DISAPPOINTED TO DEATH: The Long, Slow Suicide of Dan Olmsted (RIP)
When news hit of Dan’s death two years ago, it was a shock to everyone. Autism Investigated was no exception. The words “heart attack” and “stroke” came to mind, certainly never suicide. Autism Investigated dedicated a week-long tribute to Dan Olmsted, and then the cause of death became news: “overdose.” He wasn’t an addict, and he was one of the last people to make a fatal mistake when it came to medication. What happened was his realization that despite holding the title of AgeofAutism.com editor, he had no editorial independence and never did.
The tragic story of Dan’s death really begins in 2013, the year of Autism Investigated’s beginning. The 2012 congressional autism hearing was hijacked by a sponsor/editor of the site who even coauthored all of Dan’s books. He killed the story of the hijacking on his own blog. After the article about the fiasco ran elsewhere, Dan wrote a short post smearing the piece:
It’s bad journalism, glaringly unsourced and without giving the “targets” an opportunity to give their version of events. I stand by the choices I’ve made in dealing with this unfortunate situation, and will be following up in the near future.
Instead of following up, he ran a statement by the sponsoring organization behind the congressional hijacking. Only after that did he agree to publish a follow-up piece by the author of the original story. As reader outrage at the congressional fiasco mounted in the post’s comments, Dan closed the thread without consent of the author. “Go in peace for all mankind,” he derisively ordered his own readers.
The author of the piece voiced opposition to the site’s censorship of comments, before getting banned from ever contributing anything to the website again. Subsequently, another site was founded. That site is Autism Investigated.
But despite how heavily controlled the discussion became on Age of Autism, Dan could not ignore Autism Investigated’s reporting. When Autism Investigated broke the news of the 2013 congressional hearing cancellation, Dan appeared in the comments just to deny that a related post that suddenly disappeared from his site wasn’t taken down deliberately. He was so angry that he then wrote a post calling Autism Investigated “web conspiracist.” He also did not take well to being reminded of the fact that the 2012 congressional hearing hijacking involved the same key players as the 2013 cancellation. When reminded of their sponsorship behind his site, he dismissively said, “I confess! Shoot me now.”
“Shoot me now.” In just a few years, those words would take on a whole new meaning.
A year after the cancellation, the congressional committee that hosted the 2012 hearing and cancelled the 2013 one would have a new chair in Jason Chaffetz. And about a year after Chaffetz’s new chairmanship began, Dan Olmsted made clear he was not a fan of congressional inaction:
You’d think [Congressman] Cummings, after saying “something’s wrong with this picture” of multiple vaccines and a soaring autism rate, would take the logical next step and demand Thompson himself be called as a witness. (Even if Chaffetz said no, the public stink would be progress).
And yet in January 2017 – during the transition period – Congressman Chaffetz finally committed to hold a hearing on vaccine safety issues. The idea was shot down by Dan Olmsted’s books coauthor and site sponsor/co-editor who had played the instrumental role in the congressional failures of yesteryears: Mark Blaxill.
One would think the autism community would learn its lesson about involving someone like him. Yet wealthy vaccine crime apologist JB Handley insisted on guaranteeing Blaxill’s involvement in congressional outreach.
Days after the proposed hearing was shot down and the draft of his final book with Blaxill was completed, Dan Olmsted took his own life. Autism Investigated wouldn’t find out about how he died for another month. Three days before his suicide and on the day of the inauguration, he wrote in a final message to Autism Investigated:
I join you in wishing trump well. My progressive affinities have moderated lately and I am optimistic, as I have to say you were before the election
Knowing what may eventually happen, Dan Olmsted decided to die optimistic.
The post DISAPPOINTED TO DEATH: The Long, Slow Suicide of Dan Olmsted (RIP) appeared first on Autism Investigated.
Reprinted from: https://www.autisminvestigated.com/suicide-dan-olmsted-rip/