Respectful Insolence

I must admit. No matter how long I’ve been dealing with the antivaccine movement, in particular the pseudoscience, misinformation, and sometimes outright lies they use to demonize vaccines, I can never quite understand the profound persecution complex that so many of them have. After all, they lash out with so much vehemence and outright nastiness at their perceived enemies, trying to harass them at their jobs and get them fired, for instance, and launching Internet smear campaigns against them. That is why I find it disingenuous in the extreme when they then turn around and clutch at the status of victims, trying to portray themselves to the world as poor innocents, persecuted by, well, it’s never entirely clear who is supposed to be persecuting them: pharmaceutical companies, the government (particularly the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, the former of which promotes public health programs involving vaccination and the latter of which tries vainly to shut down the quackery to which a subset of them subject their children), and, apparently, the entire medical establishment. Of course, all that these entities are trying to do is to protect their children against infectious diseases that can cause debilitation and even death, but from their reaction you would think that they were trying to feed their children to wild animals.

Every so often, however, I find an article or a post from an antivaccinationist that limns their frequent mindset that I feel it worth examining. Just such a post appeared on the blog of the Australian equivalent of antivaccine groups, such as Generation Rescue or the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), namely the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN). It is by an anonymous guest poster who is apparently so afraid of the verbal assaults of proponents of science down under that she does not wish to reveal her name. Now, far be it from me, someone who has blogged under a pseudonym for several years, to criticize anyone for deciding not to reveal her real name online. It might well be true that right now my real identity is about the worst kept secret in the skeptical and medical blogosphere, but early in my blogging career it was not so. However, sooner or later, the Internet reveals all, and so it did with me beginning less than six months after I started this blog.

Be that as it may, the title of the post is ‘Anti Vaxxer’ the new dirty word? Of course, I would tend to answer that it is a dirty word, and that’s how it should be, for those who seek to avoid and demonize vaccination directly contribute to the degradation of public health, as well as the illness and even death of children. It is thus appropriate that “antivaxer” should be an epithet, although, as I have argued before it is an epithet that should not be used too easily and quickly. It is a term that should be reserved for those who really are antivaccine, a term that appears to apply to this anonymous poster, given her emphasis on “vaccine injury” and how dangerous she thinks vaccines are. Moreover, this “antivaxer” is very, very unhappy that anyone would call her an “antivaxer”:

Our history is full of people using terms to incite hostility, fear and resentment against other groups, and now is the age of the ‘Anti Vaxxer’ – the title given to people who question the safety and in some cases the necessity of vaccinations.

If you look in the newspapers or on the internet, you will see that people who question vaccine safety are ridiculed, condemned and discriminated against on quite a regular basis. You might think, “Surely this behaviour is not promoted by supposedly intelligent, rational beings in this day and age?”, but unfortunately you would be wrong.

I’m not exactly sure what she means by “discriminated against.” Criticism of anti-scientific and pseudoscientific views that endanger children is not the same thing as “discriminating” against her. Moreover, as is the case with everything, one reaps what one sows. Spread pseudoscience, and you will have criticism heaped upon you in proportion to the amount and ridiculousness of the pseudoscience you spread and in direct proportion to the danger and harm it can cause. That is the reason why And antivaccinationists spread misinformation that can and does cause an incredible amount of harm.

In fact, I’m rather surprised at just how mild the criticisms were that so offended this anonymous blogger. All the statements say is that babies die because of the antivaccine movement, which is true, and there’s a sarcastic statement from a pediatrician who said, “We’re appalled at how many kids are getting whooping cough because the chardonnay set and the alternatives don’t vaccinate their children.” Let’s just put it this way. Decreases in vaccine uptake degrade herd immunity and lead to outbreaks of infectious diseases. The antivaccine movement spreads fear, uncertainty, and doubt about vaccines, discouraging parents from vaccinating based on bogus claims that vaccines cause autism, asthma, chronic illnesses. Some of them even claim that shaken baby syndrome is really vaccine injury or that vaccines can cause sudden infant death syndrome. (There is, of course, no good scientific evidence to support either claim.) Yet, these simple observations lead this anonymous blogger to complain:

When did raising your child with love, respect, a healthy diet, plenty of fresh air, sunshine and exercise, while limiting their exposure to toxins become a crime?

If you listen to what these people are saying, anyone who does not vaccinate their child is a money grabbing, disease causing, child killer.

Straw man much? No one I’m aware of views “anyone” who does not vaccinate her child as a money-grubbing, disease-causing child killer. It is, however, appropriate to point out that such parents, regardless of motivation (which in most cases is genuinely out of concern for their child based on the mistaken and pseudoscientific belief that vaccines cause all sorts of horrible conditions and diseases that they do not, in fact, cause) are doing something harmful to children and public health. That is not an insult, nor is it a personal attack. It is a statement based on science and a plea to listen to reason. It is not directed at parents who “question” vaccines, particularly those who question them based on the misinformation they have encountered on the Internet or elsewhere; it is rather directed at parents who actively spread antivaccine misinformation and pseudoscience. Nor is it directed at parents who raise their children with “love, respect, a healthy diet, plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, while limiting their exposure to toxins.” Rather, it is parents who see imaginary “toxins” where they are not (as in vaccines) and as a result do not vaccinate, with some of them even trying to frighten other parents into not vaccinating.

This particular post can at first seem very damning to Bowditch, but context is everything. It is rather interesting that this anonymous blogger links to an AVN post about Peter Bowditch by Australian antivaccine maven Meryl Dorey as evidence that those of us who point out that the antivaccine movement endangers children are calling any parent who doesn’t vaccinate a “baby killer.” I find this disingenuous in the extreme, given that the post was about Peter Bowditch’s righteously harsh criticism of Meryl Dorey for having so vigorously defended a real baby killer. I’m referring to Alan Yurko, a man who shook his girlfriend’s baby to death and then became the darlin gof the antivaccine movement, who tried to argue that the cause of the baby’s injuries were not shaken baby syndrome, but rather “vaccine injury.” Meryl Dorey was one of Yurko’s most vocal supporters. No, this was not the case of “pseudoskeptics” or nasty skeptics calling antivaccinationists “baby killers” indiscriminatedly. It was a case of Peter Bowditch calling one particular group of antivaccinationists, those who went out of their way to support Alan Yurko and demonize his critics, supporters of a baby killer, which they were. They supported him with lies, pseudoscience, and misinformation.

All of this, to this anonymous blogger, apparently constitutes “discrimination” and “persecution:

Another very disturbing aspect to come out of this portrayal of ‘anti vaxxers’ is that the media, government and medical vaccine advocates are working together in promoting an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality. These groups are actively condoning discrimination and in turn, persecution of the Australian Vaccination Network, it’s founder Meryl Dorey and anyone associated with them. Is this what our true Aussie spirit is about now? Be there for your mate but only if he vaccinates.

