Journal of ISSN: 2373-6445JPCPY

Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry
Research Article
Volume 5 Issue 4 - 2016
Human Errors May Explain Prejudice of Mass Media Against People with Autism
Alen J Salerian*
Department of Neuroscience, Neuroscience Institute, USA
Received: February 09, 2016 | Published: March 05, 2016
*Corresponding author: Alen J Salerian MD, Department of Neuroscience, Neuroscience Institute, USA, Email:
Citation: Salerian AJ (2016) Human Errors May Explain Prejudice of Mass Media against People with Autism. J Psychol Clin Psychiatry 5(4): 00292. DOI: 10.15406/jpcpy.2016.05.00292

Abstract

This study reviews the publications about the Sandy Hook massacre allegedly committed by an autistic man with history of Asperger’s disorder. We systematically reviewed the news about the Sandy Hook massacre. Despite the publicly available scientific evidence consistent with the inaccuracy of the alleged massacre the news media has continued to portray Adam Lanza as the mass murderer of 26 children and 3 adults. The evidence seems to support the need not only to further investigate the alleged Sandy Hook massacre but also to study the mass media’s failure to report the evidence based news about autistic spectrum disorders and the alleged Sandy Hook massacre. Physicians and public health officials should become familiar with mass delusions which promote prejudice against people with psychiatric disorders.

Background

The great majority of Americans -informed by television news and print media - believe Adam Lanza a 20-year old autistic man massacred 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook in Newton Connecticut on December 14, 2012 [1]. According to the news accounts Lanza had killed his mother before driving to the elementary school and committing the massacre, then taking his own life [1].

Since December 14, 2012 several evidence-based publications have offered compelling evidence consistent with the conclusion that Adam Lanza an autistic man and the alleged mass murderer had not killed anyone and the alleged Sandy Hook massacre was a man-made mass delusion [2-4].

Despite the emergence of evidence-based data challenging the scientifically flawed governmental findings of an association between man-made murder and autistic spectrum disorder the media has continued to disseminate prejudicial information about autistic spectrum disorder and the alleged massacre [1].

It is true that a plethora of dramatic articles- in Wikipedia, major newspapers and popular TV programs- have created an unmistakable public opinion of a wrongful association between mass murder and autistic spectrum disorder. It seems that the misinformation has led to the current public view of Adam Lanza: a poster child of “a young autistic mass murderer “.

The aim of this review is to offer evidence of the mass delusion reinforced by the media that “an autistic young man committed the Sandy Hook massacre” and to explore possible human failings that might have contributed to the misinformation campaign.

Method

We reviewed the television news and written publications of the Sandy Hook massacre from December 14, 2012 until January 31, 2016. We reviewed the official final reports of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Results

Final report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission [5] and the final police and press reports [6-10]

  1. Timeline
    1. December 14, 2012: On the morning of December 14, 2012 Adam Lanza killed his mother Nancy Lanza while she slept in her bed. He then drove to Sandy Hope elementary school in Newtown Connecticut where in the space of several minutes he killed 20 children and 6 adult staff members. After killing these persons and as the police were about to enter the school Lanza used a pistol to take his own life.

      At approximately 9:30 Adam Lanza arrives at Sandy Hook Elementary and high school with about 700 students. Principal Hochsprung had installed a new security system that require every visitor to ring the front entrance’s doorbell for admittance. Lanza shoots his way through the entrance.

      Principal Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach step out to the hall to see what is going on and are followed by Vice Principal Natalie Hammond. Hochsprung and Sherlach are killed and Hammond is injured.

      The first 911 calls to police made at approximately 9:30 AM. Police and first responders arrived approximately 5 minutes later.

      Lanza enters the classroom of substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau. Lanza kills 14 children as well as Rousseau and a teacher’s aid.

      He then enters another classroom where he kills 6 children as well as teacher Victoria Soto and a teacher’s aide. Lanza kills himself in the same classroom ending the rampage in less than 11 minutes.

