Moving Science And Society Forward…
There certainly were many issues to consider… the politics… the conflicts of interest… responsibility to the public… and responsibility to taxpayers in terms of getting to the truth and to the bottom of so many of these issues. I had seen enough research into the “genetic epidemics” to last me a lifetime. The simple fact was that there could be no such thing as a “genetic epidemic”. Epidemics were by definition – outbreaks. Genetics – by definition – involved one generation to the next… that certainly did not sound like an “outbreak”. Scientifically, there simply could be no “genetic epidemic”… and yet, society certainly had many epidemics… autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes… and one of the latest ones… hemochromatosis… with one in ten apparently a “carrier” of the gene that would make one be unable to properly metabolize iron.
So many “epidemics”… so many disorders studied for so long… and still… after – in some cases – even one hundred years of research – still… so many with “cause unknown”!
Perhaps – just perhaps – it was time to start looking elsewhere and time to invest taxpayer dollars in independent studies.
I very much suspected that independent studies would move science, much further, much more quickly – in so very many of these issues!
In my opinion, there was simply no denying that if my theory were correct, children with autism now held the keys to opening the doors of so many mysteries – the greatest mystery of all – being man himself.
Yet, along with the tremendous potential I now saw in these children – from a scientific perspective – I also very much recognized that there were many in science who would place “their science” and “their discoveries” perhaps ahead of what was in the best interest of these children. As such, again, I cautioned all parents of children with autism and all families of persons with mental illness to be very, very cautious in determining “who” you allowed to study your loved one.
The simple fact was that there were literally – hundreds of billions – tied to research – to therapy – to pharmaceutical products, etc. and certainly, there could be many who would do “the unethical” – for money and/or professional advancement and/or recognition. I was no longer as naïve as I had once been and certainly hoped the many issues addressed within this text had opened the eyes of many.
I urged all families to push for the legal protection of these children and persons impacted by these disorders from a “scientific research” protection perspective. In my opinion, standards had to be established in terms of what was considered “acceptable research” and what was not when it came to the study of these children. I truly believed there needed to be independent oversight groups – groups including parents of children with autism and independent researchers and doctors – who would first and foremost be concerned with the well-being of these children with autism or others with mental illness as it related to scientific study.
I also urged families to remember the critical difference between “peer-reviewed” and “independent” study and urged them to push for “independent” study. Studies backed financially by persons having an interest in “the findings”, such as the pharmaceuticals or government agencies involved in vaccination programs were not the types of studies families should be pushing for. When billions of dollars could be tied to the results of a study – either in the form of research grants or the development and sale of pharmaceutical products – obviously the “findings” of that study could easily become “tainted” or “biased”.
Given the tremendous loss of gray matter that occurred at puberty onset in persons with schizophrenia, and my belief that autism was simply an “earlier” manifestation of schizophrenia on the “life spectrum” of this disorder, as a parent, I very much felt the “clock ticking” when it came to scientific study and the need to get to the truth in order to prevent this tremendous gray matter loss in my son.
In my view, science had the potential to move forward – at speeds previously believed impossible - however, the move forward could only be accomplished via independent, unbiased study. Quite frankly, no study was better than a “tainted” study because for every “tainted” or “biased” study, there would be further energies expended having to “refute” or “disprove” or “argue” that “tainted study”.
With up to fifty percent of the population heading for Alzheimer’s, up to twenty five percent of hospital beds, by some estimates, filled by persons with schizophrenia, the explosion in autism, and so many other disorders we did not have time or money to waste refuting - “tainted studies”!
To move forward, truly, independent study would be key! I encouraged families to require legislators to overhaul our research and grant programs. Tax dollars for the study of mental and physical ailments had to be re-routed to independent study. We had been able to overhaul twenty two agencies in the interest of national security after the New York City Twin Tower tragedy – it was time we overhauled many more government agencies, such as the CDC, the NIH, the NIMH, etc., in the interest of the actual physical and mental well-being of all – worldwide – because these issues of vaccination safety, disease control and health impacted all persons.
Scientists now lived in technologically exciting yet scientifically challenging times. Technology was moving forward at a rapid pace – but so were disorders and illnesses.
When it came to research, perhaps one of the most powerful technological tools we had was the MRI. Yet, as far as MRIs were concerned, I had some concerns also. An MRI was a magnet.
