Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Friday, June 23, 2006

You Don't Know What You're Talking About

After I wrote a post about the horrific abuse at the Judge Rotenberg Center, I got a couple of comments from JRC apologists (both anonymous, no surprise there) who sang the praises of using electric shocks on children. One of them snidely remarked, "I wouldn't express such strong opinions on subjects I know nothing about."

It's interesting how often autistic activists are told that we know nothing about how people like us ought to be treated. Although we have a lifetime of experience being autistic, we're told that the only people who are qualified to say anything about us are those who study, or work with, or take care of autistic "patients" or "subjects." Even when we are talking about the most basic human rights, there's always someone who is quick to proclaim that we just don't understand that the usual rules for humans do not apply to some of us.

Of course, this sort of attitude is nothing new in history. Oppression always has been rationalized in one way or another. I've put together a list of just a few examples...

Roman Emperor: What do you mean, it's inhumane to throw people like you to the lions? It's a very effective way of maintaining civic discipline and morale. If too many of our citizens followed your dangerous way of thinking, we would be overrun by barbarians. Sending a few people like you to the lions is in everyone's best interests, even yours, as you would understand if you had any common sense.

Medieval Inquisitor: We had no choice but to burn those heretics at the stake. It was for their own good, to free them from the devil's clutches. Although we tried other methods of curing the disease of heresy, nothing else was effective. Surely you don't think we should have been so cruel as to let them fester in their heresy.

Colonial Settler: You just don't know what it's like to be in a primitive country full of savages. Yes, we kill some natives from time to time, but it's the only way to keep them in line. In a few years, they'll thank us for making decent Christians out of them.

Slave Owner: Who are you to criticize the way I run my plantation? You don't know anything about how to make those uppity negroes behave properly. Keeping them in bondage is an act of kindness; they wouldn't be able to take care of themselves if they were free.

Wife Beater: There's nothing wrong with the way I treat my wife. I love my wife. I've been taking care of her for years, providing for all her needs. I want only the best for her. It's just a fact of life that women are weak-minded and need firm guidance and discipline.

Abusive Cop: Okay, so I was caught on videotape beating a handcuffed suspect. Don't get all moralistic about it. You don't have a clue what it's like out there on the street. Those criminals aren't people, they're animals. If we didn't show them who's boss, they would be breaking into your house and raping your daughters.

War Criminal: You don't have any idea what it's like to be stationed in a war zone. Those people don't act decent and civilized, like us; they're nothing but vicious terrorists. Sometimes we have to use aggressive interrogation techniques to get information to keep our troops safe. Yeah, maybe we killed and maimed a few civilians, but that's war.

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  • Those analogies are excellent. Good work.

    By Blogger Joseph, at 3:28 PM  

  • You have the label "autistic" for a reason. Your brain doesn't work right.
    You should check with someone whose brain does work right to see how fuzzy your thinking is.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 9:25 AM  

  • Joseph: Thanks.

    Fore Sam: Posting in support of the JRC, hmmm? Even for a troll like you, that's a new low.

    By Blogger abfh, at 12:18 PM  

  • spare the shock, spoil the autie...
    (I AM being _cynical_, you know!)

    By Blogger r.b., at 12:36 PM  

  • If I thought I could have some of you enrolled at JRC, I'd apply for a job pressing the shock button. It might help straighten you out.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 6:04 PM  

  • Fore Sam Said: You should check with someone whose brain does work right to see how fuzzy your thinking is.

    John, does you brain "work right?"
    I've seen little evidence to support that hypothesis.

    By Blogger notmercury, at 10:36 PM  

  • Not Mercury;
    You've seen all sorts of evidence that proves chelation and other treatments are helping our kids. For some strange reason, you'd rather believe that it's better to let our kids rot in the hell of autism than it is to help them.
    Anyone who can not see the idiocy of that attitude has no business offering an opinion of any hypotheses. A few zaps from JRC might help show you the errors in your thought processes.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 2:09 AM  

  • Yep, still no evidence of a properly working brain.

    I can take a few jolts, sometimes I'm too lazy to flip off the breaker before I replace a switch, but that's my decision and I'm prepared for the consequences. Electroshock therapy is torture no matter how mild, John. For you to endorse this practice, even if you think it is a joking matter, proves your brain does not function properly and no amount of ALA is going to correct that.

    Next time you are down at the links try pulling the battery wires from a golf cart and see if holding them in your teeth will help you to conduct yourself better.

