Friday, June 5, 2009

The Joys of Baiting a Neurotypical Bigot: My Conversation with John Best

This past week I have been wasting too much time and having too much fun debating John Best (Foresam) over on his blog, Hating Autism. Best is a parent of a severally autistic child and a radical opponent of neurodiversity. He is obsessed with Ari Ne’eman, the president of ASAN to the point of practically stalking him. According to Best, Ne’eman is a Nazi propagandist in the model of the teacher who started Third Wave. What I find so fascinating about Best is that he is a straight up, unapologetic bigot. Just hearing him speak about gays is almost enough to convince me that gays do require special legal protections. (How about a deal. Gays receive special protection from the John Bests of the world as long as autistics receive similar protections.) Best reminds me a lot of Jewish Philosopher in how he throws ad hominem attacks and implicit conspiracy theories in place of actual arguments. Anyone who fails to agree with him is either brain damaged or part of a pharmaceutical conspiracy. (Maybe I should make a shidduch and set the two of them up together. I am sure they would get along fabulously. It would be a victory for ecumenical bigotry.) I know I should not waste my time arguing with such a creep, but I have a hard time backing off from an argument. At least I hope this serves to elucidate certain concepts and put me on display in my satiric best.

Foresam,
This Third Wave case could be seen as a good example of why the world needs Aspergers. Since we are a lot more person centered (yes I admit that this often causes us to act in a fairly egotistical manner) we are less connected to the group as a whole and are less likely to simply follow the lead. I am not some mindless follower of Ari Ne’eman. I held the views that I hold long before I ever heard of him and even before I ever was aware of a neurodiversity movement.


Izgad,
In your delusional state, you must have missed the 1999 push to begin the misinformation campaign about autism. You follow it hook, line and sinker. Frank Klein brought the Neuroinsanity public in 2004 but the roots of it began with Sinclair, Donna Williams, Jasmine O'Neill and other sadists in the 90's.

Foresam,
If you had bothered to read the link I put up you would have noticed that I differ from the mainline of the neurodiversity movement. I am opposed to identity politics and instead support a more individualistic approach to rights. This is one of the reasons why I did not concern myself, until a few years ago, with spectrum issues. Neurodiversity was not on my radar screen in 1999. Even when I first heard of Asperger syndrome and assumed I had it, I refused to get tested for an official diagnosis. My argument then was that it would not make a difference in my life one way or another. Learning about Asperger syndrome and getting an official diagnoses has given me a language with which to explain how I am different from other people. It has also, for better or for worse, saddled me with a community filled with many talented and wonderful people with troubles. I am working on a Ph.D. in history and run a well-liked blog dealing mostly with issues unrelated to neurodiversity and yet you insist, without ever having met me that I am delusional (in addition to other names). I certainly am not about to trust you in any position of authority over people on the spectrum.

Izgad,
I just read the link. You hurt your case by mentioning queers. Nobody is opposed to you for your religion or your Asperger's. When you align that with queers, you include yourself with severely deranged people. No decent person wants their kids to have to listen to that acceptance crap for perverts. We don't accept it as an alternative lifestyle and we don't want our kids influenced by it. Keep it in the closet and nobody cares. You say you don't align yourself with Ne'eman but you call yourself autistic the same way he does. You aren't. You have Asperger's. Call yourself that and I don't give a damn what you do. Identify yourself as having the same condition as my kid while it looks like your AS is no big deal and I have a big problem with it. You're telling the world that "autism" is no big deal which is completely untrue. Autism is a nightmare for the person who has it and everyone who has to deal with it.I just spoke briefly with Ne'eman on a radio show. He dodged my concerns about his abuse of the word "autism" and ignored my contention that he misrepresented the truth with his anti-cure rhetoric. I was cutoff before I could respond to his nonsensical political crap. Yes, he speaks well when unopposed but he would not fare very well in any sort of debate with someone who sees through his bogus avoidance of the truth.Whether you want to trust me or not is immaterial. I know that autism can and should be cured and that's all that I'm about. As long as liars take an opposing position to that, I'll be around to expose those lies.

