that, in this case, knowledge is power.

    I respect your defense of Kim, and I appreciate you posting your comment about her. I'm sorry to say, though, that I don't share your opinion of her. She thinks it's hilarious to mock a father who celebrates his child's first word in 5 years. That told me everything I needed to know about her.

    Thanks for commenting. I really hope to see you on my future site.

  8. "She thinks it's hilarious to mock a father who celebrates his child's first word in 5 years. That told me everything I needed to know about her."

    That does sound pretty horrific, and if someone ever did that re my own child I would be equally unforgiving. As a mother of a child who was largely non-verbal until he was almost four, and had to live with the very real possibility that he would never use a sentence in his life (according to his speech therapist at the time), I understand where you're coming from. (My son has learnt to use sentences, but it's still very unusual and limited speech patterns. He's five now.)

    I can't find where she did that to you (on Countering?), do you have a link so I can see what you're referring to? I fully understand if you don't want to dredge up the past and reread the comment, so I completely understand if you would rather not hunt it down. Just thought I'd ask, since I'd rather not be a defender of someone who would unapologetically do such a thing.

  9. Hey Craig, I agree with a lot of what you said and don't mind you saying things I disagree with. Who am I to tell you what to say or not to say?

    For about a year now I've been reading Autism File Magazine (on paper) and finding it to be a wonderful publication filled with really good articles on helping children and adults who are diagnosed with autism.

    It does include articles relating to vaccinations, mostly telling the stories of families and how their children became ill. But because it is a physical magazine AND I think because of the excellent editorial staff, there isn't the nasty stuff you are abandoning.

    Finally, although I found your take-downs of folks like Orac and Kwombles amusing, I never felt as though it was doing YOU any good to write that sort of stuff or to spend the time reading and analyzing that crap. So I'm glad you are moving on.

    Hope to keep in touch!

  10. Minority, I've never read Autism File magazine. I may have to take the time to look it up. Thanks for the tip.

    Hellbilly said the same thing as you about me wallowing in the slime with Kim, Reibel and Orac. He, too, was afraid of what it would do to me as a person to subject myself to their brainless twaddle, but I pressed on so that I could amuse the few readers who read my little blog.

    I'm not helping my son, though. I'm not helping anyone's child by doing that, and that really was ultimately my goal. It's time to start doing that.

    You know you'll be welcome with me, Minority. I really enjoy our discussions, and I certainly hope to see you on the new site.

  11. Craig I spend most of my day helping my son. My blogging is to bring awareness and informed consent to others which in turn hopefully helps other children. For my son the brain damage is done but my hope is to spare other children from the same pain my son has had to go thru.

    Vaccines cause brain damages which in turn has a pattern of injury that ...... ASD. It's important to not forget that so we can try and implement better pre-vaccine screening protocols, active adverse reporting and swift target treatments for recovery. Vaccines don't cause all autism but they certainly do for some. Policy changes have to be made to protect those vulnerable children. Validation has to occur to get swift proper rehabilitation.

    So while taking up the issue doesn't help my son. My hope is to help children that have the potential for the same brain injury pattern. It's not even a choice for me.

    Heather White

  12. Good luck with your new site.

    For what it is worth, I would leave your blog up and running as a historical record rather than taking it down. I think it is always better to leave posts in place so if somebody comes looking for information about certain people that they will be able to find it.

    I know you are saying that these sorts of disagreements and arguments hurt the community but I do think that they serve some purpose. It is important for new people joining the autism to be able to know that the disagreements exist and to be able to get the handle on the nature of the disagreement.

    I know that it would have helped me tremendously when I started reading blogs about autism all of those years ago. I ran smack into people like Autism Diva (remember her?), Michelle Dawson, and Amanda Baggs and it took me about a year to learn enough to see the problems with what they were saying. It would have helped me (and my children) if I would have found other voices out there that pointed out the problems so I didn't have to discover them for myself.

    An example here is that we held off on starting ABA with the twins for about six months after the initial diagnosis partially because of negative comments I read online about ABA. I don't know whether starting ABA six months earlier would have made that much of a difference, but it certainly wouldn't have hurt.

    Perhaps a more relevant example for you is a new parent today who starts reading about autism and runs into Kim, Gorski, or even AoA. It is always helpful to have the counter points out there so that there is at least the awareness that there is a disagreement.

  13. Good point, MJ. I agree, and I think that this page is still relevant to the community. I also think it is important to continue to point out the unscientific behaviors of those who don the mantle of "science-based." I am not saying that I'm going to stop doing this, just that I will stop blogging about it and commenting on their lies and misrepresentations using my name. In other words, I am going anonymous.

    Parents new to this need to know who they are dealing with. And I truly appreciate your comment because it has helped me decide what I'm going to do with this site when I start my new one. I'm going to go ahead and keep it up, and I have a friend who has been willing to take it over for me and continue my legacy, so to speak. I may do the latter and let him take over. Not completely sure yet, though.

  14. "I can't find where she did that to you (on Countering?), do you have a link so I can see what you're referring to?"

    Just FYI, Kim used to have an older site called Countering Age of Autism ( When she switched to the current Countering site she took down all of the posts on the old site and I don't think that she transferred them to the new site. I don't know that that is where she made her comments but it certainly would have been able to give you some background.

    Although I have run into other people who have had the exact same experience with Kim (e.g. Jonathan from Autism's Gadfly) so that for me it is given that she does thinks like this. But then again, I might be unreasonably biased against her for other reasons.

  15. Heather,
    I, in no way, am faulting you for your advocacy. I admire your tenacity and applaud your ability to fight for your son. And what you are doing is relevant. I'm not asking you to stop fighting for your son, and I anticipate the day when you decide to start your own blog so that you can help others. I will most certainly be a follower.

