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The central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement

conspiracy-theories-everywhere

Occasionally, there are issues that come to my attention that need more than just one blog post to cover. One such issue popped up last week, and it’s one that’s kept you all very engaged, with the comment count on the original post rapidly approaching 200. I’m referring, of course, to the alleged CDC “whistleblower” who’s supposedly blown the lid on a “coverup” based on Brian Hooker’s incompetent “reanalysis” of a ten year old study (Destefano et al) that failed to find a link between age at MMR vaccination and the risk of developing autism. More specifically, given that Destefano et al was a case control study, there was no difference in the frequencies of ages at which children in the case group and the control group received their first MMR vaccination. In this, he claims to have been using data and CDC documents supplied to him by a “whistleblower” scientist from the CDC, Dr. William Thompson.

Brian Hooker took that data, incompetently analyzed it as a cohort study ignoring at least one major confounder, and reported that receiving the MMR vaccine before the age of 36 months was correlated with a 3.4-fold increased risk of autism in only one subgroup, African American males. the ironic thing, of course, is that, even if Hooker is 100% correct (and there are lots of reasons to to think that he isn’t), he’s just proven Andrew Wakefield wrong when it comes to all children other than African-American males.

That makes memes that have been popping up on Facebook and other social media, such as this, all the more examples of burning stupid:

memestupid

The idiotic uses of Hooker’s paper aside by clueless antivaccine activists aside, this entire affair and its co-optation by Andrew Wakefield for his own nefarious ends is a useful “teachable moment” in that it lets me remind my readers once again about a basic fact of the antivaccine movement. Specifically, as is the case for virtually all crank movements, conspiracy theories are part and parcel of the antivaccine movement. Indeed, so integral are they to the antivaccine world view that it is not too much of a stretch to conclude that the antivaccine movement needs them. Of course, the specific dominant conspiracy theory varies, depending on location and culture. For example, in Muslim societies in Third World countries, where resistance to the polio vaccine has hampered the goal of eliminating polio as smallpox has been eliminated, the central conspiracy theory is that the polio vaccine is an evil plot hatched by the West to sterilize Muslim youth and decrease the Muslim population. This particular conspiracy theory is of a piece with some of the more loony conspiracy theories that claim that vaccination is a plot to reduce the surplus population of the world through sterilization for purposes that remain unclear.

Perhaps the most common conspiracy theory in the U.S. is the belief that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “knew” that vaccines cause autism. In fact, if you believe these conspiracy theories, the CDC itself has demonstrated that vaccines cause autism but has assiduously covered up all evidence. Of course, as is also the case with conspiracy theories, the conspiracy isn’t perfect in that brave maverick doctors and investigators always find “evidence” of the “coverup,” such as it is.

Indeed, it was just such a conspiracy theory that got me into blogging about the antivaccine movement way back in 2005. Does anyone remember Simpsonwood? It’s one of the hoariest of hoary antivaccine conspiracy theories, dating back more than ten years and first brought to popular attention by that antivaccine crank par excellence Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in his infamously bad “expose” called Deadly Immunity, simultaneously published in both Rolling Stone and Salon.com. I discussed this conspiracy theory in detail way back when it first landed with a plop on a world that didn’t need such fetid dreck oozing down its head and shoulders. So did Skeptico and Lindsay Beyerstein. More recently, both Emily Willingham and, yes, yours truly noted that the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory is truly a zombie that will not die, apparently even with a head shot, because Brian Hooker himself resurrected it six months ago.

So what is the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory? Basically, as I explained both in 2005 and 2014 (and a few times between). If you believe the antivaccine movement, it was all about covering up a link between the mercury-containing vaccine preservative thimerosal and autism. In reality, the Simpsonwood conference was all about examining evidence from the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a collaborative effort between the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and nine managed care organizations (MCOs) established in 1990 to monitor immunization safety and address the gaps in scientific knowledge about rare and serious events following immunization to determine if there really was a reason for concern about thimerosal in vaccines. Although the decision had been made in 1999 to remove thimoerosal from childhood vaccines, the decision hadn’t been fully implemented yet, and the CDC wanted to determine whether there was any cause for concern. It was hardly the action of a group that wanted to “cover up” anything, particularly the bit about publishing the entire transcript. None of this, however, prevented antivaccine activists, particularly the branch known as the “mercury militia” for its affinity for the set of antivaccine beliefs associated with mercury in vaccines as a cause of autism, from dreaming up all manner of conspiracy theories.

