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The conspiracy theory surrounding Italian antivaccine scientist Stefano Montanari deepens

Stefano Montanari and Antonietta Gatti are a husband-wife duo of Italian antivaccine “scientists” who like to use the electron microscope to find particulates in vaccines and try to scare people over them. Recently, Montanari was punched by an unknown assailant after having addressed the fascist group Casa Pound. Naturally, he thinks it’s part of a government conspiracy to silence him.

Blogging might be a bit slower than usual last week, as we are dogsitting Doug, my parents’ dog. Those of you who follow me on social media know that we agreed to foster a dog who turned out to be pregnant leading us to foster a bunch of puppies (eight, to be precise). The rest were adopted through the shelter, but my parents adopted Doug, even as we adopted the puppies’ mother. In any case, Dough is a seven month old puppy and quite energetic. As a result, he’s rather…distracting. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. As for today’s post, well, Doug arrived yesterday and I have a 7:30 AM case this morning. That does, however, leave me time to revisit the rather strange case of antivaccine scientist Stefano Montanari and his equally antivaccine scientist wife Antonietta Gatti, two Italian antivaccine “scientists” whom I’ve discussed at least three times over the last year and a half. You might recall that they were the scientists who subjected vaccines to electron microscopy without proper controls and—surprise! surprise!—found all sorts of particulates in them. When I criticized their work, they were none too happy but also none too capable of refuting my criticisms and those of other bloggers.

When last I discussed this husband-and-wife duo of pseudoscientists, antivaccine activists were spreading a conspiracy theory over an investigation by the Reggio Emilia Public Prosecutor’s Office looking into issues regarding a complaint of a non-profit organization claiming possession of a microscope purchased through a subscription and then entrusted to Dr. Gatti. Today really isn’t the day that I want to rehash all the ins and outs of that particular conspiracy theory. Rather, what caught my eye was a letter by Montanari, an English version of which was published on the antivaccine crank propaganda blog, Age of Autism, yesterday under the title Top Italian Scientist Assaulted and Threatened Over Vaccines: A Letter from Stefano Montanari.

I laughed at that headline for the simple reason that the only world in which Montanari and Gatti are “top scientists” in Italy (or anywhere else, for that matter) is in the delusional world of antivaccine conspiracy theorists. Their science is terrible and, of late, has been designed to demonize vaccines. That’s why AoA’s introduction to the letter particularly cracked me up:

Age of Autism publishes a letter from scientist Stefano Montanari, pictured with his wife Antonietta Gatti, have become caught at the center of a storm about vaccine safety over their undisputed discovery of microscopic and nano-particles in the routine vaccine supply. With the new Italian health minister, Giulia Grillo of 5 Star Movement, trying to renege on an election commitment to reverse mandate legislation for 10 vaccines, Northern League leader, Matteo Salvini – who has praised Montanari and Gatti – is coming under pressure from political forces and news media to back down. Meanwhile, no one will report the violence against Montanari.

No, it’s hardly “undisputed” that Montanari and Gatti’s “discovery” (such as it is) shows that there are nanoparticles and microscopic particles in vaccines that are any danger whatsoever. As I mentioned the last time as well, the Five Star Movement, which is the Italian equivalent of Donald Trump, full of cranks and conspiracy theorists and, yes, antivaxers, hence the issue of the promise to eliminate vaccine mandates recently enacted in response to declining vaccination rates and serious measles outbreaks. So what do the AoA cranks mean by violence? Well, apparently Montanari was assaulted recently. The circumstances are…odd, to say the least.

First, in his letter, Montanari makes his usual claim about his and his wife’s research:

16 years ago, using an electron-microscopy method based on two European research projects, we began to analyze vaccines and, to date, we have examined 35 different types of those drugs, 10 of which are now mandatory in Italy. The results are well-known: all the samples were found to be polluted by micro- and nanoparticles, none of them compatible with the human organism.

Um, no. Just no. Montanari and Gatti’s “research” (such as it was) was so riddled with methodological flaws as to be worthless.

Next up, more conspiracy-mongering leavened with a revelation:

Given the huge amount of money involved in vaccines, everything was tried to stop us: from preventing the continuation of a research on acute myeloid leukemia that had produced results that can prove very useful both for diagnosis and therapy, to the seizure of our electron microscope to that of our computers. All illegal, to be sure, but who cares?

Despite the many criticisms received, I agreed to give a lecture at the headquarters of a far-right party called Casa Pound. The name is in honor of the American fascist poet [Ezra Pound]. Let me be clear: I have never cared about the political, religious, sexual or any other kind of opinion and preference expressed by the people I talk to. I speak of science and medicine, and all the rest is neither of my competence nor of my interest. So, for me there was nothing anomalous to address an audience of fascists.

I do so love this rationalization. Sure, they’re fascists, but I’m a scientist, ma-an! I’m not into politics. Politics don’t matter to me. I so very, very much above such concerns. Whenever I hear this sort of rationalization, my first thought is: Bullshit! Would Montanari say the same thing about speaking to a group of Nazis, one wonders?

Be that as it may, note the continued conspiracy mongering about the loss of their microscope. I discussed this in detail before; suffice to say that most likely the local Reggio Emilia Public Prosecutor had reason to suspect wrongdoing. I cited one report last time (translated—rather poorly—from the Italian):

The scientist was investigated for fraud, with the investigation revolving around the complaint of a non-profit organization over a microscope purchased with a popular subscription started by the blog of Beppe Grillo, entrusted to Gatti for his research, and then donated by the non-profit organization Faenza. The non-profit organization accuses the professor of having used the tool for profit and not for scientific research, but there is a court ruling that authorizes Gatti and Montanari to be able to use the instrument and to be compensated for travel expenses. “Money that they never gave us,” explains the doctor, claiming she is not antivaccine and claims the anomaly of the times.

In other words, this looks like a dispute over the terms under which Montanari and Gatti were to be allowed to use the microscope.

Whatever the case, Montanari had finished his talk and was mingling with attendees when this happened:

While I was cordially talking with these people, suddenly, for no apparent reason, a gentleman came up behind me shouting “Don’t dare raise your voice!” I turned my head and, in a fraction of a second, unexpectedly, he hit me with a violent punch between my ear and my cheekbone. For a moment I lost my senses and I was supported by those around me, while the character was moving away, crossing my wife who, meanwhile, was coming out on the sidewalk. To her, that gentleman shouted a death threat.

Neither my wife nor I let ourselves be intimidated but we can read the writing on the wall.

After years of persecution, after clumsy and continuous attempts to attack our scientific credibility without putting any scientific arguments against our own, after having deprived us of the indispensable tools for our work, after the illegal seizure of our computers containing the data of our research, here is the physical attack. Undoubtedly something rough but certainly understandable by anyone.

