Respectful Insolence

I realize I’ve already written two posts about Andrew Wakefield suing investigative journalist Brian Deer, the first one pointing out how it’s just another example of cranks trying to silence criticism not through producing good science to defend their views but rather through abusing legal process and starting frivolous libel suits, the second one pointing out a connection between Andrew Wakefield and Autism Trust USA that might indicate how Wakefield is getting cash to pay for this lawsuit. Through it all, I’ve asked one question: Why is Wakefield doing it?

Well, as part of the legal complaint, Wakefield’s attorney complained that Deer said that Wakefield, “now apparently self-employed and professionally ruined, remains championed by a sad rump of disciples.” Seeing what that rump is saying is instructive, as a perusal of Facebook pages of anti-vaccine activists and groups. For example, Louise Kuo Habakus announced the lawsuit on her Facebook page, and there was much rejoicing. A collection of comments include:

Go Dr Wakefield!!!!

Habakus herself says:

Be careful. Things are often not as they seem. Click on the link and read the petition. Then check out the law firm representing Dr. Wakefield. Big gun law firms do not get involved if they don’t think they can win. It is time for our physicians and families to have the opportunity to be heard in a real courtroom, by real judges, before a real jury of our peers. Not a show trial, manipulated by the press. A real trial. We will follow the money and see who stands to gain and lose. Keep an open mind and watch carefully.

And:

Wakefield is an honorable man who will be vindicated someday. The truth has a way of finding the light eventually. Having heard him speak in person and having met him on several occasions…I know what I speak of.

And:

this is only the beginning. now our voice will be heard!!

The delusional thinking is strong in these people.

It appears to me that Andrew Wakefield, realizing that the criticism against him asking him the question: If Brian Deer were really as wrong and malicious as Wakefield and his disciples claim, then why doesn’t Wakefield sue him for libel? Given that Wakefield appears to be reduced to living solely on speaking fees and whatever cash he can attract through his antivaccine activities. Wakefield’s failure to do so sowed doubt about him even among his die-hard fans. As Prometheus put it:

I’m not a lawyer (nor am I a solicitor or barrister), so I won’t speculate on the legal aspects of the suit – others far more qualified have already done so. The only explanation that makes sense is that, knowing he’s going to lose, he’s decided to lose quickly, before the legal fees climb too high.

I realise that this may make no sense from a legal standpoint, but it is immensely sensible from the perspective of a narcissist who senses his audience slipping away. Andy Wakefield is in serious danger of becoming entirely irrelevant, and so he needs to “rally the faithful”.

The fact that he mounted such a pathetic defence at his GMC hearings and made only a token feint at suing Brian Deer has created a lot of doubt among his faithful followers. They are asking themselves – and others – “Why didn’t he show the GMC evidence of his innocence?”. After all, Andy promised that he has such evidence and that he would reveal it to the world….about two years ago.

Now, before he slips “below the fold” permanently, Andy Wakefield is putting up a last “Hail Mary” attempt to get himself back into the limelight. He may have convinced himself that he has a legitimate grievance and that he has been unfairly handled by the press (including the BMJ), but he has to know that his claim of defamation won’t stand in US courts.

I strongly suspect that Wakefield filed his lawsuit in Texas because he (or, more precisely, his lawyers) knew that it wouldn’t get very far – either it would be tossed because the Texas courts don’t have jurisdiction or because it is so blatantly a “strategic lawsuit against public participation” (SLAPP). What he hopes to accomplish – and what he has probably already accomplished – is to show “the faithful” that he truly believes in his own innocence and is willing to fight to prove it.

Leaving aside that he hasn’t a chance of winning, the important part – from a psychological rather than legal perspective – is that giving up the legal fight would be a tacit admission of guilt in the eyes of his followers. So what if he can’t win – he can (and will) claim that the courts are “biased” against him, that “Big Pharma” bought the judges, that the jury (were it to ever get that far) were all reptilian aliens in the employ of the Galactic Overlord (AKA “Big Pharma”). Reality doesn’t matter – what matters is that he has a good story.

That sounds about right to me. By suing (and hopefully having the suit dismissed quickly, so that it doesn’t cost that much money), Wakefield can prove he’s still willing to fight, even though he has about as much chance of winning as there is of a single molecule of a homeopathic remedy being left in a 30C dilution. Even better, from his perspective, by doing so he can cause extreme irritation, inconvenience, and possibly expense to his enemies in the process. It’s already working; the troops are rallying, on Facebook at least, anyway. Will it be enough bring in additional cash and to bolster Wakefield’s standing in the antivaccine movement to the point where he’s relevant again? We’ll have to wait to see how this all plays out. I suspect that it will be some time before we have any additional news. I guess I’ll have to reactivate my Google Alert on Andrew Wakefield.

Comments

  1. #1 Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital
    January 6, 2012

    MESSAGE BEGINS—————-

    Aliens in the jury . . . everyone knows that’s simply ridiculous. It’s the judges that are aliens, not that we don’t have a minion or two among your “peers.” Well, you can’t get everything right all the time even if you are the Grand Polemarch Prometheus (but you do come ever so close). And we are all huge Daylight Atheism fans up here on the station, even the dreadfully pious Evinant of Dorminna Prime reads your work. You really must come up for dinner sometime. We simply love to serve our human friends whenever possble.

    Keep vigilant my minions, the rebels are as rust, mindless but persistent.

    Lord Draconis Zeneca VH7iL
    0001000111101

    Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Sharper than Shit Shifter of Shapes

    Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital

    ——————-MESSAGE ENDS

  2. #2 lilady
    January 6, 2012

    Yup, Orac and Prometheus have gotten it right. I would only add that Wakefield will need more than a few Hail Marys to ever prevail. It is a nuisance suit and a whole lot more. To the blinded-by-his-radiance followers, it is proof positive that he was innocent all along.

    No matter how damnably dis-proven the results of Wakefield’s study are, no matter that the GMC issued a scathing review of his treachery before removing his license…there will always be his loyal followers. It reminds me of the wacko charismatic preacher man, whose followers are never deterred, never doubt and never give up their blind faith. Pathetic and sad.

  3. #3 bmj press release
    January 6, 2012

    Although not formally served with the legal papers, the BMJ is on notice that Andrew Wakefield has issued defamation proceedings, not in London as might be ordinarily expected as concerns a predominately English publication, but in Texas, USA, where he now lives. The proceedings primarily relate to an article written by Brian Deer and published a year ago on 5 January 2011, entitled Secrets of the MMR Scare: How the Case Against the MMR Vaccine was Fixed, and an accompanying editorial which related to Mr Wakefield’s now infamous Lancet Paper on MMR.

    Of course, following the findings of the British General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practice Panel and Mr Wakefield’s history of pursuing unfounded litigation, any action brought against the BMJ and Mr Deer in London would have been immediately vulnerable to being struck out as an abuse of process.

    Despite the findings of the GMC’s Fitness to Practice Panel and his co-authors having publicly retracted the causation interpretation put forward by the Lancet Paper, it would appear from the Claim filed at court that Mr Wakefield still stands by the accuracy of the Lancet paper and his conclusion therein, thereby compounding his previously found misconduct. While we await formal service, unsurprisingly the BMJ and Mr Deer standby the material published in the BMJ and their other statements and confirm that they have instructed lawyers to defend the claim vigorously.

    NOTES TO EDITORS

    1. The Lancet Paper was published on 23 February 1998 entitled “Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children”. Its claims of a temporal association between MMR vaccine and autism were retracted by the authors (excluding Mr Wakefield) on 6 March 2004, following the first findings from Brian Deer’s investigation for The Sunday Times. The paper was retracted in its entirety by the Lancet on 2 February 2010, with the Lancet noting that elements of the paper “have been proven to be false” during hearings of a General Medical Council fitness to practise panel.