As I considered all this and the fact that iron could definitely play a major role in autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s, I wondered – could MRIs be contributing to brain damage in these disorders? An MRI, after all was a “magnet” and metals like iron were attracted to magnets. How would the presence of “excess iron” impact the brain or other organs if one underwent an MRI?
If indeed a person suffered from, for example, iron overload, what would exposure to a magnet do in terms of “moving” those molecules within the body or brain? Granted, persons undergoing an MRI were only exposed to the magnet for a short period of time, but, given the general population did not appear to yet really associate these disorders with things such as iron overload, were we simply assuming that damage shown on an MRI had been – completely – the result of the disorder – or was there the possibility that free flowing molecules such as iron or other metals could “move around” a little more due to the magnet and perhaps contribute to further damage. Sure, science was quick to tell us these procedures were safe – but given all I had read about the damage iron could do to the body - personally, the thought of potentially “moving free radical type iron around” in the body via exposure to a strong magnet was not something that I was “comfortable” with.
There was no doubt that MRIs had greatly advanced science and our understanding of these disorders. My intent here was simply to raise an issue that families needed to be aware of prior to making a decision to allow a child or loved one to undergo an MRI. As with everything in life, it was all a matter of weighing the costs/benefits and every parent needed to understand possible issues in order to make as informed a choice as possible. In my opinion, perhaps there was a great deal to be learned simply from MRIs that had already been taken.
In determining whether or not to allow a child to undergo an MRI parents had to ask themselves some very basic questions. If the MRI was going to show “abnormalities” in the brain – as surely it would in these disorders – then what? Was the MRI only to confirm something I already knew – that there was brain damage? How would that MRI be then used to contribute to my child’s treatment? Would that MRI then be used as the basis for recommending medication? Would that medication act only as a “face mask” as described in my first book - Saving Zachary: The Death And Rebirth Of A Family Coping With Autism! – a “face mask” or prescription that would only hide the underlying issues?
If an MRI was simply a “nice to have” to just show parents what they already knew – that brain damage existed - then one truly had to question the real purpose of undergoing these procedures.
There had already been hundreds of MRIs done on children with autism – and much had been learned from those. In my opinion, I highly doubted that my child’s MRI – another child with autism – would be significantly different from that of other children with autism – perhaps it would be – but I had my doubts! It seemed to me from the research I had read that the “same areas” were usually confirmed as being impacted and as such, I was of the opinion that a great deal could be learned from MRIs that already existed. Certainly research had to happen – but I simply questioned the need for so many children to undergo MRIs – especially if MRIs contributed nothing additional to the actual treatment of that child. An MRI for the sake of a “nice to have”, was in my opinion, practicing bad medicine and until families could be shown how MRIs actually contributed to the treatment of a child with autism or any other person with mental illness, then, we as a society had to question the use or perhaps – abuse – of this technology in those known to suffer from problems such as iron overload.
If an MRI was to be used only to help prescribe drugs, it was important that families also understand that drugs were also known to contribute to cell death in many disorders, including, for example, epilepsy, where both the seizure itself could lead to cell death as could the medication!
For too long society had placed government agencies involved in vaccination programs and the pharmaceutical industry on a pedestal, and that had been to our great detriment. It was time we started to question a great deal more when it came to medical care – or I feared we would only find ourselves with more and more explosions in many disorders.
There were not only explosions in mental illness that we now had to contend with. There were also sudden explosions in viral infections.
If something had become painfully clear to me, it was that now more than ever, we needed to work together in finding answers to so, so many issues. The SARS outbreak – a previously unknown virus strain – with the potential to kill so many so quickly – truly showed how vulnerable all persons really were. New strains of viruses were becoming more and more common. I suspected that could have something to do with the aluminum - a known gene mutant.
It just kind of seemed to make sense that, if you put a known gene mutant in vaccines, foods, medicines, etc., you should expect to see mutations – and we certainly were seeing many mutations – not only in man, but in viruses too – and man, after all, was a “carrier” of viruses!
