Respectful Insolence

…and ERV has the scoop, along with pictures.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about April Renée, the former President of The Autism Autoimmunity Project and a frequent speaker for Vaccine Injured Children, who was scheduled to speak in Oklahoma City on Saturday; so I’m not surprised at ERV’s observation:

As for April Renée’s presentation, I was shaking I was so angry. It was a hate speech against scientists that would make any Creationist proud. After ranting about how scientists and physicians get pleasure from killing children she said ‘I dont mean to degrade any of the pediatricians in the audience, if there are any, lol.’ Then she promptly returned to slandering scientists and physicians.

ERV has learned a valuable lesson about many antivaccinationists: They really believe this stuff. They really seem to believe that physicians, little Dr. Mengeles all apparently, somehow like to cause autism or other conditions or diseases with mass vaccination programs. She did, however, come up with some real antivax doozies that I had never heard before:

You know how I always make fun of Creationists for speaking in ‘coagulated word salads’? Renee took this to the extreme. She declared something called ‘stealth viruses‘ were contaminating all vaccines. The fellow who invented that phrase wrote the introduction to Horowitz‘s book.

‘Severe monkey viruses’ also contaminated all vaccines– CMV, EBV, HPV, HSV-1, were all ‘severe monkey viruses’. Renee insisted that she got herpes from vaccines. She insisted her daughter died from EBV in her vaccinations, and blamed the physician who vaccinated her for the toddlers death. She scared every woman in the audience by insisting that if THEY were vaccinated, they could transfer these ‘severe monkey viruses’ to their babies, who would also die.

That’s right, mothers. According to Renée, if you vaccinate yourself you’re endangering your children with these “stealth viruses.” Never mind that there’s no good evidence that “severe monkey viruses” (which would be a good name for a rock band, by the way) exist or cause disease. Hearing ERV’s account, it occurs to me that I really need to come up with a phrase that conveys even more stupidity than my favorite old standby “The stupid, it burns.” Even my other favorite phrase of “turning the Stupid-O-Meter up to 11″ doesn’t capture the mind-boggling mass of misinformation, scientific ignorance, and gross stupidity that is April Renée.

I’m open to suggestions for a new descriptive phrase for idiocy this stupendous.

Comments

  1. #1 J-Dog
    January 22, 2008

    Kristine Harley, from Amused Muse Blog and ATBC coined a phrase yesterday that may apply: “awesomedumber”.

    This should only be used in advanced cases of stupidity as you described above.

    Ex: “Denyse O’Leary is the most awesomedumber writer in the world. Ex2: DaveScot Springer pushing DCA is one of the most awesomedumber things you can do.

    Enjoy

  2. #2 Ahistoricality
    January 22, 2008

    Oh, yeah, the herpes? Must be from stealth monkey viruses in my vaccines, because I couldn’t have gotten it any other way….

  3. #3 Constance Reader
    January 22, 2008

    Either that or April needs to quit dating stealth monkeys. All they want out of a woman is to vaccinate her and they never call after.

  4. #4 Dangerous Bacon
    January 22, 2008

    “mind-boggling mass of misinformation, scientific ignorance, and gross stupidity”

    As far as antivax purveyors of the “stealth virus” theory in general, don’t forget that ignorance goes hand in hand with dishonesty.

    Since the death of vaccine pioneer Maurice Hilleman last year, antivaxers have been trumpeting an alleged connection between Hilleman’s vaccine research and purported spread of AIDS and leukemia through viral contamination of vaccines. Their chief weapon is a video using outtakes of an interview Hilleman did with public TV station WGBH, with added scary subtitles and sound effects. You might find it convincing if you’re extremely credulous and have no sense of humor whatsoever.

    http://rinf.com/alt-news/multimedia/merck-vaccine-chief-brings-hivaids-to-america/1896/

    One or more antivax loons has been repeatedly dumping garbage about this video into Hilleman’s Wikipedia biography, though I’m pleased to report that either editorial staff have deleted it for good or the antivaxer(s) responsible have finally given up.

  5. #5 TT
    January 22, 2008

    “They really seem to believe that physicians, little Dr. Mengeles all apparently, somehow like to cause autism or other conditions or diseases with mass vaccination programs.”

    They don’t!? So you mean this isn’t real:
    http://cectic.com/095.html

  6. #6 notmercury
    January 22, 2008

    Constance Reader: “Either that or April needs to quit dating stealth monkeys. All they want out of a woman is to vaccinate her and they never call after.”

    You can’t know when you are dating a Simian Stealth Ninja. No one expects a Midnight Macaque Attack.

  7. #7 vlad
    January 22, 2008

    I always liked primordial stupidity, can’t remember if I heard it some where or not. I can think of a few more but I’m not sure how lenient Orac is on expletives.

  8. #8 rev_matt_y
    January 22, 2008

    I like primordial stupidity. It requires a level of stupidity at such a low level of consciousness that it can’t be turned off.