    2. November 23, 2013: State officials released a report closing the investigation into the shooting and confirmed that Adam Lanza had no assistance and was the only shooter.
    3. December 27, 2013: the final report on the investigation into the shooting is released.
    4. March 6th 2015: The final report of the Sandy Hook advisory commission is released.
  2. The victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School:
    1. Allison Wyatt, 6
    2. Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
    3. Avielle Richman, 6
    4. Benjamin Wheeler, 6
    5. Caroline Previdi, 6
    6. Catherine Hubbard, 6
    7. Charlotte Bacon, 6
    8. Chase Kowalski, 7
    9. Daniel Barden, 7
    10. Dylan Hockley, 6
    11. Emily Parker, 6
    12. Grace McDonnell, 7
    13. Jack Pinto, 6
    14. James Mattiloi, 6
    15. Jesse Lewis, 6
    16. Jessica Rekos, 7
    17. Josephine Gay, 7
    18. Madeleine Hsu, 6
    19. Noah Pozner, 6
    20. OlIvia Engle, 6
    21. Mary Sherlach, 56 psychologist
    22. Lauren Rousseau, 30 (teacher)

The feeble scientific validity of the official reports

  1. Adam Lanza died on12/13/2012 the day before the alleged massacre according to the Social Security Death Index (New Hampshire) [2].
  2. The Social Security, the FBI and the estate of Connecticut records indicate no one died on 12/14/ 2012 in Newtown Connecticut [2].
  3. No supporting postmortem examination evidence [5].
  4. Official records indicate the school was closed on that day and have been closed for several years [2].
  5. The day before the alleged massacre two independent sources published news and images of the massacre [2].
  6. Gov. Malloy admitted to his advanced knowledge of the alleged massacre during the press conference on December 14, 2012 [1].

The Medical Observations and the Mathematical Odds of Adam Lanza Being A Mass Murderer: 1 in 33 million

The incidence of someone with

  1. Autism spectrum disorder: 0.6 %
  2. And violence: 0.6% . 0.5%= 0.3 %
  3. And a valid autopsy performed by someone performing 7 autopsies in 8 hours (educated guess )= 0.3% . 10%=0.03%
  4. And a non expert shooter killing 26 people wounding one (educated guess ) = 0.03% . 10%=0.003%
  5. And not having any bloodstain on him = 0.003 % . 10 % = 0.0003 % .
  6. And no known mass murderer with diagnoses of ASD: 0.0003% .1%= 0.000003 %= 1 IN 33 MILLION

Questionable validity of mass media reports and popular books disseminated with altered photographs of Lanza Soto and Parker

Since December 14, 2012 major television news and newspapers published photographs of Adam Lanza the alleged killer, Victoria Soto a teacher who was killed and Bobbi Parker whose daughter was also allegedly killed by Lanza.

Almost always the pictures enhanced the deep pain associated with the alleged murders reinforcing the dangerousness of the perpetrator: an autistic mass murderer.

The following Figures [1-5] reveal transparent alterations of those crucial photos.

Figure 1: Fake Adam Lanza. Adam is the third from right. Photo engineering is revealed by observing the anatomical inconsistencies. The two fellows on left are captured with their right legs crossed over. An imaginary line from chin to pubic suggests artificially broadened asymmetrical chest of the second kid from left.

Figure 2: Lanza photo diagram (drawn by Salerian from the original photo with special coloring) revealing evidence of photo engineering. Chest measurement of #1 (AB =4.5cm) versus#2 (BC= 6.5cm) consistent artificial enlargement.

Figure 3: Lanza photo diagram (drawn by Salerian from the original photo with colors) with evidence of photo engineering. Study the 2 boys crossing their right legs. #2 in the center is missing his right arm and hand which is expected to be on right knee ( xx). There are fingers on the right shoulders of # 1. Because of the shoulder position of number 2, this is not his. Also watch @2’s left leg. It's chopped off. Lanza is the tall red figure on the right.

Figure 4: Study left hand fingers of the middle child, impossible shapes, thumb disconnected.

Figure 5: Sandy Hook Elementary.

Conspicuous omission of dramatic stories of deception by mass media

The evidence based documentation of “No One Died In Sandy Hook” revealed that crisis actors with well-established records have been impersonating as parents of the alleged Sandy Hook victims 2 (Figure 6-8). Most notably, David Wheeler who played the leading role in Faithful (2001) a Hollywood movie has appeared on popular television shows as the father of Benjamin Wheeler (Figure 6-8). Mr. Wheeler’s fakery was not only shown in the Internet but managed to get international attention (Figure 7) [4-13].

