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How “they” view “us”: Filthy pharma lucre buying senators and hit men

About a year and a half ago, I began an intermittent series that I called How “They” View “Us.” There are several posts in the series now. Basically, given the amount of nastiness directed at those of us who refute pseudoscience, in particular quackery and antivaccine pseudoscience, by those who believe in it, I tried to envision, quite literally, how “they” view “us.” I even did a talk on the topic at the Science-Based Medicine workshop at The Amazing Meeting last year. Basically, I pointed out that we might think of ourselves on the side of right (and, let’s face it, we are), the believers in quackery (who are often also the victims of quackery) don’t see it that way. They view us as those evil people who are trying to keep them from saving their lives (or the lives of family members), stop them from “recovering” their child from autism, or to crush their freedom. To illustrate the point, I used an image of Captain America punching out Hitler to illustrate how I thought of myself when I was refuting Holocaust denial, then pointing out that in the case of quackery we’re not dealing with neo-Nazis, using images of those who lost their lives due to cancer quackery, such as Kim Tinkham and Jess Ainscough.

Throughout the years, I followed up with examples of how those whose use or embrace of quackery and dubious science I’ve criticized view their critics, such as the family of Gordie Howe, who believe that critics are trying to keep them from the only treatment that could reverse their dad’s stroke. Another example was Keith Olbermann, who was so emotionally invested in Gordie Howe as a hero that he heaped contempt on me on Twitter for suggesting that the stem cells didn’t do anything to help Howe and that the company who made them acted unethically. Through all these stories ran a central theme, namely conspiracy theories. Indeed, I’ve even postulated a central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement, namely that the CDC has “known all along” that vaccines cause autism but have covered it up. This particular conspiracy theory is why the antivaccine movement was so quick to latch on to the “CDC whistleblower” manufactroversy. It’s also why the invocation of this particular conspiracy theory was so attractive to the Nation of Islam, which was recruited to add to the opposition to California SB 277 on the basis of the claim that the CDC “covered up” results that showed that the MMR vaccine was associated with autism in African American boys.

In fact, the opposition to SB 277, a bill that would eliminate nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, thus preventing parents from claiming personal belief exemptions and driving down vaccine uptake rates sufficiently in local pockets to compromise herd immunity and allow outbreaks to occur, has really brought out the crazy in antivaccinationists. With the vote in the California Assembly that could send SB 277 to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for signature coming up perhaps as early as today, antivaccinationists are doubling down. For instance, the other day at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, an antivaccinationist I had never heard of before, Jinan Robison, launched into Richard Pan, the pediatrician turned California Senator who introduced SB 277 with Ben Allen. Not unexpectedly, it’s everybody’s favorite quack conspiracy theory, the idea that anyone who supports scientific medicine or vaccines must be in the pay of big pharma:

SB277. It sounded like an EXCELLENT way to bolster your ratings. I get it. It sounded like a piece of legislation that would quickly fill your pockets with some big money, while holding hands and canoodling with powerful corporations. What an excellent deal, right? Work with Merck, make an ungodly amount of money, and boost your political career all the while ensuring that consistent donors are on your side. A good career move. It should fly under the radar, right? I mean only 2% of Californians hold a personal belief exemption. Such a small number to sacrifice. That had to have crossed your mind at some point. Take into account the large amount of American people who have long since lost hope in any sort of real democracy. Add in our own selfish values and you have a slam dunk bill right? I mean the American people are far too busy wasting incredible amounts of time on “social media” sharing videos of women fighting in Wal-Mart to worry about a little ol’ bill about vaccinations. We are so eager to claw into each other over ‘personal beliefs’ and spend our time de-friending our “friends” and relatives over whether or not they plan to address former Olympian as Bruce or Caitlyn from here on out. Clearly we are too busy to worry about vaccines. A large number of American people have given up on government and are ignorantly accepting legislation without a second thought. It should have been a slam dunk bill for you.

This is so full of derpitude that it’s hard to imagine how much worse it could be. Clearly Robison is unfamiliar with AB 2109, a bill that merely tried to make it more difficult for nonvaccinating parents to obtain nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates. To say that Pan was vilified by opponents of the bill is to put it mildly. Surely Pan knew exactly what he was in for when he first introduced SB 277. Certainly, he was under no illusions about how difficult it would be to pass, even in the immediate wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak.

Unfortunately, this derpitude is yet another example of what antivaccinationists really believe about Sen. Pan, and the threat inherent in Robison’s last paragraph is unmistakable:

So, Senator Pan enjoy your Merck sponsored vacation because when we are done with you, you may not have a career left. When you unite people together from all walks of life, then ignorantly insult them and spew your agenda on them, I can assure you, you will not be left alone! Your name will not be forgotten. We will win, this bill may get signed, but one way or another, we will win. Our lawyers will win. Our children will win. For you, this bill may have meant luxurious and lucrative kickbacks, but for us this bill is about our children and messing them only means one thing. It means war.

