Facilitated Communicaton has once again caused a legal nightmare for innocent parents.

This! The idea fails the simplest of single-blind objective testing! It should never have been accepted by even the veriest of idiots!

So, why isn’t the lying sack of dung “facilitated communicator” not under arrest?

I don’t know about this case, but I think it is possible that facilitators can often honestly believe they are receiving authentic messages, not realizing the communication is coming from their own subconscious (Ouija board-style).

So perhaps the authorities can’t prove malicious intent? Seems like it would be quite difficult to prove.

I’m confused - why not just have the autistic person press keys on a keyboard? As opposed to having someone’s hand hold and guide their hand? Since the FC logic is that these people know that letters can be formed to make words?

Are the autistic people thought to be too physically weak to press keys on their own?

And it sure seems like a way for the “communicator” assistant to advance their own agenda.
Anti-bullying activist: “My autistic patient says he/she’s being bullied.”

Pro-LGBT activist: “My autistic patient says he/she’s homosexual.”

Political activist: “My autistic patient says he/she’s (conservative, liberal, etc.)”

Pro-Buddhism activist: “My autistic patient says he/she wants to be Buddhist.”

Wait just a minute!

Yeah, this whole FC thing is a bunch of bunk. But what are you trying to say about Ouija boards? Are you implying they are not reliable?

Well, shit. How am I gonna get my lottery numbers if my Ouija isn’t reliable? Please say it isn’t so!

So I think my dead grandma really wants me to bet 2, 7, 11, 19, 23 … but it’s actually my own subconscious love of prime numbers?!?

I’m familiar with a wide variety of human scams, bunk, pseudoscience, and whatnot, and I hadn’t ever heard of this. Just a google search and a wikipedia page click was enough to tell me basically the same thing I’ve already read in this thread, and I struggle to understand how authorities were so stupid as to not immediately recognize this as garbage.

This should be a concept 90% of us can agree on, minimum, and I’m including the people who think Barney the Dinosaur caused 9/11. How is this even controversial? Who believes in this crap?

JFC that’s terrible.

Because people who have severely disabled children who cannot communicate have a slight tendency to grasp at straws.

Yet another thing that cropped up with FC was children, and other clients, displaying deep knowledge of topics they could not have known anything about, or started speaking languages they had never been exposed to (but the facilitators had). That, more than anything else, led these parents to think it was bunk.

The theory is that it’s in large part a motor coordination disorder where the person is “trapped” by a body that cannot physically do what its brain tells it. So the person needs some kind of physical support to do the typing. The idea is to slowly back off where the support is (wrist–elbow–shoulder, etc.) as the person gains physical skills and becomes more emotionally secure in communicating.

Attempts at research, blinded studies, or formal standardized testing are hand-waved away by the claim that it is anxiety-provoking and cruel, that you are a hideous and unethical person for suggesting such torture, and that none of the results would be “real” anyway. If you did not doggedly “presume competence” and dared to suggest that some of these people might be actually uh, intellectually disabled, woe betide you! It’s all very convenient.

on what charge?

The most obvious choice would be public mischief (section 140.)

In this case the actus reus of public mischief is beyond question; the act of reporting a crime to the police that never happened clearly contravenes the law. What matters is whether the fools in this case were simply fools or deliberately made a false claim. They must, by definition, be intentionally lying or misleading the authorities. If they’re simply believers in woo, then regrettably their stupidity is not criminally liable.

I think people of certain positions, therapists, teachers, administrators, doctors, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, anyone in a position of authority who approves and defends this absolutely disproven concept should be held criminally responsible for the result of this nonsense. Imagine this kind of interference into people’s lives based on a Ouija board as mentioned above. I know nothing will happen to these people, nothing happened to the people in the McMartin ritual sex abuse nonsense. We sit back and tsk and tut about the Salem witch hunts and the foolish superstition of such people long ago but this is the same practice continuing to this day.

Makes me wonder what led to the line of inquiry in the first place. I mean, was the FC discussing Kierkegaard with the young woman or something, and she casually interjected (via the FC’s keyboard) that Daddy had touched her in a “bad way”? Or was this a Q&A investigation for some reason?

I mean, wouldn’t such questioning be considered malicious in and of itself if it was done without prior suspicions or claims of abuse? Wouldn’t it be improper for a day care worker to randomly question adolescents in this way, and if so, why would it be different even for an organization that truly believes they’re actually communicating with an impaired child through their woo technique?

Making a false statement to police.
Being too stupid to live.

Okay, that last one isn’t an actual charge but it should be. FC is bunk, pure and simple, and has been proven such long ago. I won’t put all the blame on law enforcement because, of course, there are reactionary laws regarding certain crimes, meaning that just the hint requires an over the top response and then the investigation occurs when it should be investigation first and then arrest.

So are we talking about FC, or horseback riding “therapy,” or what, here? :rolleyes:

The ridiculous thing about facilitated communication is that if it did, in fact, work, it would be absolutely trivial to prove it. The experiments would be simple to perform and interpret. You just tell the communicator a number between 1 and 100 (or a color or a picture of an animal or literally anything else) without the facilitator hearing it. You then just ask the communicator to tell the facilitator the number and you ask the facilitator to repeat the number back to you. If the facilitator can do that 95 out of 100 times, he is communicating.

It’s interesting to look at the case of Anna Stubblefield from this perspective–sorry, can’t link easily right now, but google works well. Stubblefield was a professor and advocate for the disabled who wound up using FC with the severely handicapped brother of one of her students. She determined that he was of high intelligence, and further that he had the hots for her…It didn’t end well for anybody, certainly not for Stubblefield.

Anyhow, one thing that seems very clear is that she was a True Believer…that it was incredibly important to her to start from, and act on, the assumption that the young man in question was indeed competent, and that she was primed to push away any and all scientific-type questions about the effectiveness of this practice. Not to excuse what she did in any way whatever, but she does not seem to have gone into this with the intention to cause harm.

Side note: I keep thinking of Michigan J. Frog. Remember, the Warner cartoon where the frog sings and dances for the man who found him–but shuts up completely and goes to ribbiting mode when anyone else is in the room? In this case, the young man in question *only *communicated with Stubblefield. Even when she was on trial for abusing him, still claiming that he was of high intelligence and that he loved her truly, he couldn’t seem to manage to communicate with anyone else. If he was really what she said he was, you’d think he’d find a way to tell someone else, “It’s all true! Let her go! I DO love her!” The fact that he didn’t seems like about the biggest strike against the FC movement possible to imagine.

You do realize that this has been done, more than once, and FC failed? See links upthread.