    By Blogger notmercury, at 8:04 AM  

  • NM;
    The parents of kids at JRC seem to agree the shocks have helped their kids. Some kids also agree.
    I think addressing the cause is a better way to attack the problem. If using shocks helps the kids, it's better than your philosophy of doing nothing. I think a few of you should volunteer to try it out and see if it helps.
    Living with autism is torture. Anything that improves that condition is worth a shot.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 10:04 AM  

  • You know, John, the more you rant, the more you demonstrate my point. Cheers.

    By Blogger abfh, at 2:32 PM  

  • That's not ranting, ABFH. It's just logical thoughts, something you're unfamiliar with.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 3:40 PM  

  • We should be glad to have brains that don't "work right", if a brain that "works right" is like this.

    You've seen all sorts of evidence that proves chelation and other treatments are helping our kids.

    It's silly how many times you bring this up.

    Ok. Is there any reason to believe that chelation is a more effective treatment than Secretin. If so, on what basis?

    By Blogger Joseph, at 5:29 PM  

  • ABFH
    thankyou for a great blog. I am sorry that the comments are being polluted John Best Jr aka Fore Sam.

    Hey John, try out the latest entry on my blog. If Wendy Fournier and Rita Shreffler can find it in their hearts to oppose the JRC, why cant you?

    By Anonymous mike stanton, at 5:42 PM  

  • Mike;
    I am opposed to the JRC and I told them so on their blog. However, some results are better then no results. Other institutions don't do a damn thing for the kids, they just let them rot with custodial care. At least JRC is taking a positive approach by trying to ameliorate the condition. Ergo, they are better for autistic kids than neurodiverse wackos who don't want to help them at all.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 6:54 PM  

  • Folks, it's no point talking to JBJr... we KNOW his brain doesn't work... PERIOD.

    Best to let him rant without giving him attention... the attempts at reinforce his idiotic behaviour by rewarding him with undeserved attention, and this is not how to deal with an idiot.

    I'd call him a troll, but even trolls can come up with something sensible, however much they're just around to stir shit.

    -he knows who I am but still wouldn't want to believe it... how stupid is that?! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:40 PM  

  • Sanity Pending;
    Would you volunteer to be shocked? It might help you converse intelligently with those of us whose degrees are already complete (and not in the special ed. program). I'll keep giving you good advice Dave. Someday, it will dawn on you to pay attention. I expect you'll need to snort some methyl B-12 for that to happen though.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 8:09 PM  

  • Fore Sam, you said "living with autism is torture". How would you know? You are not autistic. Most of us would not describe our way of thinking and perceiving as torture.

    If they thought that people didn't mind getting shocked, they wouldn't use it to try to punish/deter behavior.

    It is an obvious attempt to cause pain and suffering, in order to torture people into compliance.

    It wouldn't be ethical if they did it to criminals in prisons. Would you volunteer for it, Fore Sam?

    By Anonymous Kath, at 8:57 PM  

  • Joe;
    You went to a lot of trouble to post comments from me that you don't agree with. If you didn't have mercury muddling your thought processes, you might think differently.
    Improvements from chelation are permanent. Any results from secretin are temporary. While chelation can not repair damaged brain cells, it does allow methylation to occur properly. That is what allows children to pay attention. Lack of attention is a common theme amongst you neurodiverse. Going through life with a mental impairment is not usually considered to be a good idea by rational people. That's why society frowns on alcoholism. You, like the alcoholic, have failed to recognize that it is a problem. Unlike the alcoholic, you could be cured without having to battle the condition for the rest of your life. I have not heard of any cured autistic who went looking for a fix of mercury to put themselves back in the autistic state.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 8:27 AM  

  • Kath;
    I live with autism every day. It sucks.
    The fact that using shocks prevents an autistic child from harming themselves by smashing their heads into walls, biting themselves, etc. is a positive.
    It would be better if JRC could learn to consult Andy Cutler and address the cause of the autism but people like you are putting yourselves in the way of that and, thus, inadvertently encouraging this barbaric treatment.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 8:32 AM  

  • Fore Sam,
    No, you do not live with "autism everyday", you live with an autistic everyday, and if you see living with your own son as a hell, that's your failing.

    It is because I had excepting, supportive, compassionate parents, who guided me through the difficulties(such as everyone faces, when growing up) and who even went so far as to fight the public school system on my behalf, that I have had such a fulfilling life, not because anyone hurt me in order to show that hurting was bad, which as was mentioned by another poster, makes no sense.

