Respectful Insolence

i-662fcdc36fa103d3c4b18ee98f72f16a-HitlerZombie-756531.jpgSETTING: A NONDESCRIPT CLINIC IN AUSTIN, TEXAS
TIME: AFTER DARK

It had been a long, hard day at the clinic. The man trudged to the back of the building and plopped himself down on a large, cushy leather office chair, causing it to spin around. He was fiftyish, but still boyish in appearance, possessed of a seemingly unflappable self-confidence. Even so, he was not happy.

Damn, I hate being here. He thought. I’d much rather be back in London than stuck in this hick state. At least Austin is about as good as it gets here. I suppose it could be worse; I could be in Arkansas.

He sighed. “Damn that Brian Deer!” he said aloud. “If it weren’t for him I’d still be sitting pretty, rather than being reduced to this.” He reflected on his experience over the last few years, his head sinking into the leather of his high backed office chair. On the other hand, being a hero to all those parents of vaccine-injured children did have its advantages. Certainly, it had its rewards.

He sat up abruptly and looked at the pile of charts on his desk. So many vaccine-injured kids, so little time. If only the world understood. But he’d be vindicated. He knew he would. So what if he had had to accept hundreds of thousands of pounds from trial lawyers to do his work? It hadn’t affected his objectivity. And so what if he had cut a few corners with his PCR assay? He knew he was right, damn it! He would be vindicated! The General Medical Council couldn’t touch him. The truth was on his side. Science be damned! He knew the MMR causes autism and one day he would prove it.

Homesick and more than a little curious about what was going on in his home country, the man turned to the blue glow of his computer screen and started surfing the websites of British newspapers. Then, ever curious about what people were saying about him, he Googled his own name. He was not pleased with the articles that came up on the first page. He scrolled down some pages. His face darkened into a scowl, his lip curling down and a wrinkle forming around its edge with a snarl. “What is this?” he muttered aloud. What the hell are they doing to me–

He stopped abruptly.

The clinic was completely empty. Everyone had gone home for the night. The only noises that broke the oppressive silence were the whirr of his computer’s fan and the gentle whoosh of the air conditioner. But there was something else? Was it real? He thought he heard something? Something like a footstep. The man listened.

Silence.

Click, click, click, click. He started typing furiously. I need to get this response out to those idiots at Age of Autism right away, he thought. They’ll regurgitate anything I want them to. Click, click, click, click.

He stopped again and sniffed the air, his face scrunching with distaste? Who forgot to take out the trash? he thought, grimacing at the vaguely sweet smell of rotting meat. He now distinctly heard a scratching, like nails on wood. It sounded very close. Maybe even right outside the door to his office. Did he have an intruder?

Slowly, ever so slowly, he rose from his chair. It creaked loudly, and he exhaled abruptly as he froze. There was definitely someone or something out there. He spun around frantically, looking for a way out. Maybe the window. He moved to his left to head for the window. At that moment, the door swung open violently, crashing against the wall and driving the doorstop into the wall.

The man turned to see a vision of hell.

Skeletal and shambling, rotting flesh hanging in shards from glistening bone, all wrapped in what looked like a military uniform, it came. Reeking like death itself, its dead eyes focused on the man, and it came. With a gutteral cry coming from its unnaturally retracted maw of “BRAAAAAAIIINNNS!”** it advanced relentlessly. The man tried to sprint for the window, but, fueled by whatever unholy energy that animated it, the creature leapt to block his path. The last thing the man saw as the bony hands latched on to either side of his head were two things. First, he noted a red armband with a white circle and a black symbol in the middle. No! he thought. It couldn’t be! The last thing he saw was the maggot-infested maw of the creature descending upon his skull with a crunch. Is that a moustache? he thought, as what should have been rotted teeth feasted on his gray matter.

SETTING: UNDERNEATH THE BRICK AND STEEL OF A NONDESCRIPT BUILDING SOMEWHERE ON THE EAST COAST

Orac was unhappy. Well, not exactly unhappy. After all Orac was a computer. True, he was the most advanced computer the universe had ever seen, his appearance of a Plexiglass box with blinking colored lights notwithstanding, but that didn’t mean he understood humans, or emotions. His advanced circuitry did provide him with a rather arrogant, impatient, and petulant personality that caused no end of irritation to the humans who had to work with him and no end of anger from those on the receiving end of his insolent diatribes. Not that he cared that much. That was the point.

Lately, he had been studying human illogic and pseudoscience, the better to understand humans and how to influence them. In particular, he was unable to understand how the anti-science faction that denied the benefits of vaccines and concocted all sorts of horrible nonexistent complications due to them could so thoroughly deny mountains of evidence.

Orac’s reveries were interrupted when Kev poked his head into the room in which Orac was ensconced. “Orac, I think we have a sighting of the monster.” Kev had been visiting to help Orac with his research into the anti-vaccine movement. Indeed, Kev was the one who had introduced him to one of the most loony sites of antivaccine propaganda, Age of Autism. Orac’s autorepair circuits took a full day to fix the damage due to the assault of illogic from the utter nonsense on that blog. How so much illogic, pseudoscience, and beliefs utterly unsupported by science can persist in the human mind against all evidence was a source of constant fascination to Orac.

Orac’s lights blinked and then changed their pattern. “Show me!” he said.

“Sure thing, mate!” Kev replied. He walked over to a keyboard and typed. A 50 inch monitor descended from the ceiling and activated. Words formed on the screen.

“You do realize,” said Orac testily, “that you could have simply downloaded the text directly into my memory.”

“No doubt,” replied Kev, but then how could I serve as the eyes and ears of the audience and explain how this article indicates an attack by the Hitler Zombie?”

“Good point,” conceded Orac.

Long had Orac sought the monster known as the Hitler Zombie. The Hitler Zombie is, as you might have guessed, a zombie created when one of the worst mass-murdering dictators of all time died. His mission, driven by a primal desire, was to eat the brains of credulous. But his bite usually didn’t kill. Instead, it rendered its victims prone to the most amazing flights of hyperbolic invocations of comparisons to Hitler, the Holocaust, and Nazis, be they comparing Barack Obama to Hitler, claiming that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution led directly to the Holocaust, or comparing baseball etiquette to guards throwing Jews into the gas chambers. He sought the monster because he despised (as much as a computer could) such assaults on logic, proportion, history, and reason.

And, after so many false starts, the monster might be again with in his reach.

Kev explained, “This is an editorial written for the Clown Blog [ed. note: the nickname for AoA sometimes used by pro-science advocates] by Andrew Wakefield.”

“I remember Wakefield,” said Orac. “He performed dubious research while in the pay of trial lawyers that, according to him, suggested a link between the MMR vaccine and the neurological condition known as autism. It turns out that not only was he a shoddy scientist but that he falsified data.”

“Correct,” said Kev. “Now get a load of this. He wrote it because he somehow got a hold of the UK’s January 2008 national General Certificate of School Education (GCSE) biology exam (higher tier). Students are now being given this exam in preparation for the 2009 exams, and Wakefield was very unhappy about this question:”

The MMR vaccine is used to protect children against measles, mumps and, rubella.

(a) Explain, as fully as you can, how the MMR vaccine protects children from these diseases.

(b) Read the passage.

Autism is a brain disorder that can result in behavioural problems. In 1998, Dr Andrew Wakefield published a report in a medical journal. Dr Wakefield and his colleagues had carried out tests on twelve autistic children. Dr Wakefield and his colleagues claimed to have found a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Dr Wakefield wrote that the parents of eight of the twelve children blamed the MMR vaccine for autism. He said that symptoms of autism had started within days of vaccination. Some newspapers used parts of the report in scare stories about the MMR vaccine. As a result, many parents refused to have their children vaccinated. Dr Wakefield’s research was being funded through solicitors for the twelve children. The lawyers wanted evidence to use against vaccine manufacturers.
 
Use information from the passage on the opposite page to answer these questions.

(i) Was Dr Wakefield’s report based on reliable scientific evidence? Explain the reasons for your answer.

(ii) Might Dr Wakefield’s report have been biased? Give the reason for your answer.

“Given Wakefield’s well-known perfidy,” said Orac, “it strikes me as a perfectly reasonable question.”

“Quite. Not surprisingly, Dr. Wakefield didn’t see it that way. Surprisingly, though, is the analogy he chose to make in his post, called The Poisoning of Young Minds. First, Wakefield starts with his usual argument by assertion and appeal to authority:”

Like it or not, there is an unrelenting debate about whether vaccines have poisoned the minds of some children. That vaccines may do so is acknowledged  (by, among others, autism expert Professor Sir Michael Rutter ) and is not actually the debate at hand; the real questions are, which children and how many? The base of the tsunami that is the autism epidemic – one sustained hitherto, by competing arguments for the rising number of diagnoses and those invested in non-environmental causes – is no longer able to support its top.  In accordance with simple wave mechanics, the tsunami’s slope is too great and breaking is inevitable. Breaking, for the purpose of this metaphor, extends to the shoreline’s horizon, from the child to the family, to schools, to the state budget, to public confidence in healthcare infrastructure, and beyond.

“What twaddle!” interjected Orac. “There is no evidence that vaccines have ‘poisoned the minds of children,’ turning them autistic. And what an awful metaphor! But where’s the evidence of the monster?”

“Here,” said Kev:

But another form of poison has been insinuated into the collective conscious of young, able minds that threatens like an aftershock on the seabed. Although the tendrils of this poison are deeply embedded in the history of human conflict, its main roots are to be found in the propaganda of emergent Nazi Germany circa 1935. As an example, a math question to German children in schools where Jewish children were limited to 1.5% by 1935 and banned from education altogether by 1939, reads as follows.

The Jews are aliens in Germany – in 1933 there were 66,060,000 inhabitants in the German Reich, of whom 499,682 were Jews. What is the percent of aliens?