In reality, there was nothing nefarious going on at Simpsonwood. It was all rather mundane, actually. A preliminary result of an analysis by CDC epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten, MD seemed to indicate an elevated risk of autism. However, in further analyses that eliminated confounders, the risk continued to fall until it disappeared, and that’s the analysis that was ultimately published, as I explained in detail not too long ago.

Meanwhile, back in 2013, Hooker was also busy criticizing another study published in the Journal of Pediatrics that pretty effectively demolished the antivaccine trope of “too many too soon.” Let’s just say that Hooker’s criticisms were less than convincing. Actually, let’s just say that convincing and Hooker’s criticisms weren’t even on the same continent, maybe not even on the same planet. They were a lovely example of Gish Galloping, special pleading, and insinuating conspiracies.

So it’s not surprising that the latest round launched by Wakefield and Hooker last week, in which they first revealed that there was a “CDC whistleblower” and then later revealed that this “whistleblower” is William Thompson, PhD, a senior researcher at the CDC, is resonating big time with the antivaccine movement. The Twitter hashtags #CDCwhistleblower and #CDCfraud, set up by antivaccine groups flogging the story, are going wild with Tweets like:

I must admit that that last one cracked me up. Then I thought: Great. Just what we need, the latest Jenny McCarthy wannabe. Be that as it may, no less a luminary of the antivaccine crank underground that Mike Adams himself proclaimed last week:

I’m posting this update to let Natural News readers know we are actively investigating this groundbreaking story which may turn out to be a larger cover-up than the Tuskegee experiments. Much like Tuskegee, this story also involves the suffering of African-Americans at the hands of a corporate-run medical cartel that systematically sacrifices lives for profit.

If what we are hearing so far is true, it means the CDC has deliberately run a decade-long cover-up which condemned tens of thousands of African-American children to a life of autism caused by MMR vaccines. It would also mean the CDC has engaged in a shameless conspiracy to hide the truth about the damage caused by vaccines, confirming the agency’s primary mission of protecting pharmaceutical profits even at the expense of human life.

This story is potentially the greatest scientific conspiracy in the history of modern medicine. Accordingly, you can expect the entire mainstream media to completely censor the story and try to pretend it never happened.

I made fun of Wakefield’s comparing this “CDC coverup” to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, but Wakefield knows his audience. It resonates. Besides, there’s nothing like comparing a fake conspiracy theory to a real conspiracy from history to make the fake conspiracy theory seem less implausible. At the very least, the revulsion everyone feels over the Tuskegee experiment leads to a shut down of even the remnant of critical thinking faculties that might be left, particularly in cranks predisposed to believe the conspiracy theory in the first place.

So what really happened? Nearly three days later, we’re no closer to knowing what happened than we were on Friday. The CDC has not issued a statement. William Thompson has not issued a statement, nor has he or the CDC held a press conference. In essence, the CDC has ceded the public relations front to antivaccine cranks.

Right now, from my point of view, I can imagine three main possibilities for what happened. The first possibility from what I know is that Thompson had some sort of disagreement with his co-investigators, made the incredibly stupid—yes, stupid—decision to unburden himself to Brian Hooker, who, he must have known or should have known, is an antivaccine crank associated with Andrew Wakefield, and is now paying the price for that decision, much like Flounder in Animal House when he trusted his fraternity brothers with his car. The second possibility is that Thompson wanted to correct something Hooker was doing with the data and somehow let himself be drawn into saying things that could easily be taken out of context. The third, and (I hope) much less likely, possibility is that Thompson’s gone off the deep end and gone antivaccine.

