Protesting Kerri Rivera and Chlorine Dioxide Abuse

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Guest Post by Alison Bernstein of Mommy, PhD

This past Saturday, a small group gathered outside the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel to protest the presentation by Kerri Rivera at the AutismOne conference. Kerri Rivera promotes the use of chlorine dioxide, or CD, an industrial bleaching agent, for bleach enemas to “cure” children with autism. Here, I am sharing stories from three of the protesters. (If you haven’t read about this issue before, please see the end of the article to learn about CD, Kerri Rivera and why we were protesting her presentation at AutismOne.)


Rebecca F is a mom to two boys, one with autism. She joined to promote awareness and respect for her son and all those with autism. She wanted the opportunity to talk directly to parents because so many people try to exploit special needs parents, both financially and emotionally.

Kim Z is a mom who participated because she saw this on Facebook a few months ago and was horrified. Like me, the thought of people doing this to their children keeps her up at night crying, wondering what she can do to help. In general, she tries to use her time to do some good in the world and is particularly upset when people who can’t speak for themselves are being taken advantage of, or in this case, tortured. She understands how parents can feel desperate when they have a child who isn’t “normal” and can get fall for lies because they promise false hope.

Lou L is a concerned parent and says: “I don’t have any children with autism, but my daughter is only 9 months old. As a parent I felt that it was important to stand up for the children who can’t.”

Kerri Rivera tries to intimidate the protesters

From Rebecca F.

“Kim, her 20 yr old daughter, my two boys and I showed up a little late and they were waiting for us. Three or four security people came up to us.

Rebecca: We know, keep moving, stay off Loews property.

Loews security: Okay, just so you know, the police have been informed.

Kim: Yes, we’re pretty scary.

Loews security: Yes, like a box of kittens.

Rebecca: What’s scary is the people advocating bleach enemas for autistic kids.

Their eyebrows rose, as in like, what.”

Now, trying to intimidate the protesters because they called the police is pretty silly. See, others in our group had called the appropriate authorities in Rosemont weeks ago to learn the laws regarding protesting in their jurisdiction and to see if we needed any permits to hold a protest. I also personally spoke to the Rosemont PD earlier in the week to let them know that we would have a small group there and that we were aware of the rules about protests. They were very appreciative of the heads up.

Rebecca F continues her narrative.

“Kerri came out with security and it looks like some manager lady. They just watched us. I recognized her and let the others know. We started chanting, looking directly at Kerri Rivera: “go away, we don’t need your bleach today”. She went inside.

Kerri came out later with security again. I pointed out her to the film crew and they approached her, but security hustled her inside.”

Traffic stops to learn more

People driving past stopped to ask questions and spoke to the protesters. Kim shared this:

“A car stopped in traffic to listen to the cause and backed up traffic. Right behind her was the Loews bus beeping away, trying to deliver people to the conference. But the driver of the car I was speaking to didn’t care and listened to me for about 3 or 4 minutes!”

Hotel and conference staff support protesters

From Kim Z:

Hotel workers would walk past us and would give us a thumbs up. One worker came directly to me and said I can’t let them know what I’m saying they think I’m just asking you not to block the drive but I respect and agree with what you’re doing. Those people in there are nuts! I told him I understand he needs his job and later if he wanted to support this where to find us. He was a good guy who genuinely looked upset by what was taking place in there.”

From Rebecca F:

“The film crew hired to tape the event thanked us. They said they were horrified by what they had seen over the last few days. They made a point to tell us all we were doing the right thing.”

Conference attendees appalled by learning about Kerri Rivera, CD and AutismOne

Rebecca F says:

“One woman approached us asking what it was about. We (Kim, her daughter and I) explained. We also spoke of the other quacks at the conference. She looked stunned and said, ‘I came from Mexico for this conference’. She was obviously unaware what she came to and was put off.”

“We spoke to many parents, moms mainly. They were shocked to hear and thanked us. They thought they were going to a nice conference. That alone made it worth it. I spoke to four myself, Kim also spoke to more.”

 

Not all the interactions were positive

Rebecca L told me this story about a woman who showed no respect for people with autism or understanding of what autism is.

