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The annals of “I’m not antivaccine,” part 14: Vaccine “Trafficking” and beyond

If there’s one good thing about the ongoing Disneyland measles outbreak that is continuing to spread, if there can be a “good thing” about an outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease that didn’t have to happen, it’s that it’s put the antivaccine movement on the defensive. They are definitely feeling the heat. Their reaction to that heat can range from ever more vigorously proclaiming that they are “not antivaccine” in a desperate bid to convince the unwary and those not familiar with the antivaccine movement that they are not antivaccine, all the while softening their antivaccine tropes without actually renouncing them. Bill “I don’t believe in vaccination” Maher, for instance, has been doing that for at least a decade and most recently repeated it (unconvincingly) last Friday. Alternatively, they wrap their antivaccine views in a cloak of “freedom,” creating a dog whistle such that normal people don’t know really saying but antivaccinationists do, as Dr. Bob Sears did recently. A third tactic is to double down on the claim that measles is no big deal, as multiple antivaccine advocates have been doing lately.

Another thing they can do is to double down on the crazy. Certainly we saw this in a certain “paleocardiologist” named Jack Wolfson. Unfortunately for him, he was so vile and despicable that even most antivaccinationists cringed at what he said and probably wanted him to shut up.

One thing I realized with all this blogging about the measles outbreak and then about Brian Clement and The Food Babe, that I hadn’t really paid much attention to my usual antivaccine go-to sites. You might remember that in the recent past I noted that everybody’s favorite antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism had become stale and boring lately, posting mostly dull stuff that didn’t say much, possibly in an attempt to seem more “reasonable.” Unfortunately, the measles outbreak appears to have reinvigorated AoA, and it’s really bringing home the crazy now. Oh, sure, I know you’ve heard analogies that liken vaccination to rape, the Holocaust (particularly Dr. Josef Mengele and Auschwitz), to brainwashing, to the Titanic and the Oklahoma City bombing, and many other very bad things.

But did you know that vaccination is now like human trafficking? I kid you not. Laura Hayes tells us so:

Most of you have heard of “Human Trafficking*”. Today, I want to warn you about “Vaccine Trafficking”, which is equally hellacious, and which needs to be dealt with just as swiftly as is happening with Human Trafficking. Immediate help and compassion for the victims of Vaccine Trafficking, and for their families, are also needed. Here is a comparison of the two. Please note their frightening similarities.

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others.

Hayes took her definition from the definition of human trafficking on the Polaris Project website. My first thought upon reading this post was that Hayes is making a particularly despicable comparison, just as bad as the comparisons between vaccination and rape. After all, one of the most common forms of human trafficking is for the purpose of forcing women into prostitution for profit. It’s all about exploitation, in which sex is sold for cash. Of course, it’s more than just about sex. There are other forms of trafficking in which people are forced to work in highly exploitative situations, but when most people hear “human trafficking,” they tend to think of sex trafficking first before they think of other forms of exploitation, if they even think of those other forms of human trafficking at all.

My second thought was that Hayes clearly thinks she’s being clever, but, like all cranks, she’s just too obvious to be clever, hitting her readers over the head with her analogy over and over and over again, until they are either bludgeoned into submission or have to go away because it feels so good when the bludgeoning with idiotic analogies stops. You’ll see what I mean when you read her elaborating on the analogy:

Vaccine trafficking is a form of modern forced medical experimentation where people profit from the control and exploitation of others.

Although forced medical experimentation is commonly thought to be a thing of the past, dealt with and eliminated by The Nuremberg Code after WWII, vaccine trafficking still exists today throughout the United States and globally when traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control other people for the purpose of increasing international vaccine sales by forcing them to be injected with scores of dangerous, ineffective, “unavoidably unsafe”, potentially-fatal vaccines against their will. Traffickers use mandates, threats of school expulsion and job loss, threats of being being denied medical services and of being reported to CPS, deception, coercion, withholding of facts, covering-up of fraud, harassment, fear-mongering, bald-faced lying, and other manipulative tactics to trap victims in horrific vaccination situations every day in America. All vaccine trafficking victims share three essential experiences – the loss of freedom, the lack of informed consent, and the ruination of health – and sometimes of development, and life, too.

In the United States, vaccine trafficking commonly occurs in pediatricians’ offices, at hospitals, at drugstores, at school sites, even in grocery stores. Vaccine trafficking has been found to emanate from pharmaceutical companies; from there it spreads to governmental regulatory agencies, to trade industry groups and their members, to mainstream media outlets, to prospective and current elected officials, and to uninformed citizens.