Note the assumption that it’s Merck who’s behind SB 277 and the “Braveheart”-like bravado about freedom and ultimate victory. “They” can’t believe that anyone would not believe that vaccines are harmful and don’t cause autism based just on their own understanding of the data; so to them anyone who is pro-vaccine must be compromised, as in being paid by big pharma. The problem is, in most cases this is not an act. At least, in my experience it doesn’t appear to be an act. They really, really believe that “we” are evil, and a manifestation of that evil is that, in their eyes, “we” are willing to take filthy lucre from pharma in order to support the poisoning of children.

If you want more evidence of this, let’s move on to a different incident that occurred last week:

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said they received a report about a body in the Rocky Broad River in Chimney Rock on June 19.

Deputies said the body was found by a fisherman. The body was removed from the river and was identified as James Jeffrey Bradstreet of Braselton, Georgia. Bradstreet had a gunshot wound to the chest, which appeared to be self inflicted, according to deputies.

Divers from the Henderson County Rescue Squad responded to the scene and recovered a handgun from the rivers, according to deputies.

Bradstreet’s body was sent to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for an autopsy on Wednesday. The case remains under investigation.

For those of you who don’t know who Jeff Bradstreet was, I’ll simply point out that he was an autism “biomed” practitioner and prominent antivaccine advocate who was associated with Andrew Wakefield. Given that he just died last Friday, I don’t feel it’s time to do a post discussing the full depths of his promotion of antivaccine beliefs and autism “biomed.” Let’s just say that, in life, he was not immune to a bit of not-so-Respectful Insolence and has been discussed elsewhere. All you need to know about him for purposes of this post is that he was a prominent “autism biomed” practitioner. In any case, the lesson that Jeff Bradstreet’s death, whatever the cause, teaches us is just how deep into conspiracy theories antivaccinationists are. For example, just check out this comment by Peggy Rose:

If this does not stink to high heaven I don’t know what does. A fisherman finds his body with a gunshot wound that appears to be a self inflicted. Just how the hell would they know that. Amazingly they happen to find the gun in the river. Wow that is some amazing detective work.

There’s this comment by Ben Melman:

It’s obvious that he was deliberately killed off because he spoke out against federal deceit, CDC, etc and was a life-saver for many like myself. My name is Ben Melman, I’m a former patient of his, I spread this story to a forum which went somewhat viral from there. He did so much for me, and it’s time to return the favor, whether it means putting my life on the line, idk. But he was at the top of his game, obviously many of higher ‘authority’ didn’t approve of that and Liz might be a paid shill, idk, I won’t judge, but the truth is out there and I’m on the hunt, I’m not the only one on the hunt either. The truth will get out, Jeffrey, you **** well better know it deep down inside, you’ll always be in our hearts and on our minds, god bless you for eternity, RIP…

And this comment by melysue:

He did NOT kill himself! He was murdered for who he was speaking against, what he knew, and what he was doing about it. He was brilliant kind compassionate doctor with amazing abilities to heal. He was taken. Stopped. Silenced. Why would a doctor who had access to pharmaceuticals and could die peacefully shoot himself in the chest???? And throw himself in a river?? THIS IS OBVIOUS! MURDER!!

Elsewhere, there’s this. Note the scare quotes around “self inflicted gunshot wound.” The implication is clear. If you don’t think so take a look at the GoFundMe page to which the article linked, which comes from the Bradstreet family:

To find the answers to the many questions leading up to the death of Dr Bradstreet, including an exhaustive investigation into the possibility of foul play. Thank you for your support!

So, yes, before the police investigation is complete, the conspiracy theories have started to flow, not just on the part of the family, but on the commenters, some of whom believe that Jeff Bradstreet was murdered. Indeed, Erin Elizabeth (a.k.a. the Health Nut) notes that another prominent alternative medicine practitioner (whom she hasn’t yet named) died on the same weekend and goes on to observe in her article:

Shelby is a small town of 20k people, and the same town where they just apprehended the Charleston South Carolina mass church killer Dylann Roof last week. Some doctors are reading this tonight and writing me that they find the story suspicious and are concerned. I too am concerned, as my other half is a prominent controversial doctor as well, and not sure what to think. I suspect we’ll know more as the investigation continues.

Another doctor (whose name I cannot yet disclose) died suddenly on Father’s Day here on Florida’s East Coast. He was healthy and fit with a thriving practice, had an additional PhD in Nutrition from Harvard. We are saddened by the sudden death of both doctors.

Note how out of left field Elizabeth managed to insinuate a relationship between the recent tragic mass shooting in an African-American church in Charleston.

Then:

We will continue to update you as more information comes in about the death of Dr. Jeffrey Bradstreet and of the other unnamed doctor whose name I cannot share yet. More info is coming in at this late hour about #CDCwhistleblower and other sources I need to vet before posting. (It’s complicated) Our hearts go out to both their families and friends during their time of loss.

