Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Thinker. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

After yesterday’s detailed analysis of a study that’s being touted far and wide as “evidence” that vitamin C cures cancer, I thought I deserved a bit of a break. No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to take the day off from blogging. (Obviously, as you’re reading this now.) It does mean that I plan on doing a bit of slumming, though, and what better place to slum than on some of the antivaccine crank blogs? Besides, it’s almost as though they want me to apply a heapin’ helpin’ of not-so-Respectful Insolence to their material, given that they’ve put up posts that provide such ready insight into how they think, if you can call it thinking.

Speaking of “thinking” (if that’s what it is when done by antivaccine activists), perhaps the most amusing of the recent bunch (which I might, if I’m in a particularly Insolent mood, discuss in a separate post later in the week) is a post by one Shannon Strayhorn, one of the self-proclaimed “Thinkers” (with a capital T) or “THINKERS” (yes, all caps) on the Not-So-Thinking Moms’ Revolution (TMR), one of the crankiest of the antivaccine crank blogs. What makes TMR so deliciously cranky is the utterly insufferable arrogance that every one of the bloggers there exhibits, as embodied in the very name of the blog. You see, they’re the “Thinkers,” and you, my vaccine-supporting friends, you are the poor deluded sheeple who wouldn’t support vaccines if you would only take the time to pull your head out of its pharma-induced fog and Educate Yourself and THINK like the Thinking Moms. This insufferably self-important and self-righteous attitude oozes copiously from every single post on TMR, like mayonnaise gone bad oozing out of a hole in one of those little packets at a fast food joint. Every article is framed with the concept that, unlike the “sheeple” who support vaccines, the TMR moms are the only ones who have thrown off the shackles of sheepleness and become enlightened, making them so much more awesome than anyone else as a result of their Google University educations and their ability to cherry pick and distort evidence. They are important. They are warriors fighting against all odds to bring The Truth About Vaccines to the unwashed masses. Meanwhile, apparently “thinking” means massive projection, as TMR loves to accuse scientists and pro-science bloggers of cherry picking and distorting evidence.

Hilariously, Shannon thinks herself a veritable modern day antivaccine Sun Tzu, as she tries—and fails miserably—to embody Tzu’s famous quote, “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles” in a post entitled, appropriately enough, If You Know Your Enemy and Know Yourself… Too bad she forgot the second part of that famous quote by Sun Tzu, “…if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.” Guess which category Shannon falls into? (Hint: It’s not the category she thinks she’s in.) Despite declaring herself proudly to be a “THINKER,” Shannon then immediately proceeds to demonstrate that she clearly has no idea how to think scientifically or critically and therefore, given her self-image as a “THINKER,” clearly does not know herself. (Heck, TMR has even in the past gushed about homeopathy!) She also clearly does not know her enemies, either, even after having decided to take Paul Offit’s free online course on vaccines at CHOP. Part of the reason is that she didn’t take it to learn about vaccines. Oh, no. Rather, this was her reason:

Recently I shared a picture of my Statement of Accomplishment from Paul Offit’s vaccine course. To catch everyone up, I have been taking courses in a number of different subjects with the intention of learning every possible aspect of autism. However, this one was different. I didn’t sign up to learn something about vaccines, as I have been studying that for years; I signed up to learn about the opposition.

So right off the bat, we know that she entered Dr. Offit’s course with an agenda, and that agenda was not to learn about vaccines, mainly because, in her Dunning-Kruger state, Strayhorn labors under the delusion that she already knows everything she needs to know about vaccines. Rather, it was to scope out what she viewed as the “opposition.” After proclaiming how she and her antivaccine sisters have stood together and are “THINKING” (yes, she really did capitalize the word “thinking”) Shannon goes on to elaborate:

We need to think through, not just our next step, but their next step. We need to infiltrate the ranks, counter their plan of attack. And, in order to do this, we need to KNOW who we were up against: not just who they work for or what they stand to lose should the truth come out, but what kind of people they are, how they think, the words they use, the tactics they use to sway opinion, the way they twist the data to fit their agenda. We need to understand exactly what it is that we face.