    2. Following a 217-day investigation by the GMC’s panel, on 24 May 2010, the panel found Mr Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct. It found that Mr Wakefield “had a clear and compelling duty to ensure that the factual information contained in the [Lancet] paper was true and accurate and he failed in this duty”. The Panel also found that Mr Wakefield was intentionally dishonest and misleading in describing the patient population, and that he had been dishonest when questioned about it later. Similarly, the panel stated that “the description of the referral process was irresponsible, misleading, and in breach of [Mr] Wakefield s duty as a senior author”. The Determination also set out how Mr Wakefield compounded his misconduct by failing to correct the content of the paper.

    3. As a result of Mr Wakefield’s “persistent lack of insight” into his behaviour, the GMC determined that his name should be erased from the medical register.

    4. Mr Wakefield adduced no evidence in mitigation and made no arguments or pleas in mitigation in front of the Fitness to Practice panel. He did not appeal its decision and has not attempted to replicate the Lancet paper’s findings in order to attempt to vindicate his position.

    5. At various times in the past, Mr Wakefield has brought claims and made complaints against Mr Deer, The Sunday Times, Channel Four and Twenty Twenty Productions in respect of allegations of dishonesty relating to his Lancet paper. In no case has he been successful. Indeed, in each instance the case has been dropped by Mr Wakefield. In Wakefield v Channel Four Television Corporation, Twenty Twenty Productions Ltd and Brian Deer [2005] EWHC 2410 (QB) Mr Justice Eady refused to grant a stay sought by Mr Wakefield, stating that the case would turn on fundamentally serious issues going to the heart of the Claimant s honesty and professional integrity.

    In refusing the stay, Eady J considered Mr Wakefield’s conduct in relation to the various proceedings he had brought. He noted that Mr Wakefield had written to a number of other organisations including: the Cambridge Evening News; Evan Harris (an MP who criticised Mr Wakefield on a radio programme); and the Department of Health (which provided a link on its website to the Channel Four Dispatches website).

    Mr Wakefield informed these entities in correspondence that he had issued proceedings against The Sunday Times, Mr Deer and/ or Channel Four, indicating that proceedings were ongoing. He made no mention of the stays which he had obtained, or was seeking. Eady J considered this misleading, and concluded that Mr Wakefield wished to use the existence of the libel proceedings for public relations purposes, and to deter critics, while at the same time isolating himself from the downside of such litigation, in having to answer a substantial defence of justification. The Judge believed that there was a pattern of using the existence of libel proceedings, albeit stayed, as a tool for stifling further criticism or debate.

    6. On 2O December 2011, the BMJ’s solicitors, Farrer & Co, wrote to Mr Wakefield’s Texan lawyers setting out the matters referred to above, as well as other points. No response has been received.

    7. Mr Wakefield’s allegations, that the MMR vaccines causes or contributes to autism, were investigated in three test cases in the United States Court of Federal Claims, heard from July 2007 and with judgments handed down on 12 February 2009. Although listed as a witness, Mr Wakefield was not called to give evidence, and his allegations were rejected. The judgments were upheld on appeal. In the lead case, Cedillo v Secretary for Health and Human Services, Special Master George Hastings said in his judgment with regard to evidence in the case: “Therefore, it is a noteworthy point that not only has that autistic enterocolitis theory not been accepted into gastroenterology textbooks, but that theory, and [Mr] Wakefield s role in its development, have been strongly criticized as constituting defective or fraudulent science.”

  4. #4 rlearn
    January 6, 2012

    Alternatively, they may have put out some feelers in Texas and found a district with one or two judges sympathetic to the cause.

    We’ve already seen that the law enforcement and criminal justice establishments in some areas of Texas will go to great lengths to defend their woo.

  5. #5 DLC
    January 6, 2012

    Wakefield should just take up selling shoes or something.

  6. #6 dt
    January 6, 2012

    Perhaps Wakefield feels the embryo of another book stirring in his hippocampus?

    PS: His application is finalized with a “prayer”.
    Will the gods be listening?

  7. #7 Harold L Doherty
    January 6, 2012

    Dr. Orac you seem worried?

  8. #8 Lawrence
    January 6, 2012

    @Harold – so what are you going to say when the suit is either dismissed or Wakefield loses?

  9. #9 MI Dawn
    January 6, 2012

    @Harold: Oh, I’m sure that Orac is shaking in his boots. You and the little AOA fandom are just so scary.

    Actually, I sincerely doubt they even hit Orac’s radar for concern. Putting his alerts back on Andy simply means that he’ll have more blogging material for us to read and be amazed at the blindness of Andy’s followers.

    BTW…was anyone else interested in seeing that the “bmj press release” referred to Andy as “Mr Wakefield” throughout? I know that British surgeons are referred to as Mr, but thought MDs were called Dr. Does this mean that as far as the BMJ is concerned, Andy no longer deserves the honorific? Or is this how they refer to all doctors (not a reader of the BMJ so this is a honest question)?

    Also: if that was the real BMJ press release, it would have been more polite (and more legal) to link to the release, not copy/paste the entire thing.

  10. #10 Andreas Johansson
    January 6, 2012

    Why is it always reptilian aliens? Couldn’t it be insectoids just for a change?

    Something that occurs to me: if you set up a legal fund and accept donations, and then have your suit thrown out before you burn through it, what happens to the remaining money? Is it paid back to the contributors, or could you keep it?

  11. #11 Orac
    January 6, 2012

    Worried? No, it’s just typical Oracian overkill combined with the Rule of Three. Besides, as the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch requires, “Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.”

    Substitute “Oracian deconstruction of quackery” for “Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch,” and you get the idea. In other words, it’s three posts and done; that is, unless something new that is sufficiently interesting to me to make me violate this longstanding tendency happens.

  12. #12 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 6, 2012

    Also: if that was the real BMJ press release, it would have been more polite (and more legal) to link to the release, not copy/paste the entire thing.

    Ummmmm….

    I’m going to have to assume you hadn’t yet had your coffee when you posted. Copying is what they want people to do with press releases.

  13. #13 Broken Link
    January 6, 2012

    A couple more FB comments from the anti-vaxers on FB

    Lujene Greene Clark
    Dr. Wakefield filed a libel suit against the BMJ (British Medical Journal, Fiona Godley (Editor of BMJ) and Brian Deer (journalist). FINALLY! Long overdue ~ hope the judgement will bankrupt them all!!

    Maurine Meleck
    I cannot wait for the day when we can throw this back in Anderson Cooper’s face, along with Mnookin’s and others.

  14. #14 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 6, 2012

    Wakefield appears to be reduced to living solely on speaking fees

    I wasn’t able to find what he charges for speaking in a quick Google search, but I’ve seen what people like Isaac Asimov, Bill Clinton,and the like could make in speaking fees. Would that I could be reduced to that state!

  15. #15 In Vitro Infidelium
    January 6, 2012

    #10 “if you set up a legal fund and accept donations, and then have your suit thrown out before you burn through it, what happens to the remaining money? Is it paid back to the contributors, or could you keep it?”

    The question of a donation supported legal action is interesting because if Wakefield were to be depending on supporters backing him financially, had he made a choice for action in the UK, then those supporters would become severally liable for any costs awarded against Wakefield if he were to lose. I’ve no idea what the definitive position is in Texas, though it seems improbable there is the type of provision operative under UK law. Donations to a cause that are contingent on a specified use imply a contract between donor and recipient that places a limitation on the use of the donations , however if there is no express statement at the point of solicitation about how surplus monies are to be used, then it is likely to be very difficult to enforce a return monies to donors.

