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“Crush”-ing the victimhood gambit among antivaxers

An antivaxer by the ‘nym “Crush” at the antivaccine coffee klatch known as the Thinking Moms’ Revolution thinks that she and all antivaxers have been horribly victimized by evil pro-vexers. She’s a case of extreme Dunning-Kruger.

Vaccines seem to have been the topic of the week; so I figure I’ll finish with a post about vaccines, more specifically antivaxers. A common theme I keep encountering among antivaxers is an extreme sense of victimhood. It’s not hard to understand why. Even though they are almost invariably incorrect in their belief that vaccines somehow injured their child or caused their children’s autism, they nonetheless do believe it intensely. I was reminded by this by a post that appeared on that other wretched hive of scum and antivaccine quackery called The Thinking Moms’ Revolution, to which I sometimes like to refer as the “drinking moms’ revolution,” given their propensity to talk about wine. Be that as it may, I was reminded of this when I came across a post by one of the “thinking moms” named Crush, who is one whom I don’t believe that I’ve discussed before. At least, if I have I don’t remember having done so. In any event, Crush wrote a post entitled I’m Not Afraid of Measles; I’m Afraid of Hatred. I think you can get the idea from the title. It’s not as bad as, for example, Heather Barajas portraying herself as the equivalent of Jews being forced to wear a yellow Star of David by the Nazis, but it’s in the same vein. I suppose I should give her credit for restraint. Not bringing up Nazi analogies while complaining about “persecution” by pro-vaccine advocates, big pharma, the government, and the deep state is restraint indeed for an antivaxer.

Her attitude is clear right from the beginning:

I am normally a pretty chill person when it comes to the whole “anti-vaxxers” nonsense. I’ve spent so many years in this conversation that most of the nasty articles and vile comments and heartache just roll right off me. I get that those folks do not get it. Whether it’s ignorance, unwillingness to listen and think, fear, or hearing so much crazy over the years they just go along with it, I don’t know, and most days I don’t care.

But sometimes, it is just too much.

So, from now on, let me make very clear that I have a child who was harmed by a vaccine.

We know from science that, whatever health problems Crush’s child has, they were almost certainly not caused by vaccines, but it’s clear that she believes that they were. It’s also clear that she believes that vaccines are causing an epidemic of health problems in children and actually killing them. For instance, in this article from 2017 Crush decides to use the title Children Sacrificed on the Altar of the Vaccine Program, a title that both blames vaccines for death and destruction and labels them as a religion, another favorite tactic of antivaxers.

Next up, Dunning-Kruger in full effect:

For the last fifteen years I have read hundreds of books, both pro and anti and in the middle. I have earned a number of certificates from top universities on the subjects of vaccines, trials, environment and health. I have been a part of over 200 online or webinar-type classes, ranging from autoimmune disorders and autism to brain abnormalities and genetics.

I have attended numerous medical conferences and spoken about or taught classes on epigenetics, biomedical approaches in health, and caring for special needs children. I have volunteered for numerous organizations. I have no idea how many families I have sat with over the years discussing these topics, but my guess would be in the thousands.

Note the false balance: books “both pro and anti and in the middle.” The “anti” and “in the middle” are, of course, basically always slanted in how they present the science. As for these certificates from “top universities,” if they are as Crush describes them, then it’s clear that she didn’t internalize the knowledge taught in them, because any reputable course on vaccines, immunology, environment, and health at a reputable university (or a “top university,” as Crush puts it) would not be supportive of the sort of antivaccine misinformation being peddled by people like Crush. Of coure, being antivaccine and full of Dunning-Kruger, Crush vehemently denies that she’s a victim of Dunning-Kruger.

First:

I can explain mitochondrial disorders, enzymes, and inflammation and name every ingredient in a vaccine in my sleep. I can rattle off the history of vaccines and tell you the problems in recruiting for trials and the failures to address reporting of adverse events or true informed consent.

And there you go: “True informed consent.” As I’ve described more times than I can remember, what antivaxers consider “informed consent” is in reality what I like to refer to as “misinformed consent.” Indeed, the antivaccine concept of “informed consent” is a parody of true informed consent. Their idea of informed consent is to make up nonexistent “adverse reactions,” risks, and complications from vaccination (e.g, the claim that autism, sudden infant death syndrome, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and neurodevelopmental disorders are caused by childhood vaccines), exaggerating the very tiny real risks of vaccination, and, to top it all off, to downplay the benefits of vaccination, basically claiming that vaccines don’t work or that getting “natural immunity” to the disease is better than immunity from a vaccine. Of course, it’s not, if only for the reason that to achieve “natural immunity” to a disease like measles you have to actually suffer through the disease and be at risk for the potentially deadly complications from the disease. That’s the whole idea of vaccination in the first place, to avoid the morbidity and mortality (and just plain suffering) from vaccine-preventable disease.

As for “mitochondrial disorders, enzymes, and inflammation,” color me unimpressed. My guess is that her knowledge is a mile wide and millimeter deep, as well as warped through an antivaccine lense to produce a funhouse version of the science. Similarly, being able to rattle off a list of vaccine ingredients is no more impressive. That, too, is a favorite antivaccine gambit that I like to call the “toxins gambit.” It basically involves picking ingredients in vaccines with scary chemical names and trying to frighten parents by portraying them as hopelessly toxic. Sometimes the “toxins gambit” can reach truly ludicrous levels of scientific illiteracy and idiocy, with variants involving claims that there are “aborted fetal parts” in vaccines. Antivaxers have even tried to get laws passed to mandate that parents be told that fetal cell lines are used to grow viruses for vaccine stock.

This brings us to the predictable claim of victimhood:

My worry these days is not about the media calling me crazy or a conspiracy theorist or someone who wants their kid to get diseases. Nope. My worry is whether my child will live if she is subjected to another vaccine when it nearly destroyed her the last time.

My worry is that the venom that is coming from the same people who are supposed to love, protect, educate, legislate, and care for our kids leaks into her ears and she believes the horrible things said about her or us.

My fear is not measles; it is hatred.

It’s family that is fine with sacrificing my daughter’s life for some bullshit fifty cases of measles in a population of millions and millions. It’s the lawmakers that can’t be bothered to hear all of us screaming we aren’t “anti-vaxxers”; we are parents of children already harmed. It’s the friends who talk iron lungs and ignore our kids who are seizing and fighting to breathe every day—sometimes literally hundreds of times a day. It’s the adults who haven’t had a vaccine since they were children yelling about how I am “putting others at risk” and it’s all about “protecting the vulnerable”—but can’t seem to comprehend that “the vulnerable” include our kids.

First, no one is claiming that children with developmental disorders are not vulnerable. Indeed, it is precisely because we are concerned about vulnerable children that we advocate vaccination so strongly. Vulnerable children, such as those with autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, and all the chronic health issues that antivaxers rail about as having been caused by vaccines are exactly the vulnerable children who most benefit from being protected against infectious disease. Second, it is quite correct that people like Crush are putting other children at risk by not vaccinating their children. She doesn’t like to hear that? I don’t care. It’s true. She can deny it all she wants, but it’s true. All we have to do is to look at measles outbreaks among the Somali immigrant population in Minnesota, in Clark County Washington, and the even worse outbreaks all over Europe to see what antivaccine information and the refusal by so many to vaccinate their children have wrought.

Not that Crush gets it. Although she doesn’t play the Nazi card, she does launch into some overwrought and downright offensive analogies:

So the next time you post one of those ridiculous articles or some nasty meme, I am going to take it that you would also feel it appropriate to spit on a soldier’s grave, to mock those with cancer, to kill someone who is disabled, to mandate peanut butter be fed to those with nut allergies, to debate how someone’s loved one died, to require everyone with an illness to be treated with an experimental drug, to remove all liability from your car manufacturers, and allow the government to make all your medical choices, right?

No? That sound a little crazy? So does not understanding that my child has endured enough. ENOUGH.

I don’t care what you have to say about my decisions, but I do care if your hatred will kill my kid.

Seriously? These are some seriously offensive analogies. What does spitting on a soldier’s grave have to do with criticizing antivax pseudoscience? Nothing. It’s just Crush trying to portray herself as a soldier or her child as a fallen soldier—or something. To kill someone who is disabled? OK, I guess Crush couldn’t quite avoid the Nazi analogies; she was just a bit more indirect about it than the usual antivaxer.

Contrary to Crush’s extreme victimhood, the vast majority of pro-vaxers have empathy for the situation of any parent with special needs children, even antivaxers. I can’t speak for anyone else, but those parents are not the target of my ire; it is the leaders of the antivaccine movement, the ones who actively spread antivaccine misinformation, campaign against vaccines, advocate for lawas that make it easier for parents not to vaccinate. Now, that being said, even I will admit that there are a few on our side who go a bit too far, and the vast majority of us call out those on “our side” who are too abusive.

There are always bad apples in any group of humans, but there’s a difference here. The antivaccine movement is built on the rhetoric of victimhood, but worse, it’s also build on some seriously scary, violent rhetoric. No, I’m serious. Crush needs a serious smackdown of the “pot, kettle, black” variety, given the seriously threatening rhetoric that antivaxers regularly lay down to the point of frequently comparing the vaccine program to the Holocaust. It’s bad, really bad. So while I can empathize with the struggles of someone like Crush taking care of a special needs child, when it comes to her antivaccine misinformation and extreme victimhood, I’m less receptive.

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]

190 replies on ““Crush”-ing the victimhood gambit among antivaxers”

“to debate how someone’s love died”

That item doesn’t belong in the list. It’s something to approach with great care, if at all (it’s difficult, and then the details are often missing to construct a proper counter-argument, and it’s obviously a sensitive subject), but a wrong belief in a death cause can be harmful and even dangerous if that situation can be replicated and/or prevented. Not to mention highly irritating when you’re constantly warned about false causes and effects.

Actually Orac, over at AoA I recently made a post arguing that we ‘antivaxxers’ are so obsessed with our persecution that we rarely reflect on you provaxxers and considering that you’re also living in fear. I’ll have the regulars here read it, and ask that they give there feedback about whether provaxxers are indeed also living in fear. Of course we’re discussing more than fears of ‘VPD’s’ (wink wink).

Greyone and Michael, feeling so persecuted, we ‘antivaxxers’ can be a little too self-centred in our thinking. We’re so obsessed with our own fears, and rarely reflect on those of our opponents. Consider politicians ruminating over mandates, do you think they’re all sincerely buying into the propaganda that vaccines are safe and effective. Do you think they’re also not noticing that practically every second kid on the block is now autistic? Their special vantage point of power may even afford them a more frightening picture. Indeed, we may not be the only one considering that a child that is neurologically impaired for life is much worse off than one with a rash that he will likely fully recover from in a few weeks.

And even if these politicians are not swayed by the plight of their neighbours and friends, how will they feel about protecting their own families? Sure they may have the resources and connections to pull the strings that will spare their own kids, but what will they say to their sons, daughters, sisters and brothers when their kids get injured. Feeling responsible, will they apologize but stating that they had to look out for their constituents, and, besides, they were forced?

We antivaxxers tend to see ourselves as weak and vulnerable, but we rarely reflect that our opponent may feel the same.
We now cower in fear of what the States and Feds are planning with mandates, but why do we never take note of what they’ve failed to do so far. With the gullible masses in their corner, if they were so motivated, mandates would’ve easily blanketed the entire country a long time yesterday. Yet, here we are with only one State recently going that route, and and with their soaring medical exemptions even that result is proving problematic.

A fact that is rarely considered is ‘antivaxxers’ and ‘provaxxers’ are essentially the opposite sides of the same coin. We have more in common that we care to admit. The gullible masses may be deceived, but ‘provaxxers’ and ‘antivaxxers’ essentially know what time of the day and that makes us both scared. This fear is in large part brought on by the realization that we essentially lack power. Vaccine injuries and especially autism are the ones holding true power.

