Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Popular culture Skepticism/critical thinking

Antivaxxers invade San Diego Comic-Con

This weekend, antivaxers descended upon San Diego Comic-Con wearing Guy Fawkes masks and holding signs with antivaccine talking points. Less than two months earlier, they had descended upon Disneyland dressed as Star Wars characters. What’s up with antivaxers trying to influence geek culture?

Unfortunately, this weekend kind of got away from me, with my obligatory Monday post for my not-so-super-secret other blog taking longer to write than I expected. However, there was one thing that popped up that I couldn’t resist commenting on, particularly because it gave me a chance to revisit a similar thing from a couple of months ago. The “thing” last week, as a couple of months ago, was a video. The video was by Josh Coleman, and, truly, it was cringeworthy. You see, apparently antivaxers decided to try to infiltrate San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, all wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Truly, you have to see it to believe it. It’s actually called V For Vaccine: The San Diego Takeover:

The video begins with a man dressed up in a Guy Fawkes mask intoning:

Good evening, San Diego. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. We need to discuss the state of ignorance in this nation and across the globe. Your government, scientific, and medical community has failed you. They have failed to inform you of the very basic truths of vaccines. They have exploited your fear and ignorance, and this has made it easy for them to strengthen vaccine mandates and eliminate exemptions that have been in place for decades. This is the beginning of the end of your ignorance. Activists right now are flooding the area with easy-to-digest truths about vaccines, armed with science so big and messages so short, a rapid glance, and the information is absorbed. We shall continue education to demonstration until every man, woman, and child has appropriate knowledge of vaccine program. Your government, your media cannot stop our words of truth. Words will always retain their power. That power will enlighten society, giving them the ability to make informed decisions and the conviction to finally fight to retain their human rights.

My first thought upon viewing this display at Comic-Con was: Self-important, much? I know that Coleman, through his use of Guy Fawkes imagery, was merely cosplaying the character V from the movie V for Vendetta. As you might recall, V for Vendetta was originally a comic book series, and that series served as the basis for the movie. The character is portrayed as a mysterious anarchist, vigilante, and freedom fighter and is instantly recognizable by his Guy Fawkes mask, long hair and dark clothing, much like the dark clothing worn by the antivaxers in the video. In the comics and the movie, V is fighting to overthrow the totalitarian government of a dystopian version of the UK. So right away from this imagery, you can see yet again the fantasy, so common among antivaxers, of being the revolutionary underdogs fighting against a tyrannical government.

We’ve seen this fantasy before on more than on occasion, the most memorable of which (to me, at least) was when mild-mannered former lawyer turned schoolteacher Kent Heckenlively fantasized about, well, I think it’s worth repeating again:

You should probably know I worship at the altar of The Lord of the Rings. As a cinematic evocation of loyalty, friendship, and courage I believe it has no equal. I tell my son that if someday in the distant future I am not around and he wants to explain to his children or grandchildren what his father hoped to be, he should pop in the DVD and let them view the trilogy. When I watch I imagine myself as Aragorn, taking the Dimholt Road under the mountain, clutching the sword, Anduril, Flame of the West, offering a deal to the souls of the dishonored dead if they would join me in battle. I picture myself as Aragon, astride my horse in front of the Black Gate, telling my troops, I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! Then I jump off my horse, and with the setting sun behind me, a reckless, almost manic glint in my eye and a crooked grin, I am first to charge into the enemy army.

As I mentioned at the time, that’s one of my favorite scenes in both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King and Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation. In it, Aragorn had gathered his forces to march on the Black Gate of Mordor to challenge Sauron to battle, not with any hope of victory, but as a diversion to distract the Eye of Sauron and to allow the hobbits Frodo and Sam to cross Mordor and reach Mount Doom, there to destroy the ring.. Aragorn, Gandalf, and his companions fully expected to die in the effort, and it looked as though they would when the battle was joined. They were saved because Sam and Frodo did reach Mount Doom and the ring was destroyed, thus destroying Sauron’s power and causing his armies to flee. Similarly, V in V for Vendetta carried out bombings and violent attacks against the tyrannical government, fully expecting to die in the action, which, to no one’s surprise, he ultimately did. A lot of heroic fantasy of the sort beloved by Comic-Con attendees has similar themes, and Guy Fawkes himself is most associated with the failed Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up British Parliament in 1605. Fawkes himself was captured and tortured in the Tower of London until he confessed his role in the plot and gave up his co-conspirators, after which he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, but ultimately cheated the executioner by jumping off the gallows platform and breaking his neck.

See a parallel? There does seem to be an antivaccine fantasy of heroic death fighting in the service of the cause. Del Bigtree expressed this very same fantasy, only without the elements of science fiction and/or historical fantasy, when he spoke in Michigan three years ago:

If we do not fight now, then there will be nothing left to fight for. And I think that is where everyone in this room, I pray you realize how important you are in this historic moment. We will never be stronger than we are right now. We will never be healthier than we are right now. Our children are looking like this, a generation of children, as we’ve said on The Doctors television show this is the first generation of children that will not live to be as old as their parents. Are we going to stand…are we going to sit down and take it? Or are we going to stand up and say: This is a historic moment, that my forefathers, those from Jefferson all the way to Martin Luther King, the moments where people stood up and something inside of them said I’m going to stand for freedom and I’m going to stand for it now. That is in our DNA. It is pumping through me, and I pray that you feel it pumping through you, because we must look back. Our grandchildren will look back and thank us for having stood up one more time and been the generation that said, “We the People of the United States of America stood for freedom, stand for freedom. We will die for freedom today.

See what I mean? You might think this Guy Fawkes thing is just an affectation, that it’s just cosplay, but it symbolizes a deeper truth about antivaxers, namely that a disturbing number of them really do view themselves as harried freedom fighters defending their children against a totalitarian menace. This is especially worrisome given that I’ve been seeing more and more insinuation of violence, as in this post by antivaxer Larry Cook:

There’s lots more where that came from.

Given that background, the rest of the video is actually rather boring. It just shows multiple shots of antivaxers in Guy Fawkes masks and black clothing wandering around downtown San Diego near the convention center with signs, while ominous music playing in the background. The “truths” on their signs consist of antivaccine misinformation, some easily debunked, some needing a longer explanation. I didn’t see one claim on any of the signs being carried by the antivaxers that I haven’t discussed before, such as the claim that vaccines are made with aborted fetal cells; vaccines aren’t tested against saline placebos (no matter how many placebo-controlled trials of vaccines we point out this one never dies); vaccine mandates violate bodily autonomy; and many more that I’ve written about. Amusingly, for the most part the people attending Comic-Con ignore them or at most give them a bemused or puzzled look. What did disturb me is that there were quite a few antivaxers.

This Tweet makes it look as though there might have been as many as 60 or more antivaxers there cosplaying V and carrying signs:

Infowars claimed that there were “hundreds of vaccine educators” cosplaying V, but even Rob Dew’s photo in the upper right hand corner of his Tweet doesn’t show that, although I did count around 60, which is disturbing enough.

