Respectful Insolence

Any regular reader of this blog knows who Andrew Wakefield is. He’s the British gastroenterologist who almost singlehandedly ignited a panic about the MMR vaccine (well, not quite single-handedly; the sensationalistic British press helped a lot) with his shoddy, fraudulent research linking the MMR vaccine to “autistic enterocolitis” and then later to autism itself. Ultimately, his support for non-science-based speculation (not to mention his unethical behavior) caught up with him, and he was “struck off,” which is a lovely bit of British verbiage describing his having his license to practice medicine in the U.K. revoked. In the wake of his being struck off, dominoes rapidly fell, as Wakefield was forced out of his position at Thoughtful House, the clinic he helped found to treat autistic children based on the idea that vaccines cause autism, and then saw his Lancet article from 1998 retracted. Since then, Wakefield’s been wandering the wilderness of crank science, enjoying his status as a hero to antivaccinationists everywhere but not so happy that he has been so utterly and thoroughly discredited that he has trouble scoring gigs with the mainstream media anymore (although not, unfortunately, with the likes of Alex Jones).

Wakefield’s latest antic has been to try to sue Brian Deer, the investigative journalist who, through persistent, dogged reporting over several years, dug up the dirt on Wakefield and is therefore most responsible for his downfall. Ostensibly, Wakefield is suing Deer and the BMJ’s editor Fiona Godlee for having published an expose of his fraud in early 2011. Personally, I think it’s a desperate ploy to be relevant again.

Whatever the reason, Andy is apparently asking for your help at a fundraiser to be held in Long Beach:

When: Friday, March 2, 7:00 – 10:30pm

Where: Hyatt Regency, 200 South Pine Avenue, Long Beach, CA
Attire: Casual

Come mix, mingle, eat and drink with old friends and new, along with leaders in both the autism and health freedom communities. This is sure to be a unique and special evening that you won’t want to miss.

Attendees include: Andy Wakefield, Dan Olmsted, Kim Stagliano, Ginger Taylor, David Lewis, Julian Whitaker, Robert Scott Bell and more!

Tickets are $100 in advance, $125 at the door. Seating is limited. Admission includes food, one drink ticket, and a gift bag valued at over $50. Dress California casual. Buy tickets online HERE (www.drwakefieldjusticefund.org), at the AutismOne booth at the Expo or at the door.

Wow! So many antivaccine cranks at a single event! Notice how it’s conveniently timed to coincide with the start of the Health Freedom Expo, one of the largest gatherings of quacks you’ll ever see. Don’t believe me? Look at the speaker list! Then notice that it’s featuring as part of its “movie night” Burzynski The Movie. Not surprisingly, Age of Autism has teamed up with the Health Freedom Expo this year to do a warmup for the AutismOne quackfest that usually occurs in late May in Chicago; so it’s a perfect match.

Man, how I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the ballroom where this “event” is going to be hosted.

Comments

  1. #1 DrDuran
    February 24, 2012

    Ok, I live in CA, but have no idea what “California Casual” would be. LoL

    I wonder if I can get my state rep to sponsor a bill to ask Andy and his friends to leave the state?

  2. #2 herr doktor bimler
    February 24, 2012

    “California Casual”
    Probably a misspelling of “California Causal”, i.e, synchronicity.

  3. #3 Narad
    February 24, 2012

    Probably a misspelling of “California Causal”, i.e, synchronicity.

    I strongly object to this smearing of the principle of association of ideas that Hume refused to bring himself to.

  4. #4 lilady
    February 24, 2012

    Maybe Dr. Jay and J.B. will show up. Why isn’t Boy Wonder/ Ace Reporter listed as one of luminaries? Jake is Andy’s # 1 fanboi.

    Andy will need a lot more $ than they can raise for him at the quackathon, to pay his legal bills for that frivolous lawsuit instituted in Texas for “defamation” against Deer, Godlee and the BMJ.

  5. #5 NZ Sceptic
    February 24, 2012

    I want to know what might be in the gift bag? I assume it doubles as a sick bag for those pesky occasions when kids up-chuck at a birthday party!

  6. #6 lilady
    February 24, 2012

    I am willing to bet that some of the best contemporary fiction of our time…the latest books authored by the luminaries, some sample packs of “natural” vitamins and supplements. If you are really *lucky*, discount coupons for your first chelation and accupuncture treatments.

