Actions have consequences. No matter how much the person might want to try to hide from the consequences of one’s actions, they frequently have a way of coming back, grabbing you by the neck, and letting you know they’re there. We see it happening now in the U.K.

Fifteen years ago, British doctor Andrew Wakefield published a case series in The Lancet in which he described gastrointestinal symptoms in 12 autistic children who were treated at the Royal Free Hospital. His conclusion was that he had identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children that appeared to be associated with the MMR vaccine. The paper causes a sensation (a panic, actually), leading British parent to refuse to vaccinate their children with the MMR for fear that it was associated with autism. Meanwhile, with a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge,” charisma, and skill at self-promotion, Wakefield promoted the idea that the MMR vaccine causes autism. True, his Lancet paper didn’t exactly say that, whether through the enforcement of caution on its statements by the reviewers who accepted it or through plausible deniability is not clear, but Wakefield himself wasn’t so shy. Nor was the British tabloid press, with its notoriously insatiable appetite for scandal and sensationalism, which eagerly glommed onto the story and promoted it with nearly the same intensity that Wakefield did. Ultimately, MMR uptake rates plummeted and the measles, vanquished in the U.K. in the 1990s, came roaring back to endemic levels within a decade.

These are consequences that persist to today, as a recent story in the Washington Post tells us, Measles outbreaks flourish in UK years after discredited research tied measles shot to autism:

More than a decade ago, British parents refused to give measles shots to at least a million children because of now discredited research that linked the vaccine to autism. Now, health officials are scrambling to catch up and stop a growing epidemic of the contagious disease.

This year, the U.K. has had more than 1,200 cases of measles, after a record number of nearly 2,000 cases last year. The country once recorded only several dozen cases every year. It now ranks second in Europe, behind only Romania.

Last month, emergency vaccination clinics were held every weekend in Wales, the epicenter of the outbreak. Immunization drives have also started elsewhere in the country, with officials aiming to reach 1 million children aged 10 to 16.

“This is the legacy of the Wakefield scare,” said Dr. David Elliman, spokesman for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, referring to a paper published in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues that is widely rejected by scientists.

Indeed it is. This is Andrew Wakefield’s legacy, the resurgence of a disease that, thanks to vaccination, was once under control. Even though 15 years is a long time, the effects of Wakefield’s perfidy live on in the suffering of children who hadn’t even been born yet at the time but who are victims of Wakefield every bit as much as the children whose care he oversaw as part of his clinical study at the Royal Free Hospital. It doesn’t matter to them that, thanks to the dogged investigation and intrepid reporting of investigative journalist Brian Deer, we now know that Andrew Wakefield was in the pocket of trial lawyers who were interested in suing vaccine manufacturers and wanted research to cite in lawsuits. Nor does it matter to them that, as a result of research misconduct, Andrew Wakefield was stripped of his U.K. medical license (or, as the Brits like to call it, “struck off”). It doesn’t matter that two years ago it was revealed that Wakefield had almost certainly committed research fraud in gathering the data he later published in The Lancet, so much so that Deer labeled it “Piltdown medicine” and “inventing autistic enterocolitis.” Nor does it matter that The Lancet, in an apparent effort to atone for the massive mistake it had made in even publishing Wakefield’s case series in the first place, retracted the paper and that ultimately even the quack clinic that Wakefield had helped found decided to give him the boot. Wakefield has fallen into about as much disrepute as it’s possible to fall, short of becoming a Nazi or a pedophile, and deservedly so. Meanwhile, the science consistently fails to support Wakefield’s hypothesis that the MMR vaccine is somehow associated with autism and “autistic enterocolitis.”

So here it is, 15 years later. MMR uptake rates have improved in the U.K., but, thanks to at least a decade’s worth of low MMR uptake rates, there is a generation of children who are not protected against the measles, with sadly predictable results:

Across the U.K., about 90 percent of children under 5 are vaccinated against measles and have received the necessary two doses of the vaccine. But among children now aged 10 to 16, the vaccination rate is slightly below 50 percent in some regions.

To stop measles outbreaks, more than 95 percent of children need to be fully immunized. In some parts of the U.K., the rate is still below 80 percent.

It is these unvaccinated children who are bearing the brunt of the measles outbreaks, but vaccinated children are not completely safe. Because it takes an MMR uptake of 90-95% to produce adequate herd immunity to prevent outbreaks and because the vaccine, although very effective, is not 100% effective, all children are being endangered by low vaccine uptake rates. That is the legacy of Andrew Wakefield.