This brings us to what happened nearly two months ago, although with a lot fewer protestors. When the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction opened at Disneyland, antivaxers were there, too, but dressed as Star Wars characters and proclaiming themselves the “resistance“:

With the introduction scrolling up the screen, just like in the Star Wars movies:

The second most visited location on the planet Earth, a place called Disneyland, announced the largest single land expansion in history. On May 31, 2019 the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland park was expected to draw crowds estimated between 150,000 – 200,000. A small group of freedom fighters took this opportunity to spread truth about the sinister mandatory vaccination laws plaguing the nation. These activists stood in front of all entrances to Disneyland holding signs exposing the truth about the vaccine program. No one entering the park that day could avoid moving past these activists and the truth they came to spread in hopes to restore freedom to the galaxy….

Again, all I can say is: Self-important much? Also, I can’t help but revel in the irony. After all, Disneyland was ground zero for a major measles outbreak four years ago, an outbreak that first led to the State of California eliminating nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates. Were the antivaxers intentionally targeting the site of an outbreak that presaged the efforts going on now to restrict nonmedical exemptions to vaccines mandates? Who knows? I’m not sure if they’re sufficiently self-aware to do that.

As you can see, in this instance, there were a lot fewer antivaxers than at Comic-Con. (Maybe it was easier and cheaper to buy a bunch of Guy Fawkes masks for the Comic-Con stunt; Star Wars costumes, particularly storm trooper costumes, rapidly get expensive.) You can also see that this video is even more boring than the Comic-Con video, which worries me. It implies that Coleman might be getting better at making video for these events.

Of course, what I really wanted to know is: Why? Why did antivaxers think that Star Wars fans and Comic-Con attendees would be susceptible to their message? Personally, I question whether Comic-Con attendees would be that susceptible. It’s been my experience that most people who are sufficiently into science fiction and fantasy to the point of attending a convention like Comic-Con or traveling to Disneyland to be among the first to see a new Star Wars attraction tend to be pretty science-based and pro-vaccine, at least more so than average. What I really suspect is that maybe Josh Coleman is into science fiction and fantasy. So, as Kent Heckenlively does with Aragorn, Coleman fantasizes about being in the rebellion in Star Wars or being V in V for Vendetta, the hero fighting for freedom and justice.

Coupled with the not-infrequent violent rhetoric of the antivaccine movement, seeing how much antivaxers identify with rebels, heroes, and terrorists fighting despotic regimes or even a Dark Lord and how they act out those fantasies by cosplaying Star Wars characters and a character like V worries me, and I don’t think my concern is unreasonable.

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]

138 replies on “Antivaxxers invade San Diego Comic-Con”

Just to point out that there are 30 million people in California, and they have several out of state activists that seem to spend their time traveling around to participate in events out of state. Having 20-30 people – even 200-300 – come to what could be presented as fun isn’t that big a deal in term of the bodies alone: we know they have more passionate, extreme people than that.

I’m wondering who funds this, though.

And echo your question of why they thought this is particularly meaningful. I guess they need to have something to see as a win, given the many real losses they have because of the measles outbreak their efforts were in part responsible for.

The real victims are of course the children getting the vaccine preventable diseases and perhaps suffering damage, or dying.

And yes, I think the Disneyland connection was intentional. Mr. Coleman likes to cause trouble and do what he sees as poking “the Man” in the eye, and the fact that there were people who got seriously sick there – for example, a young baby exposed at four months, or the 20% hospitalized – would mean little to him.

What Dorit said. Plus you would never detect any sort of measles virus by DNA testing. It is a RNA virus. I suspect that if you did read the paper, you did not have enough basic biology knowledge to understand how little you understood.

If this is your real name and, um, occupation you have just substantially reduced your addressable market. But, lucky for you, one or both are almost certainly inventions.

Why oh why could I not attend when those anti-vaccine zealots got out of their bus to enact their evidence that the 1st amendment should not apply to the mentally ill. Another reason I wish I was there. Must be the glaring irony of the kindergarten science class educated winners holding the sign “LIVE VIRUS VACCINES SHED AND SPREAD”. Talk about a slap to the head.

I agree concern is warranted over the difference between the Comic Con protest and the Disneyland protest 2 months prior as you note. Anti-vaxxers in CA likely especially feel their backs are against the wall given SB276 has good odds of passing now. Last week someone on Facebook very wrongly wished Dr. Bob Sears a “slow and painful death” on Sears’ Facebook page. So, of, course, Sears took it and ran for 960 comments and 200+ shares. The anti-vax crowd in CA is currently hypervigilant against any real or perceived instances of persecution.
Given Coleman is now filming anti-vax protests with protesters dressed as a violent character (V), it is worth noting that Coleman was the anti-vaxxer who trespassed at NYU Langone Medical Center campus in November 2016 to stalk and harass Dr. Paul Offit. Also, Coleman, in October 2015, was link textarrested in Roseville, CA, after leaving his children alone in his car while he ran and hid in a trash dumpsterfrom deputies after being seen keying a car in a handicapped parking space at his child’s school. For this Coleman was charged with vandalism, willful cruelty to a child, and obstructing a public official. These prior actions make the increasingly violent overtones by Coleman in his videos more concerning for the future actions of anti-vaxxers. Couple this with Del Bigtree’s history of inciteful rhetoric–as you note–also regarding the use of guns and more recently stating regarding pediatricians“damn they must go down!” –and there are good reasons to worrythat we could be seeing a worrisome turn in the direction of anti-vax protests/actions.
The San Diego video is just plain creepy. Watching it, the general public did not engage any of the masked protestors, and many skirted them warily. It didn’t look like the protestors were trying to engage the public, either. If the goal of the protest was to win converts on site, Coleman and his crew showed no evidence of succeeding. However, as you note, that may not have been the primary goal of this protest, and I’m wondering if it’s part of the increasingly better-coordinated anti-vax plan that’s happening at the state/national/international levels. There is also a just-announced November 14th Washington DC “Vaccine Injury Epidemic” event that includes the biggest slew of the most prominent anti-vax speakers I’ve seen (https://www.thevieeventDOTcom)?). Someone is working really hard and getting some good funding to bring all these events to fruition.

The Reddit post has been removed.
Hey there, /u/johntardis. Thanks for your submission in /r/trashy! Unfortunately, your submission has been removed for the following reason(s):

Anti-vaxx posts without another element of being trashy will be removed. Please try your luck in /r/vaxxhappened or /r/insanepeoplefacebook.

@Julian Frost

The pertinent word there is “another” – reddit basically considers anti-vaxxers trashy by default. Can’t say I disagree with them there!

I smell potential danger here as well:

Dollars to donuts, the purpose of the Guy Fawkes masks is to prevent being photographed and plugged into face-recognition, and thereby outed.

The black clothing is convergent with that: it obscures photography, particularly in a crowd.

The Guy Fawkes masks plus the overall tone of the speeches also sounds a hell of a lot like Anonymous:

“Good evening, San Diego. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. We need to discuss the state of ignorance in this nation and across the globe. Your government, scientific, and medical community has failed you. ” …. etc.

That could practically have been lifted from an Anonymous video communique accompanying a data hack & leak of something politically significant. When real Anonymous does it, it has an edgy science-fictiony feel to it. When the Measles Brigade does it, it comes across merely as pompous histrionics.