Although most thought only of “vaccines” when it came to disease control, there were other options too – such as natural supplements known to boost the immune system. Supplements had become a very substantial market - with estimates placing this as a close to thirty five billion dollar industry in the US alone – and growing. I was thus not surprised to see efforts by the pharmaceutical to have common supplements become “controlled” substances like pharmaceutical products. This indeed, was a lucrative loophole, that in my opinion, the pharmaceuticals were now looking to quickly close. Efforts were already underway in Europe to make common supplements, such as vitamins and many other “over the counter” healthcare product – supplements that had been non-prescription items for as long as one could remember – prescription items. In my opinion, that simply could not be allowed to happen. Although the pharmaceutical industry wanted us to believe that these supplements could be very dangerous, and indeed, some could be – like iron – the simple fact remained that supplements were not “addictive” and thus, overdoses on supplements – in my opinion – were perhaps much less of an issue than issues of vaccine, amalgam, aluminum and iron overload.
Addressing the “big issues” seemed much more important – at least in my opinion!
I truly did believe that iron was one supplement that needed to be closely monitored. However, let us also remember that iron was very much found in the prescription item known as “prenatal vitamins”. Had the fact that these items were “prescription” made any difference in terms of the potential damage done to society? In my opinion, these prescription items had very much contributed to autism, diabetes and potentially many, many other “disorders”. Had making these supplements “prescription only” done anything to protect the public? Certainly, one could argue that “fewer people” had access to these vitamins. But, was it really a matter of “access” or again, perhaps a matter of “bad science” or “no science”?
How much would it take before society finally said: “Enough is enough!” and admitted there were enough concerns here, enough parallels between autism, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia and implications for so many other disorders, to demand honest investigation into these issues of mercury and aluminum poisoning, iron overload in infants, and the possible impact of viruses on glial cells and the brain in general? We had studied schizophrenia for over one hundred years – and were still looking for the elusive genetic links – perhaps it was finally time to start looking elsewhere!
I urged all families impacted by these disorders to put their anger to positive measures by becoming active in mandating changes – and doing so now. Families impacted by these disorders now held the “swing vote” for all future elections!
It was time that “swing vote” was put to good use!
Families, and society needed to provide direction in terms of what we wanted to see studied and funded - and that had to include significant investment in independent research.
With the “swing vote” for all future elections, families of those impacted by these disorders could force a change, but they had to be united in this issue as it related to research. Personally, I would never participate in anything but independent research! Our loved ones, in my opinion, were now extremely valuable in what they can teach the world about man himself. As such, families of those impacted by these disorders should be well compensated for participating in any study in order to help them recover somewhat financially from the devastation these disorders had brought upon their children and loved ones.
Children with autism provided for science an opportunity to study the brain like never before – to perhaps study the brain’s various parts – almost independently of one another. Truly, these children could teach science a great deal about countless disorders and illnesses - and we, as families, needed to use that to our advantage by demanding the changes we wanted to see – and that meant treatment centers and educational programs developed specifically with these persons in mind.
I encouraged all families to be very selective in terms of what studies you allowed your loved ones to participate in because quite frankly no study was better than a tainted study!
Those of you who contributed large sums of money to universities, associations, etc., I urged you to seriously consider what I was saying here! Only independent research would get us to the truth.
I had seen enough in everything I had read to know that I was no longer facing simply “issues of autism”. It would have been easy to let my anger consume me. Yet, focusing on the negative in all this would do nothing for my son, my family, myself, or - society. If there was a positive in all this, it certainly was that science had the potential to move forward very quickly given knowledge from one disorder could be used to study another.
Certainly, there were issues to figure out – issues relating to the impacts of excess iron or nitric oxide and issues relating to mercury or aluminum toxicity. However, it had become clear to me that – as a nation – and as a people, we had no choice but to face these issues. If indeed iron, nitric oxide, mercury and aluminum played a major role in these disorders, surely, with all the scientists in the world, we could overcome at least some of the hurdles presented by these factors. As with everything in life, it was always a matter of priorities – and an individual choice – in deciding what was politically correct or morally correct – in deciding whether or not to seek the truth or continue to hide from it.
In my opinion, there was no denying that society had some very difficult times ahead.
Too much in my own son had been explained by my theory of little or no communication among the various parts of the brain – too much I saw in my own son – and in other disorders as well. How was it that disorders that shared so many parallels and even a common history had come to be seen as “separate and distinct”?
