Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Reptilian Shape-Shifting Alien Takes Over Lenny's Body

There's an interesting discussion over at EOHarm. It started when Lenny Schafer posted the following.


I have inquiries along the lines of this letter from a Schafer Autism Report reader. Most of the explanations I can come up with sound a little weak.

Have any EOHarm list participants seen anything new from our side to help explain the question. I am looking for a response to put in the SAR. I am sure many of my 20,000 readers would like to some sort of explanation.


Dear Mr Schafer,
Shouldn't we be seeing a downturn by now in the rate of diagnosed autism now that thimerasol has been removed from all childhood vaccines in California for a few years now? Do you know what the proponents of the theory have to say on the matter? I was dismayed to see the news item in today's report about the most recent numbers from the DDS.

Puzzled in Mtn View.
(EOHarm message #67007)

Fellow EOHarmers explained that it's not just thimerosal in vaccines. There are other things going on with the environment. But Lenny countered that the thimerosal hypothesis was supposed to be the strongest hypothesis, not a marginal part of a general environmental hypothesis.

The strongest hypothesis we have out there for the cause of autism is the Mercury Hypothesis. This is not the Mercury and Everything and the Kitchen Sink Hypothesis. Nobody every said it was only mercury, only that it's the best suspect. The mercury is mostly out of vaccines and we should have seen some drop, not increase in autism if the Mercury Hypothesis carries weight, I would think.
(EOHarm message #67018)

It was then explained to him that thimerosal is still in the flu vaccine, that trace amounts are still there, etc. He wouldn't budge. After all, if the "epidemic" of autism was supposed to be caused by an increase in the thimerosal dose per child in pediatric vaccines, why wouldn't a substantial decrease in the dosage reverse the epidemic?

Yes, yes. But there should still be some drop.
(EOHarm message #67034)

EOHarmers tried everything. They said that any dose could sustain the epidemic; that perhaps only a decrease in severity would result. Some decided it was time to blame a different type of vaccine; maybe Wakefield was right after all. They talked about the importance of keeping the faith. Finally, someone said, "how do you know thimerosal has really been removed?" But it didn't really work.

If true, this would be the best explanation of them all, not to mention the biggest travesty. It shouldn't be too hard to test this. Random analysis of vaccines.
(EOHarm message #67038)

He thought about it further and came back with the kind of whopper that is only ever overheard in skeptical blogs.

This is another important missing element in support of the mercury hypothesis: where are the whistle blowers? Even amongst the worst thieves and scoundrels, there are a few who eventually seek to tell the truth and find atonement for their sins. Where are they? (Rhetorical question).
(EOHarm message #67113)

When asked why the question was rethorical, he answered as follows.

The question, "wherefore art thou whistle blower" is posed rhetorically because the obvious answers are unsatisfactory to the mercury hypothesis:

1. They are still in hiding after so long.

2. They don't exist.
(EOHarm message #67125)

Lenny's a goner I'm afraid. The Illuminati have him now. Well, that or, you know, something called cognitive dissonance finally kicked in.

Either way, what do you think Lenny Schafer should say to his readers? Let's help him out.


  1. If California does not control for legal status of residency for state services, these continued increases could be a reflection of “aliens” that have received vaccines that still contain Thimerosal outside of the US borders.

  2. It is now a requirement for children to have flu vaccines from 6mo of age to 18 years old. Note that several of these flu vaccines also contain thimerasol. This table may help with quantities:

  3. It's highly doubtful that most new autistic kids in California are foreign kids vaccinated elsewhere.

    As to the flu vaccine, even if every child had it, first, it's not a vaccine that is given at birth (a major point of the thimerosal hypothesis), and 25 micrograms would be considerably lower than the dosage received in many decades.

    Or to quote Lenny again, "Yes, yes. But there should still be some drop."

  4. It's highly doubtful that most new autistic kids in California are foreign kids vaccinated elsewhere.

    For this year or since 2001?

  5. Unless there was a huge upsurge of foreign born kids entering California to coincide with the drop in thimerosal exposure, that's really not relevant, is it?

    There were foreign born kids before 2001 and there were such kids after 2001.

    There should be a drop from the reduced dosage non-foreign kids are getting.

    Lenny is obviously looking for reasonable answers. He doesn't want to insult his readers' intelligence with preposterous ideas.

  6. Maybe the increase is nothing more then imports from other states because CA offers more/better services?

  7. The question is not why there's an ongoing increase. Increases could be due to all sorts of things; in particular, I think it's simply because California is not yet recognizing all autistic children and continues to get better at it.

    The question is why thimerosal
    removal had no impact whatsoever at any point in time. This graph speaks volumes.

