Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ken Reibel's Obnoxious Streak

Another year, another round of autism conferences, and Ken Reibel (aka Autism News Beat) is at it again.  He is complaining because he got kicked out of yet another Autism One conference.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  So let me ask you, if you have tried to pull the same stunt on numerous different occasions and had the same result each time, would you try it again?

You would if your name was Ken Reibel.

Three years ago, Mr. Reibel was booted from the Autism One conference for being obnoxious towards one of the presenters and video taping some presentations.

Two years ago, Mr. Reibel was denied a press pass to the Autism One conference because he was violated the ban on video taping the prior year (and possibly on general principal).

Last year, it looks like Mr. Reibel sat out the Autism One conference, but he did get his right to attend a TACA conference revoked.  The reason was that the conference organizers wanted to create a safe and supportive environment and Mr. Reibel had been disruptive at prior autism conferences.

This year, Mr. Reibel attended the Autism One conference and, lo and behold, he got booted again.

Of course, he and the reset of the "science" based crew are complaining their heads off about the affair.  But despite all of the uproar from the pseudo-facts groups about how Mr. Reibel did nothing "wrong", his own words condemn him.  He wrote -
We stopped near a hyperbaric oxygen tank display. I wondered if it mattered to anyone that a recent paper co-authored by Wakefield found no benefit from HBO for the symptoms of autism. So little of what I had seen and heard made sense. 
Then Jamie took her 35mm SLR digital camera out of her handbag and snapped a picture of an HBO poster.Seconds later the conference organizer, Teri Arranga, walked up to us. She was all business. “There is no photography allowed here,” she said. To prove her point, Teri sent a volunteer to bring back one of the many signs posted throughout the area that said “No video or audio recording allowed.”
Jamie pointed out, politely and correctly, that a 35mm camera which only takes still pictures is not a video or audio recorder. ...
Yet if you look at the conference policies that are linked to from conference registration page, you would see this very clear section -
No recording of any type is allowed without prior written permission.  Any individual using audio, video, or other recording or photographic devices without current written authorization from the conference organizers may be required to leave the conference.
It is obvious that taking a picture clearly falls under this policy.  It doesn't matter if their were signs posted at the event that specifically listed "photography" as a separate activity from video recording. Mr. Reibel and his accomplice had to agree to these terms to register, so yes, by definition, they did do something "wrong".

You would think that since Mr. Reibel has a history for getting into trouble at this conference that he would have been extra careful to know and abide by all of the rules.  Especially if his intention was to be a "peaceful, non-disruptive" person.  Just between you and me, I don't think that was his intention.

But even without this rule breaking, the fact remains that conferences like this are considered private events.  A person does not have the right to attend and the organizers of the conference have the right to kick out anyone that they want to for any reason.  If the organizers felt that Mr. Reibel was going to be a disruptive presence - as he has been in the past - they would be well within their rights to kick him out.

I don't think kicking him out was that far out of line either.  The organizers  put a lot of time and effort into getting the conference together and there are a lot of people who are attending because they want to hear what the people at the conference have to say.  If you were the organizers or an attendee, would you want someone around who is there just to cause trouble or write nasty things about you later?


  1. Speaking of boring, his blog on the Autism One conference is utterly sleep inducing. Thanks Ken.

  2. If this is the case, I am wondering why was he allowed to attend in the first place. Don't you have to register in advance and pay usually via check or credit card? Or did he just show up at the door and pay cash, and if that is the case, then why wouldn't they have recognized him and had "security" of some kind escort him off the premises. The behavior of the autism one people seems strange in this regard also. Enquiring minds want to know.

  3. For me, I would rather kick him out than loosing my effort in organizing that event. I am wondering, why there's have many people in this world turn you down instead of helping each other.

  4. Hi Jonathan,

    My guess would be that he registered online as a normal participant. I doubt that the conference would be manually cross checking the name of every one who registered, the event is too large for that. In 2009 he was denied because he applied for a press pass which presumably is a manual process instead of going for general registration.