    I'm not saying I'm perfect, no one is. I myself have had first hand experience with self abusive behavior, banging my head against walls, and compulsive skin scratching and picking.

    Incidentally, NT kids are just as apt to fall prey to self abusive behavior, if not more so, because of the social aspect of it: driking, sex, smoking, drugs, obsessions with appearance, all lead to behaviors which are self dammaging in nautre,

    but, what is treated is the person's underlying pain, the reason they are suffering so much they are driven to the behavior.

    In my experience, self abusive behaviors are genenerally motivated by underlying distress, especially the head bashing, wich I did when I was younger only out of extreme frustration, and not knowing how to deal with it(perhaps, the same reasons many NT kids engage in previously mentioned behaviors).

    The solution was, find out the underlying causes of stress, and learning better ways to cope with them.

    These people hurt themselves because they are in pain, causing them more pain is not a valid solution. Also, it is hypocritical to say "You may not hurt yourself, but we may hurt you." And it is a violation.

    In addition, the JRC doesn't just use pain as a deterent for causing oneself pain(such idiotic logic), but also to punish swearing, failure to maintaing a neat appearence, and other behaviors people damn well have a right to engage in.

    Anyone with an ounce of common decency or compassion can see that such methods are completely immoral, and unethical.

    By Anonymous Kath, at 1:33 PM  

  • Kath;
    Can you talk? Are you toilet trained? Are you aware enough to cross the street? You are probably not autistic but may be suffering from Asperger's. You also may simply be a wacko.
    Drinking, smoking etc are not self abusive. They're fun. Sex is fun. The fact that you include sex as a self abusive behavior shows me how screwed up you are.
    The underlying pain in autistics is mercury rotting their brains. That is the problem that should be addressed. Behaviorists are doing autistics a disservice by suggesting that any behavioral intervention is useful. Shock may seem harsh but it is effective. As long as you and your ilk are stupid enough to defend the vaccine manufacturers and refuse to accept the fact that they poisoned you as well as my son, these idiot psychologists will continue to treat autistics with obsolete therapies, some of which are cruel. All of you neurodiverse morons need to wake up to the truth about mercury and start going after the assholes who poisoned you instead of ranting against people like me who only want to help our children.
    I'm sorry your parents let you grow up to perceive sex as self abuse. They helped make you more screwed up.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 3:37 PM  

  • Really brilliant post, ABFH. Thanks for writing it.

    By Blogger Attila The Mom, at 5:04 PM  

  • Fore Sam: Sex is fun.

    Can we ask Mrs. Best for her opinion about that?

    By Blogger clone3g, at 6:27 PM  

  • Clone;
    Try it yourself some time. Then you won't have to go asking for opinions.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 7:04 PM  

  • Fore Sam,
    Can I talk? Yes. Am I toilet trained? Not fully. Am I aware enough to cross the street? Yes. Are those what are vitally important to a persons humanity? No. Would failure to master those behaviors in any way warrent what they do at the JRC? No.

    UNDER AGE drinking(note, I said "NT _kids__"), drinking to excess, and drunk driving is self abusive. Smoking is a behavior that people engage in, and causes fatal dieases, therefore it is self abusive.

    Of coarse sex can be fun. But when _kids_ are having underage sex because of social pressure(and often unprotected) before they are ready, that is not fun. Of coarse it is just fine and natural to wait, until one is ready and find a steady partner.

    Fore Sam, me, no one expected to ever graduate high school. But, with the help of my parents, by high school I was out of special ed and on only a 504 plan. When I graduated high school, my middle school special needs teacher cried. I'm in college now.

    Mercury does not cause autism. That's just stupid. Autism can clearly be seen to run in families. There are autistics who have never had a vaccination in their life, and there are plenty of non-autistics who have had many vaccinations.

    What's really stupid is, when people like you encourage parents to not get their kids vaccinated, because of that irrational paranoia.

    What is needed is parents who stop being in denial about their children, except them for who they are, help them with their difficulties and encourage them in their strenghts.

    What is not needed, is to send people to a place to get treated in a way that is obviously abuse. If it were happening to dogs, the SPCA would put a stop to it. If it were happening to political prisoners, amnesty international would be upset.

    We wouldn't use this kind of punishment even on criminals, even if you think autism is caused by mercury, I don't see why you would think treating people like that is OK.

    By Anonymous Kath, at 7:12 PM  

  • FS: Try it yourself some time. Then you won't have to go asking for opinions.

