These people are mostly religiously driven, and they use fake or misleading information from debunked failed studies to push their hatred. They chose their name to confuse people who mistakenly think they are the highly-regarded American Academy of Pediatrics. They are behind a lot of the misinformation about abortion. One of their main targets right now is trans children. This includes pushing schools to adopt junk science painting transgender youth as carriers of a pathological disorder, one that’s capable of spontaneously causing others–à la the dancing plague–to adopt similar thoughts and behaviors. There is a lot more in the article. How ever since I reloaded my computers the classic editor is not working like it use to allowing me to color in the pages easily. I have to figure out if it is a setting on my security programs or if WordPress changed the editor. Hugs
A Google Drive left public on the American College of Pediatricians’ website exposed detailed financial records, sensitive member details, and more.
A DOCTORS’ ORGANIZATION at the center of the ongoing legal fight over the abortion drug mifepristone has suffered a significant data breach. A link to an unsecured Google Drive published on the group’s website pointed users last week to a large cache of sensitive documents, including financial and tax records, membership rolls, and email exchanges spanning over a decade. The more than 10,000 documents lay bare the outsize influence of a small conservative organization working to lend a veneer of medical science to evangelical beliefs on parenting, sex, procreation, and gender.
The American College of Pediatricians, which has fought to deprive gay couples of their parental rights and encouraged public schools to treat LGBTQ youth as if they were mentally ill, is one of a handful of conservative think tanks leading the charge against abortion in the United States. A federal lawsuit filed by the College and its partners against the US Food and Drug Administration seeks to limit nationwide access to what is today the most common form of abortion. The case is now on a trajectory for the US Supreme Court, which not even a year ago declared abortion the purview of America’s elected state representatives.
The leaked records, first reported by WIRED, offer an unprecedented look at the groups and personnel central to that campaign. They also describe an organization that has benefited greatly by exaggerating its own power, even as it has struggled quietly for two decades to grow in size and gain respect. The records show how the College, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes as a hate group, managed to introduce fringe beliefs into the mainstream simply by being, as the founder of Fox News once put it, “the loudest voice in the room.”The Leak
A WIRED review of the exposed data found that the unsecured Google Drive stored nearly 10,000 files, some of which are compressed zip files containing additional documents. These records detail highly sensitive internal information about the College’s donors and taxes, social security numbers of board members, staff resignation letters, budgetary and fundraising concerns, and the usernames and passwords of more than 100 online accounts. The files include Powerpoint presentations, Quickbooks accounting documents, and at least 388 spreadsheets.
One spreadsheet appears to be an export of an internal database containing information on 1,200 past and current members. It contains intimate personal information about each member, including various contact details, as well as where they were educated, how they heard of the group, and when membership dues were paid. The records show past and current members are mostly male and, on average, over 50 years old. As of spring 2022, the College counted slightly more than 700 members, according to another document reviewed by WIRED.
The breach exposes some material dating back to the group’s origin. It includes mailing lists gathered by the group of thousands of “conservative physicians” across the country. (One document outlining recruitment efforts states in bold, red letters: “TARGET CHRISTIAN MDs.”) The ongoing recruitment of doctors and medical school students seen as holding Christian views has long been its top priority. The leaked records indicate that more than 10,000 mailers were sent to physicians between 2013 and 2017 alone.
While the group’s membership rolls are not public, the leak has outed most if not all of its members. A cursory review of the member lists surfaced one name of note: a recent commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, who after joining in 2019 asked that his membership with the group remain a secret. (WIRED was unable to reach the official for comment in time for publication.)
The SPLC’s “hate group” designation, which the College forcefully disputes, haunted its fundraising efforts, records reveal. A barrage of emails in 2014 show that the label cost the group the chance to benefit from an Amazon program that would eventually distribute $450 million to charities across the globe. Amazon would deny the College’s application, stating that it relied on the SPLC to determine which charities fall into certain ineligible categories.
A strategy document would later refer to a “unified plan” among the College and its allies to “continue discrediting the SPLC,” which included a campaign aimed at lowering its rating at Charity Navigator, one of the web’s most influential nonprofit evaluators. One of the group’s admins noted that despite SPLC’s label, another charity monitor, GuideStar, listed the College as being in “good standing.”
The College’s GuideStar page no longer says this and appears to have been defaced. It now reads, “AMERICAN COLLEGE OF doodoo fartheads,” with a mission statement saying: “we are evil and hate gays :(((”
The Google Drive containing the documents was taken offline soon after WIRED contacted the American College of Pediatricians. The College did not respond to a request for comment.The Talk
Leaked communications between members of the group and minutes taken at board meetings over the course of several years speak loudly about the challenges the group faced in pursuing its deeply unpopular agenda: returning America to a time when the laws and social mores around family squared neatly with evangelical Christian beliefs.