Even after how utterly he’s been discredited, Wakefield still has acolytes who still believe that he is a hero when he is about as far from a hero as you can imagine. If you examine the comments, you’ll see that Anne Dachel, the “media editor” of the antivaccine crank blog that we all know and don’t love so much, Age of Autism, has sent her flying monkeys fling their poo of antivaccine pseudoscience into the comments of the Washington Post article. All the familiar names are there: Anne Dachel, John Stone, Maurine Meleck, and others. The old familiar tropes are there, too: Whinging that Brian Deer is corrupt and evil; that he is being “defamed”; that the Hannah Poling case shows that Wakefield was right; that there is a conspiracy to “suppress” Wakefield’s “inconvenient truth”; and more, such as links to long discredited “studies” (many of which I’ve deconstructed in detail right here on this very blog).

Wakefield’s antivaccine acolytes, spreading misinformation, pseudoscience, quackery, and lies hither, thither, and yon are also his legacy. They are also the reason that I fear that dangerous pseudoscience like antivaccinationism will never quite go away. It might be driven to low levels, such as now in the U.K., where the resurgence of measles is leading parents to stop fearing the MMR jab and to start fearing vaccine-preventable diseases again. But it will never go away.

That, too, is part of Wakefield’s legacy.

Comments

  1. #1 lilady
    Not at Autism One
    May 24, 2013

    Mentioning the TMR…they are all attending the Quack Fest; see the blog “Gone Thinking” (or “Thinking Gone”):

    http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/gone-fishin/

    Expect to see more updates from the Quack Fest on their FB page:

    https://www.facebook.com/thinkingmomsrevolution

    Colloidal silver? Is that why Jenny McCarthy said her son was an “Indigo Child”?

  2. #2 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    @ lilady:

    Actually, *indigo* replaced woad as a dye.

    Wait a minute, I think I’m on to something:
    warrior mom, indigo child, braveheart, as a protest for blue-is- for- autism month ( that they hate)…

    See where free assocation will get you.

  3. #3 Renate
    May 24, 2013

    They adress themselves as thinkers?
    Don’t you need a brain for that?

  4. #4 lilady
    Not at Autism One
    May 24, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: Ginger Taylor (full of class; all low), has a blog up about “Light It Up Blue”…

    http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/

    @ Renate:

    “They address themselves as thinkers?
    Don’t you need a brain for that?”

    Apparently…no.

  5. #5 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 24, 2013

    @DW and lilady

    Don’t forget that, according to Teresa Conrick, blue eyes mean healthy, uncontaminated children, while other colors clearly indicate mercury poisoning.

  6. #6 Kelly M Bray
    Upwind of Siddy thank God. Phew....
    May 24, 2013

    Siddy says “Thank God the measles is mild and is almost never fatal or even seroius”

    When shown a Google search that gives hundreds of thousands of deaths all around the world……

    Siddy says “I don’t live in Pakistan. Try again”

    Siddy thinks…”Measles isn’t dangerous because it is not killing white Christian people”

    Siddy, siddy, siddy you are truly a callous monster.

  7. #7 Ren
    May 24, 2013

    while other colors clearly indicate mercury poisoning

    Wow. I must be chock-full of mercury.

    In the tradition of Robert Schecter, I’d like to assert that malaria is benign and you shouldn’t worry about it… Mostly because I’m in Pennsyltuckey.

  8. #8 Shay
    May 24, 2013

    You know, I can’t grasp that he’s a firefighter (or at least went to school for it). The ones I work with are much smarter.

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    Where are we?:

    Blue has been used symbolically to indicate spirituality, nobility, political affiliation ( originally UK Conservatives vs Labour red; the US used it as well but switched it around c. Reagan – who knows why- now used by liberals/ democrats) and for masculinity.

    Jenny called her son an “indigo child”. Conrick views blue eyes as a sign of ritual purity. Hilary Butler calls SBM n-zis.
    Warrior people paint themselves blue and show their arses to the enemy. Lighting up the town blue irks them. Autism occurs more frequently in males.

    People with blue eyes are supposed descended from a SE European mutant female 6000 years ago and are all related to each other.

    There’s a sketch in here somewhere.

  10. #10 Narad
    May 24, 2013

    Expect to see more updates from the Quack Fest on their FB page

    Is there no live streaming this year?

  11. #11 Roger
    May 24, 2013

    I love your blog, Orac, and as a parent of an autistic child, I think your description of his legacy as “about as much disrepute as it’s possible to fall, short of becoming a Nazi or a pedophile, and deservedly so,” to be spot-on.

    However, the only thing that disgusts me more than his lies, misinformation, and deadly legacy, is the legions of defenders who flock to his banner. I don’t have to read the 200+ comments above mine to know that they are here in droves.

  12. #12 Narad
    May 24, 2013

    You know, I can’t grasp that he’s a firefighter (or at least went to school for it). The ones I work with are much smarter.