Note how she also manages to insinuate a relationship between Bradstreet’s death and the (now) grandmother of all antivaccine conspiracy theories without actually saying there is one.

That’s because “they” view “us” as part of a conspiracy, either vast or not so vast, to enact forced vaccination and silence critics like them trying to reveal The Truth to The People. Is it possible that Bradstreet was murdered? Of course, although it doesn’t sound like it. Is it likely? Not very, based on the little we know now. Even if he were murdered, how likely is it that it was on the orders of the enemies of alternative medicine (whatever that means) in order to “silence” him for some reason? Very unlikely indeed.

Unless, of course, you view people who disagree with you as part of a conspiracy or paid off by the conspiracy, in which case in your world there’s no depths to which your enemies won’t descend, even murder. As someone posting under the name “Jolly Roger” put it:

That’s what you get for trying to expose the link between vaccines and autism. The big pharma button man puts one in your chest.

Let’s see…. I’m going to commit suicide. Should I end my life quickly with a shot to the temple that will probably kill me before I feel it?

Na…. That’s no fun. I’ll shoot myself in the chest, so I can suffer agonizing pain, possibly for hours before I die.

Of course, if you shoot yourself right in the heart you won’t remain conscious very long before bleeding out. Bradstreet was a physician. He knew where to shoot, assuming, as all indications point to, that that’s what happened.

Be that as it may, I think the above comment encapsulates the world view of so many in the antivaccine movement. Many of them really do believe that Sen. Pan is promoting SB 277 only for the filthy pharma lucre and that if you try to “expose” the nonexistent link between vaccines ant autism big pharma will send a hit man to put a bullet in you. Of course, Bradstreet had been practicing his brand of “autism biomed” for many years; so that leaves the question of: Why now?

I’m sure someone will related it to SB 277 or something. In fact, I predict that within a week or two we’ll see Mike Adams do one of his deliciously unhinged posts declaring much the same thing as “Jolly Roger,” only with a lot more made up detail. Just wait. It’s coming.

ADDENDUM #1: It’s been pointed out to me that I missed a doozy about Jeff Bradstreet, namely a pharma hit list:

Dr. Jeffrey Bradstreet was trying to treat and heal children with autism disorder, and brought information to light regarding the vaccine industry. He did not commit suicide. He was suicided by the pharmaceutical industry, because he brought out so much damning information against the pharmaceutical vaccine industry that they bumped him off, just like many others we know. They are trying to make it out to be a suicide, which it was not, and then on the next breath they say, “Bradstreet’s body was sent to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for an autopsy on Wednesday. The case remains under investigation.” I hope they keep it under investigation, because this doctor was murdered for speaking out against the pharmaceutical industry for injuring all of these children he was trying to save.

Read more: http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/29391296/body-located-in-rocky-broad-river-in-chimney-rock-identified#ixzz3dx1ljnWU

When I heard he died, I had a feeling he was bumped off by the pharmaceutical industry. The war has just begun, and it is going to be a war. Look at all the scientists they were afraid of being exposed that were suicided and died under suspicious circumstances. Look at the of the banksters that were suicided last year. The truth is coming out, and united we stand, and some heads need to roll, and these people are going to prison.

That’s some weapons-grade conspiracy mongering.

ADDENDUM #2: The plot thickens. The FDA visited Bradstreet’s clinic during the week before he apparently committed suicide. Now the conspiracy theories will really start stirring.

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]

62 replies on “How “they” view “us”: Filthy pharma lucre buying senators and hit men”

My particular favorite from FB is:

Karen Brunig Beauvais: “Disturbing any which way. Remember when the fed seized all his office computers. I think the notion of fowl play is rocking the entire community on the heels of Dr. Moulden’s death. Very much praying for his family.”

___

For those of you who don’t remember, Dr. Andrew Moulden was a Canadian who developed an incredible theory that autism is caused by small strokes:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Andrew_Moulden

He appears to have had a serious mental illness, posted strange videos on youtube, and according to a woman who said she was his sister, committed suicide after a battle with bipolar disorder.

You would think that if people sincerely believed in a vast, powerful, ruthlessly murderous conspiracy to hide the truth, they would be a little more circumspect.

I’m struck by the parallels between antivaxxers and global warming denialists — each group has its own central conspiracy theory.

n the global warming denialist camp, it’s that a vast and diverse array of scientists around the world are queering their results to please their government paymasters, who need something like global warming as an excuse to implement greater social control, raise taxes, impose one-world government, or whatever.

The recent Karl et al. paper that reanalyzed temperature measurements and showed that there never really had been a “pause” in global warming over the last 15 years or so created a furore — Anthony Watts actually wrote directly to one of the co-authors and accused hm and his co-authors of “prostituting” themselves.

