ROBERT TINNELL: Greetings From The Lunatic Fringe

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20 Responses

  1. Elayne Riggs says:

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been blogging about this on the Huffington Post. Let's hope his voice is heard more loudly than those of the many parents of autistic kids who have been talking about this for years.

  2. Alan Coil says:

    .I don't know anybody who has an autistic child, but I am better read than the average citizen on this subject because I care. Chelation therapy is not all that new, but many doctors will tell you it is quackery. I first heard of chelation therapy about 6 years ago through the now deceased Dr. Donald Carrow of Healthy Talk Radio. He was a champion of the procedure.It's my understanding that thimerosal is still in many of the shots used for children, but not here in the US. They reportedly have exported those sera to underdeveloped countries. Cynical me is willing to bet that it will eventually be reported that it couldn't have been the thimerosal because all these other countries didn't have any reported cases.Best of luck with your son's recovery..

  3. Bo Hampton says:

    Bravo, Bob!!!!!!! Wear that damn Area 51 cap with pride!!!!It's a very large ledge,afterall. Maybe the ledge will becomethe building at some point. Go JACK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Bob Moffitt says:

    Yo Bob, I am with you on the "fringe", thanks to my nonverbal, non-potty trained, seven year old grandson who "regressed" and was diagnosed autistic just prior to his third birthday. Unfortunately, our family lost our lovable child just as quickly and mysteriously as if he had been seized by a 'space ship' and transported to a world we no longer share. He lives in a world of "Elmo", 24X7, and we desperately want him back. We know he is "in there, somewhere" and we want him back.

  5. Kevin Greenlee says:

    This piece is so full of misleading and inaccurate statements that it's difficult to figure out how to reply briefly to it. Alan Coil is absolutely right- most doctors will tell you that using chelation to treat autism is quackery. They are also likely to point out how dangerous it is. Offhand, I know of at least one autistic child who died during chelation "therapy." I wouldn't be surprised if there were many more.Besides advocating an ineffective and dangerous medical "treatment" and spewing forth totally unfounded conspiracy theories about "Big Pharma," Tinnell- both here and in his strip- gratuitously insults autistics with phrases like "hell of autism." I have a non verbal, severely autistic daughter who is the joy of my existence. Life with her is anything but hell. I am sorry that Tinnell feels otherwise about his son.

    • Heidi Roger says:

      Dear Kevin, The boy who died during chelation therapy was treated incorrectly using the wrong chemical. Just like the space shuttle blew up when incorrectly assembled. Why is it so outrageous to question the safety of a vaccine? Rotavirus vaccine was recalled when it was killing and maiming infants. A vaccine is just another medical product like Vioxx which was recalled as you should know. You have the right to treat or not treat your autistic daughter as you see fit, I pray she is not punching holes in the walls of your house or attacking you and biting off your finger as other autistic teens and adults have recently done to their parent's. I hit the ground running when my son was dx at age 2 and have tried to treat any abnormalities in his biology the same as a parent of a child dx with leukemia or muscular dystrophy. Why are parents of autistic children looked at so differently than parents of children with other disorders? If your child tests positive for heavy metals, why wouldn't it be logical to chelate them out? this is not done without supervision and blood and urine and sometimes fecal testing as well as supplementation to replace lost minerals. You are totally uninformed and I hope anyone else reading this comments section will speak to an informed parent or physician before accepting your misinformation as fact.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Kevin. Have you ever done any testing to see if your daughter has biological problems that should be addressed? For instance, if she has problems with diarrhea, constipation, or yeasty rashes, have you ever checked to see if she has underlying GI issues that should be treated? If she suffered (or still suffers) from eczema, have you tested to see if she has allergies/intolerances? If she suffered (or suffers) from recurrent ear infections, have you checked into the status of her immune system? These and many other symptoms and related tests routinely show marked differences between "neurotypical" and autistic kids. What's sad is that once autism is suspected or diagnosed, doctors tend to disregard signs and symptoms that in "normal" kids would never be overlooked. For instance, at practically every one of my son's well child visits, I would ask my son's pediatrician about my son's chronic diarrhea. She would always say, "Oh, it's just toddler diarrhea." Unfortunately, she was still saying that long after my son's toddlerhood was over. She was also, as are most pediatricians, all too quick to say "Oh, he's just a boy; boys are just slower to develop," wasting precious early intervention time until I finally broke down in tears in her office because I KNEW something just wasn't right with my son's development. I realize you have a daughter, but I'm wondering if you were also in some way delayed from getting early intervention for your child because of being told something like, "Let's just wait and see what happens." The reality is that doctors make mistakes just like everyone else. They aren't all-knowing. Because we know this, we still visit the same mainstream pediatrician, though we are much better informed now than in the past about what does and does not happen in the exam room. Thank goodness that same pediatrician is willing to admit that she doesn't know much about treating autism, but that she's willing to learn. Her comments to me since we started biomedical interventions are all along the lines of, "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it." My next step with her is to give her a copy of Changing the Course of Autism by Bryan Jepson, MD. I challenge you to read that book and hope that you will consider having some testing done for your daughter if for no other reason than you just want to prove me wrong. There's one other part of my challenge to you, though. I challenge you to act on it when you discover that your daughter's immune and/or gastrointestinal systems are not functioning properly.Best wishes to you. I hope you one day experience the recovery for your daughter that we are experiencing with our son.Kathy

