Respectful Insolence

i-e7a12c3d2598161273c9ed31d61fe694-ClassicInsolence.jpgUnfortunately, as we have been dreading for the last four months or so since her relapse was diagnosed, my mother-in-law passed away from breast cancer in hospice. She died peacefully, with my wife and the rest of her family at her side. As you might expect, I do not much feel like blogging. Because I foresaw this day coming, however, I did set up a series of “Best of” reposts to autopost for you while I am in mourning. Some I have even updated and/or spiffed up with actual editing. If you’ve been reading less than a year or two, they’re new to you. If not, I hope you enjoy them again. I don’t know when I’ll be back, other than maybe a brief update or two. It could be a couple of days; it could be a couple of weeks.

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchOne of the most pernicious medical myths of recent years has been the claim, promulgated by a subgroup of parents of autistic children and facilitated by scientists of dubious repute, that somehow the mercury in the thimerosal (ethyl mercury) preservative used in common childhood vaccines in the U.S. until early 2002 causes autism. Although it had been percolating under the radar of most parents and scientists for several years before, this belief invaded the national zeitgeist in a big way in 2005, beginning with the publication of a book by journalist David Kirby entitled Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy. The fires of hysteria were stoked even higher by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who published a truly twisted and misleading piece of pseudojournalism and pseudoscience published simultaneously in Rolling Stone and on Salon.com entitled Deadly Immunity. Relying primarily on quote-mining of the transcripts of both a conference held Atlanta by the CDC to discuss the question of whether autism is related to thimerosal in vaccines and an Institute of Medicine report on vaccines while simultaneously misrepresenting the results of two studies by Verstaeten et al to paint a false picture of a government coverup, RFK Jr. almost single-handedly managed to stoke fears that vaccines were causing an “epidemic of autism.”

I say “almost” single-handedly, because, unfortunately, he had help. Relying on the dubious research of a variety of investigators, such as the father-and-son team of Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier, whose prodigious output of badly designed studies emanating from a lab in their home in suburban Maryland, done using a rubberstamp institutional review board stacked with friends and cronies to approve the studies, and published for the most part in non-peer-reviewed journals, activists loudly insisted that mercury in vaccines was the cause of most autism. Others claiming to demonstrate this link include Boyd Haley, a chemist from the University of Kentucky, and a few other vocal scientists and advocates, who claim that autism is, in essence, mercury poisoning. Facilitating the dissemination of this message were reporters such as David Kirby, activists such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and media personalities such as Don Imus. Indeed, some activists claimed that some vaccines were “poisoning” our children, even going so far as show photos of autistic children with the label “mercury-poisoned“ underneath them on placards held aloft at protest rallies. They made quite a splash then, and still do to a lesser extent even today. There’s just one problem.

The scientific data, taken in totality, do not support a link between mercury in vaccines and autism. Today yet another important study by Robert Schechter and Judith Grether was released published in the Archives of General Psychiatry entitled Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California’s Developmental Services System: Mercury in Retrograde1, that utterly failed to support the hypothesis that mercury in vaccines is an etiological factor in autism. It is yet another nail in the coffin of the medical myth that mercury in vaccines causes autism.

Before I discuss this new study in more detail, a bit of background is in order. In response to the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, prior to the hypothesis that thimerosal might cause autism the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compiled a list of vaccines and how much thimerosal they contained. Thimerosal had been commonly used to prevent microbial contamination of vaccines, particularly multidose vials, since the 1930s. It could be reasonably argued that, given the more lax standards of the time, thimerosal had not been adequately tested before use in humans, but decades of use after that had, as far as could be discerned, revealed only occasional skin hypersensitivity reactions due to this component. By 1999, under the recommended schedule of childhood vaccines at the time, concern was expressed that infants, before six months of age, were potentially being exposed to cumulative doses of ethyl mercury that may have exceeded safety standards. It should be noted that these safety standards were based on an indirect surrogate of ethyl mercury, namely methyl mercury, and largely in the absence of any real data. In July 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Public Health Service decided, as a precaution, to recommend that thimerosal be removed as soon as possible from childhood vaccines.

It did not take long for this recommendation to be implemented. By March 2001, all vaccines in the recommended infant vaccination schedule were available in forms that had at most traces of thimerosal left over from the manufacturing process. The last lots of childhood vaccines with thimerosal had expiration dates in 2002. Indeed, as Arthur Allen documented in his recent book Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver, a survey of several hundred medical offices in February 2002 conducted by the CDC found that, of the three pediatric vaccines that contained thimerosal in the 1990s, only 2% of vaccine stock still contained thimerosal. Since then, with the exception of the flu vaccine, no childhood vaccine in the U.S. has contained more than trace amounts of thimerosal. There has been considerable debate over whether the decision to remove thimerosal was undertaken too quickly. True, at the time it seemed like a prudent, cautious step. However, the decision had unintended consequences. One was that it resulted in a temporary shortage of childhood vaccines. More importantly, though, it fed the fears of activists that the mercury in vaccines must really be harmful. After all, if it weren’t harmful, why would the AAP and PHS recommend its removal?

Why indeed? The use of this precautionary measure, which to health officials seemed prudent at that time, as justification for attacking the safety of vaccines is as good an example of how no good deed goes unpunished as I’ve ever seen. Many parents, faced with the enormous challenge of raising autistic children, not unreasonably wondered whether there was something wrong with vaccines in the first place.

The second bit of background information that you need to know is that, over the last couple of decades, the incidence of autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased markedly to an estimated 1 in 150 children. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and others who believe that mercury in vaccines somehow cause autism have referred to this increase as an “autism epidemic” (or, more offensively, as an “autism tsunami“) and frequently claim that there must be an environmental factor that has led to this increase. Because the symptoms of autism, such as cognitive delay and withdrawal from interaction with parents, often manifest themselves between one and three years of age and because this is the age when children receive the bulk of their vaccines, there is a correlation. However, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. It may, but often it does not. Often the correlation is spurious, unrelated, or related to a common factor. More investigation is always required to determine if an apparent correlation is or is not due to causation. In the case of autism, there is good evidence, most recently published by Paul Shattuck2, that increased awareness and diagnostic substitution since the criteria for a diagnosis of ASD were broadened in 1994 account for the apparent increase in diagnoses of autism, as pointed out by Arthur Allen and Roy Grinker.

Regarding the question of vaccines and autism, for ethical reasons we cannot do a double-blind, randomized, control trial of vaccines with and without thimerosal. However, we can do the next best thing, and, indeed, we now have several good studies since 1999 that do just that. Some of these studies are epidemiological; some are ecological. What allows us to use them to reject the hypothesis that mercury in vaccines is an etiological agent that is either associated with or causes autism is a very simple but powerful prediction that the hypothesis makes. Quite simply, if the hypothesis is true and thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) cause autism (or are even merely a significant contributing factor), we would expect that the removal of thimerosal from vaccines would lead to a rapid decrease in autism incidence and prevalence within 2-5 years.

There have now been several studies that examined this very hypothesis in countries that removed thimerosal from their vaccines before the U.S. did. For example Hviid et al3 reported that autism prevalence in Denmark increased from 1991 to 1996 despite the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, while Madsen et al4 looked at the time period from 1971 to 2000 and concluded that autism diagnoses continued to increase after thimerosal was removed from vaccines. Neither study supported a causal link between TCVs and autism, and they were a prominent part of the dataset that was used by the Institute of Medicine to conclude in 2004 that there was no good evidence to support a link between TCVs and autism. A more recent study by Eric Fombonne5 in Montreal examined 27,749 children born from 1987 to 1998 attending 55 different schools. Cumulative thimerosal exposure by age 2 years was calculated for the 1987-1998 birth cohorts. This exposure ranged from 100-125 μg from 1987 to 1991, 200-225 μg from 1992 to 1995, and then none after 1996, which was when thimerosal was completely removed from vaccines in Canada. The result was that autism, ASD, and pervasive developmental disorder diagnoses continued to increase in all periods, demonstrating no relationship between TCVs and autism or ASDs. Even more recently, a large study6 failed to support a relationship between thimerosal and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, a result that led one of the investigators in the study, Sallie Bernard, a proponent of the thimerosal hypothesis, to disavow the study in a case of sour grapes, because it did not show what she had hoped that it would show.

We are now nearly six years out from the near-complete removal of thimerosal from vaccines. Other than the flu vaccine, there is no more than trace thimerosal in any childhood vaccine; overall mercury exposure due to vaccines has not been this low in decades. Consequently this hypothesis can now be tested in the United States. In a deliciously ironic twist, Schechter and Grether1 chose to use a source of data that has frequently been widely abused by advocates claiming a link between TCVs and autism to try to show one where there isn’t one as though the conclusions were foreordained. Although it is probably not, it has even been referred to as the “gold standard” of autism epidemiology by none other than David Kirby. Indeed, this is the very same database in which David Kirby predicted that there should be a noticeable decrease in new diagnoses of autism by 2007 if the thimerosal hypothesis is true and then later shifted the goalposts to 2011 when it became apparent that there has been no decrease. This source is the California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS) database. The CDDS administers a statewide system of regional centers and developmental centers designed to serve people who are substantially disabled because of autism, mental retardation, or other developmental disabilities. It maintains an archive file of client developmental evaluation reports on clients enrolled in the system. Among the strengths of the system are that it is a population-based system representing the most populous state in the U.S. Moreover, the client reporting form was consistent throughout the study period, preventing confounders due to changes in reporting. The weaknesses of the CDDS is that its data is derived from an administrative system that was designed to track enrollment and fiscal data and is not as well suited to measuring the occurrence of developmental disabilities in the population. However, with proper statistical analysis, considerable information can still be gleaned from this data for specific birth cohorts.

In order to ask the question of whether autism rates had declined, Schechter and Grether examined data for clients with active status reported from January 1, 1995 to March 31, 2007. Using careful statistical analyses, they used two approaches to measure the occurrence of ASD during this period. The second approach, in which ASD prevalence was determined in the 3 to 5 year old cohort, is perhaps the most informative. It shows a continuing increase in autism prevalence without even a blip or decrease in the rate of increase after 2002. Indeed, showing the skill of some bloggers to analyze the same data, the money figure in the paper (Figure 3) looks almost exactly the same as the graph prepared in early 2007, a continually increasing curve since 1995. This result is not only consistent with multiple other published and unpublished studies, including the aforementioned Danish and Canadian studies7, but it is about as unambiguous evidence as can be obtained from a database like the CDDS database. Indeed, despite the limitations of the use of this database, it is an excellent example of proponents of a “mercury injury” hypothesis of autism being “hoisted by their own petard,” so to speak. Indeed, Eric Fombonne, in a blistering editorial8 that accompanies this study, agrees:

The particular significance of the study by Schechter and Grether is that it relies on the California Department of Developmental Services database, which has been systematically used by proponents of the thimerosal hypothesis to argue that the rising number of children accessing these services– or the “epidemic” of autism– was linked to the increasing exposure to ethylmercury of US children occurring in the 1990s through the changes in the immunization schedule. To the contrary, the data analyzed by Schechter and Grether9 provide a clear and unambiguous test that shows that the expected decline in autism rates following discontinuation of thimerosal in US vaccines did not occur.

Noting that, “with the exception of studies conducted by a single pair of authors” (with uncharacteristic restraint Fombonne does not name whom he obviously meant, namely Mark and David Geier), all studies done have thus far failed to find a link between TCVs and autism, Fombonne continues:

Despite the accumulation of scientific evidence rejecting these 2 hypotheses linking autism to various components of childhood vaccines, these theories and the practices that accompany them have not faded away. Why? How many more negative study results are required for the belief to go away, and how much more spending of public funds on this issue could even be justified?