  9. #9 vlad
    January 22, 2008

    I always liked primordial stupidity, can’t remember if I heard it some where or not. I can think of a few more but I’m not sure how lenient Orac is on expletives. After reading ERV’s page I’m not even going to start commenting on that lunatic (April Renée).

  10. #10 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 22, 2008

    I’m partial to malignant stupidity.
    It brings to mind: infiltrating, mutated, necrotic, death-dealing etc.

  11. #11 Mark
    January 22, 2008

    @ Dangerous Bacon:

    Do you know if the original interview is available online? That segment was very interesting (if you ignore the BS scrolling across the bottom).

  12. #12 Melissa (oddharmonic)
    January 22, 2008

    I can counter that with more illogical thinking: My child got all her vaccines per the federally recommended schedule (thank you, military healthcare) plus a Prevnar series and the varicella vaccine. A few years later, our school district tested her for gifted services screening and admitted her to the district-level gifted magnet program. All those stealth viruses must have made her super-smart! Go vaccination!

    (All those skills were learned from the viruses too. Can Big Pharma put them in our genetically modified food so I can be smarter than a fifth-grader?)

  13. #13 vlad
    January 22, 2008

    By Grapthar’s Hammer what a dumb ass came to me as I saw a clip on UTube. I’m disgusted by the Autism vax crap but go into a feral apoplectic rage (foam at the moth and all) when these evolutionary accidents start on ADHD an/or ADD. My fatehr was born and grew up in war torn Germany and Eastern Europe and did not get vaccinated till he was older. He and I have ADD really really bad ADD, neither were born in this country so I’d love to hear the explanation of this one. The vaccines that we were given (and few of those) were not produced by the US drug companies but Soviet ones. Soviet scientists would have been dragged out and machine gunned if anyone from my fathers time had been working with Americans.

  14. #14 StuV
    January 22, 2008

    Mother Of All Dumb?
    Big Bucket Of Bullcrap with Inanity On Top?
    Cranus Vacuus Extremum?

  15. #15 ERV
    January 22, 2008

    I forgot to write about one doozy she said, so Ill post it here as a thank you for the link, Orac :)

    According to Renee– Smallpox is the biggest hoax in history of man.

  16. #16 vlad
    January 22, 2008

    “According to Renee– Smallpox is the biggest hoax in history of man.” Oh, wow that’s histerical. Oh crap, I really thought that they couldn’t go lower but, wow just wow.

  17. #17 ERV
    January 22, 2008

    She didnt go into any details about it, that I remember. Maybe CJ will pick up more on the ‘smallpox hoax’ in his recording.

  18. #18 Prometheus
    January 22, 2008

    “Smallpox is the biggest hoax in the history of man.”

    Wow! You’ve got to admire self-deception that goes that deep.

    Of course, I’m wondering which part of the smallpox story she thinks is the hoax. Is it the part about smallpox killing millions of people in Eurasia? Is it the part about smallpox killing millions of people in the Americas? Or is it the part about smallpox killing millions of people in Africa?

    Maybe it’s the part about smallpox not killing anybody in the past few decades that she thinks is a hoax. After all, those blisters (you know, the “pox”) are easy to cover up. (/sarcasm)

    Or maybe she thinks that it’s the vaccination that was a hoax. Maybe she thinks that smallpox just disappeared all by itself.

    Or maybe – just maybe – she’s not thinking at all.

    Prometheus

  19. #19 Freddy the Pig
    January 22, 2008

    Cotton Mather of Salem Witch Trials infamy was a vocal vaccination advocate – that has to be proof of a conspiracy :)

    This woman is Batshit insane and a danger to others – too bad she can’t be given treatment for her mental illness.

  20. #20 Mitchbert
    January 22, 2008

    TSIB wrapped in an enigma.

  21. #21 Eamon Knight
    January 22, 2008

    Hate to seem like a killjoy, but the reported level of falsehood should be taken more seriously than just another amusing synonym for “stupid”. Something like “lying scum-sucking charlatan” would seem more appropriate. OK, it’s possible she believes her own BS. How about “idiocy with malice aforethought”?

  22. #22 Chris Noble
    January 22, 2008

    I also gather that they had a naturopath give a lecture about how the germ theory of disease is wrong.

    Don’t the laws of physics predict that when germ theory denial meets stealth viruses that they should annihilate each other in an explosion of woo-contradiction?

    Or do they create a new form of matter called a syncreton.

  23. #23 Dangerous Bacon
    January 22, 2008

    I also vote for “malignant stupidity”. It doesn’t just burn; it metastasizes.

    By the way, I haven’t see WGBH’s interview with Maurice Hilleman (what appeared on the actual program as opposed to outtakes not officially released because They Don’t Want You To Know) available online. Maybe the station’s website has a link.

    I wonder how the outtake found its way into circulation. An antivax mole on WGBH’s staff?

  24. #24 GDwarf
    January 22, 2008

    Chris: Isn’t it obvious? Stealth viruses aren’t *germs*, they’re, uh, mercury in disguise!

