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Dr. Joseph Mercola: A quack tycoon funding antivaccine causes

Dr. Joseph Mercola has built a massive alternative health empire. Unfortunately, he’s now using his wealth to fund antivaccine propaganda.

One of the most frequent ad hominem attacks leveled against those of us who try to educate the public about medical quackery, antivaccine pseudoscience, and the infiltration of pseudoscience and quackery into medicine in the form of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” is that we’re shills for big pharma. It’s such a common attack that I even coined a phrase to describe it. (Well, I think I coined the phrase; I could be wrong.) It’s known as the “pharma shill gambit“. The idea is as obvious as it is trite: to cast doubt on what defenders of science say about medical quackery by portraying them as in the pocket of big pharma. My frequent retort goes along the lines of, “Dammit, where is all filthy lucre I’m supposed to be getting doing this? Where is my mansion? Where is my Maserati?” Of course, I have none of these things. Don’t get me wrong. As an academic surgeon I make considerably more than the average person, but I’m just well off, not wealthy, and I don’t even make that much compared to the average surgeon in private practice with my level of experience. (Hell, I don’t even make as much as the radiologists at my hospital.) The point is, no one gets wealthy opposing pseudoscience. They do, however, become wealthy selling pseudoscience, as a recent Washington Post story about Dr. Joseph Mercola published right before the Christmas holiday demonstrates.

I’ve always viewed the pharma shill gambit as projection that says a lot more about the person using it as an attack than it says about the target. After all, the assumption behind the pharma shill gambit is that no one would defend science-based medicine without a financial interest, rather than because of a deeply held belief that SBM is best and a desire to protect patients from the harms of quackery and medicine from the corruption of infiltrating pseudoscience. Perhaps the shill gambit is more properly turned back on antivaxxers, as you will see, or perhaps particularly when it comes to antivaxxers.

The Washington Post digs into alternative health tycoon Dr. Joseph Mercola’s history and activities

Let’s first look at the dramatis personae of this particular story. They are two people whom I’ve written about many times over the last 15 years, both here and at my not-so-secret other blog. First, there’s Joseph Mercola, DO, a doctor who over the last 20 years or so has built an online alternative health empire. (He’s even appeared on The Dr. Oz Show.) Then there’s Barbara Loe Fisher, whom I like to refer to as the grande dame of the modern antivaccine movement, given that she runs the oldest antivaccine group in existence, the Orwellian-named National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), which really should be called the National Vaccine Misinformation Center. In the early 1980s she became convinced that the DPT (diptheria-whole cell pertussis-tetanus vaccine) had caused neurologic injury to her child. Subsequent evidence has shown no link between DPT and neurologic injury, but at the time there were several case reports and a sensationalistic news report, DPT: Vaccine Roulette, which first aired on a local NBC affiliate in Washington DC in 1982, and then ultimately nationally on The Today Show. Three years later, Barbara Loe Fisher and Harris Coulter published a book, DPT: A Shot in the Dark. It was the fear caused by these reports and efforts that led to a tsunami of lawsuits against the manufacturer of the MMR that threatened the vaccine supply and led Congress to pass the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which established the Vaccine Court.

Now, on to the story by Lena Sun and Neena Satija, “A major funder of the anti-vaccine movement has made millions selling natural health products“:

The nation’s oldest anti-vaccine advocacy group often emphasizes that it is supported primarily by small donations and concerned parents, describing its founder as the leader of a “national, grass roots movement.”

But over the past decade a single donor has contributed more than $2.9 million to the National Vaccine Information Center, accounting for about 40 percent of the organization’s funding, according to the most recent available tax records. That donor, osteopathic physician Joseph Mercola, has amassed a fortune selling natural health products, court records show, including vitamin supplements, some of which he claims are alternatives to vaccines.

In recent years, the center has been at the forefront of a movement that has led some parents to forgo or delay immunizing their children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles. Health officials say falling vaccination rates contributed to the infectious virus sickening more than 1,200 people in the United States this year, the largest number in more than 25 years. Measles outbreaks are surging worldwide, including in Samoa — where nearly 80 people have died since mid-October, the great majority of them young children and infants.

How rich has Mercola become selling “natural health” products? Very wealthy, and the NVIC is not the only antivaccine group to which he contributes:

Mercola, whose claims about other products have drawn warnings from regulators, has also given at least $4 million to several groups that echo the anti-vaccine message. His net worth, derived largely from his network of private companies, has grown to “in excess of $100 million,” he said in a 2017 affidavit.

Yes, you read that right. Mercola’s net worth is over $100 million! I must admit that even I didn’t think Mercola was that loaded! When last I wrote about his online health empire in 2012 in response to a previous news story about his links to the antivaccine movement, I drily noted that Mercola is “rich, as in filthy rich, as in ‘rolling in the dough rich, as in ‘raking it in hand over fist rich,’ adding that after all, “he had a spare $1 million lying around to give away to the NVIC and various other quackery-promoting groups.” (Remember, this was 2012. He’s given a lot more to the NVIC and antivaccine groups since then.)

I’ve also mentioned the utter quackery that Mercola regularly publishes on his site, and so does this story:

Last month, Mercola wrote on his website that measles “continues to be a Trojan Horse for increasing vaccine mandates.” A page that was recently removed said that “vitamin C supplementation is a viable option for measles prevention.” Elsewhere on the site, a page about vitamin D includes the headline, “Avoid Flu Shots With the One Vitamin that Will Stop Flu in Its Tracks.”

I do like Mercola’s weaselly pseudo-denial:

He declined to be interviewed and did not respond to questions about how much profit his vitamin D and C supplements generate relative to the rest of his wide-ranging merchandise, which includes organic cotton underwear and pet food. Supplements containing those vitamins are among Mercola’s “top products,” his website says.

In a statement, his media team said the claims on Mercola’s website relate to vitamin D and vitamin C generally and “do not mention Dr. Mercola’s products whatsoever.”

Sure, but there are convenient links to Mercola’s online store all over his website. When looking at someone like Joe Mercola, always consider the profit motive. Much of his site is in reality nothing more than advertisements for his products cleverly disguised through plausible deniability, in the form of no direct mention of his products, as neutral information on “natural health”.

Also, in the interests of full disclosure, a certain SBM blogger was interviewed for this story, and he pointed out how Mercola’s grift works:

“He mixes the boring, sensible health advice with pseudoscientific advice in such a way that it’s hard for someone without a medical background to figure out which is which,” said David Gorski, an oncologist and surgeon at Wayne State University who is widely regarded as a leading expert on the anti-vaccine movement.

I don’t know if I’m “widely regarded” as an “expert” on the antivaccine movement, but I do have 15 years of experience countering it, more if you count my time before I started my personal blog. I guess that counts.

The validity of my “expertise” notwithstanding, the above is the same sort of antivaccine misinformation that Mercola has been peddling ever since I first became aware of him, and certainly long before that. Indeed, Mark Crislip was deconstructing Mercola’s antivaccine misinformation ten years ago, during the H1N1 pandemic. Not long after, Joe Albietz took on his fear mongering about Gardasil and squalene adjuvants. Around the same time, I first noted that Joe Mercola had teamed up with Barbara Loe Fisher and the NVIC to declare November 1-6, 2010 “Vaccine Awareness Week,” which really should have been called “Vaccine Fear Mongering Week”. They’ve done the same thing almost every year since. Back then, they were also using Mercola’s money to buy antivaccine ads to be run on by CBS on the Times Square JumboTron and to include antivaccine “PSAs” on the in-flight entertainment system for Delta Airlines.

Of course, Mercola’s quackery goes far beyond antivaccine quackery to include thermography for breast cancer, misinformation about screening colonoscopy for colorectal cancer, homeopathy, and, most ridiculous of all, Tullio Simoncini’s cancer quackery. Simoncini, some might recall, claims that all cancer is really a fungus because it’s “always white” and treated cancer by injecting it with baking soda. That still remains among the most ridiculous “alternative cancer cures” I’ve ever seen in the 20+ years I’ve been paying attention to such things, and I’ve only touched the surface of the full breadth and depth of the pseudoscience Mercola has been promoting for the last 20+ years.

The rise of a quack tycoon

The story of how Mercola rose from simple primary care DO to alternative health tycoon is a familiar one. It was told in 2012 Bryan Smith for Chicago Magazine entitled “Dr. Mercola: Visionary or Quack?“, which noted:

In 1997, as a way to share what he had found that would be “useful and helpful,” he started Mercola.com. It proved a hit. But because it didn’t charge for content or accept ads, it was also a money drain. In the first three years, Mercola estimates that he spent half a million dollars on the site. To keep it afloat, he says, “I had three options: to get paid subscribers; to sell information, which I didn’t want to do; or to sell products, which is what I wound up doing. . . . The purpose for selling items is to have a revenue stream so we can pay our staff to provide information to educate the public and make a difference and fund [our] initiatives.”

The success of the site gave a significant boost to his practice, Mercola says: “I had people flying in from all over the world. It always puzzled me: when people came in, I wouldn’t tell them anything different than I had written on the site. They could have just as easily looked it up for free. But they had to hear it from me.” (Mercola stopped practicing medicine six years ago to focus on the website.)

It’s actually an interesting issue. I’m sure that the website probably was costing Mercola a lot of money. Bandwidth charges were higher back then. Of course, this is a very seductive trap. If you start selling products to support the website, then it’s very easy for the website to turn into a marketing arm whose purpose is selling product. The two functions feed off of each other, and that’s exactly what appears to have happened over the next few years. In the process, Mercola became incredibly wealthy.

In Satija and Sun’s reporting:

By the mid-2000s, Mercola’s focus was shifting to selling products. “I didn’t want to advertise products and businesses that I didn’t trust or believe in — so I formulated, tested, and sold my own brand of products to support the website,” he said in an email.

Susan Woller, then Mercola’s director of business development, described him in an interview as an “excellent marketer” and “voracious learner” who developed ideas on everything from new protein bars to safer cookware. She said his profit margin increased dramatically as he shifted to marketing products under his own brand. She declined to say by how much.

“He is doing all the research and delivering information to his readers,” Woller said. “When you do that and you marry that with a product that you’ve private-labeled, and people respond to that, you can’t help but make some money off it.”

I love how Mercola deludes himself that the purpose of selling products was to support the website. That might have been true initially, but it’s very clear from his history that selling products soon became the main purpose of the website. After all, your net worth won’t grow to $100 million if you’re just selling enough products to support the cost of bandwidth, maintaining a website, and paying writers for any content that you don’t write yourself. Your net worth can only grow to $100 million over two decades if you’re selling a lot of items at a generous markup, and even then most successful businesses aren’t nearly that profitable. As Satija and Sun report, by the time Mercola stopped seeing patients for good in 2009, his businesses were generating $3 million a month.

Meanwhile, Mercola ran afoul of the FDA and FTC, receiving several letters, first in 2005 and 2006 pointing out that his claims for his supplements were medical claims, leading Mercola to place a quack Miranda warning on his website: “These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Then:

In 2011, Mercola received another warning from the FDA, this time regarding his claims about thermography, a procedure in which an infrared camera detects patterns of heat and blood flow in the body. The agency wrote that he inaccurately claimed thermography was more sensitive than mammography in detecting diseases such as breast cancer and threatened to impose fines or take other action if those statements were not rescinded.

And:

In 2016, in response to a complaint from the Federal Trade Commission, Mercola refunded nearly $2.6 million to more than 1,300 people who bought tanning beds that he claimed could reduce the risk of skin cancer. The FTC said the claims constituted a “deceptive act,” pointing out that the product could actually increase the risk of skin cancer.

Truly, the grift is strong in this one.

The pivot

A key question examined in this article is: Why? Why would a natural health tycoon like Joe Mercola (and I do think “tycoon” is a good description of him) see advantage in contributing to antivaccine groups like the NVIC?

Satija and Sun correctly note the relationship between the antivaccine and “natural health” movements and the unraveling of what was the key antivaccine claim that vaccines cause autism in the wake of Brian Deer’s reporting revealing Wakefield’s scientific fraud, Wakefield’s being “struck off” by the UK General Medical Council (losing his license to practice, in US parlance), and his subsequent firing from his job as medical director of Thoughtful House in Austin, TX. As a result of this:

The anti-vaccine movement began pivoting to a broader message blaming vaccines for numerous illnesses. That aligned with growing interest in alternative medicine and increasing skepticism about the government’s role in parental decision-making.

The resurgent movement found a handful of wealthy patrons, including hedge fund manager and philanthropist Bernard Selz and his wife, Lisa. The Selzes gave $200,000 to a legal fund for Wakefield in 2012, and they went on to give more than $3 million to anti-vaccine groups, including one that held forums this year in Brooklyn, the epicenter of the measles outbreak, The Post previously reported.

The $2.98 million Mercola has given to Fisher’s group since 2009 came from the Natural Health Research Foundation, a private foundation that is entirely funded by his business and that he leads as president, tax records show.

Over the same time period, as I’ve noted, the antivaccine movement itself pivoted from a message that vaccines were the key cause of autism, whether it was the MMR or the mercury in thimerosal, a preservative used in multidose vials of several childhood vaccines until the CDC recommended its removal in 1999, a removal that was completed by 2002. They had to. Wakefield had been revealed as a fraud, and it was very clear that mercury in vaccines as a cause of autism had become a failed hypothesis in the wake of several studies. It was thus advantageous for antivaxxers to more vocally blame vaccines for more diseases and conditions, ones that they had always considered to be due to vaccines anyway but that had been far less emphasized than autism, while at the same time broadening its claims for autism causation. This is a process that began before Wakefield’s downfall between 2010-2011. Here’s an example.

Back in 2007, Generation Rescue’s website read:

Generation Rescue believes that childhood neurological disorders such as autism, Asperger’s, ADHD/ADD, speech delay, sensory integration disorder, and many other developmental delays are all misdiagnoses for mercury poisoning.

When you know cause, you can focus on cure. Thousands of parents are curing their children by removing the mercury from their children’s bodies. We want you, the parent, to know the truth.

Generation Rescue is, of course, the antivaccine group founded by J.B. Handley and his wife, the group for which Jenny McCarthy served as the public face for many years beginning around this time. Then, sometime in April or May 2007, the message changed:

We believe these neurological disorders (“NDs”) are environmental illnesses caused by an overload of heavy metals, live viruses, and bacteria. Proper treatment of our children, known as “biomedical intervention”, is leading to recovery for thousands.

The cause of this epidemic of NDs is extremely controversial. We believe the primary causes include the tripling of vaccines given to children in the last 15 years (mercury, aluminum and live viruses); maternal toxic load and prenatal vaccines; heavy metals like mercury in our air, water, and food; and the overuse of antibiotics.

Of note, by this summer Generation Rescue had totally rebranded itself in the service of autism grift. Basically, Generation Rescue has deemphasized its antivaccine stance in favor of a more general “natural approach” to treating autism with quackery that’s commonly known as “autism biomed.” There’s way more money to be made there anyway, just as Joe Mercola sees how much money there is to be made by appealing to antivaxxers and selling them “natural” health and “natural” cures.

In the end, the relationship between quacks like Joe Mercola and the antivaccine movement is a symbiotic relationship. Both parties benefit. Antivaxxers benefit from the infusion of cash and the influence they gain among advocates of “natural health”. Similarly, woo tycoons like Mercola benefit from selling their wares to antivaxxers who think that they can “recover” their children with autism, whom they view as having been “stolen” from them by vaccines.

As for the claim that those of us who combat antivaccine pseudoscience are “pharma shills,” let’s just say that, given what I’ve learned about Joe Mercola, thanks to Lena Sun and Neena Satija, I conclude the real shills are those promoting antivaccine misinformation, like Barbara Loe Fisher.

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]

486 replies on “Dr. Joseph Mercola: A quack tycoon funding antivaccine causes”

“One of the most frequent ad hominem attacks leveled against those of us who try to educate the public about medical quackery, antivaccine pseudoscience, and the infiltration of pseudoscience and quackery into medicine in the form of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” is that we’re shills for big pharma.”

As if I’d cry.

One of the most frequent ad hominem attacks leveled against those of us who try to get away from a specific kind of medical abuse is that we’re anti-science and reject modern medicine. (Yes, Panacea, I’m talking about you.)

Let’s not feed the troll: I won’t comment on this post any more. (So please react elsewhere if you have any urge to express your outrage at my insolence.)

@ F68.10 – If you are not prepared to defend your post then it really isn’t worth considering; you are just pissing in the wind.

@marquisdemo

There are other places where that can be done. Previous post, for instance.

Dont play the retard: I try to avoid polluting this post. So stop it.

Feel free to piss in the wind with me… elsewhere.

@ Jazzlet

“Using a mental health status – as in ‘retard’ – as an insult is just plain nasty.”

Exactly. Have a problem with it?

@ Moderator, whoever it is

Please ban me for some time: I have to cool down and temptation to reply is too high: I was merely “callous” beforehand. I’m now going brutal and vicious. With some time, I can get back to being merely “callous”.

@ Panacea

I’ve got a gigabyte of evidence (order of magnitude, quite a number of scans, on USB keys that I have dispatched to a few places). We’ll parse that together when you want, scientist…

Please figure out where the goalposts are, though, before provoking me next time: Fix them tight in the ground before feeling tempted to move them around! Talking about this matter to health professionals is the same kind of exercise as talking about evolution with creationnists.

You know for someone who said he wasn’t going to pollute the thread, you sure are spending a lot of time doing just that. I really must have struck a nerve the other day.

I haven’t shifted any goal posts. Over the past 10 or 12 years where I’ve been regularly or irregularly commenting here, my views and positions on health care science have been completely consistent: either a claim has evidence to back it up, or it doesn’t. People who encourage the public to avoid evidence based medicine do the public a disservice, and are dangerous.

I’m not sure what goal post you think I’ve shifted.

But hey, if you have evidence, I’m happy to look at it. It will need to be in English though (IIRC you are French, but I beg your pardon if I misremembered that), as sadly I am not fluent in any other language.

@ Panacea

“You know for someone who said he wasn’t going to pollute the thread, you sure are spending a lot of time doing just that. I really must have struck a nerve the other day.”

You have no “fucking clue”… how deep the hatred goes. Or rather the disgust than the hatred: disgust is much stronger and atavic than mere hate.

“I haven’t shifted any goal posts. Over the past 10 or 12 years where I’ve been regularly or irregularly commenting here, my views and positions on health care science have been completely consistent: either a claim has evidence to back it up, or it doesn’t.”

That’s precisely my point: there are no goalposts. Evidence without goalposts is a bit useless.

As long as you fix the goalposts in the ground, I’ll be more than happy. I’ll even join the fun helping you to move them around afterwards…

“People who encourage the public to avoid evidence based medicine do the public a disservice, and are dangerous.”

Get me straight: I am not doing that.

I merely wish to burn medical professionals at the stake. Whether they endorse science, woo, modern medecine, medieval medecine, astrology or whatever is completely beside the point.

And if you’re serious about your claim, help Munchausen by proxy “victims” find a sensible way back into healthcare (without the threat of being accused of unearthing corpses at night, for instance…). Which starts by admitting that their medical records are full of shit, which is precisely what I’ve been fretting about for quite some time.

“I’m not sure what goal post you think I’ve shifted.”

You haven’t provided any. You also haven’t acknowledged yet that the burden of proof is on medical professionals themselves rather than on Munchausen by proxy “victims”. For instance, we shouldn’t be wrestling with medical authorities in such an unfair game for access to every darn paper scrub, nor engineering deceitful tactics to have the archives of hospitals searched at night like we were vilains in a James Bond movie.

“But hey, if you have evidence, I’m happy to look at it. It will need to be in English though (IIRC you are French, but I beg your pardon if I misremembered that), as sadly I am not fluent in any other language.”

You’d better educate yourself about where the goalposts are: it will be a hairy enterprise in and of itself. That’s before any evidence need be provided.

This being said, thank you, Panacea, for offering to engage with evidence. First time in my long life such an offer has been made by a medical professional. Which says a lot about the medical world in and of itself.

For translations, you’ll have to tell me if I have to hire a translator with legal authority, or if I can give you approximate translations I make myself. This last statement is part of what I call “fixing the goalposts”.

@ F68.10

If you mean disgust at me personally, then you will probably be disappointed to hear I am indifferent to it. I do see you as discouraging people from using evidence based medicine, which is why I have been criticizing you in the first place. Are you actually now claiming you don’t do that?

You made a comment on how I shift the goal posts. Now you’re saying there are not goal posts. Which is it? My message is always consistent, but yours does not seem to be. You’re dancing here, which means you don’t have a convincing argument.

You said, “I hardly believe that vaccines are the miracle panacea some present them to be.” That’s the kind of thing the antivaxxer who wants to appear provax says. You later said, “My goal is not pushing for vaccination: I do not care if people die.” You then claimed, in response to something I wrote:

Panacea: “People who encourage the public to avoid evidence based medicine do the public a disservice, and are dangerous.”

F68.10: Get me straight: I am not doing that.

The hell you aren’t! When you call proven medicine BULLSHIT (again, your words) you are attempting to convince the reader vaccination is not worth doing. You were happy to be called “pro-disease” (again, your own words).

You can criticize health care professionals for a specific ethical lapse if you will. Most don’t behave poorly but if you have someone specific in mind, with a reasonable argument, I’m likely to join in and pile on. But if all you want to do is make broad generalizatoins and tie it to a disbelief in science while claiming to promote science, well, I’m just going to continue to call BULLSHIT on that, and then tell you why.

If you want to send me a copy in French along with your reasonable translation, I’ll read it. I work in academia, and am friends with faculty who either teach French or are fluent in French, so I can check a translation that doesn’t make any sense to me.

@ Panacea

“If you mean disgust at me personally, then you will probably be disappointed to hear I am indifferent to it.”

No. I meant that towards medicine in general. I indulge in psychogenic vomiting whenever I go near something that looks like a pharmacy or stuff like that.

“I do see you as discouraging people from using evidence based medicine, which is why I have been criticizing you in the first place. Are you actually now claiming you don’t do that?”

Precisely. I’m not doing that. However, I do criticize heavily medicine whenever I see something to criticize, and I’m not going to apologize for that in any way. I welcome criticism back. (But I do feel offended that people who go through the experience I have should submit in any way to this form of blackmail: they have every psychological reason – and usually no scientific education – to fully reject science when looking at their records. And this is clearly not acceptable in any way).

“You made a comment on how I shift the goal posts. Now you’re saying there are not goal posts. Which is it?”

That there are no goal posts. And even when you will have them fixed in the ground, they’ll be wobbling in the air. Double-check the exact conversation, and you’ll see that your first interpretation is a psychological projection.

“My message is always consistent, but yours does not seem to be. You’re dancing here, which means you don’t have a convincing argument.”

Oh yes, I’m dancing. And that doesn’t mean I do not have a convincing argument. And what, precisely, is a convincing argument for this kind of claim? I’m very curious! Is it the kind of claim where no evidence can ever be provided because the medical world simply disallows that to happen in the first place?

And I still have evidence to gather, and am still hunting for it. I’d need cooperation too to gather even more evidence. Remember: I argue that the burden of proof in these kind of allegations is on the medical world, not on the walking corpse that makes them. I stand by that claim, even if I know you’ll reject it and will have to do with that kind of hypocrisy anyway.

“You said, “I hardly believe that vaccines are the miracle panacea some present them to be.” That’s the kind of thing the antivaxxer who wants to appear provax says.”

We do not have the same appreciation of the role of medicine in society. At all. Don’t confuse teleological claims with fact-based claims which are supposed to be of a stronger nature. And even then, I’m not the one who has any responsibility in that game between provax and antivax: I’m merely the stupid patient, and you are the scientist, remember? That kind of distinction has been drilled so deep into me over the years, that I’d be offended if you’d now give me any epistemological political power that has been denied to me over the years in a rather insulting way.

“You later said, “My goal is not pushing for vaccination: I do not care if people die.””

Oh yes! Why should I care about vaccination? Tell me! Because people die? Big deal. For now, this is not my business. When I’m out of that mess, I’ll think it over, provided I can ever get positive feelings for humanity now that all that has happened…

“The hell you aren’t! When you call proven medicine BULLSHIT (again, your words) you are attempting to convince the reader vaccination is not worth doing.”

I do claim that what I’ve experienced as so-called proven medicine is indeed bullshit to some extent (and has been disproved by the pro-science side as bullshit in France. Want to dive into “controversies” pertaining to French healthcare? I can help…). I also claim that the kind of experience I had highlights blind spots in medical attitudes that go well beyond what is scientifically proven. I stand by that.

“You were happy to be called “pro-disease” (again, your own words).”

Indeed: I’m happy to get sick as fast as I can to die and get away from medical care once and for all. This is me or them. No prisoners.

“You can criticize health care professionals for a specific ethical lapse if you will.”

Hmmhh… As if I hadn’t been doing that for quite some time.

“Most don’t behave poorly but if you have someone specific in mind, with a reasonable argument, I’m likely to join in and pile on.”

Look. At one point, even a smile by a nurse becomes a very deep insult. You have no idea the relationship this kind of experience develops towards healthcare.

But here’s one (among quite a few) I have a problem with: Mother = Kid’s MD. How’s that for ethics?

“But if all you want to do is make broad generalizatoins and tie it to a disbelief in science while claiming to promote science, well, I’m just going to continue to call BULLSHIT on that, and then tell you why.”

In the end, I do not care much about your opinion. But let me make one thing extremely clear: Medicine and Science are two different things. Medicine is a practice. Science is a process towards objective knowledge. They are two different worlds, theoretically, though in practice, they are mingled, and this perverts deeply the objectivity of science towards medical care. I argue that one needs a separation of Science and Medicine the same way you have a separation of Church/Philosophy and State. And I’m fine arguing that.

You can’t do just anything and call it Science because it simply is Medicine. No way.

“If you want to send me a copy in French along with your reasonable translation, I’ll read it. I work in academia, and am friends with faculty who either teach French or are fluent in French, so I can check a translation that doesn’t make any sense to me.”

I’ve been putting down 15 pages in English of densely packed facts line by line to make the records easier to parse. It’s far from over yet. I’ll finish that and I’ll try giving it to you.

There still are conditions to be negotiated. Because this kind of business is not a game: I can’t afford to make such communication of records blow up my family more than it already is just for the pleasure of merely making a “scientific point”. But if I have to, I will.

Am I being extremely clear?

@ Narad

“Hoo, boy.”

Yeah, this is going too far. This is not “tone policing”. It’s “tone warfare”. Things really need to cool down…

@ Panacea

By the way, I’ve been thinking about it: Yeah, I’ve really been “dancing”!

I want to be your sledgehammer!

“Hoo, boy.”

Yeah, this is going too far. This is not “tone policing”. It’s “tone warfare”. Things really need to cool down…

What I was reacting to was your apparently not knowing whose blog this is.

@ Narad

“What I was reacting to was your apparently not knowing whose blog this is.”

Sometimes he’s away. And I in no way need to know who is handling the blog on a specific day anyway. “Moderator” is precise enough and applies even when Orac has better things to do than monitoring comments.

I do not see how that qualification could be perceived as wrong.

And I in no way need to know who is handling the blog on a specific day anyway.

There does not exist a Lazy Susan filled with staffers. Aside from the brief stint when Alain filled in, it’s just Orac.

@ Narad

“Aside from the brief stint when Alain filled in, it’s just Orac.”

That’s precisely what I meant. Though I had no “evidence” that there wasn’t a third person doing that sometimes.

Thank you for your dedication in educating me.

Pollute? You are right, your injured pride at being accused of science denialism has nothing whatsoever to do with this topic and should not be here. Post it in those other places.

@marquisdemo

My injured peu de? Or my narrowing down of my accusations? My “exceptional” “claims” that require “exceptional” “evidence”?

If you agree with me, as you claim you do, then act on it: do not feed the troll and reply elsewhere, as already mentionned, punk.

I also once had an interesting relationship with autocorrect. Came back a bit full circle recently when I got all overhwelmed and excited about some anarchist Discord stuff; smartphones make it easy to press a lot of stuff.

You piece of shit cowards spread your fucking lies and don’t let folks like me comment on them. Your days are numbered as more and more folks are waking up to yout lies. YOU ARE DEMONIC.

Considering I not only I see your senseless posts, but also your child-hating, disease-spreading colleages, like Nathalie White, Greg, BraveFreedom and several others flooding this blog with your idiotic comments, without ever taking notice of the replies of others, who have more knowledge than you, I think you can hardly complain about being censored.
I hope people will stay awake and see through the lies you and your kind are spreading, to bring back diseases, that have killed and disabled many people in the past and start killing innocent children again, because to many people start to believe your lies. The only ones that are served by you are hospitals and the pharmaceutical companies, making more profit from treating diseases, that can easily be prevented by vaccines, and the funeral industry, for burieing the children that die from those vaccine-preventable diseases.

Thomas, your comment is up. What now?

Antivaxxer, yogi, 9/11 conspiracist, and anti-science. You are not a great source for information or intelligent discourse.

@ Thomas M

I would respectfully suggest you to go easy on the eggnog, or whatever else you are currently imbibing. Judging from your ramblings, it seems way past its due date.

Re: Mercola

Funny, this is a post about some very rich guy using his wealth to manipulate media and influence politics, and our honored visitors’ reaction is “I’M RUBBER YOUR GLUE”.
I guess that manipulating opinions is an acceptable behavior, as long as the rich guy appears to be on your side.

(Narrator: the rich guy is actually on his own side and will use you and the money you give him for his own goals)

I have to confess, some years back I was very enthused by Bill Gates and the foundation he set up. Well, as I just said, he was on my side, so this was OK. it helped that he was retired, and that the foundation was mostly about founding research and delivering medical aid. He is not, like some other rich guy, founding that is in essence a political movement.
Only recently, after reading an article on the disproportionate power rich guys (and ladies) can wield on the political/opinion-shaping field, did I realize how these types of foundations could be very dangerous, even if lead by good people.
I’m still grateful for Gates to finance research and charities (COI disclaimer: my lab had received a BMGF grant), but when he talks about using his foundation’s resources to bypass or influence local agencies in other countries, even if done for apparently good reasons (corruption, red tape, etc.), I have become more tepid.

