The website is one of the best, most extensive online resources on autism and more general disability issues. The blog provides a masterclass on what the very best bloggers can achieve. I choose Kathleen for the Thinking Blogger Award last year, and as I wrote then, "She is clever, dogged, unfailingly polite, thorough, fair, compassionate, dedicated and whatever the highest award available to bloggers is, she should get one. She writes about autistic advocacy and anti-scientific theories of autism causation and 'treatment'."
Kathleen Seidel has blogged about the activities of the Rev. Lisa Sykes and her husband Seth Sykes, who continue to claim, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that their son's autism was caused by mercury poisoning via vaccines. Sykes is suing a several pharmaceutical companies, alleging her son was damaged by their vaccines. Among the lawyers representing Sykes, is Clifford Shoemaker, about whose earning from vaccine litigation Kathleen wrote just before she was served with a subpoena, (issued by Shoemaker) to produce extensive, personal documents and records for the Sykes' suit.
Kathleen has written (what looks to my ignorant-of-law eyes) a great reply to quash the subpoena, detailing the many reasons against it's validity. Among these she writes;
I am not a party to Sykes v. Bayer, and have had no personal acquaintance or contact with any of the parties to it.
http://www.neurodiversity.com is not a legal entity, an organization or a business; rather, it is an Internet domain name that I own. My website is a one-woman labor of love, creativity, conviction and conscience.
I have not otherwise been paid by any person or organization for developing or maintaining the website, for writing, or for my political advocacy or charitable work.
Even if the subpoena were not unconstitutional, illegal and barred by the journalist’s privilege, it is excessively intrusive in its terms. Plaintiffs and their counsel seek not only to rummage through records that they suspect pertain to themselves, but also through my family’s bank records, tax returns, autism-related medical and educational records, and every communication concerning all of the issues to which I have devoted my attention and energy in recent years. I have a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to this material. It would be wholly inappropriate for the court to compel me, a nonparty to this civil action, to subject myself, my family, friends and acquaintances to the hostile scrutiny of plaintiffs in order to enable them to argue some point that would not even help to prove their case.
WHEREFORE, Kathleen Seidel prays her motion to quash this unconstitutional, unreasonable, irrelevant, excessive, invasive, burdensome, frivolous, and clearly retaliatory subpoena be ALLOWED.
I have glanced over the subpoena, and there is no indication that Kathleen is being accused of having done or written anything in any way illegal. It does ask for all correspondence between Kathleen and “religious groups (Muslim or otherwise), or individuals with religious affiliations,” as well as most of the people whose blogs are on her blogroll, including this one! What purpose could all this possibly serve? And what on earth is that bit about religious groups supposed to mean?!
I find this action against someone who has always been so fair and scrupulous in her activities to be reprehensible. I also think, like every previous attempt to persecute a blogger without just cause, this will go badly against Sykes and Shoemaker. Haven't they heard of the Streisand effect? Why would they want a judge (or whomever is responsible for deciding on these matters) to read all of Kathleen's work which shows their claim for what it truly is. She also details Sykes' involvement in the Griers IRB which approved their "research" on chemical castration agent, Lupron, as one of the cornucopia of supposed treatments foisted on autistic children, among them, the son of Rev. Sykes.
As someone in the comments section of Kathleen's blog wrote, as far as this goes, and in the tone of Kubrick's famous film, when someone goes picking on one of our own, I am Kathleen.
All these others are Kathleen too ;-) Let me know if I've missed anyone out.
- (There are comprehensive lists at I Speak of Dreams and Holford Watch too; they've most likely got links I missed.)