He then postulates an explanation that I happen to agree with:

Outside academic circles, powerful advocacy groups developed and started to lobby decision makers to influence decisions about which autism research to fund and even how to conduct it. Unaware of scientific studies, or worse, doubtful of their results, bestselling writers, journalists, and politicians were drawn to embrace conspiracy theories that portrayed vaccine manufacturers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as public enemies.15 Law firms saw an opportunity to obtain large financial compensations from the US Vaccine Injury Compensation Court or before local federal courts, the viscous US legal process allowing for fermentation of misconceptions. Exploiting further families’ beliefs and their understandable desire to try everything possible to help their children, charlatans developed alternative (and lucrative) “treatments” for autism, which included chelation therapy, use of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, and testosterone suppression. All are of unproven efficacy, and many are dangerous.

In other words, it’s all about obtaining compensation for nonexistent “vaccine injury” and “biomedical treatments” for this injury. Never mind that these “treatments” are neither scientifically plausible nor have convincing evidence in the form of well-designed clinical trials to support their efficacy in ameliorating the cognitive delays observed in autistic children. Unfortunately, parents who love their autistic children and desperately want to do something to “make them better” are fertile ground for the blandishments of proponents of these implausible and unproven “therapies.” Some of these treatments, such as chelation therapy, which, it is claimed, will remove the mercury that, according to proponents of the thimerosal hypothesis, is the root cause of autism, have developed into veritable cottage industries that prey on desperate parents. It has even progressed to the point where the Geiers can convince some parents that most autistic children exhibit signs of “precocious puberty” and that the elevated testosterone in such children forms “sheets” that bind mercury and prevent it from being chelated properly. As hard as it is to believe, they then use that claim as a justification for using powerful anti-androgenic drugs such as Lupron on autistic children to treat their autism.

Vaccination is arguably the most effective single public health intervention ever developed. As recently as 50 years ago, for example, our parents and grandparents lived in deathly fear of diseases like polio, which is virtually a thing of the past. Because they are preventative in nature and administered to a very large population of healthy people, vaccines have a very high hurdle to jump as far as safety is concerned, because when an intervention is performed on millions of otherwise healthy people, even a low rate of complications can result in large numbers of injured people. Modern vaccines have achieved that level of safety. Are they completely safe? Nothing in medicine is absolutely, 100% safe. In comparison to the risk of the diseases they prevent and by any reasonable standard, the risks due modern vaccines are extremely low. Moreover, the claims of proponents of an increasingly untenable hypothesis to the contrary, there is no convincing evidence that thimerosal-containing vaccines, or vaccines in general, have anything to do with the etiology of autism. Whatever tiny risk there may be from childhood vaccines, autism and ASDs are not among them. Indeed, even before this study by Schechter and Grether, under the onslaught of studies that all fail to find a link between thimerosal and autism, even David Kirby and those more zealous than him were starting to back away from the hypothesis, invoking hand-waving and vague “environmental toxins” or even going so far as to blame mercury from pollution wafting over from China or, even more ludicrously, mercury from the cremation of bodies with mercury amalgam dental fillings. Meanwhile, in the wake of this study, Mark Blaxill is retreating to saying that “the epidemiological analysis doesn’t prove that thimerosal exposure cannot cause individual cases of autism” and blaming vaccines in general for autism (while also not being able to wait for the embargo to try to put his spin on the matter, by the way).

This study is clearly but one more nail in the coffin of this dying hypothesis. Unfortunately, like Jason in the Friday the 13th movies, the hypothesis that mercury in vaccines is a major cause of autism just refuses to die, no matter how many studies fail to find even a wisp of a link between the two. Just when you think it’s finally, really dead, it has an unpleasant way of being resurrected. That’s why it is not difficult to predict that the usual suspects will refuse to believe it, just as they have refused to believe the studies preceding it.

REFERENCES:

  1. Schechter R and JK Grether (2008). Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California’s Developmental Services System. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 65: 19-24.
  2. Shattuck P (2006). The Contribution of Diagnostic Substitution to the Growing Administrative Prevalence of Autism in US Special Education. Pediatrics 117:1028-1037.
  3. Hviid A, M Stellfeld, J. Wohlfahrt, and M Melbye (2003). Association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. JAMA 290:1763-1766.
  4. Madsen KM, MB Lauritsen, CB Pedersen, P Thorsen, AM Plesner, PH Andersen, PB Mortensen (2003). Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism: Negative Ecological Evidence From Danish Population-Based Data. Pediatrics 112:604-6.
  5. Fombonne E, R Zakarian, A Bennett, L Meng, D. McLean-Heywood (2006). Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links With Immunizations. Pediatrics 118:e139-50.
  6. Thompson WW, C Price, B Goodson, DK Shay, P Benson, VL Hinrichsen, E Lewis, E Eriksen, P Ray, SM Marcy, J Dunn, LA Jackson, TA Lieu, S Black, G Stewart, ES Weintraub, RL Davis, F DeStefano; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team (2007). Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes at 7 to 10 Years. NEJM 357:1281-1292.
  7. Parker SK, B Schwartz, J Todd, and LKPickering (2004). Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autistic spectrum disorder: a critical review of published original data. Pediatrics 114:793-804.
  8. Fombonne E (2008). Thimerosal disappears but autism remains. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 65: 15-6.

Comments

  1. #1 Alfred
    February 13, 2009

    We hope to really find a cure and that is long, say the same thing and so far many people still suffer and can not find any solution, something that is fast and effective because the pain of this disease is unbearable, I read about this page http://www.findrxonline.com and interesting information I think we can give adequate information for people who need it.

  2. #2 FreeSpeaker
    February 13, 2009

    Alfred is a spammer. After Orac deletes his comments, he should delete this one, too. I will not be offended.

    However, I am offended by Alfred using Orac’s absence to spam the blog with an advert for an online drug pusher.

  3. #3 storkdok
    February 13, 2009

    Orac, my condolences on your loss.

  4. #4 RJ
    February 13, 2009

    Look who they interviewed for this ‘piece’.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/12/court.autism.reactions/index.html

  5. #5 ababa
    February 13, 2009

    I like it when they use people like John Best for quotes. Anyone on the fence might do a search on him and find out what kind of person they are dealing with in the anti-vaxers. It’s almost as convincing as using the Larry King clip of Jenny McCarthy shouting down people (which they did in the story on TV).

    Let’s face it, science proved them wrong, lawyers proved them wrong, and now news reporters are finally reporting facts instead of trumped up “controversy” and now the best they can offer is a bunch of “Nuh-uh” from people that behave like 12 year olds. The “debate” is over.

  6. #6 Phil
    February 13, 2009

    Sorry to hear that. My sympathies.

  7. #7 MissFifi
    February 13, 2009

    so sorry for your loss, your family is in my prayers.

  8. #8 Dawn
    February 14, 2009

    Oh please Orac. The only reason you are mourning your mother-in-law’s death is because you can no longer make money off her treatment. You don’t have me fooled. If you don’t give a crap about innocent children being harmed by vaccines, do you really think I believe that you give a crap about your cancer stricken mother-in-law?

    Yes, these people blamed the mercury…that was their mistake. However, there are over 5,000 cases left in this same court. Be sure to tell your drug cartel that us parents are getting more unpleasant by the minute.

  9. #9 Dawn
    February 14, 2009

    By the way Orac, stop slinging the same BS. Thimerosal has NEVER been removed from vaccines – only “lowered”.

  10. #10 graphictruth
    February 14, 2009

    Thank you, Dawn, for your public illustration of what sort of motives mercury militia people attribute to people who question their reasoning.

    No doubt you will perceive this as a personal attack. It isn’t. It’s a comment on the thought process your comment reveals.

    You see, to make your – quite offensive – statement with any validity, you would have to be able to read minds. The fact that you clearly assume your assumptions to be correct enough to assert in public in the face of all norms of polite discourse strongly suggests that you live deeply within the realm of magical thinking.

    As a further observation, generally such accusations come out of perceptions of personal perceptions. In other words, this accusation is far more likely to be accurate – if addressed to yourself.

  11. #11 HCN
    February 14, 2009

    I suspect that Dawn’s last tirade will get her banned. Orac has only banned one other person, and it was for a similar bit of heartless idiocy.

  12. #12 Kristjan Wager
    February 14, 2009

    If I ever saw someone who needed banning, it was Dawn.

    Orac, my condolences.

  13. #13 mike stanton
    February 14, 2009

    Orac, please accept my condolences.

    “… us parents are getting more unpleasant by the minute.” Well you got one thing right, Dawn. I hope that when you read your remarks in the sober light of day you will feel constrained to apologize.

    Meanwhile, we parents who reject any causative role for vaccines in autism are heartened by the recent decision in the US Court of Federal Claims that rejected the MMR hypothesis and look forward to a similar outcome for the thiomersal hypothesis still before the court.

  14. #14 MI Dawn
    February 14, 2009

    Oh. My. God. Dawn, I always thought you had some decency in you somewhere. You have just proved me wrong. What kind of heartless bitch would say such a thing. I too hope that Orac bans you now. Go vent your spleen on some other blog where the others will all agree with you.

  15. #15 JKW
    February 14, 2009

    Orac, sorry you had to be exposed to that Dawn level of mean and idiotic behavior in a time like this. Peace to you and your family.

    Dawn, seriously – Please. Put. The. Bottle. Down.

  16. #16 Joseph
    February 14, 2009

    Be sure to tell your drug cartel that us parents are getting more unpleasant by the minute.

    No kidding, Dawn.

  17. #17 DebinOz
    February 14, 2009

    Orac,

    Please accept my condolences for your family’s sad loss. Being a parent of a child with major and familial AS ( four family members and counting), I am ashamed to be on the same planet as ‘Dawn’.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  18. #18 Marilyn Mann
    February 14, 2009

    I strongly suspect that Dawn is an unbalanced individual who badly needs mental health counseling. Would support a decision on Orac’s part to ban her from this site.

  19. #19 DebinOz
    February 14, 2009

    ‘Be sure to tell your drug cartel that us parents are getting more unpleasant by the minute.’ Dawn

    Well Dawn, I am a parent. I will get more unpleasant and say:
    FUCK YOU. You are an idiot, and your children deserve a better parent than you.

    Methinks you are looking for a compensatory handout.

  20. #20 Uncle Dave
    February 14, 2009

    Although I fear for Campbell Brown (voice of reason amongst a sea of militant ignorance) here is her recent commentary on vaccines in “No Bias no Bull”.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/12/campbell.brown.vaccine/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

    Congrats to Brown and her commentary.

  21. #21 Robster, FCD
    February 14, 2009

    Dawn, Again, you step over the line.

    You should give up on the internet. You only do your side harm with your unhinged hatred.

  22. #22 ababa
    February 14, 2009

    It’s fairly obvious crazy Dawn is trying to get banned. It so she can claim that she was “silenced” to try and prove her conspiracy point. Apparently she had a false positive a while back after her drunken tirade of threatening to “find” people a while back. She posted on her blog about it, but then looked like a moron because apparently she wasn’t actually banned, she just fails at teh Interweb. She tipped her hand.

    It’s like the anti-vax “manufactrovery” where people create the illusion of debate by citing their own craziness as proof the other side exists – she is trying to get banned so she can justify how her friends at AoA and other places silence critics. She will continue to say more and more offensive things until it happens.

    If truth isn’t on your side you have to try to create the illusion of truth.

  23. #23 Kristina
    February 14, 2009

    Orac,

    thinking of your family and your.

    thanks for all you do,
    Kristina

  24. #24 FreeSpeaker
    February 14, 2009

    I hereby more that we, the loyal readers of RI, demand that Dawn be banned.