It was deemed important, indeed necessary, to sow the seed of anti-Semitic propaganda early into young, fertile Aryan minds. Before continuing, I acknowledge that mere mention of the Third Reich and anti-Semitism risks an emotive distraction from the point this article seeks to make. It is notable, however, that the Holocaust analogy has already been exploited in a different and deliberately pejorative context in an attack against those concerned with issues of vaccine safety in the promotion of Dr Paul Offit’s book Autism’s False Prophets by the New York Times.

Silence.

Then, one by one, each of Orac’s blinking lights went black.

“Orac!” cried Kev. No response. “Orac!”

A single light blinked on, flickering at first, but then growing stronger. It as joined by another, and then another, and then finally another. “Oooooh,” said Orac.

“What happened?”

“That was one of the worst ones yet. Wakefield has the actual temerity to liken his case being used as an example of scientific incompetence, undisclosed conflicts of interest in a simple school exam to the relentless barrage of propaganda the Nazis launched against the Jews, including questions on school exams. It’s beyond belief. He’s likening himself to the Jews and the British educational authorities to the Nazis. Truly, the Hitler Zombie has feasted well on Wakefield’s brain. Indeed, he’s left little, as clearly evidenced not only by Wakefield’s ridiculous argumentum ad Nazium and reductio ad Hitlerum but that that horrendous mixed metaphor of tendriles and poison with an aftershock on the seabed! What the hell is that? Clearly the consumption of his frontal lobes by the monster has eliminated whatever writing ability he had left.”

“It’s worse than that,” said Kev. “I won’t bore you with Wakefield’s attempted point-by-point rebuttal. It’s the usual self-serving, self-pitying pseudoscientific twaddle we’ve come to expect from Wakers. For example, in response to the passage saying that he had ‘claimed to have found a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism,’ Wakefield retreats to the lame defense that he didn’t actually say that in his infamous Lancet paper. Never mind that he said it to the press on numerous occasions. Disingenuous, eh? He even has the cojones to deny that he was funded through trial lawyers. Brian Deer documented his reports very well.”

“Indeed,” agreed Orac. “I notice that he’s invoked the Elsevier debacle as a defense for his scientific misconduct and invoked the pharma shill gambit as well. He’s pulling out every crank trick in the book.” Orac’s blinking lights were blinking almost as vigorously as they had before the assault on his logic circuits had begun. “So what is worse?”

Kev hesitated, walked over to the bench on which Orac rested, and carefully looked him over. “Are you sure you’re ready?”

“I’ve reinforced my logic circuits. They should be able to handle it.”

“OK,” said Kev:

‘Corporate government’ is heavily invested in propaganda, many of the techniques of which are a legacy of the Third Reich. It is difficult to believe that it was not influential in setting the UK school’s biology curriculum. For their efforts, Julius Streicher,  the Reich’s apothecary of young Aryan mind poisoning, would have given the GCSE examiners and whoever was pulling their strings  no more than a six out of ten and a “see me after class.” Streicher was tried and sentenced to death at Nuremberg. Who knows where he might otherwise have ended up?

Orac’s lights blinked out instantly.

“Damn!” said Kev. “I knew that idiotically brain dead comparison to Julius Streicher would be too much for him. His circuits aren’t as well-shielded as he thinks they are.” To Kev’s relief he noted that Orac’s lights were already coming back on mere moments after being exposed to Wakefield’s Nazi analogy.”

“Is there more?” Orac croaked, accompanied by a feeble blink of his lights.

Kev leaned over, “Are you sure you can handle it? You don’t look so good.”

“Show me! Show me all at once!”

“You asked me for it, mate. Here’s another victim of the monster:”

Anyone who is offended by the use of the world “holocaust” when talking of autism needs to study up on their history. I’ve read many books which told of autistic children being the first killed in Nazi Germany. Autistic children were practised on. I’ve read books which detailed the nurses notes from the “hospitals” where the children were getting “treatment” and they clearly were describing autistic children. The children were marked for death by the doctors at the hospital and the parents were just told their children died mysteriously. The holocaust was not only about jews and should be discussed when talking about autism because we don’t want to repeat this hisotry.

“That’s right. They honestly believe that vaccination is a repeat of the Holocaust. And here’s Kathy Blanco bringing home the crazy, her brain clearly chomped:”

Doctors have always been thought of as the saviors of mankind, the healers, and caretakers of our utter existence. Even ancient civilizations revered the medicine men as having special power to protect life. The trust of a physician is sacred. This is why the practice of medicine by the doctors of the Third Reich is egregious, outrageous, and shocking. The Nazi doctors violated the trust placed in them by humanity. The most painful truth is for the most part the doctors escaped their crimes against Humanity and lived a life, unlike their victims.

So when it happens to their family, is justice due? Maybe…but I hate to have one more child suffer, even if they come from “bad genes”.

That said, I am sure they are living their life with ease, with no discomfort…because they have been brainwashed just enough to seer their conscience on this subject, almost to the point of being self righteous about it, though I find that hard to believe when they profit so much off of our sorrow.

It’s called, acceptible losses…and that’s exactly what we are to them.

The poison from the needle, is concecularly joining up with the poison from our enviornment, from our overprocessed food supply, depletion of soils, to the chemicals we make, sleep on, wear or partake of. I am sure these poisons clog up the immune sytem just enough, especially in young vulnerable children, to make them more susceptible to vaccine injuries. It is somewhat a miracle that all children are not autistic…but look at the result? If they are not MBD’d, they are ADHD, they have problems coping, they have immune dysfunction, etc. And or we have sown the seeds of cancer for decades.

“And here’s Robin Nemeth, no gray matter left:”

I don’t understand why it is considered exploitation to use the word ‘holocaust’ to describe a situation that is in essence a holocaust.

I was banned from a political chat room once for suggesting that what is currently occurring with vaccines is akin to the holocaust of nazi germany. I won’t go into the parallels—they seem too obvious to me. And yet, the implication for why I was censored when speaking of this was that it somehow was either a distraction from ‘real’ debate, or that it was somehow belittling to the ‘real’ suffering that the jewish people experienced in nazi germany. Neither argument makes much sense to me. I thought that the purpose of debate was, well, debate. And I don’t understand why so many children of our current generation are less deserving of having their suffering recognized and stopped, or even discussed, than were the jewish people so many decades ago.

And a commenter named Julie:”

The Nazi comparisons are very apt. Pharmaceutical companies and Dr.s who profit by unsafe vaccines remind me of Baron Krupp making a fortune selling Zyklon B to the extermination camps.

“And, finally, moving farther afield, recently Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, showed sign of the monster’s attention last month:”

Vaccine proponents won’t admit this [that vaccines cause autism] because, he said, “Every doctor now essentially in this country has done something as heinous as the Nazis did, unknowingly.”

This time, Orac’s lights did not go out, although the colors became more muted. “It’s far, far worse than I thought. the monster has fed well and long, claiming many victims in the anti-vaccine movement. There is no other explanation for this recent spate of risibily stupid Nazi analogies coming fast and furious from the anti-vaccine movement. And it goes right up to the top, to the luminaries of the anti-vaccine movement, to Andrew Wakefield himself!”

“But why?” asked Kev. “Why would the Hitler Zombie be so drawn to the anti-vaccine movement. After all, it’s not as though there’s a lot of intellectual firepower to provide them the creature with sustenance. He’d have to eat a lot of antivaccinationist brains to get any nourishment whatsoever, so meager is the gruel there. Maybe there’s something particularly tasty about those anti-vaccinationist brains. After all, it’s not as though this penchant for Holocaust and Nazi analogies is anything new.”

“Perhaps vaccines render the brain less palatable to the monster. Perhaps mercury doesn’t taste good.”

“Why, Orac, I think you actually made a joke. Clearly your study of limericks is paying off.”

“Enough frivolity!” barked Orac. “We must resume the search for the monster before he strikes again!”

With that, the bench upon which Orac rested descended into the floor with a fluorish and a roar, to be covered by a trap door.

“Bloody git. Show-off,” muttered Kev, as he turned to his workstation to assist in beginning the hunt anew.

**Translated from the German, of course!

ADDENDUM:

Truly, the crazy was so strong in that AoA comment thread that I can’t resist adding one more comment. It isn’t about Nazis, which meant that I couldn’t use it for the Hitler Zombie saga itself, but this one comment is so flat-out over the top and ridiculous that it bears pointing out. Sadly, it’s from a person whom I used to think to be among the more reasonable and moderate of the anti-vaccine movement, Craig Willoughby. Unfortunately, he has clearly gone off the deep end:

I find it wonderfully ironic that the Church of the Immaculate Vaccination accuses those of us who frequent this site as being Lemmings, yet they have brain washing techniques similar to what Dr. Wakefield discribed in his article. We have the unfortunate experience of having our eyes opened by the injury to our children, but they go on blithely, following a scientific concensus that has a religious following akin to the 15th century Catholic Church. All while being led by the nose as they jump off the cliff.

Much like the 15th century Church, the Church of the Immaculate Vaccination doesn’t debate or discuss the possibility of vaccines and autism; they shut it down in any way possible. Their usual and most tried and true tactic is to smear the name of the person questioning vaccine safety (“A Witch! A Witch! Burn Her! She turned me into a Newt!”)

I can imagine the meetings of the Oracians (I love that word, Kim; I hope you don’t mind me borrowing it) gathering together in secret places, giving each other the ultra-super-duper-secret handshake, dressed in silken black cowls. Then, the high priest stands in front of the rest of the acolytes;
“And the Great One, our Lord and prOffit, did spake:

“Nothing must interfere with the Sacred and Holy Vaccine (a whispered “It Saves Lives” from the congregation), and it’s father, the Holy Dollar. Anyone who questions the Vaccine (another fervent whisper, “It Saves Lives”) must be a heretic and an anti-vaxxer. Do not debate them! Open the discussion with accusatory comments and smear their name. The Holy Vaccine (a fanatical shout from the congregation “It Saves Lives!”) must be protected at all costs.”