Foresam,
Just to clarify, I am a member of Ne’eman’s ASAN. We just started a new chapter here in Columbus OH. I do have my disagreements with Ne’eman but that is only natural where you have different people thinking for themselves and coming to their own conclusions. I am not sure how many people with Asperger syndrome you have actually met. My experience has been that most of us come to neurodiversity on our own and it is this that leads us to seek each other out. It is then becomes this mind opening surprise when we meet each other and realize that other people have had these same experiences and reached the same conclusions. Neurodiversity is not some sort of brainwashing movement. If you think so than you clearly have not met many of the people on the ground. I listened to a recording of the show. It was nice to hear the voice behind the writer. I guess we must have heard two very different exchanges. You came out and starting throwing accusations at Ne’eman, none of which have anything to do with reality. At the moment Asperger syndrome is listed as a type of autism. No one is conspiring here. We are simply running with the medical classification on the ground. No one is trying to deny anyone medical attention. I think Ne’eman did a very good job on this front outlining the sorts of help he is trying to get for everyone from across the spectrum, including your son. I think that any fair minded person listening to that exchange would have come away thinking that you were a brain damaged pig and that Ne’eman was a sterling gentleman. Now who stands in need of a cure?
I have no idea what you think about Judaism but you have already gone on the record as saying that Aspergers are mentally ill and need to be cured. That sounds like opposition to me.
Izgad,
Saying that Asperger's needs to be cured is simply pointing out that it can now be cured for the older crowd who grew up when it wasn't treatable. Of course, that information needs to be given to the caretakers of the Aspies so decisions regarding cures are left in the hands of people whose brains haven't been damaged.The fact I stated to Ne'eman was that he is not autistic. Pointing out that fraud on his part is just a statement of fact. Asperger's is not listed as a type of autism; it's listed as part of the spectrum. The only people that the word "autism" applies to specifically is the lowest functioning ones. Why would anyone with the highest functioning label on the spectrum want to identify themselves as the lowest functioning? That makes no sense...unless you are engaging in propaganda.Ne'eman went on GMA and said that being anti-cure does not mean anti-progress...very carefully chosen words meant to mislead...LFA's do not progress...ever...so saying he's for progress makes him look sane but he knows that the LFA's will never progress without the medical treatment that he calls "quackery". The fact is that chelation has been a standard for mercury poisoning for 70 years. It's taught in med schools. Autism experts refined it since 2000 and now kids are being cured. Ne'eman denies all of that and that makes him a liar.You're right. When I was cut off from responding, it didn't give me a chance to explain the devious rhetoric Ne'eman had used and it made him appear properly concerned about LFA's when the truth was that he was advocating for letting them rot by only advocating for "evidence based" medicine, a bullshit term that won't ever cure anyone. That's the chance you take when you call a show like that...WTF.

Foresam,
You cannot have it both ways, to say that Aspergers are not autistic and that you have nothing against them while at the same time saying that Aspergers are mentally ill and need to be cured. You wish to have decisions made by the caretakers of Asperger adults. Believe it or not many of us are completely self-sufficient. (Some of us even go on to earn advanced degrees and even Noble prizes.) By denying this you are taking away our personhood. This is the basic foundation of bigotry. Asperger syndrome is classified as an ASD. That stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Notice the first word there, autism. I would love to see Asperger syndrome taken off of the autism spectrum, we have nothing to gain by being compared to your son. It implies that we are in some way less then fully functional. Right now we have been stuck with the word so you cannot blame us making use of it. Right now both sides are stuck with an open ended term and forced to fashion the word to suit their situation. Your side has much more to gain by having us labeled as autistics than we do. If we are not autistic than you have no autism epidemic. Autism Speaks had no problem labeling me as autistic when they wanted to recruit me for their side.
You had the opening words of that conversation and you already sounding like an ass. You said your piece and he said his. The segment was about him, not you.

Izgad,
If Asperger's was not a mental illness, it would not be listed in a book of mental illnesses, the same place being queer used to be listed. I suppose your next ploy will be to follow the queers and ask that it be removed from the book.The problem with that though, stupid, is that people who actually suffer from Asperger's do need and want a cure so they can function better. I think a better option would be for people like you to just accept that you're a little screwy and undiagnose yourselves. Then you can just be considered your average, everyday type of screwball and you can go yelping about acceptance and respect for screwballs.It doesn't matter what term they use to describe people like my son. Vaccine induced brain damage is more descriptive than "autism", don't you think? The point is that that brain damage can be cured. So we don't need some lying, pseudointellectual, politician wannabe like Ne'eman telling the world that our brain damaged kids don't want to be cured. Got it? If I had said that on the radio, do you think they would have let me complete my thought before they shut me off?

