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Austin Bennett takes the violent rhetoric of the antivaccine movement a step closer to real violence

Austin Bennett is an antivaxer and chemtrail conspiracy theorist. Yesterday, he approached California Sen. Richard Pan in downtown Sacramento. There, he harangued Dr. Pan and ultimately shoved him, all on Facebook Live. Is the violent rhetoric of antivaxers closer to real violence?

Just under four years ago, I started noticing something about the antivaccine movement. Specifically, in the wake of the passage in California of SB 277, the law that eliminated nonmedical “personal belief exemptions” from school vaccine mandates, I noticed a disturbing uptick in the amount and level of rhetoric from the antivaccine movement that could be considered violent and threatening. I noticed it again after the release of Andrew Wakefield and Del Bigtree‘s antivaccine propaganda movie disguised as a “documentary” VAXXED. I noticed again when threats were made against journalists. I noticed it when Del Bigtree asked rhetorically what all those antivaxers with guns are waiting for. I noticed when a 50 or 60 antivaxers showed up at San Diego Comic-Con cosplaying the fictional violent terrorist V, a choice of mask that was quite worrisome, even though no doubt the antivaxers . And I noticed when an antivaxer named Austin Bennett did this:

From the Sacramento Bee:

An anti-vaxxer who airs conspiracy theories on social media was cited for a misdemeanor Wednesday afternoon after he shoved state Sen. Richard Pan, a Sacramento Democrat touting a vaccine crack down bill, as the lawmaker was walking to a restaurant near the Capitol. In a video that he posted to Facebook, Austin Bennett filmed himself following Pan as he walks to an Asian Pacific Islander Caucus event at Frank Fat’s, a favorite political restaurant in Sacramento. Bennett approached Pan, who was walking with Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, and urged him to defend his stance on vaccine safety. The two bantered back and forth about vaccine ingredients. As Pan neared the entrance to the restaurant, Bennett shoved Pan in the back.

And he posted it on Facebook Live:

Bennett happens to encounter Sen. Pan around the 9 minute mark, and he shoves him around the 9:50 mark. The rest of the video reveals a profoundly scary guy going on and on about chemtrails, toxins, and taking action about them and vaccines. I have to give Sen. Pan a lot of credit. I’m not sure I could have remained as calm as he did if someone like Austin Bennet came up alongside me and started ranting about aluminum, toxins, and water. (Apparently, Dr. Pan had made a remark about water being the most dangerous ingredient in vaccines.) Before Bennett encountered Sen. Pan, he spent nearly a solid nine minutes haranguing his audience about chemtrails, the wickedness of the world, and a variety of disturbing religious views.

Fortunately, the police are involved:

A lobbyist attending the event and who witnessed the incident called the police. Officers with the Sacramento Police Department then cited Bennett for a misdemeanor, the police report shows. “… yes, I pushed Richard Pan for lying, laughing at us and for treason,” Bennett wrote. Pan, who is also a pediatrician, wrote legislation this year that would crack down on vaccine medical exemptions in California by increasing oversight of doctors that issue the passes. The proposal, Senate Bill 276, ignited a fierce debate in the Capitol’s corridors, where hundreds of vaccine skeptics and anti-vaxxers lined up in opposition of the proposal, saying that it compromised the patient-doctor relationship and would add to “vaccine injury.” But supporters say the bill is a necessary attempt to end “fraudulent” medical exemptions that compromise the health of sick children and babies who can’t get the shots.

Meanwhile, last night Bennett was posting videos to his Facebook page trying to justify himself. I’m including them in this post more for completeness’ sake because, man, this dude just can’t seem to shut up. Also, watching him is not easy. His thoughts are pretty disordered. So I’m not saying that you should watch all these videos. (Certainly I haven’t watched all of them.) However, sampling them is a worthwhile exercise, just to see what we as vaccine advocates have to be aware of and potentially fear. Here Mr. Bennett is, looking a bit disheveled and apparently sitting in his office:

Interestingly, Austin Bennett ran against Richard Pan for the California Democratic nomination for his Senate seat last year. Unsurprisingly, he lost. Big time.

Of course, “respectable” antivax-sympathetic people are predictably pulling the “he’s just a crackpot” and “he doesn’t represent us” gambit:

Yes, it’s our old friend Dr. Jay Gordon. Of course, Dr. Vincent Ianelli is more than ready with a response:

And, of cource, if you visit Bennett’s Facebook page where, as of my bedtime, he had posted four videos since his assault on Dr. Pan, two of them fairly long. There, you will find comments like:

God bless you we are with you.

And:

I think alot of us have done alot of talking and I feel like we get no where sometimes any type of press is good press I feel like what you did was a sacrifice and I thank you for it.

And:

Love you Austin, thank you for standing for truth!!!!

And:

We are the vaccine educated party…..we all support truth & these Pan, poison pushing criminals need to be imprisoned….they will ALL be dealt with…..

And:

Why doesn’t Pan get charged for trying to take away basic human rights? He’s a pig of the most upmost evil of incarnations, and you can’t blame people for getting wound up around him, when the damage he inflicts on humanity bears no consequences.

You get the idea.

I can guess what you’re thinking (well, some of you at least). You’re thinking: WTF? This is just a nutcase. You’re not wrong there. Austin Bennett is clearly as nutty as he can be. Think about it, though. Del Bigtree has become one of the most famous faces of the antivaccine movement, and he regularly lays down rhetoric along the lines of “What are you waiting for, you antivaxers with guns?” and “We’ll lay down our lives for freedom!

Then, of course, there are the conspiracy theories:

Obviously, I don’t believe for a minute that, for example, Del Bigtree is going to take up arms to stop school vaccine mandates or that he’s going to stalk Sen. Pan or Paul Offit and gun him down in the street. With his histrionic rhetoric Bigtree is in essence doing no more than just preening for his audience and firing up his followers, all to stroke his own enormous ego. However, it’s not at all difficult to imagine someone like Austin Bennett taking someone like Del Bigtree seriously. As minor as this assault might seem, Bennett did shove Sen. Pan. Then first he said he shouldn’t have done it, after which he rambled on and on in videos justifying it, and his fans egged him on. Is it so difficult to imagine that rhetoric like that of Del Bigtree could provoke someone like Austin Bennett to do violence? After all, it hasn’t been the pastors and politicians likening abortion to murder who have killed physicians who do abortions. It’s people like Bennett inspired by such rhetoric. Del Bigtree is playing with fire, whether he knows it or not, whether he acknowledges it or not.

Hilariously, antivaxers are trying to disavow Austin Bennett. For instance, Josh Coleman:

Meanwhile, Coleman is planning something for August 28 in Sacramento, before the final vote on SB 276, the bill being considered by the California legislature that would close a major loophole in SB 277:

Personally, I think they’ll probably cosplay V or something like that. V, as you recall, is the fictional violent terrorist dressed in black wearing a Guy Fawkes mask who fought against a totalitarian government in a dystopian version of the UK. Recall that 50 or 60 antivaxers dressed up as V and paraded around the streets near the San Diego Convention Center in July during Comic-Con waving signs with easily refuted antivax tropes.

The bottom line is simple. Antivaxers have become increasingly violent in their rhetoric. One of them has attacked Dr. Pan. Even though the assault was minor and Dr Pan wasn’t injured, I view this as a disturbing turn of events, not so much for what it was, but much more for what it could portend in the future. As I’ve said before, I’m a bit worried for the A-list vaccine advocates, such as Dr. Richard Pan, Dr. Paul Offit, Dorit Reiss, Dr. Peter Hotez, and many others. I’m even a little bit worried for myself, although fortunately I’m just not big enough of a fish to attract that much attention.

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]

150 replies on “Austin Bennett takes the violent rhetoric of the antivaccine movement a step closer to real violence”

The line between vigorous protests – which are legitimate even when the cause, as here, is misguided – and descending to violence can get blurry. The Coleman event, for example, has been presented as “The Last Stand” and as a last attempt to save their children.

When the leaders work up their people this way, as you point out, and when some of their people are as extreme as Mr. Bennett, claiming they’re “peaceful” and assuming they’ll behave is tricky.

And the encouragement Bennett got is concerning.

Austin Bennett is a complete loon – I’m not surprised that he resorted to some level of violence…..he posted on Dr. Pan’s page for a while (around election time) & it was obvious that mental illness was involved.