So what did our brave non-sheeple “Thinker” do? First, she grabbed another antivaccinationist, and then she joined the course. She also joined the student discussion boards, where she clearly tried to start peddling her antivaccine nonsense, beginning with what she describes as the “story of my daughter and how she was diagnosed with encephalopathy following her vaccinations and how years later we ended up with those words of vaccine injury conveniently being changed to autism.” So, basically, what Strayhorn did, apparently, was to subject the class to her self-absorption by presenting her N=1 anecdote in a course on vaccines and then exhibit surprise that her message was not well received. What did she expect? Indeed, another antivaccine activist, Ginger Taylor, reported on one of Strayhorn’s previous adventures in taking a course, this time a course on vaccine clinical trials offered by Johns Hopkins University. There, apparently Strayhorn bombarded the class with the same sorts of dubious studies purporting to demonstrate a link between vaccines and autism. When rebuffed, this was her attitude:

So of course I shut up…NOT!

I kindly said while I am soooooo impressed with their degrees and careers that I find it scary that someone so educated could in fact get to that point considering they couldn’t even be bothered to read the science, and couldn’t counter one little mom like myself. I asked if it was necessary to post my resume too? I was told we are just parents who are so clueless and don’t understand what the difference is between causation and correlation, that the discussion was going to be stopped because it was off topic, and that it wasn’t necessary to counter what I shared because the science was in and definite. Definitely in.

Bahahaha….oh it is in….but it is clearly not showing what they want!

Such “Thinking”! I’m so impressed. In actuality, I feel sympathy for the instructors for that course who had to put up with Strayhorn’s antics, which were clearly meant to disrupt the class, not to educate. (One wonders if she pulled similar antics on the discussion boards of Dr. Offit’s course.) My guess is that they’ve probably encountered antivaccine “Thinkers” full of Dunning-Kruger effect-inspired arrogance of ignorance who thought that looking up some crappy studies on the University of Google and cherry picking the ones that purport to show vaccines to be harmful, usually by the usual suspects who are well known here, such as Andrew Wakefield, Christopher Shaw, Lucija Tomljenovic or Mark Geier, impresses anyone who actually knows something about science and vaccines. It’s the sort of behavior that impresses similarly science-challenged people who, thanks to Dunning-Kruger, don’t realize that they’re science challenged, and similarly like to trumpet lists of cherry picked papers that ignore the preponderance of evidence favoring the safety and efficacy of vaccines or to misinterpret papers that don’t show what they think they show as being “evidence” for a vaccine-autism link.

Now, in all fairness, it does sound as though there were a handful of students who delighted perhaps more than they should have in posting screenshots of Strayhorn’s online antivaccine activities. On the other hand, if you don’t want it brought up, you shouldn’t post stuff on public forums. When people throw my words back in my face, say, from one of my blogs or from my Twitter account, I don’t whine about it or refer to it as “stalking” (even if it arguably is). I just make sure that what I post can’t easily be used against me. I don’t always succeed, but when I don’t I usually don’t whine about it. Strayhorn could learn a thing or two from that.

Of course, learning isn’t her objective. She thinks she already knows everything she needs to know to be an antivaccine warrior:

We don’t need to combat the same old nonsense. We have the information. We moved the goal posts. We won’t be dragged into ridiculous debates from ten years ago. There is no debate. We are not going to allow the same old tactics. This never was an anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine issue like they claim. This is a conversation about science, health, and the facts. This isn’t about any one person, group, or any celebrity, and it never has been. And we are making that clear. This is about an army of people who did the unthinkable and changed this conversation to be about what it always was really about: the truth. We are done allowing them to attach “just parents,” as a way to discount our stories. We have NEVER been “just” parents.

We don’t walk away from their classes, their groups, their blogs, or anything else. We are here and holding them accountable now. These people can no longer hide among those who are afraid to question. We are beyond hoping that they will just do the right things, we are on to holding them responsible for doing the wrong things. This is a revolution and we are armed and ready.

The only thing I agree with here is that Strayhorn and her “Thinking” bunch of antivaccine warriors did move the goalposts. Moving the goalposts is a classic crank technique and they certainly do that.

