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?