    I don’t get the impression that a bachelor’s in Fire Science (which Bob took five years to complete) is actually intended to prepare one to be a firefighter.

  13. #13 lilady
    May 24, 2013

    Heh, heh…My mother always told me that immediately after I was born, my eye color was decidedly brown. Her delivering physician and the attending doctor confirmed this. I, of course, don’t recall what my eye color was as a newborn. 🙂

  14. #14 herr doktor bimler
    May 24, 2013

    according to Teresa Conrick, blue eyes mean healthy, uncontaminated children, while other colors clearly indicate mercury poisoning.

    I’ve heard similar stuff before, but mainly from Stormfront and the Aryan Identity crowd.

  15. #15 Politicalguineapig
    May 24, 2013

    DW: Did you hear about the Iceland only app for smartphones? It’s basically the wingman at the bar going ‘dude, that’s your cousin.’ Apparently running into a one-night stand at a family reunion is common in Iceland. Your musings just reminded me of that.

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    @ Politicalguineapig:

    Ha ha! That’s great. Well, they have a very limited gene pool due to their history.

    On the other hand, the rest of us can relax a little.

    What’s very funny- in my own case- is I supposedly have ancestors from only one place- which just happens to be the crossroads of invasions- so I look generically European and frequently get asked if I’m various nationalities which I don’t think I am.

    Also I sometimes am told that my “brother” is so handsome. He’s not my brother. Please, incest is wrong.

    If you go far back enough we’re all ‘cousins’ I suppose. I hope so.
    I once got into a public argument with a loon who believed that humans DIDN”T all originate in Africa. He instead believed that each “race” sprung up and evolved separately from pre-hominid apes- one in Africa, one in Asia, one in Europe. ( Forgot what he did with the Americas and Australia and their peoples)

  17. #17 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 24, 2013

    @DW

    Minor correction. McCarthy called herself and indigo and her son a crystal child.

  18. #18 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    @ Todd W.:

    Even better -because she’s the Warrior Mom -therefore blue.**
    I rest my case.

    Seriously, our free associations/ jokes make more sense and are more internally consistent than their theories.

    ** I’ll leave out the inconsistencies that blue = autism awareness, blue eyes = autism free ad nauseum etc etc.

  19. #19 lilady
    May 24, 2013

    @ Todd W. & Denice Walter:

    ***Definition of “Indigo Child” from Rational Wiki

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Indigo_child

    Identifying indigo children

    It used to be that indigos were easily identified by analyzing their auras. As the theorists no longer believe this, they’ve had to come up with some new criteria. Lee Carroll lists the following traits:[3]

    They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it)

    They have a feeling of “deserving to be here,” and are surprised when others don’t share that.

    Self-worth is not a big issue. They often tell the parents “who they are.”

    They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).

    They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.

    They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and don’t require creative thought.

    They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like “system busters” (nonconforming to any system).

    They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them.

    School is often extremely difficult for them socially.

    They will not respond to “guilt” discipline (“Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did”).

    They are not shy in letting you know what they need.

    So, indigo children are entitled, self-important, antisocial, tactless, disorderly, bratty, rigid in thought and have issues with empathy. Clearly, the indigo generation will be a new golden age.

    Indigo children had time to grow up into indigo adults and were neither extra-ordinary nor changed the world.

    ****DISCLAIMER: Absolutely, Definitely, Positively, Does Not Describe Darling Daughter During Her Teen Years.

  20. #20 herr doktor bimler
    May 24, 2013

    ***Definition of “Indigo Child” from Rational Wiki
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Indigo_child

    The Indigo-Child scamsters are anxious to forget Jenny McCarthy’s involvement in the scam, or vice versa, or both. That RationalWiki entry links to a 2006 screed from McCarthy at “Children of the New Earth”, but not only has it gone down the memory hole, but any search for it brings up angry accusations that “You are trying to hack our servers!!!”.

    It is of course still filed at the Wayback Machine.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20130313145640/http://childrenofthenewearth.com/free.php?page=articles_free/mccarthy_jenny/article1

  21. #21 Politicalguineapig
    May 24, 2013

    DW: I should mention that the app was only possible because Iceland’s also got the most complete genetic documentation of any country. They have records of family trees stretching back hundreds-at least- of years.

  22. #22 TBruce
    May 24, 2013

    Sometimes I’m blue…

    then I remember that I need to start breathing again.

  23. #23 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 24, 2013

    To me, “indigo” means “imaginary” as in: “Imaginary color between blue and violet invented by Isaac Newton because he wanted seven spectral colors to go with the seven planets, the seven notes of the musical scale, the seven deadly sins, the seventh day he rested, etc., etc.” Such was his influence that we now actually see a separate color between red and yellow and call it “orange”, but not even he could make us see “indigo”.

