$50 million for antivaccine madness?

Over the last year and a half, Jenny McCarthy has been, unfortunately, a fairly frequent topic of this blog. There is, of course, a reason for this. Ever since she published her first book on autism back in the summer of 2007, she has become the public face of the antivaccine movement and autism quackery. Indeed, Generation Rescue, that reliable bastion of antiscientific antivaccine pseudoscience and autism quackery, has been–shall we say?–rebranded as “Jenny McCarthy’s Autism Organization.” In the process, she has demonstrated a level of burning stupid that defies description, a stupidity that burns so hot that it threatens to vaporize the planet. Indeed, she is known for claiming that she cured her son Evan of autism and could change him back to being autistic again if she ever let up her guard and let him eat the wrong foods and seeing all sorts of “toxins” in vaccines where they don’t exist, completely oblivious to the dictum that the dose makes the poison. Last year, she even led an antivaccine march on Washington with her boyfriend Jim Carrey, providing proof positive that Dumb and Dumber was not fiction.

It’s not for nothing that Steve Novella of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe has declared Jenny McCarthy to be the “worst skeptical douchebag” of 2008, an award she richly deserves. But it’s not just her. Her boyfriend Jim Carrey has completely fallen, hook, line, and sinker for the same antivaccine madness that Jenny McCarthy has fallen for. Indeed, he has become so connected with her that Age of Autism has named Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy the “Couple of the Year.”

Yes, truly, Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy are in love. I don’t begrudge them that. I do, however, begrudge Jenny McCarthy her antivaccine madness and arrogance of ignorance, both of which lead her to think that her University of Google “education” trumps hard won expertise. I also begrudge Jim Carrey his new found idiocy towards vaccines and his conspiracy mongering towards big pharma. Before she met Carrey, Jenny McCarthy was a washed-up, D-list celebrity trying to hang on to her former fame as a Playmate Playmate of the Year and a popular hostess on various MTV shows, such as Singled Out in the 1990s, all the while peddling “Indigo Child” woo. After Carrey fell in love with her, she’s become part of his star, hanging out with the A-list again. Worse, via Bad Astronomy and Steve Novella, I’ve learned that Carrey has now guaranteed that McCarthy will now have the resources to do whatever she wishes to spread her special brand of antivaccine lunacy for as long as she wants:

JIM CARREY has vowed to give his longtime girlfriend JENNY MCCARTHY a financially secure future – after reportedly setting up a $50 million (GBP35 million) trust fund for the actress despite insisting they will never marry.

The actor, 46, has earned an estimated $200 million (GBP140 million) with his blockbuster comedies – and is desperate to make sure 36-year-old MCCarthy is set for life.

A source tells Star magazine, “He adores her and credits her with his better health and happier outlook on life. (He) wants her to have all the perks in life should anything happen to him.”

That’s a lot of money to support antivaccine madness.

I’m a bit torn. On the one hand, it is rather sweet that Carrey would show this level of dedication to McCarthy, although why he doesn’t just marry her if he loves her that much and wants to make sure she is taken care of if he meets a premature end escapes me. It’s also rather gallant that he would want to make sure that a child not his own never wants for anything, even to the point of giving up a third of his net worth. On the other hand, by guaranteeing that Jenny McCarthy will never want for anything, he has guaranteed that she will have the resources to continue to spread her antivaccine message to the masses and that she will also be able to continue to promote the quackery that she has become known for. Indeed, she’s already abused her “celebrity” status to rope in other celebrities, such as Hugh Hefner and Britney Spears, to raise money for Generation Rescue. She’s also managed to parlay her minor celebrity into deals with professional wrestling and celebrity poker to raise still more money.

It’s not surprising that Jenny McCarthy so easily fell for antivaccine pseudoscience. As I’ve discussed earlier, before she discovered autism quackery and antivaccine nonsense, she was very much into an even wooier woo, if you will, namely the whole “Indigo Child” movement. Perhaps the “depth” of her involvement in that movement was when she sold something that she called a “Quantum Prayer Wheel” while citing Deepak Chopra (who recently was very unhappy over some criticism) and even Dr. William Nelson, the creator of a device featured on Your Friday Dose of Woo, the EPFX-SCIO, complete with the most hilarious disclaimer I’ve ever seen:

The Quantum Prayer Wheel is not a Medical Treatment.

This program does not provide subscribers with any form of Therapy, Counseling, Medical Treatment or Diagnosis. If you think you have a medical condition, please see your doctor.

The QPW is a spiritual technology using advanced mathematics, fractals and prayers.

Of course it’s not a medical treatment. It’s a woo treatment. What I didn’t know, but am not surprised to learn, is that McCarthy was into that woo of woos, that idiocy of idiocies, that epitome of wishful thinking run amok, The Secret:

LIFE CHANGING!! read this from Jenny!

Hey girls,

I have just come across this dvd called The Secret. It is not a movie. Its gurus talking about The law of attraction and It was so incredible that I bought fifty copies and have sent them to everyone I know. Its starts off cheezy but thats just the opening. You have to order it and lets all talk about it because it has changed everyones life who has seen it. I cant wait to talk about it. go get it!

Love Jenny

It figures.

Yes, I think I must agree. Jenny McCarthy is the biggest and most credulous idiot of 2008. She richly deserves the “title” and also represents a major threat to public health in the U.S. Unfortunately, I don’t think she’s going away in 2009. After all, she has another book coming out.