  16. #16 palindrom
    January 6, 2012

    Orac — thanks for the Holy Hand Grenade recap. My favorite line in the whole thing:

    “Verily to bloweth them up ….. in thy mercy.”

    To anyone who heard a fair amount of Episcopalian preaching growing up, that “in thy mercy” simply kills.

  17. #17 ArtK
    January 6, 2012

    @ Harold

    Dr. Orac you seem worried?

    You and Clark Baker need to get together.

    The funny thing is, had Orac ignored this, you (and the other idiots) would be crowing how we were all afraid to respond because the “case was so strong.”

    Wakefield is a fool, his attorney is a fool, there is no case to be had. Deal with it.

  18. #18 Ren
    January 6, 2012

    I am so sure of the outcome in favor of the defendants in this thing that I am willing to put up good money (not monopoly money). Anyone know if Vegas is taking any bets? (I doubt it since most of them don’t bet on sure things.)

  19. #19 MikeMa
    January 6, 2012

    IANAL, so pure speculation in the spirit of the day.

    So, from Texas, Wakefield has filed suit on two UK citizens and a UK entity. He has (albeit slowly) fired up the devoted rump for money and teeth gnashing. As I understand some of the more learned comments, it might be that a lawsuit from Texas could be safely (and cheaply) ignored. Best case for Wakers might be that the three UK defendants tell him to take a hike. That way he doesn’t lose, doesn’t incur significant cost, doesn’t have to present non-existent evidence, and can easily spin the thing into victory.

    I don’t think Brian Deer would pass up the chance to get to discovery but Wakers may be counting on flagging attention and cost containment.

  20. #20 MikeMa
    January 6, 2012

    IANAL, so pure speculation in the spirit of the day.

    So, from Texas, Wakefield has filed suit on two UK citizens and a UK entity. He has (albeit slowly) fired up the devoted rump for money and teeth gnashing. As I understand some of the more learned comments, it might be that a lawsuit from Texas could be safely (and cheaply) ignored. Best case for Wakers might be that the three UK defendants tell him to take a hike. That way he doesn’t lose, doesn’t incur significant cost, doesn’t have to present non-existent evidence, and can easily spin the thing into victory.

    I don’t think Brian Deer would pass up the chance to get to discovery but Wakers may be counting on flagging attention and cost containment.

  21. #21 Vicki
    January 6, 2012

    Vegas mostly takes sports bets, but you could probably find a British bookmaking firm to give you odds, since the lawsuit isn’t in a UK court.

  22. #22 MI Dawn
    January 6, 2012

    @Antaeus Feldspar: yes, that was pre (actually during) first cup of coffee. I don’t know anything about press releases, so if that’s what they want, then it’s good. Thanks for the info.

  23. #23 MikeMa
    January 6, 2012

    IANAL, so pure speculation in the spirit of the day.

    So, from Texas, Wakefield has filed suit on two UK citizens and a UK entity. He has (albeit slowly) fired up the devoted rump for money and teeth gnashing. As I understand some of the more learned comments, it might be that a lawsuit from Texas could be safely (and cheaply) ignored. Best case for Wakers might be that the three UK defendants tell him to take a hike. That way he doesn’t lose, doesn’t incur significant cost, doesn’t have to present non-existent evidence, and can easily spin the thing into victory.

    I don’t think Brian Deer would pass up the chance to get to discovery but Wakers may be counting on flagging attention and cost containment.

  24. #24 Johnny
    January 6, 2012

    Also: if that was the real BMJ press release,

    I agree that it seems to be a bogus press release.

    I’ve tried to find the original document by Googleing several sentences, and the results come back with one result – this page.

  25. #25 Ren
    January 6, 2012

    @Vicki

    Thanks. I’ll have to look. I’m not a betting man, but the odds are oh-so-good on this.

  26. #26 MI Dawn
    January 6, 2012

    @Johnny: Sullivan at LBRB has it posted also. I can’t find it referenced on the BMJ site, but my google fu often is weak. Can anyone find the original and link to it?

  27. #27 sceptinurse
    January 6, 2012

    The beginning of it is in the MedPage article verbatim.

  28. #28 JGC
    January 6, 2012

    If the bookmaker set the odds the same way they would for a sporting event, you’d only get attractive odds if you were betting that Wakefield would win the lawsuit. Otherwise you’d be the one the taking short odds–effectively betting the world champion will mercilessly pummel an underdog who’s never won a fight in his life.

    In fact, given with his track record and marked tendency to stay or drop suits once it’s time to actually produce evidence, you could probably get pretty good action (10 to 1, 20 to 1?) betting that he’d even finish, rather than once again quit in an early round…

  29. #29 Denice Walter
    January 6, 2012

    The troops have been rallying for the past several months- largely due to the efforts of AoA and additional venues I watch. The most adamant supporters’ lives revolve around this issue: it is *personal* to them for they are the *injured parties* as well as AJW, while he is the white knight who set about righting the wrongs perpetuated upon them by the pharmaceutical companies and the medical establishments, i.e. creating and prescribing the vaccines that “damaged” their children and subjugated them to a life of care-giving after having to give up many of their dreams about their progeny. Andy is their own personal dragon-slayer and they live vicariously through him.

    Constantly whipping your followers up into a frenzy is common enough to those whose fame and fortunes rest upon bashing SBM ( one of them even showed up @ RI), ever rankling and inflaming whatever “wounds” their public perceives they have suffered at the hands of the “orthodoxy”. Right now, one of these idiots is again suing the FDA, the most recent of a long list of legal actions designed to show how much he cares for those *injured parties*. Their fates are inter-twined with AJW’s because they hold vaccines as an example of the pharma’s malignant influence- which extends far beyond them. Most of these suits go nowhere but serve as a reminder of their champions’ valiant efforts on behalf of their devoted followers. Getting even for (imagined) wrongs while basking in your vindicator’s light.

  30. #30 Denice Walter
    January 6, 2012

    Re: bmj press release

    I think I saw a “practice” or two in there.

  31. #31 Johnny
    January 6, 2012

    The BMJ press release looks like it may be real after all.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/05/andrew-wakefield-sues-bmj-mmr
    for example, has the first part almost verbatim. All of my earlier searches were from the ‘Notes to editors’ portion, and were apparently not published.

  32. #32 Sheepmilker
    January 6, 2012

    @Denise 25. Thank you for your beautifully written post. I never did quite understand the depth of feeling that that particular community have toward Wakefield. Now I do.

  33. #33 Denice Walter
    January 6, 2012

    @ Sheepmilker:

    Well, thank you so much. I try very hard to communicate what I’ve learned by observing woo-meistery for the past ( almost) 12 years while applying my formal studies; I do daily financial monitoring ( around the time of Open US/ Close UK) a “job” I “inherited”; as kismet would have it, I chanced upon radio nonsense simultaneously. Thus, I do this while enhancing/ preserving my assets and those of my relatives. Thus I try to “spread the wealth” in more ways than one.

  34. #34 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 6, 2012

    Ah! Sorry, I thought everyone was familiar with what a press release was. Basically, when your organization/group/whatever has information (and/or spin) that they want news sources to pick up and report on, they put together press releases which basically tell the story the way they want everyone to hear it, and they send them out as widely as possible. For someone who’s sending out a press release, finding out that people are reproducing it all over the Internet is a dream come true.

