Ban Torture of People with Disabilities (US) and #StopTheShock

Judge Rotenberg Center, Canton, Massachusetts, US, has featured in the fairness watch before, in 2007. Now since 2016 there actually are draft regulations banning its practices, use of ELECTRIC SHOCKS TO CHANGE AUTISTIC BEHAVIOUR, INCLUDING FOR KIDS, but the government department concerned with it, the Food and Drug Administration, is dragging its feet on implementation.

Resulting in this online campaign for more urgency about it:

Exactly the same issues are dealt with elsewhere including  in the community, without the wrong of punishment regimes. The same as in education and school, free unpressured learning works and punishment regimes to force working always backfire and fail.


What to do when local diplomacy is against unfriending a high-handed character

Gratuitous rejection is wrong, but one-sided toxic relationships are wrong too, and should not be consented to, because it is wrong to let yourself be dominated or given less than equal clout. That is good moral cause to fall out with any person who relates to you in that way and shuts off reasoned communication about it. They are the definition of a jerk.

If it happened on Facebook, the natural solution would be to unfriend. But suppose the person is another aspie in your local scene, who you share mutual contacts/friends with: and suppose these ties matter in the diplomacy of coping with a divided scene. They are among the personal ties held civilly in the part of the divided scene that you belong to. You don’t want to be seen to cut off any of those ties. Yet one character has crossed the acceptability line in being a one-sided domineering jerk. What do you do?

Suggestion is:

    • You unfollow them, if you had been following. Their posts no longer intrude into your sight, and it is a personal break with taking it from them.
    • You cease to post any more responses on their page.
    • You post an anonymised description, exactly like this, in a place of your own choosing where other of your local scene friends are likely to see it. You could do it on here. Then it is understood that there is someone you have not taken pushing around by, and for the folks who did not see it happen, any person who habitually behaves in the offending way might be the culprit. But the culprit can drop that habit and avoid drawing any notice, and the diplomatic ties remain intact.
    • If they read your post, recognise themself, and unfriend you for it, then visibly so to everyone, it was they who broke the diplomatic tie, not you.

So, think through the scenario. There is an aspie with practically a reflex habit of leaping into a judgmental temper when he is in any difference of opinion, and one-sidedly pompously imposing boundaries of impatience and of how far he is willing to listen. He frequently falls out with folks by this. An absurd mixed-up character who starts discussions yet can’t have discussions.

When you first knew him, you had been on bad terms after a hasty reaction. But he had moved past that and evolved onto good terms with you in the diplomatic bonding of your part of the scene, and decently, constructively, you had let him. His Facebook page is busy and practically all politics: as it airs his concerns you want to be seen to acknowledge them not to ignore it. Yours is less so but does some politics, and you have found enough commonality of view to often share posts from each other, for quite a long time, very amicably. Right up to yesterday that was happening. Then suddenly –

He posts a story shared from “BBC London Calling “unofficial”” (which is not the BBC), It quotes the religious and God feelings of several politicians who are unpopular with trendy opinion, of both right and soft left, and that suggests it is bad for politicians to be religious. An overly sweeping anti-religion argument. “Either we have a wrong God or those people are completely mad and we should ask whether we should avoid to elect religious leaders or not” – clearly arguing against ALL RELIGIOUS LEADERS. You reply, and it goes:

  • Does this apply to Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Keir Hardie? Or, as they never actually ran for head of government, would it apply if they did?
  • Sorry, but for once I consider your question ridiculous.
    This matter is clearly about a certain type of manipulative career politician.
    Dr King, Tutu and Hardie do not quite fit into that category.
    You have the response which I have chosen to give you and I refuse to answer which I consider somewhat ridiculous.
  • The post is clearly about that type, yes, but from them it derived + posed a blanket question about all religious politicians. Hence I disagree with that leap of reasoning.
  • You may disagree as you wish.
    But, I am not going to be drawn into one of your absolutist discussions this morning.