Funny, but Del Bigtree ( @ delbigtree/ @ highwiretalk) doesn’t mention the incident; neither does Kim Rossi ( AoA; @ kimrossi1111) or Mikey (NN). Yet these are the people who continually charge up their followers about the “crimes” of vaccine advocates like Dr Pan. They discuss how children are “destroyed” and parents’ lives are “ruined”.

I do worry about advocates Orac calls the “A listers” and him too. There is rage and self-righteousness building in some anti-vaxxers: we at RI right now have a close-up look into how they imagine the world, SBM and us.
Bigtree and the others ( PRN, etc) are irresponsible because if violence occurred hey know it wouldn’t ever be linked to them.
So they talk and encourage followers.

I tuned in to Del’s Highwire ( @ highwiretalk)- he says that he was not allowed to “broadcast” on FB today ( I wonder why); I watched the first 10 minutes and skipped around the first half ( Monsanto, Andy Wakefield) but there was NO mention of what happened to Dr Pan. I know that it’s possible that I missed the section wherein he told his viewers that Bennett is a loon and should be charged with assault and NEVER emulated but I didn’t see it: properly, it should have been at the start of the show..

@Deni₡e – Del did address Bennett’s behavior after the Andrew Wakefield segment, about an hour and a few minutes into the program. Del did not condone Bennett’s behavior and was adamant violence is wrong. He apologized to Senator Pan that it happened.

Anti-vaxxers are not only deluded but a little bit unclear on what a democracy is. Elected representatives put forward legislation, gain support and they all vote. While Dr. Pan may serve as a lightning rod for a small minority, with all due respect his presence or absence at this point is unlikely to change anything. Societal momentum is growing and not in favor of AV. Or so it appears to me from outside California and indeed outside the US.

The delusion of AVers is that by removing (by democratic change or violence) a key figure will break open the dam holding back a populist movement that will alter society in the way they desire or incite enough anarchy for them to do what they will. But there is no dam and there is no popular support. They are a fringe group and at least at this time becoming more so. Any such “success” will only go on to prove that democracy is largely self-healing and the move toward vaccine sensibility will continue and possibly accelerate due to people waking up to the horror that is the modern, increasingly radicalized AV movement.

I wish I agreed with you that antivaxxers are losing and those of us on the side of science and humanity are winning by fighting the good fight. Unfortunately the current measles outbreak in the U.S. (and my own interactions with 3 RN’s and 4 elementary school teaches- granted anecdotal evidence) suggests antivaxxers are having an impact.

The frustrating part is that the impact seems to rarely include any of the specific arguments of the antivaxxers but instead instills a nebulous sense of fear and doubt regarding vaccines. The specific arguments are relatively easy to address. These nonspecific and/or visceral refusals are the ones that I find most difficult and to me, are the ones on the rise.

On the bright side these nonzealots are also generally silent publicly, as far as I can tell, and their affect suggests something like embarrassment and/or shame to me. I may very well be misreading them though and if anyone has a different take and/or suggestions on how to alleviate their misgivings I would appreciate the input. Most of my interactions end with them staring at the floor, discussing all other topics, but maintaining silence/refusal on vaccines.

AV is losing the struggle for public opinion and political influence, if it hasn’t lost them completely. That’s why it’s more dangerous in terms of extremist rhetoric and continuing to have an impact with outbreaks where there are sufficient cluster. I’m sure as hell not going to sign on to “democracy is self-healing” but I do think that among the larger body politic “the move toward vaccine sensibility will continue and possibly accelerate due to people waking up to the modern AV movement” though not tn horror to its danger, but in flight from the extremism of it’s crazy. But yeah, the side effects of this larger-scale improvement may look pretty ugly in your here and now, spending on what those are.

Unfortunately, a comparatively small but coordinated minority can swing elections where the result is somewhat close, giving them disproportionate power in elections by locking their vote block to their particular issue. This is how the ASL pushed through Prohibition.

If any good can come of this it will be yet another strike against anti-vaxxers and galvanize pro-science positions. Anti-vaxxers are left with either defending this yob or throwing him under the bus angering the majority of anti-vaxxers who justify violence against people such as Sen. Pan.

I doubt this Bennet dude would do more than shove. But thats not the point. It only takes one nut. The folks who do violence have serious issues with something deep they can’t face, so in way they’re looking for some target to channel their rage. If they get tapped into some subculture of anger, they can pick up something or someone and off they go. Prime examples, of course, are the Pittsburg and El Paso shooters inspired by Trumpism. But what this post reminds me of is the violent antiabortion activists, who I studied in prep for a doco that didn’t come off. There was a kind of pyramid with lots of tough talkers at the base, fewer in your face shouters above that, then a level up to even fewer who might get in shoving matches, then up to a fairly small group that would issue death threats or do some stalking, then up to a handful who would try to bomb a clinic building w/o killing anyone, then at the top, another handful who targeted specific Dr.s and murdered them. It wasn’t usually the case that the shooters had moved up the levels of the pyramid. (This is why I’m not so concerned about violence by Bennett hhimself; he’s too loud.) It was more that the pyramid functioned as a system, with each level kind of interacting with and reinforcing the ones above and below. Thus, the resonance I see here is in those posts in support of Bennett from ‘below’.

Of course, the leaders of the anti-abortion groups at the ‘picket and scream’ level – e.g. Operation Rescue – always claimed to oppose actual violence and to have no association with the shooters – which was true as far as person-to-person contact was concerned. But the whole thing they started evolved into an ecosystem that pulled in some very disturbed people, gave them a cause, leading to real human targets, and the promise of redeeming their miseries through martyrdom.

I have to agree. There are plenty of people around who would kill if they just found a cause that suits them.
Were all the foreign fighters who flocked to Da’esh radicalized Muslims? Think of how a psychopath would respond to a society where committing murder, torture, rape, enslavement, and robbery are all approved of as long as they choose the right victims and spent the rest of their time piously even if they’re faking it.

That was a funny kind of “push” that makes a loud “twack” sound on impact instead of a muffled sound.
That was no “push”; that was a hit. A strike.
Orac said, “I have to give Sen. Pan a lot of credit. I’m not sure I could have remained as calm as he did if someone like Austin Bennet came up alongside me and started ranting about aluminum, toxins, and water.”
I agree. Had he done this to a younger, non-professional man, Mr. Bennett would likely have found himself promptly on the ground spitting teeth and breathing through a broken nose.
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I also agree that this is an example of the dangerous level of lunacy to which the anti-vaccine cult has descended.
Prosecute this maniac as strongly as possible.
Get a restraining order.
Demand he receive a psychiatric exam before being unleashed on Sen. Pan and the public again.
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TBH – When I first saw this in the news yesterday and the vid was the prominent lead-in it looked like, and I thought that, the loon was Joshua “Trash Can” Coleman – another deranged anti-vax criminal.
To see him here throwing Bennett under the bus is humorous as Coleman is as crazy as Bennett.
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Perhaps this will influence any legislator who is ‘on the fence’ to realize the “vaccine safety” loons are really just a dangerous and violent anti-vaccine cult. We, who have been following these maniacs, know this but some random pol dropped into the battle would not have the immersive knowledge of these lunatics and their violent rhetoric so this may be a good object lesson…

It’s miraculous to me that there has been no serious violence to this point against pro-immunization advocates, given their demonization by prominent antivaxers.

When it does happen, antivaxers will piously disavow the violent actor(s), while emphasizing the horrors that drove them to it, something we’ve seen with anti-abortion activists.

Now’s the time to tell your followers to take a step back from the edge, Del. Now’s the time.

That was no small tap either. Dude is lucky he didn’t get his ass stomped. Should face the judge regardless. dumbass.

He will. He was charged with a misdemeanor and the DA can always escalate the charge to a felony charge, if he or she feels it is warranted.

Escalate to a felony and also order a psych exam.

The problem is, if the perp shows signs of being a stalker, there is no effective treatment, and it’s a certainty he will be permanently dangerous to Dr. Pan and others. During even a relatively short stay in prison (6 months to a year for an A misdemeanor), he will seethe in his hatreds and paranoia, and once he gets out, he will re-offend. A longer prison term for a felony might make him even more dangerous upon release.