Do you seriously think, that pro vaccine mandate politicians pull strings to get exemption to themselves ? Why should provaxer be afraid, except for unvaccinated children ?

Greg the only things your worthless spew merits here is universal precautions and a strong germicide. Go wank some more over at AoA you douchebag.

Of course, the biggest difference between provaxers and antivaxers is that provaxers are science-based and antivaxers are not. Also, provaxers care about public health. Antivaxers do not.

Christopher, comparing me to a feminine hygiene product aside, let’s rap. Seriously — given the ‘lethal’ threat that antivaxxers pose to public health, how do you account for the difficulties in taking down our pitiful, misfit ‘movement’? Why haven’t the entire country slammed the door on exemptions along time yesterday?

@Gerg – because both politicians and public health officials have been bending over backwards in attempts to persuade, cajole and educate you nitwits, in a vain attempt to overcome the shear stupidity of the anti-vax movement.

Incremental mandates, leveraging “education” have been passed in several states, but anti-vaxers keep spreading misinformation and lies (and your vile screed that “autism is brain damage”) which is leading to outbreaks becoming more common and larger over time.

You just don’t realize that you are truly “your own worst enemy.” Because all its going to take is one really large outbreak or even a new epidemic & you’ll see all attempts at leniency go out the window. One hundred years ago, it was common for public health authorities to quarantine entire communities & throw violators in jail. That was how these diseases were handled back then – and it could happen again.

I’d say vaccinations are a much better choice.

I take exception to the term “pro-vaxx” because it is inaccurate. I accept and utilized Evidenced Based Medicine. Framing it as pro vs anti creates a false equivalency that puts antivaxxers on a footing it does not deserve. Anti vax beliefs are in no way, shape or form valid. Since anti vaxxers engage in science denialism out of paranoia or cynicism (sometimes its hard to tell) there really is nothing you have in common with me. The science on vaccines is well reproduced and established. There is no science on anti-vax beliefs; merely a collection of paranoid, rambling, fearmongering nonsense.

I will agree that antivaxxers feel powerless, and that may be driving the behavior of most of you. When your child has a diagnosis like autism, the natural inclination is to blame something. Unfortunately, vaccines are not to blame, as has been repeatedly shown time and again.

” practically every second kid on the block is now autistic?”

Can you expect anyone to take you seriously when you repeat things like that?

Anyone can- just by simple observation- tell that that statement is very, very wrong. They wouldn’t even have to look up figures about education or assistance to kids. If you went to a sports field, movie theatre or shopping mall you would see many kids – half are affected? Wouldn’t that be visible? 1% or 2% is not nearly 50%.

It falsely inflates the effects. The shifting of diagnosis has included a lot of people who will basically look normal to the eye. Most people with an autistic spectrum diagnosis go on to lead very normal lives.

Crush: “Whether it’s ignorance, unwillingness to listen and think, fear, or hearing so much crazy over the years they just go along with it, I don’t know”

Dang, Orac, couldn’t you have posted a warning that readers need to install heavy-duty shields on their irony meters before reading this article??

Now I have to trudge off to the repair shop, after force-feeding a Snickers bar to a peanut-allergic child.

“I am normally a pretty chill person when it comes to the whole “anti-vaxxers” nonsense. I’ve spent so many years in this conversation that most of the nasty articles and vile comments and heartache just roll right off me. I get that those folks do not get it. Whether it’s ignorance, unwillingness to listen and think, fear, or hearing so much crazy over the years they just go along with it, I don’t know, and most days I don’t care.

But sometimes, it is just too much.”

Seriously, Orac could have written this whole paragraph!

Crush writes:

peanut butter be fed to those with nut allergies

Is this dangerous? Peanuts are legumes, not nuts like a walnut or filbert. Would one expect peanuts to trigger a nut allergy?

I think she wrote ‘nut allergies’ as shorthand for ‘allergy to peanuts/arachide’.
Let’s be charitable, the context of her sentence is relatively clear.

OT: looking about peanut allergy on the net’, I just read that lupin floor is to be avoided if one has peanut allergy. As there is currently some fashion for lupin in vegetarian circles, I learned something potential useful today.

LOL–your typo (lupin floUR you meant) had me perplexed. We are in the flooring business and I could not recall any rep pushing LUPIN FLOORING. The googles quickly sorted me out. : ))

You are very likely correct but I still cannot read it that way. It still reads as if she does not know the difference between a peanut and a walnut.

I have never heard of lupin flour before but you remind me that I need to get some potato flour.

Please use caution if you are someone who goes out into the woods to find edible foods. Some lupine species seeds contain toxic alkaloids and must be processed to remove the toxins. This depends on the species, and it may not make a person more than mildly sick, but investigate before using them, and don’t just pop lupine seeds into your mouth while hiking.

Lupin is considered a dangerous allergen that needs to be explicitly listed as such on products in EU although I found that it is/was used only in parts of Italy when there wasn’t anything better, it needs quite some preparation as the seeds are poisonous.

Also, culinary nuts are not necessarily the same as botanical nuts.

Very well said. I do want to point out that the line between parents and leaders is a continuum, not a dichotomy. For example, Crush posts articles that can mislead others, as you demonstrated (more the “sacrifice” article you mentioned than this distressed one). Is she a parent or a leader, than? Calling out posting misinformation is fair, and that’s not attacking her as a parent.

And yes, some people on our side overstep, and that’s just wrong. But as you point out, she’s from a movement built in large part on anger. So what you said.

Yes, most of the leaders of the antivaccine movement are parents. However, I go back to the difference between the merely vaccine-averse and the hard core antivaxers. Leaders of the antivaccine movement tend to be the people who actively spread antivaccine misinformation, try to recruit new antivaxers, write for well known antivaccine blogs (like TMR it AoA), give antivaccine talks, advocate for laws that loan or eliminate vaccine mandates, are highly active on social media, and or hold leadership positions in antivaccine organizations, etc.

Many of the leaders are parents who have made their anti-vax stance into a career of sorts: they write books
( Skyhorse has a whole shelf- its founder and his ex are also autism parents), speak publicly and run websites/ blogs as well as social media campaigns. Does anyone make more than pocket change out of their endeavors? I doubt it. But it does show how devoted they are to the cause.

a little on TMR:
for months, it had been very quiet: the post being discussed is an exception. Note that whoever objects to Crush’s views in the comments is shut down by the Prof. I haven’t heard much of the other regulars, I wonder what’s up.
these websites have “charities” ( AoA, TMR) which may pay salaries to a few of the principals.
they may take advertisement money ( AoA) or sell merchandise ( TMR)

Of course, the biggest difference between provaxers and antivaxers is that provaxers are science-based and antivaxers are not. Also, provaxers care about public health. Antivaxers do not.

Nah! I would say the biggest difference is antivaxxers are more prone to talking out loud,

Nah! I would say the biggest difference is antivaxxers are more prone to talking out loud bollocks.

Fixed it for you.

On one hand, OK, let’s not be a insert expletive and mock someone with a disabled child
(well, that goes double for the child itself)

OTOH, so much lack of awareness of what antivaxers have done quite often…
– you would also feel it appropriate to spit on a soldier’s grave
–> but denying the suffering and death of children from childhood diseases is OK.

to mock those with cancer,
–> but belittling current-day children victim of measles is OK (“bullshit fifty cases” – BTW, how it is there are only fifty cases in the US, genius?)
to kill someone who is disabled
–> some parents of “vaccine-damaged” children did kill their children. When you go around talking about autism people as brain-damaged people…
to debate how someone’s loved one died
–> These parents in Australia who lose their child to pertussis (IIRC) a decade ago are on the phone, about some prominent antivaxer lady coming during the burial of their child to do just that.
to require everyone with an illness to be treated with an experimental drug
–> Enema bleach. Chelation therapy. Chemical castration with Lupron.

I think I melted an irony meter when Crush talked about how you wouldn’t “mock someone with cancer”, but totally ignores how people with cancer are the ones who are most in need of community immunity through vaccination!

Talk about completely missing the point.

I posted a plea on Facebook for parents to please vaccinate their children , in part because these outbreaks are infuriating and saddening, but also because I have cancer and discuss it a lot on my page. One of my “friends” literally called me a dumb fucking moron and a bunch of other nasty names before saying this is how I got cancer.

What was that about mocking cancer patients?

Nobody here is mocking anyone with a disabled child. They’re being called out because of their ignorant opinions on scientific matters they obviously understand nothing about and for spreading misinformation to others who might not yet have gone around the bend.

With this post, Orac has successfully fathered the “respectful insolence gambit.” Said gambit is defined herein as any attempt to exploit the “Dunning-Kruger effect” to vilify a “vaccine safety advocate.”

@ Orac,

Congratulations!

Snickers bar contents re U. of Google:

“Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Skim Milk, Lactose, Milkfat, Soy Lecithin), Peanuts, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Milkfat, Skim Milk, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Lactose, Salt, Egg Whites, Chocolate, Artificial Flavor.”

While they didn’t mention glyphosate, fetal DNA and formaldehyde we all know they’re in there.

The last three are only present as homeopathic dilutions, and therefore far more potent than any of the other ingredients. (Sarcasm/irony)

Among the reasons I have been a strong supporter of a non-profit single-payer health care system for most of my life is that it will clearly benefit families with children with disabilities. However, it doesn’t go far enough. In many other countries with universal health care coverage, they also have better policies of paid time-off to take care of kids. Just one example, though not single-payer but socialized medicine. One of my closest friends fourth child was born with Down’s Syndrome. A special bus picked him up everyday and took him to a special daycare center and later school for children with disabilities. The Swedish goal was to, as far as possible, eventually mainstream these children, perhaps, after, say three years, one hour per day in regular school. In addition, once every three months, a paid professional would come to their home for the weekend, so they could have some time-off. I stayed with them once, and though he was adorable, their son was a lot of work. And Sweden goes the extra mile to get jobs for adults with various disabilities and often special apartments, e.g., something like a skilled nursing facility but each gets own room and bathroom. Yep, not cheap; but Americans seem to prefer to pay lower taxes and accept that wealthy corporations pay subsistence wages and benefits, only eventually to find out that health care and higher education is more important and out-of-reach for many, despite the fact that our taxes basically pay for both.

Though it only explains a portion of reasons that antivaxxers form their opinions, I believe the desperation of families to get help does create the need to blame something or someone, again only part of the reasoning; but if they can successfully sue, which they usually don’t succeed, then lawyers get rich and they get some help. Of course, poor logic, deficient science, and echo chambers obviously play a major role. The psychological defense mechanism of projection also plays a role. It is antivaccinationists that continuously attack the integrity of those supporting vaccines and on occasion even physically “assaulted” them, shoving, blocking way, and threats. Most provaccinationists write refutations of their arguments.

I recently wrote an article entitled: “The Case for a Non-Profit SIngle-Payer Health Care System.” You can find it at:

http://pnhp.org/news/the-case-for-a-non-profit-single-payer-healthcare-system/

“Though it only explains a portion of reasons that antivaxxers form their opinions, I believe the desperation of families to get help does create the need to blame something or someone, again only part of the reasoning.”

True. Where I come from, parents with autist kids tend to push for pro-science theses because they are ultimately more than fed up by the stronghold that psychoanalysis still holds in the medical establishment.

It’s a curious thing that when medicine adopts scientific views, people turn to pseudoscience, whereas when medicine adopts pseudoscientific views, people turn to science instead.

Where are you finding classical psychoanalysts? Like, I’ve seen plenty of mental health professionals (MD, PhD, licensed therapist, even a hypnotist) and none of them ever offered anything like psychoanalysis. CBT, yes. ‘Tell me about your mother”, no.