Yet you have never had long one-to-one discussions about anything! Never before has he failed to be aware, so he clearly is aware, that the culture of posting comments on Facebook is that you usually post a one- off thought comment on a post, which just sits there and need not produce any discussion at all. The poster or the page host is under no expectation to reply further and cause a discussion to develop. So both of his replies were unnecessary. By silence he could have preserved amity and avoided the discussion he did not want to have.

Instead, he leapt straight in to this unfriendly rude language about refusing to reply. That is not keeping on good terms. Why so defensive to a question that expressed the commenter’s thought, that he was not on any spot to have to reply to? The uncaringness for good terms, shown by the insulting confrontationality of “I refuse” in front of all the page’s readers, is the way you have seen him relate to many folks: it rings with weary inevitability. It’s one-sided: you know he would never take it said to him.
( Indeed, 10 days after this happens, he posts an objection to SPOCK-700x441 himself getting treated in a similar way by the mod of a science page! for being sceptical of a story on it. )

You might, for peace’s sake, post no more after this – but you have been absurdly accused of reading wrongly what any reader can see you read rightly – that the original post was against all religious politicians. So you post once more to defend yourself this. This would be a good moment for him drop it, for peace’s sake and to stop diggjng into a hole. Instead, you get back more slagging in public, you get this high handed rudely one-sided “I am not going to…”, and charge that there exists “your absolutist discussions”, from a guy who has just posted an absolutist pro-abortion post on the US Supreme Court and whose posts often declare moral red lines about racism and world current affairs. No one but himself had chosen to get drawn in instead of leave both post and original comment existing in peaceful silence.


INSTANT UNFOLLOW. That’s a page where the terms of taking part are unacceptably toxic and one-sided, where it no longer aids any civil ties or diplomacy to take part, indeed works against them. You sweep it out if sight. Doing your best as described to keep all diplomatic ties undisturbed by it, you sweep it out of sight. You cease to let it intrude on your autistic scene life with those of its number who do care about folks getting along.

6 Sep 2018

Autscape: candidates tied to have ethical positions on exclusion

The annual British spectrumite gathering Autscape is in progress, at Tonbridge, England, and today it held its AGM there. It included an election with 4 candidates, for 2 new directors to join its board of 9.

Annual General Meetings are always matters of public record. So there can be nothing confidential about this.

This Autscape’s entire theme is inclusion! In the election, a question from the floor, fitting that theme perfectly, asked the candidates for their ethical boundaries towards rejection + exclusion. By having to answer that – IT FORCED THEM TO HAVE ETHICAL BOUNDARIES TOWARDS REJECTION + EXCLUSION !!

So to act on fixing in place the boundaries extracted, by putting out notice of them.

The question did not force their answers to be perfectly what matches the values of this site: and certainly it is not welcome to the values of Autistic Groups Fairness Watch that the winners included Fergus Murray, a co-founder of the AMASE group recently in our attention. NB The latter statement will be deleted instantly if AMASE makes the response asked for in the page on itself, admitting that there was no hostility to it in the action described against promotions of Autistic Pride Day.

Murray was the only candidate not to agree that, as an ethical priority, personal rejection + exclusion are always wrong. The other 3 all did, thankfully including the other winner Jeremy McDonaugh, reelected. So Murray is restrained by that, and cartainly Autscape at present has a good inclusion ethic: “We are all equally entitled to be here”. But he is also restrained by his own answer.


He was only able to cite one instance in favour of rejectability: he said that rejecting one person may result in including many others.

This ties him to that limit. Still without agreeing with him, still holding that his sick rejection-apologism is dangerous and needs stopping, this is progress in that. It is far better that he is tied to this than to nothing. Even if giving this answer instead of a worse one helped him to win, the question was right because it rightly achieved prevention of the worst outcome, which was if he won without any restraining on this subject at all. It keeps many vulnerable folks safe.