Now this is one strained analogy. Again, no doubt Hayes thought she was being clever when she came up with it, but it’s so strained that the tension between the two concepts threatens to stretch whatever connection that can be constructed to the point that it becomes one dimensional and then snaps. Even if vaccination were “forced medical experimentation” (it is not, obviously), this is not the same thing as human trafficking. Hayes would have done better to fall back on the hoary old antivaccine chestnut that vaccination is forced medical experimentation like the kind that Josef Mengele did at Auschwitz and many other Nazi doctors did in the camps on undesirables. As despicable as that analogy is, it makes more sense than Hayes’ analogy. But, then, Hayes would have just been treading a path that many antivaccinationists have trod before, and where’s the fun in that? So she strains to make the analogy ever more explicit, aping the language on the Polaris Project website:

There are two primary factors driving the spread of vaccine trafficking: high profits and low risk. Actually, since 1986, it’s no risk, with a captive and guaranteed market, mostly paid for by taxpayer dollars and cash-strapped parents. Like other prescription-drug trafficking, vaccine trafficking is a pharma-driven criminal industry that is based on the principle of “poison to profit”, with the goal being to ensure that every American is somewhere between sick and dead, for as long as possible. Every year, vaccine traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world, including here in the United States.

She’s obviously referring to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. I wonder if she knows that the woman who is now the grande dame of the antivaccine movement, Barbara Loe Fisher, was intimately involved in helping draft that legislation, which created the Vaccine Court and was actually meant to make it much easier for parents of children who suffered adverse reactions to vaccines to be compensated relatively quickly. The legislation was drafted in response to the DPT scare in the 1980s, in which the DPT vaccine was blamed (incorrectly, as it later turned out) for permanent neurologic injuries suffered by children because it caused a higher incidence of febrile seizures, even though we now know that the DPT vaccine was not associated with long term neurologic complications. At the time, a flood of lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers was so bad that the government was concerned about the very real possibility that vaccine manufacturers would stop serving the US market. As I’ve described many times before, in the Vaccine Court the evidentiary stanards are actually relaxed, unlike the situation in normal courts parents can make pretty much whatever claim of causation they want, and they can expect reimbursement for legal fees. (The latter characteristic of the Vaccine Court has made it more than a bit of a gravy train for certain antivaccine lawyers.) The problem, as anyone who’s studied the antivaccine movement knows, is that there is no scientific evidence that the “injuries” to their children claimed by women like Hayes have anything to do with vaccines. So claims of vaccine-induced autism end up being rejected, and parents convinced that vaccines caused their children’s autism end up viewing the court like Hayes, as a mechanism to “protect” big pharma and has entered antivaccine cannon as a key conspiracy theory ever since.

It’s actually a sad conspiracy theory, because there’s little doubt that if parents of children with suspected vaccine injury had to enter the court system they’d do much more poorly than they do now, given how much more difficult it is to obtain a favorable judgment there than it is in the Vaccine Court. However, because our courts often don’t do too well adjudicating science, however, it is possible (albeit not very likely anymore) that one or two families might win a large judgment for “vaccine-induced autism” while all the rest go down in flames. It’s not surprising that in The Greater Good, an antivaccine movie, we see lawyers as a major force complaining about the Vaccine Court and how difficult they perceive it to be to win a judgment, complete with the same sort of conspiracy-laden nonsense like the kind Hayes used.

After seeing the “vaccine = human trafficking” post, I wondered what could be next. Then I found it, courtesy of Kim Stagliano:

I made a short video of her watching her favorite song, Sing, from Sesame Street.

This particular version is from the anniversary special titled, Sesame Street, Twenty Years and Counting. Just like my daughter, twenty years old and still counting 1….2…3. You’ll see a familiar person introducing the song, the show host.

Take it away Bill Cosby – “America’s Dad!”

Oh wait a minute… Bill Cos……..

Sometimes – sometimes – things you trust, things that are part of the fabric of America – they betray you in the cruelest fashion. They harm. They wound. They change lives. And then lies follow. Covers ups. IT CAN NOT BE TRUE.Sometimes – sometimes – things you trust, things that are part of the fabric of America – they betray you in the cruelest fashion. They harm. They wound. They change lives. And then lies follow. Covers ups. IT CAN NOT BE TRUE.Sometimes – sometimes – things you trust, things that are part of the fabric of America – they betray you in the cruelest fashion. They harm. They wound. They change lives. And then lies follow. Covers ups. IT CAN NOT BE TRUE.Sometimes – sometimes – things you trust, things that are part of the fabric of America – they betray you in the cruelest fashion. They harm. They wound. They change lives. And then lies follow. Covers ups. IT CAN NOT BE TRUE.IT CAN NOT BE TRUE.IT CAN NOT BE TRUE.IT CAN NOT BE TRUE.IT CAN NOT BE TRUE.

That’s right. Stagliano’s comparing pro-science vaccine defenders to apologists defending Bill Cosby against the numerous rape allegations that have surfaced recently. This isn’t the first time she’s made this analogy, either. Here she is in the comments of AoA four weeks ago:

Of course most of us who have seen our kids fall into the pits of hell thanks to vaccination will never touch one again – but we are in the boiling water – as frogs – those outside our community can not FATHOM the danger and like a religion – like the Cosby apologists, “injury” simply can NOT be true. So we must spoon feed. use a Trojan horse, educate one by one with a gentle hand. Not bend them over sans lube.