Meanwhile, last night Mike Adams released what is purported to be a letter from Dr. Thompson to Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC at the time, dated February 2nd, 2004. The funny thing about this letter is that it doesn’t actually reveal evidence of a CDC coverup in the least. It mentions nothing of Destefano et al. Instead, it expresses concern about Thompson’s having to appear before what he predicts will be a hostile group in front of Representative David Weldon, concern that the CDC is losing the PR war, and a suggestion that Dr. Gerberding respond to Weldon’s letter. None of this supports a coverup, but it’s sure being furiously spun that way.

If Dr. Thompson did say what he is represented as having said on the Wakefield video (I don’t trust Wakefield for a moment to have edited the tape of Thompson’s conversations with Hooker honestly), then Thompson has done enormous damage. This is the sort of thing that antivaccine activists like Hooker have been waiting for for years: A “whistleblower” CDC official of senior rank who gives them a seemingly plausible story of malfeasance and coverup to trumpet to the world. This is not going away. It will become part of antivaccine lore, to be repeated over and over basically forever as evidence that the “CDC knew.” If he didn’t, he really needs to find a way to get out in front of this and give his side of the story now. The longer this festers, the less effective his response will be. The same is true of the CDC. The longer it remains silent, the more antivaccine activists will spin it as being part of the conspiracy.

I can sort of understand why Dr. Thompson might elect to remain silent. If he’s in any sort of legal trouble, speaking out might not be wise. On the other hand, I can’t figure out for the life of me why the CDC hasn’t at least issued a statement clarifying what has happened by now. Failure to do so is utterly irresponsible and only feeds the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement. For the key government agency charged with disease prevention and overseeing of the vaccine program to let such nonsense continue to fester without even an attempt to refute it is a failure to do its duty of monumental proportions.

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]

156 replies on “The central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement”

In this, he claims to have been using data and CDC documents supplied to him by a “whistleblower” scientist from the CDC, Dr. William Thompson.

There’s a very good chance that I’ve missed something here, so I would appreciate it somebody would help clear me up. I’m relying on Focus Autism’s version:

“The whistleblower came to the attention of Hooker, a PhD in biochemical engineering, after he had made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for original data on the DeStefano et al MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism study.”

Hooker was plainly using the same MADDSP data set as DeStefano et al., and it didn’t come from Thompson unless the TN paper was a genuinely insane fraud. So if Hooker already had this FOIA trove, as well as the real data, what on earth is Thompson supposed to have “supplied” other than telling him what to conclude and how from what he already had?

Thank you for putting this in context, highlighting how unsupported this conspiracy theory is, how flimsy a basis for the claims of the anti-vaccine movement.

I hope someone in the CDC listens. We could use an official answer to what happened.

Good point Narad.

I was under the impression that when FOIA requests come in to any large agency, that there is a public access employee who handles those requests…in conjunction with the legal department of that agency. That’s been my experience with FOIA requests for Medicaid audits (conducted by State auditors) and available for my son’s group home.

It’s also been my experience, working for a smaller County health department, that FOIA requests went through public access/in house attorneys.

I find it hard to believe that Dr. Thompson would be searching for records to comply with Hooker’s FOIA requests and that detail that Hooker stated on the video “When the call from Thompson came in, I recognized that 404 area code as coming from the CDC”…just doesn’t ring true.

Yes, the CDC should have issued a statement of some sort…even an interim statement…by now.

No matter what the subject matter is, relying on a conspiracy theory to make your case is always the end of the line. Whether it is UFOs, GMOs, Trilateral Commission, moon landing hoaxers, or vaccines, if the proponent’s argument requires you the accept a massive conspiracy, run away as fast as you can.

I should clarify that I don’t think the data set came from the FOIA(s) either, unless this actually sprang into being only as a result of this nuttery.

OT re Mike Adams; I was shopping Amazon last week for a Field Strength Meter. In particular I looked at: Extech 480846 8GHz RF Electromagnetic Field Strength Meter. Checking the reviews, I was surprised to find one by The Health Ranger. Hilarity ensues. He never figures out how to use his meter, and is corrected on several points by another reviewer. Checking his list of Amazon reviews, it turns out that he has trouble with a lot of technical equipment. If he can’t get this common technology going, I’m sure he’s having great success with his spectrometer.