In any case that arises where he wants to side with rejecting someone, he is obliged to evidence that that person’s actions specifically have inflicted, or are inflicting, rejection + exclusion upon others.

Limited to that. No other circumstances at all.

for all Autscape’s ordinary participants
29 Aug 2018


Anders Lee show

What a jerk to every spectrumite with a need !


This comedian from the US who is on at the present Edinburgh festival, is billed as telling an autistic diagnosed person’s struggles. But his message turns out to be opposed to the label and no longer wanting to use it – and he regards it as just a label favoured for doctors in certain periods to give wantonly to kids with any type of fitting in troubles.
No explanation of how else he would have needs recognised and served. Above all, no explanation of how fitting in troubles should be dealt with. His show implies we should just be left to struggle and sink for the sake of not having a label. 
His show actually states that autism only exists as an arbitrary label given you by a doctor, and even neurodiversity only a label too. That flies in the face of all the physically real things about autism, the sensory issues, the stimming – he even likes hand flapping – the problem with fine motor skills – he even had that, the unequally powered eyes, the spectrumites affected by diet issues. HE IS NEGATING AND WRITING OFF OUR PHYSICAL REALITY, MISEDUCATING THE PUBLIC AGAINST IT WHICH WILL LEAD TO LESS MEETING OF NEEDS. 
SO WHERE ARE THE LOCAL NO–PLATFORMERS NOW? Their argument of medical impact, used in the recent no-platforming crisis over a vaccines talk, exists just as much just as logically, over Lee’s message.
He follows the American comedians’ norm of having to obsess with sex, and with self-portraying as having easy access to it. Whether true or an act, that attitude leaves behind the autistic community and neither speaks for them nor gives coarse ribald society better attitudes towards spectrumites. At the same time contradictorily, he supports MeToo. This giving men an impossible mixed message.
He seems to take school and college troubles as just being routine that everyone gets through them, so would have this seen no dfferently autistic v NT. Obviously offensively oblivious to the nature of the worst troubles. His fault overall is that he clearly self- portrays as a tough survivor, and has the attitude as if everyone can be. Obliviously to the cases where not, this feeds in to his position against labels. Though one quick line of his message against labels refers to wanting to make society care more for everyone, he says nothing on how to make that happen, after his show’s message, opposing the niche care that happens already within our label, influences towards LESS care and LESS fairness.
Takes this attitude from an angle of assuming that we can all cope averagely normally with all parts of daily life. Influences towards regressing society into going by that assumption and without any distinguishing of autistics and NTs, hence without meeting any formally identified autistic needs! and leaving us expected to try to belong successfully in NT society!
How thoughtless careless and uncaring.
Maurice Frank
20 Aug 2018
Right of reply: see his reply posted below –

“Dummy” is something I’ve been working on for almost a year now, and it is changing and evolving every day. I may have not been clear enough about this in the show you saw, but subsequent versions have included the very important caveat that I do not begrudge anyone for identifying as Autistic. I absolutely accept that the diagnosis can be helpful in giving people access to resources they would not receive otherwise. This is especially true in countries like the UK where healthcare is treated as a human right. These things, however, do not make Autism a real, “physical” condition. As you well know, it is diagnosed by examining a person’s behavior and not any physical aspect of their brain. Maybe you can provide a succinct explanation (I have yet to find one) as to what essential quality makes some people “Autistic” and others “Neurotypical.”

If you haven’t, I would highly recommend reading Edith Sheffer’s book “Asperger’s Children.” You are right to be defensive of the gains institutional medicine has made on behalf of people with neurological issues. But one can do that while still being open about the history of the spectrum: the awful things people labeled as “Autistic” have been subjected to and the fact that the diagnosis is rooted in eugenics.

I don’t agree that it is necessarily the artist’s job to give the audience a program or solution to a problem they pose. That being said, I do actually have one in this show, and it’s one that I’ve spoken with others who have seen “Dummy” at length. I believe that we could one day live in a world that is designed to accommodate all learning styles and forms of sensory processing. In a world like that, diagnoses like “Autism” would be unnecessary. I fully acknowledge that we do not live in that world yet.