“For the last fifteen years I have read hundreds of books, both pro and anti and in the middle. I have earned a number of certificates from top universities on the subjects of vaccines, trials, environment and health. I have been a part of over 200 online or webinar-type classes, ranging from autoimmune disorders and autism to brain abnormalities and genetics.”

This reads like the Navy Seal copypasta.

It is rather sad to see how these people say they experience hatred, when in reality it is merely the rest of the world not going along with their unshakeable conviction about ‘vaccine injury’.
There are several variations on this theme; e.g. when during a discussion, I express my doubt that vaccines had anything to do with the ailment of a child, I’m often accused of being a ‘heartless brute’ and ‘disrespectful’, or worse things that don’t bear repeating here – even when I expressed my sympathy with the parents, and that I could fully understand why they believe that vaccines were the cause of the problems etcetera.

I’d almost say that hatred originates rather more with antivaccine people, simply because they have to defend a minority point of view, and one that is considered harmful by the rest of the world at that. One way to deal with this is to adopt an extreme position and defend it with all their might, arming themselves to the teeth with as much favorable ‘information’ as they can in the process.
Unfortunately, this is not exactly conducive to a nuanced, more reasonable demeanor.

And what’s worse: these people also appear blind to the hostility, hatred and distrust that they themselves spread about our doctors, scientists and public health institutes, by insisting that all those highly trained experts are wrong and/or untruthful about vaccination.

@Lawrence

Just two points: First, the outbreak epidemic that will eventually settle things is already here, and it’s on our side. It’s called autism. Second, your ‘incremental’ crackdown is likely backfiring. It’s bringing the vaccination debate to the forefront where it doesn’t do so well. Forced medicine also creates repulsion. Consider that in BC Canada MMR vaccination rates dropped almost 10% in a single year alone! Do you think putting so much spotlight on vaccines and mandates helped this?. I would argue you’re the ones expediting your demise.

“First, the outbreak epidemic that will eventually settle things is already here, and it’s on our side. It’s called autism.”

You’re delusional. Autism has always been around, and parents have always felt more or less helpless though more forgiving and fatalistic in the past.

It’s no epidemic.

@ Greg

Nope, the “autism epidemic” isn’t here. True, more and more kids are being diagnosed under the classification “autism spectrum disorders”, not autism. In fact, a Finnish study looked at number diagnosed with the classical definition and found only a modest increase. Autism Spectrum Disorder class, like many classifications, choose some things in common, albeit many things that are different. One simple example. Read Siddhartha Mukarjee’s Book on history of cancer, Emperor of All Maladies. In early 19th Century leukemia was thought to be an infectious disease, then latter half of 19th century a form of cancer, so suddenly, leukemia was added under classification Cancer. Asperger’s wasn’t added until 1994; but a number of older men have since been diagnosed with Asperger’s which, of course, they had all their lives. So did adding Asperger’s increase incidence of Autism? Leo Kanner, who wrote the first article in 1943 designating Autism as a separate disorder, admitted in 1971 that he did not include minorities nor working class; but only white middle class, so he certainly undercounted. In addition, Federal legislation supports and funds special education for children with various disabillities and when Autism Spectrum Disorders was added to list, together with diagnostic instruments that didn’t need a psychiatrist, the numbers increased and the numbers, for instance, diagnosed as “retarded” or “childhood schizophrenia” decreased. And degree programs in special ed increased so now we have people whose jobs are to find and treat kids with problems. So, does this account for each and every case. Nope; but a large percentage of them. Lead poisoning, other toxins in the environment, etc., the fact that children who would have died years ago, for instance, premies, now survive. etc. all play a role; but the major percentage of increase is due to broadening the categories included under the heading “Autism Spectrum Disorders.”

And as I wrote in previous comment, though it won’t help families with everything, a non-profit single-payer health care system will help with many of the burdens families with children with disabilities face.

As for force medicine. I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of antivaccinationists supported quarantining people who had been to regions of world where Ebola epidemic occurred. In fact, quarantine for infectious diseases goes back to Middle Ages and is supported by majority of people in most nations of world. However, quarantining for ebola would have been a mistake as it is only contagious after symptoms develop and once symptoms develop, person literally incapable of going anywhere.

So, given that many vaccine-preventable infectious diseases are infectious prior to becoming symptomatic, and there are children with autoimmune diseases, and other reasons they can’t be vaccinated, the old say: “your rights end at my nose,” these kids have the right to be protected. Or, perhaps, we should implement quarantine for anyone traveling abroad who hasn’t either had a disease that is currently raging in world or been vaccinated for it? But even this wouldn’t guarantee protection because of the huge number of people from around the world entering this country every year. The Disneyland outbreak was probably caused by a non-vaccinated kid who went with family to Switzerland where a non-vaccinated kid from Turkey was visiting.

Moreover, these things are not equal. Autism is not a fatal, debilitating or disfiguring condition. Children with autism are not disfigured monsters. It occurs on a large spectrum, and to reach the frequency you’ve already tried to cite, this includes cases that are very minor in kids who will go on to lead basically normal lives. There are challenges that autistics must confront, but they are not equal to cancer or something as fatal as sub acute sclerosing pan-encephalopathy, which is a real and very fatal outcome of measles that occurs with greater frequency than real vaccine reactions do. Do not hold autistics up as a banner in your crusade, it’s disingenuous at best and dehumanizing for them at worst.

EXACTLY. They don’t know what the word spectrum means.

There may be a reason why anti-vaxxers like Greg cling to such unrealistic notions though:
many of the parents who write about their children for anti-vax sites ARE describing kids with significant challenges including ID, seizures and other physical problems. Some of these kids need a great deal of assistance to meet everyday needs**. I’m sure that these parents are quite stressed but that isn’t an excuse for believing in and disseminating pseudoscience. Perhaps they may be more vulnerable emotionally to begin with and the additional weight of being a caretaker pushes them over the edge. There is also the possibility that they have issues of their own that make learning difficult so they readily accept simplistic ideas presented by seemingly helpful cohorts.

Blaming others is a way to increase self-esteem. As I’ve written above, some anti-vaxxers write books and make a career out of their situation. ‘Crush’ presents herself as a scholar ( of sorts). Others are writers, speakers, reporters and activists.

And believe it or not, most of the anti-vaxxers I read have college degrees.

** although Dachel’s son has AS as does Crosby/
the Prof’s kids do not have autism ( something else, not LD either) yet she runs an autism blog

Nah, once kids start dying again from these diseases in numbers which begin to approximate historical averages (hundreds per year), you’ll see how quickly your little movement collapses under the weight of public opinion.

I really hope it doesn’t come to that, but given how unbelievably thick skulled you morons are, it’s going to take something traumatic like that to finally put you guys in the ground.

But then again, 200 years ago, idiots like you believed that the Smallpox immunization would turn people into cows.

@Greg, just three inconvenient points regarding your unusual claim:

The father of the index case in the current measles outbreak in Vancouver categorically states that it was unsubstantiated claims that MMR is linked to autism that had him not vaccinate his kids (though he did vaccinate them for all other recommended vaccines). He didn’t refer to “forced medicine.”
Vaccination isn’t mandatory for BC public schools yet; so there’s NO forced vaccination issue in BC currently. Seventy-eight per cent of British Columbia residents recently polled think that vaccines should be mandatory, so given that popularity and the current measles outbreak it is likely to happen.
For many years now the British Columbia CDC has been aware that measles outbreaks in Vancouver are related to misinformation about the MMR vaccine and autism, not “forced medicine.”

The reality is that in the 200+ years of vaccinating humans there have always been science deniers like you and other antivaxxers coexisting with scientists that develop/implement vaccines to prevent disease.
Neither side is going to eliminate the other.
Rather, antivaxxers will continue to indulge in magical thinking as science deniers do, and scientists, because of their focus on evidence and the tight link between science and technology, will continue to find new ways to protect humans from infectious diseases.

Moose, I don’t think you’re listening and following along. In fact, I don’t think you guys want to follow along. Never mind that BC does not even have vaccine recommendations for school entry. Ontario and NB have them but those provinces allow parents to opt out on philosophical, religious and medical grounds. Never mind that for BC to mandate vaccines without opt outs they would have the overcome the hurdle of defeating our Canadian Charter of Rights, and those cases have repeatedly been struck down. Sorry guys, Canada is not the US, we take our rights seriously. Never mind these things Moose, my point is still simple; even with mandates, where ever they are implemented and including the US, they won’t win the vaccination battle since they’re also destined to fail.

MEs will fail for the simple reason that you guys, provaxxers, will sabotage them, not allowing them to succeed. As I explained, all the threatening, cursing, thumbing noses at antivaxxers aside, provaxxers and antivaxxers essentially are two sides of the same coin. The ignorant masses may be fooled, but you and I know what time of the day it is. We both know that vaccines are dangerous and cause autism, and there is no way in hell that you and I are interested in risking them for our own. One way are another you will find your ‘outs’, and which will keep the door open for others to walk through, and with it getting wider and wider over time. Indeed, keeping up with the Jones’ is silly, but who will deny that it can be very ‘inspiring’.

Dismiss this as conspiracy stuff all you want, but why did SB 277 need to be grandfathered in for it to pass? Why with that legislation no enforcement strategies were devised to force private schools to report their exemption figures? Why last year in Cali, MEs soared so much, resulting in an overall decrease in vaccination from the previous year. And again I ask the killer question, why for so long have you tolerated us ragtag, misfit antivaxxers and who are such a menace to public health, while knowing fully well that you have the gullible masses who would support you should you opt to ‘kick butts’?!

Yeah, go ahead and drool, scratch your head and foam at the mouth about how there might be ‘minor’ problems with MEs but you intend to fix them; the truth is no sensible person who is aware of the risks will choose permanent brain damage over a mild rash. This applies to you and me. As I mentioned, with the ‘game’ there are no two separate antivaxxers-provaxxers teams on the pitch and with their names emblazoned on the back of their jerseys. Your saber rattling aside, I take comfort knowing that in a lot of ways you’re also on my side, and helping me score goals.

“We both know that vaccines are dangerous and cause autism, and there is no way in hell that you and I are interested in risking them for our own. ”

You’re not interested in knowing what’s true, obviously. You can’t even accept the fact that we know (and not believe) that you have no rational case for the autism-vaccination connection.

I’ve seen many people with crazy ideas over my life, but none as thick and dense as you.

Chris Shaw is a professor at University of British Columbia. He is a paid piper for Dwoskins. ‘Nuff said.

I was totally ripped off when I got my second MMR dose last year.* Not a trace of brain damage, not even turning the BBB all gooey-like.

I’m of an age where the booster wasn’t yet recommended. Now if only the Shingrix shortage would abate. Not that Gerg will believe that anyone in the cabal actually requests these poisons.

He probably has VAERS in mind. When reporting frequency of adverse events it’s very reliable. When establishing causation, it’s extremely unreliable.

VAERS was accurate enough to spot 1 additional severe adverse reaction per 100,000 doses which led to the pulling of the first Rotavirus Vaccine from the market.

And you anti-vaxers love VAERS (which includes several hundred reports of “death” from a single individual reporting on stories she saw online & children turning into Superheroes), but the rest of us rely on other active reporting systems, like the Vaccine Safety Datalink.

Just go away Gerg, your statements conflating autism with brain damage are the worst ableist speech there is.

He probably has VAERS in mind. When reporting frequency of adverse events it’s very reliable.


VAERS has been undermined by antivaxxers entering unvalidated and fake reports, and duplicate reports of deaths. An article on Just the Vaxx gives examples.
Seriously Greg, how do you expect us to take you seriously when you recite such easily disprovable horse apples?