It is unfortunate that some nutjob decided to take a punch at Montanari. Those of us promoting vaccine science generally believe that violence is never the answer, at least other than in self-defense against imminent harm. Of course, we also have no idea who this man was or why he punched Montanari. Even Montanari doesn’t give any real indication. Think about it. If the man’s motivation had been Montanari’s research and antivaccine views and he had said something even remotely supportive of such a motivation, I’m quite sure that Montanari would have made very, very certain to quote what his attacker said in as much detail as he and his wife could remember. He didn’t. All he quotes the man as saying was for him not to raise his voice. Why did the man attack Montanari? Who knows? Maybe he just doesn’t like fascists or people who speak at fascist gatherings. Maybe he was someone who doesn’t like antivaxers. Maybe he’s a nut. The point is that, even from Montanari’s recounting, we have no way of knowing.

Undeterred, Montanari insinuates that his attack had something to do with nefarious government machinations over vaccines:

Now something to make you understand what is the Italian situation regarding vaccines. The two parties that obtained the highest number of votes at the latest elections, although hardly mutualy compatible, have now been in government for a few weeks: Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) and Lega. Both were committed to repealing the law on compulsory vaccination. But the problem is that many parties are involved in the business and now the M5S (which has the health ministry) are making a quick turnaround, forgetting their promises. On Friday 22 June, Mr. Matteo Salvini, the new interior minister for Lega, took part in a broadcast of Radio Studio 54, during which he said that 10 vaccines are unjustified and perhaps even harmful. Then he thanked my wife and me for our work and for our courage. Within a few minutes the whole Italian regime, from newspapers to parties all compact, arose against him and covered him with insults: those words put the skimming in which all of them are more or less involved at risk. Now it is difficult to think that Mr. Salvini can resist the parliament and the media.

Every day everything becomes clearer and clearer.

So let’s see. Salvini goes on the radio and states that the ten vaccines mandated by Italian law are potentially harmful and unjustified, while praising an antivaccine “scientist” who published incredibly bad science demonizing vaccines. Science advocates in the media start pushing back and criticizing him for what he said—and quite rightly so, I might add. To the average person who isn’t an antivaxer, none of the press reaction would seem out of the ordinary. Indeed, these days in the US the press does a lot better than it used to refuting antivaccine misinformation. I’d like to think that the Italian press is moving that way too. None of that matters, though, to Montanari. To him, it must all be a conspiracy, including a lone man punching him in the face after a talk he gave to a group of fascists.

Again, I detest violence. It is rarely justified, and certainly in this case I can see no justification. I’m relieved that Montanari was apparently not seriously injured. That being said, I’d be willing to bet that this incident was not part of a grander conspiracy to silence Montanari and prevent Salvini from getting the Italian vaccine mandate repealed. In fact, if the assailant was a pro-vaxer, I call him out for using violence when none was justified and for making it so easy for a crank like Montanari to paint himself as a victim.

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]

115 replies on “The conspiracy theory surrounding Italian antivaccine scientist Stefano Montanari deepens”

This sounds very similar to what happened with “alt-right” white nationalist Richard Spencer before the 2016 election Some guy sucker punched him, it was caught on video, and went viral.

Spencer’s standing in the conservative movement soared despite his neo-Nazi views. He overplayed his hand in Charlottesville, and afterwards as well. A litany of lawsuits and pushback from universities (including mine) where he wanted to rabble rouse (eg “speak”) led to his backers cutting ties with him, and he’s largely off the map at the moment.

I wonder if this incident was caught on video? If it wasn’t, who witnessed it? I don’t put it past this guy lie to drum up sympathy.

But let’s assume for the nonce he’s being honest. This is the kind of guy who, like Spencer, will overplay his hand.

If this really did happen, yeah . . . violence is a non-starter with me, too.

@Panacea:

I think you’ve got events and causes a bit muddled with regard to Spencer. The alt-right was already the darling of conservatives when Spencer got punched. (Heck, not just conservatives; foolish “unbiased” media sources ran all kinds of harmfully stupid pieces on Spencer and the alt-right, too.) Centrists are going to “both sides” fascism and anti-fascism no matter what leftists do.

(Let me add the disclaimer that I am not here to incite violence or encourage anybody to go out and punch a Nazi. I definitely didn’t shed any tears when Spency got punched, though; in fact I was highly amused and said so publicly, which led to a bunch of teary-eyed centrists jumping down my throat.)

I’ve been keeping up quite intently with the anti-fascist movements at U of Michigan and MSU. It isn’t the administration that’s shutting down fascists, it’s antifa, and Spencer has said as much “antifa is winning,” “it just isn’t fun to try to speak when they show up.” (Good!) One can argue about whether no-platforming is a good strategy. I think it is, but I’ve heard even self-defined leftists arguing about it on “free speech” grounds. (Never mind that the fascists themselves don’t actually care about free speech and it wouldn’t exist in their ideal world. I can find instances of them saying this outright if anybody is interested.)

My friend, comrade, and former Russian student Max Alvarez wrote a very smart article on all this for the Baffler, where he has a column. (Honestly, anything he writes is worth reading.)

At the risk of being labeled a “teary-eyed centrist”, I believe it is disingenuous of you to say that you do not advocate violence while publicly stating your amusement when a person gets punched in the face. Maybe you’re not advocating violence, but you’re certainly encouraging it. And if you’re encouraging it, you should be prepared to do so yourself. Is that the case? Or are you happy to simply encourage others to acts of violence?

Also, it seems to me you’re a bit muddled about the meaning of free speech and why it should be supported especially in cases such as this. After all, there are no credits for supporting free speech that you agree with. Even people espousing politics that would see the end of free speech should be afforded free speech by those who support free speech. If you can’t counter a Nazi’s speech, then maybe you need to listen more and hone your skills rather than shut them down.

Maybe you’re not advocating violence, but you’re certainly encouraging it. And if you’re encouraging it, you should be prepared to do so yourself. Is that the case? Or are you happy to simply encourage others to acts of violence?

No, I’m not encouraging it. I’m simply admitting that it made me smile. As regards your other questions, sure, I’d engage in violence in certain circumstances. In self-defense, or in community self-defense. (As in, to prevent a Nazi from killing somebody else.) There are definitely other situations where I think violence is warranted.

As for your free speech lecture, I’m quite clear on the concept of free speech. I am not suggesting that the United States government outlaw political speech. I am suggesting that it is, however, literally aiding and abetting fascists to give them a megaphone. Dave Rubin ought to be ashamed at inviting them onto his program. The media out to be ashamed that it presented the alt-right as a bunch of “clean shaven,” “dapper,” pleasant-enough young men. I could go on.

Free speech doesn’t mean there are no social consequences for that speech. It doesn’t mean that you get to be a Nazi in public and not have the public react to that. It doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to a platform. It doesn’t mean that people should give “both sides of the story” when it comes to fascism.

I have absolutely no desire to “listen” to fascists and engage them in polite debate. Sorry. If somebody I know were starting to get kind of alt-right-y, I might try to talk them out of it before they went to far. But I already know exactly what fascists are pushing, I have no need to listen to it, and I don’t think they should have the opportunity to spread their cancerous, filthy bullsh!t.

JP is simply correcting my factual errors (though I disagree Spencer was ever the darling of mainstream conservatives, more like a useful tool).