    • J.C. Vaughn says:

      Kevin -Despite being engaged in a commentary, Bob Tinnell actually engages in a fair amount of journalistic balance in his piece, differentiating his opinions from the facts. He rather clearly identifies where his thoughts and experience diverge from what is commonly accepted, even when he is trying to challenge the standards. I simply don't see what you see. Other than having a great deal of compassion for anyone dealing with this issue, I don't have a pony in this race. On the other hand, I would like know what on Earth gives you the idea to even suggest that Bob does not consider his son to be the joy of his existence? Can't you argue your points without such a personal attack on someone simply because they have a different opinion?

  6. Wade Rankin says:

    I became a big fan of The Chelation Kid from the beginning. It's a story of hope and love, told with a keen sense of humor. Those of us who live the life depicted in the strip are searching for the complete truth in science that is still emerging. All we know for sure is that we haven't heard that truth from the FDA, the CDC, the IOM, or the vaccine manufacturers. That may sound a bit paranoid, but to me, parroting what some critics have said about the dangers of chelation based on a case of extreme malpractice rather than the inherent nature of the procedure makes one sounds a lot more gullible than any of the parents who share my opinions. Maybe we're not the ones wearing the tin-foil hats.

  7. Wade Rankin says:

    I became a big fan of The Chelation Kid from the beginning. It's a story of hope and love, told with a keen sense of humor.Those of us who live the life depicted in the strip are searching for the complete truth in science that is still emerging. All we know for sure is that we haven't heard that truth from the FDA, the CDC, the IOM, or the vaccine manufacturers. That may sound a bit paranoid, but to me, parroting what some critics have said about the dangers of chelation based on a case of extreme malpractice rather than the inherent nature of the procedure makes one sounds a lot more gullible than any of the parents who share my opinions. Maybe we're not the ones wearing the tin-foil hats.

  8. Cathy says:

    Great article! I can appreciate a lot of what you are saying–we too are baffled, saddened, ticked off and ready to recover our son due to his vaccine injury. No one should have to see their own child suffer needlessly as we have. Your strip has been able to educate our own family about chelation–they get the shortened yet understandable and humorous version of what we drown ourselves in for the sake of our child's health. Thanks for sharing Jack's story with us and to countless other families.

  9. Kai says:

    Bob – thanks for the great article. There are so many different forms of autism and I have been reading up on the topic. There are too many people that are not aware of what it's like living with/being parent to a child with autism/any other special needs/illness needs that say what is wrong and what is right. How about they take a walk in the caregivers shoes! Adding your strip to my favorites right now. I wish you all the strength and faith that it takes to keep you, your son and the rest of your family to continue to make strides with the course of treatment that works best for YOUR son!