In both cases, the true believers need some explanation for why every single qualified expert disagrees with them, and the only story they can concoct is a ludicrous conspiracy theory.

Shelby is a small town of 20k people, and the same town where they just apprehended the Charleston South Carolina mass church killer Dylann Roof last week

But Shelby is not in Rutherford County, where Bradstreet’s body was found, nor is it in Henderson County, whose rescue squad found the gun. Chimney Rock is just east of the border between those two counties, according to my handy road atlas, and it’s about 50 miles, half of them on single carriageway roads, from Shelby. So connecting this to Dylann Roof requires a substantial dose of Artistic License: Geography.

Just how the hell would they know that [the gunshot was self-inflicted]

They will need a coroner’s report to be sure, but police officers do this kind of thing for a living, and I would expect ordinary deputies to call in the homicide squad as soon as they noticed the gunshot wound, which would be less than a minute after they started examining the body. But of course one of the standard features of conspiracy theories is that everyone who isn’t yelling about the conspiracy is corrupt or incompetent.

Notice the way that the lack of anything extraordinary in Bradstreet’s death is used as evidence that something fishy is happening. If there had been anything unusual, they would have used that as proof: a classic unfalsifiable belief. That’s the path to delusional thinking.

Pharma companies have done some spectacularly unethical things over the years, particularly in developing countries. It’s not that conspiracies don’t exist, it’s that conspiracy theories rely on lack of evidence as proof, hence the “theory” part of the term.

Dr. Pan accepted $95,150 in contributions from drug companies in 2013-14. I have no idea if these were companies that make vaccines or if this is considered a large sum of money for such a politician. I am sure that when drug companies donate to politicians, bills mandating inexpensive vaccines that keep kids out of the hospital are not what they have in mind. Clearly, this donation has no bearing on whether SB277 is a good bill or not- it is.

Having said that, there is, perhaps for the first time, a *grain* of truth in an claim made by an anti-vaxxer. We may never see this happen again.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article24913978.html?utm_content=bufferb95a5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Also, just to add one more wrinkle, Erin at Heal Nut News is the girlfriend of Joseph Mercola. She is a vile woman who bans all dissent from her Facebook page, believes every conspiracy known to man, and yet believes herself to be a visionary, under attack by Monsanto and Merck.

She notes on her Facebook page that “I worry for my other half who is prominent doctor too in the US.” So she really thinks Mercola might be the target of an assassination. Poor woman. What a horrible way to go through life.

It had struck me as unusual that a male would commit suicide this way (I had associated shooting oneself in the chest with women rather than men), but it turns out I was wrong:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22354080

I suspect true Big Pharma Button Men would stage the scene better than in the current case and not use an “unusual” method, but I can’t swear to it. As soon as I pass the Big Pharma Button Men physical and take the 6-month training course, I’ll have more information to share.

The BMJ has this to say about the CDC (maybe the BMJ has joined the conspiracy theorists too!):

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes the following disclaimer with its recommendations: “CDC, our planners, and our content experts wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products . . . CDC does not accept commercial support.”

The CDC’s image as an independent watchdog over the public health has given it enormous prestige, and its recommendations are occasionally enforced by law.

Despite the agency’s disclaimer, the CDC does receive millions of dollars in industry gifts and funding, both directly and indirectly, and several recent CDC actions and recommendations have raised questions about the science it cites, the clinical guidelines it promotes, and the money it is taking.

Marcia Angell, former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, told The BMJ, “The CDC has enormous credibility among physicians, in no small part because the agency is generally thought to be free of industry bias. Financial dealings with biopharmaceutical companies threaten that reputation.”

Industry funding of the CDC has taken many doctors, even some who worked for CDC, by surprise. Philip Lederer, an infectious diseases fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and a former CDC epidemic intelligence service officer, told The BMJ he was “saddened” to learn of industry funding.

http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2362

Erin at Health Nut News[…] bans all dissent from her Facebook page, believes every conspiracy known to man, and yet believes herself to be a visionary

I like the part where she rationalises linking to the Wikipedia entry on Bradstreet, despite its excessively honest and critical tone:

It was 4am and I vetted every source BUT wiki can be updated daily

I.e. the Whackyweedia entry was not hostile when she included the link; all the unpalatable truths were added later BY THE CONSPIRACY.

The idea that Richard Pan is spearheading SB 277 to repay his pharma masters is rather implausible if you think a bit about it. Even if all that money he got was from vaccine manufacturers (highly unlikely), consider this. As antivaccinationists are wont to point out, the unvaccinated rate statewide in California is low. Of course, the statewide vaccine uptake rate is not the issue. It’s the pockets of low vaccine uptake in various affluent communities with pockets of vaccine hesitancy and antivaccine activism where outbreaks occur. So even if SB 277 is passed it’s unlikely to bring that much additional money to pharma coffers, given that (1) vaccines for the most part are not big profit centers and (2) the numbers of additional children vaccinated after SB 277 passes (assuming it passes) is likely to be quite small compared to total vaccine sales. It’s just that the newly vaccinated children will be in the right places to bring up vaccine uptake in those pockets of low vaccine uptake.

