IPFS Vin Suprynowicz

The Libertarian

Vin Suprynowicz

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On May 24 in San Francisco, more than 150 parents of autistic children launched a new nonprofit outfit, Generation Rescue, coordinating their announcement with a full-page ad in that day’s USA Today, offering the eye-catching message (twice) that “Autism is preventable and reversible.”

“Today, 1 in 166 children is diagnosed with autism,” the ad went on. “It is critical that we have all the facts about this epidemic, including recent developments about autism’s relationship to mercury poisoning and how the right detoxification treatment can entirely reverse the disorder. To find out more about this life-changing news, go to www.generationrescue.org. ...”

“Generation Rescue parents are successfully treating their children biomedically and removing mercury from their bodies through a safe and proven detoxification treatment known as chelation therapy,” explains spokesgal Anne Purdy.

The outfit’s Web site, www.GenerationRescue.org, opens with a September, 2004, quote from Indiana Congressman Dan Burton: “During these investigations, numerous scientists from around the globe have testified before the committee, and have presented credible peer-reviewed research studies that indicated a direct link between the exposure of mercury, a widely known neurotoxin, and the increasing incidences of autism.”

The site also provides treatment information and connects parents with more than 150 “Rescue Angels,” parents who are successfully treating their own autistic children using a variety of individualized medical interventions.

“Our message for parents is very simple: autism is reversible,” explains J.B. Handley, one of the organization’s founding parents and father of a son diagnosed with autism. “I see every day with my own eyes how my son Jamie is recovering from what was previously perceived as an untreatable disorder. With the removal of mercury, Jamie’s autistic symptoms go away. He got a second chance at life, and we want to let other parents who are struggling out there know it’s possible to get their children back.”

In Royal Palm, Fla., Charlie Hoover’s 7-year-old son Lenny suffered the classic symptoms of autism -- spinning in circles, repetitive behaviors and tantrums. “After Lenny’s diagnosis, the more I read, the more the knot in my stomach tightened,” Hoover explains. “It was as if our son had died.”

But after chelation therapy rid Lenny’s body of mercury, his father contends his symptoms disappeared. Lenny, who loves to play T-ball, is now enrolled in regular kindergarten.

“If your child got lead poisoning from eating paint chips, you would certainly do something about that,” Hoover says. “What’s the difference between mercury and lead?”

That Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate of more than 1 in 166 children diagnosed with autism is up from 1 in 2,500 since the 1970s -- a time frame that parallels an enormous increase in the number of childhood vaccinations recommended here in America, vaccines which to this day can contain mercury-based thimerosal preservative (though the stuff has been removed from veterinary vaccines, having been judged unsafe for our pets.)

But the CDC -- which has actually terminated research into any links between autism and heavy metal poisoning (see my columns of Sept. 12 through Sept. 26, 2004) -- still contends autism is an untreatable, lifelong disorder.

(When the CDC eventually turn tail, watch for some face-saving double-talk about “New co-factors having been discovered which indicate chelation may be helpful in a cluster of certain autism-related conditions ...” Translation: “Whoops.” Your tax dollars at work, folks, providing long-term cover for state governments and vaccine manufacturers and complicit M.D.s rightly terrified of their liability once someone starts to notice how long they covered their ears and kept silent about this stuff.)

“For years we have heard the experts say that autism is a lifelong disability,” explains Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., Director of the San Diego-based Autism Research Institute and co-founder of “Defeat Autism Now!”, a nationwide network of doctors who treat autistic patients.

“This simply is not true anymore, thanks to effective biomedical treatments that can restore many, if not a majority, of autistic children to full recovery,” Mr. Rimland contends. “Thousands of formerly autistic patients have shed their autistic symptoms. They now relate normally to their families and to other children. The hand-flapping is gone. The tantrums are gone. Most of these children who used to be lost in their own worlds are now indistinguishable from other children. ...

“Many DAN doctors report excellent results from using chelation to rid the body of mercury and other toxic metals,” Mr. Rimland says.

Mercury is estimated to be 500 to 1,000 times more toxic than lead. The heavy metal lodges in the cells of the brain and other organs and can lead to central nervous system damage and crippling neurological disorders. Workers who used to use their thumbs to rub mercury into the felt to create the rounded rims and crowns of men’s hats often retired at a fairly early age with debilitating tremors and psychiatric symptoms, leading to the familiar phrase “mad as a hatter.”

“The symptoms of early infant mercury poisoning and autism are virtually identical,” argues Dr. Boyd Haley, chairman of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky. “Furthermore, research indicates that autistic children genetically have a harder time excreting mercury from their bodies. This is why chelation has become such a powerful key for unlocking and undoing the disorders associated with autism.”

Chelation has been used for decades to detoxify people who ingest dangerous levels of heavy metals in industrial accidents. According to the CDC, 60,000 Americans underwent some form of chelation last year, and the therapy is currently under clinical trial with heart disease patients.

In autism treatments, chelating “agents” may be administered orally or transdermally. Once in the bloodstream, the chelating agent binds to the heavy metals and helps carry them out of the body.

“Chelation is one of the most effective ways to rid autistic children of the mercury poisoning which is at the root of their disorder,” explains Lynne Mielke, M.D., a Pleasanton, California physician who’s part of the “DAN” network. “The medical establishment already endorses chelation for acute metal toxicity disorders, and the number of doctors who realize chelation’s benefits for the chronic metal toxicity found in autism is rapidly growing.”

“Too often parents believe the outdated myth that autism is not treatable or reversible. We’re here to tell them otherwise,” concludes parent J.B. Handley.