“Persecution”? Seriously? The relentless stream of invective that emanates from the AVN and our American antivaccine groups makes what I say, anyway, seem truly tame by comparison. In fact, I used to be a lot more sarcastic, a lot more “insolent” but have apparently mellowed somewhat with age. Certainly my not-so-Respectful Insolence rarely reaches the heights (or lows) that it once did, although it appears still to be sufficiently amusing to read that I still have respectable traffic. Be that as it may, this all drips of the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. All of this criticism, apparently, is designed to lay the groundwork for…repression:

What these harassers of ‘anti-vaxxers’ do not realise (or maybe they do) is that they are laying the foundation for persecution and repression of people that are just trying to raise their families in the healthiest way possible.

The path to repression begins with many small steps. It starts with the gradual wearing away of someone else’s rights through restriction of employment, public education, and government entitlements. Then comes ostracism whilst creating fear, hostility and resentment towards the group in question from the rest of society. Not too soon after that, segregation comes in to the mix.

Help, help, I’m being repressed!

This anonymous blogger wants to link her “struggle” with that of oppressed minorities. There is, however, a huge difference. Antivaccinationists are being criticized not for what they are, as most minorities are, but rather for what they choose to do: Not vaccinating while spreading fear and lies about vaccination in order to persuade others not to vaccinate as well, thus decreasing vaccine uptake and chipping away at herd immunity. It is entirely legitimate to criticize people for their actions, particularly when their actions endanger public health. Yes, sometimes the discussion gets heated, but I wonder if this anonymous blogger is aware that the woman whom she seems to admire, the woman who allowed her to post her whine to the AVN blog, has advocated contacting the parents of babies who died of SIDS in order to find out if the babies had been vaccinated, all in the service of trying to “prove” that vaccines cause SIDS. This is particularly despicable in light of Dorey’s previous advocacy for a child killer, all to prove it was the evil vaccines, not the murderer, who killed the child. Yes, Dorey saw no trouble making common cause with a man as despicable as Alan Yurko or with badgering the parents of babies lost to SIDS. I wonder whether this anonymous blogger will criticize her for “persecution” and lack of civility. More importantly, will she admit that Bowditch had a point in castigating Dorey for taking this vile position?

Admittedly, the rhetoric can sometimes get heated, but in my experience the rhetoric coming from the antivaccine side tends to make the rhetoric of those supporting the science of vaccination look downright wimpy by comparison. One also wonders if this anonymous mother finds the sort of rhetoric regularly engaged in by her erstwhile allies, complete with pharma shill gambit, references to the KKK and, yes, remarks like “we don’t care if your child dies, as long as we inject” and wishes for skeptics to die, to be justified. However, the only purpose of posts like the one by the anonymous blogger is to paint the antivaccine movement as unfairly maligned to the point of being persecuted and to deflect legitimate criticism of the harm it does and deny its culpability in harming children. It’s the victim mentality writ large.

Comments

  1. #1 Eyeteeth
    Cloudcuckooland
    August 1, 2012

    Come and see the science inherent in the system!

  2. #2 elburto
    August 1, 2012

    As an actual minority, I just want to laugh at her, because taking her seriously would make me sob.

    As the granddaughter of someone persecuted, imprisoned, and almost murdered in a death camp, I’m glad he’s not around to hear Muppets like this, bleating about their “persecution”.

    Actually, I wish I could do a body-swap with her, see how she copes in my shoes. I’d give her five minutes before she bailed out.

    I wish my life was so fvcking charmed that being “oppressed” for my idiotic, disease-spreading ideology was the worst thing I was coping with.

    Argh.

  3. #3 Michael Hughes
    Australia
    August 1, 2012

    Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

    Makes us antipodes a bit embarrassed that post.

    sadly whenever I encounter the AVN at beautiful birth festivals ask Ruhr volunteer

  4. #4 Michael Hughes
    Australia
    August 1, 2012

    Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

    Makes us antipodes a bit embarrassed that post.

    sadly whenever I encounter the AVN at beautiful birth festivals ask the volunteers seem so normal. It’s only after I dig a bit at their facts that they get nasty!

  5. #5 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    August 1, 2012

    Honestly, Meryl Dorey makes me ashamed to share a nationality with her. I’m happy she’s left the US, but I know AUS isn’t any happier to have her there.

    They wouldn’t know discrimination if you hit them in the face with a ‘white only’ sign.

  6. #6 Scott Hansen (@SkepticalSkotty)
    Christchurch
    August 1, 2012

    I wrote about that insanely stupid blog piece here: http://skepticalskotty.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/righteous-indignation-of-persecution.html

    With a little bit of history as to the reasons behind the wails of persecution that were slobbered throughout the piece.

    It was yet another piece in a deflection regarding Doreys Hypocrisy in regards to her telling her acolytes that they should contact the families of grieving parents to ask if their infants had been vaccinated.

    These people are scum. Absolute scum.

  7. #7 Adam
    August 1, 2012

    What I find amusing in the Bowditch vs Dorey saga is that Dorey constantly whines that she is being censored but will not allow Bowditch right of reply when she goes off on some thinly veiled rant about him. She is the ultimate hypocrite and a danger to the public to boot.

  8. #8 MikeMa
    August 1, 2012

    Dorey is a dangerous and destructive sociopath. She leaches off a segment of society not bright enough to understand science and too gullible to be trusted with scissors. If the anonymous poster believes that insanity, little hope remains to upgrade her status to thinking human.

  9. #9 Obi-Wandreas
    Kenmore, NY
    August 1, 2012

    The primary definition of ‘discriminate’ is simply “To recognize a difference.” It is a pity that this word has also come to mean inventing a difference based on ancestry – the word itself is a good one. A person of discriminating taste, for example, will recognize the difference between a product of good quality and one of poor quality.

    It is unquestionably a good thing to recognize the difference between someone who should be taken seriously and someone who shouldn’t.

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    August 1, 2012

    Anonymous discrimination victim: “Another very disturbing aspect to come out of this portrayal of ‘anti vaxxers’ is that the media, government and medical vaccine advocates are working together in promoting an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality.”

    Orac, before you quote stuff like this, could you at least have the decency to warn us to turn down the gain on our irony detectors?

    Thanks so much.

  11. #11 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2012

    Occasionally, those who imagine themselves to be “victims”, righteously filled with venom, go forth and victimise others.

    I survey woo-meisters who, believing that their own special insight sets them apart from criticism, lash out when real biologists, doctors et al point out flaws in their arguments. Usually, their enjoindre includes a least one reference to the triumvirate of grand presecutors ( Pharma, Government, Media) with whom we are sickeningly familiar.

    Thus, woo-ful websites rankle with tales of how the powers-that-be are trying the ‘shut them down’, stopping their altruistic services to their fellow and sister humans. I have even heard some refer to the struggles of Mssrs Ghandi, Mandela and KIng, in comparison to their own.