Foresam,
Getting Asperger syndrome removed from the list of mental illnesses is a major goal of mine. And yes I do view the gay rights movement as a model and a reason for hope; it is not as if what we do violates any major religious tenants so there is no reason for society not to embrace us. So now not only are we not real autistics but we are also not real Aspergers. You have to stop contradicting yourself. You seem to take a lot on yourself in your willingness diagnose people you have never met.There are a lot of screwballs out there. Asperger syndrome is something more specific. It implies a particular way of viewing the world and processing information. I am not a scientist, but last I checked healing damage done to the brain, unlike other organs is a bit problematic. Brain cells, unlike other cells, do not regenerate. Your brain finishes developing when you are an infant and things go downhill from there. Every brain cell you lose from getting smashed is a brain cell that will not come back.

Izgad,
Any screwball can get himself dx'd with AS today. The key to knowing whether or not you actually have it is if you want a cure or not. If you don't think you need a cure, then you're just a nitwit who used AS as an excuse to explain goofiness. People who really have AS have real problems and all of them would like to be cured.

Foresam,
Asperger syndrome refers to a deficiency in terms of processing non analytical forms of information, particularly body language and other social cues. It is also often accompanied with above average abilities in terms of processing analytical forms of information such as written texts. There is the well known Simon Baron Cohen test that you can find online. Take a look at that test and you will see that there is nothing there about wanting to be cured. By the way, normal people score on average a sixteen on this test, Aspergers usually score over thirty. I scored a thirty two. I also got an official diagnosis so there are doctors who can testify that I have Asperger syndrome. I would be careful if I were you about throwing random accusations at people whom you do not know. You also have a habit of changing the meaning of terms whenever you are losing an argument. That is being intellectually dishonest. Notice how you have gone from saying that you have nothing against Aspergers to saying that it is a disease needing to be cured. That is called hypocrisy.

Izgad,
All conditions on the autism spectrum should be cured. That's the humane way to deal with diminished mental capacities.I don't care what Baron Cohen conjured up for a test. Curing illness is humane. Any other attitude is nuts. Foresam,So you admit that Asperger syndrome is part of the autism spectrum. So Ne’eman is no longer a liar when he claims to have autism. Again Asperger syndrome does not mean a diminished mental capacity, particularly since many people with Asperger syndrome have significantly above average skills in specific fields. Asperger syndrome even helped someone like Vernon Smith win a Noble prize for economics.

Izgad,
You claim to be a PhD student but you're having a lot of trouble with a very simple definition. Autism is a specific part of the autism spectrum. Asperger syndrome is a different specific category of that spectrum.Sorry Izgad but, when having AS keeps you from being mentally capable of enjoying a full and rewarding social life, that falls under diminished mental capacity. Nobody deserves to suffer in any aspect of their life to support the vaccine makers poisoning of people. They should all be cured based on the whole person concept.If Smith is such a genius with economics, you'd think he would use those skills to make himself a fortune at the racetrack.

Foresam,
When most people use the word autism they are referring to the autism spectrum. That is a perfectly legitimate use of the word. The idea here is that there is a spectrum of different autisms. I have lived my life among neurotypicals whose brains are so wired to pursuing their “full and rewarding social life” that they are incapable of pursuing advanced degrees studying things like early modern apocalypticism. To me that signifies a “diminished mental capacity.” I think that all such people should be “cured.” May I even suggest that we start with you? We could put you on a diet, try pumping you for toxins and even put you in an oxygen machine. Considering what a stuck up neurotypical bigot you are, we will probably have to resort to the tried and true measures of the period I study and put you on the rack and try balancing out your humors. If we kill you it will be in the cause of saving the world from their neurotypical selves. (This is a joke. Aspergers are capable of having a sense of humor.)

Izgad,
Only a propaganda wizard would call himself autistic when he really has Asperger's. It's funny how the only liars who do this are also opposed to a cure and defend the vaccine makers who caused all of the autism, isn't it? The rest of what you say is inane since normal people gain advanced degrees much more often than people with AS, have much higher IQ's and have a social life. Foresam, And only a bigot would assume that people were lying simply for an innocent use of the word autism and for simply following the established view in the field of medicine today. (Note that I am not taking a side one way or another as to the causes of autism.) Can you quote one study to support this claim besides for your own bigoted imagination? Curious, what sort of advanced degree do you have? It is a fact that Aspergers have IQs to match the general population and because of their focused interests have an advantage in their specific area of interest.