In other words, from a conspiracy standpoint, it wouldn’t make much sense on the part of the pharmaceutical industry to stir up so much controversy and animosity for so little return.

I suspect true Big Pharma Button Men would stage the scene better than in the current case and not use an “unusual” method, but I can’t swear to it.

Now in my day, when we wanted dissident doctors removed from the scene, we’d use our memory-rewrite technology to instill false memories that they’d committed some heinous crime; then they would go to ground and devote all their considerable ingenuity to keeping a low profile and avoiding being found.

Of course in those days we took pride in our worksmanship.

Orac, your minions were speculating about the level of conspiracy that would arise surrounding Bradstreet a couple of days ago.

It seems the imaginations of your minions are just not up to scratch.

In other words, from a conspiracy standpoint, it wouldn’t make much sense on the part of the pharmaceutical industry to stir up so much controversy and animosity for so little return.

I detect a fatal flaw in this reasoning. Since when have the rules been that an anti-vaccine conspiacy has to make sense?

“The BMJ has this to say about the CDC (maybe the BMJ has joined the conspiracy theorists too!):”

Actually, it’s not “The BMJ has this to say” – it’s a feature article written by an associate editor at the BMJ, not an editorial.

The article says nothing about CDC recommendations on vaccines.

I would prefer the government provide the CDC with adequate funding to cover its needs, rather than have it accept corporate donations to help with research. It is however sloppy (and yes, conspiratorial in tone) to try to wipe out everything the CDC does with shill accusations, rather than considering facts on a case by case basis.

*the article notes that the CDC committee making recommendations on hepatitis screening included 9 of 34 members with “ties” to industry (whatever these “ties” were is not explained). One might conclude from this that the recommendations overwhelmingly came from independent experts.

In other words, from a conspiracy standpoint, it wouldn’t make much sense on the part of the pharmaceutical industry to stir up so much controversy and animosity for so little return.

I have to agree with ChrisP here. You are using logic instead of thinking like a conspiracy theorist.

Notice the way that the lack of anything extraordinary in Bradstreet’s death is used as evidence that something fishy is happening.

This is an all-too-human tendency, and while conspiracy theorists almost always display it, not all who display it are conspiracy theorists. We all have a tendency to interpret evidence in ways that favor our preconceived notions, and one of the most important goals of scientific training is to mitigate this tendency as much as possible.

Shelby is a small town of 20k people

*blink*
That would already be a city of moderate size in European countries.
Well, everything is bigger in the US.

If I understand correctly, Erin Elizabeth is suggesting that you cannot have two disturbed people among 20,000 of them in a short period of time.
I have the belief that a look at the logbook of any police station would prove her otherwise.

Alternatively, she may be thinking there was a massive release of mind-controlling nanites in the area, hence all of these people acting weirdly. I would suggest re-calibrating her medical tricorder.

@ Dangerous Bacon

whatever these “ties” were is not explained

Well, one of them, while waiting for the bus, was asked for the time by a janitor working for Merck, and another one has a cousin whose coloc once delivered a pizza to the warden of a warehouse previously owned by Johnson&Johnson.

*the article notes that the CDC committee making recommendations on hepatitis screening included 9 of 34 members with “ties” to industry (whatever these “ties” were is not explained). One might conclude from this that the recommendations overwhelmingly came from independent experts.

And silly me thought that the purpose of having some individuals from an industry that may be effected by the policy at the table was to ensure all groups involved in one way or another with the policy were equally upset at the final result.

For a lot of things that seems to be the metric by which they determine the final outcome of a policy, if everyone who might benefit from the policy or may be negatively impacted by the policy are all equally upset by the policy, you probably got the balance of it as close to appropriate as humanly possible.

If you remove one group from the table because they might benefit or might be harmed you have no way to judge their pleasure or upsetness with any given iteration of the policy.

While I understand the impulse requiring all people on a committee to be all of the exact same viewpoint as the person complaining about who got to be at the table usually doesn’t end up with things that are annoying fair to all who may be impacted.

So it does depend on who the not tied to industry are tied to and really do we want to make it so the only people allowed on any policy committee are those who can’t possibly have any interest, experience, or knowledge about the issue? The only thing that I think of that is worse in a working group than someone who is overly passionate about a topic because their livelihood or belief system is on the line is having a bunch of people who don’t care about it at all and don’t know anything about it and had to be forced to be there as they have something they think is important to be doing somewhere else.