Do please explain why it is better to let a baby get chicken pox, rather than protecting them by maintaining community immunity with a varicella vaccine. What is “good” about an infant suffering from dozens of itchy open wounds that are susceptible to bacterial infections, or the possibility of stroke:
https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/a-recent-case-report-highlights-why-skipping-the-chickenpox-vaccine-is-a-bad-idea/

Just support your answer with PMID authored by reputable qualified researchers.

Do Google Scholar Search. Start wiith query “vaccine saline placebo”. There are boatlaods of vaccine safety studies.

“Do you think putting so much spotlight on vaccines and mandates helped this?. I would argue you’re the ones expediting your demise.”

Preventable disease outbreaks put the spotlight on antivaxers. The consequences spur the demise of phony exemptions and expose false antivax memes.*

*Kind of difficult for folks in Washington state right now to believe that they’re experiencing a measles outbreak due to “bad sanitation” and “poor nutrition”.

Dear Crush: My hatred won’t kill your kid. Your stupidity will. Which one should your child be more worried about?

And Lawrence, let’s reflect on how this ‘incremental’ thing-a-magica mandating thing will work. Cali mandates vaccines and lots of noise and fuss ensues, and vaccination drops 10% in Canada and Europe. NY goes next and more fuss and noise and bigger percentage drops in Canada, Europe and Asia. More States join in, and more fuss and declining rates the world over.

In 5-10 years, US has blanket mandates and they say to rest of world, see, now your turn. Rest of world say, that’s fine and dandy, but our vaccination rate is at zero, and I think we will.have a tough time convincing our people since we’re no longer seeing autism.

Pharma also shakes their head. How exactly did we win if we got the US to vaccinate, but the entire world is now refusing?

“Rest of world say, that’s fine and dandy, but our vaccination rate is at zero, and I think we will.have a tough time convincing our people since we’re no longer seeing autism.”

Get real. The vaccine/autism connection seems to be an obsession mostly in the US. The rest of the world has other (irrational) fears.

You’re full gear into wishful thinking mode. Snap out of it.

No, autism would still exist. You would be seeking some other culprit to blame for it. And, the real price of rampant vaccine preventable disease would be obvious in the number of fatalities accompanying it. People would become rightly afraid of those diseases again and vaccination rates would yo-yo. I am alone on this blog in my belief that anti-vaccine stances are Darwinian if they become too pervasive. The truth doesn’t need you to believe it, but boy you’ll be happier with an autistic child than a dead one.

@ Greg

read my comment above to your previous comment. THERE IS NO AUTISM EPIDEMIC ! ! !

What I left out is that decades before Kanner’s 1943 article, there were articles in journals describing kids that today would be included under Autism Spectrum Disorders; but at the time they were labeled under classifications such as childhood schizophrenia. And even further back in time one can find descriptions of behaviors that also, if I gave the description without its source, would fall under ASD.

And Kanner’s 1943 article stated quite clearly that it was a genetic disorder, his term “inborn”.

Stop making a fool of yourself.

Denying the autism epidemic, if the vaccine injury denialists argument isn’t just outrageous, it is downright laughable. They will have us believe not just that researchers in the past missed a few cases of autism, possibly misdiagnosing them as schizophrenic cases, but missing over 2% of the population since the dawn of humankind and right up when Kanner made his discovery. Anyway, I consider Mr Blaxill and Mr Olmsted best address your argument in their, Age of Autism…

Age Of Autism, pg 188….

Childhood schizophrenia was well established as a diagnostic category long before Despert wrote Kanner about it. In 1938 — the same year that”Donald T.” arrived at John Hopkins from Forest Mississippi — a — researcher named R.A.Q. Lay, at Guy’s Hospital in London, published a thorough review in a twenty-eight-page paper titled “Schizophrenia Like Psychoses in Young Children. Such a survey would be expected to capture any case description matching Kanner’s striking syndrome. But none had the unique cluster of behaviors Kanner laid out in such meticulous detail.”

Age of Autism, pg 189

“Lay cites two researchers, Willhem Weygandt and Theodor. Heller, who described children in early 1900s in Vienna and Germany with what was called dementia infantalus. “After a period of normal development, during the third or fourth year of life there appeared, in the cases he described, a change of behavior involving a marked degree of motor restlessness. These symptoms were always accompanied by serious disturbances of speech, leading eventually to its almost complete loss, and the whole process ending in complete dementia within a few months. (Weygandt) drew attention especially to the intelligent facial expression of the patient, and to the absence of any neurological lesion or convulsions.”

The Weygandt and Heller cases would most likely be diagnosed today with childhood disintegrative disorder, under the grouping of pervasive developmental disorders described in the U.S. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM); the rate is vanishingly low, as infrequent as one in ninety thousand children. Kanner was well aware of them by the time he wrote “Autistic Disturbances,” and he later noted that Heller’s cases were behaviorally similar to his, but with later onset.

So neither Leo Kanner’s own exhaustive 1935 Childhood Psychiatry textbook nor Lay’s contemporaneous review of medical literature offered any indication that autism was ancient. Many capable observers over a long period of time had observed, recorded, and published papers on unusual behaviors in children and had not found anything of the kind. Excluding Down’s analysis, which includes no case descriptions, we are left with a handful of scattered cases on which the entire argument against the novelty of Kanner’s discovery rests.”

Greg, do you really believe what you’re writing down? I find it hard to argue with someone who I barely believe that he believe what he claims.

It’s only recently that people have started thinking in such a way that made autism an intelligible category.

Re historic cases of autism:
Hugh Blair was an 18th century Scottish nobleman who had his marriage annulled by this brother on the grounds of mental incompetence. A study of his well documented behaviours by a historian and a cognitive behaviouralist led to a book discussing the existence of autism well before its official naming in the 20th century (Rab Houston and Uta Frith “ Autism in History: The Case of Hugh Blair of Borgue”).

I’ve also added a link to a short Lancet piece giving a couple or reasons autism as we see it wasn’t really studied before the 20th century, which pretty much accords with what a lot of people have written here.

Although I’m sure Ms Crush et al will have counter arguments to try and nullify those mentioned the article.

https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(16)30530-X.pdf

I think you have a very rich fantasy life. Better reading glasses may help with the more morbid aspects of that.

oh — forgot to add one tidbit of info to make the above scenario more realistic…

In 5 to 10 years the US has blanket mandates, but, incidentally, medical exemptions have also increased 1000 percent. There — that works better.

Most people with an autistic spectrum diagnosis go on to lead very normal lives.

Patently false! A third of autistic are nenverbal. Over half are mentally retarded or borderline retarded. And close to 90% grow up unemployed.
Oh — and the average lifespan is under 40.

Remind me again where on that menu I can find the mild rash?!

Even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily. I agree that many classified as ASD do not go on to lead normal lives; but neither do kids with muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, and many other disabilities. However, with proper therapy and a society that values all life, many can lead reasonable lives. However, many with Aspergers become quite accomplished.

As for lifespan, nope ! ! !

When I was a toddler I played with same age child of friends of my parents. He had Down Syndrome and died around 12 years of age. Down Syndrome kids often have heart problems and hip dysplasia; however, nowadays these can be surgically corrected and many lead long lives and the higher IQ Down Syndrome, reaching 90 and higher, get jobs, etc.

I should have mentioned in my first comment about how Sweden supports families, that when I lived in Houston I met a family who belonged to a group promoting adoption of children with disabilities. They adopted a sweet little girl with Down Syndrome. The husband ran his business out of his home and to add the little girl to his policy was quite expensive because of what I mentioned above. In addition, the public schools really didn’t do much for disabled kids so she was put in a costly private school. This was not a wealthy family. So, once they adopted a disabled kid, for the most part, this country did little to nothing to support them, while other nations such as Sweden do their best.

In any case, though you are TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THEIR BEING AN AUTISM EPIDEMIC AND TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT VACCINES, I SUPPORT OUR NATION, INSTEAD OF PLAYING LIP SERVICE TO FAMILY VALUES, ACTUALLY HELPING FAMILIES IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY WITH CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES.

I agree that many classified as ASD do not go on to lead normal lives; but neither do kids with muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, and many other disabilities

Even here autism is exceptional and not in a good way. Stats show they have the worst employment of all disabled groups. Put it this way, I have a better chance of getting you guys to admit vaccines cause autism than an autistic person becoming ‘The Good Doctor’.

However, with proper therapy and a society that values all life, many can lead reasonable lives.

This again may also be debatable. Despite bombarding new parents with the ‘learn the sign’ message, early intervention for autistic kids for the most part has been a dismal failure. One prominent study pointed to it only helping 1 in 17 autistic kids to the point that they lost their diagnosis. With that study, it was also argued that it was the high functioning cases that improved, and even without the therapy they may have still improved with maturation.

“This again may also be debatable.”

I honestly do not see why it would be debatable. It’s mostly an ethical requirement to achieve this goal, and there’s no reason to believe that cognitive therapy can’t improve. It already has improved substantially. Luckily we live in a time where cognitive therapy has just started to be evaluated scientifically and where cognitive science is in steady progress.

“With that study, it was also argued that it was the high functioning cases that improved, and even without the therapy they may have still improved with maturation.”

Link?

Anyway, we’re doing way better than we were doing when we were more or less locking these people up for life.

You’ve cherry picked your data to get the most frightening figures out of it. Good job.

If you could get reliable sources, we could start checking whether or not these estimates concern all ASD spectrum or the 10% most disabled of the spectrum.

Anyhow, that’s hardly an argument against vaccines.

A country like Sweden has vaccination rates above 98%, across the board. Funny how the anti-vax movement doesn’t gain traction in a society which is pretty uniformly well educated.

Yep, Sweden has high vaccination rates; but they do have anti vaccine groups, just most people just ignore them. Sweden also has one of the lowest infant mortality rates, much lower than in US, despite having taken in close to a million refugees from the former Yugoslavia, Africa, and the Middle East.

However, despite in almost every aspect being superior to the US, Sweden has moved to the right compared to when I lived there.

A couple of facts: despite having socialized medicine, free education, and subsidized quality daycare, on a per capita basis Sweden had more small private run businesses than the US, currently has a trade surplus and their national debt is less than 40% of GDP. Also, the US lies regarding unemployment. There are two key measures, the U3 and U6. Basically the U3 counts only those actively seeking employment, registered an unemployment office. Even the CIA Facebook states one can’t compare unemployment statistics. In Sweden if someone works part-time, goes back to school to learn a new trade, or retires early because they can’t find a job, usually included in their stats. If we used the U6, our unemployment would at least double.

And, or course, workers in Sweden and their families have good health care, kids can get free education through university, and they have generous vacation, sick leave, etc. And even when unemployed ones family keeps their health insurance, etc.

Wrong, buddy. I’m an example. You characterize us as broken at your own risk. And, it sure makes an enemy out of me. I know of a few others on here with a diagnosis too. Your numbers are cherry picked from the bottom of the barrel.

Mild Rash

Ever heard of congenital rubella syndrome? You thought the small heads on Zika babies were frightening? How about the white milky eyes of a blind rubella baby?

Why not SASPE? Wonderful that mild rash you got which then leads you to suck on the barrel of gun for maybe the next decade in hope that you’re not the lucky one who will go insane and die. Wonderful disease, Measles.

And this just naming two horrible sequelae from just two vaccine preventable rashes, both of which occur at higher frequency than actual vaccine related mortality. You’d better at least learn about these things, because the outbreaks rage overwhelmingly through your communities first… you people are more likely to see these adverse events than us.

You really should learn some more about these diseases, maybe get appropriately scared of a real monster that the success of vaccines has kept you from seeing.