    This article was aimed at all of us who have been hurling insults at each other, pointing fingers, calling names, etc. It's angry, bitter, and hypocritical, and I'm personally sick of it. An old friend told me today that it's never a good idea to wrestle a pig, because you can never win, you just get dirty, and the pig enjoys it.

    You, of course, are welcome at the new site, and I would be very interested in hearing some of your ideas.

    Take care, Heather...see you soon

  16. autismandaughtisms,
    Sorry, I have no idea how I missed your latest comment. It was several years ago, before she moved to the new site, so the comment was erased.

    I had written a short article about my son's first word (My wife and I had gone out for Father's Day, and when I came back, my son said "Daddy"). I wrote about it to celebrate it, and to express my joy. A commenter said something about how I was making it about me, and mockingly said, "he said "Daddy" and I WEPT." Kim thought this was hysterical and commented about how people like me always make it about us (if you follow me).

    Also, MJ was quite correct in that she's done this more than once. Jonathan from Autism's Gadfly is on the spectrum, and she thought it would be fun to mock him and his condition. Personally, I want nothing to do with her.

  17. wow Craig, now that's one way to find your center:)
    Congrats on a new path. I look forward to your new site. Please take no offfense, I keep seeing where you ask if what you do is helping your child. Honestly, I believe all of us parents with injured children could cirlce our wagons and focus on our kids. Just our kids. But that doesn't help the new families entering this hell of a pharma world that still simply believe that no one could intentionally harm any child. You see, that's the problem, until your child is damaged you don't believe. Belief and understanding come after injury. Sad but true for most families. I have to agree with MJ for the need to have the opposing voice for a reality check. Pharma unchecked will simply continue to devour our health and that of our families. I respect you always for your right to follow this new path. I hope that it does bring a better sense of peace for you and yours. I agree completely there is no benefit to name calling. I'll even agree that AoA is a little over the top. I went there when my son was first diagnosed and was hoping to find "community". Well, that evaded me completely, lol. And I find the majority of posters there enjoy themselves more than others. BUT, I do find a lot of good information. John Stone(I'm pointing him out, but there are others I appreciate there also) is an amazing person, and I look forward to anything I see with his siganture attached.
    Ok, as for wakefield, I will simply say that I disagree, he will always be a hero in my book.

    Good luck with anything and everything you do. I look forward to seeing how you keep the challenges of your new board on task:) And will continue to enjoy your blogging.

    Kathleen Heltsley

  18. My advice is: Find some people you like, and ignore the people you don't like! It's not worth spending so much time focusing on such negative energy. I post comments about vaccines and autism on sites that are kind of in the middle, where I think there are some readers who need to hear that there is another side to the story. But I would never bother arguing with the really hard core people such as Orac. What's the point? The arguments will never have any effect on him -- they are just entertainment for him.

    I have often enjoyed your comments. I look forward to your future writing on whatever subject.

    It may not help your son to tell about his vaccine injury, but then again maybe it will help him eventually, because if enough parents keep speaking out surely something will change -- we need prevention, treatment, understanding of who is susceptible and what is the mechanism of injury. A better understanding of the injuries could result in better treatments for all our kids. And prevention in the next generation could result in more working taxpayers to pay for our grown kids' services, and less people with disabilities competing for those services!

    But if you're tired of talking about vaccines, I understand completely -- I'm not saying you should do differently -- just saying that although arguing with Orac et al is probably a complete waste of time, generally advocacy and speaking out is not.

    But we all go through various phases, and what is most important is to spend your precious time on this earth in ways that are fullfilling and meaningful to you and beneficial to your family. I know what you mean about blogging taking too much time, and about blogging under your own name being a bit hazardous.

    Oh, and BTW Wakefield is being made into a huge scapegoat and an example. It is Brian Deer who is a cad and a fraud. Wakefield et al (including Walker-Smith, one of the best gastros in the world) wrote a simple paper describing the children they saw with severe GI issues and autism. The parents tell their children's stories. Dr. W didn't make it up. His paper should have been a starting point for more research whether pro or con, not the cause of a vendetta.

    I wish you and your family all the very very best, and look forward to seeing what you do next.


  19. This post really spoke to me. I am not part of the Autism community, but I have been digging into the vaccine debate. And I find both sides to be equally frustrating with their screeching and insult hurling, which wore me out pretty quickly.

    I wish you luck with your future site and I hope that you can help find a way forward in helping other families without all the insult hurling.

    All the best.

  20. Hi Craig,

    Congratulations on your decision. I think it is positive. Although we don't agree on every issue, I think we agree more than disagree, so I'm hardly likely to be offended by anything you write.

    I'd like to put my vote in keeping the blog up for the reasons already listed, and just in case you get the itch to unload some anger or discuss vaccines without contaminating your other site. :)

    See you around

  21. Kathleen, thanks so much. I hope to see you there.

    Twyla, thank you. It's hard not to argue with Gorski because someone who claims to be scientific making such blatantly unscientific claims and acting so damned unscientific makes me cringe. But, I have to focus on our children. And I have no doubt that Wakefield was a scapegoat, but he was also sloppy with his research, and he got caught. He had the best intentions at heart, I believe, but the fact of the matter is that he screwed up. You can disagree with me on that, and know that I won't disrespect you if you do.

    Megan, thank you. I'm glad you understand where I am coming from, and I hope to hear from you on the new site.

    Schwartz, we have a lot of things we agree on. I agree with you and MJ, and I'm going to keep this site open. However, I won't be writing here anymore as MySocratesNote or as myself. I'm also considering deleting my HuffPo account and creating a new profile there so that I can post anonymously. You also know that you are more than welcome to comment at the new site when its finished.

    The stalking is downright creepy...