  35. #35 kruuth
    January 6, 2012

    I wasn’t able to find what he charges for speaking in a quick Google search, but I’ve seen what people like Isaac Asimov, Bill Clinton,and the like could make in speaking fees. Would that I could be reduced to that state!

    The difference is that Bill Clinton is a former US president and Issac Asimov is one of the most, if not the most important science fiction writer of the last century. Andrew Wakefield is a disgraced doctor who manipulated evidence at the behest of a law firm. Kind of knocks your speaking fee down a few notches there.

  36. #36 Matt Carey
    January 6, 2012

    I’ve confirmed that the press release above is real. It isn’t posted on the BMJ website, but it is from them.

  37. #37 Jen
    January 6, 2012

    Artk: and you are speculating and theorizing over stupid things like the fact that it took a year for Dr. Wakefield to sue BD. How stupid is that.

  38. #38 Vicki
    January 6, 2012

    It may also be worth noting that Asimov died several years ago, so the information on his speaking fees is less than relevant.

  39. #39 Todd W.
    January 6, 2012

    @Jen

    Artk: and you are speculating and theorizing over stupid things like the fact that it took a year for Dr. Wakefield to sue BD for a second time, hoping for a different outcome. How stupid is that.

    FTFY. And I agree, it is stupid for Wakefield to try suing…again.

  40. #40 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 6, 2012

    Andrew Wakefield is a disgraced doctor who manipulated evidence at the behest of a law firm. Kind of knocks your speaking fee down a few notches there.

    It may very well – as I said, I haven’t seen what kind of fees he can command. On the other hand, notoriety may well increase demand – and his fees.

  41. #41 Denice Walter
    January 6, 2012

    @ Todd W.:
    It is stupid, but as Simon said/ sang,” You gotta keep the customers satisfied”. And yourself in the spotlight as the much wronged victim for as long as possible. He probably doesn’t have much else to do.

    Seems the woo-meisters love Texas ( Adams is newly settled outside Austin) and others appreciate its options for lower taxes and weaker laws concerning health freedom- and its Rep Paul.

    But seriously, given his reversal of fortune, don’t you think that “cost of living” might be a factor for him? Are you aware of what it costs to buy a place and *live* in London or NY? He can get rather palatial digs ( which he has) for the price of a decent flat/ apt in the other places.

  42. #42 Prometheus
    January 6, 2012

    Jen (#33):

    “…you are speculating and theorizing over stupid things like the fact that it took a year for Dr. Wakefield to sue BD. How stupid is that.”

    I dunno, Jen – it seems worth asking why Andy Wakefield waited until the statute of limitations had almost run out before filing his lawsuit. After all, he must have realised right away that the BMJ articles weren’t exactly flattering to him, nor were they likely to enhance his career as a physician or researcher (both of which, I should add, could hardly have been hurt any more, either, being already dead).

    At the very least, this last minute filing speaks to the ambivalence Dr. Wakefield must feel about his chances of proving libel and the possible consequences should he try and fail.

    In fact, the lawsuit seems calculated to fail, and to fail early, before it runs up a large bill but not before it affords Dr. Wakefield the opportunity to play the aggrieved “Brave Maverick Doctor” one last time. After this lawsuit is dismissed – and legal experts agree that there are multiple reasons why it should be dismissed – Dr. Wakefield will be able to say, “The judges denied me the opportunity to vindicate myself and now the statue of limitations has run out, so I’ll have to prove my innocence in the court of public opinion.”

    Jen, I think the reason people are concentrating on why Dr. Wakefield is filing this lawsuit is that there is no question that it will fail. The only real legal issue appears to be which problem will trip it up first: jurisdiction, SLAPP or the fact the the allegedly libelous statements are true.

    Personally, I’d like to see Dr. Wakefield have his day in court – it would be instructive to see how he justifies (i.e. “spins”) his actions. But I seriously doubt it will get that far. It would be entertaining to see what would happen if Mr. Deer and the BMJ decided to call Wakefield’s bluff and not ask for a dismissal, but I’m almost positive their lawyers won’t want to waste the time or money. Too bad.

    Prometheus

  43. #43 lilady
    January 6, 2012

    Mr. Doherty: I have been reading your blog and my sense is that as you and Conor are aging, you are very concerned about finding an “acceptable” living arrangement for Conor when the time comes for him to be cared for by others. I know only too well, how you are feeling…been there and done that.

    My son, had he survived would be 35 years old…he died peacefully in his sleep seven years ago in his group home.

    My son seems to have been more disabled that Conor, but he too was out of the mainstream, due to the multiplicity and severity of his intellectual, physical and health problems.

    I first sought out-of-home placement for him when he was four years of age, because I was the sole caregiver and I was utterly burned out, my daughter had given up the attention of her mother, because of the constant and unrelenting health crises that my son experienced. My husband, a lawyer, continued to work hard to support us and to pay the extraordinary bills associated with his care.

    I was fortunate to meet another young mother with a son just one year older than mine, who was on the same track as me. We bonded, covered for each other during their many hospitalizations and came to the conclusion that placement in a large State-run institution or in a “residential school” in a nearby state, was simply not an option that we would consider.

    We got very active in our advocacy. We worked both sides of the aisle (Republican and Democrat) in our local and State legislatures. We testified at local, State and Federal hearings, wrote “letters to the editor” and articles about the plight of the severely and profoundly developmentally disabled, whose parents were the sole caregivers and the deplorable lack of alternative living situations in our area of the State. We testified at contentious group home siting meetings at considerable risk due to NIMBYism of nearby neighbors.

    We also made friends with every executive director of every agency that was operating group homes in our county and in an adjacent county. We found “sympathetic” bureaucrats in the State, who would call us whenever proposed cuts threatened the limited funding for kids whose parents cared for them at home.

    You seem like an intelligent man Mr. Doherty and I suspect that you really are aware that the “theories” about the causes of autism, such as vaccines have no validity. This blog and other science blogs are a forum for us to discuss the ongoing assault of our public health system by the pseudoscience anti-vax websites and their “heroes” such as Wakefield.

    Many of us on this blog have developmentally disabled kids who have autism…some of our posters are also on “the spectrum”. We all support research into the causes of the disorder that include genetic research and in utero environment/factors. We do not support any “theory” that vaccines, adjuvants/preservatives in vaccines, the spacing of vaccines, cause autism. We support services and early intervention programs that are amply staffed with well-trained people to enable children to develop to their optimum potential. And, we support well-staffed homelike group homes for children and adults. We all want children and adults on “the spectrum” to not be hidden and warehoused.

    You can reject what I have written…it is your choice, but I do request that you think about your situation and how you can achieve your goal of a safe home for Conor.

  44. #44 Todd W.
    January 6, 2012

    @Denice Walter

    But seriously, given his reversal of fortune, don’t you think that “cost of living” might be a factor for him? Are you aware of what it costs to buy a place and *live* in London or NY? He can get rather palatial digs ( which he has) for the price of a decent flat/ apt in the other places.

    Agreed. According to publicly available information, his home, which sports a pool and jacuzzi, is valued at about $900,000. Mortgage and property taxes can’t be cheap. Plus there’s home owner’s insurance.

    Then again, per public records, the home is owned by his family trust, rather than by him personally.

  45. #45 Mu
    January 6, 2012

    I agree Prometheus, AW is hoping for a dismissal on technical grounds. He’s trying to further promote his martyr status as having been denied a decision on the merits of his claims. The conspiracy continues …

  46. #46 Squillo
    January 6, 2012

    In the absence of a license to practice medicine, the ability conduct research or get himself hired by any reputable organization, Wakefield has essentially become dependent on publicity to earn a living.