Thomas, you and people like you do comment on here, so there is no need for anyone to feel demonised. I don’t know if you believe in God, I feel that you may do, in which case please remember that God loves everyone equally both you and Orac and even my own sinful self. I believe that, in general, both the pro and anti – vaccines lobby are acting from a sincere and genuine belief that what they are doing is best for mankind – ultimately love is the answer, which begins with yourself – you are as worthy and deserving of love as every other human being. I hope you find inner peace.

My understanding is that Mr. Milcarek sufferer a real work related injury that left him disabled.

I’m not sure why he blames vaccines, since that’s not what caused his disability, but he has had a hard experience that left him with real suffering, which apparently led to anger.

It’s a pity he channels his feelings this way.

One thing I’ve noticed is that many people here and elsewhere who go on rants against “Big Pharma,” “Western Medicine” or otherwise flip their lid at any criticism of quackery, is that many of them are legitimately struggling with medical issues, either their own or a family member’s. So they have a lot of anger, but nowhere appropriate to vent it, so they latch onto something and just start yelling. It makes them feel better in the short term, but of course, the high doesn’t last. In my view, it’s a form of self harm.

@Terrie

“Many of them are legitimately struggling with medical issues, either their own or a family member’s.”

Which is perfectly logical. But when you have sorted the specific issue of the relationship to science on your own, you still get branded as anti-science until you litteraly submit and bend the knee…

That’s when medicine starts feeling like a cult.

@ Dorit,

That is a real shame, re Thomas’s work injury.

I get why people sometimes do not truth health care professionals. It’s very easy to become cynical and angry when the system lets you down. I’ve been there myself. I’m still mad at the ICU staff of a major hospital center for ignoring what I told them about my Dad’s sleep apnea.

But you don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Embracing quackery isn’t the answer.

I have a friend who was seriously injured in a car accident and spent months in the trauma ICU. He did not like the care he got. His response was to go to nursing school, “because somebody has to do it right.”

Hard to argue with that. It’s partly why I went into nursing education; I wanted to train nurses I’d want to work with.

Thomas needs help. I hope he finds it.

Thomas- do you deny the world wide history of the development of vaccines; their saving of countless lives and reduction of suffering. Are all those textbooks and scientific papers and much else, in many languages really all one great conspiracy to deceive the worlds’ population. If you believe that, or something close then I have just the thing for a cure! But since I’m only in it for the money it will cost ya.

Then lead us away from those demons by educating us. You can start with this:

Provide the PubMed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the diseases? Does the MMR vaccine cause pneumonia in one out of twenty doses? Does the DTaP vaccine cause death in one in thirty five doses? That was the kill rate of actually getting diphtheria in the former Soviet Union states in the 1990s: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2640235/pdf/9866730.pdf

“You piece of shit cowards spread your fucking lies and don’t let folks like me comment on them” he said in his comment here.
You only come here to vent anger and spew abuse. You have offered very little else, and I think Orac has been very tolerant of you.
Meanwhile, for your entertainment (or really, my amusement) I offer you this:
https://bit.ly/2MLbG95

Well that’s rather unhinged Thomas, and you wonder why it’s hard to get others to take you seriously

He may well have also started supporting NVIC out of sincere belief in its antivaccine message (you didn’t say anything to suggest otherwise, so I don’t think this is countering your points).

But as you point out, there is also a symbiotic element there. I know the California chiropractic association also gave money to Children’s Health Defense, RFK jr.’s organization to defend children against the risk of missing out on the joys of tetanus and diphtheria (and other diseases), and I think chiropractic associations also funded NVIC, though I’m less sure there.

I think chiros and naturos want pediatric patients and breaking the vaccination link with pediatricians is something they sadly feel is well worth their money and time.

@ Dr Chris:

I think you may be very right on.
Many of the woo-meisters I follow simultaneously despise MDs/ DOs and praise DCs/ NDs** because they advance altie ‘cures’ ( food, supplements, herbs, homeopathy, meditation, BS) which are popular for adults but targeting children can increase profits. Newborns need “adjustments” and children can get “superior immunity” from VPDs, treated with vites.
One of the woo-meisters I survey says he accepts*** SBM for traumatic injury but nothing else as if what is known/ utilised by SBM can be isolated into parts and chronic illness is SO perfectly controlled by woo.

** ‘not doctors’
*** as if his acceptance means anything other than crap

@ Denice:

Every anti-vax MD/DO is heavily aligned with NDs and DCs (often with them in their clinic) Furthermore anti-vax MD/DOs always have a store (both online and in clinic) selling supplements/homeopathy (untested and worthless, as you know–unlike vaccines). There is an insane amount of chiro seminars (marketed on social media) multiple times a year targeted at getting pediatric patients. NDs and chiros can claim “pediatric” training based on a weekend course at a hotel–who needs med school and residency. Parents get confused, especially when the AAP is too cowardly to call this out (same as calling out anti-vaxxers). Children will pay the price, not just with VPD outbreaks, but also missed diagnoses because parents were duped into seeing quacks.

One of the woo-meisters I survey says he accepts*** SBM for traumatic injury but nothing else as if what is known/ utilised by SBM can be isolated into parts and chronic illness is SO perfectly controlled by woo.

Indeed and most consumers of alt-med as well adopt the same inconsistent stance since treatment of traumatic injuries can’t be faked like chronic illnesses or other disorders. I wonder why (rhetorical) their belief system in woo breaks down in the event of broken bones or blunt force trauma.

@ Dr Chris:

It seems that the only time woo-meisters have any respect for MDs/ DOs are when the latter are fully steeped in anti-vax**- then they label them as brave truth-tellers who defy the iron grasp of pharma-based medicine.
So they demonise most doctors but lionise those who hate vaccines.

** or some other woo

Chiros, of all the health fraudsters, while being probably one of the most dangerous, are also some of the biggest AV advocates. Its been this way for years.

I think one of the reasons that Mercola has become so rich is that alternative medicines have NO requirements to be approved by the FDA, so, as opposed to the highly expensive clinical trials necessary for approval of drugs by the FDA, they have none. In fact, they don’t even need to publish a single piece of research in a respected peer-reviewed journal. So, the only cost they have is producing their alleged beneficial ??? In addition, since the Federal Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, the FDA does not even have the authority to inspect their production facilities. A few pilot studies have found rat droppings and mold. And other studies have found that the ingredients list on bottles, etc. are often NOT accurate, e.g., 50 mg of, actually 5 mg or 200 mg, etc. And the most profitable of all is homeopathy, basically bottled water. The claim is they take one drop of something, then dilute it with 10 or 100 drops of water, then do this again and again, then bottle it. So, if anyone is making a profit, an obscene profit, it is the supplemental industry. So, anyone pushing their product is a CAM shill.

Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean I support our pharmaceutical industry. They grossly exaggerate the costs of bringing a drug to market (one center funded by them pushes the high amount, many other studies have found about 1/5th as much), they have had over 25 drugs withdrawn from the market over the past three decades for either lack of effectiveness and/or serious adverse events, and they focus often on me-too drugs. In addition, the current crisis of antibiotic resistance is because of them. As early as the 1970s the FDA tried to regulate the use of antibiotics in farm animals; but industry lobbied against it. Now about 80% of all antibiotics are sold for farm animals. And the recent exponential increases in generics such as insulin is outrageous. On the other hand, despite what people choose to believe, the requirements for approval of vaccines are much much more stringent than other drugs and the post-marketing surveillance is also. In any case, the flaws in some drugs approved by the FDA does not mean that alternative medicines with NO requirements for any science, any regulation, etc. is the answer. The answer is to tighten FDA requirements and regulations. And despite everything, most of the drugs approved by the FDA do confer more benefit than risk.

Just to summarize, dietary supplements require NO valid research, no expensive requirements for FDA approval, and cost almost nothing to produce. So, if one wants to attack an industry for its profit motive, dietary supplements TRUMP the pharmaceutical industry.

Thank you for stating things simply and clearly.

I doubt you would have noticed that most, if not all of us science advocates here feel the same way. I guess it’s easy to miss when you’ve decided to box us in the way you think you’ve been boxed in.

@ Science Mom

“I doubt you would have noticed that most, if not all of us science advocates here feel the same way.”

Oh! I did!

Bottom line is that our pharma industry is a big one with not enough regulation, whereas the “notions and supplements” industry is a big one with virtually no regulation.

Isn’t it ironic that the people who love to promote quackery are also in favor of less regulation for the pharma industry?

Joel, I couldn’t agree more. I have similar issues with Big Pharma. It’s fine to criticize our pharma industry; just do it for the right reasons, and call for the right reforms.

Steps needed to improve FDA:

Fully fund. Currently, by law, some of funding comes from industry. And fully fund means increase in number of employees.
Give real enforcement power, e.g., hefty fines, for not supplying ALL data, ALL analyses, ALL studies. And, as with VACCINES, give FDA authority when a problem found to immediately suspend usage pending complete investigation. This can be done and has been done with vaccines, e.g., intussusception with first rotavirus vaccine; but some drugs that literally killed thousands of people took a decade or more to remove from market.
Perhaps, give FDA similar independent status as Federal Reserve.
Separate approval and follow-up studies completely. Even the most honest person will have problems admitting approval of something that follow-up finds needs to be removed. Good way would be to keep FDA and CDC teams and responsibilities totally separate, FDA approval, CDC follow-up. Keep in mind this is also a problem with Department of Agriculture who has mandate to support agriculture and police it.
While the vast majority of FDA employees are top quality, the final decision to approve or not is a committee that is often composed of, at least, some members who have ties with industry. I don’t know how to deal with this as most researchers get grants from industry; but it has to be dealt with.

@ Joel Harrison

“Give real enforcement power, e.g., hefty fines, for not supplying ALL data, ALL analyses, ALL studies.”

Oh boy! I’m grinning…

Give real enforcement power, e.g., hefty fines, for not supplying ALL data, ALL analyses, ALL studies.

Given how fines, even in the billions are scoffed at, I would take it a step further and implement criminal charges against corporations and individuals.

@ Science Mom

“Given how fines, even in the billions are scoffed at, I would take it a step further and implement criminal charges against corporations and individuals.”

For Novartis and Roche, you’d have to go against the independence of the canton of Zug. And that’s going to be a really tough one.

This promotional movie simply omitted Big Pharma in Zug, Big Finance in Zug, Big Commodities Trading in Zug, Big Legal Corruption in Zug, and Big Fiscal Ignorance in Zug. (Basic principle of local law on taxation is that as long as you don’t lie to fiscal authorities, you cannot be blamed. So the loophole is that they ask very little questions…)

Given that Marc Rich of Glencore found refuge there in the face of US indictment for a few minor issues with US legislation, I believe it’s going to be hard to push criminal charges against Big Pharma in places such as these.

It’s just a village… Even by Swiss standards, it’s politics is somewhat… excessively… lax.

But, it nevertheless is “fond times” to me, as Athaic would put it.

Mercola’s hefty support of antivaxers probably boils down to two things: crank magnetism and good business.

It’s worthwhile to report just how profitable woo promotion can be. It’s a good counter to the narrative about how the Brave Maverick Doctor gave up his/her lucrative practice to toil in poverty fighting the Medical Establishment.

Add up revenue from books, the lecture circuit, private consultations and sales of supplements*, and one suspects that many are making as much or more from pseudoscience and quackery than from conventional medical practice.

*I’ve been reading “Cancer and the New Biology of Water” by Thomas Cowan M.D. Among the myriad products and therapies he advises for self-treating/preventing cancer (which he reveals is caused by derangements to our precious intracellular water structure by toxins and such) are a bunch of supplements which he happens to sell or distribute through his website.

Here’s a mathematical sequence that best describes Dr. Joseph Mercola’s innovation: 0+0+0+0 = 0

The number of United States patents and patent pending applications is MJD’s litmus test to determine if a person is a “quack tycoon.” A quick search in the USPTO website using Joseph Mercola as the “inventor name” came up with zero (0) patents and zero (0) patent applications. Furthermore, a similar search using “Mercola LLC” as the assignee came up with zero (0) patents and zero (0) patent applications.

@ Orac,

When are you going to sell Respectful Insolence® t-shirts?

Let’s say I was an aspiring quack tycoon and I realized that getting patents cost money and that not having patents was no barrier to my impending fortune.

These guys sell water and grass at a markup. They did the math. A patent wouldn’t increase sales enough to justify the cost.

You’re unbelievably obscure definition of quack tycoon was ad box to get Mercola off the hook. And it’s pretty silly. It brings him from “quack tycoon” to “derivative quack tycoon.”

Christine Rose writes,

A patent wouldn’t increase sales enough to justify the cost.

MJD says,

A patent doesn’t always give the assignee a right to practice the claims (e.g., dominated by another patent), only the right to exclude others from infringing upon their claims. Dr. Joseph Mercola is patent-less (i.e., no monopoly) and can not exclude others from competing in the same market, therefore, he is a “quack opportunist” and not a “quack tycoon.”

@ Orac,

Please consider changing the phrase “quack tycoon” to “quack opportunist” throughout the post.

I did like the nonsensical recasting of what makes a “quack tycoon” from someone making money off quack notions to someone with some specific number of patents or applications. What struck me about that is I recognize it as a tactic from other pseudoscience types I’ve dealt with. One, for instance, wanted to make the definition of when we became bipedal during our evolution the time (unknown) when infants could no longer easily hold on to their mothers instead of the definition being when we were actually walking around bipedally. It’s a subset, I guess, of the category of argument that seeks to take standard, obvious circumstances and define them away.

Not only that, but by taking patients, Mercola would have to actually practice medicine or risk getting in trouble with the Medical Board.

You know, like Bob Sears did.

Selling stuff on the internet that is not regulated is risk free, with great profits.

Practicing medicine while promoting quackery can be lucrative, but you always gotta know where you’re stepping. What happened to Sears is remarkable in that it didn’t happen sooner than it did.

@MJD

Mercola can’t patent his products due to prior art belonging to Barnum, P.T. Instead he just makes absurd bank working with the a fore mentioned prior art.

“MJD’s litmus test to determine if a person is a “quack tycoon.””
Wow, that is some awesome dochniak distimming of the doshes even for you.

“Here’s a mathematical sequence that best describes Dr. Joseph Mercola’s innovation: 0+0+0+0 = 0”

The number of things you seem to be completely ignorant about seems to include basic mathematics. That is not a sequence.

@MJD

I think we can safely add “tycoon” to the list of words that you don’t understand the meaning of.

For future reference the Oxford English Dictionary defines “tycoon” as:

A wealthy, powerful person in business or industry.

So, absolutely nothing to do with how many patents an individual may or may not hold. So your rather bizarre attempt to flex on Mercola about being a bigger “quack tycoon” than he is with your own nonsense formula (wooo.. you’ve got a score of 3 you’re so bad-ass!) falls rather flat.

@ motosubatsu,

I’d pick up all the puppy poop in Orac’s backyard if he released me from auto-moderation for only a month.Thanks for the score of 3, and understand my best comments are often sent to the great unknown by Orac. One (1) so far in this post.

I find it hilarious when Mercola, Null or Adams label Orac and SBM advocates as rolling in money when they live extravagantly- all of which is documented on the internet
.
There were / are photos of Mercola’s estate in Illinois and it seems he winters in Florida ( Ormond Beach which may be his SO’s – Erin Elizabeth’s – home). His website often advertised for marketing professionals and sales people.
Other woo-meisters who decry sceptics’ finances: Null owns TWO ESTATES ( 20 acres/ 50 acres IIRC, in Florida and Texas respectively) which you can see at Rational Wiki’s page on him and his own photos. He bought the Texas place for 3 million USD and tried to sell the Florida place for 6M, knocked down to 3, after hurricane damage, before he gave up and re-labelled it as an “animal sanctuary” ( tax shelter?) He also owns an apartment. in midtown Manhattan with great views of “both rivers” and possibly business properties.Business sites estimated his sales at 10 million or more annually.
Adams owns a ranch near Austin, TX and warehouses for his products/ :”lab”.

Of course, some of them talk about their “simple lives” and generous support of charities- but what charities; their own?
Anti-vaxxers like BLF, RFKjr, Del and Rossi run charities and get paid.

@ Denice

Not to be my usual leftist Frog-eater, but you just described populism.
When the guy on top pretends to be a “simple man”, close to the people. Pretending not to be part of the “Establishment”. All the while usually sleeping in silk sheets, and sh*ting in a golden-plated toilet. This man is also certainly seeing himself as part of some elite, either some newly-proclaimed caste, or, often enough, a long-proclaimed one. He will also spend an inordinate amount of time wooing and/or abusing whose he sees as “elite”, emulating what he thinks are their manners.
Historically, some of these people ended up against a wall. Or, by example in my country, having to climb up some stairs, and then having to come down as two separate items.

@ Athaic

Il a bon dos le populisme. Ce que Denice Walter décrit ressemble plutôt à une ploutocratie dévoyée.

Helvetisons la France et le populisme sera neutralisé sans en faire tout un plat. Un peu autoritariste, le modèle francais, quand même.

On pourra recauser un jour de quelques points reglementaires relatifs à l’ordre des médecins aussi. Comme la parfaite réglementarite du fait que des parents peuvent s’auto-appointer les médecins traitants de leurs gosses sans leur consentement…

Populisme… mon oeil…

A bon entendeur.

Il a bon dos le populisme. Ce que Denice Walter décrit ressemble plutôt à une ploutocratie dévoyée.

English, please.

One doesn’t exclude the other.
I have this feeling that we are not using the same definition of populism. To my mind, it applies to a politician pretending to represent by himself the unified Will of the Common People, as if the citizenry was some amorphous blob. Not just a champion, but to be The Common People.

@ Athaic

“To my mind, it applies to a politician pretending to represent by himself the unified Will of the Common People, as if the citizenry was some amorphous blob.”

To your mind perhaps. In practice it is used to lambast any form of democratisation in the sense of a more direct democracy.

Judging by french standards of paranoia of populism, Switzerland is an anarcho-communist country because a centralised state is the guarantee of not falling into mob rule. BHL, the Gold Standard of French Rationality (Jesus Marie Joseph!) defines populism essentially as mob rule.

Mob rule as in Switzerland is something I find quite peaceful and well organised.

French politics: pure nonsense…

To your mind perhaps. In practice it is used to lambast

Yes, but…
Not just in my mind. Politic/history scientists do not define populism as mob rule.
The original definition of populism is clearly linking it, in extreme cases, to authoritarian regimes, far-left and far-right. Quite the opposite of democracy. One point of populism is to state that one knows the mind of the Common People, without bothering to actually ask the individual common people and taking into account their kaleidoscopic answers. Another point is to blame everything that’s wrong on a group of ‘enemies’, generally foreigners, and/or intellectual “elites”. I’ll let you fill in the usual suspects.
I just realized I’m myself guilty of conflating populism and anti-intellectualism, but, still, my use of the word is more correct than whoever uses if for ‘mob rule’.

Ah, BHL. He may have said something right one day, but I must have been napping that time.

The conflation of populism as ‘mob rule’ is to be put in the same basket as the use of ‘communism’ by a big chunk of Americans whenever qualifying politics slightly to the left of Ronald Reagan’s.
Funny enough, US GOP supporters go the other way round. They tend to conflate mob rule and democracy. It always amuses me when I read on US forums one of these supporters proudly claiming that “USA is not a democracy”.

Mob rule as in Switzerland is something I find quite peaceful and well organised.

I’m not sure Switzerland is immune from populism (my definition), and I’m a bit resentful of them for their recent referendum about severing established links with the EU – it was like Brexit, they don’t mind the financial/trade benefits from being part of the EU, but damn these European workers who come (legally) and do all the menial and not-so-menial jobs, they should learn to stay out of the way.
But apart from this…. Left out of my initial answer: we French sure have a centralized state.

@ Athaic

“The original definition of populism is clearly linking it, in extreme cases, to authoritarian regimes, far-left and far-right. Quite the opposite of democracy.”

True. It’s defined as the idea of a Saviour appealing to the people to get power. The prime example extreme left people (which is where that theory of populism has the most traction) is Napoléon Bonaparte.

They have a point.

But when it goes as far as lambasting any form of direct democracy as a revamp of the worst examples of uses of referendums by Father Figures such as Lamponeon Pelatarte, it plays in the hands of opponents of democracy. And the far left still hasn’t wrapped its head around that fact.

“Another point is to blame everything that’s wrong on a group of ‘enemies’, generally foreigners, and/or intellectual “elites”. I’ll let you fill in the usual suspects.”

Again, that’s simplistic and part of the paranoia elites have of populism. Carl Schmitt developped that theory of friend/foe, and it joined the corpus of ideas about populism for reasons that are historically obvious but not so intellectually clear. Leninism also engineered this manufacturing of an ennemy: the “class ennemy”. But affiliation was towards an ideology more than towards the People, and leninism can hardly be described as having the anti-intellectual tendancies of populism. Comparisons can hardly go so far…

“I just realized I’m myself guilty of conflating populism and anti-intellectualism, but, still, my use of the word is more correct than whoever uses if for ‘mob rule’.”

Populism does incorporate indifference towards intellectuality at the very least. Anti-intellectualism is not populism per se.

“Ah, BHL. He may have said something right one day, but I must have been napping that time.”

I believe we could go on and on with this jackass. He does a few valid points, but you have to scrutinise them through the smoke of his brain farts which he takes to be Grandiose Ideas about the Enlightenment… Luckily, someone like Douglas Murray has the opportunity once in a while to educate him about what facts are.

“The conflation of populism as ‘mob rule’ is to be put in the same basket as the use of ‘communism’ by a big chunk of Americans whenever qualifying politics slightly to the left of Ronald Reagan’s.”

What is and what is not “communism” is a more difficult question than what it seems at first glance if you read closely the litterature produced by the far left these days. They are engaged in rehabilitating and redefining that word in a way that is likely to bear its fruits.

“Funny enough, US GOP supporters go the other way round. They tend to conflate mob rule and democracy. It always amuses me when I read on US forums one of these supporters proudly claiming that “USA is not a democracy”.

That same tendency exists in France. People are just not as vocal as in the US.

“I’m not sure Switzerland is immune from populism (my definition)”

I believe it is. Power is way too decentralised and diffuse to be gathered in a central person and authority. Only mecanism they have for that is the nomination of a General in wartime which assumes civil authority (because the state is way too consensus-based to allow any efficiency in times of emergency). But even then, given the very peculiar nature of the Swiss army (a nationwide civil militia, essentially, mandated to keep their weapons at home in their closet… cough, cough, cough…) it’s going to tough for a General to reach power when its army is composed of people who are so enamoured of the independance of each cantons. (Cantons have the legal authority to sign legally binding international agreements on their own).

I haven’t felt much anti-intellectualism there, really. Quite the contrary.

“And I’m a bit resentful of them for their recent referendum about severing established links with the EU – it was like Brexit, they don’t mind the financial/trade benefits from being part of the EU, but damn these European workers who come (legally) and do all the menial and not-so-menial jobs, they should learn to stay out of the way.”

You can’t placate french stereotypes on immigration onto Switzerland. Move from one canton to the next and you already are a foreigner. Check “La guerre des romands” for a swiss satire of themselves on this topic. It’s a good laugh if you get all the swiss jokes. Which you likely won’t.

This votation (not “referendum”, puh-lease, this is not France…) had many other issues attached to it than merely immigration. Moreover, it’s quite the contrary: immigrants tend to do all the far-from-menial jobs… just look at the population of Geneva: people in position of economic authority tend to be foreigners a lot. And loads of not-so-documented immigrants are also on the map, very true, not denying that.. . But the random citizen of Geneva isn’t that well off: luckily taxes of rich corporations can pay for their social benefits. But if they choose to have a grudge against foreigners, the foreigners they’ll hit the hardest on are the neighbouring cantons…

The biggest negative impact this votation had was the severing of ties with the EU when it comes to scientific research. People where fretting about that quite a lot at the EPFL when I was working over there… And it was the main reason to oppose this votation in day-to-day political talk (that kind of talk is very serious business over there compared to the french whining tradition.)

“But apart from this…. Left out of my initial answer: we French sure have a centralized state.”

May it fall apart.

@ F68.10

Thanks for your analysis of Switzerland politics. From the little I was exposed to, I fully agree with you.

@ Athaic

If you’ve been a little exposed to swiss life and culture, you may eventually enjoy some of the inside jokes there:

@ Athaic
@ F68.10:

I enjoy your conversation about politics. Because it’s a holiday, we all might enjoy the gift of your commentary on an exemplar of anti-intellectualism and other disastrous trends: Donald Trump..AS you may have noticed, he probably has few supporters on RI and voting patterns heavily reflected educational level against him. Merci.

@ F68.10

Sadly, I only know a bit about the Geneva sector and not much else, so most of the jokes from this movie eluded me.
OTOH, the jokes around the Genevois guy… I think I caught some of the flavor.
OTOH, if I was to do a crash course in Swiss heraldry and local political trends (and winery), there would be a lot of “Bon sang mais c’est bien sûr”.
OTOH, I was quite happy to meet the alien near the end, the one with the furry hat, as I spent some time in his country. Fond times.
OTOH, now I have one more Start Trek parody to add to my culture, and I’m glad for it.
Artistically (OK, I’m no expert, just going by the pricking of my thumbs), there is a flavor to this movie, it’s more European than American. Logic, given the movie’s topic and origin, but it’s not just that. I think it’s in part because the authors smartly borrowed some bits from/were influenced by other European sci-fi franchises.
OTOH, I know who I am going to forward this video to. I have a few colleagues who had a lot more exposure to Swiss culture than me.

@ Athaic

Very glad you got the gist of it, even though inside jokes were bound to elude you.

The guy from Genova is indeed hilarious: “All that glitters is not gold, but all that glitters is on Calvin C. Calvin”. Or when he starts bitching about his secondary residence in Valais. Or when he discusses his watch and claims that at least you need diamonds in it, that’s a bare minimum. Or when he claims to be subtle. Bitching about the name of the Geneva lake. Taking pride in the fact that half the money in the universe is in Geneva while denouncing tax evasion of the guy from Vaud, and even worse: the fact that he bought a car. Or when he just plays the coward when the Neuchatel guy activated his weapon (fiscal aministy).

Everything is hilarious about this movie. Though it’s logical you got only the part about the Geneva guy.

Yeah. Forward it to people who can get the jokes. This movie deserves to be known (to those who can understand it…)

I have a great grand-father from Switzerland, Vilas. Seems like a cool place in some ways, or maybe was, back in the day, for some people, anyway.

@ Jack

I do not know of a place called Vilas. You were perhaps referring to the canton of Valais, where the guys have the weird haircuts in the movie I gave.

It is a nice place to live. Rather rural but nonetheless populated. They even pay people to immigrate (under conditions)… But Switzerland wasn’t always that rich: it’s simply what Europe would have become had it been more democratic and had it not committed civilizational suicide in the early 1940s… (and Switzerland is not above criticism either, given their record in the early 1940s…)

@ Athaic

I believe Denice Walter would have liked your opinion on Trump. I’d rather answer after you.

@ Jack

OK. Well, Switzerland has never been very welcoming for gypsies. Quite the contrary, and even today, they have a hard time. Nevertheless you should double-check whether your grandparent was a Romani gypsie or a “local” gypsie: the Yenish minority.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yenish_people

Gypsies in Switzerland tend to be Yenish more than Romani. They are now semi-sendentarised, tend to live in remote areas of quite high altitude, and you typically have them in the heartland of Switzerland, such as the Schwyz canton. Obsessed about music, still making their instruments on their own, and to some extent more Swiss than the Swiss. Here’s the trailer of a documentary on that culture through the lens of Stephan Eicher, a Swiss Yeniche musician whose moment of fame started in the 80s:

https://www.cineuropa.org/fr/video/332324/rdID/322084/

And the Swiss authorities have been very harsh on them. If you want a situation where the term “medical kidnap” really does apply, look no further than the fate of Yeniche children up to 1973.

When it comes to mafias, I find Swiss authorities very lenient: as long as you abide by the law and make no fuss when it comes to menial offenses, I feel that Switzerland has little problem hosting criminal organisations on its soil as a haven. It honestly gets so ridiculous that I find the word “complacency” to be adequate.

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.swissinfo.ch%2Ffre%2Fnicola-gratteri_-pour-les-mafias–il-est-commode-de-commettre-des-crimes-en-suisse–manque-photo%2F45127706

Biggest problems were with the ‘Ndrangheta, but the Albanian mafia has become much more problematic since refugees came “pouring” to Switzerland after the implosion of Yugoslavia.

@ F68.10

I believe Denice Walter would have liked your opinion on Trump.

Eh, I started this discussion with a rant about shady businessmen with delusions of grandeur and gold-plated toilets dabbing amateurishly in politics. I think most American readers here got the gist of my opinion on Trump. If I was to expand on this, I would just tire the audience.
Also, derailing with a risk of flamewar. I have done enough of it here.

Nah, to truly express my opinions on American politics, I just hop over newsblogs like Wonkette. Cool people, generally pro-science, too. Also, very big on no-pants Friday. Well, no-pants everyday.
They usually have one official thread a week with nice things – kitties, puppies, otters, baby hippo… (since the demise of another blogger I was following, Caine, over at FTB, who was dealing in civil rights but also in cool books, music & videos, this thread has become my primary source of cool things),
The editors and readers at Wonkette also trade cooking recipes. Notably jelly-based recipes.
Here, the regulars are more into lutefisk. Nothing wrong with it, but having some in your house tends to attract Norwegians.