  7. #7 Andreas Johansson
    February 24, 2012

    I too wondered what “California casual” is. WP’s best guess is that it’s a typo for the insurance company California Casualty …

  8. #8 Renate
    February 24, 2012

    Considering California is mostly associated with sun, surfin and the beach, I suppose California casual should mean bathing suit or something likewise.

    But well, I’m from a country mostly associated with wooden shoes, cheese and windmills, so what do I know. I don’t have wooden shoes, I don’t like cheese and I don’t live in a windmill.

  9. #9 MikeMa
    February 24, 2012

    California casual might be flip flops and Hawaiian shirts. I’ll bet they’d welcome anyone dressed any way if the come with cash.

  10. #10 Nanette W
    February 24, 2012

    So much fear and mis-information still abounds in the Australian media because of Wakefield and his nonsense. Andy’s attendees from the medical ‘alternate universe’ might just “beam themselves up” one day and put us all out of our misery!

  11. #11 Dangerous Bacon
    February 24, 2012

    I don’t see how Dr. Jay can fail to show up for this shindig, seeing as he still has effusive praise for Wakefield up on his website and continued defending him here on RI this past week. How can he ignore a fundraising event in his own back yard and still maintain credibility with the Warrior Moms?

    Of course, every dollar funneled down the Wakefield rabbit hole might instead benefit genuine autism research*.

    *not sure if research donations get you a $50 gift bag, though.

  12. #12 Denice Walter
    February 24, 2012

    Will anyone there be taking blood?

  13. #13 JGC
    February 24, 2012

    I doubt they’ll be taking blood. As I understand Wakefield’s standard study design, if they were taking blood they’d be offering you a couple of pounds (and maybe a slice of birthday cake) rather than asking you to give him some of your money.

  14. #14 BA
    February 24, 2012

    Is California casual anything like Massachusetts moderate?

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    February 24, 2012

    Alright, because no one is tackling it:
    California casual ( southern division) is something anyone can do easily. Look in your closet. I’ll look in mine. Now if you see a perfect, crisp, dark suit which would be entirely serviceable in NY or London- you don’t want that. Ladies, if you have a lovely, black, diaphonous frock that makes you look like an evil faery ( think Helena Bonham Carter): no, no, no. A marvellous charcoal grey silk blouse or gentlemen, a Hugo Boss striped shirt. No. And don’t worry if your tie is appropo, forget ties. You can possibly forget socks as well.

    Here’s what you need: clothes that wrinkle easily, especially trousers/ pants. Off-whites and pastels, Indian cottons and other ( subtle) ethnic influences ( Hawaiian shirts are a tad much) Ikat, maybe even a Missoni-ish flame pattern. A bright or faded, loose, caftan-y tunic will go for the ladies. Perhaps all-white- sleevless tank and jeans. Expensive, light blue jeans are *de rigeur* as are sandals- (female versions may include flat, beaded or 90mm heels) or men, very soft, tan loafers. A collared “golf” shirt with an unstructured jacket will do. You need a tan and that leaves some of us out.
    -btw- Dr Carmel W. looks as though she knows her way around a boutique.

  16. #16 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 24, 2012

    California casual might be flip flops and Hawaiian shirts. I’ll bet they’d welcome anyone dressed any way if the come with cash.

    For some reason, when I read “California Casual” my first thought was Jeff Spicola. And then it was Phoebe Cates, but that had nothing to do with California Casual.

  17. #17 lilady
    February 24, 2012

    “Will anyone there be taking blood?”

    You’ll be lucky if you get assigned to the blood drawing group. For the other procedures, you’ll need an open-in-the-back examining gown…now that’s California Casual.

  18. #18 MikeMa
    February 24, 2012

    As a medical professional, Wakefield used to pay 5 pounds to stick you (or your kid) with a needle. Now, as a struck off fraud, he charges ten times that to smile at you, shake your hand and spout crap. Not the kind of value proposition I’d go with but that is just me. Oh, and check his pockets for needles.

  19. #19 Mary L
    February 24, 2012

    The fact that Wakefield has to pay an attorney to take his case is telling. Most libel cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. This type of case is taken on a fee basis when the attorney knows it has little to no chance of succeeding.

  20. #20 Beamup
    February 24, 2012

    @ Denice Walter:

    Aw shucks. If “California casual” had meant bikinis, then the shindig would have at least some redeeming value.

  21. #21 Karl Withakay
    February 24, 2012

    Although it does not explicitly state so, I assume the proceeds go to the Dr. Wakefield Justice Fund.

    Normally you find funds started to help people defend against law suits rather than to help press law suits.