There’s a good chance he will turn out to have delusional disorder NOS, or paranoid schizophrenia, at which point it should be possible to hospitalize him under the “danger to self or others” provisions. At that point he could at least be tranquilized so he isn’t a hazard to hospital personnel.

Then there’s the issue of guns. So easy to get, everywhere, including leaping through the loopholes in the background checks laws (so any felony convictions or disqualifying psych disorders won’t come up).

IMHO we have erred too far on the side of “freedumb” to the point where the basic right to live and let live has been eclipsed by the “right” to incite violence and the “right” to own an arsenal. Eventually the pendulum will swing back in the other direction, the only question being how many hate crimes and murders and mass shootings it will take.

As far as what we can all do, the answer is VOTE, VOTE, VOTE. And volunteer for campaigns, and donate to campaigns, and make sure everyone you know gets to the voting booth. That’s where we’re going to fix all of this.

Escalate to a felony and also order a psych exam.

Obviously, Dorit would know, but I don’t think that the DA can just “order a psych exam.” For that matter, it would be to the prosecution’s detriment were he to be found to be incompetent to stand trial — I’m pretty sure this is a move by the defense once the matter gets to trial.

There’s a good chance he will turn out to have delusional disorder NOS, or paranoid schizophrenia

Oh, dear G-d, what would be the value of that “chance”?

As I stated on the other thread it was only a matter of time before some anti-vaccine fruitcake acted out the violent anti-vaccine rhetoric. I think Senator Pan and all of us should consider ourselves lucky that this was only a “shove” and not something more deadly. The anti-vaccine movement can’t decide whether to condemn this as an isolated incident by a clearly mentally disturbed individual or the actions of a hero. The fact that this indecision exists says a lot about the anti-vaccine movement.

Dorit Reiss: The Coleman event, for example, has been presented as “The Last Stand” and as a last attempt to save their children.

Funny. They spend so much time trying to ‘save’ their kids, they never seem to have time to actually PARENT. I’d be willing to bet that neither Coleman or Bennett have ever changed a diaper and would have a hard time recognizing their children. (If indeed, they have any. I think Coleman’s married, but Bennett”s probably got a fair few restraining orders filed against him.)

DB:It’s miraculous to me that there has been no serious violence to this point against pro-immunization advocates.

Not in the US, not yet at least. This whole place is a powder keg; the question isn’t if we’ll have riots, it’s when and what they’ll be about.

Dr. Pan also called out RFK, Jr. in an address to the senate today @2:01:

“More recently, RFK, Jr. who opposes the bill, came to the capitol… called vaccines a “holocaust” previously… compared my bill to the Jews being put in the ghettos during WW2, while in the meantime the antivaxxers post memes of me as Hitler and Dr. Mengele, and you wonder why… you wonder why someone would be incited to commit violence.”
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Good on Dr. Pan to publicly call out RFK, Jr. on some of his outrageous and dangerous statements.
How many legislators are going to accept a meeting with RFK, Jr. after having it explained to them just what kind of sleazy loon with a trust fund he is?
How many mainstream reporters will give RFK, Jr. the time of day if well known public people like Dr. Pan continue to publicly call him, and Bigtree, out for the anti-vaccine lunatics they are?

Good for Dr. Pan to put them on notice ahead of their Josh-Coleman-led anti-vaccine rally August 28 at the California state capitol. .

My question is who will now hire Austin Bennett as a financial advisor with that level of crazy splayed out on his Facebook page? I would not.

Uh, Jeffrey Epstein was a financial advisor. If the greedheads investors think they’ll get enough of a return rate, they could care less about anything else.

@Chris
Epstein’s probably a bad example, as the people who gave him money – who all had plenty of clues he was, to say the least, a creep – may not have been merely expecting a financial return. However, there are plenty of other examples of the larger point – only a small percentage of investors at any level look at anything beyond the promise of returns. Here’s one better example: Peter Theil.

sadmar, have you retired yet? Are you managing your life savings yourself? We are retired and living off our savings, which includes the pension buyout from the company (a big check was delivered to us instead of a monthly pension, it has to last for at least thirty years).

As we are engineers and really bad at investing we have hired a wealth management company. You seem to using those two people as examples of all financial advisors. Since we have interviewed several, and looked to make sure they have all the proper certifications we are confident that none of them are like Epstein, Theil nor Bennett.

If we lived near Elk Grove, CA then Bennett may have been in the list of financial advisors suitable for us. Though anyone who is planning on retiring in that area and saw his performance would be scratching him off the list of advisors to interview.

Bennett has probably destroyed his own business.

We, on the other hand, will be meeting with a couple of financial managers of the company we hired as there has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for all types of investments (not just stocks).

@ Chris

Yeah, I’m retired. I had to take my retirement out of TIAA-CREF, but I didn’t shop for an advisor, I just went to the guy who works at my credit union. If I found out he was going around posting conspiracy theory videos and stalking state senators, I’d be, uhh, a little worried. But then I doubt anyone like Bennett would be affiliated with a credit union, or that Bennett’s clients are folks like you or me…

I’m surprised you hadn’t heard of Theil. He’s a first class nut, and Orac has written several times about his negative influence on medical science issues. No he’s not a financial advisor. People aren’t just investing where he recommends, they’re investing in HIM.

You have asserted “Bennett has probably destroyed his own business,” with no evidence and an argument based entirely on projecting your prejudices onto the masses – ignoring, for example, that he may have an atypical client base that is still sufficient to maintain him. My point, again, is that all kinds of people have done or said all kinds of bad things or wacky things without damaging the belief among large client bases that they will benefit the clients financially. I have yet to mention the most obvious examplar, but I will now, I guess. Trump 2020 has already amassed over $100,000,000 in contributions.

Yeah, I’m retired. I had to take my retirement out of TIAA-CREF

Man, over 13 years, those guys never made a dime for me.

Yes, we interviewed a financial planner from the credit union, they were the one of about six management companies we talked to. There are many varieties, which is why we wanted to be careful.

“My point, again, is that all kinds of people have done or said all kinds of bad things or wacky things without damaging the belief among large client bases that they will benefit the clients financially.”

Um, sure. Except it happens, we even had a local version: https://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2018/3/19/darren-berg-has-always-been-on-the-run

Which is why you need to do research on such a big decision. Bennett may have some loyal clients, but I doubt he will get anymore. Plus he may now come under scrutiny by a California state attorney and even a US attorney in that region.

On August 31st, a group calling itself “Millions March” will have what they are calling the Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccination–a US event where there will be smaller marches across the county in various locales. What is interesting is the RFKjr/Bigtree and his group are distancing themselves from MMAMV people because apparently the MMAMV people are even more pro-gun/pro-violence than they are. The irony is of course that the RKFjr/Bigtree/Vaxxed group of disease-spreaders are inciting violence as well but aren’t willing to own it.

Dr. Pan has received overwhelming support from his colleagues in the CA chamber, has issued a statement AND called out Bigtree by name:

And in typical Richard Pan’s deceitfulness, it had to be because Bigtree has used ‘violent’ antivaxx language why Bennett shoved him. It couldn’t have possibly been because Bennett in the spur of the moment lost his cool after Pan stopped engaging him on a topic that Bennett had very strong feelings about, and Pan also started laughing at him. No — Bigtree must be condemned for inciting this heinous violence! RFKjr too! Wait — anyone know if Wakefield in the past has had any rhetorical flourishes about fighting provaxxers?!

Give it up–you lose. Bigtree has calling for taking up guns and has called for taking down pediatricians. He is a thug who wants others to do the violence he craves.

It couldn’t have possibly been because Bennett in the spur of the moment lost his cool after Pan stopped engaging him on a topic that Bennett had very strong feelings about, and Pan also started laughing at him.

Sure, blame the victim because he didn’t engage the crazy; you’re a piece of work Greg.

I’m reminded of the death of a German politician, who was killed by I right-wing extremist, who didn’t share his views on refugees. Some rightwing politician stated that in a way the politician was to blame, because he was defending Merkel’s policy on welcoming refugees.

Now now Science Mom, my point is not to blame Pan for Bennett’s action. If I blame Pan in any way, it;s for using the incident to scapegoat Bigtree and RFKjr for obvious political advantage. That’s just plain wrong and good on Bigtee and RFKjr for not taking the ‘bait’ by responding to the incident. To do so might lend credence to Pan’s ‘insinuation’. Or is it outright accusation?!