“A grandmotherly type just finished talking to Lou. I was standing by. I chimed in that my son is autistic and I wouldn’t want the treatments there for him. She said, “I’m sorry”. I said, “Don’t be sorry. I’m not.” She said her 69 yr old brother is autistic so she really is sorry because she knows it makes life harder. I said it makes life harder and better like for all people. She said she was sorry again. I said she should be grateful for autistics. She said sorry again, then bent down and condescendingly spoke to my son, who is autistic. I walked away at that point. Pulled the wagon with the boys away. I will not let anyone talk down to him. He may be socially awkward but he is very smart. Finishing K and reading and math at second grade level. At some point I told her that he will do great things some day.”

Lou spoke to a woman who apparently believes in many pseudoscientific ideas, no matter how contradictory they are to each other, has a very poor grasp of the history of science and knows nothing about how biomedical research works.

“I had a conversation with this woman outside who seems to believe that every cure inside is valid. I asked her how autism can have so many root causes and everything from homeopathy to CD to avoiding vaccines apparently cures it. Her response to me was ‘then what do you think you can do about autism?’ as if challenging me for my own cure. To which, of course, I told her that she doesn’t have to find a cure – especially not with pseudoscience. Just treat children with autism with respect. She also told me ‘have you tried homeopathy? it works’. Then, I asked her to produce a single double blind study with some kind of objective measure showing any of these things work. She responded to that with ‘there are no double blind studies”’ So I said ‘even if the entire medical community is completely corrupt and can’t produce a valid study, you can always create the first one’. Then she gave me some crap about Galileo and how he went against established science. I told her the difference between Galileo and her is that Galileo had compelling objective evidence. I told her that if she could produce that I’d change my mind. And that’s where the conversation ended.”

The hotel makes a lot of money from conferences

 

Lou’s wife was allowed in to change their baby’s diaper.

“She told me it was a complete pseudoscience fest and packed with vendors, including one person selling anti-wifi shields. She was curious so walked over and the woman asked her about what she thought about wifi harming us. My wife said it sounded like “quackery” and I guess the woman got fairly pissed off. My wife couldn’t take pictures or tape because there are signs everywhere saying no photos or recordings. I can see why the hotel refused to cancel this event. The place was packed. This is a huge moneymaker for them. I just hope that when the news does their segment the hotel won’t be able to continue their “we didn’t know” claim.”

The hotel cannot claim ignorance.

This particular hotel is the venue for AutismOne every year. This is not the first time Kerri has been at the conference. They know. They know that this conference has hosted Andrew Wakefield multiple times. They used to host Jenny McCarthy regularly. Focus For Health, one of the main sponsors of the conference, is a major player in the anti-vaccine propaganda movement. There is no way the hotel doesn’t know who they are hosting, unless they are willfully ignorant. Perhaps they do know, but they the management believes in the non-scientifically based misinformation presented at this conference.

Before the protest, we tried to get the event canceled.

In other countries, reaching out the the venues and informing them just who and what will be presented, combined with negative publicity, has been enough to get events with Kerri Rivera or Jim Humble canceled. However, Loews Hotels did not care at all that someone at this event would be giving a seminar that could be alternatively titled “How to chronically poison and abuse your autistic child.”

We reached out to the hotel many times. There was a petition on Change.org. We sent emails and called the hotel and corporate headquarters. Most of us we received no response. When we did get a response, we got the standard PR response: the views of the people using our venue are not necessarily the views of Loews. That response seems wholly inadequate when someone is using your venue to promote child abuse.

We also left comments on their Facebook page. Many were deleted and commenters were banned. Eventually, Loews pulled down the entire Facebook page for the hotel instead of addressing criticism. There was not even a response from the hotel after the local NBC news did a story about Kerri Rivera, Jim Humble, and chlorine dioxide.

I am really pleased with how the protest turned out! I wish I could have made it up to Chicago to participate. Those who went were amazing, as were the many other people who helped with the planning but were unable to go. This protest was one important piece of the momentum that is building to help us put a stop to this terrible abuse.

Some background for those who haven’t heard about this issue before

What is CD/MMS and why the protest?

Chlorine dioxide/Miracle Mineral Solution is an industrial strength bleaching agent that can be used in very low concentrations as a water purifier. Independent laboratory testing of the solution that results after following the instructions provided by Kerri Rivera revealed that the conversion of sodium chlorite to chlorine dioxide was very inefficient with 90% of the sodium chlorite remaining as chlorite. Chlorite is also highly toxic and safety limits have been set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The concentration of the chlorite remaining (what the children are actually ingesting or having shoved up their rectums) is 520 times higher (312 mg) than the acceptable limit set (0.03 mg/kg, if we assume a child is 20 kg or ~45 pounds) by the WHO.

The FDA has also issued a warning to not “consume or use Miracle Mineral Solution”. The FDA requests that “consumers who have MMS should stop using it immediately and throw it away. The FDA advises consumers who have experienced any negative side effects from MMS to consult a health care professional as soon as possible.”

This protocol calls for this solution of industrial strength bleach to be administered to autistic children by enema or by drinking. The supposed reasoning is that autism is caused by parasites that can be removed by using this protocol. However, there is nothing in this justification or this protocol that is supported by science. This is nothing more than a horrible form a child abuse. This was also covered in Ireland in an in-depth story earlier this year.

What happens to kids who are given CD?

From the forums where parents doing CD on their kids, we know what is happening to these poor kids. Children cry in pain as they are held down and industrial strength is forced into their rectums. The lining of their children’s intestinal lining falling out, toenails fall off, and hair falls out. Children stop showing emotion and have a loss of appetite. These are all signs of chronic poisoning and chronic abuse, but these proponents of this “protocol” congratulate parents for “curing” their children of autism when they see these changes. When parents ask about disturbing symptoms their children are having in response to this “treatment”, the answer from the leaders is always – give more enemas.

Who promotes this abuse?

The creator of the MMS protocol, Jim Humble, founded his own “non-religious” church, the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, to protect himself and his “Ministers of Health” against legal action relating to his promotion of this protocol. They are not even trying to hide that they formed this so-called church to protect themselves against prosecution. He is not a doctor, yet claims that the CD/MMS protocol has cured Ebola, malaria, HIV and other diseases. As reported by NBC Chicago, Jim Humble believes that he is an ancient god from the Andromeda galaxy.

Kerri Rivera is the woman who decided to promote CD as a “cure” for autism. She is a “Minister of Health” within the church and has written a book spelling out her CD protocol to “cure” autism.

What is the AutismOne/Focus For Health conference and why do they host Kerri Rivera?

Autism One is a conference that promotes anti-vax rhetoric and promotes things that “cure” autism. Just to reiterate what has been demonstrated many times by actual science, there is no link between vaccines and autism. Nor is autism something that needs to be cured or can be cured. The “quackfest” that is this conference has been written up every year over on Respectful Insolence. Here’s a good summary from 2011 about the nonsense that this conference promotes. They are also known to go to somewhat extreme lengths to prevent any one who doesn’t buy into their worldview from attending. See here and here. Kerri Rivera is just the most extreme and immediately and obviously harmful speaker there.

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Alison Bernstein is a scientist studying Parkinson’s disease and living in Atlanta with her husband, 2 kids and 2 cats. Follow her on her Mommy, PhD Facebook page and on Twitter @mommyphd2.

The Most Batshit Crazy Thing I Saw On The Internet This Week

The Internet is great. Not only can we find the answer to almost any question that plagues us, but there’s hilarious videos of animals doing ridiculous things. I mean, look at this compilation of raccoons being the best things ever.

Is there anything better than a raccoon wearing a party hat? Nope. Don’t even try to argue about it.

Seriously though, the Internet is also a scary place full of some of the most monstrous and scary people that we otherwise wouldn’t even have known existed if they didn’t have such a massive electronic soapbox. We probably wouldn’t know about things like earthing, electric foods, or incarnated unicorns. Sure, books would probably be published on all the wildest woo, but I feel like they wouldn’t go as viral as graphic memes and YouTube videos.

I spend an inordinate amount of time reading through the ramblings of woo-peddlers and pseudoscientists. Most of it makes me laugh because of how bizarre it is. Inevitably something will make me sad because of how dangerously full of shit it is and how easily people believe it.

Imagine a world where we didn't know people believed insanity like this.

Imagine a world where we didn’t know people believed insanity like this.

While we scratch our heads because adults sincerely discuss how a boat could sustain two (or seven) of every animal on earth for a year or claim miso can magically prevent radiation poisoning, we need to make sure that we don’t forget that the king of crazy is continually one-upping everyone.