I find it hard to believe that Dr. Thompson would be searching for records to comply with Hooker’s FOIA requests and that detail that Hooker stated on the video “When the call from Thompson came in, I recognized that 404 area code as coming from the CDC”

ZOMG, speaking of 404, the HHS employee directory has been disappeared!

That seals it.

No matter what Thompson says, if it does not fit the antivaxer script they will say he buckled under pressure

Narad, I saw that posting from the CDC….quite interesting.

I’m a bit confused about the original DeStefano study and Hooker’s study, because Hooker states the birth years of the children in both studies are 1986-1993:

http://www.translationalneurodegeneration.com/content/3/1/16

Methods

The author embarked on the present study to evaluate whether a relationship exists between child age when the first MMR vaccine was administered among cases diagnosed with autism and controls born between 1986 through 1993 among school children in metropolitan Atlanta. The Pearson’s chi-squared method was used to assess relative risks of receiving an autism diagnosis within the total cohort as well as among different race and gender categories.

Narad…The directory may be pulled off the internet because the crazies are trying to reach every department in the CDC…not just the Vaccine Division.

Sadly, Jim Stone has completely ignored this story, instead raving incoherently about, inter alia, a vet who had the temerity to tell him that ocean water was not in fact a rehydrating electrolyte-replacement fluid for a dog.

Narad…The directory may be pulled off the internet because the crazies are trying to reach every department in the CDC

Well, if you go to the top-level site, it offers a flimsy message about “performing some maintenance.” HMMMMMM.

I’m a bit confused about the original DeStefano study and Hooker’s study, because Hooker states the birth years of the children in both studies are 1986-1993

They were. The 1996 MADDSP data set included ASD for ages 3–10.

[…] Sometimes, there are points that come to my consideration that want greater than only one weblog publish to cowl. One such situation popped up final week, and it’s one which’s stored you all very engaged, with the remark rely on the unique submit quickly approaching 200. I’m referring, in fact, to the alleged CDC “whistleblower”… Respectful Insolence […]

Hooker was plainly using the same MADDSP data set as DeStefano et al., and it didn’t come from Thompson unless the TN paper was a genuinely insane fraud. So if Hooker already had this FOIA trove, as well as the real data, what on earth is Thompson supposed to have “supplied” other than telling him what to conclude and how from what he already had?

That makes no sense to me either. And if Thompson was working so closely with Hooker as Hooker claims then why would Thompson let Hooker make such spectacular statistical blunders with the data set so as to render it completely useless out of the gate?

Frosty @5 — Agreed about the conspiracy theories. To your list I’d like to add one spectacular example, namely global warming “skeptics”; their position cannot hold together unless the entire enterprise of physical science has been co-opted by a shadowy conspiracy of “watermelons” (“green on the outside, red on the inside” — get it?) out to use global warming as an excuse to exert social control and reduce us all to penury.

This is preposterous, of course. But unfortunately, there’s a huge amount of money and political clout behind it — it’s a much more difficult situation than the vaccine front. On the global warming issue, the right-wing media and Republican party have adopted the anti-science propaganda as gospel; so far, at least, this hasn’t happened with anti-vax lunacy.

“When the call from Thompson came in, I recognized that 404 area code as coming from the CDC”…just doesn’t ring true.

The 404 area code isn’t sufficient to identify the origin as the CDC. At one time it would have told you that the call came from metro Atlanta, but in this era of phone number portability, that’s no longer true.

However, it is possible that he saw 404-867-5309 (or whatever the actual number is), and knew that CDC phone numbers have the form 404-867-xxxx (or whatever the actual exchange is). To take a real world example: I can’t be sure (as I would have been ten years ago) that a 617 area code is coming from the Boston area, but if the number is 617-495-xxxx, I know the caller is at Harvard University.

But there’s another problem with Hooker’s claim: If he really had an inside source at the CDC feeding him information, why would that source use his office phone number, rather than a cell phone, to contact Hooker? Whereas if the caller were responding to an FOIA request, that would be part of the caller’s official duties, so it would make sense to use an official CDC number. So either Thompson was being very stupid in calling Hooker from his office phone, or Hooker is shading the truth here. The former possibility isn’t ruled out, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive, but I find the latter more likely.