Many of the College’s most radical views target transgender people, and in particular, transgender youth. The leak, which had been indexed by Google, includes volumes of literature crafted specifically to influence relationships between practicing pediatricians, parents, and their children. It includes reams of marketing material the College aims to distribute widely among public school officials. This includes pushing schools to adopt junk science painting transgender youth as carriers of a pathological disorder, one that’s capable of spontaneously causing others–à la the dancing plague–to adopt similar thoughts and behaviors.
This is one of the group’s most dubious claims. While unsupported by medical science, it is routinely and incuriously propagated through literature targeted at schools and medical offices around the US. The primary source for this claim is a research paper drafted in 2017 by Lisa Littman, a Brown University scholar who, while a medical doctor, was not specialized in mental health. The goal of the paper was to introduce, conceptually, “rapid onset gender dysphoria”—a hypothetical disorder, as was later clarified by the journal that published it. Littman would also clarify personally that her research “does not validate the phenomenon” she’d hypothesized, since no clinicians, nor individuals identifying as trans, had participated in the study.
The paper explains that its subjects were instead all parents who had been recruited from a handful of websites known for opposing gender-affirmative care and “telling parents not to believe their child is transgender.” A review of one of the sites from the period shows parents congregating to foster paranoia about whether there’s a “conspiracy of silence” around “anime culture” brainwashing boys into behaving like girls; insights plucked in some cases straight from another, more insidious forum (widely known for reveling in the suicides of the people it has bullied).
A 2021 prospectus describing the group’s focus, ideology, and lobbying efforts encapsulates a wide range of “educational resources” destined for the inboxes of physicians and medical school students. The materials include links to a website instructing doctors on how to speak to children in a variety of scenarios about a multitude of topics surrounding sex, including in the absence of their parents. Practice scripts of conversations between doctors and patients advise, among other things, ways to elicit a child’s thoughts on sex with the help of an imaginative metaphor.
While the material is not expressly religious, it is clearly aimed at painting same-sex marriage as aberrant and immoral behavior. Physicians lobbied by the group are also told to urge patients to purchase Christian-based parenting guides, including one designed to help parents broach the topic of sex with their 11- and 12-year-old kids. The College suggests telling parents to plan a “special overnight trip,” a pretext for instilling in their children sexual norms in line with evangelical practice. The group suggests telling parents to buy a tool called a “getaway kit,” a series of workbooks that run around $54 online. The workbooks methodically walk the parents through the process of springing the topic, but only after a day-long charade of impromptu gift-giving and play.
These books are full of games and puzzles for the parent and child to cooperatively take on. Throughout the process, the child slowly digests a concept of “sexual purity,” lessons aided by oversimplified scripture and well-trodden Bible school parables.
Another document the group shared with its members contains a script for appointments with pregnant minors. Its purpose is made evidently clear: The advice is engineered specifically to reduce the odds of minors coming into contact with medical professionals not strictly opposed to abortion. A practice script recommends the doctor inform the minor that they “strongly recommend against” abortion, adding “the procedure not only kills the infant you carry, but is also a danger to you.” (Medically, the term “fetus” and “infant” are not interchangeable, the latter referring to a newborn baby less than one year old.)
The doctors are urged to recommend that the minor visit a website that, like others shared with patients, is not expressly religious but will only direct visitors to Catholic-run “crisis pregnancy centers,” which strictly reject abortion. The same site is widely promoted by anti-abortion groups such as National Right to Life, which last year held that it should be illegal to terminate the pregnancy of a 10-year-old rape victim.The Professionals
The effort to ban mifepristone, which the Supreme Court paused last month pending further review, faces significant legal hurdles but could ultimately benefit from the appellate court’s disproportionately conservative makeup. Most of the legal power in the fight was supplied by a much older and better funded group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has established ties to some of the country’s most politically elite—former vice president Mike Pence and Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett among them.
A contract in the leaked documents dated April 2021 shows the ADF agreeing to legally represent the College free of charge. It stipulates that ADF’s ability to subsidize expenses incurred during lawsuits would be limited by ethical guidelines; however, it could still forgive any lingering costs simply by declaring the College “indigent.”
In contrast to the College’s some 700 members, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)–the organization from which the College’s founders split 20 years ago–has roughly 67,000. The rupture between the two groups was a direct result of a statement issued by the AAP in 2002. Modern research, the AAP said, had conclusively shown that the sexual orientation of parents had an imperceptible impact on the well-being of children, so long as they were raised in caring, supportive families.