    You really don't sound like my type.

    By Blogger clone3g, at 7:17 PM  

  • Clone;
    I'm not interested in you either. If you need a partner maybe I'll try to start up my neurodiverse dating service again.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 8:42 PM  

  • Kath;
    If you're not fully toilet trained, a shock device might help you.
    Mercury did cause the autism epidemic. The inability to excrete mercury is the genetic connection and that's why you see lesser forms of mercury poisoning in the older generations. They didn't get as much mercury in their vaccines.
    You jump on the neurodiverse bandwagon to accuse me of being against vaccines when, in fact, I just want to see vaccines that are safe without mercury.
    You sound like someone who would want jockeys to stop whipping horses. You are way out of touch with reality and that's a good reason you should investigate helping yourself by going through mercury detoxification.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 8:53 PM  

  • Improvements from chelation are permanent. Any results from secretin are temporary.


    By Blogger Joseph, at 10:44 PM  

  • Drinking, smoking etc are not self abusive. They're fun.

    Let me get this straight. Smoking, which can kill you, is fun and ok. But hand flapping and rocking are undesirable behaviors indicative of pathology. Right? NT logic is fun!

    By Blogger Joseph, at 10:50 PM  

  • Smoking doesn't kill everyone. Flapping and rocking are no big deal but an inability to communicate is. You seem to be able to function, Joe. Autistic people can't.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 5:26 AM  

  • I really don't see the point of these discussions with fore sam, unless it's to increase the number of comments that you get abfh.

    Fore sam has clearly made up his mind about this, and we're not going to change his mind. He seems intent on just baiting people for his own amusement. I suggest we don't go for the bait.

    By Blogger Redaspie, at 5:43 AM  

  • Redaspie, I'm not going to close my comments whenever a troll shows up. I usually don't waste my time getting into long arguments with trolls, but if other people have something to say, that's their decision.

    I suppose I could ban him, but he does so much harm to his own argument every time he says anything, why should I bother?

    I am not trying to manipulate the number of comments one way or the other.

    By Blogger abfh, at 11:31 AM  

  • Redaspie;
    I came here to offer rational opinions to those of you don't seem capable of such. If I were the one living with a diminished capacity, I hope I'd be smart enough to learn from someone whose brain was not muddled by mercury.
    Oh well, it's usually useless to point out to an alcoholic that alcohol has destroyed their life. I suppose you're no different.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 12:33 PM  

  • Abfh, I wasn't actually accusing you of anything, least of all of manipulating your comments boxes! I was just suggesting that people here should just not bother to engage with someone who clearly isn't interested in debate but in just throwing abuse around to get people riled up.

    By Blogger Redaspie, at 1:11 PM  

  • I have suggested ignoring John too. But I can't help it sometimes. He's always likely to say something that is either very funny, or that gives a bad name to Rescue Angels.

    By Blogger Joseph, at 4:49 PM  

  • Redaspie;
    It would be good for you if you could address your problem with me to me.
    If you tried to debate the topic with me, you might understand why your opinion is invalid. I don't disagree with you to bait you; I do it because your logic is flawed.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 7:48 PM  

  • Well, fore skin, I'm not going to waste my time.

    By Blogger Redaspie, at 5:41 PM  

  • I am appalled that anyone would defend giving someone electric shocks as the Rotenberg centre does. I work in a residential facility for people with severe and profound mental retardation.Some rubs their hands together, suck fingers etc. They are not harming anyone by this. So I just let them do it after all I twirl my hair a lot so who am to criticise? We have a self biter but she does it for a reason she doesn't like being in her wheelchair and will screech(not very loudly) and bite her hand til we take her out If she is taken out she is fine. This is just her telling us ;she can't speak. If she can't come out because its lunch time for instance I just say have your lunch then you cam come out I don't mention hand biting and go on about it its her hand after all its not hurting me and she has lunch and I take her out of her chair when her food has settled

    By Blogger Janice, at 5:54 AM  

  • Redaspie;
    Thank you for choosing name calling to defend your position. I like it when an adversary makes me laugh by admitting they don't have the intelligence to debate their point.
    You and your attitude of allowing children to harm themselves is why we need to cure our kids. That is a despicable way to treat a child. A few jolts at JRC might eliminate the harmful behavior while your fleabag institution does nothing. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 1:17 PM  

  • Fore Sam, I pity your son. Not because of his Autism but because you are willing to put him through God knows what to change him. Would you shock a nondisabled person? No? Well why shock a disabled one then.
    As well My residents are very well cared for. Only a C u next tuesday would suggest otherwise.