Then, one of the acolytes starts flopping on the ground, speaking in tongues, “monosodium L-glutamate, potassium chloride, potassium phosphate monobasic, potassium phosphate dibasic, sodium bicarbonate, sodium phosphate dibasic, sorbitol, thimerosal!” The rest of the congregation begins dancing around the quivering acolyte while the High Priest holds up a syringe like a dagger, preparing to plunge it into a child lying on the altar.

Dude, Orac doesn’t dress in a silken black cowl. (It’s pretty darned hard to get it to stay on his cube-shaped bulk, after all.) We Oracians don’t engage in anything resembling the dark arts and Satanic rituals. Rather, we hide out in laboratories, where our hobbies include using forbidden science to probe Questions That Should Not Be Asked; injecting babies with deadly toxins for fun and profit; plotting new and better ways to make anti-vaccinationists like the crew at AoA look like fools (this takes up very little of our time, given that AoA does quite a fine job of making its members look like fools without our intervention); and, above all, denying the existence of God or a higher power (which is, of course, why we wouldn’t be engaging in Satanic rituals or any other religious rituals). That’s pretty basic information.

Also, if Craig is going to make analogies to religion, may I quote Jesus himself (Matthew 7:3-5) in response:

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me cast the mote out of thine eye; and lo, the beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Craig wants to castigate us for nasty smears? He should no further than his own admired leaders. For example, what was the first reaction of J.B. Handley to criticism not by me, but rather by one of the more polite skeptics, namely Steve Novella? Did he try to present evidence and engage in reason- and science-based debate? No! His first move was to viciously try to smear Steve Novella for having the temerity to criticize his “14 Studies” website. I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s done the same to me. He (or someone who read one of his attacks on me) even tried to make trouble for me with my cancer center director a few months ago. Then there is the unrelenting demonization of Dr. Offit by the anti-vaccine movement to the point where there were threats of violence that the authorities found credible enough to investigate and Dr. Offit’s university believed enough to have his mail examined and assign a guard to him at times. Come to think of it, Craig did nothing but try to smear Offit in his own little diatribe!

In any case, Craig also really needs to learn some chemistry. Potassium chloride, for instance, is in each and every one of his cells and in his serum, too. Ditto sodium phosphate, glutamine, and sodium bicarbonate. Really. True, sorbital is not around, but there’s no good evidence that it does anything harmful, except at very high doses, many orders of magnitude beyond that which could be expected in vaccines. As for thimerosal, well, it’s not in vaccines anymore other than some varieties of the flu vaccine, other than in trace amounts. Indeed, the amount of thimerosal exposure children receive is lower than it’s been in over 20 years, since before the start of the autism “epidemic.” Yet autism rates haven’t fallen at all.

Oh, well. Science and logic were never antivaccinationists’ strong suit.

In any case, the tenor of Craig’s argument really does show the mindset behind the more radical reaches of the antivaccine movement. In essence, it’s a cult, a religion. Consequently, its members cannot conceive that opposition to them can be based on anything other than being an infidel of a different religion, a religion named science. No matter how much we try to explain that science is more than “just another way of knowing” and not a religion, it doesn’t sink in, because the more radical antivaccinationists view any criticism as a criticism of, in essence, a religion.

ADDENDUM #2:

Oh, no! The Hitler Zombie chomped the brain of another one:

After the Second International Conference on Vaccines was held in Washington DC in 2000, I spent a couple of days at the Holocaust Memorial. The parallels are there and you would have to be willfully blind, not to connect the dots. Here are a few of the dots:

“We are recording the individual characteristics of every single member of the nation on a little card…. We are proud that we can contribute to such a task that provides the physician of a German body politic with the material [the needs] for his examination, so that our physician can determine whether, from the standpoint of the nation’s health, the data thus arrived at correlates in a harmonious, that is healthy, relationship–or whether diseased conditions must be cured by corrective interventions…. We have firm confidence in our physician and will follow his information blindly, for we know that he will lead our nation toward a great future. Heil to our German people and their leader!”

Willy Heidinger
Managing Director of DEHOMAG
January 8, 1934

DEHOMAG–Deutsche Hollerith Maschineu Gesellschaft, A subsidiary of IBM since 1922. The Hollerith machine played an integral part in tracking, who was Jewish, who had Jewish features, who was gypsy, who had gypsy features, who was black, who had black features, who had diseased conditions, retardation, handicapped, neurological disorders, homosexual, genetic or congenital defects……………………………the ultimate victims of the Holocaust

January 20, 1942 a meeting took place with the purpose of “coordinating a Final Solution to the European Jewish Question.” More than half of the 15 Nazi’s present held doctor-al degrees. Adolph Eichmann took minutes. – The Wannsee Conference, 1942 A Final Solution

September 18, 2000 “The majority of the panel could envision circumstances when intentionally dosing humans with pesticides could be scientifically and ethically acceptable.” Scientific Advisory Board final report to the EPA on human testing of pesticides.

The First to Perish were the Children…….From these a new dawn might have risen
-Yitzhak Katzenelson, Holocaust Memorial

And another victim:

There are no words to describe the horrors of what’s currently being done to children, which is probably why we’re all forced to turn to analogy in the struggle to even understand it. The fact that one historical analogy in particular lends itself– without extrapolation– to the current disaster is more shocking and saddening to us than it could possibly be to the people who disagree with such analogies. I’m sure no one wishes that what you’re writing was untrue more than you.

Adding to the parallel, Alfred Doblin, author of “Berlin Alexanderplatz”, wrote an essay on his experience returning to Germany after Hitler’s defeat. Doblin described trying to find a single psychiatrist or doctor who would admit to taking part in the T4 exterminations (that Ray Gallup mentioned as well) and writes sarcastically that he found Germany to be filled with only “innocent” people. At last he’s approached by a physician who drew Doblin into the role of confessor. This physician admitted that he had worked within the T4 program and had witnessed the selections, transports and systematic exterminations of mental patients throughout the war. The physician wishes to confess because he had hidden his own disabled child in the country throughout the war while he’d quietly participated in the slaughter.

As it happened, when families tried to approach the authorities in fury that their institutionalized loved ones had “disappeared” and that the countryside was filled with rumors of mass gassings, the families were warned that they could easily, by hereditary association, be deemed “mentally deficient” as well. This was apparently enough to quell the outrage.

Everything old is new again. What’s happening now seems to be– relatively speaking only– a “soft” version of the historical pattern: children aren’t being deliberately selected for murder; the causualties of health policy are just being allowed to die or to age into agonized neglect and isolation. Too often, they’re killed “by accident” within underfunded schools and institutions. This isn’t extermination– not exactly. No one hand-picks who the casualties will be after all. Dissenting families aren’t precisely threatened with death; they’re simply repeatedly demoralized, driven into poverty, threatened with social ostracism with the help of constant propaganda, sometimes threatened with the loss of custody or the snatching of their children by the state for “acceptable, mainstream” treatments, such as Nate Tseglin’s forced institutionalization and near-lethal drugging. Sometimes. It’s not *exactly* mass persecution.

Will nothing stop the undead Führer?

Comments

  1. #1 Ranson
    June 5, 2009

    “It’s Springtime, for Wakefield,
    In Briiiiitan…”

    Nah, doesn’t scan.

    Although, the whole Orac-cult thing makes me think of the end of Hot Fuzz.

  2. #2 Mojo
    June 5, 2009

    “Autistic children were practised on.”

    Hmm. I wonder if this included things like subjecting them to “unnecessary invasive medical procedures“?

  3. #3 Paul Browne
    June 5, 2009

    LOL, Wakefield really seems to have lost it this time…assuming that he still had any of it.

    Even the opening line that “That vaccines may do so is acknowledged (by, among others, autism expert Professor Sir Michael Rutter )” is at best a gross misrepresentation of Prof. Rutter’s position, as Prof. Rutter has stated on several occasions that the epidemiological evidence does not support a link between MMR and autism.

    See page 3 of:

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/histmed/downloads/hist_neuroscience_transcripts/rutter

  4. #4 Jojo
    June 5, 2009

    See, this just goes to show how far off base Wakefield is. Instead of complaining about the exam question, why didn’t he just sue the exam makers for Libel? Even though they didn’t use the word “bogus”, I think Sir David Eady would agree that the question might hurt Wakefield’s feelings.

  5. #5 Sid Offit
    June 5, 2009

    @Orac

    Orac was unhappy. Well, not exactly unhappy. After all Orac was a computer. True, he was the most advanced computer the universe had ever seen, his appearance of a Plexiglass box with blinking colored lights notwithstanding, but that didn’t mean he understood humans, or emotions. His advanced circuitry did provide him with a rather arrogant, impatient, and petulant personality that caused no end of irritation to the humans who had to work with him and no end of anger from those on the receiving end of his insolent diatribes. Not that he cared that much. That was the point.

    A mind is a terrible thing to lose. My condolences

  6. #6 Interrobang
    June 5, 2009

    Ow ow ow ow. That test question analogy is so bad, its source and target domains returned 404 errors.

    Also, they’re completely wrong about propaganda techniques. Most of the stuff the Third Reich refined to a science was first developed by Edward Bernays in his 1928 book Propaganda. Bernays was born in Vienna, but his family moved to NYC in 1892, when he was 12. Depending on how you want to look at it, that either makes him Austrian (not unlike a certain failed artist turned dictator) or American, so Germany had not a whole lot to do with it. (And what the Nazis didn’t get from Bernays, they got from Frederick Houk Law and the entire cohort of people like him who were writing extensively on suasion and rhetoric and psychology in the nineteen-teens to thirties.)