Nice analogy. Antivaccinationists are just so full of nice analogies. Vaccination is a Holocaust. It’s the Titanic. And, as I just saw yesterday, it’s still rape:


This is a meme Tweeted by a particularly nasty antivaccine loon. His account, fortunately, has been suspended because I and several others complained when he aimed this at the Twitter account for Voices for Vaccines.

I shudder to think what other analogies antivaccinationists will come up with now, given that they are on the defensive because of the ongoing measles outbreak.

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]

175 replies on “The annals of “I’m not antivaccine,” part 14: Vaccine “Trafficking” and beyond”

Kind of OT but isn’t Kim Stagliano the one who has three daughters with autism the last of which being completely unvaccinated? And doesn’t the unvaccinated daughter have the most severe case of autism out of all three? I always wondered how she explained that.

@Lawrence- oh geez. Is that what she really blames it on?

Just further evidence that the “vaccinated vs unvaccinated” study they all claim to want would be a huge waste of time/resources since they would just dismiss the results as not being accurate because the parents were vaccinated.

That anti-vaccinationists have the incoherency of cortex to put forth these “analogies” is disturbing enough. I worry more at the mindset of anyone who would believe them.

Would this type of anti-vaccine speech be prohibited in Australia?

The anti-vax crowd keep sending me back to Douglas Adams: It was the work of a mind not merely twisted, but actually sprained.

Really, I can’t envision what is wrong with people that would make them compare vaccination, a routine medical procedure, to rape and human trafficking, which are correctly viewed as horrific crimes. There are some forms of woo that at least have an internal self-consistency. What Hayes and Stagliano are pushing doesn’t even come close to that.

Another post AoA today ( I’m not sure who is responsible for it- altho’ part of it has a name with which I’m not familiar tacked on to it) speaks of how anti-vaxxers are de-humanised comparing them to victims of the Holocaust as well as to how WWII propaganda depicted the Japanese people.

-btw- KIm Stagliano is despicable, isn’t she? Her own histrionic tales about her daughters manage them as a stage setting for her own martyr/ super heroine role-playing. She has kept a revealing video up @ AoA which explicitly illustrates this characteristic.
AND she’s not the only one @ AoA or TMR.

TMR features a post asking if vaccines caused a particular child’s cancer- which pictures the child during treatment.

As mentioned previously…
how about a well-known altie/ anti-vaxxer claiming that his recent vaccine ‘journalism’ was so damaging to the establishment ( pardon me, I mean the *Establishment*) that his internet radio network has been HACKED and is not functioning at all for several days now. He announced this on a terrestrial station fundraising effort. PRN is down.

Alright guys, which one of you did that?
It is quite excellent.: you should be congratulated.


Orac writes,

“I shudder to think what other analogies antivaccinationists will come up with now, given that they are on the defensive because of the ongoing measles outbreak”

MjD says,

A doctor/nurse putting a Band-Aid®, having a natural rubber latex warning, over the site where the child just received the MMR vaccine.

Natural rubber latex exposure during vaccinations continues to be a viable etiology for Autism Spectrum Disorders (e.g., allergy-induced regressive autism).


Do you still use natural rubber latex gloves during surgery? Note: I’ll keep asking this question until you answer it.

I mean, really, even the Auschwitz analogy doesn’t make any sense. After seeing a particularly hyperbolic anti-vaccine meme on Twitter which proclaimed that “Taking your children to a vaccine clinic is literally like taking them to Auschwitz,” and showing it to the other people in the Slavic computer lab to enjoy their gaping, slack-jawed reactions, I got to thinking: even if they anti-vaxxers were right about the dangers of vaccines, the Auschwitz analogy still wouldn’t hold water. I mean, Zyklon B didn’t give people autism, it did something rather worse.

Oh, but wait, it’s actually autism that’s worse than death in the minds of these people… who have autistic children… isn’t it? Good Lord.

The contempt with which Kim Stagliano writes about her twenty-year-old daughter is despicable:

This particular version is from the anniversary special titled, Sesame Street, Twenty Years and Counting. Just like my daughter, twenty years old and still counting 1….2…3.

Yeah, so what? Kim, you’re writing about your own daughter, and that’s who she is – can’t you possibly find it in you to love her for who she is? I mean, rather than talking about her as some sort of worthless piece of human jetsam?

And that list image in this post: NOPE. Nopenopenopenopenopenope. Gaaaaaah.

That anti-vaccinationists have the incoherency of cortex to put forth these “analogies” is disturbing enough

The trivialization of real abuse, mental or physical, is indeed disturbing enough.
I could understand people going overboard with hyperbole during a self-pitying description of their miseries. This level is still too much. We are leaving theatrics (something we all do, especially we people of Mediterranean stock) to go into histrionics.

But, am I the only one finding it disturbing at a deeper level?
Some of these guys seem a bit too gleeful in the description of their analogies. OK, it’s for the shock value, but… I’m not sure I would trust my sister in the care of the one who posted the rape picture on the Voices4vaccines tweet.

