Autism News Beat

An evidence-based resource for journalists

Autism News Beat header image 2

Beware of Greeks blaring myths

May 19th, 2008 · 7 Comments · Easy marks, Miseducation

The Director of Greek Life at George Washington University was only trying to help when he recently sent this email to GWU students. Short version: it’s time we set aside our hard-earned critical thinking skills and get jiggy with Jenny!

Dear Friends,

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to meet with Jenny McCarthy to talk about her interest in autism awareness and plans for her rally at the Capitol on June 4th. Contrary to her public persona, she is actually a very loving and concerned mother, who has had to deal with a very challenging situation where her son, Evan, was diagnosed as autistic. Through her first hand experiences, she has learned a lot, and met many other families with autistic children.

Jenny’s experience with Evan resulted in adapting many natural remedies to relieve him of most of his symptoms of autism. She attributes his autism to a genetic issue that was triggered by external toxins, and stresses placed on him by an aggressive vaccine schedule. While her approach is controversial, her experiences show a potential effect.

In her message to you below, Jenny is asking for your help to represent families with autistic children at a rally on June 4th at the Capitol. While her primary focus is on vaccines, she is also pushing for additional research on autism and alternative treatments, as well as raising the cause for families with financial issues related to insurance coverage.

If you would like to help, please register through the website listed in her message below. In addition, I am looking for one or two students to serve as coordinators for these volunteers. These coordinators would work with Jenny’s staff to distribute the pictures of the children and keep the volunteers organized. There is also an opportunity to meet Jenny and Jim following the rally.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you are interested in being a volunteer coordinator.

Thanks,

Dean Harwood
Director of Greek Life/
Assistant Director of the Student Activities Center
The George Washington University
800 21st Street, NW, Suite 436
Washington, DC 20052

Here is Jenny McMeasles McCarthy’s message to the Greeks:

On June 4th, 2008, Jim Carrey and I are organizing a march/rally in Washington DC to raise Autism awareness. Our mission is to get rid of environmental toxins that have gotten way out of hand. We are rallying because the toxins need to be taken out of vaccines. We are marching for a change in the vaccine schedule, and we are giving thousands of families living with and treating autistic children a chance to be heard!

Families with autistic children bear a great financial and emotional strain. Unfortunately, due to the lack of compensation from insurance companies and the high costs of special foods (GF/CF), medicines, supplements, hospital visits, etc. many families cannot afford to travel to DC to represent their child. We need your help in gathering students, fraternities, sororities and other organizations to march on behalf of the families that cannot be there to represent their child.

We are going to have those that do participate, hold pictures of the child whose family could not attend.

One of the sponsoring organizations, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), provides information, resources, and support to families affected by autism. For families who have just received the autism diagnosis, TACA aims to speed up the cycle time from the autism diagnosis to effective treatments.

Go to www.tacanow.org and register for FREE to attend the rally!

Please, spread the word and help the defenseless children who are the future of America.

- Jenny McCarthy

Mr. Harwood’s call to action couldn’t be more irresponsible. Jenny McCarthy, armed with her celebrity and a Google PhD, will be telling Americans once again that vaccines cause autism, which is as good as saying “don’t vaccinate your kids.” She also pushes special diets as a cure for autism, another baseless claim. Given the destructive nature of McCarthy’s mission, Harwood’s email couldn’t be more misguided if he was inviting students to March For Hamas.

There is another problem with McCarthy, and Harwood isn’t the only one who is blind to it. The entire autism cure industry, with its focus on conspiracy and blame and false hope, is an unfortunate distraction at a time when families urgently need services, and researchers need funding and clear direction. Going ga-ga over celebrities and hitting the send button is easy. Doing the real work is hard. Here’s hoping Mr. Harwood retracts his crush email, and soon.

Share

Tags:

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 isles // May 19, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Jenny McCarthy and frat boys…the snark writes itself.

    Did this Harwood fellow stop to think for even one second about how likely it is that vaccines are actually full of toxins and that the current vaccine schedule is actually excessive? Did he think critically about the likelihood that McBimbo has more insight into these propositions than is possessed in total by all the scientists and physicians who make, recommend, and administer vaccines?

    George Washington U. should be embarrassed to employ such a rube.

  • 2 Ms. Clark // May 20, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Wait a minute. Isn’t Jenny old enough to be a mother to these frat boys?

    I think you and Isles covered the ethical, logical and public health angles already, ANB. I hope the media stays away from Jenny and her pro-disease brigade in droves.

  • 3 I wish I were Skeptico // May 20, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Man his letter is verbose. He could have summed it up with, “Come join the merchants of vaccine-preventable disease”.

  • 4 kristina // May 20, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Sure gives the Greeks a bad name.

  • 5 Bev // May 20, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Who gets to pull the horse? Oh, for shame. For shame.

  • 6 dkmnow // May 21, 2008 at 12:26 am

    So, by Harwood’s “logic,” it would be wrong to question the policies of George W. Bush because … well, because he’s such a sweet and personable feller’ and, well, gosh, he’s just been through so much, you know, what with giving up golf and all …

  • 7 autblog // May 21, 2008 at 6:14 am

    At least Bush has a public persona. McCarthy is, at best, a D-list personality whose only accomplishment is the fusion of comedy and soft porn.

Leave a Comment