6/21/2010

Bloggers Coming to David Gorski's Defense

AoA's latest nastiness, Crosby's piece on Gorski, has resulted in an attempt in the comments section to get Gorski fired. I'd say that the editors and commentators ought to be ashamed of themselves, but we know that shame, along with a healthy sense of reality, is not in their repertoire.

Below are the blogs supporting Gorski or covering Crosby's piece:

Emily Willingham, A life less ordinary?

Steven Novella, NeuroLogica Blog

Storkdok, Storkdok-NOS

Squillo, Confutata

Free Speaker, Age of Ignorance

Sheldon, Vaccines Work

Liz Ditz, I Speak of Dreams

Todd W., Silenced By Age of Autism

Kev Leitch, LBRB

Sirenity, Age of Autism? Whatever

Me, Countering...

gfish, [weird things]

Kathleen and me, at Autism Blogs Directory.

We have removed the category of blogs that AoA was in as well as AoA from the directory. Actively working to get someone you disagree with fired is intimidation and is wrong. And it's a chicken-shit activity by cowards who obviously don't believe in the merits of their own arguments.

As blogs are written, let me know and I will add them here.

Letters in support of Gorski, referencing his Science-Based Medicine blog, can be sent here (gosh, how nice of the AoAers to provide something useful!):

Tina Lynn Abbott bj4325@wayne.edu
Richard Howard Bernstein cu3121@wayne.edu
Eugene Driker as1223@wayne.edu
Diane Lynne Dunaskiss ag1268@wayne.edu
Deborah I. Dingell cz6530@wayne.edu
Paul E. Massaron aj0252@wayne.edu
"Gary S. Pollard" ec3616@wayne.edu
Annetta Thelma Miller ai2291@wayne.edu and annetta@wayne.edu 

18 comments:

Liz Ditz said...

I have written a quite strong letter & sent to the above, but I won't be blogging it till tomorrow.

KWombles said...

I will add it then, Liz. :-)

David said...

As far as I'm concerned, there is only one appropriate response: SUE AOA.

It's about time someone did.

Free Speaker said...

I have a suggestion...http://age-of-ignorance.blogspot.com/2010/06/boy-wonder-at-collective-reaches-new.html

KWombles said...

Added!

Free Speaker said...

Young Crosby is a student at Brandeis University majoring in history and medical policy. Both are listed by the school as majors with some hefty faculty. I wonder what they would think about Crosby's antics?

I recall many years ago that my high school debate team coach, for a nationally ranked team, constantly reminded us that resorting to personal attacks is a concession by the debater that they realize that they have no valid argument and that they cannot win.

KWombles said...

Free Speaker,

As an adjunct instructor, I don't check into the online activities of my students or into their personal lives; it's none of my business. And I'd think it odd if a third-party were to bring it to my attention.

My students' grades are based on their work for the course and as long as their writings are not plagiarized, I don't dig into online activities.

I would suspect that the quality of the work that Crosby does would be about the same, that his ideological perspective would be apparent across his writings and that he is graded accordingly. I recall that the first piece by him at AoA that I read dealt with a poor grade he had earned for a paper.

In any case, having been on the receiving end, I have to say that harassment of an individual in his personal life is not acceptable just because one doesn't like the person's position. If a person in his online activities crosses a legal line, then the appropriate authorities should be notified.

Otherwise, rebutting the weak, ineffectual, and inaccurate arguments is the best possible action.

Free Speaker said...

Crosby seriously needs to learn a lesson from this. He will learn nothing from being rebutted, etc.

While I do not like "outing", or any of the other nefarious tactics used by the drones of the AoA collective, there are times where turnabout is fair play. I believe that this is one of them.

Roger Kulp said...

Jake Crosby certainly has a lot of issues,and autism/Asperger's isn't one of them.You keep mentioning parents here.You do have to wonder about the parents who instill,or encourage this sort of behavior in their kids.I hope this finally kills any idea that anivaxer troublemaking might stop with the parents.This is going to be a l-o-o-o-o-n-g fight.

I think a lot of people ought to start bringing libel/defamation suits against AoA,the more the merrier.

Liz Ditz said...

My blog post is up. The "Daily Web Newspaper" of the autism epidemic hits a new low in personal attacks.

Also there's a post at Silenced by Age of Autism

Liz Ditz said...

And here's Kev Leitch's

In Support of David Gorski

Roger Kulp said...

See Crosby's comment on his post at 11:31 this morning


"Do we complain to Gorski's medical board? Strike him off? Get his papers retracted?Sek to end his career as a researcher for good?He can't logically support the stifling of autism research,and then not expect the autism community to do the same to his."

KWombles said...

Thanks, Liz, I've updated the listing.