    I am really sick of reading bile like she spews.

    P.S. If anyone knows where she lives, having her children removed by Child Protective Services would be a good idea. Anyone who thinks like that is so ill that they cannot be expected to provide proper care.

  25. #25 Prometheus
    February 14, 2009

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss, Orac. I remember how it was to lose my mother and I empathize with you and your wife.

    As for Dawn (crazy) – I think that it is past time for you to seek professional mental health care. Or, at the very least, ease up a point or two on the alcohol.

    Your comment was reprehensible and only serves to show how far you and other people of your ilk have moved away from decency and sanity. What’s next for you – suicide bombings?

    Prometheus

  26. #26 Sally
    February 14, 2009

    I admire your blog and am amazed at the depth you put into your postings. It is understandable a loss, even one known to be coming, will stifle your energy for outward activities. We can wait.

    My sympathy to you and your wife, especially your wife for the loss of her mother.

    Sincerely,
    Sally

    ________________________________
    Vaccines – They do a body good.

  27. #27 Robster, FCD
    February 14, 2009

    Did anybody else, on hearing Orac’s sad news, expect exactly this from Dawn?

    Dawn, you have become a caricature of yourself. You aren’t shocking us, only confirming that you aren’t in touch with reality. Get help. Check yourself into rehab.

  28. #28 Phoenix Woman
    February 14, 2009

    Folks, people like Dawn — who think that subjecting children to dangerous chelation therapy is somehow safer than vaccinating them with vaccines that contain a preservative that is used in miniscule amounts and leaves the body within days if not hours after entering it — can be easily dealt with on this and other blogs. Simply download a) Firefox and b) the Greasemonkey app called ‘killfile’. Bingo!

  29. #29 Orac
    February 14, 2009

    Oh please Orac. The only reason you are mourning your mother-in-law’s death is because you can no longer make money off her treatment. You don’t have me fooled. If you don’t give a crap about innocent children being harmed by vaccines, do you really think I believe that you give a crap about your cancer stricken mother-in-law?

    Congratulations, Dawn. I thought no one could outdo John Best for vileness, but you’ve done it. Sometimes someone (like you) says something so despicable, so hurtful, so idiotically vicious, that there is only one appropriate response to it: Fuck off, you vile excuse for a human being.

    I had thought I would post your comment as a new stand-alone post in order to demonstrate just how low antivaccine loons could go, but that would guarantee that my wife would see it, and I will not do anything that will worsen her pain in this time of mourning. Fortunately, chances are that it will be days before she looks at my blog again, and your excretions will have been buried to a place where she won’t see them–and that will be good.

    In any case, you lied about being banned from my blog before. The truth is, I never banned you. I now correct that oversight. Goodbye, and good riddance.

  30. #30 Greg Laden
    February 15, 2009

    Orac,

    Thanks for leaving the “Dawn” posts up. I’m not sure I would have, but it is good for people to see this shit.

    You should “whois” the IP and publish the abuse email address.

  31. #31 Greg Laden
    February 15, 2009

    PS … oh, you should totally ban her.

  32. #32 Militant Agnostic
    February 15, 2009

    My condolences Orac.

    I think Dawns vile post should be left up for the same reason that the Auschwitz site is preserved. It is important that people see what utter uncaring selfish and vicous scumbags the antivax loons are. This sort of outburst was inevitable given the court defeat and the fact that Orac’s situation puts the lie to the conspiracy whackaloon’s accusation that Doctors don’t want to cure cancer.

    Dawn – you are a waste of air.

    It is unfortunate that alt-med loonacy like religous fudamentism is an accepted reason to perptrate child abuse. I can only hope Dawn’s children are rescued before her insanity kills one of them.

  33. #33 Kevin Champagne
    February 15, 2009

    “Congratulations, Dawn. I thought no one could out do John Best for vileness, but you’ve done it. Sometimes someone (like you) says something so despicable, so hurtful, so idiotically vicious, that there is only one appropriate response to it: Fuck off, you vile excuse for a human being.”

    “Sometimes someone (like you) says something so despicable, so hurtful, so idiotically vicious”

    Orac, welcome to our world.

    You may look at this as someone kicking you right in the balls while you’re down but, that’s the way many of us have felt over the last couple of years because of your (“I know more than you because of peer reviewed science BS”) attitude toward autism that you have had for years.

    Walk a mile in my shoes.

  34. #34 Kevin Champagne
    February 15, 2009

    What peer reviewed case definition is there for autism? A definition that can be tested? What are the bio-markers? What kind of blood test is there for autism?

    If we know what causes autism then why is it caled autism spectrum disorder?

    Do you think autism is genetic?

  35. #35 Chris
    February 15, 2009

    Kevin Champagne said “What peer reviewed case definition is there for autism? A definition that can be tested? What are the bio-markers? What kind of blood test is there for autism?”

    Absolutely nothing. The definition has changed a few times over the past few years, and it may be several different things. You can read about the changes here:
    http://unstrange.com/dsm1.html

    And no, there is not a blood test. Why would you think there would be? There a few genetic conditions that are under the autism umbrella like Rett and Fragile X, but the latest research is that there are several different genetic markers. But, then again, there are those who can get autistic like conditions from other factors like Congenital Rubella Syndrome (which has been almost eliminated with the MMR vaccine).

  36. #36 dt
    February 15, 2009

    My sincere condolences Orac on your family’s loss.

    I too think Dawn’s comments should be preserved, and though I appreciate they would cause your wife distress, I think they actually need wider dissemination and publicity to show just how “unpleasant” the rabid antivaxers are.

  37. #37 Orac
    February 15, 2009

    Kevin,

    I have addressed this “you haven’t walked in my shoes” comment before in great detail. Suffice it to say that, whatever other insights having an autistic child gives, in and of itself it does not give a parent any particular insight into the science. In fact, it can be a hindrance to understanding the science because humans are prone to confuse correlation with causation, and having a close, emotional attachment makes the problem, along with those of confirmation bias, selective memory, being confused by regression to the mean, etc., even harder to overcome.

    None of this means the parents who fall for the antivaccine snake oil are stupid or dumb (although, clearly, some–like John Best or Dawn, not to mention Jenny McCarthy–are; any group of humans will have its morons). In fact, my spotty anecdotal experience suggests to me that it is the highly educated parents who tend to be most prone to rejecting the science based on their own personal experience. My speculation is that this is because they know they’re smart and can’t accept that they can be so easily fooled by the normal cognitive shortcomings and biases all humans have. Scientists know better, which is why we rely on the scientific method to minimize, at least as much as possible, the effects of such cognitive shortcomings and biases. The scientific method, far from being an expression of superiority, is a humble admission that scientists are human too, and that we share every single one of those cognitive shortcomings that interfere with our ability to make correct conclusions.

  38. #38 Sally
    February 15, 2009

    Easy folks, there are at least 3 Dawns who have posted on Orac’s blog so don’t jump on everyone with that name.

    1) Dawn
    The original Dawn. She now sometimes posts as “MI Dawn” to separate her from extremist Dawn.

    2) Dawn D
    A gardening enthusiast from Austin, TX with a gardening blog.

    3) Dawn
    Dawn Winkler
    2006 Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Colorado (she received 1% of the votes)
    Her biography as she reported it to Rocky Mountain News for public release:
    http://cfapp2.rockymountainnews.com/election/profiles/c_profiles.cfm?oper=cand_profile&id=13087&qa=3
    She’s 37, looks a lot like McCain’s running mate, lives in Colorado and owns a hunting rifle.

    Frankly I don’t understand why people write vile things on the internet that one presumes they wouldn’t be rude enough to say directly to someone in public. Especially when in today’s electronic age our addresses, phone numbers, places of work, schools, interests, web postings and facebook page are easily found on the web. (Yes, Dawn, it’s all there including two email addresses you’ve listed on the web: noshots4me@yahoo.com and HAPI@hapihealth.com.) But we should all refrain from calling her. She has a 13 yr old son and a husband. They don’t deserve to get crank calls from anyone because of her actions. All of her extended adult relatives seem to be very normal.

    Perhaps it’s her recurring painful health problems that makes her so crabby. Ah, but she writes she’s feeling better because she’s taking bioidentical progesterone. (http://scienceblogs.com/angrytoxicologist/2007/08/ask_a_toxicologist_should_i_ta.php) “Bioidentical progesterone is a joke. Don’t even think about buying it.”

    Here’s hoping Orac gets some solace from seeing how upset his readers are at the awful words hurled at him from an embittered woman.

    Sincerely,
    Sally

    ___________________________
    Vaccines – They do a body good.

  39. #39 Septimus Fortherestofus
    February 15, 2009

    Oh, Kevin Champagne crawls back out from under his rock. What’s it been, two years?

    I really thought you might have learned from your haphazard experimenting with HBOT balloons and Butter’s stinky goo that the quackery just doesn’t work because there’s neither rhyme nor reason to it.

    For the rest of us that have walked a mile in your shoes, without the manic and frantic and science-free effort to “fix our kids”, I’d like to take the opportunity to encourage you to embrace science and let go of the anger.

    PS – How’s Butter getting along these days with the whole state realizing fraud when they can smell it?

  40. #40 Julian
    February 15, 2009

    “You may look at this as someone kicking you right in the balls while you’re down but, that’s the way many of us have felt over the last couple of years because of your (“I know more than you because of peer reviewed science BS”)”

    How incredibly convenient for you that facts, tests and experiments don’t matter. There’s no way to prove you wrong!

    Whatever pain you’re going through doesn’t excuse being wrong. If you were any kind of adult you’d accept your shortcomings and acknowledge your personal biases before attacking the people actually trying to fix the situation.

    You’re pathetic but what else is new.

  41. #41 Robster, FCD
    February 15, 2009

    Sally, I looked up Dawn, and boy does she have a history as an antivaxer. Yowza. Here is a neuron killing exchange.

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/hapi.htm

    She certainly does work hard at blaming her problems on everybody else. I honestly feel bad for her.

    That said, I feel very good for Colorado that she isn’t their governor.

  42. #42 Patient
    February 15, 2009

    Orac,

    My sympathy goes out to you and your wife, for your loss. Thank you for continuing to post during this difficult time.

  43. #43 Prometheus
    February 15, 2009

    Quoth Kevin the Clueless:


    “You may look at this as someone kicking you right in the balls while you’re down but, that’s the way many of us have felt over the last couple of years because of your (“I know more than you because of peer reviewed science BS”)”

    Funny, I’ve always felt that having someone tell me the truth – or, if you like, show me the science – was the opposite of being “kicked in the balls”.

    If anything felt like being “kicked in the balls” (or equivalent gonads), it was the many pseudo-educated parents smugly telling me that my child would be “recoverered” if only I would give him chelation, HBOT, supplements, a GFCF diet, the Feingold diet, ABA, Lupron, secretin or omega-3 fatty acids.

    And when I told them that I had tried those things (well, not all of them, but most), they would smugly say, “You just need to give it more time!” or “Don’t give up before the miracle!” or some such condescending nonsense.

    No, Kevin, if anyone is kicking parents in the “balls”, it’s your lot.

    You’re the ones who have turned the “Refrigerator Mother” of Bettleheim into the “Vaccinator Mother” of Wakefield and DAN!.

    You’re the ones telling parents that they’re responsible for their child becoming autistic by vaccinating them and that they’re keeping their child autistic by not following your ridiculous “protocols”.

    You’re the ones sending parents on an endless scavenger hunt to innumerable quacks in the vain search for the “cure”.

    And you’re the ones making death threats, harrassing and defaming anyone who dares to disagree with you.

    Climb back under your rock and contemplate that, you heartless worm!