@ Narad:

During Friday’s broadcast @ PRN, Hooker makes it sound as if he was already going over FOIA data and THEN Thompson contacted him. He later stated that he had “tens of thousands of pages” ( which he hasn’t gone through yet) as if to imply that Thompson supplied it. HOWEVER he may have just had access to “tens of ………” . It sounded deliberately vague. I wonder why.

I notice that the faithful are trumpetting the fact that the mainstream media hasn’t yet commented on this earth-shattering revelation about governmental malfeasance.

In their looking-glass world, that is proof positive that it is important. From what I’ve observed, our web woo-meisters and anti-vax reporters are keen to make their audiences miistrustful of the mainstream media and to come to THEM instead for news.

How do they accomplish this? For example, @ PRN, a great deal of time is allocated to narrating how the government, the media and corporations have lied, cheated and mis-used the public trust- even if they have to go back a hundred years or more. They produce a steady diet of meat-y tidbits** to create an atmosphere of discomfort surrounding any institutions, be they governmental, academic or media.

And then they present themselves as those who bear witness to the un-varnished truth to whom the public should be grateful and reward with loyalty.
It is simultaneously laughter inducing and dis-heartening to hear or read followers’ messages of thanks to “Dr Null” or Mikey or anti-vax webmeisters ” for all you do”.

** even the vegans

I notice that the faithful are trumpetting the fact that the mainstream media hasn’t yet commented on this earth-shattering revelation about governmental malfeasance.

When you’re that far down the rabbit hole, any action that can be connected to your pet conspiracy theory, however implausibly, is taken as evidence for the conspiracy. If the MSM reports the story, the say, “See? There really is a conspiracy!” If the MSM fails to report the story, they say, “See? The media is in on the conspiracy!”

The internet makes this more of a problem. A conspiracy theorist can hang out on a discussion board with like-minded conspiracy theorists, where dissenting voices can be (and often are) moderated out of existence. It’s not like meatspace, where onlookers can point at the ranter, laugh, and say, “What a maroon!” Conspiracy theories could still spread by mail and telephone, but adherents usually[1] had to be a bit more circumspect about it.

[1]Compare the conspiracy theories about water fluoridation, which were lampooned in Doctor Strangelove (“Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?”).

@ Eric Lund:

Well, here’s to creating a point-and-laugh culture on the internet AS WE ARE!

Looks like the CNN iReport is back up, with a producer note:

“CNN PRODUCER NOTE CNN iReport is the network’s user-generated news community. This story was initially pulled for further review after it was flagged by the community. CNN has reached out to the CDC for comment and is working to confirm the claims in this iReport.”

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1164794

Uh-oh, big danger: the anti-vaxxers are making a play for black Americans. Everyone here needs to understand this: there is a standard tactic in American politics that has to do with trying to get one or another disadvantaged minority on-side, and thereby claim immunity to further questions by playing the ‘race card.’

This famously happened with something called ‘Proposition 8’ in California, where religious extremists said whatever they needed to say to persuade black pastors that ‘teh homos’ were conspiring to ‘destroy black families’ by demanding the right to marriage. They succeeded at getting Proposition 8 passed, and after it was all over, a lot of black pastors recognized that they’d been conned and ended up supporting the right to marry, but it was too late.

There is another one of these things going around by anti-abortionists, trying to convince black community leaders that abortion is some kind of eugenic conspiracy to kill black babies.

Right now there is a big outrage over the murder of a black teenager by a white police officer, so in this political climate, a new ‘revelation’ about a white conspiracy to make black kids autistic is more likely to be taken seriously.

This aspect needs to be dealt with immediately, or it will become much more difficult if it’s let to fester.

I think you’re being awfully charitable torwards Hooker and Wakefield–I think it’s equally plausible that they concocted the whole “whistleblower” incident and attributed it to Dr Thompson. If he denies it, they can just claim that their usual list of boogeymen “got to him” and forced him to change his story. Should that come to pass, I hope Dr Thompson will seek legal action against Hooker and Wakefield.

With the passage of time, I thought the moment right to chop three extraneous minutes from my video clip of Wakefield threatening a “whistleblower” in 2008.

