Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Friday, March 07, 2008


Back in 2006, when Michael John Carley of GRASP collaborated (in more than one sense of the word) with Alison Tepper Singer in composing so-called "articles of understanding," I wrote a blog post mocking his naive foolishness in giving the benefit of the doubt to our mortal enemy, Autism Speaks.

Now it's become apparent that Carley had a significant personal financial interest in sucking up to Autism Speaks and that I was, in fact, the naive one for giving Carley the benefit of the doubt as to his motives. In a promotional e-mail recently sent to GRASP members, Carley announced that he has written a book that is due to be released in a few weeks. He bragged about his "unbelievable advance reviews," profusely thanked the professionals who wrote them, and provided a link to these reviews on Amazon.com. While reading through them, I noticed this endorsement:

"Michael John Carley is an articulate and passionate advocate for people with Asperger's Syndrome. His engaging book offers a thoughtful and creative roadmap for people with Aspergers and their loved ones."

--Mark Roithmayr, President, Autism Speaks

Evidently, not only did Carley willingly accept this "unbelievable" endorsement—he was very pleased to get it. No doubt Autism Speaks will be of great help to him in marketing his book to the curebies. It looks like he's getting repaid quite handsomely for writing that article two years ago.

By way of contrast, I'm reminded of a brief exchange that occurred in the last Democratic presidential debate, on the subject of what to do with endorsements received from anti-Semites and other bigots. Barack Obama said that he denounced the bigotry. Hillary Clinton argued that she went farther by rejecting the endorsement. In response to that, Obama told Clinton that he didn't see much of a difference between those words and that if she thought there was, he would both reject and denounce.

That's what an ethical person would do if he got endorsed by haters who openly admit that they seek to eradicate a minority group. That's what anyone with a shred of decency would do.

But I suspect we'll all be snowboarding in hell before we see Carley reject and denounce Roithmayr's endorsement.

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  • The old adage "Follow the money" usually applies.


    By Blogger Club 166, at 1:16 PM  

  • "Well oiled beef hooked"

    He certainly bent down to pick up the soap!

    By Blogger laurentius rex, at 1:28 PM  

  • I fear you are correct. How wonder how much money he will soak up that should have been directed to something constructive?

    By Blogger Joeymom, at 3:59 PM  

  • Carley should do what Estee did - she couldn't stop them linking to her, but she made her disapproval known. They seem to like giving themselves legitimacy by appearing to be involved in a positive way with lots of organisations - not a bad move on the face of it.

    By Blogger Alyric, at 6:16 PM  

  • If the curbie groups are not the target audience for this guys book, it seems like in the long run, he and his publisher would lose out on book sales from these groups endorsing the book.

    If he gets temporary support from groups that eventually eradicate his audience, he eventually won't have an audience at all. His decision doesn't seem practical at all.

    By Blogger Ed, at 12:33 PM  

  • I wish I knew Mr Carley more personally.

    I feel I know many folks on the hub to some degree personally and the folks over time I have exchanged emails with in maillists on forums (fora) and newsnet, but Michael John Carley really does not make any associations for me.

    I have met some folks and narrowly avoided meeting others, but inspite of that I suppose my personal life is always somewhat open. I am expressive enough in this internet world, and maybe more so than my position on the NAS ought to dictate so far as discretion is concerned.

    You have my autobiography on my web site, my photographs (and that is more me than words can say), then my You tube videos. I don't think it is possible to be more public than I am.

    Mr Carley though seems a bit of a mystery and I would like to know more.

    By Blogger laurentius rex, at 7:35 PM  

  • It is my understanding that AS does not allow individuals with ASD to speak at their events.

    This from parents who have previously worked on walks for Autism Speaks. When their kids (older/adult) expressed an interest in speaking, and the parents made their offer to AS, they were all declined (apparently not upbeat enough thought some parents?)

    It is difficult to see why adult with autism would want to be associated with them.

    By Blogger Ginger, at 11:49 AM  

  • ultimately,it seems to me that the world would be no worse off witout the creation of this construct 'aspergers'. the degree of subjectivity[self-induced or clinically diagnosed],lends me to conclude that the criteria involved in this determination,are at one in the same time overly general and overly specific. the question of whether there is a "cure" or not ultimately has to be wrought over by each individual person. i fear the pharmaceutical cash cow having undue influence on one end,and the cultural trivialization of any eccentricity on other will dissipate eacg other. thus,my question is,is this such a bad thing?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:38 PM  

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