Ms. Strayhorn is perfectly welcome to venture into the comment section here at Respectful Insolence. She is welcome to hit me with her best shot and show me her best evidence to support her position. She can even post that list of peer-reviewed papers that the Johns Hopkins people rejected, if she likes (although a post with a lot of links will go into moderation and might take a while to appear). I only ask that she briefly explain how each one supports her argument. Even though I was pretty snarky—downright Insolent, if you will—I even promise not to be nasty. At least I won’t be the one to fire the first shot although I do reserve the right to respond in kind if attacked first. If she does, I will even ask my readers to tone down the usual—shall we say?—freewheeling nature of the discourse going on in this comment thread. She claims she knows her enemy. She claims she knows herself. If that’s true and Sun Tzu was right all those many hundreds of years ago, then she has nothing to fear from us.

Ms. Strayhorn, THINKER, concludes her post by challenging those of us who defend the science of vaccines from antivaccine loons like herself:

This battle just changed.


Consider it brought.

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]

142 replies on “Thinker. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

I see she wrote:

We moved the goal posts.

My Irony Meter vapourised at that point. Indeed they did.

We have the information.

And it shows that vaccines are an order of magnitude safer than the diseases they protect against.

We are not going to allow the same old tactics.

BANG!! Another Irony Meter obliterated.

This is a conversation about science, health, and the facts.

And a third one is gone.

I find it scary that someone so educated could in fact get to that point considering they couldn’t even be bothered to read the science, and couldn’t counter one little mom like myself.

Arrogance of ignorance and self-absorption indeed.

I will note once again that the “Revolution” rather glaringly failed to “hold accountable” themselves on this boner.

I imagine it’s going to be a long wait until they progress to a Komsomol and show trials.

The Dunning Kruger is strong in this one.

One thing I hate is when people in discussions tell me to think. Usually with the implication that once I did I would clearly agree with their position.

Um, no.

I don’t know everything. In fact, I know that the stuff I know is in a very narrow field.

So, if you present me something and I don’t agree with you I’ll look it up. In sources that are trustworthy. Only works for matters of fact, obviously.

Arguing about opinions is pointless most of the time.

Unfortunately too many people treat science as a matter of opinion these days.

I will note once again that the “Revolution” rather glaringly failed to “hold accountable” themselves on this boner.

I forgot about that one. I liked it so much that I added a mention of TMR’s touting homeopathy to the post. 🙂

All these “Thinking Moms” doing “research” remind me of Elena Ceaușescu, wife of the Romanian dictator. Despite her peasant upbringing, minimal education and just the one short stint as a laboratory assistant she decided she would be a Real Scientist, but without having to go through all that pesky learning stuff. So she used her husband’s heavyweight political influence to get herself a PhD in chemistry (using papers written for her by others) and had herself photographed in labs looking all sciencey and surrounded by experiments that she was allegedly conducting.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing any of TMR’s denizens to the deluded wife of a vicious dictator. But this constant self-proclamation as Scientists does seem to spring from the same sense of inferiority and (perhaps) powerlessness.
Or maybe not.

And I, too, am… Wowed, I guess, by someone who takes a class about vaccines from someone with Dr. Offit’s knowledge and goes in assuming they have nothing to learn about the subject matter.

TMRs are rebels without clues, brains, logic, intelligence, courtesy, respect, decency, etc. That anyone listens to these non-thinkers is sad.

I don’t think Shannon will venture here. She says to “bring it”, but really she doesn’t have anything to bring.

But speaking of cherry picking, here is what purports to be a timeline of thimerosal:

I looked in vain for a statement: Mercury removed from vaccines, autism rate continues to rise.

@ #10, Broken Link

Ah, but thimerolas and mercury were only a perfectly executed distraction from the substances in the vaccines that really cause autism. A smokescreen – here’s a toxic substance you can concentrate on, while we make unnatural strains of MMR (out of death fetuses and forsaken souls of children!) that supposedly build immunity but are meant to steal a soul of your child and make it autistic!

I sometimes scare myself.

Taking a class just to mingle with the “enemy” and cause trouble. Wow, and I thought my hate-lurking in the CNN comments section was extreme.

This isn’t even DK…from her typing, it seems downright delusional. I wonder if she talks like that in real life.

Today TMR announces that they are two years old!
Unfortunately, most two year old make more sense.

This means that I’ve been reading their tripe and wading through their got-forsaken sinkhole of un-reason and self-congratulation for two years. .
Don’t feel sorry for me: reading them only makes me stronger.

At any rate, they have assembled a coterie of diarists who spew the most unrealistic insights into child-rearing,self-care and everyday living that can be simultaneously frightening and hilarious. I don’t know how they do it but they do. Every meme dear to anti-vax is re-iterated and spewed forth like a pyroclastic flow of stupid. Daily.