The ability to speak anonymously or autonymously (auto + nym : self-naming) is one of the cornerstones of free speech. But it’s also a potential threat in the hands of people who are not explicitly dedicated to nonviolence in the manner of, say, the British climate protesters whose street sit-ins were practically textbook Quaker nonviolent protests.

So: what to do about this?

Given the increasingly agitated rhetoric from antivaxers, and their tendency toward escalation, it would be useful to identify them wherever possible. In a protest situation such as San Diego, where there’s a nonzero chance of some kind of altercation, one thing to do is follow them at a distance and get video (optical zoom is your friend) that includes clear shots of their license plate numbers when they get into their cars. Those videos could be given to the police if a bad situation develops at some subsequent event.

Recording the audio of their speeches is also useful: The “two-party consent” recording laws in California do not apply to speeches in public venues. Voiceprint matching can be used to match them to YouTube videos and other sources of audio. Law enforcement can match audio from speeches to audio from lawful intercepts if crimes are committed.

Humor is a very useful way to fight extremism, alarmism, and attempts to spread emotions such as fear and dread. Therefore develop standup comedy lines that can be used in counter-demonstrations. A bit of direct mockery may even be useful: “Why the masks? Hiding your measles?”, and impromptu signs such as “Make measles great again!” with arrows pointing in their direction.

At the end of the day, we’ll get SB 276 passed, the number of bogus exemptions will decline further, and the remaining hard-core antis will be easier to spot. Their “herd immunity” to getting outed and called out, will decline. Hah.

Dollars to donuts, the purpose of the Guy Fawkes masks is to prevent being photographed and plugged into face-recognition, and thereby outed.

The black clothing is convergent with that: it obscures photography, particularly in a crowd.

You could be right, particularly given how at the end in the credits, every protestor is identified only as Guy Fawkes.

OTOH, at the Disneyland protest at the opening of the Star Wars exhibit, most of the protestors had their faces uncovered, other than the ones in the stormtrooper and Jawas costumes, and all of them were identified by name at the end of the video, even the ones with face-concealing costumes.

Maybe there are just more AVs near San Diego than near Anaheim. More likely: These ‘protests’ are all about getting certain kinds of photos to distribute. So sometimes the protestors will want to make the point with numbers. If everyone is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, then you want a LOT of Guy Fawkes masks to make for a ‘compelling’ photo. Like the one at the top of the post where the faux-V’s fill the frame. However, if the protestors are visually unique or doing something particularly dramatic, you only need one or two to make a point, because a tighter photo will show that with more drama. The photo of the Star Wars Disneyland gang stinks because it’s too flat, too horizontal, and the people are way to small in the frame. Anyway, if the point is ‘the dramatis personae of Star Wars are protesting’ you only dilute the potential image if you bring in folks with signs not dressed for the part, or if you have, say, half-a-dozen Obi-Wans.

The threat of AV violence is real, c.f. a news story I posted here recently (7/18) “Pentagon Contractor Allegedly Threatened to Kill Congresswoman Over Vaccine Bill”. But these geeky projections into heroic fantasy characters don’t strike me as moving in that direction, because these fictions are generally positive, where violence is fueled by more hateful rhetoric, e.g. Bigtree’s going down with guns talk. Yeah, that’s scary.

But these geeky projections into heroic fantasy characters don’t strike me as moving in that direction, because these fictions are generally positive

Casting yourself as the good guy is a way to rationalize doing violence for the right reason. The rebel alliance killed lots of storm troopers. And, the movies suggest that the storm troopers deserved it. The crusaders wore white, adorned themselves with crosses and went to confession… they also still killed total innocents in the belief that they were doing good. Heaven help you if you find yourself in the damage path of god’s army. People should be worried.

e.g. Bigtree’s going down with guns talk. Yeah, that’s scary

Well, Bigbooté isn’t going to endanger his comfort level, so that leaves whomping somebody into enough of a simmering frenzy to go shoot up… what? I suppose ‘whom’ is more salient, but this is a pretty niche crowd compared with, e.g., the gun-toting forced-birth lot. I’m just having trouble imagining how the mostly passive and cowardly harassment reaches a boil. These strike me as people who probably don’t have the nerve to leave a flaming bag of dog shit on someone’s porch.

@ Narad

I’m just having trouble imagining how the mostly passive and cowardly harassment reaches a boil. These strike me as people who probably don’t have the nerve to leave a flaming bag of dog shit on someone’s porch.

Did you miss “Pentagon Contractor Allegedly Threatened to Kill Congresswoman Over Vaccine Bill” ? Mercy knows I’m not worried BigTwee or any of the usual loudmouths are going to do anything themselves, but they are spreading the rhetorics that do help bring the nut jobs to a boil.

Exactly. I’m not worried about Del Bigtree taking up arms and shooting doctors. I’m worried about one of his listeners, inspired by his rhetoric, picking up a fun and shooting doctors.

Did you miss “Pentagon Contractor Allegedly Threatened to Kill Congresswoman Over Vaccine Bill”

No. You seem to have posted it multiple times.

You know…

In a lot of the more religious evangelistic movements, people are told they must witness to others, but are given instructions on how to do so that are pretty much guaranteed to just turn people off rather than make converts. In at least some cases, this is deliberate: if most of the people you attempt to ‘convert’ walk off and avoid you at best and yell at you at worst, you’re more likely to identify with your fellow evangelists rather than the people outside the group. It increases group cohesion, and also increases the feeling of being ‘oppressed’ which can then be used to direct group energy.

I wonder how much of this is at play here, how much these operations are deliberately created to be so over the top as to fail dramatically just to build the group up and make them feel more desperate.

(It’s hardly a guarantee, admittedly. Eventually in any group like this, the next generation does the same things ‘because that’s how we’ve always done them’ rather than because there’s any specific social goal in mind.)

Also they may be targeting a group – Comic Con participants- that are not particularly primed for their message. They may not care or may b actuallye averse to it.
Now if they went to a conference of parents of small children or Natural Health believers..
Maybe that’s the idea- to show how “the public doesn’t care” or ” we are the frontrunners of the new wave”

I was just reading today that many to most ‘cons have religious protesters outside telling participants things like “costumes are sinful” or “Harry Potter is Satanic”.

If religious nutjobs are common at these kinds of events then the people who go to them are probably primed to ignore anyone with a giant angry sign as an unpleasant weirdo (as opposed to all the pleasant weirdos inside the con).

At least that’s my hope.

That any anyone who’s ever been to a con understands contagion and communicable diseases really well, as con-crud is a well-documented phenomenon. (See the swine flu outbreak associated with PAX in Seattle the year of Mexican swine flu.)

What does “continue education to demonstration” even mean? They have st meaning in trying to sound profound.
Their stated theory is that people will read and absorb yheir messages, so they don’t need to have any interactions with the public.

More states need to enact anti-masking laws, which typically have been aimed at groups seeking cover for committing violence (like the KKK).

Such laws would have a place in deterring other groups that have engaged in violence (antifa) or used violent rhetoric (antivaxers).

Masks have no place in legitimate protest. At minimum they’re meant to intimidate.

Of course that’s the advantage of protesting at SDCC. You expect to see people in costumes and masks there. There would be much wailing and gnashing of tooth were the authorities to demand everyone unmask.