There is nothing in what JP says that encourages violence. Please point to the SPECIFIC statement that encourages violence. If anything, JP simply points out the similarities in behavior between white nationalists like Spencer, and antifa, along with the irony that it seems its antifa that had more influence in shutting Spencer down that his legal issues (I have no opinion on that).

There’s also nothing where JP advocates shutting down anyone’s speech. If you disagree, please cite the specific place where he says so.

Otherwise, grow a thicker skin. This is a blog about science, and I’m really regretting I chose to make an analogy between Stephano Montanari and Richard Spencer here.

I took a middle approach. When the Nazis had plans to march through Skokie, I agreed that they had the Constitutional right to march.
At the same time I planned to be there with some relatives and friends to greet them with bats.
Probably a good thing they chose to march somewhere else.

JP simply points out the similarities in behavior between white nationalists like Spencer, and antifa, along with the irony that it seems its antifa that had more influence in shutting Spencer down that his legal issues

Mmm, not exactly. I don’t think they’re equivalent. One guy dressed in the Black Bloc look sucker punched a Nazi, while a Nazi murdered antifascist Heather Heyer with a car.

I generally am well in support of antifa; direct action gets the goods. (Which was kind of my point.) It’s a broad coalition of different people and groups who are simply somewhat united by being antifascist. I think the moral panic over “violent antifa” is silly.

I’m antifascist myself, very much so. I also wouldn’t personally sucker punch somebody unprovoked, even if I thought watching it was funny. Nor do I recommend it. I do think it’s prudent to show up at protests these days with a shield and mace at the very least, and probably a baton or bat as ORD suggests.

Anyway, Justice Kennedy, huh? I’m just over here like hhhhhhhhh GUYS this is really bad.

You publicly stated that someone punching someone in the face made you smile. Yet you continue to deny that that amounts to encouraging that activity. I suppose you might not be aware that it encourages that activity, but that doesn’t mean that it does not do so. The rest of your post is just arguing against things I never bought up and therefore are completely irrelevant. As if I would deny people acting in self-defence from eminent danger. As if I would demand that you host a speech from someone you do not wish to invite to give a speech.

And I don’t really care if you think Dave Rubin should be ashamed for inviting a Nazi onto his program. That is just your own opinion of the matter. As long as you wouldn’t disrupt the interview in order to prevent someone from speaking who was invited to speak and to whom others wanted to listen. If you would then, no, you do not understand the concept of free speech. You don’t counteract an ideology by supressing it. You let the views be aired if someone is willing to air them, and then provide counter-speech showing why they are wrong in your opinion.

This is how free speech works, and how a democracy works.

You may think Nazi’s are fair game, but now we have people trying to ruin the private lives of republican politicians such as ejecting them from restaurants. Did that make you smile as well? And we now also have prominent democrats encouraging everyone else to do the same. Make their private lives miserable!

In case it is necessary, let me say that I have no sympathy for Nazi ideology or for Trump or the Republican Party. This is simply a free speech argument. It applies to everyone everywhere in almost all circumstances (there are, of course exceptions, the main one being speech that incites eminent violence). Being selective about free speech is not free speech. It is, by definition, the opposite of free speech.

but now we have people trying to ruin the private lives of republican politicians such as ejecting them from restaurants. Did that make you smile as well? And we now also have prominent democrats encouraging everyone else to do the same. Make their private lives miserable!

Yeah, I think it’s good as hell. I don’t think Baby Concentration Camp enabling politicians should be able to have a good time in public, ever.

trying to ruin the private lives of republican politicians such as ejecting them from restaurants
Restaurants have refused service to would-be diners who stink of excessive perfume. I have no problem with them banning diners who reek of blood and feces.

I thought I had your measure. But thanks for confirming my suspicions. The gestapo would love you. That sort of stuff is right up their ally.

Oh fxck off. I’d actually be mad if you weren’t so transparent and the attempted insult so incredibly stupid and absurd and utterly ahistorical.

Folks, this is where the case of brain worms known as “rational centrism” will take you: crying about the hurt feelings and ruined dinners of people who enable Child Concentration Camps while equating people doing something about the situation to the literal Gestapo.

Centrism: not even once.

BillyJoe, you seem unfamiliar with several relevant concepts: schadenfreude (to feel pleasure at someone else’s comeuppance), that social ostracization is different from government action and is 100% not covered by the first amendment (you are free to say whatever; you are not free from the consequences of what you say).

Also, do you expect us to believe that you have never even snickered at an older movie where someone slips on a banana peel? I would never advocate violence for the sake of humor, but it is the human condition to laugh briefly. Such as we might smile at a horrible person being punched, particularly as the person in question wasn’t seriously injured.

Yet you continue to deny that that amounts to encouraging that activity.

OK, I just got back from the cat rescue, have no appetite, and find this exchange exasperating, but I’ll throw out Joe Hill out of sheer cussedness.

Anyway, if this thread is apparently continuing, I’m just going to drop this ContraPoints video here, one of my favorites, from back in the day before she was firmly on the “she” side of the fence. Debating the Alt-right:

https://youtu.be/zPa1wikTd5c

And now I’m going back to my vodka & cran and my Phil Ochs, that grand salty leftist. “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” and so on.

(Thanks to my close friend Andy for the recent introduction to Ochs.)

@Narad:

Yeah, I know how Joe Hill died. Capitalism-worshipping governments tend not to like anarch-syndicalists very much for some reason.

But I … I don’t see how it makes sense as a response to anything I’ve said. I mean, you do know that the IWW regularly teams up with other leftists to fight fascism in the streets, right?

But I … I don’t see how it makes sense as a response to anything I’ve said.

It was meant to go to speech, about which I’m pretty confident I’m an absolutist, but I’ve spent the antire day taking care of cats at three* separate locations and on my second Bitburger.

I briefly forgot what the footnote was supposed to be as well, but the “Gboard” autocorrect tried to charge “three” to “threesome.” It has now done it… three times. Fourth was the charm.

@Narad:

I meant that it strikes me as a non sequitur within the context of what I’ve been saying. I’m fairly certain that I never said “The government should execute people for saying things, this is a good idea and I endorse it.”

Spencer’s whole purpose in life is to provoke fights. He trains his followers on how to set up vaguely slimy presentations and record rude protesters while the aggrieved privileged look innocent and put upon. They present themselves as oppressed advocates of free speech, and they seem to be winning.

” Sure, they’re fascists..”

Doesn’t seem to bother Jake Crosby. * see Autism Investigated)
But then look who he worked for in 2016 ( for PAY according to the disclaimer on his letter)

“all the samples were found to be polluted by micro- and nanoparticles, none of them compatible with the human organism”

We would like to take this opportunity to apologize to our customers. There was a mix up at one of our Total Population Control factories. During a shift change there was some confusion about which ingredients are destined for child vaccines and which are destined for chemtrail production.

Our lizard overlords were not pleased! Heads rolled (among other body parts). We’ve re-educated the survivors and can assure you that this error will not happen again. Or else.

Thank you for your understanding and for your continued patronage. Your business is important to us at Total Population Control Inc.

