A Silent Withdrawal · 2007-01-23 15:32

Significant Misrepresentations
Mark Geier, David Geier & the Evolution of the Lupron Protocol
(Part Thirteen) • Related articles

The following is the text of a letter I sent this morning to Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld, Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Autoimmunity Reviews.

22 January 2007

Dear Dr. Shoenfeld,

Two months ago, I sent an email to you and to members of the Editorial Board of Autoimmunity Reviews, expressing my concerns about Mark and David Geier’s paper, The biochemical basis and treatment of autism: Interactions between mercury, transsulfuration, and androgens, an uncorrected proof of which had been published on October 27, 2006. Several days later, I sent a paper copy of the letter via U.S. Priority Mail to your address at Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Department of Medicine B, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer 52621 Israel.

Shortly before I sent my letter, I noticed that the Geier & Geier paper had been removed without explanation from the index of “in-press” papers on the Autoimmunity Reviews website. Although it is certainly appropriate to withdraw it from publication, the questions it raises persist.

In my letter, I addressed Dr. and Mr. Geier’s inadequate disclosure of conflicts of interest, inappropriate brand promotion, inadequate ethical review, excessive self-reference and reliance on suspect sources, misrepresentation of other researchers’ work, misrepresentation of research-related risks, and inadequate case documentation. I also asked whether Autoimmunity Reviews Co-Editor-in-Chief Dr. M. Eric Gershwin played any part in approving for publication this article — which lacks any assurance that the research described in it conforms to internationally-accepted standards for the protection of human research subjects — since he and Dr. Geier both serve as expert witnesses to plaintiffs in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding.

I have received no indication that my original email to you bounced. However, to date, I have not received any acknowledgement that it was received either by you or any member of your staff. Further, the paper copy of my letter was returned to me yesterday unopened. The “Reason for Non-Delivery” sticker affixed to the face of the envelope indicates that you are “Unknown” at the address to which I had sent it. It is my understanding, however, that you are still on the faculty of Sheba Medical Center; for instance, it is the affiliation indicated on the entry for your ongoing clinical trial on autobodies screening in multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, and also on the list of presenters for the 18th Israeli Medical Association World Fellowship International Conference to be held in April 2007.

In the event that my original email did not find its way to you, I have appended the text below. I hope that the questions I have raised are of interest to you and your colleagues. I will add to those questions a new one. The Sunday Times of London recently published an official accounting of payments made by the Legal Services Corporation to various experts involved in the now-terminated MMR litigation. Among the names on this list are Dr. Mark Geier and a “Dr. Schoenfeld.” Is “Dr. Schoenfeld” you?

I look forward to your reply.


Kathleen Seidel
neurodiversity.com | honoring the variety of human wiring

After sending this letter to Dr. Shoenfeld, I revisited the Autoimmunity Reviews index of in-press articles, and found that the listing for The biochemical basis and treatment of autism: Interactions between mercury, transsulfuration, and androgens had been recently restored — with the title now preceded by the word RETRACTED in capital letters. On the article’s information page, the original abstract was replaced by the statement, “This article has been retracted consistent with Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal.” The article itself — still available for purchase from Elsevier — features the word RETRACTED in bold red capitals superimposed diagonally over the text.

The journal’s reasons for retracting the article remain unspecified. However, the Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal states that an article can only be retracted under exceptional circumstances, such as “infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like.”


  1. “infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like.”

    You think that’s it? Nah.

    Good work Kathleen ;-)

    Joseph    2007-01-23 17:22    #

  2. Your hard work has paid off and many people are benefitting from it. Thank you.

    Bartholomew Cubbins    2007-01-23 17:58    #

  3. Kathleen…

    You are, as always, amazing. You show what information science really is about.

    Well done!

    The end result with that paper is a totally appropriate one: should never have been published.

    — David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction)    2007-01-23 18:41    #

  4. Oh, what a shame. Those nice Geier boys are just trying to help autistic children and something always goes wrong.

    — Not Mercury    2007-01-23 19:18    #

  5. Do you suppose this goes as a smudge against their otherwise STERLING reputations, and will it become harder for a certain father and son to continue to crank out crankpot papers? I hope so. I hope their names are mud with all the Elsevier journals, at least.