Ok ok — I also blame Pan for fathering legislations that en masse will vaporize kids’ brains..

Greg, Dr. Pan has been harassed and even chased by Bigtree in the capital building. He has every right to call out the promoting of violence and the lies by Wakefield, Kennedy and others.

So, Greg, have you been calling threats to Dr Pan’s office too?

Now now Science Mom, my point is not to blame Pan for Bennett’s action.

But that’s exactly what you did.

If I blame Pan in any way, it;s for using the incident to scapegoat Bigtree and RFKjr for obvious political advantage.

You’re not good at trying distraction from your initial foot-in-mouth. Pan should call them out as they have incited violence with their rhetoric. If they didn’t consider the cretins that slither along the bottom of that food chain (and they should have considering Bigtree has interviewed plenty of them on his clown car), then they ought to change the way they do business and disown this yob.

Greg: “Ok ok — I also blame Pan for fathering legislations that en masse will vaporize kids’ brains..”

Citation needed. Do tell us exactly how any MMR vaccine used in North America causes more harm than measles. Just provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that shows the vaccine causes more encephalitis than an actual measles infection (which is about one melted brain from encephalitis out of a thousand cases of actually getting measles).

Just this year: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html

Which says: “As of August 15, 2019, 124 of the people who got measles this year were hospitalized, and 64 reported having complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis.”

Oh right. So when I dont engage with a Jehovahs witness on my doorstep its ok for them to physically attack me? What about tramps asking for money? Is it alright for them to attack me too? Yeah, how about racists? They feel pretty strongly. Must be ok for them too eh? Amazing how you feel your rights are infringed but no one elses matter.

What bothers me after seeing that video, is that Dr Pan and his companion were just walking down the street in downtown Sacramento ( I’ve been there and even ate at a place owned by the same restaurant group) and this dude says, ” Oh look who’s coming!” Was he waiting for the senator? Did he know about Asian/ Pacific Island caucus’ meeting at the restaurant? Seems odd to me. He was hanging around that parking garage near the restaurant.
Sacramento seems not to be a dangerous place. Will police do anything to protect Dr Pan? I hope he isn’t going to be forced to limit his movements around the city.

It seems to me that things are heating up with anti-vaxxers; they’re planning events next week. I hear screeds at a more frequent pace by the usual suspects.

Geez, this guy is a defense attorney’s worst nightmare. Pro tip: when you’re charged with a crime, don’t go on social media and attempt to publicly justify your actions. Say nothing, request a lawyer, and keep your head down!

Bullying, threats, and violence should not be acceptable in civil discourse and policy making

Actually, this quote taken from Pan’s speech I also find disingenuous. Does Pan or other provaxxers for that matter seriously want ‘antivaxxers’ to believe that civil discourse is still possible? I thought the time for ‘civil discourse’ and ‘debate’ was over and it was simply time for antivaxxers to admit that they are wrong and crazy and vaccinate their kids!

Also Chris, I haven’t been calling in threats to Pan’s office. I live in Canada and even if I were interested in doing so I am still too lazy to search out the zip code.

“Zip Code” is for addresses – you actually use a variation of that in Canada too….you don’t know the proper term is actually Area Code, do you?

you don’t know the proper term is actually Area Code, do you?

[pedantry] It’s “Numbering Plan Area.” The prefix is the NNX, and then the last four digits are the station number. [/pedantry]

Thx Lawrence, but still not motivated to search out the code to call in threats to Pan’s office. Might search out the code though for Clippers head office. Maybe I get a hold of Kawhi Leonard and tell him how soft he was for quitting Raptors. That guy still rubs me the wrong way. May he get all the vaccines he has coming to him!

Greg, I referenced this to you: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article77045357.html

It is a description of Bigtree trying ambush Dr. Pan at his office. Fortunately Bigtree does not move very fast (emphasis added):

On Monday, Vaxxed producer Del Bigtree arrived at Pan’s office without an appointment to talk. After Pan exited without granting an audience, Bigtree pursued him down a hallway.

Posts recounting the incident, including a video, have circulated among vaccine skeptics who have gleefully promoted the hashtag #PanRan (they’ve also leveled more threats; one wrote on Facebook she hopes Pan gets hit by a bus).

Not so fast, said Pan communications director Shannan (Velayas) Martinez. She started firing off tweets on Wednesday arguing that her boss simply strolled away and then Bigtree couldn’t keep up. Naturally, it comes with its own hashtag (#del2slow), and suggests Bigtree is unfit – “Appears #Vaxxed producer @delbigtree not used to stairs and displays poor fitness.”

The threats are real. Bigtree, Wakefield, Kennedy and the rest of their gang are promoting them.

Thx for the link, Chris. Even if it serves as uncontestable proof that on one occasion Big tree was out to lynch Pan, still don’t think it motivated Bennett. I am still leaning towards the take that Bennett simply lost his shit without any inspiration.

Anti-vaxers aren’t interested in “Civil Discourse.” It is even disingenuous to suggest that they are – death threats, comparisons to Nazism, and worse are all too common methods for “anti-vax discourse.”

Sometimes I wonder if anti-vaxxers would be happier to remove themselves from public schools- home school or use the internet option if available- they could set up play dates, scouts’ meetings and sports activities amongst themselves. They could protect themselves from the evils of mass indoctrination, police state tactics and vaccine shedding. MAYBE if they congregate on the edges of cities and suburbs a large home building company might set up a planned community complete with shopping and recreational facilities. Wakefield Commons or Tenpenny Lane? I can see it now.

Look, what Bennett did was bad enough. Bigtree’s rhetoric is bad enough.

This is all meant to frighten and intimidate Pan, to wear him down over time, and to give second thoughts to other pols who might be thinking of siding with Pan publicly. There’s a bid difference between willing to vote on a measure, and being willing to take leadership on one.

But saying Bennett is a danger for more serious violence?, Or that “It’s miraculous there’s has been no serious violence against pro-immunization advocates”?? Or that we’re “lucky that this wasn’t something more deadly”???

All this commentary is what Orac would call Dunning-Kruger, as no one here is an expert on the sociology or psychology of “social issue violence”. That includes me, of course, but I know enough to argue that such statement are over the top. I noted above that I see similarities between the newer violent rhetoric of the AVs and the whole anrti-abortion apparatus, there are also some key differences. Most importantly, anti-vax is almost exclusively the province of fairly well-to-do, college-educated, middle-aged professionals. This demographic just isn’t prone to real material violence. Yeah, even among it’s nutters. And if you look at abortion doc assassins, they’re pretty much the polar opposite of yuppies.

It’s just very unlikely that the kind of people who actually set off bombs or shoot guns at people they hate are going to get drawn in to anti-vax. Sad to say, these days, they’ve got a whole host of crazy hate obsessions far more likely to get a hold of them first. Which is not to say it can’t happen. It only takes one. The class and culture barriers separating anti-vaxers from the potentially deadly whackos are strong, but not impermeable.

More importantly maybe, the tone of this thread as indicated by the examples above strikes me as unwise. It sounds a bit like “Wolf! Wolf!” hysterics*, not a good look to the general public. Worse it’s giving Bigtree and Bennett exactly what they want – you’re scared and they’re getting publicity, whipping up their base.

Remember, Del’s a tabloid TV guy. He does THEATER. Bennett’s doing the same thing. .OF COURSE, he knew about Asian/ Pacific Island caucus’ meeting, was waiting for Pan, and maybe even had a scout who knew Pan was parked ion the garage. This was a James O’Keefian stunt, the point being to generate a confrontation for the camera he just happened (hah!) to be carrying. Of course he put it right up on the Web. That was the point. And what I can say with great confidence is that these sort of theater folks don’t do ‘reality’. Not that this should surprise anyone familiar with Del. ;- ) They believe the Image is mightier than the sword, or even the gun. And so it is, if you do it right.