I’m still shaking my head about the quality of that paper. It bothers me to see someone come off so highfalutin here when his paper on these nanoparticles failed to control for the penetration depth of their SEM during EDS and the possibility that particles they were looking at were actually lodged in the filter paper mounts they were using instead of in the vaccine l –never mind that adjuvants in vaccines are known to be particulate. This guy talks here like he is the prototype of the focused, other-worldly scientist, and yet he is that incompetent. I don’t really accept the “scientist” defense from people who don’t listen to other scientists about correcting their experimental faults.

Montanari is a pharmacist who likes white-coat scientist cosplay. Wants people to call him “Doctor” because fake qualifications are part of his grift.

““Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down; that is not my department,” says Werner von Braun.”

And yes, it’s a very strange story. It’s horrible that someone hit him, but it’s just impossible to know much from this.

I thought of that song as well:

Call him a Nazi, he won’t even frown
“Nazi, schmazi,” says Wernher von Braun

Montanari should know better than to hang out with a group that has named itself after a famous fascist American. It wasn’t that long ago that many Americans, even those nowhere as extreme in their views as Pound, considered Italians to be inferior to those of northern European extraction. Germans had strategic and tactical reasons not to force the issue during World War II, but I don’t think Italians would have remained Aryan for very long after the war if Germany had won.

That makes three of us. First thing that came to mind: “Nazi, schmazi, says Wernher von Braun.”

So now we have the prospect of the new Italian gov repealing mandatory vaccination laws?

Watch the outbreaks spread. Oy.

Is there anything in the EU core documents or legal system that would enable taking action against a member state that becomes a manifest public health hazard to Europe as a whole?

And/or seeing as Putin has been involved with support for extreme-right and “populist” politics in other countries, going back at least as far as Brexit: Perhaps any antivax misbehavior by Italy, or contagious disease outbreaks attributable to Italy, could be “leveraged” by Russia to help further weaken the EU?

“Kenneth, what is the frequency?” — Dan Rather
.
Randomly violent loons exists in all nations.
Perhaps the attacker was a fascist who thought Montanari wasn’t far-right enough…

They were at a meeting of fascists. Fascists are violent thugs. It’s a central part of their brand.

“To her, that gentleman shouted a death threat.”

His wife cannot remember what he shouted at her, yet Montanari remembers what the attacker said to him despite being clocked by a punch?

And no video by anyone despite being in a crowd?

Eh, I’m actually willing to give them that. It sounds like it happened right by the door or on the street, and if it was just a rando punching people he thought were fascists, he probably punched, shouted and ran.

More plausible the two got into an argument and he’s playing the poor little victim card like the whiney candy ass that he is.

Dear Mr Orac,

I am overjoyed to write my first “respectful” post on your website. Above all, I would like to thank you for your precious work. As an Italian, I have to add that I am extremely ashamed by the government behavior and by sharing the citizenship (even worse, as I come form the same region) with this bunch of crooks, Mr Montanari and Ms Gatti (who I and some friends usually refer to as “the dynamic duo”).

So let me please add some information to your tale. You have to know that Mr. Montanari has published on his blog an hilarious list of compelling request that have to be met by those who host him (I know of international rock bands who are way more humble in their requests). For example, Mr. Montanari could go mad if you dare offering him some pizza, as it is too salty and it might jeopardize his eloquence (usually more than two hours of soliloquy). Another interesting point is that Mr. Montanari clearly states that he would refuse any speaker but him: he pretends being the only “prima donna”. So neither anti-vax companions nor opponents are allowed (you know, the market is shrinking so he has to be the only stakeholder, if hope to be clear enough…). However, during the last show the organizing committee (a doctor affiliated to CasaPound) decided to perform an introduction speech to Mr Montanary keynote and, according to Mr Montanari blog, she dared interrupting him several times. This fact clearly upset the nano-detective and this is also stated by his own words. Then the tale gets exciting. In the Italian version of his blog Mr Montanari affirms that the attacker hit him with “the special punch which does not leave a mark” (I cite by memory), so we might assume he was a kind of shaolin monk or whatever. Mr Montanari later adds that the attacker was identified as a well known member of CasaPound who had had troubles with justice also in the recent past. To sum up, we know that Mr Montanari can be pretty harsh with his own readers, and he can easily “heat up” if someone publicly disagree with him. So I can say that one more hypothesis is that he shouted out at someone, or his behavior had been judged too rude, and finally he triggered the ninja punch. No videos are available (for this moment) but I have to add, for the sake of comprehensiveness, that CasaPound disagreed with Mr Montanari storytelling.

I do apologize for my syntax and grammar. If anyone is interested in further details or translations I would be happy to help, within the limits of my language ability.

I thank you for your patience and for the time you spent reading this post.

I’m pretty horrified of searching through Montanari blog but I’ll do the effort in the name of truth! Here’s some donotlinks (but you can probably retrieve pretty much the same information on the links above) to Montanari’s blog:

Wanna organize a conference with Montanari as speaker? Here you are, and good laughs, pardon, luck… https://donotlink.it/7vZP
Before the conference at CasaPound (Montanari motivates his choice of presenting in front of a fascist crowd, and insult those who say it’s not a good idea): https://donotlink.it/paJp
After the conference, episode 1: https://donotlink.it/E7Eb
After the conference, episode 2: https://donotlink.it/3vnV

Unfortunately you will not probably be able to catch the constantly bitter and petulant writing style (which is a strong indicator of his personality) but I think you can have a better insight on the whole story.

I hope to have been of any help. Thank you again.

Dear Orac, I’m finding difficult posting here, maybe I have some browser related problem, this is why I am not able to answer quickly.

I’m pretty horrified of searching through Montanari blog but I’ll do the effort in the name of truth! Here’s some donotlinks (but you can probably retrieve pretty much the same information on the links above) to Montanari’s blog:

Wanna organize a conference with Montanari as speaker? Here you are, and good laughs, pardon, luck… https://donotlink.it/7vZP
Before the conference at CasaPound (Montanari motivates his choice of presenting in front of a fascist crowd, and insult those who say it’s not a good idea): https://donotlink.it/paJp
After the conference, episode 1: https://donotlink.it/E7Eb
After the conference, episode 2: https://donotlink.it/3vnV

Unfortunately you will not probably be able to catch the constantly bitter and petulant writing style (which is a strong indicator of his personality) but I think you can have a better insight on the whole story.

I hope to have been of any help. Thank you again.

I will second Orac’s request for links, even if they are in Italian. Google Translate is far from perfect, but information would be helpful.

I would agree that his insistence on no other speakers is absurd. However, the comparison to international rock bands is unfair to Van Halen. Their notorious “no brown M&Ms backstage” clause actually served a rational purpose: they could be confident that venues that abided by that clause had done their best to abide by the more serious technical specifications of the contract, and the show could go on. Venues that broke that specification almost always broke one or more of the other specifications, often creating a potentially dangerous situation.

Dear Eric,

I totally agree with you. I have been unfair to rock bands: they are professionals with very legitimate needs who have to travel a lot for their work. However, I cannot say the same thing for Mr Montanari! 😀

Alessandro:

Your English is very, very good: not only do you inform us, you provide us with entertainment as well!

Thanks a lot, Walter. More tasty details will appear in my response to Orac and Eric links request!

