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Why not just castrate them? (Part 2): The mainstream media finally notices the Geiers' Lupron protocol [Respectful Insolence]

I originally joined this wild and woolly collective known as ScienceBlogs back in February 2006. I was not part of the very first wave of bloggers who made up ScienceBlogs when it launched, although I potentially could have, mainly because I had to work out policies about outside employment with my university before I could join up. In any case, one of the very first posts that I did back then that made a bit of a splash was a little ditty I called in my usual inimitable and restrained fashion, Why not just castrate them?

It was the dark saga of an even darker father-and-son tag team of quacks named Mark and David Geier. Dr. Mark Geier is a physician but has no expertise in pediatrics, endocrinology, vaccines, or autism. His son only has a bachelor's degree in biology; yet he assists his father in his "research" and in essence helps him treat patients, despite his lack of medical training. Together, they are the Batman and Robin of autism woo (the 1960s camp version, not the updated Dark Knight version) going into battle against autism, which--surprise! surprise!--they blame on vaccines. But not just any vaccines. Oh, no. Batman and Robin--excuse me, Mark and David--were there at ground zero of the formation of the mercury militia. Indeed, even though numerous studies have exonerated the mercury in the thimerosal preservative, in particular the fact that over seven years after it was removed from childhood vaccines other than the flu vaccine new autism diagnoses have shown no signs of decreasing, the Geiers cling stubbornly to the belief that even Generation "autism is a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning" Rescue has backed away from lately, namely that autism is caused by mercury in vaccines.

Not that the Geiers didn't put their own personal spin on things. As Kathleen Seidel wrote about first and I commented on later, the Geiers came up with a "hypothesis" (my fingers ceased up as I typed that, not wanting to dignify their idiotic idea with such a scientific term) that testosterone somehow bound to mercury, making it harder to chelate. They even claimed that testosterone binds to mercury and forms "sheets" in the brain, leading to a complex that can't pass the blood-brain barrier and keeps mercury in the body, a complex that the quackery known as chelation therapy won't chelate. They claimed that autistic children were really undergoing premature puberty and had too much testosterone. So what was their solution?

As I pointed out before, their solution was chemical castration using a powerful anti-sex hormone drug called Lupron. They even called it their "Lupron protocol," and a disturbing number of parents not only fell for this disturbing abuse of autistic children, but they even paid for it. Even after the revelations of what the Geiers did, I could never figure out, though, since 2006, more than three years ago, is just how. How did they manage to keep subjecting children to a treatment with science so bad that it doesn't even qualify as junk science? (Testosterone sheets? Any chemist or endocrinologist would laugh at the idea.) And why didn't the mainstream media ever notice, even though a small cadre of skeptical bloggers, of which I am proud to be part, blogged about it repeatedly?

I don't know, but I do know that finally a major newspaper noticed. Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune ran companion stories entitled 'Miracle drug' called junk science and Physician team's crusade shows cracks.

All I can say is that it's about time.

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