Seems like the Roma, the Sinti, and the Yenish all kind of lived together to an extent, so it’s hard to say, but thanks for sharing that article. It’s pretty likely that there’s some kind of mix going on, but it’s hard to say; my people have never exactly had their papers straight.

Tbh, some of my own problems have been a simple case of TECHNOLOGY GONE BAD:

https://youtu.be/ewFBuYHldeY

God, some people should CHILL OUT once in a while.

Well, there’s also a little bit of a bar room blitz (how I always heard the lyrics), but that’s normal among my people. Gotta get it out of your system sometimes.

@ Athaic:
Certainement!
What makes it worse is that they continuously discuss the obscene profits made by pharma, doctors, bankers, entertainers, internet companies, everyone and how the poor suffer when they live like frigging lords. They are simple people from humble backgrounds who worked hard for what they have. Mercola is actually a doctor and worked in a hospital for a while but the other two have unrelated or tawdry degrees yet they give medical, psychological and educational advice.

And yes, they insult elitists who attended standard universities and follow standard science as being “bought and paid for”
Similarly, many anti-vax mothers scream “misogyny” if we criticise them and demand “civil rights” comparing themselves to those advocates who risked injury, jail and death to protest long ago yet studies show that most of these mothers are white and well-off.. They label their events as “the People’s Voice” when they represent only a small minority of citizens/ parents

-btw- though I’m not a “leftist Frog-eater” I am a lefty sushi-eater.

I’ve always thought the phara shill gambit to be particularly amusing. There are pharma lobbyists, pharma marketing departments, pharma websites, pharma magazines, pharma trade shows, and pharma commercials playing during the Super Bowl. They do not need Orac.

But what’s truly hilarious is the fact that pharma shilling is a perfect tool for reaching Mercola’s audience, since his product comes down to a website monetized by a jar of dried weeds.

One of the most sensible decisions ever made by a government. Advertising any medicines, other than OTC ones, to the public is forbidden in the UK.

Advertising any medicines, other than OTC ones, to the public is forbidden in the UK.

IIRC, the only countries that allow DTC advertising are the US and NZ.

Apart from pronouncing ‘dick’ like ‘duck’, I think they have slightly more impressive mountains than us. And volcanos. But, other than that…..

OK. Never post after a twelve hour shift, on the first day back after a Christmas shut down. I might have noticed it was US and NZ rather than UK and NZ being compared.

I’ve recently come across an effective and fast rebuttal to people like Mercola and other anti-vaccine advocates. Credit for this belongs to Gordon Scott.

“I once almost choked to death while eating food. I did my own research and discovered that I am not alone. Thousands of people choke every year while eating, and hundreds of those people die. That’s why I don’t feed my kids. It’s dangerous. Now plenty of people will point out that food supposedly “prevents starvation,” and that might be true, but its not fair to completely ignore all the dangers food poses, like choking, allergies, gingivitis, and garlic breath. I’m just saying, do your own research and decide what you think is best for your kids. If you choose to give your kids potentially deadly food, that’s your problem, but as a parent, I don’t think the government has any right to tell me that I need to feed my kids.”

Mockery may not be nice, but it does seem to be effective at shutting down the ramblings. Some even admit that put this way, they really sound dumb. Happy new year all, and may the new year find us more scientifically literate then the old.

“Now plenty of people will point out that food supposedly “prevents starvation,” and that might be true, but its not fair to completely ignore all the dangers food poses”

And besides, it’s your child and your choice whether or not to give them dangerous nutrition, which represents huge profits for Big Farm.

Today has not been going well. I’m staggered by an accusation that I’m a “vaccine Nazi” (this person did not appreciate my online review of an antivax book).

Sigh.

Sometimes I wonder whether the staggering influx of $hillbucks is worth it.

@ Dangerous Bacon

“And besides, it’s your child and your choice whether or not to give them dangerous nutrition, which represents huge profits for Big Farm.”

True. You can always boycott Big Farm in favour of Big Pharma: obsess about rickets, starve your barely verbal kid, fake an intoxication that will lead to a gastric lavage from which you can legitimate calcium perfusions and then indulge in Big Pharma overconsumption pertaining to rickets.

That’s a rich idea…

Where did I get it from?

Oh! My medical records…

Big Farm is a Death Industry…

@ Narad

“I think everyone gets it, Narcissus”

I never take anything for granted:

@ Panacea

Can you disprove Narad’s statement?

@ Jack

“I mean, I get it perfectly well. Apparently you can’t really delete medical records, it turns out.”

You can’t. And honestly, I still haven’t figured out whether or not it is morally the right thing to do to allow records to be deleted. For the medical world, I believe it’s a big no no, but I’m not sure they understand all the consequences of their position, nor if they could pinpoint precisely what the underpinnings of that position are.

Maybe medical records should not be deleted. But you should at least have the right to a reboot of your relationship to the medical world, if not outright divorce. Something like that: “We agree to disagree and never meet again. If I agonize in pain, I will never call an ambulance, if that is what it takes to repudiate medical authority once and for all. Now leave me alone.”

Munchausen by proxy is a wedding gone really wrong:

It doesn’t even matter

The government has funded the provaccine this whole time. Unlimited funds for your agenda & now there is sniveling because one doctor was also a good businessman? Lol.

It doesn’t matter who has how much money to do what with! All this hysterical agenda & legislation pushing smacks of desperation. You know it’s coming. It has been since 2014, when AutismBrainNet started distributing those little cubes of donated post-mortem brain tissue around the world.

The studies are literally pouring in. Autism is immune-mediated. Oh, they will try to stall with the silly MIA theory but at the same time; lo & behold … SIDS is immune-mediated. Alzheimer’s is immune mediated.

All your coveted $$ in the world cannot hold back scientific discovery. This is awesome & exciting, ground-breaking research & it’s scares those it threatens. You can’t buy off everybody. It’s coming. Next-gen science from next-gen scientists who will soon be competing to be the first ones to scream: “It IS the vaccines!”

So snivel & bitch all you want. It’s coming anyway.

adding …

And there you all will be … left holding all your junk epidemiology & looking like Phillip Morris & RJ Reynolds.

Except unlike them; you won’t understand what happened because you were just the tools; not the shot-callers.

The government does not actually fund many of the people who counter antivaccine misinformation online (there are some exceptions. The Vaccine Education Center got an NIH Grant).

The legislation is a response to outbreaks caused by antivaccine misinformation. You can take them as a sign of success, in a way: once your collective efforts started putting children in the hospital, the political balance changed towards passing legislation to strengthen exemptions.

I understand that you think the science shows something different than that vaccines don’t cause autism.

There is a reason expert bodies throughout the world don’t see it that way. It doesn’t, whatever you think you can read into the few studies you shared here in the past. Vaccines still don’t cause autism. Drop in vaccines rates, however, makes children and adults sick. Sometimes dead.

https://sites.nationalacademies.org/BasedOnScience/vaccines-do-not-cause-autism/

@ Christine Kincaid

“And there you all will be … left holding all your junk epidemiology & looking like Phillip Morris & RJ Reynolds.”

Philip Morris was one of the last places in Lausanne (Switzerland) where you could smoke at work. I’ll defend them till my last breath!

“SIDS is immune-mediated.”

This one triggers my interest: Where do you get your information from? I’m really curious about SIDS…

@Christine Kincaid As of autism and vaccines, perhaps you can comment non epidemiological studies:
a) Simple fact of autism prevalence. Why would boys has so junky immune system ?
b) twin studies and known autism genes
c) autopsies that show very different brain growth patterns amongst autistic people
d) neonatal cytokine studies, which show all cytokine expression differences you are harping.
e) And what about Japan ? There vaccination rates are low and autism rate is high. If you mention child mortality, Finland’s is low, even though vaccination rate is high.
SIDS is caused by hypoxia, the infant, for some reason, does not get enough oxygen. (Well perhaps that was a bit cocksure. Much better theory than cytokine storm, though. Notice trauma does cause an immune response.)
A new theory must explain all known facts, including epidemiological studies, Your theory do not. So, no future vindication.
Unpaid tool is a curious concept. A better one is actually reading research papers.
Tobacco companies know themselves, that smoking cause lung cancer. They did – you guess it – epidemiological studies.

@ Science Mom

“You will be sorry you asked.”

I love rabbit holes. Whenever I find one, I want to know where it leads to.

Can’t help it.

@ christine kincaid

You write: “your junk epidemiology & looking like Phillip Morris & RJ Reynolds.”

First, it was “our” junk epidemiology that overwhelmingly found the relationship between smoking and cancer and cardiovascular disease. So, what you write makes absolutely NO sense, just another display of your absolute ignorance and stupidity. How can it be “junk” when it clearly worked? And obviously you don’t understand even the most basic principles of epidemiology. Oh well, thanks for giving the rest of us some comic relief. Comic relief because if anyone actually could make a valid case against vaccines, then we would have to carefully evaluate their case, this is, after all, this is a blog that emphasizes science and science is self-corrective; but your continuous stupid remarks just provides comic relief.

@ Joel Harrison

“First, it was “our” junk epidemiology that overwhelmingly found the relationship between smoking and cancer and cardiovascular disease.”

Come. On.

You had the world’s leading statistician against you thrashing that relationship!

(OK. He was a heavy pipe smoker…)

I love rabbit holes. Whenever I find one, I want to know where it leads to.

This one goes near the hair removal (*cough cough…burning) center found in the center of the earth.

Funny how the TRUTH is being hidden but anti vaxxers manage to reveal it every day. I’m surprised none of them have managed to record all the threatening/bribe phone calls they must be receiving.

Christine, if genuine scientists carried out competent and accurate studies showing a link between vaccines and autism. Then other scientists confirmed those results independently. I’d have no problem accepting the results. While a bunch of amateurs and wannabes are trying their luck…..

This is how it actually goes down, Kincaid:

Your ilk keeps driving down vaccine rates with junk science, lies and propaganda. You celebrate how awesome you think you are in your anti-science echo chambers.
More outbreaks happen in the US. Deaths start happening in the US from measles and pertussis, etc (there would have been some with the NY measles outbreaks but thankfully they had enough PICU beds and resources for the deathly ill children).

3.People realize that vaccines are important, safe and effective and that anti-vaxxers are the worst type of liar.

Vaccine rates come up, with or without legislation.
Your lot goes and hides for a good long time hoping not to be found after people realize the death and injury you anti-vaxxers caused.

Those of us opposing and calling out you anti-vaxxers do so to prevent things from being even worse than you’re making them. If us pro-vaxxers did nothing at all, 1-5 will still happen, just with more deaths and injuries, especially for infants and children who don’t deserve to suffer your the consequences of your actions.

Something tell me that since she dove into the delusional rabbit hole of pure conspiracy theories that there is no way to reason with her. I sincerely hope her adult children can find a way to help her.

@ Christine Kincaid

So, you’re back again. Claiming that the brain tissues being looked at will prove your position. You fail to note that autopsies of the brains of children with autism have found structural changes that could only have occurred in utero, that videos of kids taken prior to the MMR clearly show autistic behaviors, that MRIs of brains, again, show structural changes that only could have occurred prior to birth, and that we now have gene arrays that are associated with autism. You fail to understand that it is NOT an epidemic because it isn’t one disorder, but a number subsumed under one heading because of certain in common characteristics while, at the same time, being different on other characteristics. You fail to admit that in previous exchanges that each and every claim you made was overwhelmingly refuted. In essence, you do suffer from an immune disorder. You are immune to science and logic. You suffer from delusions of grandeur, that is, absolute certainty that you are right, despite any reasoning to the contrary.

As for “The government has funded the provaccine this whole time. Unlimited funds for your agenda & now there is sniveling because one doctor was also a good businessman? Lol.”

First, yes, while the government doesn’t fund a number of independent groups who support vaccines, it does fund efforts to convince people to get vaccinated. And it funds programs to educate people to not drink and drive and many other public health programs. For anyone who has taken the time to learn the basics of vaccinology, e.g., immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, infectious disease history and current status around the world, we welcome the governments involvement. As an example, I grew up knowing kids with steel braces on their legs, in wheel chairs, and even met a man who had spent over 30 years in an iron lung. During polio season my mother wouldn’t let me go to municipal swimming pool nor movies. So, the polio vaccine was a godsend.

So, your belief in ground-breaking research without the basics to understand the research and your idiotic certainty despite this just continues to allow the rest of us to see just how absurd people like you are.

@ Joel:

There you go again: making sense and providing evidence.
Both you and I ( and others) have listed why “vaccines-cause-autism” is unlikely ( studies of: genetics, in utero beginnings/ brain structure, early indicators, films, no relationship to vaccines) but some people can’t or won’t learn.

I notice how evasion occurs:
a woo-meister or anti-vaxxer explaining their brilliant idea latches on to particular words or concepts and uses them as a shield to counter reality-based assaults. Two of the most frequent choices are inflammation and “immunity– also *microbiome : most people do not understand these sufficiently well to discern that they are simply throwing words around. I once watched a well-known woo-meister lecture a group of 100+ admirers in which he proclaimed that virtually all medical issues and illnesses were due to inflammation so cut out inflammation by becoming a vegan

This is pure cargo cult science: create an assemblage of words or ideas that resembles what you think research is and hold it up to those even less educated than you are. But people who actually study these areas know what BS it is. Also funny is how these “experts” make mistakes that a student in a 100-level course would spot.One such student of physiology and neurology was totally stumped when he had to pronounce parts of the brain: amygdala was especially tough.

Perhaps we are devising a test of sorts: if you can’t account for the research we mention, you’re lost.
.

@ Joel,

You fail to note that autopsies of the brains of children with autism have found structural changes that could only have occurred in utero,

Prove that. The autistic fetus theory. The retrospective ultrasound head growth study? Please tell me what prenatal test will diagnose the autistic fetus?

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: ” SIDS is immune-mediated.”

How do you explain that the number of cases of SIDS plummeted starting early 1990s while the number of vaccines increased?

The overwhelmingly number of SIDS cases were caused by children suffocating, so, parents, thanks to our government funding public education programs, do not leave blankets, toys, etc in crib and put infant on his/her back. Many also have monitoring devices. How does any of this relate to the immune system?

Your idiocy transcends reality.

@ Joel,

What?? Show me where they proved that Back to Sleep worked because the deaths prior to the campaign were caused by suffocation!

You know why Back to Sleep worked to decrease SIDS rates?

Probably because SIDS is not suffocation but because SIDS is actually infantile SUDEP. Seizures are causing SIDS. Back to sleep not only works for SIDS; it works for SUDEP:

“In the subgroup of 114 cases in which both circadian pattern and body position at the time of death were documented, 87.6% (95% CI=81.1%, 94.2%) of patients who died during sleep were in the prone position, whereas 52.9% (95% CI=24.7%, 81.1%) of patients who died during wakefulness were in the prone position. Patients with nocturnal seizures were 6.3 times more likely to die in a prone position than those with diurnal seizures (OR: 6.3; 95% CI=2.0, 19.5; P=0.002).”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28917499

And what have they found to be contributing to SUDEP?

“Preclinical investigations in experimental models using pharmacological and genetic tools have identified a significant contribution of interleukin-1 (IL-1) type 1 receptor/Toll-like receptor (IL-1R/TLR) signalling to seizure activity. This signalling can be activated by ligands associated with infections (pathogen-associated molecular patterns) or by endogenous molecules, such as proinflammatory cytokines (e.g. IL-1beta) or danger signals [damage-associated molecular patterns, e.g. high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1)]. IL-1beta and HMGB1 are synthesized and released by astrocytes and microglia in the rodent brain during seizures. ”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21793950

Pro-inflammatory cytokines? IL-1? Wow that sounds SO familiar to what I just gave F68.10 about immue-mediatio in SIDS! I’m thinking a Vagal immune-to-brain communication process is involved here.

“All your coveted $$ in the world cannot hold back scientific discovery”

But it’ll make for one hell of a New Year’s Eve bash. Tonight Merck and Sanofi-Aventis are co-sponsoring a blowout at Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée, where 10000 crystal pendants hang overhead in the dining room and the caviar and champagne will flow non-stop for dedicated shills. We’ll all be there, while your crowd will be lucky to pick up a lukewarm burger at a Wendy’s drive-through.

Have a fabulous 2020 stalking the wrong state legislative hearings, antivax losers! 🙂

@ Dangerous Bacon

“Tonight Merck and Sanofi-Aventis are co-sponsoring a blowout at Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée, where 10000 crystal pendants hang overhead in the dining room and the caviar and champagne will flow non-stop for dedicated shills.”

Please invite antivaxxers! It will be fun to watch them fear being poisoned!

@ F68.10,

I forgot the link to my second source I quoted below. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513388/

Also, regarding those Interleukins:

“Researchers studied the brains of 27 infants. Nineteen died from SIDS, and eight died from other conditions. The team compared the level of various cytokines (a class of proteins involved in regulating the immune system) in the brains of each group. All 19 SIDS brains showed strong or moderate levels of interleukin-1 (a type of cytokine) in the same regions of the brain stem. Six of the non-SIDS brains had weak, negligible or no level of interleukin-1 in the same regions, and the other two had a moderate level.”
https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/home/PressRelease/10

It would be interesting to know what the cytokine profiles of infants who died from SIDS looked like just prior to immunization.

Click on the link, then searches for the word vaccine: “No matches found.”

Apparently inflammation comes from actual infection, which are mentioned, as are a few bacteria. So Ms. Kincaid, you have been caught in yet another lie.

You seem to have an issue with reality. Please get help.

@ Christine Kincaid

“I forgot the link to my second source I quoted below.”

Thank you very much for the link (and I really mean it).

I believe the position of this author, Jhodie Duncan, can be summed up this way:

When it comes to SIDS, I have a very strong urge to reject any One True Cause of SIDS without very solid data. People seem to twist their mind around preventing it, but do not seem to twist their mind enough around understanding it: They are looking for a One True Cause with an actionable item on which to act. This provides hope.

I believe we should do away with hope, and double-check any willingness to find such a One True Cause.

Nevertheless, thanks for the 33 chapters long online book. I’ve got some reading to do and I’ll be trying to separate the milk from the water when reading this book. I’ll enjoy it. Thanks!

@ F68.10,

Hi & thank you for being interested in my links on SIDS & immune-mediation.

Chris searched them for the word ‘vaccine’ & didn’t find it. She would be correct. They are not about vaccines. I didn’t think you asked me about SIDS & vaccines; You asked about SIDS & immune-mediation.

It hadn’t dawned on me to search my files or pubmed for ‘SIDS + Vaccines’. Surely if I did it would only turn up epidemiology that would find no such correlation?

Yes; I lost a daughter to SIDS within 24 hours of her 4 month immunizations.

Yes; I have a 16 year old son with severe, regressive autism.

Yes; I personally do blame vaccines. For both. But not just vaccines. You are right; SIDS will not be found to have ‘One True Cause”. It will be multifactorial.

The epidemiology has not signaled a risk for SIDS, yet there has been no different etiological hypothesis that has shown any promise. Until a consensus has been reached of SIDS as immune-mediated; is there really a point to blaming (officially) vaccines?

Immune-mediation HAS to be established first. When I started looking at available research, I saw some odd parallels between SIDS & ASD, especially regarding cytokines & Interleukins. For SIDS:

“The higher prevalence of IL-1RN allele 2, which predisposes to poor outcomes from infection, in SIDS infants born between 1987 and 1994 (ie, prior to the dramatic decrease in SIDS incidence) suggests that the high incidence during this period could point to infection playing a role in aetiology.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20880945-variant-interleukin-1-receptor-antagonist-gene-alleles-in-sudden-infant-death-syndrome/

And then, for autism:

“To our knowledge, no previous studies have synthesized data on cytokine alterations in ASD. Effect size estimates for seven cytokines were significant (TGF-β1, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-8, IL-6, eotaxin and MCP-1). Based on these results we propose there is a pathophysiology in ASD that either manifests as an inflammatory disease process, similar to that of autoimmunity, or as a neuroimmune epiphenomenon that changes susceptibility to factors, such as pathogens and allergens, that trigger inflammatory responses and subsequent abnormalities in the immune system. Evidence of immune system perturbations in ASD, specifically a pro-inflammatory state, has been strengthened by this meta-analysis.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/mp201459

Uh … None of those studies say ‘VACCINES’, btw. They are about immune-mediation. But wow, the IL-1, IL-6 & in other research; the IL-4, 8 & 18! It’s interesting. To me, at least.

Yes; I have 11 kids. Seven boys, four girls, including twins, twice. Ages 16- 34. Just my youngest at home now. Three daughters in college (I’m trying to tell you stuff first before someone else does & makes it sound weird). Oh & I am HF ASD. And a MMR non-responder who got the MMR four times. But that’s all boring anyway.

Yes; I startled an extremely huge bird off my roof one night. It would be a cooler story had it been a Bigfoot but somehow, I got Big Bird.

@ Christine Kincaid

I’m a bit tired to reply for now, but I’ll try to follow up this conversation, specifically on SIDS. You likely won’t like the reply I have in mind, but I’ll try not to be hurtful.

But more than vaccines, your likely trauma is something that you’d likely need to understand better without falling into quite a few traps I’m aware of. Medical trauma go further than you may imagine, and even if you have doubts (whatever one may call them) about vaccines, vaccines are likely not the end of the story of the implications of what you went through.

I’m not pro-medicine, so I won’t say “get help”, but at least try to take it easy.

(And no, Panacea, I’m not saying “don’t get help” but merely not saying “get help”. Whatever you may believe, there is a difference.)

@ F68.10,

Thank you for not telling me to ‘get help’. Yes, I have been medically traumatized but not by anything I have ever mentioned here & it had nothing to do with vaccines. I DO actually understand what kind of trap one can fall into with that; the anger & resentment builds & builds & can become extremely unhealthy. I am still struggling with an ill advised elective surgery in 2003 that caused a decade of progressive health decline. That mistake has taken (so far) an additional 4 surgeries, 9 units of blood transfused & a revolving door of trial & error meds since 2014 to correct but I believe I have finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel.

I used to be quite active in advocacy/support with other people who have suffered similar consequences but realized that somehow; it was leading to MORE anger, not less. It was redundant & counterproductive so I have tried to move on & have had to literally ‘ghost’ the entire topic. I just can’t wallow in all that right now.

So I do think I understand what you were getting at.

As long as you don’t call me an ‘idiot’ or a ‘sadistic child-killer’, as some do here; I welcome any feedback as to what I am getting wrong with the topic of SIDS as immune-mediated,

This is too important for me to ‘get wrong’. When I am wrong will you please tell me so & how?

What are the actual flaws you see with the research that finds an etiological basis for SIDS as immune-mediated?

@ Dangerous Bacon.

Sounds amazing.

But you don’t need to remind me, or any of the other parents of vaccine-injured children (aka: antivax losers) of the glaring disparity in the lifestyles between us & those who told us the vaccine they were giving our child that day would be perfectly safe.

We are acutely aware of your absence during the seizures at 3 am. When changing our teenagers diaper’s & cleaning the poop off of our child as they bash a hole in the wall with their heads.

Your presence is painfully acknowledged when we lock ourselves into rooms & brace the door against the gigantic child who is using his body as a battering ram. You are not there when people laugh at them, or play tricks on them or bully them.

You are not there when they bolt into traffic or become obsessed with the flickering candles at a family get-together & set the house on fire or disappear in the middle of the snowy night in 13 degree temperatures wearing nothing but a t-shirt. You are not there to bandage the bloody hands from the biting self-harm that continues during every. waking. minute.

We don’t know where you actually are but it is glaringly evident where you are not; after telling us that vaccine would be safe that day. Where you are not; is up at all hours, tired, broke & hungry, loving & caring for our kids after someone told us the vaccine would be safe but it was not.

Wendy’s actually sounds pretty good right now.

@ Terrie

“We get it. yours is the only true suffering in all of history.”

Wow. Holocaust denier, now? Isn’t that pushing things a tad too far?

BTW: “suffering”, “disgust” or whatever suchlike notion is not an argument. That applies to everyone (me included).

Christine,

I really don’t want to act like an @ssh0le but instead like captain obvious. Have you really considered that your son who’s displaying all of these behaviors (bolting into traffic, poop slinging, setting houses on fire and then some) act this way because it’s a living hell to be living with all of his 9 or 10 siblings and you.

I mean, tonight, I had to cut short a conversation with my oldest brother because I couldn’t bear taking a decision in his place that he should take.

Basically, I live alone. That fixed many many problems & issues.

Now for other peoples’ bullying him, I’m still looking for solutions but needless to say, removing him from any actually threatening situations (Not meaning the blood draw or things like that but actual bullying, environmental noises….read other child’s crying or stressful behavior….) goes a long way toward fixing the problems.

Alain

@ F68.10,

Sure. Immune mediation has been suspected for decades, as per this article in 1999:

” Evidence is accumulating that inflammation is occurring in these infants at a rate greater than in the background controls but not as significant as those observed in infants who have died from infection. It might be that in susceptible infants some form of immune deviation, for example an augmented TH2 response, is occurring as a result of these respiratory infections. Such an immune response could lead to excessive cytokine release, an immunological outcome that leads to a terminal event in the susceptible infant”

https://academic.oup.com/femspd/article/25/1-2/79/439991

Multifactorial immune-mediation:

“It has been shown that there is a rapid development of the mucosal immune system from the second week after birth. This implies that in the first weeks and months of life the infant is particularly vulnerable to various stimuli of the immune system. If the infant is exposed to trigger events, such as slight infection, prone sleeping, or maternal smoking, and if the infant also has inborn gene variants and polymorphisms that influence the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, this may lead to death in SIDS. Even small changes in the development of immune responses can turn a minor illness into a lethal event.”

A ‘trigger event’. Note that the cytokine biomarkers discussed in this paper are the same as those recently found in the autism post-mortem brain tissue studies.

Looks at paper, does a search on vaccine and again finds it is not mentioned. The first word in the abstract are “Infancy is a time of unparalleled infection exposure.”

And in the last paragraph: “Studies have repeatedly shown that SIDS infants have been exposed to infection, in particular respiratory viruses, within the preceding 2 weeks.”

Not vaccines. Perhaps you should try reading the cherry picked papers before posting them. Because this particular performance from you is just pathetic. It is like you think vaccines cause a bigger immune response than the actual disease, what kind of idiot thinks like that!?

Sorry, I was not going to feed your troll appetite, but this was truly idiotic.

@ Chris

I believe you’re getting overcarried. Our Lady Kincaid seems to believe that the immune system is behind many things, whether it be autism or SIDS. I do not believe that she claims “vaccine cause SIDS” or wild stuff like that. That’d be way too whacky even for the wildest antivaxxer.

I think we should separate this discussion on SIDS from vaccines for now.

F68.10, how on Earth did you get your tongue packed that tightly into your cheek? Masterful.

Happy New Year.

@ F68.10

I do not believe that she claims “vaccine cause SIDS” or wild stuff like that.

I would need to check her comment history to be sure, but since she is already sure vaccines are behind plenty of ills, including the true cause of all the recent baby deaths in Samoa, there is some ground to interpret her posts this way…

That’d be way too whacky even for the wildest antivaxxer.

Ah. You may have missed that “SIDS is caused by vaccines” is actually pretty much mainstream for antivaxers.
In the 80’s, the Japanese authorities stopped MMR vaccination (well, their brand of MMR) after a few babies died of SIDS after vaccination. Antivaxers love to point to it.
They conveniently forget to mention that 1- Japanese babies still died of SIDS in the aftermath, 2- babies started dying of childhood diseases (and this, we know what’s causing it) and 3- the authorities eventually resumed the vaccination program.

The question often arises here of what distinguish an antivaxer from someone who is honestly hesitant or dubious about a medical procedure.
One of my own tests is to check what the person believes the vaccines cause as side-effect. If, no matter what ailment is advanced, it’s the vaccines, then we have an antivaxer.
(especially if it’s vaccines, plural – live-attenuated, inactivated bugs, isolated chopped bits of dead bugs, no distinction, they are all guilty of the same ill effects)
Think of the servant-playing-physician in the ‘Malade Imaginaire’. C’est le poumon, vous dis-je.

Ms. Kincaid has stated in the past that she blames her daughter’s tragic death in infancy, classified SIDS, on vaccines, so she does make that links. Her comments also show that when she says “immune-mediated”, she thinks vaccines.

I don’t think she’s separating this, and the criticism was on point.

I do not believe that she claims “vaccine cause SIDS” or wild stuff like that. That’d be way too whacky even for the wildest antivaxxer.

That is exactly what she is claiming.

@ Athaic @ Dorit Reiss @ Science Mom

OK. I got it. She didn’t formulate it that clearly, but indeed, the obsession I observed was specifically related to the immune system. What I didn’t notice is that all the talk about the immune system she gave was related to the brain (vaccines / autism, SIDS / brainy immunity, Alzheimer, etc…).

So indeed the link was there though it was not that clear at first glance.

Nonetheless, when it comes to immunity and the brain, there is something I really do wonder about: Multiple sclerosis. And specifically Lhermitte’s sign:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lhermitte%27s_sign

And specifically this article got me thinking:

https://www.nature.com/articles/ni.3321

Thoughts? (I know antivaxxers could jump on that one any way they’d want, but still, it seems a bit more serious to me than what I’ve heard about immunity and the brain from them.)

@ Chris

I wasn’t familiar with Kincaid. And the two links I gave indeed have nothing to do with vaccines at all. But with one of the relationships between immunity and the brain I’ve stumbled upon for other reasons, and on which I’d like thoughts of people around. It seems specific macrophages do generate some of the norepinephrine in the brain, and that disregulation of their behaviour (mostly for genetic reasons, it seems) can lead to weird phenomenon leading to Lhermitte’s sign. Which I believe is a rather uncomfortable phenomenon. I’m not talking autism nor vaccines here…

“In the 80’s, the Japanese authorities stopped MMR vaccination (well, their brand of MMR) after a few babies died of SIDS after vaccination. Antivaxers love to point to it.”

