Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine

Is there an antivaccinationist on Help me figure it out, my German-speaking readers!

I don’t read for the simple reason that I don’t understand German beyond a few words and phrases. Consequently, I don’t know what our German counterparts are up to. However, a reader sent me a link that gives me reason to be very concerned about at least one of the blogs in the German ScienceBorg Collective. It’s a blog called Lob der Krankheit, which apparently means something like “Praise of Illness.” Specifically, my reader referred me to a post entitled “Aluminium muss raus aus Impfstoffen!” because it concerned him. In essence, it means “aluminum must be removed or eliminated from vaccines.”

A Babelfish translation of the page, although full of the usual verbal quirks that such translators bring, reveals an interview with a doctor who is described thusly (via Babelfish):

Wiesbadener physician Klaus Hartmann, 48, was ten years long responsible with German Paul Ehrlich Institut for the scientific evaluation of unwanted effects of vaccines. Today it is one that usually employed judicial consultant for the statement of possible inoculation damage.

Uh-oh. This does not sound good.

In any case, I slogged through the Babelfish translation, and from what I could tell this guy is spewing a lot of canards about the HPV vaccine, ones similar to some of the ones that I shot down before here and here. One good thing is that I see in the comments, most of the commenters are ripping the blogger Bert Ehgartner a new one for his promotion of pseudoscientific antivaccination canards.

Perusing the blog using Babelfish is, unfortunately, a tedious and difficult experience, because of the strange and stilted grammar and phrasing that results. So I ask those of you out there who speak German. Would you please peruse Lob der Krankheit and let me know if it is indeed a crank blog? Is the blogger, Bert Ehgartner, an antivaccinationist or an apologist for the antivaccine movement? It’s very hard for me to tell with the imperfect tools I have available. For example, this article on vitamins seems semi-reasonable, while this one on the flu vaccine sounds as though it has a bit of the ol’ anti-pharma “they pay for the studies” rants, although its Babelfish translation gives some particularly bizarre results. Even worse is this post, which appears to argue that ADHD is a result of brain damage caused by environmental toxins, especially vaccines and the aluminum adjuvants in them.

German-speaking readers of Respectful Insolence, help me out here! If our German division has gone astray and allowed woo into one of its ScienceBlogs, it’s up to me to try to set it straight! Or, failing that, to deliver a heapin’ helpin’ of not-so-Respectful Insolence to Lob der Krankheit! But I clearly can’t do it without your help!

ADDENDUM: My followup post is up. Please continue the conversation in the comments there. I have closed the comment thread here in order to have that conversation migrate to the new post (hopefully).

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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