Despite the agency’s disclaimer, [The non-profit CDC Foundation] does receive millions of dollars in industry gifts and funding, both directly and indirectly, and several recent CDC actions and recommendations have raised questions about the science it cites, the clinical guidelines it promotes, and the money it is taking.

FTFY, Caryn

Methinks there might be something in this idea. That’s why they murdered Bradstreet – who nobody much ever heard of – and not Wakefield, who has entered popular culture as a simile for crook.

Those guys are smart.

You see, they KNEW that Wakefield had started writing to California state senators telling them that some among their number were taking money from big business.

And pharma sure did want him to do that.

Broken [email protected]: See also disgraced GP Mark Struthers who topped himself in 2013. AFAIK his death’s never been officially attributed to the Vast Pharma Conspiracy, but as anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of his online alter-ego “Cybertiger” would tell you the man was crazy as a sack of rats; and it probably was just a matter of time until psychosis, substance abuse, personality disorder, or whatever the hell his raging malfunction was, put an end to someone. Mercifully he only imploded, not exploded, though he certainly loved grinding enough axes with the rest of the world that it’s a relief it wasn’t worse.

Of course, for anti-vax and other such movements to accept or acknowledge that prominent members might not be shining white knights and fearless warriors, but rather frighteningly unwell or dangerously deluded individuals in need of urgent medical and/or legal treatment, would more or less be admitting that they might have some issues themselves; and so the problem perpetuates, exacerbates, and reinforces itself in a vicious spiral. If the anti-vaxxers really wish to find a genuine conspiracy against which to rail, they need only look in a mirror for it, because, honestly, people are their own absolute worst enemies.

I don’t think Bradstreets death had anything to do with vaccines. He had connections to nasty people like David Noakes. He and Bradstreet were working together in the GCMAF industry. Noakes was just recently shut down as they investigating five deathes in connection with his company. I think the answers may lie in that direction.

Since I have been traipsing about in the land of mists, I have been most grievously amiss in precisely monitoring broadcast bullhockey courtesy of prn.fm, so in order to remedy this dire state of affairs I present this tidbit ( and it’s not OT, either):

Richard Gale, Scholar-in-Residence** ( see Gary Null Show, 6-19; 45 minutes in) has written two papers with his hoary, old host to be published in ‘prestigious journals’ that show the ‘myth’ of the efficacy of polio and smallpox vaccines..
.
AND Gale has investigated how Richard Pan and the bill’s co-sponsor received MUCH MORE pharma money than was previously believed ( 95K and 90K USD, respectively)

MOREVER Pan has been caught lying to the committee because he said that their all no aborted foetal cells in MMR and DTaP- when of course, we all KNOW that there are. Lots of them. Oodles of them.
Legislators he remarks, are only lawyers and suchlike and can’t understand the SCIENCE so Pan fooled them easily.

AND Pan’s next pharma-servicing bill will mandate psychiatric meds for kids in foster care.

** heh.

@Pareidolius #25
Kerri did indeed have a bad day. Sorry she avoided jail time but the threat seemed to be enough for her to sign the agreement to stop selling and stop presenting in Illinois.

I wonder how she will stop online users in Illinois from reading her stuff?

I wish more states would act so responsibly.

Let me see if I can dream up a conspiracy theory that links Bradstreet’s death to Eisenstein’s…

Big Pharma Black OPs got word that there Eisenstein was to publish a report about his un-vaccinated, non-autistic population of clients and Bradstreet was his co-author, presenting material about his own patients as well as his many cures.

OBVIOUSLY they had to make one hit APPEAR to be from natural causes ( although Dr E was as healthy as a horse) and the other an apparent suicide ( of an extremely emotionally stable, Christian) so that no one would ever think to connect them.

Oh. We’re clever.

So even if SB 277 is passed it’s unlikely to bring that much additional money to pharma coffers, given that (1) vaccines for the most part are not big profit centers and (2) the numbers of additional children vaccinated after SB 277 passes (assuming it passes) is likely to be quite small compared to total vaccine sales.

It is true that SB277 will not enrich Big Pharma because of the above and because, as we know, SB277 does not mandate forced vaccination, and only prevents the unvaccinated from entering public schools. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a conspiracy.

According to http://a2zhomeschooling.com/thoughts_opinions_home_school/numbers_homeschooled_students/ there are 6,757,361 children between the ages of 5-17 in California, and 190,911 are currently home schooled. According to http://ww2.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2015/01/30/vaccine-opt-out-rate-drops-first-time-since-1998-look-up-your-calif-school/#lookup the vaccine opt out rate due to the Personal Belief Exemption in CA is 2.5% state-wide, which gives us a figure of 168,934 unvaccinated students. We know that there is a larger percentage of unvaccinated students who are home schooled as compared to public school. If we assume the PBE rate of home schooled student is 10 times that of the state overall rate (a number I pulled from the air) there are 47,728 unvaccinated home schooled children (25% of 190,911), leaving 121,206 unvaccinated children not home schooled.