We’re pretty lucky there hasn’t been a real outbreak yet, but believe me, when one occurs you will get a front row seat. I hope you enjoy it. WHO rightly named you a top ten public health threat. When the time comes, hopefully you will not be so addled by your filter bubble to own your hubris.

Maybe I’m uneducated on the topic, but isn’t the rubella vaccine a vaccine that decreases the congenital rubella syndrome incidence and hence the incidence of environmentally-caused autism? (By the way…)

So, before I agree with you in principle, I’m adding a huge caveat. “Autism” is not “brain damage.” Autism is an extreme version of a normal developmental process. Congenital Rubella syndrome is literal brain damage, but it is also potentially deafness and blindness as well as possibly fatal heart and liver defects. They are not the same and one is quite clearly an order of magnitude worse. You can live a long life with autism; congenital rubella syndrome may kill you before you’re ever born.

I do understand the temptation to liken autism to brain damage, but you should keep it always in mind that “autistic” means “self-closure” or “turned inward”… “retardation” can be separate. It’s possible to be severely autistic without being retarded, contrary to the antivax narrative. It should be borne in mind that study of how autistic savants learn is one of the sources of modern machine learning: our understanding of what produces intelligence in humans comes from watching autists.

I’m not claiming that autism is brain damage. But it seems quite clear to me that the literature does claim congenital rubella syndrome as one of if not the main environmental cause of autism. From what I read, I fully see that this syndrome goes way beyond autism in the scope of its impact.

I know little about environmental causes of autism, but I would point out that this splits autism into a very much more faceted syndrome than people usually suggest (not very surprising to me… cancer is not one disease). My understanding is thatof autism genetic causes

Patently false! A third of autistic are nenverbal. Over half are mentally retarded or borderline retarded. And close to 90% grow up unemployed.

This has been your weekly reminder that Greggles is a lying fucknozzle, here to spout bullshit for shitz’n’giggles, and engaging with him is about as productive as engaging with pond-slime.

Patently false! A third of autistic are nenverbal. Over half are mentally retarded or borderline retarded. And close to 90% grow up unemployed.

This has been your weekly reminder that Greggles is a lying fucknozzle, here to spout bullshit for shitz’n’giggles, and engaging with him is about as productive as engaging with pond-slime.

Nah! Most of those figures are coming from ‘reputable’ agencies such as CDC — Julian!– not just Autism Speaks. I am a little busy now, Smut, but if you still want to persevere I will provide links.

In other news from The Bizarro World Of Antivax, Greg reassures parents of children exposed to rabies that they needn’t fear the disease, since it’s only “a mild aversion to water”.

If they lived in Flint, Michigan a couple of years ago, “a mild aversion to water” would have been a good thing. LOL

Good documentary on PBS Nova “Poisoned Water.” Frightening ! ! !

Too bad antivaccinationists don’t direct their energy at things that are real, like quality of our water. Lead actually does cause extensive brain damage. Oops, I forgot, vaccines don’t contain lead, so as Alfred E. Newman would say: “What Me Worry.”

And Madagascar on line three: some 68,000 cases with over 900 deaths in just the past four months — after 14 years of hardly any cases at all.

In the Philippines though, there doesn’t seem to be a significant antivaccine movement. The outbreak is only happening because the government can’t get its shit together and has decided that murdering a few thousand people who might possibly be Season 1 Jesse Pinkmans (not even getting to the real Season 5 Walter Whites, who probably are still as untouchable under Duterte as they ever were) is more important than starting a vaccination drive that might save millions of children from disease and death.

In the Philippines though, there doesn’t seem to be a significant antivaccine movement.

Fair point, but there does <a href=”https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/philippines-was-gripped-by-a-fear-of-vaccines-now-theres-a-measles-crisis/2019/02/13/a28b1c8a-2f75-11e9-ac6c-14eea99d5e24_story.html>seem to be a hook, viz., Dengvaxia.

Thanks! I collect articles and documents, missed that one. Much appreciated! One of the reasons I like this blog and sister blog Science-Based Medicine is that some commenters supply references that I can add to my collection,

Besides articles there are three books I’d recommend to anyone interested in Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Roy Richard Grinker (2007). Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism

John Donvan & Caren Zucker (2016). In a Different Key: The Story of Autism

Steve Silberman (2015). NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.

I would suggest the first two to start with and I’m not claiming that absolutely everything in any of the books should be agreed with; but all three give a lot of good information.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

Thanks for suggesting the books on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). You may not be aware, I also contributed several books discussing the etiology of a subset of ASDs. Specifically, in two of the books science-based immunological mechanisms are used to show how vaccines may induce regressive autism. Please consider adding these three (3) books to your collection:

1) Michael J. Dochniak & Denise H. Dunn (2010). Allergies and Autism;
2) Michael J. Dochniak & Denise H. Dunn (2014). Vaccine Delivery and Autism – The Latex Connection; and
3) Michael J. Dochniak (2017). Autism Patents and Beyond.

Q. Are these three (3) books currently in your collection.

If not, I’ll gladly send you all three (3) books free-of-charge, my RI friend.

F68.10 writes, “More than 1000 comments. Oh my…”

MJD8675309 responds,

That was when the minions were out of control. With the new blog space, Orac’s able to keep the comment section clean and productive. See the comment policy at the beginning of the post for more details.

Caution is definitely required with Silberman’s book. As I may have said before, if you’re going to cite Tony Attwood to support your fanboi stanning for Asperger, you should at least spell his name right,

“It’s just the flu.”

Ohio child dies shortly after coming down with influenza.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/can-you-die-from-the-flu/

“Measles is just a mild rash.”

From a letter to the editor in today’s Wall St. Journal:

“Take it from an old doc, measles is a bad, bad disease. Many, if not most, of the children who get it are miserable, with high fever, malaise and an intense cough that often leads to pneumonia. Secondary middle-ear infections are also common. In the early decades of the 20th century, several thousand children died annually from measles. Occasional deaths still occur. Measles isn’t an ordinary childhood disease. Children should be immunized.”

K. Kurt Bofinger, M.D.
Cincinnati

More antivaxx “winning”:
YouTube Just Demonetized Anti-Vax Channels

YouTube on Friday said it would prevent channels that promote anti-vax content from running advertising, saying explicitly that such videos fall under its policy prohibiting the monetization of videos with “dangerous and harmful” content. The move comes after advertisers on YouTube pulled their ads from these videos, following inquiries from BuzzFeed News.

Although desperate, I understand the rationale behind trying to censor the vaccination conversation. Provaxxers and antivaxxers are not where the gains are to be made, or more accurately put, where the bleeding is to be stopped. Keeping the gullible masses gullible is that area. Silencing one person might be doable; however, attempting to silence thousands upon thousands the world over with internet access is downright hopeless and pathetic.

“Keeping the gullible masses gullible is that area.”

Can you even fathom that we have just diametrically opposed objectives? We want the masses to be as enlightened as possible. That’s why we want the masses to have the largest access to the concepts of critical rationalism.

You should stop obsessing about antivax nonsense and educate yourself.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-method/

Seriously.

And you still haven’t addressed my comments with clear explanations that debunk the Myth of an Autism Epidemic. That fact that you don’t explains why so many of your fellow travelers are just plain WRONG! They simply ignore anything that contradicts their worldview and focus mainly on websites that act as echo chambers, the blind leading the blind.

Demonetization isn’t “censorship,” Gerg. Their machines, their rules. Moreover, your screaming hypocrisy as an apparent denizen of AoA is noted.

Age of Autism say….

So neither Leo Kanner’s own exhaustive 1935 Childhood Psychiatry textbook nor Lay’s contemporaneous review of medical literature offered any indication that autism was ancient. Many capable observers over a long period of time had observed, recorded, and published papers on unusual behaviors in children and had not found anything of the kind. Excluding Down’s analysis, which includes no case descriptions, we are left with a handful of scattered cases on which the entire argument against the novelty of Kanner’s discovery rests.”

Shelly says…

Re historic cases of autism:
Hugh Blair was an 18th century Scottish nobleman who had his marriage annulled by this brother on the grounds of mental incompetence. A study of his well documented behaviours by a historian and a cognitive behaviouralist led to a book discussing the existence of autism well before its official naming in the 20th century (Rab Houston and Uta Frith “ Autism in History: The Case of Hugh Blair of Borgue”).

I think you’re missing the main point, Shelly. Why do we have to scour the historical records so much, to find a few ‘suspected’ cases of the thing we can so easily find today by just looking out the window?

“I think you’re missing the main point, Shelly. Why do we have to scour the historical records so much, to find a few ‘suspected’ cases of the thing we can so easily find today by just looking out the window?”

Just looked out my window. Haven’t seen scores of people flapping their arms.

Sorry.

Very well then, perhaps a little more effort is in order. Perhaps a brief stroll to your closest school, library, community centre, playground, etc. Wait — is it possible that none of these places existed before 1940?!

Sorry Greg, in my country autistic kids are still being locked up. I’d be more than happy to see them more out in the open. Regardless, before the 1940s, autistic kids were not identified as such. You should read again the report from the nineteenth century doctor. He seems to have been much preoccupied by epilepsy.

By the same standards, do you really believe that child battery, child sexual abuse, for instance, are only relatively new phenomenon? They’ve been identified and proved to exist only recently.

Before that, people were adapting to the normal, and that included child battery. Discovering something doesn’t mean it starts to exist at the moment you discover it.

@ F68.10:

-btw- where do you live? ( it’s alright to give a general region rather than a specific city/ country)

In addition:
the MeToo movement is encouraging many women/ people to speak up about sexual misconduct: by the “logic” of anti-vax, should we suppose that this is all new? This didn’t happen before 2015? SRSLY

In the 10th Century the Arab physician Rhazes looked at an illness that included rashes, fever, etc. and found by extracting a subset of signs and symptoms he could distinguish two illnesses, measles and smallpox. So, did measles just all of a sudden develop as a new disease? Nope! Just someone found within what was considered one disorder a subset of distinguishing characteristics.

Psychiatry was a relatively new discipline when Kanner wrote his textbook, so what he wrote was based on a short period, much prescientific, of “knowledge.” One can find articles in medical journals that describe children with childhood schizophrenia or mental retardation and other classifications that if one were to take the descriptions alone and ask people to diagnose them, they would say one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders. And one can find descriptions in diaries, medical logs, etc. going back centuries that if given today would have been diagnosed with ASD. In addition, prior to the 20th Century, the beginning of the age of the child, children with problems, since compulsory schooling for the most part wasn’t required and where required problem children were simply kicked out, there is no objective cataloging of problem behaviors.

ASD is defined by observable behaviors as opposed to medical conditions that have clear objective physical signs. ASD diagnosis are based mainly on instruments that don’t require an extensive evaluation, probably an hour or two. Having studied psychometrics and test theory, such instruments have problems with reliability and validity. Another example of two diagnoses that at the time were based on observable behaviors. A half century ago, it was found that “There were relatively only half as many admissions for schizophrenia as for the affective psychoses in the UK but twice as many in the USA, so that relatively speaking there was a fourfold difference in the ratio of first admissions for the two functional psychoses in the two countries.” After extensive evaluation the two nations adopted similar diagnostic criteria and the number of cases in affective psychosis decreased and number of cases of schizophrenia increased in UK and vice versa in US. So, if one simply looks at the before and after statistics, all of a sudden the number of cases for the two disorders in both countries changed dramatically.

As I clearly discussed in a previous comment, there are a number of contributing factors to the increase in diagnosis of ASD; but changes in diagnostic criteria and underlying reasons for it do NOT CONSTITUTE AN EPIDEMIC.

