Sunday, March 25, 2007

Definitely Strange



One of the blogs that I like to visit periodically is by a pediatrician, who goes by the name of "Dr. Flea". Flea covers a lot of territory with his posts, and has had multiple posts that are supportive of the autism community and dismissive of the anti-vaccine crowd.

In perusing his blog recently, I noted a most unusual post. If ever one doubted that there are some serious nutjobs out there promoting the whole "mercury causes autism" thing, Dr. Rebecca Carley is proof of how "out there" some of these people can be. The photo above is from her web site.

Looking at her rambling, single spaced website, Carley goes on about how vaccines cause autism, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and shaken baby syndrome. She lists a phone number that you can call to get advice on how to reverse your disease with natural remedies. As she states:

...DR CARLEY HAS CLIENTS (BOTH PEOPLE AND PETS) ALL OVER THE WORLD, AND DOES NOT NEED TO SEE YOU IN PERSON! YOUR PROTOCOL TEACHING YOU HOW TO REVERSE YOUR AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE OR CANCER IS CREATED BASED ON YOUR INDIVIDUAL HISTORY. ...


It's great that you don't even have to have an office visit to get diagnosed and treated by this quack.

Fortunately for society, and as Flea notes, her license to practice medicine was revoked in 2004. A review of her website and hearing proceedings of the medical board reveal that she has had serious problems for years.

Looking at her CV, she completed 4 years (out of a usual 5) of a general surgery residency. This is usually a red flag that something was noticed to be wrong by her program. She was accepted into a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency program, but washed out of that in two months. She subsequently practiced as an emergency room physician for a few years, and one year as a surgical house officer. The CV notes nothing for several years, then notes that she took multiple "Alternative Medicine" courses and seminars over 2 years. She subsequently claims to have started a new medical specialty,
VIDS (Vaccine Induced Diseas Syndromes, which includes all autoimmune diseases and cancers).


There was a psychiatric evaluation done as part of the proceedings which ended in her losing her license. The psychiatrist found Crawley to have:

... a delusional disorder with the presence of narcissistic and borderline personality traits. ...


He also testified:

...she has persecutions of persecution and grandiosity and that she believes that she is being persecuted because she is special. ...


And if that isn't enough:

... Dr. Labins also testified that the Respondent (Dr. Carley)believes that her husband sodomized their son as part of a satanic ritual because she does not vaccinate and because she cures children with autism. ...


So if you ever wondered who was out there promoting vaccines as being evil, and mercury as causing autism, here is one prime example.

Unfortunately it's usually not the out and out loonies that sucker people in, but some of their psychologically slightly better balanced followers who do the most damage.

Joe is 211

25 comments:

kristina said...

At first I thought those were swords sticking out of the baby------I think "serious problems" kind of understatements the matter. She is definitely doing Hippocrates a disservice, if not slander.

Is she counting a comment she made on the CDC website as a publication?

This site on Alternative Doctors are Persecuted.

If this post is accurate, the situation is even worse.

Club 166 said...

Yes, those other quotes also came from her hearing where she lost her license.

It was testimony from a police officer relating incidents when Dr. Carley was visiting her child, who was removed from her care and placed in foster care.

I'm ashamed that we both carry an M.D. after our name, but relieved that her license has been removed.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Carley used to have antisemitic stuff on her website, but it was gone the last time I looked. She believes that vaccines are used to turn black people white (or her site used to say that), it's all a plot, you know. She also used to have a photo of her friend Peter K. with some kind of military rifle of machine gun, leaning on a car or truck. They didn't explain what that was about, but I took it as a threat to the guys in the black helicopters who must follow them all the time. Dr. Carley used to be on the advisory board for The Autism Autoimmune Project, which seems to have faded out a bit. It used to be a big topic of discussion on Lenny's SAR and on some parent lists. They were the big MMR causes autism believers.

Anyway, Dr. Carley is kind of scary.

Anonymous said...

make that "some kind of rifle OR machine gun" not "of machine gun".

Fore Sam said...

Kids who've been cured prove that the medical profession poisoned them. Why don't you admit that you harmed these children and help cure them you arrogant, lying, scumbag?

mcewen said...

Oh dear! I see my arrival is untimely! Have to dash, the helicopters are circling outside or are they just bees?
Best wishes

Club 166 said...

Fore Sam,

I don't know what you're trying to gain by spewing unsubstantiated vitriol.