There are-in toto- 23 moms and one dad as well as occasional guest writers- the moms all use nyms which exemplify their self-proclaimed personae: Goddess, Saint, Booty Kicker, Prof, Dragon Slayer, the Rev, ad nauseum.
Notice no one has yet chosen ‘Harpie’ or ‘Navel Gazer’ or ‘Self-important Ne’er-Do-Well”. But I guess we can wait.

Whilst they all produce miserably feeble examples of logic, learning and erudition I must say that a few of them just stick out head and shoulders above the rest:
Mama Mac ( Alison MacNeil),
the Rev ( Lisa Goes) and
Mamacita ( Cathy Jameson) appear to be the wind beneath their wings and the flame atop their candle. Notice that at least two of them also write on AoA.

When trashing SBM wears them out they always settle back and play doctor for their children and selves- prescribing GFCFSF diets, using supplements and herbs as well as homeopathetic formulae.” I need to focus on ME” they say, as if their past actions were entirely self-less.

Then there’s the Revolution:
like many alt med advocates they believe that soon, the edifice known as SBM will soon come crashing down to be engulfed by the cleansing tsunamic powers of the sea- much like what happened to Numenor- and they and their idols will emerge transplendent and haloed in gold.
Or something.

And all of the vaccinators will be brought to justice and chained to a rock to be devoured by free range dragons or suchlike.

As they say,”Dreaming is free”.

Dear atheists,

If God doesn’t exist, how me a soccer mom learned biology?



Death Foetus and the Forsaken Souls of Children… Didn’t they recently sign to Earache records?

But seriously folks… Reading the comments under that post has made me realise that this lot are more deranged than most of the AoA crowd. Do they actually exist? I’ve got a young daughter, and I’ve honestly never come across anyone this deluded among the other parents.

At least they’re not trying to push their own twisted version of science in the manner of AoA – it’s just ranting and bleating.

Has anyone ever wondered if by ‘revolution’ they mean the American one?
Could be the French, Russian, Chinese or Iranian one..
altho’ all had misery, disease and death follow in their respective wakes.

@ Dorit:

Oh why not?

@ Rich Scopie:

Oh they exist alright.
They even have produced a book that is comprised of their personal stories and triumphs.They meet-up at AutismOne Loon Conventions wearing LBDs** where they drink, dish and pose- as all good poseurs should. They met on facebook originally. They create videos and meme cards. They make appearances/ speak at book stores. MacNeil has an internet radio show- ‘Fearless Parent Radio’ @ PRN ( with other anti-vaxxers outside the Group).They have their own internet tv show, Thinking Out Loud ( @ TMR).

I am -btw- a psychologist, which probably explains my morbid interest.

** for the fashion-deprived: Little Black Dress

@Denise Walter – Maybe it’s an American thing. Or maybe I’ve just been fortunate to not have a bunch of self-obsessed, narcissistic* harpies in my social circles. I’ve noticed that the nearest UK equivalent – JABS – has gone very quiet over the last couple of years.

* Yes – I realise this is a tautology, but I felt that in this case it was needed.

@ Rich Scopie;

You know, JABS declined and then, TMR rose…
do you think it possible that when Andy migrated west he brought his magick with him, entrancing all the lost souls within a few thousand miles?

I am of course joking. I think.

Haven’t you all noticed, that The TMR president is about to pass the baton on to a new president. (Who knew that the group’s bylaws provide for that transition?)

I await with bated breath to see which one of The Thinkers will lead the group for the next two years.

I wish I could write like Denice Walter @ #13.
As entertaining as a really good novel and I can’t wait to start the next chapter.

There’s a huge anti-vaccine sentiment out there. I estimate I get 5% of my patients refusing flu shots, pneumovax, zostavax. These are usually the same ones hauling in herbal meds by the grocery bag full….

There is no debate.

Ms. Strayhorn got this one right, too, but not for the reasons she thinks. One side is discussing anecdotes, the other is discussing data.

the way they twist the data to fit their agenda

And here she deploys some weapons-grade projection. As we now know, this is exactly what Wakefield did in the infamous Lancet paper.

@ Bill Price:

I thank you for your kind words.
I enjoy writing and appreciate the fact that people actually read what I..

