Sunday, December 9, 2007

Drooooopy Vs. Amanda Baggs

I stumbled across Amanda Baggs quite a number of years ago when I first started suspecting that The Old Man had a scorching case of Asperger's.

Now Amanda was generally comforting in a way because I would tell her about some particularly troubling habit my father has and, generally, she would top it with some story from her own background that was even WORSE.

Of course then along came "In My Language" and CNN's discovery of Amanda, so, like any good blogger who follows autism topics from time to time, I started setting up RSS feeds to see what might come up on "Amanda Baggs".

Well, as initially shocking as it may seem, Amanda has detractors. Apparently some of them are so convinced that Amanda is in some way up to no good that lawsuits have been flying.

If I understand it correctly, one of the main assertions is that Amanda has somehow deliberately copied key elements of the persona and life story of a certain YouTube user called Drooooopy.

Yes, there does seem to be a certain surface similarity - apparently up to and including the model of the speech synthesis unit they both prefer to use. What of course was a little frightening to me as I was looking through Drooooopy's videos is that MY OWN "tics" in many ways are even more reminiscent of Drooooopy than they are Amanda.

Now, there's someone else out there I'm beginning to grow suspicious of due to there being SO many places where he has posted over and over and over again something to the effect, "Look, I have dealt with Low Functioning Autism day after day for over a decade and because Amanda does X and the other person with Autism does Y, Amanda couldn't possibly be autistic."

Of course just about everyone who has had any experience with the condition can tell you how TREMENDOUSLY heterogeneous it is.

Take for instance Amanda and Drooooopy vs. The Old Man. Amanda and Drooooopy both make YouTube videos. Amanda makes appearances on CNN, British television stations and also, if I understand it correctly, speaks frequently at autism spectrum conferences. It also sounds like Drooooopy, under the right circumstances, would be willing to do similar things.

The Old Man is so paranoid he wouldn't even get an account on Tri-State Online years ago because he was afraid to sign the "indemnify and hold harmless" clause of the user agreement. On many, many occasions I've told him some TV coverage might be helpful with some situation he is facing, but he really, really, really doesn't want to be in the public eye in any way, shape, or form.

Does this take away from the fact that he can't take loud sounds, has to do exactly the same things at the exact same time of day, eat exactly the same foods, wear special clothes that he doesn't find irritating and a good half dozen other "tics" common among many others on the autism spectrum? I don't think so.

But probably the most interesting of the "anti-Amanda" traffic is the attempt to analyze her early web postings. Yes, it's pretty clear she's gotten a number of different diagnoses over the years. But, then again, so did John Elder Robison.

As a matter of fact, if Amanda's actual SYMPTOMS have drifted considerably over the years, I, for one, would be even MORE fascinated as everyone in my family has noted a steady deterioration of The Old Man's functional level over the years.

Why, as a matter of fact, should the theory be off the table that there is such a thing as adult-onset autism?

Thimerosal has been used in vaccines since the 1930's, and yet the explosion of autism cases has not taken place until the last 20 years or so.

Presuming for a moment some OTHER environmental factors in place over the last couple of decades, is it not possible that similar damage could be done to an ADULT brain as is done to the brains of younger children with autism?

Yes, as some of the people seem to point out at the conferences Amanda attends, there are things about her case that are different from other autism cases. Then again, all autism cases are different.

Does her case follow closely that of any specific person who is currently an autistic child? Maybe not.

Is Amanda simply some sort neurotypical actress ala LonelyGirl15 with some entirely different form of mental malfunction? Well, maybe, but somehow I don't think so ...

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At December 9, 2007 at 6:41 PM, Blogger Foresam said...

Amanda Baggs has lied about her autism by claiming she was autistic as a child. She wasn't.

She was a normal person until after she used LSD and a friend called 911 to have her committed when it was learned she was suicidal at about age 15.

I don't doubt she has brain damage but she is not autistic.

At December 9, 2007 at 7:50 PM, Blogger Axinar said...

Well, just so we have this all documented properly ...

What sources do you have that point towards an adult-onset autism diagnosis?