Now the pattern is much clearer: you see a government employee concerned about an aspect of policy, who comunicates this information to a third party. That third party then introduces Wakefield.

Wakefield then purports to speak for the informant, in a manner that the audience cannot check, and threatens the employee that, if he does not come forward, then Wakefield will betray him.

Wakefield does betray him. In 2008, it was about two months after the threat. On the latest occasion, I’m not sure if it was 24 or 48 hours after the threat.

So, if the “whistleblower” had passed the information, what was the need to disclose his identity? According to what I read on the web, documents allegedly prove fraud and the anti-vaxxers claim they have it.

The scenario of Dr Thompson and Wakefield working together, and of Dr Thompson “whistleblowing” is, in my view, laughable.

Just as in 2008, someone was ensnared, via a third party (in 2008 it was through Richard Barr, a lawyer, and in this case it was Brian Hooker). These third parties should now come forward themselves and explain whether they were party to this conduct, or whether they condemn it.

And then, of course, there is this man David Lewis, who should also make a statement of his position on betraying government employees in this manner. And then we can take that up with the front “whistleblower” entity with which he claims credentials.

Anyhow: here is the shortened video that, I guess, Dr Thompson never saw before talking with Brian Hooker.

http://briandeer.com/solved/whistleblower-betrayed.htm

How’s this for some real conspiracy theories: Universal vaccines by definition don’t make a lot of money (the government would stop any company for charging large premiums over manufacturing, and subsidizes their manufacture because no one wants to make them.)

You know who makes *real* money? Energy companies (coal) that dump a thousand times more mercury into the environment than any vaccine exposes you to. It just takes a few [paid] voices to rile up those without research skills. Am I on to something?

Let’s hope it’s not a conspiracy to dissuade black people from vaccinating their kids so they’ll get vaccine preventable diseases.

Brain Deer, thank you! That video is a lot more clear, and really does demonstrate how Wakefield has basically positioned himself as a Venus fly-trap for people in the scientific (vaccine) community who might express dissent on some topic in private, portraying policy disagreements as Watergate-like criminal scandals. He really is a bottom-feeder of the lowest variety.

Well, I don’t know- maybe it’s just me- but don’t these awe-inspiring announcements seem to pop up on schedule?
Perhaps when attention of the faithful appears to be flaging or when donations are down or when a conference of the woo-besotten is on the event horizon ( AoA has one in October IIRC)?

A class action lawsuit is being prepared by mothers with autistic children

Couldn’t get anywhere in the OAP so how is this going to work any better? Hitching your wagons to Hooker and Wakefield are not going to prove to be productive.

Anyone know if/when the CDC is planning on releasing a statement? I know Orac said he had a source…

To all appearances, the CDC is frittering away its time on minor annoyances like Ebola, salmonella outbreaks, and e-cigarettes instead of the vital task of responding to rumors from blogs.

@ ScienceMom — why only mothers? No offense (I’m not a mom) but why do we not see a lot of Warrior Dads out there on the barricades?

Anne: Let’s hope it’s not a conspiracy to dissuade black people from vaccinating their kids so they’ll get vaccine preventable diseases.

Sadly, that is exactly what it is. They managed to pull the wool over the local Somali community’s eyes for a long, long while. There have been a few people who broke away from Wakefield’s spell, but not nearly enough.

Now they’re creating a phony incident with (possibly) a non-existent doctor, targeting poor communities that will swallow the lies hook, line and sinker. And all because someone at AOA thought ‘geez, we’re whiter than white bread over here.’ Swear to god, these guys make Lex Luthor look like an angel.

I think that someone should enumerate the COIs of the parties most active in *l’affaire Hooker et la CDC*- here’s a start:

Hooker- has a child with autism, has a case in vaccine court’, has had truck with several anti-vaccine organisations/ thought leaders** ( Focus Autism, CoMeD, AoA, AJW, the Geiers ),etc

AJW-is suing journals, their editors and journalists, has monetary interests, has an axe to grind etc

Anyone else?

** oh, I know

@ PGP:

“Whiter than white bread”?
Oh come now, that sound like the folks around here, too!

