Sunday, April 06, 2008

Conficts of Interest Disclosure

As everyone knows, a couple of worthless pieces of shit from the mercury militia have gone after Kathleen and another blogger by means of legal bullying, with the presumed intention to not only silence two important voices of dissent but also to chill much of the neurodiversity and skeptical blogsphere.

After Kathleen was subpoenaed, she filed a top-notch motion to quash, where she happened to disclose the sort of revenue that is generated by running the site (incidentally, apparently less than its maintenance costs). I see that at least D'oC, Kassiane and Liz Ditz have also disclosed their conflicts of interest.

Earlier today Orac over at Respectful Insolence posted An open letter to David Kirby and Dan Olmsted about the Kathleen Seidel subpoena essentially asking Kirby and Olmsted to issue a position statement on what is now being referred to as the "Seidel Subpoena." Evidently, the letter will end up testing the ethical standards of these two autism journalists – as they are often thought of.

In the comments section of Orac's post, the question came up as to David Kirby's and Dan Olmsted's source of income. I think this is a legitimate question. After all, they do not appear to be employed by any major media. They are not parents of autistic children. They are not autistic. So are we to assume they write about autism because of their love of journalism? It doesn't seem plausible to me, and unlike Shoemaker's apparent suspicions regarding Kathleen, it's not necessary to invoke major conspiracy theories to conclude that Kirby and Olmsted must be payed by an organization with significant funds. I believe it would be of interest to find out whether, as some have suggested, David Kirby and/or Dan Olmsted are receiving money from parties with a stake in vaccine litigation.

Of course, neither Kirby nor Olmsted have an obligation to disclose this. No one is going to drag them to court to force them to disclose how they make a living; at least I sincerely hope not. I have decided to disclose my conflicts of interest, nevertheless. Of course, this is all done under the honor system, and that's fine. I'm willing to take Kirby's and Olmsted's word about their disclosures, if any. Other bloggers who write about vaccines and autism (from any side of the debate) should feel free to use my template below.

How much money do I make blogging?

I make exactly $0 (Zero US dollars) blogging about autism. As you can see, I don't have any ads in this blog, nor do I think I would make much money to speak of at my current traffic. I do not get payed to blog by anyone, be it pharmaceutical companies, the government, or the Illuminati. I currently do not take donations.

Why do I blog?

I blog about autism because I am the parent of an autistic child and because I am autistic myself. I also blog about autism because of my interest in science and scientific skepticism.

What is my occupation?

My formal employment is in an area of IT that is not related in any way to autism, disability, health care, vaccines or pharmaceuticals.

What about other income?

Believe it or not, I do not own any stock in any company of any kind, not even through mutual funds or 401Ks or anything of the sort. (I don't own a single credit card either). What can I tell you, I'm a strange guy.

The vast majority of my income comes from my formal employment. I do make perhaps and additional $15-$50 a month from hobbies that have nothing to do with anything I write in this blog. That is the extent of my income.


  1. Joe, It's not important how respectable writers earn money. With Kathleen, it's an issue of sanity.

    We could all write her off as insane for being so fervently oposed to helping disabled children. But, she writes better than your average lunatic so it might be worth investigating to see if someone is paying her to write this ridiculous nonsense.

    Nobody would question if your Phil Gluyas was being paid since he is so obviously wacked out. With Kathleen, she presents a position that could actually appear reasonable to some uneducated people.

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  3. Great post. Sad that any of us even have to go there though. Thank you for the template, I will be adding such information to mine as well. Thanks!

  4. Hi Joseph, I added your "conflict of interest post" to my big list of internet responses to the Seidel subpoena.

    For my own conflict of interest statement, I used Kathleen's as a model.

  5. Personally, I think the only "conflict of interest" statements any of us should be issuing is this:

    "I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party."

  6. Hi Joseph

    Its comforting to feel that like me your income is ZERO from talking about autism.

    But how about growing up or learning something about the illness? Or is this forbidden?

    Your writing is not NEUTRAL not FAIR and not even ACCURATE.

    In the words of one ally of mine you are talking BULLSHIT.

    Lets look at three statements in your post which explain the above.

    1 “a couple of worthless pieces of shit from the mercury militia”

    Whats this supposed to mean? “worthless pieces of shit”
    SHIT has immense value. It consists of amino acids present in excess amounts not required by the owner. If reprocessed it could provide nourishment for those who lack these essential components for making the brain cells work properly for example. Your opinion that shit is worthless is actually far from the truth.

    Whats this supposed to mean? “the mercury militia”
    Mercury is the most toxic non radioactive element and the militia you refer to are actually diametrically opposed to its inclusion into any vaccine and especially therefore into childrens vaccines given top the at the age of one day. They are more accurately called the militia working to exclude mercury from our vaccines. I think some degree of militancy is necessary in the face of nearly ten years of continuing to allow it to remain in our vaccines and its sale to every other country in the world AFTER the USA FULLY realised its potential for harm. As of today (April 2008) it rests in MANY MANY vaccines given to children and adults in the USA and other countries. INADMISSIBLE

    2 Evidently, the letter will end up testing the ethical standards of these two autism journalists – as they are often thought of.

