Tell Bruce Springsteen Autism Speaks Doesn't Speak For Us!

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aneeman
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24 Sep 2009, 11:23 am

Hello,

As many of you are aware, Autism Speaks sunk to a new low yesterday - even for them! The "I am Autism" campaign repeats the same tired old lies as the NYU Child Study Center's Ransom Notes ads, which our community successfully stopped in 2007, and goes even further, presenting Autistic people as useless burdens on society, on our families and on the world at large. " “I am autism. I have no interest in right or wrong. I will plot to rob you of your children and your dreams….And if you’re happily married, I will make sure that your marriage fails. Your money will fall into my hands, and I will bankrupt you for my own self-gain,” says the video campaign. Full text is available here. As we did in response to the "Ransom Notes" ads, we are preparing a joint letter from the disability community in response to these horrific statements, which we hope to have available early next week. If you are connected to an organization that might be interested in signing on to such a letter, please e-mail [email protected] immediately.

In addition, we are encouraging people to act immediately by joining ASAN in writing singer Bruce Springsteen, scheduled to participate in an Autism Speaks fundraiser in November, to end his newfound association with this organization that devalues our lives and speaks about us without us. You can contact Springsteen's publicist at [email protected] or by phone at 718-552-7171.

Finally, as we mentioned in our initial press release this morning, ASAN Activists and allies are preparing to confront Autism Speaks fundraising in their own communities. If you would be willing to organize a protest in your community, whether you are a self advocate, family member or other ally, please e-mail us at [email protected]. There has never been a more important time for our community to assert our voice.

Thank you and, as always, Nothing About Us, Without Us!

Regards,
Ari Ne'eman
President
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
http://www.autisticadvocacy.org
[email protected]
732.763.5530


NOTE: ASAN's Portland chapter is preparing a protest of Autism Speaks' walk in Portland will be held this Saturday. To participate, please contact [email protected]. ASAN's Columbus chapter has been granted a permit to protest Autism Speaks' October 11th walk. To participate, please contact [email protected]. More protests are being planned. To plan a protest in your local community, please contact [email protected]



Bozewani
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24 Sep 2009, 1:00 pm

this is my email to that address verbatim

Dear Misters Laverty and Springsteen,



First of all, I would like to state that I have been a big fan of your music for a very long time. However, I am not a fan of your advocacy campaigns with Autism Speaks.



The new campaign intiated by this organization portrays us as, autistics, as incompetant, incapable, worthless and a monumental burden to ourselves, our familieis, our friends, and our communities. Perhaps, you should understand that you never given us a chance to be ourselves, first and foremost, and if being normal means surrendering our personalities and becoming neurotypicals, well good luck, it will not happen.



Let's go down the main points that Autism Speaks is trying to articulate and let me show you have they are fallacies.



1.) No interest in right or wrong?



Let me remind you that Aspies are usually much more concerned with moral ethics then most neurotypcials. We seen hypocrises in your societies on a constant basis based on right and wrong? For example, let's assume invading Iraq was wrong, then why are we still there? If invading Iraq was right, why hasn't the situation improved?



Another hypocrisy states that Autism Speaks speaks of autism and claims to be in the right. Yet, the neurotypicals who exclude autistics from the Board of the organizatiion clearly are the ones who cannot see right or wrong.



2.) Plan to rob your children of their dreams.

Ok, this is a very broad accusation. First of all, I have Asperger's Syndrome and I have won the state of New Jersey in the National Geographic Bee in 2004. I am currently working on a monumental book, May 7 which deals with intense issues in politics, sociology, history and geography.



Spoken from a third person ominscent view, there are many Aspies(what we call ourselves), who have succeeded. Does the names Gary Numan, Vernon Smith and Dan Akryod mean anything to you?



3.) Destroying marriages



Many Aspies are happily married and indeed in many cases Aspie children are usually less demanding then neurotypical children. How? We are not obssessed with the latest toy or fashion trends and not obssesed with fitting in as much.



Secondly, I believe in general, if your marriage is destroyed be an adult and take responsibility for your actions! In the end, you have a choice of how to behave and react, clearly you were in the wrong and paid the consequences. Also, in the future choose your marriage partners more closely and not after a few drinks



4.) Bankrupting parents for self-gain



OK, this is an outrageous claim. How can I possibly countermand this claim? First, of all, raising children, be whomever they are, is not a cheap propsition. You accuse, us aspies of bankrupting you because of our issues. Perhaps our issues arise from the fact you do not accept us for what we are and try to forcibly assimilate us? Perhaps, I don't know?



Bruce, once again, I do not hate you, or your music. I enjoy watching you preform and enjoy listening to your songs and albums. You are an excellent singer-songwriter, however please understand what you are getting yourself into with this demagoguous organization which is full of self-contradictions, lies, half-truths, and orginal research.



Sincerely,

Roman Soiko


Once again, I think it is one of the most powerful things I ever wrote and the emotional intensity and tone of anger and deception and subversion is blatently clear.



zena4
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24 Sep 2009, 1:32 pm

My English is not good enough but I would clearly ask Bruce Springfield how he feels when he performs on stage with his very good friend Neil Young.