Izgad,
Are PhD students taught to use name calling when they're losing arguments? My statement that you are all propaganda wizards is true but you calling me a bigot is a blatant lie. How can one be a bigot who is trying to see all people with autism get the help they need?The word "autism" is not being used innocently by Aspies who oppose curing people with actual "autism." It is all part of a plan to misinform the public and influence public opinion. Besides bastardizing the meaning of the word, it also brings you some sympathy from uninformed people who believe that you have overcome a similar horror that befell all of the kids with true autism.I don't need a study to see that Aspies are far less intelligent than normal people. Normal people have sense enough to see a doctor and make themselves well when they have something wrong with them. They don't go running around celebrating having a mental illness. Of course, when you are not mentally ill to begin with, it's much easier to recognize a problem if your brain stops functioning properly. That's what you Aspies can't understand. You have no reference point for what normalcy is so you have been sucked in by the propaganda that allows you to believe you are "different" and not damaged. We who do not have brain damage know better and we would like to help you, not enable your delusions that keep you trapped in a mentally deficient state.

Foresam,
There is a word for someone who spews ad hominem attacks and calls people names and then complains when names get thrown back, hypocrite. (Keep in mind that this whole conversation started with you calling someone a Nazi.) I use the word bigot very carefully and you are a textbook example of one. You take your perspective and the perspective of your group as “natural,” assume that everyone else should be like that and that everyone who is not is somehow deficient. Let us take your previous statement and edit it to apply to another group:
I don't need a study to see that Jews are far less intelligent than normal Christian people. Normal Christian people have sense enough to see a priest and make themselves well when they have something unsaved about them. They don't go running around celebrating having the mental illness of not accepting Jesus as their personal savior. Of course, when you are not mentally ill to begin with, it's much easier to recognize a problem if your brain stops functioning properly. That's what you Jews can't understand. You have no reference point for what normal Christian life is so you have been sucked in by the rabbinic propaganda that allows you to believe you are "different" and not unsaved. We who do not suffer from not having Christ in our lives know better and we would like to help you by showing you the Light, not enable your delusions that keep you trapped in a mentally deficient Jewish state.

Izgad,
Exposing propaganda is not name calling. How the Hell did you get into a PhD program? I didn't think there was anyone stupid enough to equate brain damage to religion. Do you think there's someone on Earth dumb enough to buy your idiotic analogy? Foresam, You have a habit of simply going back to your original claim to support yourself even when you have done nothing to actually back up your original claim. In academic language that is called circular reasoning; you may have heard of the concept. As to the issue of religion, you seem to be unaware of the history of Jewish-Christian polemics. There is a long history, going back to the New Testament, of Christians arguing that Jews rejected Jesus because of some sort of theological blindness if not downright satanic control. I simply gave you an updated version of this argument, substituting brain damage for satanic possession. There is no meaningful difference between the claims. Keep in mind that the issue of brain damage is what is being contested here so you cannot simply retreat into declaring I have brain damage. (By the way I was just speaking to a student of mine and after being in my class for a full quarter and getting his fill of my antics he said that he does not think I have brain damage.)

Izgad,
Religion has nothing to do with autism. You are now engaged in an argument to absurdity.

Foresam,
You seem to fail to realize that, in the specific case I bring, the issue stops being religion and becomes one of questioning one’s mental capacity. We are faced with an issue of tolerance 101, to recognize, particularly in matters outside of empirical evidence and where the issue is not physical harm, that people are going to disagree and one going to have to live with that without simply passing people off as retarded or satanic. Your idea of the good life might be hanging out at a bar with friends; mine might be sitting by myself with a book. Your goal in life might be winning friends and influencing people; mine might be stroking my chin and contemplating the nature of the universe. There is no piece of empirical evidence you can bring to show that your life is better. My lifestyle choices do not cause anyone any physical harm. For that matter I am a productive member of society and ask for no special treatment as an Asperger. This entitles me to the same respect given to every functional adult. Izgad, When your BS rhetoric interferes with autistic kids being cured, you forfeit any right to respect you might think you have. Foresam, And when, I as a Jew, plot to take over the world and murder Christian children to use their blood for Passover I guess I have also forfeited my right to tolerance. Outside of the games Risk and Civilization, I have not tried to take over the world. Believe it or not I have murdered any Christian children. And would you believe it neither I nor Ari Ne’eman have ever tried to stop anyone from getting medical care. (Ari may be a member of the Elders of Zion; you will have to ask him.) Ari has been critical of certain methods of medical care. I have kept out of this issue as I in no way feel qualified to comment on it one way or another. Your fight is with the APA and they are not taking their orders from us. Operating under a system of tolerance you have to give opponents the benefit of the doubt and not simply put up conspiracy theories without evidence. Unless you can produce a paper trail to show Ari plotting with the pharmaceutical companies you have to accept that he believes what he believes. The moment one brings in conspiracy theories than one becomes justified in using illiberal means to enforce one’s views. In free societies we have an implicit deal; you do not take as your starting point that Ari and I are plotting to ally the Jewish banks with the pharmaceutical companies to take over the world and we do not accuse you of plotting to murder us high functioning members of the autism spectrum in our beds. This is in your interest because the moment I accept as my starting point that you are plotting to murder me there is no way you could ever prove that I am wrong and I become morally justified in killing you in self defense. I hope you see what a cliff jump into insanity this is.

