The Foul Stench of Echthroi: Jerry Kartzinel and Jenny McCarthy
Although Echthroi have no physical bodies and do not speak, their presence manifests as a cold, clammy feeling in the air and a foul stench of decay. They destroy by blotting out the meaning of existence, causing a target to lose its identity and fade away and become part of the evil shadow. They cannot be fought with weapons or anger, as this only strengthens them. Rather, the way to fight back against the Echthroi is with love, by affirming the essential nature of that which they seek to destroy—by Naming all things, from the largest star to the tiniest creature. To know the names and characteristics of things, people, or animals is to make their existence more solid, more real, and more joyful.
A nasty whiff of Echthroi-stench wafted into the autism community not long ago when Jerry Kartzinel—one of the more infamous members of the Dubious Docs Formerly Known as DAN!—wrote (or perhaps quacked) in the introduction to a recently published book by Jenny McCarthy: "Autism, as I see it, steals the soul from a child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life's marrow out of the family members, one by one..."
I think we all know who's sucking what in this sordid tale, and some decent folks are fighting back with the truth. Kevin Leitch has put together an excellent video response to Kartzinel and that vile, dehumanizing, exploitative statement by showing images of actual autistic children happily enjoying their lives with their loving families. Please take a look at it, if you haven't already. And if you are a parent of an autistic child, you also can take a stand against today's forces of evil by affirming your child's personhood and identity—by Naming what your child truly is: