Autism center sues over blog posts calling it a fraud and worse

Autism Intervention Specialists of Worcester and principal Nassim Aoude today filed a federal libel suit against a New Hampshire man who says it peddles "horseshit" because it refuses to accept his theory that autism is caused by mercury in vaccines.

In its suit, filed in US District Court in Boston, Autism Intervention Specialists wants John Best's blog posts about it replaced with retractions and a suitably large, if unspecified, amount of damages.

The concern pointed to two specific blog posts by Best, one in which he called it pure bullshit, the other in which he calls its employees pure jackasses, and accused Aoude of profiteering on the backs of autism patients:

Autism is caused by mercury, mostly from the thimerosal in vaccines. The only way to cure it is to remove that mercury from the brain with ALA chelation. I can't know if Nassim Aoude is simply stupid or if he's dishonest by the garbage he quotes on his website about the role that vaccines play in autism. Nassim takes his "facts" from government sources. As we know, our government never tells the truth about anything so we can suspect that anyone who quotes them is a rank imbecile and probably believes they are being honest. The cash that Nassim is raking in must help in keeping him blind to the truth.

Autism Intervention Specialists says this is dangerous nonsense that has caused families to decide against hiring it.

There is no recognized scientific or medical basis for Mr. Best's claims and no peer-reviewed scientific journal has ever suggested that chelation therapy is an effective treatment for ASD. Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration has deemed chelation for the treatment of autism 'dangerous' and 'illegal.' And, the National Institutes for Health halted a controversial study on the use of chelation for the treatment of autism before a single patient was treated because of concerns over safety and efficacy. Known side effects of chelation treatment include kidney damage and death. Indeed, there has been at least one widely-publicized case of a child with autism who suffered a fatal heart attack while undergoing chelation therapy.

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Comments

Not even that

It's not even a hypothesis, it's a conspiracy theory... Disclaimer: I have no connection to any party here, but I did used to work on autism research.

This is serious!

Thank you to those being serious about this subject.

ABA is the only scientifically proven behavioral (non medication) method effective at treating autism. This is a fact. Look it up... In the past several years, almost 40 states have forced their health insurance providers to cover it!! I have many friends with sons/daughters with autism who have tried every method under the sun and ABA was the only one which effectively treated the behaviors.

Shame on this John Best individual for promoting chelation which has been known to KILL children with autism. It has no scientific data to support it like ABA. I have googled his name and can't believe what a simpleton he is. I give him credit though for continuing to post blogs after acquiring the reputation of being a nitwit that has lost his grasp on reality. I would have gone into hiding if I had his reputation of ineptness.

I even read a New York Times magazine article which came out recently that called him a lunatic. I have also heard that his regret for causing his own child with autism's lack of ability to function leads him to spew hatred in all his blogs. You should really google this individual's name to better understand to what degree he has lost his grip on reality. I hope he gets his pants sued right off his body for attacking reputable companies trying to help families in need just to push his own agenda about chelation and mercury.

As a final note, have you seen a picture of this person? Oh lord... If you haven't already, trust me, stay away.

Patty

+1 to an excellent post. I

+1 to an excellent post.

I would add two points:

You refer to ABA, but didn't define it for folks who are not familiar with the world of autism. I'm assuming after googling it, that you are referring to Austism Behavior Analysis.

Secondly, without knowing the details of John Best, but having witnessed a neighbor's family blow apart as the parents desperately wrestled with the conflicting advise between mainstream medicine and alternatives such as that of the now discredited Andrew Wakefield and his American spawned DAN clinics.

At the time, his advocates included folks such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Jenny McCarthy, Oprah (who gave an open unopposed stage for this 'warrior mom', the Republican congress during the Clinton years give much currency to this junk science.

It was not unreasonable for folks to at least consider these voices at the time. I imagine after much suffering on the part of the affected children, that much thought has moved on, but there are still some hold outs.

Unfortunately, opportunists can move much more quickly than scientific inquiry.

Correction

John Best is not "a nitwit that has lost his grip on reality."

He's a nitwit who has lost his grip on reality.

Jeezum crow, what a hateful freak. It's like Lyndon Larouche and Jenny McCarthy spawned in hate and baptized him in Westboro.

California completely banned

California completely banned mercury in vaccines for over a decades without any change in their rates of autism compared to the rest of the nation.

