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Missing word of the day: MERCURY
Click to visit VeggieCooking.com [Posted 7 May 2006]

The headlines today read "Car bombs rock Iraq, 14 dead; Baghdad police find 43 bodies shot in head." Iraq's death and destruction call for our attention every day, with dramatic violence from guns and bombs on a continual basis.

Yet another article, the feature article, caught my eye because of the violence it didn't mention -- namely, the quiet deaths caused by dishonesty in medicine. That article was Inside the Autistic Mind, CNN's summary of Time Magazine's cover story on Autism.

Despite its focus on autism, the disease's most famous issue, namely the role of the mercury compound Thymerosol, was completely overlooked. In fact, the word "mercury" was entirely absent from the CNN article. Thymerosol, a mercury compound thought to be the cause of most autism cases, is sometimes used as a preservative in childhood vaccinations. The Thymerosol-Autism link is so well-known that it held up passage of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act's protection of vaccine manufacturers would have blocked parents of autistic children from suing to obtain compensation for the damage Thymerosol caused their children. Congressional leaders were concerned that their constituents would be unable to obtain any compensation for the debilitating disease or expensive lifelong care imposed on the families of autistic children. (The Patriot Act was eventually passed with the vaccine manufacturers' provision in place, with a promise from congressional leaders to revisit the issue of vaccines and autism -- a promise that hasn't made the news if it was kept at all.)

Despite the fact that awareness of the mercury-autism link has reached all the way up to Congress, the word MERCURY was entirely absent from CNN's article. And so MERCURY is my word of the day. CNN's article even threw GENETICS into the mix, a frequent scapegoat of the medical industry. The article claimed that the disease was considered to be a mix of environmental and genetic triggers, using the example of identical twins -- children who no doubt are usually vaccinated at the same time, by the same doctor, with the same batch of vaccine.

This same lack of the word "mercury" was mentioned by Ken Presner, describing the MS Society's "no one knows" theory on the cause of Multiple Sclerosis (see my article on the MS/Mercury theory for Presner's full quote). In the case of Autism, MS, and so many other diseases, mentioning the real cause would make entire medical fields obsolete overnight, and drug companies would lose billions of dollars on their current "treatments" for the diseases. And so "mercury" is a non-issue with autism, with MS, and with good old-fashioned mercury poisoning from dental work (the main cause of suicidal depression among dentists, making their suicide rate higher than the rest of the population).

Omissions of the truth are nothing new in the medical field -- in fact, one of the first projects of the American Medical Association (after it formed from various state-based medical associations) was to shut down Royal Raymond Rife's cancer cure, a radio frequency-based treatment tested and found to cure 100% of the advanced cancer cases presented to Rife at the medical trials in La Jolla, California. (This is why Morris Fishbein of the AMA was labeled a bigger mass murderer than Hitler and Stalin combined -- every cancer death since the 1930s can be attributed to the suppression of Rife technology.) Today, thanks to the Wilk v. AMA decision (which the Supreme Court declined to hear or overturn 3 times), the AMA usually doesn't directly attack modern-day cancer cures, such as Hulda Clark's improvements on Rife frequencies. Instead, much of the attacking is done by smaller organizations such as Quackwatch, who claim to be unaffiliated with the AMA, but use the AMA's old arguments and tactics that became illegal (and a civil legal liability) for the AMA to use directly after the Wilk v. AMA court decision.

Omitting a disease's real causes from the news is a symptom of pharmaceutical advertising money provided to the press. Mercury is rarely mentioned in the mainstream media (other than in occasional warnings not to eat too much fish), because the mainstream press are the beneficiaries of pharmaceutical advertising. Tim Bolen (a well-known consumer advocate for health freedom) estimates that pharmaceutical commercials constitute 50% of all advertising during TV news hours. That money is partly meant to ensure at least some control over what is reported on diseases these companies claim to treat, and so the alternative press, with little or no advertising from these corporate giants, is often the only outlet for information on what I call "real science" and the best available treatments.

In addition to huge profits enjoyed by pharmaceutical manufacturers and the medical industry from "managing" diseases instead of curing them, there are entire research communities -- The American Cancer Society, The MS Society, etc. -- who would lose research grants and ordinary contributions. And these contributions are huge. I remember working for the American Cancer Society back in 2004, a half-day temp job in Newcastle, Delaware. A temp agency called & said it wasn't much, but I was looking for a job in the middle of yet another Bush recession, and anyway I didn't mind getting inside the belly of the beast, if even for a day. (Note that in the spirit of full disclosure, as a computer person I've worked for various hospitals through the years, but in a technical capacity, and have also worked for pharmaceutical contractors occasionally.) My job was simple -- throw away the contents of the contribution folders from last year, saving the big cardboard folders and metal clips (the office supplies) for future use. These were folders filled with records of donations that had already been entered into their computers, and now they wanted to dispose of the hard copies. Countless people had engaged in the Cancer Society's "Walk for Life" (a relay), with each folder holding records of tens of thousands of dollars each (I kept a running total in my head as I went through the packets), millions of dollars total just for the batch I had to trash on that particular day. Their office didn't want to keep any of the personal letters people had written with their donations. A few caught my eye as they were thrown out, stories of dead relatives and their personal determination to make a difference -- no, the letters didn't have any meaning to the business. And it is a business, after all, even if covered by "non-profit" status. In the end, like any big business, they just wanted the money.

