Thursday, April 8, 2010

Misbehaving Possum Bites Left Brain Right Brain

via Photobucket by chrissssy_xo
Left Brain Right Brain's habit of publishing content with questionable accuracy has come back to bite them again.  The problem this time was caused by one "Evil Possum" aka David N. Brown, when he accused Age of Autism of staging a hoax.

The incident started when Age of Autism ran a series of stories about a Danish researcher, Dr. Poul Thorsen, who allegedly absconded with a few million dollars from Aarhus University.  Dr. Thorsen also happened to be one of the authors of a study that "disproves" the notion that thimerosal and autism are linked.  As the study itself is badly flawed - even without this problem with an author so I didn't think much of the story at the time.

But, it seems the good folk at Left Brain Right Brain decided that Age of Autism was being less than truthful about the incident and ran a story with the heading "Another Hoax from Age of Autism".  In this story, the person calling themselves Evil Possum all but flat out accuses AoA of forging documents in an effort to create a story were there is none.  The original story is no longer available on the site nor is it available in Google's cache, so you will just have to take my word for it.

One of the authors from AoA took slight offense at the story and threatened legal action if the accusations of a hoax were not removed from the LBRB site.  LBRB caved to the demand, changed the title and wording of the story slightly, and posted an terse apology.

If that was the end of the story, there wouldn't be much to write about, just the standard nonsense from LBRB.  However, a few days later the misbehaving possum popped up again with another story, this time citing "fresh evidence" that the about how the facts from AoA were flat out wrong. This "evidence" included an analogy involving a spam email, a traveling friend, and a mugging, I kid you not.  This second post was quickly debunked, this time by friendly fire from LBRB's own resident groupies.  If the story was bad enough that the even the regulars were complaining, then it had to be really bad.

Fast forward to a few days ago when AoA ran a story about the incident.  This time they went on the offensive, calling out Kev personally (the owner of the LBRB site) for allowing the stories to be published on LBRB in the first place.

LBRB, of course, responded with a Bush-esque "mistakes were made" sort of statement that partially admitted that there just might have been a problem while at the same time repeating the original allegations that the whole thing might have been a hoax.  And then of course, the post goes right back to denial land and says that "Age of Autism regularly lies about those it sees as opponents", thus proving that they have the authors have the collective mentality of a two year old (they did it first!).

But wait, it gets even better.  Apparently, the "Evil Possum" is unwilling to roll over and play dead, even when his arguments are completely debunked, and is now circulating an e-mail that accuses AoA of libel against him and threatening to sue.  Another blogger has posted the text of the e-mail with his comments here.  If you read nothing else from this entire exchange, I suggest you read this e-mail, it is priceless.

I can't even begin to understand the thought process behind the idea that you have a right sue to when someone calls you on your own false statements.  It hurts my head just to think about it.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. They should change their name to right brain, left brain no brain

  3. Hey, thanks so much for the link!

    He asked me to remove the email, and I have not done so yet. If he decides to remove my name from that idiotic diatribe, then I will honor his request. But for now, I think it's a lovely testament to just how paranoid and deranged some of those people can be.

    For added humor and chuckles, read the comment he left me.

    Thanks again for your link!


  4. Craig,

    No problem, that letter was funny, kind of like the icing on the cake of the entire incident. If it were me, I might not take it down even if he removes your name as it is a perfect example of the type of nonsense that gets pulled on a regular basis.

    I did take a look around at some of there other material on your site and it was interesting, so I added it to the reading list here.

  5. Jonathan,

    Since this is the second time (that I know of) that Kev has almost been sued for libel by people from AoA, I think I might have to agree with the no brain. At least time time wasn't quite as bad as last time but still, you would think that he would have learned his lesson the first time.

  6. His comments over on my site have grown increasingly deranged. David is certainly a strange little man...

  7. He doesn't seem to be getting the point, does he?

    If he does in fact have a form of autism, it almost seems like he has become fixated on his arguments and can't let them go, even when something like reality gets in his way.

  8. I would have commented on this much earlier, but was not aware of it...

    The claim that I accused AoA of forgery is nothing but a calculated offense on their part. As I made very clear, I did not suspect anyone in authority at AoA, simply because I suspected the forger was IN EUROPE.

    As it happens,I was the FIRST to obtain and publish confirmation from the university that the document was authentic. I concluded from the wording of the university's statement that those who wrote the document only wanted it to be seen by other academics. This resolved what I had always considered the most improbable aspect of the document, which was that it was DESCRIBED as a "release". AoA and/or their source could have resolved that problem at the start by admitting that the document was "leaked".

  9. Uhm, OK. If that is how you choose to remember events, that is your decision. Unfortunately for you, reality doesn't agree.

    I think even if we only consider the the title of your initial post - "Another Hoax from Age of Autism" - that your intent was clear. And it doesn't get any better from there.

    This is one of those times that you either man up and admit that you made a mistake or you continue to live in denial land. The choice is yours.

  10. You are following the same post-modern style as Jake: Insisting on interpreting what I wrote in exactly the way I said it was NOT to be understood, and then acting like that gives you something to hold over my head. The fact is, some misunderstood my meaning. The only place I was not able to remedy that was at AGE OF AUTISM.

    Here's another fact AoA never admitted: Their "source" for the Thorsen story (particularly the "Poul is missing" bit), Jane Burgermeister, was forced to appear for a mental competency hearing in August.

  11. I interpret what people say based on what they say and do - not what they tell me to believe. I call that being rational, but you can call it "post-modern style" if you prefer.