Most of this I can chock up to different interpretation, but there are a few points here that blatantly misrepresent what I say in the show. The claim that I portray myself as having “easy access” to sex is just plain false. Maybe your issues with other parts of the show made it hard to listen carefully or, to be blunt, maybe you heard what you wanted to hear. But I, in fact, state the precise opposite about my romantic life. I have no idea what about that passage you find “contradictory” and would be curious to hear more.

I also strongly object to the accusation that I portray myself as a “tough survivor” and think everyone can have the same opportunities I did. I’m very honest about the help I was given and that many people in my situation are not so lucky. I think this is really the heart of our disagreement. “Dummy” is not a show about “overcoming” anything. It’s about accepting yourself, stims and all.

will a compassionate petition now get no-platformed ?

(Good news about 38 Degrees first – it has dropped its former arrogant practice of forcing you to join it in the action of signing a petition.)

So – for anyone with a humanitarian conscience against all the barbarity of British border policies in recent time, it’s a no-brainer to have to support this petition, against a deportation to Iran of an autistic person.

At the same time I don’t like this page’s publicly patronising and insulting description of one of the person’s condition. I think it’s an example of the type of bad description of autism that its scene is struggling to discourage. Don’t you?




Are they going to back it or no-platform it?
16 Jul 2018

Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh

This post does not yet say this is a bad organisation. It says it needs to show the public that it is not a bad organisation.

Autistic Mutual Aid Society is the relatively recently formed group, who started the present no-platforming crisis in Edinburgh around a Ragged University event on autism that was going to feature some nonconsensual medical ideas – for discussion. But the momentum for hunting RU from venue to venue could be watched happening by personal hotheaded decisions prompted in reaction to messages, so it was not all organised, had a life of its own.

AMASE has its own event on Jul 10 (tomorrow at time of posting), one of its sessions of public education on autism, directly clashing in time with RU’s event after taking over the time slot at the first venue that under their lobbying cancelled on RU.


Folks who choose to attend the AMASE event, or otherwise to support AMASE, need to find out from it whether it is, or is not, going to be a damagingly purge-happy dictatorship, that instantly rejects or falls out with folks who its leaders have any difference of view with. That would be a corrupt character of control and forced sameness, not a character of mutual aid.

On Jul 4 to 6 both of AMASE’s leadership couple quickly accused me of hostility to them, just because I told that venue, Lighthouse bookshop, on its Facebook page, that on its own stated grounds for not wanting to host RU’s event it must also adopt a position of not hosting any autism events promoting Autistic Pride Day. Which, you remember, is a thing with directly hateful origins, invented by a high-control and purge-happy group that is gone but whose leadership couple are still seeking influence for other projects through which they could damage more spectrumites with rejection and control experiences.

The ethical line I drew at Lighthouse was against ANY autism events promoting APD, organised by ANYONE – see that’s quite impartial.  Of course an ethical curb that applies to everyone would apply to AMASE, but that is no more than equal imposition as their no-platforming of the medical ideas is an imposition on another organisations including any I’m attached to. So if they don’t like it, they don’t like sauce for the gander.

Because AMASE’s imminent event on is not promoting APD (and thanks to AMASE for saying so !), my action has nothing to do with its meeting. So it can’t possibly be an act of hostility to the meeting or to AMASE.

This reply was given promptly. Yet AMASE’s leaders have not yet acknowledged this common sense, not yet withdrawn the stance of accusing me of hostility to them by taking that action. To accuse hostility for a step that does not attack their meeting or them at all, and to leave a common sense reply unacknowledged and leave the hostility charge standing, WOULD BE AN ACT OF PERSONAL DISTANCING AND PUSHING AWAY, of intolerant hostility by them, therefore of quick-fire PURGING. It’s a corrupt tactical hostility for group control. Instant falling out with a person for a difference of view on one item. To lead any autistic group in that way is emotional danger to all and exploitation. AFF’s history and collapse illustrated so.