The College would gain notoriety early on by assailing the positions of the AAP. In 2005, a Boston Globe reporter noted how common it had become for the American College of Pediatricians “to be quoted as a counterpoint” to anything the AAP said. The institution had a rather “august-sounding name,” he wrote, for being run by a “single employee.”
Internal documents show that the group’s directors quickly encountered hurdles operating on the fringe of accepted science. Some claimed to be oppressed. Most of the College’s research had been “written by one person,” according to minutes from a 2006 meeting, which were included in the leak. The College was failing to make a splash. In the future, one director suggested, papers rejected by medical journals “should be published on the web.” The vote to do so was unanimous (though the board decided the term “not published” was nicer than “rejected”).
A second director put forth a motion to create a separate “scientific section” on the group’s website, strictly for linking to articles published in medical journals. The motion was quashed after it dawned on the board that they didn’t “have enough articles” to make the page “look professional.”
The College struggled to identify the root cause of its runtedness. “To get enough clout,” one director said, “it would take substantial numbers, maybe 10,000.” (The College’s recruitment efforts would yield fewer than 7 percent of this goal in the following 17 years.) Yet another said the marketing department advised that “the College needs to pick a fight with the AAP and get on Larry King Live.” Another board member, the notes say, felt the organization was too busy trying to “walk the fence” by neglecting to acknowledge that “we are conservative and religious.”
6 thoughts on “An Anti-Trans Doctor Group Leaked 10,000 Confidential Files”
So this post would have been a better place to put the link I first posted, and that story would have been a better place for this one, but that’s how I seem to roll, I guess. 🙃 Here is this, and I’m going to copy/paste the whole thing. Maybe the pics will show, even. (Doesn’t look like it, though.)
As A Black Trans Girl, My Natural Hair Journey Led To A Rebirth
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ESHE UKWELI.
The joy I feel when doing my hair never ceases to amaze me. The process calls for holy moments of rest that last two days; it requires a departure from work or hanging out with friends, and even neglecting the pile of dishes in my kitchen sink (which if being honest, I didn’t need an excuse to put off in the first place). My wash days require sacred hours of unraveling my butt-length braids, or cautiously cutting out my faux locs to ensure none of my “real” hair is clipped while one of my comfort shows plays in the background. It’s also a day of small drops of shampoo and large dollops of conditioner that I let soak in far past the recommended time and a second day of having lovingly tired arms as I blow out my hair, followed by the skillful fingers of a sister who braids me back into myself again. Once done, I marvel at my reflection and awe at the women who aid me in this rebirth. Together we create a space for self-observation, community, and empowerment as if to say ‘this is who I know myself to be and this is who you’ll see.’
Hair for many Black women is our freedom, it gives us agency to show up as we are and is an expression of our humanity in a world that does not always value our personhood. Through its good and its bad, our hairstyles tell the stories of our lives and where we were at a given moment in history. For me, my current chapter sits somewhere between ear and shoulder length and tells the story of a trans girl’s journey to identity.
Hair was my gateway into my identity as a trans woman. Like a trusted confidante, it whispered to me to embark on my own “going natural” phase, and I decided during my freshman year of college to stop lining up and cutting my hair.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ESHE UKWELI.
Much of my younger years were spent cold-headed, with a buzz cut so short you could feel the prickles of new growth like the “hairs” on a kiwi. As I came into elementary school and farther along in my years of schooling, I adopted the classy and sophisticated styling of a ‘Caesar’ cut — a haircut which boiled down to “light on the sides and dark up top”. When I gained a voice, I shedded my parental stylings and was determined to explore as much as I could with my hair. The afro I wore to mirror a school friend’s style transitioned into a temple fade with a short ‘fro curled with a sponge brush, then back to the Caesar cut again. But even through the big chops and budding new growth (with disastrous lineups frequently in between), I not only struggled to find variety and self-expression but also unearth the truest version of me.
Hair was my gateway into my identity as a trans woman. Like a trusted confidante, it whispered to me to embark on my own “going natural” phase, and I decided during my freshman year of college to stop lining up and cutting my hair. It urged me to try different natural styles with drawstring ponytails (that started off wonky but eventually found their footing) and demanded that I upgrade to protective styles like braids and faux locs. Once my confidence grew, I tried riskier ones like passion twists and embellished braids. My hair became the gift that kept on giving, providing me each time with a renewed sense of self, beauty, and access to community — because whether cis, trans, or non-binary our hair does this for us all as Black women and femmes.
