After Articles Expose Anti-Vax Leader, He Attacks Autistic Child

After Articles Expose Anti-Vax Leader, He Attacks Autistic Child March 11, 2019
Larry Cook Facebook

After writing several articles exposing Larry Cook’s harmful group Stop Mandatory Vaccinations last week, Cook decided to aim at my autistic son. Instead of refuting the allegations I laid out in my articles, Cook tried to hit me right below the knees and accused me of causing my son’s autism with vaccinations. His group of minions responded in typical fashion with name-calling, insults, and gave applause to their guru for insulting a child with Autism.

In his group, Larry shared my article “Ethan Lindenberger’s Mother Admits They Aren’t Speaking.” Larry wasn’t angry about the content of the article but took issue with the fact that I used his photo. Sadly, Larry doesn’t realize that anyone can use photos posted publically on Facebook.

Per Facebook’s Statements of Rights and Responsibilities, “When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).”

None of that mattered to Larry; he used the photo as an opportunity to bash my son and me. In the update he shared in his group, Larry wrote,

“Oh, ain’t that sweet – Katie Joy grabbed my photo for her trash talk story. Well, now I know why Katie hates anti-vaxxers: her child has autism. She’s turned to yellow journalism to feed her anger. Face it Katie, we probably know what happened to your child and that pisses you off to no end.”

After he shared his views about me, the group swarmed to defend Larry and trash me.

None of these behaviors surprises me as a writer. I’ve been hit with many insults over the years. However, the fact that he went after my child speaks to Larry’s inability to refute any of the claims I made in my articles.

My articles have outlined his exploitation of the group by soliciting them for donations, selling his books, promoting his seminars, and shilling his supplements. By Larry’s admission, he targeted women ages 22-55 in all of his Facebook ads. His choice to target women shows that he is only interested in manipulating, persuading, and scamming mothers that want to do the best for their children.

Here is a screenshot of Larry’s recent advertising campaign on Facebook. His target audience was ONLY women.

Not only have I pointed out his strategy to manipulate women, but I’ve also discussed how he uses images of babies and falsely associates their deaths with vaccines. His recent campaign is an example of the tactics he uses to elicit fear and panic in people about immunizations.

Another article I wrote titled, “Anti-Vaccine Facebook Group Spreads Propaganda about Measles,” outlined a video that Larry made about the measles. In the video, two naturopaths wrongly state that the measles is a benign childhood illness. The “doctors” minimize the side effects and assert that recovery from the virus is as simple as laying in bed for a week.

When Larry shared the video with the group he wrote the following:

Larry also started a GoFundMe campaign in the middle of the Washington measles outbreak to “help families” affected by the measles. But he changed the campaign days later to raise money to stop ‘mandatory vaccinations’ across the country.

Last week Facebook announced changes to the platform regarding vaccine misinformation. Facebook stated they would no longer allow pages to promote vaccine conspiracies. Larry has used the boost feature on posts for years. By advertising misleading articles, Larry has managed to grow his page and group to over 100,000 people each.

Now that Larry has lost his cash cow and ability to promote, he’s choosing to lash out at me. Not once has he refuted or contacted me to retract the information I have posted. I have been able to back-up all my claims through screenshots and Larry’s words.

Because he can’t deny anything that I’ve written, he needs to go after my character and child. His behavior is not indicative of a man that is innocent of wrongdoing. Larry is gaslighting and moving the goalposts to prevent his followers from learning the truth.

Larry utilizes strategies consistent with most cult leaders by fostering a “us vs. them” mentality. To create loyalty within his group, Larry needs to devalue the outsider. He trashes my position because it enables him to reinforce the beliefs of the group. Within the group, Larry avoids dissent and blocks or bans people that speak out against him.

By changing the subject from my article topic to my motivations, Larry reinforces his ego and stature within the group. He views me as an outsider that is attacking the group. My articles are a threat to him and his mission to control people. By devaluing and minimizing me, Larry can detract the group from the content within the articles.

He shared the article because he knew that the report was circulating on Facebook. By posting the article, he controls the message and influences people before they have a chance to read the content.

Larry doesn’t know what fuels my advocacy for vaccinations nor does he know if I’m angry about my son’s autism. Instead, Larry plants that idea into the minds of his group. Therefore, I am discredited as a writer because I am the vindictive, angry, and an irrational mother. Through this strategy, anything written by me about Larry should be viewed as invalid and a smear campaign against him by the group.

If Larry wants to know why I advocate for vaccines or work to expose charlatans like him, all he has to do is ask me. However, he’s never reached out to me through any of my MANY social media platforms.

Larry can make me the bad guy all he wants. He can turn me into an angry and irrational woman. I’m fine with all of that, and none of his words will change what I write about him.