Another example based on a medical state that is object is total cholesterol levels. Only a few years ago anything below 200 was considered “healthy” in regards to prediction of future heart disease. Now a panel of doctors, many with ties to industry, has changed it to 170, so all of a sudden we have a vast increase in the number of people at risk, not because anything changed, just the definition. So, even with objective measures, changing definitions can change the stats. So, all of a sudden, do we have an epidemic of oncoming

And Känner stated in 1943 that Autism was a genetic disorder!

On a blog like this one hopes for a reasonable dialogue, that is, that one commenter will actually address what another writes; but you just ignore almost everything and continue with your Gish gallup. Just shows you really are interested in an honest exchange if ideas!

Sorry I thought you said that autism was a new disorder caused by vaccines. Must have misread your AOA quote.

Sorry Joel and F68.10, in addition to the points I posted, not going to continue this insane discussion of why a disability that is not new that was just misdiagnosed in the past is now costing the US hundred of billions annually and threatening to bankrupt communities. I think even when the high priest of vaccinology, Offit, is conceding that there has been a real increase –albeit he is chalking it up to older parents have kids — it might be time for you guys to find a new hobby horse. The ship has sailed on denying the autism epidemic, and thankfully so since it hurts autistic kids.

“it might be time for you guys to find a new hobby horse.”

Seriously?

If it were not for people like you, we’d have moved onto more interesting topics.

Stop blaming us for your own behavior.

You haven’t made any points, just blatant arguments by assertion and cites from AoA, a site I wouldn’t believe if it said the sky was blue. That quote from AoA you used contained no supporting evidence.

So, you continue to avoid discussing any of the points I’ve made. As for Offit, a soundbite does not represent his incredible level of knowledge; but it’s typical of you and your fellow travelers, to find soundbites that confirm your ignorance. I would hate to be interviewed because i like to take my time and do my best to give complete answers. Interviews often don’t allow for such luxury. I listed in one of my comments a number of reasons, though left out that children born to older parents often have problems, including increased cases of Down Syndrome. Other reasons is that premies, low birth weight (<2500 gm) AND especially very low birthweight (<1500 gm) who would have died earlier, thanks to modern medicine survive; but many with problems. And infants exposed to lead, found, both in air, soil, and, unfortunately, in many communities water supply often have brain damage. And on and on it goes; but keep displaying your ignorance and stupidity by ignoring what others write and finding soundbites. I suggest you read Offit’s books, “Autism’s False Prophets” and “Deadly Choices” to start with besides the three books I listed above

We spend billions of dollars on medications for a number of conditions that are probably unnecessary. How much we spend on something isn’t proof of anything. However, helping children with disabilities whether placed on the Autism Spectrum, Cystic Fibrosis, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, proves only that society has decided to actually help. When I was growing up public schools simply expelled many who nowadays would receive special ed.

So, live in your fantasy world. The fact that you have fellow travelers proves nothing other than, unfortunately, as studies have shown, the vast majority of American lack basic understanding of science, logic, and critical thinking.

Though I doubt someone like you would actually take the time to carefully read anything, just in case, go to Science-Based Medicine blog and type in my name in search box, Joel A. Harrison, and read my first two articles post on Science-Based Medicine. Both have extensive reference lists and clearly refute point by point claims by people you probably support/agree with.

Although I can’t find it now ( I’m sure someone else will), a few years ago there was a study ( as well as a UK focus group) that showed that parents were more likely to accept vaccine-related information from other parents than they were from medical professionals . This might explain why the mis-information campaign of anti-vaxxers has worked so well that vaccination rates have been affected in diverse locales and why social media is its prime method of dispersion. Vaccine advocates, of course, created parent-centred responses to meet this challenge, frequently through social media.

There may be a deeper, destructive undercurrent of anti-elitism and anti-intellectualism underlying this trend : mistrust of professionals, universities and higher cultural aspirations which irrigates alt med as well as the political landscape. I firmly believe that some of the attraction of woo is that standard professionals are often discarded and replaced by quasi-professionals who set their own rules and resemble their audience more closely in education and general ability. This is also reflected in the anti-vax mom brigade: ” I know better than experts”.

Two of the woo-meisters I follow closely continuously relate folksy anecdotes to their audiences that illustrate that although both are OBVIOUSLY geniuses, they are pure, plain old guys from small towns: they didn’t go to fancy universities but through common sense and hard work ( just like the audience) they managed to become successful and show them city slicker doctors the errors of their ways: take that, SBM!
That’s their brand of mockery: “You actual MD !”
There may be a regional slant to these fellows’ MO as well: they’re not from the coasts but from the Midwest and South- despite where they live now- and may be libertarian because of this background.

You’re absolutely right. Richard Hofstadter’s essay from many years ago, “Anti-intellectualism in American life” is a classic. However, despite anti-intellectualism, up to the World War I most Americans looked up to scientists; but the absolute devastation caused by weapons created by scientists accelerated the anti-intellectual tradition. In addition, as Darwinian evolutionary theory took hold, Fundamentalist joined in on the anti-intellectual bandwagon and, as the world becomes ever more complex, even I sometimes would like clearcut simple answers to complexities, so many of them, that it is difficult to even keep up. In addition, our government has lied so many times that it is difficult to trust them and the Pharmaceutical Industry has managed to get over 25 drugs approved that NEVER should have been approved, only eventually to be recalled after harming untold people, and keeps upping prices, not related to anything, except pure greed.

So, bottom line, distrust/healthy skepticism of government and scientists isn’t all that bad; however, distrust still requires an open mind which antivaccinationists don’t have. The basics of how vaccines work can be easily explained as well as the true suffering from many vaccine-preventable diseases; but they just don’t listen. They, for instance, talk about profits from vaccines, which are actually a minor percentage of pharmaceutical industries profits; but ignore that the industry, in fact, all products, even extremely beneficial ones are sold for a profit. I don’t hear antivaccinationists telling families with children with diabetes to not purchase insulin because it is sold at a profit. However, the cost of insulin has gone of 4-fold in only a few years and this is WRONG: but has nothing to do with its value. And, hopefully, Congress is about to hold hearings on the astronomical price increases of insulin and will actually do something about it, though I’m not holding my breath.

One additional example. Antivaccinationists talk about formaldehyde in vaccines; but formaldehyde is a byproduct of our own bodies metabolism and the amount at any one time in our bodies is far greater than the trace amounts in vaccines. I’m a blood donor so I take iron supplement; but if I took the entire bottle I’d be in trouble. Reluctantly when needed I take a couple of aspirins; but if I swallowed the entire bottle I’d die a miserable death. Antivaccinationists don’t even understand that almost any substance in excess quantities can be harmful and seem ignorant that formaldehyde is created by us. I guess if they want to avoid formaldehyde they could have their bodies frozen cryogenically, eliminating any metabolism. LOL

Unfortunately, trust in doctors is a different thing than faith in science. It’s wrong to assume that they go hand in hand, for many reasons. For example, goals of individuals may be markedly at odds with that of doctors. The end of life “debate” is fairly illustrative of this point.

However, the cost of insulin has gone of 4-fold in only a few years and this is WRONG

A quick browse suggests that it took six years for the orphan-drug colchicine debacle to be ameliorated.

I left out a couple of other factors:

studies have found that 80% or more of Americans lack a basic knowledge/understanding of science and critical thinking;
there have been a number of reports that not only in high schools; but even colleges that instructors are reluctant to give bad grades and/or critique students.
where people used to read newspapers and books, TV news with if it bleeds it lead and lack of in-depth coverage, along with 30-second soundbites, multitasking, e.g., I’ve seen people talking about one thing with someone while checking their e-mails, etc.

In other words, people want simple answers because they have short attention spans and poor education hasn’t not supplied them with tools to overcome this.

As for F68.10, the debate over euthanasia, while doctors take various positions, is not, I repeat, is not a medical science issue, it is a moral issue and in this case, which ever side doctors take has nothing to do with their medical education; but with their own beliefs/religion. On any one day in US approximately 10,000 people are kept alive in persistent vegitative states. Maybe one of them every couple of years may revive; but the cost for the one, given how many are kept alive, is in literally the billions. At the same time, in this country we don’t provide good prenatal and postnatal care to many children and pregnant women, don’t provide decent care to many who could live productive lives. So, do we spend billions to possibly save one person or spend it on 10s or 100s of thousands who clearly could benefit? In a way this also relates to vaccines. No one I know claims that vaccines are 100% risk free, though risks can be significantly reduced by ensuring that, for instance, kids with autoimmune diseases are vaccinated accordingly. In any case, the risks/harm from vaccine-preventable diseases is exponentially greater than from vaccines. Not including Takata airbags, people have been harmed by airbags, especially in minor collisions; but airbags have almost have deaths and disabilities, so any reasonable person would weigh the odds and opt for the airbag, same with seatbelts, save with many things. One can always come up with an anecdotal example; but unless one is prescient and knows for sure what the future has to bring, the rational person will use their seatbelt and get vaccines for themselves and their kids.

As for trusting doctors, I neither trust nor distrust them. Medicine is quite complex, no matter how much we know, there is always a lot we don’t know, so I often get a second opinion as well as research myself, mainly Library of Congress Online Database PubMed and if really important to to medical library and spend the day.

You might find Jerome Groopman’s book, “How Doctors Think” an interesting read. Groopman is professor of medicine at Harvard.

You’re not interested in knowing what’s true, obviously. You can’t even accept the fact that we know (and not believe) that you have no rational case for the autism-vaccination connection.

I’ve seen many people with crazy ideas over my life, but none as thick and dense as you.

Funny, but I am not interested in being ‘sane’ so much as making accurate predictions. Where is the glory in being ‘sane’ if you can’t call things. Anyway, here are some of my predictions for the next little bit as they pertain to the vaccination battle. Let me know how many you agree with.

First, MEs with continue to soar in Cali.
Second, with your push for mandates you might win with some blue states but having little success with reds
Third, the Feds won’t step in on mandates
Fourth, vaccination rates will continue their precipitous drop in the rest of the world, largely exacerbated by too much spotlight being placed on vaccination with all this measles hysteria and push for mandates and censorship
Fifth, you guys will continue to continue to deny that vaccines cause autism and there is an autism epidemic.

“Fifth, you guys will continue to continue to deny that vaccines cause autism and there is an autism epidemic.”

Spot on.

“Fifth, you guys will continue to continue to deny that vaccines cause autism and there is an autism epidemic.”

Spot on.

Expected that. And the rest?

“Expected that. And the rest?”

Couldn’t care less. If people want to kill themselves or kill others, it’s none of my business. But that’s a very personal take on the matter.

Funny, but I am not interested in being ‘sane’ so much as making accurate predictions. Where is the glory in being ‘sane’ if you can’t call things.

You were accurately referred to as “thick and dense,” not insane.

You were accurately referred to as “thick and dense,” not insane.

Even then, will still take ‘think and dense’ if it goes with accurately calling it. Again, where is the glory in being ‘smart’ but always getting it wrong?

“Again, where is the glory in being ‘smart’ but always getting it wrong?”

Being “smart”, or rather mentally disciplined, is the basic requirement that allows you not to confuse what is true, what you know, and what you believe. If you confuse all three, you end up hindering the progress of all mankind towards a better control of its living conditions.

That’s philosophy 101.

Fourth, vaccination rates will continue their precipitous drop in the rest of the world

What “precipitous drop” would that be, Gerg?

You really are one ignorant SOB. You keep repeating the same thing, totally ignoring what I and others write, totally incapable of refuting with science and logic: THERE IS NO AUTISM EPIDEMIC!

But you may be right that vaccine rate may drop around the world; but the results will be more avoidable suffering, disabilities, and death.