People engaging in fundraising events usually are good-hearted people with noble intentions, often believing their efforts will help people, or that a cure can be found if only they helped raise enough money. That's why I cringe every time I hear about these events -- I hate to see them exploited for the medical profit machines. Unfortunately, as soon as a cure is found, it'll mean the end of the seemingless endless flow of money for both research and treatment. And so all of the best cancer cures since Rife's experiments in the 1930s have been ridiculed and shut down, sometimes with criminal prosecution or moves to foreign countries. The lobbyists have done their work on behalf of big medicine, too -- the FTC and FDA are usually the agencies who do the honors of closing the country's best cancer clinics.

Dishonesty in medicine and missing words that mean everything seemed to be a recurring theme for me over the weekend. Saturday I was sitting in a coffeehouse while motorcycle after motorcycle roared past the big front window. I finally asked the owner if the bikers were involved in one of these charity rides. She said yes, it was the MDA's "Ride for Life." I once knew a woman in California who had MDA -- she was one of my roommates. She had occasionally been on Jerry Lewis' telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. Back then, I didn't know about Joel Wallach, or his discovery of Cystic Fibrosis' non-genetic cause (a prenatal selenium deficiency). In Wallach's opinion, Muscular Dystrophy had a similar origin, also being linked to a prenatal selenium deficiency in the mother. But the MDA will never mention selenium, because that's the kind of discovery that puts an entire medical field, and countless organizations, out of business. According to Wallach, CF could be cured with selenium and other nutrients if treated within the first few months of life. There are other things that might help CF adults, like turmeric, but there's nothing like curing a "genetic" disease within the first few months of an infant's life, making future treatment unnecessary, is there? That's an entire medical field, and plenty of research grants and drugs, that would no longer be necessary. And so there's your second missing word of the day... SELENIUM.

PAM'S CHALLENGE: Here's CNN's original article -- see if you can find the word "Mercury":

Inside the autistic mind
New research, understanding lifting veil on mysterious condition

Sunday, May 7, 2006; Posted: 12:39 p.m. EDT (16:39 GMT)

Editor's note: The following is a summary of this week's Time magazine cover story.

(Time.com) -- The road to Hannah's mind opened a few days before her 13th birthday.

Her parents, therapists, nutritionists and teachers had spent years preparing the way. They had moved mountains to improve her sense of balance, her sensory perception and her overall health. They sent in truckloads of occupational and physical therapy and emotional support.

But it wasn't until the fall of 2005 that traffic finally began to flow in the other direction.

Hannah, whose speech was limited to snatches of songs, echoed dialogue and unintelligible utterances, is profoundly autistic, and doctors thought she was most likely retarded.

But on that October day, after she was introduced to the use of a specialized computer keyboard, Hannah proved them wrong. "Is there anything you'd like to say, Hannah?" asked Marilyn Chadwick, director of training at the Facilitated Communication Institute at Syracuse University.

With Chadwick helping to stabilize her right wrist and her mother watching, a girl thought to be incapable of learning to read or write slowly typed, "I love Mom."

More than 60 years after autism was first described by American psychiatrist Leo Kanner, there are still more questions than answers about this complex disorder. But slowly, steadily, many myths about autism are falling away, and researchers are finding some surprises.

Autism is almost certainly, like cancer, many diseases with many distinct causes. It's well known that there's a wide range in the severity of symptoms --from profound disability to milder forms like Asperger syndrome, in which intellectual ability is generally high but social awareness is low.

Indeed, doctors now prefer the term Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). But scientists suspect there are also distinct subtypes, including an early-onset type and a regressive type that can strike as late as age 2.

Once thought to be mainly a disease of the cerebellum, a region in the back of the brain that integrates sensory and motor activity, autism is increasingly seen as a pervasive problem with the way the brain is wired.

The distribution of white matter, the nerve fibers that link diverse parts of the brain, is abnormal, but it's not clear how much is the cause and how much the result of autism.

The immune system may play a critical role in the development of at least some types of autism. This suggests some new avenues of prevention and treatment.

Many classic symptoms of autism -- spinning, head banging, endlessly repeating phrases -- appear to be coping mechanisms rather than hard-wired behaviors. Other classic symptoms -- a lack of emotion, an inability to love --can now be largely dismissed as artifacts of impaired communication. The same may be true of the supposedly high incidence of mental retardation.

The world of autism therapy continues to be bombarded by cure-of-the-day fads. But therapists are beginning to sort out the best ways to intervene.

And while autism is generally a lifelong struggle, there are some reported cases in which kids who were identified as autistic and treated at an early age no longer exhibit symptoms.

Indeed, most researchers believe autism arises from a combination of genetic vulnerabilities and environmental triggers. An identical twin of a child with autism has a 60 percent to 90 percent chance of also being affected with the disorder. And the sibling of a child with autism has about a 10 percent chance of also having it.

Luckily for Hannah, her voice and thoughts are being heard.

Since learning to type, she has begun to speak a few words reliably -- "yes," "no" and the key word "I" -- to express her desires.

All this seems miraculous to her parents. "I was told to give up and get on with my life," says her mother. Now she and her husband are thinking about saving for college.

Click here for the entire cover story on Time

Copyright © 2006 Time Inc.

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