A look at the financials for Generation Rescue and the Strategic Autism Initiative
Posted Feb 15 2013 9:15am
Generation Rescue is a well known charity with a focus on alternative therapies for autism and promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism. The Strategic Autism Initiative was formed by Andrew Wakefield after he left Thoughtful House (now the Johnson Center). Many of these organizations have close ties and, in fact, GR helped SAI get started with a $100k grant its first year.
The most recent tax forms are from 2011 and are below:
Generation Rescue pulls in a great deal of money, nearly $1.2M. Of which about $240k goes to the “rescue grant” program. About $125k goes to running their website. Another $125k to pay their executive director.
Under grants, Generation Rescue (GR) has two:
$25,000 to the Strategic Autism Initiative
$20,000 to Jackson State University
Both “for researching causes of autism”. We see again the link between GR and SAI. Jackson State is the institution engaged by Generation Rescue and the SAI to perform a vaccinated/unvaccinated study using homeschooled kids. I’ll point out that when I reviewed the GR and SAI tax forms last year, I speculated that they were starting to fund the vax/unvaxed study.
Now consider the SAI’s form 990. SAI pulled in $284k. They paid out $250k in salaries and other compensations. Yep, 88% of intake went to salaries. Luckily they had a bit of a war chest from the year before to draw on. But let’s look at those salaries. Andrew Wakefield is compensated $200k/year for a reported 30hours/week. That’s $270k/year (his salary at Thoughtful House). Terri Arranga ( of AutismOne) was paid $28.8k for reported 15hours/week.
But, as I said, they had a war chest from 2010 (due in big part to a $100k donation from GR). How did they spend that? Well, they appear to have a grant of $25k to Generation Rescue for “research related to the vax/unvax study”. Which strikes me odd as GR gave SAI $25k, so it looks like the money went in a circle.
That said, what expenses did SAI report?
$158k to Dr. “Lenys G. Gonzalez” to work with Arthur Krigsman and Stephen Walker on “molecular and clinical signatures of inflammatory bowel disease and adverse vaccine reactions in autistic children.”
$86k for an “IRB approved” (are the others not?) investigation using the Florida Medicaid database. And, no surprise, this is to look at vaccines. (1) acute adverse reactions to vaccines as predictors of neurodevelopmental disorders and (2) age of vaccination and risk of adverse outcome.
Many people might be wondering how Andrew Wakefield managed to gather half a million dollars in under two years. I can’t say for sure but I can put out some information for speculation.
One of his board members is Elizabeth Avellan. She also serves on the board for Mr. Wakefield’s “Autism Trust”, which lists her accomplishments as including ” highly successful film producer and co owner of Trouble Maker studios “. Troublemaker Studios has the “Spy Kids” franchise .
Another board member is Phil Rawlins. There was a Phil Rawlins in Austin who owned a soccer team. He has since moved to Florida.
So whatever skills he had, Mr. Wakefield is basically now a fundraiser. He’s good at it, you gotta hand it to him. I can think of a lot of ways that money could be better spent, though.