@annie – so yes, they blame the vaccines given to the mother (and in some cases, vaccines given to previous generations as well); sometimes they just suspect that the child was vaccinated (i.e. I think my baby got the HepB vaccine without my permission – but never confirmed it); followed by blaming mercury in amalgams from dental procedures, etc, etc, etc.

So you’re right – since they blame vaccines in the way that they do, how would they possibly build a vax vs. unvax study that would be acceptable to even themselves?

It doesn’t seem possible, given the torturous lengths they go to, to find any way to blame vaccines.

@ Dochniak

It’s all you have to say? On this thread?
At long last, do you have no sense of decency?

I feel like I’m missing some kind of background story here.

Why does MjD seem to have such an obsession with latex gloves?

Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick Mr. Dochniak is annoying. Here, I’ll make him happy and answer:

Yes, I do use latex gloves if that’s what’s being used by the rest of the OR team. I do not use latex gloves if the patient being operated on or one of the personnel in the room has a latex allergy. In this I practice like pretty much every other surgeon in my hospital who doesn’t have a latex allergy himself.

Now go away, Mr. Dochniak. You annoy me.

Is it some kind of lack of empathy issue? Since I can’t empathize with the problems of others, for example those who can’t empathize at all with a parent of a kid who died from measles, how bad do I have to make my situation before I will believe people will empathize with me.

Well if I’m worse off than a concentration camp survivor who was trafficked and sold into sex slavery and raped repeatedly while being brainwashed, tortured, and every other bad thing every day over and over….well maybe then, maybe then, one person in all the world might feel as sorry for me as only me can.

I dunno authentic stories about how tough it is tend to be much more effective for me than trying to prove you have it worse than everyone else in all of human history combined.

I am really confused here. Where has anyone shown that an allergic reaction can lead to neurogenesis? I would like to see some evidence for this idea.

Loosely related to the comments by Jane and Denise about marketing:
The issue of image and marketing is something the legions of woo understanding extremely well. Food Babe, Jenny McCarthy, Jessica Ainscough do well on camera. Oz and Mercola live the lifestyle of the rich and famous, with TV shows and/or lucrative book deals. The vaccine refusers as a group even trend toward an image that is desirable and marketable – they “care a little more” and “research” a little harder for their precious children. They are yoga-mat buying, SUV driving, Whole Foods shoppers with disposable income and privately schooled kids. It’s not embarrassing to be a science-ignorant AoA reader, it’s (tragically) fashionable. My social media feeds are rivers of Mercola and Tenpenny reposts from acquaintances I would never suspect as falling for that stuff. And I now suspect these posts become as much of a claim of social status as sincere “advocacy.”
Consider tobacco. In the mid-twentieth century smoking was not only widely accepted, but even associated with the glamor of Hollywood – think Humphrey Bogart or Audrey Hepburn movies. In the decades since, we have shifted toward a perception of it as a behavior that is more associated with being poor and sick, even weak – people huddled outside the back door of the office building in the cold, getting their fix because they have to. The image of the contemporary smoker is essentially the exact opposite of the paleo diet, Orange county, vaccine-refusing soccer mom. The shifted perception of smoking came about partly, but certainly not entirely, from educating the public about cancer and heart disease. It was also a deliberate PR campaign that included things like putting people with gross teeth and neck holes on TV.
I don’t know what it would take to inspire such a shift in the perception of the snake oil industry, the anti-vaccine movement, or science denialism and illiteracy in general. For all the suggestions of the anti-vax crew being on their heels recently, I’d argue their PR machines are mostly handling damage control pretty well. If there has been any recent glimmer of hope, in my opinion, it is that the backlash toward any anti-vaccine sentiment by major political contenders has been swift and severe.

Re: 21 The comments by Jane and Denise that I reference were on yesterday’s blog, but my rambling fits just as well here I guess. My apologies; the hazards of tabbed browsing.

Chris H., wrote “I worry more at the mindset of anyone who would believe them.” Yeah, me too, but that’s why I don’t find the AoA posts that worrying. That gang appears to be heading out farther into the fringe at warp 10.

Essentially (for now anyway) they’re just giving up on influencing the public discourse on vaccine policy. If you want to maintain a public voice after taking a hit like they have with the the measles outbreak, it’s basic boxing/battle analogy strategy: you backpedal, dress your wounds, protect your vulnerabilities, and look for a different line of attack where you won’t get slaughtered. You don’t triple down, and launch an even more brazen frontal assault against superior force.

But this is physical combat, of course, which makes this move even dumber (or dumberer for a Jim Carrey reference). Over the past few days in the comment threads we’ve been discussing the non-vaxing fence-sitters who have just-enough doubts to keep them from acting. They’re basically sane and moral people who are concerned about their kids, like the idea of vaccination, aren’t that deep into either science or politics, and just have been sniffing too much of “the tainted wind”* of vaccine-danger-rumor that floats through their interpersonal spheres to have confidence in taking the kid to the pedi to get stuck with this particular needle.