As long as supposedly democratic nations keep criminalizing dissent, I strongly disagree. As long as employers can hire workers at will, I strongly disagree. No, masks are not always meant to intimidate.

I don’t like the KKK, to put it mildly, but I do like my freedom.

I’m not a psychologist, but I saw a paper fairly recently that ties to this discussion. Who can say if this is more than frontier, but it was in Current Biology.

Apparently, people who hold radical views tend also to be poor at metacognition. They can’t error check themselves and they don’t change their minds in the face of disconfirming information. Not sure where I first heard about this paper; it may have been here on Orac’s blog. If so, my apologies. Otherwise, this probably comes as news to no one here. The main characteristic of antivaxxers is their overwhelming conviction that they’re right, even with all the evidence to the contrary.

Casting one’s self as a warrior in the service of some higher power facing overwhelming odds has got to be a way of padding against metacognitive doubt. I’m sure it helped the crusaders fight on for as long as they did.

Certainly. Metacognition and person perception are not their strong suits matching nicely with their lack of other higher order skills. They don’t know how to check themselves, asking ” Am I crazy or…?” They need a way to deal with the fact that they- amateurs- outweigh experts in medicine/ psychology . Teresa Conrick figures out the hard science that stumps researchers.

The warrior/ revolutionary/ maverick poses of course have been popular cosplay choices for anti-vaxxers and alt med proselytisers: a few have built supplement empires around them ( PRN, NN). Oddly, Mike Adams tries to be a rebel and a Trump supporter simultaneously- although Trump DID originally start as a protest candidate.

They HAVE to do this because they believe themselves to have the truth and valid research
if you’re correct and the world hasn’t switched over to your meme farm.. I mean THEORY
it MUST be because someone is preventing them- someone with nefarious motives and lots of money.
So woo needs conspiracy in order to explain why it’s brilliance isn’t accepted by the whole world- it must be fixed.

More likely it’s dead wrong.

Lots of their explanations sound like they come from bad sci fi or dystopian novellas.

aside- Wasn’t V in the film played by Hugo Weaving of LoTR? Behind a mask of course.


FANTASTIC! Americans expresses their first amendment rights! “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

A. Yes, they used their first amendment right to express their opinion. Now everyone here, on Reddit, and many of the ComicCon participants are using their freedom of expression to mock and criticize them.

Neither is being stopped by government.

B. Your quote isn’t about freedom of speech. And as someone who teaches public health law, I can tell you that government has a lot more leeway to regulate what people eat and take as medicine – through licensing, product regulation and other things – than to, say, regulate the speech related to such products. And that you and all benefit from government regulation of food and product safety.

Folks like Dorit and Orac would like to strip of your 1A rights so they can continue to force their unsafe products on you and there ain’t shit you can do about it. That’s what they write for, that’s why they are here wasting their time. It put$ in the their pockets.

“unsafe products”?

So, Mr. Ball, please explain how safe viruses like varicella, measles, mumps, polio, etc are compared to vaccines. So why do you think it is okay dokay for babies to get any of those diseases?

Natalie, if you really believe that, you’re welcome to avail yourself of state-of-the-art medicine from Thomas Jefferson’s time. That would include leeches, and surgery with unsanitary instruments and without anaesthetics. Go ahead!, you know you want to! Lead by example!

And Vaccination! (For smallpox only, and depending on where you were maybe only variolation.)

Please, if you are going to quote, do so correctly. :

This quotation has never been found in Jefferson’s papers in its above form, but it is most likely a paraphrase of Jefferson’s statement in Notes on the State of Virginia, “Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.”

Well, some people think they’ve been abducted by aliens from outer space (I kid you not!) They, too, are entitled to express their opinions. On the other hand, they are not a political threat; the anti=vaxxers are. As well, this demo is inane. Yes, they are legally entitled to be inane, and so are you!

Thus they can afford:

Time off from work.
Coordinated costumes.
Wasting all of the above on a vanity project.

So very oppressed, sure.

Well, they did do it on a Saturday; so time off work was probably not a big deal for a lot of them. But, otherwise, yes. They either had to live within a reasonable driving distance from San Diego or have money and time to travel, and they had to have money for costumes and those signs. I’m not sure how expensive a decent Guy Fawkes mask and hat are, but the dark clothing could be had relatively inexpensively.

Amazon has LOADS of Guy Fawkes masks for between 6.99 to 32.99 USD. many are 9-10 dollars.

What would require the heavy funding is the parking for anywhere near the convention center 🙂

The best part is that all they need is a quick trip to the porta potty and they can walk into the convention without anyone trying to make fun of them. They probably even carpooled. A lot of people would do this for free parking and a ride.

This is a little unfair. The exact same comments are made about people in non-inane protests and demos. They said and say the same about civil rights marches, for example.

Geez…perusing Joshua Coleman’s Facebook pages, about 2 weeks after the June Disneyland stunt he put on his little storm trooper outfit and initially pretended to by pro-science at a June “March for Science” day (even posing with Dr. Pan holding a “March for Science” sign) but then when Dr. Pan (who was a speaker at this event) started speaking, Coleman got as close as he could to Pan (security came out right away when Coleman did this) and tore off the outer covering of his “March for Science” sign to reveal one of the Disneyland anti-vax protest signs. Coleman then shadowed Dr. Pan (as close as security would allow) when Dr. Pan’s speech was done and he came forward to greet people in the crowd. Video here at . There’s also some postings on Facebook by Coleman where he claims he got maced by someone he claims stiffed him on anti-vax tshirts but others claim the whole thing was faked. Perhaps more concerning is Coleman had his kids with him during this “episode” and seemed more focused on getting video than his children’s safey.

Coleman is….concerning.

Interestingly, I noticed something in Bolen’s latest post ( on the 18th) in which he talks about battles, wars, enemies, targets and bullets
that’s concerning to me:
might some of the more entrenched take him literally ( some people have a problem understanding abstractions you know).?

For years they have portrayed people who support vaccines: doctors, nurses, researchers, officials as the Evil Empire so is it any wonder that they may think of a form of retaliation that goes beyond rhetoric or lawsuits?

I think it’s more that it’s impossible to be anti-vax in a world where thousands of people go to school for 6 to ten years and STILL fall short of your BS degree from Google…unless you believe humanity is somehow capable of one of these epic evil conspiracies.

Yes, another loose cannon. Bolen has a May 25th post on his web page calling for the death penalty for “fake epidemic schemers” and talks about how the French used the guillotine for their revolution:

What are we waiting for?

During the French Revolution citizen’s committees loaded up guillotines onto horse-drawn carts and went from village-to-village, town-to-town, city-to-city, looking for French Royalty (the cause of their starvation problems), dragging the Royals out of their homes and, literally, chopping off their heads.

Doesn’t take much thought to realize Bolen is calling those in public health the “royals”.

Perhaps Bolen fancies himself as Marat. I wonder how he’d feel about a cartoon version of David’s painting with him instead of Marat in the bathtub. But who shall be Robespierre?

It is time for you pretenders to accept reality. You have been beaten. You are an old smudge on the argument, and not even a big one at that. Even Big Pharma has moved on – going to WHO, in desperation, trying to stop the “Anti-Vax” Movement. And THAT is not working either…. (insert laughter here).