Just to be pedantic: it was the 1970s and the DPT vaccine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15889991-acellular-pertussis-vaccines-in-japan-past-present-and-future/

Also, Japan tends to bend to political winds instead of science with its vaccine policies, which has caused great harm: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3824286

“I’m not talking autism nor vaccines here…”

Then you are being off topic. The title is about the funding of antivaccine causes, there is no way to know if you have strayed off on to another topic. Because when it comes to Ms. Kincaid and friends: it is always the vaccines.

@ Chris

“Then you are being off topic.”

I’m on the topic I choose to be.

She mentioned SIDS. I’m interested in SIDS. So I’ll talk SIDS. Conversation then went to brain and immunity, because, indeed, it seems I misunderstood Ms. Kincaid (and she’s free to correct me). So I’m talking brain and immunity. And there is indeed one point I’m also interested in. So there goes.

No mystery.

@ Chris

“Good to know. I do not care, do not be surprised if you are further ignored.”

Oh! Too bad! I love surprises!

Oh, great… now they will create an endless thread, because they both insist on getting in the last word!

@ Chris

Oh! I’m sorry. I knew I should have check on Japanese history. That was careless of me.
Time for a break for me, I guess.

Not a problem. The use of Japan’s delaying DTP vaccination until the age of two as a way to stop SIDS is a very common pernicious lie used by the pro-disease ilk. I think it worthwhile to give a citation that explain why it is a lie (the vaccine cannot be blamed for SIDS if the child never received, and it is worse that more died from pertussis).

The other link shows where their policies based on politics has caused harm, like toddlers dying from measles in the early 2000s and recent outbreak of Congenital Rubella Syndrome. The author of the second link really emphasizes the issue of politics over science.

@ Chris,

*Studies have repeatedly shown that SIDS infants have been exposed to infection, in particular respiratory viruses, within the preceding 2 weeks.

Not vaccines*

WHY ON EARTH can you NOT think things through on your OWN?

Reports of a viral infection prior to SIDS IS LITERALLY AN INDICATOR OF IMMUNE MEDIATION IN SIDS.
Yes; unless the baby died within 24 hours of vaccines, as mine did; likely ALL parents of babies dead from SIDS have REPORTED THAT VIRAL SYMPTOMS PRECEDED THEIR DEATH.

And so many parents actually reported those symptoms to the pediatrician, BEFORE THE BABY DIED; & were told that their child’s FEVER, FUSSINESS, CONGESTION, RED CHEEKS & TEETHING-LIKE SYMPTOMS; WERE NORMAL VACCINE REACTIONS.

likely ALL parents of babies dead from SIDS have REPORTED THAT VIRAL SYMPTOMS PRECEDED THEIR DEATH.

Fabulation lady no longer bothers with “listening to the parents” and has retreated to her own private world where she knows exactly what evidence she would find, so no point looking for it.

The delusion or the fortified wine?

The former; ‘coschristi’ has more florid bothering of people with this.

I am saddened that Night Train seems to be unavailable for love or money these days — Yukon Jack only goes so far. Ballantine Ale seems to be gone as well, along with the rebuses underneath the caps.

I think it was Neil Miller in his “Vaccine Safety Manual” who introduced “Vaccines are the cause of SIDS” to the ever-growing Antivax Catechism of Faith. In the Foreword, Russell Blaylock added the circumstantial detail that pediatricans all know about the connection so they conspired to use ‘SIDS’ as an acronym as a way of concealing it.
https://archive.org/details/VaccineSafetyManual_201902/page/n11
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ENdbCYVU8AAJAu5.jpg

Or is there an earlier origin for the fabrication?

@ Christine Kincaid

Thanks for the references. As opposed to you, I always welcome valid documents. However, as usual, you miss more than you find. The book you refer to “SIDS: Sudden infant and early childhood death: The past, the present and the future” contains the following chapters: Chapter 10 Risk Factors and Theories, Chapter 11 Shared Sleeping Surfaces and Dangerous Environments, Chapter 12 Preventive Strategies. Chapter 25 Natural Diseases Causing Sudden Death in Infancy and Early Childhood, Chapter 26 Brainstem Neuropathology, Chapter 28 Neuropathology of SIDS: Hypothalamus, Chapter 29 Abnormalities of the Hippocampus, Chapter 31 The Genetics of and many others.

As for inflammation, try the chapter on “Natural Diseases.” And most health conditions are multi-factorial. Inflammation may play a role in some cases of SIDS; but why has the incidence plummeted as the number of vaccines has increased? Simple. Even if some kids suffer inflammations, if no object, eg. blankets, toys, etc in crib and monitor that awakens parents, the inflammation doesn’t end up as SIDS.

Here’s one article since you referred to articles: SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. Available at: https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/138/5/e20162938.full.pdf

While I don’t discount that inflammation may play a role in some SIDS, it appears at best to be a contributory factor that can be countered by a number of steps. On the other hand, since inflammation, in your mind, relates to vaccines, not, of course, natural diseases, then you choose to believe it is major factor. Just one more example of your limited capacity to understand the complexity of medical science, to ignore an entire book and choose one chapter. I wonder if you even tried to read the chapter?

One Correction. The most recent recommendations are NOT to use home monitoring devices. Instead have the crib in the same room as the parents. So, if nothing else, thanks to Christine, what I learned years ago has changed and so do I. See APA Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment

@ Joel,

How many infants have you actually cared for before & after receiving vaccines? Here is the typical trajectory for pre & post well-baby checkup:

Happy healthy baby goes to well-baby, gets vaccinated & develops a fever by that night. NORMALLY this only lasts for a few days.

MANY parents call the pediatricians office the next morning to report the baby has been ‘sick since the vaccines’ & are told this is a NORMAL reaction to vaccines.

If the baby dies from SIDS shortly thereafter; it will be in the report that the baby seemed ‘sick’ before they died.

You use words like “MANY” – and yet I’m not seeing you provide any actual evidence to back it up.

Nor have you addressed that the rate of SIDS is currently at its lowest level & declined by more than 50% in the last two decades…even as more vaccines were added to the schedule.

Would you care to explain?

Is CK now blaming doctors for SIDS because they might have told parents about reactions to vaccination? Meaning that the parents then assume actual viral symptoms are a reaction to vaccination?

@ NumberWang,

No, I’m not blaming the doctors.

I am saying that a parent will report the baby ‘seemed sick’ just prior to death because the baby was having a ‘normal’ reaction to the vaccines.

I am also saying there is a discrepancy in a SIDS investigation because the pediatrician only provides medical records while a parent is either personally interviewed or provides a written account in their own words.

When a SIDS study reports that a certain % of children seemed sick just prior to death; they are quoting the parents, not the doctors. The last time the doctors saw the baby; it was at a WELL baby checkup, as hopefully a doctor would not actually vaccinate a sick baby at an acute care visit.

@ Christine Kincaid

“I am also saying there is a discrepancy in a SIDS investigation because the pediatrician only provides medical records while a parent is either personally interviewed or provides a written account in their own words.”

I don’t take parents’ report at face value in these cases, but if you have documentation on this issue (not related to vaccines, please, but SIDS generally), I’ll gladly read it (provided I find the energy, which is rather at a low level in the current moment).

I’m very much interested in the way evidence is gathered in SIDS cases: The methodology. It’s been quite a mystery to me…

Orac, friends, sceptics, shills and minions:

I wish you a very happy new year in which we continue our mission and hopefully, have some fun whilst doing so!
SIWOTI and we’re here to fix it.

@ F68.10

I suggest you get and read the book: Richard Trubo (2001). Courage: The story of the mighty effort to end the devastating effects of Multiple Sclerosis. The younger brother of Sylvia Laurie, a successful businesswoman in the 1930s developed a serious problem in the mid-1930s that doctors couldn’t identify. Laurie placed an ad in the New York Times in 1946, result, large number of people contacted her, all with similar symptoms. Though MS had been defined in 1800s, most doctors saw none or one case, so didn’t recognize. Turned out it was HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has a list of studies of vaccines and MS, almost all found NO association. A few, based on very small sample sizes, maybe; but compared with the large studies, probably NOT??? Available at:
https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Living-Well-With-MS/Diet-Exercise-Healthy-Behaviors/Vaccinations

Check out also VAXOPEDIA at: https://vaxopedia.org/2018/01/31/can-vaccines-cause-multiple-sclerosis/

I dated a cowboy (actual, former) for a while. He had MA; really messed up his whole life. I mean he also ranted about chemtrails and stuff, though, so it didn’t work out. I still have his number though, maybe I’ll call him up some time, shoot the sh!t. (It transpired that he was an old friend of a cousin of mine. Well, dude’s 10 years older than me.)

@ Aarno,

Simple fact of autism prevalence. Why would boys has so junky immune system

Junky? Because of the male sex-bias prevalence in autism? Maybe I do not understand what you are asking me. Negative non-specific effects (higher mortality) of the DTP in girls was well-established by Aaby but testosterone has been called the ‘link’ between ASD & Immune-functioning:

“Testosterone seems to be the relevant link between ADS and immune functioning, because of its possible immunosuppressing function [15,16]. Studies suggest that physiological concentrations of the female sex hormones stimulate immune functioning, whereas those of the male sex hormone testosterone suppresses”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409610/

From the paper:
“The Dutch translation of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) was completed to examine variation in autistic traits, including the domains “social insights and behavior”, “difficulties with change”, “communication”, “phantasy and imagination”, and “detail orientation”. The 1-item perceived immune functioning score did not significantly correlate with the total AQ score. However, a significant negative correlation was found between perceived immune functioning and the AQ subscale “difficulties with change” (r = −0.119, p = 0.019). In women, 1-item perceived immune functioning correlated significantly with the AQ subscales “difficulties with change” (r = −0.149, p = 0.029) and “communication” (r = −0.145, p = 0.032). In men, none of the AQ subscales significantly correlated with 1-item perceived immune functioning. In conclusion, a modest relationship between perceived immune functioning and several autistic traits was found.”
You should actually read your cherrypicked papers, as Chris suggested.

@ Aaro,

I said then that I may not have understood what you meant. I thought maybe you were saying that sex did not impact immune-mediation.

Aarno, what stood out to me was the line “In the current study we excluded people with mental illness, including ASD. Hence, the sample consists of healthy young participants.” In other words, this wasn’t even a study involving people with a diagnosis of autism!

Actual testosterone citation:
Wichmann M.W., Zellweger R., DeMaso C.M., Ayala A., Chaudry I.H. Mechanism of immunosuppression in males following trauma-hemorrhage. Critical role of testosterone. Arch. Surg. 1996;131:1186–1191. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430230068012.
This is an animal model of trauma recovery. Not exactly same thing than a healthy children. My impression is that the author is hand waving

Hey! You’re probably unaware, Dr. Mercola is having a massive sale on merch. Good time to try out some of his products. He is looking quite healthy and buffed in the pic!

https://shop.mercola.com/

I am not a paid representative of Joe Mercola, MD or his affiliates.

Good time to try out some of his products.

I’d rather take a cheesegrater to my eyelids.

He is looking quite healthy and buffed in the pic!

If I was sat on ~$100 million I’d probably be able to afford a bit more time down the gym myself. Assuming of course that pic is genuine and unmolested, that is.

Ooops sorry I should translate into NATALI€ $P€AK..

MORE FUD ABOUT VACCIN€$ FROM MERCDOLLA = MOR€ $UPPL€M€NT $AL€$ = MOR€ $$$$ FOR MERCDOLLA

wHy iS ThAT sO HARD for YoU tO UnDeRSTAND?

In something of a tangent I see that Good Ol’ Joe has jumped on the 5G/EMF FUD bandwagon with his latest book, sheesh, he could at least have made a bit of an effort to be original.

@ Moto – So I’m inferring you are overweight and/or pasty? Dr. Mercola is so well off he probably has a home gym, so he doesn’t need to go sweat with the common folks.

@Natalie

Nope and Nope. Even if I do have to “sweat with the common folks” as you put it.

And, gosh, this is awkward.. I mean I’m flattered and all but I’m taken.

So I’m inferring [sic] you are overweight and/or pasty?

You seem to have become unduly enamored of this attempted all-purpose “retort,” but floor wax and dessert toppings, whatever.

Do any of the “old timers” here remember that dude who kept popping up in the comments once in a while and writing that he was about to publish some big study that would leave us all breathless and even send some of us to jail? He kept pushing it back, but the last I see was 2015. It’s 2020 and nothing… Not a single conclusive study on autism and vaccines. Not one. It’s almost as if there was no evidence of a link, isn’t it? (Personal delusions aside, of course.)

Now we have CK threatening that some new study is coming and blah, blah, blah… I’m so scared. I’m taking the link to her comments and pasting it in Google Calendar for January 2, 2025, to remind myself to look for her study that will leave us all clutching something. (I really didn’t read her comment; just skimmed.) I bet you a dollar that no such study will come and prove anything.

@ Rene F, Najera, ( @EpiRen):

I sure do **. Wasn’t it supposed to be a website that would reveal the SHOCKING!!!! Truth
But anti-vaxxers always proclaim studies by their cohorts to be the final blow that will dissolve the vaccine illusion, I though that the Whistleblower affair was the be-all and end-all of pharmatocratic rule. Or Andy would be shown to be correct and perfection itself. Jake Crosby would unveil skullduggery by SBM in his investigative journalism in the Epoch Times/ own website.
Umm.. I’m waiting.

** although I’m not that old I’ve been here since 2008-9 ( reader then commenter)

@ Rene,

Did I announce that I was going to PUBLISH a study?

Here is what you may put in your calendar:

“A consensus reached for the etiological origin of autism as a postnatal, atypical immune-response, occurring in children with predisposing genetic variants &/or the Broad Autistic Phenotype.”

That’s all, please. Everybody except for Chris will understand what that means.

“He is looking quite healthy and buffed in the pic!”

It would take major photoshopping to overcome his usual grim cadaver look.

@Dangerous Bacon – You and your snark were spared! Congratulations on not winning the unlucky “one in a million” vaccine lotto.

You say, “It would take major photoshopping to overcome his usual grim cadaver look”. He does not look like the average, fat American. Perhaps you are more accustomed to overweight and pasty? Is that your norm?

Of course Mercola looks “healthy and buffed”. He’s a multimillionaire who doesn’t do any real work!

Oh, Dangerous One:

I always suspect that when someone with money looks awful that they- in reality- must look much worse because
there are many products- injectibles, topicals, electrical stimulation methods- that can improve appearance for a short time or a months long period. A celebrity/ actor might have to appear at an awards ceremony or sit for a magazine article photo session. Plus Mercola is a doctor and better understands how these methods work. You wouldn’t believe what Korean salons offer around here..

Another hint is when you see photos posed at odd angles, holding something over part of their face, having part of their face obscured by sunglasses, hair, etc. We’ve all seen that. Or just use really old photos ( see PRN)

F68.10,

About autism? I’m not so sure.

Before 1999 many promising studies regarding immune system & ASD. From 1999-2013 mostly pharma & genetics studies. Immune system was a hot-potato … retractions et al.

Then in 2014, AutismBrainNet’s post-mortem brain tissue donations were distributed & by 2016; not only were they all coming back screaming IMMUNE but they even had a diversion; the Maternal Immune Activation (Mombie) Hypothesis.

Which has gone nowhere & we are now in ‘awkward silence’ mode. So maybe they will find another diversion but what? Downwind/downstream is so 1970’s & yuppie cancer from cell phones is already taken.

They know what they found in those precious cubes/slices of brain tissue donated by those awesome families.

Or about Chris? No that’s not overstated. She just told me my linked study wasn’t about immune-activation in SIDS because the babies had viral-symptoms. I mean …

Chris said infection causes immune activation. Do you not know even that ? Unborn is more vulnerable to infections, of course. This is hardly mothers fault.
Papers you mentioned have a serious fault: they generally never mention genetics. A serious problem, because, you know, autism is genetic,

@ Aarno,

Of course autism is genetic. It is a multifactorial genetic condition. I have found about 12 of the 300+ genetic variants associated with autism in my raw DNA data. I’m sure I have more, 12 is just as far as I have gotten with that, because I have to do it all myself, one by one.

Now THAT would be a cool app tool to have available. Upload your raw DNA file into an autism risk calculator.

But guess what? A lot of people with the genetic predisposition won’t be actually autistic, will they.

Because genes are only one part of a multifactorial equation. It’s time to see a lot MORE of the studies trying to find out ‘n’.

GENETIC + n = Autism.

Multifactorial …

You are a nonresponder, This means that MMR vaccination had no effect. So genes are a better explanation.
Some genes do cause autism as such. And multifactoral does not mean that vaccines did it. Besides, vaccines have different ingredients, so you cannot speak vaccines generally.

Of course autism is genetic. It is a multifactorial genetic condition. I have found about 12 of the 300+ genetic variants associated with autism in my raw DNA data.

And what format is that in?

^ No, really, Cristine, what do you mean when you say “my raw DNA data”? That should be about 1.6 gigabytes of data in semi-usable form, and you claim to be treating it like Sunday NYT crossword puzzle.

They know what they found in those precious cubes/slices of brain tissue donated by those awesome families.

Your visage on the slides?

Now, now.
It was obviously a set of tiny footprints imprinted on the brain tissue, left by one of Lord Draconis’ minions. They miniaturize themselves and put themselves into the vaccines, you know.

(Identity Crisis reference)

@ Narad,

what do you mean when you say my raw DNA data

I did the full 23 & Me option & downloaded that massive raw data file. Mostly because I was going to upload onto GedMatch but then I got curious. Because it was there.

Well, it’s much more tedious than a NYT crossword puzzle. I have no paid access to decoders. I have to use the available research & pull up the genes one by one & HOPE I find something with the SNPs listed, or:

I start with the first SNP, next I go to the the last SNP. Then the first & last after deletions & ‘not determined’ (best results doing that). Homozygous first then hetero & I have to check ALL available citations.

After just one gene I could have hundreds of tabs up with their correlating citations & it’s a big mess so I have to start clearing them out so I don’t get completely lost. If I were not a quirky reader I couldn’t do this. Or maybe it would be easier? I keep seeing things I don’t have time to look at & make a mental note (I lose written ones) like a heliobacter citation on an IL7R gene. I THINK, damnit. It could have been on IL4. Or 18? I remembered a paper on heliobacter in ASD & Alzheimer’s from months ago. I wanted to go back & look at the citation but it was like 50 tabs ago.

SNPedia helps with some. Genetic Life Hacks is cool but very limited. Genetic Genie did my Detox & Methylation Profiles for free.

There COULD be a decoder app that could tell you what vaccines you would have a higher risk for adverse events from & those you would not but there WONT be because if it tells you a certain vaccine is dangerous for you; it has just said something antivaccine.

What is it about the anti-vaccine movement that attracts awful people? ‘Cause I can’t think of one anti-vaxxer I could stand to spend a minute with. They’re either destined to be on the nightly news, are out in la-la land or are con artists. I’m beginning to think it’s the equivalent of a rattlesnake’s rattle.

F68: You need to find a pastor or something, if not a therapist. Your issues with your parents (and honestly they sound terrible) does not mean all doctors and nurses everywhere are in league with the devil, nor does it mean that everyone everywhere should give up science and live in caves.

Jack: Hey, nice to see you around. I would have piped up earlier, but I’ve been using borrowed computers for the last month.

Christine Kincaid: Hey, there’s something I’ve been wondering. Do you hate your son because his sister died, and you think the wrong twin died? Or would you have hated her too if she’d been autistic?

@ PGP:

To answer your first question, could it be because they are entirely self-absorbed and disregard what the rest of the world accepts as meaningful- that they are in their own little bubble most of the time, looking down at the folly of experts?
To buy into anti-vax ‘logic” or woo explanations of illness/ cure, you have to imagine yourself as better informed and more perceptive than the vast majority of the world’s scientists and experts. Someone comes here and accuses Orac of lying and being “on the take” without evidence but just “knowing” that it’s true. That is being out of touch with reality and dismissive of others’ beliefs without being able to demonstrate why the standard is wrong with data. In other words, it is them alone as authority. No SBM researcher says this/ Yet, sceptics are “arrogant”

@ PGP,

Do you hate your son because his sister died, and you think the wrong twin died? Or would you have hated her too if she’d been autistic

No PGP. Once again; I LOVE my child & I HATE autism.

But thanks for providing for a great screen-shot for my parents groups! Do you know how EFFICIENTLY that statement you just made works to convince a vaccine-hesitant parent of an autistic child to never trust a pro-vaccine person about vaccines again? And on a doctor’s blog too? Priceless!

And btw; my now 25 yr old son who’s twin sister died; is not autistic. He is employed & is expecting his first child this summer with his SO.

See, I also once trusted a pro-vaccine person about vaccines again & to think that I took my child to her death that day I took her to her well-baby checkup was just a little too much for me to bear. So I allowed the pro-vax message to over-rule my instincts. If it was the vaccines’ fault then it was my fault.

Don’t you see? I kept vaccinating. I vaccinated the next FIVE kids. Until my youngest son’s brain started swelling the day after his ‘catch-up’ vaccines. My autistic son is 16. Not 25. It is MY fault that Jessie died & that Luke is permanently disabled.

It is MY fault; because I vaccinated.

(likely; it was those 2 out of the 11 that inherited my predisposition for atypical immune response. wonder what the prevalence is for that in the general population?)

Anyone who makes up their mind on a preventative medicine topic based on a screen shot shared by an antivaxxer on a mommies group of a comment made on a blog by a random person probably had their mind made up already. I say, share away!

You may love your son, but you have no respect for him. You have given enough information away about him here that it would be very easy for someone to track him down in real life. You have an obligation to your son and his privacy, and you’re failing. Big time.

As for you statement that PGP’s comment appears on a doctor’s blog, well, yours does, too.

@Chris, I’ve talked here about some medical issues within my family and among friends, but I’m super careful to make sure there’s no identifying information. Every time Christine talks about her son, I feel sick — not because of his issues, which Christine clearly thinks should have us clutching our pearls in horror at her family’s situation, but because she’s violated his basic rights under the guise of “advocacy.”

Once again; I LOVE my child & I HATE autism.

Who’s in charge of turnip-truck safety these days, anyhow?

Assuming that all babies have fever after vaccines, or that vaccines are a primary cause of fever, or that when a parent or doctor says a child has an infection they mean a post-vaccines fever is counter-factual. It just further demonstrates the speaker’s bias.

@ Rene,

Yeah it does make a difference to parents of autistic children. There is a tendency to become very protective of your child. Many of these parents have constant confrontations with schools over IEP’s, with family, with spouses & with complete strangers in public who give us dirty looks or make snarky comments when our kids have meltdowns.

There is so much judgement from NT people about people with autism; you haven”t a clue. My NT kids would get in arguments in high school because a common put-down by teenagers to classmates who screw something up is to say ‘Are you AUTISTIC?’

It is vile & WAY beyond ‘respectful insolence’ to accuse a mother of a vaccine-injured child of hating her child. I vaccinated. My child had encephalopathy starting that next day. His brain was swelling; that next day. That is literally the same story we all have.

Address THAT if you want parents to vaccinate. There is empirical evidence that unmistakably correlates vaccines to autism. If what I have said here makes it look like I hate my son then what do you think about this guy? Does he hate his kid too? (God I never thought I would post a video)

“There is a tendency to become very protective of your child.” You’re not protecting your child by splashing his private, identifying information all over the internet. If you love your son, please stop.

@ Terrie,

If you love your son, please stop

I’m sure you campaign daily against parents with Gofund me accounts too because they have ‘outed’ their kids?

You petitioned St. Jude’s Hospitals to only use models instead of actual patients on their ads?

You probably agree with exploiting some high-functioning spectrummy kid who plays Stravinsky’s Trois mouvements de Petrouchka onstage at Carnegie, though, right?

“But For God’s sake’s; hide that kid with severe autism who just had a seizure in aisle three! He’s making vaccines look bad!”

You have given enough information away to the entire internet that someone could find your kid’s school with minimal effort. Why the hell does that not terrify you? You care more about proving you’re right than you do about your son. You’re a shitty parent.

“You haven’t a clue.” Is this like the time you were so sure I wasn’t a parent and I would never understand you because you thought I wasn’t. How did that go? Wanna keep making assumptions about what I know or don’t?

Yeah, you will, because that’s the game you play, Christine. You keep putting people in neat little bins where you can classify them the way you want while forgetting that people are not monolithical. Not all parents of autistic children feel the way you do.

I’m willing to wager that many don’t blame anything at all for their child’s diagnosis. They certainly don’t spend an inordinate amount of time arguing with randos about it on some blog… Or endangering public health by spreading conspiracy theories about vaccines.

@ Christine Kincaid @ Renee @ Terrie

“It is vile & WAY beyond ‘respectful insolence’ to accuse a mother of a vaccine-injured child of hating her child.”

Aside from the claim that vaccines “did it”, I’d at least say that it’s quite tough to claim that a mother hates her child. Some do, but that’s quite rare.

A more correct formulation would be to claim that a mother is not accepting (or more than not accepting…) the personality of a child who has autism. And whether vaccines “did it” or not is besides the point. While that attitude can be very problematic, it is NOT the same thing as hating a child.

Childhood memory: I remember vividly, when I was a kid, my mother (an MD, with who, everyone know it now, I have a “problem”…), watching a documentary on TV on autism quite a few decades ago. She had a complete mental breakdown watching it and fell sobbing into tears quite uncontrollably. And from what I now know of her, had I had autism, she definitely would have “loved” me (which I do consider to be a serious problem given my history…) but would seriously have been extremely intolerant of autism itself, whatever that may mean…

Now, the “trick” is that it’s a major fallacy to believe that you could consider the kid and autism to be two separate and independent entities…

But “love” is not the issue nor what is at stake. And these injunctions to motherly love do not help at all in solving such a situation: It’s one layer more of emotional blackmail that is laid on top of people who suffer.

Let’s cut the crap about love.

Now, here’s a point on which I’d agree with Terrie: it would (definitely) have been better had CK avoided claiming to the world that her kid has autism. But let’s not cry over spilt milk.

For the rest (vaccines) I’ll let you people beat the topic to death without me. You do not need me for that… (And I got bored to death watching the Vaxxed video anyway…)

@ F68.10,

Thank you.

I love my autistic child’s personality. What sucks is when the fear & anxiety provoke very difficult & unsafe behaviors.

Seriously, my kid is so witty & has an unusual sense of humor. He’s hysterical & sharp as a tack. Much more so than I am, lol.

He was like that before the vaccines. Obviously, it was gone when his brain started swelling. And it stayed gone for the next few years of active regression. But; it came back. Autism couldn’t & didn’t take away his personality

Sorry you were bored by the video.

@ Christine Kincaid

“Obviously, it was gone when his brain started swelling.”

What do you mean by “swelling”?

“Sorry you were bored by the video.”

As long as Orac is tolerant of a Vaxxed video on his blog, it is his call, and you have no business apologising to me. I’m bored by many things nowadays, moreover… so if you want to apologise to someone, I’m the wrong person to pick.

What do you mean by “swelling”?

Self-diagnosed “brain swelling” has become something of a shibboleth in antivax circles, though you are also expected to make something up about an “encephalitic cry” to prove your allegiance to the cause. Maybe ‘encephalitis’ is more dramatic than claiming ‘encephalopathy’.

And after a claim of “encephalopathy” I usually ask how it went when they took the kid to the hospital. Then I get crickets, nothing. They never even took the kid to see a doctor.

This usually angers me because I did call 911 for emergency services when my toddler had a seizure (from an actual disease, several years before a vaccine for it was available).

@Smut Clyde

I do not a priori despise self diagnosis. But it might be a good idea to have a clear idea of how one comes to that kind of conclusion.

The skull is not transparent.

So, OK, encephalopathy can be observed through behavioural issues, for instance (though I’m dubious of these kind of behavioural issues claim, usually.)

But then, a good understanding of the condition is necessary not to fool oneself.

@ Smut Clyde:
@ Chris:

Right. Wasn’t Cia Parker always claiming this?
Usually, they report encephalopathy/ encephalitis/ strokes ** but these seem to be diagnosed only by the parent because hey, what do doctors know anyway?
-btw- isn’t “brain swelling” usually observed by doctors/ nurses in ICU with CAT scans etc?

** Katie Wright, recently on twitter ( Rossi’s, Wright’s, Taylor’s twitters are gold mines of dreck)

Yes, Ms. Parker often claimed it. At least she honestly admitted she never called a doctor.

Essentially the baby was crying for a long time. Which happens, I have also had to deal with an inconsolable infant. Which is totally different from grand mal seizure.

Also my kid was diagnosed by a real neurologist with mild static encephalopathy (just pulled up the notes that I scanned into a pdf). Which is neurology speak for “we know something is wrong in the brain, but we don’t know what and it is not changing.”

Wasn’t Cia Parker always claiming [encephalopathy]?

Yes, indeed, Parker consistently blamed vaccines for her daughter’s symptoms, despite that her daughter (1) was deprived of oxygen at birth by what Parker called a “true knot” in the umbilical cord and (2) has a deletion in NRXN1 (deletions in that gene are known to cause the physical and neurodevelopmental problems that Parker’s daughter experiences)–because it’s always the vaccines and, of course, vaccine-induced encephalopathy.

@ brian:

“because it’s always the vaccines”

Certainly.
Rossi ( fka Stagliano) used to claim that her third unvaccinated daughter’s autism was due to her own ( Kim’s) childhood vaccines! This child may have the most severe form although all three appear to be ASD/ ID, receive disability/ attend designated schools, day institutes for adults.
After much ridicule from SBM writers, she changed her theory of causation to being due to a “difficult birth” “like CP” which seemed to have slipped her mind before.

