Archive for December, 2009

BOGUS CHARITIES

December 4, 2009

Visceral, charity number 1081514, was set up in 2000 when Andrew Wakefield, of the Royal Free Hospital, was already in the pay of lawyers to prove that MMR vaccines caused autism. While Wakefield attacked the reputation of MMR vaccines he was “Chief Medical Scientist” for Visceral and from 2005 its “Honorary Chief Medical Scientist” having “resigned from employment” in the charity. Wakefield’s activities, partly-funded by Visceral, led to a lengthy charge sheet against him that has been the subject of a prolonged hearing by the General Medical Council Fitness to Practice Panel. That hearing will soon be concluded. The GMC’s hearing has not considered the dubious use of charities in the attack on MMR vaccines.

In 2004 the investigative journalist Brian Deer revealed Wakefield’s conflicts of interest. Following his revelations he received a stream of abusive and vulgar emails that were traced back to Carol Stott at the University of Cambridge. Stott was Wakefield’s collaborator in the attempt at showing MMR vaccines as causing autism. Stott’s bizarre conduct caused her to lose her job at the University of Cambridge and she was thrown out of her professional body. So outrageous was her behaviour that it beggars belief that she was ever employed by such a prestigious institution. Her behaviour also raises question over her suitability for work with vulnerable disturbed children. See http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/3611/

But Stott was subsequently funded by the Wakefield charity, Visceral. Details of the charity’s activities, beneficiaries, accounts etc can be viewed at The Charity Commission’s website – http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/ShowCharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityFramework.

Visceral’s most recent set of accounts, received in October 2009 for the financial year ending 31st July 2008 show a grant of £33,149 to “Carol Stott, University of Cambridge”. She had received £19,098 in 2007 and £19,145 in 2005. So after being thrown out of Cambridge University Stott was funded by the Wakefield charity, Visceral. But how was she listed as Carol Stott of the “University of Cambridge” four years after being ejected from that institution?

In addition to her funding from Visceral, Stott was employed as Senior Research Associate to Wakefield at Thoughtful House, Austin, Texas. Stott was announced as being employed at Thoughtful House as recently as October 2009 (http://www.autismconference2009.com/sunday01.php?id=17). That makes her funding at the University of Cambridge very mysterious. How could Visceral be unaware of Stott’s employment at Thoughtful House when Wakefield, Visceral’s Honorary Chief Scientist, was also employed at Thoughtful House? Perhaps revealing Visceral funds going to Thoughtful House would have been problematic.

Visceral was receiving funds from the charity, Allergy Induced Autism, whose Chief Executive Mrs R Kessick is listed as an “advisor” to Thoughtful House, see http://www.thoughtfulhouse.org/board.php . In a further twist, the Visceral annual report for the year ending 31st July 2007 lists Mrs Kessick as a Trustee!

So, in 2009 Andrew Wakefield is Chief Executive of Thoughtful House in Texas. Carol Stott is Senior Research Associate to Dr Wakefield and Mrs Kessick is an advisor to Thoughtful House. Mrs Kessick was CEO of Allergy Induced Autism, which funded Visceral (where Dr Wakefield is Honorary Chief Scientist and Mrs Kessick is Trustee). Visceral funded Stott “of University of Cambridge”, who is no longer there, but is in Texas at Thoughtful House!

AIA could have funded Stott directly, with Mrs Kessick “advisor” at Thoughtful House and CEO of AIA. Why did the money have to be laundered through Visceral? And why was money still being passed from Allergy Induced Autism to Visceral in 2008 when the returns of AIA (year ended 31st May 2004) recorded that the executive committee in February 2005 had decided to “discontinue the activities of the Charity”. At the same meeting it was decided that the “majority of activities and residual assets” will be taken over by “Visceral”, which was described as a charity “working the medical field closely related to the objectives of Allergy Induced Autism”. Let’s examine just how similar the objectives of the two charities really were.

The objectives for Allergy Induced Autism as listed on the Charities Register are:
TO RELIEVE SUFFERERS OF AUTISM IN PARTICULAR CARRYING OUT RESEARCH INTO AUTISM AND ASSOCIATED CONDITIONS AND DISSEMINATING THE USEFUL RESULTS OF SUCH RESEARCH AND OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION

Visceral’s:
3.1) THE RELIEF OF SICKNESS AND SUFFERING AND THE PRESERVATION AND PROTECTION OF PUBLIC HEALTH IN RELATION TO PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM OR SUSCEPTIBLE TO DISEASES OR CONDITIONS OF THE GASTRO INTESTINAL TRACT (THE “DISEASES AND CONDITIONS”) INCLUDING CROHN’S DISEASE AND/OR ULCERATIVE COLITIS AND/OR OTHER BOWEL DISEASES AND/OR ANY DISEASE OR CONDITION IN WHICH THERE MAY BE AN ASSOCIATION BETWEEN ANY VIRUS OR VIRAL INFECTION OR ANY VACCINE FOR ANY VIRUS OR VIRAL INFECTION AND/OR ANY BOWEL DISEASE OR CONDITION THAT MAY BE ASSOCIATED WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS BY:-
1) THE PROMOTION OF THE PREVENTION OF SUCH DISEASES AND CONDITIONS AND THE PROMOTION OF THE BEST STANDARDS OF CARE FOR PATIENTS WITH SUCH DISEASE AND CONDITIONS, AND
2) THE ADVANCEMENT OF EDUCATION KNOWLEDGE LEARNING AND RESEARCH (BOTH IN THE UK AND ELSEWHERE) IN MEDICAL SCIENCE, RESEARCH METHODS AND PRACTICE IN THE CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF SUCH DISEASES AND CONDITIONS AND THE CARE, RELIEF AND TREATMENT OF PATIENTS SO AFFECTED BY OR SUSCEPTIBLE TO ANY SUCH DISEASES OR CONDITIONS, AND
3) THE ADVANCEMENT OF PUBLIC EDUCATION AND THE PROMOTION OF THE RELEVANCE AND IMPORTANCE OF SUCH DISEASES AND CONDITIONS IN HEALTHCARE
3.2) THE ADVANCEMENT OF EDUCATION AND LEARNING (BOTH IN THE UK AND ELSEWHERE) IN MEDICAL SCIENCE, RESEARCH AND PRACTICE AND THE RELIEF CARE AND TREATMENT OF PATIENTS