    Mr Olmsted and Mr Kirby support the elimination of mercury from vaccines. Where are the ethical standards in supporting people who think the worlds most deadly toxic material (mercury) should be injected into anyone, anywhere, especially one day old infants with no ability to decide if its good for them or not.
    Using your warped logic you may even be testing their ethical standards if they dont support your motion to increase the amount of mercury to 1 per cent if you had some such a loony idea?

    3 Kirby and Olmsted must be payed by an organization with significant funds.

    Writing books is a very lucrative business. The author of Harry Potter was on the dole when she wrote this book. She is now one of the richest people on the planet. I suspect good writers make lots of money. In France we have a word for this. NORMAL.

    In England we have a word for those that support the use of toxic material into babies. ABNORMAL.

  7. John: So you don't think it would be of interest to know if David Kirby's PR campaign is funded by parties with a vested interest in vaccine litigation? For one, I would think the Huffington Post might be a little bit interested.

    BTW, John, have you disclosed your conflicts of interest? Not that we don't already know what they are. Completely up to you, either way.

  8. Quicksilver: If you have an issue with the accuracy of any statement I have made in this blog, I would encourage you to tell me what those issues are, preferably in the comments section of the relevant post, but you can do it here as well if you prefer.

    As I have clearly stated when I talk about my comment policy, I encourage criticism of my point of view. I do not delete any messages except those that clearly violate Blogger's content policy.

    Finally, if you don't know why the mercury militia is called the mercury militia, clearly you are new to all this and you are not familiar with the way the mercury militia operates.

  9. Joe,
    David Kirby's not intentionally lying about methods that help cure autism. That means there's no reason to suspect a conflict of interest.
    I have no conflict of interest aside from making money by selling my anti-Neurodiversity merchandise on Cafe Press. I have some lovely products there that I know your readers will enjoy. However, if the benevolent Mr Shoemaker puts Neurodiversity out of business, there will be no more demand for my products.

  10. John: I don't believe you understand what a conflict of interest is. For example, paper authors are often required to state their conflicts of interest, and the requirement is not dependent on whether you think they are honest or not.

    I thought you had said in the past that you did have a stake in vaccine injury litigation, but whatever.

  11. "John: I don't believe you understand what a conflict of interest is."

    That's not all he doesn't understand. To be honest, it's pointless trying to explain it to him... he's not capable of getting it (purely because he has no intention of understanding things correctly).

  12. Joe,
    My case was thrown out of vaccine court for missing the statute of limitations. I may decide to file in state court at some point. If I do that, and win, I will donate part of it to curing pending psychologists from Finland.

  13. You won't do this:

    "I may decide to file in state court at some point..."

    because you will never do this:

    "... and win".

    I can't see how you think you will win!

    No evidence.

  14. David,
    I'll probably wait until I have incontrovertible evidence, a cured child. Then he can testify himself and I can subpoena you as an example of the brain damage that persists into adulthood when you do not remove the mercury. The whole case will take 20 minutes.

  15. Holy shite, not again!

    "I'll probably wait until I have incontrovertible evidence, a cured child."

    Without a reasonably conducted study (which <I actually suggested you could do for publication in GAP!), you're screwed for providing 'incorovertable evidence' of anything except that you're not a very clever chap.

    "Then he can testify himself and I can subpoena you as an example of the brain damage that persists into adulthood when you do not remove the mercury."

    Now you're being ridiculous. That's about your only strength, isn't it?

    "The whole case will take 20 minutes."

    Yeh, for it to be thrown out of court and your arse to be slung in the clink for wasting the court's time.

    Shit, John... when will you grow up?!

  16. David,
    You'll be the perfect witness to demonstrate the long term effects of thimerosal. Thanks for the demonstration.

  17. "David,
    You'll be the perfect witness to demonstrate the long term effects of thimerosal. Thanks for the demonstration."

    If you can't see how stupid that statement makes you look, you really should see a psychiatrist.

    Not joking this time, John.

    And I can guarantee that I'm not the only person who thinks so.

  18. Amazing that I knew of no autistic kid growing up.
    Look to the parents who are not really that interested in the kid and voila as we say in Kazakhstan!

  19. Lewis: You must mean you didn't know of any kid diagnosed with autism growing up. That you never saw any autistic kids is fairly unlikely.

    But is there a coherent point to your comment either way?

  20. I'll add to that by saying;

    Lewis - all LFA's in the old days were sent to asylums and the like. So of course you wouldn't have seen any. They were hidden. Even as far back as the middle ages when the ones that lived were the ones hidden by the church.

    Autistics were around long before thiomersal or any of the vaccines.

  21. I do not get payed to blog by anyone, be it pharmaceutical companies, the government, or the Illuminati.

    Okay. I just picked myself up from the floor from laughing so hard.

    This is a great, well written post but I have to give you bonus points for putting a counter-spin on the conspiracy that Clifford J. Shoemaker, Esq. is trying to establish in his attempt at a Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP.)

    Well played indeed!!

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