How was it that autism manifested itself in early life and so closely paralleled Alzheimer’s, and yet, Alzheimer’s was a “genetic disorder” that was said to remain “dormant” for most of one’s life?
How was it that disorders could constantly be “renamed” – it seemed – for no valid reason? This simply made no sense to me.
Yet, what this had shown me was the great need for independent research - research conducted by persons not in any way affiliated with the government agencies involved in vaccination programs or with the pharmaceuticals.
The need for independent research – and oversight groups that included private citizens such as parents of children with autism and some of the best in science - also existed in order to help protect children with autism. In my opinion, these children could now hold the keys to a great deal in terms of our understanding of the human brain - and as such, they could easily be used as nothing more than "lab rats" and potentially – abused or hurt in scientific study by some who believed the end justified the means. In my opinion, there was absolutely no doubt that these children had to be specifically protected from abuse by the scientific community.
I cautioned parents to do their homework before aligning themselves with organizations or government agencies that all too often appeared to be there “to help”, but, that in reality, had financial ties to government agencies associated with vaccination programs or to the pharmaceutical industry. I had seen a great deal of this and it was not limited to “small organizations”. Indeed, some of the “better known” organizations had very questionable “conflicts of interest”.
Do not assume that organizations, even some of the best known, were not taking money from the pharmaceuticals. That would be a serious error to make. I urged you to always find out who was funding a study before agreeing to participate. Ask for disclosure statements showing where funds for that organization came from - for the study and also for the lab itself.
If any not-for profit organization refused to provide you with that information and a full disclosure of "contributions", I, personally, would be very cautious about aligning myself with that organization because no study was better than a tainted study! Also, I urged families to oversee studies involving their children or loved ones – to be there – physically observing – during the study – to ensure your loved ones were not abused in any way, because clearly, the potential for abuse was there!
I also urged all families to read the chapter I had entitled “All Those Brain Studies” in the second book I had written, Breaking The Code To Remove The Shackles Of Autism: When The Parts Are Not Understood And The Whole Is Lost! as this chapter would help all families understand what were in my opinion, critical issues when it came to all those brain studies.
There was a great deal of money tied to research and grants – billions – and the safety and wellbeing of a child here and there, certainly, could easily take a backseat to “research” and the need of so many to “get ahead” and/or “make a name for themselves” in the world of science. Don’t ever forget that!
If families aligned themselves with the proper organizations and supported the right scientists, and allowed their children/loved ones to participate in studies overseen by persons who had devoted their lives to these disorders and did independent research, then that "dried up" funding/research on the part of persons who may not have our children/loved one's best interests at heart.
Without children with autism to study, or victims of Alzheimer's or schizophrenia ... there could be no study. Parents/families needed to start demanding that research funds be provided to those organizations we felt would best meet the needs of our children and loved ones - and that meant voting for politicians who were willing to take the correct stand in these issues!
Think about that! No subjects = no money = no study = no wasted time = no "fighting" over studies funded by pharmaceuticals or government agencies with an agenda of special interests and liability denial! Yes, we needed studies – but we needed studies that were not tainted by hidden agendas, conflicts of interests and so many other issues that played into “scientific research”.
Scientists had to be allowed to do their work - to be scientifically correct instead of politically correct – to search for the truth – independent of political or special interest conflicts.
In my opinion, our loved ones had become very valuable commodities in terms of what they could teach man about man himself... and in what they could help us understand in terms of so much more - in a huge number of fields - far beyond autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's. We, as parents and families needed to carefully choose the scientists we supported and "use that" to their advantage and ours! I could think of no disorder other than "autism" (in my opinion, that included autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's) that allowed man to possibly study the various areas of the human brain - almost independently. To science - that was truly worth “a mint” since many "variables" could now be "gone"/eliminated in terms of "interactions" among various parts of the brain!
In my opinion, autism could open the windows and doors of science like never before... allowing us to better understand mental illness, autoimmune disorders, digestive disorders, genetic disorders, sensory disorders, behavioral disorders, criminal behavior and so much more – but that move forward could not be done at the expense of these children and/or our loved ones! They absolutely had to be protected and family members, as well as independent scientists, had to be allowed to completely oversee “scientific study” of persons with mental illness. I had trusted blindly once – but never would I do so - again!