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    Following that rational link to Doreen Virtue, I see where Jenny got her Warrior routine..

    Occasionally, I would attend New Agey lectures/ demonstrations where I found out that I have a lovely aura ( blue /lavender IIRC). One of my cohorts and I are incredibly adept at containing our laughter despite the hilariously far-fetched idiocy we’ve encountered- e.g. crystal skulls programmed by aliens used in tribal ritual.

    More recently, it appears that New Age nonsense is apportioned to pre-registered participants at seminars and workshops at higher prices/ for longer time periods than we’re willing to spend- in other words, to discourage sceptics and encourage true believers.

    I notice that Autism One has a warning about refusing admittance to certain people, not allowing recording etc.
    Also I haven’t seen any videos or streams yet.

    They won’t be able to restrain themselves and I’m sure we’ll see plenty eventually.

  25. #25 Krebiozen
    May 25, 2013

    PGP,

    I should mention that the app was only possible because Iceland’s also got the most complete genetic documentation of any country. They have records of family trees stretching back hundreds-at least- of years.

    That opens up possibilities of some interesting genetic research. I wonder if the Mormons records might offer similar possibilities, as they are attempting to posthumously baptize as many people as possible before Judgment Day (or whatever they call it), so they have extraordinarily extensive genealogical records.

  26. #26 herr doktor bimler
    May 25, 2013

    That opens up possibilities of some interesting genetic research.
    I believe that this is happening, although there are concerns about the commercialisation of the Icelandic genetic database.
    There are also issues about how useful the information is for everyone else. It is like trying to generalise from C3H/HeJ mice to the entire murine species.

  27. #27 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    May 25, 2013

    I wonder if the Mormons records might offer similar possibilities, as they are attempting to posthumously baptize as many people as possible before Judgment Day (or whatever they call it), so they have extraordinarily extensive genealogical records.

    Extensive, yes. Accurate, not so much.

    In my, admittedly limited, investigation of my family tree, I’ve found that any information you get from the Mormons is not to be used as an authorative source. They will accept and publish anything, with no verification, and, once accepted, there is no way to correct the info if it is found to be in error.

    You can use their info to find clues on what to look for, but I wouldn’t make any claims based on their info, and I for sure wouldn’t do any science.

    I guess they figure that somewhere they have the truth, and that’s close enough. Maybe “pray for ’em all, and let God sort ’em out”.

  28. #28 lilady
    May 25, 2013

    And, in other news, AoA has the video up that was shown at the Quack Fest this morning:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/05/new-video-how-mercury-triggered-the-age-of-autism.html

    “New Video: How Mercury Triggered The Age of Autism
    By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill. Motion design by Natalie Palumbo. With Special Thanks to Teresa Conrick. View YouTube Link How Mercury Triggered The Age of Autism here. We will be discussing this video and more this morning at 8:30 at Autism One in the Louvre Room.”

  29. #29 Denice Walter
    May 25, 2013

    @ Johnny:

    Right: my cousin tried to use their data and found material about her father’s family that conflicted with other ( probably) more reliable sources: she had the unenviable task of combing through 3 countries’ records.
    So I’d take the Mormons with a grain of salt.

    I avoid all of this stuff because I already know enough bizarre details ( and myths) about my family that I wish I didn’t. It’s hard to un-learn material, especially when it’s disturbing:
    we seem to often have blood that is slow to clot which may have led to several deaths ( after injuries) but allowed others to live to extreme ages without MIs or strokes.
    No relation to Queen Victoria -btw- Thankfully, I might add.

    @ lilady:

    Ha! I viewed that video earlier. Notice how they use the youngster ( NP) to give their tripe a professional advertising look: she’ll be very useful to them.

    The premise of their message is quite insane. Especially jumping from the 1930s to the present.

    I suppose that Blaxsted want to get mainstream coverage as other woo-meisters unceasingly do. “Try to get this on community TV or university channels”, they tell their entranced regulars, “Put it on your facebook page”.

    Increased circulation amongst the SAME audience doesn’t amount to a LARGER audience. They seem to forget that.

    I predict that eventually the video/ film trading amongst various anti-vaxxers and woo-meisters will eventually reach critical mass. However, it’ll never reach critical thought.

  30. #30 lilady
    May 25, 2013

    @ Johnny: I’m not certain, but I believe there are still groups within the Mormon community, who are still “baptizing dead Jews and others (Obama’s mother?)” into the LDS church…which is a violation of the agreement made by their elders:

    http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/ldsagree.html

    The Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite communities are being studied for genetic disorders, in Canada and in the United States:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3077314/

  31. #31 lilady
    May 25, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: Who’s missing from this Age Of Autism Team picture? (hint: Initials J.C.)

