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Stem cell “treatment” cons and autism

The UK magazine Autism Eye has recently published my feature article about stem cell con operations targeting families of children with autism: https://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/231390619?access_key=key-qJ2qURxSdBCVYlveOtC3&allow_share=true&escape=false&show_recommendations=false&view_mode=scroll It’s hard to believe anyone would take such horrifying and costly risks–but having investigated this world, I think it’s marketing that is the key to this and other autism “treatment” frauds. As in the case of MMS and chelation, fraudulent stem cell clinics use the stories of “happy customers” as a front. What many people forget is that in the age of the Internet, it’s even easier to create sham “happy customers” than ever. This tactic is nothing new, of course–the same technique was used by pharmaceutical drug companies in the 1950s, which retailed stories of happy young mothers brought back to sanity via Thorazine, using photos posed by models and copy written by Madison Avenue. But while we’ve come to mistrust magazine and TV adverts a bit, many people don’t stop to think that a series of mailing-list or chat-room posts or a Facebook site purporting to be from a parent of a child of autism could also be an elaborate fraud. There’s also the issue of desperate parents (made even more desperate by the catastrophic rhetoric that surrounds autism) who willingly shill for con artists in return for receiving free or discounted “treatment” for their child.

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