Oh hang it all…
it’s about [email protected] time I come clean: my recompense is vast; my coffers overflow with euros, pounds and dollars- even Aussie ones !
I get free samples from designers, too. The jealous women of TMR can put that in their pipes and smoke it
The powers-that-be ™ reward me for my words- each and every one of them- therefore they flow like honey or motor oil.

I know that RI appears to be just a blog where snarky folk come to rub shoulders with each other as well as with our peerless leader, Orac, and our lord and master, Draconis., who owns us all, body andsoul.But really, it’s a subversive cell of semantic anti-terrorists keen on wrecking havoc on whosoever slaughters the English language and rational approaches towards deciphering the nature of reality.

We got a job to do and we do it well.
Because somebody has to.

“The paranoid style is not confined to our own country and time; it is an international phenomenon…a style made up of certain preoccupations and fantasies: “the megalomaniac view of oneself as the Elect, wholly good, abominably persecuted, yet assured of ultimate triumph; the attribution of gigantic and demonic powers to the adversary; the refusal to accept the ineluctable limitations and imperfections of human existence, such as transience, dissention, conflict, fallibility whether intellectual or moral; the obsession with inerrable prophecies . . . systematized misinterpretations, always gross and often grotesque.”” ~ The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1964) Richard Hofstadter

Here’s something for the mothers to think about – – –

Selected quotes –

An Arkansas woman, who lost her baby last month after coming down with the H1N1 flu virus, has now lost her life.
Leslie Creekmore, 29, had been hospitalized for the last month. She was put on a ventilator January 13, before being rushed to a St. Louis hospital a day later.

Creekmore spontaneously miscarried on January 16. She was 20 weeks pregnant.

On the advice of their doctor, the couple said they postponed getting a flu shot until after Creekmore’s first trimester.

The couple did not know that his guidance was counter to federal health recommendations.

But, hey, the flu is harmless, right?

@Denice, you are truly great and I have enjoyed your comments for several years. Keep going!

@Johnny, that is truly sad.

Dorit Reiss wrote:

I wonder what she thinks she means by saying “we moved the goal posts.”

Given the preceeding and following sentences, I think she means that the data they’ve brought to the table means that pro-vaccination arguments that were defensible ten years ago aren’t any longer. A more felicitous expression might have been “we raised the bar”.

(Felicitous, that is, from the PoV of her getting her point across rather than having people point and laugh at her. From the PoV of cosmic justice, pointing and laughing might be the preferable outcome.)

@ Johanna:
@ squirrelelite:

( Altho’ I realise that Johanna is fishing for a scarf-
what’ll be- de la Renta, Dior or old reliable, Burbs?)

I, too, took the online course Dr. Offit offered and while I don’t remember Strayhorn’s specific comments, I do remember a few blatantly anti-vac comments in the student forum, mostly aimed at parents who were Doing The Right Thing and actually learning about vaccines and vaccine history. These parents were genuinely confused and scared about vaccinating their children. I’m proud to report that the vast majority of the comments (and all the pro-vac ones, I might add) were incredibly compassionate, helpful, and patient towards these parents, whether it was specifically discussing said parents’ situations or answering general questions.

My overall impression was that anti-vac comments were dismissed by the other students and considered trolling.

@kruuth #26

I’ll see if I can still sign into that class and look around the forums for her comments.

the moms all use nyms which exemplify their self-proclaimed personae: Goddess, Saint, Booty Kicker, Prof, Dragon Slayer, the Rev, ad nauseum.

So long as no-one assumes a Teutonic title suggestive of pomposity and humourless pedantry.

Thanks Wolf. I really wish I had some of mine from back in the days of the old terminal logins. We had a nut job in one of our classes do something similar and it sounds like they got shot down the same way.

@Denice Walter

therefore they flow like honey or motor oil.

Whereas I aim to make my words flow like pitch: slow, but inevitable and sticking to everything.

@Denice Walter #13
I truly enjoy many of the comments from many of the excellent commentators here (the non-troll variety of course). But Denice, you stood out today. Well done, it was almost poetic at times. As far as these TMR types, is there a name for a blending of The Dunning Kruger Effect and The Burning Stupid?

I blame their science teachers. When I teach vaccines I tell students to be careful what they Google because there are some people who think all the doctors in the world are trying to kill babies. This usually results in much laughter and derisive comments about antivaxers.