I was not saying that there should be a “halt” to scientific study. Quite the contrary – it could now move forward at lightning speed, but public funds had to be diverted to independent research – to persons who had proven time and time again their loyalty to getting to the truth. I urged all persons who had funds to donate, to consider – especially – donating to the work of scientists like Dr. Andrew Wakefield (immunology) who had first raised concerns over the MMR in England and to Dr. Singh (immunology) – who specialized in both autism and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Boys Haley who had testified in front of Congress on matters relating to heavy metal toxicity was another person who appeared to be looking for the truth. Organizations such as the International Academy Of Oral Medicine And Toxicology that had long raised concerns and taken a public stand over matters of mercury safety, should also very much be supported.
Organizations such as the Childscreen Team – working to find screening methods to identify children “at risk” from the first day of life – in my opinion, also had to be supported. Finally, I urged persons wanting to contribute to the establishment of treatment centers to contact their state and federal representatives to request that these issues be addressed and funds be made available to establish treatment centers.
There were plenty of good places to donate money – hundreds of people in search of the truth – and I suspected that now, perhaps hundred or thousands more – would join in that search!
There was a great deal of work to be done, and in my opinion, parents or family members of those most impacted by these disorders – had to be given first preference in working at resolving these issues in publicly funded programs and centers.
The need for programmers – alone – in my opinion – was huge. To allow parents of children with autism to become part of the solution for their children could go a long way in at least beginning to mend fences – and there were certainly many to be mended.
Science has to move forward - absolutely - but it had to be good science – science that would honestly look into issues of iron overload, mercury, and aluminum poisoning and the overall safety of vaccines. We no longer had the luxury of time. Each day, I felt the clock ticking as I worked to figure out answers to my son – in the hopes of preventing what in my opinion, could be tremendous gray matter loss at the onset of puberty. Surely, this would now be a concern for all families of children with autism and all families of adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia as would be the loss of brain cells in Alzheimer’s also.
In my opinion, many, many scientists, surely, had to suspect what I had so clearly seen. Perhaps only a non-scientist such as myself could discuss these issues very openly. I had no science career at stake.
Did I think that "everyone was innocent" in all this. Certainly not! Nor do I think everyone was guilty of gross incompetence, negligence or criminal acts - although I certainly did believe some were!
Organizations – public or private – that had knowingly contributed to, what in my opinion was, a complete social catastrophe, had to be held accountable in helping to resolve these issues. The pharmaceuticals had gone from a twenty billion dollar industry to close to two hundred and sixty billion in a matter of fifteen years or so. In my opinion, organizations such as these that had failed to properly study the issues and yet gained tremendously financially, had done so to the great detriment of all societies.
There could be no “hiding from the issues - and from liability”. Quite frankly, I saw no reason whatsoever to shield guilty parties in this from financial liability. There were plenty of pharmaceutical companies – and only the best – both scientifically and ethically – should be allowed to exist. Those that had so failed miserably in their duties of ensuring public safety – in my opinion, were owed no “special treatment”.
Yes, we had to control deadly outbreaks and disorders, but we could do so without providing “special treatments” to those who had played a major role in contributing to this social catastrophe. The simple fact was that no government protection would shield a pharmaceutical from the boycott of families that now chose to disassociate themselves completely from the perpetrators of these injustices. The simple fact was that families had choices in determining what companies they allowed to study their loved ones.
Without subjects to study, new products would certainly come to a pretty abrupt “halt” – and certainly – bankruptcy would not be far behind. The only way for these companies to survive – truly – was to admit their guilt and work with society to address these issues. Otherwise they had very little hope of survival anyway – with or without government protection!
Likewise, government officials who failed to take the proper stand in these issues also had little or no hope of survival. Certainly, as more families became aware of these issues, government officials who failed to work at resolving these issues would find themselves quickly voted out of office. There was simply no denying that families impacted by these disorders held the “swing vote” for – every – future election – and there was nothing like pain – and the love of a parent for a child or of a child for a parent – to unite all families in these issues!