For the record, I’m not angry that my son is autistic. My son is pretty amazing, and I’m lucky to be his mother.

Watch my Video response to Larry:

*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • igotbanned999

    I believe you meant ability, not inability.

  • Jennny

    I’m so sorry that this vile man and others like him have abused you in this way. It’s easy for me to say ‘Keep up the good work,’ but no one knows the enormity of the stresses and strains of caring for a disabled child unless they have been through it…what a disgusting inhuman monster he is.

  • Tawreos

    It really is too bad that people don’t stop to wonder why the messenger is being attacked instead of the message.

  • Raging Bee

    This is the anti-vax movement losing credibility and mainstream support: as people who sincerely believed they were doing the right thing realize they were wrong and start buggering off, the movement ends up being led by the people who never cared about anyone’s welfare, or about facts or truth, and who have no scruples, self-discipline or incentive to behave at all decently. Expect more of this, and quite possibly worse, as the movement becomes a racket.

  • Delta

    “natural treatments, natural immunity, and […] naturally acquiring the measles.”

    Does Mr. Cook know that adding “natural” or “naturally” in front of every single word of his claims doesn’t make it any closer to the truth, or what he’s advocating any safer?

  • Raging Bee

    He’ll use “quantum” instead, if it gets popular enough…

  • Raging Bee

    “Katie Joy grabbed my photo for her trash talk story,” says the guy who posed for the photo with someone else whose trash talk story he wanted to tell.

    What a jucking foke.

  • Lisa Cybergirl

    These types NEVER actually talk with an autistic person and ask about their experience. As far as they’re concerned, autistic people are just plain RUINED. It’s disrespectful.

  • Brian Westley

    Nah, that’s Deepak Chopra’s territory…

  • se habla espol

    The anti-vax industry has been a racket for many, many years.

  • Joe_Buddha

    As Alan Dershowitz once said, “If the facts are on your side, Dershowitz says, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.” I’m just glad that he’s reduced to pounding the table.

  • guerillasurgeon

    So measles is benign? I bet none of those bastards have ever had it. I’ve had it, and it’s not that fucking benign. I’ve got a friend who’s mostly deaf because of measles. And I spent at least a week feeling utterly bloody miserable.

  • Nomad

    Let’s see how far that works. “Naturally dying from measles.” Nope, that still doesn’t sound very nice.

  • Nomad

    Face it Katie, we probably know what happened to your child and that pisses you off to no end.

    Why am I instantly reminded of all the times I’ve been told by Evangelical Christians that I really do believe in God after all and just say that I’m an atheist because I hate him?

  • WallofSleep

    So if I get “natural” cancer from “naturally” occurring radiation, that means I get super powers instead of getting dead, right? /s

  • WallofSleep

    “… Cook tried to hit me right below the knees and accused me of causing my son’s autism with vaccinations. His group of minions responded in typical fashion with name-calling, insults, and gave applause to their guru for insulting a child with Autism.”

    Oh ho ho, this motherfucker. It would be unwise to type what I’m currently thinking on the internet, so I’ll simply go with an animated gif…

  • BridgetD

    Fuck them with a saguaro. They only wish they were this cool.

  • BridgetD

    I’ve never had measles (yay for MMR!), but I’ve read enough about it to know that it sure as hell is NOT benign.

  • BridgetD

    Probably a smart move. I’m usually a pacifist, but I don’t stand for this kind of shit.

  • WallofSleep

    I eschew violence, but it would be a mistake for anyone to assume that means I’m a pacifist. Not even remotely. I just prefer to avoid violence when it is wise to do so, and it is almost always wise to do so.

    Not judging you, BTW, for being a pacifist. It is a valid philosophy, and one I’ve come to respect greatly. It’s just not one I personally adhere to.

  • al kimeea

    my parents were quite worried as I was deliriously feverish & I seem to remember a tub of ice water… I was 3 or 4

  • Matt Flannery

    “damaged” and they will say it to their own kids

  • cecilia

    I think we can all agree that Cook is a giant piece of fetid shit

  • Andrew Lazarus

    Maybe he should roll in some natural poison ivy.

    We already know what natural measles does. It kills about 400 per year.

  • shay simmons

    Upvote for the poison ivy suggestion but I think you’ve low balled the measles mortality.

  • Andrew Lazarus

    Of course, I meant USA only. And that’s about what we averaged, maybe closer to 500. Those years had some huge birth cohorts, too.

  • Jim Jones

    Deadly nightshade is natural.

    So is cobra venom.

  • Wow. Wow. What a forking d-bag. I hope he gets all the vaccine preventable diseases. At the same time.