    In a sense, you could say that the Nazis took what Americans had developed to sell consumer goods (and civic values!) and used it to sell ideology. (There’s a lot of overlap between Houk Law’s civic didacticism and a lot of the Nazi lifestyle propaganda, for what it’s worth…)

  7. #7 Auntie Woo
    June 5, 2009

    It was a total double face palm moment when I read this article yesterday. Analyzing the actual statements in a logical manner doesn’t make sense, so this is a great analysis. I thought the analogies (over at AoA) of Wakefield being the persecuted masses trying to practice religious freedom and the scientific community being Thomas Cromwell / Henry XIII et al was the best till now.

    However, what was almost as brilliant was the echo chamber in the comments as quoted here. By writing this and all the comments, hasn’t this invoked Godwin’s law and therefore invalidated the AoA whole website? Does this mean they will now go away?

  8. #8 Jake
    June 5, 2009

    Giving Wakefield a bit of credit, one of my hobbies is strapping autistic children into chairs, poking in their mouths with dental equipment all the while asking “Is it safe?”

  9. #9 Mojo
    June 5, 2009

    “A mind is a terrible thing to lose.”

    I’ll take your word for it.

  10. #10 Amadán
    June 5, 2009

    . . . or as the woomeisters say, “A mind is a terrible thing”.

  11. #11 Vindaloo
    June 5, 2009

    Aren’t any of these people embarrassed by this insanity? It’s just so bold and… crazy.

  12. #12 Alesa
    June 5, 2009

    I particularly like this line in the article: “Second, let me make it clear that this article is about manipulation and is not about me.” I mean seriously, this article isn’t about Wakefield but he has to respond to it and dissect it because it’s NOT about him? He has to reference himself, his studies, what he’s told or not told the media or published in his papers but remember this article “is not about me.” Um, what?

    If Wakefield is upset and this exam is wrong, then he needs to sue them for libel. He won’t though clearly, because he can PROVE it’s libel, incorrect, or inaccurate. I mean if this situation is so comparable to the holocaust then surely he will do EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER to make sure it does not come to that point. What kind of depraved and corrupt individual would stand by and allow another holocaust to start again? What a hole he just dug for himself. The comparison to this biology exam and to the Third Reich and Holocaust DEMAND that he takes action now. Otherwise, everything he just wrote was entirely self-serving and done purely for entertainment value.

  13. #13 Alesa
    June 5, 2009

    Blah, wish I could edit. I meant to say because he can’t PROVE it’s libel, incorrect, or inaccurate.

  14. #14 Brains
    June 5, 2009

    Braaaaaaains….

  15. #15 AZSkeptic
    June 5, 2009

    The Ortonville Independent calls it “a literary tour de force”.

    The DeFuniak Springs Herald says “We couldn’t put it down. There was no table next to the toilet we were sitting on.”

    The Kohala Mountain News says “What book? We were down at the beach today.”

    The Arizona Range News says “We feed it to the cows when they get backed up.”

    So, when do we get the sequel? I can’t wait to see Zombie Hitler making an appearance at the McCarthy/Carrey estate.

  16. #16 Craig Willoughby
    June 5, 2009

    Ooooo…apparently I struck a nerve. Did my satire offend poor wittle David? Awwwww. Here’s a big heaping helping of “Too fucking bad; deal with it!”

    David, do you know what satire is? Obviously not. It’s what you attempt (poorly, I might add) when you spill out your mental diarrhea on this “blog.” But, you can, of course, make satire of people like me, but God Forbid we make satire of you. That’s just not fair!!

    Playing the hypocrisy card on me, David? Really? AH AHHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh My Goodness! That’s too much!!! Ah me…..

  17. #17 Corina Becker
    June 5, 2009

    oh goodness, I started coughing I was laughing so hard! But I had to laugh, because otherwise I’d start crying at the complete horror that is the bad writing on the part of the anti-vax group (I really don’t want to dignify them with the term “movement”).

    While ridiculous, a proper way to compare anything autism with Nazi’s is to compare many of the invasive treatments for autism with experimentation and torture, and the side effect of aborted autistic babies from the finding of a definite genetic cause with the extermination of Jews, disabled and other “aliens” in the Holocaust. Of course, that wouldn’t support their belief that vaccines cause autism and allow them to demonize the vast amounts of evidence and people that says otherwise.

    And then the whole “Pro-vaccine cult” thing. The way that Craig Willoughby describes it reminds me not of an established religion, but rather of a fringe secret society. So what he’s really saying is that us pro-vaccine are the Illuminati, which doesn’t make sense if we are the big bad Oppressors in charge of everything.
    Gah, these people need to read more. And retake all their elementary, high school and possible university creative writing classes.

    Something that has struck me with the anti-vax group is the whole Pharma conspiracy. So, the conspiracy is to poison as many people as possible in order to make more money by selling what, cures to said poisoned/vaccine injured? And that includes causing autism? Wouldn’t that mean that not only the pharmaceutical companies in on this, but all the behavioural therapies and intervention treatments, not to mention all potential institutionalized medical treatments like HBOT? Cause a lot of those are VERY expensive.

    Also, let’s play a little game of Pretend. Suppose there is a Pharma conspiracy funding the vaccines, the companies actually do somehow profit from vaccine injury and there is a Nazi-connection. Wouldn’t the anti-vax group be playing into the conspiracy by NOT vaccinating and exposing their children to diseases that are preventable and actually have a death rate? Because it would suit the needs of the conspirators to have a comeback of some of these diseases to eliminate … what? Who are the pharmaceutical trying to eliminate? Other than profit, what would be the point?

    Hmm, I guess I must have skipped a couple brainwashing sessions ;)

  18. #18 Denice Walter
    June 5, 2009

    Oh, where to begin? First of all, just reading Wakefield’s metaphors(“tsunami” and the ever-popular,”poison”)made my head hurt. I actually heard him on Radio Woo a few months back in response to the special masters’ decision. He *sounded* like a nice, mild-tempered British man(I’m referring solely to the quality of his speech, not what he *said*),although his style was not nearly as *colourful* as that illustrated above- which tells me he spent a *lot* of time crafting that statement.Second,while Willoughby’s descriptions are too….Dan Brown, I kind of like his characterization of the “Oracians”, all dressed in “silken black”. Do they also hang around cafes drinking Expresso and discussing existential matters? Or are they just fashionistas/os trying to look thin? BTW,I look great in black.

  19. #19 Dianne
    June 5, 2009

    Then, one of the acolytes starts flopping on the ground, speaking in tongues, “monosodium L-glutamate, potassium chloride, potassium phosphate monobasic, potassium phosphate dibasic, sodium bicarbonate, sodium phosphate dibasic, sorbitol, thimerosal!”

    Potassium chloride? Sodium bicarbonate? Craig appears to be literally afraid of himself: K, Cl, Na, and bicarb are all normal components of the human body. Just to point out the really egregiously obvious ones. The whole list is silly.

  20. #20 Craig Willoughby
    June 5, 2009

    Ooooo…I think I struck a nerve, there! Did I offend poor wittle Orac with my satire? Awwwwww….

    Here’s a big ol’ helping of “Too f-ing bad; deal with it!”

    David, you know what satire is, right? It’s what you attempt daily (very poorly, I might add) when you shit out this mental diarrhea that you call a “blog.” Oh, and the vaccine ingredient list in my allegory? You know that was also tongue in cheek, right? Most people are able to understand the difference between satire and reality. You must not be one of them. But, then again, you can ridicule people on my side of the debate, but when we mock back, you go crying and whining to mommy saying, “It no fair! Dey makes fun of me!!!”

    And the hypocrisy card on me, David? Really?

    (Breaking down into gails of derisive laughter)

    Oh, my….It’s too much!!! Ah hahaha….ah me…….

  21. #21 Natalie
    June 5, 2009

    Craig, your comment does not become any more intelligent or interesting the second time around.

  22. #22 Clare
    June 5, 2009

    #16 (and repeat at #20) — you seem to know about as much about satire as you do about vaccines… i.e. not much.

  23. #23 tigtog
    June 5, 2009

    But, then again, you can ridicule people on my side of the debate, but when we mock back, you go crying and whining to mommy saying, “It no fair! Dey makes fun of me!!!”

    What an odd assertion. Where on earth is this allegorical mommy in this situation where Orac has responded to your mocking article on a website with his own mocking article on a different website?

    This is tit for tat, not crying to “mommy”.

  24. #24 Sami
    June 5, 2009

    *pats Craig Willoughby on the head*

    You know, the whole “oh I am laughing so hard!!!” kind of defensive flaming generally amounts to concession by default.

    Actually, you probably don’t know that.

    Because you’re a moron.

    Has it ever occurred to you that this obsession with vaccines, which have been clearly and repeatedly shown to have no link to autism, is probably one of the biggest impediments to ACTUALLY finding a way to cure and/or prevent autism in existence?

    Again, probably not.

    Because you’re a moron.

  25. #25 Craig Willoughby
    June 5, 2009

    Hmmm…in hindsight, I should have added swaztikas to the cultists’ cowls. Would have been far more appropriate for you guys.

    As we all know, you are the Vaccine Gestapo, after all.

    And, Sami? Do you have 30 peer reviewed articles from reputable journals that prove your assertion?

  26. #26 synapse
    June 5, 2009

    The craziness in the anti-vaxxer’s comments is obvious.
    On a complete tangent, didn’t it surprise anyone that the reading passage had such simple sentences? This exam is for high school students, right? It sounds like it was written for fifth graders.

  27. #27 Ahistoricality
    June 5, 2009

    you are the Vaccine Gestapo, after all.

    And you thought the Hitler Zombie had missed him, Orac! Not a chance.

  28. #28 Auntie Woo
    June 5, 2009

    The problem is Craig, that most of the comments / posts over at AoA read like comedy, so when some real stuff comes along, its difficult to tell that its real.