Next Mr. Montanari will be claiming someone used the Five Point Exploding Palm Technique on him, but he survived it.

I am utterly shocked that someone was attacked at a fascist meeting.

The evidence for a pro-vaccine activist being responsible is about as convincing as the case for Suzanne Humphries getting a death threat over her antivax activities, a fuss which morphed into the F.B.I. supposedly suggesting she made the whole thing up then backing off its allegation (according to Nimrod News).

It’s just not safe to be a holistic wacko anymore. Erin Elizabeth of Health Nut News is saying she was menaced by a weird-looking snake while her significant other Joe Mercola was out of town, and now she won’t sleep in her bedroom anymore. 🙁

The Conspiracy deepens…

@ DB:

But doesn’t Erin Elizabeth live in Florida where weird looking snakes abound?

( Notice how I adroitly stepped around the obvious – Joe vs snake : How could she tell the difference?)

I can’t help noticing that Montanari says “a gentleman” twice and “the character” once, and leaves the reader to infer that this is someone Montanari and Gatti didn’t know. He doesn’t actually say “a stranger in the crowd” or “someone I don’t know.” (I clicked through and read his whole statement to check on this.)

I have no idea why anyone would attack them, but if someone they’d previously dealt wanted to do something like this, it would make sense for him to have gone to a publicly announced speech. (This way, the attacker could just walk up out of the crowd, as described, rather than make an appointment that might be recorded somewhere.)

(Like JustATech, I don’t think the lack of video is significant–this is described as happening very quickly, and even in this world of cell phones, most people don’t randomly make videos of things like the crowd milling around after a speech.)

rom preventing the continuation of a research on acute myeloid leukemia that had produced results that can prove very useful both for diagnosis and therapy, to the seizure of our electron microscope to that of our computers. All illegal, to be sure, but who cares?

If only there were lawyers in Italy, and courts, in which complaints of illegality could be tested.

After years of persecution, …, here is the physical attack.

Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!

While I was cordially talking with these people, suddenly, for no apparent reason, a gentleman came up behind me shouting “Don’t dare raise your voice!” I turned my head and, in a fraction of a second, unexpectedly, he hit me with a violent punch between my ear and my cheekbone.

I seem to be missing something here. Why would the words “Don’t dare raise your voice!” be used unless Montanari was shouting at them? It makes no sense.

Would Montanari say the same thing about speaking to a group of Nazis, one wonders?

The distinction is very small. So the answer is almost certainly yes. Montanari will talk to whomever will pay for the privilege. He is like an Italian Andrew Wakefield.

Dear Mr Orac,

I am overjoyed to write my first “respectful” post on your website. Above all, I would like to thank you for your precious work. As an Italian, I have to add that I am extremely ashamed by the government behavior and by sharing the citizenship (even worse, as I come form the same region) with this bunch of crooks, Mr Montanari and Ms Gatti (who I and some friends usually refer to as “the dynamic duo”).

So let me please add some information to your tale. You have to know that Mr. Montanari has published on his blog an hilarious list of compelling request that have to be met by those who host him (I know of international rock bands who are way more humble in their requests). For example, Mr. Montanari could go mad if you dare offering him some pizza, as it is too salty and it might jeopardize his eloquence (usually more than two hours of soliloquy). Another interesting point is that Mr. Montanari clearly states that he would refuse any speaker but him: he pretends being the only “prima donna”. So neither anti-vax companions nor opponents are allowed (you know, the market is shrinking so he has to be the only stakeholder, if hope to be clear enough…). However, during the last show the organizing committee (a doctor affiliated to CasaPound) decided to perform an introduction speech to Mr Montanari keynote and, according to Mr Montanari blog, she dared interrupting him several times. This fact clearly upset the nano-detective and this is also stated by his own words. Then the tale gets exciting. In the Italian version of his blog Mr Montanari affirms that the attacker hit him with “the special punch which does not leave a mark” (I cite by memory), so we might assume he was a kind of shaolin monk or whatever. Mr Montanari later adds that the attacker was identified as a well known member of CasaPound who had had troubles with justice also in the recent past. To sum up, we know that Mr Montanari can be pretty harsh with his own readers, and he can easily “heat up” if someone publicly disagree with him. So I can say that one more hypothesis is that he shouted out at someone, or his behavior had been judged too rude, and finally he triggered the ninja punch. No videos are available (for this moment) but I have to add, for the sake of comprehensiveness, that CasaPound disagreed with Mr Montanari storytelling.

I do apologize for my syntax and grammar. If anyone is interested in further details or translations I would be happy to help, within the limits of my language ability.

I thank you for your patience and for the time you spent reading this post.

No need to apologize for grammar and syntax; your English is very good and much, much better than my nearly non-existent Italian.

Thanks very much for your very informative post.

what caught my eye was a letter by Montanari, an English version of which was published on the antivaccine crank propaganda blog, Age of Autism, yesterday

I don’t think this is an English translation of claims previously published in Italian… AoA just call it “A letter to America”, and it begins by complaining about the lack of interest in the story in Italy. Looks to me like it was written specifically for Montanari’s US fan-base.
Perhaps he and Gatti are planning to do a Wakefield.

Thank you very much JP, I’m glad you’ve appreciated the post.

I’d like also to add that the punch is described as a “left hook, delivered with the soft side of the hand, the one close to the pinky”. Mr Montanari states that only a well trained fighter would be able to punch in that way, without leaving a mark on the victim face. You’ll notice that, from the boxing point of view, the whole description is quite a nonsense. I also point out that, for what I know, the attack was not reported to the police.

About your non-existent Italian: it’s never too late to recover 😉

For all we know, it could’ve been someone who paid some money for that microscope purchased “by popular subscription” and got mad that it got used for commercial purposes. There’s so little data that everything is possible.

“If only there were lawyers in Italy, and courts, in which complaints of illegality could be tested.”

The reliability of such courts, especially when science-related matters are involved is debatable.

Jake Crosby wrote on his paranoid delusional blog Autism Investigated (rivals or exceeds Age of Autism for delusional irrational content) about the case. I submitted a comment exactly what you said that there was NO evidence that the person who carried out the assault was pro vaccine, perhaps just a nut job. But I also pointed out that nanoparticles are on virtually everything, our bodies, our foods, etc., and a nanoparticle of cyanide, arsenic, even plutonium would have no effect. I then mentioned that we are bombarded with billions of neutrinos every second, so life is hopeless. Of course, Crosby didn’t post my comment; but did answer another commenter that the person carrying out the assault was part of the “vaccine mafia.”

In the musical play Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote’s niece and parish priest catch up with him. The priest tries to reason him back to reality, saying he should face the truth. Quixote responds, one of my favorite lines: “Facts are the enemy of truth!” Must be the motto of antivaccinationists; but far more amusing, entertaining when in a Broadway musical where the well-being of children is not at stake.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH:

I’ve noticed that Jake has actually allowed your comment to appear. AMAZING!

A few years ago, I tried to reason with him here at RI: challenging to get him to question his beliefs about Saint Andy W and to imagine how his on-line antics might influence possible employers negatively.