I looked for a non-sexist synonym, and couldn’t find an appropriate one… :- (

Sadmar, I would like to agree with you but I can’t. One of the reasons why fanatic killers are not to be found in “polite” society is that they have taken themselves out of it. Their obsessive behaviors, their appearance, their disdain for the motivations of their peers, eventually cause them to fall out to the social and economic fringes. Like the motivational speaker sketch from SNL, they find themselves “living in a van down by the river”. In society there is the phenomenon of the “downstart”, those who start out with advantages and privileges in life and can’t sustain their place.
Think of Ted Kaczynski. He was a talented mathematician from a relatively unremarkable middle class family, We can talk about this factor and that experience which shaped him or steered him but those may just as well be molders of a psychopathology that was already there, but in the end he was living in isolation in a cabin in the wilderness. There are other cases, so generalizing that because some or most behave a certain way doesn’t mean all do. These days it only takes one person with a cause and a gun to produce havoc, and there certainly enough “ones” in every level and sector of society who will think of all those poor (insert name of victim here) and try to break society’s apparent indifference.

ORD:
But you do agree with me. I not only said “it only takes one”, but I identified the larger structure of anti-vax rhetoric as the kind of thing that CAN support a ‘one’ at the top of a pyramid. That is very much a reason to condemn that rhetoric, despite the “I’m against actual violence” protestations of the mere rabble-rousers, e.g. Bigtree in this case. You don’t drop lit matches in the forest in summer. Period. The argument is only about how much kindling is on the floor and what it looks like. The only reasons the argument matter are: 1) because the over-reaction to Bennett’s provocation is giving the AVs exactly what they want, 2) as a matter of defense we need to understand where different kinds of dangers come from, what they look like and how they work.

Kaczynski isn’t really relevant because he had his own idiosyncratic crank agenda; rather than riding the rhetorical wave of a social cause like anti-abortion or AV. Many of the posts suggest Bennett is dangerous. Well, he certainly doesn’t fit your violent fanatic profile as he’s done the opposite of taking himself out of society. He ain’t hidin’.

Anyway, the main thing here is that whatever you think Bennett is up to, the OP and comments here shows that pro-vaxers are vulnerable to it, and increase the odds we’ll see more of it.

You’re being played.

Further simple internet research will show this clown presenting a screed about his dislike for Sears and Bigtree. He’s an attention whore and you’re playing right into his hands. I’m not enough of a conspiracy guy to suggest that this was a set-up…but that is possible. What an amazing coincidence that he happened to cross paths with Dr. Pan. Of all people, David, I can’t believe you’re falling for this.

“Of all people, David, I can’t believe you’re falling for this.”

On the other hand, I can totally believe that you, Jay, are falling for the conspiracy narrative.

For you, it would be easier to believe that Dr. Pan and his attacker got together one day, planned this out, and then executed it.

On the other hand, to a reasonable person, it would not be too difficult to see that the lunch Dr. Pan was going to was publicized, that he probably keeps a routine on where he parks around work, and that this guy simply waited at a place between the two points in hopes that Dr. Pan would show up. But being reasonable is asking too much of you, Jay.

Quoth Dr. Jay: “I’m not enough of a conspiracy guy to suggest that this was a set-up…but that is possible. What an amazing coincidence that he happened to cross paths with Dr. Pan.”

Replies Orac:”You just showed me that me that you are enough of a conspiracy guy.”🙄

Good one, Orac. No, I don’t think they got together and planned this…I think that the jerk who pushed Pan did this to increase the criticism of the Stop SB276 groups. No one has claimed ownership of the guy.

I think that the jerk who pushed Pan did this to increase the criticism of the Stop SB276 groups.

So was he also trying to increase criticism of the chemtrails crowd? Did you watch the videos?

Hey anti-vax quack pediatrician-who-shouldn’t-have-a-license-making-tons-of-money-writing-vaccine-exemptions Jay Gordon:

As usual you don’t give a link or citation when you make a statement (but then again, you left out 2 whole chapters of citations in your ludicrous “preventing autism” book, so why should this be any different?)
Since you won’t direct us to this video (and I’m actually too busy seeing patient and vaccinating them fully under the CDC schedule unlike you right now to waste my time trying to find it), let me say: so what if Bennett doesn’t like Sears or Bigtree? What does that change? Nothing. Anti-vaxxers all of you
If you’re so stinkin’ dumb as to buy into this conspiracy theory, well…then you’re even dumber than the Jay Gordon I know who was too dumb to test for HIV/AIDS in a child with failure to thrive born to a mom with HIV/AIDS. But then again, that’s you. Clearly there is no floor as to how dumb you can go.

Jay Gordon, I am tossing up at the moment trying to decide whether you are a deceitful confabulist or a complete idiot. Perhaps you can enlighten us as to which?

Senator Pan had a well publicised date at the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus event and was assaulted by a person who had previously run against Pan for office because he violently disagreed with Pan’s stance on vaccines. And you want to claim this is a set up?

Conspiracy theory aside*, maybe Jay Gordon could clarify what he meant by this Twitter comment (mentioned in Orac’s article): “Actually, even though I share at least some of your antipathy for hard core antivaxxers…this is not “the modern anti-vax movement””

Which hard-core antivaxers do you feel antipathy towards, Jay? It shouldn’t hard to come up with names, unless this is just another Gordon feint towards reasonableness.

*Jay is getting into Mike Adams territory with his false flag theory.

DB, nice try. Dr. Hickie, thank you for obtaining a copy of my book. I am curious, are you still practicing?

Best,

Jay

You clearly didn’t read the part of Dr. Hickle’s post about being busy seeing patients and vaccinating according to the CDC schedule.

David, I’m amazed that you [i]can[/i} read his whole post. It’s uglier than usual.

Gordon, I guess you don’t have the google-fu of a 1st grader to figure out where I’m practicing, which is why everything you think you know about vaccines comes from whale.to

I bought your book for $1.00, used, and threw it in the recycling bin the next day after realizing what a waste of wood pulp it was, given you’ve prevented precisely zero cases of autism. But then it never wa$ about medicine and caring for patient$, wa$ it Jay?

(sarcasm] But, but, but, DB… Jay’s false flag theory doesn’t involve a conspiracy. He’s things Bennett did it all on his own! “The jerk who pushed Pan did this to increase the criticism of the Stop SB276 groups.” See, Bennett’s really been FOR SB276 the whole time! That’s not anything like Mike Adams cuckoo. No, not at all! (/sarcasm]

@Jay – the California anti-vax groups were more than happy to adopt Austin Bennett when he was running against Dr. Pan….I have plenty of screenshots of his lunacy & attendant support by various members of the anti-vax brigade from Dr. Pan’s page.

He was certainly loved at one point….

As I’ve said before, I’m a bit worried for the A-list vaccine advocates, such as Dr. Richard Pan, Dr. Paul Offit, Dorit Reiss, Dr. Peter Hotez, and many others. I’m even a little bit worried for myself, although fortunately I’m just not big enough of a fish to attract that much attention

I am struck by this passage. How ironic that the one thing that unites antivaxxers and provaxxers is fear. Is it a case of it being self-inflicted in provaxxers’ case!

Actually, one thing that would help is some actual evidence for your fear. Now I asked for some after you did a wee bit of fearmongering… now provide some actual data to justify that fearmongering:

Greg: “Ok ok — I also blame Pan for fathering legislations that en masse will vaporize kids’ brains..”

Citation needed. Do tell us exactly how any MMR vaccine used in North America causes more harm than measles. Just provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that shows the vaccine causes more encephalitis than an actual measles infection (which is about one melted brain from encephalitis out of a thousand cases of actually getting measles).

” vaporize kids’ brains”
Wait, if that were so , they wouldn’t have perception, sensation, motor fx, autonomic fxs and would be DEAD..with a hollow skull
So the legislation would kill kids en masse. ASDs =death

He seems to be keen bringing on the vivid invalid images, but very short on actual evidence that vaccines cause more harm than the diseases.

They just continue to show when it comes to actual factual evidence they keep coming up with absolutely nothing.

vaporize kids’ brain

HEY!! that’s progress!

An antivaxxer made the leap I’ve been asking for a decade, defining an “etiology” for the “vaxxine injury”.

Here we have a testable claim 😀 😀

Congrat gergle! Of course, your claim doesn’t match reality but feel my heartfelt congrats: you made the leap from Duh! check his behavior!! Of course his brain is broken to a claim. Have this candy!