But she never acknowledges that three cases of ASD may have something to do with genetics!
-btw- I recently found a study that looked at genetics of families with autistic children that showed that if more than one kid had autism it was more likely to be “inherited” but singletons were more likely to be de novo variation.
Ain’t science wonderful to tell us that?

@ F68.10,

Wait I missed this:

“Now, the “trick” is that it’s a major fallacy to believe that you could consider the kid and autism to be two separate and independent entities…”

Why? That is exactly how I see it. I remember when my child was more neurotypical than I am. I know who he is. He is not ‘gone’. He is right here; struggling with autism.

If a kid & a condition are not two separate entities; then a kid with cancer is ‘cancerous’? Erm, no.

And I hate labels & disagree with those moms who drag a kid into 50 ‘experts’ offices to attach a slew of co-morbidities behind the ASD diagnosis just to validate psychotropic use. Autism is hard enough. My kid is pharma-free & not medicated into submission.

@ coschristi

“Why? That is exactly how I see it.”

I kind of knew that it’s how you saw it, and I meant no disrespect by stating my “opinion”.

But, yes. Autism is a word used to describe a condition that is much more tied to the personality of a person than transient conditions like many illness.

You do not cure autism. You manage to find mechanisms that allow you to get along with something that is a lifelong handicap.

At least, that’s how I see it from the testimonies of people having this condition.

A “cure” for autism seems to me to be way off the charts of modern science.

If your kid manages to “get out” of autism, he’ll still be autistic, but able to get along.

Of course, you see him as having something separate from him. Kind of a weight on his shoulders. But that weight won’t disappear, but will eventually become more manageable.

Society is way too hard on autistic kids…

Here’s a song the autistic community in France made on this topic. (The autistic community in France have other troubles than vaccines: they are battling against the stranglehold psychoanalysis has over french psychiatry in this domain.)

They made blue the colour they used on a given day to highlight the lifelong specificity they have. And to put pressure on the government to crack down on medieval medical approaches to autism in France, which could hardly be claimed to be called “science”.

They’re battling to get doctors to diagnose autism according to modern guidelines… which is something psychiatrists are rather reluctant to do in France.

It’s changing. Slowly…

Yes, indeed, Parker consistently blamed vaccines for her daughter’s symptoms, despite

Also despite her daughter not receiving the HepB vaccine because Parker had refused permission. Parker insisted that her daughter must have been covertly vaccinated anyway… the only evidence being Parker’s diagnosis of an imaginary disease, and her conviction that this imaginary disease has no causes other than vaccination. She made up everything.

they are battling against the stranglehold psychoanalysis has over french psychiatry in this domain

I’ll take a Freudian over a Rogerian any day.

@ Narad

“I’ll take a Freudian over a Rogerian any day.”

Be serious a couple of minutes, Narad.

If a kid & a condition are not two separate entities; then a kid with cancer is ‘cancerous’? Erm, no.

Not surprised you would produce such a wrong-headed analogy. But certainly explains why you blame vaccines.

I’ll take a Freudian over a Rogerian any day.”

Be serious a couple of minutes, Narad.

My comment was entirely serious. And free from globular blobular video frosting.

@ Narad

“My comment was entirely serious. And free from globular blobular video frosting.”

Yeah? Well that was small talk, Narcissus.

@ Terrie,

I just want to know if you found disrespect in that video by the parents for their child? Was their grief disrespectful?

Yes I love my son. He is amazing.

@ F68.10,

I’m under the impression that Orac is not intimidated by Vaxxed videos. I was trying to show a parent’s grief within the context of vaccines.

And yes, a person suffering cerebral edema or encephalopathy, whether from trauma, stroke or another biological process will be in too extreme of a crisis to exhibit a personality, or at best there is a personality change.

By swelling; I mean he had encephalopathy but without seizures.

If this brain swelling is really taking place, wouldn’t there be a substantial number of cases at the far end of the scale of brains herniating into the foramen magnum or through the unclosed sutures of small children’s skulls? Wouldn’t we hear about it? Wouldn’t there be protocols to deal with these herniating brains? Wouldn’t I and any of the other health professionals here have been taught about it in their classes and student rotations in pediatrics?
How did the all the medical professions here and around the world miss that one?
(Hint: it’s because it ain’t happening.)

@ Natalie White,

That is interesting. My son seems to be in a constant state of inflammation. His body temp is constantly 99.6. He has persistant red blotches on his face that look like Fifth Disease & the darker red they are; the worse his behaviors. He has a constant diffuse viral rash. The more of it he has; also the worse the behaviors. Sometimes there are actual pox.

He has headaches, as far as I can tell, frequently. He can’t say “I have a headache’. Sometimes he says ‘brain ache’ . Mostly I know he’s hurting when he laughs continuously & unprovoked.

Those catch-up vaccines he got that I blame for his autism were held initially because of a strep infection. So I wonder about PANDAS. But it doesn’t quite fit.

@ Rene,

I do not know if you are a parent. And?

I’m willing to wager that many don’t blame anything at all for their child’s diagnosis

I don’t know any parents quite that stupid. If my kid was fine before you saw him & you send him back unwell; you better believe I’m going to be looking for answers.

“I do not know if you are a parent. And?”

On a previous thread from a previous post, you went off on some tangent about how I wasn’t a parent and didn’t understand you. Then it was explained to you by myself and a couple of others that I was indeed a parent. Now you’re saying that I don’t get it and even saying that parents who don’t blame anything for their child’s diagnosis are stupid. If you get any more dense, I worry you might colapse into a neutron star.

@ René Najera

Is collapsing into a neutron star somewhere in the ICD-10 classification? I’d love that one…

@ Narad

OK. Down to teletubbies level, now…

(BTW, thanks for the tornado JO craigslist item. That was hilarious.)

@Christine Kincaid You love your son and tell everybody that he is a retard still on diapers. What if he can someday read your comments ? Some older people have incontinence problem, and are not retards at all.
Your are non responder, meaning that MMR vaccine did not have any effect. Your claim that your son is a hyperresponder. No inheritance there, obviously, exactly opposite problems.
Encephalopathy is not autism, a thing a nurse should know. Your timing changes continously, too.

She’s gone from ‘swelling’ (encephalitis) to edema to encephalopathy. The words mean nothing to her. This is just babble.

@ Aarno,

WTF. Don’t call my son a ‘retard’. I dare you to quote me where I have ever said that.

And MY son is NOT in diapers anymore but some of OUR children are in diapers for a lifetime. I was talking in the context of the experience of parents of children with SEVERE autism.

I have a friend with a severely autistic son who is in his 20’s & IS still in diapers. My son was toilet trained by age 9.

LOL; ya’ll thought I was talking about my kid exclusively? No wonder all the strange accusations. No; that is a somewhat BRIEF collection of what OUR kids suffer daily.

And my son is hyperlexic like I am. He’s was reading at the 8th grade level at age 3. A lot of his aggressive behavior developed from the fact that nobody had figured this out, as he was non-verbal. Very frustrating for him.

So it seems that diapers thing is very important to you, and indeed is very often mentioned. Implication is that YOUR sons are behind development, obviously, even a small child is potty trained. I repeat: what if YOUR sons someday can read things you write about them ? I can add older people with incontinence problem to not advertise the fact.

Funny; I was always a bit hyperlexic myself. I was reading fluently by the time I was about two years old, and way beyond my age level from an early age. Wonder what that was about; sort of always have. Who knows.

@ Jack,

Yes! Reading at age 2 is a classic indicator of Savant Syndrome & Hyperlexia.

I was also reading at age 2. I do not ever remember learning how to read. It seems I have known since my earliest memories of self-awareness.

Hyperlexia is (or was, depending on who is speaking) a Savant skill. I had thought it was almost 100% associated with ASD but this 2014 paper states it is 84%.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014976341630639X

Dr Treffert is an expert in Savantism. His opinion differs a bit from the authors above.

https://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/_WMS/savant/pdf/whats_new/2017/2017_04_20_What%27s%20New_Treffert%20Hyperlexia%20Manual.pdf

Recommended weekend reading for those who have or can sign up for a Medscape account: an interesting article on Peter Gotsche’s fight with the Cochrane group.

http://medscape.com/viewarticle/923214

Gotsche apparently is still seething about his dismissal from the Cochrane board and directorship of the Nordic branch of Cochrane, which followed perceptions that he was using his Cochrane credentials in pursuit of objectives that his Cochrane colleagues had not signed onto (Gotsche has lambasted the commonplace use of medications in treating psychiatric problems and attacked a Cochrane report which concluded that HPV vaccination had shown usefulness in combating HPV-induced cancer. An RI article awhile back discussed Gotsche’s pulling out of an antivax event after public criticism. There’s other evidence that Gotsche has been playing footsie with supporters of woo and antivax ideology but is not happy about the public image that’s given him.

“Pamela Popper, another of the next day’s lecturers (at an opening symposium for Gotsche’s Institute of Scientific Freedom) and a prominent advocate for healthy eating as a substitute for medication — and a business partner of (an American psychiatrist who testifies on behalf of accused criminals who were taking prescription drugs) — was also visiting. A naturopath, Popper runs a popular YouTube channel, and it had driven some of sign-ups for the next day’s conference. She wasn’t surprised, she said, by what happened to Gøtzsche. “We’ve all been come after,” she said. “It’s a badge of honor really, to be pursued by them. It must mean you’re doing something right.”
“With Gøtzsche, of course, the pursuit is reciprocal. He is infamous for coming after people, even his own colleagues. Two months before Edinburgh, Gøtzsche co-authored a critique of Cochrane’s recent HPV vaccine review, which had concluded that “there is high-certainty evidence that HPV vaccines protect against cervical precancer in adolescent girls and women.” Gøtzsche’s paper accused Cochrane’s researchers of excluding nearly half the relevant trials and incompletely assessing certain adverse events and safety signals.”
“From all the available evidence, this paper was not the cause of Gøtzsche’s expulsion. His two co-authors, also members of Cochrane, were not removed from the organization. The news coverage, though, tended to link the two events, and Gøtzsche was subsequently taken up as a hero by anti-vaccination groups, who assumed he shared their worldview. The Danish researcher appeared to outside observers not to be at pains to disabuse his new followers of this notion. If anything, he appeared to be courting it.”

“A few weeks before the symposium, Gøtzsche’s face had cropped up in the promotional materials for a workshop run by Physicians for Informed Consent, a prominent anti-vaccination group, to be held just a few days after the opening of his institute. Gøtzsche was to deliver its keynote, alongside such anti-vaccine luminaries as Toni Bark and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. When the news was picked up on Twitter, Gøtzsche quickly pulled out. When asked about it, he claimed he hadn’t realized who the other speakers would be.
The Institute for Scientific Freedom’s symposium was held at Bethesda, a historic church in central Copenhagen. The one-day event was to be made up mostly of short talks (sample titles: “Medical journals are an extension of the marketing arm of pharmaceutical companies”; “The many forms of scientific censorship in psychiatry”) with two audience Q&As, one before the lunch break and one at the end. There were about 80 or 90 people in attendance, some who appeared to be in their 20s, but most who looked to be at or beyond middle-age. Gøtzsche, appropriately, looked nearly priestlike, standing on the stage in all-black.
The fact that Gøtzsche had inadvertently organized a kind of impromptu anti-vaccination convention became clear during the first Q&A, after the fourth or fifth successive question about vaccines. One questioner asked Peter Aaby — who conducts vaccine research in Africa — why, given the apparent abundance of studies showing that measles is actually good for you, we don’t try and study what happens when you give certain African children large doses of Vitamin C instead of “injecting them full of toxins” (i.e., giving them the measles vaccine).”

Gotsche says he has a book coming out in February, “Vaccines: Truth, Lies and Controversy”. It ought to be a humdinger.

The usual kind of nonsensical feuds I’m sick and tired of seeing medecine indulge in.

Frightening to see. A bunch of kids playing in a schoolyard.

Thanks for the link DB; it was a good read. It is sad to see someone like Dr. Gøtzsche go down the path he is going, while he has some valid criticism of Cochrane, he’s gotten too mired in bitterness and ego to come off as credible. He seemed regretful he had attracted the attention of anti-vaxx loons and some alt-med types but we’ll see what he does, if anything, to distance himself from them.

@ Narad – “You seem to have become unduly enamored of this attempted all-purpose “retort,” ” I’m getting bored with the “company” and content. You are one of the few who is semi-interesting and weird.

I’ll change it up for you…a blast from the past. This is completely OT but it seems no one is manning the RI ship.

So I was reading about Amerithrax and a mad scientist last night. Bruce E. Ivins stalker, S & M enthusiast and cross dresser extraordinaire, mentally ill and scary, someone with easy access to bio-weapons. The theory is this guy, out of fear his job would become obsolete, sent the anthrax letters. Truth really is stranger than fiction. Makes me wonder about other scientists like Poul Thorsen and William W. Thompson and how many more “mad scientists” are currently in the mix. What kind of pre-screening do they undergo? I guess some just go mental? Is it the work? Are they driven mad like Frank Olson? Have you watched Wormwood on Netflix? I found the story truly fascinating, scary and sad.

https://www.justice.gov/archive/amerithrax/docs/amx-investigative-summary.pdf

@ Natalie White

“What kind of pre-screening do they undergo?”

There should be as little pre-screening as possible, except for educational criteria and stuff like that.

Screening should be proportional to the responsibility, and even then, the adequacy of screening is likely to be not very correct.

What’s the problem with cross-dressing?

@ F68.10,

I agree. It’s just that every time a scientist turns whistle-blower about vaccines; they are deemed as: ‘Highly unstable’. ‘Deteriorating mental health’. ‘Disgruntled & revenge seeking’.

It would, therefore; seem to be adventitious for these ticking-time bombs to be weeded out BEFORE they blaspheme vaccines.

@ Christine Kincaid

I wasn’t talking about vaccines. But one issue that positively infuriates me to homicidal levels is clinical psychology, and specifically in France.

https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&nv=1&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&sp=nmt4&tl=en&u=https://psychologiescientifique.org/actu/psychologie-a-luniversite-temoignages-sur-un-hold-up/&xid=17259,15700002,15700021,15700186,15700190,15700256,15700259,15700262,15700265,15700271,15700283&usg=ALkJrhgEpquu9CJ9fkbwQSCnE61xOdeazg

(Sorry for the long URL: it’s for English translation.)

May that priesthood hang itself with its own bowels.

It would, therefore; seem to be adventitious for these ticking-time bombs to be weeded out BEFORE they blaspheme vaccines.

“Adventitious”?

@Christine Kincaid Screening is by education. Like, read the full paper before making comments

@F68.10 – “What’s the problem with cross-dressing?” Nothing, I suppose. Seems innocent enough, but when piled on with the rest of his deviant behavior, dude was a freak and should not have had access to weaponized anthrax. His subordinates, colleagues and supervisors were negligent for not addressing his mental illness and removing him from his post.

I also wonder what 20 years of a yearly anthrax vaccine does to the brain and nervous system. Could that have played a part in his mental illness? Depression?

Interesting side note, are you aware of Ft. Detrick and MERCKs bio-warfare history?

“During World War II, Camp Detrick and the USBWL became the site of intensive biological warfare (BW) research using various pathogens. This research was originally overseen by pharmaceuticals executive George W. Merck and for many years”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Detrick

There’s an online radio show I like called Shut Up You Freak. The title is funny because I’m also a freak and I know the people who do these shows and they are also not normal, that’s the joke.

@ Natalie White

As usual you come up with illogical extremes. First, Thompson was a respected scientist; but due to problems that developed, became embittered. However, as I’ve clearly stated in previous exchanges, he stated that the reported results were valid, just they didn’t include a subgroup analysis. I pointed out that one. subgroup analyses are used for hypothesis development, not confirmation, two. that they changed the age interval for the Afro-American boys because the sample was far too small, thus not following the protocol, three that when one does multiple comparisons, one has to adjust the significance level for this. And CDC did NOT destroy the data. In fact, Brian Hooker requested it and received it, only to publish a study retracted because he used the wrong statistic.

As for Poul Thorsen. One. he was a co-author, not even the first three on several papers. Two, the claim he embezzled monies doesn’t mean the studies were wrong. There were 7 and 8 authors and additional reviewers. And Denmark doesn’t seem to believe the claim of embezzlement, refusing to extradite him.

So, “mad scientists”, the only one that appears “MAD”, mentally disturbed is YOU

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “It’s just that every time a scientist turns whistle-blower about vaccines; they are deemed as: ‘Highly unstable’. ‘Deteriorating mental health’. ‘Disgruntled & revenge seeking’.”

Really. Are you completely daft? Wakefield was called and is “dishonest.” I’m sure somewhere someone used the terms you used; but typical of you is to find the outlier, not the norm. How about all the attacks on those supporting vaccines?

One simple question: You often state that someday you will prove right and show just how wrong we are. Have you ever considered, even if one chance in a thousand, that you are the one who is wrong? Or do you just have perfect knowledge, god-like intelligence? And NEVER EVER QUESTION YOURSELF.

@ Joel:

I think that a Barney Frank paraphrase is in order here. You’d have more luck trying to educate a dining room table.

Actually, I venture that Orac allows commenters to persist for more reasons than free speech alone-
it shows sceptics how intractable anti-vax beliefs are and
those on the fence might discern how truly outrageous these ideas are when in full bloom.
It’s one thing to question the efficacy or safety of pharmaceutical products and quite another to create an imagined world of professional, corporate and governmental criminality that results in the “death and destruction” of thousands/ millions? of children. To present as such they must deny reality by insisting that-
— everyone else is lying
— vaccines aren’t tested
— studies show a link to autism
— autism starts at age 1 or later
— kids were fine until vaccinated
— there are no studies of genetic causation, early indicators, prenatal brain development
— etc. etc. etc.

@ Denice Walter

“It’s one thing to question the efficacy or safety of pharmaceutical products”…

In my experience, it’s proof positive that you are a scientologist. Add a strawman “argument” to the mix, and you get hordes of medical professionals ready to believe that Ron Hubbard’s goal of clearing the planet is almost acheived.

OK, it’s a caricature. The trouble is I do not know to which extent…

Bonkers.

Tired of this anti-science blackmail.

@ Athaic

Message to the Miviludes: “Xenu, Xenu, Xenu, revient! Xenu revient parmi les siens…”

@ Denice Walter

You should see the latest on Age of Autism. From CORVELVA: EXPLOSIVE NEW PUBLICATION BY STANLEY A. PLOTKIN at: https://www.ageofautism.com/2020/01/from-corvelva-.html

They take an editorial by Stanley Plotkin, one of the greats in vaccine development, where he discusses that measles vaccine doesn’t alway confer compete immunity; but mentions still milder disease, and turn it into proof the vaccine isn’t worthwhile. Then John Stone writes in BMJ Rapid Responses at: https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6926/rr-1:

“Stanley Plotkin, himself, expressed considerable uncertainty about the effectiveness of measles vaccination in his recent article ‘Is There a Correlate of Protection for Measles Vaccine? Indeed, a new and troubling possibility has by implication been raised in a just published article on the BBC website by Prof. Jonathan Ball of University of Nottingham. Ball writes [4]:

“So, what’s stopping animal morbilliviruses cropping up in humans?

“”A major factor is likely to be pre-existing immunity, where natural infection or vaccination against measles provides a pool of antibodies, some of which cross-react and prevent infection by non-human morbilliviruses”, explained Dr Bailey.

“But, as vaccination rates fall, we will continue to see major outbreaks of measles, and this will give other morbilliviruses, like CDV, the chance to explore a new human host.”

If vaccine immunity is not as good as natural immunity – and likely weakening – the potential threat to the species from the measles vaccine project, commenced sixty years ago [5], may be greater than any interim benefits. Perhaps, we would have done better focusing on supporting children as safely as possible through the natural infection rather than trying to preempt it?

Stone writes: “Perhaps, we would have done better focusing on supporting children as safely as possible through the natural infection rather than trying to preempt it?”

I’ve exchanged comments with Stone umpteen times. He ignores that prior to the vaccine when almost 100% of population got measles, we had over 1 million cases per year of children miserable for a week, 50,000 hospitalizations, up to 500 deaths, around 500 with permanent disabilities, etc. So, multiply this by 60 years, ignoring the increase in population, and we would have had 3 million hospitalized kids, up to 30,000 deaths and 30,000 disabled. And he thinks this is OK because if we continue to have antivaccinationists and lower rates of vaccine, then maybe, that is maybe, other morbilliviruses may gain a foothold in humans. So, instead of heeding what Plotkin and Ball stated about low vaccination rates, one of the biggest morons at Age of Autism would prefer up to 30,000 dead kids, that is, just in the U.S.

Don’t you just love these people??????

I would submit a counter to Stone’s Rapid Response; but their editor has not posted eight of my submissions, most refuting Stone. Wonder why? Has BMJ gone over to the dark side?

If you want, I can give the direct URLs to Plotkin’s article; but they are at the end of Stone’s Rapid Response

I would submit a counter to Stone’s Rapid Response; but their editor has not posted eight of my submissions, most refuting Stone. Wonder why? Has BMJ gone over to the dark side?

I suspect that the BMJ editors know Stone to be a lying liar who lies, but they give him a soapbox as a kind of in-house provocateur because his lies bring traffic.

Has BMJ gone over to the dark side?

They’re really not posting your RRs? That’s very strange. I don’t know why the BMJ bothers, really — as I recall, the S/N is pretty low. But this reminds me of a story: Some may recall that Pubmed flirted with comments for a while, with one catch; one had to be an indexed author. However, they indexed RRs, so Stone could jabber away. There were four or five of his droppings, IIRC, all deleted in pretty short order by the moderation people.

@ Denice,

I know you won’t answer me but …

“— everyone else is lying”

No. Everybody things they are telling the truth. There is a difference.

“— vaccines aren’t tested”

Well, are they always? It is now en vogue to encourage the D tap & flu vaccine for pregnant women. Have vaccines ever been tested for safety during pregnancy? They do not use pregnant women to test ANYTHING, actually.

If you are pregnant & are given the Dtap or flu shot; you ARE the lab rat. Your outcome & that of your pregnancy will be used as the data for which the future determination of ‘safety’ will be used. Anyone who tells a pregnant woman that the vaccines are ‘safe’ for them is not informed. They have not been tested on pregnant woman.

“— studies show a link to autism”

Studies show that autism is a multifactorial, immune-mediated disorder. Vaccines ARE immune mediating. The correlation of incidence is undeniable.

The epidemiology has not signaled the risk.

“— autism starts at age 1 or later”

It is different for everybody. Some do say 1 year. Others say 18 months. Many say age 2. I find evidence of developmentally delayed newborns to be very subjective. Counter-intuitive, actually.

“— kids were fine until vaccinated”

Do you have evidence or personal experience to say that they were not?

“— there are no studies of genetic causation, early indicators, prenatal brain development”

There is strong evidence of genetic predisposition to ASD WITH an accompanying atypical immune-response. There is some evidence that Maternal Immune Activation could be involved prenatally. This does not take into account that the synaptic pruning that is impacted doesn’t begin until the learning based synapses begin to form around the age of 2.

etc …

@Joel Harrison–Likely it’s that anti-vaxxer Doshi at BMJ who let Stone’s drivel in and is keeping your responses out. Very sad no one at BMJ will oust Doshi who does indeed give anti-vaxxers a soap box/citation fest.

@ Joel,

I wasn’t thinking Wakefield when I wrote that.

I was thinking about the curious case of Dr. Thompson & the autism/African American males evidence shredding.

He was accused of having mental-health problems & being a disgruntled employee & then he received an award.

I was thinking about the curious case of Dr. Thompson & the autism/African American males evidence shredding.

There was no there there re: AA males and no “evidence” shredding. Funny how several of us have the alleged binned documents and acquired them from Rep. Posey who got them from Thompson. You suck at this.

He was accused of having mental-health problems & being a disgruntled employee & then he received an award.

They are not mutually exclusive although I don’t know what “award” he received. He has also received severe reprimands for his behaviour toward colleagues and superiors.

@ Natalie White

Actually, you are correct that he was accused of mental health problems & being a disgruntled employee. Based on, among other things, his wife’s statements. I have the articles; but am just tired of refuting you, so I’m not going to search for them. As for the “award” from who and for what?

As for the shredding. Nope, they shredded everything. If one kept every statistical analysis on paper the CDC would have to have a huge warehouse. But, as I already wrote, the complete data set exists and available to qualified researchers upon request. During my career I also shredded lots of paper. In fact, I used to photocopy tons of articles from medical journals. When I purchased a scanner, I scanned a few each day and eventually got rid of over 30 boxes. But, I can actually more easily find the articles now as I have them in clearly marked folders with three backups, not only on my computer, but iCloud, external hard drive, and once every three months copy to a thumb drive.

Joel, as someone who works heavily with data records, I have to say you’re wrong. Even the largest warehouse would be much too small for paper records. Maybe they could manage if it was all on microfiche. There’s a reason you’ll still find it in libraries everywhere.

@ Joel,

Damn. I never think of everything I need to say all at once.

“Have you ever considered, even if one chance in a thousand, that you are the one who is wrong?”

Yes, actually. I am constantly questioning myself. It would be terrible if I am wrong because if I am; I will have done so much damage. Yet sometimes I hope I am wrong.

I spent so long being 100% sure that vaccines were safe. And I am not so smart, really. I can’t find the right words to explain why I’m sure that I am right. It crept up on me. I don’t learn in the normal way but I see patterns & consistencies very quickly.

There are some very dreadful & chilling consistencies in the decades of etiological research of vaccines, SIDS & ASD. I can’t ever be a winner in this, see. If I am wrong? God, what have I done. But if I am right? God what have I done? That means I did this to my daughter & son.

You believe you are right because the epidemiology has not signaled a risk of say SIDS or ASD from vaccines but honestly; that is ALL you have.

Have you ever considered if you could be wrong? What would that mean to you personally?

@ Christine Kincaid

“If I am wrong? God, what have I done. But if I am right? God what have I done?”

Yeah, well, that’s one of the points I wished to adress in my reply that never came: you have to accept that there and practical limitations to the knowledge you may have on a given topic, and your personal responsibility only goes so far.

And in the end, your opinion doesn’t matter that much compared to the fact that what matter is what most people end up believing. And the reason for which they end up believing it.

I do believe you have a fetish over vaccines, as you relate it to your experience in a way you have trouble formulating. But what more could you ask than epidemiological data that doesn’t show a risk relating autism to vaccines? What kind of evidence should be required to offset the social benefits vaccination provides?

F68.10, Christine believes that epidemiology is junk science, and routinely accuses vaccine supporters of using “Tobacco company” methods to show vaccines are safe. She says epidemiological studies are useless with causation information and also seems to think that causation can exist without an existing correlation. I think. It’s hard to tell what her logic is, since her argument mainly consists of repeating “cytokines,” “immune mediated,” and “multifactorial” like if she just says it enough, that will convince people. When that doesn’t work, she threatens us with Alzheimer’s, which we will all get due to our vaccinations, if we don’t die from cancer or autoimmune diseases first. Oh, and apparently, my dyslexia is also caused by vaccines, though I have yet to hear how vaccines caused my grandfather’s dyslexia, since he was born before 1915.

@ Terrie

“F68.10, Christine believes that epidemiology is junk science.”

Yeah. Well, let her develop that argument on their own. So that she may learn how her own thought process is structured.

Yes, actually. I am constantly questioning myself. It would be terrible if I am wrong because if I am; I will have done so much damage.

All the more reason why you won’t evaluate your position; it’s easier for you to stay down your rabbit hole than to confront the damage you have done and continue to do.

@ coschristi

Yep, I do consider I could be wrong. I don’t claim to have god-like certainty. However, I have an extensive education, especially in research methods, epidemiology, and biostatistics and have read over the past 40 years 100s of books and 1,000s of articles on infectious diseases and keep up with outbreaks around the world. And I read carefully many articles by antivaccinationists and get hold of most of the papers they refer to. Could I be wrong? Yep; but if so, then I will know that I did my best over 40 years to base my opinion on valid research. It may eventually turn out that some subgroup with a genetic predisposition is more at risk from vaccines; but, if so, tragic; but given the lives saved, the disabilities prevented, etc. until solid evidence appears, vaccination is the right thing to do. If such evidence develops, I will, of course, feel bad it wasn’t developed sooner; but based on everything to date, will still believe that I arrived at the most scientific, the most logical opinion.

By the way, in other exchanges I explained that my younger brother, born 1950, was labelled minimal brain dysfunction; but most certainly would have been labelled ASD nowadays. His IQ was 85 on Wechsler and Stanford-Binet. He had a lot of problems. And I grew up with my mother crying and father frustrated, spending every cent we had on him prior to any Federal funding, so we lived at the poverty line. In fact, when I started college, despite my father have a middle class income, I received a “Needs Scholarship” that paid most of my tuition and worked 20 hours per week, so, study, work, and sleep for my entire undergraduate career. Have you any idea what it is like for a young child to grow up with a brother on the Spectrum? While difficult for adults, perhaps, even worse for a child as I didn’t understand what was happening, nor why we basically had nothing.

Main reason my undergraduate degree was duel major, Political Science and Psychology. Went on to MA in Social Psychology and PhD in Social and Educational Psychology in Sweden. In Sweden Clinical Psychology is totally separate, not a research degree, so I took ALL the courses for both, did a 1 year internship and became licensed psychologist in Sweden. Learned most approaches; but emphasis was Behavior and Cognitive Behavior Therapy; but courses in everything, including Marriage and Family Counseling. Early on decided preferred research, especially Public Health, so received a three-year post-doc fellowship from National Institutes of Health to do advanced training in Epidemiology, Public Health, and Biostatistics. Actually pretty easy as my research training covered much of same ground and I even took three graduate courses in Philosophy of Science, basically “how we know we know,” “how do we arrive at causal statements.”