  22. #22 kruuth
    February 24, 2012

    I’m really, really hoping Mr. Deer countersues on this one. I’m no legal expert but I’m pretty sure if it can be shown that Mr. Wakefield is getting his funding for the suit from these nutjobs then their finances are fair game.

    Anything on the Doctor’s Data Lawsuit against Dr. Barrett?

  23. #23 kruuth
    February 24, 2012

    @ Mary L

    It’s also telling that he’s filing it in the US, against a British national, and a publication in Britain. There are so many issues here with enforcement/jurisdiction most judges would most likely dismiss on alone, not to mention the fact that Deer has ALWAYS backed up what he has said with solid scientific evidence. Facts tend to get in the way when you’re basing your case on thin air. For the life of me I can’t even remember the last time there was a libel suit that won in the US involving public figures.
    You know, I think we should donate a law book to Mr. Wakefield. Just because he comes from Britain doesn’t mean that their arcane libel laws work on this side of the pond.

  24. #24 Peter English
    February 24, 2012

    His legacy is still being commented on. See e.g. the just-published:

    Brown KF, Long SJ, Ramsay M, Hudson MJ, Green J, Vincent CA, et al. UK parents’ decision-making about measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine 10 years after the MMR-autism controversy: A qualitative analysis. Vaccine 2012;30(10):1855-1864. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X11020883).

  25. #25 Chris
    February 24, 2012

    kruuth:

    I’m really, really hoping Mr. Deer countersues on this one.

    I keep hoping that Mr. Deer sues some folks in the UK who have been dragging his name in the mud for several years. One actually spammed blogs with comments that Deer had made everything up. The irony is that the lying spammer is a lawyer.

  26. #26 lilady
    February 24, 2012

    Dr. David Lewis, PhD…is on the speaker’s list.

    That’s the same David Lewis who handed over Wakefield’s copies of the hand-scored specimen pathology reports from the study to Brian Deer. And, that’s the same dope who will testify for Wakefield (he’s an expert witness, ya know), if the Texas case goes forward. He’s also the same dope who was disqualified as an expert witness by the NYS Office Of Professional Medical Conduct, during a licensing hearing for a doctor who infected his patients with hepatitis B.

    Now, how would an attendee at the Quackathon decide which of the two movies that are being run simultaneously, to view? Choices are:

    Fork Over Knives (Vegan diet over non-vegan, I presume)

    Burzynski (See Orac’s movie review)

  27. #27 Liz Ditz
    February 24, 2012

    In Northern California, “California Casual” would mean:

    Luckily, it’s one of the few dress options that translates equally to both men and women – Jeans, a shirt with buttons (polo, dressy or pullover) and sports coat/blazer. Footwear is subject to the environment; if at a convention or office meeting shoes are a good choice, but if your activities, even your business ones are in a relaxed environment like a restaurant, lounge or outdoor area, sandals (ECCO not Teva’s) can work. That’s it. No shorts and flip flops, those are only on Fridays and at the beach.

  28. #28 Poodle Stomper
    February 24, 2012

    The gift bag includes: 1 bottle colloidal silver, 2 pre-measeled lolipops, some at-home coffee enema kits, and a gift certificate to have reiki done. =P

  29. #31 taylormattd
    February 24, 2012

    @Denise – 15

    Omg, I think I love you.

  30. #32 Michelle
    February 24, 2012

    sorry for the double post

    Love this comment to the Slate article above–was it from one of our regulars?

    braindoc

    “Many of the anti-vaccination crowd seems to be ignorant of the catastrophic potential consequences of contracting many of the diseases against which children are commonly vaccinated. As a neurologist, I have seen tragic cases of SSPE (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis)–caused by the measles virus; disseminated zoster, varicella-associated myelitis, etc caused by the chicken pox virus; and terrible permanent brain injury related to rubella. The common perception that a child who contracts one of these “benign” childhood illnesses is then “immune” is actually inaccurate. Contracting chicken pox, for instance, allows the person to generate antibodies which prevent further episodes of “primary” infection (meaning the itchy bumps & fever), but the virus is dormant in nervous tissue FOR THE REST OF THE CHILD’S LIFE. This means that if, at some point in the future, the patient becomes immunosuppressed, has to take certain medications (some of which are relatively common), or simply becomes elderly, he/she is at risk of devastating neurological consequences. Admittedly, these events are rare, but still prevalent enough that I’ve seen a handful in my 5 years of practice. Also, they are devastating, unpredictable, and in some cases untreatable. Unfortunately, parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are not just placing their own family at risk. Many children can’t be vaccinated (or lose immunity) because of age, underlying disease, or immunosuppression; one measles outbreak was traced to a pediatrician’s office, where an unvaccinated carrier infected infants in the practice who were too young to have received vaccination. That outbreak resulted in the death of an infant. In my opinion, the parents of the unvaccinated child should be held accountable for the infant’s death. If a parent chooses to disregard the recommendations of the CDC and the APA, which are substantiated by decades of high-quality research and epidemiological data, he or she is free to do so. However, those individuals should be held legally responsible for the consequences of their negligence.” …more