I would INVITE any such folks to go read this stuff on AoA, or cull highlights as Orac has done and republish it somewhere where those ‘regular folks’ could see it, for the same reason I think Tram Mai is an unsung pro-vax hero for digging up Jack Wolfson and putting him on TV: this stuff is so bat-sh!t only the already full-gone loonies are going to have any truck with it and everyone else is going to run away.

In the case of anyone we might imagine might EVER vaccinate their kids, the worst that running could be is sideways, but it’s more likely to be toward the peditricians office.

I’m not just saying AoA is shooting itself in the foot here. I’m saying it’s firing a half-dozen bazookas into its feet. Let’s see. Expose weakness: take serious wound; become MORE aggressive and MORE exposed… How’s that gonna work?
Maybe like this:

That anti-vax meme was beyond disgusting.

Normally I would not tell you how to run your blog, Orac, but I’d seriously put a trigger warning or something above that. That’s just sick.

Reading Hayes’ piece, what kept coming to my mind was that she was making fun of real human trafficking, simply because her parody was so over the top and absurd. Very insensitive. I know that was not her goal, but she really is belittling the real horrors that victims of human trafficking go through.

As for that last image, absolutely disgusting. The product of a sick, sick mind. And I would echo DarkScholar82, that it would be good to have a trigger warning before that picture.

As for that last image, absolutely disgusting. The product of a sick, sick mind. And I would echo DarkScholar82, that it would be good to have a trigger warning before that picture.

Yeah, I gather Orac can be prickly when it comes to “suggestions,” but I didn’t really need to see that this morning.

You’ll feel better if you reality check the contradictions in your post viz a viz the OP.
Warrior momism as fashionable? BINGO!
“they “care a little more” and “research” a little harder, an image that is desirable…” Oh yes, they do want to look good!

Now do you see anything desirable, attractive, in that rape photo, or Stigliano’s Bill Cosby refernce, or Laura Hayes talking about human trafficking? Or are they volunteering to put their gross teeth and neck holes on display?

Michael, untuil you can provide actual evidence demonstrating the existence of a causal association between exposure to latex allergens and the development of autism spectrum disorders, your entire argument takes not form other than “Latex–scary stuff!”.

And as such may be appropriately dropped in the same “circular file cabinet” which holds “Mercury–scary stuff!”, “Aluminum–scary stuff!”, “Formaldehyde–scary stuff!”, etc.

There’s still some room, even after tossing in FoodBabe’s “Chemicals–scary stuff!”

A little OT but seems we are having a small outbreak of measles in London. Not a Londoner so can’t vouch for the usual quality of journalism but I though this was an outstanding example of how such an outbreak should be reported.

No false balance, not even a hint of why folk may not be vaccinated, just a simple This is what’s happened and this is how it should be dealt with”:

There are some people you don’t even have to look up on the Encyclopedia of American Loons. It’s evident from their posts that they have their own entry.

Under the category of “good news,” the MMR vaccination rates in the county in which I reside are at just over 98%, according to this morning’s paper.

@sadmar 24 & 28.
I agree entirely with the OP and in particular with your point in #24. The contradiction, I contend, is not in my post but in the fact the insane stuff in the OP coexists within the same general anti-science movement as the segment that I still contend is an image being marketed quite effectively. The problem is getting the public to make the connection between the extreme crazy and the much more palatable “mainstream” crew that I reference. See, it’s not Mike Adams and rape photos that are making robust rounds on social media (not in my corner of the world anyway), it’s Food Babe and Mercola. And they have much more polished PR machines that have mostly maintained a distance from such antics. So while I agree that the above represents serious foot shooting, I don’t think the heavy hitters – who are far more effective at winning on-the-fence parents – are taking any bullets to the foot here. Making the connection between the two groups will require sustained effort, and for your tinyurl, I salute you.

Todd: Exactly! How could a decent human being react otherwise? Hey, speaking of triggers, you and I are lucky in that we can read Hayes disregard for real human trafficking as so absurd it has to be parody. But just as there are sexual assault victims out in webland, there are people who have had forced juvenile prostitution touch their lives, perhaps even lost a child to these crimes. WHERE’S AoA’S TRIGGER WARNING! Oh right. They’d have to give a sh!t about other women.

The thing about the Mengele references is that except for Jews who still feel the Holocaust very personally, the Nazis are pop mythology, symbols of pure evil who function cognitively but longer bite the heart. That’s why it’s so easy to Godwin a thread, or laugh at the YouTube genre of re-subbing the bunker scene from Inglorious Basterds. But human trafficking? That is too happening-right-now-and-in-our-cities to be symbolic. To try to use it as metaphor for anything is beyond heartless and disgusting.

There’s a superb, truly provocative fiction film about human trafficking: Lilya 4-ever. It’s on Youtube: There’s a bit of graphic imagery, but not that much — and even so watching it is a tough a sled-ride as any movie I know. I think I’d strongly recommend women or anyone particularly sensitive abuse issues to STAY AWAY (JP that means you!), but if any men here really want to know how far over the line Hayes has gone here, watch it. Just don’t make any plans requiring you to be happy for the next week.