    Prometheus

  44. #44 Leni
    February 15, 2009

    Condolences Orac, and I hope you received some small measure of satisfaction of banning that nasty bitch. I know I did.

    Last time I saw her post here, she said that health care professionals should be locked up. That was bad enough to cause me to tell her that if I knew her in person I would have slapped her, but this pure, unadulterated nastiness is too low even for the vicarious pleasure of virtual slapping.

    But still enough to make me feel ashamed for her. Normally that would make me feel some small amount of compassion (she is, after all, only human and probably has more troubles than will visit me during my entire lifetime), but in this case it just makes me sick. Well done, Dawn, and good riddance. For the sake of your family, I hope you get help.

  45. #45 The Perky Skeptic
    February 15, 2009

    Kevin Champagne wrote:
    “You may look at this as someone kicking you right in the balls while you’re down but, that’s the way many of us have felt over the last couple of years because of your (“I know more than you because of peer reviewed science BS”)”

    This comment strikes me as being truly poignant, and here’s why–

    Kevin, did you know that Orac and other bloggers of science-based medicine and peer-reviewed research are not trying to kick you, but rather to empower you? It’s true. Blogs like this help everyone, regardless of educational background, to be able to read the scientific literature and draw valid, logical conclusions from it. Peer-reviewed science is the ultimate equalizer: anyone can read it. Anyone can ask questions about it. Science recognizes no authority but logic, methodology, rigorous analysis of results, and repeatability.

    Instead of feeling kicked by Orac’s reviews of the literature, you might try to use them to feel empowered. Using logic might cause you to change your mind about some dearly-held positions– but learning to feel informed and knowledgeable about objective reality is well worth the risk.

    On another topic, I do hope Dawn gets help from a mental health professional. I feel very sad for her, but right now I feel even sadder for Orac, having been subjected to her astounding cruelty.

  46. #46 HCN
    February 15, 2009

    Sally said “3) Dawn
    Dawn Winkler
    2006 Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Colorado (she received 1% of the votes)”

    Actually, the “Dawn” that posted the evil crap was a fourth Dawn:

    4) Dawn Crim, a woman with a grown son who has some learning issues, and a younger son who was born very prematurely due to her pre-eclampsia. She was given a post-natal vaccine for rubella, which she blames for a temporary hearing loss (not even connecting it to the high blood pressure that was part of her high risk pregnancy). Every couple of months late at night (she lives in the North East, so the time stamps are her time) she tends to start writing nasty vitriolic postings to this blog (they get more loopy in the wee hours of the morning, so we suspect some ethanol is involved), and she has written sob stories about her family as the “evidence that vaccines are bad”… somehow missing that the plural of anecdotes is not data.

  47. #47 Joseph
    February 15, 2009

    What peer reviewed case definition is there for autism? A definition that can be tested? What are the bio-markers? What kind of blood test is there for autism?

    Maybe Kevin Champagne really wants to learn by asking these questions. (NOT.)

    I usually point out that autism is a social/cultural/psychiatric construct. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be researched, that findings about autism haven’t been replicated, or that it’s not possible to talk about its validity as a diagnosis.

    Incidentally, I do know of one finding about an autistic characteristic that appears to nearly always be found in autistics and nearly never found in non-autistics. See this paper (figure 1). That would be remarkable if it were true. I’d like to see a replication, though.

  48. #48 Chris
    February 15, 2009

    Joseph said “Maybe Kevin Champagne really wants to learn by asking these questions. (NOT.)”

    Sorry, my mistake in thinking he might have been sincere.

  49. #49 snerd
    February 15, 2009

    Hrm, the loopy ones seem to be viewing Orac’s leave of absence as a vulnerable point, and coming out to play.

  50. #50 chet
    February 15, 2009

    This is Dawn’s reality:
    “Apparently, the ban was temporarily lifted? However, Orac has permanently banned me as of today. I guess he was insulted when I accused him of being motivated by money and not by his conscience.”

    She cannot be touched by anger or outrage. She certainly enjoys the fury resulting from her insulting comments, giving purpose to a pathetically unsung life.

    But I can’t help but say my piece:
    To Dawn, (rhymes with “Yawn”),
    Living with an inflated sense of self doesn’t make you interesting, intelligent or challenging, it makes you an asshole. As I’m sure you have heard before…good riddance. Let me speak for all that meet/live with you on a daily basis…you’re not smart… you’re a crazy, paranoid, self-absorbed, borderline, pseudo-educated bore. You’re a dime a dozen. I guarantee you’ve slept in a mental hospital before and will in the future. See ya…

    Orac, forget this bitch, she is less than dog shit on your shoe (with both metaphors, I mean no offense to our canine friends).

    On your loss, I send my sincere condolences to you and your family. Hope you feel how much we support you in these hard times.

  51. #51 Daniel J. Andrew
    February 15, 2009

    My sincere condolences, Orac, to you and your family. I empathize deeply and with tears of my own for your pain.

  52. #52 anonimouse
    February 15, 2009

    There’s yet another anti-vax Dawn out there as well (what is it what that name?) but I don’t think she’s stuck her nose into this blog. She has made the rounds of many of the tyical anti-vax S”mothering” sites.

    As to this other Dawn’s post, uh, I’m not even sure I know what to say. That’s a new level of revolting.

  53. #53 AF
    February 16, 2009

    “Orac, welcome to our world.

    You may look at this as someone kicking you right in the balls while you’re down but, that’s the way many of us have felt over the last couple of years because of your (“I know more than you because of peer reviewed science BS”) attitude toward autism that you have had for years.

    Walk a mile in my shoes.

    Posted by: Kevin Champagne”

    Kevin –

    Your post depends upon a number of questionable assumptions, but let’s skip past the ones that are just morally bankrupt, such as “If I feel my rights have been violated, it justifies any sort of completely vicious, heartless scumbaggery I care to perpetrate” and look at one of the more interesting ones, which is “It is my right that no one should ever hold a different belief than I do on the subject of autism.”

    Tell me, what exactly did put into your head the idea that you possessed this right? Is this something you feel about all your beliefs — do you, for example, make anonymous phone calls promising to murder the children of your neighbor across the street if you find out that he believes the Cardinals will win the Super Bowl and you believe it will be the Steelers? If so, why not? It’s completely in line with your saying “Dawn and I are perfectly entitled to attack Orac in the filthiest, most despicable way possible at a time of personal tragedy — after all, he has a different opinion on autism than we do, and that violates our rights.”

    Nope, Kevin, I just don’t understand it yet. How, exactly, will “walking in your shoes” imbue any of us with the delusion that we are entitled to demand agreement with our viewpoints and to lash out psychopathically when others differ?

  54. #54 Robster, FCD
    February 16, 2009

    What AF said.

    Orac is trying to explain to you what the best evidence is behind what does or does not cause autism. Part of that does involve pointing out those who are taking advantage of parents through the sale (intentional or otherwise) of snake oil cures.

    We are on your side, whether you know it or not.

  55. #55 lavender
    February 17, 2009

    My sincere condolences to you, your wife and your family in this difficult time.

    Many thanks for your erudite words to date.

  56. #56 Kevin Champagne
    February 18, 2009

    First of all, go back and read my comment or I will repost it here.

    “Orac, welcome to our world.

    You may look at this as someone kicking you right in the balls while you’re down but, that’s the way many of us have felt over the last couple of years because of your (“I know more than you because of peer reviewed science BS”) attitude toward autism that you have had for years.”

    Walk a mile in my shoes.”

    I did not make a derogatory remark at Orac nor did I offer any condolences.

    I did put in quotes a comment made by someone that comments under the name of “Dawn” that did make some less than complimentary comments about Orac.

    I simply felt Dawn’s frustration with a lot of you and made an attempt to point out my frustrations, and my experiences, that I have had with many of you in the past.

    Now that that is out of the way …I would like to address a couple of things.

    I did not crawl out from under a rock the other night when I made my “kicked in the balls” comment. I crawled back under one that night when I went there.

    Prometheus and Orac like to come off as scientists that are at the top of their field in the name of science but in reality you’re probably over opiniated assholes that people try to avoid getting stuck in an eleavator with. You’re a joke!

    To have the minds that you have and the elite university degrees that you possess and then to waste them here with endless blogging that in the long run means absolutely nothing and accomplishes absolutely nothing and can only be described as pure stupidity!

    I came to that conclusion about a year ago. Blogging is people that just love to push their opinion on you. They’re the same asshole at work that won’t shut the fuck up.

    You’re nothing more than over opinionated jackoffs and anyone working in ANY line of work, whether it’s rubbish removal or nuclear physics …you’re the kind of people that we dread to come across at any get together bacause we know that you’re just over opininated jackoffs that just can’t get along with people on a daily basis unless they agree with you.

    I guarantee that you’re both a couple of overpaid assholes that without a doubt, are blogging while being paid by a university or a hospital or even in a round about way by a government agency to get to the bottom what causes cancer or autism or whatever disease process or heaven for fucking bid, a vaccine … but instead you spend your time here.

    Maybe if great minds like yours spent more time on science instead of what some jackoff said on a blog last night, …we would all be better off.

    Why don’t you both get to the bottom of what is really wrong with our children instead of spending all your time here telling us what autism is not?

    Anyone with a degree behind their name can quote other people’s work through peer reviewed science but …what do you two windbags have to offer? What have you accomplished? What have you contributed to the outstanding world of peer reviewed science that you trumpet?

    Do you both just quote others and walk in their shoes or have you made your footprint in someway?

    Autism is not a genetic disorder. I have been told by more than one doctor, “There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic.”

  57. #57 storkdok
    February 18, 2009

    From a parent of an autistic and a fellow physician, THANK YOU for taking on the anti-vaxxers and loonies like Dawn (the bitch, not the other sane Dawns here) and standing up for the evidence. That is the best thing someone like yourself can do for my child. You are a true advocate for autism.

    Again, my condolences to your family on your loss.

  58. #58 Dan
    February 18, 2009

    Thoughts Regarding Autism Spectrum Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Of these rare neurological dysfunctions, Autism is the most common of these passive developmental disorders. Autism is a disability caused by a brain development disorder of unknown cause, yet some suspect the cause is some sort of neurological dysfunction- possibly with a genetic predisposition.
    Usually, symptoms of the disease present themselves before the toddler reaches the age of three. Before Autism was more understood, others inaccurately labeled autistics as childhood schizophrenia or as having a psychosis or mental retardation.
    Out of over two dozen diagnostic criteria utilized for these disorders, eight must be present to be considered autistic, according to the DSM. As with all passive developmental disorders, the person expresses language, social, and behavioral difficulties.
    Treatment includes what are called psychotropic medications that delay the progression of the disorder, as well as relieve some of the symptoms of one who is autistic. Behavioral therapy is common as a treatment regimen as well. Boys get Autism much more than girls.
    Then there is the controversy between many who claim that thimerosal- a preservative containing mercury, which is a neurotoxin that was used in vaccines until 2001, was the catalyst for autism in children.
    Over 5000 lawsuits have been filed because of this belief, and some have been successful for the plaintiff. Yet most agree the correlation between thimersal and autism is void of scientific merit. Furthermore, the cases of autism have not decreased since the preservative was discontinued in 2001.
    Aside from Autism, the other four passive developmental disorders are known as autism spectrum disorders.
    Asperger’s Syndrome is more common than autism, and the symptoms are milder, as there is minimal delay in language abilities, if at all. What is expressed with Asperger’s syndrome is mild autistic symptoms. In time, the patient may express atypical personality disorders, though.
    While intelligence is within normal limits with the Asperger’s patient, social interactions and abilities preset difficulty for such a patient. As with Autism, medications and behavioral therapy are treatment regimens with one with this syndrome
    Rett’s Syndrome or disorder presents with not only atypical behavior, but also suffers from restricted physical growth and movement. There is cognitive and social impairment as well. The disorder affects mostly girls, and the cause is due to a gene mutation.
    Childhood Disintegrative disorder is rare, and is 10 times less common than autism. The disorder has a late onset with mild autistic symptoms. The disorder affects mostly boys, and regression is sudden and possible with this disorder. Skills lost with this disorder may be language, social, self-care, as well as play or motor skills. Decreased function or impairment with this disorder may include social skills and behavioral flaws. Central Nervous System pathology is a suspected cause of this disorder.
    Finally, there are passive development disorders that are not otherwise specified. This may include atypical autism, for example. Yet as with the rest of types of these disorders, the symptoms vary in their frequency and intensity, as well as the range of abilities of these developmental disorders vary widely as well.
    Medicinal treatment along with cognitive and behavioral therapy prove to be most beneficial for all the different types of Passive Development Disorders that unfortunately exist for unknown reasons, yet further research should be done to discover both the etiologies as well as more effective treatment for the Autism Spectrum.
    http://www.autism-society.org
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/139183.php
    Dan Abshear

  59. #59 anonimouse
    February 18, 2009

    Comment spam sucks.