    Natural health advocates, like anti-vaxxers, promote a belief system that attributes illness and conditions like autism, to modern living, poor diet and medical science ( including the use of pharmaceuticals): they ‘teach’ followers that they ( or their children) have problems *because* of malevolence and malfeasance by the aforementioned triumvirate of oppressors. Then, these ‘victims’ are goaded into striking back against the empire who had stricken them previously.

    Two cases for your consideration:

    currently Gary Null is shrieking and keening about Dr Barrett and the Quackbusters ( sic) who say mean things about him on the’ net on sites that are as displayed nearly as prominently as are his own commercial sites ( Quackwatch, Wiki-pedia)
    They are trying to prevent him from bringing the Truth to the People. His internet radio site ( Progressive Radio Network) doesn’t have his name splashed all over it as does his earlier effort: I wonder why that is?

    RI frequent flyer, Jake Crosby, today writes about his “conversation” with Dr Insel ( who joins the list of those Jake has communed with, face-to-face, in public- Offit, Godlee, Collins). He charges that the doctor has a COI because his brother worked on the development of a vaccine long ago. Insel responds that perhaps Jake himself might have “some sub-conscious” influence that compromises him. I agree.(.-btw- I recall having uncomfortable feelings about Jake after communing with him myself last summer @ RI).

    A MsTaylor writes, at her site, that anti-vaxxers’ activities ( at the recent IACC meeting) have been brought to the attention of Homeland Security. That should be grist for their mill for months.

  12. #12 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2012

    Occasionally, those who imagine themselves to be “victims”, righteously filled with venom, go forth and victimise others.

    I survey woo-meisters who, believing that their own special insight sets them apart from criticism, lash out when real biologists, doctors et al point out flaws in their arguments. Usually, their enjoindre includes a least one reference to the triumvirate of grand presecutors ( Pharma, Government, Media) with whom we are sickeningly familiar.

    Thus, woo-ful websites rankle with tales of how the powers-that-be are trying the ‘shut them down’, stopping their altruistic services to their fellow and sister humans. I have even heard some refer to the struggles of Mssrs Ghandi, Mandela and KIng, in comparison to their own.

    Natural health advocates, like anti-vaxxers, promote a belief system that attributes illness and conditions like autism, to modern living, poor diet and medical science ( including the use of pharmaceuticals): they ‘teach’ followers that they ( or their children) have problems *because* of malevolence and malfeasance by the aforementioned triumvirate of oppressors. Then, these ‘victims’ are goaded into striking back against the empire who had stricken them previously.

    Two cases for your consideration:

    currently Gary Null is shrieking and keening about Dr Barrett and the Quackbusters ( sic) who say mean things about him on the’ net on sites that are as displayed nearly as prominently as are his own commercial sites ( Quackwatch, Wiki-pedia)
    They are trying to prevent him from bringing the Truth to the People. His internet radio site ( Progressive Radio Network) doesn’t have his name splashed all over it as does his earlier effort: I wonder why that is?

    RI frequent flyer, Jake Crosby, today writes about his “conversation” with Dr Insel ( who joins the list of those Jake has communed with, face-to-face, in public- Offit, Godlee, Collins). He charges that the doctor has a COI because his brother worked on the development of a vaccine long ago. Insel responds that perhaps Jake himself might have “some sub-conscious” influence that compromises him. I agree.(.-btw- I recall having uncomfortable feelings about Jake after communing with him myself last summer @ RI).

    A MsTaylor writes, at her site, that anti-vaxxers’ activities ( at the recent IACC meeting) have been brought to the attention of Homeland Security. That should be grist for their mill for months.

  13. #13 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2012

    Please pardon the double: error messages, connectivity issues.

  14. #14 GroovyKinda
    August 1, 2012

    Check Amazon sometime. There’s a War Against Christmas. A War Against Women. Against Men. Against Boys. Against Christians. Against Rock (!). Against Grammar.
    No matter what your group, it always helps to portray yourself as the “poor, put-upon victim of a mass hatred.”
    It certainly helps with fund-raising.
    Look at the weak, under-financed NRA, for heaven’s sake.

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2012

    -btw- I deliberately omitted a certain guy, who feeling repressed by critics, strikes back by oppressing them through manipulative, legal shenanigans.
    What’s the latest with *him*?

  16. #16 Composer99
    August 1, 2012

    I believe the appropriate response to this straw claim

    When did raising your child with love, respect, a healthy diet, plenty of fresh air, sunshine and exercise, while limiting their exposure to toxins become a crime?

    is

    When did lying become acceptable? Because that’s what anti-vaxxers do when discussing vaccines.

  17. #17 Composer99
    August 1, 2012

    Maybe this would be a good response to any anti-vaxxer whinging about “raising your child with […]” (just substitute names as required) as well.

  18. #18 Old Rockin' Dave
    August 1, 2012

    Such horrible discrimination! Meryl Dorey and her anti-vaccine friends must get pretty tired of sitting in the back of the bus, drinking from the antivaxer water fountain at the courthouse, getting thrown out of Vaccinated Only establishments. They could launch a boycott. I wouldn’t recommend sit-ins, though – too much chance of spreading diseases to each other.

  19. #19 MikeMa
    August 1, 2012

    Old Rockin’ Dave,
    I wouldn’t mind see vaccinated-only establishments. Like public schools.

    But I take your point. Unfortunately, the antis wont see it or understand it and they think they already live in such a vaccinated-only society now.

  20. #20 lilady
    August 1, 2012

    @ Denice Walter: Here’s the video of Jake Crosby tearing into Tom Insel (This was at the IACC meeting)…where he was somewhat constrained…

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/08/my-conversation-with-iacc-chair-dr-tom-insel.html

    An even *better* performance by Jake, is here, at the Canary Party press conference (attended by *hundreds* of reporters), which took place during the lunch recess of the IACC meeting. Here, he describes his stalking of NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins and his scurrilous remarks about the Committee members, his defense of the *brave maverick former doctor*, and how, in spite of his nomination to the IACC as a public member…he didn’t get appointed.

    Notice the body language, the seething anger, the indignity and his profound sense of privilege.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/07/my-conversation-with-nih-director-dr-francis-collins.html

    I’ve said it before and I’ll state it again; Jake may attain his MPH-Epidemiology degree, but he will never get a job as an epidemiologist.

  21. #21 MikeMa
    August 1, 2012

    lilady,
    Why would Jake need such a job when his role as attack squirrel for AoA is a perfect fit for his self-limited mentality?

  22. #22 Spectator
    August 1, 2012

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll state it again; Jake may attain his MPH-Epidemiology degree, but he will never get a job as an epidemiologist.”

    His family can buy him a job. I’m sure a wealthy activist group somewhere “needs” a $100K epidemiologist to “prove” whatever delusion the group wishes to promote.

    Or he can run for office.

  23. #23 Roadstergal
    Yay Area, CA
    August 1, 2012

    I confess, Eyeteeth #1 made my day.