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/05/age-of-autism-team-at-autism-one.html

  32. #32 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 25, 2013

    lilady,

    I noticed that too, but the caption above the photo does say “some of our team…”

  33. #33 Alain
    May 25, 2013

    not so offtopic: http://www.securivm.ca/2013/05/back-from-hiatus.html

    My takes on Wakefield’s patent(s) and some other news.

    Alain

  34. #34 Denice Walter
    May 25, 2013

    I spent a lovely- but damp- day in the country: the trees are luxuriantly burgeoning and intrepidly green, their understory bushes blossoming white near lively streams overflowing their banks from the recent rainstorm.

    Small towns have been re-incarnated from farm suppliers and small industry to more cultural enterprises- a university, a group of art galleries and antique shops, ethnic eateries, cafes, fashionable clothes- while enjoying all of the sites and sounds- hearing a few musicians and record shops’ speakers- I suddenly realise:
    I’m in WOO-VILLE.
    Organic foods, stop GMO signs, ultra leftist slogans, t-shirt shops, hydroponic supplies, rocks and crystals, drums, health foods, esoteric book shops …

    In a small shop that re-cycles ancient plastic toys and fashionable accessories, a young girl in a long homemade dress rifles through 1960s style costume necklaces: her hipster dad reflects upon how “hippie” she has always been while semi-feral cats walk over the merchandise…
    Others in a cafe discuss Monsanto’s evil curse upon humanity whilst sipping free trade coffee and green tea.
    We sample fresh cheese at a shop that also deals in vintage clothing.

    Then at a Middle Eastern restaurant : just within earshot I hear something about “my acupuncturist” and across the street, a grand sign announces ‘Yoga Jai! ‘( “victory”, I suppose). My companion shakes his head; we can run but we can’t hide.

    Woo, alt med and second hand radical chic are taking over-I think that these businesses are actually making money- Too bad this worldview and lifestle is developing in all of the scenic places.

    Sceptics have their work cut out for them.,

  35. #35 lsm
    May 25, 2013

    This is a block quote

  36. #36 lsm
    May 25, 2013

    Now I feel sheepish. I was just practicing. Doh.

  37. #37 lilady
    May 26, 2013

    @ Alain: There is a wealth of information about Wakefield’s COIs on Brian Deer’s website, which is the product of his intensive research.

    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/vaccine-patent.htm

    I first visited his website a number of years ago when I viewed the TV documentary “The Vaccine Wars” and I frequently link to his website when I post at cranks on other science blogs. The other issues and medicines that he has reported on, are quite interesting as well.

  38. #38 Alain
    May 26, 2013

    @ lilady,

    I think I’ve seen his page and I agree there is a lot of information on his patent but then I wanted to write something that came from myself and I may write more about the ethical and moral side of a potential vaccine for autism (or the same could apply to anything else such as a genetic engineering method to treat autism).

    Perhaps the same subject (cure for autism) should be discussed by epiren…After all, it’s public policy.

    Alain

  39. #39 Krebiozen
    May 26, 2013

    Johnny,

    You can use their info to find clues on what to look for, but I wouldn’t make any claims based on their info, and I for sure wouldn’t do any science.

    Oh well. Yet another brilliant idea crashes and burns. I suppose the whole thing about Jesus living in America and the mysteriously disappearing golden tablets should have given me a clue.

  40. #40 Politicalguineapig
    May 27, 2013

    My only opinion about Mormons is that they need to be banned from writing anything ever. Stephanie Meyers is a Mormon-nuff said.

  41. #41 Alain
    May 27, 2013

    Can I have a cookie please 🙂

    Alain

  42. #42 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    I suppose the whole thing about Jesus living in America and the mysteriously disappearing golden tablets should have given me a clue.

    At least there’s the lasting methodological innovation of the rock-in-a-hat routine.

  43. #43 Anne Dachel
    Chippewa Falls, WI
    May 27, 2013

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. Wakefield to talk.

    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Instead, an American university gave us only one side of the most heated controversy in medicine.

    Wakefield came to LaCrosse when Deer was there but had to got to a local park to present his side.

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

  44. #44 Denice Walter
    May 27, 2013

    The relationship between vaccines and autism is not a controversy in *medicine*:
    it is only a controversy to AoA, TMR, JABS, the Canary Party, SafeMInds, NaturalNews, PRN et al.

  45. #45 Orac
    May 27, 2013

    Indeed. One wonders if Ms. Dachel would insist upon having the “other side” presented at a lecture on 9/11 (you know, the side that says it was an “inside job” or that it was a “controlled demolition”) or whether the “other side” should be presented on a lecture about the moon landings. Or maybe she would like an astrologer to tell the “other side” at a lecture on astronomy.