( only joking, I know what you mean)

Shay: The fathers usually get driven away as the mothers spiral down the rabbit hole that is the anti-vax movement or they’re doormats. I can think of maybe four or five male anti-vaxxers. I think a lot of the problem is that women tend to be socialized toward solving problems with emotions and feelings rather than actual rational solutions. So when something big goes wrong, they go with whatever explanation ‘feels right.’

CDC did put out a statement – basically saying they stand by the results of the study & welcome anyone to look at the data and publish alternative results in peer-reviewed scientific literature.

I should have made that clearer: the husbands that do stay are doormats, and leave every decision to their wives.

@ ScienceMom — why only mothers? No offense (I’m not a mom) but why do we not see a lot of Warrior Dads out there on the barricades?

Not sure now that you mention it. Perhaps the thought of an angry mob of mummies is far more intimidating and shame-inducing and will cause CDC officials to run weeping into the streets or something.

I do have to ask, though, whether there is evidence for the hit squads after Dr. Thompson that apparently so many at AOA (and a few who have posted here) fear.

I see Dr. Thompson as being played by Bruce Willis in the movie version.

Sorry Lawrence, just happened to see it and have the SBM page open. Next time I’ll speak only when spoken to. 😀 (yeah right)

Thanks, ladies! ( or should I say, ‘sister minions”?)

At any rate, isn’t one major point amongst the carpers that they eliminated ONLY black children w/o Georgia birth certficates whilst the white ones sans bc were OK’d? Not the case obviously.

It’ll be hilarious if the reason Dr. Thompson hasn’t responded is that he’s preparing a lawsuit against Hooker & Wakefield…..

AND here is the reeking, biofilm-laden icing on the irresponsible conspiracy mongers’ filthy, rotting cake:

*CNN caught red handed covering up CDC medical genocide of African-American babies*

@ Natural News today ( where the frig else?)

Uh-oh, big danger: the anti-vaxxers are making a play for black Americans.

I got a good chuckle out of this AoA entry:

The truth may set him free, but what of our children? What about contacting the meat eater Al Sharpton in this issue, I am sure all the Black caucuses will go flipping out today if they heard this?

You don’t actually know (m)any Black folk, do you Kathy?

“Scientific” fraudsters like former CDC head Julie Gerberding, currently president of Merck’s Vaccine division (gotta love that revolving door) watch out!

A class action lawsuit is being prepared by mothers with autistic children

SEE [John “escorted off the premises” Rappoport]

Peaches, toddle back over to godlikeproductions or wherever you came from. Hint: If a lawyer is going to make a statement about a client’s tactical, it sure the fυck isn’t going to be to American Loon #1050.

It’ll be hilarious if the reason Dr. Thompson hasn’t responded is that he’s preparing a lawsuit against Hooker & Wakefield…..

Another hilarious lawsuit I’d like to see is “Doctor” Wakefield vs The Kid over his hit piece. “Doctor” Wakefield is not amused, and he has been known to sue journalist who print facts, so it’s not too far fetched he would sue a “journalist” who prints something like –

Jake, in light of your serious allegation that I “betrayed” the whistleblower by disclosing his name without permission….

The misinformation you have put out has spread through an already divided community.

Also, unlike Mr. Deer, The Kid lives in TX, so there wouldn’t be any jurisdiction issues.

Heh – I’m talking myself into believing it could happen.

The big question is, who do we want to win?

^ And Rappoport’s “legal analysis” is imbecilic, as though this required actually saying. He seems to be unable to even distinguish a criminal from a civil case:

He can become a witness for these mothers, or if he goes into seclusion and refuses to make a clear, complete, and definitive public statement, he could wind up being sued.

What the fυck is that supposed to mean? AL1050 has been delegated to make threats that would probably get an actual lawyer sanctioned and possibly amount to civil extortion?

^^ In any event, a real threat of this sort (as opposed to the ravings of Rappoport) would immediately torpedo the testimony. It’s just phenomenally stupid, and as such, I would like to encourage AL1050 to keep up the good work.

“Doctor” Wakefield is not amused, and he has been known to sue journalist who print facts

Right, but he’s already promised to sue Emily Willingham just as soon as he’s no longer overwhelmed with his BMJ suit sitting around doing nothing in particular.

