J.B. Handley Quick List:
- Vice President of Children’s Health Defense
- co-founder of Generation Rescue
- co-founder of Swander Pace Capital
- co-founder Age of Autism blog
- co-producer of film “Autism Yesterday”
- author of “How to End The Autism Epidemic”
- Speaker and talk show extraordinaire
About J.B. Handley
J.B. Handley is the co-founder and chairman of Generation Rescue, a non-profit organization focused on helping children recover from autism that was inspired by the journey of his son, Jamison, who was diagnosed with autism in 2004.
He is also the co-producer of the documentary film Autism Yesterday and the co-founder of the Age of Autism blog.
Handley co-founded Swander Pace Capital, a middle-market private equity firm with more than $1.5 billion under management where he served as managing director for two decades.
He is an honors graduate of Stanford University and lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Lisa, and their three children.
About Generation Rescue …
Generation Rescue is a nonprofit organization that advocates the scientifically disproven view that autism and related disorders are primarily caused by environmental factors, particularly vaccines. The organization was established in 2005 by Lisa and J.B. Handley. Today, Generation Rescue is known as a platform for Jenny McCarthy‘s autism related anti-vaccine advocacy.
The organization was established in 2005 by Lisa and J.B. Handley and 150 volunteer “Rescue Angels”. Beginning in the spring of 2005 and running through January 2007. More recently it has been led by Jenny McCarthy, an author, television personality and former Playboy model. Since McCarthy has become president, the organization has been rebranded variously as “Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey’s Autism Organization”, “Jenny McCarthy’s Generation Rescue” and “Jenny McCarthy’s Autism Organization”. Bonnie Rochman wrote in Time, “…McCarthy’s celebrity status has meant that her affiliation with Generation Rescue, an organization that links autism with immunization, has spooked thousands of parents, encouraging them to reject vaccines for their children — the same vaccines that are responsible for saving lives around the world.”
Causes of autism
Generation Rescue has proposed a number of possible causes for developmental-related issues, such as vaccines, the increase in the number of vaccines administered, and thiomersal, a mercury-based vaccine preservative. Generation Rescue claims that biomedical intervention can help children recover. The hypotheses that vaccines, such as MMR, or thiomersal cause autism have been refuted by scientific research, as have claims that diets, drugs or chelation can cure autism. Because of Generation Rescue’s public profile through national advertising and because its point of view is not shared by the mainstream medical community, its message has been controversial, and the organization has been described as anti-vaccine.
Promotion of products sold by board members
Several products and treatments recommended by Generation rescue to their members are sold by members of their Board of Director or their medical advisory board. A $20,000 hyperbaric chamber sold by a firm whose President is then-board member Samir Patel was promoted by the group. Generation rescue also encourages its members to seek hyperbaric treatments from Dan Rossignol, who is a member of their Science Advisory Board. Another member of that board, Anjum Usman Singh, also offers such treatments and received a reprimand by the Medical Board of the California Department of Consumer Affairs for failing to disclose she held a financial interest in the company selling the chambers she used with her patients.
It recommends lollipops enriched with vitamins sold by a company co-founded by Stan Kurtz and owned by Candace McDonald, who have been respectively a President of Generation Rescue and its Executive Director for ten years. For a time, the lollipops were sold directly through the group’s website. A $2,000 foot bath that was promoted by Generation Rescue is sold by a sponsor of the group who contributes a minimum of $25,000 to its operating budget.
Each of these featured products are not recognized by the medical community as effective against autism. Until March, 2019, the organization also offered grants to some families, with which they would buy products offered by companies sponsoring Generation Rescue.
On June 19, 2017, Generation Rescue held a fundraising event in St. Charles, Illinois with Jenny McCarthy and husband Donnie Wahlberg, with part of the proceeds to be put aside for the construction of an integrative health clinic. Construction of the clinic begun in July, under a company managed by Candace McDonald, who was then Executive Director of Generation Rescue. Jenny McCarthy herself was on hand for the ground-breaking ceremony. The clinic was to open in January, 2018.
Construction was stopped in the Fall of 2017 and the construction contractor filed a lawsuit for non-payment of invoices amounting to $500,000. Generation Rescue now denies it has any links to the construction of the clinic. However, Generation Rescue, Candace McDonald and Jenny McCarthy were named in the suit as Respondents in Discovery. The lawsuit was settled; while the terms of the settlement are confidential, title to the site of the proposed clinic was relinquished to the contractor, who had intended to redraw the building’s floor plans and finish individual suites. The property was subsequently developed as Fiore Salon Suites.
Generation Rescue previously co-sponsored an annual conference in Chicago along with another controversial charity, Autism One. The choice of speakers at these conferences led critics to accuse both organizations of promoting unproven therapies, such as the Miracle Mineral Solution, as a purported cure for autism. These conferences have also been criticized because Andrew Wakefield has spoken at them. They have also been criticized because many of the speakers presenting “so-called treatments” have a financial interest in them.
J.B. Handley said of Andrew Wakefield, originator of the claim that the MMR vaccine causes autism: “To our community, Andrew Wakefield is Nelson Mandela and Jesus Christ rolled up into one. He’s a symbol of how all of us feel.” However, Wakefield’s work has been characterized as “an elaborate fraud”, and parental fears over vaccines sparked by the controversy, and by continued advocacy of the disproven theory by groups such as Generation Rescue despite, have led, in turn, to decreased immunization rates and an increased incidence of whooping cough and measles, a highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease.