Re: what antivaxers blame for autism in unvaccinated kids, I recently read someone claim that their unvaccinated child developed autism due to exposure to a recently-vaccinated schoolmate “shedding” measles virus (unfortunately I don’t remember where.) “Vaccines are bad” is simply an unfalsifiable belief for some of these people.

@Chris #4: re this kind of BS being allowed in Australia. The answer is “probably.” I have an Aussie friend who is constantly complaining about the anti-vax nuts in her state, who have been allowed to set up their own church so they can claim religious exemptions.

@ Michael #8: Please explain how someone can have”regressive autism.” I know of no such diagnosis. In addition, please explain at the cellular level, the pathophysiology of a latex allergy causing autism.

Orac isn’t dignifying such a stupid question with a response.

You do know, I hope, that more and more hospitals are switching to nitrile gloves for all patients? That the reason for this is because of increasing numbers of people with genuine latex allergies? You are aware, I hope, that surgical gloves made of nitrile are easily sterilized. They are available not only for general medical use as a separate product, but are increasingly supplied in sterile kits for inserting foley catheters, or other sterile invasive procedures.

They’ve been commonly available for years.

I should note re: that final image that I don’t think Orac should remove it, since it is important to show just what kinds of things these people post, but there should be some warning, or perhaps a way to show it only if you mouse-over the image.

Helianthus (#13) says,

“It’s all you have to say? On this thread?”

MjD response,

Well, it appears that some who may be considered “anti-vaccine” express their views provocatively.

The provocative analogies presented in Orac’s article are, in my opinion, a desperate attempt to inject fear into a sensitive vaccine issue, i.e., freedom of choice.

I fear that Orac’s teachings on the validity of non-medical exemptions for vaccine avoidance is, in my opinion, provoking a relatively untapped catharsis for the ant-vaccine movement based on freedom-of-choice.

In simpler terms, Orac continues to pour gasoline on the “anti-vaccine” fire.

CTGeneGuy #32
Dead on and well stated. Did you see my posts on Food Babe yesterday? The gist boiled down to:
• her whole act is pure PR gold
• more dangerous than we imagine if we look at the comical-bad-science
• the ‘science’ is just a prop anyway, a hand-waving distraction
• it’s all about interwoven narratives of social power and body tranformation
• dumping good science on the bad won’t affect her one tiny bit
• the only way to combat her is to expose the lies at the heart of her appeal, which have a little to do with science, but not much.
To riff off of the Science Babe, the Food Babe is sprinting up the ladder of the Anorexia-Bulimia-Media-Industrial complex, and looks to me to have enough game to get to the top. She’s the opposite of AoA. No open ugly at all….

My sense is that the Hayes, Stiglianos of the antivax movement are in panic mode re: losing their jobs. Mercola, for example, will do fine as he has a “broad spectrum” message. Name a part of the body and he has the answer. While Hayes and her peers are primarily single issue activists, essentially. Narcissists to the core, their relevancy and $$$ source is in jeopardy, and that is understandably terrifying.

Perhaps this is obvious to any of the readers here and I apologize, if so.

Sadmar # 39. Excellent points and well stated. Thanks. I’d not read your post when I posted mine(#40)

In simpler terms, Orac continues to pour gasoline on the “anti-vaccine” fire.

Good. The sooner that madhouse burns to the ground, the better. And the smoke will serve as a warning to others.

“The provocative analogies presented in Orac’s article are, in my opinion, a desperate attempt to inject fear into a sensitive vaccine issue, i.e., freedom of choice.”
Interesting choice of words coming from a position that historically has thrived by creating unreasoning panicked fear based on no good evidence.

Agree w. Todd #37. Too bad Science Blogs is such a bare bones platform. I know there are several technologies that exist to hide/reveal. In their absence, the default choices might be a text hyperlink to an off RI host, or a warning at the top of the post. I’ll add another: a generic ‘warning’ graphic that by virtue of size and difference from a mere text link indicates the importance of the potentially disturbing image.

Imho, the question then becomes whether the SciBlogs.platform where Orac creates the post allows for either a Javascript pop-up window, or the HTML to at least open the link in a new window instead of leaving the page. Alas, if getting to the image is too much bother, people who need to see it (and can take it) won’t.

Just for sake of argument, if the only choices were text warning at the top of the OP and leaving the page, I’d go with the text warning. The problem, obviously, is you still want everybody to read the whole OP, and even if the problematic image is at the bottom of the post, it’s not like people can scroll past it without seeing it…

Fwiw, we go through this argument in the world of documentary film all the time. At different points the decisions have fallen in different directions, and as time goes on we can see what happens. The conclusion: never sweet the dirt under the rug. Don’t hype it, exploit it, turn it into spectacle. Just put it out. With a warning if it’s warranted. But don’t hide it. Our culture hides way too. It’s a bit like the MMR. You have to consider the broader good. Some individuals may have temporary bad reactions. But the overall effect on public discourse from repressing it is worse. I cant imagine how awful victims and their families or communities must have felt when the Abu Grahib photos were published, but Ameirca needed to see them.