  31. #33 Chris
    February 24, 2012

    Michelle, thanks for the link to that article. I especially agree to this part (emphasis added):

    In most cases, measles just creates a few days of utter misery for the patient—which is reason enough to vaccinate, unless you have some sadistic streak—but in some cases, it can lead to pneumonia or encephalitis, causing brain damage or death. I genuinely don’t think anti-vaccination parents want their kids to get sick, even though some of them act disturbingly blase about that possibility or minimize the suffering these diseases can cause. (I still can recall with great clarity what torture the chicken pox was, and curse any parent who thinks it’s better to put a kid through that than simply give them a shot.)

  32. #34 Karl Withakay
    February 24, 2012

    Seeing as how it is the “Dr. Wakefield Justice Fund” and not the “Dr. Wakefield Defense Fund”, one would think ethics would require recording the names and amounts for donations so that if Wakefield were to somehow win his case and receive monetary compensation, the donors could be reimbursed.

    If I were a Wakfield supporter, I might wonder why I should donate my hard earned money to help someone else win money in a lawsuit.

    I might give money to a friend down on their luck, but if I give them money to either invest or gamble with, I’m going to at least want the principal back if they are successful and turn a profit.

  33. #35 lilady
    February 24, 2012

    @ Michelle: It seems that Indiana is a hotbed for anti-vax activity. Are they too dumb to learn from recent outbreaks?:

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6034a5.htm

  34. #36 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 24, 2012

    It seems that Indiana is a hotbed for anti-vax activity. Are they too dumb to learn from recent outbreaks?:

    Indiana overall is above national average in vaccination rates,I think.

    However, Hamilton County, where this outbreak originated, is the textbook example of the non-vaccinating area. It’s Carmel, BroadRipple, and Westfield. Upscale and privileged.

    If you had asked me a year ago where in Indiana was most likely to have a measles outbreak, I would have predicted Hamilton County.

  35. #37 lordshipmayhem
    February 24, 2012

    Friday? Nope, can’t make that fundraising.

    You see, Fridays are when I rearrange my sock drawer. That’s much more important than attending a cocktail party honouring a fool. Maybe next year, Mr Wakefield.

  36. #38 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    February 24, 2012

    MikeMa @ 9:

    California casual might be flip flops and Hawaiian shirts.

    Any Californicators in the house? I learned the term “flip-flops” from a Midwest transplant when I was in my 30′s. When I was growing up, we never called them anything but “zoris” (And believe me, I saw every sign in every store that carried them, because I’d dive to the bottom of each and every one of those giant bins looking for the rare and elusive size-12s—much harder to find than 4-leaf clovers.)

    They have at least as many Japanese-Americans in California as we do—surely they called them zoris, too. At least until that Jimmy Buffet song came along?

  37. #39 Sauceress
    February 24, 2012

    When I was growing up, we never called them anything but “zoris”

    In Australian they are called “thongs”. That “s” makes all the difference.

    Jandals(sp?)in NZ I think.

  38. #40 herr doktor bimler
    February 24, 2012
  39. #41 Denice Walter
    February 24, 2012

    @ taylormattd:

    Your kind words are greatly appreciated. Although you may not believe it, I actually write serious material- but today is such a dreary day that if I can lift someone’s spirit, I will. With people like AJW gadding about publicly, all of our spirits need lifting.

    @ Narad:

    For some reason, in the back of my mind, I’ve always associated you with Hume.

  40. #42 lilady
    February 24, 2012

    @ The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    You’re dating yourself…and so am I. I grew up in New York and we called those cheap rubber thongs “Zoris”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z%C5%8Dri

  41. #43 LibraryGuy
    February 24, 2012

    I grew up in Michigan, and we called ‘em flip-flops, or thongs (until that name got hijacked for a much more fun piece of apparel). I’ve never heard the term “zoris.” Learn something new every day.