Alain

I wish I agreed with you that antivaxxers are losing and those of us on the side of science and humanity are winning by fighting the good fight. Unfortunately the current measles outbreak in the U.S. (and my own interactions with 3 RN’s and 4 elementary school teaches- granted anecdotal evidence) suggests antivaxxers are having an impact.

The frustrating part is that the impact seems to rarely include any of the specific arguments of the antivaxxers but instead instills a nebulous sense of fear and doubt regarding vaccines. The specific arguments are relatively easy to address. These nonspecific and/or visceral refusals are the ones that I find most difficult and to me, are the ones on the rise.

On the bright side these nonzealots are also generally silent publicly, as far as I can tell, and their affect suggests something like embarrassment and/or shame to me. I may very well be misreading them though and if anyone has a different take and/or suggestions on how to alleviate their misgivings I would appreciate the input. Most of my interactions end with them staring at the floor, discussing all other topics, but maintaining silence/refusal on vaccines.

Another quote touching on the fear element….
I imagine those RNs and teachers that the commenter described, if pushed, out of ‘material’ concerns giving their tacit support to Pan and his legislation, but then quaking in their shorts — or skirts!- Oh God, not my child! As I said many times, the skin in the game effect is invariably where your BS hits the wall.

With this said, resentment is the overriding emotion that I feel for Pan but sometimes I find myself also feeling pity. Let’s face it, Pan represents an heroic tale that just happens not to be true. The brave warrior fighting off the heathrens and saving kids and public health. Perhaps the saddest part of it is people, and including Pan, want to believe it.

I think this editorial from LAtimes is spot on. “The handful of organizations that have been lobbying against this bill immediately disavowed Bennett, saying he’s not one of them. Their statements painted Bennett as a “lone wolf,” possibly planted by the pharmaceutical industry hoping to make the anti-vaccination side look bad. As if it needed any help. Anti-vaxxers do the job quite well themselves by rejecting the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe for almost everyone in favor of crackpot theories about an evil government colluding with avaricious pharmaceutical companies to hurt Americans — for reasons never quite made clear.

That’s baloney. The truth is that the anti-vaccination crowd, including such prominent names as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., has been casually deploying violent language and imagery for years in its attacks on Pan. It’s disingenuous for these activists to spend years harassing Pan, painting him as an evil doctor who wants to hurt children, and then profess disbelief that someone acted on the messages. You can’t traffic in this type of loaded language and then claim you didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt.”

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-08-22/anti-vaxxer-attack-richard-pan?fbclid=IwAR1Gb7NPQemeWifcgly3WVaUOVAkYEj-ce1NfsRoynYrarV0mYQHUYjOyDE

Dorit, and the interesting thing here is the violent language and imagery goes both ways. Provaxxers in the past have called for antivaxxers to be imprisoned, hanged, treated as terrorists and their kids taken away from them. Consider that I get into a heated debate with a provaxxer and he pushes me, do I have good grounds to blame The Boston Herald’s editorial staff for inciting such violence? Yes, they suggested the hanging of antivaxxers.

https://thevaccinereaction.org/2017/05/refusal-to-vaccinate-should-be-a-hanging-offense/

Come on Greg! You made a statement, now you must prove that statement. This is the fourth time this has been presented to you:

Greg: “Ok ok — I also blame Pan for fathering legislations that en masse will vaporize kids’ brains..”

Citation needed. Do tell us exactly how any MMR vaccine used in North America causes more harm than measles. Just provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that shows the vaccine causes more encephalitis than an actual measles infection (which is about one melted brain from encephalitis out of a thousand cases of actually getting measles).

“vaporize” – the only thing that’s vaporized around here is Gregger’s evidence.

@ Dorit – “vaccines are safe for ALMOST everyone” You said it and that is the problem. There needs to be a system in place to determine who will not be okay with the vaccines and the vaccine schedule. Testing for mitochondrial defects, like Poling, etc. No one wants to be a “winner” in the vaccine damage lotto to only be gas lighted by your doctor and people like you, “Oh, it couldn’t be the vaccine.” Faith in pHARMa and faith in doctors is required. I stopped believing a long time ago.

There’s no good evidence vaccines are less safe for children with mitochondrial disease than not vaccinating, which is why the recommendation is to vaccinate and protect them. And to remind you, most of the damages your fellow believers blame on vaccines are not, in fact, vaccine related.

What’s the system in place to figure out which of the children the anti-vaccine movement works to leave unprotected will die from measles?

The starting point is that scientists have done some work towards identifying if there are people ore susceptible to the extraordinarily rare serious harms from vaccines. To my knowledge it’s ongoing. But until we have evidence that a specific child is in extra risk, the question is whether to protect children or not. Since the evidence is that serious harms are extremely rare generally, longterm harm almost unheard of, and that the risks of not vaccinating dramatically higher, the right answer is still to vaccinate children who do not have contraindications.

Because not vaccinating children has risks, and they’re much larger than the small risks of vaccines.

DW: Sometimes I wonder if anti-vaxxers would be happier to remove themselves from public schools- home school or use the internet option if available- they could set up play dates, scouts’ meetings and sports activities amongst themselves.

If only. My karate dojo is attempting to reach out to autistic kids and their parents, and because it’s suburban based, I’m kind of dreading any interactions with parents- thank god I’m not an instructor. There might possibly be anti-vaxxers who are not assholes, but I’m not very interested in developing that hypothesis.

Sadmar: Most importantly, anti-vax is almost exclusively the province of fairly well-to-do, college-educated, middle-aged professionals. This demographic just isn’t prone to real material violence.

Their kids are, though. Look at Kip Kinkel, Dylan Harris, Eric Klebold, Adam Lanza, and Dylan Rooff. They were all products of white, middle class households, and they all went off the rails spectacularly. And where do you suppose they learned that violence is an acceptable way to settle things?

Harris and Klebold’s families have gone to great lengths to pretend that there were no warning signs at all, and no violence in the homes at all.Despite being relatively well to-do, Lanza’s family was deeply dysfunctional, Rooff was middle-class, but he had family members in the Klan. The Santa Monica shooter was the child of a director, hardly raised in poverty.

As far as the adults of the anti-vaccine camp go: the men are overwhelmingly used to getting their way, which can be very dangerous. The women are overwhelmingly perfectionist Queen Bee types. The type who expected to be at least on the board of their chosen company, and are instead left stewing at home with kids that are a constant burden and frustration.

I’m honestly surprised. A smart person like you shouldn’t be buying the party line that suburbs are happy-clappy, Leave it to Beaver paradises teeming with educated professionals who enjoy art and intellectual discussions. Most suburbanites wouldn’t recognize art if it fell on ’em.

Hi PGP:

Fair enough point about well-off or middle class kids like Eliot Roger and Dylan Klebold* being violent. Since the OP was about this Bennett fella, I was thinking of adults, But it’s not just age, it’s the connections to social movements, like anti-abortion and antivax. The ‘pro-life’ murderers I studied were anything but kids. And no, I don’t think the burbs are happy-clappy. [Nor would I identify AV with the burbs generally, I grew up in a Levittownish burb and live in one now w/o ever running into an AV. Anywhere I’ve been it’s been the more upscale burbs…] My point is that the sort of yuppies who comprise the vast bulk of the AV cult rely on means other than direct physical violence to get their way – be that self-aggrandizement or settling scores.

Dr Hickie, I respect the fact you (and a few others here) use your real name rather than some dumb moniker like Unsafe Pork or something.

My best guess is that you run a fine pediatric practice filled with families who enjoy your style, your care and the information you give them. I also respect that. We do things very differently and with a shared passion to take the best care of our children and families. From that passion is born your deep contempt for how I practice. I know you doubt the safety of my ways. I understand and will begin taking your posts as an expression of your deep feelings for kids. I’ll adjust my thoughts about you and forever temper my responses to you.
I wish you well.

What is this? A Papal blessing? Look up the California Medical Practice Laws and self-reflect on how many you’ve violated in your anti-vax crusade. You use the word “practice” but I don’t think you understand what that means.