Because the anti-vax brigade is stalwart in their belief (how else can I read “…but for us this bill is about our children and messing them only means one thing. It means war.”) let us assume a just 50% (but probably more, because this is war, don’t ya know) will hold fast and not vaccinate, and therefor will be forced to homeschool. That means that an additional 60,603 students will be home schooled. That’s a greater than 30% increase in the sales of homeschool supplies.

The fact that Big Home School has managed to place the blame on Big Pharma shows just how sly those ba$tards are. I only hope our host will protect me and not give out my contact information when they come calling on him to track me down for blowing their cover.

That would already be a city of moderate size in European countries.
Well, everything is bigger in the US.

Well, yeah. Texas, our second largest state, covers 268,580 sq mi or 695,621 sq km (Alaska is more than twice that). France’s total land area, with its overseas departments and territories (excluding Adélie Land), 260,558 sq mi, or 674,843 sq km. (Size isn’t everything – Texas has a population of 26,960,000, and there are 66,030,000 French).

The great circle distance from Washington DC to San Francisco is 2438 mi or 3925 km. This is almost exactly the same as from Lisbon to Moscow.

@ #13

In other words, from a conspiracy standpoint, it wouldn’t make much sense on the part of the pharmaceutical industry to stir up so much controversy and animosity for so little return.

Like most conspiracy theories, it doesn’t make much sense to anyone with critical thinking skills.

But as we all know, you’ll never win an argument with a conspiracy thinking person when it comes to their pet conspiracy.

Given that most/all seem to view themselves as “awakened”, as opposed to we sheeple and/or “pharma shills”, one obvious response to the above is that “big pharma” has to prevent increasingly large numbers of people from also “awakening” and from this perspective “big pharma” might see weathering the current “controversy and animosity” as well worthwhile.

As concerns Bradstreet’s death being a “big pharma” hit, one obvious, to anyone other that the conspiracy buffs, question might be that if pharmaceutical companies were in to this sort of thing, why are folks like Barbara Loe Fisher still walking around after all these years?

Why didn’t “big pharma” nip the whole anti-vaccine movement in the bud back when folks like Fisher were relatively unknown whackadoodle voices in the wilderness?

Given “big pharma’s” vast financial and pharmaceutical resources, I tend to think folks like Fisher could have been whacked in a manner that made her death look natural or accidental.

So why is she, along with the various vaccine warriors making money whipping up vaccine fears exposing the dangers of vaccines, still around spreading the anti-vaccine message?

Needless to say, anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists likely have a number of response to this question.

Re: Jinan Robison, it would be nice to see Senator Pan bringing a libel suit against her for her publicly made implication/accusation of corruption, i.,e., “For you, this bill may have meant luxurious and lucrative kickbacks” and “So, Senator Pan enjoy your Merck sponsored vacation”.

Having some of the anti-vaccine crowd face consequences for this type of outright libel certainly couldn’t hurt.

@Johnny #33:

The fact that Big Home School has managed to place the blame on Big Pharma shows just how sly those ba$tards are. I only hope our host will protect me and not give out my contact information when they come calling on him to track me down for blowing their cover.

They don’t need to get your contacxt information out of Orac; they’ve already tracked you back to your IP address. Remarkably, it was closer to home than they might have thought…

[email protected]: Whether Shelby is a small town depends on your perspective. It would qualify as a big town in the part of the US where I live (it’s bigger than the town I live in), and it’s the county seat for its county. But if you live in a large metropolitan area, it seems small. Even at US population densities, which are lower than most countries, such a population would fit within 10 km^2, which would put everybody within what I would consider a reasonable walking distance of the center (on this point many Americans would disagree).

#40 – Thanks Liz. It looks to be essentially a party-line vote.

When (if) they put a vid of this up I recommend watching Jim Cooper’s (D) statement. As an African-American he was quite obviously incensed by the sleazy, racist Wakefield/Hooker autism hoax and the threats of professional and physical harm toward legislators from the anti-vaccine cultists.

Also watch for Shirley N. Weber (D), also AA who considers the bill to be a “health issue” dealing with “protection” of the children. She pulled rank by age and lectured the youngsters about what she had seen in the pre-vaccine bad-old-days.

Unfortunately there was a lot of parroting the anti-science anti-vaccinationist talking points by a number of those opposed.

Hopefully Gov. Moonbeam will sign it unmodified.

DGR @37

AoA has published other things in the past that are far worse.You kind of wonder why nobody has sued them for libel
in the past.

Congratulations to all those in the California State Legislature who had the brains and the cojones to vote “aye” on SB277!

Yay for SB277 passing!

A bit OT but does anyone know what has been going on with Dorit Reiss? Looks like her facebook page is down and I haven’t seen her comment in a while…

Hope she is OK!

She’s taking a well deserved maternal rest – she and her family are doing just fine & probably celebrating as we speak.