Already, worldwide, there were over eighteen million with Alzheimer’s… a disorder expected to double every five years. That could put us at – potentially - over seventy million worldwide in only ten years – and I wanted to remind all those in Congress and the Senate – that your odds of being part of that “70 million” were – pretty good – given fifty percent of us were now heading for Alzheimer’s – or were those in the Congress and Senate not taking “flu shots” like the rest of the population and hence – perhaps had nothing to worry about?
It certainly would be interesting to see the “immunization record” for executives in the pharmaceutical industry and those in public office promoting the use of vaccines laced with known toxins – would it not?
Still think this could really just be "just genetic"? Seventy million possibly having Alzheimer’s in the next ten years alone - I hardly think so! Genetics had not become “that bad” in just one generation. That, indeed, would be completely opposite to the teachings of “evolution” – would it not? I doubted families would continue to be that naive!
There were untold millions with autism, schizophrenia, depression (18 million in US alone), bipolar, epilepsy, Parkinson's, diabetes, kidney failure, cancer, and numerous other disorders that now all seemed to tie back to these same issues of iron overload and mercury and aluminum poisoning. Hundreds and hundreds of millions – worldwide – were now personally impacted by these issues due to health problems – and literally, billions – every man, woman and child on the face of this planet was now impacted by something I had once only known as “autism”.
Given that the brunt of the costs associated with these disorders were currently on the shoulders of families the tides of this hurricane would soon be changing drastically and focusing more and more on Washington. In my opinion, those in Washington DC certainly needed to be prepared to have answers - and a plan of action – as there could simply no longer be any hiding from all these issues. Society, certainly, would be demanding answers to all this!
There were some storms even the best "damage control" could not stop... and this was definitely one of those storms because this hurricane was building on many, many shores and its many winds of fury would soon all be heading - for Washington!
In my opinion, pharmaceutical executives and those in government had a great deal more to worry about than their stock price and/or jobs. I suspected public outrage would demand jail terms for many in government and in the pharmaceutical industry - especially in view of both the Simpsonwood meeting and Puerto Rico meetings of 2000 - meetings attended by both government and pharmaceutical executives.
No industry had been afforded the protection currently being proposed by the US government to protect the pharmaceuticals of liability related to vaccine injury. Well, in my opinion - and I'm sure in the opinion of many others who were voters - no politician looking to "immunize" the perpetrators of this injustice would be in office very long once the facts became known.
Forgiving past mistakes was one thing - allowing someone to completely walk away and indeed to profit tremendously from all this - especially at the expense of our children and loved ones - was quite another! I think that the lawyers for government and pharmaceutical executives would have a difficult time finding jurors not impacted by these issues!
So - we could continue to fight each other in these matters or we could work together to address them.
I could find it in my heart to forgive... I only hoped others could, too! Taking the right steps to address these issues would help others do that also!
The lessons I had learned as a result of my son’s autism had been greater than I could ever have imagined. As a result of my son’s autism, I now looked at life – very differently.
My son… my very precious son… a little boy, who at the age of five… had no idea as to the role he had played in helping so many families understand so many of these issues. I now understood that due to the fact that Zachary had a very compromised immune system, that he could easily come to suffer from further disorders – such as cancer, liver failure, kidney failure, diabetes – or so many others in the long list of disorders that now all appeared to play into this.
Although Zachary was obviously now the focus of my life, clearly, all children were precious - from the moment of conception. Our "social security" depended on the next generation, and if we failed to protect that generation – including the unborn – we had no one to blame but ourselves as this country continued to face economic and social hardship. Polls indicated that perhaps as many as seven in ten Americans were against abortion. Aborted children and stem cell research held not the answers to these problems given mercury appeared to specifically target developing immature cells. Perhaps it was time this issue was finally put the abortion issue on a national ballot!
In my opinion, there were now many, many issues that had to be put to a national vote – and healthcare reform looking into all these issues – certainly was one of them! It was no longer time for denial – it was time – for some answers!
My world had been so completely turned upside down.
Perhaps the prospect of “Alzheimer’s” happening to legislators and others – personally – would be enough to finally drive them to get to the truth in these issues – and work at honestly addressing them.
There was no denying that those who continued to run from these issues or hide from them could now, very well find - themselves - in the ranks of those with - autism, schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s – take your pick – the names were different – but, in my opinion, these disorders were all one and the same! So much of my world had been so completely turned – upside down! Were legislators willing to wait – for their world – to be turned upside down too?