Now, the “Anti-Vax” has moved into the “having fun” phase…

I guess so if “having fun” means dressing up like movie characters to preach to uninterested crowds, being unable to get your chosen spokespeople on network interview shows, losing philosophical or religious exemptions in various states, being the butt of jokes on late night television and having the majority of parents unsympathetic to your message BECAUSE MOST PARENTS VACCINATE their children.
Doesn’t sound like fun to me but whatever floats your boat.

“You have been beaten.” Famous last words. I had no idea that sniffing glue was still popular. Whatever.

Tim, to be very clear about this: you’re welcome to engage in whatever peaceful & lawful theatrics you choose. But the moment it crosses over to unlawful threats or acts of violence, law enforcement is going to swoop down hard. Just so you know.

Tim, to be very clear about this

Oh, L-rd, don’t even grant him that; the actual family member named Tim asked Patrick (above) to knock it off years ago.

Yep. His name is Patrick Tim Bolen. A relative of his, (the real) Tim Bolen, has been profoundly embarrassed over Pat’s antics and worried that people will confuse him with Pat.

“But the moment it crosses over to unlawful threats or acts of violence, law enforcement is going to swoop down hard. Just so you know.” Not always. Depends on the political polarity of the demo; violent right-wing protesters sometimes get a pass.

With apologies to Orac, as I know how much he hates grammar pedants in his comments, but you misspelled “Bellend”.

200-300 out of 30 million? ‘60’ in San Diego? Activists, maybe.

Anti-vaccine? Probably 1 in 20. Vaccine-wary; 3 in 20. Don’t GAF one way or the other; 3 in 20. Vaccine-hesitant; 5 in 20. Pro-vaccine; 8 in 20.

I’m giving you a huge benefit of the doubt but OMG. Just a little out of touch, here.

I’m not sure how to categorize those who are in the closet & I’m not sure how they would be picked up on a survey or poll but there are so many of your peers who may not think the way they make sure you think they do.

I’ve had physicians who have blatantly said ‘vaccines are a huge problem’. I’ve had physicians who shut there door & whispered ‘do you think it’s from the vaccines?’ (About my son) And a physician who said nothing & looked at the chart while a tinge of purple washed over his face.

That particular physician is a pediatrician, I’ve known him since 1986, I’ve worked with him & his office is very thorough regarding immunizations. But I know what ‘that look’ means & it’s not good. We’ve never spoken about it out loud.

My numbers are a guess, not the product of research but damn … In California alone, you would be talking about 1.5 million Antivaccine, 4.5 million vaccine-wary, 4.5 million don’t GAFs, 7.5 million vaccine-hesitant & 12 million pro-vaccine.

Has there ever been an actual citizen vote, anywhere? You MIGHT swing the vote with the don’t GAFs: 16.5 million to 13.5 million.

No actual elections BUT
Dr Pan- who has become identified with vaccine acceptance – won his 2018 election (state senate, Sacramento) 68-32 despite highly funded campaigns from anti-vaccine groups like RFK jr’s and vocal opposition. See SkepticalRaptor.
Most people in California vaccinate their children: there are only problems because of pockets of anti-vaxxers where coverage is less than 90% or so.
(Similarly,: a wealthy city with an average income far above the rest of the country can still have areas of poverty. With vaccines coverage may be 95% but one school may be only 60%, one town only 80%.)

So in this post you’ve got some vague anecdotes, some unspoken “looks” that you are (some how) able to infallibly interpret and some numbers you admit to pulling out of thin air.

That’s all super credible.

Oooh, the myth of nameless pediatrician who you just know empathizes with your anti-vax lunacy…..right, sure. Heed this advice “Christine K”: if you anti-vaxxers keep driving down vaccination rates thus causing more vaccine outbreaks, you will see more and more legislation passed eliminating your non-medical vaccine exemptions. The diseases vaccines prevent are horrific and deadly. Your anti-science lunacy stands not a chance against them.

@Christopher Hickie – Well, in the U.S. many pediatricians would not be able to sustain their practices without “wellness visits” aka vaccine visits but I’m sure you already know this.

Oh, look, now you deflect with the anti-vaxxer lie about how rich pediatricians get off vaccinating. When I had my own practice for 13 years, I’d have done much better financially not vaccinating, since typically insurance companies only paid me 10% over cost (and they most certainly know what vaccines cost) for vaccines. 10% is a joke. I actually had to drop some insurances because they were paying below my vaccine acquisition costs. Vaccines were 1/3 of my total practice costs, so if I didn’t have sick visits I wouldn’t have stayed open. FYI, Walmart, America’s biggest retailer, needs to sell at least 25% over cost to keep their doors open, so again, 10% over cost on vaccines is paltry and no pediatrician is getting rich on that. Also search and see who the lowest paid physicians are in the US and you will find it is pediatricians–so again, you anti-vax ignoramuses are wrong about how filthy rich us pediatricians are getting vaccinating children (but truth never stopped you anti-vaxxers, did it?). Finally, some of the richest pediatricians are the quack ones selling vaccine exemptions such as Jay Gordon ($700 for a vaccine exemption visit) and San Diego’s own Tara Zandvliet (who’s written the bulk of San Diego’s exemptions this last few years) who charges $180 a child for an exemption but does them all in “group visits” so she can haul in as much quack cash as Gordon does.

Is anyone aware that Joshua Coleman’s young son – he’s 10 years old I believe Is in a wheelchair bc of a vaccine injury? His son was paralyzed. It’s not Mr. Coleman’s conclusion. This was concluded by his doctors at the time of paralysis. His sons condition is a possible risk factor on the vaccine insert itself. No one told them this possibility when he vaccinated his son that day. He has a right to inform the public. You counted 60 ppl huh? Sorry to inform you Orac but this goes way beyond 60 ppl. Don’t mess with our children’s health Big Pharma. If a doctor fails to inform a mother or father of possible risk of a medication they are administering count yourself lucky if that parent only organizes a street march. I would be put in jail for the havoc I’d cause if my child was injured. Joshua is a hero and has way more constraint than I would have.

In 2010, Mr. Coleman said: “How did Otto get transverse myelitis? The doctor does not know. It could have developed from some kind of virus or possibly even from his vaccinations. Although, the doctor said it was unlikely caused by vaccinations because they hadn’t been given that recently.”

So his doctors did not initially suggest it was vaccine related, and there was no proximity to vaccines.

The evidence is against TM being vaccine related –

Further in this case, the young boy got TM in JUly 2010 – he was vaccinated 47 days earlier, which is too long.

So that claim is unconvincing. And while I can sympathize with any parent seeing a child paralyzed, turning it into a career of petty harassment isn’t exactly a good thing.

And 20, 60 or 100, it was still a small minority of extremists with signs saying things that are not true. Most people likely saw it that way.

@Doritmi “Further in this case, the young boy got TM in JUly 2010 – he was vaccinated 47 days earlier, which is too long.” How does that even make sense? Aren’t the vaccines designed to provide long term immunity? Why can’t it still be due to the vaccine? Isn’t the immune system triggered as part of the response? The whitecoats do not know how long the immunity lasts, right? So….which way is it?