I think a lot of the problem is that women tend to be socialized toward solving problems with emotions and feelings rather than actual rational solutions. So when something big goes wrong, they go with whatever explanation ‘feels right.’

Such as yourself?

Kreb: Are you seriously suggesting that one of the authors of Stefano’s paper is fictitious?

It’s one of the three possibilities. Either he had a total breakdown, they’re using his name without his permission or he’s utterly fictional.

Narad: I try to discipline myself out of that. Emotions are for the net, private time and leisure- emphatically not for real life.

” I can’t figure out for the life of me why the CDC hasn’t at least issued a statement clarifying what has happened by now.”

I don’t know how much influence politicians have over the CDC, or how politically the CDC acts to preserve funding. But the Dems are running away from Ferguson at light speed right now lest they jostle enough win-nuts to tip a Senate race and possible control of the Senate. The CDC and/or its political allies may be calculating that a firm refutation of Hooker would only fuel the fire of crazy. (The only Reason that might calm these folks is referenced in pp. 335-337 of Snow Crash.) You know, ‘the Streisand effect’ and ‘don’t feed the trolls.’ If there ARE any political sensitivities here, I’d look for statements from Thompson and CDC in the second week of November.

It’s one of the three possibilities. Either he had a total breakdown, they’re using his name without his permission or he’s utterly fictional.

Le Sigh. Only one is even remotely a possibility. If you would care to even do a modicum of looking, Dr. Thompson is quite real and has a stellar publication list and to channel Narad, here
let me help you with that.
Wakefield is a predatory, mercenary nob but he isn’t so stupid as to pull Thompson’s name out of thin air as his “whistleblower”.

Narad: I try to discipline myself out of that. Emotions are for the net, private time and leisure- emphatically not for real life.

Hint for you, all of those take place in “real life”. Are you just trolling?

Here are the possibilities I see (in no particular order)

1) It’s a hoax by Wakefield, et al
2) It’s a hoax on Wakefield et al
3) He had some disagreements with his co-authors or colleagues, and was taken out of context to either a moderate or extreme degree (this is almost certainly true if it was his voice, no matter what – NO WAY was he thinking it was like Tuskeegee, Pol pot, Hitler, and Stalin. Even if he’s gone frankly psychotic, he wasn’t thinking along those lines.)
4) He was mentally or emotionally impaired when speaking with Hooker (intoxicated? Breakdown? Dunno.)
5) He’s angry with his coworkers, possibly quitting the CDC, and is “rewriting history” about something they did that was possibly ethically questionable, but that he thought was justified (both scientifically and ethically) at the time
6) He and Wakefield are both Reptilians/Anunnaki feeling threatened by the scientific progress of the Earthlings.
7) CDC is actually run by Reptilians/Anunnaki and this valiant human, Thompson, has Exited the Matrix of MindControl (thank you, Rappoport!) in an attempt to liberate we enslaved humans.

Mr. Wakefield love to sue….but he NEVER wins. Why? Because he is a fraud and a liar and he was caught.

@ Boo Radley:

I’d go with the Reptilian CDC hypothesis myself.

-btw- As we all know by now, the tremors in American Canyon/ Napa are merely a cover-up for Draconis testing out his neweat faster-than-light recreational craft.

Autism now in 1 in 68 US children is of course caused by multiple factors. At best you can point to intermediate adverse effects like febrile seizures and aseptic meningitis as possible links, but true causation impossible.

The important question here is why risk it and vaccinate at all? The stock answer of course is Herd immunity. Better to spend the efforts on better nutrition, sanitation, education, and other public health efforts. If it were possible to do a blinded study, vaccines would lose big time to these non-medical efforts in preventing childhood diseases. Very clearly big pharma is making out – follow the money folks!

ScienceMom: Hint for you, all of those take place in “real life”. Are you just trolling?

I don’t think you understand. ‘Net’ life is so removed from my real life, I might as well be a different person. Real life is work and running errands. Most of my leisure time is spent in fanspace- I put on a costume and face appropriate to the venue/show, unless I’m on vacation. My emotions live at home, like clothing that’s too damaged and tatty for public wear.

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