    Contrary to popular wisdom, there is such a thing as bad publicity, but in Wakefield’s case–where his “brand” is martyrdom–it would be tough to come by.

    Even if he loses the suit spectacularly, he wins because he builds his brand that much more strongly and keeps his cottage industry (promoting Andrew Wakefield) going a bit longer. The fact that he filed in Texas rather than plaintiff-friendly England (where, as another commenter pointed out, anyone bankrolling his suit could be at risk) suggests he knows this. He may be many distasteful things, but stupid isn’t one of them.

  47. #47 Beamup
    January 6, 2012

    It may also be worth noting that Asimov died several years ago, so the information on his speaking fees is less than relevant.

    What, you’re not impressed by his ability to rake in fees from beyond the grave? ;)

  48. #48 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 6, 2012

    There is another reason for waiting until the last day to file the suit. Loss of records. In other words, by waiting until the last minute, Wakefield maximizes the potential for BD and the BMJ to no longer have documentation for the claims made. Or at the very least, increase the difficulty of tracking down the records, thereby increasing the costs of discovery. Plus, it gives Wakefield a chance to make sure all of his records are accounted for beforehand, leaving more time to mount an offense.

    I of course refuse to speculate about the existence of any memory hole in Wakefield’s records, which will be open to discovery…

  49. #49 Dangerous Bacon
    January 6, 2012

    While the speculation on why this lawsuit was filed is interesting and may be correct in part (or completely), it remains true that people sometimes file libel suits for illogical reasons including pique and a desire for revenge.

    As to timing, I remember a line from Louis Nizer’s “My Life In Court” where he is talking about dissuading potential clients from filing libel suits, and likens damaging writings to mud tossed up on a person from a passing vehicle, which if the person attempts to remove it immediately smears into a mess, while waiting awhile results in a dried substance which just flakes off. Perhaps Wakefield realizes that this deluge of mud (which many here would argue was self-splattered) is not going away easily.

    Anticipating a fresh wave of denunciations of Brian Deer, I continue to be amazed how antivaxers keep trying to sell him as a minion of Big Pharma, while ignoring his numerous articles exposing questionable conduct in the pharmaceutical industry (and the considerable blame he lays on the “medical establishment” for enabling Wakefield’s misdeeds).

  50. #50 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 6, 2012

    @Vicki,

    It may also be worth noting that Asimov died several years ago, so the information on his speaking fees is less than relevant.

    I admit the numbers I recall are somewhat old. However, the point stands – if you look up various speaker fees (assuming you can find same), they rapidly climb into the tens of thousands of dollars per appearance. I expect that many of those are high to reduce the number of personal appearances one is asked to do. However, if one were serious and in demand it would appear that one could easily make enough money for a quite a decent lifestyle from a limited number of engagements per year.

  51. #51 Roadstergal
    January 6, 2012

    I could support my family in a $900,000 home on just speaking fees if I were to abuse some children and do bad science? Damn my morals. :(

    (They got in the way of my nothing-but-profit homeopathy business, too.)

  52. #52 Broken Link
    January 6, 2012

    AoA has finally put up a post re this suit. Not a real post, but an excerpt from the Guardian article, followed by – “read the full article . . ”

    It’s very odd that they don’t want to express an opinion. Maybe they are not quite sure what to say . . .

  53. #53 lilady
    January 6, 2012

    Interesting…that AoA “copied and pasted” the Guardian article. There are only four small comments about the news.

    Is there a “blackout” on the news…or are their “journalists” preparing a more extensive analysis of the lawsuit?

  54. #54 MikeMa
    January 6, 2012

    A recent anti vaccine post on RI got over 600 posts IIRC with a dozen new and old loons to argue against science. Orac has posted 3 articles on the Wakefield travesty and we’ve had a couple of drive-by jen eruptions and very little else. Communication over this must have some special magic.

  55. #55 Broken Link
    January 6, 2012

    The AoA cut & paste blog post has been also posted on FB:

    “Age of Autism
    Posting this without comment. ~A ”

    Very odd indeed. Not a word about supporting this suit.

  56. #56 MikeMa
    January 6, 2012

    CNN has an article up. Comments are mostly sane so far. Link.

  57. #57 Anne
    January 6, 2012

    lilady @42, what a lovely comment.

  58. #58 lilady
    January 6, 2012

    Thank you Anne. I know that Mr. Doherty comments here with somewhat divisive remarks, but he is so torn about the inevitability of putting Conor in a group home. His website is full of pictures of his beloved child and his entire life is devoted to his child. I’ve been there and done that and it was a horrific time for me and my family.

    I just wanted Mr. Doherty to know that we have our differences, but I have great empathy for his situation and the road that lies ahead.

  59. #59 alison
    January 7, 2012

    ibioblogs would like to second Anne’s comments, lilady. That is such a caring, compassionate post.

  60. #60 alison
    January 7, 2012

    rats, that will teach me for not using ‘preview’!

  61. #61 lilady
    January 7, 2012

    @ alison: I read Mr. Doherty’s blog and I got teary-eyed…I’m such a pushover for kids and dissolve into mush in the company of a disabled youngster.

    It is so very obvious that Mr. Doherty is an extraordinarily patient and loving father, dealing with a system that is unresponsive to the real needs of children like Conor.

    The best thing that ever happened to me since the birth of my son was meeting my buddy Judy when the boys were in an infant stimulation program; my son was 14 months old and her son 11 months older. United together we did extraordinary things to enable our boys to leave our homes at age 8 and at age 9 and to room together in a facility with around the clock nursing care; with staffing for them 1:2 around the clock. They also went to a school and summer program run by another agency, until age 21.

    These are expensive programs to provide to children and adults with severe/profound developmental disabilities, but it really rests with the State and Federal governments to provide a safe, stimulating environment for our most vulnerable citizens.

    Anthony died seven years ago, but my “other son” survives him and I visit him each week. Judy and I are closer than sisters and we continue our advocacy on behalf of the disabled.

  62. #62 Science Mom
    January 7, 2012

    @ Broken link, I speculate that Wakefield himself asked for a moratorium on the “help” he is receiving while he is pursuing his folly. When you have people like John Stone and Dan Olmsted pleading your case all over the interwebz, who needs enemies.

  63. #63 Denice Walter
    January 7, 2012

    @ MikeMa:

    I took a peek at the CNN comments then compared them informally to the comments @ AoA’s article about AJW’s legal hijinks. Quite a contrast! As Andy’s star continues to sink far below the horizon, his followers will increasingly avoid the mainstream media where journalists are “liars for hire” and stories are merely “pr for corporations”. Never shirking opportunities for self-aggrandisement, web woo-meisters are revving up their alternative media engines as we speak.

    An AoA commenter plays psychologist which is highly entertaining to me. Of course, professionals would never dare to diagnose someone solely from their writing- even Freud and Jung were chastised for their speculations on writers ( Shakespeare and Joyce, respectively- amongst others)- too many variables to consider. However, I am able to focus on other characteristics, such as abilities ( actually most well-read adults do this all the time, whether they realise it ir not) and motivations- which are often nearly transparent to me.

    Whether it is a commenter ( @ AoA or @ RI) or an alt med advocate, I usually try to stop myself from hanging names on what I encounter. What I can say is that supporters of AJW (and alt med gurus such as Adams or Null) over-identify with their heroes, looking to them for ego-boosting: they’re “ahead of the curve” and have blasted those know-it-all doctors and scientists straight to h-ll. They’ll show them. What they fail to understand is that their champions’ advice can harm them ( medically, obviously) but also takes them far away from normal conversation with the general public. Supporting charlatans tears you away from building your own brand.

