Tuesday, January 15, 2008


J.B. Handley has always let it be known where he stands. He has been willing to put his money where his mouth is by founding Generation Rescue, and by helping to give birth to the Age of Autism site.

Over the last couple of years, J.B Handley has acquired the reputation of being a bull in a china shop. I guess that comes from being pissed off about what happened to his son ⎯ about what happened to a lot of our kids.

That pissed-offness has led him into being . . . well . . . blunt. It’s a directness that has grown on me over time. There’s a distinct absence of what one normally finds left behind by bulls.

He gets mad at things that make me mad as well. One of those things is the incestuous nature of the mainstream scientific community: a nature that is designed to maintain the status quo, even at the expense of our children. In a recent post at the Age of Autism, J.B. details the kind of relationship that should raise the eyebrows of even the most ardent supporter of the mainstream medical establishment.

It seems that Dr. Joyce Chung, the newly appointed Executive Secretary of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), is married to none other than Roy Grinker, the anthropologist who, with the help of a generous grant from our “friends” at Autism Speaks, has published a book telling us there is no autism epidemic.

So let me get this straight. The ascending autism tsar who will have enormous influence on how government funds will be doled out to the NIH and others, shares a home and her life with a guy who probably doesn’t see much point in researching potential causes and treatments. Did they think that nobody would notice?

Why am I not surprised?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is the view from the gutter, Wade? Since when have women in the USA been judged on the basis of their husband rather than their own professional expertise and personal experience?

Mike Stanton

1/16/08, 4:07 PM  
Blogger Ginger Taylor said...


It is not a big jump to think that she might be on the same page with her husband. My husband is on board with my opinions about autism.

With Grinker making such a dramatic statement as to deny there is an autism epidemic, if she didn't agree, I would imagine she would have said that by now.

I mean pretty much every one has checked in to offer their opinion on whether Grinker is wrong or not.

If she disagreed with him, I am guessing we would know that by now.

Somebody better ask her that question and get her on the record now.

1/16/08, 4:23 PM  
Blogger Wade Rankin said...


You don't get it. This has nothing to do with her qualifications (although now that you mention it, her qualifications in psychiatry may not be the best fit for the job). This is about whether her views were really examined before she was appointed to a position in which she will be charged with spending the funds that were authorized by the CAA, which specifically mentions looking at possible environmental triggers. If she does not accept the possibility that environmental triggers are even possible, what can we expect? How is questioning whether she shares her husband's views equivalent to descending into the gutter?????

1/16/08, 5:56 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Interesting that it is apparently okay with you that someone like Rick Rollens can start an organization like the MIND institute in my state at taxpayer expense which funds vaccine-related causes of autism research, comes out with a one million dollar study all at taxpayer expense which never was submitted to peer review claiming on one hand that there is truly an autism epidemic but on the other hand saying that increases in regional center could be from increased case finding and the MIND study did not account for case finding. Rick Rollens is involved with lobbying for environmental funds at the federal level also. He is allied with SAFEMINDS and other organizations which have encouraged parents to litigate against vaccine companies and have collected evidence to help parents in these lawsuits. In spite of the lack of evidence of vaccines having any relation of a temporal inrease in autism. Grinker's wife's appointment presents an impropiety yet Rollens activities at taxpayer expense and all the conflicts of interest involved don't? Methinks you have a double standard Wade.

1/17/08, 1:40 AM  
Blogger mike stanton said...

"P.L. 109-416 (PDF file, 10 pages), the Combating Autism Act of 2006, Title III, Section 399CC of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, mandated the reestablishment of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to coordinate autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research and other efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). In July 2007, Secretary Michael Leavitt delegated the authority to reestablish the IACC to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the NIH has been designated the lead for this activity. Although the Committee's mission continues to focus on the efficient and effective exchange of information on autism activities, the new law expanded the responsibilities of the IACC, which was first established by the Children's Health Act of 2000 - P.L. 106-310 (PDF file, 146 pages), Title I, Section 104.

The new IACC is authorized to coordinate research efforts concerning ASD, to provide annual updates on research advances, to make recommendations to the Secretary of DHHS regarding public participation in decisions related to ASD, and to develop a strategic plan for ASD research. The Committee is governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act."


Note that word, "advisory." No mention of allocating funds for research.

And it is descending into the gutter to imply that Dr Chung cannot be trusted to do her job properly because she is married to Richard Grinker.

Anyway, his views and her views are irrelevant to her ability to do the job. I serve on the Council of the National Autistic Society with anti-cure aspies, biomed parents and all shades in between. And do you know what? It works because we all trust and respect each other even when we disagree and the job gets done. Why should IACC be any different?

1/17/08, 3:49 AM  
Blogger Wade Rankin said...


Any position Rick Rollens has with MIND has no control over the direction of research done there. Moreover, The MIND Institute exists solely because Mr. Rollens and a few others saw the need, and they then went out and raised the money themselves to establish it.

The IACC, on the other hand, exists because Congress determined there was a problem: an epidemic. It was determined that the IACC was needed to get everyone on the same page in defining the problem and figuring out how best to address the problem. Why would the most important position in that coordinating body go to someone who, in all likelihood, doesn't acknowledge there's a problem to address?

That's what you and Mike don't seem to get. This isn't about Dr. Chung. This is about those who appointed her.

1/17/08, 6:40 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/17/08, 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try actually reading Grinker's book before making blanket statements about what he does and does not believe. It would be quite educating for you, frankly. Please stop making assumptions about people's beliefs. Bottom line: Those of us who hold that there is no "epidemic" do not necessarily think that there is no point to conducting autism research. We just disagree on the kinds of research which needs to be conducted.

I also think it's somewhat rich of you to assume that of course Dr. Chung must agree with her husband about this. You don't know that, you're just making more unfounded assumptions.

1/17/08, 2:00 PM  
Blogger Wade Rankin said...


You are free to resubmit your last comment provided you sign your complete name.

1/17/08, 7:52 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Hi Wade, my last name is Mitchell. I have a web page www.jonathans-stories.com. It also has my email address. I am probably one of the least anonymous persons on the internet. I don't understand what the problem is.

1/17/08, 9:22 PM  
Blogger Wade Rankin said...

The problem Jonathan is that there are far too many anonymous personal attacks on the web. I have developed a low tolerance for them. And believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there -- including bloggers -- named Jonathan. I don't have the time or the inclination to follow every link left at this site.

That being said, I appreciate the fact that you are willing to identify yourself. That earns you a measure of respect.

1/17/08, 9:44 PM  

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