  46. #46 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. [sic] Wakefield to talk.

    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Spare me. UW-L is under no Constitutional obligation to provide an equal platform to whatever crawls out of the woodwork when they have an invited speaker.

    Stick to cut-and-paste comment floods followed by running away; it’s much more suited to your abilities.

  47. #47 Krebiozen
    May 27, 2013

    Anne Dachel,

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. Wakefield to talk.
    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Being invited to speak at such a well-respected institution is an honor that has to be earned. Brian Deer has earned that honor. Andrew Wakefield most certainly has not. No one is stopping him from spouting his nonsense anywhere that will have him. That is free speech

  48. #48 Orac
    May 27, 2013

    And, indeed, no one stopped Wakefield from spouting his nonsense nearby. He even got a little bit of press and blog coverage.

  49. #49 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    This does remind me of one item from Austinite’s helpful comment that went unaddressed at the time:

    But that is a new law, not well tested before the higher Texas courts, and the Texas homestead exemption probably means the BMJ could not go after Wakefield’s house in any event.

    Wakefraud transferred ownership of the house to a trust some time ago, as I’ve noted before. One might wonder how this preemptive maneuver could interact with the homestead exemption should the anti-SLAPP hammer come down.

  50. #50 Broken Link
    May 27, 2013

    Ann,
    Free speech is one thing, but universities don’t allow flat-earthers to speak at every geography conference. Wakefield is just like a flat-earther. This is not a controversy. Not even close.

    Wakefield used his right to free speech by holding his press conference in the park. If the police had stopped him from doing this, that would have been a violation of his free speech.

    You are outraged that Wakefield is wrong. That is what you are outraged about.

  51. #51 Chemmomo
    Oh, the irony!
    May 27, 2013

    Anne Dachel @ 243

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. Wakefield to talk.

    Have you ever requested that Generation Rescue invite Brian Deer to speak at AutismOne?

  52. #52 lilady
    May 27, 2013

    Anne Dachel: Your bot came over to post at the LaCrosse Tribune’s many articles about the supposed debate between Mr. Deer and Andrew Wakefield…and in your almost daily “Media Updates”, you alerted your groupies to come to flood the comments section of the four articles that appeared on LaCrosse Tribune’s website…including this final one (a Letter to the Editor from Michael Winfrey):

    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/opinion/michael-winfrey-former-doctor-was-not-invited-to-uw-l/article_77a7ee6a-13ea-11e2-9389-001a4bcf887a.html

    “Michael Winfrey: Former doctor was not invited to UW-L”

    “October 12, 2012 12:15 am • By Michael Winfrey | Arcadia

    (615) Comments

    I chaired the Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences committee that brought Brian Deer to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse earlier this month.

    The purpose of this series is to bring in a scientist who has made exceptional contributions to the life sciences. For the first time, we invited an award—winning journalist rather than a scientist.

    We did this because Deer’s investigations reversed an alarming trend of decreased vaccination of children in the United States and worldwide. Deer’s exposure of fraud also provides a clear example of the consequences of fraudulent science and the challenges faced by a public increasingly inundated with alarmist studies.

    It’s unfortunate that the Tribune chose to promote this as a “debate” in its Sept. 30 article, which led to the misconception that the university was hosting a debate between two opposing views.

    This series does not organize debates. We invite distinguished scientists (or in this case a journalist) whose findings have not only had a significant impact on science and society but also whose work is widely accepted by the scientific community.

    This year we invited a journalist who exposed a grievous scientific fraud by a former British doctor. The former doctor, who was found guilty of this fraud by two prestigious medical journals and the British General Medical Council, invited himself and complained that he was not invited to debate Deer.

    There are many topics worthy of debates. Whether a vaccine is the cause of autism is not among them.”

    Do me a big favor Anne. Link to this blog at your AoA “Media Updates”….so I can have engagement with all your cronies. I haven’t had any raw meat come my way recently, from AoA. Thanks.

  53. #53 lilady
    May 27, 2013

    @ Narad:

    “….Wakefraud transferred ownership of the house to a trust some time ago, as I’ve noted before. One might wonder how this preemptive maneuver could interact with the homestead exemption should the anti-SLAPP hammer come down.”

    I’m certain that forensic accountants will be brought in on behalf of Brian Deer, if the anti-SLAPP hammer is wielded. First order of business for them is to get into the books of Gen Rescue which funded him, Wakefield’s “Justice Fund” and his Academic Integrity Fundraisers”.

    The obvious source for his and wife Carmel’s money is the “Autism Media Channel”. How ironic, that Brian might find himself in partnership with Polly Tommey !

  54. #54 Jen in TX
    May 27, 2013

    @Narad,
    Wakefield’s lair is actually up for sale as of May 17-asking price: $1,450,000.

