December 7, 2006

Outing the Gay Republicans of Autism?

John Gilmore of A-CHAMP asks the question, should high profile closet DAN! families be outed?

I imagine everybody knows about the problem of the gay Republican politician. There are lots gay Republican politicians, but to be a good Republican these days you have to denounce anything that smacks of homosexuality. This, of course, leads to all kinds of hypocrisy. The gay community is divided about whether these people should be outed or not.

We have a similar problem in the autism movement, and those are the leaders of large autism organizations who refuse to acknowledge that there is an epidemic, refuse to spend any of the money that they have extracted from this community on anything related to vaccine safety issues, mercury or any of the methodologies being investigated by DAN and related researchers.

But at the same time they are taking their own affected children to DAN doctors, chelating their kids, getting them scoped by Wakefield or Krigsman, and refusing vaccines for their children. Are they liars? Are they hypocrites? Are they the people who will get us to where we need to go? And what should be done by the rest of us with our own "gay Republicans." Should we ask them to explain themselves? Is the discrepancy between their public actions and statements and their private actions anybody else's business. Are we not allowed to ask them what they are doing in Arthur Krigsman's waiting room when their organizations won't even acknowledge that GI issues are part of autism. Are we being complicit in hypocrisy by remaining silent?


I have been thinkin' a little about this and here are my initial thoughts.

I am thinking there are two different ethical scenarios. Because we are talking about children's medical information, I think that we need to be sure we don't step on children's rights.

I am thinking if a parent tells someone in confidence about their child's treatment, and asks that you keep it private, regardless of their public stance, you should not break that trust, unless there is some sort of mistreatment of a specific child going on.


If you see a parent in a waiting room, I think that asking the question, "Why are you not preaching what you practice", is legit. I think that question should be asked in private first to give them the chance to really do some self-examination about the impact of their decision to with hold vital information from other parents who are looking to them as leaders for some direction as to what they should do for their own child.

But if they are given that opportunity and sufficient time to really come around, then I don't think I could condemn anyone who 'outed' them.

I think about this in the context of my own blogging. Now head of a multi-million dollar autism organization I ain't, but I have put myself (and my child to some extent) out in public. I have made myself a public figure (in the legal sense) by blogging. If I am unwilling to open myself up to scrutiny on the issues that I bring to the table, then I have no integrity.

If I encourage parents to look in one direction for treatment while I am pursuing another for my child, then shame on me.

...your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Out them. If you know who they are, publish names, please.

Anonymous said...

We had a similar situation in the UK over the MMR with demands that Tony Blair, the prime minister, should state unequivocally whether or not his son had had the MMR or separate jabs. all the smart money was on separate jabs but he refused to comment on grounds of his child's right to privacy.

What is the context in the USA? Is it about high profile leaders of orgs like Autism Speaks who are privately paying for biomedical quackery but publicly sponsoring respectable scientific research?

Ginger Taylor said...


That is the context. Are heads of large autism organizations like CAN and AS seeking biomedical (I am going to go ahead and use the term "treatment" here, as my child is actually having his autistic symptoms mitigated through said interventions)treatment for their autistic children, while dismissing or ignoring such treatments and the efficacy publicly.

I think that your example is a good comparison, but it would be a better one if he had spoken publicly about the debate between single dose and multi dose options, and fallen on the side of multi dose. If he was going to recommend it to others, he better be practicing it on his own children. I am sure that his silence probably answers the question for us.

The question the way John posed it presupposes that there are such cases.

Maddy said...

Well written and hear hear. We may not always get it right, but as long as we practice what we 'preach' I think that parents [and hopefully children] will give us the benefit of the doubt, as we 'feel' our way.
Best wishes

Ginger Taylor said...

Joseph... are you outing Bob Wright??! Did you see him while you were in the waiting room at Bradstreet's office when you were waiting to be seen?? ;)

Seriously thought... At this point we are merely posing the ethical questions here. I am not interested in starting unsubstantiated rumors on my little bloglet.