  64. #64 Vasha
    January 7, 2012

    If you folks of the commentariat are not tired of internet kooks and bullshit lawsuits, check out this one, addressed to ant photographer Alex Wild, and launched (coincidentally enough) from Texas.

  65. #65 Sauceress
    January 7, 2012

    When you have people like John Stone and Dan Olmsted pleading your case all over the interwebz, who needs enemies.

    Yes. As it happens, I just stumbled across a great example, on the Gaia Health blog, of type of help Wakefield could expect from the antivaxx congregation.

    Wakefield has filed a lawsuit in a court of Texas, where he now resides in exile because of Deer’s accusations, resulting in him being stricken from the roles of doctors able to practice in the UK. The damage done to Dr. Wakefield and his research cannot be underestimated.

    [Gaia Health]

    Then there was Gaia’s explanation for “Why File in Texas?”

    In Britain, a successful defamation prosecution by Wakefield could stand as a precedent that would harm the government itself, as it knowingly purchased the Urabe MMR vaccine that was in effect in the children Wakefield was studying……..
    ….This vaccine was known to cause severe harm, so the manufacturer, SmithKline Beecham, refused to sell it without a waiver of indemnity, which the UK government granted.
    Therefore, the government itself is on the hook if it’s officially found that there’s a connection between the vaccine and autism. When you consider the number of children involved and the degree of harm done to them, it’s so large that the financial stability of the government would likely be at risk.

    Bringing the case outside the UK makes good sense.

    Hilarious!

  66. #66 Chris
    January 8, 2012

    Sauceress, quoting Gaia:

    as it knowingly purchased the Urabe MMR vaccine that was in effect in the children Wakefield was studying.

    What a lie. If that was true, then Wakefield would have looked for mumps virus in the intestines of the dozen. And worse, the younger children and the American child would not have been included. The USA have been using a Jeryl Lynn mumps version of an MMR since 1971, and the UK since 1992 (and some of the UK kids were born after 1991).

  67. #67 lilady
    January 8, 2012

    Attention!!!

    You can get a “free” bumper sticker to support Wakefield:

    FreeDrWSticker.com

    Free Wakefield from what?

    The website also has pictures of people standing at the back of their cars displaying the “bumper sticker” Aaargh!

  68. #68 Matthew Cline
    January 8, 2012

    This seems to be a new anti-vax meme, that the Conspiracy was out to get Wakefield because of the Urabe strain. I wonder where it got started, and why it’s gaining traction.

  69. #69 Sauceress
    January 8, 2012

    lilady
    hehehehe…yeah I saw that page while wandering around a few tangents.

    Something else from the comments on that Gaia piece.
    Jenny Allen says:

    Good luck to Dr Wakefield and to Professor Walker-Smith whose High Court appeal against the GMC verdict is due to take place next month.

    Then there’s this Jenny Allen comment on a CHS piece by John Stone(“Farce – British Medical Journal – Undeclared Competing Interests”) posted in March last year.

    Professor Walker-Smith is appealing the GMC decision in the High Court. Professor Murch was previously cleared of all charges by the GMC. Dr Wakefield was employed by the Royal Free Hospital as a research scientist, not a clinician. The GMC could not prosecute Dr Wakefield without ‘dragging in’ the doctors who were involved with diagnosing and treating these children. If Professor Walker Smith is exonerated by the High Court, the GMC verdict against Dr Wakefield will become unsustainable.

    [Posted by: Jenny Allan | March 30, 2011 at 06:07 AM]

    Jenny Allen again mentions Walker Smith’s appeal on the comments of the current AoA piece on Wakefield’s legal challenge. Interestingly, this time leaving out any reference regarding the effect she believes a successful Walker Smith appeal might have the GMC verdict against Wakefield, instead going off on a rant on how: “Godlee is plainly panicking about Prof W-S’s appeal…”

    In the US the carefully engineered public perception of Dr Wakefield has him as a clinician, treating child patients and subjecting them to unnecessary dangerous invasive treatments. In fact he was employed as a Research scientist at the Royal Free Hospital and had NO clinical contact with child patients at all.Professor Walker Smith and Professor Simon Murch were the two clinician colleagues dragged before the GMC with Dr Wakefield. Prof Murch was cleared. Prof Walker-Smith’s appeal against the verdict goes to the High Court next month.The GMC is NOT the professional body to discipline research scientists.

  70. #70 Sauceress
    January 8, 2012

    Hmmm…I cut off the reference for that last quote.
    It’s..
    [Age of Autism: Dr. Wakefield Sues Brian Deer and BMJ’s Fiona Godlee
    Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 07, 2012 at 03:58 AM]

  71. #71 brian
    January 8, 2012

    @Sauceress

    I was amused by the material that you quoted, including this line from Jenny Allen:

    [Wakefield] was employed as a Research scientist at the Royal Free Hospital and had NO clinical contact with child patients at all.

    I’m not willing to plow through the transcripts of Wakefield’s GMC “Fitness to Practise Panel (Misconduct)” hearing, but I recall that according to the transcript from 28 September 2007 Wakefield did have “clinical contact” with at least one of the Lancet children: Wakefield ordered tests and signed his name in the chart of Child 12, who, surprisingly, received both MRI and a lumbar puncture after a real clinician, Professor Walker-Smith, had specifically indicated in the chart: “Not to have MRI or LP.”

  72. #72 lilady
    January 8, 2012

    @ Sauceress: Those posters at AoA have their own “unique” reality. I’ve seen the most outrageous implausible statements about vaccines, autism treatments, special diets and anything and everything that comes from their warped minds. It is simply weird how no other poster offers a correction.

    Jenny Allan has “magical thinking” going for her, instead of rational thinking processes. In the world she inhabits (la-la land), all the charges against Andy will just go away if John Walker Smith prevails…and If Andy is exonerated as a side benefit…damn it, the GMC had no jurisdiction over “a scientist”!!!

    I think you have to be intellectually “challenged”, ethically “compromised” and more than a wee bit loony to read the garbage at AoA, and then post on that site.

  73. #73 lilady
    January 8, 2012

    Oops…past my bedtime “…and If Andy is NOT exonerated as a side benefit…damn it, the GMC had no jurisdiction over ‘a scientist’!!!”

  74. #74 Sauceress
    January 8, 2012

    #71 brian

    Wakefield ordered tests and signed his name in the chart of Child 12, who, surprisingly, received both MRI and a lumbar puncture after a real clinician, Professor Walker-Smith, had specifically indicated in the chart: “Not to have MRI or LP.”

    I’m sure Jenny Allan’s (btw…I see I wrongly spelt her name as “Allan” in my comment)claim will be parroted ad nauseam here at RI, and no doubt numerous other blogs and news articles, in coming weeks so I think such info is bound to be called for.

    Thanks for the reference:

    …according to the transcript from 28 September 2007 Wakefield did have “clinical contact” with at least one of the Lancet children

  75. #75 brian
    January 8, 2012

    On a related note, Wakefield may be near the leading edge of a new trend: filing a lawsuit because people believe you are an anti-vaccine wacko:

    A University of Louisiana at Lafayette professor has filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the university’s Communicative Disorders Department alleging faculty members have discriminated against him and marginalized his position because of his beliefs on creationism and an alleged connection between autism, mercury and vaccinations.

    http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/1664229-123/ull-professor-sues-for-discrimination.html

  76. #76 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2012

    Lord! If you read AoA, you might understand why I didn’t stay in clinical! It’s absolutely astonishing how the Wakefield-ites hurl invective against reality-based medicine all-the-while serving up their menu of demons to the fanboys and girls to consume righteously. They fit right in with our web woo-peddlers: ” Don’t trust the lying establishment but trust brave old maverick me”.