@Johnny – thanks for that update. A tragic outcome. My husband and I were just discussing her over the weekend. I can’t imagine what her husband must be feeling.


Sweetie, only the chavs wear Burberry these days. It’s so common. Dior, darling, Dior.

{/Edina mode}


Oh yes! If Lord Draconis could include that in the next goodie bag, that would be divine.

Although it must be said, I’ll probably be seeing quite a few scarves at the Doctor Who hoedown this holiday weekend… 😉

@ Johanna:

It’s PERFECTLY respectable to wear Burbs that don’t look like Burbs:
e.g. a de-constructed lattice pattern in dove grey/ white silk or a hidden, crypto-plaid in heavy blue/ lavender silk or an arcane black/blue plaid that is only visible with nightvision lenses- although the cerise stripe IS visible in sunlight.

@ squirrelelite:

Different Burbs

All Diors must be vintage c. 1970s.
( Now don’t laugh but to write this I had to dig into actual bags of real scarves in my closet.
Non-fiction is always best)

@ Skeptical_Canadian

Merci beaucoup.
I am occasionally overtaken by poetry. Job hazard.

Only at RI can one read a truly epic takedown of numbskull ‘thinking’ people AND get fashion advice, all in the comfort of one’s iPad. I really like it here. The frequent quotes from “The Princess Bride” are just happy bonuses.

Denice Walter, #28, February 11, 2014

@ Bill Price:
I thank you for your kind words.
I enjoy writing and appreciate the fact that people actually read what I..
Oh hang it all…

Much to my embarrassment, it was bill smith, not I, who posted #23/ I do agree with his sentiment. ‘Tis my misfortune that my Aspieness makes me afraid to compliment individuals lest I offend those I don’t compliment.
I spent over five years lurking here. During that time I came to appreciate many of the regulars, for their various interests, expertises, talents, etc. You are definitely one of the more memorable. Thank you for you.

Yeah well, the RI Ladies can pick scarves, how about us men? I’d like a Paul Smith thank you very much.

“What are scarves?”

First, get a balaclava. Cut it in half. The top half is a toque and the bottom half is a scarf. Or, I suppose, get a scarf and a toque and stitch them together to make a balaclava. Either way your nose is left out in the cold.

A scarf is a handy general purpose accessory to lots of clothes. Usually it’s a printed piece of fabric, but it can be knitted or even crocheted, I suppose.
Usually, you wrap it around your throat and then tie it in one of many ways to keep it from blowing away or getting wrapped around the wheel of your car like Isadora Duncan.
They are more commonly worn by women but are becoming increasingly popular among men as opposed to traditional ties.

Sorry, Denice, the Dior scarf I spotted was a bit older than that, but I did like the colors!

@Sheepmilker, I rather like the stripes and colors in this one:
which is just dangling loose.

The nicest scarf I have ever had the pleasure of wearing is made of qiviut. It’s toasty warm and surprisingly light.

@ bill smith:

I thank you for your kind words etc.

@ Alain:

It’s an *echarpe* AND a ” foulard*.

As they say,”Dreaming is free”.

A quick survey of the comment tallies (front page: 6, 8, 10, 2, 12, 15, 3, 8, 9, 11) as a proxy for engagement pretty much reveals how well the “revolution” is going. G—gle hasn’t even bothered to crawl the comments since at least the 7th.

I have all the vintage scarves that I need, so when I put in my requisition to Lord Draconis for my filthy *Big Pharma* lucre , I prefer shiny precious rewards, I always request proof Kruggerrands.

I’d ask our Lord and Master for payment in kittens, but I worry that, with every good intention, he’d send them deep-fried…

Well, obviously this is purely anecdotal, but I have a few hardcore ant-vax friends on facebook (the end result of being raised in a hippie lifestyle). So anyway I have known all these women since they were children and they all have one thing in common: they are all legends in their own minds. They believed that they were destined for greatness, and now that adult life has set in, and they see that their lives are banal, they are seeking a reason as to how everything went so wrong. I think it simply makes perfect sense to them that The Truth has been hidden by evil doctors and scientists, but that they are great enough and smart enough to not be among The Brainwashed and can clearly see The Truth. They know something that we don’t know! It fits with their perception of themselves, because they obviously have not achieved greatness only because some force, some vast conspiracy, is holding them back. But at the same time, they are secret geniuses, so of course they have it all figured out!