“In other words, from a conspiracy standpoint, it wouldn’t make much sense on the part of the pharmaceutical industry to stir up so much controversy and animosity for so little return.”

Unfortunately, if conspiracy theorists could understand cost/benefit like that . . . they wouldn’t be conspiracy theorists.

In my personal experience with friends who are conspiracy minded, I notice that none of them ever want to talk about the logistics of any of said conspiracies nor about the true logical conclusions of their assertions…

“And the plot thickens. Bradstreet received a visit from the FDA right before he killed himself:”

This will likely be Vince Foster Pt II; i.e. the cranks will hold a limpet grip to their notion of what happened and the evidence will be damned all while they try to attract new believers and rile up the base with such unsubstantiated bullshit…

For the record, my guess on Bradstreet? He probably had a bunch of sanctions coming, perhaps unpaid taxes and such, and didn’t want to stick around to pay the piper…

Bradstreet received a visit from the FDA

Brian Deer mentioned a rumour about FBI interviews.

[Noakes] and Bradstreet were working together in the GCMAF industry. Noakes was just recently shut down as they investigating five deathes in connection with his company.

Sometime in the last few months, Bradstreet went through his site, scrubbing all his recommendations for GcMAF and his testimonies of its miraculous cures… all down the memory hole. You can still find them in the Internet Archive of course.

A bad person would go over to Health Nut and similar conspiratorial blogs, and comment about this evidence that Bradstreet was BEING PRESSURED and AFRAID OF RETRIBUTION.

Hooray for SB277! Let’s hope that the gubernor doesn’t neuter it down.

The ‘it wasn’t a suicide’ conspiracy theories are reminding me of the antics around Dr David Kelly’s suicide, nicely documented in Voodoo Histories.

the cranks will hold a limpet grip to their notion of what happened and the evidence will be damned all while they try to attract new believers and rile up the base with such unsubstantiated bullshit…

Future editions of Cluedo should add Prozac to the list of possible murder weapons:

[Bradstreet] may have been given a drug that caused him to shoot himself in an unconscious state.

I am an expert on antidepressant adverse reactions. Currently I am helping a husband and wife team, both doctors who have been working to raise awareness of the vaccine/Autism connection for a long time, and they are both victims of these deadly antidepressant drugs.

Re SB277: WOO!!!

Hey Gov Brown: sign it, sign it, sign it!

*happy dance*!

Obamacare and vaccines all in one day? And it’s only Thursday? Wee!

Now if they rule on SSM and Haley takes down that way etched flag, it will have been a good week

Bradstreet WAS murdered by a conspiracy! And Merck is behind it all! But it’s not what the anti-vaxers are thiniking? No! It’s so much deeper! Think about it! If Merck wanted to silence the opposition, why would they assasinate Bradstreet, a mere peon. They’d go for the head — Andrew Wakefield himself! But they’ve left Andy alone for years! Why? Because he’s working for them as an agent provocateur! See, they KNOW the MMR causes autism, via a super-complex causal-chain mechanism that hides from simple statistical analysis. But fearing some super-smart scientist would figure it out eventually, they set up their own ‘anti-vax scientist’ with an easily debunked crackpot theory and a deligimating fraud-for-profit scheme as a diversion and deflection! Andy is, and always has been, a FALSE FLAG!!

But when the FBI started sniffing around Bradstreet for other reasons, they feared he’d roll on them and spill the beans to save his own butt. So they had him hit, which keeps the cover narrative in place even if a few threads get traced back to Merck! Genius! It keeps the narrative on the gut and mercury and all the other nonsense that has nothing to do with the REAL plot — which, of course, has nothing to do with anything as prosaic as profits, and is all about preparing the way for lizard-like shape-shifting aliens to take over the U.S. and institute a New World Order in preparation for the arrival of the Antichrist…

Well done California re SB277
We have our own little fight going on re the Australian Federal Govt plans to remove conscientious objection and religious exemption regarding the FTB payment families receive for having vaccinated their children – the only exemption allowed will be medical reasons.
And the anti-vaxxers are protesting this. It’s not about the kids, it’s about the loss of a payment they received despite not doing what the payment was for. THeir freedom of speech, their right to choose etc etc… same old arguments.
THere was a national weekend of anti-vax protest here last weekend which was underwhelming in the turnout in the various capital cities. The infighting in the organisation of these protests was a sight to behold and the source of much mirth.
And they are also now following it up with sabotage by Big Pharma/AMA/SAVN. Heh.

Quit it with the Governor Moonbeam crap. Perhaps you’d rather have Brownback or Jindal as your governor but my experience as a lifelong citizen of of the state of California and the city of Oakland is that Jerry Brown is the best leader this state has had in my lifetime. It’s unfortunate that he waffled at the last opportunity to sign a bill reducing exemptions but I feel confident that this time he will sign the bill.

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