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Antivaccine nonsense Medicine

I’m owed a new irony meter…again

A commenter named ottoschnaut at the anti-vaccine blog Age of Autism owes me a new irony meter after writing to a commenter by the ‘nym “Parent” who complained about the meanness of J.B. Handley’s attack on Seth Mnookin:

To Parent:

You write: “Both sides claim the other is crazy, both in a race to the bottom with scare tactics and threats”

Can you give me one example of a safe vaccine advocate calling those who defend “one size fits all vaccine policy” crazy?

Can you give me an example of “scare tactics” used by safe vaccine advocates?

The truth is what safe vaccine advocates use. If that is a scare tactic, then maybe we should be scared.

To answer ottoschnaut’s first question, I quote a commenter by the ‘nym of veritas:

I would bet Mnookin is still a junkie. It seems that for cash from pharma cartels to support his heroin addiction he will do anything. It is also possible that drug cartels offered him unlimited supply of opiates. No person with a healthy mind would say or write, what he does. He should be treated as a moral leper. It is however a shame that mainstream media support this despicable junkie rather than millions of parents of vaccine injured children and honest scientists, who try to tell the truths that vaccines can kill and cripple for life. We should boycott the mainstream media, as they boycott our children and us.

“No person with a healthy mind”? It sure sounds to me as though veritas is saying that Mnookin is either mentally ill or still an addict. It’s right there in the same comment thread as ottoschnaut.

As for an example of “scare tactics,” I’ll be happy to oblige. Antivaccine activists tried to get me fired from my job last summer after Jake Crosby accused me of a conflict of interest that wasn’t. Threatening someone’s job over something not related to one’s job? That would be scare tactics, ottoschnaut. In the meantime, I need a new irony meter.

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]

22 replies on “I’m owed a new irony meter…again”

It’s a less sophisticated way of saying “no right-thinking person would disagree with . . . ”

As for threats, I’ve seen comments here along the lines of “someone will take you out soon!” and “you’ll get yours!”
so, if those don’t count as scare tactics what does ?

The antivaxxers are just projecting their issues (addiction, mental illness) on to you. Wouldn’t worry about it too much, as wingnuts aren’t very… effective… when they try to drag people down with them.

Stay strong.

Orac, that would be repeated libelous and slanderous attacks on Seth Mnookin, Dr. Paul Offit and others, by J.B. Handley. That’s just the way they operate with threats and picketing and blitzing any blog that reports on the Wakefield junk science research. And, Jake Crosby who lead the charge with bogus conflicts of interest allegations to get Orac fired, is no innocent disabled kid who is being manipulated by Handley.

It’s amazing that “parent” who questioned Handley’s tactics got posted…gotta tighten up the criteria for posting, J.B.

vertitas:

I would bet Mnookin is still a junkie. It seems that for cash from pharma cartels to support his heroin addiction he will do anything.

Is RFK, Jr still an addict? Which one was forced from recovery by the legal system and which one by his family? The one who became clean because of his family did not serve hundreds of hours of community service.

As for threats, I’ve seen comments here along the lines of “someone will take you out soon!” and “you’ll get yours!”
so, if those don’t count as scare tactics what does ?

You no doubt will be able to pony these right up.

I just keep thinking of this line from Susan Dominus’ piece:

Michelle Guppy, the coordinator of the Houston Autism Disability Network and the organizer of the Tomball event, said she believed her own autistic son benefited greatly from one aspect of Wakefield’s work: his conviction that untreated gastrointestinal problems could be behind some of autism’s symptoms. It was Guppy, it turned out, who thought to hire the armed guards “to make the statement,” she said, “that this is neutral ground, and it’s going to be civil.” Guppy, a mother of two who was elegantly dressed for the occasion, made no pretense of neutrality herself. She narrowed her eyes when she learned that a writer from The New York Times was there to write about Wakefield.

“Be nice to him,” she said, “or we will hurt you.”

“You no doubt will be able to pony these right up.”

Trolls do make threats like that, even here.

“You no doubt will be able to pony these right up.”

Trolls do make threats like that, even here.

So long as that’s taken care of.

Can you give me one example of a safe vaccine advocate calling those who defend “one size fits all vaccine policy” crazy?