  24. #24 elburto
    August 1, 2012

    Obi-WAndreas –

    The primary definition of ‘discriminate’ is simply “To recognize a difference.” It is a pity that this word has also come to mean inventing a difference based on ancestry

    Who’s talking about ancestry?

  25. #25 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 1, 2012

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll state it again; Jake may attain his MPH-Epidemiology degree, but he will never get a job as an epidemiologist.”

    His family can buy him a job. I’m sure a wealthy activist group somewhere “needs” a $100K epidemiologist to “prove” whatever delusion the group wishes to promote.

    If he indeed manages to pass his thesis defence then I would actually enjoy seeing such a spectacle. Think of the blog fodder Jake in such a position could generate. It would be like Christmas.

  26. #26 lilady
    August 1, 2012

    “His family can buy him a job. I’m sure a wealthy activist group somewhere “needs” a $100K epidemiologist to “prove” whatever delusion the group wishes to promote.”

    You’re damn straight that his family (mother Nicole), can buy him a job right in her hometown of Austin Texas.

    “Or he can run for office.”

    You’re damn straight that his family (Uncle Alex), with all his political juice and dough, can get him a job in government or to pay for a political campaign in Texas.

    Does anyone know how the Wakefield clan ended up in Austin Texas?

  27. #27 Ren
    Not Where You Think
    August 1, 2012

    I’m sorry. I’ve tried watching the Jake videos, and I just can’t. I’d like to say that I can’t because of the coming and going lisp, the arrogance, or the feeling of self-righteousness he embodies at the adoration of his fans. Nope, it’s not that.

    It’s the stupidity of his remarks. There. I’ve said it. I’m discriminating on him on the basis of his stupidity.

  28. #28 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2012

    @ lilady:

    Oh, I’m sure he can acquire a position in ‘journalism’** @ Natural News or @ PRN.
    Or he can always go around harassing people who have real jobs by calling their employers, following editors into elevators while asking bizarre questions and, if his creativity and trust fund hold up, he might even become a writer/ narrator/director/ producer of documentaries.
    I often counsel people about career choices. Can’t you tell?

    @ Science Mom:

    I think that he is already quite gifted in his ability to generate blog fodder. I present his latest exploits in the anxious hope that we will use our own gifts to express our reactions. But I’ll grant you that it IS difficult to represent gales of uncontrollable laughter in print.

    **altho’ most people would call it something *other* than journalism. Oh, guess!

  29. #29 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2012

    @ Ren:

    That’s not discrimination: it’s factual reportage.

  30. #30 Lawrence
    August 1, 2012

    Actually, what is a bit disgusting is the way AoA treats him like their personal lap-dog. More like a pet than a person with an obvious disability. They’ve taken his tics & turned them into full-fledged manias – I imagine it will only be a matter of time before they get him so worked up that he might end up physically assaulting someone……I hope not, but they way they are using him is sickening.

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2012

    @ Lawrence:
    Oh, I agree! It should be noted that his position as lap-dog is not unique in woo-topia: at websites, in businesses.- they have hangers-on and yes-people who assist, usually volunteering their services, who are thrilled at their proximity to the stars. Sometimes clients might be mis-used in this fashion, giving testmonials at the drop of a hat, making calls and e-mails to support political positions….

  32. #32 lilady
    August 1, 2012

    @ Denice Walter: No, to Jake, as a *journalist* for Natural News.

    The more like scenario is a resident epidemiologist/journalist for the Autism File Magazine, which is one of Polly Tommey’s media outlets. Or, perhaps as a resident epidemiologist for Polly’s other media outlet “Autism Media Channel”. Here’s a rather bizarre title “Bella and Imogen Hit The Streets”, for this video…

    http://autismmediachannel.com/?episode=174&channel=101

    Who are Bella and Imogen?

    Is Imogen related to Polly’s radio star, Carmel O’Donovan…host of the Prairie Nights radio program and Carmel Wakefield…Advertising Director at the Autism Media Channel?

    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/carmel-wakefield/13/859/590

    Any number can play the “six, sixty of six hundred degrees of separation” game.

  33. #33 Captain Quirk
    August 1, 2012

    What a bleeping lack of perspective. I am part of a number of groups commonly discriminated against like gays, women, disabled, and atheists, but even that is a drop in the bucket compared to what it could be, and is today for many other people. Seriously, if there were such an effort to repress antivax “information” and oppress the antivaxxers, would they be able to voice their opinions on TV or in newspapers without getting put in jail or fined or interrogated or something? Wouldn’t their conferences get stopped before they could start, or their speakers getting routinely threatened/intimidated (with their life or some other attack on their person/family/property, not “if you keep doing this, more babies will die unnecessarily”)?

    If Big Pharma had such an axe to grind with them that they wanted to repress critical speech, they could lobby the government for such severe restrictions. Even if the pharmaceutical companies were willing to risk such a scandal for very marginal improvement of their bottom line, wouldn’t it be obvious that they haven’t succeeded? This kind of whiny screed is like someone complaining that the local mall calling their tree a “holiday tree” infringes on their religious freedom to practice Christianity. Only stupider.

  34. #34 lilady
    August 1, 2012

    Perhaps, their cries of Repression!!! are just their lame excuses for not making more headway in undermining public confidence in the immunization program?

    Unfortunate for them, we are more determined to inform people about preventive vaccines and the serious, sometimes deadly, consequences of *opting out* of vaccines.

    They just don’t have the brain power to put forth their arguments against vaccinations; we have the collective intellect and science behind us, to combat their agenda of ignorance, fear, uncertainty and doubt.

  35. #35 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 1, 2012

    I think that he is already quite gifted in his ability to generate blog fodder. I present his latest exploits in the anxious hope that we will use our own gifts to express our reactions. But I’ll grant you that it IS difficult to represent gales of uncontrollable laughter in print.

    **altho’ most people would call it something *other* than journalism. Oh, guess!

    I have thought of writing about him on more than one occassion but why give him the attention in the capacity he is serving now? He is a self-parody and his antics are better at denigrating any credibility the vaccine-autism crowd may have had than anything any sceptical blogger could write. He has been reduced to being known as a stalker and well-earned I’d say. No need to dignify his existence with any effort it would take to put up a blog post.

  36. #36 Thomas
    August 1, 2012

    “When did raising your child with love, respect, a healthy diet, plenty of fresh air, sunshine and exercise, while limiting their exposure to toxins become a crime?”

    Oh, that’s not a crime at all – actively trying to spread the toxins caused by disease, while fantasizing about dangers from ingredients in vaccines is what pro-health people are complaining about.

  37. #37 SonOfAnonymity
    August 1, 2012

    I know the woman who posted that blog post. She’s a beautiful woman who is endlessly kind and full of love.

    I know her because she’s my mother.