  55. #55 Denice Walter
    May 27, 2013

    re free speech, allowing both sides, debate and suchlike:

    I seem to recall reading @ the Autism One 2013 site that certain people could be refused entry, asked to leave etc.

    Wasn’t Brian Deer asked to leave when AJW publicly spoke somewhere in the past?

    Weren’t two SB bloggers asked to leave a conference?

    Doesn’t AoA censor commenters?**

    Did Jake take any questions from SBM folk at his Saturday charade.. I mean, ‘presentation’?
    Did AJW? Blaxsted?

    If any of the lovely SB ladies of RI showed up at an AoA editor’s or a TMR book signing would they be shown the door or would their questions be welcomed and answered?

    Would pro-vaccine commenters be allowed @ those venues’ facebook pages?

    Isn’t AD crying out about the university’s lack of free speech rather hypocritical in light of glaring ommissions by her own cherished venues?

    ** only allowing Lawrence because they thought he was the talented Mr B Lawrence?
    And Alain perhaps because he said he was on the spectrum?

    AND we can test this:
    if any RI minions try to get their comments onto Dachel’s posts @ AoA and don’t, they can yell, “Censorship!” here.

    Me? -btw- I don’t even try. Never have. Never will.

  56. #56 lilady
    May 27, 2013

    Good on you “Jen in Texas”. His home was listed 11 days ago at $ 1,450,000.

  57. #57 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    Weren’t two SB bloggers asked to leave a conference?

    You mean “asked” like this? “FREE SPEECH,” my ass. Indeed, one must truly thank the Dachelbot for this entry in the Annals of Burning-Phosphorus Irony.

  58. #58 Denice Walter
    May 27, 2013

    Narad is correct: that’s who I meant.

    And as mentioned previously, *we can test this!*
    Any minions who would like to see if AD or AoA censor commments/ commenters might try and then report here.

    I think I’ve done enough evil** for one day.
    I need to take some guy to get Spanish food

    ** or good.

  59. #59 Broken Link
    May 27, 2013

    I find it beyond ironic that Wakefield owns a house of that price range, yet still has supporters who
    1. Believe that he did not personally profit from the £55,000 from the UK’s Legal Aid Board and the £400,000 that the lawyers responsible for the MMR lawsuit had paid Wakefield personally. Of course, Wakefield claims he gave this to charity.
    2. Needs to fund-raise to support his legal efforts at the moment.

  60. #60 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    May 27, 2013

    Politicalguineapig

    My only opinion about Mormons is that they need to be banned from writing anything ever. Stephanie Meyers is a Mormon-nuff said.

    As keeping with tradition – the Book of Mormon, as literature, is bad, and I mean really bad.

    I offer no opinion on the teachings of the Book of Mormon. I don’t believe a word of it, but then, I don’t believe any faith other than a certain UFO cult led by a pipe smoking salesman.

    As far as Wakefield and freedom of speech – this, and other freedoms, only apply between citizens and the government. As noted by Broken Link, private enterprises are free to restrict about any activity on their property as they see fit.

  61. #61 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 27, 2013

    Johnny – I understand The Book of Mormon was a smash hit on Broadway. Possibly not great literature, but …

  62. #62 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 27, 2013

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. Wakefield to talk.

    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Oh good grief you hypocritical cow. Since when is the University of Wisconsin under any obligation to pander to Wakefield’s perceived entitlements?

    Instead, an American university gave us only one side of the most heated controversy in medicine.

    And good on them for not promoting your manufactroversy. Oxford did the same. Did you whinge to the university chancellors about that?

    As someone else asked, when will Mr. Deer, Dr. Offit, Orac and Mr. Mnookin be receiving their invitations to AutismOne?

    Wakefield came to LaCrosse when Deer was there but had to got to a local park to present his side.

    There, he got his free speech and precisely where and with whom he belongs.

  63. #63 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    I find it beyond ironic that Wakefield owns a house of that price range

    Well, unless it was purchased for cash, he owns a note on a house of that price range. I doubt the situation has much improved from a lender’s point of view in the meantime.

  64. #64 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    Oh, Christ, on the heels of the AO tent revival, one finds this utterly disgraceful contribution while AoA supplicates for “assistance.”

  65. #65 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    I’m actually nauseated. Somebody “in the Chicago area”? Listen, asshοle, at least I have a very good idea of where the place is and have been there repeatedly. What in G-d’s name is this idiocy intended to accomplish?

  66. #66 lilady
    May 28, 2013

    @ Narad: Thanks to the extensive series of blogs, we all know the location of that hospital.

