Wednesday, November 19, 2008

JBullying #1

On November 18, 2008 J.B. Handley posted his foot-stomping, whining tantrum under the heading "Paul Offit's Lies: I got me a lawyer".

It seems that J.B. has a thermonuclear wedgie caused by an alleged "lie" in Paul Offit's recent, and most excellent, book, Autism's False Prophets. J.B. claims that Dr. Offit tried to make him look bad.

"There's probably not a lawyer on the planet who wouldn't agree that blogging publicly about a legal proceeding is a bad idea. And, they’d probably be right.But, Paul Offit is a lying jerk and offends our entire community, so I wanted to bring you along for the ride. Consider this my "public legal journal."Moreover, I have nothing to hide. Offit lied blatantly in his book, and I'd like a little justice.
J.B. claims "it" was a lie. It appears from the opening paragraph of this diatribe that J.B. cannot possibly conceptualize the idea that Dr. Offit may have merely made a mistake. No, to J.B. it has got to be a lie. Nothing else will do.

He did it to try and make me look bad. I think he succeeded, and he had to lie to make it happen. That makes me unhappy.
J.B., let me be the first to break it to you...and I know this may disappoint you, NO ONE has to try to make you look bad. NO ONE.

You are quite capable of doing that all by your little old self. You do that by your bullying and your whiny threats of litigation whenever someone criticizes your antics. You do that by your use of bad logic and poor science.

By the way, J. B. why didn't you point out what the egregious actions of Dr. Offit are? What did he say that was a lie? All you need to prove your so far baseless allegation is to point this out. Are you afraid you would look like a fool if you did?

And, it's a pattern from him that we have seen for a long time on many issues related to vaccines and autism. Someone needs to stand up to this jerk, and I'm happy to do it. As you may have figured out, it's not often I back down from a fight.
You are the big tough guy. You neither walk softly, nor carry a small stick. Reminds me of another "leader" who we'll be rid of in two more months.

Anyway, I found me a great attorney who eats nails for breakfast and believes in truth. He'll remain nameless for now because he didn't sign up to be part of this public journal, but here's a copy of the letter we sent, certified mail, to Dr. Proffit himself and Columbia University Press:Paul A. Offit, M.D.c/o Columbia University Press61 West 62nd StreetNew York, NY 10023Re: Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure by Paul A. Offit, M.D.Gentlemen:I represent J.B. Handley, who is referred in the book Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure. The conversation reported at page 143 of the book never occurred. The writing that the author refers to was in a different time and place.
Oh, so Dr. Offit made a MISTAKE! However, in a narrow mind, it just has to be a lie to make you look bad (see above). He said something in one context that you feel makes you look bad. Hmmm...if he has said the same thing in the proper context, would that have made you look bad? Somehow, because you refuse to post it, I believe it would make you look bad in any context. Just my opinion, mind you, but, you offer no proof to the contrary.

When a book such as this is published, it is carefully reviewed by the publisher, often by their lawyers, and it then goes to press. What makes J.B "think" that this process was not followed, especially since this publisher is no fool?

The creation of that conversation and the juxtaposition of that conversation with Mr. Handley's writing are false, libelous and damaging.Within ten days you must advise me that the author will write a written apology to Mr. Handley and that you will take out all reference to that conversation in any future printings, or we will explore our legal alternative.
So, you want an apology. Hmmm...I'll save Dr. Offit's lawyers the trouble of composing one (giving J.B. the benefit of the doubt).

Dear Mr. Handley:

I made a mistake. It will be fixed in the subsequent printings, as accuracy is important to me.

You are still a false prophet.


I think that covers it quite well.
First shot fired. As we all know, the right thing to do is to apologize and make the change to the book. Offit lied. He screwed up in trying a little too hard to make me look bad. He completely fictionalized an exchange that never happened. And, I can prove it. If he does me that simple justice, I'll move on, even though I think damaging my reputation should include compensation.

Again, could he have just been mistaken, you know, an honest error? Nah, that would not suit J.B.'s purpose.

As for compensation, that would require 1) that there was damage to J.B.'s reputation, and 2) that he has a reputation of worth.

OK. I'll toss in the first $0.25 for the dollar.

Oh, and did I mention I found the Rescue Angel mom? The one who was getting mudslinged and prompted my post at EOH that Offit fictionalized into an exchange with Kathleen Seidel? Well, I did. She read my last post, and she found me. The power of AoA!
The power of AoA is merely olfactory. However, I do expect that J.B. will focus on Kathleen in the near future, since J.B. cannot handle any criticism what-so-ever. I find that to be a sure sign of intellectual bankruptcy.

Did I also mention I already got the response from Offit's lawyer to the above letter? I did. And, it's a doozy. It wasn't very polite nor was it an offer to do the right thing. I will be printing the whole letter from Offit's attorney on AoA next week. Stay tuned.
It is a doozy? The entire blogosphere is waiting and holding their breaths (prevents olfactory offense from reading AoA).

There will be more articles on the bullying tactics used by the AoAers.


  1. "He completely fictionalized an exchange that never happened. And, I can prove it."

    How does one prove a negative? Unless he had a video camera pointed at him for the entire time in question, it's his word against Dr. Offit's. My money's on Offit.

    I'm glad I found your site. Referred by Orac. Thanks for blogging here!

  2. Storkdoc, what I think J.B. is bleating and braying over, is an account of TWO events that were inadvertently blended in AFP. I believe that J.B. is acknowledging that both accounts are true, but putting them together makes him look bad.

    This reminds me of the old question, is it murder if you shoot at one person, miss, and kill another person? Sure it is. In other words, what J.B. did, which he never mentioned (does anyone know why, or am I free to idly speculate that they are both embarassing?) was not very nice, regardless of the context. That is my interpretation of this.

    J.B. is free to clear it up by posting ALL the facts. For some reason, I do not think he will. He just wants to inflame the AoA lemmings.

  3. Allow me to apologize on behalf of the evidence-based community:

    Dear Mr. Handley:

    We are sorry you are too self-centered and arrogant to accept your child for the way he is, and too blinded by your own pride to see the many unique gifts that your child brings to the world.

    We are sorry that your grief has curdled into contempt, not only for your child, but for your fellow man.

    We are sorry for the dozens of similarly deluded and bitter parents who are attracted, like moths to a flame, to your false promise of easy answers.

    And finally, we are sorry that the scientific method does not meet your standards for dealing with uncertainty. If you know a better way to separate the wheat of truth from the chaff of nonsense, do share.

    We hope this helps.

  4. Heraldblog,
    Well put. I have been mostly focused on the damage they do by spreading vaccine controlled disease but that brings the damage right home. They poison their own wells.