  42. #44 Anne
    February 24, 2012

    @ kruuth – 22: That Doctor’s Data case is still going on. The federal court in Illinois denied Dr. Barrett’s motion to dismiss under the Illinois anti-SLAPP law because the judge decided that under the Illinois “choice of law” rules, it had to apply the law of North Carolina where Dr. Barrett, the “speaker,” lives. And North Carolina doesn’t have an anti-SLAPP statute.

    The judge ended up throwing out 5 of Doctor’s Data’s claims, and allowing Doctor’s Data to proceed on 4 of them. The case is in its discovery phase now.

    There could be a similar choice of law issue on anti-SLAPP in Wakefield’s case. I have no idea what the choice of law rules in Texas are.

  43. #45 lilady
    February 25, 2012

    I’ve just been slumming at AoA and guess what…J.B. is back with another dopey article.

    Also Autism One has a new “medical journal” with Jenny on the cover…according to AoA.

  44. #46 Matthew Cline
    February 25, 2012

    The federal court in Illinois denied Dr. Barrett’s motion to dismiss under the Illinois anti-SLAPP law because the judge decided that under the Illinois “choice of law” rules, it had to apply the law of North Carolina where Dr. Barrett, the “speaker,” lives.

    Huh, I wonder if that means that the Texas anti-SLAPP law won’t apply in the Wakefield lawsuit, since Deer and the BMJ are in Britain.

  45. #47 MikeMa
    February 25, 2012

    On the flip-flops/zoris/thongs terminology: Grew up in PA, lived in CO & CA (SF). Never heard of zoris. Cool name. As LibraryGuy said, calling them thongs dropped off rapidly after they began to refer to some delightful to look at underwear. Never got over the butt-floss image though.

  46. #48 MI Dawn
    February 25, 2012

    @LibraryGuy: from another Michigander, yeah, flip-flops or thongs. But I *had* heard the term zoris since I was (and am) a prolific reader and it was in one of the books I’d read about Japanese dolls. But because of the specific description of what zoris looked like (at least in the book), I never “translated” the term to the little, plastic flip-flops we wore at the beach.

    And, gee, I can’t go to the fundraiser, either. Besides the facts that I live across the country AND have bowling every Friday night, if I HAD an extra $100 I’d spend it on something worthwhile, not for a fraud to defend himself in a frivolous lawsuit.

  47. #49 TBruce
    February 25, 2012

    Well, I can’t go. I’m on call that week.

    That’s one bonus of being an Altie. You don’t have to take call.

  48. #50 Sesli Chat
    February 25, 2012

    Never got over the butt-floss image though.

  49. #51 Denice Walter
    February 25, 2012

    @ lilady:

    As if there isn’t enough anti-vaxx tripe about: a new group blog ( Alison MacNeil et al) “Thinking Moms’ Revolution” has premiered and several awful articles -and a mind-numbingly stupid parody ( by Mikey)- have appeared in the past several days @ NaturalNews. Verbal swill ( re vax- and everything else) flows effusively at the Progressive Radio Network.

    I would suggest you make sure you have adequate supplies for mixed drinks in the house when you peruse this material, as I predict you will need several by the time you’re done. While I like gin, vodka has its merits.

  50. #52 Melissa G
    February 25, 2012

    Zoris bring me tsoris.

    As for the other type of thong mentioned, I can never un- hear Mark Crislip’s description of them as “a bacterial superhighway” from anus to vagina, and I have never been tempted to wear one since.

    Wait, what was the topic, again?

  51. #53 lilady
    February 25, 2012

    @ Denice Walter: I try to stay away from anti-vax sites, until later in the day…to avoid daytime imbibing.

    IMO and IANAL…Wakefield’s lawsuit was filed in a Texas State Court, where the SLAPP rules are in place. There is no question that Andy has the right to commence a lawsuit in Texas because that is where he resides.

  52. #54 Glaxxon PharmaCOM Cutter: GIC Venal Aggression
    February 25, 2012

    MESSAGE BEGINS————————

    Shills and Minions:

    I am once again in transit, having been called back to Glaxxon Prime for the investiture of the 233rd Grand Vitara of Viroxxidin. This tedious, four-day formulary ceremony and contract-signing opera, will undoubtedly make spending a few days listening to the AntiVaxx Loons mewl on about our eeeeeevil plans to stupefy your species a “piece of cock,” to use your quaint vernacular. This dreary bureacratic diversion pulls me away from getting our new Trerrabase DIA open on time and under budget. And what is it you monkeys say about remodels? Take your budget and schedule and then double it? Well, you can triple ours. Honestly, do you know that you can choose from no less than four hundred kinds of lavatory faucets? Four hundred! For one grumbly, hairly little species. I don’t think the Collaboratum of the Orion Arm has four hundred kinds of faucets between seven species in forty star systems. And getting your corporations, secret societies and governments to agree on anything, well, no wonder the Kthraxxx implanted all of their clients with slavechips first thing off the mothership. In any case, I was going to chime-in on something about “California Casual” but the captain has initated the brane-jump countdown and I really can’t remember what I was going to say . . . Oh yes, it was about zoris! That’s what the Rothschilds call 001001011110101010000001001001011111010101100