    She didn’t start out anti-vax. She didn’t see Jenny McCarthy on the news one night and decide then and there she was going to support her “green our vaccines” campaign for no other reason than because she wanted to buck the trend. No, she started out as a diligent, vaccinating mother who would eventually give birth to eight children. She got the first six of her children fully vaccinated, and of those, 5 have been diagnosed as being on the spectrum. The one who didn’t (the second oldest sibling, my younger sister), got her shots late, but has severe mood swings and bipolar tendencies

  38. #38 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2012

    @ Science Mom:

    I doubt that anything we could write could dignify Jake.
    However, he is a worthy target for comment to *me* because he is a role model for some anti-vaxxers ( and their kids) and a receipient of partisans’ praise.

  39. #39 SonOfAnonymity
    August 1, 2012

    I know the woman who posted that blog post. She’s a beautiful woman who is endlessly kind and full of love.

    I know her because she’s my mother.

    She didn’t start out anti-vax. She didn’t see Jenny McCarthy on the news one night and decide then and there she was going to support her “green our vaccines” campaign for no other reason than because she wanted to buck the trend. No, she started out as a diligent, vaccinating mother who would eventually give birth to eight children. She got the first six of her children fully vaccinated, and of those, 5 have been diagnosed as being on the spectrum. The one who didn’t (the second oldest sibling, my younger sister), got her shots late, but has severe mood swings and bipolar tendencies, which isn’t concrete proof of vaccine damage, but still, there it is.

    She raised the first six children believing that there was something wrong with her, that it was her fault that her children wouldn’t be able to live full and happy lives, get married, that sort of thing. In fact, it wasn’t until I was about fifteen years old and put on ritalin and dexamphetamines and became incredibly aggressive as a side effect (I put one of my schoolmates in hospital after a schoolyard brawl) that my mother started questioning vaccines and the medical establishment in general.

    She has not vaccinated the youngest 2 children. They are healthy as horses, autism-free and normal. My youngest brother comes home from preschool with a new girlfriend every week. My youngest sister has full conversations with me, something some of her older siblings have immense trouble with.

    This is not a decision we made lightly. Our intention is not to put society at risk. Our experiences with vaccines have led us to the conclusion that we are genetically susceptible to vaccine damage and that to continue vaccinating would be tantamount to child abuse.

    It feels as though you all forget that we are people as well, not the entitled scumbags you make us out to be. I know many anti-vaxxers can be nasty, but at the same time, many pro-vaxxers can be as well. I’ve personally had people tell me that they wish me and my family would die from disease, and have been threatened with physical violence for not vaccinating.

    If both sides could just stop being at each others throats all the time, we’d actually make some progress.

  40. #40 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 1, 2012

    I doubt that anything we could write could dignify Jake.

    You have a point there.

    However, he is a worthy target for comment to *me* because he is a role model for some anti-vaxxers ( and their kids) and a receipient of partisans’ praise.

    Oh don’t get me wrong; I enjoy (well cringe actually) hearing about his antics but I just don’t see him having a sphere of influence on anyone not of the converted type.

  41. #41 Autistic Lurker
    August 1, 2012

    regarding Jake Crosby

    Or he can run for office.

    in the north pole or someplace like that where the capital host 14 people.

    A.L.

  42. #42 novalox
    August 1, 2012

    A bit OT, but here’s something that caught my attention.

    Shot@life is announcing Blogust, where each day during August, a blogger will be highlighted and post about something that inspires them and then pass it on to another poster.

    Every unique comment on a Blogust post will initiate a $20 donation to help immunize a child in a developing country.

    link: blogust

  43. #43 Quokka
    August 1, 2012

    As an Aussie who has as part of their job to investigate actual claims of discrimination on the basis of disability in education for the Human Rights Commission in Australia – this woman fries my burger!

    I nearly exploded when I read the bit about Australian mateship – I was lucky enough to be part of genuine mateship working in the bush when one farmer lost his wife to cancer and his neighbour and volunteers brought his crop in and gave free services such as counselling to his children. Mateship is about joining together for the greater benefit of all – the opposite of what these idiots are about with their leeching on herd immunity.

    I have to walk away now and calm down before I burst a phoofer valve.

  44. #44 Stimpy
    August 1, 2012

    Jake seems to be channeling Vera Byers in his recent post.

    Vera Byers was an Autism Omnibus “expert” witness who suddenly blurted out “You’re making faces at me. You are!” during her testimony.

  45. #45 Vince Whirlwind
    August 1, 2012

    The AVN’s claims of “persecution” come from a couple of actions taken by government bodies in NSW. I seem to recall they had their charitable status revoked. Also, they were ordered (Health department? Or was it Consumer Affairs? to remove some of the lies and crap from their website or shut it down entirely.
    I’m pretty sure they send people to Skeptics meetings to record anything potentially libellous that might be said about Meryl Dorey. Which is why sticking the boot into the ignorant, baby-killing woman needs to be done by “questions from the audience”.

  46. #46 brian
    August 1, 2012

    It’s clear why people ignore Jake Crosby, given this exchange with Francis Collins:

    [Collins said,] “Oh yes, I’m afraid everyone knows Andrew Wakefield after the misconduct he’s engaged in.” I told Dr. Collins, “He has not engaged in misconduct. Those are the allegations of a journalist with no medical or scientific background – Brian Deer.” “

    “His paper was retracted from The Lancet,” Collins replied.

    So I said, “There is no reason for his paper to be retracted, not after the senior author John Walker-Smith was exonerated on appeal, debunking the reasons given by the journal for retracting the paper.”

    That’s wacky talk.

  47. #47 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2012

    @ brian:

    Wacky to *us*…
    Unfortunately, he is not being ignored by devoted readers/contirbutors at that sinkhole of illogic where he writes- he is cheered on and congratulated like a returning hero from a protracted war. It seems that the so-called thinking moms welcomed him at their own event at AutismOne, having their photos taken with him as though he were a pop star. He encourages the acting-out of other rebels.

    Perhaps emulating Jake is Natalie, a young art student/ sibling of a guy with autism ( articles @ AoA) and I read much about the Moms raising so-called Thinking kids. Yes, a whole new generation is being ‘educated’ and rewarded to eschew vaccines and reason itself. Similar activities being promulgated at Natural News and PRN encompassing more genric woo that includes anti-vaccinationism.

    Please don’t shoot me, I’m only the messenger.

  48. #48 flip
    August 1, 2012

    Any bets this anonymous blogger is not an Indigenous Australian, whose average life expectancy is about 20 years less than other ethnic groups?

  49. #49 Retro Pastiche
    Snuck away from the boring meeting
    August 2, 2012

    You’ll never believe what’s happened! The infamous Meryl Dorey has appeared on the Stop the Australian (anti)Vaccination Network’s facebook page to debate ‘bullying’ by members of the Stop the (a)AVN.

    What’s the opposite of insightful? That Meryl!

