Autistic until Proven Guilty: More Good Reasons to Blame Autism for Everything

In addition to the Six Good Reasons to Blame Autism for All Your Problems that I posted a few days ago, we might add a seventh, which is that doing so is a natural, consistent, and thoroughly reasonable adaptation to the domain of personal ethics of certain cornerstone legal principles enshrined in the U.S. Justice System and even in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In particular, it is essentially an adaptation of the well-known Presumption of Innocence principle that requires guilt to be proven instead of innocence, but it is also an adaptation of the principle that a witness cannot be compelled to give testimony that is self-incriminating.

With respect to the current context, I think it’s imperative to recognize that quite to the contrary of pop-culture exhortations to “trust your gut”, feelings in general are often terrible representations of reality. What could be more common than irrational anxiety or fear, especially for autistic people? As another example, anger can make us feel powerful, even as it renders us inflexible, impulsive, and blind to relevant information (i.e. contextually stupid). And of course, who hasn’t fallen madly in love with someone who can only reciprocate with boredom?

In particular, pro-social feelings like guilt, shame, regret, remorse, and embarrassment are notoriously misleading. Human beings on either end of a given accusation — both accuser and accused — are vulnerable to what might aptly be referred to as delusions of culpability. Of course, delusions of innocence are also possible, and so clearly we should not pretend to be sociopaths, who themselves have a dangerously misleading lack of such pro-social emotions. Feelings aren’t always wrong either, and should never be denied or ignored.

But I think especially when we feel guilty or ashamed, for example, we absolutely should demand that our feelings be confirmed by the facts. Even a quick study of history and current events shows that it is very easy to manipulate someone into feeling guilty or ashamed for all kinds of ridiculous pseudo-crimes — homosexuality, masturbation, witchcraft, being black, Jewish, etc. Once our feelings of shame or guilt have passed the test of being grounded in fact, I think then and only then should we agree to accept appropriate personal responsibility for the events, actions, or consequences in question. I think a firm commitment to “autism made me do it!”, at least initially, is an excellent way to ensure such an outcome.

Yup. Autistic until proven guilty. That’s my new credo — for now at least, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that could change my mind.

And if you think you may have some of that kind of evidence, or any other thoughts on the above, please let me know in a comment below!








Vengeance? — An Open Letter to a Concerned Friend

Dear Concerned Friend,

When we spoke the other day you asked me a question that I would like to try to answer here on my blog because others in my life have been asking me similar questions, and I would like to document my answer out here in public where anyone who wishes to know what it is can come and read it. If memory serves, your question was this one:

“You may want to think about what you’re really hoping to accomplish with all this. Are you trying to raise awareness? Are you hoping to educate people? Do you want vengeance?”

For the sake of others who may read this letter, I will just explain that your question was regarding my current preoccupation with the events relating to the loss of my job last May 19, 2017. To summarize it all briefly and far too simply[1], I believe that the individuals who fired me did so illegally, and ever since I have been more or less obsessed with the question of what to do about that. One thing I have tried to do about it is file charges against my former employer[2] with the so-called “Equal” Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but that turned out to be a total waste of time because as it turns out, and in flagrant contradiction to their own self-congratulatory propaganda, the EEOC is perfectly useless to anyone with a psychiatric disability such as autism (FYI, I have Autistic Spectrum Disorder). For the sake of completion, however, I have decided to give the EEOC a third opportunity to help me, to begin with by writing a very long open letter (posted here on this blog) to one of the EEOC’s own Deputy District Directors; in particular, the boss of those who botched up their handling of my two charges against my former employer. In any case, back to the main topic…

I have to guess that you might have felt a little awkward about asking me that question, especially that particular part about whether I wanted “vengeance”. I couldn’t help noticing and subsequently over-thinking about the way your voice dropped toward a mumble when it got to that part, and how your rate of speech jumped up a notch as you raced to get the words out, like a driver might race to get through an amber traffic light.

I apologize if I’ve ever done anything to make you feel uncomfortable about asking me that or any other question. I was talking with you about this issue because I value your opinions on the matter, and I understand that if I’m to have any hope of being helped by those opinions, then you need to understand clearly just what this matter is all about. That means I need to welcome all of your questions about it, and to do my best to answer them.


You can’t help me if you don’t understand me, so I welcome all of your questions. Image Credit: Pixabay

So, please, if you truly wish to understand what I hope to accomplish with all of this, either in general or in particular as to whether I’m after vengeance, I invite you to ask these kinds of questions, whatever they are, and to feel comfortable about doing so.

To get right to that particular point:

If you are seriously worried about whether I might want vengeance, then I hope it will reassure you that my answer is “absolutely not”.  Vengeance is definitely not what I want. I think vengeance in general is a bad idea for all kinds of reasons, but in this particular case committing some trivial, self-indulgent act of vengeance would only make it much more difficult for me to accomplish my true overall objective, which is this:

Ultimately, what I really hope to accomplish with all of this — what I really want is just what I have always wanted, always sought, and never found: to belong somewhere. I want to find my niche in this world.


Wow, that’s a lot of human beings! Where do I fit in with all of those people? Image Credit: Pixabay

I have spent my entire waking life feeling more or less lost and inconveniently out-of-place, like a walrus lurching and lumbering down the middle of a highway during rush-hour; trying in myriad ways to answer the question “where do I fit in?” — and although I seem to have no problem finding good candidate answers to this question, so far every single one of them has turned out in one form or another to be “not for me”, after all. So, if you are puzzled by my behavior with respect to the events in question, I believe that if you try to see it all as an eager and hopeful attempt by me to figure out just where I fit into the human picture at large — a vigorous and enthusiastic attempt to solve my niche-problem — I expect my otherwise puzzling decisions and actions will make a lot more sense to you.

I hope you found that answer satisfying. If not, please let me know and I will try again. I want to be understood, my friend. I need to be understood. So, if you don’t understand, then please let me know, and I will try to find better ways to explain it.

In any event, thank you for asking.

[1] For the full account, I haven’t yet, but will create a special page with a list of links to the many blog posts I’ve written on the subject. For now, you may wish to begin with my recently completed 9 part open letter to one of the “E”EOC’s Deputy District Directors. Here is a link to part 1 of that series: An Open Letter to A Certain EEOC Deputy District Director, Part 1.

[2] My former employer is a billion-dollar, global, multinational insurance company. For the time being I think it best not to reveal its identity, so I’ve been referring to it on this blog as the XYZ Insurance Company or “XYZ” for short.