Since then, he’s gone off the deep end as you can see but he actually has been paid if his disclosure statement addendum to a recent letter is correct: by Autism File, Dwoskins’ foundation and the TRUMP campaign ( as a paid campaign worker).

I imagined him writing for Natural News or having a show on PRN.fm. Maybe that’s next.

I imagine that Jake’s post will go down the memory hole when he tires of suppressing the various descriptions of the episode that disagree with his conspiracy — descriptions from Montanari himself, from Gatti, from CasaPound, etc. So don’t invest too much time in trying to leave comments.

In Gatti’s version of events, the whole invitation to speak was A TRAP.

@ Smut Clyde:

I tried and tried but couldn’t find the exact post where Jake admits he was paid by those I mentioned above. IIRC, he wrote a letter to a governmental official or committee where he added the disclaimer at the bottom. It was in recent weeks I think. I’m usually pretty at recalling stuff like this- even being able to visualise it.
Perhaps it’s gone now BUT it was definitely Autism File, Dwoskins’ charity and Trumpie’s campaign with a mention of Geier’s/ Geiers’ assistance on his thesis/ I noted this on RI of course.

Stefano Montanari wrote,

…”a gentleman came up behind me shouting “Don’t dare raise your voice!” I turned my head and, in a fraction of a second, unexpectedly, he hit me with a violent punch between my ear and my cheekbone.”

MJD says,

In America, if someone randomly bunches you in the head we do not call them a “gentleman”.

When Stefano calls the assailant a “gentleman”, is he being sympathetic?

One thing is certain, Stefano would not call Orac a “gentleman” after reading some of his not-so-respectful insolence.

Plenty of Americans use “gentleman” less-than-favorably. My spouse (born in upstate New York, to parents both of whom are native speakers of American English) parents) will use “the gentleman” to refer to, for example, dangerously reckless drivers. And public bathrooms are often labeled “gentlemen” and “ladies” rather than “men” and “women.”

Dear Orac,

I would suggest these two links to a reliable on-line news site, in chronological order of publishing. I have to acknowledge the user nicknamed Ander Elessedil of Butac.it community for having made this research for me:

https://www.nextquotidiano.it/aggressione-casapound-stefano-montanari/
https://www.nextquotidiano.it/stefano-montanari-casapound/

I’m pretty horrified of searching through Montanari blog but I’ll do the effort in the name of truth! Here’s some donotlinks (but you can probably retrieve pretty much the same information on the links above) to Montanari’s blog:

Wanna organize a conference with Montanari as speaker? Here you are, and good laughs, pardon, luck… https://donotlink.it/7vZP
Before the conference at CasaPound (Montanari motivates his choice of presenting in front of a fascist crowd, and insult those who say it’s not a good idea): https://donotlink.it/paJp
After the conference, episode 1: https://donotlink.it/E7Eb
After the conference, episode 2: https://donotlink.it/3vnV

Unfortunately you will not probably be able to catch the constantly bitter and petulant writing style (which is a strong indicator of his personality) but I think you can have a better insight on the whole story.

I hope to have been of any help. Thank you again.

Dear Orac,

I would suggest these two links to a reliable on-line news site, in chronological order of publishing. I have to acknowledge the user nicknamed Ander Elessedil of Butac.it community for having made this research for me:

https://www.nextquotidiano.it/aggressione-casapound-stefano-montanari/
https://www.nextquotidiano.it/stefano-montanari-casapound/

I’m pretty horrified of searching through Montanari blog but I’ll do the effort in the name of truth! Here’s some donotlinks (but you can probably retrieve pretty much the same information on the links above) to Montanari’s blog:

Wanna organize a conference with Montanari as speaker? Here you are, and good laughs, pardon, luck… https://donotlink.it/7vZP
Before the conference at CasaPound (Montanari motivates his choice of presenting in front of a fascist crowd, and insult those who say it’s not a good idea): https://donotlink.it/paJp
After the conference, episode 1: https://donotlink.it/E7Eb
After the conference, episode 2: https://donotlink.it/3vnV

Unfortunately you will not probably be able to catch the constantly bitter and petulant writing style (which is a strong indicator of his personality) but I think you can have a better insight on the whole story.

I hope to have been of any help. Thank you again.

P.S. I’m really sorry for the multi-posting but I had probably some browser adds-on related troubles and I could not figure out if I had in fact submitted the post.

@ Denice

Thanks. You’re right. He did post my comment; albeit two days after I submitted it (I didn’t check after 24 hours) and notice how he avoids responding to what I said about nanoparticles. He did actually enter an exchange of comments with me at an earlier times (see his post “Vaccinations Saving 1.45 Million from Hib and Pneumococcus is Fake News” at:

https://www.autisminvestigated.com/vaccinations-fake-news/ ;

but didn’t post my last submitted comment; but wrote: “I’ve deleted Joel Harrison’s latest rant in submission because at this point he’s just repeating himself while trying to hijack the thread in order to pump his own blogs. I’m sure anybody who wants to waste time reading them can find them on their own. Autism Investigated will not be used for clickbait.”

I hope Orac doesn’t mind; but I’m going to post a later version of my “rant” here. it is to a later post by him as just a note to him since he didn’t post the earlier version. You and others can go to his article, read my exchanges with him and others, then read below and decide if “rant” is just his term for anything that makes him look like the fool he is (especially strange that he doesn’t want to share his alleged MPH thesis):

https://www.autisminvestigated.com/vaers/

Vaccine Adverse Event Under-Reporting System “Proves” Vaccine is Safe
JUNE 20, 2018 4:20 AM \ 10 COMMENTS \ JAKE CROSBY

I doubt you will post this, so, basically it’s just a note to you.

First, studies have found that serious adverse events have a much higher frequency of reporting to VAERS (I could give the references; but it would be a waste of time given NOTHING will change your mind). And many who do post on VAERS are lawyers, obviously involved in potential lawsuits, i.e., serious adverse events. Yes, minor adverse events are way underreported. Typical how you aren’t aware of this or simply ignore it. Not too different from police reports of traffic accidents, fender benders reported less frequently than when someone injured.

Second, VAERS is a passive reporting system; i.e., voluntary. You write: “If VAERS were truly an adequate system, there would be no need for the Vaccine Safety Datalink.” The Vaccine Safety Datalink is “real-time” reporting, that is, it gets data directly from large HMOs, data including vaccines received, health conditions, demographics, etc. What an absolutely STUPID statement to claim that a passive data system like VAERS could ever be even close to as good as a “real-time” one. However, VAERS is monitored and does lead to follow-up studies. There are several other projects, databases, etc. used to monitor vaccine safety besides VAERS and Vaccine Safety Datalink. Typical of an antivaccinationist to ignore this. Only a fool would rely on one source of data for vaccine safety and only an antivaccinationists would fail to understand this.

Oh, and I wondered when you called my article a “rant” just what the word meant to you. So, when you failed to post my comment which clearly showed that you posted Demirjian’s letter which clearly dealt with the time interval between vaccination and first symptoms; yet you focused on associated symptoms and in my same comment I responded to a commenter who claimed Wakefield could not have been involved in the recruitment of kids because only their respective doctors could refer them, so I included direct proof, both from the GMC and Justice Mitting, that Wakefield had, indeed, been involved in recruiting kids, you commented that you weren’t going to post my “rant”.

