Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Coward of the Decade

In response to my last post, Camille mentioned that Bill Gates once thought about coming out of the closet as an autistic, but he was too afraid of being called "diseased." After reading that, I started to think about how different everything might have been if Gates had any guts.

Just suppose Bill Gates had come out five or six years ago, before the autism industry got its slimy tentacles all over the mass media. What if he had created a pro-neurodiversity foundation? With his money and influence, he could have changed the tone of the social discourse completely. Instead of chelation and eugenic abortion, people would be discussing the importance of neurological diversity to the human species, how to improve the education of autistic children, and civil rights laws to protect neurological minorities. Curebie groups such as Autism Speaks never would have existed. Gates could have saved an entire generation of autistic kids from the emotional (and sometimes physical) scars of being treated as damaged goods. But instead, he sprouted yellow feathers and flapped ignominiously away. Bawk, bawk.

His kids will go to the top prep schools and universities. They won't have to worry about being treated like dirt in segregated classrooms or sent to abusive institutions like the Judge Rotenberg Center. They won't have to struggle to "pass" in order to get and keep a job. They won't be taught to think of themselves as mentally diseased and genetically defective. I'll bet their daddy hasn't even told them about autism. Or if he has, I'm sure he described it as an unfortunate affliction of other people. Not us, nuh-uh.

Role model for autistic youth, my ass.

Bill Gates doesn't deserve to be Person of the Year. In my book, he's Coward of the Decade.



  • Hi,

    Bill Gates might be coward of the decade, but I'd like to put that on Lenny Schafer who is said to be parenting his own blood-related grandchild and is keeping that covered up by saying that Izaak is adopted. Izaak looks like Lenny, in my opinion. It looks like, Lenny had a daughter or two, and one or both (each) gave birth to a boy and a girl, possibly out of wedlock and Lenny and his wife at the time adopted both of the babies. Then Lenny and his wife divorced and divided the kids. The mom got the girl and Lenny got Izaak. I think it's possible that Lenny's daughter(s) are on the spectrum. Lenny is accused of being on the spectrum by Jerry Newport. I've never met Lenny, so I can't say.

    I think that people like Bernie Rimland, Andrew Wakefield and David Kirby and Jeff Bradstreet deserve our anger much more than Bill Gates does.

    The thing about Gates being accused of being diseased, which I should have mentioned was that the person who said it said something like, "How can we trust a disabled person (sick person, diseased person, retard...) with running a huge company like Microsoft." If we were in Gates' shoes we might go underground, too. But still.... he's had time to think about it and he should be supporting the neurodiversity idea now. I wish that some of the many, many wealthy spectrumites (even closeted or undxd parents of spectrumites) would start concerning themselves with building housing and programs to help us with daily life and death issues.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:32 PM  

  • Camille-
    The charge you have made against Bill Gates (which, as I understand it, is that he's a diagnosed autistic who won't reveal that fact publicly because he is afraid to be called "diseased") is a serious one that, if true, reflects poorly on his character. May I assume you wouldn't spread such an unflattering story unless you had a valid and reputable source that backed it up? Would you mind sharing that source with us?

    As for Lenny Schafer... Well I'm not sure I understand why disagreeing with someone should give you (or anyone else) the right to spread rumors about their family members over the internet. And how on earth is the true paternity of Izaak at all relevant to a discussion of Shafer's wrong headed beliefs?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:09 PM  

  • Mr. Greenlee,

    When I asked Lenny if he had "autism genes" himself since he had an autistic son (I didn't realize Izaak was adopted when I asked) he said words to the effect of, "I don't have autism genes, Izaak is adopted." So what's that about if not shame of being related to Izaak? I don't know if Izaak is Lenny's biological grandchild but by putting together what Lenny says about Izaak and his children and his wife. I get a picture of someone who is doing his best to implicate mercury draw attention away from genes being deceptive of who Izaak is for personal reasons. Lenny never had to say anything about his family in public, but he has (it was in the early FEAT newsletter he published before the SAR).

    I think he's a coward for not being honest about Izaak. I mean he's telling everyone how he's used Izaak's adoption fund money from the State to support the SAR for years, which again makes Izaak seem to be a non-related person.

    Maybe it's just me that is bugged by that. Why wouldn't a grandfather be proud to identify his grandson as such?

    The person who told me about Bill Gates said that Gates had had some kind of PDD dx as a child or young person. I don't know if he's dxd as an adult. There is video of him on You Tube where you can see him rocking just like any autistic person under stress rocks, obviously rocks, front and back... he's being deposed by some lawyers.

    I don't think there's any question that he's on the spectrum, he even has facial traits of an autistic person who was that way from early gestation, just as many of the kids who are said to be mercury poisoned have those same facial traits that they were born with.

    You might be able to dig on the net and find where someone publicly accused Gates of being in a bad position to be leading a huge company because (the man accuses him) of being mentally disabled/retarded/a freak/whatever.

    I can't imagine how saying that Bill Gates is autistic and doesn't want people to know that he knows... could be called a "charge," I'm not "charging" him with anything. abfh is charging him, as I see it with needing a "coward of the decade" award. I think that's a little over the top, but I understand her frustration/anger/whatever.