Hopefully, there’s a good tech option available here, and this remains just an abstract discussion.
A historical illustration. This is a photo of what U. S. tax dollars were paying for in 1978. It’s graphic. Be advised.
Photographer Susan Meiselas wrote:

The image [was] powerful partly because of the contrast with the beauty of the landscape. For me it was the link to understanding why the people of Nicaragua were so outraged. But the American public could not relate their reality to this image. They simply could not account for what they saw.

Actually, it worked for me. Changed my reality. Opened my eyes…

Patrick Arambula (#43) says,

… words coming from a position that historically has thrived by creating unreasoning panicked fear based on no good evidence.

MjD says,

The FDA continues to give warnings, my position, on the hazards of natural rubber latex (NRL) in vaccines and the NRL-gloves used on Orac’s hands during surgery.

Here’s a correction to post #38:

Orac defiantly wears natural-rubber-latex gloves as he pours gasoline on the “anti-vaccine” fire.

He certainly goes out of his way to retain his “American Loon” title now, doesn’t he?

Twice I’ve managed to drive Dochniak from the boards by posting a very good review of the very bad science Dochniak is pushing that was done by previous minion Prometheus, on his blog, A Photon in the Darkness. It is available on the Wayback Machine at –

You can hear Dochniak’s crazy direct from the man himself at

Caution, this video has Dochniak’s poetry in it, which has been linked to a desperate desire to consume large quantities of alcohol in an effort to kill the brain cells storing the memory of said poems.

If posting these links work to keep Dochniak away, I’ll carry on reposting them when Dochniak reappears until our host tells me to stop.

@Annie – it is “latex-everything.” He truly believes that latex usage causes widespread latex allergies (which has never been proven or any evidence provided that they exist outside of the very small number of people with legitimate latex allergies) and also autism.

The latex used in vaccine packaging is his go-to, really….the gloves this is just to try to put Orac on the spot.

Well that’s a new one for me, I’ll give him that.

I thought I’d heard every vaccine ingredient autism connection out there. Apparently not…

I suppose I could consider banning Mr. Dochniak, but I must confess that he’s just so off the deep end that he fascinates me sometimes. It’s like watching the proverbial train wreck happen.


The really fascinating thing is that no matter how many times he’s shown to be wrong, no matter how many times he utterly fails to provide even the hint of a whiff of scientific evidence to support his claims, he keeps popping back now and again, singing the same tune every time. He has but one atonal song in his repertoire.

Sadmar @33:

Thanks so much for assuring me that any pain my family feels at casual references to Nazis and the Holocaust is irrelevant, whether because we’re Jewish or because there are so many people who try to ignore that Nazis, unlike Sauron or Darth Vader, were and are real. Also, Jews were not the only group targeted by the Nazis, and anti-Roma prejudice is still common.

Re: #46.
Orac, latex gloves are inappropriate protection while pouring gasoline. Nitriles are recommended for this use. Please consult your EHS department for more information.

Did I miss something or did we start forcing vaccinations on people? (Snark, snark)

Mr. Dochniak’s obsession always puts me in mind of the Plastic Mac Man character from “The Bedsitting Room”.

“They should never have invented rubber … rubber… stretching its sinful way round the world… those black rubber transparent women’s macs… rubber girdles and douches… rubber waterproof sheets encouraging children to wet the beds when there’s pots in the room…”

The dude is obsessed with latex. My sister (a veterinarian) is wildly allergic to latex. I mention this as it has caused office managers at two different vet practices fits because they had to special order sterile nitrile gloves especially for her. According to her they are considerably more expensive and she is the only one to use them. But she has to have them because even a few moments of contact with her skin and latex causes her an extreme rash. Its wildly uncomfortable if you have an allergy but I really don’t see how putting a bandaid on a child is going to cause them to be autistic. BTW you do know that some fascinating brain imaging work being done shows that you can predict autism from scans of infants brains as young as 6 months old? You’re born with autism genius. Some mythical link to latex allergy doesn’t cause autism.

Ya, do not wear latex gloves with gasoline. My stepfather was allergic to wasp stings, and one late summer day I was throwing small cups of gasoline to kill the nests that were ever present in the small crocks of the roof. Except the one at the very top of the house, too far for my throw. So I got my favorite watergun, filled it with gasoline, raised it high, took careful aim, squeezed the triggers.

And had a face full of dissolved plastic and gasoline.


Watched the video. Laughed. Then felt guilty about laughing at someone who is clearly delusional. I blame you.

Off topic:

Can anyone point me to a source for the prevalence and duration of immunity from surviving wild-type diphtheria disease? (It may be unknown, but perhaps there were studies from the Independent States epidemic?).

CTGeneGuy #32:
Making the connection can be done very successfully – check out the SAVN campaign in Australia. A grassroots group used Facebook to co-ordinate complaints to regulatory bodies and contact with the media to Stop the Australian Vaccination Network. As well as adverse findings and legislative change, they presented a poster at a recent conference demonstrating the change in media coverage of vaccination. And it’s been confirmed by the recent thrashing of Tenpenny and cancellation of her tour – both mainstream media and general conversation took the position that you’d have to be crazy to listen to these people.
Reasonable Hank, advodiaboli @ Lucky Losing and Dr Rachie have all blogged about it, as well as the Facebook page itself.

