“Unscrupulous” skeptics versus the delusions of an anti-vaccinationist

Damn! I knew I made my promise to myself not to write about vaccines again for at least a few days too soon! Whenever I do that, it seems, one of two things happens. Either something important happens that, having become, however it happened, the go-to blogger for commenting on the anti-vaccine movement, I can’t ignore.

This is not what happened.

The second thing that happens whenever I make that promise to myself is that someone from the anti-vaccine movement writes something that’s unintentional pure comic gold.

This is what happened.

Someone named Curt Linderman, Sr. characterized the pathetically attended and totally pwned anti-vaccine American Rally for Personal Rights a “huge success,” even though his own inflated estimate of the attendance there was only 300. My rule of thumb from having observed events of this type for a while is that the actual attendance of a political rally is usually, at most, half of what the organizers trumpet the attendance to have been after the event. That would be about 150 or less, well within the range of estimates of the skeptics there. Add to that the picture of the volunteers and speakers, which number around 45, subtract the volunteers and speakers, and you’re talking pathetic.

Here’s the single most giggle-worthy passage from the account, though:

While some websites run by unscrupulous individuals decided to misinform the public with the low estimates of those attending the mid week rally, numbers were essentially where we had expected them to be and this is apparent when you consider that the Chicago officials would have been riled had we underestimated the number and significantly more had shown up for the event. With more than 300 logins for the web based rally, the number of those viewing via the web should be placed at over 1500 considering that I know of a number of rally parties springing up….worthy numbers for a first time event.

Gee, you don’t think he means li’l ol’ Orac (among others), do you? Skeptical Teacher, Autism News Beat, Jeremy Witteveen and Jamie Bernstein, take a bow too, you “unscrupulous” skeptics, you!

Of course, even if true, this passage unintentionally reveals something. If this passage is true (which I sincerely doubt), then it means that the organizers themselves didn’t think they could draw very many people into a park in the heart of Chicago on a spring afternoon despite a “large number of volunteers that spent months on conference calls and logistics.”

All right, I’ll stop again for now and try to move on to other topics next week. I have a rare three-day weekend that doesn’t demand huge amounts of work to enjoy, the last one for a while.

But wait. Orac’s typing hand is twitching over his keyboard. Julie Obradovic at Age of Autism is laying down nine Burning Man-sized straw men about supporters of science-based medicine and vaccines and then setting them on fire with napalm-grade burning stupid.