Generation Rescue issued a statement that the “media circus” following the revelation of Wakefield’s fraud and manipulation of data was “much ado about nothing”. Salon responded to Generation Rescue’s statement with:
But any organization using a celebrity to mislead parents with claims of “new” data that rely on decade-old vaccine formulas and schedules is more than disingenuous, it’s flat-out dangerous.— Mary Elizabeth Williams
Much of Generation Rescue’s case is based on publications that do not go through a proper peer review process. Writing for Forbes, Emily Willingham characterized Generation Rescue as “an organization devoted to the debunked notion that vaccines cause autism and that autistic people can be ‘recovered’ from their autism by way of various unproven and sometimes dangerous interventions, including chelation.”
About Swander Pace Capital …
Since 1996, Swander Pace Capital have been focused on building and growing world-class consumer businesses.
SPC was founded by partners with a diverse combination of private equity, consulting, investment banking, and operating experience.
The principals of SPC have led successful private equity investments in over 45 companies with total revenues in excess of $2.0 billion. Transactions have included buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth financings.
About Age of Autism …
The Age of Autism
From 2005 to July 2007, Olmsted wrote about his investigative findings concerning the apparent global epidemic of autism in a series of columns titled The Age of Autism.
Though some scientific research suggests that autism is a primarily genetic disorder and that reported increases are mainly due to changes in diagnostic practices, Olmsted, claimed that the increases are due to mercury poisoning, particularly from vaccines, and that the genetics is mostly secondary.
Though Olmsted continued to make this claim, thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative blamed by Olmsted, was removed from most vaccines as a precaution beginning in the late 1990s, with no effect on autism diagnosis rates.
Citing Olmsted’s reports, on March 30, 2006, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) announced that she would be drafting legislation calling for scientific studies investigating thiomersal and autism, additional to the many already conducted. The bill was introduced in the U. S. House of Representatives in April 2006. Maloney made the announcement at a National Press Club press conference in Washington, D.C., along with Olmsted and David Kirby.
Scientific studies have found no credible evidence that thimerosal-containing vaccines and the MMR vaccine cause autism, and the MMR vaccine controversy is largely seen as the result of an “elaborate fraud” by British researcher Andrew Wakefield. In a critical assessment by the Columbia Journalism Review of the thimerosal controversy, Olmsted’s reporting on unvaccinated populations has been characterized as “misguided” by two anonymous reporters. Both sources “believed that Olmsted has made up his mind on the question and is reporting the facts that support his conclusions”.
About “How To End The Autism Epidemic”
n How to End the Autism Epidemic, Generation Rescue’s co-founder J.B. Handley offers a compelling, science-based explanation of what’s causing the autism epidemic, the lies that enable its perpetuation, and the steps we must take as parents and as a society in order to end it.
While many parents have heard the rhetoric that vaccines are safe and effective and that the science is settled about the relationship between vaccines and autism, few realize that in the 1960s, American children received three vaccines compared to the thirty-eight they receive today. Or that when parents are told that the odds of an adverse reaction are “one in a million,” the odds are actually one in fifty. Or that in the 1980s, the rate of autism was one in ten thousand children. Today it’s one in thirty-six.
Parents, educators, and social service professionals around the country are sounding an alarm that we are in the midst of a devastating public health crisis—one that corresponds in lockstep with an ever-growing vaccine schedule. Why do our public health officials refuse to investigate this properly—or even acknowledge it?
In How to End the Autism Epidemic, Handley confronts and dismantles the most common lies about vaccines and autism. He then lays out, in detail, what the truth actually is: new published science links the aluminium adjuvant used in vaccines to immune activation events in the brains of infants, triggering autism; and there is a clear legal basis for the statement that vaccines cause autism, including previously undisclosed depositions of prominent autism scientists under oath.
While Handley’s argument is unsparing, his position is ultimately moderate and constructive: we must continue to investigate the safety of vaccines, we must adopt a position of informed consent, and every individual vaccine must be considered on its own merits. This issue is far from settled. By refusing to engage with parents and other stakeholders in a meaningful way, our public health officials destroy the public trust and enable the suffering of countless children and families.
About Children’s Health Defense …
Established under the name World Mercury Project in 2016, it has been campaigning against various public health programs, such as vaccination and fluoridation of drinking water.
The group has been contributing to vaccine hesitancy in the United States, encouraging citizens and legislators to support anti-vaccine regulations and legislation despite the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.
Goals and activism
An estimated 43% of U.S. children have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition. As the basis of its actions, Children’s Health Defense states that a large proportion of American children are suffering from conditions as diverse as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, food allergies, cancer and autoimmune diseases, all allegedly caused by exposure to a variety of chemicals they characterize as “toxins“.
Named the World Mercury Project until 2018, Kennedy’s fame makes the Children’s Health Defense an influential anti-vaccine organization. On February 15, 2017, with other anti-vaccination activists and actor Robert De Niro at his side, Kennedy challenged anybody to prove the use of thimerosal is safe “in the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women”, ignoring a 1999 Food and Drug Administration study doing just that. Although the use of thimerosal in vaccines was phased out by 2001 (with one exception), this mercury compound is often targeted by anti-vaccination groups.
Kennedy met with Donald Trump in January 2017. While Kennedy claimed the President agreed to establish a commission to study the risks allegedly associated with vaccines, government officials denied any decision was taken and nothing subsequently came of it.
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