The objectives of the two charities are incompatible.

Despite the decision in February 2005 to discontinue the activities of AIA it didn’t relinquish its charitable status until four years later when it was removed from the Charities Register on 27th April 2009. Even now at the end of 2009 there are sites listing AIA as a charity, eg
http://www.snapcharity.org/directory.php?cat=AUTISTIC+SPECTRUM+DISORDERS states “AIA (Allergy Induced Autism) is a charity working with the medical aspects of autism.” and http://www.self-help.org.uk/directory/neurological-disorders/?entryid54=30533 states that AIA is a “Medical research charity and support group for autistic spectrum disorders”.

What happened to donations to AIA received between February 2005, when the Committee had agreed to “discontinue the activities of the charity”, and 2009 when it was removed from the register? Were donors advised of the altered status of the charity and that the committee had already decided to pass funds to Visceral? Why did it take four years for AIA to be removed from the Register? Why having decided to cease the charity’s activities, on the basis of which charitable status had been obtained, were funds accepted without mentioning that it had been decided to donate the assets to Visceral? Visceral does not receive significant funds from the public. It has degenerated to the point where it seems to be little more than a slush fund receiving cash from Thoughtful House in order to pay Thoughtful House employees.
Why? Is the money paid to Stott via Thoughtful House by way of Visceral taxed anywhere? Is Visceral anything more than a tax-evasion device? What is the research Stott is engaged in? Is it different from her activities in Thoughtful House?
We know that Stott has been performing various non-research activities in England for Wakefield Inc, eg attending ARCH parents’ groups, running the black propaganda website Cryshame, and trying to coordinate the Martin J Walker and Clifford Miller deception operations.

Is Wakefield stupid enough to think that such a fraud would not be discovered? Well, he was stupid enough to think that his MMR=Autism fraud would not be noticed. Is Stott stupid enough to think that such a fraud would pass unnoticed? Well, she was stupid enough to think she could send obscene messages from Cambridge University without being identified.

This would not be the first time that Visceral has been unmasked as the home of dodgy researchers. In 2006 Medical Veritas published an article by Wakefield & Stott, both of Thoughtful House and Kirsten Limb, of Visceral, Bath. So who is Kirsten Limb? Nick Lander, then Chairman of Visceral, would answer no questions about Visceral or Limb and promptly resigned as Chair of Visceral. Kirsten Limb is the wife of Richard Barr. Barr is the lawyer who funded the Wakefield MMR=Autism nonsense. Limb had been working on that project since the early ‘90s. She and Barr ran the operations that wrecked the MMR, Gulf War and Organophosphate Group Litigations. She and Barr were right up there with Saddam Hussein as hazards to humans. She and Barr were booted out of various law firms until she had nowhere to go but Visceral, where she tried to get parents to give her the medical records and tissue samples of their children. What has happened to that material? What were her qualifications? The Medical Veritas article states that she has a BSc. But before hooking up with bent lawyer Richard Barr she had been working at a sugar beet farm. So, what exactly was her degree? Where and when was it awarded?

Take at a look at http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/
How much does one get paid to run Thoughtful House?
It appears as though $270,000 per year.
The tax forms are online.
They paid the University of Washington $319,000. One might speculate this is payment for their research collaboration on vaccines with Dr. Gene Sackett. If so, it is odd that no money is paid to their other collaborator, the University of Pittsburgh.
There is also a payment of $119,000 to a group called Visceral in Bath, UK.
It strikes this reader a bit odd that Thoughtful House paid them $119,000, but they only show an income of £36,551. Perhaps it is a difference in fiscal years.
Nothing really that interesting. Just a lot of money being paid to a person who, as far as I can tell, is not licensed to actually treat children.
Then Mariette weighs in: “Am I missing something here? The Visceral accounts acknowledge receipt of funds from Thoughtful House in the financial year ending 31st July 2008 which were “reserved for expenditure on the research costs of Dr Carol Stott”. Isn’t she the “Senior Research Associate” to Dr Wakefield at Thoughtful House? Why are TH shifting funds round the globe to a UK charity (with Dr Wakefield as “Honorary Chief Medical Scientist”) who in turn reserve them for research costs of Carol Stott who is an employee of TH, the source of the funding in the first place? What’s wrong with TH just giving the money straight to Stott for her research? Confused…..I am!”