Anti-Science Associations: Rand Paul, Jane Orient, Art Robinson, Willie Soon And Friends, Plus HHS Nominee Tom Price & Funder Robert Mercer

Read time: 6 mins
Anti-science and strange associations

Update 11/30/16 Tom Price, Donald Trump's nominee to run Health and Human Services was(is?) an AAPS Member, discussed in far more detail by Orac in this recommended 11/30/16 post

Update 12/01/16 A year ago, Zachary Mider wrote What Kind of Man Spends Millions to Elect Ted Cruz? about Robert Mercer, who then strongly backed Donald Trump's campaign, but has funded several of the organizations here and attended meeting(s). It included a graph like that below, but with Mercer at center.

In “Rand Paul Is Linked to Doctors' Group That Supports Vaccination Challenges,” the New York Times documented his long involvement (~1990-2010) with the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), but only scratched the surface of the strangeness. AAPS Executive Director Jane Orient and her associates run a tightly-coupled group of 501(c)(3) public charities. They seem to reject much modern science and focus efforts to promote political views, perhaps beyond the 501(c) rules. Enough has been learned since this earlier post to motivate this update and some following posts, especially given the recent prominence of DDP's favorite outside speaker, Willie Soon. [Willie Soon's fossil fuel funding, and failures to disclose, are hot in the news right now, see New York Times, The Guardian, Inside Climate News, and DeSmogBlog.]

Of course, organization membership does not imply acceptance of all positions, but Rand Paul's long-time association raises questions. Which of their views on science does he accept? Which of their policies does he support? Rand Paul is still featured at AAPS About Us, often using “we” regarding its actions.
(click for larger image)

Organizational graph

Jane Orient (or this or this) is the contact for at least 6 nonprofits some dormant, most tax-exempt 501(c)(3).   She signed the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.  She met with Philip Morris and was often mentioned and seemed aligned with Big Tobacco against attempts to reduce teen smoking.  She wrote Attack on Coal Will Not Save Lives, and as President of DDP below, supports many attacks against climate science, below. For a quick calibration, watch the 16-minute video in which she introduced the 2013 DDP program.

Andrew Schlafly (Wikipedia, RationalWiki) has long been AAPS General Counsel, so is presumably known to Rand Paul. He has spoken often for DDP, on such topics as global warming in courts, the litigation epidemic, that litigation and junk science helped bring down the World Trade Center, and that great thinkers are almost entirely created via home schooling. Regardless of the merits, the relevance of some seems unclear to the stated purposes of DDP.  His behavior in the “Lenski Affair” seems similar to those who demand data while lacking the expertise or intent to do something useful with it.

AAPS Educational Foundation, IRS, apparently dormant.

Southwestern Institute of Science LTD IRS, apparently dormant.

Physicians for Civil Defense, IRS, still has active website, cuirrently featuring “The Good News About Nuclear Destruction.” At least once DDP sent money there, easy since they are located in the same office.

American Health Legal Foundation (AHLF), IRS, has $500K in assets and 2 officers/directors shared with AAPS, plus Orient.

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS, 501(c)(6)), IRS, has $800K assets,  paid Jane Orient $182,600 in 2012 (Form 990), has a few thousand members, website, and entries in Wikipedia, SourceWatch and RationalWiki, which has a good list of AAPS positions.

AAPS publishes the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPandS), not an indexed, peer-reviewed journal, discussed in 2007, or in 2009JPandS published “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” in 2007 by Art Robinson, Noah Robinson, and Willie Soon.  It has often published Robinsons, as well as other climate-relevant pieces. Besides Jane Orient, it has shared seveal offices/directors with DDP, as enumerated in attached spreadsheet.

Doctors for Disaster Preparedness INC (DDP), IRS, has a website, a SourceWatch entry, has about $90K in assets and seems a joint effort between Jane Orient and Art Robinson. Howard Hayden is a director (SourceWatch entry.)  Robert J. Cihak is a Director for both DDP and AAPS, SourceWatch, writes for NewsMax and is a Board Member and Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute. DDP runs annual conferences, as described in Fakery 2  pp.178-179, advertised by OISM, or in the 2014 meeting, many of whose speakers would be familiar to DeSmogBlog readers, often via involvement with the Heartland Institute.  Disaster-preparedness seems a worthy topic, but it is unclear why anti-renewable-energy and climate anti-science fill half the slots in recent years.

Weird Anti-Science PDF p.4 gives another related social network graph, and p.19 describes an annual award by DDP to honor Petr Beckman (SourceWatch), who devoted his later life to proving Einstein's relativity wrong. Honorees have included Jane Orient, Robert Jastrow, Sallie Balliunas, Art Robinson, Fred Singer. Sherwood Idso, Willie Soon, and Marc Morano.

The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM), IRS, has about $5M in assets, a website (currently asking for urine samples), a SourceWatch entry. Two of its “faculty” are deceased. The Board consists of Art Robinson, his sons Noah and Zachary, Jane Orient, and one more person. OISM is famed for the Oregon Petition, an activity that seems far outside its 501(c)(3) charter and whose funding is still unknown, but might well be connected with the George Marshall Institute.

Art Robinson (Wikipedia, RationalWiki, SourceWatch) has run for US Representative several times, endorsed by Rand Paul's father Ron Paul. Rachel Maddow's 2010 interview may offer some insight into his views.  She followed with a 5-minute version in 2014 covering his 3rd run, and requests for urine samples from Oregonians.

George Gilder (Wikipedia, SourceWatch) cofounded the Discovery Instute (WikipediaRationalWiki), which hosts the video “The Global Warming Myth - Dr Noah Robinson - Telecosm 2007.”  In the first few minutes, Gilder explained that “Arthur Robinson was the man who first alerted me to the possible flaws in the case for human-caused global warming” and then introduced chemist/veternarian Noah to speak.  In Fantasy Fears, Steve Forbes relied on George's med student daughter Mary Ellen Tiffany Gilder, with a paper at OISM.


The people who run AAPS and its intertangled organizations have many positions on science, medicine and politics, of which a good summary can be found at RationalWiki.  Perhaps someone will check such lists, enumerate the positions and ask Rand Paul which he supports and which he rejects.

Update 08/22/15:

Other related posts now include:
Was Willie Soon Paid For Science…Or Anti-Science? - Examines numerous DDP talks, including his.Willie Soon A Heartland Institute Star Since 2003: Was He Paid? If So, When And With Whose Money?
Willie Soon And Friends In The Early Days Before Climate Science Denial -  Interesting history emerges.

Update 11/29/16: Add Tom Price - AAPS connection.

Update 11/30/16: Link to Orac post on Price & AAPS, as it goes into much other detail about AAPS positions beyond the scope of this post.

Update 12/01/16: Add Zachary Mider article at Bloomberg.

Image Credit: Creatista  / Shutterstock.

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