  60. #60 ababa
    February 18, 2009

    I’m still trying to find out what Dan is trying to accomplish spamming this same comment over and over again on every vax post. For those that don’t know, Dan is a comment spammer that cut and pastes that exact post every time autism is mentioned.

    It appears he at least did some formatting this time so it isn’t a wall of text. I guess just trying to drum up traffic on his website.

  61. #61 anonimouse
    February 18, 2009

    Dan’s a pay-per-click lad, I’d presume.

  62. #62 A toast of/to Champagne
    February 18, 2009

    Kevvy Pooh, don’t be so angry. Let go of the hate. Being a luddite might make you feel like a maverick, but it’s really just not helping… you or your kid.

    Seriously, how much have you spent with Butter?

    Your rocks a’callin, Kevvy!

  63. #63 Joseph
    February 18, 2009

    I have been told by more than one doctor, “There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic.”

    @KC: Did they also tell you there’s no such thing as a fake epidemic?

    Sounds like Kevin C. is quite ticked off at the results of the Omnibus.

  64. #64 mike stanton
    February 18, 2009

    So, Kevin believes that clever people with degrees should not blog because in his opinion “Blogging is people that just love to push their opinion on you. They’re the same asshole at work that won’t shut the fuck up.” Is that all bloggers? I can think of a few at the AoA clown blog and on HuffPo who fit that description. But all bloggers? Poor Kevin. So much hate and so little time.

  65. #65 antipodean
    February 18, 2009

    To anybody reading Kevin’s posts.

    Orac is exactly what he claims to be- a surgeon-scientist. He has a fairly impressive publication record. It’s not stellar but considering he’s also a practicing surgeon it’s certainly something to be genuinly proud of. A number of his papers are cited more than 100 times which is a clear sign that the scientific community he works in regards his work highly. He’s made and continues to make a contribution. So it’s a bullshit call to claim a lack of contribution on Orac’s part.

    It’s an old fashioned idea these days but academics are in fact paid to explain their work to the public. It’s the dissemination of knowledge to the wider community. This is also sometimes called teaching. Your tax dollars at work. getting somebody with extensive training to take the time to learn all this stuff and then carefully explain to to everybody else. Money well spent in this case.

    P.S. Calling people over-opinionated jackoffs in a page long ‘comment’ is the height of irony.

  66. #66 MI Dawn
    February 18, 2009

    I left a comment on vile Dawn’s blog. Since she moderates comments, I doubt it will see the light of day there, so am reposting it here:

    “I doubt you will allow this comment, Dawn, since I am going to point out that WHY Orac banned you is you posted a comment on one of his recent reposts (since he is reposting due to the death of his beloved mother-in-law):

    (Dawn’s comment erased from here because Orac, his wife and his friends do not need to read it again, but I did post it on Dawn’s blog)

    However, since you did post it and were banned in consequence all I can say is I never thought any woman could be so vile. I’m ashamed we share a name and I hope I never meet you.

    P.S. I am also posting this comment, with your statement redacted on RI.(Orac does not need to read this obsenity again)”

    If she posts it, I will be shocked that she actually has the courage to show what a nasty person she is.

  67. #67 Rogue Epidemiologist
    February 18, 2009

    KC said, “Why don’t you both get to the bottom of what is really wrong with our children instead of spending all your time here telling us what autism is not?”

    Ironic considering we have already figured out that vaccines aren’t linked to autism. But the Gen.Rescue and AoA folks won’t let the topic die, hampering reserachers’ efforts to locate a real etiology and real treatments.

    I would like more support for autism research. I want the kids to get treatment so their condition improves. But I want it done RIGHT! Money spent on chelation and mercury studies is just money being thrown into a fire.

  68. #68 Robster, FCD
    February 18, 2009

    “They’re the same asshole at work that won’t shut the fuck up.”

    Kevin, Have you ever heard of the term “projection?”

  69. #69 Robster, FCD
    February 18, 2009

    MI Dawn, Don’t keep your hopes up. I did the same several days ago, but forgot to make a copy.

  70. #70 TomB
    February 18, 2009

    MI Dawn, I did the same thing, fully realizing that it will never see the light of day.

    A waste of good electrons.

  71. #71 LW
    February 18, 2009

    This anti-vax fantasy is much worse than just “hampering researchers’ efforts to locate a real etiology and real treatments.” Go over to Neurodiversity and read about the horrific series of treatments inflicted on one poor autistic child by people who believe (or pretend to believe) that chelation and the like actually have some benefit. I agree with the commenters that labrats are better protected than that child.

  72. #72 DawnC
    February 18, 2009

    You guys are really too funny….jumping all over me for something that I said to Orac – it actually wasn’t a mean comment directed toward the rest of his family – just him. He is the poorest excuse for a human being. Now, I actually have others telling me how rude I am. Why? I have been putting up with your lower than low scummy filthy comments for months, yet I am the bitch here? Some of you have told me that my childrens’ problems are “in their defective genes” and some other wacky, insensitive crap like that. Where do you people get off? I am convinced of 2 things here…..some of you DON’T have children with Autism, but pretend that you do AND others do have children with Autism, but are so filled with hate that they’ve been duped by vaccines – you also want to see other parents pay dearly too. Nice. Now, who is really the evil person here?

  73. #73 Chris
    February 18, 2009

    Kevin,

    I am just a parent who has been around the block a whole lot longer than you with a child on the autistic spectrum (he is an adult now), who even had seizures because of an actual disease (guess what! the diseases are not fun nor easy nor even “harmless”!).

    I’m sorry, but from the comments it sounds like you have spent lots of money and effort on supposed cures (Butter? What the heck is that about? Do you rub a special butter on your autistic child? Now that is really going off the deep end!).

    But…
    The science has been done, the link between vaccines and autism does not exist. It is a dead link… “It’s not pinin’! ‘It’s passed on! This link is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-LINK!! ” (hat-tip to Monty Python and the dead parrot sketch)

  74. #74 Chris
    February 18, 2009

    Evil Dawn said “He is the poorest excuse for a human being. …….some of you DON’T have children with Autism,”

    You are a clueless git, aren’t you? Yes, I have an autistic child, and lots longer than you or Kevin.

  75. #75 DawnC
    February 18, 2009

    By the way you morons who claim there is “no link” between vaccines and Autism….there is also “no link” between cancer and cigarette smoking. There is no way to prove either. So, I blame people like you for murdering countless innocent children daily. For what? Money – because diseases were pretty much eradicated BEFORE VACCINES came about. This is directly from the World Health Organization….or are they not credible either? Rot in hell all of you.

  76. #76 Orac
    February 18, 2009

    Dawn is using a different e-mail address to get around my ban. The filters have been adjusted. If necessary, I will resort to IP address-level banning.

    Apparently, she’s been reading Dr. Jay Gordon’s latest idiocy on the Huffington Post, as she’s parroting it perfectly. Don’t worry, Dr. Jay will receive a dose of what’s coming to him, now that he’s dropped any pretense of not being an antivaccinationist. The funeral is over; I’m going back to work tomorrow; and that means, as hard as it is, that it’s time to try to get back to my normal life. That includes blogging. Not yet, but soon.

  77. #77 Joseph C.
    February 18, 2009

    @Anti-Vax Dawn,

    You can tilt at windmills all you like, but this doesn’t change the fact that in all likelihood autism has a genetic etiology. You and the rest of the crazed mercury moms blight progress in autism research with your bully tactics and hijacking of very limited resources towards answering the nonsense hypotheses raised by the inevitable goalpost moving every time one of your crank theories produces yet another dead end.

  78. #78 anonimouse
    February 19, 2009

    Dawn,

    You are treading dangerously towards “stalker” territory.

  79. #79 Prometheus
    February 19, 2009

    I’m sorry that Kevin is upset that reality isn’t aligning with his peculiar world view. However, calling people “over-opinionated” and “jerk-offs” isn’t going to change reality.

    I can’t speak for Orac, but my purpose in ‘blogging is to help parents who are looking for information. Unlike Kevin, I actually have the education and experience to understand the biology that he – and others of his ilk – are merely pretending to understand.

    Even with all of that education and experience, I found myself some years ago wandering down the garden path that Kevin is on today. It was only after I had a painful encounter with reality that I discovered how seductive and how addictive false hope can be.

    That’s why I ‘blog – to try and spare others the money, time and hope that I wasted following the path Kevin – and too many others – are on.

    Kevin and the others still on that path are in for a series of unpleasant experiences in the next few months. It looks as though the Omnibus Autism Proceedings are going to end in judgements that thoroughly and painfully debunk the idea that vaccines – with or without thimerosal – cause autism. That will be hard for many parents on the path of false hope to hear, but they need to hear it and understand that they have been deceived. And trust me, I know how painful it can be to realize that you’ve been had.

    Kevin would rather that Orac and I shut up about the science. He would prefer that only people who agree with him be allowed to speak about autism. On the other hand, I would rather that the parents of autistic children be allowed to hear “both” sides of the argument – from parents like Kevin desperately hoping tha they have found “the answer” as well as from doctors and scientists who may not have “the answers” but at least have the data.

    Of course, the people – like Kevin – who have committed their reputation to the vaccines-cause-autism hypothesis without understanding the science (or, more precisely, the lack of science) behind it are going to be bitter, frustrated and angry. That comes through very clearly in Kevin’s rant above.

    But it’s not the scientists and skeptics – not me and not Orac – that Kevin and the other parents should be angry with. They should be angry at the people who sold them the false hope – the False Prophets of Autism.

    Prometheus

  80. #80 Chris
    February 19, 2009

    Prometheus said “Unlike Kevin, I actually have the education and experience to understand the biology that he – and others of his ilk – are merely pretending to understand.

    Even with all of that education and experience, I found myself some years ago wandering down the garden path that Kevin is on today. It was only after I had a painful encounter with reality that I discovered how seductive and how addictive false hope can be.”

    I don’t have that education, but I did take it upon myself to try to learn. But I did not use the internet (remember I am old, my son is an adult), I used the library. This may have insulated me from some of the general stupidity that is rampant on many of the webpages (who in their right mind would believe that a liver fluke is the cause of all diseases, or that mercury is the cause of all autism?). That was not always great, the public library also has stupid books (like the one that claimed boys with high pitched voices really want be girls… ??? … it made my son’s speech therapist laugh).

    I was fortunate in that I had a good support system in my family and in the special ed. program my son was enrolled in. Oh, and enough sense to understand that rubbing special “butter” on my kid was not going to cure him or fix any damage from the seizures.