The original article is here:
Stanley A Plotkin
Is there correlate of protection of measles vaccine
The Journal Of Infectious Diseases jiz381
https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiz381
AoA, of course, greatly distorts it.
A correlate would be Samoa measles epidemic. It is now tapering down, when vaccination rate is 95%.

I question the knee-jerk assumption that all “whistleblowers” are devoted to the truth, lack ulterior motives and are incapable of engaging in shenanigans comparable to what they claim to have witnessed.

It’s like the naive/self-serving assumption by woo-mongers that all Brave Mavericks who challenge the mainstream paradigm are to be revered unquestioningly.

With Gotsche, one can either believe that members of the Cochrane board that tossed him out are all in the thrall of industry, or lean to the non-conspiratorial view that they were tired of him advertising his status with Cochrane while furthering his dubious activities. Personally I’d be embarrassed by a colleague who seems to overwhelmingly damn drug therapy for mental disorders, and who associates with a psychiatrist claiming that “undying love” is a valid treatment for psychosis.

I’m looking forward to reading the following paper examining the “Cochrane crisis”. Gotsche reportedly is pissed off about it and called it “libelous”. 🙂

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jep.13124

I question the knee-jerk assumption that all “whistleblowers” are devoted to the truth, lack ulterior motives and are incapable of engaging in shenanigans comparable to what they claim to have witnessed.

How are Krahling and Wlochowski doing? I haven’t checked in on that one in a long time.

@ Dangerous Bacon

“I question the knee-jerk assumption that all “whistleblowers” are devoted to the truth, lack ulterior motives and are incapable of engaging in shenanigans comparable to what they claim to have witnessed.”

I have read the sentence multiple times. I still do not see where the problem is supposed to be: Whistleblowers are normal people like anyone else.

Whistleblowers are normal people like anyone else.

They are financially incentivized in the U.S. within the ambit of the False Claims Act.

@ Narad

“They are financially incentivized in the U.S. within the ambit of the False Claims Act.”

Yeah, well that’s your country. Hence your political responsability.

In Switzerland, we have prophylactic measures against whistleblowing: We discriminate against US citizens when hiring, given that they have a legal obligation to inform the US government of wrongdoings they may perceive in a swiss company.

@ Joel:

I’m not sure where ( too many articles to look at on Search) but Orac- or perhaps another sceptic- discussed how Plotkin, during a long deposition, said things that could easily be distorted by anti-vaxxers.
Someone else ( Smut Clyde? Narad? Chris?) might recall this better than me.

There’s something on Vaxopedia 02/03/ 2019
how anti-vaxxers mis-use his quote
other articles about him there as well

@ Terrie:

I only found the Vaxopedia one earlier today.

What I dimly recall is someone with clout ( Orac? Skeptical Raptor?) slapping down anti-vax hooey about Plotkin.
It might have been in a comment. Someone else will recall it too I’m sure.

All this discussion of brains “swelling” makes a question obvious. Now I will assume that this postulated swelling of brains must occur over a spectrum of severity. In that case, at the worse end of that spectrum, the swollen brain, being trapped inside even the relatively elastic skull of an infant would herniate out of the braincase, either through the foramen magnum at the base of the skull or through the un-knit sutures (places where the separate bones of the infant skull have not joined together to make the rigid skull of adults).
If that was happening right after vaccination, it would be reported on, and we would be hearing about it from people other than anti-science antivaccine proponents.and investigations would show us how many less drastic occurrences were happening. Yet somehow that doesn’t seem to have happened. Maybe the men in black show up immediately after, whisk away the evidence, and threaten harm to anyone who has witnessed it. Or not.
The resort of antivaxxers to more and greater flights of fantasy in blaming vaccines for everything except rising postal rates and tax audits makes for a great case study in how, when challenged with facts and logic, conspiracists simply widen the scope of the conspiracy. The lack of supporting evidence simply shows how the Illuminati/Elders of Zion/New World Order/Big Pharma/what have you are in covering their tracks. All denials are false. All contrary evidence is faked or slanted.

Thanks Dangerous Bacon and Denice

I downloaded the article on Gøtzsche and VAXOPEDIA on Plotkin. And, of course, will read them.

That’s what I really like about this blog and some others, people who actually do the research. I couldn’t possibly keep up on everything.

But, as I have mentioned in the past and above, John Stone of Age of Autism ignores what I write and often won’t even post on Age of Autism; but what is most disconcerting is how BMJ Rapid Responses keep posting his comments, even when I clearly have shown he took, for instance, one sentence from an article out of context. They post him saying the say thing, so, by not posting my responses, they give him the final word. I checked and, at least, over the past couple of years, the vast majority of Rapid Responses when vaccines discussed have been antivaxxers

And Stone keeps advocating for a fair hearing. Given they have testified before Congress, before State and City legislatures, have umpteen websites, movie stars, and millionaires, I doubt I could find even a few Americans who haven’t heard them. When they say they just want to be listened to, they mean not given a public forum; but more as when a parent says: “You didn’t listen to me, now you are grounded.” It wouldn’t matter if CBS gave them a two-hour primetime slot, if polls showed afterwards that the overwhelming majority of people intended to continue to vaccinate their kids, they would be still complaining.

By the way, I’m watching a fascinating series on Netflix about Henry Lee Lucas, the Confessing Killer, who confessed to over 600 murders; but it was proved he was thousands of miles away at the time; but the detectives who wanted to believe him even tried to frame a DA who didn’t. Finally, one member of a family who wanted him executed was convinced after 20 years and DNA that he actually was innocent. In the U.S. it isn’t just antivaxxers, our criminal justice system bends over backwards to NOT admit mistakes. Innocence Project takes up to 20 years to get someone freed; but even if proven DA or police falsified evidence, etc. almost NEVER prosecuted. To some extent because one gets elected by convicting people; but also psychological. Best book is Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. Mistakes were made (but not by me). 2nd edition. Explains and gives tons of fascinating examples of people, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, most often refuse to change their minds. Fun, though frightening book, to read.

It is estimated by several credible sources that ca. 100,000 people in prison in U.S. are factually innocent; but because the resources to try to free them are tremendous, innocence project can only take on a few and seldom if ever do we investigate once someone is executed.

Stone’s high point at AoA, as far as I’m concerned, was his tantrum over being ignored by the Leveson Inquiry.

@ Joel,

Have you any idea what it is like for a young child to grow up with a brother on the Spectrum

No. I was the sister who was on the spectrum but not as profoundly disabled as your brother sounded to be.

My son has 10 older siblings who would know. One of my daughters started her own FB page at age 12 for siblings of autistic children. All 3 of my (living) daughters are in college because with my income, they qualified for the Pell grant AND they all have scholarships. The rest was taken care of by Grandpa. I have lived at poverty level since the year my son was diagnosed; I can appreciate the experience of your parents.

All my kids were in sports & music (& Robotics) & their little bro & I went to everything. Sometimes on the sidelines due to starting guns & crowded stadiums or concert hall acoustics but we were there. And Grandpa helped financially with that too. Thank God for my amazing parents, if not for them I don’t know where we would be.

@coschristi
Antivaxxers are either lying or studiously avoiding facts.
Simple Google Scholar search gave these papers
Munoz FM, Bond NH, Maccato M, et al.
Safety and Immunogenicity of Tetanus Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) Immunization During Pregnancy
in Mothers and Infants: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2014;311(17):1760–1769. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2014.3633
Flor M.Munoz Anthony J.Greisinger Oscar A.Wehmanen Melanie E.Mouzoon James C.Hoyle Frances A.Smith
W. PaulGlezen
Safety of influenza vaccination during pregnancy
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 192, Issue 4, April 2005, Pages 1098-1106
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2004.12.019
So next time, before making an accusation, do a simple Google Scholar search. Hint: Every medication must be tested before use. Vaccines are not supplements, you know.
You should check neonatal cytokine profiles (Google Scholar query “autism neonatal cytokines”). Immune problems could be genetic. Besides that, any inflammation causes cytokine response.
RI has covered extensively Thompson. Read rhis coverage. It was an antivaxxer, Hooker, who said he has mental problems.

@ Aarno,

The first study literally had only 48 participants.

The second study says ‘no adverse events reported’ but gives no information on fetal demise. Not for the 3.5% that were vaccinated nor the 96.5% that were not. And that’s the extent of the ‘full text’? No explanation of what qualified as a ‘serious adverse event’?

Is this one of those ‘participants who experienced fetal demise were excluded because we could not follow-up’ studies? I can’t tell.

Firstly, you said there are no studies. As I said, make Google Scholar search before making statements.
Secondly, second paper conclusion:
“No serious adverse events occurred within 42 days of vaccination, and there was no difference between the groups in the outcomes of pregnancy (including cesarean delivery and premature delivery) and infant medical conditions from birth to 6 months of age.”
Fetal demise is certainly an outcome of pregnancy, So read papers before commenting.

@ Arno:

One of the best studies I’ve come across is Jain et al ( 2015):
she looked at thousands of kids – actually, thousands of pairs of kids
when a child had an older sibling with ASD, his chance of also having ASD was 7% whether he was vaccinated or NOT
when a child’s sibling was NT, his chance of having an ASD was 1% whether he was vaccinated or not.

They were able to find families who didn’t vaccinate heir second child and had enough to “do the math” correctly
So vaccination was not important but siblings’ ASD/ NTstatus was
NO anti-vaxxer has ever mentioned this study.

Stone and other antivaccinationists continue to claim NO safety studies of vaccines. When one of Age of Autism commenters wrote he found less than 300 searching PubMed, I submitted a comment where I had found almost 20,000 going back decades on PubMed by simply typing “vaccine AND safety’ and also mentioned that if I added placebo still found thousands. Well, guess what? They didn’t post my comment.

As for vaccine safety of influenza during pregnancy, thanks for the Flor article. I already had the other one. I should mention I have close to 12,000 documents in my “Vaccine” folder under various headings, e.g. name of disease, vaccine ingredients, etc. I’ll add Flor to the over 70 I already have. Yep, over 70 that, somehow, antivaxxers missed.

A few things…..

in other anti-vax news:
( Dr DG’s twitter and @ ChildrensHD) RFK jr is planning a demonstration in Trenton Monday because the legislature is trying to get rid of the religious exemption before the session ends next week. Will Del show?

RI:

— I look at Arno’s language differently: he is EFL and may not be aware of how “retarded” has been used as an insult and was eventually discarded as a term although years ago, MR was an actual diagnosis. I imagine that the term originated in France long ago when intelligence testing began and was then euphemistic: “slow”

— I don’t remember details of F68.10’s background but I know that he has suffered greatly. Perhaps he will eventually write a book/ make a film. People with developmental disabilities and other conditions have been treated abysmally even in the so-called First World. I feel for him and wish I could help.(-btw- I don’t work in clinical psych: I help EFL adults go back to school)

— Whistleblowers may not all be off of their rockers but then there IS David Lewis! ( Sludgemaster General, friend of Wakefield and Adams co-film maker- see Brian Deer)

— notice that CK can’t respond to any of the anti-vax beliefs I listed: in fact, I don’t even think that she realises that they are common talking points ( e.g. everyone lies, vaccines aren’t tested, autism starts after age 1 etc) and how she steps around “early indicators” and pre-natal brain development.

AS you know, I can’t dx anyone…

But Orac’s minions are cool as ever.

@ Denice,

I responded to each & every one.

It doesn’t matter if Aarno is ‘EFL’ (Isn’t that ESL? English as a SECOND language?). He said I called my son the ‘R’ word when I did not.

But Orac’s minions are cool as ever

Do you ever put your pom-poms away? Seriously EVER? Yes, I get it: You are so cool.

R word was used. But I did not claim that it applies to your son. I said you yourself implied it. And I repeat: What if your son could read your comments ? Consider this,

@ Terrie,

“Christine believes that epidemiology is junk science, and routinely accuses vaccine supporters of using “Tobacco company” methods to show vaccines are safe. She says epidemiological studies are useless with causation information and also seems to think that causation can exist without an existing correlation”

— Big Tobacco called the epidemiology that correlated smoking to lung cancer ‘junk science’ & actually rewrote epidemiology protocols that changed the risk ratio to minimize risk. The epidemiology that has not found a risk of autism from vaccines uses similar protocols. They use Big Tobacco’s parameters.’

You’d be lucky to correlate gravity to a falling object using the methods in some of those studies.

–Epidemiological studies without confirming or differentiating etiological evidence are not ‘useless’; they just can’t confirm or deny CAUSATION.

— Of course causation can ‘exist’ without correlation. It happens all the time. It usually is due to a flaw or bias in the epidemiology.

“The epidemiology that has not found a risk of autism from vaccines uses similar protocols. They use Big Tobacco’s parameters”

In the absence of evidence to support this claim, it’s just another example of antivax fantasy.

You do realize that many of the researchers who’ve published studies showing no link between vaccination and autism have children themselves, and have them vaccinated?

Or can that be dismissed on the grounds that filthy Pharma lucre is so irresistible, scientists willingly sacrifice their children to grab it?

@ DB,

Big Tobacco’s assertions were strong enough to change the college textbooks. The researchers don’t know where some of these ‘standards’ came from. They believe they are producing sound science.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1446868/

I am not one of those ‘pHARMA!’ antivaxxers. Pharma has nothing to do with it; they just stick to the menu.

@ F68.10,

The majority of Orac’s commentators, as well as Orac; have a fetish about vaccines. I actually have a revulsion of vaccines. Or a phobia maybe.

“But what more could you ask than epidemiological data that doesn’t show a risk relating autism to vaccines?”

Etiological evidence of a different causation. Evidence that denies ASD as immune-mediated altogether, would be nice for a start. ‘Genetics’ don’t count. Genetics are a given in multifactorial equations.

“What kind of evidence should be required to offset the social benefits vaccination provides?”

The evidence that Dr. Poland (ACIP) has alluded to in sections 7 & 8 of this paper in 2009; that the prevalence of genetic predispositions to adverse events from vaccines in the population is enough to offset herd-immunity, if they were to be exempted from vaccines. That is an unacceptable amount of acceptable losses, don’t you think?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831634/

But speaking of that paper … It’s obvious that we have the capability to: Have vaccines that are safe for people like me which will maintain the social benefits from vaccines. There is no need to throw people like me under the bus so why are we still doing so?

“Evidence that denies ASD as immune-mediated altogether, would be nice for a start.”

Which type of autism? You can start with the levels as defined by DSM V, and then the multiple variations in each. Some come with other symptoms like seizures and heart disorders. Please be more specific: https://sparkforautism.org/discover/?cat=genes

Genetics do count. Twin studies involves identical twins having same genes. So, what is autism rate amongst identical twins ? Quite basic, is it not ?

@ coschristi

It’s obvious that we have the capability to: Have vaccines that are safe for people like me

Late to the party, sorry.

Could you precise “people like me”?
Or less intrusively, expand on what these safe vaccines would do, or not do, compared to the existing ones?

Because I get your argument that if a health condition (genetic or acquired, whatever) was proved to be linked with a risk of adverse event from vaccinating, when people having this condition should be exempted from vaccinating.
What I don’t get is what makes you believe we have the capability now, to make vaccines which are compatible with this unnamed condition you have.

(BTW, my fetish is more with the immune system itself. I also have a fetish with breathing, so anything which looks like it may help me and my fellow human beings doing so…)

I suppose she means: “Have vaccines that are considered save by people like me (anti-vaxers). ”
What she wants is vaccines that are 100% perfect, have 0% side effects and that even prevent autism and other problems, because if they don’t prevent those, they are considered not save, because all those things are in her mind the result of vaccines, so the only way for vaccines to be considered save by her is if they prevent everything unwelcome that can happen to people, perhaps including car-accidents.

@ coschristi

You write: “Evidence that denies ASD as immune-mediated altogether, would be nice for a start.”

What you are asking for is to prove a negative, an impossibility. As a ridiculous example, the law of gravity. Can you state with certainty that there does not exist some confluence of cosmic forces that nullify the law of gravity somewhere on Planet Earth? Even if you had some sort of satellite evaluation, the nullification may be sporadic and the satellites would miss it. So, the overwhelming evidence is that the immune system may play a contributing role to some cases of ASD; but not the immune responses to vaccines. It would be IMPOSSIBLE to prove what you ask! ! !

As for Poland’s paper, you write: “The evidence that Dr. Poland (ACIP) has alluded to in sections 7 & 8 of this paper in 2009; that the prevalence of genetic predispositions to adverse events from vaccines in the population is enough to offset herd-immunity, if they were to be exempted from vaccines. That is an unacceptable amount of acceptable losses, don’t you think?”

Poland wrote: “newly available data suggest that some vaccine-related adverse events may also be genetically determined and, therefore, predictable. Would we really impose across the population genetic screening to improve immune response for 5% of the population?”

He discusses smallpox vaccine which had an extremely high adverse events outcome, 1 to 2 deaths per million vaccinated. But, at the time, variola major killed 25 to 30% of a population, so 250,000 to 300,000 deaths vs 1 to 2. So how in heck do you get that “the prevalence of genetic predispositions to adverse events from vaccines in the population is enough to offset herd-immunity, if they were to be exempted from vaccines.” Once herd immunity is broken, deaths would rise significantly, in including those who were vaccinated; but the vaccine didn’t work. In addition, the genetic predisposition he discusses would in many cases result in the exact same individual suffering the adverse event from the natural wild-type microbe. Why, otherwise would an attenuated (exponentially weakened) microbe affect them?

It would take too long to go through the reasons for the increase in ASD diagnoses; but I am working on a paper entitled: HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT” basically, if one goes back to diaries, descriptions of children during, for instance, the 19th Century, and just gave the description to experts, they would be diagnosed as ASD. Once Kanner wrote his article in 1943, people began to label what had previously been labelled as childhood schizophrenia or mental retarded as autism. Then autism was expanded to include disorders that had some things in common; but others not, e.g., Asperger’s was added to DSM in 1994. Standardized instruments were developed that allowed others than psychiatrists to diagnose and the therapeutic age began after WW II where society began programs to help problems that were ignored and/or not recognized previously, resulting in U.S. Government passing legislation in 1986 to fund special ed programs and added ASD in early 1990s. There is more to it; but given what you wrote, I’m sure nothing will sway you to change your mind.

And finally, you write: “But speaking of that paper … It’s obvious that we have the capability to: Have vaccines that are safe for people like me which will maintain the social benefits from vaccines. There is no need to throw people like me under the bus so why are we still doing so?”

As Poland writes, to prevent 5% of the population to react to vaccines, either not developing immunity (so not even 5% adverse events) or adverse events, we would have to screen the entire population. First, we don’t know all the genetics, so screening would only be partially successful and Second, it would cost a fortune just for the screening and Third preparing the individual vaccines would bankrupt the system. However, research is being carried out and as we gain ever more knowledge of our genetics, epigenetics, proteonomics, etc and technology advances, perhaps, someday we will be able to test and then individualize vaccines.

Given the 30 cents on the dollar wasted in our for-profit health care system and the over $5 trillion spend over the past decades killing, maiming, disabling, and impoverishing people in developing countries who NEVER posed a threat to this nation, we might be able to eventually afford it. Our military is used, not as we are lied to; but for American corporations to gain access to raw materials, for American corporations to manufacture products for the military, and, sometimes, as in movie “Wag the Dog” to distract people from problems in our body politic.

In any case, despite what you wrote about being thrown under the bus, vaccines confer a benefit on the overwhelming majority of people and are NOT associated with ASD, although some serious adverse events do occur. While each life is precious, if we adopted your approach, exponentially more lives would be at risk.

References:

William Blum (2003). Killing Hope: US Military & CIA Interventions since World War II. Available at: https://www.cia.gov/library/abbottabad-compound/13/130AEF1531746AAD6AC03… [also for purchase on amazon.com

Major General Smedley Butler   War Is A Racket. Available at: https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf  [Butler is the most decorated marine in American history]

Mason Gaffney (March 2018). Corporate Power and Expansive U.S. Military Policy. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 77, No. 2. Pages 331 – 417. Available at: https://www.globalresearch.ca/corporate-power-and-expansive-u-s-military…

Stephen C. Schlesinger (1983). Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. Inexpensive copies available on Amazon.com  

@ Joel,

Wow, that is a very well done post. I don’t know if I could formulate a response that would do it justice.

What you are asking for is to prove a negative, an impossibility

True. The only thing that would suffice is for a consensus to be reached for an entirely different etiology. So many have been tried & failed or at best shown correlation. Not causation.

‘Old dads’ are correlated. 300+ genes are correlated. An ASD sibling is correlated. Gender is correlated. Premature birth is correlated.

What cannot be denied is that the microglia cells in the brain of an autistic child stop synaptic pruning at around the age of 2, while synaptic pruning is at a peak in the brain of a NT child, at around the age of 2. Microglia cells ARE the brains immune-cells.
https://www.autismbrainnet.org/the-immune-system-in-autism-what-does-microglia-have-to-do-with-it/

So while one cannot prove a negative; I don’t think it’s going to be possible in the near future to reach any other consensus than ASD as immune-mediated. No other etiological hypothesis is NEAR as strong.

So, the overwhelming evidence is that the immune system may play a contributing role to some cases of ASD; but not the immune responses to vaccines

I agree. Have they looked? The epidemiology hasn’t signaled but have they ruled it out with an etiological; NOT epidemiological study? ASD is immune-mediated. Vaccines are immune-mediatig & nobody has done an etiological study, since the AutismBrainNet project started in 2014?

Lots of studies about Maternal Immune Activation in complete defiance that the microglia cells stop pruning at age 2.

Not one study that even asks; ‘What immune-mediating events may be taking place around the age of 2?’ You would think someone somewhere would be foaming at the mouth to be the first to rule out the vaccines, around the age of 2.

Nobody will even ask the question.

So how in heck do you get that “the prevalence of genetic predispositions to adverse events from vaccines in the population is enough to offset herd-immunity, if they were to be exempted from vaccines

Because I was wrong. I transpose digits in my head, always have. I could have sworn herd immunity was achieved from 93-98% & 5% exempt would leave us at 95%, even if everybody who could vaccinate WOULD vaccinate & some will not. Herd immunity is actually achieved from 83 to 94 percent. So I was wrong.

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

I was diagnosed as ASD 2005 but 30 years earlier, in 1975; I was hiding in plain sight for about a month . I was identified as MR in the 2nd grade (yeah I’m actually the ‘retard’). They ‘un-determined’ me after learning that I was reading at the level of a HS grad. I had zero support in school because they were stumped. They knew MR. They did not know me. Had not see it before.

My former SPED cohorts that actually did have an intellectual or cognitive disability remained in SPED. How are you going to be able to know who is who from the archives, when educators were clueless in the 70’s? I suppose there are documented cases of ‘idiot savants’ but they account for only 10% of all ASD.

I have to stop there for now. I am tired & your good post deserves a better reply than my bleary-eyed self can manage right now. Maybe I can do more tomorrow.

@ coschristi

I forgot to mention that we do screen for immune deficiencies and other conditions that would either call for delaying vaccinations or giving fewer at one time.

From the CDC Vaccine Information Sheet for MMR. Note that Vaccine Information Sheets for each and every vaccine have been mandated by law to be given prior to the vaccination (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/current-vis.html).

“Talk with your health care provider
Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of MMRV, MMR, or varicella vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies.
Is pregnant, or thinks she might be pregnant.
Has a weakened immune system, or has a parent, brother, or sister with a history of hereditary or congenital immune system problems.
Has ever had a condition that makes him or her bruise or bleed easily.
Has a history of seizures, or has a parent, brother, or sister with a history of seizures.
Is taking, or plans to take salicylates (such as aspirin).
Has recently had a blood transfusion or received other blood products.
Has tuberculosis.
Has gotten any other vaccines in the past 4 weeks.
In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone MMRV vaccination to a future visit, or may recommend that the child receive separate MMR and varicella vaccines instead of MMRV.
People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. Children who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting MMRV vaccine.
Your health care provider can give you more information.”

Note the part that mentions weakened immune system in the individual or even family members.

In 1964–65, rubella caused 11,000 fetal deaths in the U.S. This implies that the rubella vaccine introduced in 1969 averted approximately 633,000 fetal deaths in the U.S. since it was first introduced During the last major rubella epidemic in the United States from 1964 to 1965, an estimated 12.5 million people got rubella, 11,000 pregnant women lost their babies, 2,100 newborns died, and 20,000 babies were born with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Once the vaccine became widely used, the number of people infected with rubella in the United States dropped dramatically. Today, less than 10 people in the United States are reported as having rubella each year.

Congenital Rubella Syndrome:

The most common birth defects from CRS can include:
Deafness
Cataracts
Heart defects
Intellectual disabilities
Liver and spleen damage
Low birth weight
Skin rash at birth
Less common complications from CRS can include:
Glaucoma
Brain damage (microcephaly)
Thyroid and other hormone problems
Inflammation of the lungs
Although specific symptoms can be treated, there is no cure for CRS

Note that many infants experienced several of the above.

I wonder if you had been alive during epidemics of smallpox if you heard of a death from the vaccine if you would have gone out of your way to persuade people to not vaccinate. And, given the high mortality from smallpox, if when several of those people died if you would feel any guilt?

We don’t live in a perfect world. While each and every individual life is precious, decisions have to be made and the benefits of vaccines vs the rare but serious adverse events clearly goes on the public policy side of vaccinating. The rubella vaccine alone in 1964-65 would have prevented 33,000 cases of death or disability in newborns.

Jack,

According to the Poland paper on Personalized Vaccines; the knowledge is already available to spare 5% of the population from vaccine-related adverse event due to genetic predisposition.

The US population is 327,200,000. Five percent of 327.2 Million people is 16,360,000.

16.360 Million people in the US alone; are at risk for a vaccine-related adverse event? So far, at least; with the limited data we have?

That’s super cold. We could do better.

According to the Poland paper on Personalized Vaccines; the knowledge is already available to spare 5% of the population from vaccine-related adverse event due to genetic predisposition.

Adverse events from vaccination occur at a much lower rate than that. At around 1 in a million. You would need to be vaccinated 50,000 times to achieve a 5% level of risk.

@ Jack:

But you see, some of the ways anti-vaxxers get support from concerned but uninformed parents is to claim that vaccines are NOT tested ( They are; Orac just wrote about the many surveillance systemS) and that SBM only has a one-size-fits-all schedule ( it doesn’t; see Joel, above) and other made up tales.

Similarly, they deny research that shows:
— no connection between vaccines and autism
— early indicators of ASDs
— research on genetic and prenatal beginnings. brain development
AS I’ve illustrated many times. Too many researchers to repeat. None of this is new.

I found an interesting resource “Autism Navigator” which includes 16 signs of autism age 9-16 months. Most include social interaction with parents, expressions, style of play.

-btw- I’m glad you’re doing better.

You don’t have to tell me that, Denice, I’ve been hanging out here for like 5 or 6 years. I’m not stupid.

I mean, if it was you, or a loved one, who went blind or got brain damage or died, you might feel a little differently. Just putting it out there, hypothetically. There are people out there who are one in a million.

@ Jack

You are absolutely right. If it were me or a loved one I would find it difficult to look at the 1 in a million. However, if I banded together with other 1 in a million to fight vaccinations, regardless of how understandable my position would be, it would possibly cause great harm. And, as I mentioned above, if one has a genetic predisposition, then it is probably that exposure to the natural disease would result in the same outcome.

What you see with many antivaccinationists is there hurt and wanting to blame something and wanting it to be a simple black and white issue; however, the fact that they dismiss anything that disagrees with them, that their websites form echo chambers, that they sometimes even lie, and that they viciously attack anyone who disagrees with them, even claiming they are the ones to beattack based on paranoid conspiracy theories just crosses the line. If they are so confident they are right, why do they have to ignore any and all contradictory evidence, limit posting on their websites those who disagree, and so actively use ad hominem arguments? And when I’ve asked them a simple question: “Have you ever considered, even if one chance in a thousand, that you may be wrong” NEVER have they answered.

@ Jack,

It’s not 1 in 1 million PEOPLE … It is 1 in 1 million vaccine DOSES.

There are 72 doses on the childhood immunization schedule …

@ Joel,

Talk with your health care provider
Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of MMRV, MMR, or varicella vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies.
Is pregnant, or thinks she might be pregnant.
Has a weakened immune system, or has a parent, brother, or sister with a history of hereditary or congenital immune system problems.
Has ever had a condition that makes him or her bruise or bleed easily.
Has a history of seizures, or has a parent, brother, or sister with a history of seizures.
Is taking, or plans to take salicylates (such as aspirin).
Has recently had a blood transfusion or received other blood products.
Has tuberculosis.
Has gotten any other vaccines in the past 4 weeks

It doesn’t matter. None of those factors are qualifiers for exemptions except for a history of Anaphylaxis. The doctor MAY choose to forgo the shot but in NY, CA, MI & WV; your kid can not go to school unless they have the medical exemption. Most doctors will insist on vaccinating & sometimes they will say that if you don’t, that you are ‘fired’ as a patient.

When I talk about screening for predispositions I am talking about genetic screening that can be done BEFORE somebody has ‘a history’. Or IS history. Such as the suspected HLA alleles, the presence of a nonsynonymous SNP in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene, the two SNPs in the IFN regulatory factor-1 gene & the certain haplotypes in IL-1, IL-4 or IL-18 genes.

Before you have a, or are; history.

When I talk about screening for predispositions I am talking about genetic screening that can be done BEFORE somebody has ‘a history’. Or IS history. Such as the suspected HLA alleles, the presence of a nonsynonymous SNP in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene, the two SNPs in the IFN regulatory factor-1 gene & the certain haplotypes in IL-1, IL-4 or IL-18 genes.

Babbling indeed. What commercially-available tests are you requesting, how are they interpreted and are the results clinically-relevant? Support with studies that justify your “recommendation”.

@ Science Mom:

Like she’s going to do that! Studies? SRSLY.