  8. This is what I would tell Lenny's reader:

    Dear Puzzled in Mtn View:

    It has been clear for some time that the thimerosal hypothesis was a remarkable and unprecedented mistake; one that will be recorded in history books. I can only hope it becomes a lesson on how new autism causation hypotheses should be received in the future, i.e. with a substantial dose of healthy skepticism. Instead of jumping to conclusions and basing our convictions on guesswork and testimonials, we should allow the scientific method work its way to a solid and verifyable answer.

  9. If California hasn't figured out how to correctly diagnosis ASD in the past 13 years since the criteria was last updated, they never will. What does that say about the validity of the underlying data?

  10. The limitations of the data are well known. Basically, it can only be taken as a rough lower bound, and it's hard to tell what the level of recognition is. However, that doesn't mean that CDDS should just throw the data away. There's some usefulness to the reports, and that's why they produce them.

    The thing is that a drastic environmental change that has a causal effect in autism should be detectable. If there are less autistic kids total one year compared to the previous one, it follows that whatever the current recognition levels, less kids should be recognized.

  11. This is very amusing:
    "Maybe the increase is nothing more then imports from other states because CA offers more/better services?"

    People LEAVE California to get more/better services, unless they already live in a few areas of LA.

    Margaret Bauman compared autism services in California to those of a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY.

    I.e. there wouldn't be a huge advantage for parents of autistic kids to move from Mexico to California if they were looking for services.

    The evidence is that Hispanic kids are under-represented among those with autism diagnoses in the DDS and IDEA data.

    There's no evidence that thimerosal in vaccines ever COULD in any situation cause autism. There's no reason to suspect vaccines. No reason. Lots of people do suspect vaccines, but they do so based on their belief system, not on facts.

    I think Lenny is switching horses midstream... or maybe Autism Diva got to his email account and is pretending to be Lenny on EoHam. :-)

    I expect Lenny will soon note that his grandson, Izak, was exposed to pesticides after birth and that it was the pesticides all along since chelation, etc, didn't help his grandson any at all.

    From what I understand the only vaccine Izak ever got was the birth dose of Hep B.

  12. Okay... I live in California. You can't even, for the most part, get services as an autistic ADULT, unless you also present with MR or some other "severe" disability. I'm a member of MENSA so I guess that rules out "looking disabled enough" right then and there. And by the way, this is for vocational rehab services (for those of us who want to work) as well as a program teaching adults the county bus system.

    I don't claim to speak for all Californians but I do know Orange County is pretty craptastic overall with services for any disadvantaged people, because the common theory is if you live in the OC you must not be disadvantaged. There are no free clinics that I know of in the OC apart from Planned Parenthood, and the one homeless shelter is in Santa Ana. And yes, I say "the OC" pejoratively. I am from southern New England, and mental health services for children and adults are not great there, but some of the stuff I'm seeing here is kind of a bit WTH. At least there's free clinics for people in most of southern New England.

    Now there is some awareness of ASD issues in Orange County, but I would agree with Mrs. Clark that people from Mexico and elsewhere are not coming here for child services. Other things, maybe, but not child services. Considering that it's at least a 4 hour wait for an emergency room, and switching from my CT insurance to CA insurance was like pulling teeth... um, yeah. Try again.

    As far as thimerosal, I really hate debating about this because I don't have a science degree and I'm much more concerned with the quality of life for kids and adults on the spectrum. I have contact with "curebie" parents as well as people in the neurodiversity meeting. There needs to be some middle ground if you want your kid to stay out of an institution and be abused or even raped there, as I was; if you want children to be able to live with some degree of freedom and fulfillment. These crimes still happen in institutions, and happen more because people think they don't happen anymore. I may vehemently disagree with the CAN and TACA parents in my area but I would rather not debate thimerosal when I'm not a scientist, but give information based on my own life, and see if it helps them understand their kids better. Not saying you're doing wrong by posting about the evidence regarding thimerosal (you're not), since that is a major issue in the curebie v. neurodiverse debate, but I'd like to clarify where I stand.

    I will say this: I was not given the MMR until I was far into elementary school, and by then I already had clear autistic traits. Whether or not there was thimerosal in the vaccine is irrelevant. I was already autistic.

    Thanks :)

  13. Will wonders never cease!

    I expect it's just a matter of time before Lenny finds a new religion. Maybe he'll decide it was the refrigerator mothers all along. I hear he's more than a weensy bit misogynistic.