@ Denice

Just a detail, what is “GFCFSF diets”? (from #13)
I don’t dare googling it extensively, a first attempt brought back too many sites from the dark side.

I went as far as gluten-free and casein-free, and then gave up on SF.

@Helianthus: SF= sugar free.

However, GFCFSF isn’t quite right. It should be RFVEGGFCFSF/FF.. Raw Food Vegan Gluten Free Casein Free Sugar Free/Flavour Free….

Incidentally, I do have a lactose intolerance and a gluten intolerance (thanks, Crohn’s disease) and can’t eat pig without throwing up (again, thanks, Crohn’s disease). I have a recipe for a GF/lard free hot water pastry which one of my medieval cooking buddies figured must also be flavour free… until I told him I used beef dripping rather than lard. I have a dodgy gut, I ain’t stupid!

@ Christine


Incidentally, I do have a lactose intolerance and a gluten intolerance (thanks, Crohn’s disease)

I was about to joke that this GFCFSF diet shouldn’t be easy to follow, but for people who really have troubles with gluten or casein, clearly it’s not a joking matter.
Pork products as well, with Crohn’s disease? I didn’t know that.

Long-time lurker here again…once again, a big thank you to the stalwarts of RI, and especially Denice, for wading through the dross and filth from the woo community for the edification of the rest of us. I tried doing it, but found myself shouting at my laptop in fury at the sheer stupidity of these people. For those who actually know anything about chemistry, biology, physics etc, it’s deeply insulting to be lectured by cretins.

As a would-be Pharma shill, how do I claim my rewards from Lord Draconis?

@ Nick K:

Thanks so much.
For some reason I am quite immune to ‘sheer stupidity’- it just rolls off me like water off a duck.

Here’s why I’m involved:
I observe people who make their living and/or create a sparkling aura of fame to boost their own fragile and poorly developed egos at the *expense* of others. This seems unfair to me.

Obviously woo-meisters/ web health entrepreneurs do this- selling a double bill of “SBM knows nothing’ /” I can cure you’ by presenting mis-information and vaguely true snippets of research, out of context, to market products. You know the big names here.
How does 12.2million USD in sales for hyped nutritional products and propaganda sound?** About right, I’d say.

Although woo-meisters boost their egos as well as their incomes, many proselytisers – esp those in anti-vax- earn little or no money ( they may sell a few books) BUT they use their spurious expertise in order to feel better about themselves ( see what Rose wrote above) or their families’ difficult lives coping with ASDs. Their mal-information trumps what experts say, they tell people.
All of this would of course be purely personal- a means of coping- IF it did not lead to them advising others and recommending treatments w/o the scientific background needed to evaluate the issues – as we see frequently @ TMR and AoA.
In addition, they foist their _un-tested_ treatments on children who have no choice in the matter.

If a 30 year has an ASD and wants to try green juices to see if it helps his condition – that is not a problem. But shoving treatments down a 6 year old’s throat is another story. It’s bad enough when children need real SBM that is uncomfortable or painful BUT it has been studied and evaluated as being the best- sometimes the only- option.

Most of the treatments Orac writes about can be harmful or at the very least ,INeffective- a waste of time, money and effort. Thus TMs tie themselves into knots trying to appoximate the absolutely PERFECT diet to ‘recover’ their children when there is no data to suggest that this could work. Homeopathy is water. Chelation can be dangerous.
Bleach should only be for dirty laundry.

Proselytisers, in their zeal, don’t bother to look at SB research as they’ve already decided to suspect standard sources as being compromised and in the pocket of Big Pharma. Most followers are being used by the leaders who desire an audience and sometimes, customers, and in turn, may become leaders themselves and attract a following. We see this charade at AutismOne each year: parents become speakers.

I’d like to see alt med become unfashionable and seen as a relic of the distant past, not as a noteworthy trend.

** from / Gary Null and Associates annual sales

As both serendipity and synchronicity would have it, TMR today posts an article about the internet support network of reciprocal enablement or as I often refer to it, group therapy gone wrong, by the appropriately nymed “Guru Girl”.
And I hereby rest my case.

I’ll bet the same people who give their kids bleach enemas would insist on unbleached filters to make the coffee for their coffee enemas….

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