  5. It was funny how, in order to try to create a sense of overkill exercised on the part of Autism One,, the "skeptics" kept referring to the police as "armed police officers." Don't they realize police do actually carry guns while undertaking their duties?

  6. Just a few more notes on Ribel's harassing behavior.

    I interviewed Jon Poling and he mentioned that at AO a few years ago, he was talking to a colleague in the lobby and Ribel walked straight up to them and put a recorder between them to record them talking. As I recall they just stopped talking and looked at him like he was a crazy person.

    Further Craig Willoughby had to do this because Ribel's harassment was getting so bad. I talked to Craig las year, and he told me that he actually had police involvement and moved his family to a new home.

    I don't want a guy like that at events (especially ones where families are dealing with such difficult issues).

    So how badly does he get to behave and still have an expectation that he gets to come back?

    And how exactly is Gorski a good judge of what acceptable behavior is? It is like he has never read his own writing.

  7. Thanks for the extra details Ginger. From what I have seen Reibel do to people online, I am not surprised that he can that obnoxious in the real world too.

  8. Even better, MJ and Ginger, he just posted information about where I work in the comments of an article by Kim Wombles. I had to contact the site admins to warn them that the comment was in violation of their site policies and to remove it. The post seemed kind of threatening to me...

    I seem to remember several months ago when the false skeptics were all up in arms when people over at AoA posted David Gorski's work information.

    I guess it's only ok when the false skeptics do it, though.

  9. How did I miss this post until now???

    Just one question, which I know that none of you will answer: have you ever heard of an anti-vaccine parent being kicked out of a pro-vaccine conference for doing nothing wrong?

    And Ginger, I doubt very much that Dr. Poling said I stuck a tape recorder in his face because that never happened. If you are so sure that you are right, then why make stuff up?


  10. Ken,

    You still seem to be completely missing the point, so let me spell it out in nice easy terms for you -

    1. You or your associate did violate the terms of the conference. Your own description of your actions make that clear.

    2. Even if 1 is not true then the conference organizers can have you removed, at their discretion, without having to give a reason.

    3. It doesn't matter what anyone did or did not do at any other conference, that cannot excuse your actions. What are you, like two years old?

  11. MJ, you are missing your own point. You said I violated the terms of the conference because someone else took a photo. That's like saying you deserve a speeding ticket because the guy in the next lane over was driving 90 mph.

    I never denied that AutOne has the right to kick out anyone they choose.

  12. Weren't you attending the conference with Jamie? Your account of the incident makes it clear that you were attending it with her. And if so, how exactly does your analogy of a car in another lane apply?

    And I kind of doubt that during the confrontation at the conference that you said anything like "I'm not with her". If anything, I would guess you would be standing there arguing your head off about how she did nothing "wrong".

    But here is the real question, why do you keep going back? People are there to try and learn things to help their children - they are there because they want to be. What give you the right to go in and be disruptive?

    (Hint, "I disagree with them" is not a justification)

    Dealing with autism is hard enough without having to deal with someone going out of their way to make an ass of themselves.

  13. I gave Jamie a ride to the conference. I did not break any conference rules. Imagine what you like - Jamie didn't need any help arguing her point; she is very capable of standing up for herself.

    Like you said, the conference organizer can expel anyone for any reason, or no reason at all. The only person causing a disruption was Teri Arranga, who summoned three security guards and four armed police officers, then lied to them about my behavior at a past conference.

    Why do I keep going back? Anti- vaccine activists are always whining about how no one "listens to the parents." I was there to listen. That's all. I wasn't taking photos or taping speakers. I paid to register, under my real name. I even used my AutismNewsBeat gmail account.

    Here's a question for you: Why does a movement that cloaks itself in the respectability of science exclude opposing points of view from its conferences?

    What are you afraid of? That you might be wrong?