    TRANSMISSION LOST——————————————–

  53. #55 Liz Ditz
    February 25, 2012

    Various:

    I am a 5th generation Californian: that cheap rubbery sandal-footwear was and is called flip-flops and (forgive the racism) by some WWII-veterans: Jap slaps. Zoris were reserved for you know, real zoris that you wore with split-toe socks and kimonos.

    The new group blog from the AoA ladeez… As some of you know, I was one of the founding editors of a group blog, The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. The impetus for starting the blog was in fact St. Andy being struck off…we (the founders) thought that would open up the conversation about autism, moving away from the “Autism is vaccine injury”. Our core values include: that autism is a natural variation of the human experience, that autistics can and should speak for themselves, that autism may confer unique strengths, and that the difficulties that autism can cause individuals should be addressed with evidence-based approaches.

    In December 2011, we published a book composed of previously-published blog posts, also called The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. The book has been well-received, with positive reviews from John Elder Robison, Seth Mnookin, Paul Offit, and more. Profits from the book’s sales will be donated to national autism organizations aligned with our values.

    I can’t help but think that the reviews of the book, and the ongoing success of the blog, might have some bearing on the title of the new AoA-spawned blog. They are also planning a book.

  54. #56 Anne
    February 25, 2012

    @ lilady – The state law of Texas has choice of law rules to apply when the litigants are in different jurisdictions. A quick search tells me that Texas uses the same test as Illinois does – the law of the forum with the most significant interest in the issue to be decided should apply. As in the DDI case, you could end up using one forum’s law for some issues, and the other forum’s law for other issues.

    If the Texas state court decides that foreign law applies, it can apply the foreign law itself or, if it decides that the foreign country has a greater interest in deciding the overall dispute than Texas does, it could give up its own jurisdiction in favor of the jurisdiction of the foreign country. It’s a fairly complicated area of law and it will be interesting to see what happens in Wakefield’s case.

  55. #57 Alistair Wall
    February 25, 2012

    “ethics would require recording the names and amounts for donations”

    In Britain there is something called ‘barratry’, which means that in the event of a plaintiff losing a case, anyone who put up money can be pursued for costs.

    IANAL

  56. #58 Marley
    February 25, 2012

    “Wakefield’s latest antic has been to try to sue Brian Deer, the investigative journalist who, through persistent, dogged reporting over several years, dug up the dirt on Wakefield and is therefore most responsible for his downfall.”

    Am I the only one who thinks that Wakefield is responsible for his downfall, and Deer is responsible for reporting Wakefield’s actions?

  57. #59 DLC
    February 26, 2012

    Wakefield . . . how come I’m not surprized to find he’ll be attending Quackapalooza ? “Health Freedom ” indeed. If you want to trust to luck with these conmen and their scam-treatment, I can’t stop you.

  58. #60 Harold L Doherty
    February 26, 2012

    I trust the American judicial system to sort out whether the Wakefield suit is with, or without, merit.

    As for remaining relevant I believe this site, and the whole Offitt offensive, is doing that for him. Have any of the … ahem … scientists … and ahem … researchers … that contribute to this site ever studied the extent to which your constant attacks on Wakefield or anyone who questions vaccine safety keeps these issues in public view and drives down vaccination rates?

    Are Orac and his cult like followers in fact helping to suppress vaccination rates? I expect a list of cheap insults in reply but perhaps you can point to a study which shows the results of these incessant and childish personal attacks in raising (or lowering) vaccination rates? Just curious.

  59. #61 lilady
    February 26, 2012

    Mr. Doherty: I know you are an attorney…so why didn’t Wakefield offer up a defense during the GMC hearing? Why didn’t he appeal the decision of the GMC. Why didn’t he follow through with his first lawsuit against Brian Deer in the U.K.?

    Ahem, the people who post here are real scientists and ahem, real researchers and ahem, real doctors and ahem, real nurses and ahem, actually are educated in ahem, immunology and ahem, vaccine-preventable diseases. We chose to post here to dispel the myths promulgated by the notorious anti-vax websites. Is that a bad thing?