Does it make you crazy…

  • to not want Pepsi to use baby parts in their flavoring?
  • to not want humanoids, babies that are grown up in utero in cows?
  • [to not want] goats that are part spider that make body armor?
  • to not want ProdiGene to plant live pharmacological corn that grows HIV in it in Texas?
  • to read the inserts of the vaccines where everyone of them says it can kill you or brain damage ya?

To be honest, no. None of that makes anyone crazy. I don’t drink Pepsi, but even if I did, cannibalism by soft drink isn’t anything I could support, nor could I get around the ethics of growing humans inside of cows. And spider-goats with body armor? Fuck that. Don’t even get me started on HIV crops. That just sounds like a terrible idea. Nobody wants to get AIDS from their cornbread.

What does make Alex Jones crazy is that he thinks these are things that really happen, and he willingly talks about them… on the radio and Internet… in public!

No, Pepsi doesn’t use pieces of babies in their product. Senomyx, a biotech company, uses taste receptors derived from the HEK 293 cell line to develop new flavors for Pepsi products. This is the equivalent of claiming there’s tractors in our food because farmers use them to take care of crops. It’s ludicrous at best and disingenuous fear-mongering at worst.

The cow thing? Equally as nutty. Xenotransplantation is most likely what this lunatic is referring to. There’s research that involves growing human organs in different animals. It’s a really brilliant way to to combat the organ shortage that makes life so scary and short for those who desperately need transplants. It also reduces the need for cutting open another person and taking organs they probably need to hold onto. I guess harvesting organs from some poor sap in a motel bathroom is just as good though.

There are no goats that are part spider. There are goats with a few spider genes in them though. In order to produce silk, you need lots and lots of spiders. The problem with that is you need lots and lots of spiders and fuck that. Some scientists created transgenic goats that can produce spider silk proteins in their milk, and some body armor is made using spider silk. No big. Did I mention it reduces the need for spiders?

Artist's depiction of the destroyer of worlds.

Artist’s depiction of the destroyer of worlds.

HIV corn sounds awful, doesn’t it? I wouldn’t eat it. Luckily, such a thing doesn’t exist. Back in 2002, ProdiGene developed a strain of corn that produced a specific protein found on the HIV virus. (I’m just now realizing that cranks rely on the fallacy of composition. Where’s my head been?) This protein could help develop a vaccine against HIV.

Not content to misrepresent this particular strain of corn, Mr. Jones then goes on to blatantly lie about the corn fields being burned by the government because he made a stink about them containing “live HIV virus.” The reality is that a completely different strain — one developed to vaccinate pigs against diarrhea — sprouted in a soybean crop and got mixed in with the harvest. This happened because the fields weren’t properly cleaned after the corn harvest. There’s literally no connection to the HIV protein strain other than it was developed by the same company. It never ceases to amaze me how easily these assholes can lie right to our faces.

I’m not even going to bother with the vaccine insert thing. It’s been done to death, and there’s really no reason for the likes of the Prison Planet folk to believe what they read on the inserts since Big Pharma is lying to us all. Another good one in the same vein is the way they say the WHO needs to be trusted because it says glyphosate probably causes cancer (ugh!), but the WHO can’t be trusted when it says GMO technology is safe. What’s saddest of all is they don’t see the inconsistency.

That’s not even halfway through the video. Jones goes on to tell a story about some guy calling him a liar and that made Jones break his own tooth because he bit a fork. If that’s a true story, and it probably sort of is, it’s just more evidence that Alex Jones has some serious rage problems.

Now, it’s not the claims that make this the most batshit crazy thing I’ve seen on the Internet this week. It’s that he likely believes the shit coming out of his mouth. Could you imagine living in the world dreamed up by the likes of Alex Jones and Mike Adams? I know that in this world we wouldn’t have people like them exposing all the lies being perpetrated by Big Pharma, Monsanto, the gubmint, or any of the other major players. These evil organizations can concoct and execute so many elaborate plots like spider-goats with HIV making fetus cola, but they can’t stop a couple of delusional halfwits with access to Internet. Sounds legit.

Mud Wrestling with the Food Babe

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a SFW mud wrestling pic?

I found it here: http://news.at0086.com/Today-s-Top-News/Mud-and-guts-in-women-s-mud-wrestling-contest.html

I could make a living doing this. It’s so easy. Vani Hari says something, I (or anyone) say why it’s wrong, she has a hissy fit and says more wrong things, and the cycle continues forever. Perpetual motion machines are real, they just exist solely in battles of wits. Sadly, one of the belligerents in this particular scuffle is unarmed.