Izgad,
Wrong, both of you have tried to prevent kids from getting the right medical treatment. Every time you claim to be autistic and don't need to be cured, you are leading uneducated parents to accept your hogwash and you both know it. Ne'eman talks about kids receiving treatment but it only includes the obsolete junk like speech, play and physical therapy that does zippo for low functioning kids. This is good propaganda since he phrases it vaguely and some people may believe that he advocates for addressing vaccine damage medically when we know that's not the case.I suppose you'll have me believe that you're as stupid as Phil Gluyas and actually believe what you're saying next.You admit to being my opponent which means you admit to being a liar about your motives. (Your red herring Jewish/Zionist convolution isn't going to work either.) Having an autistic son makes me your ally as far as tolerance goes. How could I be anything else? Every parent, child and adult on the "autism spectrum" is on the same wavelength there. But, this is not about tolerance at all. This is only about you and ASAN misrepresenting the true horror of "autism" by misusing the words to misidentify yourselves, thus ascribing a need for tolerance to a condition that is so horrible (autism) that there can be no tolerance for it. The people so afflicted won't ever even know the meaning of the word tolerance. Educated people like you and Ne'eman know that autism is a nightmare. I don't need a paper trail to prove that you're misrepresentations are intentional.

Foresam,
You are not my ally. You would force me to take all sorts of untested meds to try to be "cured." You even deny my ability and my right to make decisions about my own body. This is besides for the fact that you have given me no proof that you are not a eugenics supporting Nazi, coming to cut my throat.
I am not lying. When anyone asks what I mean when I say that I am autistic, I readily tell them that I am an Asperger, which is on the autism spectrum, and that this is different from traditional autism. If I were really trying to hide the horrors of autism, I would probably be a bit more devious.

Izgad,
If you are being honest, aside from your eugenics nonsense, you will call Ne'eman and tell him to change the name of ASAN to "Asperger's" SAN from "Autistic" SAN. If he won't agree to that, you should resign in protest and help me in exposing him for the fraud that he is.

Foresam,
That is actually something that I would be open to in theory. The problem is that the high end of the autism spectrum includes other groups besides for Aspergers and I would want to include them as well. At the end of the day I am okay with the current name because, by definition, any discussion about rights applies only to people of a certain level of functionality. (anyone who can follow a basic discussion about the nature of rights) When Jefferson said that all men had the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” he did not have your son in mind. Your son may have certain legal protections but it is meaningless to talk about him having proactive legal rights like voting, buying/selling property or serving on a jury or in the military. This does not apply in the reverse when you talk about eliminating the entire autism spectrum. You do mean eliminating people like me.

Izgad,
Jefferson would have included a cure under pursuit of happiness. He would have laughed at your (ASAN's)anti-cure position regarding LFA.
While nobody is trying to force a cure on you, it should be implied that by refusing one, you give up any benefits such as social security. You can pick whatever nits you like regarding distinctions between HFA and AS. It would not follow that you could then pick similar nits between HFA and PDD/NOS.
ASAN may get me off their ass by forgetting they ever heard the word "autism" but others who have kids with Asperger's will assuredly still take issue with you about being anti-cure when they watch their kids struggling. Since being opposed to a cure is crazy to begin with, it would be better for ASAN to say nothing at all about it and just go about the business of gaining tolerance and heightening awareness against bullying.

You don't see any pro cure people coming out in favor of bullying Aspies, do you?

I decided by this point that I should probably give this a rest and let him have the last word. He was simply restating his positions so I had little hope of baiting him into saying anything else of interest.

4 comments:

Foresam said...

You do realize that all you accomplished was to prove that you're a liar, don't you?

Izgad said...

Foresam
Coming from you, I will accept the label of “liar” and wear it with pride. May I receive many more such complements from neurotypical bigots like you.

Dani said...

Chinny, what on earth about you would need to be cured? You're a delight.

Izgad said...

And I did not even try to perform medieval surgery on him. Just goes to show you.