But the house rules (and this blog is my house) call for reasoned, civil debate. Even spirited debate will be tolerated. Differing opinions are not only tolerated, but encouraged, as long as things stay civil. But unsubstantiated attacks will not be.

Bottom line-play nice, and you're welcome to drop on by, sit a spell, and expound on your views. Don't play nice, and your opinions disappear.

Thank you.

Fore Sam said...

You claim to be an MD. Why should anyone believe you when you don't have the courage to use your name? If you're so sure that thimerosal is safe, will you consider taking Jock Doubledays challenge? I think he offered $75,000.
Care to explain how kids become cured with chelation if thimerosal wasn't the cause?

Club 166 said...

I am an MD, but whether I am or not is irrelevant to my blog. I blog as a parent, not a doc. And I choose to remain anonymous.

As someone trained in the scientific method, I believe in studies. Controlled, preferably double blinded studies. And until I see some that implicate vaccines/thimerasol, I have no reason to believe they do.

I would also need to see objective evidence of chelation "cures" before believing such could be true. Of course, I would never submit my child or anyone else's to such a potentially dangerous treatment.

p.s. Thanks for keeping it civil.

David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction) said...

JBJr is not likely to keep it civil for long. It's not in his nature.

I've given up hope of having interesting and intelligent discourse with him.

Read his blog to see why.

Fore Sam said...

Not going to answer about Doubleday's challenge? You can find the cured children if you wish to look.

Club 166 said...

As I understand the challenge (and I may have this wrong), the challenge involved taking a dose of mercury by mouth.

Thimerosol is injected with a vaccine, not taken by mouth, so it's not the same thing.

But I never really pay much attention to that stuff, because it's not what is important to me.

What is important is getting the best education for my son. Helping him to adapt to a world he often doesn't understand. Loving my son, and not spending all day talking about how I hate something that is intrinsic to his being.

I don't go out and proselatize about how special diets are worthless (although I often think they are-there are some autistics with GI issues, but I see those as separate from their autism), and I'm not going to throw all sort of hocus pocus stuff at my son just because someone says it helped a couple of kids.

There's a way to study things properly. Medicine is littered with interventions that we initially thought were helpful (indeed, several people did get better with them), but then we found out they had terrible side effects.

So first I want to see causation proved, and then I want to see treatments properly validated. Then we have something to talk about, namely the ethics of various treatments.

Until then, my family and I have a life to live. There are mountains to climb, rivers to cross, and miles to go before any of us can sleep.

Peace.

Fore Sam said...

I wondered about drinking thimerosal too. Digestion would get rid of most of the mercury before it could bother the brain. Since newborns don't have a Blood Brain Barrier, I think it would only be fair to inject it directly into the brain. Maybe, Jock would accomodate you. Of course, you know that his point is that no doctor would take his challenge because they all know how dangerous the stuff is. So, by refusing, you help to prove his point. Thanks.

Club 166 said...

Well, as I said, it's not what I'm about. I believe in serious studies, not silly sideshows.

When it was time to immunize our kids, I thought long and hard about it. I mean, who hasn't heard about potential risks involved, eh? I looked at the available evidence, and (together with my wife) made the decision to go ahead with them.

Most of what we do in medicine is judge relative risks. And although taking any over the counter preparation or medicine (witness the recent killing of an autistic child with Tylenol) is not risk free, the potential risks of vaccination are far outweighed by the potential benefits.

Mom without a manual said...

(BIG SIGH) I think this all proves the point of my blog today.
Your tag line says it all...quackery.

There are quacks in every pond. Unfortuntely, it is always the ducks with loudest quacks that get noticed. And in my experience, he who speaks loudest is not always the best speaker for the masses.

Sadly, as your post demonstrates, it is those odd ducks that get noticed. Truthfully I am sure we would all agree that we can find equally freaky ducks in both the mainstream and the biomedical ponds.

Unfortunately it's usually not the out and out loonies that sucker people in, but some of their psychologically slightly better balanced followers who do the most damage.

I sure hope so, Joe. I guess my goal of my blog was to do that damage. I can't believe our posts crossed over like this. I spent all day trying to craft my post to show that we are not all quacks. Then while visiting one of my favorite bloggers (you) I came across this...

I usually agree with you. But having been there and done that and having seen improvements in my son I have to tell you that I respectfully disagree.

And that is my right. As is it your right to highlight the pond scum from the biomedical world.

I guess the point of my blog today was to stop letting the "loudest" speakers talk on my behalf.

Club 166 said...

If everyone agreed with me, what a dull place the world would be.

