Sunday, March 24, 2019

The neurodiversity movement gets my blog banned from Facebook

The neurodiversity movement has used their filthy tentacles to ensnare many different things.  These include the Federal  government of the United States, Autism Speaks, the Simon Foundations' Spectrum Magazine and now Facebook.

Regular readers of my blog remember that I've written about Facebook on two different occasions deleting some pro-cure (of autism) posts at the behest of the neurodiversity movement.  I wrote about this previously In response to this, I deactivated my Facebook account, not sure when I'd return.  Five days after I deactivated my account, out of unconscious habit, I relogged back in and activated it and have remained on for a while, posting sparingly.

A few days ago, Facebook reached a low in banning my blog.  When I write a new blog post, I usually publicize it on both Facebook and Twitter.  When I tried to link my last blog post on my Facebook page I got a message saying it did not meet with their community standards.  These include hate speech, people advocating violence and putting pornography on facebook.  so now autism's gadfly falls into this nefarious category.  As a test, I attempted to post the URL in a facebook post without linking to any specific post.  Again, I got this message.  In response to this, I've once again deactivated my facebook account.  I may return at some point, but I guess I'm going to have to try to not to log onto facebook, at least for a while.  I might reactivate the account at some point and then see about not using it once it's active, but still don't know what I will do.

One person asked me about the details and if there was any way I could inquire as to why facebook did this.  The answer is that the only recourse Facebook offers is that you can ask for a review of the post they allege violates their community standards.  I did this, but now that my account is not active at the current time I'm not sure what their response will be if any.  As far as directly contacting Facebook to ask for an explanation, this is not really possible.  Facebook does not really give information where you can specifically contact them.  With more than a billion users, they don't have the time, resources, or inclination to answer queries about problems people have with their platform, particularly the arbitrary censorship that recently happened to me.

I'm trying to ponder the answer to the question why now.  My last two posts may have been controversial, but nothing out of the ordinary for autism's gadfly.  In response to Amy Schumer's husband allegedly having an ASD, I wrote a post suggesting that some people alleging to be autistic may have factitious syndrome.  However, I don't think this post was up long enough for anyone to take notice and immediately complain FB and have them ban my blog.  The post before that dealt with Julia Bascom's effort to have as many women diagnosed with autism as possible, stating the old neurodiversity trope that autism is underestimated in women and that the just as many women are autistic as men, despite the reported 3:1 to 4:1 gender imbalance reported in the literature.  Not sure if either of these two posts were the tipping point for neurodiversity activists or not.

In recent months, my profile increased just a little bit when I had an unfavorable article about the ND
movement published in spectator magazine.  In response to this someone filed a bogus complaint with twitter, claiming my posts violated their terms of service.  Twitter emailed me about this saying there was no basis for this claim.  Next, people repeatedly vandalized and defaced my Wikipedia page.  Because of this Yuval, who maintains my page, inquired with Wikipedia for giving my page their highest level of protection possible which they did.  Maybe I should flattered by this newest development in that I may be finally making an impact and the ND movement certainly does not want the truth about how viciously evil they are to become well known.

It seems this censorship has started to reach a new plateau with various autism books that propose bogus treatments for autism being banned from amazon.  The anti-vax documentary callous disregard has also been taken off amazon.  Various posts from the anti-vaxers have been deleted from various social media sites.

Though I don't believe the FDA should allow chelatiuon and other questionable treatments, and I don't believe vaccines cause autism for the most part,  this censorship and its slippery slope does concern me.

On Twitter, I pondered how soon would this happen to me.  Would Amazon purge my novel, the mu rhythm bluff from its site.  Would Google delete this blog, as one ND proponent vowed he said he'd be able to accomplish.  John Robison, asked me if I had any reason to believe that Amazon and/or Google had considered such action.  I replied, seriously no, but with all the power he and other NDs had acquired, I did not know what the future bode for me.

Shortly afterwards, Facebook banned my blog.

So far, I have only had problems with Facebook and not with any other site or platform, but that could easily change, and as I said, I don't know what the future bodes for me and my crusade against this insidious movement that causes so much harm to autistics and their families and does no good.  

On Twitter, I wondered what would happen if such censorship were directed at the neurodiversity movement.  One of my followers gave a concise and what is probably the definitive answer:  World War Three. 