There are other environmental or biological factors in play which haven't been identified yet. Many more cases of autism are also diagnosed these days due to a better understanding of the symptoms. Previously many types of autism would have been written off as others things.

Sperm past expiration date a factor

While doctors have previously concentrated on the age of mothers when looking at birth defect data. Now they realize the other half of the DNA matters too! Paternal age is just one factor that correlates with some birth defect rates.

I might support the mercury conspiracy theory too if it gave me a shot with Jenny McCarthy.

Kudos to the Autism Center staff for refusing to accept BS!

Good for the Autism Center Staff for refusing to buy into and accept such dangerous bullshit. What's more incredible is the fact that anyone can buy into the "vaccines cause autism" BS, when, in fact, that was disproved and tossed out by the wayside years ago. That is dangerous bullshit, and the people who're promoting this crap should not be allowed to pedal this poison around! They must be stopped...now, before more people die or are permanently incapacitated as a consequence of this poison! This coming from one of the biggest free-speech advocates who walks on planet Earth!

The correct way to deal with

The correct way to deal with a blog post you don't agree with is to write your own post, challenging its arguments with facts. Not a lawsuit.

Or ignore the blogger, which any intelligent person would do anyway.

Are you kidding???

How do you know they haven't addressed the concern before deciding to file? Also have you even read the complaint? Do you see what type of damage Best's blogs have done to families seeking information about evidenced based approaches to help their children? Do your homework. Any intelligent person would have done that!

Patty

Do you really think Best's

Do you really think Best's blog is the main reason why the thimerosal paranoia nonsense persists? And do you think suing him will make any difference?

Also, do you believe in the First Amendment?

If you have been following

If you have been following the autism blogosphere for any length of time,you are all too familiar with Best,and his deranged,but often entertaining,rants.He's been out there for years.No lawsuit,restraining order,or whatever would ever shut him up.Look what happened with Wakefield and Geier,did that stop them?It's best to do what your momma told you about other kids who were calling you names.Ignore them,and eventually they'll go awy.Best and others of his ilk,thrive on attention like this,just as a schoolyard bully would.

As for ignoring name-calling, that's all very well, but

what about when it escalates into physical abuse, which, all too often, namecalling can and does, despite the target of such namecalling just simply ignoring it. Then it becomes virtually, if not downright impossible to walk away from, at times. Sometimes, if and when that does happen, and a kid who's the target of such abuse is not able to go to a private school due to his/her family's financial situation, the only option in that situation is for a kid in that situation to learn how to fight back and defend him/herself, which isn't the end of the world, either. No kid should have to take that kind of humiliation, whether it be verbal, physical, or a combo of both, and, unfortunately, all too often, teachers and other school staff members sit back and do nothing or say nothing about what's going on, despite being aware of this kind of bullying taking place.

I could not agree more

Well put... how can this company ignore these rants which are obviously untrue, especially when all people have to do is Google the company's name, and bam, both articles are in their faces. The complaint alleges that the autism company has lost clients who have mentioned the blogs to them. How can you expect this company to turn its back to this deranged individual when he's affecting their ability to help families affected by autism, which is in fact their mission statement.

One might see ignoring Best if his allegations were true, but he is maliciously slandering a reputable company using only scientifically proven approaches effective with autism.

No, I say sue, and sue hard! This jackass John Best needs to be put in his place once and for all. THIS IS A LONG TIME COMING. No one has been able to stop him before, but I know ABA, and I say it's not long before Best loses this case and no one will ever see those blogs against the autism center again...

"... and just like that, he was gone"... (puff)

Update on Best

Two points;

First, the offending entries have been taken down. Now I don't know if that means that Best has made an out of court settlement (which I doubt) or that he's just thrown the whole thing aside and hopes that it will just go away (the more likely), but I guess the question now is will AIS continue with the action assuming the latter?

Second, this is not the only lawsuit that has been filed against Best. He has another one that has been filed by me in Australia, that is a lot further advanced than the AIS one. I don't agree that ignoring him is the way to go. I certainly intend to shut him up, and the best way to do that is have a court decision recorded against him that he can't dispute. He created two blogs in my name that contain a litany of actionable abuse (presently hidden but not deleted) and has also published my private information and impersonated me on at least two public networks. He has also passed some of that information on to at least four other people in order to further the damage. He claims truth as a defence, and I can state that he has never told the truth about me. He never does about anyone who opposes his position. He is that malicious he has to pay for it.