Similarly, what information do you have that would classify her as a "normal person" at any point?

At December 12, 2007 at 9:19 PM, Anonymous conspiracynut said...

Mercury is used as a preservative in vaccines. Google up health effects and mercury.

i don't particularly give a fuck when Amanda's autism set in; i do particularly think anyone who'd call her a bad person, based on when they think this happened is, quite frankly, a jackass.

i admire your courage and strength, Amanda. Thank you for sharing yourself with me, regardless of when you were actually officially autistic. You rock.

At December 12, 2007 at 10:07 PM, Blogger Axinar said...

"Thank you for sharing yourself with me ..."

Don't you think you should ... rephrase that?? :)

At February 11, 2008 at 8:37 PM, Anonymous muskie said...

Unfortunately I know exactly what is going on here, and it's disgusting.

I'm a friend of Amanda. I've known her a long time. I know her family. I know her childhood friends. I am one of the very few people who she has trusted to see her medical records. And regrettably I know something about the people who are engaged in a bullying campaign.

There are two -- maybe three-- groups involved in all this, who've made some kind of an unholy alliance. There's "Droopy", a woman who has floated in and out of the autistic community over the years. I don't know, or care to speculate, whether she is "really" autistic, nor do I care to speculate as to whether she is "imitating" anyone. I do know she is both vicious and paranoid, and has a long track record of accusing other autistics of "imitating" her. That is, when she isn't attacking their self-esteem by telling them they're not autistic, just miserable failures. She surfaces for a while, eventually people figure her out, she's banned far and wide, she disappears until a new crop of people who don't know her are circulating, and it's rinse, and repeat.

The second crowd is the crowd of people who are associated with John Best, someone at the lunatic fringe of the autistic parents' community. All you need to really know about John Best can be discerned from this choice quote from him concerning Lenny Schafer of the Schafer Autism Report: "I can see Lenny naked, on his knees, his tongue carressing Autism Diva's fat ass while Amanda Baggs is bum blasting him with a strap on dildo. I can picture Kevin Leitch and Kathleen Seidel sipping margaritas and laughing. I'll bet they enjoyed this immensely."

The third group of people is a group of bullies who ganged up on her in college. One of them, who has claimed to have psychosis herself, has a grudge against her family after she lost a frivolous lawsuit against her brother-- he bought groceries using their joint bank account so she sued him for larceny. She and the others are in fact mentioned in some of Amanda's earliest medical records, and Amanda was advised to avoid any dealings with them. Why? Their favorite form of tormenting her was to try to persuade her she was crazy.

When I first met her, she nonetheless still dealt with this crowd, not realizing that they were mocking and playing games with her. One of them now claiming she was always normal until she had a recent psychotic break was at that time hosting her first autism website on his server. When I saw how they treated her, I was horrified, and slowly got her to see that they were no friends of hers and to break off contact.

Despite her making it clear she had enough of them, or perhaps because, one of them made a habit of posting her writing and other writing from without permission around the net. As webmaster of I spent a few wasted hours over the years getting our work and Amanda's writing off sites affected by that little campaign, such as

Funny, as they were first hosting her site (and playing with her mind), then spamming's writings onto other sites without permission, they didn't even breathe a word about her not really being autistic. Only after she started to become well-known and increasingly successful did they suddenly remember she was "normal" after all.

Oh, what they also don't mention as they cite their supposed ability to have diagnosed her years ago, is that at the time they claim to have made this expert diagnosis of her as not autistic, they were teenagers.

As I mentioned above, I'm one of the few she has trusted to see her medical records. Contrary to all the crap being spread about her, she was clearly an unusual child. She was first diagnosed in grade school or thereabouts with CNS-NOS, and a likely seizure disorder, well before the crowd of bullies who insist she was normal ever knew her. A few years later she was diagnosed with PDD-NOS.