ADDENDUM: I reactivated my FB account and posted URL to my blog as a test, it seems the ban's
been lifted.  But I'm still really pissed this happened and may deactivate the account again.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Is factitious syndrome a reason for some questionable autism diagnoses

Over the years, I've been skeptical of the autism diagnoses of a variety of people or groups of people.  Those familiar with my work know about my article questioning the diagnosis of Bill Gates and the posthumous diagnoses of Albert Einstein and Thomas Jefferson.  I've also questioned the claims of economist Vernon Smith who claimed to be autistic, but whose conclusions were based on a self-diagnosis obtained by taking a Simon Baron Cohen AQ quiz online.

I created a hornet's nest by wondering on what possible basis IACC members John Elder Robison and Samantha Crane merited a diagnosis, suggesting that they and other prospective members alleging an ASD should provide proof of a professionally obtained Dx.

It is not uncommon for individuals who are married, have children,  never attended a special education school to have alleged to have received a diagnosis well into adulthood, despite the fact that some of them are fairly young (born after 1980) when autism was well known enough and a free diagnosis in their childhood due to provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, allowing their school districts to pay for diagnostic testing if they felt they were autistic and needed special ed services.

Many of these are female neurodiversity proponents who claim that they fell through the cracks because the 6:1 or greater male to female ratio reported of higher functioning autistics is not really valid.  They allege that autism is missing in women due to social camouflage based on some supposedly superior ability of women on the spectrum to disguise their autism and pass for normal people throughout their life.  Or that they were diagnosed with something else or discriminated against because autism is seen as a boys' issue.

Other prominent people claiming to be autistic have been Craig Newmark and Braham Cohen.  Ed Asner, father and grandfather of diagnosed individuals also stated he felt he was somewhere on the autism spectrum.  Comedian Jerry Seinfeld also alleged he had an ASD then backtracked.

The latest big story about a new dx is chef Chris Fischer, husband of actress and comic Amy Schumer.  The timing is interesting in that it happened just at the time a special about Ms. Schumer aired on Netflix.  He apparently received a diagnosis of what would have been Asperger's before it was subsumed under a total ASD category well into adulthood and after he married the celebrity.

I pointed out on social media that if Ms. Schumer were single and a 'real' autistic potential suitor approached her, she would not walk, but run or at least not give him the time of day.

One person reprimanded me saying that I should not be claiming that Mr. Fischer's dx is invalid or a lie when I don't know what his life or circumstances were like.  I pointed out, I never said his dx was invalid or a lie, but only that I was skeptical that it was a valid diagnosis.

/While it's true, I don't know all of Fischer's life or how he could merit a diagnosis of ASD, I do know he's a chef he was able to make a living without being repeatedly fired as I was, and was able to make friends with celebrities including Jake Gulluynhall and marry another one when I and most other autistic men are incels. 

Of  course, when I've expressed skepticism of someone else's autism it always came back to me.  How can Jonathan Mitchell possibly have an autism diagnosis for blah blah reasons?  For this reason, I published paperwork discussing my dx from Eric Courchesne's lab when I was a research subject for them. I invite anyone whose diagnosis I've expressed skepticism of to do the same.

Could there be a possible explanation for so many questionable diagnoses?  Lately, there's been some discussion among people I've been following on twitter about an explanation that never occurred to me, but should have.  That is factitious syndrome.

Factitious disorder is an interesting condition It is where people due to mental illness fake a condition or exaggerate certain diseases for attention or other reasons.  At one time it was known as Munchausen's syndrome after the 18th century military man known for his tall tales.

One person who follows me and I them on twitter asked rhetorically why would anyone want to be autistic?

There could be a variety of reasons which could make it very appealing to someone with factitious disorder.  Autism is repeatedly described as a gift, a superpower and another way of being.  Shows like The Big Bang Theory and The Good Doctor also popularize this idea.

In less than a few years, the prevalence (at least according to the likely fictitious CDC ADDM statistics) has doubled or tripled.  I'd be interesting in hearing about any medical condition whose prevalence has been alleged to have risen so fast for so many years according to an agency of the federal government.

All of these reasons could be quite appealing to someone with a profound mental illness that would lead them to have factitious or munchasen's syndrome.

I obviously can't prove who has or who hasn't have factitious syndrome to account for alleging to have autism, but I have little doubts that at least some people claiming to be autistic do so because of factitious disorder.  This could possibly partially account for the explanation for so many high-functioning women claiming to be autistic who are members of the neurodiversity movement when the actual literature suggests their numbers are much lower.

This is something to ponder, I believe.