I keep reiterating, in various comments, to diverse people, the research that shows that vaccines theories of causation are fantasy
You know the drill : no studies connect autism and vaccines; early indicators, prenatal brain development, genetics.
Thus demonstrating the futility of attempting to impart reality-based information to the entranced

BUT if Orac can’t ; How could I?

If there were a connection, we’d see it because studies have ferreted out rare risks from vaccines in humans and cats.(intussusception, Guillain Barre, injection site sarcoma, respectively ).1 in 10,000- 1 in 100,000

BUT you knew that

Has ever had a condition that makes him or her bruise or bleed easily.
Has a history of seizures, or has a parent, brother, or sister with a history of seizures.

Oh, I have both of those. Neither I nor my PCP batted an eyelash when I requested the second MMR that I had missed when the guidelines were updated.

Oddly enough, it was carping by the antivax brigade that brought it to mind at the routine appointment.

“Big Tobacco’s assertions were strong enough to change the college textbooks. The researchers don’t know where some of these ‘standards’ came from. They believe they are producing sound science.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1446868/

Did you notice there’s nothing whatsoever in that article to indicate that studies of vaccines (or other public health measures) are invalid because of Big Tobacco’s activities?

Joel: “What you see with many antivaccinationists is there hurt and wanting to blame something”

True. But many (if not most) antivaxers have not been personally affected by vaccine-related injuries, real or imagined. Their numbers include “health freedom” types, bitter opponents of mainstream medicine (including quack practitioners and supplement pushers), and needle phobics (coschristi has hinted at the latter). A unifying factor is belief in conspiracies.

Exactly.
So many of the woo-meisters, supplement salesmen and health freedom activists I survey strongly support an anti-vax agenda because it also reinforces their own anti- SBM, anti-pharma perspective. Why vaccinate when vitamins and the body’s natural immunity can be so much superior? PLUS they use their websites to assist the anti-vaxxers who may, in turn, buy products from them.
These charlatans are trying to master the art of social media networking to increase their exposure.
Funny, most are anti-corporate despite being uh… corporations

@ Dangerous Bacon

You are exactly right. It is quacks who take advantage of the actual people who have suffered, real or imaginary. Even imaginary is real suffering. The quacks couldn’t function without testimonials and anecdotes from the “real” people who have, or their children, adverse vaccine reactions. Plus, of course, they also cherry pick research and ignore anything that refutes their position. As I’ve written before, antivaxxers play up the profit-motive, ignoring that everything sells for a profit, so profit doesn’t say anything about whether it is beneficial, neutral, or harmful; but ignore that CAM, because it doesn’t require expensive research to get approved by FDA nor FDA approved facilities, actually make far greater profits than our greedy pharmaceutical industry. After all, how much does it cost to create a small container of water and sell for $10 or more?

What’s wrong with being needle phobic? I have issues with that myself. I have my reasons.

I mean, tattoo needles are different; that’s my own idea and I go into it knowing what it is. Injection or blood draw needles are a different thing. I’ve come to terms with that myself now; the testosterone, for instance. But again, my own decision, my own deal, my own business. And it’s subQ, not that bad.

@ Aarno,

Retardation was implicated. Not even potty trained, you know

No, Aarno. I already explained that my son was toilet-trained by age 9 but that many kids with SEVERE AUTISM are not.

As someone with HF ASD you exemplify the issue I take with the Neurodiversity movement; NO EMPATHY for those with severe autism & their caregivers. You don’t have empathy for these kids because you are AUTISTIC. I have struggled with this myself growing up. Had be trained as to what hurts other people & how to mitigate that.

It’s not okay to normalize autism & contribute to it being acceptable & therefore unworthy of the research that is so badly needed! While you are busy being so delightfully spectrummy; your same-age cohorts are head banging & smearing feces on the walls. Because they are AUTISTIC. And most of us parents remember when although they were still babies in diapers; they were not autistic. They cooed & gooed & giggled; not screamed & howled & grunted. They made eye contact & responded & interacted; not hid or curled up or ran. They ate & drank, not gagged & choked. What has happened to them is UNACCEPTABLE & it NEEDS to be prevented.

You know what? You are probably a freaking genius & much more HF than I am but what makes you think you wouldn’t be if you were not autistic? I believe you would be. Preventing autism would not have prevented you from being who you are. Fuck neurodiversitry & it’s ‘trail of sparkles’ (electric shocks).

As someone with HF ASD you exemplify the issue I take with the Neurodiversity movement; NO EMPATHY for those with severe autism & their caregivers.

You obviously don’t know what the ND movement is then so zip it.

Oh, great, this is just a sock puppet of Kincaid. Obviously she was not happy that some of us are ignoring her. There is no need to feed her attention seeking whines.

After several years of her misinterpretation of my comments, I have no reason to to give her any slack. I have suggested sources of support, and have been berated each and every time when I have suggested that things are not what she assumes they are.

Sometimes we just get tired of it. So I am not feeding her needy whiny ego anymore.

By the way the reaction to me describing my kids’ pain/suffering from actual diseases, including ambulance rides to the hospital, has been met with her “more horrible story.” She has no empathy to those who have actually dealt with very very sick kids from now vaccine preventable diseases. This is where we give up on her, again.

Chris, I’ll never forget that she’s basically stated that unless a child has autism, she doesn’t think their suffering matters. And that she’s stated the only reason she comes here is so when antivaxxersa are proven right (don’t hold your breath) we’ll all think of how we treated her and feel guilty.

You don’t have empathy for these kids because you are AUTISTIC.

OK, enough is enough. You repeat the lie that autistics are unempathetic and YOU YOURSELF are on the spectrum. Amazing, and not in a good way. We are poor at cognitive empathy, but our emotional and compassionate empathy are much higher than nonautistics.

It’s not okay to normalize autism & contribute to it being acceptable & therefore unworthy of the research that is so badly needed!

I’m going to take your two points in reverse order.
Firstly, normalising autism does not make it “unworthy of research”. I really do not see your logic.
Secondly, autism needs to be normalised. As we learn more and more, it is obvious that it has existed as long as human beings have been on Earth. Had it been normalised when I was at school, I may have avoided being bullied. Kids can be little shits sometimes.

What has happened to them is UNACCEPTABLE & it NEEDS to be prevented.

The question of whether vaccines cause autism has been looked at. Enough research has been done for meta-analyses of literally millions. Every well-designed study returns the exact same result. “No correlation”.

Preventing autism would not have prevented you from being who you are.

Yes it would.

Fuck neurodiversitry & it’s ‘trail of sparkles’ (electric shocks).

You have raised a bunch of straw men about neurodiversity. Please refrain from pronouncing on it until you have read this article.
https://autisticmama.com/neurodiversity-doesnt-exclude-your-autistic-child-you-do/
Finally, neurodiversity proponents have fought against ABA and theJudge Rotenberg Center. Associating the two as you have done is dishonest.

I do have empathy towards your son. All those diaper stories worry me. As I have said any number of times, what would your son think, if he could read your comments ?

@ coschristi

You write: “It’s not okay to normalize autism & contribute to it being acceptable & therefore unworthy of the research that is so badly needed!”

While I’m certainly not an expert on neurodiversity, what I have read doesn’t deny the need for research or recognition that many on the Spectrum are special needs persons. As I see neurodiversity, it is a reaction to our modern need to label everyone. People are different in many ways and similar in others. Looking at, for instance, high functioning Aspergers as a “deviation”, as a problem, instead of accepting them and ensuring they are educated effectively, e.g., Temple Grandin’s “thinking in pictures.”

Your “fuck neurodiversity” displays the same intolerance, the same narrow view of something as, unfortunately, too many people do. To the best of my knowledge, “neurodiversity” represents a range of views with an underlying belief that pigeon-holing people is WRONG. Your anger keeps showing through.

@ Joel Harrison

“Your “fuck neurodiversity” displays the same intolerance, the same narrow view of something as, unfortunately, too many people do.”

I can’t vouch for CK’s views (and will not…), but from what I’ve witnessed, there indeed is an issue in the autism community between those dealing with one end of the spectrum and those dealing with the other. They have different expectations when it comes to society recognizing their needs. So CK’s comment, while “formally” “wrong”, is also something understandable, though quite rough. (But who am I to complain that someone is playing “rough”, may I ask…)

“To the best of my knowledge, “neurodiversity” represents a range of views with an underlying belief that pigeon-holing people is WRONG.”

Very true. But what is meant exactly by “pigeon-holing”? I believe it is partly tied to a medical belief in the determinism attached to diagnosis. In France, there are two sociologically dominant extremes when it comes to medical professional’s attitudes (whether practitioners or academics): psychoanalysts on one end, and people endorsing science but with a real lack of understanding of what is at stake when you come eight miles high down to the ground. Both groups believe in pigeon-holing people into diagnosis and legitimize medical interventions with a self-fulfilling prophecy mentality. That’s precisely what is wrong.

The stakes are more than mere “pigeon-holing”: it’s snapping out of the mentality where you see disease everywhere, and try to start considering that maybe behaving sensibly once in a while towards patients would be a good idea. Honestly, it’s a “bit” “annoying” when people want to believe what they want to believe about you because records said so, or science said so, or whoever said so, or whatever. It gets really hard dealing with people that start from the premise that you do not mean what you mean, or that you do not know what know, or that you are not who you are, or whatever nonsensical belief is trendy in their medical social circles.

Bottom line: Check reality in front of your eyes before believing in “theories”. “Facts” on the ground do matter.

And when you know how rampant that kind of attitude is, you have a hard time not looking at the science and asking yourself whether or not these feedback loops due to these self-fulfilling prophecies have a real distorting impact on epidemiology or other parts of the scientific corpus. I believe the impact is moderate, but I have to justify it to myself on unsound evidence, and it does shake part of my “faith” in what I’ve read over the years: I’ve been trying quite hard to explain quite a lot of discrepancies I’ve observed between the literature and the “day-to-day” experience of hospitals I have.

There is a mismatch. And I have little solid explanation for it. Merely speculations that I try to “pigeon-hole” back into the literature.

And it would be a good idea for psychiatrists to start assessing what is OK and functioning correctly or more than correctly with a person. If you only see the bad aspects and look for every little idiosyncrasy in a patient, you’re bound to produce fucking awful descriptions of that person in their records. If you start noting down positive things once in a while, maybe medical professionals or researchers would have an incentive to investigate how to use positive aspects of a person to get them out of a mess instead of constantly rehashing the same disease-speak with little actionable items other than glorifying misery…

@ F68.10,

Honestly, I’ve wondered if neurodiversity was promoted by the fanatically pro-vaccine, because the fear of autism associated with vaccines will just not go away. Why wouldn’t it benefit them, since reports of actual autism associated with actual vaccines just continue to increase along with increases in the number of vaccines … To just start saying that autism is magical & if you don’t agree, then you ‘hate’ autistic people”?

“What’s so BAD about autism anyway? Hmm? Do you hate your kid, Karen?”

For those that don’t understand the ‘Karen’ reference:

https://www.good.is/anti-vaxxers-are-losing-their-minds-over-this-dark-but-hilarious-anti-vax-mom-halloween-costume

Anyway, I have wondered if HF, ASD, young adults have been exploited to further the neurodiversity concept because it’s narrative is so beneficial to the provaccine narrative.

In reality, while the origins of Neurodiversity had great intentions, the proponents seem strange, confrontational & anti-science.

Ari Ne’eman of ASAN opposed a version of Kevin and Avonte’s Law, which would have provided money for tracking devices for wandering behavior in autistic children, over preference for ‘privacy’ & said that autistic elopers were likely victims of abuse.

Wandering is the leading cause of death for children with autism.

He is also opposed to scientific research into the genetics involved with autism as it could lead to ‘selective aborting of autistic fetuses’.

Lol, as if. There will never be a genetic test capable of diagnosing autism. But there may be one capable of diagnosing the predisposition for vaccine-adverse events that lead to autism.

Me and my friend Tom usually only use “Karen” for stuff like racist white ladies in the neighborhood who try to call the cops on Mexican people for having parties that go until (checks watch) midnight or so on a frikkin’ Saturday night.

Yeah nah, neurodiversity to me just means letting weird people be weird and be themselves. Pretty much just that. For me. IMHO.

Also we’re talking a party or two a year. Good Lord. A baby shower, a quincanera, whatever, get a grip, people. (Not y’all, I mean grumpy stupid white people in my neighborhood, which is not even most people, just like one household.)

If you start noting down positive things once in a while, maybe medical professionals or researchers would have an incentive to investigate how to use positive aspects of a person to get them out of a mess instead of constantly rehashing the same disease-speak with little actionable items other than glorifying misery…

Um, my therapist does that all the time. BTW, have you seen the movie Asylum?

the fear of autism associated with vaccines will just not go away

[citation needed]

There will never be a genetic test capable of diagnosing autism. But there may be one capable of diagnosing the predisposition for vaccine-adverse events that lead to autism.

Beg the question much?

Christine, I will say there’s one thing I’ve learned from you. Any claim you make, I’d better double check, because you’re probably misrepresenting it. For those interested in Mr. Ne’eman’s statement on Kevin and Avonte’s Law, you can find it here: https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/12/17/13993398/safety-autonomy-avonte-tracking-autism-wandering-schumer

ASAN did not oppose the law until it was expanded beyond tracking missing persons and took funding from crime prevention programs for low income communities. At this point, I don’t know if you’re actively lying, or you just can’t see past your blinders. Either way, you’re wrong again.

@ Christine Kincaid

“Honestly, I’ve wondered if neurodiversity was promoted by the fanatically pro-vaccine, because the fear of autism associated with vaccines will just not go away.”

I cannot honestly see how that would be the case…

“In reality, while the origins of Neurodiversity had great intentions, the proponents seem strange, confrontational & anti-science.”

From what I’ve seen in my corner of the world, they reject the concept of “disease”, which is the main way they may be construed as anti-science. But I believe that is a fallacy: accepting or rejecting autism as a disease has nothing to do with not being willing to study it scientifically.

OK, I’m now 110% done.

I have wondered if HF, ASD, young adults have been exploited to further the neurodiversity concept because it’s narrative is so beneficial to the provaccine narrative.

FUCK THIS!!! I am FED UP with people trying to depict autistics either as helpless children who are easily manipulated, or as too competent to advocate. Did it not occur to you that we support neurodiversity because it’s a good thing?

To just start saying that autism is magical…

That is not what neurodiversity is about. Neurodiversity argues that things like autism have always been around, and have been beneficial to humanity. Did you even read that article on neurodiversity I posted?

In reality, while the origins of Neurodiversity had great intentions, the proponents seem strange, confrontational…

We proponents of neurodiversity have had to deal with ignoramii distorting the meaning of neurodiversity and claiming that people like Ari Ne’eman are too high functioning to advocate. Case in point: a recent article on the Autism Science federation by one Matthew Belmonte Ph.D. I left two comments under it that were never released from moderation. Labelling our pushback against their dead wrong arguments “confrontational” is just the old “you’re overreacting” tactic.

…& anti-science.

This has already been dealt with.

[Ne’eman] is also opposed to scientific research into the genetics involved with autism as it could lead to ‘selective aborting of autistic fetuses’.

Lol, as if. There will never be a genetic test capable of diagnosing autism.

We can already detect signs of autism in the womb. And when a prenatal test for Down’s Syndrome was introduced, the number of children born with Down’s Syndrome went into freefall because they were aborted. Ne’eman’s worries look very justified to me.
Seriously, GO AND READ THAT ARTICLE ON NEURODIVERSITY THAT I POSTED.

@ Joel,

Yeah? I AM pissed off, Joel! Aarno said I ‘implied’ my son was ‘R’ (word) by pointing out that teenagers with severe autism are still in diapers.

A mom of a kid who was bullied posts about her child’s bruises & its a national tragedy.

A mom of a kid with autism posts about the bruises he self-inflicted & we are ‘exploiting them out of self-pity’.

A mom of a kid with measles posts a picture of her kid’s rash & she is canonized for sainthood on the spot (as long as he was VACCINATED).

A mom of an autistic child who bites her own hands bloody posts a picture & she is a ‘Karen’.

Yeah I’m pissed. A LOT of us are pissed. Sorry not sorry

A mom of a kid who was bullied posts about her child’s bruises & its a national tragedy.

A mom of a kid with autism posts about the bruises he self-inflicted & we are ‘exploiting them out of self-pity’.

A mom of an autistic child who bites her own hands bloody posts a picture & she is a ‘Karen’.

Context please? You are quite hysterical after all.

A mom of a kid with measles posts a picture of her kid’s rash & she is canonized for sainthood on the spot (as long as he was VACCINATED).

Although not a direct comparison (overly dramatic and exaggerated), a violation of privacy nonetheless.

Some people get “hysterical.” (Wandering womb?!) It happens. Enough suffering, enough stress, you push a person to the limit, stuff happens.

@ coschristi

I understand your anger; but direct it at the one person or persons you are angry with, NOT neurodiversity. I am pissed off at Aryan Nations; but not ALL White Americans. Do you understand the difference?

As for “retarded”, I use “special needs”. But I also believe that ALL human beings have an innate worth and dignity that transcends specific abilities or lack thereof.

Your attack on ALL who support neurodiversity sabotages your own child as many who support neurodiversity support more programs and more funds for a special needs children and adults. People can claim anything. Some people call themselves Christians; yet show only hate, not the Love that Jesus asked.

Wounds and incontinence problems are very different things. Have you heard anybody saying wow, I need diapers during the night ? And implication of being not potty trained is very real.
And rant against me as much as you want, and remember that I am not neurodiversity.

The common antivaxxer claims that women who are pregnant and receiving the flu or Tdap vaccine are a Guinea pig because there have been no studies done on the safety of those vaccines on pregnancy. Now, by “no safety studies” they really mean no “placebo-controlled, double-blind, exists-only-in-my-head” kind of studies. Yet, plenty of other epidemiologically valid studies have been done, both observational and quasi-experimental.
While it’s not my fault nor my responsibility to educate the ignorant on the basics of epidemiology and biostatistics, it is my responsibility to counter their claims wherever I see them. So…
No, a pregnant woman receiving a flu or Tdap vaccine today, a licensed vaccine and under the direction of their physician, IS NOT A GUINEA PIG. That pregnant woman is doing what is best for their child based on the best available evidence from experts who have spent cumulative thousands of lifetimes studying the subject.
To not accept the advice of a physician/healthcare provider for vaccination during pregnancy is the highest level of negligence toward the unborn child, in my opinion. To not accept that advice due to some random person’s insane rantings on a blog discussion forum (many of which don’t jive with their other social media accounts), is more “insane” than to be a Guinea pig in an actual scientific study.

Somehow anti-vaxxers seem to think that the close post-release surveillance of vaccines is inferior in assessing safety to clinical trials involving vastly fewer participants over a comparatively short time frame. If vaccines were simply dumped onto the market and no one ever bothered to keep tabs on apparent problems subsequently, their wailing would be justified, but that scenario is very very far from reality.

Double-blinded placebo-controlled randomized trials, here’s two:

Eric A.F.Simões et al. (2019 Aug 23). Trivalent influenza vaccination randomized control trial of pregnant women and adverse fetal outcomes. Vaccine; 37(36): 5397-5403.

Mahdi (2014 Sep 4). Influenza vaccination of pregnant women and protection of their infants. New England Journal of Medicine; 371(10): 918-31

And I also have around 30 other studies, e.g., case-control, cohort.

Additionally, several studies showed that vaccination of mothers conferred protection of newborns from flu.

Oh thank you! I have a friend who was told (by a deeply awful person) that her child has a serious malformation because she got a flu shot early in her pregnancy. (This is obviously not true, but it gnawed at her deeply, and no one needs that.)

@ Natalie White

As usual, you find one source that confirms what you choose to believe. I actually have ALL of Doshi’s articles on flu and intend later this year to write a comprehensive paper refuting each and every antivax claim. Just as an example. Imagine someone is walking in a park and a madman attacks people with a knife. One person receives a wound in the deltoid that doesn’t puncture any major blood vessels; but does bleed, so a trip to the emergency department at local hospital, wound cleaned, 3 – 4 stiches, and give three-days of antibiotics. Towards the end of the week, the person develops high fever, nausea, aching muscles, etc. Returns to emergency and has a systemic bacterial infection. Hospitalized; but dies from an antibiotic resistance infection. Is the madman knifer guilty of murder. The actual knife wound was trivial; but without it the antibiotic resistance infection would NOT have occurred. What do you think? That is, if you are capable of thinking.

Well, when people die of a heart attack, heart failure, etc hospitals don’t often do labs for flu. However, for instance, the peak of flu seasons vary, so studies that find flu season peak and higher than normal deaths from various diseases, together with labs when done show high number of cases of particular flu strains, mean good chance that the flu played a role. For instance, someone with mild congestive heart failure who eats properly exercises doesn’t smoke could live many more years; but flu, with high fevers, etc. tax the body, so they die. Well, like the madman knife, the flu didn’t “directly” kill the person; but any reasonable person would say it contributed to his/her death. So, aside from Doshi and others, during flu season the number of certain types of deaths increases significantly. Would it be nice if we did labs for flu on each and every person who died, yep; but expensive, maybe someday. My paper will review ALL the various ways that estimates of flu associated deaths are arrived at.

So, while you state: “He’s one of the few that calls out the flu shot for what it is.” His OPINION contradicts common sense and epidemiology. And, by the way, a few hospitals do test most people and, again, flu shown in many cases.

As usual, you see the world in black and white. If no lab, then not flu associated. And you find “one of the few” because he confirms what you choose to believe. As usual, you are tiresome and WRONG!

@ Joel – You write, “The actual knife wound was trivial; but without it the antibiotic resistance infection would NOT have occurred. What do you think? That is, if you are capable of thinking.”

Sucks to be the guy in your scenario. Perhaps he suffered from a hospital acquired infection from the care he received in the ER? The guy that knifed him is still responsible because he broke the skin, the body’s first line of defense. Antibiotic resistance has been brought about by the over prescribing of antibiotics from our healthscare providers.

Some also claim we ingest antibiotics from factory farmed livestock which plays a part in the antibiotic resistant bugs. I’m certain you and the pack will probably disagree.

The guy that knifed him is still responsible because he broke the skin, the body’s first line of defense.

Oh, great, now you’re pretending to hold forth on tort law.

@Chris – “Hilarious, you get health information from someone who believes in astrology.” Maybe your brain is inflammed? Did you read it or is there a problem with comprehension?

The article was written based on the information from this physician, “Dr. Santosh Kesari is a board-certified neurologist and neuro-oncologist and is currently Chair and Professor, Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics, John Wayne Cancer Institute. He is also Director of Neuro-oncology at Pacific Neuroscience Institute, Providence Saint John’s Health Center and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, and leads the Pacific Neuroscience Research Center at Pacific Neuroscience Institute.

https://www.pacificneuroscienceinstitute.org/people/santosh-kesari/

So are you saying this guy lacks credentials?

Then post articles written by him. Knowing how many folks like you cannot read and interpret a journal article, I prefer the primary source. Like the proof you are not a sadistic child hater who loves it when they are sick with measles, mumps, diphtheria, etc by you providing actual PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers who are neither journalists nor astrologers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease.

Newsflash: there is no anthrax vaccine on the pediatric schedule.

Only three paragraphs in the entire article are based on his comments. The rest of the article pulls from “experts” that aren’t qualified for that title. Try again.

@ Terrie

Which article? I am getting a headache following all the comments on this current exchange.
Can you give the complete reference, including URL?

@ coschristi JANUARY 5, 2020 AT 1:19 AM

You write: “@ Denice,

I know you won’t answer me but …

“— everyone else is lying”

No. Everybody things they are telling the truth. There is a difference.

“— vaccines aren’t tested”

Well, are they always? It is now en vogue to encourage the D tap & flu vaccine for pregnant women. Have vaccines ever been tested for safety during pregnancy? They do not use pregnant women to test ANYTHING, actually.”

First, you are partially right that many antivaxxers aren’t lying, either hink they are stating the truth or pushing something that will further their truth. See Wikipedia article “On Bullshit”. “Frankfurt determines that bullshit is speech intended to persuade without regard for truth. The liar cares about the truth and attempts to hide it; the bullshitter doesn’t care if what they say is true or false, but rather only cares whether their listener is persuaded.” I’ve also got Frankfurt’s short book.

Second, you are totally wrong about vaccines being tested on pregnant women. I have well over 30 such studies and there are more, including Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trials. I actually give the title to two of them in another comment in this series

@ Joel:

I can’t engage with people who can’t be reasoned with: you may present an accurate survey of research on a particular question and it will be dismissed automatically. I give up on them entirely.

But you are educating and entertaining other readers. I hope you are compiling these studies ( I have a few groups myself). You probably remember studying SBM or SB psych and how you had to assemble long lists of studies to argue particular points. Most people have no experience with that and don’t know where to start. They never had to do a search for topics and need to explain past issues and the ‘state of the art’ currently in order to introduce their own ideas for a project..They don’t know how much goes into learning this material.

So they get mesmerised by an isolated study or quote. They pick and choose what they read because google – unlike formal education- imposes no limits or prerequisites. It’s self- initiated, self-chosen and self-graded. So of course, they’re brilliant- to themselves and fellow travellers.

Presenting real data though infuriates them. So good luck.

Yep; but I also had a graduate course in information synthesis and meta-analysis.

I remember fondly one textbook: Albert Bandura’s “Principles of Behavior Modification”

Despite everything, the antivaxxers, sometimes supply me with additional articles for my library, they just misunderstand them or cherry pick them; but, all the same, my library grows from sane comments and even sometimes . . . comments. LOL

@ Terrie JANUARY 6, 2020 AT 1:30 PM

You write: “Joel, as someone who works heavily with data records, I have to say you’re wrong. Even the largest warehouse would be much too small for paper records. Maybe they could manage if it was all on microfiche. There’s a reason you’ll still find it in libraries everywhere.”

You miss the main point, that the data was kept, easy to access,that the actual protocol for the various analyses was there, so quite easy to reproduce any time. As for microfiche, yep, but given the huge amount of paperwork, would require lots of unnecessary work.

When I did statistical analyses, I kept the actual paper program, often only one or two pages; but not the print-outs and NO, I wasn’t going to take the time to create microfiches and we didn’t have the funds to pay someone else.

My point was that OF COURSE the paper got shredded, because a “large warehouse” is massively understating the amount of storage space they would need. It’s kept in other formats (digital, microfiche, etc), because in this case the physical format is irrelevant. (Certainly there are times when it’s the physical object that is more important than the contents — that’s the whole point of the rare book market)

@ Terrie

Though someone might do it, I’ve NEVER encountered saving tons of statistical computer print-outs as microfiche or, nowadays, even on computers. Why bother? As I wrote, really easy to reproduce as long as the data is still available.

However, the main point is that the claim that the CDC shredded the analyses in order in order to hide something, wasn’t true, since the data is available and SAVED, so nothing being hidden.

@ René F. Najera (@EpiRen) and Christopher Hickie

As a graduate student, Peter Doshi, early on in 2005 had a paper published in the BMJ. Even if they want to attract readers, thus, allowing John Stone and other antivaxxers to post Rapid Responses, the fact that they delayed by days to a week some of my responses and didn’t post 8 or 9, and allowed Stone and others to continue to make claims despite my Rapid Response showing how wrong they were, e.g., taking sentence out of context, etc. makes one wonder about BMJ staff, including senior editor, thus giving them the last word. In addition, the editor, Sharon Davies, for Rapid Responses posted an article that claimed they were like peer-reviewed articles, giving Stone what he wanted.

“what is a letter to the editor but part of the process of peer review dating back to before the birth
of the BMJ, at least to the inception of the Royal Society? Thus rapid responses are integral to the scientific and historical record.” Sharon Daavies (2013 Jan 31). https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2013/01/31/sharon-davies-why-were-reluctant-to-remove-rapid-responses-from-bmj-com/#more-24165

Totally nuts. Rapid Responses don’t go out to independent reviewers. In fact, I’d bet most are only seen by Davies and, perhaps, one other at BMJ. Maybe, Orac should claim our comments are peer-reviewed???

I think you are misinterpreting what Davies is saying. My take is that letters constitute reviews of the articles to which they refer, not that the letters themselves are reviewed. Whether there is any legitimacy to the notion that the authors of letters are “peers” of authors of papers is another matter.

I’ve heard of Stone before, but forgotten what his claim to fame is. Does he hold any qualifications that might suggest he is somehow a scientific peer, or is he just a blowhard?

@ doug

One more person missing the point. Whatever Davies intention was, it leaves it open to Stone and others to see “peer-reviewed.” Keep in mind that Stone and other antivaxxers see conspiracies everywhere, read into articles interpretations not in the article, etc. etc. etc.

John Stone and this blog go way back. Try this for instance.

Man, those are some ‘nyms and names I haven’t seen in a long while.

Oh, I get the point you are trying to make but I believe you have misconstrued the evidence by suggesting that Davies’ comments give any sort of impression that letters are reviewed instead of being reviews. If it’s there, I can’t see it.Stone and his ilk may indeed make misrepresentation along those lines, but it seems to me that the mere fact that a prestigious journal will publish his letters at all is deemed by his followers to be evidence that he is part of the learned elite. Maybe you have evidence to suggest that they really do represent the published letters to be the equivalent of peer-reviewed papers or opinion.

In any case, if an editor is being selective about what letters are published because of his or her own biases, that editor deserves to be smacked down. Were I to pursue something like that, I would be inclined to put pen to paper and paper in envelope, addressed directly to the most senior editor, assuming said person is not the perceived offender.

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “MANY parents call the pediatricians office the next morning to report the baby has been ‘sick since the vaccines’ & are told this is a NORMAL reaction to vaccines.

If the baby dies from SIDS shortly thereafter; it will be in the report that the baby seemed ‘sick’ before they died.”