  29. #29 Craig Willoughby
    June 5, 2009

    “You know, the whole “oh I am laughing so hard!!!” kind of defensive flaming generally amounts to concession by default.”

    Sami, I was actually mocking your Lord and Master, in case you didn’t know. You probabbly didn’t though.

    Because you’re a moron.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/02/we_support_dr_andrew_wakefield.php

    Excellent job walking right into that one, though.

    Because you’re a moron.

  30. #30 Pareidolius
    June 5, 2009

    *pats Craig Willoughby on the head*

    You know, the whole “oh I am laughing so hard!!!” kind of defensive flaming generally amounts to concession by default.

    Actually, you probably don’t know that.

    Because you’re a moron.

    Yeah, that pretty much sums up Wallabee’s feeble response, it was so very “I know you are but what am I?” Well burn on you Craig, Orac’s rubber and you’re gl . . . oh, nevermind.

  31. #31 Orac
    June 5, 2009

    Hmmm…in hindsight, I should have added swaztikas to the cultists’ cowls. Would have been far more appropriate for you guys.

    As we all know, you are the Vaccine Gestapo, after all.

    I’d call Godwin’s law on this thread, except the antivaxers started with statements so silly that even Godwin wouldn’t have known how to deal with them. Which was sort of the point. On the other hand, clearly I was wrong not to include you on the list of victims of the undead Führer.

    Craig, really. Do you realize how silly you sound? How unhinged? Your “parody” was, in fact, self-parody, because the sort of nonsense about “toxins” is in essence what antivaxers chant, and I have seen AoA blogger Kent Heckenlively get basically as silly as your references to potassium chloride, except that he was serious/.

    So, really. You should talk to Kent if you really were being satirical, because you actually did a pretty good satire of the sort of stuff he routinely writes. Ditto Jenny McCarthy. You did see her most recent video, didn’t you?

    Sorry I don’t have time to banter any more lunchtime’s over and I have to go back to thinking up new toxins to inject into babies. Maybe something really really horrible, like dihydrogen monoxide with some sodium chloride in it.

    Oh, wait. I don’t do that, and neither do vaccine scientists, all the Holocaust/Nazi analogies being thrown their way from the likes of you notwithstanding.

  32. #32 Dianne
    June 5, 2009

    Sami, I was actually mocking your Lord and Master, in case you didn’t know.

    Low quality gotcha. Orac laughed hysterically and explained in detail WHY he thought that the statement was hysterically funny. You simply claimed you thought Orac’s statement was funny and left it at that. The latter is an admission of no argument whereas the former is not. But perhaps we’re wrong and it wasn’t an admission of nothing to say but simply laziness in not explaining your argument. So, go ahead. Explain away. The evidence for vaccines causing autism is…?

  33. #33 Dianne
    June 5, 2009

    Maybe something really really horrible, like dihydrogen monoxide with some sodium chloride in it.

    Mmmm…why not throw in a little fructose–as in high-fructose corn syrup!–while you’re at it?

  34. #34 Tsu Dho Nimh
    June 5, 2009

    And a commenter named Julie said: “The Nazi comparisons are very apt. Pharmaceutical companies and Dr.s who profit by unsafe vaccines remind me of Baron Krupp making a fortune selling Zyklon B to the extermination camps.

    Julie, if you are going to make claims like this, at least get your villains straight. Krupp was munitions and weapons, not chemicals. Zyklon B was made by the Dessauer Werke für Zucker and Chemische Werke, which acquired the stabilizer from IG Farben, the warning agent from Schering AG and the prussic acid from Dessauer Schlempe.

  35. #35 Tsu Dho Nimh
    June 5, 2009

    And a commenter named Julie said: “The Nazi comparisons are very apt. Pharmaceutical companies and Dr.s who profit by unsafe vaccines remind me of Baron Krupp making a fortune selling Zyklon B to the extermination camps.

    Julie, if you are going to make claims like this, at least get your villains straight. Krupp was munitions and weapons, not chemicals. Zyklon B was made by the Dessauer Werke für Zucker and Chemische Werke, which acquired the stabilizer from IG Farben, the warning agent from Schering AG and the prussic acid from Dessauer Schlempe.

  36. #36 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2009

    It’s called, acceptible losses…and that’s exactly what we are to them.

    The projection, it burns!

    I mean, we’ve already had Jenny’s famous quote about how some kids may need to die of VPDs before “safe vaccines” appear. Yesterday, good ol’ Dr. Jay posted:

    Unequivocally recommend vaccinations when risk is high but consider possible side effects of vaccines and all other medical interventions when risk is low. Consider public health and an individual child’s health.

    In other words, there’s an “optimal” level of disease in society, such that disease prevalence below the optimum indicates reduction of measures against it. Since Dr. Gordon clearly believes that that “optimal” prevalence is nonzero, he’s arguing that the death, disability, and suffering from that “optimal” prevalence is an “acceptable loss.”

    So far, he’s ignoring my questions regarding the “optimal” rates for the usual diseases, never mind the “optimal” rate of smallpox.

  37. #37 Kev
    June 5, 2009

    Ha! Not only is this post using my favourite Oracmeme (The Hitler Zombie) I’m *in* it.

    Craig – do you understand why the Hitler Zombie chomped you and Wakers? Never mind the faux-smirking for a minute, do you get why its plain old insulting for a disgraced academic to compare his plight with that of the Jews?

  38. #38 Skepticat
    June 5, 2009

    Great post!

    I posted my reasoned and thoughtful response to this latest from Wakefield on AgeofAutism yesterday. I can’t think why it hasn’t been approved, unless it was because they don’t like being told they’re all absolutely nuts. Bit touchy, aren’t they?

  39. #39 Skemono
    June 5, 2009

    The evidence for vaccines causing autism is…?

    Why, the ineffable word of his Lord and Master Andrew Wakefield. They “have firm confidence” in him, after all, and “will follow his information blindly”.

  40. #40 autismnostrum
    June 5, 2009

    Craig has been that crazy for a while. He makes his idiotic statements about Church of Immaculate Vaccination on Huffpo all the time.

    He’s sure right about the blind religious belief on his side, though. I mean Wakefield is clearly fraudulent, self-serving, lying, and now gnawed on by Hitler zombies. And yet they STILL defend him and try to demonize Deer for reporting anything bad about him. The more appropriate chant would be “Mercury, too many, measles, big pharma, CDC, AAP, conspiracy, Murdoch, prOffit!1!!11″ at which point the membership starts frothing at the mouth and vomiting whale.to articles.

    I’m fairly sure that Wakefield and the Geiers could eat a baby’s heart, live, in front of an AutismOne conference audience, and Jenny McCarthy would laugh and twitter about farts, Kirby would report it was big Pharma’s fault for provoking them, and Kim Stagliano would blog about mercury causing heart damage.

  41. #41 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2009

    Craig, your comment does not become any more intelligent or interesting the second time around.

    Hey, at least it isn’t any less!

  42. #42 Matt
    June 5, 2009

    Craig,

    you are being made fun of. You didn’t strike a nerve. Instead you went so far over the deep end that you were funny.

    The only thing you have going for you is that you are not as atrocious with the English language as Wakefield.

    Even without the Nazi bunk, Wakefield really needs to see that others don’t love his metaphors as much as he does. I’m sure someone out there likes it when a writer mixes 3 or 4 bad metaphors in a single paragraph, but it is a very small minority.

    Most people are able to understand the difference between satire and reality.

    When you join “most people” please come back and comment some more.

  43. #44 Vindaloo
    June 5, 2009

    Craig, put the drinkee down and step away from the keyboard. You can bray all you want but the satire-in-hindsight bit is weak. You got caught, now instead of dealing with it like a brat, try and grow up. How about, “I’m sorry for waking the Hitler Zombie, it was a poor choice of words on my part.”

  44. #45 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2009

    I’m fairly sure that Wakefield and the Geiers could eat a baby’s heart, live, in front of an AutismOne conference audience, and Jenny McCarthy would laugh and twitter about farts

    I don’t think you’re being fair to Jenny. She does have a serious side, after all.

    I think she’d use it as an example of how it will take dead babies to persuade vaccine makers.

  45. #46 tes
    June 5, 2009

    My oh my.
    A veritable Godwin Epidemic?

  46. #47 dt
    June 5, 2009

    Come now Orac, there was at least one correct sentence in Wakefield’s diatribe about the exam question:

    “I would score precisely zero for my response.”

  47. #48 Noadi
    June 5, 2009

    Okay my irony meter just exploded, the Godwin meter is smoking, and my head is about to asplode. Clearly the antivaxxers have totally unhinged your mind and I give you my sympathies.

    Best post ever even if it cost you your sanity.

  48. #49 Fannin
    June 5, 2009

    I find it especially despicable that a group that contributes so much to the dehumanizing of autistic people — so much that they think it perfectly reasonable to subject autistic people to dangerous and completely inappropriate medical and pseudomedical procedures and that they continue to subject autistic people to these procedures even after autistic people begin to die from them — identifies itself with the Jewish people during the Nazi era.

    The Jews did not mastermind the effort to paint their own children as subhuman.

    The people who consider the deaths of autistic people to be “acceptable losses” are clearly the ones who continue to subject autistic people to dangerous quackery and then demand to be paid for it.

  49. #50 David M.
    June 5, 2009

    Hey Orac – Posts on Oprah, Dr. Bob Sears and now today I see Dr. Andrew Wakefield. (Yawn)

    Don’t you do anything timely?

    I turned to your blog hoping to see a great big post on the latest Woo for Autism – Celexa.

    A big study came out this week (was in all the papers) that basically shot down that this antidepressant is a useful treatment for kids with Autism. Didn’t help them at all and in fact caused nightmares and other side effects.