  14. Joseph
    completely off topic
    but am wondering
    myself -since i admit -(unlike SOME people)- I dont understand science very well...
    but do those proponents of Electroconvulsive (shock) therapy have a leg to stand on- scientifically? is there anything that says it works- for any mental condition - that they could be promoting it as having a " a treatment for autism??"
    saw this on the new york academy of sciences website:
    "New York Academy of Sciences celebrates the publication of Shock Therapy: The History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness (Rutgers University Press), by Edward Shorter and David Healy, the first full-length history of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

    A panel comprising historians, journalists, and clinicians, will address not only ECT's history, but its future applications, especially as a treatment for autism."

  15. heres the link to the original

  16. Amanda: I don't know much about it. There's some recent discussion on it over at Kristina's.

  17. Amanda,

    What I remember learing about shock therapy is that it may work, or does work in some cases, but they have no idea why it does (if it does). And I think the side effect(s) are very scary for the person who undergoes it.... memory loss.

    I can't imagine anyone thinking of it for autism... no wait, Ivar Lovaas gave autistic kids LSD, so why not electroconvulsive therapy on toddlers? Hey, why not electroconvulsive therapy on the unborn, suspected of being autistic? There seems to be no limit to the experimentation that people will do on autistic kids.


    Interesting commentary. I'm very sorry to hear you were raped in an institution. I mean words don't quite cover such a thing, but I am really sorry to hear that it has happened to anyone, though I suspect it happens to a lot of people in insitutions and that the rapists are frequently not punished at all.

    It really doesn't take that much education in science to be able to see there's no there there in the thimerosal hype-othesis. It's a belief system and an urban myth at this point.

  18. Chuck,

    I presented data on the CDDS autism racial breakdown at a conference two years ago. The numbers of Hispanic persons recieving access to the CDDS services is equivalent to their general popualtion. In other words, it is where it should be.

    This is in contrast to the number of Hispanic students receiving services under special education in Califoria. In this case the number of Hispanic students are under represented.

    You can review this information here:

  19. Here's what Lenny's response in SAR was:


    Why Autism Continues to Rise?

    Shouldn't we be seeing a downturn by now in the rate of diagnosed
    autism now that Thimerosal has been removed from all childhood vaccines in
    California for a few years now? Do you know what the proponents of the
    theory have to say on the matter? I was dismayed to see the news item in
    today's report about the most recent numbers from the DDS.
    - Puzzled in Mtn View.

    Response: Good question. -LS."

  20. Thanks Jennifer. That's funny. I guess they weren't of much help over at EOHarm. He should've used my answer though!

  21. I note that Chuck makes the "usual arguments":

    [1] "It's the darn immigrants!"

    Has anyone noticed a surge in immigration to California, legal or not? And immigration from other states into California wouldn't influence the USDE autism data, since they cover all 50 states (and continue to go up, every year, just like clockwork).

    [2] "The data's no good, anyway!"

    I'd agree with that. But then you don't have a leg to stand on when you claim an "autism epidemic", do you?

    In the end, the whole "vaccines/mercury/etc.-cause-autism" hypothesis is a house of cards resting on some very iffy data. If the "autism epidemic" isn't real, then the whole crazy mess comes crashing down.

    Now, there are a lot of people out there reading Lenny's e-rag that aren't aware of the fact that the "autism epidemic" (or, at least, a major portion of it) may be nothing more than an artifact of better awareness. It appears that Lenny missed that point, even if he's finally awakened to the fact that the "data" doesn't support his hypothesis.

    So, you can have it one of two ways:

    You can believe the California DDS data and admit that thimerosal isn't a likely cause of autism.

    Or, you can acknowledge that the California DDS data (and USDE data) aren't up to the task and admit that the "autism epidemic" is supported by nothing more than some people's "feeling" that "There are a lot more autistic kids now than when I was a kid!"

    But you can't do both - at least, not without putting up with a lot of cognitive dissonance.


  22. It's a late post, but for a very interesting and powerful talk by someone who underwent ECT, go here:

  23. Don't worry, they're working on how to keep the Mercury poisoning up. The CDC now want to pump 6 mo old babies with the flu shot (contains mercury)

    Don't be fooled, there's no such thing as a coincidence when it comes to Autism. (i.e., Amish don't get autsim, don't get shots; before kids started getting "shot up" autism was low, Mitochondrial disease triggered by Mercury and other ATP damaging heavy metals ...just to name a few coincidences)

  24. got cut-off after p, rest should read:

  25. Let's assume there really is a conspiracy to make kids autistic with the flu vaccine in the future. An "experiment" has occurred either way in the removal of most thimerosal from pediatric vaccines. There should be a drop in the number of autistic kids in certain birth year cohorts. There is not. The hypothesis is dead, and it's unbelievable that some people just can't give it up.

    Finally, the Amish do vaccinate and they do have autism. You've been reading too much Dan Olmsted.

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