And I never go out of my way to castigate biomedical people (as long as they're not doing anything that's out and out harmful). We all have to find our own way.

The way I see it (and this is purely IMO) I think that perhaps a greater number of autistics than NT's have GI issues (genetic things are always complex), and it certainly makes sense that when a kid has GI issues (especially if they also have communication issues) that they're going to not be happy, and have emotional issues which will color everything else they do.

Case in point, in my own family. Both of our kids had "colic". That's medical speak for "we really don't know what the kid has going on, but the vast majority grow out of it". Buddy Boy grew out of his over about 6-8 weeks. As it turns out, Sweet Pea wasn't lactose intolerant and didn't have a food allergy. She had full blown reflux disease. It took more than 12 weeks of her screaming every day, being hard to console, and never smiling for us to figure out. She was miserable, we were miserable. We changed formulas at least 4 times, tried her on Pepcid without relief, and finally tried her on Prilosec as a last ditch effort before we were going to submit her to an upper endoscopy. Within 48-72 hours of the Prilosec, she was a changed person. Smiling, bubbly, and slept thru the night.

So I can see how GI issues can influence how you function. But that's entirely different from saying that I can cure autism or anything else by treating GI problems.

Fore Sam said...

I don't have much faith in diets to cure autism either. My son's GI problems disappeared after chelation. That was the first improvement we saw. Since we know that mercury remains in the intestines as well as the kidneys and liver, I can assume that getting the mercury out of these places is what healed his gut. The brain is working better but far from healed.

Joeymom said...

OK, here I am to leap in with both feet and see if I get clobbered. ;)

I'm not a chelation fan. We know a family who used it. It made the kid pretty sick, he's still severely disabled by autism, and personaly, I didn't see much change, though the parents swear by it. Most of the peer-reviewed articles I have found about it (and I'm pretty good at research) are not complimentary. Since we know Joey's autism was NOT caused by mercury poisoning or vaccines, I see little point in even trying it.

However, I am not going to discount vaccines as causing some forms autism. We now know enough families who saw dramatic changes after vaccines that I would have to say it should be carefully considered as a possibility. There are probably many different kinds of autism, with many causes. It's kind of like calling all the religions of India "Hindu." May be a convenient label in some cases, but the reality is that there are many very seperate religions which westerners place under that label. To really understand, you have to consider all those smaller traditions in their own terms.

Club 166 said...

Chelation is dangerous. It is indicated for only very narrow indications.

It is orders of magnitude more dangerous than something like the GFCF diet.

It's also more dangerous than B12 injections, which also are potentially dangerous.

But using either chelation or B12 injections jumps the gun, as autism has not been shown to be caused by mercury toxicity, and neither modality has been shown to cure autism.

Skeletor said...

OK, Chelation is dangerous. So, say, an otherwise healthy adult man became sick after being exposed to mercury or lead. Would chelation be called for then, or should the man continue to be sick from metal poisoning? I'm not being snarky, I just want to know if you think chelation is ever justified as a medical treatment.

Club 166 said...

Fair enough question.

Yes, in that case it would be indicated.

Chemotherapy is indicated in certain instances, but I wouldn't use it to treat a common infection.

Fore Sam said...

Nobody thinks that methyl B-12 cures autism. It's a temporary fix until the mercury can be removed so the body can make its own MB-12.
Chelation CAN be dangerous when a poor protocol is used. You should read what Dr Cutler has to say on the subject.
Lots of doctors disagree with you and they will tell you about their patients who have been cured. Just because you didn'tlearn this in Med school doesn't mean it isn't true. It's new knowledge.

Club 166 said...

I'm afraid that the use of B12 and chelation is something that we'll always disagree on (at least until I see some good, randomized, double blind studies on the subjects).

There's a lot of things that I didn't learn in med school. That's why I do pay attention to peer reviewed journals and well conducted studies. It is a fool who thinks he knows everything there is to know when he graduates med school.

But again, since I've not seen convincing evidence that mercury and vaccines cause autism, research into it's removal as a cure for autism is premature.

Sam I Am said...

I just found your blog from a comment you left on another Autism mommies page. I can't wait to read more from you. This post makes me sick about Quakies like Carly. Please don't let comments from certain people who like to hit blogs like yours with comments keep you from writing your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!!!

S.L. said...

Thanks for putting this link in your comment. It's amazing what you find when you start looking at the mercury "crusaders." It's no wonder it's impossible to have a civil debate, with using factual information. They are all so paranoid about studies and facts!!!