    Man, what a great chance for you to talk about how when proper studies of treatments are actually conducted the results are often different than what people expect. (See quote from Dr. Thomas Insel of the NIH below)

    “It’s disappointing,” said Dr. Insel of the results. “We have behavioral interventions but we’re still lacking very effective medical interventions for the large majority of children with these problems.”

    Boy imagine if they did a big fancy study like this Celexa one comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. No wait, we can’t do that type of study because you said so. My bad.

    And what a quote from Insel. Interesting stuff. Does he pass the Orac sniff test to lead the NIH or is he an idiot like Healy. I know you are not a big fan of hers with her calls for more research and stuff.

    Anywho, how about a blog on this latest woo?

  50. #51 David M.
    June 5, 2009

    Hey Orac – Posts on Oprah, Dr. Bob Sears and now today I see Dr. Andrew Wakefield. (Yawn)

    Don’t you do anything timely?

    I turned to your blog hoping to see a great big post on the latest Woo for Autism – Celexa.

    A big study came out this week (was in all the papers) that basically shot down that this antidepressant is a useful treatment for kids with Autism. Didn’t help them at all and in fact caused nightmares and other side effects.

    Man, what a great chance for you to talk about how when proper studies of treatments are actually conducted the results are often different than what people expect. (See quote from Dr. Thomas Insel of the NIH below)

    “It’s disappointing,” said Dr. Insel of the results. “We have behavioral interventions but we’re still lacking very effective medical interventions for the large majority of children with these problems.”

    Boy imagine if they did a big fancy study like this Celexa one comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. No wait, we can’t do that type of study because you said so. My bad.

    And what a quote from Insel. Interesting stuff. Does he pass the Orac sniff test to lead the NIH or is he an idiot like Healy. I know you are not a big fan of hers with her calls for more research and stuff.

    Anywho, how about a blog on this latest woo?

  51. #52 KWombles
    June 5, 2009

    Much more clever and in depth than my short piece on the Wakefield/Nazi reabbithole yesterday. To be fair, there’s so much to counter in so many places. :-) Okay, you’re king of the blogosphere! Ain’t it lovely that there’s never-ending supply of woo to counter? We can only hope to see it lessen with time and our combined efforts.

    http://counteringageofautism.blogspot.com/2009/06/yeah-its-exactly-like-nazi-germany-dr.html

  52. #53 Scott
    June 5, 2009

    Boy imagine if they did a big fancy study like this Celexa one comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. No wait, we can’t do that type of study because you said so. My bad.

    Have you ever actually read the posts shooting down the idea? It has nothing to do with “Orac said so.” It has everything to do with “grossly unethical by all recognized standards.”

    I know you are not a big fan of hers with her calls for more research and stuff.

    Fun fact – responsible scientists do NOT respond to all results with “more research is needed.” Responsible scientists quite often respond with “the question is now sufficiently settled, and more research would be a waste of time and money.” This issue reached that point a long time ago.

    Anywho, how about a blog on this latest woo?

    Assuming you’ve represented it accurately… Quite the opposite of woo, really. Instead of assuming that it works, and denying all evidence to the contrary, they empirically tested the efficacy before coming to any conclusions, and when it was shown to be ineffective, dropped it. A perfect example of science. What exactly are you complaining about?

  53. #54 Craig Willoughby
    June 5, 2009

    “On the other hand, clearly I was wrong not to include you on the list of victims of the undead Führer.”

    Really? I mean…REALLY? You are threatening me with your own delusional, egotistical brain-farts and teenaged masturbatory fantasies? Really?

    Oh, teh noes!!!I am so very very frightened, Orac. Oh my goodness! I guess I’ll need to get my flame-throwing to fight the Hitler Zombie!!!!!

    How fucking pathetic!!

    And autismnostrum says I’m crazy? I don’t know who to laugh at more; Orac for posting this shit, or you people for cheering him on!

    And Dianne, I explained my reason for derisive laughter. Read the comment again and focus on where I begin laughing at Orac for calling me a hypocrite.

    Kev, my suggestion is to learn to read and reread Dr. Wakefield’s post. He wasn’t likening his experience to that of the Jews in Nazi Germany; he was comparing brainwashing tactics of Nazi propagandists and British education. Then, after that, I suggest a Cranial Rectonomy.

    I’ll let you return to your basement, and your pitiful excuse for a life.

  54. #55 Chris
    June 5, 2009

    David M.:

    Boy imagine if they did a big fancy study like this Celexa one comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. No wait, we can’t do that type of study because you said so. My bad.

    This is not Orac: Let’s Do a Study!

  55. #56 Matt
    June 5, 2009

    Craig

    thank you at least for dropping you attempts at humor.

    You do seem to be getting rather stressed over this, though.

    There is a very simple take-away message from Dr. Wakefield’s post: he is now–just about literally–a textbook example of a bad scientist, with severe ethical lapses.

  56. #57 rob
    June 5, 2009

    yet more evidence for the Wizard’s First Rule being given by anti-vaxxers.

    sigh.

  57. #58 Alan Kellogg
    June 5, 2009

    Craig Willoughby, #54

    My commendation, you have a talent for missing the point.

  58. #59 Doazic
    June 5, 2009

    Gentlemen, let’s try and be reasonable adults and settle this with violence.

  59. #60 Auntie Woo
    June 5, 2009

    FromAgeofAutism can now be renamed officially Fromage Facism

  60. #61 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2009

    Craig Willoughby, #54

    My commendation, you have a talent for missing the point.

    You’ve been misled by appearances. Actually, what Craig does is take a blind shot at the side of the barn and then draw the bullseye somewhere else.

  61. #62 Hellbilly
    June 5, 2009

    (Disclaimer: I am Craig’s oldest and closest friend. I’m only here because he was talking about it, and said I’d be amused by it. I was indeed! However, I’m not particularly here to join in the debate. In fact, I respectfully posit the following- You believe what you want, and I’ll believe what I want.)

    Now that the disclaimer is out of the way….

    COME THE FUCK ON PEOPLE!

    While Craig’s post was chock so full of hyperbole* (which is the word you all seem to be fumbling for to describe his writings) as to easily choke a bull elephant, OP’s ‘writing’ was likewise absurd to the extreme.

    As a matter of fact, I’d go so far as to say it was the single worst bit of short fiction I’ve read in my life.

    All I’m really sayin’ here folks is-

    IF YOUR GOING TO HAMMER ONE PERSON FOR NONLITERARY ATTEMPTS AT FICTION YOU SHOULD LIKEWISE OFFER THE SAME CRITICAL ANALYSIS TO THE OP.**

    So, other than that, how was life for you folks today?

    I got to clean the ass of a 7 year old with the mind of a 2 year old, myself.

    Just sayin’… shit like that can easily inflame people. Ya’ll should try and keep that in mind.

    * http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hyperbole

    ** CAPS for emphasis, not anger.

  62. #63 Phoenix Woman
    June 5, 2009

    Mr. Willoughby, if only you realized the impression you just made on some friends of mine who were willing to entertain the idea that vaccines might cause autism — that is, until they saw you do your level best to avoid answering questions.

    When it was explained to them that you were actually not the craziest of the anti-vax crowd to come down the pike, but were considered among the saner members of that community, they sat, openmouthed, for a moment. Then they shook their heads.

  63. #64 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2009

    When it was explained to them that you were actually not the craziest of the anti-vax crowd to come down the pike, but were considered among the saner members of that community, they sat, openmouthed, for a moment. Then they shook their heads.

    Cue Jack Nicholson’s famous line from A Few Good Men — it’s a good thing you didn’t show them John Scudamore and his satanic black ley lines.

  64. #65 xen
    June 5, 2009

    I do believe this is what has happened:

    Step by step now:
    *enacts scene with sock puppets*

    Craig Willoughby: Then, one of the acolytes starts flopping on the ground, speaking in tongues, “monosodium L-glutamate, potassium chloride, potassium phosphate monobasic, (…)”

    Orac: You are fucking retarded

    Craig Willoughby: David, do you know what satire is? Obviously not. It’s what you attempt (poorly, I might add) when you spill out your mental diarrhea on this “blog.” *crying* … I TROLL U

    Fin.

  65. #66 Matt
    June 5, 2009

    Xen,

    Orac did not use the R-word in this conversation. It is insulting. Given that many of those reading this post are parents of children with developmental disabilities, perhaps you could see fit to retract or apologize?

  66. #67 Daniel J. Andrews
    June 5, 2009

    A silly question perhaps, but exactly how old is Craig Willoughby?

  67. #68 Alesa
    June 5, 2009

    Craig Willoughby, I would love to read and reread Wakefield’s post but unfortunately I wouldn’t dream to lower myself to such propaganda spewed from a website that is so corrupt as to moderate every single comment that might differ from their own high and mighty egotistical view. It’s ironic, if the anti-vaccine crowd is so confident that their view is right and superior… they should easily be able to have an actual debate and conversation on articles that they post. Instead, we have the same corruption and hypocrisy that they accuse the AAP, the CDC, the government and most medical doctors of, they filter information through themselves and act as the judge and jury on what is deemed reliable or biased information. It’s a blatant conflict of interest that they ignore for their own self-serving reasons.

    How many informative and absolutely valid comments have they never approved because it pointed out fallacies, counter-arguments, or disagreed simply with the article that was posted. They are skewing public view and information by allowing others to think that every article is received with thank you’s and glorification of every author’s ego. Corruption at its best.

    It’s extremely ironic to see the tactics you must resort to on this blog. How “respected” would you be if those peers of yours could see your true nature? Sad really. So Orac’s blog accomplished one thing today, for you to make a fool of yourself and to allow every newcomer viewing this the opportunity to stay far away from you in the future. I don’t even know who you are, a doctor? A concerned parent? A researcher? A drag queen? Doesn’t matter, because I will most definitely ignore any future ramblings you might have on any website.

