As I wing my way back home from Orlando, fresh from having imbibed deeply of the latest and greatest in cancer research, I didn’t really have the opportunity to generate a typical Orac-ian post. Fortunately for me (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), a commenter named Erwin Alber popped up in the comments of a year and a half old post to demonstrate once again the self-delusion at the heart of the claim of many in the anti-vaccine movement. Take it away, Erwin:
There is no scientific evidence to show that vaccines have ever prevented anything, apart from health, sanity and common sense. As far as I am concerned, vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention and people who believe in vaccinations are suffering from brain-washing-induced delusional insanity.
Yep, according to Erwin, those of us who defend the science of vaccines against pseudoscientific, fear mongering attacks by anti-vaccine zealots are not just insane, but brain-washed and delusional. (I suppose the delusional goes along with the insanity.) Not only that, but Erwin truly seems to believe that vaccines have never prevented a single disease and are an “organized criminal enterprise.”
No, Erwin’s not anti-vaccine at all. Oh, no. Neither are the minions who show up regularly on Age of Autism and spew the same sorts of nonsence–or AoA itself, whose editors tolerate–and even encourage–such idiocy in its comments but ruthlessly censor anyone who questions the anti-vaccine party line.
Oh, no, they’re not anti-vaccine at all, not a single one of them.
I will thank Erwin for one thing, though. I found him on Facebook. It’s got to be him, he had listed under music the execrable anti-vaccine one man band The Refusers, as well as links to various homeopathy pages and Let’s Keep Vaccinations Out Of School. More importantly, he’s apparently the founder of an anti-vaccine Facebook page called the Vaccine Information Network. Through Erwin’s Facebook page, I found that two of my Facebook friends were mutual friends of Erwin’s.
I unfriended them.
If I don’t personally know (or at least know through the Internet) a Facebook friend whom I find has friended an anti-vaccine loon, out that Facebook friend goes! True, it might just be a skeptic monitoring the loons (I do the same thing on occasion), but I have no way of knowing that. So, in such a situation, if I don’t recognize the name as a bona fide skeptic (like Peter Bowditch or someone else whom I know or know of), it’s goodbye. In any case, besides providing me with yet another brief post in this particular series, I guess Erwin’s thread necromancy did serve a useful purpose after all.