By now everyone is probably well aware of the recent public execution of the Food Babe Way that Yvette d’Entremont, the Science Babe, published over at Gawker. I’m not going to waste any time going over it because that would be pointless. I’m sure a lot of you have seen Ms. Hari trying to defend herself against Yvette’s total evisceration of her nonsense, too. I say she tried. That’s not exactly correct. In fact, she didn’t try at all. No, that’s not her modus operandi; she has to attack the messenger. Mudslinging is the only weapon in the arsenals of those who fear facts.

In one of the saddest attempts I’ve ever seen at trying to discredit someone, Vani posted an anonymous email that made several allegations against Yvette. What those were is irrelevant for now but very pertinent to the point I want to make – Vani Hari is damned, dirty hypocrite.

Shocker, right? I could hardly believe it myself, but because she loves us, Vani wants to provide me and you and everyone we know with everything we need to demonstrate her complete lack of self-awareness and ethics. From selling products that contain “toxic” ingredients to banning all dissent while claiming to welcome debate, maybe she’s not the champion for better health she claims to be. Surely a real activist would defend herself against naysayers in very public ways regardless of the costs. (Funnily enough, the first page of her book compares her to Linus Pauling and Martin Luther King, Jr. I’m not making this up.)

Mark Hyman is a fucking idiot.

Mark Hyman is a fucking idiot.

So how is it hypocritical of Vani to post an anonymous email filled with unsubstantiated claims against the Science Babe?

Well, you see, back in January the Genetic Literacy Project posted a scoop from someone claiming to be a former employee of Vani’s. The gist was that Vani knows she’s full of shit, but she’s more interested in the money than actually providing sound advice. I’ve always maintained that Vani is too ignorant to know how full of shit she really is and too arrogant to recognize when she’s wrong.

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Vani was obviously a little miffed by that. Honestly, who could blame her? If some random commenter on the Internet said that about me, true or not, I’d be pissed. It’s the natural reaction.

exchange

She even tries to control the comments on someone else`s website. Power mad!

“This is defamatory,” she says. “Please remove it immediately,” she demands. But Jon Entine was only asking questions by posting this, Vani. Is he not allowed to investigate claims as you do? Is JAQing off only for Vani and tinfoil brigade?

In her response to Yvette’s article, Vani didn’t even bother with the just asking questions routine. She made several defamatory claims including that Yvette was fired for her activities as Science Babe and she’s a not a scientist (chemists are scientists dumb-dumb). This doesn’t even broach the multiple claims that Yvette, me, and every other skeptic being paid to disagree with Foo Boo. (She had the balls to call me a sexist once. ME!) That’s defamatory in itself, but I’m a nobody, so it doesn’t matter to me one whit what someone thinks about my motivations. If they can’t be bothered to think about what I’m actually saying, fuck ’em. I don’t need or want their attention anyway.

But back to the Hypocritical Babe. She demands that defamatory comments be removed from another website (not once, but at least twice) then dedicates an entire blog post to defaming one of my co-conspirators friends with only an anonymous email full of unverified claims. (But trust Vani and the emailer, they can totally be verified.) This is all done with a straight face and not a single one of her fawning minions seems to notice how nasty and vicious Rude Babe is whenever faced with a critic who actually knows what the fuck he or she is talking about.

It’s never about the message with Food Babe. As far as I can tell, it’s all about the image.

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Food Babe will love you — TO DEATH!

 

 

 

 

The Unnecessary War

I don’t think I’ve ever written about GMO labeling. I’ve always thought it was pretty clear why anyone opposes it. Today someone asked me why a company would work so hard against regulations like this, and I answered as best I could at the time, but class was beckoning and my response was more of a survey than any kind of in depth commentary. Continue reading

The First World Causing Problems

Have you ever thought about how lucky you are?

Site traffic tells me that most of you are from very tech-savvy nations. You probably don’t worry about catching deadly diseases or whether you’ll have a roof over your head tonight or where your next meal is coming from. We all have our struggles, but you probably tell people you can’t complain when asked how you’re doing. Some people, not you of course, are so privileged that they even pretend to have ailments like Celiac disease, or they go on starvation diets. How crazy is it that we can afford to choose to suffer? Continue reading