    Obviously, they need to ramp up hatred against the competition but I find another deeper, dirtier motive: if people are focusing on the “corruption” that casts its pall over medicine, governments, and the media- they aren’t going to examine *your* miserably twisted agenda and question either *your* motives or *your* sources of income. Like a magician who tells you to “Watch this!” while waving a scarf in the air- so you won’t attend to what’s going on under the table: putting something over on people is additional ego padding for masters of illusion.

    Truly pathetically, our position- which they would characterise as h-ll-bent- could *help* them. If a few of these entranced partisans *woke up* they will be mightily angry at the trickster they trusted.( I enjoyed reading about how the spell was broken for James Laidler. But then, he is by no means average). Right now that anger is being channeled in the wrong direction.

  77. #77 MikeMa
    January 8, 2012

    Just saw Contagion. The British blogger might be a true hero in this crowd in spite of his financial sins.

  78. #78 missmayinga
    January 8, 2012

    Lilady @67

    Just ordered two for the purposes of humorous defacement, because I have all the maturity of a small child (and it’s free!) All I can say is that it’s an absolute pity the stickers don’t have his face on them – I had great plans involving Hitler-staches and Groucho brows.

  79. #79 Roger Kulp
    January 8, 2012

    From Mark Blaxill, editor of Age of Autism:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/12/from-the-editor.html

    Momentous
    “It’s deeply important that all of us in the autism parent community appreciate the importance of this event and band together in support of Andy. The stakes are high and the counter attack will be ruthless. Be prepared and be proud that we are all fighting together.”

    I couldn’t agree more! The attack on Dr. Wakefield has been an attack on all of us that has children harmed by vaccines. Big Government and Big Business with the help of the corporate media has tried to make him the symbol of the vaccine-autism link, so they think by destroying HIM, they destroy the problem. WRONG.

  80. #80 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 8, 2012

    Roger Kulp,
    You made your entire comment in italics and I’m unclear on whether you intended only the part in quotes to be from Mark Blaxill or intended to attribute the whole thing to him, so forgive me if I misunderstand you.
    It appears you are saying that “attacking” Dr. Wakefield (by pointing out the evidence that he made things up and put his subjects at risk by invasive and unnecessary tests) is the same as attacking parents who have autistic children, as well as the children themselves.
    The question of Dr. Wakefield’s conduct is separate from the science. The evidence currently says that there is no vaccine-autism link. If you have real, high quality, repeatable data that indicates otherwise, please share.
    People in this forum have repeatedly acknowledged that some children do get harmed by vaccines, and this is very unfortunate when it happens. The best data says that autism is not one of these harms.
    I’m not aware of anyone who wishes to attack children, either those who are autistic nor those who are harmed by vaccines. The same goes for the parents of such children.

  81. #81 lilady
    January 9, 2012

    @ missmayinga: We’ve go to be related somehow…somewhere in our vast gene pools. I seriously contemplated ordering the freebie bumper stickers and sending one to Orac.

    Perhaps we could set up a website and offer freebie stickers with Andy’s picture on them and a “different slogan”

    “PULL ANDY’S GREEN CARD”

  82. #82 augustine
    January 9, 2012

    Lilady:

    Jenny Allan has “magical thinking” going for her, instead of rational thinking processes.

    So do you! Why that is totally hypocritical of you. Please explain how you are a science blog skeptic AND a god believer.

    You shouldn’t put people down when your own mind is confused.

    Cognitive dissonance, lilady. Cognitive dissonance.

    Hint: for a coping mechanism you could say ” still ignoring filthy mouthed troll” or “terminally disinfect delusional troll”. It will help with mental instability… for a while. But it does nothing for reality.

    Denice Walters

    What I can say is that supporters of AJW (and alt med gurus such as Adams or Null) over-identify with their heroes, looking to them for ego-boosting:

    Since you can professionally dx from afar. Do you agree with the assessment of Lilady. Or will you hold your tongue or critical thinking?

  83. #83 Denice Walter
    January 9, 2012

    @ augustine:

    I usually wouldn’t respond to you** *however* I am not diagnosing but speculating based on years of listening to and reading alt med followers who hang upon every word of their idols and emulate their often bizarrely precise dietary and supplement regimes thus enriching them. These nearly un-educated gurus spurt self-praise of their own brilliance while attacking the medical establishment, as do their advocates, without comprehension of the basic material. There is a world of difference because diagnosis and understanding how people function in the world. Most adults can do this: it facillitates conversation and interaction. Look it up.

    ** you have a history @ RI.

  84. #84 Sauceress
    January 9, 2012

    Guess who is headlining over at AoA…

    Dr. David Lewis, internationally known whistleblower and respected expert on institutional fraud, released a report today calling for a formal investigation into the practices of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and specifically into the actions of its editor, Dr. Fiona Godlee, and Brian Deer

    Yep it’s Saint Andy’s good pal, David Lewis.

    Much is made of David Lewis’s whistle blower status:

    Documents recovered from Dr. Wakefield’s files during my investigation at the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC)-………….. “Altogether, the evidence contained in Wakefield’s files suggested to me that the BMJ’s fraud theory was more tabloid news than science.

    The pdf is available for download at:

    [yousendit.com/download/T2dkSmJ5SWVOQnhBSXRVag]

    So I downloaded the pdf. Having only quickly scrolled through it, (the entire pdf is 167 pages), I found a little disclaimer on page 12.

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this document are my own, and have not been
    reviewed or approved by the National Whistleblowers Center.

    AoA must have “forgotten” to mention that this report is David Lewis’s own little project. A gift to Saint Andy perhaps?

    I didn’t notice any declaration of COI that AoA always demand but I’m sure if any were to exist they are declared somewhere in th…never mind.

  85. #85 Sauceress
    January 9, 2012

    My post has gone to moderation. Check out today’s headlining act over at AoA.

  86. #86 lilady
    January 9, 2012

    -Still ignoring filthy mouthed troll.

  87. #87 Ren
    January 9, 2012

    Don’t answer, lilady. He still needs to apologize to me.

  88. #88 Ren
    January 9, 2012

    Wait. That article at AoA reads (with my emphasis):

    The BMJ articles accuse Dr. Andrew Wakefield of committing scientific fraud in a 1998 Lancet publication he co-authored that brought global attention to a link many parents and physicians suspect may exist between autism and children who are genetically predisposed to adverse reactions from the Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

    When did Wakefield et al discuss genetics in their paper? Did they? I don’t remember.

  89. #89 lilady
    January 9, 2012

    @ Sauceress & Ren: It is hilarious that today’s headline at AoA refers to the “Whistle Blower Scientist”, David Lewis.

    This “whistle blower” is the same fool who forwarded the histo-pathology scoring sheets to the BMJ, in an effort to exonerate Andy.

    The scoring sheets, the actual bowel pathology reports and the specimens embedded in paraffin blocks went “missing” for 14 years until David Lewis sent them to the BMJ.

    I’m amazed that Lewis is still on “Team Wakefield”…or as Orac stated in November, “with friends like this….”

    Ren, I don’t think Wakefield seriously (with actual genetic studies), mentioned genetics. I think he might have mentioned genetics in passing. You know the drill…throw as much sh** out there and whatever sticks to the wall…

  90. #90 Denice Walter
    January 9, 2012

    I’ve waded through this… what shall we call it? If I didn’t have several hours worth of compilation ahead and a meeting later, I’d have a go. Have fun!