Our hair is the unspoken backbone that unites us across the centuries and holds the remnants of our past and the ancestors who left with us secrets of braiding and beauty. It bears the painful memories of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the women who braided rice into their cornrows to provide and ensure sustenance as they were transported from West Africa. Through our hair and its many rituals, remain the herbalism of our foremothers in the new world, passing down their ingenuity of homemade balms, creams, and oils for hair growth. And, while the societies we now call home may try to limit our personhood, we continue as Black women, to reject who they say we can be and claim space for ourselves. Because our ‘Black girl magic’ isn’t limited to our hair’s origins, length, curl pattern, style or caused perception; its magic is in its willingness to be beautifully untamed.
My hair presents me with a communal love and reservoir of self-confidence fostered by the Black women around me who share their own experiences.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ESHE UKWELI.
So, while my Black girl hair story might be free of cutesy hairstyles in my youth, or absent of that “one perm” that left me rebuilding my edges, it still has its place amongst all our unique stories, across the diaspora, recounting our own journeys of self.
Whether your hair story is graceful and regal like the smooth head of congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, pressed and joyous like the silk presses of US Vice President Kamala Harris, changes forms like the buss downs of our favorite rapping girls JT and Careesha, or flows ethereal and soulful like the styles worn by Solange Knowles and Erykah Badu, our hair stories are pieces and colors of a tapestry bigger than ourselves.
Now, in my two days of holy rest — in the moments of detangling, treatment, and styling — my hair continues to fill me with love, and as I love on it, in return, it loves on me. My curls continue to grow bigger and brighter, not only by my hand but with the help of this sisterhood. It remains nourished by the words of an older Black woman who in passing comments on my hair’s natural volume and thickness, and it sways just a little more when a woman behind me asks where I got my braids done. My hair presents me with a communal love and reservoir of self-confidence fostered by the Black women around me who share their own experiences. And I’m able to return the gift to another little Black girl by offering her a moment’s joy by complimenting her on her hair.
Hair showed me my identity as a trans woman and remains a pathway to identity for women of all experiences. It continues to offer us lessons in self-love and remains a means to radically take up space. Yet beyond all of the sentiments and teachings learned, my hair and its care offer me a soft place to simply be and a quiet spot away from the world to land and exist in the totality of Black womanhood.
Hello Ali. Thank you for the link and the pasting of the story. I guess it is time for me to share my story of why I always wear long hair even if not as long as it is today.
As most know I was adopted and my adoptive parents especially my adoptive father turned very violent and abusive. I am still not sure to this idea why but I think it may have to do with the idea that my adoptive mother seemed to want to pay more attention to me and mold me into her plaything than she paid attention to the adoptive father or their mutual hell spawn.
One of the punishments I suffered since I arrived to them at about 3 was to have my hair kept super short and I mean buzz cut even while their hell spawn could have their hair as they wished which was long as was the standard of the day. I was given home haircuts by the adoptive father who often was distracted and mean, so I often had bald spots and a very uneven shaved head. Even as I got relief from the beatings and sexual abuse as I aged, my hair was one way control was kept over me. If I did not want to be forced to be a skinhead long before that was an accepted look for some I had to accept without complaint the abuse. Don’t judge me please, tell me what you wouldn’t do as an upper grade school / Junior high school kid not to be made the odd person out at school when you already had the deck stacked against you. So if I gave in without complaint I got to have a crew cut or a close to military hair cut. I would be escorted to the barber and not allowed to speak as my adoptive father told them how to cut my hair until I was 15. After that I was allowed to go on my own but if it was not short enough when I got home I was in deep shit and might have my hair buzz cut off or worse. It was not until I was in boarding school my senior year of school that I first got to grown my hair out. Then I went into the military and so had to keep my hair short. After my two tours I took jobs that required my hair to be reasonably like that in the military as the employers held to old time standards. Once I was unable to work I grew out my hair to shoulder-length until I went to work again at a major hospital run by old people who had a 1950s idea of hair standards. Then after my body failed massively and I left the work force forever no longer able to work ever again, I again grew my hair shoulder-length again. But when covid happened I started letting it grow rather than risk the virus. I have not cut it since. Yes I get some bad looks or comments, and I get a lot of good ones. One older couple recently in a doctor’s office both told me at different times how much they loved my hair with the older woman mentioning she wished her hair still looked as good as mine. For me it even though it is some time a real pain to deal with, it also is a constant reminder I can do as I wish and don’t have to trade having hair for letting someone abuse me or doing sexual acts on someone not to have all my hair cut off. Anyway that is my story and why I keep my hair long. Hugs
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Hello Ali here are the few childhood pictures I have to show you what I mean. Hugs
The childhood ones you can see how short I had to keep my hair. The long hair one was when I got out from under their control one year as a boarding school kid and they hated it so badly I never heard the end of it, the one of my in the brown tee shirt was after I got out of the army and was working as an armed security at a nuclear power plant. Hugs
I love that, Scottie! Not the story behind it, but I love your joy in your hair. WTG!