Thanks, Roger, for the new comment of Crosby's. What a sincere shame that anyone could believe that Gorski stifles autism research. Among the ridiculous comments over there, that may take the cake in both sheer audacity and for the most removed from reality.

Free Speaker,

Some consequences seem to be in order, but it looks like they need to be in the legal arena and that particular choice is out of our hands. Whether Jake has broken any of the codes and rules set in place by his university, I don't know. I still can't personally advocate anyone doing to Jake what he's attempting to do to Gorski.

Let's not forget that AoA's editors decide everything that goes on their site, each and every comment, and so must be held as fully accountable as those who make the comments.

David said...

I HAVE emailed two Brandeis staff about this post, and what I consider harassment against me over the "Aarhus document". I specifically suggested the deletion of two articles and resignation from AoA as sufficient to resolve the matter.

I seriously think that an "intervention" on these lines will be for Crosby's own good. Given time for personal reflection, I think even too much involvement in DEBUNKING AoA can be psycho-spiritually harmful.

KWombles said...

Here's the thing. Unless the university has a code of conduct in place that Crosby has violated, they have no say in his actions as a private citizen.

I don't see any difference in contacting Jake's university and attempting to get him in trouble than I do with the AoAers interfering with Gorski's work. Except that Crosby's work is full of inaccuracies and tortured logic and just downright wrong.

It isn't right to interfere in a person's private life, in their livelihood. It's intimidation and harassment and an attempt to silence the person.

If he's done something illegal, like slander or libel, it's a case for the courts. If he's committing a legal case of harassment, it's still a case for the courts.

You don't have to like, appreciate, enjoy, etc., what the AoAers put on that site, but if it doesn't rise to a legal offense, then they're expressing their first amendment rights.

You can attempt to hold them accountable in the court of public opinion. You can hold out that their rhetoric is inaccurate, dangerous, and wackaloonish. You can deride them for their tactics and their obvious delight in being societally destructive.

But you don't harass people in their private lives because you don't like what they say.

Again, if they break a law, take them to court, file a police report. Get a restraining order. Take whatever legal action is necessary and warranted.

But you don't harass people in their private lives because you don't like what they say. You don't try to get them fired. You don't try to get them kicked out of school. You don't. It isn't ethically right.

David said...

I have read Brandeis' policies, and I am satisfied that they have strong policies in place against harassment and "cyberbullying", which is exactly how I would define Crosby's conduct toward me. I warned him, too.

As I have said before, I am very concerned at AoA's refusal to withdraw their trumped-up "libel" complaint against me, which Crosby has already used maliciously. I consider formal action against a member of AoA the only way to compel them to do this, and action within the university system is the only means I can readily afford. I also think it is quite possible that Crosby's attack on Gorski was influenced his being prevented from continuing to repeat the "libel" complaint at RI (even though "Orac" was even firmer in discouraging me from taking the present course of action).

I will add that I really do not wish to see anything like an expulsion. I would be happy just to see a "peer mediation" about my complaint.

Microbiology Mommy said...

I've been deciding whether to comment on this for several days. Jake's post on AoA is just wrong both in content and ethics and the comments anger me even more. These people support some made-up crap by a kid that has no clue what he is talking about while ignoring real conflict of interest in the site itself? Hello, big banner on AoA says it is supported by a, gasp, pharmacy that provides autism treatments recommended by the blog itself, and that is just one example.

I was surprised that the AoA editors allowed these two comments:

"Working in an area where I am constantly evaluating conflict of interest I do not believe that David Gorski has such a conflict. If you can establish that the company is funding his lab then he has a conflict of interest to be declared. This sounds more like he is benefiting Big Pharma rather than Big Pharma benefiting him."

and

"If you are so concerned with conflicts of interest, how is it that you seem to be OK with the fact that the very man responsible for the so-called connection between vaccines and autism, was being paid to find a way to sue vaccine companies? That doesn't bother you at all?"

Is it a way to save face?

I would also like to say that I've been very inspired by the blog posts/comments made by Dr. Gorski and others at RI/SBM to start my own blog. It worries me that some loon can stalk me and harass me at work. I have a family to look after and as much as I would like to help the confused parent, my family must come first. I doubt I'll ever become as well-respected as SBM, so I'll try to do my little bit, but I'm sure to keep Dr. Gorski's experience in the back of my mind.

Dr. Gorski, I decided to write because I want you to know that I admire your work and you have had a very positive influence on me. I wish I had the money or expertise to help you sue AoA. Jake should not be allowed to post complete lies to defame your character without consequences.

KWombles said...

Microbiology Mommy,

Thanks for your comment. And for starting your blog! I've added your blog under General Science-Related Blogs in the Autism Blogs Directory. :-)

What a helpful contribution for parents seeking general information! I especially liked the links to the online textbooks and the site with the microbe pictures.