Doritmi- I’m very humbled by your research and knowledge on TM. Looks like you dug up a 9 year old article on Mr.Colemans case when they were in the middle of unraveling the injury . Shortly after that was written Mr. Coleman and his family went to the east coast to John Hopkins University where the numerologist concluded the TM was caused by his 17 month round of vaccinations. Your medical knowledge is astounding to go beyond the facts of the case and draw a totally different conclusion than even the top neurosurgeons in our country concluded. Props .


Shortly after that was written Mr. Coleman and his family went to the east coast to John Hopkins University where the numerologist concluded the TM was caused by his 17 month round of vaccinations.

Source needed for this claim.

the numerologist concluded the TM was caused by his 17 month round of vaccinations.

So a feckin numerologist grifter is now the expert on immunology?

There were over 90 in costume, and most were parents of vaccine-injured children. That is, permanently disabled due to vaccination. Their motivation is purely to warn others about the risks of vaccines which are not being disclosed as required by doctors. When the NVICP was enacted, relieving vaccine makers of liability, one of the stipulations was that doctors would be responsible to give patients the product risk disclosures. They have not been doing that. Seems that you all are operating under the illusion that vaccine-injury is rare and that measles is “deadly”. The inconvenient truth is that the injured children are everywhere, and the more vaccines given, the more injured you will see, until there will be no denying the connection. How do you explain that, in general, the unvaccinated are displaying NONE of the adverse health conditions of the vaccinated? There is so much science now that explains the mechanism of injury of vaccines, it’s silly to pretend that science favors vaccination. There is no proof that vaccines have ever prevented or eliminated any disease. Just because the incidence of disease went down over time, that doesn’t prove that vaccines caused the decline. The theory of “herd immunity” was about people who got the disease and were then immune. Still just an unproven theory. In any case, there can be no such thing as herd immunity from vaccines, because vaccines don’t confer immunity. They may cause antibodies to be created, but antibodies are just a marker for infection, not a marker for immunity as you have been taught.

Make sure if you go for a walk VaxNot that you don’t fall off the edge of your flat earth, OK?

The best way to keep medicine profitable is to skip all vaccines. Great news for hospitals and the producers of iron lungs, not to mention other medical stuff, including pharmaceuticals.

Well, since you’re going to be an anti-vax broken record, Natalie, I’ll state again that pediatricians are the lowest paid of all physicians which refutes your ignorant lie about the greed-driven vaccinating pediatrician. Plus it’s the quack pediatricians like Jay Gordon and Tara Zandvliet who are raking in the $$$ scalping suckers like you who pony up the big bucks for their illegitimate vaccine exemptions. When I had my own practice I’d have made more money not vaccinating, but since I care about children and want to keep them healthy and because vaccines are the best most safest way to do that–I vaccinate.

It’s actually a myth that no studies have compared vaccinated and unvaccinated populations for health outcomes. The results, however, are not what VaxNot thinks. Basically, at the very minimum, we can safely say that vaccines are not associated with all the bad things that antivaxers think they are, such as autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, etc. Some studies even suggest that vaccines might be protective against some adverse health outcomes, such as SIDS. We also know that, for instance, measles infection results in immunosuppression that can last three years or even more after infection and cause increased risk of death from other infections. VaxNot is just spouting a bunch of easily refutable bits of antivaccine misinformation, most (if not all) of which I’ve addressed elsewhere on this blog over the last 15 years.

The theory of “herd immunity” was about people who got the disease and were then immune.

Was it really that difficult to look up “herd immunity” and see what it really means?

Re. Orac’s point: “OTOH, at the Disneyland protest at the opening of the Star Wars exhibit, most of the protestors had their faces uncovered, other than the ones in the stormtrooper and Jawas costumes, and all of them were identified by name at the end of the video, even the ones with face-concealing costumes.”

The Disneyland protest was less than two months ago (2019 May 31). So, one of two things:

Conclusion a) The time difference between the two events is too short for there to have been an organized tactical upgrade to deliberately obscure identity. Therefore we can’t infer that the use of Guy Fawkes masks and dark clothing in the present event, represents an escalation of tactics.

Conclusion b) Even though the time difference between the events was short, badguys learn fast and situations evolve fast, so the present situation does represent a tactical upgrade or signs of a possible escalation.

Objectively I’m inclined toward (a), and if it’s correct, it falsifies my earlier hypothesis that the present event is an escalation.

That said, it’s always worthwhile to be reasonably alert to potential escalations of tactics, especially involving groups that are not explicitly dedicated to nonviolent means. So:

1) It’s probably not worthwhile to do a complete dig on the present event, such as trying to ascertain identities.

2) It’s probably not worthwhile to make effortful collection attempts on events in the near future, such as getting license plate numbers, unless threats or acts of violence occur at a given event.

3) It’s useful in the general scope of observing, reporting on, and discussing future events of this sort, to remain reasonably alert to potential escalations, and give them at least a basic assessment to determine if/what further efforts are needed.

@GraySquirrel, I agree with your conclusions, and just want to add that we do know the identity of at least some, from Facebook chatter, and they’re not the silent type. I agree more effort to identify people isn’t worth it.

We also have a couple of them in the comments now. They apparently showed up in the comments here overnight while I was asleep, and their comments went into moderation. I just let their comments through.

@Gray Squirrel: Well, Mr. Coleman surely believes his masked protests are tres chic as he now has a web site (https://www.visforvaccineDOTcom/ where you can follow his instructions and advice for making his signs etc so you to can walk around with your anti-vax pals costumed up as super creepy Guy-Fawkes-masked to set back help the anti-vax movement by pestering innocent civilians at mass gatherings. Of course, Coleman’s selling t-shirts and brochures and what not for this, so he’s gonna make some $$$ off it. Coleman calls these protests “peaceful educational demonstrations”. Right. Sure.

I hope the con-goers had a chance to set up a counter-protest and embarrass these antivax nuts, like they did with the Westboro Baptist protesters a few years back.

As far as I know, they didn’t. Antivaxers generally don’t announce these stunts in advance for precisely that reason. They don’t want to tip off pro-vaxers so that a counter protest (or just heavy duty mockery) can be prepared.

Mr. Ball, it seems your technique of debate is to fly in, throw in some lies and insults without giving any real evidence.

What kind of cruel person would want a kid to get chicken pox or measles?

Oh, man, This is rich (Ball is a member):

2. Homeopathy Did Save Us
Homeopathy was used to successfully treat infectious disease in the early 1900s and could be considered the “original vaccine.” Homeoprophylaxis uses nontoxic homeopathic remedies called nosodes (prepared from disease germs) to educate the immune system towards the disease process. They are not intended to force antibody production, nor are they polluted with toxic ingredients found in vaccines. Nosodes are pure disease energy aimed to stimulate appropriate immunological response to natural disease so that the immune system knows how to get sick and how to get better. Vaccines are a perversion of this homeopathic technology.

We just saw another example of violence perpetrated by mask wearers, in Hong Kong:

Equating masks with “free speech” is a joke.

Nice to see that Tim views crackdowns on phony vaccine exemptions in the wake of disease outbreaks as a victory for antivaxers. Almost as reality-based as when Kent Heckenlively declared he would accept the “surrender” of pro-immunization advocates, back in 2015.

