When I first started this blog, I did so because I had been censored on AoA, and came up with the idea that they exemplify the Age of Ignorance. I have no doubt, confirmed over the months since then, they are the cesspool of ignorance. However, out of every cesspool grows something. The past few months have shown that the growth is truly worthy of being born in a cesspool.
AoA has moved on from the mere censorship that had initially concerned me. Granted, I wrote here and here about some of their more nefarious tactics, most specifically "outing". "Outing" occurs when a person who has chosen a degree of anonymity by using a pseudonym has their real name linked. I have been outed by some of the drones of the AoA collective.
However, outing, and their other old tactics, are merely annoyances in the scheme of things. What has happened recently is that the True Believers of the AoA collective have taken several quantum steps further.
Back around Thanksgiving time 2009, the Collective posted an article which had a photoshopped image of several people sitting around what looked to be a Thanksgiving dinner table, preparing to eat a baby. Who were these people? The post includes a poorly photoshopped picture of prominent science-based medicine proponents feasting on a dead baby. The guests were journalist Alison Singer, the NIH's head honcho Tom Insel, journalist Trine Tsouderos, Science and Science Based Medicine Blogger and Editor Steve Novella, Amy Wallace and the "One They Fear The Most" bogeyman extraordinaire, vaccine developer, saver of the lives of thousand of children, Dr. Paul Offit.
The blogosphere was in an uproar, and the intellectual cowards of the AoA Collective removed the offending post. The photo is available elsewhere. I will not link to it.
Did this event constitute a set-back for the Drones? Not at all. It appears to have energized them into perpetrating even more outrageous attacks on those who have the nerve to disagree.
Fortunately, Trine Tsouderos and her editors at the courageous Chicago Tribune (I would live there if it were warmer in the winter) was not intimidated by the initial attack. Following the heritage of great journalists, the ones I learned about in my college course on the History of Journalism which was part of my minor in Journalism, they forged ahead, and continued to investigate and study the Evil Empire of the anti-vaccinationists masquerading as "pro-safe vaccines" advocates that infest the Autism community.
On January 17, 2010, the Tribune published the third article in Trine Tsouderos three part series. In this article she exposes Dr. Boyd Haley's probable illegal marketing of an industrial chemical agent as a supplement, to be administered to children with Autism.
Just who is Boyd Haley? Simple, he is the darling of the AoA Collective. However, a look at his record does show something interesting about this retired professor of chemistry.
Peter Bowditch of Ratbags asked Haley about "claim that mercury is 50% of thimerosal". Have you taken high school chemistry? If so, find your old text books and check out whether this has any meaning what-so-ever. While it is true that the one atom of Mercury comprises approximately 50% of the molecular weight of thimerosal, does this have any chemical or toxicological significance? Peter's exchange with Haley would lead anyone who has not taken high school chemistry to think so.
Now he is marketing this industrial chelator for human consumption, and IGNORING THE FDA's requests for information. Haley said, "... that the compound had been tested on rats and that a food safety study was conducted on 10 people[and himself, do the math = 11]". When she asked him to "...provide documentation of the studies, he stopped communicating with the Tribune."
Instead, the Drones of the Collective took over and, AoA mercilessly hunted down Tsouderos' family and outed them. Read Orac's excellent article and the one by Ken Reibel at LeftBrain/RightBrain. I am sure there are more, and I invite links in the comments. Please.
There have been many other attacks, too numerous for me to compile here. Others have, and links in the comments would be appreciated.
Now, what does this all mean? Simple, and it truly is. We now know that the Drones of the AoA collective will stoop as low as they can go and stop at nothing to silence those with whom they disagree. Initially, their tactics reminded me of the response by Scientology to the Time Magazine article by Behar. Do your own search, and see how ugly that got.
Orac mentioned in one of his articles (I cannot find it) that this also reminded him of Scientology.
However, we are both wrong. The tactics being used, and the overall strategy are pure terrorist based tactics that are being used to stifle and silence critics.
And, that is why the Age of Autism is now most correctly referred to as the Al-Qaeda of Autism.
I truly hope that the Tribune, and other news sources, pick up on this story and begin a year long counterattack on the terrorism. The power of the press, in Oliver Wendell Holmes' Free Market Place of Ideas, is the most potent weapon in the battle for truth.