    I am not sure that if I were in Gates' position that I wouldn't have done the same thing. And realistically, is he supposed to call a press conference now and display his doorknob collection or train time table collection or show them how he flaps when he's alone? He's open about having a trampoline room in his home, that's pretty close to an admission, to me. Anyway, Spielberg and other famous entertainers are out of the closet, I don't know if Dan Akroyd has a lot of money or what he does with it as far as charities... I just wish they would fund something real world for autistics. Mr.Simon (Simons) ultra wealthy father of an AS girl sure seems like he's on the spectrum to me, and he's funding very expensive gene research. I'd like to see him fund a program for housing/employment, but it's not my money. He can do with it what he likes. Same for Gates.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:39 PM  

  • I don't know if Gates has a diagnosis and if he does, I don't really blame him for keeping it private. A certain autistic bfh does the same thing, for practical reasons.

    But Bill, it's not too late. Come out, we need you!

    By Blogger Anne, at 4:08 PM  

  • Okay, fair enough, you can say that I'm a coward too. But the way I look at it, "from those to whom much has been given, much is required." Because I have the ability to write and to post on the Internet, I feel that I'm under a moral obligation to do what I can to help the cause. Whether or not I blog under my real name doesn't make much difference, so my cowardice, such as it is, hasn't harmed anyone. If I were a billionaire, though, you can bet I would be doing a lot more to change the world.

    And heck, even if Gates had legitimate reasons to be afraid of being known as an autistic man, it would have been easy for him to fund pro-neurodiversity efforts anonymously.

    Maybe Gates sincerely believes that the prejudice against autistic people will go away on its own, or that he doesn't have enough influence to change things, or that his charitable choices (giving money to vaccination programs, etc.) are more important. But I think it's more likely he's just a coward, period.

    As for Lenny Schafer, I also find it disturbing that a grandfather would be ashamed of being related to his grandson, but I wouldn't describe that as cowardice. I'd call it bigotry, just like when white men won't admit they're related to their biracial grandchildren.

    By Blogger abfh, at 4:58 PM  

  • I wish that some of the many, many wealthy spectrumites (even closeted or undxd parents of spectrumites) would start concerning themselves with building housing and programs to help us with daily life and death issues.
    Take ALA. Then you will be able to take care of your own housing and won't need any programs. It's only $5 a bottle.

    By Blogger John Best, at 5:11 AM  

  • Perseverating again, John?

    I dare you to go take the new genetic test for autism that Kristina Chew just blogged about.

    Of course, your autism is very obvious even without a test...

    By Blogger abfh, at 10:01 AM  

  • B, I wasn't calling you a coward.

    Unless you're a celebrity IRL. Are you? ;-)

    By Blogger Anne, at 4:18 PM  

  • AB;
    I'm not the least bit autistic. Do you want to pay for me to take the test?

    By Blogger John Best, at 5:26 PM  

  • Joe;
    I know some of you like to claim I hate autistics. That's false. I hate autism and what it has done to all of you. I also hate the fact that you've all been hoodwinked into believing the crap that comes from neurodiversity.
    For someone like yourself who might have a decent IQ, I don't understand why you want your life to be screwed up by autism when you might make yourself normal and escape from the abyss of autism.

    By Blogger John Best, at 5:33 PM  

  • John wrote: "Do you want to pay for me to take the test?"

    Interesting question from someone who's always claiming to be more successful than any of the autistic adults who blog about neurodiversity. What's next, John, you gonna put a donation button on your hate site? Running short on money for rent after paying for all your son's quack treatments, hmmm?

    Anne: no, I'm not a celebrity, LOL. I wish.

    By Blogger abfh, at 5:57 PM  

  • AB;
    I'm sure I can pay for the test but I'm not the one who wants it done. You pay for it and I'll do it.
    Good idea about having a donation button. I could donate to Lenny to give people free subscriptions to the SAR. Will you help me install it, I'm computer illiterate?

    By Blogger John Best, at 7:02 PM  

  • Joe;
    What's an AQ?

    By Blogger John Best, at 9:07 PM  

  • Joe;
    I scored 11.

    By Blogger John Best, at 1:52 AM  

  • A few years ago, I saw a newsclip on TV that showed someone pushing a creme pie into Bill Gates' face. He was a really poor sport about it, but I'm not sure *any* billionaires would appreciate a pie in the face.

    John, WTF? Don't we play nice when we come to your house? (That is, we indulge your masochistic desire to be beaten up and raked over the coals.) Is your old lady ignoring you again? ;-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:55 AM  

  • Clay;
    I hope you noticed the yankees are where they belong in the standings today. It's been raining here for about 10 days and the golf courses I usually play are flooded so I've had some time converse with my neurodiverse pals.
    Is it true Bill Gates plans to chelate himself?

    By Blogger John Best, at 9:11 AM  

  • I'm glad you're not one of us.


    But you do have some major obsessive-compulsive behavior issues going on, John. Maybe you need crystals with better vibes, or a nice frothy cup of Dr. Buttar's urine, or something. I'm sure your DAN! pals can give you plenty of advice on changing your neurology. Maybe you'll even become normal someday.

    By Blogger abfh, at 10:52 AM  

  • Joe;
    Does that prove that my son's autism is not genetic?
    The only obsession I have is golf. Countering the neurodiverse philosophy is just a source of amusement while I wait for the golf courses to dry.

    By Blogger John Best, at 11:43 AM  

  • Camille

    Where in the hell did you get Gates had a PDD diagnosis as a kid? He was 25 years old when PDD was added to the DSM. This whole topic is bullshit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:12 AM  

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