In other anti-vax news……
( from Dr DG’s twitter)

Facebook has shut down Larry Cook’s ‘Stop Mandatory Vaccinations’ which has 167K followers for false information.

A while ago, I used to try to estimate how many people followed various anti-vax groups/ leaders by looking at their Facebook or twitter accounts numbers: Well known places like AoA/ TMR had a hard time reaching 20K- I don’t think that any did. The Vaccine Machine held the Record at 50K. Later on, one ( AoA?) may have reached higher numbers. Individuals’ accounts hover much lower.

167K sounds like a lot but is it? I’m assuming that it’s based in the US which has 300+ million people

Natural Health sites ( like NN, Mercola) may have 1 million or more followers.

If Facebook is truly serious, they will end NVIC’s page, which has 220K followers and is instrumental in coordinating the scat-flinging anti-vax minions w/ respect to pro-vax legislative efforts.

@Dorit – the study is more than 8 years old, nothing more current? Insurance incentives have made it easier for the poor pediatricians who would struggle without the vaccine industry propping them up.

Insurance incentives have made it easier for the poor pediatricians who would struggle without the vaccine industry propping them up.

You made the claim, you stump up the evidence. Argument by assertion doesn’t cut it here.

Hey Natalie: please cite any/all insurance incentives to which you claim. You anti-vaxxers just love citing this one very regionally restrictedBlue Cross incentive in one state that happened once upon a time about oh, say 6 years ago as PROOFZ that we pediatricians are all on the take. I’ve never had any unsruacne incentives offered to me or any other pediatricians in Arizona from the insurance companies. In fact it is likely we pediatricians will start getting dinged if we don’t clearly document vaccine refusal by your lot when our charts get audited by the insurance companies. I do see incentives to families on medicare that they sometimes get a Target gift card if they keep their children up to date through the 2 and 4 years of vaccines, which I think is an AWESOME way to make sure parents keep vaccinating in the wake of all the anti-vax bullsh*t your type spreads. Oh, I know, it stinks when you get refuted on your bogus claims like this, but hey, you came here to visit us, so expect nothing less than the truth.

Whoa…hold up! I did not say pediatricians are getting rich from vaccinating. I am fully aware of how little pediatricians are compensated, perhaps the lowest of the MDs…hence poor pediatricians was said as a fact – no sarcasm intended. Without wellness visits and vaccinations, many pediatricians would struggle to stay in business..

Funny, the last time I brought up the bit about the insurance incentives for vaccinating, the crowd cheered, “Yay….public safety…saves medical costs… it’s a good thing.” So now there are no financial incentives? I can’t keep up.

@ Chris Hickie,

I do see incentives to families on medicare that they sometimes get a Target gift card if they keep their children up to date through the 2 and 4 years of vaccines, which I think is an AWESOME way to make sure parents keep vaccinating in the wake of all the anti-vax bullsht your type spreads.*

I’m not saying I’m against it but honestly; that’s only going to remedy the coverage rates for the children of lazy parents. That’s not your enemy. The BS vaccines are. You won’t change parents’ minds until you change the vaccines & at this point; you’d be lucky to do even that.

The window of opportunity is slamming shut. I’m not past hope. I’d be willing to meet halfway but until I see a sincere effort from the CDC you couldn’t bribe me with a million dollars. And I am poor. Very poor. Vaccines had everything to do with that.

I don’t care what you think is the truth. I’m telling you how to get more kids vaccinated.

That’s not your enemy. The BS vaccines are. You won’t change parents’ minds until you change the vaccines & at this point; you’d be lucky to do even that.

More projection of the fantastic variety. I’m probably more dirt poor than you are, but my MCO is chock-full of mommies (and sometimes grandmothers) waiting for regular peds appointments. These are people who don’t have time for or interest in your honky gasbaggery.

The “poor pediatricians” would “struggle” much less if we returned to the days of rampant vaccine-preventable diseases, and they could score lots of filthy lucre from treating them (not to mention boosting the Pharma bottom line due to the $$$ that would be spent on prescription drugs as part of such treatment).

Don’t pediatricians know they’re sacrificing a ton of income by supporting vaccination? It’s just as foolish as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists promoting HPV vaccination, thus missing out on $$$ from office visits for Pap and HPV testing, revenue from cervical cone and LEEP excisions, cryotherapy and laser treatment for HPV infections etc.?

The fools.

I’m amused to see a poster for the Good Place behind the protesters, since Kristen Bell is very pro-vax, and the other female lead, Jameela Jamil has been very outspoken about other forms of woo. (She hasn’t said anything about vaccines specifically that I recall.)

@Julian In 2015 this was transcribed from a speech he gave on the steps of our capitol trying to fight SB 277.

“I was very much under the impression that vaccine injury was extremely rare, that’s what they told me at the time. Right off the bat, after the MRI, they were aware that it was in all likelihood a vaccine injury, which of course was later proven at Johns Hopkins. –But that it was very, very rare.

“And when something like that happens to your child, you want to be under the impression that okay, if this happened, they were as careful as possible and this couldn’t be avoided. Over time, doing my research, I, in fact, saw that the vaccine program is extremely careless, and possibly this could have been prevented had they just done better safety studies.”

Look, ppl- this shouldn’t be about proving vaccine injuries happen bc it’s a consensus scientifically that they do – to the tune of 4 BILLION PAID OUT to date from PROVEN VACCINE INJURy. Wake up sheeple! Joshua is upset he wasn’t informed of the risks and told these vaccines were “safe” full stop. Well, that’s not true. He above anyone has the right to tell ppl what he wasn’t told. Every single one of his signs was 100% accurate and not debatable.

First, the child received his vaccines on May 25, 2010, and checked into ER on July 2010, over a month and a half later. There no 17 months round of vaccines, and there was a large gap.

Second, your statement of immediate suspicion doesn’t fit the contemporary link above, which says the exact opposite – that it wasn’t likely the vaccines, because there were no recent vaccines (as there were not).

Third, if it’s the visit he mentions here, that’s three years later. Tracing something to vaccines three years afterward when the initial doctors found no link is a bit strange.

Finally, even putting aside the holes in the story, the recent data doesn’t support a link between vaccines and TM.

Mr. Coleman May sincerely believe a link, and I can see why that would make him angry, though it doesn’t justify any and all bad behavior, but the belief doesn’t seem well founded.

I will grant that he had better basis, at least in the past, than parents blaming vaccines for autism.

Doritmi, I don’t know who you are – if im speaking to a child or a very young person but this conversation is sort of ridiculous. TM is similar to polio in that it’s degenerative over the course time. My father had polio (lived through contrary to what ppl think) and the incubation period from the time he was exposed to contaminated water containing polio virus to the time he was partially paralyzed and treated was almost 4 months. We know this bc he contracted polio in Iowa where a cluster of polio cases formed and was put in an iron lung in CA after they moved close to 6 months later- he was the only boy in our county with polio. AIDS has incubation periods of years before full on infections can claim your life. HIV can take up to 2 months to show up in your bloodstream. I had food poisoning I was hospitalized for and that had a 2 week incubation period. I’m not a doctor but I have a bit of life experience . Becoming paralyzed isn’t something that happens overnight from a virus.
Again, vaccine injuries happen. Payouts are hundreds of millions every single year.