So THIS POST WILL BE DELETED IF AMASE itself posts or otherwise gets in touch to acknowledge the common sense, and to state consequently that we are not on hostile terms. If it does that, it will show it does not push folks away as soon as they have a difference with the leadership on one issue. It will show it is not purge-happy and not going to turn out the same harmful and disastrous way as Aspies For Freedom ! THIS IS IN THE BALANCE RIGHT NOW.

Maurice Frank
9 Jul 2018

PC no-platforming should not be done to grassroots discussions

There is a controversy happening at present around a discussion event billed to be held in Edinburgh by the Ragged University project. This is a project for grassroots community education by sharing of personal learning insights; “everyone is a ragged university.” It works democratically by having folks give talks with discussion. Personally built up knowledge can also be written about on its website.

Key point is that there is discussion. The talks are not speakers from on high coming and laying the law down. Nor does what they say have the authority of being the project’s view – it’s always just their own view, their own perceived coming from their own learning. SO IT IS NOTHING AT ALL LIKE the cases where a big name speaker comes touring in to give an offensive speech that a targetted population group have no access to answer.

An effort is happening, to do that dictatorial PC practice of no-platforming, to a proposed talk about a rather wacky medical theory about autism. To lobby every venue that gets gets booked to hold it, to cancel and disown it.

Certainly the speaker’s ideas, written as if all autism was non-verbal! don’t match at all the lived experience of verbal able autistics, and our history going back way before modern medicine and including Isaac Newton as one of us. A conspiracy theory attributing autism’s existence to aberrant medicine and appearing to believe it has only existed since the 1970s! – does not match at all the scene’s experience at all levels of ability: after all it was exactly the more severe levels of autism that were known from long before that. Folks affected and their families are entitled to find the theory insulting. But that reaction, itemising the idea’s demerits, can be given in reply to it, both in website posts and in discussion. When given at a grassroots level, not by some remote big speaker, it can be replied to and discussed and autistic experiences not matching it can be pointed out. The discussion process itself is educative. So, to try to gag the talk from ever being given at all, is not educative or democratic.

Ragged University has several writings by aspies on its site. It is very clearly visibly not anti-autistic. It has been treated with sinister undemocratic hooliganism, by the arrogance of a few folks, on hearing of the controversy from peers, acting spontaneously self-prompted to hunt RU from venue to venue! to prevent it from holding this discussion, which as a result will be held in a park – THAT ACTION DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ALL AUTISTICS.

84        eiru

It creates the democratic problem of who should have the power to inflict the gagging or draw the lines of offence against what can be discussed? Law against direct incitement to hate already sets a line against talks that would do that. That is the answer to anyone who argues, would we then have to allow talks on fascistic theories about race? Hate is socially excluding and hence anti-democratic. Short of hate, excluding ideas becomes anti-democratic, because works against the accountability and analysis of ideas.

One poster against allowing this talk suggested effectively that talks should be vetted for being scientific before they are allowed. The loudest voices against spiritual/paranormal types of idea often want scientific vetting of what is allowed to be heard: but exactly that is not scientific, it places establishment science cult-like beyond challenge and turns it into doctrine exactly like a religion.

Some of the folks trying to prevent this talk had no ethical problem with observing Autistic Pride Day, which is directly associated with hate. As all followers of this site will know well, Autistic Pride Day was invented by a movement that treated many autistics hatefully, and whose leaders started out with a line against harmful medicine but rapidly betrayed that line and proudly made connections themselves with medical voices in favour of drugging us. So what do you make of being okay with Autistic Pride Day with its hateful background, but trying to censor a grassroots discussion event where wacky ideas about autism can be answered and their demerits said in discussion?

4 Jul 2018