Measles is a serious illness. Prior to the vaccine’s development in 1960, on average 400-500 kids died every year in the US, up to 50,000 were hospitalized, and up to 1 million suffered high fevers, anorexia, and horrible itching for a week, plus many missed school (no the Brady Bunch episode where they had a few spots, played games, and ate lots of goodies, was an ABSURD depiction).. Though the death rate in the 1950s was lower than previous decades thanks to advent of antibiotics, the kids still suffered, and given the ever increasing rate of antibiotic resistance, I predict that without vaccines, that if vaccine rates plummet more kids will die. Also, given our population has doubled, not hard to conclude that the above stats would double as well. So, you may be right that a Fed mandate won’t pass and mandates will have less success in red states; but the fact that you ignore that there isn’t an autism epidemic, that you deny the overwhelming historical evidence and current evidence of just how harmful vaccine-preventable diseases are, your ignorance and that of others may be responsible for the suffering, disabilities, and deaths of many, especially children.

One simple question, given your absolute certainty you are right: Have you ever studied microbiology, immunology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, public health, biostatistics, the history of any of the vaccine-preventable diseases, the current status of these diseases around the world, but a plane flight away from the US, or did you just pull your opinion out of your A-S where your brains reside?

For those who know about the Dunning-Kruger effect it is based on a series of studies where subjects were asked their opinions on a number of subjects and to rate their certainty they were right. They were then given brief explanations of the science or other subject and again given same questions. Most did not change their opinion; however, their level of confidence plummeted. Greg ignores everything, so he is worse than the Dunning-Kruger effect where subjects were at least open-minded enough to lower their level of confidence. His doesn’t change!

I propose a simple statistic, a negative correlation where as level of knowledge increases, level of confidence decreases and vice versa. People like myself think in terms of probabilities and benefit/cost ratios, not absolutes, and always accept that our positions/knowledge is tentative, though the degree of tentativeness plummets as the amount of scientific knowledge increases, so for many things, though not thinking one is absolutely right, one can have a reasonably high level of confidence. The Gregg’s of the world just celebrate that ignorance is bliss.

I propose a simple statistic, a negative correlation where as level of knowledge increases, level of confidence decreases

That’s specifically mentioned in Unskilled and unaware of it, the orignial paper by David Dunning and Justin Kruger. It appears to go through three stages.
Stage 1) The person knows a little, but imagines him or her self to be very knowledgeable.
Stage 2) Underconfidence: as the person learns more about the subject, self estimation of his/her abilities drops. It can also get to the point where he/she starts underestimating his/her abilities.
Stage 3) As the person gains genuine expertise, self estimation rises again.

You really are one ignorant SOB. You keep repeating the same thing, totally ignoring what I and others write, totally incapable of refuting with science and logic: THERE IS NO AUTISM EPIDEMIC!

Actually Joel, I am reading you as getting a little heated there. I believe there is a saying in the Japanese culture that the first to raise his voice loses the argument. Oh well, these discussions tend to bring out strong emotions in us.

Anyway, where do we go from here? Yes Joel, I think the problem on the whole is a growing amount of the population is losing trust with your arguments. We have over 2 percent of kids now brain damaged and it’s all a mystery. 10 percent of kids have ADHD and it’s still a hands in the air affair from the scientific community. Babies are getting killed after their Well visits and outside of coining an acronym for it that’s as far as the accounting goes. You may feel your’re offering good explanations Joel and indeed I gather you’re impressed by them, but, how do I say this, the satisfaction level just isn’t there.

Frustrated with the explanations and the findings coming from the lab of pharma controlled academia, these parents are appealing to the highest scientific lab that will render the ultimate verdict.
This lab is the real world. It’s a simple experiment, Mr Harrison. With more and more parents spurning vaccines, if we see a precipitous drop in the tsunami of kids now plagued with neurological impairments and without there being an accompanying piling up of bodies on the streets from the reemergence of infectious diseases, then the experiment will be settled in our favour. If we don’t see this drop, then it will be settled in yours.

This also brings me to a sixth prediction that I missed making: I believe the experiment will be settled in our favour. Indeed we are living in interesting times, Mr Harrison.

“tsunami of kids”…

Tsunami? If you want to start doing science, learn to use precise terms. This is not a precise term. It’s a rhetorical one.

You really need to learn to discipline your thinking. Read some philosophy. People have been attempting to discern how to think correctly for a few millennia now. All the lessons have been condensed into philosophical texts. Try Bacon, Locke, Hume, Spinoza. They are the basics within western culture that will teach you how to think. When you have finished reading these, go back to reading Age of Autism, and you’ll have a clearer view of the extent to which it is bullshit.

This is not a precise term.

Nor is it original; he’s cribbing from AoA again. Again, it’s engagement at any cost. AoA was moribund the last time I checked it, months ago.

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

You give us no argument that autism is not genetic. Instead of argement, you started to make diagnosis.

“…vaccination rates will continue to drop or be inadequate in some locales, largely exacerbated by too much spotlight being placed on antivaccine misinformation, pseudoscience hysteria and push for “medical choice” – at least until a resurgence in preventable infectious diseases even worse than we’ve already seen, with accompanying rise in deaths and permanent complications wakes parents up to the need to vaccinate.”

Fixed that quote for you, Greg.

Funny how MMR vaccine rates soared to 300% in Washington in and around the current measles outbreak there. It looks as though most of these vaccine-hesitant or even anti-vaxxers aren’t so convinced of their decisions afterall.

Funny how MMR vaccine rates soared to 300% in Washington in and around the current measles outbreak there. It looks as though most of these vaccine-hesitant or even anti-vaxxers aren’t so convinced of their decisions afterall.

Interesting observation, Science Mom, but there are certain queries here. First, how much of this change of behaviour was the result of fear of measles, particularly manufactured by the media? Second, once the manufacturing dies down, how long will the change last?

We may also compare this fear to the fear of autism. The fear of autism is definitely not manufactured, and in fact, on the contrary, we have the media singing the praises of it. As well, the fear of autism doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

Why do you keep looking at what the media says or claims? It’s besides the point. The point is that you cannot rationally substantiate your claim about autism being caused by vaccines.

Interesting observation, Science Mom, but there are certain queries here. First, how much of this change of behaviour was the result of fear of measles, particularly manufactured by the media?

Any media coverage is mute. How much conviction can these parents have to run out and jab their children up at the first sign of an outbreak in their backyards?

Second, once the manufacturing dies down, how long will the change last?

Nice to see you can count that high. Who cares? The children are at least protected. Scared your dumb little obsession won’t be as popular as you’d like it to be?

Actually this is for Julian Frost; but for some reason there was no reply button under his comment

Julian: Right on, I just paraphrased what they wrote, which I probably read awhile back. I do have most, if not all of their articles and have read them.

Isn’t it funny when ‘real life’ intersects with on-line life?

Just today someone asked me how to argue with a know-it-all alt med loonie whom he met at the gym.
Hilariously. the latter was prescribing various natural cures for arthritis/ injury such as liquefying pineapple cores and making green juices/ berry concoctions. ( sounds familiar I thought) with high doses of vitamin C: it seems the loon was a follower of Null.

“How do you combat this?” I was asked sincerely.
Of course, I pointed him to Quackwatch, Wikipedia, SBM and Orac BUT I warned, he’s not gonna listen. Cult followers’ beliefs are notably impermeable so don’t expect much. “Those people are all bought and paid for”, you’ll be told. If you quote the FDA, governmental bodies, universities or medical associations, you’ll also be met with derision.

So instead, I tried another method: explaining how woo-meisters convince people. Obviously, there are many cons in their bag of tricks but importantly, a first step-
— they start out with real or believable material- perhaps only altering it slightly
say, a real study showed that older British men who ate beef 5 days a week had more heart problems ( a made up study here)
the altie will say a UK study showed men who ate beef had heart trouble. No one will look it up.
Then, he’ll expand that to all men or all people . And all meat.
Then he’ll say he himself did a study that showed that people who gave up meat cleared up heart blockages.
AND so on.

In Scientology, the first “lessons” are similar to self-help books: you learn about the space alien spirits and Xenu later.

–One of the problems is that the leaders present programmed learning: followers are fed a constant diet of curated dishes slightly distorted , each course of mendacity building upon earlier ones. We learn what is presented frequently, intensely and repeatedly..
So when they hear about the woo-meister’s heart blockage study, they’ll relate it to all of the other research he’s “done”. Real life studies will be distorted to fit into the woo model as well. Other material that props up the reputation of the woo-meister, his investigations, awards and discoveries, will be thrown into the unholy mix as well.

I imagine that a few people might be honest enough to understand how they’ve been manipulated into belief in woo.

@ Greg

There wasn’t a reply button beneath your last idiocy, so:

And still not once do you address any of the specific points I’ve made. You just come off as a broken record, repeating the same rigid unscientific illogical claptrap.

And you didn’t answer my question as to what you base your G-d-like certainly on. What do you actually know about any of the sciences that underlie vaccinations?

Of course, I don’t expect you to answer because I highly doubt you can.

As for raising my voice, hard not to when someone totally keeps ignoring what I write and my questions. You obviously aren’t interested in a dialogue, just repeating your rigid beliefs, so why don’t you post on Age of Autism, they’ll love you. And, as opposed to this blog and Science-Based Medicine, they either won’t post a comment that disagrees with them or allow one, then all their followers pounce and the provacciner is not allowed to respond, so perfect for you.

By not responding to specific points made by me and others, by not even trying to give any evidence that you know what you are talking about, you just keep making a fool of yourself.

And I could care less if a lowlife like you calls me Mr. I only care what intelligent open-minded people think of me; but being retired and having time on my hands, giving other followers with an open-mind ammunition against the likes of you seems worth the effort.

Two last questions:

How would you respond if, in the future, overwhelming evidence find that vaccines are not responsible for ASD? Evidence that is so compelling, even you can’t deny. I know how I would respond if, though highly unlikely, overwhelming evidence finds that vaccines do cause at least some cases of ASD. I would admit that I had been wrong and sad that the previous evidence was “wrong.” I doubt you capable of ever admitting you are wrong.

How would you react if, for instance, science finds a pattern of genes clearly responsible for ASD and with gene therapy actually can “cure” it?

How would you respond if vaccine rates plummet, a major measles epidemic breaks out, thousands of kids are hospitalized, and due to antibiotic resistance, perhaps hundreds or more kids die? I’m not asking whether you believe such a scenario possible; but if it did occur, how would you respond?

How would you respond if, in the future, overwhelming evidence find that vaccines are not responsible for ASD? Evidence that is so compelling, even you can’t deny. I know how I would respond if, though highly unlikely, overwhelming evidence finds that vaccines do cause at least some cases of ASD. I would admit that I had been wrong and sad that the previous evidence was “wrong.” I doubt you capable of ever admitting you are wrong.

Whoa Mr Harrison, that’s one thought provoking question there! How would I respond if vaccines indeed were proven not to cause autism? Hhmmnn…

Like you, I would be disappointed if I were wrong. I value my ability to predict things. Considering the evidence implicating vaccines as a causative factor of autism, I feel that it is quite clear: Vaccine do cause autism. Denying this link, you’re all liars and complete bullshitters. That is my assessment and I would be disappointed if I got it wrong.

Second, if I were wrong about vaccines causing autism, I would be destroyed as hell with regret and remorse that my negative attitude about vaccines may have in any way contributed to others getting hurt and suffering. If indeed the benefits of vaccines far outweigh their risks then I would be all for them. Again though, I staunchly do not believe this to be the case. Though many here find it outrageous, I stand by my claim that vaccination is one of the greatest atrocity in the history of humanity.