    If someone convinced Kevin that smearing a special butter on his kid would cure him, then he has a right to be angry. But not at us who actually try to read and understand the science, but at the person who sold him the special “butter” he apparently smeared on his kid (okay, what is that about? Kevin, did you really believe smearing stuff on your kid would make him “normal”?).

    Speaking of going down the path despite the education, read this about a doctor who sucked all down, and the realized it was crap (I got hear him speak recently, and he is delightful!):
    http://autism-watch.org/about/bio2.shtml

  81. #81 Kevin Champagne
    February 19, 2009

    Just keep supporting these deadly vaccines in the name of science.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFZwytU0zxs

    This girl’s parents are both doctors. They must just be uneducated anti-vaccine hacks?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31Irc8CHK0c

    “One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike and yet it is the most precious thing we have.”Albert Einstein

  82. #82 MI Dawn
    February 19, 2009

    Oh, so my little comment angered Dawn, since I double-posted it. Poor thing.

    NO ONE is saying your child has defective genes. They are saying that autism is currently considered to be genetically related. Geez, Dawn, do you HAVE to twist everything people say into an attack on you? As for autistic children: no, my children are not. We do have autism in the family, and have had for generations (not diagnosed as such, except for one family member who had “classic Kanner”.) But reading letters with family data, you can figure out there were many other family members who today would be considered autistic, or at least PDD-NOS. And several of THEM were born before vaccines, or only received the smallpox vaccine.

    @Chris: Kevin is talking about treatment by Dr. Butter, who used to prescribe (and may still, I avoid this weirdness) all sorts of treatments; one being a topical lotion for chelation use.

    @Orac – I tried to read Dr Gordon’s scree, but since the stupidity was giving me a headache I gave up and went to bed. I respectfully bow down to your ability to cope with reading such stuff, and recognize it when parrotted. Good luck going back to work.

  83. #83 Joseph
    February 19, 2009

    Just keep supporting these deadly vaccines in the name of science.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFZwytU0zxs

    @KC: I don’t know if you realize how irresponsible it is to promote these sorts of anecdotes. Gardasil actually prevents cancer. It has undergone double-blind testing on 20,000 women, followed over 2 years. The typical side-effects of Gardasil are injection site reactions and fever.

    Why should some fuzzy anecdotes, which can easily be explained as coincidence or nocebo effect, be taken seriously over double-blind testing?

  84. #84 One Flew Over the Champagne Nest
    February 19, 2009

    Kevvy, I thought you said that doctors who go out and share their thoughts on the internet are people who need to shut the f-up? Or is it just those who don’t agree with your Luddite, antivax, antiscience nonsense?

    What about Butter? He’s spewing his idiocy across the net? Does he need to shut the f-up or is it ok because you’re paying him enough to give him a down payment on a vacation home?

    What happened to you Kevvy? You used (years ago) to actually come across as someone with enough sense to learn from your mistakes. Now you just seem furious and desperate. Did the court rulings tip you over the edge? Do you realize your house of cards is falling? Is that why you are coming across as so angry and out of control?

  85. #85 FreeSpeaker
    February 19, 2009

    Orac, Google has a sort of mail filter to prevent people from sending e-mail when they are drunk. Could you email them and ask if there is a way to install that software on ScienceBlogs, so Dawn stops making an utter fool of herself.

    In the alternative, since her post was ghoulish in a way, perhaps she can get a job at Natural News. She seems to have more time on her hands than she should have.

  86. #86 Joseph C.
    February 19, 2009

    The plural of TV news segments is not evidence.

  87. #87 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 19, 2009

    @Anti-Vax Dawn:

    “I am convinced of 2 things here…..some of you DON’T have children with Autism, but pretend that you do AND others do have children with Autism, but are so filled with hate that they’ve been duped by vaccines – you also want to see other parents pay dearly too. Nice. Now, who is really the evil person here?”

    It’s you.

    You adopt these convenient delusions that no one’s feelings but yours are real, so that you can justify your own vicious, evil behavior. If you had a functioning mind and a functioning conscience, you would say to yourself “Nothing can possibly justify me making such a cruel and vindictive post, trying to cause Orac pain in such a shocking and grotesque way.” But here in the real world you are recognized for the psychopath you are.

  88. #88 Chris
    February 19, 2009

    MI Dawn said “@Chris: Kevin is talking about treatment by Dr. Butter, who used to prescribe (and may still, I avoid this weirdness) all sorts of treatments; one being a topical lotion for chelation use.”

    O..k..a..y — So is Kevin finally started to realize he has been played by this quack, but instead of putting the blame where it belongs he is going after those of us who don’t buy that crap?

  89. #89 Dianne
    February 19, 2009

    there is “no link” between vaccines and Autism….there is also “no link” between cancer and cigarette smoking.

    OK, little consistency problem here. The link between smoking and (some) cancers was demonstrated by the same type of epidemiologic work that demonstrated no link between autism and vaccination. So how can you believe the link between smoking and cancer but disbelieve the lack of link between vaccination and autism?

  90. #90 antipodean
    February 19, 2009

    Dear Joseph C.

    Did you get that quote from somewhere? I want to use it in a paper I’m writing.

  91. #91 antipodean
    February 19, 2009

    Dear Joseph C.

    Did you get that quote from somewhere? I want to use it in a paper I’m writing.

  92. #92 Chris
    February 19, 2009

    antipodean said “Did you get that quote from somewhere? I want to use it in a paper I’m writing.”

    Wow, I missed him saying “The plural of TV news segments is not evidence.”

    It looks like he changed the very old (and I have no idea where it came from) saying “The plural of anecdote is not data.” I guess it really works to equate TV news spots with anecdotes.

  93. #93 Joseph C.
    February 19, 2009

    @Chris,

    Those two news clips that Kevin posted were just that: anecdotes. And maybe those people were injured by Gardasil, but Kevin and his ilk have far from supported this claim with credible evidence.

  94. #94 storkdok
    February 19, 2009

    “The plural of TV news segments is not evidence.”

    Joseph C., you are brilliant! I love it! Thanks for a laugh and a new quote!

    To the anti-vaxxers:

    In the fall report 2008 by the CDC on Gardasil, the case reports were discussed, many of them had autopsy reports included, and showed that several of the young women had pulmonary emboli/deep vein thrombosus and were on birth control pills, known to predispose for PE/DVT. The autoimmune disease rate was not increased, so there was a certain amount of autoimmune disease expected to be diagnosed over time in the women who received Gardasil. There was an explanation for every single severe reaction and death that was reported and associated in the public eye with Gardasil, and the conclusion was that Gardasil had less risks of side effects overall than another vaccine that has been used for years and has a safe track record. But I’m very sure you didn’t go to the trouble of reading the full reports, case reports, as I did.

    There are rare side effects that can happen with Gardasil, as with any other vaccine, no one disputes this. But to put a news clip that quotes Barbara Fisher Loe (sp?) and her quack organization as the “evidence” that there is still a question about Gardasil that is being swept under the rug is ludicrous. It does not give credence to your conspiracy rants here.

    The fact that you just accept a news segment that fits into your viewpoint, without ever having read any of the evidence about it, the case reports the CDC reviewed, just shows how out of contact with reality you are. You show absolutely no critical thinking ability in your rants here. And the pathology that one in particular of you shows here, narcissistic, antisocial and borderline personality characteristics, is very telling.

  95. #95 HCN
    February 19, 2009

    I did a bit of poking around about our old friend Kevin C… and looky at what I found at:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/10/special-educati.html?cid=136299417#comment-136299417 ….

    “Trust me Diane, I’ve lived it. I flew with my son to North Carolina for bi-weekly IV chelation treatments for one year while he screamed and disrupted the entire plane. One time we were on a 5 hour ground hold at Newark airport and I thought I was going to lose my mind. I helped hold him down over the last 5 years through countless blood draws while he screamed at the top of his lungs. I went through 30 straight days of HBOT treatments with him while he screamed and scratched my face until I was bleeding.

    I took an entire summer off through the Family Medical Leave Act when my son was first diagnosed so I could be home to rub transdermal chelation on him 2 times per day and watch and listen to him scream through ABA therapy.

    I have been to at least 12 different autism conferences and my son has been a patient of the following doctors over the last 5 years; Hardy (6 months), Krigsman (for an autism gut study), Buttar (2 years), the Geiers(6 months), and Charles Ray Jones (6 months – present). All of which included long plane rides and or car rides with more hitting, scratching, and screaming.

    … snip…

    And while I’m airing it out here, in my opinion, mercury DOES NOT cause autism …low pH blood levels do. Research it.”

    I kind of pity Kevin, he has been taken to the cleaners by the quacks, and he does not even know it.

  96. #96 Prometheus
    February 19, 2009

    My oh my! Kevin certainly has my pity! Not just because of his autistic child – I’m not sure that pity would be appropriate for that – but because he has been taken advantage of by so many grossly misguided doctors.

    It is never easy to admit – even to yourself – that you’ve been foolish. I don’t expect Kevin to make a public confession of how he’s been misled and deceived, but it would be nice if he could at least admit it to himself.

    It probably won’t do anything for his son (although it might improve their relationship if Kevin stopped feeling the need to drag his son to every quack-of-the-week) and it might not even make Kevin feel any better about himself, but it would at least stop the damage he is doing – to himself and his son.

    The first step in getting out of a hole you’ve dug for yourself is to stop digging. Just put down the shovel. Sometimes that’s the hardest step to take.

    Some never can do it.

    Prometheus

  97. #97 HCN
    February 19, 2009

    It is almost as if Kevin Champagne has the word “Sucker!” written on his forehead!

  98. #98 Robster, FCD
    February 19, 2009

    And yet, we are the bad guys for trying to convince him to stop giving money to these guys.

  99. #99 Kevin Champagne
    February 20, 2009

    HCN, Let’s put the rest of it up here …shall we?

    “And while I’m airing it out here, in my opinion, mercury DOES NOT cause autism …low pH blood levels do. Research it.

    Here is the rest of my comment;

    “”Research it. Some unvaccinated kids are being diagnosed with autism. Children on special diets most likely improve because their pH levels go up.”"

    Take ten minutes and watch this YouTube video about low pH and how it affects the body;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJJA9sWT6Qg&feature=channel_page

    Ready? Countdown …1 …2 …3 – the usual suspects here are going to pounce on the doctor in that video!

    The “usual suspects” that appear to be a large group but are actually nothing more than two or three people commenting under several different names. This shit is their entire life. Their entire existence!

    It’s Sad! Really, really sad. Some of them could not only NOT help their children with autism at an early age but they also could not hold their marriage together. You know who I am talking about and you’re nothing more than a pathetic wretch!

    Diva, I have to know …are you still living on the government dole while you rip me and judge me for my decisions with MY son while you post under all your pseudonyms?

    I will leave no stone unturned for Jared. Not one! I would’ve expected the same from my father.

    Jared improved in one way or another under everyone of those doctors previously mentioned and I don’t regret any of it. They are doctors that think outside the box and should be commended. I knew their fees and the risks and that the outcomes were hit and miss and I took those risks.

    I take responsibility for my decisions. I am not a victim like you!

    The doctors that I have taken Jared to are leaders amongst their peers just like Edward Jenner was.

    They’re not followers like Orac and Prometheus.

    Edward Jenner was considered a quack in his day and I know we would NOT be having this exchange today if it was not for Edward Jenner and the vaccines that alter our children’s DNA.

  100. #100 storkdok
    February 20, 2009

    Kevin, you have and are abusing your son. I feel sorry for him, not you. You have so little understanding of science and no critical thinking skills that you are grasping at any quackery that comes your way, and your son is paying the price.

