Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Foul Stench of Echthroi: Jerry Kartzinel and Jenny McCarthy

In the classic series of books by Madeleine L'Engle beginning with A Wrinkle in Time, evil is depicted as a cold, dark shadow spreading across the galaxy and destroying whatever lies in its path. The second book, A Wind in the Door, describes in more detail the evil spirits called Echthroi, who seek to extinguish all joy and life and beauty in the universe. (Anne C. at Existence is Wonderful just wrote a great tribute to L'Engle and her books; I highly recommend it.)

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:


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  • Thank you for this post.
    I've just started to listen to an audio-book of A Wrinkle in Time, having read so many good things about it. I'm enjoying it a lot so far.

    Kartzinel, with his cruel and horrible bit of writing, does not describe my family or my child. I know who my children are and I name them; wonderful, precious, loved, unique.

    By Blogger Sharon McDaid, at 4:20 AM  

  • My beautiful son is definetly

    And more.

    By Blogger Casdok, at 4:38 AM  

  • Like Casdok said, I love the ending of your post. It is so true! My daughter is all of those and more too! I have not read those books yet but with all the hype I guess I better be prepared. Some of the things people say to me never cease to amaze me.

    By Blogger Marla , at 2:29 PM  

  • Dr. Kartzinel treated my son for years with terrific results and is a great person and doctor. If you knew him you would not interpret the quote the way it has been here. Dr. Kartzinel has a son with autism and I have met him and seen them together many times. He loves his son and feels the same way about him as I do about mine and you do about your autistic(son or daughter). Please open your mind to the possibility that this good Christian man did not mean what you got from this quote. His countless deeds over the many years I have known him lead me to an entirely different meaning of this text.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 3:40 PM  

  • WOW people don't know Dr. Jerry at all. Words can't explain what he does for children with autism. You are taking his words and twisting them. Any one with a child with austism remembers the day they recieved those words and you can't tell me you jumped up and down with joy. No you went home and felt like someone ripped your guts out. That is what Dr. Jerry is talking about. I traveled from New York to Flordia so he could treat my son. And I would not change a thing. Dr. Jerry helped recover my son yes RECOVERED. I have never meet a Dr. with so much love for our children. It really makes me sad to see what people are saying

    By Blogger Christine, at 10:54 PM  

  • I too have a son with Autism who was treated for a long time by Dr. Jerry, lovingly, and with the right balance of compassion and toughness. My Son is now mainstreamed, and doing very well thanks to Dr. Jerry. Often, what one thinks someone is saying, is really a mirror of one's own deepest darkest thought, and is not necessarily accurate or even close to what the person speaking really meant. Dr. Jerry Kartzinel is a Dr. who really listens, cares and acts. He is brave in what he says and does, and I for one am so thankful for what he did for my Son and my family. Amanda

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:17 PM  

  • This is so sad how you just rip into Dr. Jerry Kartzinel. I took my child to Dr. Jerry several years ago. He is without a doubt one of the most gentle, caring and loving doctors around. He is incredibly respectful to all individuals with autism. The writer of this article knows absolutely nothing about him. If you met Dr. Jerry in person you would realize how completely wrong you are about him. He is in his field because he does love children with autism and does think they are precious and wonderful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:53 PM  

  • I have a child completely recovered from the horrors of chronic explosive diarhea, mind boggling insomnia, sensory sensitivity so severe that he couldn't leave the house even to attend school, picking at his lips until they would bleed, etc, etc, etc. And, basically trapped in a mind that was visibly tormenting him. I was recently told that my father in law had confided in a friend that his grandson was a "vegetable," He now is a VERY happy main streamed "B" Student,4th grader and plays and excells at every sport offered in our community. I have also known Jerry for several years and know that the very safe treatments we used are the same that Jerry offers to his patients, many of whom are close friends. I also have never met any parent who has tried these treatments who haven't seen benefit for their children. Jerry's only intention is to help sick children feel better. I will never understand those who don't make the effort to help their children. A mom at great peace

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:04 PM  

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