[NOTE that I included four examples from the British Medical Committees, just scroll down to BMC’s
discussion of each child finding which Crosby links to http://www.autisminvestigated.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/gmc-charge-sheet.pdf and from Justice Mitting’s decision which I link to in a comment http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/503.html ]

So, obviously in your deranged mind “rant” means anything that you can’t refute, anything that clearly shows you are wrong. You really are dishonest which makes me wonder just how strong you hold your position on vaccines if you have to lie, that is, a lie of omission, not posting valid arguments. I imagine that the few people who read your blog NEVER take the time to go to the original source; but rely on what you say, which is pathetic; but not surprising.

You probably think that I post comments in an attempt to change your mind. Completely wrong. As I wrote, besides my training as a researcher, I also studied and trained in psychology, which, together with seven decades of experience with people has taught me that rigid ideologues like you don’t change, regardless of the arguments marshaled against your position.

So, why do I bother? Two reasons: 1. I learn more about how antivaccinationists think, or better, don’t think; and 2. I practice, that is, I hone my arguments. I always download the antivaccinationist’s article and accompanying comments and save all my comment, even those submitted but not posted. I use these for future papers. And when I write a paper it takes me months. I read, then outline, then collect articles, then write. Then put aside for a couple of weeks, revise, then send to a number of people to critique. The list of who I send it to depends on the subject. If I talk about immunology, I send for critique to a couple of immunologists. And at the gym I’ve been going to for 15 years are several people who I am friendly with despite that they are antivaccinationists. So, they have been kind enough to read my articles and, of course, critique them. While I don’t agree with their position, their critiques have helped me more clearly state things. Unfortunately, only a few of the people who review my papers give permission for me to include their names in the Acknowledgements and, being an ethical decent human being, I respect their wishes; while you gave out contact information for both Richard Demirjian and even his son, despite that he specfiically in the letter he sent to Dan Olmstead requested this NOT be done.

@ Joel A, Harrison, PhD, MPH:

I’m glad you’re commenting at Jake’s place: he could use a dose of reality. I’d like to believe that NO ONE is beyond hope, languishing in ignorance forever – especially when they come from a wealthy, privileged family like he does.
BUT….

re the “clickbait”:
I know that you wrote for SBM, ECBT.
Recall that Jake didn’t publish Orac’s new website address ( and advised Rossi to do the same) so he wouldn’t get readers!

Now SERIOUSLY!
What do you suppose the ratio of RI or SBM readers is to Jake’s readers.

Oh the world must be a mystical, magical place for those who lack self criticism.

@ Denice

There is a slight misunderstanding. Yes, I wrote articles and yes, ECBT and SBM posted them; but I did not and do not have any type of relationship/agreement with them, e.g., I have not donated any money, don’t know them personally, and they don’t choose the topics, I just write my articles and have been grateful that they thought them worth posting. Jake seems to think there is more; but, as usual, he is just plain WRONG.

And, as you pointed out, he probably IS RECEIVING FUNDING for some of his antivaccination work.

Given above, I would love for someone to pay me to do what I believe in and will do anyway. Oh well, keeps an old man out of mischief.

Oh, I e-mailed some colleagues at various Schools of Public Health and they responded that the list of graduates with degree received and thesis/dissertation title is easily available and theses and dissertations are in their libraries; but when I contacted George Washington U, they responded that they give out no information on students, not even confirming they actually received a degree from them. Seems a bit extreme? And the library has NO record of an MPH thesis by Jake or Jacob Crosby!

Dr Harrison,

If there’s no trace of MPH degree granted to Crosby, then, I’d wonder if Brandeis university (or college?) would be able to tell if he did receive his bachelor degree.

Alain

Joel, that sounds very strange. that GWU wouldn’t confirm if Crosby was granted a degree. After all, there have been multiple scandals of people claiming degrees they never earned.

I agree with Panacaea that it’s odd that GWU won’t confirm or deny that Jake has a degree. In South Africa, the problem with fake qualifications has got so bad that Universities here have actually prosecuted people for claiming they have degrees when they don’t. You would think that GWU would automatically respond to a query like that.

There’s a very interesting translated double interview with Montanari and Gatti on lifebiomedguru ( James Lyons Weiler.com)
I’ve only skimmed but it appears IMNSHO to be rather batshit.

Ooops! Sorry.
I should mention that the interview is from a few months ago but it is illustrative of his/ their bent.

Of course, we also have no idea who this man was or why he punched Montanari. Even Montanari doesn’t give any real indication.

As Alessandro has noted, his identity was known from the beginning. If Montanari chose to conceal it, there will be reasons.

In other words, this looks like a dispute over the terms under which Montanari and Gatti were to be allowed to use the microscope.

The fraud investigation also involves a cancer patient, who paid Gatti & Montanari to examine tissue samples of the tumour and prove that it was caused by nanoparticles, but felt cheated.

Dear Orac, I’m finding difficult posting here, maybe I have some browser related problem, this is why I am not able to answer quickly. I’ll tray to shorten the text. Next to Smut links I add some further information.

I’m pretty horrified of searching through Montanari blog but I’ll do the effort in the name of truth! Here’s some donotlinks (but you can probably retrieve pretty much the same information on the links above) to Montanari’s blog:

Wanna organize a conference with Montanari as speaker? Here you are, and good laughs, pardon, luck… https://donotlink.it/7vZP
Before the conference at CasaPound (Montanari motivates his choice of presenting in front of a fascist crowd, and insult those who say it’s not a good idea): https://donotlink.it/paJp
After the conference, episode 1: https://donotlink.it/E7Eb (same as Smut)
After the conference, episode 2: https://donotlink.it/3vnV

Unfortunately you will not probably be able to catch the constantly bitter and petulant writing style (which is a strong indicator of his personality) but I think you can have a better insight on the whole story.

My understanding is that the website puts comments in moderation if they contain two or more links, so they may not appear until Orac has a chance to review them.

Rolling through the doubled comments, I can’t help but think that Alessandro is related to C-3PO, human-cyborg relations protocol droid.

BTW, in case anyone wonders why there haven’t been any posts in a couple of days, as I mentioned above, we’re dogsitting. Doug is a 7 month old puppy, and, like nearly all 7 month old puppies, he has a lot of energy and is a bit crazy. Also, we really love having him around, but he takes up a lot of time. Anyway, there should be a post tomorrow, and regular posting should resume next week.

@ Orac:

Seeing your videos, I thought that Doug was the one you and Ms O would keep; at least he’s nearby with family.
He seemed lovably wacky and stood out in the crowd of puppies.

I only provide foster care for outdoor semi-feral ( usually black) cats because it’s easier and cheaper,

“The dog ate my blog post”? Really, Orac, is that the best you can do?