  101. #101 Kevin Champagne
    February 20, 2009

    “I will leave no stone unturned for Jared. Not one! I would’ve expected the same from my father.”

    Not even the stone you’re under HCN!

    Prometheus wrote; “And you’re the ones making death threats, harrassing and defaming anyone who dares to disagree with you.

    Death threats? Come on. Death threats? Prometheus are you also a victim?

    I want you to right now prove that you have had death threats. Copy and paste them here and prove it or what you claim to be death threats will be considered nothing more than snake oil.

    I have peer reviewed my comments toward you and by others and I can double blind placebo see that we have definitely harassed you and defamed you but I can not for the life of me find the double blind multi cross over trials to see where anyone threaten your life.

  102. #102 Kevin Champagne
    February 20, 2009

    “Kevin, you have and are abusing your son. I feel sorry for him, not you. You have so little understanding of science and no critical thinking skills that you are grasping at any quackery that comes your way, and your son is paying the price.”

    Then why do you bother making comments to such a dolt like me? What’s the use? It’s never going to get through, so why do you bother wasting your time with me?

    Storkdork, …Do you mind if I just call you Dork?

    Well, too bad …I’m going to anyway.

    Truth be told Dork, you don’t feel sorry for him or any other children that this has affected.

    My son is paying what price Dork? Has he been harmed in some way Dork? Have you met him or observered him in some way Dork? Other than my comment about the doctors that he has been treated by and for how long, …what do you really know about him Dork?

  103. #103 Orac
    February 20, 2009

    Kevin,

    Are you drunk? Really, I’m a bit concerned. I ask simply because your responses have become more incoherent–so much so that you’re starting to sound like Evil Dawn, the one I banned a few days ago. You’re not even making sense anymore.

    Please, step away from the keyboard for a while and compose yourself. Think before you type. You’re only embarrassing yourself right now.

  104. #104 Robster, FCD
    February 20, 2009

    Kevin, blood pH just doesn’t vary as much as the pH treatment salespeople claim. If it does, we die.

  105. #105 Chris
    February 20, 2009

    Oh, my word… this makes me appreciate the fact that my son is older and it took so long just to get some kind of attention other than “wait and see, he will talk when he is ready” crud, BUT there were fewer scumbags trying to get our money (I believe they were still busy on the tooth fillings scam).

    I feel so very sorry Mr. Champagne that you have been taken advantage of, and that your poor little boy has gone through so much torture.

    (oh, and now I see the cream quack is “Buttar”, not butter)

  106. #106 Dianne
    February 20, 2009

    the vaccines that alter our children’s DNA.

    Uh, how many lentiviral vaccines have been approved?

    you’re starting to sound like Evil Dawn

    Actually, I’m wondering if he might be Evil Dawn. The language is remarkably similar. Particularly after the “you’re all just 2 or 3 people posting under pseudonyms” claim, which just sounded a lot like projection to me. About that IP level banning…

  107. #107 Joseph C.
    February 20, 2009

    Jared improved in one way or another under everyone of those doctors previously mentioned and I don’t regret any of it. They are doctors that think outside the box and should be commended. I knew their fees and the risks and that the outcomes were hit and miss and I took those risks.

    Thinking “outside the box”, in this case, merely means that in your desperation you’ve embraced a lower standard of evidence for medical treatments.

    As you likely know, autism is a delayed developmental disorder. Development occurs, just at a slower pace than is typical. With this in mind, how do you know that your son’s improvement had anything to do with the treatments that you were no doubt paying dearly for? How do you know it was not just nature running its course?

    With this much money on the line, there is a huge self-esteem incentive for you to attribute any improvement to the treatments. But, without randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trials to support the treatments, there’s a very strong chance you’ve been had.

  108. #108 Vindaloo
    February 21, 2009

    Good God, man. Kevin, are you ok? What the hell has happened to you? Dude, if you’re this out of control on the internet do you really feel you’re able to make rational decisions about on the quackery buffet?

    Why am I using a ‘nym? Because people like you, Kevin, are not stable.

  109. #109 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 21, 2009

    “The “usual suspects” that appear to be a large group but are actually nothing more than two or three people commenting under several different names.”

    Offer convincing proof for such a paranoid hypothesis and you’ll be taken seriously. Simply utter it without any sort of evidence — as you have done — and you confirm everyone’s opinion that you believe absurd ideas without any sort of evidence.

  110. #110 Joseph
    February 21, 2009

    Then why do you bother making comments to such a dolt like me? What’s the use? It’s never going to get through, so why do you bother wasting your time with me?

    This might come as a surprise, Kevin, but it’s not about you.

    They are doctors that think outside the box and should be commended.

    Well, Michael Menkin thinks outside the box. Have you tried his form of treatment?

  111. #111 Kevin Champagne
    February 21, 2009

    “Are you drunk? Really, I’m a bit concerned. I ask simply because your responses have become more incoherent–so much so that you’re starting to sound like Evil Dawn, the one I banned a few days ago.”

    Drunk? No I am not drunk. You don’t even know if Dawn was really Dawn, let alone whether or not she was drunk.

    “blood pH just doesn’t vary as much as the pH treatment salespeople claim. If it does, we die.”

    What happens when blood pH is low and how does it kill us?

    How low is too low? What happens to the body between good level and not so good level and then so low that we die?

    “As you likely know, autism is a delayed developmental disorder. Development occurs, just at a slower pace than is typical.”

    What causes the delayed development disorder? What’s gummimg up the works?

    I’m off to the liquor store. Hic’up!

  112. #112 Orac
    February 21, 2009

    Kevin,

    Read this primer on pH quackery:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/09/your_friday_dose_of_woo_acid_base_or_woo_1.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/06/your_friday_dose_of_woo_acid_base_or_woo_2.php

    The bottom line is that the body has a very effective buffering system. There are very few indications to try to change blood pH.

  113. #113 Chris
    February 21, 2009

    Kevin Champagne said “What causes the delayed development disorder? What’s gummimg up the works?”

    Well in the case of my son, the most likely candidate was the massive seizure he had at age 15 months while sick with what is now a vaccine preventable disease.

    You did know that vaccines also prevent developmental disorders?

  114. #114 Kevin Champagne
    February 22, 2009

    “Well in the case of my son, the most likely candidate was the massive seizure he had at age 15 months while sick with what is now a vaccine preventable disease.”

    What disease and how long ago did that happen? If it was a long time ago then, I am asking what causes the delayed development disorder in the huge number of cases that we see in the last decade?

  115. #115 Chris
    February 22, 2009

    Dollars to donuts that Mr. “Gullible” Champagne is paying one of the quacks mentioned on the two pH posts for more bizarre stuff.

  116. #116 Kevin Champagne
    February 22, 2009

    What disease and how long ago did that happen? If it was a long time ago then, I am asking what causes the delayed development disorder in the huge number of cases in the last decade?

  117. #117 Robster, FCD
    February 22, 2009

    If I remember my physiology, too acidic (less than 7.35) and hemoglobin quits carrying oxygen, muscles shut down, you get severe heart arrhythmias, death. If you are too alkaline (more than 7.45) you pass out and your respiration returns your pH to normal. If that doesn’t work, your nervous system goes into seizure and your muscles contract uncontrollably.

    Your body maintains a very small range of pH through CO2 acting as a buffer in the blood, and by shuttling excess H+ ions into the urine. The bloods pH doesn’t change, but other things do, which is why you should never trust anybody who tries to diagnose a blood pH change by testing saliva or urine.

  118. #118 Kevin Champagne
    February 22, 2009

    “Dollars to donuts that Mr. “Gullible” Champagne is paying one of the quacks mentioned on the two pH posts for more bizarre stuff.”

    That was last summer Chris. This year we’re using a combination of vibrational water and those foot pad things.

    Chris, you’re about 6 new fad desperate, gullible, anti-vax parent treatments behind!

    I just got some great info on a doctor that is using Armadillo urine… might make an appointment Monday. I’ll keep you posted.

  119. #119 Chris
    February 22, 2009

    My son is over twenty years old, the seizures were in 1990… I am not going to tell you, just because you are an idiot (even assuming that someone else posted you claiming to use foot pads and vibrational water).

    But the choices include:

    haemophilus influenzae B (at that time the vaccine was for older kids)
    rotavirus
    chicken pox
    hepatitis B
    hepatitis A

  120. #120 Kevin Champagne
    February 22, 2009

    Have you ever seen this disease?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stemcell22/3299779240/

    There’s no cure for that!

  121. #121 Chris
    February 22, 2009

    I do not even bother clicking on random picture sites.

    But to continue with real facts, a check on PubMed finds a couple of interesting papers. One is The Genetics of Autism, which does have a paragraph on epilepsy (seizures):

    Epilepsy has the highest association with autism, reported in up to a third of individuals with an ASD by adulthood.25–27,33–35 The epilepsy may be subclinical, yielding an electroencephalogram that is epileptiform but without clinical seizures, and is particularly frequent in disintegrative disorder.36 Like autism, epilepsy is a disorder of the brain with multiple genetic and nongenetic causes and a broad range of phenotypes. Infantile spasms are particularly likely to result in autism with nondevelopment of language and mental retardation, especially when the epileptiform activity involves both temporal lobes.37 An occasional nonverbal child with mental retardation, autism, and epilepsy has exhibited early bilateral hippocampal sclerosis.38,39

    Then, there are other diseases associated with devlopmental delays. Some are listed in the unfortunately titled Impact of Specific Medical Interventions on Reducing the Prevalence of Mental Retardation, which has a list of diseases that can cause mental retardation (or developmental delays):
    Congenital Syphilis
    Rh Disease
    Measles
    Hib Meningitis
    Congenital Hypothyroidism
    Phenylketonuria
    Congenital Rubella Syndrome

    I hope that answers your question on what can cause developmental delays. If not for you, but for someone else who may have a mind open enough to understand that there is a reason that vaccines were developed.

  122. #122 Kevin Champagne
    February 22, 2009

    ” hope that answers your question on what can cause developmental delays. If not for you, but for someone else who may have a mind open enough to understand that there is a reason that vaccines were developed.”

    What causes those diseases that you describe in your last comment that are associated with developmental delays?

    What is the root of them? What causes them to develop?

  123. #123 Chris
    February 22, 2009

    Okay, now I know that this must be someone who is trying to make Mr. Champagne look even more clueless.

    I looked at the “disease” picture, and it was just a photo of a woman in a hat, very underwhelming.

    And as for the causes of the diseases, well if you must know there are these things called “bacteria” and “viruses” that make people sick. Smarter people than you realized that there were ways of preventing those diseases by preventing them with vaccines.

    If you actually bothered to read the “Genetics of Autism” paper you will see that more than one of those diseases is associated with autism. And by being associated, they mean actually coming in contact with the real in the wild bacteria or virus that causes the disease.

    Here is an idea, Mr. Champagne, most cities have community colleges with introductory courses in science and biology. I think you might find yourself less likely to be a victim of the chelation/pH/HBOT quacks if you actually tried to honestly educate yourself. Go learn some real science, stop being a sucker for every snake oil salesman who attracts your attention. Erase that big “Sucker” sign from your forehead!

  124. #124 Kevin Champagne
    February 22, 2009

    “If you actually bothered to read the “Genetics of Autism” paper you will see that more than one of those diseases is associated with autism. And by being associated, they mean actually coming in contact with the real in the wild bacteria or virus that causes the disease.”

    Chris, I am scratching my head trying to figure out why you are suddenly calling Mr. Champagne when just yesterday you were talking to me like I was some piece of shit.

    Weird dude! Did something grab your eye in my previous comment at 2:39am?