No, this is not a valid comparison. Our host addressed that article – and how it was misrepresented in anti-vaccine sources – here:
https://respectfulinsolence.com/2017/05/16/the-annals-of-im-not-antivaccine-part-24-violent-imagery-for-me-but-not-for-thee/

C’mon Dorit! — even diving into Orac’s buffoonery we get this…

I groaned and immediately really wished that the editors had chosen a different idiom to express their outrage. It should go without saying that I don’t approve of calls for violence and never make them, but it won’t. Any antivaxer who reads this will try to suck me into the maw of accusations being made by antivaxers now. I also didn’t think that the editors of the Boston Herald were actually calling for antivaxers to be hanged.

So is the bar for acceptable violent language and imagery, whether you’re calling for antivaxxers to be hanged or snuffed out (Hotez suggestion) being not serious? Dorit, you’re also a big girl, surely you can leave Orac alone and give your own take.

Orac was pointing out that the use of this idiom was clearly not a threat, and your leaders knew that – even if the rest of you did not necessarily. They cynically exploited the language.

Why would I write my own words when someone spelled it out so well and in detail?

I didn’t like that language, either. But if you’re comparing “this should be a hanging offense” to the type of demonizing your friends and colleagues direct towards Dr. Pan and Offit, you need to recalibrate your standards.

I didn’t like that language, either. But if you’re comparing “this should be a hanging offense” to the type of demonizing your friends and colleagues direct towards Dr. Pan and Offit, you need to recalibrate your standards.

Gimme a freaking break, Dorit. You know calling for antivaxxers to be hanged for questioning vaccines is far more egregious than anything Del, RFKjr, and Wakefield may have said. Even Hotez’ ‘snuffing out antivaxxers’ is equally as bad. At least with Del’s gun speech he was suggesting self-defense in case the government crosses the line and starts breaking down doors to vaccinate kids.

Yeah, you will stick with Orac’s garble because you and I know you have no defense.

At least with Del’s gun speech he was suggesting self-defense in case the government crosses the line and starts breaking down doors to vaccinate kids.

Uh-huh. Which government would that be?

Jay Gordon: “DB, nice try.”

I never had any expectation Jay would actually back up his vague platitude about having disdain for hard-core antivaxers with something solid – such as a declaration of which hard-core antivaxers he supposedly rejects. It follows the pattern of his sliding in here every once in a while with something that sounds almost reasonable, then scuttling away when asked for clarification (like Jay’s still-mysterious HPV vaccination policy).

Curiously, Jay’s website, while scrubbed of a few of his more embarrassing antivax blog posts (like the one in which he fawns over Andrew Wakefield, having attended a talk by the Great One which removed all of Jay’s doubts) does not mention his professed dislike of hard-core antivaxers. The vaccination-related articles continue to have a theme of promoting fear, uncertainty and doubt about vaccines. And Jay proudly maintains a link to his appearance on Larry King Live (along with David Kirby and Jenny McCarthy) which includes the following Gordon gems:

GORDON…the tetanus shot also has a full complement of mercury (note: this show aired in 2008, seven years after thimerosal was removed from vaccines). And, by the way, I don’t believe that — I don’t believe that we’ve proven that vaccines cause autism. I think they contribute to autism. I think that there are a lot of environment at least influences, many of which you know about more than anybody that I know. But vaccines do contribute to autism…The risks of the — of our vaccine schedule exceed the benefits. Nobody sitting here is anti-vaccine…We do not have respect for the instincts of our parents. We don’t have respect for the immune system.”

KING: The Amish don’t vaccinate?

GORDON: No. And they have a very low incidence of autism and…

KING: Jenny McCarthy’s mate — call him that — Jim Carrey, called in. He says, and I’ll like you gentlemen to comment, vaccines are more of a profit engine than a means of prevention. And that’s why there are so many vaccines. Is that true? Jay Gordon.

GORDON: I think that’s partially true. Vaccines are hugely profitable. Vaccines make the pharmaceutical industry billions of dollars. They make my business billions of dollars. I don’t believe that Dr. Taylor was influenced by the money the American Academy of Pediatrics receives. But I think that the American Academy of Pediatrics policies are influenced by this profit motive.

GORDON: (The MMR) can be given later. A vaccine that maybe of a great public health value, but is of no benefit to that particular child.

Great stuff, Jay! By continuing to link to that program on your website, you sure demonstrate your contempt for hard-core antivaxers.

@ Orac,

Yes, I’m back. I promise to limit my conversations to the first three disagreeing posters per thread (not comment), while the rest may prey on me like a pack of mangy coyotes.

Regarding violence:

Does anyone here subscribe to ‘Never say Never’? Or do you ALL believe that you are 100% correct that vaccines do not cause Autism? Despite the near-consensus that has been reached in science; that Autism is an immune-mediated, multifactorial genetic disorder & despite the multiple citations I have provided to you that support this … DO YOU STILL BELIEVE WITHOUT A DOUBT; that vaccines will NEVER be proven to be causative for autism?

Non-rhetorical. A yes or no answer will suffice,

Assuming that the pompous arrogance of the provaccine has prevailed & all replies were a resounding: YES! Vaccines will NEVER be shown to prove autism

I would also ask:

‘Is this because you believe that autism is ‘primarily genetic’? Yes? Okay, is this also because the epidemiology, quite consistently; has found NO evidence that autism is caused by vaccines? Yes? Great!

Can you then please point out the ‘genetic epidemiology studies’? The ones where only those with the suspect genes were allowed to participate in ‘vaccines as causative for autism’ studies?

Waiting patiently! And waiting … (crickets) …

Now, please tell me whom of you provaccine would still bet their life today; that vaccines will NEVER be shown as a cause of autism? Still unanimous?

Then it will be you; that I will accuse of ‘Domestic Violence By Proxy’ when the chips fall.

Much of the inconvenient research that pointed to autism as an immune-mediated, multifactorial genetic disorder; occurred prior to my son’s birth in 2003. It was never expanded upon; due to the provaccine agenda.

Today, between 0930 & 1030; my 6’3″, 220 lb, 15 year old, severely autistic son waged:

Two attacks by kick.
Two ‘full-body’ (El Toro) attacks
Fifteen attacks by fist-punch

On me; his middle-aged mom. That’s about average; one assault every three minutes.

So when (if); vaccines are found to cause Autism? Then by agenda promotion & obstruction of science (proxy); YOU ARE MY TRUE ABUSERS. And Pan got pushed (snort)?

A. The scientific consensus is that vaccines don’t cause autism.
You trying to spin theories you are, frankly, not qualified or trained to suggest doesn’t change that.

B. You clearly need help for you and your son. Fighting against vaccines that prevent diseases isn’t a way to get it. That’s not where your problems lie.

C. Maybe you should direct your energies towards arguing and advocating for better support for families like yours?

@ Dorit,

The scientific consensus is that vaccines don’t cause autism

Then show me the science where the epidemiology absolving vaccines of causation for autism, only included cohorts comprised of those with ‘genetic autism’.

Or are you saying autism is not genetic, either? Because if autism is genetic & none of the epidemiology studies established the genetic status of the participants prior to the study; then the science that consensus was based on; is all flawed.

You clearly need help for you and your son*

Yes, me & thousands of other families who are in the same boat; need help for our kids. Me, maybe only slightly more, due to the lethal component related to my son’s physical size. What I really want; is to stop the autism rates in their tracks; before countless others will be in my shoes.

Look. There will not be a cure. Autism is brain damage. There ARE however, interventions that have been proposed based on the immunological component of autism. These interventions are specifically geared towards reducing the negative behaviors but they cannot proceed because to the provaccine & their agenda; it is a huge threat to admit to the immune-mediated status of autism.

GTFO … of the way of the science. Let science help us with our kids. Let the science end the violence. If you refuse to admit that autism is immune mediated … as the SCIENCE clearly has shown; then you are complicit in the violence perpetrated on me.

What I really want; is to stop the autism rates in their tracks; before countless others will be in my shoes.

Well; there’s nothing like; ceaselessly blabbering on; a random blog; to “stop the rates.”

I will answer your question, but first, let me change the premise.

DO YOU STILL BELIEVE WITHOUT A DOUBT; that gravity will be falsified?

The answer to both your question, and to the modified one abovve, is “no”. In science, it is impossible to prove a negative.
A better question is, how likely is it that vaccines will turn out to be a cause of autism? And currently, the answer is “only slightly more likely than gravity being falsified.”
Because it’s impossible to prove a negative, it is necessary to play the odds. And the odds say that vaccines do not cause autism.