Really, if the baby dies from SIDS, it is reported seemed “sick’ before. And, how many such reports have you found? Probably a few cases; but as usual, your world of extremes of black and white has to see ALL or MOST reported such. Your fantasy world is really tiresome.

The vast majority of research has led to changes in cribs, e.g., no blankets or other paraphernalia, not placing baby on stomach, etc. And SIDS cases plummeted from 1990s on. Yep, still some cases; but how do you explain that as number of vaccines increased, cases of SIDS decreased?

Maybe we should increase further the number of vaccines and SIDS will disappear? LOL

@ Joel,

No, no, no … It is the RESEARCH that states the baby seemed ‘sick’ (congestion, irritability, fever, ) before SIDS, because the parents will report the baby ‘seemed a little sick’ before the SIDS.

Baby is vaccinated. Baby has a fever, is fussy & is mildly congested within 24 hours. Parent calls doctor’s office. Nurse says ‘Fever, fussy & congestion? That’s a very normal reaction to the vaccines! It means they are working, give Tylenol for the fever & it should go away in a day or two.’

The baby is a little sick & that is ‘normal’. When baby doesn’t wake up two days later & they are interviewed prior to autopsy; they will say; ‘He seemed a little sick’.

Research now states: “Many SIDS infants have a history of viral illness preceding death” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2999632/

On incidence:

“Walker et al. found “the SIDS mortality rate in the period zero to three days following DPT to be 7.3 times that in the period beginning 30 days after immunization.” Fine and Chen reported that babies died at a rate nearly eight times greater than normal within 3 days after getting a DPT vaccination.”

And the ‘Back to Sleep’, aka: ICD coding change:

“A closer inspection of the more recent period from 1999 to 2001 reveals that the US postneonatal SIDS rate continued to decline, but there was no significant change in the total postneonatal mortality rate. During this period, the number of deaths attributed to ‘suffocation in bed’ and ‘unknown causes,’ increased significantly.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170075/

.

Research now states: “Many SIDS infants have a history of viral illness preceding death” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2999632/

For certain values of “now,” of course; this is over a decade old. If you were doing your homework properly, you’d be aiming at Paul N. Goldwater, who here seems, with retired microbiologist Karl A. Bettelheim, to be irked at not being cited in a Pediatrics paper by Goldstein et al.

(BTW, I forgot to mention the hilarious “corrigendum” to the Miller & Goodman joint. COIs, anyone?)

@ Chris – Well the title is: 7 Signs There MAY Be Inflammation in Your Brain. Not a definitive statement. You can wait for the PubMed study to confirm. https://www.bustle.com/p/7-signs-there-may-be-inflammation-in-your-brain-11910223

Chris slanders, “proof you are not a sadistic child hater who loves it when they are sick with measles, mumps, diphtheria, etc” Can you at least change it up a little? Even Dr. Bruce Ivins had more creativity. Have you read his poetry?

And yes, I am aware anthrax vaccine is not on the recommended pediatric schedule – mandated pediatric schedule if you want your child to go to public (funded thru taxes) school. The anthrax comment was about Dr. Bruce Ivins and his requirement to have an annual anthrax vaccination because he worked with weaponized anthrax for 20 years.

Well the title is: 7 Signs There MAY Be Inflammation in Your Brain. Not a definitive statement.

Oh, Christ, the whole thing was a slurry of nonsense and the bleeding obvious. I award you three Billy Madisons.

Obviously there is a reason why many of her ilk post stories like and not primary sources. It is just another way to lie.

I am sure that the author is paid each time she takes a dump in her readers’ skulls and is not just secreting cognitive core-dumps pro bono. What’s Natalie’s excuse?

Hey, when I was a kid, I had a few issues of Tiger Beat, thanks to Howard Cosell’s turning me on to the Bay City Rollers.

So you don’t have any real evidence that vaccines cause more harm than the diseases.

And yet you posted that stupid article and something about anthrax. So you just want to be known as the nasty woman who posted idiocy on this blog. Good to know.

@ Chris writes, “you just want to be known as the nasty woman” Laughable considering your remarks about me.

A contrarian/objector, a concerned parent and citizen, an advocate of medical choice, a fighter of medical fascists, a representative of the vaccine injured and for “the one in a million”, and a former believer is more accurate.

@Natalie White Autism is not caused by vaccines. Try to refute this statement. Start your comments with autism prevalance rates, Why vaccine effect is so much bigger amongst the boys ?
One in million comes from Vaccine Court awards. However, in the case of table injuries, Court presumes that the injury is caused by vaccines. The real causation is not needed at all.

Nah, I prefer sadistic child hater who would prefer children get high fevers, pain, pneumonia, seizures, etc instead of being protected by real medicine. Or just too ignorant to understand your “advocacy of medical choice” has that outcome, especially after what happened in Samoa. So many tiny coffins.

Also, ableist for the belief that vaccines cause autism. Which such really dumb.

I read the words “Health Coach and a Nutritional Therapist, Christina Tsiripidou” and suddenly lost interest in reading self-advertisements from some parasite on the worried well.

I read the words “Health Coach and a Nutritional Therapist, Christina Tsiripidou”….

The surname has Piero Umiliani running though my head thanks to you.

Read Wikipedia article encephalitis for signs for brain inflammation. Health coach speaking about toxic proteins is not a very good sign.
Paying taxes does not give you freedom to infect other people’s children.

@ Natalie

Well the title is: 7 Signs There MAY Be Inflammation in Your Brain. Not a definitive statement.

Ah, so if this is an hypothetical… (/s)
I guess it’s the little brother of JAQ.

(Chris, take notes – if you were to say that Natalie MAY be a child hater, etc, she would be Ok with your characterization)

And actually, you are wrong, this title is a definite statement. The signs are presented as potentially indicating that there is brain inflammation. If one or more of these seven signs have nothing to do with any brain illness, or are so generic/general that there happenstance is meaningless….

Or she is just too ignorant to understand that kids suffering with high fevers, pain, etc is directly due to actions like her and other Wakefield sycophants.

@ Doug

You write: “In any case, if an editor is being selective about what letters are published because of his or her own biases, that editor deserves to be smacked down. Were I to pursue something like that, I would be inclined to put pen to paper and paper in envelope, addressed directly to the most senior editor, assuming said person is not the perceived offender.”

I did exactly that, sent a detailed e-mail to both BMJ Senior Editor Fiona Godlee and Sharon Davies explaining how they had posted Stone’s comments which ignored those of mine that they posted and by then not posting another of my Rapid Responses they gave Stone the final word. Never received a reply; but then four of my submitted Rapid Responses in a row were NOT posted.

And Stone does refer to his Rapid Responses in BMJ when writing articles and comments on Age of Autism. In fact, he sends papers/letters to WHO, British Parliamentary Commissions, etc. and brags about them, as if someone actually took him seriously. On at least one occasion, he received a polite reply which really bolstered kudos from commenters on Age of Autism..

@ Julian,

FUCK THIS!!! I am FED UP with people trying to depict autistics either as helpless children who are easily manipulated, or as too competent to advocate

Yeah? Well then maybe neither of us are actually autistic!

When WE say we autistic we are starting to look like the guy who wears dark glasses & sits on the corner with his red & white cane holding a sign that says; “BLIND. PLEASE HELP!” & begs money from passers-by, only to get in his Lincoln Navigator after a few hours & drive away. We are that con man. The majority of kids with autism are literally helpless & will be so for their entire life.

IDC if you just MUST retain the label or your identity. Keep it but if you insist on differentiating yourself & abandoning those like my son, let’s come up with one that reflects the true status of kids with severe, regressive autism, so as to not interfere with our delightfully spectrummy identities.

We can already detect signs of autism in the womb. And when a prenatal test for Down’s Syndrome was introduced, the number of children born with Down’s Syndrome went into freefall because they were aborted. Ne’eman’s worries look very justified to me

No we can’t detect the signs! The ‘bigger head & abdomen’ study? The ‘may have disorganized patches’ study?
Where is the test? The prenatal testing for DS has been available since the mid-1960s, Julian! An autistic fetus? As long as it exonerates vaccines; I guess nothing should surprise me anymore.

If your theories require you to unilaterally redefine autism, they might not be very good theories.

On the other hand, a unilateral redefinition of autism would shrink current incidence figures dramatically, and bring an end to the Autism Epidemic.

Ironic. Your post just confirms what I’ve been pointing out all along.

[M]aybe neither of us are actually autistic!

Yes we are. This is exactly what I’m talking about. “No true Scotsman”.

The majority of [autistic] kids are literally helpless & will be so for their entire life.

I’d like to see your figures for this. Most autistics can lead decent lives if they get the proper supports. You are using “No true Scotsman” again.
In addition, when she was a child, Temple Grandin was very severely disabled. She flung nd smeared her faeces.

Keep it but if you insist on differentiating yourself & abandoning those like my son…

There it is. The EXACT attitude I have been refuting for years. Neurodiversity proponents CAN advocate for those on the severe end. It is a complete and utter LIE that we can’t or don’t.
Advocacy is NOT a zero sum game. Pointing out that autism has always been with us and has added value to humanity is not “abandoning” those on the lower end.
I went to the ASAN website and looked under the “Completed Projects” Page. Items included “Loud Hands”, “Autism Summer Institute” and “Joint Report on Home and Community Based Services”. All help those more severely affected.
To argue that you and I are either not autistic or that we can’t advocate for those more severely affected is dead wrong.
As for your twisting of what neurodiversity is, I say once again, read the article I linked.

I’d like to see your figures for this.

They’re certainly not to be found in the most recent MMWR data. Of course, if one reads the “Limitations” section, the CDC has the courtesy to point out that such sweeping generalizations aren’t possible.

There are many known symptomatic genes causing atusim. You can test these. But actually, n most cases, many genes are involved.
DS is caused by an additional chromosome, so testing is very easy,

@ Aarno,

Why vaccine effect is so much bigger amongst the boys

Some may cause ‘bigger’ & others smaller. It’s a sex-differential non-specific effect.

“THE NON-SPECIFIC AND SEX-DIFFERENTIAL EFFECTS OF ROUTINE VACCINATIONS AND THE POSSIBILITIES THAT GLOBAL POLICIES MAY BE HARMFUL NEED TO BE CONSIDERED”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.4161/hv.7.1.13848

If you actually read the paper (do you ever do that ?) it says that mortality was higher amongst the girls, exactly opposite thing. An easy explanation would be that girls are less valued in Guinea-Bissau.

@ Christine Kincaid

As usual, you find one paper, ignore even its caveats and twist to indict vaccines.

From Aaby’s paper: “To vaccinate fewer children with MV or to vaccinate them later should therefore have a negative effect on child survival. . .African community studies have shown consistently that female mortality is higher than male mortality prior to MV but declines markedly when the children receive MV.. .it is even more
important that many researchers use epidemiological reasoning and pursue the evidence of POSSIBLE [my emphasis] sex-differential effects and interactions between different immunostimulatory interventions.” AND you missed the last section heading: “the POSSIBILITY [my emphasis] that Global Policies MAY BE [my emphasis] Harmful Need to be Considered.” And, even if further research shows gender problems in Africa or other third world nations, doesn’t mean problems in a developed nation. Could be a combination of comorbidities, nutrition, etc. Of course, for you, even the possibility becomes the reality.

You really are tiresome. Even the best studies results can be influenced by unmeasured variables that ended up more in one group than the other, which is why several replications are needed. And you also miss that despite everything, Aaby clearly states that vaccines have been far more beneficial than harmful. So, even if one finds that some combo of vaccines, e.g., sequence/order or an individual vaccine when used in some third world nation increases some risks by gender, until one can be sure, the total risk from vaccinating by gender is still far less for all vaccines. If we were to begin NOT using or delaying some vaccines prior to further research the morbidity and mortality might actually increase; but, I’m sure this doesn’t concern you.

By analogy, penicillin literally saved millions of lives when introduced; but some died (before epipens) from anaphylactic shock who may have survived the infection. Nowadays we ask about allergies, previous reactions and have epipens; but the point is that had we used your approach, that is, focus on the few who may have survived but died from anaphylactic shock millions would have died. Most of us live in the real world where one has to: one. balance benefits and risks and two. not base judgments on one or two studies, especially when they clearly indicate “POSSIBLE”, “POSSIBILITY” and “MAY BE”.

But, as you have made clear many times, you consider yourself to have god-like knowledge and us mere mortals who have devoted lifetimes to the subject are either fools or liars.

Can you walk across non-frozen water?

@ F68.10

Thanks. Didn’t think of that one. Next time I challenge someone who thinks they are god-like, I’ll make sure they don’t have cornstarch with them. LOL

@ Joel,

You really are tiresome

Yow know what’s astounding? If I don’t spew ‘antivaccine trope’; most of you can’t follow the context of what I say. It would ALMOST be amusing if it were not so frustrating.

I cite a study about immune-mediation & Chris has a cow because it doesn’t say anything about vaccines.

I say vaccines aren’t capable of resulting in autism within hours & Dorit waves her hand to point out that I said a vaccine resulted in encephalopathy within hours. Apparently; the antivaccine narrative is that vaccines cause autism overnight & if I don’t say THAT; the panties get bunched.

It FEELS like Aarno called my son a retard because I didn’t. Not saying that’s how it went down but it does feel like that.

And now; oh the sacrilege … I have quoted Aaby; after Aarno throws ‘boys & vaccines’ in my lap so I propose the research on sex-differential NSE’s.

What; I’m not allowed to cite Aaby’s study because he speaks to the benefit of vaccines? Well DUH! VACCINES HAVE BENEFITS. Or they could. If done right. They don’t much right now but tbh; I’d follow Aaby’s recommendations because he has found the positive & negative & is looking at ways to make it better; just by changing the schedule.

Stop trying to corner me into tropism. I can go anywhere for that. I’m here to hear feedback on the science.

Tell me how you know vaccines are absolved from immune-mediation in SIDS & ASD. Not because of some big-data study from Denmark & ‘epidemiology ad nauseum’ but tell me, HOW the vaccines are FOR SURE not a potential player.

Please.

No I can’t walk on water, yes I’d try the cornstarch but in reality I’m actually a super strong swimmer.

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “HOW the vaccines are FOR SURE not a potential player.”

You are really STUPID. I have explained and so have others that it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove a negative and real scientists don’t talk in absolutes. So, NO, I can’t say for sure about anything; but what I can say is that you don’t understand the basics of the immune system. If vaccines, killed or attenuated microbes, are a problem, then the natural full-strength microbes would be as great or greater. As for multiple exposure, well, prior to vaccines almost all kids were exposed to multiple microbes, in fact, even today, on average 2 – 3,000 daily. As for aluminum, third most prevalent mineral on planet, in breast milk and everything else, etc..

And the fact that you continue to ask for absolutes implies that you want god-like certainty. I and others like me can only look at the history of vaccine-preventable diseases, the extensive, almost 20,000 articles in PubMed on vaccine safety, and, at the same time, the illogical, cherry-picking approach of people like you. Of course, the immune system plays a roll in much of human existence; but a vaccine is designed to awaken a few memory cells while, at the same time, not eliciting a system wide response. Without the measles vaccine we would have had in the almost 60 years since its introduction over well over 30,000 dead kids, 30,000 with disabilities, etc. And that’s just what the measles vaccine prevented. But, research has now found that natural measles, not the vaccine, suppresses the immune system for several years which means that kids who died months to several years after measles from some other microbe may well be included in measles deaths.

People often talk about whether the glass is half full or half empty. Well, it is 99% full and, at best, e.g., some serious adverse events, 1% empty and you choose to focus on that. Seatbelts halve the number of deaths and serious injuries; but there have been a few cases of people with bladder or kidney damage from seatbelts in minor fender benders and a couple of deaths, so, let’s focus on those and warn people NOT to use their seatbelt.

And I am sick and tired of your contempt for epidemiology. Yep, let’s get rid of epidemiology. Back to most men and women smoking, no age limits on purchasing cigarettes, no bans on indoor smoking. Let’s allow industry to pour whatever chemicals they want into the environment. If you looked at history of calling epidemiology “junk science” you would learn that it began with tobacco industry then others to undermine public health if it hurt the bottom line. I doubt you have ever read a single book on epidemiology methodology. So GO TO HELL! I and the vast majority of people would hate to live in the world your contempt for epidemiology would create. And if you had a brain you would understand how industry continues to fight against well-established epidemiological findings. And it is the exact same methodology used with vaccine studies. So, yep, side with industry. Epidemiologist, at least the vast majority of them, side with the science.

@ Christine Kincaid

And just to make clear, I have absolutely NO problem and encourage research looking at gender differences in immune responses and even adverse events with vaccines. But my goal is different from yours. My goal isn’t based on a belief that we will find fault with vaccines. My goal is based on vaccines confer a huge benefit over risks; but if we can adjust the dosage, the sequence, etc. to increase the benefit even more I welcome it. While I would NEVER sacrifice the good for the perfect. I welcome the good being improved.

Your goal, your belief, your absolute certainty you are right vs overwhelming evidence that without vaccines this would be a horrible risky world to live in; but can they be improved? Yep; but with limited funding, what should we prioritize? Research on rare adverse events (which despite everything we are doing) or . . . perhaps a vaccine against malaria. Get the U.S. to stop killing, maiming, crippling, impoverishing people in developing nations for the benefit of American corporations and we would have literally trillions of dollars for infrastructure and health research.

Though given your warped mind impossible to tell; but I lived through polio and know how most people felt with the advent of the vaccine, despite setbacks and it not being 100% effective. And I know parents who, especially after older child contracted measles and was hospitalized, were glad that their younger kids were able to be vaccinated.

I wonder how you would have felt if your child was crippled by polio a few years prior to vaccine or made deaf by measles prior to vaccine, etc. etc. etc.

@Christine Kincaid About your son: What if he someday can read your comments ? Would you yourself tell everybody that you need diapers during nights ? This can happen to you: older people do often have incontinence problems. This is, by the way, not a sign that they are not potty trained.
Why is autism rate amongst the boys so much higher ? What about autism rate amongst twins ? Quite basic questions.
Aaby worked in a very poor country. To be consistent, you must accept measles death rate in a very poor country as a general fact.

“Yow know what’s astounding? If I don’t spew ‘antivaccine trope’; most of you can’t follow the context of what I say. It would ALMOST be amusing if it were not so frustrating.”

Honestly, that’s because other than insisting it must be vaccines and endlessly repeating “immune-mediated” and “multi factorial” until they become nonsense words, you haven’t presented a consistent argument.

Cite a study that shows that boys have about four times higher (or perhaps lower, because you speak about atypical) immune response that girls, aand that after a subclinical immune challenge

@ Joel,

There are a lot of ways it could be happening Joel. Both SIDS & ASD indicate an atypical immune-response & vaccines are a atypical immune-provocation. Nothing to get hysterical about; it is what it is.

Since when does a ‘rule-out’ study mean proving a negative?

One alleged adverse event at a time? SIDS: Cytokine profiles pre/post immunization? Compared with to cytokine profiles after SIDS? Wouldn’t take too damn long: 4,000 babies a year dead. Standardize a salivary cytokine screen that has to be used on every baby pre & post immunization for just one year. Don’t need to run them all unless there is a death.

Christine, just because you’re a fan of Big Data and don’t believe in privacy doesn’t mean other people agree with you.

Christine, just because you’re a fan of Big Data

I don’t see her being able to calculate a sample size any time soon.

Vaccines are not “atypical immune provocation”, Vaccines work because immune reaction towards weakened pathogen (or parts of pathogen) is same as towards wild one. If provocation were atypical ,
there would be no protection.
Why do you think that SIDS is atypical immune response ? What about typical ? Like an infection ? You can actually find papers about SIDS and cytokines.
You have not answered my questions about autism. Why is prevalence higher amonst boys ? What about autism rate amongst identical twins ? Multifactorial does not work there, identical twins have same genes.

Narad, no, but she seems to think that any consideration of privacy is an excuse to hide “The Truth.” Hence why she seems to have no problem posting everything short of her family’s birth certificates and social security numbers online.I do wonder if her family realizes how much she makes public about them. As someone who thinks the US is seriously lagging in our data privacy laws, the way she glibly hands out personal identifying information and advocates massive collection of personal data without a single thought to any protections is nauseating.

@ Dangerous Bacon,

No (sigh). I’m talking about the girl who just died from “GI complications” from Influenza A.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/kaytlyn-rogers-funeral-costs?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&fbclid=IwAR20vnSoRgV1mWX5mHYYJKT2SomjsJRRwiAM1Y2x6UcZg_jNw-hVRYb9aEU

Her teenage friends said she was ‘bleeding from every hole’. Another kid same HS also. Don’t know if that one was hemorrhagic or not.

I am following the Paulding County Coroner.
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1090026621329017&id=259124591085895&hc_location=ufi

They won’t address the parents concerns: Is it hemorrhagic or not? Read the comments.

I just figured I would ask the question HERE where so many are ‘so concerned with misinformation’ but nvrmd.

Her teenage friends said she was ‘bleeding from every hole’.

Well, there’s a reliable source for a case report if ever there was one. Speaking of which, maybe you could do a few minutes of actual research.

They won’t address the parents concerns: Is it hemorrhagic or not?

This appears to be your “concern.”

Read the comments.

Sorry, not doing Bookface.

Everyone:

christine kincaid doesn’t like epidemiology, not because of its methodology and validity; but because of its conclusions regarding vaccines. I’m sure she loves the term “junk science.” Below is a reference list that clearly show that term “junk science” was marketed by industries against government regulation of their products, regardless of how harmful they were (note. I have more).

References for Junk Science

The Center for Media and Democracy (2016 Dec 4). False accusation of junk science. SourceWatch. Available at: https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=False_accusation_of_junk_science

The Center for Media and Democracy (2016 Dec 4). Junk Science. SourceWatch. Available at: https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Junk_science

Chesebro KJ (1993). Galileo’s Retort: Peter Huber’s Junk Scholarship. The American University Law Review; 42: 1637-1726. Available at: https://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1597&context=aulr

Kroll A, Schulman J (2013 Oct 28). Leaked Documents Reveal the Secret Finances of a Pro-Industrial Science Group. Mother Jones. Available at: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/american-council-science-health-leaked-documents-fundraising/

Ong EK, Glantz SA (2001 Nov). Constructing “Sound Science” and “Good Epidemiology”: Tobacco, Lawyers, and Public Relations Firms. American Journal of Public Health; 91(11): 1749-1757. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1446868/

TruthWiki (accessed 2020 Jan 6). The American Council on Science and Health (ASCH). Available at: http://www.truthwiki.org/The_American_Council_on_Science_and_Health/

Wikipedia. Junk Science. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junk_science

By the way, today’s article on Age of Autism by Teresa Conrick. “Yet Another “RARE” Autoimmune Disease Caused By Vaccines” (available at: https://www.ageofautism.com/2020/01/yet-another-rare-autoimmune-disease-caused-by-vaccines.html#more) found ca dozen cases in all age groups spanning over 20 years. She doesn’t think this is rare. Keep in mind that during that time period well over one billion, that is BILLION, vaccines were given. I guess her take on “rare” differs from mine and the vast majority of people. A dozen out of over a billion. I’d say that was extremely rare. And even if she triple it, still extremely rare.

She also writes: “I am interested in autoimmmune diseases as my daughter has one. Her severe symptoms began after the MMR vaccine in 1994, though other vaccines did cause more subtle reactions, often difficult to ascertain in an infant and toddler. Meg now also has a diagnosis of nonfamilial hypogammaglobulinemia, a condition in which her immune system is unable to mount a good fight against the bacterial, viral and parasitic bad guys in our world (see the MMR insert below). This cascade of events then unfortunately leads to another immune assault on her brain, called PANS . It is a devastating life with 24/7 care needed. Some questions to consider — Why is it babies and children are not being tested for immune issues before vaccination? Can certain vaccines trigger autoimmune diseases? How can this topic of conversation lead to helping children and adults rather than the whole “anti-vaccination” witch hunt?”

So, “a condition in which her immune system is unable to mount a good fight against the bacterial, viral and parasitic bad guys in our world.” In other words, had she been exposed to measles, mumps, or rubella, it, more than likely, would have been devastating. Someday we may be able to screen for each and every extremely rare disease and I hope that time comes soon; but had Ms Conrick not vaccinated her child and/or there had not been a vaccine, how would she feel if her child had been severely harmed by one of the diseases? I am truly sorry for what happened; but despite her thinking that 12 out of a billion isn’t rare, even if we added up the risks from ALL rare genetic disorders, they would still be rare compared to the vast number who would have been spared from the diseases. As I’ve written umpteen times, we don’t live in a perfect world, DON’T SACRIFICE THE GOOD FOR THE PERFECT. I do hope that our government has compensated Ms Conrick enough to cover any and all costs.

References for Junk Science

To add one more datapoint:
A decade ago (maybe still? Don’t know, don’t care), the dedicated “science expert” on Fox News was calling himself the “junk science expert”.
Will you be shocked to learn he was a climate change denier?

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “Both SIDS & ASD indicate an atypical immune-response & vaccines are a atypical immune-provocation.”

I’ve already commented that SIDS went down exponentially as number of vaccines increased. As for ASD being an atypical immune response, just one hypothesis, not confirmed & not the most prevalent hypothesis.

And vaccines are really NOT an atypical immune provocation. If you actually learned about the immune system you would understand that it doesn’t react to the entire microbe; but to peptides, that is, short sections of proteins and sometimes carbohydrates and lipids. So, whether it is a natural wild-type microbe or one that has been killed or attenuated, the immune system still only recognizes the peptides. As for other ingredients, e.g., aluminum, as I’ve written umpteen times, it is the 3rd most prevalent mineral on the planet. Kids get it through breast milk, air, water, food, etc. So, the minute amount in vaccines nothing. And for the umpteenth time, kids are exposed on a daily basis to 2 – 3,000 potentially dangerous microbes and their immune systems to quite well.

You write: “Since when does a ‘rule-out’ study mean proving a negative?”

You want 100% certainty, that is what your stupidity wants, proving a negative. As for a “rule-out” study, one can NEVER completely rule out anything. There exists around 7,000 rare genetic diseases. The study in Africa is with people living in poverty, exposed to numerous parasitical diseases, etc. Even, as I already wrote, if studies found an association, while it may lead to vaccine policy changes there, we are very different. But you don’t care. And the question remains compared to what? If not vaccinating or delaying leads to a far greater toll or disease, potential disability and death, than the rare serious adverse reaction, then anyone with half a brain would still opt for vaccinating. As I’ve written umpteen times, I have NO problem doing further research and if the U.S. didn’t devote so many resources to killing, maiming, crippling, and impoverishing people who are NO threat to us in the Third World, not for defense; but to further the goals of American corporations and if we didn’t have the only for-profit health care system in the world, paid for by our taxes, then an additional 30 cents on the dollar going to excess administration and profit, we would have money for infrastructure, more medical research, and on and on. But, vaccines are much more positive than you will ever admit and the risks much more rare. So, nothing anyone can ever say, nothing more research will find that contradicts what you believe will ever sway you.

You write: “SIDS? Wouldn’t take too damn long: 4,000 babies a year dead.”

From the CDC:

“In 2017, there were 3,600 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) in the United States. These deaths occur among infants less than 1 year old and have no immediately obvious cause. In 2017, there were about 1,400 deaths due to SIDS, about 1,300 deaths due to unknown causes, and about 900 deaths due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.”

So, 900 were suffocation and strangulation, certainly NOT caused by cytokines. Only 1,400 were classified as SIDS. While even one is tragic, less than half your idiotic claim. And there is NO evidence, based on several studies, that they relate to vaccines. In fact, there was a case where a researcher took his infant in to get vaccinated. There was a long line so he decided to come another day. The infant died of SIDS that very night. The researcher said that if his kid had been vaccinated it would have been difficult not to blame the vaccine. It’s called post hoc ergo prompter hoc, something idiots like you refuse to understand.

@ Joel,

I feel like you are just answering me to tell me how stupid I am.

I’ve heard all sorts of different versions of that That One Time When A Baby Died BEFORE It’s Shots! That’s 1:3,999? Not impressed.

And there are no lines out the door to get shots, lol. Not here. Third world? Maybe but Aarno says that do’t count.

@ christine kincaid

The one example was just that, an example, to make a point of the logical fallacy of Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc. So, once again, you prove just how stupid you are, that you don’t acknowledge the logical fallacy which I mentioned, not just this time. And you don’t acknowledge you got the number wrong on SIDS. Yep, you ignore most of what I and others write, including that you don’t understand the basics of immunology. So, yep, I am just answering you to tell you how stupid you are! ! !

@ christine kincaid

Really??? 1:3,999.

There are a number of genetic diseases that, regardless of anything, develop at a certain age, e.g., Rett Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, and many others. If a child with one of these genetic diseases was to receive any vaccines prior to the genetically determined time that symptoms would appear, you would ignore everything known about these genetic disorders and blame the vaccine. That is, Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc.

Another example. There have been cases where someone after getting the flu shot had a heart attack. However, in each case they already had severe cardiovascular disease and people with such conditions have heart attacks all the time; but you, again, would blame the shot.

Infants often mimic words they hear, not understanding what they mean, like parrots. If they have certain genetic disorders, at the age when actual speech develops, it wouldn’t with them, so, parents, having heard them parrot words, now not actually using language, would blame the vaccine. But they haven’t actually regressed. I doubt if you can understand this.

I could care less if you are impressed or not. I don’t write these comments for you; but for open-minded reasonably intelligent people.

There exists around 7,000 rare genetic diseases.

My highschool biology teacher liked to tell us how each of us were carrying on average the gene variants for 40 different genetic diseases. Most, if not all of them rare enough so we shouldn’t worry when meeting and marrying that special significant other. But some people get to be very unlucky.
Well, of course, the more in-group we marry, the higher the chance of a genetic match. And spontaneous mutations do occur.

“Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!”

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