Alright, I know that, after yesterday’s epic post (which was long even by Orac-ian standards), I said that I was going to try to get away from vaccine blogging for a while. I lied. Well, not really. At that time I really did mean it. But then I came across something that I just couldn’t leave alone.
Regular readers of this blog know my opinion of Andrew Wakefield, namely that he is a fraud, a quack, a charlatan, and a danger to the health of autistic children and public health in general. There is, as documented in my post and elsewhere, abundant evidence to support my opinion. But apparently there are some who don’t think the way I do. Apparently to some, the revelations of his research fraud notwithstanding, Andrew Wakefield remains a hero. In fact, there has recently appeared a website called We Support Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
Hand me a barf bag.
Let’s take a look at the “petition” they want people to sign
I had originally planned on a bit of deconstruction and translation, but Holford Watch beat me to it with a spot-on annotated version that I wish I had done. Instead, I was interested in who set up this website. A quick Whois revealed that the registrant is Edmund Arranga. I had no idea who Arranga is; so I Googled him. Guess what I found?
Edmund C. Arranga is the co-founder of Autism One, a charity organization devoted to the care, treatment, and recovery of children with autism. Currently, a diagnosis of autism comes with the prognosis of forever and nothing could be further from the truth. Our children get better; some recover completely given the proper treatments and therapies.
AutismOne? That quackfest? Well, that explains a lot. Just look at the speaker list for this year’s AutismOne. It’s a veritable Who’s Who of autism quackery, fronted by Jenny McCarthy as keynote speaker and including Andrew Wakefield himself.
Still, there were a few parts of Arranga’s petition that struck me as worth commenting on. For example:
We declare that:
1. Dr. Wakefield is a man of honesty, integrity, courage, and proven commitment to children and the public health.
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, heheheheheheheehee! Ahahahahahaha!
Oh, me! Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. Heh. Hahaha. Must. Regain. Composure.
There. Now I’m better.
2. Dr. Wakefield’s research is rigorous, replicated, biologically valid, clinically evidenced, corroborated by published, peer-reviewed research in an abundance of scientific disciplines, and consistent with children’s medical problems.
Dammit. That one caught me by surprise, just as I had composed myself. I’m sorry; I just can’t help it. That’s too hilarious! But I do thank whoever is behind this effort. I’m still not back to normal after the death of my mother-in-law. Anything that makes me laugh so raucously is good in that it lets me forget my sadness for a while.
In any case, I have to wonder: Wakefield’s research is “rigorous” and “replicate”?What planet are these people living on? By “rigorous,” perhaps they mean how incompetently he did his PCR.
Or maybe by “replicated,” they mean the latest attempt to replicate Wakefield’s work by a group at Columbia University last year. Oh wait. That group couldn’t replicate Wakefield’s work–just like every investigator not associated with Wakefield who has tried to replicate his work has failed to find any association at all between MMR vaccination and autism or “autistic enterocolitis.”
3. We support clinicians who pursue treatments for bowel disorders based on Dr. Wakefield’s work and corroborating science, most specifically Arthur Krigsman, MD.
Translation: We support quackery based on Wakefield’s pseudoscience and don’t mind if these quacks experiment with our children.
4. We support all scientists, including Dr. Andrew Wakefield, in the freedom to conduct medical research into the biological mechanisms for vaccine-related immune and brain dysfunction, including autism, without being attacked personally and professionally by industry, government, and organized medicine. We support scientific discovery, freedom to investigate, and freedom to speak in science.
Except when it fails to show what we want it to show, namely that vaccines cause autism. When that happens, as it always does except when we or investigators we support do it, we find ways to slime the scientists who did it and impugn their integrity as tools of big pharma or bad scientists.
6. We renounce pharmaceutical lobby groups and the London Sunday Times supporting the complaint lodged with the GMC, the actions of which result in intimidating doctors thereby preventing objective medical assessment of autistic children with co-morbid bowel involvement.
Translation: We hate it when the law stops our favorite quack from exercising his quackery. Obviously, it’s all a plot by big pharma to keep our hero from performing unnecessary and invasive colonoscopies on autistic children.
7. We condemn the censorship of science. There are more than enough facts and evidence to support the case of vaccine injury, but the politicization of these issues has made it impossible to publish important and valid science. The debate is rigged in favor of the vaccine industry.
Translation: We can’t understand why scientists don’t accept our findings. They insist on things like adequate negative controls and avoidance of contamination. We don’t have time for no steenkin’ controls; we know vaccines cause autism and we know what we need to find. So we find it. Anyone who says otherwise is “making it impossible to publish” or working for the vaccine industry. It’s obvious!
Certainly it’s obvious to me, and it should be obvious to you. That’s why I invite you, my readers, to make like Holford Watch and me and do your own “annotations” or translations of the petition above. The comments are open. I’ll personally e-mail my favorites to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After all, they are asking for letters of support.