It’s on the INSERT. My neighbor was an attorney for Merck and he said BiG Pharma is so good at brainwashing that they can list all the potential hazards right there on their drug labels and ppl still wont believe it making it nice and easy to low ball injury victims. As far as the signs Joshua has? Here’s a little secret : All he did was put vaccine insert information on those signs lol.

Good luck to you guys- if you believe in Big Pharma you are going to need it ✊

Doritmi, I don’t know who you are – if im speaking to a child or a very young person

Now, that’s a monument to dumb hubris.

Besides, Candice, Dorit’s ID is about the second worst kept secret on the internet (behind our host, of course!).

Just google “dorit vaccines”
And, since you accept the VICP payments as evidence of the risk of vaccines, then you are aware that the incidence of serious harm meriting compensation from a vaccine is about 1 per million doses administered and hasn’t significantly increased in the 30 years or so that the program has been operating.

As far as the signs Joshua has? Here’s a little secret : All he did was put vaccine insert information on those signs lol.

Please cite the vaccine insert which claims that “Vaccines are Made with Aborted Fetal Cells”.

It never even occurred to me anyone would see the WordPress name as an effort to hide my identity. I’m just too lazy to log out and then comment when I’m commenting on my computer.

My father had polio (lived through contrary to what ppl think)

I don’t think anyone here has mentioned your father.

and the incubation period from the time he was exposed to contaminated water containing polio virus to the time he was partially paralyzed and treated was almost 4 months

That would be close to a 3 sigma outlier on a disease that rolls at 7–21 days.

No, his signs were lies. One example: Vaccines are not tested against placebo. Any time an antivaxer trots out that lie, I start rattling of lists of randomized placebo-controlled vaccine studies. It never stops them because they are impervious to facts.

Replying to a bunch of comments here:

Re. JustaTech “And Vaccination! (For smallpox only…” Yes, of course; that was implied.

Re. Narad “Oh, L-rd, don’t even grant him that…” The main point was only to repeat the usual warning that unlawful threats or violent acts will be investigated & prosecuted. Yes, I would also prefer to “not grant him that: via case law that rules-out a 1st Amendment defense for advocacy of medical quackery, on the grounds of “promotion of fraud,” and if done by a layperson, “practice of medicine without a license,” or if done by an MD, “failure to meet standard of care,” and so on.

Re. Christopher Hickie “…San Diego’s own Tara Zandvliet (who’s written the bulk of San Diego’s exemptions this last few years) who charges $180 a child for an exemption but does them all in ‘group visits…’…” Huh what?! Get a bunch of unvaxed kids into a doctor’s office together?!, what can possibly go wrong?! Has anyone reported that to the CA medical board yet?

Re. Christopher Hickie again: “Of course, Coleman’s selling t-shirts and brochures…” The battle is joined. I’ve teamed up with a local design firm and will soon be producing T-shirts and other items supporting science-based medicine, vaccination, etc., and calling out the antis and the quackers, and hopefully going viral with at least some of it. More news when there’s news, stay tuned. Yes I’ll post the URL when the site is up. This ought to be fun;-)


Re. Orac: “Antivaxers generally don’t announce these stunts in advance …” OK, so that’s our cue to get on their mailing lists and into their sites, because clearly they have to communicate in some way in order to get a crowd. Even a couple of counter-demonstrators with signs should be sufficient to neutralize their propaganda efforts in public venues.

Re. Narad quoting quacks: “Nosodes are pure disease energy…” (Can you share the URL?) We’ve all heard of “healing energy” but this is the first I’ve heard of “disease energy.” Someone needs to ask whoever wrote that, to unpack what they mean by “energy.” We can take bets on how many rounds of questions will be needed before they get all the way into vitalism. (Have they started saying “placebo energy” and “ineffective energy” yet?)

Re. Dangerous Bacon, “…violence perpetrated by mask wearers…” This is a tough issue. On one hand, violence as you said, and as white-nationalist rioters have also done. OTOH, Walmart workers attending a union organizing rally, Silicon Valley engineers attending a technology dissident rally, etc., can all be subject to arbitrary retaliation based on faceprint matches: labor history amply shows that this will happen. In some states people have lost their jobs for supporting the political candidate other than the one their boss supports.

We need seriously thoughtful policy about this issue. My first thought is to treat it as a “revocable right,” a novel legal category whereby someone has a right to do X until or unless harm to innocent others occurs or is likely, at which point they lose the right. Driving and gun ownership also fall under this category. IMHO the public understands context, and would be sympathetic to e.g. masked Walmart workers at a union rally but would be creeped-out by masked anti-vaxers, and would reject masked rioters. Police drones can follow masked violent actors until they’re away from crowds and can be arrested.

Hi Narad – Must be an embedded link or something that’s blocked on my system for the usual security reasons. Not to worry, DuckDuckGo is our friend, I just looked up the phrase “nosodes are pure disease energy” and found it. Hmm, can we get quacks de-platformed off

Also found: a few sites making much merriment over that phrase. DuckDuckGo uses its own algorithms and doesn’t “personalize” searches, so you can do it and get the same results I got.

The phrases “pure placebo energy” and “pure ineffective energy” get no results on DuckDuckGo, from which I infer they’re free to use for purposes of making fun and turning up in the searches of alt-med seekers.

Re Gray Squirrel’s comments on “legitimate” wearing of masks during protests:

Companies’ retaliating against workers for union organizing activities (or attending a rally) through firing or other punishment is against the law in the U.S. (though proving your case can be time-consuming and/or costly). There was legislation proposed awhile back to triple damages for such actions, which sounds a lot better to me than establishing a principle that people are entitled to disguise themselves in public in order to facilitate intimidation and violence.

Hey Hickie. If you didn’t know this already, let me tell you that there are no “vaccine exemption visits” in my office let alone “$700” visits. I have written medical exemptions but only for patients receiving ongoing medical care in my practice who quality according to CA State law. SB277 to be specific. If you were to call my office and inquire about availability of a vaccine consultation, an exemption for a new family or anything similar, you will encounter, for better or worse, a brick wall. No, none of those is available here.

The only 700 dollar visits in my office are the check-ups which include the very high-priced HPV vaccines along with an equally high-priced live virus vaccine. Apparently, you’ve lost your practice–and for that I feel sorry for you cuz this is a great job and a great specialty–but you are wildly inaccurate and maybe a little slanderous in your comments here. Please stop.

Jay: “The only 700 dollar visits in my office are the check-ups which include the very high-priced HPV vaccines along with an equally high-priced live virus vaccine.”

Wonder what that ”high-priced live virus vaccine” is. And since Jay returned to pat himself on the back for offering HPV vaccination in his office, maybe he could enlighten us on what population he supposedly administers it to (Jay has proclaimed here before that he’s OK with young males getting the vaccine, but was notably silent on whether he approves of giving it to young females, a major population for which the vaccine was intended. You know, that cervical cancer prevention thing).

Hi DB–I give that vaccine to virtually every one of my teens. Male and female. It may actually decrease the incidence of head and neck cancer in men and cervical cancer in women. And it appears to have minimal side effects. Some parents choose to decline the vaccine. That is their right.

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