    By Blogger Janice, at 10:59 PM  

  • Janice;
    I put my son through chelation and he stopped banging his head through walls. My guess (since he can't talk to tell me) is that chelation helped get rid of painful headaches.
    I also worked at an institution for autistic teens. When I told the vice president in charge of the facility that I had heard a supposedly non-verbal kid crying "Help me" and tried to tell this guy about chelation and methylB-12 which might have given the kid more speech, he just ignored me. The people who run these places are not interested in helping these kids. You and the people in charge are just letting them rot and doing nothing to ameliorate their conditions.
    Your wrong gender name calling again proves your lack of cognitive ability. It also shows the low level of help these institutions hire.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 4:20 PM  

  • LOL John, I take it you have no experience with cursing in international English. The C-word is never applied to women in Australia; it's used only to insult men of questionable masculinity.

    By Blogger abfh, at 2:25 AM  

  • ABFH;
    Thanks for the English lesson. It still doesn't excuse her vulgarity.

    By Blogger Fore Sam, at 8:44 AM  

  • What is the best appoach for helping a person with self injurious behavior which is not responding to any traditional treatments and is likely to be fatal?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:45 PM  

  • Anonymous, more than a million people in the United States struggle with self-injury. Therapy ordinarily involves learning better ways of dealing with emotional stress, as well as avoiding stressful situations. There are many humane and respectful ways of dealing with young people who self-injure.

    I recommend the blog Autismland, written by a mother of an autistic child who was nonverbal for many years, often banged his head, had tantrums at school, and was described by professionals as "severe." He is now able to communicate in short sentences, is learning to read, enjoys school, goes for long bike rides with his dad, loves to go swimming with his mom, rarely self-injures, and is a much loved and valued member of his family.

    No one should ever be spoken of, or treated, as unreachable or less than human.

    By Blogger abfh, at 2:54 PM  

  • fore sam:
    Without entering into any debate concerning either, chelation therapies, vaccines, mercury toxicity, views on causes of autism, or whether we should choose to celebrate autism, or seek out a cure, I beleive we all have our own views on all of the above and have a right to air these views, however controvercial.

    My 'bone of contention' is not with your views or opinions, but with the contemptuous, and antagonistic tone you choose to adopt in arguing these opinions.

    For someone so passionate in promoting their belief in effective therapies for autism, your derisory and insulting attitude towards those you proclaim you can help, reveals an obvious contradiction of your convictions.

    While I must concede, you at least have the courage of your convictions by giving your own son these shock treatments, I wonder if you would refer to HIM, as a a "neurodiverse moron", and if his mind was not so "muddled with mercury", I wonder if he could speak with pride about his father. (A man who speaks with such hostility and aggression to those people suffering the same condition as his son).

    Redaspies comment: "He just seems intent on just baiting people for his own amusement", has summed you up perfectly.
    Out of 46 comments posted as a response to, "You Don't Know What You're Talking About", 19 of these comments came from yourself.

    You sound like a very bitter and angry man, who cannot get a point accross without resorting to the use of callous and juevenille insults.
    The vast majority of your comments were either puerile bitching or acid tongued insults, designed to offend, indicative of a sick and sadistic "wacko", gaining pleasure and self satisfaction from the power to provoke - outrage, indignation, anger and distress in others.

    PS. For the sake of your own sanity. Get some anger management.

    By Anonymous jonsmum, at 3:15 PM  

  • Janice: "Only a C u next tuesday would suggest otherwise."

    Ah. And there's me thinking that the guy is in with Tactical Weapons And Technologies for the minute!

    Maybe we sould put them together...

    JBJr... you're a twunt!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:36 AM  

  • Guys, we can do without the name calling on both sides. This discussion is about JRC and it's practice of using electrically based aversives.
    Mr. Best, say you go in for a checkup, and your knee is really, really hurting. Does the doctor say you don't know what you're talking about, and ask your wife about your symptoms?
    I believe it is not wise to start arguing a point based on the alleged dysfunction of someone else's brain.

    Drinking, smoking etc are not self abusive. They're fun. Sex is fun.
    Odd, I thought you would say otherwise, seeing as how you once felt the need to censor an article about Daniel Tammet, and how the smartest man in the world is autistic and gay.

    Im curious, exactly which institution did you work at? I think I remember you.

    By Blogger Zoe, at 6:01 PM  

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