  91. #91 Autismum
    January 9, 2012

    Got sent this last AoA piece of pwp (david lewis) over a hundred times today over at my blog (www.autismum.com)including from Isabella Thomas. Strangely all came in around about the same time.

  92. #92 Science Mom
    January 9, 2012

    @ Autismum, someone with the name of Patricia is also spamming blogs with the same rubbish. I guess Mr. Deer and Dr. Godlee are supposed to quake in their boots now or something like that.

  93. #93 Autismum
    January 9, 2012

    Of course I am only highlighting a temporal relationship between initially getting this article sent to me form Isabella Thomas then getting (at last count) 112 more one after another.

  94. #94 Broken Link
    January 10, 2012

    Ah, finally. There has been a Wakefield defense fund started by Ed Arranga. You too can contribute:

    $25 – Member $250 – Defender
    $50 – Supporter $500 – Protector
    $100 – Advocate $1000 – Champion

    With the disclaimer – “Donations and Memberships are not tax deductable” (sic)

  95. #95 C.S.
    January 10, 2012

    “-Still ignoring filthy mouthed troll.” -lilady

    I like you. I do. You’re an intelligent contributor, and a large part of why I visit Orac every day, so please take this as friendly criticism.

    This is not ignoring him. Every time you type something like this you’re giving him the attention he desires. If you want to ignore a troll, then IGNORE them. Don’t declare to the world that your fingers are in your ears. It just comes across as childish.

  96. #96 Science Mom
    January 10, 2012

    With the disclaimer – “Donations and Memberships are not tax deductable” (sic)

    Cute isn’t it? Love that picture of Wakers adoringly staring at the American flag too, nice touch. The legal fund itself probably has a charitable, tax-exempt status though.

  97. #97 Denice Walter
    January 10, 2012

    @ Science Mom and my other partners in crime:

    It appears that AJW will spout his swill histrionically, I mean *present his case*, in an interview with “Whistle-blowers” David Lewis and Steve Cohn @ the Progressive Radio Network Tues or Wed ( conflicting information) 1pm. Also the woo-meister general himself will feature a 5 hr special Monday next ( possibly) about martyr boy. All will be archived. Lucky us.

    Because I have a very serious project which I must complete by this time next week, I cannot expose myself to this material for fear of contamination of my pre-linguistic expressive mechanisms,i.e. listening in might interfere with my abilities to communicate. So if anyone cares to listen, it will be available. ( Remember those old maps that used to read, “Here be monsters” at the borders? Perhaps I should post a similar warning)

  98. #98 Prometheus
    January 10, 2012

    Broken Link (#24):

    “There has been a Wakefield defense fund started by Ed Arranga.”

    Can it be called a “legal defense fund” if Wakers is the plaintiff?

    Prometheus

  99. #99 Science Mom
    January 10, 2012

    Prometheus, I think that was a slip by Broken Link; they are calling it a “Justice Fund”. I just did a quick blurb about it on my blog. The Wakefield site looks pretty slapdash.

  100. #100 augustine
    January 10, 2012

    C.S

    Don’t declare to the world that your fingers are in your ears. It just comes across as childish.

    Lilady reminds me of the teenager in the cell phone commercial.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5ZeNZtvACI

    Cognitive… “I’m a skeptic chick!” “I believe in a fairy tale god”…Dissonance.

    Anyone else see this? I think you do. Lilady is the elephant in the room. Ya’ll should tell her. Instead you keep letting her ramble on and on.

    Lilady, You serve two masters. That’s crazy right there.

  101. #101 Broken Link
    January 10, 2012

    Absolutely – it’s a “justice fund”, not a “defense fund”. I’m typing one-handed due to a broken elbow, so that’s my excuse ;)

  102. #102 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 10, 2012

    It’s a Justice Fund because it funds Just Us?

  103. #103 lilady
    January 10, 2012

    In addition to Ed Arranga’s “Just Us” Fund for Wakefield, he has been busy arranging the speaker’s schedule for this years 2012 Autismone Conference:

    THURSDAY, MAY 24

    * FEATURED SPEAKER: Sandor Katz

    FRIDAY, MAY 25

    * KEYNOTE: Dr. David Lewis
    * FEATURED SPEAKER: Dr. Benjamin Gesundheit
    * FEATURED SPEAKER: David Lender

    SATURDAY, MAY 26

    * KEYNOTE: Dr. Luc Montagnier
    * KEYNOTE: Jenny McCarthy
    * FEATURED SPEAKER: Dr. Thomas Borody

    SUNDAY, MAY 27

    * FEATURED SPEAKER: Dr. Yi Jin

    Autismone’s website now has a list of 100+ “luminaries” who are also scheduled speakers including, Mark Blaxill, Dan Olmsted, Tim Bolen, both Geiers, Stagmom, Ginger Taylor, Sherri Tenpenny and…Andy Wakefield.

  104. #104 brian
    January 11, 2012

    How nice that David Lewis will deliver a keynote address at Autismone. As an expert in sewage overflow, Lewis should fit right in with the other speakers. Lewis will be there to exonerate Wakefield:

    Editors at the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and Brian Deer, a freelance reporter with no formal training in science or medicine alleged that Andrew Wakefield fabricated the diagnosis of colitis in a 1998 Lancet study involving 12 children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).”

    Brian Deer is way ahead of him:

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2012/01/brian-deer-responds-to-david-lewis-complaint/

    http://briandeer.com/solved/david-lewis-1.htm

  105. #105 lilady
    January 11, 2012

    @ brian: I started reading your links 1.5 hours ago and I am extraordinarily pleased that Brian Deer has defended himself against the scurrilous onslaught of the former physician Wakefield and his hired gun, the human waste sludge specialist.

    Deer, by defending himself, now has provided us with additional information about the inner workings and machinations of “Team Wakefield”…and it is not a flattering portrayal. Wakefield’s lawsuit should go forward in Texas to prove once and for all time, the non-existent moral compass of this former doctor.

  106. #106 Sauceress
    January 11, 2012

    Brian

    As an expert in sewage overflow, Lewis should fit right in with the other speakers.

    Hehehehe…I had similar thoughts when I read Lewis’s explanations in response to Fiona Godlee’s questions on how his trip to the Vaccine Safety Conference came about and who financed his trip.

    [page 84 (pdf page 102)of Lewis’s “report”.]

    After all, every “vaccine safety” conference requires at least one speaker who has experience with biosolids.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the emails between David Lewis and Fiona Godlee.

    I found no basis for Lewis’s complaint. The reasons underlying any changes were explained to him and he quite happily agreed to those changes.

    It’s all there in the emails in Lewis’s pdf.

    For those who haven’t read them, see “Attachment 1 – Rapid Response emails” starting on page 16 (or pdf page 18)

  107. #107 lilady
    January 11, 2012

    Sauceress states, “After all, every “vaccine safety” conference requires at least one speaker who has experience with biosolids.”

    Well, if Lewis used his “expertise” in bio-solids on behalf of science, he “might” have a real career testifying about vaccines, their safety and efficacy for use in 3rd world countries. *It is estimated that 200 million farmers in China, India, Vietnam, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America use untreated human waste as fertilizer, implicated in outbreaks of cholera and typhoid and transmission of other fecal-oral diseases.

    * National Geographic News-August 21, 2008 “Human Waste Used By 200 Million Farmers, Study Says”

  108. #108 Tum
    February 13, 2012

    All this unjust persecution of medical geniuses.

    Go Dr. Wakefield!
    Go Dr. Judy*!
    Go Dr. Burzynski!
    Go Dr. Brinkley!
    Go Dr. Mengele!

    * Mikovits

    And sorry to invoke Godwin. Just could not resist.

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