    “And as for the causes of the diseases, well if you must know there are these things called “bacteria” and “viruses” that make people sick. Smarter people than you realized that there were ways of preventing those diseases by preventing them with vaccines.”

    Chris, if you believe vaccines prevent disease and if they really worked, you and I could be cuddled up next to our wives fast a sleep tonight but, …instead we’re arguing here as strangers.

    “Smarter people than you realized that there were ways of preventing those diseases by preventing them with vaccines.”

    Chris, what you forgot to realize is that most, if not all, of the anti-vax children were heavily vaccinated before they became anti-vaccinated.

    So Chris, please explain our how kids with developmental delays got them after being vaccinated, if diseases that are prevented by vaccines caused our children to become developmentally delayed after vaccination.?!.?.!?.!!?…

    Hic’up!

  125. #125 Kevin Champagne
    February 22, 2009

    Dianne, “the vaccines that alter our children’s DNA.
    Uh, how many lentiviral vaccines have been approved?”

    Dianne, ALL VACCINES alter our children’s DNA, not just lentiviral vaccines.

  126. #126 Orac
    February 22, 2009

    Dianne, ALL VACCINES alter our children’s DNA, not just lentiviral vaccines.

    Uh, no. No they don’t, and you clearly have no clue what you’re talking about. Please, explain to us how vaccines using, for example, of viral coat proteins or bacterial proteins for antigens “alter our children’s DNA.”

  127. #127 Vindaloo
    February 22, 2009

    KC said, “you were talking to me like I was some piece of shit”

    Not Chris here, but you were acting like it.

    KC said, “most, if not all, of the anti-vax children were heavily vaccinated before they became anti-vaccinated”

    Really? Then you need to go talk to Skankliano, who blames vaccines and mercury for one of her autistic kid’s problems even though the kid wasn’t vaxxed. The problem is that even without evidence you and your gaggle are spreading unfounded fear of vaccines and others out there are just gullible enough to start doubting science.

    KC said, “ALL VACCINES alter our children’s DNA, not just lentiviral vaccines”

    That’s playing fast and loose with definitions and I’m quite sure you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. Sequence alteration? Insertions/deletions? Methylation? I’m interested in knowing what you think the flumist vaccine has done to my DNA.

    I’m glad to see the old and apparently sober KC. If it’s pharma-induced then please keep up with the meds.

  128. #128 Joseph
    February 22, 2009

    If it was a long time ago then, I am asking what causes the delayed development disorder in the huge number of cases in the last decade?

    I recently got some data from Prometheus (prompted by Dan Hollenbeck in the most recent thread at Photon in the Darkness). It turns out that the combined 8-year-old IDEA prevalence of autism, mental retardation, developmental delay, specific learning disability and speech and language impairments, has actually declined a bit from 1992 to 2007.

    The prevalence of autism, DD and SLI has increased, but the prevalence of MR and SLI has decreased. The no-nonsense explanation is that we’re looking at different labeling, otherwise known as diagnostic substitution.

  129. #129 Joseph
    February 22, 2009

    So Chris, please explain our how kids with developmental delays got them after being vaccinated, if diseases that are prevented by vaccines caused our children to become developmentally delayed after vaccination.?!.?.!?.!!?…

    Chris didn’t say all developmental delays are caused by viral or bacterial diseases. And even if they were, not all are necessarily preventable by vaccines. Some might be caused by known genetic syndromes. You’ve heard of these I’m sure. Some might be caused by genetic syndromes we don’t know about or combinations thereof. Some might be caused by various other environmental factors we don’t know about.

    There’s randomness in the world too. There’s no “normal” development that all healthy children have in exactly the same way. You might have noticed everyone is different to everyone else. There’s a distribution. In any distribution, 1% of children will be below the 1-percentile and 1% of children will be above the 99-percentile.

  130. #130 Joseph
    February 22, 2009

    The prevalence of autism, DD and SLI has increased, but the prevalence of MR and SLI

    Correction: The prevalence of MR and SLD has decreased.

  131. #131 Chris
    February 22, 2009

    Mr. Champagne said “So Chris, please explain our how kids with developmental delays got them after being vaccinated, if diseases that are prevented by vaccines caused our children to become developmentally delayed after vaccination.?!.?.!?.!!?…”

    It is like talking to a child, one who has his fingers in his ears and standing behind a brick wall yelling “la la la I can’t hear you… if I am what are you?… nah nah nah!”.

    Okay, I only told you the possible cause my son’s developmental delays.

    Then I tried (vainly) to explain to you that the diseases themselves can cause neurological damage, offering up a paper that showed the effect of certain medical interventions (vaccines, testing, antibiotics).

    I offered up a paper that reviewed the possible genetic causes of autism.

    Now you go off with some idiotic notion that kids become developmentally delayed after vaccines. Do you have any evidence of that? I showed you evidence that vaccines have prevented neurological damage, you need to show real evidence that vaccines have caused a significant number of neurological damage.

    But the data show that there really has not been an increase in the total numbers of kids affected. The numbers for mental retardation and SLD (the latter was how my son was classified in school) have gone down when the more general classification of autism has gone up. Here are the graphs Joseph is referring to:
    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=158

    Really, sincerely: get an education. Go back and complete your high school requirements for a GED, then take some basic science classes (at least enough to explain to us clearly how vaccines change DNA!). You should have spent the $70000 you gave to those quacks on creating a trust fund for your son, and educating yourself.

  132. #132 Kevin Champagne
    February 22, 2009

    Vaccines and DNA

    http://vonhapsburg.homestead.com/vaccinesalterdna.html

    “Not only is mercury toxic, but so is aluminum, antifreeze and other toxic ingredients in vaccines, to name a few. Monkey/human tissues in vaccines can also alter the DNA’s of our children. It’s no wonder children are at such a high risk of having autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, etc without a genetic cause.” David Kirby, Evidence Of Harm

    I just threw that David Kirby qoute in there to whack the hornet’s nest.

    “Really, sincerely: get an education. Go back and complete your high school requirements for a GED, then take some basic science classes”

    When I find a community college that has a good tavern on the grounds, I will enroll.

    Vitamin B deficiencies can alter DNA, and you’re going to tell me the ingredients in vaccines doesn’t?

    http://www.naturalnews.com/023513.html

    What about SV-40 virus?

    “The medical authorities keep lying. Vaccination has been a disaster on the immune system. It actually causes a lot of illnesses. We are changing our genetic code through vaccination.” –Guylaine Lanctot M.D. Canadian author of the best-seller ‘Medical Mafia’.

  133. #133 dedicated lurker
    February 22, 2009

    Kevin, you will not win friends or influence people here if you repeat the old lie about vaccines having antifreeze, and I believe there is now a corollary of Scopie’s Law having to do with Natural News.

  134. #134 Kevin Champagne
    February 22, 2009

    “you will not win friends or influence people here”

    Oh darn. There goes my weekend.

    Seattle biotech develops vaccine antifreeze – Jan 22, 2009

    http://www.examiner.com/a-1810344~Seattle_biotech_develops_vaccine_antifreeze.html

    “Some vaccines contain 2-Phenoxyethanol a.k.a. ethylene glycol phenyl ether which is somewhat different than the ethylene glycol used in antifreeze.”

    “However, like many other compounds used in vaccines, the safety of this chemical when injected into human bodies is in question. The compound known as 2–Phenoxyethanol or just plain phenoxyethanol is listed by a former FDA Investigator as: “Phenoxyethanol: EDF Suspected – developmental toxicant, reproductive toxicant (aka: Antifreeze).”

    VACCINE INGREDIENTS
    Source: 1997 Physicians’ Desk Reference

    Phenol : EDF Suspected – cardiovascular or blood toxicant aka Carbolic Acid – developmental toxicant, gastrointestinal or liver toxicant kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant respiratory toxicant, skin or sense organ toxicant.
    More hazardous than most chemicals in 3 out of 10 ranking systems.
    On at least 8 federal regulatory lists.

  135. #135 Orac
    February 22, 2009

    “The medical authorities keep lying. Vaccination has been a disaster on the immune system. It actually causes a lot of illnesses. We are changing our genetic code through vaccination.”

    WTF?

    This isn’t evidence; this is argument by quotation.

    As for your citation of NaturalNews.com, what the hell does vitamin B deficiency have to do with vaccination. Also, I’d point out that there’s a huge difference between effects on mothers who have not yet conceived and effects on babies after they are born.

    Truly, you have zero clue about biology. You have no idea what you are talking about. Zero. Zip. Nada.

  136. #136 Vindaloo
    February 22, 2009

    Double WTF?

    which is somewhat different than

    Former FDA inspector

    Here comes the science.

    Jesus Christ, Kevin. You’re one persuasive antivaxxer.

  137. #137 Chris
    February 23, 2009

    Oooooh, Mr. Champagne had dragged out for his “evidence” some random personal webpage, the only slightly better than whale.to “naturalnews”, and a news report.

    Really, I repeat… go back to school. Get a modicum of education, at least something that helps with your reading comprehension and understanding of basic science.

  138. #138 Robster, FCD
    February 23, 2009

    Kevin, I’ll be blunt. ethylene glycol phenyl ether is not ethylene glycol, nor is it phenol. I’m sure that you have been told that table salt, while made from sodium and chlorine, salt is neither a poisonous gas, nor a metal that reacts explosively with water.

    I’m sure you think you are really showing us, but really, its sad that you are so easily fooled, and that you have spent so much money on snake oil while dragging your son across the map waste that money. Being willing to do anything to help your child is admirable up to the point where those anythings include being scammed or believing in such plainly false things.

  139. #139 Kevin Champagne
    February 23, 2009

    See you in hell!

  140. #140 snerd
    February 23, 2009

    Kevin said: wharrgarbl

    And they tell us insightful discourse is dead.

  141. #141 Orac
    February 23, 2009

    See you in hell!

    Bravely bold Sir Robin
    Rode forth from Camelot.
    He was not afraid to die,
    Oh brave Sir Robin.
    He was not at all afraid
    To be killed in nasty ways.
    Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin.

    He was not in the least bit scared
    To be mashed into a pulp.
    Or to have his eyes gouged out,
    And his elbows broken.
    To have his kneecaps split
    And his body burned away,
    And his limbs all hacked and mangled
    Brave Sir Robin.

    His head smashed in
    And his heart cut out
    And his liver removed
    And his bowls unplugged
    And his nostrils raped
    And his bottom burnt off
    And his pen–

    “That’s… that’s enough music for now lads,
    *** there’s dirty work afoot*** ???.”

    Brave Sir Robin ran away.
    (“No!”)
    Bravely ran away away.
    (“I didn’t!”)
    When danger reared it’s ugly head,
    He bravely turned his tail and fled.
    (“no!”)
    Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
    (“I didn’t!”)
    And gallantly he chickened out.

    ****Bravely**** taking (“I never did!”) to his feet,
    He beat a very brave retreat.
    (“all lies!”)
    Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Robin!
    (“I never!”)

  142. #142 Joseph
    February 23, 2009

    After looking at the arguments Kevin has to offer, is it any wonder the Omnibus petitioners lost big time?

  143. #143 ababa
    February 23, 2009

    And now Kevin is using the “Nuh-uh” argument in the debate! Always convincing!

  144. #144 Dianne
    February 23, 2009

    ALL VACCINES alter our children’s DNA, not just lentiviral vaccines.

    Um…you don’t have the slightest idea what lentiviraus is, do you? And what do you mean by “alter…DNA”? Heritable changes in the stem cell line? Mutations in the somatic cells? Epigenetic changes, i.e. methylation? What mechanism do you propose for any of the above? Or, more simply, what evidence leads you to claim that DNA is being altered by vaccination?