  10. Nancy Hokkanen says:

    Chelation is the standard treatment for lead poisoning. How bizarre that some people would state it's inappropriate for removing mercury. Among the many chemists and oher scientists studying chelators is Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD, PE (Princeton, NASA) who has written a great deal about mercury toxicity and chelation in technical jargon and in layman's terms. Heck, even the conservatives at sent out an e-mail ad last month promoting EDTA chelation to remove arterial plaque in adults with heart disease. In the future as the world population grows and polluted environmental conditions increase, a variety of chelation methods may be necessary to remove accumulated toxins that overloaded organs cannot flush. Hey, vaccines can't do everything….

  11. Sylvia says:

    Great article Bob, and I LOVE The Chelation Kid! I am proud to be a card carrying member of the lunatic fringe (A.K.A. a parent seeking appropriate medical care for their children)!

  12. Lisabeth says:

    I just wanted to support you and your wonderful creative way of expressing what many autistic parents don't have the energy, time, and wonderful spirit that you have! I also wanted to comment to those that think we are terrible parents for not "loving our child as they are". Wouldn't you take your child to a tutor if they didn't "get" math? Wouldn't you practice their handwriting if it wasn't up to par? Wouldn't you do CHEMO on a child with cancer? Why, then, would you dare to judge a parent of a child that could move further ahead (obviously, we know they will never be perfect as no one is)? Why would you pretend to know what is happening in that home? Why would you judge someone who is finally been given some hope through seeing other children improve, not just hearsay? It's so cliche, but usually those types of things ring don't know until you have lived it. Our children are a true blessing because they open our eyes to teach US how to behave all the while we are working so hard on them to help them behave. My daughter has blessed me so many times over and I give praise to God for showing me the good in this crazy mess we are in. We need to question our medical community regarding vaccines because this all can't be just a coincidence. Something is happening and you see the research that is done and it points to environmental factors including vaccines, antibiotics, water, air…etc as well as genetic issues. It needs to be addressed why there IS STILL THIMERESOL IN OUR VACCINES HERE IN THE US AS OF TODAY! (check the government's website that lists these and their ingredients…along with formaldahyde!) Excuse the typos! So, thank you for writing a great piece with such heart and best wishes for The Chelation Kid to make a comeback!

  13. Gena Graddy says:

    Bob,Thanks for the Chelation Kid! My son is also being recovered with biomedical treatments. After our 1st round of oral DMSA, he potty-trained himself in one week! He is dumping lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminum etc. like crazy & is making huge gains. In fact I got a call from our ped asking why they have not seen my son in months. Oh well, let's see.. my little guy is no longer sick 3 weeks out of 4, he doesn't need antibiotics, he no longer has an elevated temperature, as he did right after getting the Hep B on the first day of his life. An elevated temperature that continued for almost 3 years until we got rid of his gut dysbiosis. He does not need us to revisit his inability to have a normal bowel movement because the GF/CF diet took care of that issue. And he absolutely DOES NOT NEED his 4 year booster vaccinations because that is what got us in this mess to begin with. So if you would like to see my son, swing on by my house and check him out he is playing ring around the rosie on the trampoline with 3 other kids(appropriately)! Praise God!

  14. marie says:


    I love the Chelation kid and am so glad there’s some graphic (and I mean graphic!) representation of what a life of vaccine damage looks like.

    And I disagree–70s wasn’t such a great time to be a kid! My father was a physician and it was all "better living through chemicals." I was vaxxed early and often and am now a mess (would have been autistic, no doubt, if I’d had the even more ridiculous vax schedule they have today).

    What no one seems to be thinking about ("long term" studies of vax are 30 days) is that we are the 1st generation of kids to receive multiple vaccines, and what happens when we pass these weird antibodies to our kids…and then vaccinate the heck out of them? Is no on worried that we’re losing a whole generation of kids to autism/ adhd, sever asthma, diabetes, etc? As Stan Lee would say, "’nuff said!"

  15. Linda Gold says:

    For those who are interested, on Saturday's Ring of Fire on Air America (3pm-6pm), Robert Kennedy Jr. will be discussing autism and vaccines and the CDC's connections to big pharma companies. I heard a preview yesterday and highly recommend everyone try to catch the full thing.

  16. Filip Sablik says:

    Great piece, Bob. I've really enjoyed the Chelation Kid and you handle the hand you've been dealt with an incredible amount of grace.