  68. #69 xen
    June 5, 2009

    Matt@66

    It was referencing the linked picture, I wasn’t implying Orac called Willoughby retarded, nor did Willoughby say “I TROLL U”.
    You missed the spirit of the post there.

  69. #70 Aunty Woo
    June 5, 2009

    @Alesa – Good points and I completely agree. I couldnt believe the rubbish written in this article A Tale of Autistic Blood . No matter what comments were written to this notion and the unscientific basis of the claims, obviously none got posted.

    Craig’s comments are an example of the open debate here and the lack at such sites such as AoA.

  70. #71 Dedj
    June 5, 2009

    “A silly question perhaps, but exactly how old is Craig Willoughby? ”

    No idea. Maybe mid-twenties? I think he’s supposed to have a young child, so maybe 30 at a stretch. Having said that, Craigs only friend wrote :

    “While Craig’s post was chock so full of hyperbole* (which is the word you all seem to be fumbling for to describe his writings) as to easily choke a bull elephant,….”

    so Craig could easily be older than he writes, but choses to not take this all seriously. However, it’s so hard for people to tell the difference between ‘serious Craig’ and ‘extremely absurd Craig’ that he had to get a friend to point out the difference.

    When you become your own parody, your true friends should be helping you out, not playing tu qouque.

  71. #72 Andrej
    June 5, 2009

    Like two previous commenters noted, any mention of Nazis and Hitler is subject to Godwin and represents an autoloss to the party who brings it up. Case closed.

  72. #73 Matt
    June 5, 2009

    Xen,

    you missed the spirit of my comment. It is just plain rude to use “retarded” as a putdown. The comic you linked to is insulting and rude. Orac’s discussion on this forum is in NO WAY similar to that comic.

    Someone with mental retardation may not be able to come to a reasonable opinion on this subject. Craig has the ability, but chose a different path. Very different.

    But, the main point, using a disability as an insult is just plain wrong.

  73. #74 mandrake
    June 5, 2009

    As a matter of fact, I’d go so far as to say it was the single worst bit of short fiction I’ve read in my life.

    New to the interwebz? Google “Harry Potter slash fanfic” and get back to us.

  74. xen, the point is that using “retarded” as an insult is actually insulting to the genuine mentally retarded, who can’t help it and deserve assistance and empathy, not scorn.

    I’m not sure that this (valid and understandable) protest is going to work, though. So far every mental retardation technical term ever has been turned into an insult: idiot, moron, cretin, special… Perhaps we should use “moran”. Or “auto-retarded”.

  75. #76 Vampire Zombie?
    June 5, 2009

    I’m beginning to believe that the pro-disease anti-vax bunch really is losing it. On another post on AoA, we can see one of the honored sponsors of AoA really cutting loose with the crazy. This is just so bizarre that I’m going to cut and paste the whole thing. This kind of thing doesn’t bode well for their “cause”. If you want to read it in the original form:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/06/a-tale-of-autistic-blood.html?cid=6a00d8357f3f2969e201156fcbd26e970c#comment-6a00d8357f3f2969e201156fcbd26e970c

    When crafty sales people, ex-olympoian swimers, and supplement sales people consipre to steal the medcial-physiological work and on-going empirical data (and pieces of the solution) to an uknown medcial problme that has been solved, then the population is put at risk as such people rush forward to make a buck at sellinga story that they do not fully comprehend nor will they ever as they have no medcial-clinical-physiology training.

    They also do not have any idea as to what the true nature of the problme is in physiology.

    This is why it takes me so long to bring answers and help forward to society as whole – individuals that see self-advancement and profiteering and product sales are more intent on stealing and crippling the on-going altruistic work and efforts and experimental groups of legitimate scientist-[physcians the very momenet they see a chance to turn medcial discovery into self profit..

    Mr Squibb and his consort have actually cost me (that means has cost the autism/vaccine injury world) more than twelve months of my re-working what they have destroyed in theft and deceipt to self advance theor own fiscal and marketing agenda’s. In so doing, they have also caused many more to go on being harmed by the current vacination protocols as when I am slowed down – so to is my ability to stop this one size fits all vaccination saga.

    Mr Squibb has no understanding, whatsoever, as to the core mechanism by which this MASS hematological derailment emerges let alone the understanding as to how to resolve the core neuroimmunologial cascade that is causing the core derailmenst that create these hematlogy “symptoms” he purports to reflect his great empirical discovery….

    My medical research, in cause and solution, belongs to society as a whole and not to the likes of Mr Squibb, gates, Garceau or their likes…

    Medical information without medcial knowledge disseminated by non-medcial people, in training or through theft, will cause greater harm than good as people will rush out for all sorts of products to fix a problme that they do not understand..and undoubtedly once again cause more harm than good…

    Had these individuals not been so full of “I see profit and sales” in theor minds eye… I would have come forward by now with the full answers with solutions.,…

    Time, integrity, and truth – too much of some, not enough of the other….

    I will retreat to my work – and once these vultures cease swarming, perhaps I will have the opportunity to bring the full scientific truth and solutions forward…as both belong to society as whole, and only when the whole truth is laid out, will there be a means for solution and prevention rather than causing further harm.

    I recollct Antoine Beschampes had to contend with plagiarism and self effacing deceipt of his contemporary – Louis Pasteur – be certain Mr Squibb et al do not run you all down the same garden path…

    Dr Andrew Moulden

  76. #77 Alesa
    June 6, 2009

    Wow, pure irony here.

    “Medical information without medcial knowledge disseminated by non-medcial people, in training or through theft, will cause greater harm than good as people will rush out for all sorts of products to fix a problme that they do not understand..and undoubtedly once again cause more harm than good…”

    That describes about every well-meaning parent on every anti-vaccine website. They were all just insulted in their own comment section by a Dr. that’s supposed to be on their side.

    And shouldn’t they all be outraged by this paragraph:

    “Had these individuals not been so full of “I see profit and sales” in theor minds eye… I would have come forward by now with the full answers with solutions.,… I will retreat to my work – and once these vultures cease swarming, perhaps I will have the opportunity to bring the full scientific truth and solutions forward…as both belong to society as whole, and only when the whole truth is laid out, will there be a means for solution and prevention rather than causing further harm.”

    He has just threatened to keep valuable medical information to himself. Why? Because others are making a profit on it is his take. If he were truly all about the cure and the children why would he care who took the information as long as it could help these children?! This just screams to everyone here this Dr. is like all the others they are accusing of being greedy, money driven marketing schemes. He doesn’t want his data released because HE wants to make a profit from it.

  77. #78 DLC
    June 6, 2009

    Clearly the Hitler Zombie has dined well.
    Well enough to continue to exist for a long time.

    RE David M @ 50-51 :
    I see two stories under Celexa + Autism in Google news search, and none of them refer to a medical journal listed in PubMed. One author listed in the WSJ piece has journal articles listed in PubMed but none on autism and celexa.
    The journal listed in the WSJ article lists Archives of General Psychiatry as the journal the study was published in, but no such journal is carried by PubMed. There is an Annals of General Psychiatry listed, but there is no article on Autism and Celexa listed in the Journals for this year.
    Where I’m going with this is, this appears to be a case of really bad science reporting, which is not at all unusual, even for such prestigious outlets as the Wall Street Journal.
    Oh, and while I’m on about it, the WSJ Article (if it can be trusted) says the study concerned only celexa and repetitive behavior problems, not autism spectrum disorders entirely. You quote the WSJ article, so I assume you must have read it.

  78. #79 DLC
    June 6, 2009

    Oh, and :
    Yes, I realize that PubMed does not cover every journal, but they do cover a very large listing of them.

  79. #80 Pareidolius
    June 6, 2009

    So, other than that, how was life for you folks today?

    I got to clean the ass of a 7 year old with the mind of a 2 year old, myself.

    I really hope you wiped off the 2 year-old’s mind when you were done.

  80. #81 Kimbo Jones
    June 6, 2009

    My favorite part is when Wakefield not only Godwins, but he has the audacity to say that it’s only Godwinning when other people do it but when he does it it’s cute.

    Clearly disagreement is a litmus test for Nazism. Only Nazis disagree with bullshit. What an asshat.

  81. #82 Sami
    June 6, 2009

    Sami, I was actually mocking your Lord and Master, in case you didn’t know. You probabbly didn’t though.

    No, I had worked out you were mocking Orac. (He’s not my Lord and Master. The only Lord I acknowledge is the Lord God, and I have no Master. Orac is just some dude whose blog I read.) Apparently you haven’t yet worked out that I was mocking you.

    I still would be, but where there’s no challenge, there’s no fun.

  82. #83 Jen
    June 6, 2009

    “The journal listed in the WSJ article lists Archives of General Psychiatry as the journal the study was published in, but no such journal is carried by PubMed. There is an Annals of General Psychiatry listed, but there is no article on Autism and Celexa listed in the Journals for this year.”

    You might have better luck finding the study if you do a PubMed search using Celexa’s generic name, citalopram. ;)

  83. #84 TexDoc
    June 6, 2009

    Are you sayin’ that we ain’t much for fancy book learnin’ down here? Hick state? I find that highly offensive. The proper term is redneck.

  84. #85 KWombles
    June 6, 2009

    Thought this would lighten folks’ morning:

    “Kim, I think Skepticat was referring to my little amusing and sarcastic satire about how the Oracians are like a medieval religion. Apparently, I invoked the “wrath” of their Lord and Master.

    And, what’s best of all, they don’t know what satire is!

    He even went so far as to threaten me with one of his little fantasy characters. Really, how pathetic is that? And these people call us crazy?”

    Posted by: Craig Willoughby | June 06, 2009 at 08:56 AM

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/06/poisoning-young-minds.html?cid=6a00d8357f3f2969e201156fd536df970c#comment-6a00d8357f3f2969e201156fd536df970c

  85. #86 Brian Deer
    June 6, 2009

    Apart from the fact that he seems to me to have lost it completely, two things interest me about Dr Wakefield’s little epistle. One old, one new.