  14. Ok, now you are just silly. You just gave her a ride? On your site you quote yourself as saying "we've been spotted". If all you did was give her a ride then why the "we" and why were you writing about walking around with her?

    "I was there to listen"

    Now see, here we run into a credibility problem, I simply don't believe what you are saying. I have seen too many of your comments around the internet and the tone that you take to believe that you were just there to listen or respectfully offer an opposing point of view. Plus you do have a history of being obnoxious at conferences.

    "Why does a movement that cloaks itself in the respectability of science exclude opposing points of view from its conferences?"

    Because the people at the conference are there to listen to what the presenters have to say, not your opinion of what they have to say? If you think you have something important to say, why don't you sign up as a presenter and see how many people attend your session?

    "What are you afraid of? That you might be wrong?"

    If you spend any time reading what I have written here I think it is quite clear that I freely admit that is is very possible (and even probable) that I am wrong about many things.

  15. "If you spend any time reading what I have written here I think it is quite clear that I freely admit that is is very possible (and even probable) that I am wrong about many things."

    And I sincerely doubt you will ever see Ken Reibel doing the same. He knows he's right, and nothing anyone ever says will ever change his mind.

  16. He has been harassing me so I looked him up. He is Just a Jerk with nothing better to do then bother people whose children have been injured by vaccines. What's in it for him... He obviously must get paid by Merck to troll and spout his ignorance all over the web.

  17. The funny thing is that even if Ken was a jackass, that is not a big deal. I wonder what would have happened if he started peppering questions about the hyperbaric chamber and presented all the data he has researched. You do that at a scientific conference and you get a crowd of people eager to hear an interesting, passionate, and yet civil debate between two researchers. In fact, that's a huge point of a scientific conference. To present your data to other people in the hopes that they tear it apart and show you how to become a better researcher. No one takes the criticism personally because we all want to become better researchers. I wonder if the same eagerness for civil discussion would have happened at Autism One.

    1. I think you may be missing the point. There is a difference between going to a conference with the intent to participate in a meaningful way and what Mr. Reibel apparently has a habit of doing.

      If all he was there to do was have spirited yet civil conversations with the other people then I don't think there would have been any issue.

    2. Reibel is not interested in civil conversations or spirited debates. He's only interested in deriding anyone who has a difference of opinion with him. He is one of the most vile, disgusting little slime-balls I've ever had the displeasure of meeting.

      He wasn't there to do anything but be an ass and get kicked out. He thinks it's funny.

  18. My knowledge of Ken Reibel include: he stole from and vandalized a home and there are police reports to follow up.This happened sometime in 2003. He is a scumbag. He lives on government assistance, and he is the biggest joke, and he is riding off his child's disability. Nothing is lower than that, than scum. May he rot in hell. I am not only a witness to this behavior, in many peoples' opinion, as you can read on the blogs, he is mentally unstable. Any word out of his mouth, is to profit off his child's disability. That's why he is thrown out of conferences. Believe me, I am not the only one that feels this way. I really haven't heard of any other people being thrown out of conferences for impaired children. And if you really cared about your child, you would sit and listen and give an intelligent opinion. He is obviously out for his useless self. I am sick and tired of this mental case trying to destroy a very good friend of mine's life. And anyone to take this man's word as valid, is as crazy as he is.

    1. Do you have reference to this police report? I would be very interested in seeing it.


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  20. Well, I didn't know who Ken Reibel was until one of my posts was "edited" into nonsense at Autism News Beat, and I looked up the website registrant.

    I've re-posted the original conmment - I don't know if or how long they will let it stand, but I have preserved it in my DVD collection.

    On that page Matt Carey is also freely posting his deceptions... a close connection between Carey and a sociopath, which I see clearly that Ken Reibel is, based on his repeated disruptive actions at Autism One conferences and his childish graffiti-edit of my post.

    As always,
    For the protection of children,
    In the interests of truth and science,
    Michael Polidori