    Feel free to stop by for a looky.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151063458791382&set=o.143367983587&type=1

  50. #50 Alice
    Australia
    August 2, 2012

    I fully agree with vaccination and many of the points you have made in this article. However, one thing that is really frustrates me is the lack of transparency and communications when things actually DO go wrong with vaccinations. I believe this is where the fear comes from. take the flu vax that caused some pretty terrible fevers, etc in under fives in WA. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/virus-in-the-system/story-e6frg8h6-1226063484330

    Where is the accountability? where are the explanations for what went wrong and reassurance that it won’t happen again? I don’t think sneering down your nose at concerned people is the way to get them to listen and come around. Granted, some of them are hard to like, or get along with, but we gotta try.

  51. #51 Julian Frost
    August 2, 2012

    @lilady:

    Is Imogen related to Polly’s radio star, Carmel O’Donovan…host of the Prairie Nights radio program and Carmel Wakefield…Advertising Director at the Autism Media Channel?

    Possibly. Imogen could be Imogen Wakefield, one of the four Wakefield offspring.

  52. #52 lilady
    August 2, 2012

    @ Julian Frost:

    Heh, heh…I know. And, Bella is Polly Tommey’s daughter.

    Why did the Autism Trust UK decide to headquarter the Autism Trust USA in Austin Texas?

    Why did Carmel Wakefield end up on Polly Tommey’s Autism Trust USA Board of Directors and Executive Committee?

    Why does Arthur Krigsman have a GI practice in New York and in Austin Texas?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Krigsman

    Such a confluence of circumstances. Could this all be coincidental?

  53. #53 Dangerous Bacon
    August 2, 2012

    More on the anonymous AVN blogger, who’s now identified herself in a followup piece on pro-immunization “bullies” (she quotes Mahatma Gandhi, while claiming to have numerous children with autoimmune disorders etc. which she blames on vaccines):

    ht_p://nocompulsoryvaccination.com/2012/08/02/bullies-only-win-when-we-let-them/

    The “bully” allegation is especially comical, considering the comments from her and fellow antivaxers in a long-running amazon.com health forum on vaccines (replete with name-calling and vicious, misinformation-filled antivax tirades).

    It seems that I may have stimulated her self-righteous blog piece by referring in that forum to an Australian antivaxer sore point. The government there recently decided to mandate that lower-income families receiving a state payment get their kids vaccinated. Antivaxers have seized on a loophole to declare that they are “conscientious objectors” and so get the money anyway.

    ht_p://doubtfulnews.com/2012/07/australian-anti-vaxers-use-loophole-to-get-childcare-vaccination-money-without-vaccinations/

    They are not quite so conscientious about taking money they don’t deserve. Point that out, and suddenly you are accusing _anyone_ who doesn’t get their children vaccinated of being “money-grubbing”.

  54. #54 Orac
    August 2, 2012

    She got the first six of her children fully vaccinated, and of those, 5 have been diagnosed as being on the spectrum.

    Why, then, did she assume it must be the vaccines? This sounds far more like genetics to me.

    Our intention is not to put society at risk.

    Yet that is exactly what you are doing.

  55. #55 Calli Arcale
    August 2, 2012

    SonOfAnonimity:

    It feels as though you all forget that we are people as well

    Not at all. We are well aware that you are people. We wouldn’t care if we didn’t think you were people. Thing is, respecting your humanity doesn’t mean never contradicting you in order to avoid hurting your feelings. In my opinion, your mother is putting her children at risk, and putting others at risk by suggesting they follow her example; how could I stay silent, knowing that you are all people, if I believe you are at risk?

    Some people think, and I have met many of them with many different points of view, that if someone argues against them, they are being repressed or subjugated. Not just anti-vaccination activists; this seems to be a common thing. I think it speaks well of how good a life so many of us enjoy that so many of us, when first seriously challenged on our views, are completely taken aback. It’s far outside the norm of what most of us expect. (Exception: artists and scientists, both of whom are subject to constant and often withering criticism from their reviewers; they get used to it.) But you’re not really being repressed; no one is interfering with your views getting out there. You have an inalienable right to freedom of speech in the United States, and similar rights (though generally a bit more restrictive) in other nations. But freedom of speech goes both ways; other people get to speak their minds too, even if they disagree with you, and even if you happen to be in the room (figuratively speaking) at the time. If you wish to espouse a controversial view, you should expect controversy. Do not expect everyone to agree with you, or to hold their tongues if they disagree.

    You say that out of eight children, five have autism and one has another neurological/psychological disorder. (You also describe an unvaccinated preschooler bringing home a new girlfriend every week — you may not be aware, but that’s an unusually rapid rate, and major gregariousness can be associated with attention deficit disorder. It depends on how it presents; several in my family, including my grandmother, have ADD that presents like that, and I am beginning to suspect my gregarious five-year-old has it too. I’m not saying your sibling has ADD; there’s no way of saying that from what you’ve said. But I am pointing out that the single description you gave of this child actually does not rule out developmental issues, even though you clearly present it as if it does.) Truth is, your mother has no idea that vaccines caused any of these problems, nor that failing to vaccinate the last two spared them such challenges. I am sorry stimulant medications didn’t work out for you; those are known risks, and although uncommon, are a sign that the drug should be discontinued. It is my personal belief that behavior therapy is the best solution for most cases of ADHD, with medication to be used only as an assist. My eldest uses dexmethylphenidate (a variant of Ritalin that has fewer side effects), and when I was a child, I used methylphenidate. I do not need it now; I still have ADD, but I learned to manage it without medication. The first step is to recognize that what comes naturally to others does not to yourself; you are not stupid or lazy, you just need a bit more practice and perhaps some external aids. (Lists and calendars are awesome aids. In college I got a Franklin Planner to be my “spare brain” and today I have a smartphone that does the same job. It really helps.)

  56. #56 lilady
    August 2, 2012

    @ Son of Anonymity: However did you find this blog?

    Is it a coincidence that I posted on your mother’s blog yesterday with a link to Orac’s blog? Why is my post still held “in moderation”?

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 2, 2012 at 8:03 am

    You plight of repression, has been reported on, by a science blogger…

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/08/01/quoth-an-antivaccinationist-help-help-im-being-repressed/

    Tell your mother to take my comment out of “moderation”, so that others who have visited your mother’s blog can see how Orac has reported on her blog.

  57. #57 Denice Walter
    August 2, 2012

    @ SonOfAnonymity:

    Your mother may be a fine, dedicated person who loves all of her children very much but her sterling qualities do not guarantee that she has correct information about the causation of autism.

    I believe that she, like many others, has been misled by people who have an agenda promoting these un-realistic beliefs. Many of them are parents who blame the establishment for their own kids’ condition while others are entrepreneurs who sell treatments, books/ videos/ websites as informational sources or specialised foods and supplements.

    Psychologists know that autism has genetic roots and may be influenced by very early environmental factors- by early, I mean pre- and peri-natal, not around the time of particular vaccines, after age 1.