(Not saying that Neil Young is some kind of autistic but well... looks a little like sometimes :) )

But for now, since I don't know what Bruce Spreengfield is going to say, I prefer to stay in a good mood about it.
It may be an all of surprise for all!



Last edited by zena4 on 24 Sep 2009, 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cyberscan
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24 Sep 2009, 1:34 pm

I sent the following email:

I am writing to thank Mr. Springsteen for his concern for autistic people and autism. I wish to also make him aware of a few things about the organization with which he recently associated himself. Autism Speaks is an organization which claims to seek to improve the lives of autistic people and their families. This organization does not have any autistic people on any of their policy making panels and have in the past engaged in legal threats against an autistic teenager who made t-shirts disagreeing with Autism Speaks' policies. Autism Speaks makes TV commercials and public statements depicting our lives and those of our families as tragedies. We are also depicted as being burdens on society as well as on our friends and families. Many things Autism Speaks says about us is stereotypical. They may apply to a few of us but by no means the majority.

I am a person diagnosed with autistic disorder which is considered the most severe form of autism, yet I have graduated college, served a brief stint in the military. and am currently the "go to" person for most technical advice in my area. I have worked many different types of jobs in many different fields. I also help my family and have given money to those in need. I receive no public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, or Social Security.

My family does not consider me a waste nor is my life a tragedy. I am not an empty shell but rather a person with dreams, feelings, and ambitions. I also am an elder in my congregation and strive to do and live right. If you want a better idea about us and organizations that truly help us, please visit http://www.nomyths.org.

Thank you for reading this email, William Keeley


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Woodpecker
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24 Sep 2009, 3:26 pm

I think I will drop him a line, and try to tell him what I think


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beau99
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25 Sep 2009, 2:03 am

Uh.

While I don't like Autism Speaks, and do like Bruce Springsteen, I refuse to do this.

Just sayin'...


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polymathpoolplayer
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25 Sep 2009, 9:54 pm

Bozewani wrote:
this is my email to that address verbatim

Dear Misters Laverty and Springsteen,



First of all, I would like to state that I have been a big fan of your music for a very long time. However, I am not a fan of your advocacy campaigns with Autism Speaks.



The new campaign intiated by this organization portrays us as, autistics, as incompetant, incapable, worthless and a monumental burden to ourselves, our familieis, our friends, and our communities. Perhaps, you should understand that you never given us a chance to be ourselves, first and foremost, and if being normal means surrendering our personalities and becoming neurotypicals, well good luck, it will not happen.



Let's go down the main points that Autism Speaks is trying to articulate and let me show you have they are fallacies.



1.) No interest in right or wrong?



Let me remind you that Aspies are usually much more concerned with moral ethics then most neurotypcials. We seen hypocrises in your societies on a constant basis based on right and wrong? For example, let's assume invading Iraq was wrong, then why are we still there? If invading Iraq was right, why hasn't the situation improved?



Another hypocrisy states that Autism Speaks speaks of autism and claims to be in the right. Yet, the neurotypicals who exclude autistics from the Board of the organizatiion clearly are the ones who cannot see right or wrong.



2.) Plan to rob your children of their dreams.

Ok, this is a very broad accusation. First of all, I have Asperger's Syndrome and I have won the state of New Jersey in the National Geographic Bee in 2004. I am currently working on a monumental book, May 7 which deals with intense issues in politics, sociology, history and geography.



Spoken from a third person ominscent view, there are many Aspies(what we call ourselves), who have succeeded. Does the names Gary Numan, Vernon Smith and Dan Akryod mean anything to you?



3.) Destroying marriages



Many Aspies are happily married and indeed in many cases Aspie children are usually less demanding then neurotypical children. How? We are not obssessed with the latest toy or fashion trends and not obssesed with fitting in as much.



Secondly, I believe in general, if your marriage is destroyed be an adult and take responsibility for your actions! In the end, you have a choice of how to behave and react, clearly you were in the wrong and paid the consequences. Also, in the future choose your marriage partners more closely and not after a few drinks



4.) Bankrupting parents for self-gain



OK, this is an outrageous claim. How can I possibly countermand this claim? First, of all, raising children, be whomever they are, is not a cheap propsition. You accuse, us aspies of bankrupting you because of our issues. Perhaps our issues arise from the fact you do not accept us for what we are and try to forcibly assimilate us? Perhaps, I don't know?



Bruce, once again, I do not hate you, or your music. I enjoy watching you preform and enjoy listening to your songs and albums. You are an excellent singer-songwriter, however please understand what you are getting yourself into with this demagoguous organization which is full of self-contradictions, lies, half-truths, and orginal research.



Sincerely,

Roman Soiko


Once again, I think it is one of the most powerful things I ever wrote and the emotional intensity and tone of anger and deception and subversion is blatently clear.


