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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. February 23, 2009



Sacred Spark is the compelling true story of a child affected by mercury-poisoning and his minister-mother’s decade-long battle to restore the light in his eyes.  It is also the inspiring story of Reverend Lisa Sykes' work with the United Methodist Church to pass the first global resolution advocating the elimination of mercury from medicine, a nascent social justice movement on par with historical faith-based campaigns against child labor and slavery.  With pragmatism and compassion, Sacred Spark calls for putting the well-being of children first.


Reverend Sykes will present her story for the first time at the USAAA/CoMeD 2009 Regional Conference May 1st in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Reverend Sykes will be available to sign her book following the presentation. For more information,
click here.

Through Sacred Spark’s unflinchingly honest, first-person account, parents and physicians demanding safer vaccines will find clarity to support their informed choices as well as inspiration and guidance to become advocates for children.  Rev. Sykes’ own journey from healing mother to global child advocate and spiritual leader is stunning it is intensity and humanity.  Woven seamlessly into the book’s engrossing narrative are Rev. Sykes’ victories in appropriate and landmark biomedical treatments for her son, the success of empowered parents to enact state bans on mercury and to approach Attorney Generals across the country, attempts to find precious allies against a corrupt and protected industry, and her family’s lawsuit defeat against a pharmaceutical company.


Rev. Sykes’ story begins when she shares with the reader her family’s horror in witnessing their happy toddler regress into autism.  When her son is clinically diagnosed with mercury-poisoning due to the therapeutic use of vaccines, Rev. Sykes initiates a letter-writing campaign to federal officials and agencies with the aim of protecting all children from disability through mercury in vaccines.



Disillusioned when her goodwill attempts are consistently thwarted, Rev. Sykes joins other parents from across the nation with children who are mercury-toxic.  As a resolute and informed force, they capture national media attention, lobby national and state congressmen and implore national health agencies and federal oversight agencies to protect pregnant women, infants and children from the undisclosed administration of mercury in medicine – a basic safety denied them.


“This book is an inspirational story of one family’s struggle with autism, and one woman’s determination to protect our children from the insidious poison of mercury.   Thomas Jefferson once wrote that ‘[t]he care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.’ Reverend Sykes’ long battle to uncover the truth about the link between mercury and autism is a painful lesson to us all that our government is failing this test when it comes to our Nation’s epidemic of autism.  Through her faith and trust in God, Reverend Sykes shows us all how to triumph in the face of adversity and reminds us that one person can indeed make a difference.”

Congressman Dan Burton

The book’s fast-paced storyline whisks the reader from the Simpsonwood United Methodist Retreat Center in Norcross, Georgia, (where a closed-door meeting between government officials and pharmaceutical companies was convened one week before congressional investigations into conflicts of interest between the two began in 2000), to the floor of the Institute of Medicine meetings in Boston and Washington, DC, where Rev. Sykes passionately challenges IOM committee members to abandon their blind trust in how vaccines are manufactured and approved and embrace instead the clarity of medical ethics -- one that demands children, not one-size-fits-all vaccine schedules and billion-dollar profits, be put first.  Cited extensively throughout the book are scientific studies supporting mercury’s causal role in autism, as well as the internal transcripts from the IOM and Simpsonwood meetings and government emails (available through the Freedom of Information Act).


In stark contrast to the stubborn failure of the federal government to act on behalf of the nation’s children, Rev. Sykes brings her cause to The United Methodist Church and her denomination responds with the strength and support of its 11.5 million members in a global resolution advocating the elimination of mercury in medicine.

Sacred Spark ultimately teaches us that it is ordinary people who ignite the fire of reform.

Sacred Spark seeks to answer, as well as to raise, such questions as: How does a parent or practitioner initiate the reforms necessary to protect minds from mercury?  Why do the Hippocratic Oath and the Right of Informed Consent apply to all parts of medicine, especially vaccination?  How do we counter the argument that a mercury-containing vaccine is better than no vaccine at all, as global dissemination of mercury-containing vaccines to the Developing World continues?   Why do the public and media believe mercury is out of vaccines when there has never been an official recall or ban and more has been added with flu shots?

As a Princeton Theological Seminary graduate and minister of 19 years, Rev. Sykes inspires the reader to go beyond compromised scientific studies and profit-driven political debates, and examine the mercury/autism issue through the first-hand experience of a mother and the faith and conviction of a minister.  Sacred Spark ultimately teaches us that it is ordinary people who ignite the fire of reform.

Advance Praise for Sacred Spark:

Sacred Spark, full of complexity and suspense, it is a must read for everyone.”
— Lawrence P. Kaplan, Ph.D., CEO and Founder of US Autism & Asperger Association

“When one in six American children has a behavioral or developmental disorder, clinicians and researchers must consider environmental triggers in the context of genetic predispositions when formulating differential diagnoses of neurodevelopmental disorders. Rev. Sykes takes you on a journey of personal anguish, political action and professional advocacy that reads like a novel and is punctuated with sobering quotes from current times that stand in stark contrast to sacred writings and the wisdom of the ages.”
— Elizabeth Mumper, M.D., FAAP Medical Director, Autism Research Institute CEO, Advocates for Children Founder, RIMLAND Center

“In my fourteen years as an autism researcher, I have listened to countless parents tell me that their child was normal until a vaccination. This incredible book gives voice to these many parents and to their struggles to find help.”
— Janet K. Kern, Ph.D., Autism Treatment Center, Dallas, Texas Adjunct Assistant Professor University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

"Sacred Spark is an extraordinary account of one mother (who happens to be a minister) who becomes tenacious in her advocacy for her own son who has autism and mercury poisoning. She also has become a fierce advocate for children and parents everywhere who live day in and day out with the complex, debilitating, and painful effects of autism spectrum disorder. I would encourage everyone, who is concerned about the grim statistic that one out of every 150 children being born in the US today will be diagnosed with some form of autism, to read this book and pick up the work of advocacy that will be needed to persevere in the fight to cure autism and mercury poisoning.”
— Bishop Charlene Kammerer, Resident Bishop Virginia Conference, The United Methodist Church

“If you have ever wondered if one person can make a difference, or if you question whether women in the church carry influence in today’s political climate, or if you need confirmation that a network of women in congregations is engaged in issues that affect our world, this is the book for you. Rev. Sykes’ journey from private pain to public advocacy is a testimony to the claim of God in her life and of God’s care for women, children and families the world over.”
Harriett Jane Olson, Deputy General Secretary, Women’s Division, United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries

Sacred Spark is a wonderful, amazing, heart wrenching, inspiring story. I loved it!”
— Michael Manning, Parent

“Let us be optimists and pray that after hearing of Reverend Lisa Sykes’ journey we will watch carefully and choose our steps the more wisely toward our own and the common good.”
— Harold T. Pretorius, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, Attending Physician, The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH

Now Available for Advanced Orders:

Sacred Spark: A Minister-mom’s Quest to Restore the Light in Her Son’s Eyes Inspires Her Church to Protect Children from Harm and Ignites a Global Debate About Autism and Childhood Vaccines

By Rev. Lisa K. Sykes

Foreword by Lenny Schafer, Editor of The Schafer Report

Epilogue by Mark Geier, MD, PhD, and David Geier
Pages:  316
ISBN:  978-0-971-78064-4

Pubdate distribution:,, Ingrams, Baker and Taylor, Barnes and Noble

Nancy Stodart, Publisher

Fourth Lloyd Productions, LLC





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