- Autism cranks attempt to intimidate blogger by subpoena from Pure Pedantry
- Autism cranks going after bloggers from Denialism Blog
- Evidence of Slime from GreyMatter/White Matter
- Kathleen Seidel Slapped With unconstitutional, illegal, barred by the journalist’s privilege, and needlessly invasive subpoena from I Speak of Dreams
- Vaccine lawyer subpoenas Kathleen Seidel from Overlawyered
- Clifford J. Shoemaker and Lisa Sykes: Putrid Lawyering from Whose Planet is it Anyway
- Kathleen Seidel's Blog: Influence Means You Get Subpoened
- and Olson's Trumpet - Blogosphere Unites Behind Kathleen Seidel from Law and More
- Rediculous from Autista
- Attempted suppression of Seidel from Pharyngula
- More legal thuggery, this time against Neurodiversity.com from Respectful Insolence
- An open letter to David Kirby and Dan Olmsted about the Kathleen Seidel subpoena from Respectful Insolence
- We are all Kathleen Seidel from Letting Off Steam
- Sandy: Blogger on autism hit with subpoena ** from Jack's Newswatch
- Blogger on autism hit with subpoena ** from Crux of the Matter
- Trusted MD
- Another day, another gasket from Poohflingers Anonymous
- I am Kathleen from Autism Street
- Kathleen Seidel Has Received a Sub-Poena: Streisand, Spartacus, Shoemaker, They Start with S and End the Same Way from Holford Watch
- JREF discussion
- Anti-Vaccination Parents stoop to new lows from Rev. BigDumbChimp
- Aspies for Freedom discussion
- Vaccine-Litigant Thuggery: Subpoenaed For Blogging from Popehat
- We are Kathleen too from Runman
- Kathleen Seidel: "Subpoenaed" from Homo Autistic
- Blogger Troubles - SLAPP from Left in Alabama
- Kathleen Slapped-Blogs Slap Back from Club166
- All for one and one for all from Normal is Overated
- Shoemaker’s Witch-Hunt: An Open Letter from dkmnow
- How to Treat a Bully from One Dad's Opinion
- Rallying the Blogosphere Again from Mythusmage Opines
- The Plane! The Plane! from Dr.J's House Calls
- Blogger ensared in hotly contested autism-vaccine lawsuit from Strategic Thinking and Execution
- Welcome to the "I am Kathleen" Scavenger Hunt from Asperger Square 8
- Neurodiversity blogger subpoenaed in "vaccine-autism link" lawsuit from Women's Bioethics Blog
- We are Kathleen from The Rettdevil's Rants
- Quash this unconstitutional, unreasonable, irrelevant, excessive, invasive, burdensome, frivolous, and clearly retaliatory subpoena from Swiftspeech!
- Abuse of Process: Blogger, Unrelated to Action, Hit With Subpoena from New York Personal Injury Law Blog
- Neurodiversity blog intimidated by lawyers from Bad Science Forum
- Clifford Shoemaker, What a Dick, Plus Other Views
- The Mozlems Want You to Have Autistic Babies from Victoria's Corner
- Autism-Vaccine / Neurodiversity War Getting UGLY from Axinar
- Blogger ensnared in hotly contested autism-vaccinne lawsuit from Ars Technica
- Can I Play Sykes Google Hit Too? from Liv's Journey
- Shoemaker’s subpoena is a load of cobblers from Action for Autism
- Open Letter to Kirby and Olmstead from Action for Autism
- Bloggers On The Seidel Subpoena from Autism Street
- Autism Lawsuit from Galactic Poolhall
- Seidel subpoena a threat to citizen journalism from Junkfood Science
- Seidel subpoena a threat to citizen journalism from Kitchen Table Math
- Misbehaviour of Behaviorists Discussion Board
- Conflicts of interest disclosure from Natural Variation
- Flippin' heck, bloody hell, stone the crows! from Incorrect Pleasures
- Attorney Clifford Shoemaker v. bloggers from Autism News Beat
- Bullying Attorney Thug from Skeptico
- Legal Thuggery Against Neurodiversity.com from Daylight Atheism
- Lawsuits and Autism: A Back-Door Effort to Suppress Facts from Odd times signitures
- Emotion and irrationality run amok from A life less ordinary?
- Implication by Association? from ASD :Commentary
- I am Kathleen from Stranger than you can imagine
- You gotta fight for your right to blog from Clotted Cognition
- Kathleen Seidel from Left Brain/Right Brain
- In Support of Kathleen Seidel And Her Work from The Joy of Autism
- Autism, Clifford Shoemaker, and Kathleen Seidel from Autism Street
- Thoughts on an absurd subpoena from Women Scientist
- Subpoena the Blogger from The Washington Independent
- Another Attack on Free Speech and a Science Blogger from Neurologica Blog
- What’s is all about, Clifford J. Shoemaker? from Grey Matter/White Matter
- In the matter of Shoemaker v. Seidel; Court of public opinion; The Hon. Bugs Bunny Presiding from Graphictruth
- Autism Blogger Subpoenaed from Adjunct Law Prof Blog
- I am also Kathleen from Stop. Think. Autism.
- Because someone had to do it from dkmnow