Well, I’d say the poster’s got a point there: I have never ever encountered somebody who really advocated a “one size fits all vacine policy”. I only ever encountered people who were pretty educated also on the real risks of vaccination and who sensibly advocated for medical exemptions and insisted on herd imunity to protect those people.
So, since it’s a strawman, one cannot really call it crazy…

Orac, you know you need to replace the fuse on your irony meters with a 16d nail every time you surf AoA. So I saw an offer for Russian surplus models, designed in the 60’s to survive a full reading of the USSR five year plan for economic world domination. Those might last you a while.

BTW AoA doesn’t speak for “millions” of parents of autistic children. Most parents are not buying the crap they are selling according to vax rates. I have children on the spectrum and I hate them acting like I must think vaccines are unsafe, because they do.

Hm, you know what CAN kill or cripple for life? Diseases for which we have excellent vaccines!

As a parent to be this trend saddens me. My kid will have to see classmates suffer from completely preventable illnesses thanks to paranoid parents.

As an adult, I find adults overwhelmingly resemble litle boys playing war. Somebody shouts louder than everyone else, and everyone follows. He makes up stuff nobody else can see, and the others swing at invisible enemies with sticks and stones. Because no one can independently verify his claims, he must be truly wise. People hang on his every word, and bully those who don’t fall in line. Dissent is always silenced and erased Nobody ever disagrees.

I had hoped this would end when I got to fourth grade highschool university. Nope. Almost 26, this is still what people do.

@ Scott Cunningham & Denice Walter: Wait ’til you’re 60, darlings! Now you know why I post under “lilady.”

Getting back to Jake Crosby and his attempt to take down Orac, he is the poster child for the autism “epidemic.” He has stated that he was originally diagnosed as “learning disabled” and also has referenced the medication he was prescribed in early childhood (ADHD…maybe?) Now his diagnosis is Asperger Syndrome. That would be just one example of the change of diagnosis responsible for the autism “epidemic.”

Jake is eminently qualified to discuss vaccines, immunology and epidemiology, and Wakefield’s and Kennedy’s pseudoscience, as he has triple undergrad majors at Brandeis; history and health, science, society and policy. He is expected to graduate from Brandeis in 201l and I’m sure the offers for jobs have come pouring in for this dilettante undergrad.

>Antivaccine activists tried to get me fired from my job >last summer after Jake Crosby accused me of a conflict of >interest that wasn’t.

That one was pretty stupid – the claim that you had a conflict of interest resulted from funding from a drug company to your university, so how does it make any sense to complain to your university about this supposed conflict? It’s almost as if the AoA folks don’t care if their arguments make sense, as long as they criticize the people they don’t like.

Guppy, a mother of two who was elegantly dressed for the occasion, made no pretense of neutrality herself. She narrowed her eyes when she learned that a writer from The New York Times was there to write about Wakefield.

[T]he claim that you had a conflict of interest resulted from funding from a drug company to your university, so how does it make any sense to complain to your university about this supposed conflict? It’s almost as if the AoA folks don’t care if their arguments make sense, as long as they criticize the people they don’t like.

Ah, I see you get the general idea of antivaxxer tactics, Andrew.

@ kompleks 41: I cannot get that encounter with the reporter out of my mind. Apparently Michelle Guppy has been cruising the internet where everyone is posting about her peculiar behavior, and now has written about the encounter on her blog at:

michellemguppy.blogspot.com

“For Susan Dominus at the New York Times” a rather long contrived explanation about the encounter…but she still hasn’t provided the reason for hiring guards for the Wakefield meeting. The other articles she has written for her blog are “interesting”, as well.

We never saw the rows of little child coffins lined up from the pre-vaccine days. Our grandparents remember the little coffins.

So many parents seem to think if they don’t worry all the time, about everything, then they aren’t good parents.

So they will fixate on what could happen and not what does actually happen. You wouldn’t pack a snow shovel for a trip to Las Vegas, but parents lose sleep over dangers that in reality are as likely to happen to their kids as snow in Vegas or a meteor hitting their car.

Parent from the facts and not from fears of what could (but usually doesn’t) happen. Fears spread today like fads.

Any child dying is a tragedy for the family but we need to remember a danger impacting 1 in 84 million American kids is not something to lose sleep over. Concern, compassion, yes but constant fear, no.

Christie Barnes (author of The Paranoid Parents Guide)

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