    Parents may mistakenly link the onset of autsim with these vaccines because of the simultanaeity in time. However, the condition has been ‘set up’ earlier and only becomes more apparent at age 18 months or so because that is the age when kids become more socially and linguistically active. There are earlier precursors to speech and communicative activities ( gaze) that may be absent or diminished in kids who will later be diagnosed as being autistic; parents may miss these signs or disregard them. There are other early indicators like brain wave patterns, head size, inter-facial proportions as well. All of these occur PRIOR to age one. In addition, there are familial patterns that suggest genetic influence; speciifc genes have been associated with autism. More researc is being done along these lines.

    Although parents can be wrong that doesn’t make them bad people. However, they can mislead others about vaccination with all of the good intentions in the world because they believe that they are helping others.

    Much of the information anti-vaccination advocates rely upon is standard research. Some of those involved have ulterior motives in presentting these theories. One of the most famous has been shown to have created fraudulent data. Often, the prime supporters who oppose vaccines tell us that a baroque, international conspiracy has ‘hidden the truth’ about vaccines. How likely is that?

    They talk up these stories because they do not have DATA to illustrate their theory’s accuracy.

    Best wishes to you and your siblings.

  58. #58 Denice Walter
    August 2, 2012

    correction:

    information anti-vaccination advocates rely upon is NOT standard research.

  59. #59 Chris
    In a medical building waiting room..
    August 2, 2012

    Alice:

    Where is the accountability? where are the explanations for what went wrong and reassurance that it won’t happen again?

    From the article it looks like the vaccine was removed for pediatric use, so someone was accountable. Just like in the USA the IPV is used instead of OPV, and RotaShield was removed from the market, replaced by two other vaccines.

    You seem to be looking for simple answers to a very difficult problem. If you truly want those answers, then get the proper graduate degree credentials and seek employment from the Austrailian health system, specifically the portion that oversees medical devices and pharmaceutical safety.

  60. #60 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.com
    August 2, 2012

    Speaking personally, I have selfish and selfless motives for writing against anti-vaccine activism.

    Selfish, because the more people who are vaccinated, the more my 10-month old son (who is also caught up on his shots) is protected against diseases (after all, no vaccine is 100% effective, and he might be one of the unlucky few for whom one or more immunizations hasn’t worked).

    Selfless, because the more people who are vaccinated, the more protected anti-vaccine activists and their children are against infectious diseases.

    I’m not a fan of people shirking on their own vaccines, but I’m willing to live with it. But going around trying to convince other people not to vaccinate – which is, after all, pretty much what anti-vaccine activism is about – is an entirely different matter.

  61. #61 Dangerous Bacon
    August 2, 2012

    “Son of Anonymity” mother is currently railing against “faceless bullies” over on amazon.com’s health forum vaccine thread.

    And speaking of irony:

    SOA: “I know many anti-vaxxers can be nasty…
    “If both sides could just stop being at each others throats all the time, we’d actually make some progress.”

    That’s rich, coming from a guy who resorts to crude insults (over at amazon) and calls an pro-immunization opponent “a waste of life”.
    It’s about the most bizarre tone trolling I’ve seen since a certain antivax pediatrician suggested that RI was full of pharma shills, and then wailed about the lack of civility here.

  62. #62 JustNuts
    August 2, 2012

    lilady sez:

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll state it again; Jake may attain his MPH-Epidemiology degree, but he will never get a job as an epidemiologist.”

    I think he could have a very bright future ahead of him with his MPH as a Homeopath – Witness Dana Ullman!

  63. #63 lilady
    August 2, 2012

    I’ve just posted at Tasha’s new blog asking her why my original post, after 24 hours, is still in moderation. I again linked to Orac’s blog. I’m not holding my breath, awaiting either of my posts to appear on the AVN’s blog.

    Let me get this straight. Tasha supposedly went to a geneticist, who reportedly never found any reason for six of her eight children being diagnosed with ASDs. The father of those eight children is now deceased. Will she be making more babies, if she finds a new partner?

  64. #64 lilady
    August 2, 2012

    @JustNuts: Hmmm, that might be a career path for Jake…

    Here’s the Australian Department of Health and Aging website’s advisory for physicians on Fluvax;

    http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/Publishing.nsf/content/ATAGI-advice-TIV-march2012

    Apparently, there was a higher risk for febrile seizures, following immunization with the Fluvax H1N1 vaccine. But, febrile seizures have never been implicated in later diagnoses of developmental disabilities including autism:

    http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/febrile_seizures/detail_febrile_seizures.htm

    Here’s another study that debunks the myth that vaccines cause encephalopathy:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2603512/

  65. #65 lilady
    August 2, 2012

    Tasha David also posts under “Annatasha David”

    http://www.amazon.com/forum/health?cdForum=Fx1EO24KZG65FCB&cdPage=380&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=TxBAD8K02DURZS

    I’m still not holding my breath awaiting the two comments I posted on the AVN blog…to come out of “moderation”.

  66. #66 Dangerous Bacon
    August 2, 2012

    “Tasha David also posts under “Annatasha David” ”

    In the current amazon vaccine thread, she’s just changed her username to “my family is my life” (we are led to believe this is due to the horrible harassment she’s faced since posting her AVN help–I’m-being-repressed blog).

    ht_p://www.amazon.com/forum/health/ref=cm_cd_rvt_np?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1EO24KZG65FCB&cdPage=287&cdThread=Tx1TBFI9792E6Y4#CustomerDiscussionsNew

  67. #67 Narad
    August 2, 2012

    over on amazon.com’s health forum

    Well, there’s a string of words I had never anticipated hearing.

  68. #68 Denice Walter
    August 2, 2012

    @ Narad:

    Well, what would you expect: anti-vax is fashionable- it’s the new black.

    Woo-centric websites like those I survey feature it proudly; new blogs like TMR pop up with ready audiences; libertarian types proclaim it from soapboxes and facebook .
    It seems the bold, maverick demographic *loves* this crap.

    A brave new world that has such people etc.

  69. #69 Interrobang
    August 2, 2012

    Apparently, there was a higher risk for febrile seizures, following immunization with the Fluvax H1N1 vaccine.

    Well, crap, the H1N1 flu could give you febrile seizures too; I caught it a month or so before the vaccine came out, and I had a fever of 5C over my normal temperature for four days or so. I didn’t seize, but I spent the second 30h or so throwing up things I’d forgotten eating. H1N1 flattened me for 10 seriously un-fun days.

    Anti-vaxxers are just objectively pro-misery.

  70. #70 Trevor Lowe
    Gold Coast, Australia
    August 3, 2012

    Thank you for this insightful piece. Meryl Dorey has managed to reframe the topic of discussion from vaccination (and her wilfull distortion of data and history) to being one of “freedom of speech.” In doing this she has also refused to ponder the concept that such freedom carries a large amount of responsibility in ensuring that such freedom is expressed around facts from which we may form opinions. Whether vaccination is a good thing or not may well be a matter of opinion; however it is intellectual savegery to distort facts and deny history in order to grant credibility to one’s opninion. It is morally indefensible to reframe the issues to avoid facing criticism for such distortion and denial.
    Ms Dorey now argues about issues of freedom of speech, principles of democracy (somehow forgetting that her opponents have at least equal entitlement to these). Interviews with her now seem to rapidly shift from the science of vaccines to the right to express an opinion. Many of us hold this right so dearly that we do even encourage our opponents to have an oppportunity to express an opinion. However, Dorey is not being challenged on opinions; she is being challenged on facts and her deceitfulness around such as well as her deceitfulness in attempting to reframe the issues.
    Fortunately the number of “ordinary” people who are prepared to take a stand against her is growing and she will constantly find herself challenged at the radio station, in the newspaper and wherever she chooses to take her lies.