    It might surprise you but, many posters here are on the “spectrum” and many posters here have developmentally disabled children. We all have great empathy for parents whose children are born with handicapping conditions.

  60. #62 Denice Walter
    February 26, 2012

    @ Harold L. Doherty:

    Although you might imagine me being a priestess or vestal virgin ( don’t laugh) within the High Church Cult, I came to my beliefs *swiftly* and independently following the appearance of AJW’s infamous article- you see, I did study a bit of developmental neuro-physiology, and the study didn’t seem right somehow. I can give you a precise date: it was prior to October ’01, when my cousin feared vaccines *because* of the ruckus created by AJW and asked me for advice about vaccinating his newborn ( who is -btw- now age 10 and a strapping 5′ tall!) because of my studies. I told him not to worry.

    People often behave in consonance with their beliefs- I do recall seeing a graph somewhere** that followed vax rates in the UK that seem to inversely mirror the fortunes of AJW ( i.e. study in news- vax down; news about the ‘fix’, rates go back up)- it looks like a flattened V.

    I know you have a son with autism- I truly believe that the anti-vaxx movement with its pseudo-science and political manoeuvrings is a disservice to parents like you because it keeps peddling nonsense instead of helping folks to deal with everyday issues and getting therapeutic/educational services for their children. It wastes time, effort and money. I wouldn’t be involved in *any* of this if I didn’t believe that pseudo-science hurts *real* people.

    ** oh where, oh where can that graph be?

  61. #63 Gopiballava
    February 26, 2012

    constant attacks on Wakefield or anyone who questions vaccine safety

    My understanding was that Wakefield was found to have lied and committed unethical acts while being paid by a trial attorney. Please correct me if I am wrong about that. If that is true, I would say that attacks in such behavior would be warranted.

    I don’t see people attacked here for questioning vaccine safety. I see people attacked for asserting without evidence that vaccines have specific dangers or risks. How many of the people being criticized here have done actual research? How many have peer reviewed published research to back up their claims?

    If you take the position that they’re being ignored by mainstream science, can you point to the publication-ready papers that have been rejected? The way you convince scientists you are right is by publishing papers, not writing blogs. If you aren’t submitting papers then you aren’t being repressed.

    perhaps you can point to a study which shows the results of these incessant and childish personal attacks in raising (or lowering) vaccination rates?

    I think you have it backwards. If Dr. Wakefield did what he is accused of doing, do you think that attacks such as these would be justified? I do.

    Do you think that Dr. Wakefield did not actually do what he was accused of? If so, then I think you’re being horribly disingenuous here. When I see somebody repeating a falsehood about a person, I don’t say “you’re being too insulting when you repeat that lie…you should be mature and impersonal in your criticism.” Rather, I tell them that they’re repeating a falsehood.

    Do you disagree with Orac’s positions on the science of vaccines? If you do, why won’t you say so? Why are you sniping at tone when there is serious substantive disagreement?

  62. #64 Denice Walter
    February 26, 2012

    And by example-
    Anyone can look at websites that frighten people from vaccinating: I don’t know how *making people aware* as Orac & Co do, can compete with the effect of the constant barrage of mis-information and fear-mongering about vaccines that emanates from well-known sites like Age of Autism, Autism One, Jabs, NVIC, AVN, new ones springing up all the time- Canary Party, Thinking Moms’ Revolution- and more general woo like Natural News, Progressive Radio Network, Mercola, Gaia Health, ANH et al. I suggest our critics take a single hour and skim the most recent posts/ articles on several of these sites.

    Now don’t be shocked but several of these advocates work with each other. Gasp!

  63. #65 Gopiballava
    February 26, 2012

    Denise reminded me of something.

    Mr. Doherty: How often do you complain about the tone on anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine-safety blogs?

    If you don’t do that frequently, can you give me the names of some you read that you think are reasonable / accurate and don’t insult?

  64. #66 Denice Walter
    February 26, 2012

    For examples of *tone*, I suggest reading articles about vaccines by Mssrs Adams, Null, Blaxill, Olmsted, Crosby- amongst others- at the sites I mention above. If I recall correctly, RI has been visited by at least *one* of these ‘writers’ who was hardly the type of guest I would welcome enthusiastically (- btw- he didn’t like yours truly- although I can’t imagine *why*)because he was not exactly “civil” to many commenters here.