@ Pragmatist ( #40)

You’re right:
I sense a great deal of desperation across quite a few websites/ broadcasts. AoA has been churning outrageous material at a frantic pace, Adams has been crying, “Police state! Forced vaccination!” and Null claims that his anti-vax exposes ( esp a 5 hour woo-fest last Tuesday) have led to a black ops-style hacking of his website, PRN, in order to keep his earth-shattering findings away from the public. Audio betrays their deep-seated fear ( said vaccine shows involved several anti-vax stars) whilst hyperbolic godwinning highlights the desperation through written material.( e.g. TMR; Do vaccines cause childhood cancer?)

Anti-vax thought leaders should be rather upset because they often fasten the trappings of their personal identity upon this calling but some of general woo-meisters, like the aforementioned, have a lot riding on their anti-vax stance as well: they use it to show how dangerous SBM is, how governments demonstrate untrustworthiness and how the media is controlled by corporate greed. These two, who have been spouting rebellion for the past several years, have much to lose if it appears that governmental guidelines about vaccination appear to be necessary cautions rather than merely to dampen down citizens’ personal liberty and harass them obtrusively. They can’t have SBM and government looking either helpful or reasonable..

JP:Yeah, so what? Kim, you’re writing about your own daughter, and that’s who she is – can’t you possibly find it in you to love her for who she is? I mean, rather than talking about her as some sort of worthless piece of human jetsam?

If she hasn’t learned in twenty years, she’ll NEVER learn. Really, her husband must be the apex doormat; he should’ve split and taken the girls far far away as soon as they got their diagnosis. I’m surprised the girls are still alive.
Is it any wonder I hate and despise these people as much as I do?

On that note, this is the last post I’ll be putting up for a while. See you on the 22nd.


Good luck with your endeavors between now and the 22nd. I hope they are pleasant, or whatever they are meant to be!

Can anyone point me to a source for the prevalence and duration of immunity from surviving wild-type diphtheria disease? (It may be unknown, but perhaps there were studies from the Independent States epidemic?).

Not so hot (see Table 5 and related text).

@ Vicki #55
I certianly would apologize for offending you if:
1) I had said anything remotely like ‘the pain felt at casual references to Nazis and the Holocaust by families of victim is irrelevant’.
2) I had not, in fact, said the opposite.
3) my own cultural identity was not ‘most goy but enough Jewish’ that I find anti-Semitism wounding, personally.

I do happen to know many groups were targeted for the death camps. As listing them all would have made for a rather lengthy post, I figured ‘Jews’ would serve as synecdoche.

In fact, you may take my point as an observational validation of any revulsion you feel at the use of references to Nazism in contemporary culture. Because it was an observation. Goys do indeed drop Mengele and Auschwitz smack at the drop of a hat on just about anything, because to the ‘typical American’ these things are no longer real. They’re as movie-fantasy (Boys from Barzil, Captain America) as The Emporer or The Umbrella Corporation. It is simply a fact that few people find these references disturbing these days. One could certainly argue that this is a sign of a kind of disturbing exercise of privilege: these things can be reduced to comic-book clcihes because they happened to The Other, and trafficking is now a stronger taboo because it hits closer. But that’s too OT to go into into further.

If you want my personal opinion: the only reason the Mike Adams poster Orac posted on Tuesday didn’t send me into a screaming rage is because I’m used to that sh!t now. Believe me, I have screamed my fair share of screams on that stuff. Fwiw: Nuit at Brouillard was a required screening in one of the clasess I taught every year:

I would consider Michael Dochniak’s fascination with latex products disturbing, but considering his CV I’m pretty sure he’s just fear-mongering for the cash.

@Denice #65.

They can’t have SBM and government looking either helpful or reasonable..

You made a great point about their identities being so linked with this movement. Being shown to be the frauds that they are publicly and humiliatingly, has to weigh heavily on them beyond the money. It’s a fascinating human phenomenon that is unfolding. If it didn’t involve jeopardizing children’s lives I’d be more inclined to sit back and watch….

like the aforementioned, have a lot riding on their anti-vax stance as well: they use it to show how dangerous SBM is, how governments demonstrate untrustworthiness and how the media is controlled by corporate greed.

Do you think they actually believe this?

The Vaccine War, according to Celia Farber, is “how we hate women now”. Farber got this idea from, and is promoting,this article:

Talk about reaching. I had no idea that I hated all women because some chose to not vaccinate their child. By the same reasoning, I could say parents (not just mothers) who do not vaccinate their child must hate their child. It is just ridiculous and illogical.

“Natural rubber latex exposure during vaccinations continues to be a viable etiology for Autism Spectrum Disorders (e.g., allergy-induced regressive autism).”

Yeah, it’s as viable as the frozen shrimp in my fridge.

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