A while later her insurance company was pushing to have her placed in a state institution (as an autism spectrum diagnosis was "untreatable"). It was at that point her parents in desperation found a questionable doctor willing to diagnose her "schizophrenic". Amanda hadn't ever been told about her autism diagnosis, but she was told -- nay, encouraged -- to think of herself as schizophrenic. When the dubious doctor's treatment facility was closed by the state, she returned to more competent hands and a reinstated diagnosis of autism.

Every bit of this documentation has been backed by the words of her friends and family.

Her slanderers haven't a leg to stand on. And I am very angry, absolutely livid, that they are doing this to her.

At February 13, 2008 at 7:47 PM, Blogger muskie said...

Unfortunately one of Amanda's would-be tormentors is being allowed to misrepresent herself as a professional psychologist and former friend on the Autism Speaks bulletin board, while infomation about who the tormentor really is has been deleted.

If you will tolerate me, I'd like to repost here my deleted post about who "Ophelia" really is:

Her original name was Liza Lionetti. She is the very angry ex- of Amanda's brother Jeremy, and author of
countless Usenet posts on as "Ophelia", a person claiming to have multiple
personality disorder (google away). She has in fact now legally changed her name to Ophelia, which she
says is the name of one of her "alters."

Very little of what she has so enthusiastically posted about Amanda and her family is factual. In fact
quite a bit of what she claims she knows would have occurred before she ever met the Baggs',
and some of it before she was even born. One of her false claims, that Amanda was the youngest person to that
date to attend Simon's Rock, is easily fact-checked. The youngest student to date was Alex Plotnick.
Liza/Ophelia should know, she dated the guy for a while.

Liza/Ophelia did not know Amanda well, and contrary to her claims elsewhere, never lived with Amanda
at her parents' house. The three months Liza lived with Jeremy at Amanda's parent's home, Amanda
was in an institution. The low point of her relationship with the Baggs' family came, when she and Jeremy
were living together in Massachusetts. She sued Jeremy for larceny for using their joint bank account to buy groceries.
She lost. She's been furious at the family ever since.

Unlike Liza/Ophelia, I have seen Amanda's medical records. She and the two other individuals involved in these
recent attacks on Amanda do play a bit part in them. They're among the people Amanda was, shortly after her
return from Simon's Rock, advised to have nothing to do with. It seems, according to the psychiatrist who
examined her (and diagnosed her with PDD-NOS), these teens were bullying Amanda by trying
to convince her she was crazy.

That may be why one Liza Lionetti's entry scrawled in ballpoint pen in Amanda's yearbook reads
"you share my psychosis!"

I could go on and on, sharing even more about the little crowd of school bullies who've resurfaced
after all these years, but for a number of reasons I can't talk about all of what I know yet. I think,
however, I've given you enough for the moment to consider when deciding whether "Ophelia" is a
credible witness.

At March 22, 2009 at 12:42 PM, Blogger Droopy said...

"Muskie" is Baggs' next door neighbor and alleged 'lesbian lover' for whom Baggs moved across country in order to start her new life as a severely Autistic' demented replica of me

Funny, I was "Autistic enough" all those years when I sat on various IRC "Autism" related chats with her listening while"Muskie" recounted her then ongoing waging war with her counselor at the time to try to coax/coerce her then counselor at the time to give her the prized Asperger" Dx she sought (as an 'upgrade' from the Borderline Personality which he had aptly diagnosed her ("Muskie" has since taken liberty to call herself PDD-NOS") since then)
I was "Autistic enough" when "Muskie" here as an IRC OP (having access to all messages private and others) on the irc chat server they had at sat gleaning and saving logs and in deep private conversation to share with Baggs later

and I was "Autistic enough" for "Muskie" to have taken liberty several years after I'd written it, to illegally copyright a work of mine without my permission:

Rather than fight "Muskie" over it, instead, through a mutual contact at the time I foolishly conceded to allow for "Muskie" to apply the simple note of recognition of it in fact being MY work at the bottom (if I'd only known then what stage I was setting myself up for with this agreeable move).
Apparently this was taken as the go ahead signal/indicator for "Muskie" and Baggs that I was easy prey.

At August 18, 2009 at 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shelley, stop pressing your fantasy and your paranoia on others. Your lies hurt no one but you.


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