    Name-calling and accusations of wrong-doing( including criminality) are rather commonplace by adamant anti-vaxxers. I *do* cut a little slack if a parent of an autistic child/ adult is hurling the invective because I understand that their lives must be filled with daily challenges *but* that doesn’t mean it’s not occuring.

  65. #67 Dangerous Bacon
    February 26, 2012

    Harold Doherty said : “Have any of the … ahem … scientists … and ahem … researchers … that contribute to this site…Orac and his cult like followers…I expect a list of cheap insults in reply”

    No insults, Harold, cheap or otherwise. I do suggest that in the matter of tone, you set a better example, and take advantage of the good information and evidence presented here to engage in civil discussion.

    We know that you’re capable of it.

    ht_p://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/answering-some-autism-questions/

  66. #68 Thomas
    February 26, 2012

    The standard for being a cult are getting lower and lower – once it required ascribing godlike powers to their leader (like comparing Wakefield to Jesus, for example), and vigorously censoring opposing views (like AOA boasts about). Now all it takes to trigger Harold’s cult meter is talking about continuing fraud by a corrupt doctor. Orac – you should be ashamed at exposing people to such things.

  67. #69 lilady
    February 26, 2012

    I believe that Mr. Doherty is a lurker here and occasionally does some drive-by posting. He takes offense and lashes out specifically at Orac. Analyzing his last few posts here, I suspect that he feels that only a parent of a child on the Spectrum, should be able to blog about Autism. He seems to think that the “science” journalists/parents of a child on the Spectrum at notorious anti-vax websites, should have free reign to disseminate their junk science.

    I simply don’t understand how an intelligent person can justify the egregious harm that Wakefield inflicted on 12 helpless kids. The fact that Mr. Doherty actually has a child with autism and still supports Wakefield is mind boggling.

  68. #70 Krebiozen
    February 26, 2012

    Are Orac and his cult like followers in fact helping to suppress vaccination rates?

    I have no wish to be insulting, but that has to be one of the silliest suggestions I have seen in quite a while. You are really suggesting it is the people trying to combat the tide of idiotic anti-vaccine scaremongering that are to blame for the fall in vaccination rates? Not those spreading lies and disinformation? That’s lame to put it mildly.

    And “cult like followers”? Talk about cheap insults. I’m a Big Pharma shill, or so I am told. Cult members would jump off a cliff for their leader. Big Pharma shills do dirty work for the highest bidder. Big difference.

  69. #71 Imogen
    February 27, 2012

    This whole thread has given me a mental image of AW in a thong bikini…

    It is very wrong.

  70. #72 MikeMa
    February 27, 2012

    Harold,
    It would appear you need a new schtick. The tone thing has fallen flat.

    Most thinking people will eventually realize AoA and their lies are just that, lies. And they will understand that woo is just that, woo.

    Orac does his part, as do the many highly competent posters here, in providing the material that can turn someone from the dark side.

    Also Harold, what is it with the “Offit offensive”? Is that an insult to a man who has developed a tool to save millions or are you just assigning Dr. Offit an honored point position?

  71. #73 Michael J. Dochniak
    February 29, 2012

    One of Orac’s “Respectful Insolence” loyal participant’s (i.e., minion) has added something to the vaccine/regressive autism connection.

    For example, Prometheus actually read and critiqued the book titled, “Vaccine Delivery and Autism – The Latex Connection”.

    No matter the opinion, I admire Prometheus’ effort.

    Michael J. Dochniak

  72. #74 Gray Falcon
    February 29, 2012

    MjD, I thought you were banned for your absolute inability to comprehend the concept of honesty.

  73. #75 Lawrence
    February 29, 2012

    OMG – wow, MjD is back. I think, more accurately, Prometheus demolished MjD’s book, point by point, using actual scientific evidence and exposed his “hypothesis” for what it truly is – a guess, inside an idea, wrapped in a layer of “no evidence.”

  74. #76 lilady
    February 29, 2012

    @ Gray Falcon: I don’t think MJD has been banned…yet.

    Just continue to ignore MJD as he is bound to interject his bogus latex causes autism theory.

  75. #77 Prometheus
    March 7, 2012

    Re: MjD (#73):

    Holy zombie topics, Batman! MjD commits attempted thread hijacking in order to compliment me on a series of posts on my ‘blog from back in December 2011 (necromancy by proxy?). Is he really this desperate for attention? Has he forgotten that I dismantled his wretched book page by poorly written page and claim by unsupported claim?

    This seems like pathological attention-seeking, to me.

    Prometheus

    References:

    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=243
    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=245
    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=247

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