Joel, on this second point of being remorseful if I were wrong, I noticed you did not speak to this if you were wrong. As to the possibility that vaccine may be giving 2 percent to kids permanent brain damage, 10 percent ADHD, SIDS, LD, cancers, and so and so on, you said nothing, Joel. The only regret you’re willing to entertain is getting it wrong and feeling bad that you would’ve been betrayed by the evidence. HHmmnnn…

Third, if I were wrong about vaccines being harmful and they were proven to be ‘safe and effective’, in a way, I would feel a sort of satisfaction and relief. Without desiring to come across as too philosophically soppy, indeed I often wonder if there is any greater purpose to our existence, or whether we’re just the highest evolution of atoms and molecules. Is our only purpose being to satisfy those two basic instincts — eating and screwing?

When I reflect on atrocities both past and present, and the depth that humans have sunk to in committing the most heinous and treacherous acts against their fellow being, I sometimes think this latter to be the case. The Nazis disregarded life so much, throwing millions in the gas chamber, ISIS beheads their captives and brag about it on social media, the medical establishment poison countless kids and each every day and when their parents complain and speak of their loss, you curse them and encourage others to spit on them.. How would any of these indicate any lofty purpose for us? Should I be wrong about vaccines, then perhaps there would be one less treacherous act to fuel my pessimism.

My oldest daughter is 9 and in grade 4. My wife and I help her with her homework and encourage her to get good grades. She says the wants to be a doctor when she grows up.
Part of me feels proud about this, but then I also get thinking.

I imagine my daughter growing up and becoming a pediatrician, maybe another Christopher Hickie. Then I imagine Christopher going into his practice every single day so proud that he is pursuing such a noble job and what a boon to society he is providing; he is caring for kids and safeguarding their health. He embraces this pride, while blocking out the scores of nonverbal, hand-flapping, screaming kids that he is increasingly seeing each and every freaking day, and not entertaining that he is a big part of the problem. Would it be so bad if my daughter were to grow up as a high-school dropout and ends up working the drive-thru at McD’s. Would she not be creating greater value to society than Christopher, who is in all likelihood creating negative value?

‘Accomplished’ individuals such as Christoper lie to themselves and they come on these blogs and lie to others about their interests and concerns. Their interests and concerns are all about satisfying those two basic instincts — eating and screwing– and common derivatives of them such as pride and ego. Mr Harrison, I notice that you also insist on attaching titles to your name. Why is that? Why do you also demand that I state my credentials? Is it a case that if a ‘odious’ antivaxxer must score points against you you prefer that at least he has some cred?

Yes, hoping for one more evidence that life isn’t so hopeless and meaningless, in a way I would be happy by the off chance that your bullshit turns out to be not so. The ‘antivaxxers’ see you guys as monsters, and in a lot of ways I also agree. I would also add that you’re all downright depressing.

Greg. Think about this: you should always welcome being proven wrong. It’s the only way to adapt one’s behavior out of one’s ignorance. That’s why you should reflect on the criteria that you would accept to be proven wrong, and the shortest path to this goal is studying philosophy of science. As it stands now, from what you have been writing, it’s rather clear that you are too emotionally invested in the consequences of getting things wrong to be able to admit it. That’s a source of ignorance.

Can you even fathom that we have just diametrically opposed objectives? We want the masses to be as enlightened as possible. That’s why we want the masses to have the largest access to the concepts of critical rationalism

You most definitely are not interested in this! How does denying them ‘misinformation’ equate to giving them ‘the largest access to the concepts of critical rationalism’?

“How does denying them ‘misinformation’ equate to giving them ‘the largest access to the concepts of critical rationalism’?”

Splendid strawman.

There are Youtube content claiming that vaccines contain dogs’ hearts (my guess is that you know what I mean). Is this critical rationalism ? Rationalim is based on arguments.

@ Greg

Do you even understand critical rationalism? Have you read Karl Popper’s “The Logic of Scientific Discovery?” Do you understand how “Falsifiability” works? I won’t go into the criticisms of it and they do exist; but critical rationalism, also called “Falsifiability”, requires understanding the subject matter, e.g., in the case of vaccines, immunology, microbiology, and infectious diseases AND the tools needed to do the research, epidemiological methodology and biostatistics. I’ve asked Greg several times if he understands any of the aforementioned, no reply.

Just for your information, I have a copy of Popper’s book in front of me. It was required reading in a graduate course in Philosophy of Science over 50 years ago. Philosophy of Science is about how we determine causal theories, etc. But it is just one of the books and many readings from the THREE graduate courses I had in Philosophy of Science. The absolute best book in my opinion is Mervyn Susser’s “Causal Thinking in the Health Sciences: Concepts and Strategies in Epidemiology.

Greg probably never even heard of it, just copying and pasting F68.10

And Greg who writes: “How does denying them ‘misinformation’ equate to giving them ‘the largest access to the concepts of critical rationalism’?”

Though a different subject, I recently watched PBS Frontline story “Dark Money.” In it anonymous groups passed out flyers a day or two prior to an election. These flyers were absolute lies about a candidate; but swung the election. Psychological studies have shown that once people hear or read something and it fits in with their weltanschauung (way of looking at world) it is almost impossible to get them to change. And all it takes sometimes is a 30 second soundbite or the like. You are a perfect example. Given echo chambers such as Age of Autism that seldom allow comments by provacciners, people have their beliefs reinforced. In addition, people who for whatever reason feel insignificant now feel they are among those who know the truth, that they need not devote time and effort into really mastering the subject matter, that they are not just the equal but superior to others who have devoted a lifetime to one subject. Trump is a perfect example as keeps telling us he doesn’t need to study subjects listen to scientists as he is smarter than everyone else and understands things by his own intuition. And as mentioned in a previous comment, studies have found that over 80% of Americans lack a basic understanding of science, logic, and critical thinking. If our schools did a better job of educating people, then, perhaps, they wouldn’t lock into “misinformation” as easily???

Not once on this blog have you demonstrated even the most basic knowledge of the subject matter, just your g-d-like certainty you are right. Well, I live in San Diego. We have Lake Murray, it never freezes over. So, if you come here and demonstrate you can walk across the lake, then I will defer to whatever you say. Until then I’ll stick with science.

“Do you understand how “Falsifiability” works? I won’t go into the criticisms of it and they do exist;”

I’m not saying they do not. I’m just saying that if there is one presentation of science that should sink in popular consciousness, it’s the safest one to bet on.

How many anti-vax bloviators does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Not sure, he still hasn’t shut up enough to realize the bulb went out weeks ago.

None, but they will forward tweets and memes about mercury exposure from fluorescent bulbs as a leading cause of autism.

Somewhere above, Julian and Narad mention You Tube’s recent actions against anti-vax material.

I’ve been reporting anti-vaxxers’ and woo-meisters’ caterwauling about how social media is “censoring” them etc.
You Tube, Google, Facebook and Wikipedia are all in Big Pharma’s pocket we’re told ( see PRN,NN, etc)

NOW, it’s Pinterest! Pinterest! Jameson ( AoA, TMR) writes that AoA’s page has been tossed. Next They’ll censor books and phone conversations!

Can’t these people understand that the internet in general and social media in particular have given them many, many FREE avenues to spread mis-information and now, they’re stopping. These companies do not want to be associated with enabling pseudo-science and its dissemination.

Like the idiots I survey, they’ll have to invest in websites, tech and people to work them. Like other advertisements.

I find it’s a good place to store maps of running routes and pictures of costumes I’d like to make. But yeah, surfing the “popular” page is a very weird window into parts of the internet where I don’t usually go.
And I would say 99% of the “health” related pins are, at very best, bupkus, and at worst, severe cancer quackery.

Maybe, just maybe, the place where you go to find unicorn cake pop recipes isn’t the best place to find medical advice.

@ Narad:

The only person I know on Pinterest is my cousin, an architect – therefore imagery oriented- and even she only pinned fashion and got bored quickly.

How about anti-vaxxers on twitter?
I know that Mikey got slammed for his pseudo-science but I’m not sure about official policy on vaccines. I see a few of the diehards tweeting constantly. ( Rossi, Wright, Welsh)

Pinterest removed NVIC’s account last September for violating community standards on misinformation (to heart-breaking protest from NVIC), so Pinterest’s crackdown on antivax deception has been going on for awhile.

An ACLU spokesman quoted in a Friday article in the Wall St. Journal on Pinterest was disapproving of the “new” policy. She said it meant she couldn’t find valid information on vaccination.

True, you can’t do Pinterest searches on vaccination anymore – but it’s hardly the only place on the Internet to get vaccination info.

I confess that I enjoy Google’s search policies re quackery/pseudoscience, at least in some respects. Do a search for “Natural News” and the first five links are highly critical of Adams’ sleazy little enterprise (the link to the actual NN website comes up sixth in the rankings). 🙂

Google search engine puts things you are interested first, based on search history. When I query soap, first pages are about computer protocol.

Greg: “I would also add that you’re all downright depressing.”

There’s a sure cure for that.

Reflect awhile; it’ll come to you.

Just thought I’d leave some Canadian links for Greg. But others can read them if they wish.

First is a recent Angus Reid Poll regarding mandatory vaccinations in Canada
http://angusreid.org/mandatory-vaccination-canada/

Next are a couple of satirical news items from The Beaverton

https://www.thebeaverton.com/2019/02/five-adorable-victorian-fashion-accessories-to-go-with-your-childs-measles/

https://www.thebeaverton.com/2019/02/b-c-parents-furious-after-discovering-sons-hidden-vaccine-stash/

Gotta love this recent twist of logic from the gnat.We all know Jake Crosby took a deep dive into the Alex Jones rabbit hole years ago,but his blog is still worth a read for sheer entertainment value alone.In his latest post,Crosby equates the spread of measles,with “encouragement of illegal immigration across the western hemisphere”,and WHO’s alleged attempts to “criminalize anti-migration speech”.He says

“Illegal immigration has driven measles incidence to record levels in Europe, from where measles spread to the US both in 2015 and this year. The US-Mexico border has also seen the spread of viruses, with seven mumps cases confirmed in an ICE detention center and a Guatemalan child dying of flu in US custody”

In that context,this article,from the WHO is worth a read,even if it is from 2011.It talks about Latin America,and Guatemala,in particular being a world leader in wiping out VPDs,like measles and mumps.

https://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5317:2011-subdirectora-ops-oms-socorro-gross-visita-guatemala-inaugurar-semana-vacunacion-americas&Itemid=820&lang=en

The gnat drones on,citing his friends at JABS

“Vaccine officials have shown that they will even get rid of some vaccines in order to enable the spread of measles. So it is clear that their assistance to migrants is done so deliberately despite the diseases and social problems they will bring to western countries.”.

In short,the spread of diseases measles and mumps,is due to all those filthy,unclean brown people pouring over our border,not the upscale lily white parents,who can afford to see doctor like Bob Sears,not wanting to vaccinate their precious snowflakes.

Disgusting.

https://www.autisminvestigated.com/vaccine-advocates-disease/

Yep, Jake is rather amusing or pathetic? However, he contradicts the position of antivaccinationists by being so upset by diseases that they consider totally benign. He also is claiming intentional non-vaccinating to spread the diseases; but then is he admitting the vaccines do prevent them?

Did you see his previous rant: “America Must Cut All Support to NGOs That Assist Measles Importation.” The NGOs include Red Cross. https://www.autisminvestigated.com/america-ngos-measles-travel/

He really is a “true humanitarian”?????

Is Jake being racist a new thing? Or had it just not come up in the prior discussions of him on RI?

I’m not surprised, it’s just the first time I’ve noticed it.

MAGA. Yep, not only Jake; but most Evangelicals/Fundamentalist Christians. Seems they missed that Pride is the deadliest of the seven sins. Oh well. Below only a few of the phrases in Old and New Testament.

James 4:6
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Philippians 2:3
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Proverbs 21:4
Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.

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