This was a very good letter, however I hope you used spell check first before emailing it.



polymathpoolplayer
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25 Sep 2009, 9:56 pm

cyberscan wrote:
I sent the following email:

I am writing to thank Mr. Springsteen for his concern for autistic people and autism. I wish to also make him aware of a few things about the organization with which he recently associated himself. Autism Speaks is an organization which claims to seek to improve the lives of autistic people and their families. This organization does not have any autistic people on any of their policy making panels and have in the past engaged in legal threats against an autistic teenager who made t-shirts disagreeing with Autism Speaks' policies. Autism Speaks makes TV commercials and public statements depicting our lives and those of our families as tragedies. We are also depicted as being burdens on society as well as on our friends and families. Many things Autism Speaks says about us is stereotypical. They may apply to a few of us but by no means the majority.

I am a person diagnosed with autistic disorder which is considered the most severe form of autism, yet I have graduated college, served a brief stint in the military. and am currently the "go to" person for most technical advice in my area. I have worked many different types of jobs in many different fields. I also help my family and have given money to those in need. I receive no public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, or Social Security.

My family does not consider me a waste nor is my life a tragedy. I am not an empty shell but rather a person with dreams, feelings, and ambitions. I also am an elder in my congregation and strive to do and live right. If you want a better idea about us and organizations that truly help us, please visit http://www.nomyths.org.

Thank you for reading this email, William Keeley

^THIS



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27 Sep 2009, 8:34 am

aneeman wrote:
Full text is available here.

Where? I couldn't find a link to it either here or on ASAN's site.

My second question is do we have any reason to think that Bruce Springsteen does not already know this? From what I can see Autism Speaks does not try to keep it a secret. They claim to speak for autism itself, not autistic people, as though it was caused by some kind of a virus that they are giving a voice to, and on their website being autistic is next to last of possible answers to the question of what is your connection to autism, just before no connection.

Many NT's who don't even have autistic children may actually agree with them. How do we know Bruce Springsteen is not one of them, or what would be the point if he is?


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racooneyes
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27 Sep 2009, 9:24 am

NobelCynic wrote:
My second question is do we have any reason to think that Bruce Springsteen does not already know this?


I've read that Bruce does these things because he cares, big hearted chap and he only does things like this if he believes in them. Their PR department will have got in touch with his booking agent and said 'does Bruce want to do a benefit for autism?', I find it unlikely the PR department would tell them about any of the negatives about their charity. Will the booking agent have done any research into the charity other than looking at their site? Doubt it. Bruce himself would probably only know about it when he looks at his itenerary and see an autism benefit. He's constantly on the road isn't he?

A more pertinent question than the one quoted above would be 'how would Bruce know this without someone telling him?'. He could do the research but we know ourselves that you don't do that unless you, a friend or a family member has or maybe has autism even then there's no guarentee you'll find this site or others like it before the autism speaks site or more like it.

I'm hoping that someone gets a reply at least. Given that there's a couple of months to go hopefully he'll pull out.


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27 Sep 2009, 11:45 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74I5IdzzAPA[/youtube]

other methods of protest


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racooneyes
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27 Sep 2009, 1:14 pm

I just sent mine, sent that video too. If you're going to send a mail make it brief. You may have a lot of great things to say but they'll most likely be read by a secretary who just wants to get through this morning's mail and go for a coffee, the more of these they recieve the more likely they will be to take note. Be polite too.

another possibility that I just remembered is his good buddy and bandmate 'Miami' Steve Van Zandt, also known as Sylvio from the Sopranos. He's very into independant politics and doing the right thing and I'm sure if he knew about this he'd have something to say, he has his own radio show too. If anyone can dredge up his e-mail I'll write him :wink:


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NobelCynic
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27 Sep 2009, 2:03 pm

racooneyes wrote:
I'm hoping that someone gets a reply at least. Given that there's a couple of months to go hopefully he'll pull out.

Me too.

The reason I am asking this is that I have seen some of the replies from Lindt Chocolates about their promotion last Easter and I got the impression that they do support Autism Speaks knowing what they are about. I do not understand why Ari could not have just asked himself rather than asking us to flood his publicist's inbox.

He didn't say where this fundraiser is to be held, but most of Bruce's concerts are held in the Meadowlands which is only a 15 minute drive for me. I would be willing to participate in a protest if I knew that he knew what he was supporting; but I don't know that. I will give it a couple of weeks for someone to post a reply here before asking myself.


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30 Sep 2009, 3:43 pm

I have another question.

aneeman wrote:
we are encouraging people to act immediately by joining ASAN in writing singer Bruce Springsteen, scheduled to participate in an Autism Speaks fundraiser in November

Do we have any information about where and exactly when this fundraiser is to be held. There is nothing on Bruce Springsteen's website about it, which I find rather strange for an event scheduled to take place in a little over a month. There is a five day event starting tonight for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, however, Autism Speaks is not mentioned anywhere on the news page.


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rossc
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17 Sep 2010, 8:34 am

Interesting thread. Must read for all. Especially in light of the Autism Speaks deal brokered with Alex



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07 Oct 2010, 4:46 am

sounds good to me


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