I guess I’ll have to supply exciting new content. There’s breaking news about the mystery shooting of a scientist who was on a camping trip with his children.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/selfless-dad-scientist-killed-camping-trip-young-daughters/story?id=56204863

It turns out that this scientist was involved in research involving the use of nanoparticles in vaccines for adjuvant purposes.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882515/

Connect the dots – could this be part of a new Non-Holistic Doctor Murder Conspiracy implicating the shadowy antivax cult? Betcha Erin Elizabeth over at Health Nut News won’t have a word to say about it.

Rest assured, that ghoul Erin Elizabeth is on it, this time in a surprisingly restrained post* (for her), in which she nonetheless attempts to paint his work as vaccine-critical. Bigger surprises are that she linked to his work as indexed on PubMed, and to a gofundme for the family.

In other anti-vaccination news, vile conspiracy theorist extraordinaire and founder of VINE Erwin Alber has died in Thailand at the age of 75.

RIP, selfless dad scientist and condolences to the family.

* NB: the link to HNN is a donotlink to avoid giving EE the click revenue.

You do realize you are giving more fodder for Ms. Elizabeth’s conspiracy theory, right? The domain name on your link ends with .it, which identifies it as an Italian domain name. So now the Italian internet is conspiring to deny her click counts.

research involving the use of nanoparticles in vaccines for adjuvant purposes

Nanoparticles, microparticles, near enough.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH:

I assumed that your relationship was pretty much as you say with those blogs. Your posts/ comments are an excellent addition to any SB blog..

re Jake:
that’s interesting about GWU . I think that his thesis combed through VAERS reports and used material from the Geiers ( which translates as :”vultures”).

In case you didn’t know, Jake’s mother and uncle inherited a business from their father worth possibly a billion USD. Jake’s uncle served on a board of the university where he worked on his ill-fated doctorate.

He has an interesting linked-in entry worth pursuing.

For a peek at Jake’s latest Linked-in profile, g–gle/ bing “Jake Crosby Linked In Jacksonville FL Area”

@ Denice

Checked out his Linked-in profile. Among other things he states he is currently doctoral candidate at University of Texas School of Public Health. I remember him posting quite a while back that he was NO longer a student at UTSPH due to their “misconduct, malfeasance, unethical” behavior. Don’t remember exact words. Have tried to find it on his blog; but failed. You don’t happen to have the date or title to that particular post?

In other antivax news, the Medical Board of California has issued a Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order against Dr Bob Sears, suspending his license. The suspension has been stayed, imposing 35 months of monitored probation with additional education requirements, including professional ethics.

From SciBabe; 27 June order here, effective 27 July; h/t FallsAngel..

@ Smut Clyde:

re Jake’s disclosure:
in my haste, I looked too far back : it was in his post of the 16th of June where he complained to someone about something as per usual.

@ Joel A, Harrison, PhD, MPH:

AFAIK he was never a doctoral candidate altho’ he may have claimed it not understanding its definition .
I can’t find the post where he said he was OUT of UT BUT maybe one of the minions can help – I tried using the search box for University of Texas but no dice.
Perhaps DR Najera knows.

Re Linked-In:
he’s had a few . One listed him as ‘Austin TX area’ whilst the latest is ‘Jacksonville area’. His mother lives in the ritzy area of Ponte Vedra- golf courses and all that.
Note the abilities/ skills he lists.

@ Denice

He was a doctoral candidate, at least for 2013-2014. I found his advisor’s CV and it lists doctoral and masters students she was supervising. His name is on it.

With that said, I definitely remembering his posting on his blog Autism Investigated that he was no longer with the program and, of course, blaming everyone but himself. If anyone can help me find his post, I would be grateful. I tried a number of search terms on his blog. To no avail.

I am also curious if anyone knows if his family donated money to UT School of Public Health.

@ Joel A. Harrison PhD, MPH:

I notice that Jake wrote a post about you. I guess you got under his skin.

I think that a while ago, Rene Najera wrote about Jake’s adventures in graduate school/s / doctoral candidacy status. He might have more details than I do. He had a connection with GWU IIRC.

He may have had an advisor but not achieved the status of a candidate.
When I was at U of M, I had to take 2 full years of courses and pass a special exam to qualify as a candidate.
That meant I was qualified to start doing my doctoral research.

I read the post, and Jakes astonishing claim that “ethics” keep him from publishing his thesis.

What “ethics” could possibly impede him from developing and publishing his own work?

It’s absurd.

Probably the professorial ethics that require him to do useful and significant research that meets normal publication standards as distinguished from the University of Wollongong for instance.

@ Denice

Yep, he did post an attack on me. So, I wrote and submitted a comment which he, to my surprise, actually posted. I just submitted another comment. If he posts it as well, I might have to take a valium. LOL Previously, he didn’t post two comments submitted by me.

I don’t know who Rene Najera is. Will try to find on internet. If not, do you have a ULR?

Do read the comment I wrote that Jake posted and, perhaps, the second one. If he does post the second one, may not be until tomorrow.

I remember something similar to what squirrelelite said. Jake said he was a DC before attaining that distinction.
Rene would know.

Personally, I am surprised that he got as far as he had: he believes in ideas that are at odds with what schools of PH teach. Imagine him in qualifying exams, seminars or picking out a feasible topic: Oy Vey!

Another woo-slinger describes how he was tossed out of classes in “dietetics” because of his “science” . I can imagine Jake in the same position.
I’m sure that a wily, foxy person could believe in woo and trick profs into believing that he or she was legit but I don’t see either one of these guys having that level of interpersonal communication skill.

Oy Gevalt back at you. Member of the tribe???

Check out Jake’s page. He actually posted my second comment. I know it a waste of time; but I submitted a third. In one of the comments I submitted that he didn’t post, I explained to him that I have NO illusions that anything I write will change his mind; but use such occasions to learn more of the warped thought patterns of antivaccinationists and get to practice ideas that could be used in later papers. I keep all comments that weren’t posted.

As for “dietetics”, the science isn’t as strong as one would like to believe and, especially, government and professional recommendations are often tainted with politics. I try to be a vegan and avoid sugar and salt. I am a teetotaler and don’t drink soda. I do it for a number of reasons, health just one of them. I believe it a quite healthy life style; but wouldn’t make a claim that dairy and meat in moderation, together with fruit, vegetable, nuts, and beans, makes someone less healthy than me. Even alcohol in moderation probably not a problem and, perhaps, beneficial. So, a bit long-winded, I don’t think “dietetics” class would be the course that would get Jake tossed out, that is, unless he refuses to allow others to speak and bullies people?

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH:

Not exactly a member BUT
my parents understood much in Yiddish. My mother worked in the rag trade. Lots of people in my family seemed to have language gifts that they used to advantage in various businesses. My grandfathers were quite multi-lingual.

Dear Orac,

sorry for the late reply but I was on my summer vacation. Here’s an interesting link to Mr Montanari speech (kindly suggested by user Enemy of butac.it readers community). You will notice the “calm” and “balanced” reaction of the speaker 🙂 Let me briefly describe the context: Mr Montanari states that doctors do not provide patients with adequate info before vaccination, the lady (who is a doctor herself) points out that this is not true and this is when Montanari shouts at her yelling that she is a liar.

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