Figure 6: French press circulated a story of the true identity of David Wheeler -a man pretending to be the father of a child victim and receiving large amount of cash donations-as an accomplished Hollywood actor who had the lead role in “Faithful”.

Figure 7: Mr. Wheeler in Faithful (below) and with Pres. Obama.

Figure 8: Hollywood actors pretending to be the grieving parents of Benjamin Wheeler.

Discussion

After the major flaws of the government’s final report were published the mass media has failed to correct the prejudicial and inaccurate information about Adam Lanza, autism and the alleged. Even the publication of “No One Died In Sandy Hook” and its subsequent ban by Amazon did not prompt any serious inquiry into the scientific inconsistencies of the final report.

Dismissal and silence have prevailed. The silence was obvious and baffling. The authors of the banned book included seven university professors. Furthermore the silence seemed in contrast with the heavy Internet traffic disseminating the scientific discoveries.

The transparency of some of the photographic abnormalities instantly eliminated the need for expert opinion. Anyone with an open mind could easily see that Parker, Soto, Lanza photos were fake. Anyone could watch the interview by Dr. Wayne H Carver and also realize his lack of authenticity. His claim of having completed seven autopsies in eight hours was to question the integrity of the investigation.

Perhaps all the credible faces and names of trustworthy civil servants and as importantly the signatures of 5 distinguished leaders of American psychiatry supporting the official findings have some influence on the mass media.

Of significance it is important to emphasize the big picture of mass deception and its consistent dismissal by the media. It is possible to disregard each evidence of fakery as insignificant. However the collective evidence based upon all the individual pieces left no uncertainty about the twin realities: Sandy Hook is a man-made mass delusion and it’s denial is pervasive.

Denial is a well-established influence in preventing intelligent people not to see and face imminent danger, pain or death. Dr. Kubler Ross eloquently described the five stages of death which began with denial [14]. Of many tragic examples of mass denial was the observation during the days before the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki [15]. After Hiroshima the US planes dropped off thousands of pamphlets warning the residents of the upcoming bomb and urging them to flee. No one left. A popular rumor which helped the collective denial was the rumor that Nagasaki would never be bombed because of the number of relatives living in America.

Perhaps it was the thought the impossibility of the president of the United States and the governor of Connecticut participating in a major hoax to terrorize the nation-that contributed to the collective denial and the paralysis by the media. The end result was simple. The mass media believed and disseminated prejudicial inaccurate information about an autistic man massacring 20 children and 3 adults in Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012.

Conclusion

Physicians and public health officials should become familiar with mass delusions which promote prejudice against people with autism and psychiatric disorders. Equally important is the observation that psychological denial and human vulnerabilities of newsmen may influence the reinforcement and dissemination of mass delusions.

References

  1. (2012) CNN News.
  2. Fetzer J, Palacek M (2016) No One Died In Sandy Hook.
  3. Salerian AJ (2016) An epidemic of man-made mass delusions. Journal of Psychology And Clinical Psychiatry 5(1): 00250.
  4. (2012) Press conference of Wayne Carver on 12/ 15, 2012. CNN news.
  5. (2015) Connecticut office of the child advocate Shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School: the Adam Lanza report.
  6. (2014) Tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary by New York Times, Kindle edition 2014.
  7. Lysiak M (2013) Newtown: an American tragedy. Kindle edition.
  8. Powell C (2012) Cindy Luke slaughter: the Newtown shooting and massacring Connecticut. Kindle edition.
  9. Giles D (2013) Sandy Hook massacre Kindle edition.
  10. Owings L (2014) Newtown school shooting Kindle edition.
  11. (2015) Final Report of Sandy Hook Advisory Commission to Gov. Malloy.
  12. State police investigative files regarding shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and 36 Yogananda street.
  13. (2013) Sandy Hook final report. Office of the state's attorney judicial District of Danbury. Stephen J Sedensky the state's attorney.
  14. Kubler-Ross E (1967) On death and dying, Scribner.
  15. Lifton R J (1967) Death in lifeSimon & Schuster.
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