I will pose the question in reverse for you and your 'team', if someone was at the head of any of the biomed groups, NAA, SafeMinds, ACHAMP, et al. and was NOT treating their child biomedically over safety and efficacy issues, should they be outed?

More interesting question to pose to you might be, seeing as you oppose biomedical treatment (let me know if I am making assumptions here), what do you think about people in mainstream organizations seeking biomed on the downlow?

Mine is an equal opportunity blog, all viewpoints welcome as long as they are in the spirit of fair play.

Anonymous said...

"seeing as you oppose biomedical treatment"

Actually, that might be said of you Ginger, if you're doing chelation. Chelation for alleged thimerosal "poisoning" in response to childhood immunizations is considered alternative medicine at best. It's not considered biomedical treatment, which pertains to the science of clinical medicine.

Ginger Taylor said...

Honestly, you can call it Voodoo for all I care. It works for Chandler and I am long past trying to convince people who don't want it to work, that it does.

John Best said...

Ginger, Don't you enjoy how they descend on you in a pack with their illogic? It's like they're begging to be convinced so they can cure themselves. Maybe they're all secretly using biomed already and are scared you will "out" them.

Anonymous said...

Alright, then, your query should read:

"what do you think about people in mainstream organizations seeking Voodoo on the downlow?"

Anonymous said...

Wait, do I understand that John Gilmore is saying that Dr. Arthur Krigsman is a gay Republican?

Ginger Taylor said...


apparently we are saying Arthur Krigsman is a Gay, Republican, Which Doctor.

Wait... how did we get here?

Back to the point of this whole thing....

Is it ok to out people who are not preaching what they are practicing? Does the involvement of children make it ok, where it might not be ok for adults?

Ginger Taylor said...

... but thanks people..

'cause you know that I do appreciate the funny.

Anonymous said...

I think if who we are talking about here is Bob Wright's grandson. Bob is not in charge of his grandson's medical treatment, though one might think he is paying some of the bill. Katie Hildebrand and her husband would have been the ones taking the boy to Krigsman, if that is what happened. Hildebrand has made it fairly clear that she think alternative medicine DAN! style is the way to go, and she's made it pretty clear she thinks she had a normal boy who was stolen from her by a vaccination or vaccinations.

Bob tried to distance himself from that on Imus even as his daughter was basically taking a stand for it. So really, we don't know if he thinks its good or not. His website has links to chelationists, so there you go, maybe he is preaching what his daughter practices.

Lee Grossman of ASA doesn't do the DAN! thing, but ASA tries to stay neutralish, leaning toward DAN! if anything. Who else could need to be

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 12:24's comment. Who else does Gilmore feel needs outing? This item with the Wrights was all over the boards and I am really not clear on the intent of this particular blogger's blogpost on the subject. Somewhere, though, HIPPA has been violated.

Ginger Taylor said...

You would have to ask Gilmore who needed to be outed.

As for the Wrights thing being on the boards, I missed that. I took several months off this year to tend to my own little guy. Please direct me to a source if you can remember one.

Even if it was on the boards, that is not really the same as calling someone out in the media. I got the impression that was what John was talking about.

And I am not sure what you mean about the intent of the blog post. As I said earlier, before anyone starts calling press confrences, I think it is always a good idea to look at the ethics involved.

Situational ethics are almost always a bad idea. It is our tendency to set our ethical standards according to what suits us in the moment, rather than thinking them out ahead of time, and sticking to them even when it does not work out in our favor.

That is HUGELY true in this debate where there are such high stakes. It is easy to step on people's rights and claim 'the greater good' when you feel that your cause is a life and death one.

I think as people involved in the discussions on autism that we have taken on, it behoves us to do a little self-examination, decide on the moral principles that are appropriate, and apply them as seriously to ourselves as we do to those we criticize.

Is that a better explanation?

Anonymous said...

Yes. That's an infinitely better explanation and I thank you. I will respond to more of what you have presented later today. Thanks, again.

Anonymous said...

G -

I think your solid to the core and it's just simply a blessing to have your knowlegde here for many to see ... both sides of the scope if you will.

Peace and Happy New Year.