    First, the old one. I have audio of a lawyer saying nothing less than that he paid for the Lancet paper which launched the MMR crisis, and didn’t know why it didn’t say so. http://briandeer.com/solved/solved.htm [bottom right].
    But Dr Wakefield’s longstanding position, which, for argument’s sake, we’ll entertain, is that the money wasn’t spent on the paper, he spent it on other research, so it didn’t need to be declared, and wasn’t a conflict of interest. (The broader position, which he never addresses, is that he was hired by the lawyer, for £150 an hour, plus expenses, two years before the paper was published to make exactly the case that the paper purports to make.) However, let’s travel with him for the ride.

    Now… What about if vaccine researchers took millions from Merck, and spent it on golfing holidays? Is that not a conflict of interest? Is it the case that money can be taken from vested interests, shuffled off into some adjacent account or activity, and therefore not declared? Medical journals are replete with answers to that question. And it’s “No”. The act of shuffling the dough off elsewhere, and of concealing it, is generally regarded as an act of corruption.

    And, yet there is Dr Wakefield telling this tale, which, on his own account of it, should produce incredulity, and anger from parents that his conduct (and its exposure) has sunk the boat for all those who believe vaccines can cause autism. One or two (including, I think, Jenny M), have realized that the measles thing was a wasted decade, but what does it produce from these people like Ms Cedillo? Cooings, and bleatings. “Oooh, Dr Wakefield, you’ve made such sacrifices, scraping by on $280,000a year; you are my hero…” I realize that the people posting at AoA aren’t exactly your Rick Rollens’s of this world, but some of them must have IQs greater than their waistbands.

    Then, there’s the second thing. The new thing. Whoever put him up to this epistle (and I think he WAS put up to it), plainly wants him to be struck off. Probably because they want him martyred for reasons of their own. His problem is now that he has made it plain that he has no regrets. And in so doing, he has told the panel hearing his case that, given the chance, he would do it again. Thus, if he is found guilty of anything, he can reasonably be judged to be a risk to the public, and so should lose his license. (And I know that there is a queue of scientists waiting to go after his fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists, which he obtained by submitting papers.) By his own logic – even if he’s only done on one of the subsidiary charges – he shows no remorse, offers no apology, and so must, necessarily, be restrained.

    Against this background, he summons the ghost of Hitler. Classic deflection. “I’m not a bad man,” he says. “It’s them over there, the people who set (flawlessly accurate) exam questions, the drug companies, the GMC. After all, people like them were responsible for the holocaust.”

  86. #87 SomeGuyWanderingBy
    June 6, 2009

    In reading through Craig Willoughby’s otherwise perfectly sane and well reasoned comments I am distured to see him advocate flamethrowers as an anti zombie measure. You use a flamethower on a zombie, and what do you get? A burning zombie, still coming at you and setting stuff on fire as it goes! Come on people, this is zombie survival 101 – its the head shot every time. Seriously, if we can’t even get the basics right we’re never going to survive the coming zombie apocolypse.

  87. #88 Hellbilly
    June 6, 2009

    Dedj:

    Calling me Craig’s only friend is a sad, sad attempt at insulting. I’m hardly his only friend, just his oldest and best. There really is a difference between “only” and “oldest and best”. The saddest part about all of this? He called it 100% when he said you cats and kittens would fail entirely to see any validity in my statements, and would instead merely lash out. I wanted to prove him wrong by having at least one of you have the courage and courtesy to say, “You’re right dude, my bad.” Sadly, not a one of you seem to have that degree of courage or courtesy. ‘S pretty bad, really, when a bunch of ‘adults’ can’t manage things that’re taught in the first grade, isn’t it?

    Further, I wasn’t applying my arguments in a context that implied a logical or debate related meaning or context. I never once said “This is, so this follows.” My statement was more of a moral or social comment. Basically, in a nutshell, I was advocating for a fair assessment of the two authors writing capabilities. As neither of them claim to be a fiction writer, I’m not really sure why you felt the need to strike out as you did.

    You can, of course, disagree with me on that. I have no problems with you saying, “You’re wrong, and here’s why!” I just don’t think the petty, sly insults promote a sense of conversation. (Which I’ll hope you’ll note is the tone I’m striving for in my postings.)

    Mandrake,

    I’d rather read Harry Potter slash while watching homemade cosplay movies than read more of OP’s fiction. Just sayin’… it was really awful.

    Pareidolius,

    While I suspect you weren’t actually attempting to break the mood with humor, I nevertheless have to confess that your post was the funniest thing I’d read all day, and it brightened my mood. Thanks for the humor. It’s appreciated.

    SomeGuyWanderingBy,

    Zombie survival is sadly not required reading at any grade level. It should be, but…. you know how that goes. I would argue that in the proper circumstances a flamethrower would serve effectively, but I agree in the general sense- Boom, headshot.

  88. #89 Alan Kellogg
    June 6, 2009

    Hellbilly, #88

    It can never occur to you that you might be wrong?

  89. #90 Sami
    June 6, 2009

    Hellbilly,

    You’re wrong, and here’s why:

    Orac’s post was entertaining satire, rich in allusion and carrying on a series in this theme which aptly criticises a recurring pattern of argumentative technique.

    Craig Willoughby’s mocked contribution can’t be dismissed as “hyperbole” – it’s not exaggerating things that are actually true. Making the case that adherence to evidence-based medical practice is equivalent to adherence to a cult isn’t hyperbole, it’s somewhere between slander and just stupidity.

    The whole point is that vaccine advocacy is not a cult, and it’s not a dedicated obedience to the will of Big Pharma – it’s the result of looking carefully at the actual risks and benefits of vaccination. It’s dedicated seeking of a healthier world, where preventable illnesses aren’t causing suffering, permanent harm, and the deaths of children.

    Dismissing the supposed link to autism is not refusal to look at The Truth – it’s the result of looking at the evidence, being aware that there is no connection, and moving on. No-one here is pro-autism, but there is no link to vaccines. And so looking at questions about curing or preventing autism is a separate topic.

    Ridiculing the anti-vaccination crowd at this point is also not about cultish devotion – it’s about giving up on people who refuse to consider evidence in their dogged conviction, based on no actual facts at this point, to believe that Vaccines Are To Blame in the absence of any reason for that to be so. The hostility is because some of the supposed “treatments” that derive from this cause genuine harm to innocent children, in some cases, even killing them.

    We have no reason to take Craig seriously. His participation in a movement that causes harm, that has killed children by allowing, even encouraging, the return of vicious diseases, means that only the essential good-natured rationality of most people who read and comment on this blog prevents him being the target of vitriolic hate and anger.

    Anti-vaccination advocacy hurts children, and kills some. That makes me very, very angry. I am not alone in this. Coming to pro-sanity blogs, like this one, and pushing your idiocy here… you get attacked less than you deserve, frankly.

  90. #91 flim flam
    June 7, 2009

    Now i’m really confused. How did the nazis exterminate ( best said in a dalek style voice) autistic people if autism is caused by the MMR, or by the current vaccine schedule or whatever nonsense the wackaloons are schilling this week?.

    The “epidemic” seems to date from the late 1980′s at the very earliest. So Hitler invented a time machine to come to the future and kidnap children with autism caused by vaccines then take them back to 1940 and kill them.
    Right, that makes perfect sense.
    Wakefield himself spread the poisonous lie that MMR caused autism and MMR wasnt in widespread use until the mid 1970′s. So what caused the autism in the 1940′s?.
    the level of cognitive dissonance required to be an antivaxxer is incredible.

  91. #92 Dedj
    June 7, 2009

    “I wanted to prove him wrong by having at least one of you have the courage and courtesy to say, “You’re right dude, my bad.” Sadly, not a one of you seem to have that degree of courage or courtesy.”

    But we weren’t wrong, as the fact that it took a long time and very close friend of his to point out that he wasn’t being serious.

    Like I said – had you actually paid attention – it’s so difficult to tell the difference between “serious Craig” and “extremely absurd Craig” that an outsider who knows him in real life had to drop by.

    Your mere presence here, and the actions Craigs behaviour obligated you to perform, is in itself proof negative of the very point you were trying to make about Craig.

    You see, we KNOW when Orac is being facetious or sarcastic/sardonic, because there are many many examples of his work where he is clearly being serious that we can compare the two.

    Whereas with Craig, it’s very hard to tell the difference, even in his supposedly more ‘technical’ work, if there is any difference at all.

    This is not about fair assessment” (which you appear to wrongly think means “equal criticism”) but what the results of “fair assessment” tell us about Craig in comparison to Orac.

    This has already been explained to you. Please stop playing dumb and start helping Craig stop making an ass of himself. You are supposedly his oldest and best friend after all.

    “I just don’t think the petty, sly insults promote a sense of conversation”

    Stop using them then.

    You are his friend, so it’s expected that you will jump in to defend him. But you must consider that your prescence and actions to-date are the best evidence that can be presented for his defence being wrong.

    You should think about how and why that is before wasting our time again.

  92. #93 Grendel
    June 8, 2009

    FlimFlam – I was wondering the same thing myself, perhaps the Nazis had an evil MMR vaccine already developed?

  93. #94 Dr Aust
    June 8, 2009

    Kudos for Ranson for the irresistible Springtime for Hitler reference right at the top of the thread, but I think he got the wrong line; instead, how about:

    Don’t be stoopid, be a smarty

    Come and join our measles party!

    Thanks for the best laugh for weeks, Orac. The messianic delusions and persecution manias of the Alt.Reality gang never cease to amaze me, though I didn’t realise Wakefield himself had gone quite so barmy.

    And… since Nazi movies seem to be back in fashion again, it can surely only be a matter of time before someone casts Jenny McCarthy in another Third Reich blockbuster as Sophie Scholl.

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