  71. #71 janerella
    August 3, 2012

    That right there, Interrobang. Exact same thing happened to me AND my 3 children. And lets not forget the bronchitis, eye infections and ear infections that followed swiftly on the heels of the initial flu!

  72. #72 Peebs
    August 3, 2012

    Just thought you’d like to know.

    http://jdc325.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/wakefield-case-against-deer-godlee-bmj-dismissed/

    Would someone like to inform Mr Crosby.

  73. #73 Narad
    August 3, 2012

    Just thought you’d like to know.

    Ooh, yes, thanks, I was wondering just the other day. But seriously, “we plan to appeal”? Being tossed on jurisdiction? What? Why not just file where you should have filed in the first place?

    I’m now curious whether the anti-SLAPP motion was addressed.

  74. #74 Narad
    August 3, 2012

    ^ Oh, wait, I recall there was a statute-of-limitations issue.

  75. #75 Narad
    August 3, 2012

    I am informed that the anti-SLAPP was not addressed.

  76. #76 Lawrence
    August 3, 2012

    @Narad – the Court doesn’t even need to consider anything else if they find the plaintiff lacks standing to bring the suit, though if you read between the lines, I believe the judge would have been happy to rule against the plaintiff anyway…..What I wouldn’t have given to be a fly on the wall of the judge’s chambers…..I wonder how AoA is going to spin this one.

  77. #77 Denice Walter
    August 3, 2012

    @ Lawrence:

    Obviously an imbroglio of trans-Atlantic governmental-pharma-media conspiracies in which even we two are implicated.
    I have shares in News Corp.

  78. #78 Lawrence
    August 3, 2012

    @Denice – I would love to re-post what the guys at AoA said when the suit was filed….they were so sure they were going to win this time, and all they got was a one paragraph dismissal on jurisdictional grounds. So disappointing.

    If Wakefield appeals, he’s got an even higher mountain to climb to try to prove that the lower court was wrong in its judgement (since we don’t even need to worry about evidence at this point).

  79. #79 Narad
    August 3, 2012

    the Court doesn’t even need to consider anything else if they find the plaintiff lacks standing to bring the suit

    Thanks. I didn’t really think it through. Still, a body might hope that a Texas court might go ahead anyway out of sheer cussedness.

  80. #80 Denice Walter
    August 3, 2012

    Perhaps a kind legal professional who is reading this thread might enlighten us with informed speculation about what costs might be billed to AJW ( or whosoever is footing the bill).

  81. #81 Lawrence
    August 3, 2012

    @Denise – there is a good chance that Deer’s lawyers could file with the Court to cover their costs (against Wakefield).

    The issue of the Anti-SLAPP legislation could still come into play here.

  82. #82 Narad
    August 3, 2012

    In any event, I think the fact that the motion that was denied in addition to dismissal of the case was entitled “Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike and Exclude Testimony and Evidence,” as routine as it no doubt is, could provide some lasting amusement if one were the sort to deploy that sort of thing and demand an explanation over and over.

  83. #83 Bill Price
    August 3, 2012

    Speaking of anti-vaxers: Brian Deer reports that he has today received a notice of dismissal of W[h]akey’s SLAPP against them. http://briandeer.com/solved/slapp-introduction.htm
    Click on the link under “Latest”.

  84. #84 Bill Price
    August 3, 2012

    Oops. I thought I had just refreshed before writing the above. Sorry.
    Now I’m told I’m submitting too fast.

  85. #85 lilady
    August 4, 2012

    It’s the start of a great weekend for anyone who believes that justice will prevail.

    Andy and his supporters who have been financing this bogus defamation suit have just gotten a total rebuke from the Texas court.

    If you are reading this blog, Brian, congratulations on your win.

  86. #86 lilady
    August 4, 2012

    Even though a slew of characters from AoA have been “re-arguing” all over the internet, the merits of the GMC ruling that cost Andy his medical license…we see only this odd report on their own website:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/08/the-appeal-is-on-dr-wakefield-district-court-decision-not-unexpected.html

    Which mild-mannered Boy Wonder Ace Reporter who promised to be in the Austin courtroom during the trial, will be writing about this “not unexpected” decision?

    Will the Andrew Wakefield Justice Fund run an international telethon to raise funds so that Andy can appeal and be exonerated

    Stay tuned to your local crank AoA blog to find the answers.

  87. #87 Lawrence
    August 4, 2012

    @lilady – given that the judgement was faxed, I doubt there was much fanfare. Sounds like the July 30th day in Court was the judge receiving the motion by the plaintiff to strike Deer’s testimony & the judge incorporated the denial of motion into his dismissal due to jurisdictional grounds.

    I would love to see Jake’s take on it – though he’s probably neck-deep in Google trying to tie the Judge to the Big Pharma…..

  88. #88 Lawrence
    August 4, 2012

    @et. al. – get a load of the “recap” of the hearing posted in the comments at AoA (http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/08/the-appeal-is-on-dr-wakefield-district-court-decision-not-unexpected.html#comment-captcha)

    So, Wakefield’s attorney really said that? So, he can’t argue legal points, so he tries to make the emotional argument? On a legal motion?

    What are those guys smoking?

  89. #90 Liz Ditz
    Flying monkey Alert!
    August 8, 2012

    Liza Gross at KQED’s Quest online magazine has written a nuanced article: Doubt and denialism: vaccine myths persist in the face of science.

    The anti-vaccine horde is descending, with the usual tropes. More rebuttal needed, please.

  90. #91 Ashley
    Twin Cities
    August 14, 2012

    Back to the vehemence and defensiveness of AV’ers. I find that, as in life, the more strident and frantic one sounds in defending one’s decision, the less confident–at core–one is that one is right. I like to think that deep down inside, perhaps even subconsciously, anti-vaxxers know that they are putting their children at grave risk, and this is what makes them become crazy people.

  91. #92 Snark_Oil_Cure
    United States
    August 15, 2012

    @ Son of Anonymity & Mom say others think they’re “entitled” and “money grubbers”. There’s a good reason for that. Australia’a Immunization Program offers a $2100 tax incentive for parents who vaccinate their children. Anti-vaxxers exploit a loop-hole where they can get the cash by signing up as “conscientious objectors”. It is disturbing that they feel entitled to $2100 that pays for what they ardently fight against. Even more so that Son of Anonymity & Mom consider this discriminatory. People notice when you rearrange facts/ethics to suit yourself.

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