    …I’m always amazed at the level of cognitive dissonance needed to believe in woo, it’s like the tow halves of your brain just stop talking to each other…

  25. #25 James
    January 22, 2008

    On a tangential note, did that … person, actually say “lol”, as in actually say it?

    That alone merits her being exiled from the human race.

  26. #26 Tara C. Smith
    January 23, 2008

    Never mind that there’s no good evidence that “severe monkey viruses” (which would be a good name for a rock band, by the way) exist or cause disease.

    She’s probably talking about SV-40. She has the terminology kind of wrong; they’re sometimes referred to as “stealth viruses” because of their long latency, but they were indeed present in vaccines and did cause cancer (some batches of polio vaccines, for example, were contaminated with them). Similarly with the other viruses listed–all have been either associated with or shown to cause cancer, but they’ve *not* all been shown to be present in vaccines.

  27. #27 Orac
    January 23, 2008

    My phrasing probably wasn’t the best. However, she didn’t mention cancer; she mentioned herpes, the death of her child, HIV, etc., as vaccine-caused. It’s obvious she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but I should have been a little clearer.

  28. #28 isles
    January 23, 2008

    As grating as people like this April are, I think they actually do our work for us, in showing people who might be persuadable just how inane the foundation for antivaccine beliefs really is. They’re the spluttering Rush Limbaughs of the anti-vaccine world.

    It’s the ones who have learned to dress up their woo and conspiracy theories with establishment-friendly verbiage that I think are more damaging to public health efforts.

  29. #29 Dr Vector
    January 23, 2008

    That’s no moon…it’s a spacestupid!

    An unusually large and complete specimen of Moronodon.

    She just went stupidnova. Crockwave inbound. Brace for impact!

    The Singwoolarity is Neer.

  30. #30 Estellea
    January 23, 2008

    No honey really, it was the VACCINE that gave me herpes.

  31. #31 David Harmon
    January 23, 2008

    Another vote for “malignant stupidity”… all the right implications of a self-interested “rebel”, viciously defending itself against the common good.

  32. #32 Pineyman
    January 23, 2008

    Unfortunately, she has a built in audience in fundies also. My wife and I homeschool and are linked into several support networks, some of which are fundie. The woo that they spew (TM) covers everything other than education: gays, Huckabee, public school shootings, AIG and of course vaccinations. My has forbidden me to comment on the more ignorant of the postings, but it hurts. So I would say that the malignancy has metastasized.

  33. #33 Vjatcheslav
    January 23, 2008

    I’d suggest “Nuclear winter seems positive when compared to this.”

  34. #34 Interrobang
    January 23, 2008

    If she’s thought about it that far, five gets you ten her rationale for thinking the vaccines gave her herpes is that “she’s never slept with anyone other than her husband.” (And, what, you think he couldn’t have infected you?) Stupidity, what I like to call “flying-saucer Christianity” (because it’s way, way out there) and naivete that would be embarrassing in a twelve year old seem to go together like some kind of Unholy Trinity.

  35. #35 SteveM
    January 23, 2008

    re. smallpox:

    It is possible she might be referring to the plague that swept through the Aztecs shortly after Cortez arrived. It has been long believed to be smallpox, but more recent findings indicate it was more likely a local Ebola-like virus that was purely coincidental to Cortez’s arrival.
    I would guess that she has taken this finding and probably exagerated it to all smallpox infections.

  36. #36 HCN
    January 23, 2008

    Actually, the common anti-vax “smallpox hoax” is that it still exists but has been renamed “monkeypox”. Which is a real but different disease with a much smaller mortality rate, 10% versus the 30% with smallpox:
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/monkeypox/qa.htm

  37. #37 don
    January 24, 2008

    Now THAT’s a big hot cup-o-stupid.

  38. #38 don
    January 24, 2008

    Actually, let me suggest:

    Severe Monkey Stupid

  39. #39 CJ
    January 24, 2008

    I’ve got a recording of Renee’s entire presentation. Unfortunately, it is all so good that I’m having a lot of trouble deciding what to cut out and what to leave. I may just have to cut about 2/3 of it away and still dedicate an entire show to it.

    Maybe I’ll split it up over three or four episodes. I just can’t decide. It is all so crazy and there is so much there to work with.

  40. #40 jre
    January 24, 2008

    “severe monkey viruses” (which would be a good name for a rock band, by the way)

    Indeed. From that neo-urban hip-hop-folk-punk-acid classic Think About It, Think, Think About It:

    There’s people on the street getting diseases from monkeys

    Yeah that’s what I said, [they’re] getting diseases from monkeys
    [Why’s] this happening, please, [who’s] been touching these monkeys

    Leave these poor sick monkeys alone

    [They’re] sick, they’ve got problems enough as it is …

  41. #41 hj
    February 3, 2008

    I suggest offering her a monkeypox vaccination.
    Then pump her with a needle full of monkeypox the next day.
    Then watch her die of stupidity.

  42. #42 hj
    February 3, 2008

    actually, as I have little knowledge of
    this topic, I’ll just ignore all this ballyhoo
    and take my harsh words back

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