@ Julian,

Yes, I struggled with that double-negative thing when I was writing that. As long as you will never say never; then you are not complicit in the violence perpetrated on me by my autistic child. Thank you.

Note that I will never hold my autistic child liable for his abuse of me. He was neither born autistic, nor was he born abusive.

In science, it is impossible to prove a negative.

Not this trite platitude again. There is not a fried chicken in my laundry basket, ontic or epistemic.

Narad,

Not this trite platitude again.

Here we have an autistic answering another autistic. We tend to be very precise and despite the answer being a trite platitude, it is correct. I get it that you answered in layman’s term but there’s the scientific answer, the legal answer and the layman answer in which case, I get that Julian provided the scientific one.

Got a better answer or better reframing? Please tell us then.

Alain

“Can you then please point out the ‘genetic epidemiology studies’? The ones where only those with the suspect genes were allowed to participate in ‘vaccines as causative for autism’ studies?”

First you need to go through this list and tell us which particular genes to use: https://gene.sfari.org/database/human-gene/

@ Chris,

Include: 7p15.3; IL-6

Xq22.3; IL1RAPL2

2q11.2; IL1R2 g

Very important: 1q21.3; ILF2 & 22q11.1; IL17RA

Just a start.

Dr Hickie—

I am not anti-vaccine. I give my kids vaccines every single day and receive them myself when appropriate.

Not Papal, just collegial.

Be well, Chris.

Orac, your dictionary is broken.

As all the usual cliches go, discussing car safety and regulations doesn’t not make one “anti-car.”

Vaccines could be manufactured better and administered on a schedule determined by many factors rather than pretending that the CDC schedule should be inviolate.

I expected better of you than the brain dead “I’m not antivaccine, I’m a vaccine safety advocate” antivax trope.

If you vastly exaggerate the risks and harms due to cars and discourage people from using them until those imaginary “safety issues” are resolved to the point where cars are absolutely 100% safe, then, yes, you are “anti-car.”

As for the CDC-recommended schedule, the only ones who claim it’s “inviolate” are antivaxers. I mean, give me a break, The schedule is so “inviolate” that the ACIP meets three times a year to evaluate and tweak the schedule.

Jay Gordon, when have you explicitly disavowed your support for the anti-vaccine, anti-vaccine stupidity that you have repeatedly and vigorously supported as, for example, in this comment?

Any thoughts I ever had about wavering in my support of Andrew Wakefield have dissolved.

You have disgraced yourself.

Jay: “Responding to new facts and changing one’s opinion is a sign of intelligence.”

Which (if any) of the statements you made on Larry King do you now acknowledge were wrong? If you reject most or all of them now, then why is a link to that video still up on your website along with other antivax stuff?

Jay: “I give my kids vaccines every single day and receive them myself when appropriate.”

What does your current recommended pediatric vaccine schedule look like, assuming you have one and don’t just give shots ad lib or when parents press you for them? Do you get an annual flu shot to protect children when you make hospital rounds* (or to protect those visiting your office)?

*I’ve asked Jay this question before, but he has dodged it.

I looked.

The MMR does have some benefit for children.

I believe that the multidose fly and tetanus shots have a “full complement” of thimerosal.

There is no proof that vaccines cause autism.

And … thanks, the link comes down and will be replaced. Thanks Dangerous Bacon

Yes, some multidose vaccines still contain thimerosal. I have a proven serious thimerosal allergy. I have gotten influenza vaccines from multidose vials. I had not the least scintilla of an allergic reaction, unless you count a sore arm for about half a day.
This is anecdotal, I know, but if the dose was too small to trigger an allergic reaction in someone extremely sensitive to it, what are the odds that it’s a large enough dose to cause a massive restructuring of the brain?

Jay–this is all pure BS on your part UNLESS you take that same ability you command to get a TV station to broadcast your anti-vax views to all of Los Angeles (https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/07/19/1-confirmed-case-of-measles-in-ventura-county/) to tell people not to vaccinate their children during a measles outbreak–AND use that ability go on air to apologize publicly for what you have done as an anti-vaxxer and publicly promise to vaccinate on schedule from here on out (all vaccines).

Anything less is just you straddling a fence in a most gonad-less fashion.

Hi Bacon

I don’t have time now to go through that 11 year old broadcast. Send me something less-than-wise you said 11 years ago too. I’ll take time to look at it later

Jay,

Hire someone to science-proof your website. Seriously, if you’re still managing it yourself, you’re doing it wrong considering your paygrade.

Alain

@ Chris,

The second link gave me a ‘bad gateway’ error message but the first is about a syndrome that results in ‘autistic-like’ behaviors. There are many of those; Fragile X, Rett, Angelman, Mowat-Wilson, etc …

I am concerned with ‘classic’ Regressive Autism that presents without dysmorphic features. The Autism that ‘isn’t’ until after the age of 18-24 months. not some chromosomal or genetic abnormality.

You want so badly to believe that 1 out of every 45 children are now suffering some syndrome they were born with. Some genetic epidemic that renders it’s victims incapable of living their life. That is so counterituitive.

If autism is only genetic, then show me the big-data epidemiology studies where the cohorts are ONLY comprised of those with genetic autism. None of those studies have done that & you know it,

The link worked fine for me. I find the “bad gateway” messages are temporary.

Now please go tell the Simons Foundation what they need to research, not us.

I notice that none of our anti-vax critics has any comments on Jain et al ( JAMA, April 21, 2015) wherein 95 K children- 2000 of them with older siblings with ASDs- had no difference in rates of ASDs if vaccinated or NOT ( about 1%) although the rate of autism was 7% if an older sibling had ASD There was a slightly lower rate of vaccination in younger children if the elder had ASD..

Christine,

Have you took notice that over several posts & comments thread, you are the only one talking about belief.

No one except the antivaxxer talk about belief. We (TINW) don’t talk about belief unless it’s to point out something like I do with all your posts.

Ever asked yourself why we don’t talk about belief, our belief? I know the answer to that question but I’ll encourage you to find it out yourself and you have a metric sh!t-ton of clues in the past few thread to begin with.

Alain

Del Bigtree is playing with fire, whether he knows it or not, whether he acknowledges it or not.

He knows it, but denies it. Bigtree on 8/22/19 put up a video on Highwire where he says at the start: “I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not condone any type of violence, any type of physical energy towards anybody”. Yeah, right, Del. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=458946188292927

Jay, it’s good that you intend to remove the Larry King show link (hopefully you’ll take a long look at others on your website that deserve the same fate). However:

Jay: “I believe that the multidose fly (sic) and tetanus shots have a “full complement” of thimerosal.”

Surely you know that it’s uncommon for multi-dose flu shots to be offered in this country. And no tetanus vaccine contains “a full complement of thimerosal”. One Td vaccine contains a trace amount from the manufacturing process.

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/dtap-tdap-td/hcp/about-vaccine.html

Jay: “There is no proof that vaccines cause autism.”

That’s also what you said on Larry King, along with claiming that “vaccines do contribute to autism…The risks of the — of our vaccine schedule exceed the benefits.”

Do you still believe that? And how about citing your vaccine schedule and whether you get flu shots to protect vulnerable patients to whom you come in contact, as asked previously?

I suspect the crickets will soon start chirping.

@ Dorit Reiss:

Hi. I just found ( @ AoA, today and nowhere else) that Judge Hartman has reached a decision about granting an injunction to the new vaccine law in NY: she didn’t. The source given is attorney Michael Sussman, so I imagine he should know.

Perhaps Ms. White is also a bit confused by the terminology. She has a tendency to not read the links she gives.

Christine: Find some care for your son and TAKE A VACATION BY YOURSELF. Please. The more you talk about him and you, it doesn’t sound like parent and child, it sounds like warden and prisoner. Or worse, what Alex Spourdalakis’s mom might have written about him before she killed him. At the very least, get some therapy in the real world. It might help with that self-hate you’ve got going on.

Also, please stop abusing sciencey terms. It doesn’t make you sound smarter, it makes you sound obnoxious. You don’t understand science at all, and I wish you’d stop pretending that you do, it’s painful. Nurse? Hah. Med-tech, maybe.

A minor query; why is the successor of VB277 numbered 276?
Common sense tells me that the number of the later proposal should be greater than the former.

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