    — geieronymous lex    2007-01-23 21:23    #

  6. Finally! This should have happened to them long ago. I hope it has an emasculating effect, so to speak.

    — Lisa    2007-01-23 21:33    #

  7. Well done and thank you Kathleen.

    Kev    2007-01-24 07:05    #

  8. Fantastic, Kath! Read it and weep, curebies – especially a certain JBJnr! :)

    — Phil    2007-01-25 04:03    #

  9. You’ve done an amazing job on this. There’s no telling how much harm your work has prevented. Sure would be nice if the editor at least had the courtesy to respond …

    — qchan63    2007-01-25 14:47    #

  10. Have you ever talked with any of his patient’s parents? Probably not. I have.

    — MarkS    2007-01-26 01:22    #

  11. Good job exposing the Geier charlatans for what they are!

    — ID Man    2007-01-26 09:24    #

  12. So. . . what’s your point MarkS? Let’s not do the hit and run thing!

    — Tom B.    2007-01-26 15:10    #

  13. MarkS – have you ever talked to the patients getting the Lupron protocol to see what THEIR view is on the subject?

    — anonimouse    2007-01-28 00:51    #

  14. “MarkS – have you ever talked to the patients getting the Lupron protocol to see what THEIR view is on the subject?”

    Probably not.

    — David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction)    2007-01-28 12:32    #

  15. MarkS is an abbreviation for Mark’s son, David.

    Mike Stanton    2007-01-28 20:24    #

  16. Actually, Mike, that’s unlikely, given the IP address.

    To answer MarkS’s question (sorry so belatedly) — no, I have not yet had an opportunity to talk directly to any of Dr. and Mr. Geier’s patients’ parents. I look forward to the opportunity to do so. However, I cannot imagine that any testimonial could persuade me to feel that the way Dr. and Mr. Geier have been conducting their research into the use of Lupron is acceptable.

    Kathleen Seidel    2007-01-29 08:05    #

  17. Talking to the parent’s of those abused children a/k/a Geier’s patients, will do no good. Sadly, those parents are so heavily invested with fixing their “defective” children than nothing short of Lizzie Borden’s axe can get through.

    That is what makes it so tragic.

    — TheProbe    2007-02-03 14:37    #

  18. Fantastic job, Kathleen. It wasn’t a “silent” withdrawal though. The word “RETRACTED” speaks volumes!

    — Clay    2007-02-09 19:58    #

  19. It is also interesting that the retracted article in question has actually been cited by another paper:

    Spironolactone might be a desirable immunologic and hormonal intervention in autism spectrum disorders • ARTICLE
    Medical Hypotheses, Volume 68, Issue 5, 2007, Pages 979-987
    James Jeffrey Bradstreet, Scott Smith, Doreen Granpeesheh, Jane M. El-Dahr and Daniel Rossignol

    (see article information page).

    — Jay    2007-02-28 13:22    #

  20. Getting something published in Medical Hypotheses is an almost sure sign that the idea has no merit.

    A quick visit by their “instructions to authors” section will reveal that they:

    [1] Don’t believe in peer review.

    [2] Don’t question the material presented.

    [3] Charge by the word.

    Personally, I’d be embarrassed to have something published in that “journal”, as it is widely held to be the last refuge of cranks, quacks and loons.

    What a shame.

    I wonder if there is any point to getting MR Geier’s Nature (1971) and Virology (1972) papers on growing lambda phage in human fibroblasts retracted. Nobody was able to replicate those findings, either.


    Prometheus    2007-03-06 20:12    #

  21. Prometheus,

    I wouldn’t bother. Deconstructing a Mark Geier paper isn’t even good sport anymore. It really is the scientific equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.

    — anonimouse    2007-03-14 10:12    #

  22. I was delighted to find this in the British Medical Journal today:


    I wonder what this will kick loose?

    Catherina    2007-03-30 05:05    #

  23. Catherina, thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. I’ve just published a new blog post in its honor.

    Kathleen Seidel    2007-03-30 12:15    #

  24. Brian Deer has made the full text of the retracted article available on his website.

    Kathleen Seidel    2007-03-30 12:23    #