    I read all the articles on AoA along with every comment. I am disgusted that this child’s privacy was invaded in the most egregious manner. I don’t think *highly* of the child’s mother, and IMO, there are major pieces of the child’s social and medical history *missing*.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/03/weekly-wrap-alex-and-his-mom-autism-and-suicide-and-psychiatrys-hysteria-hangover.html

  67. #67 Stu
    May 29, 2013

    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Anne’s prospective speakers at her child’s graduation:

    “Round? Hah!” – Daniel Shenton, Flat Earth Society
    “Evolution? Hah!” – Ken Ham, Answers In Genesis
    “Fags? Hah!” – Fred Phelps, Westboro Baptist Church
    “Heebs? Hah!” – David Duke

    Ah hell, you get the point.

    FREE SPEECH, Anne. AMIRITE?

  68. #68 Rebecca Fisher
    May 30, 2013
  69. #69 Shay
    May 30, 2013

    @Stu:

    Your forgot the speaker from the Sons of Confederate Veterans giving the balanced view of the American Civil War.

    (I beg your pardon; I meant, the War of Northern Aggression).

  70. #71 Narad
    May 31, 2013

    So here is Wakefield’s house.

    I’m sorry, but this is preposterously bad design.

  71. #72 lilady
    May 31, 2013

    Looks as though Carmel and Andy tried to subdivide their 5 + acreage…and it was disapproved. Too bad.

    http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=187337

  72. #73 Militant Agnostic
    Where it is always better with genetically modified aurochs around
    May 31, 2013

    @Narad

    I’m sorry, but this is preposterously bad design.

    Using laminate flooring in the kitchen/dining area is not a brilliant idea either.

  73. #74 Don
    Philadelphia
    May 31, 2013

    Since we’re talking real estate, Paul Offit recently bought a secondary home in Avalon NJ for $3 million.

  74. #75 lilady
    June 1, 2013

    “Since we’re talking real estate, Paul Offit recently bought a secondary home in Avalon NJ for $3 million.”

    Your point being, Don?

    You do know, don’t you that Dr. Offit (and his wife) are licensed physicians and that Paul Offit is the Division Director of Infectious Diseases at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia? Paul Offit researched and developed an effective vaccine against Rotavirus, which has vastly cut down on the hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations of infants infected with rotavirus…as well as the ~ 100 infant deaths caused by the virus.

    Want to explain to us how Wakefield and his wife have earned their money. Be specific now; make certain you include the $750,000 USD he received to fix the case to sue the MMR vaccine manufacturer in the U.K. and the two offshore corporations he set up in his wife’s name to promote his alternative measles vaccine, had he been able to fix the case. The second corporation was to develop and market testing kits for his bogus diagnosis of “MMR vacccine-induced autistic enterocolitis”.

    How about all the money he “earned” as an employee of the “Strategic Autism Initiative”? A lot of that money was fundraised by Jenny McCarthy, J.B. Handley and their crew at Generation Rescue.

    He and Polly Tommey jointly own the Autism Media Channel, which is a showcase for Andy to spread his lies and keep in touch with the riffraff who support his lifestyle.

    I’ll be waiting for your reply.

  75. #76 Lawrence
    June 1, 2013

    @lilady – yes, both Dr. Offit & his wife are gainfully employed (not just sitting back & asking for money from their supplicants) – and certainly have done more good in their present jobs than Wakefield could ever do….I’m not going to knock a man who has given much more back to the world than he has ever received…..

  76. #77 lilady
    June 1, 2013

    @ Lawrence: I’ve been busy posting at the AoA crank flying monkey squad over at the Time.com blog. I’ve also linked to the Jake Crosby-inspired Bolen hit piece. Come and join me.

    http://ideas.time.com/2013/05/31/viewpoint-oprah-as-harvards-commencement-speaker-another-assault-on-science/

  77. #78 Chris,
    June 1, 2013

    Also, many of us know the difference in real estate between Texas and other states (like my hubby’s boss who moved up from near Houston and suffered sticker shock when he saw how high home prices are here).

    Plus we know that most often you don’t pay the full price of a house in one payment. There are these things called “loans”, and the ones for houses are known as “mortgages.”

    And, yes, both Dr. Paul and Dr. Bonnie Offit work for a living.

  78. #79 Orac
    June 1, 2013

    Indeed. Bonnie Offit is an entrepreneur. She started up an ice cream business on the Jersey Shore last year, about an hour or hour and a half ride from Philadelphia.

  79. […] Dr. Paul Offit argues it’s time to end religious exemptions from vaccines. And from Respectful Insolence, The legacy of Andrew Wakefield continues. […]

  80. #81 Mark McAndrew
    United Kingdom
    June 2, 2013

    “…no point in even reading this blog, let alone bothering to write a post…”

    God, I hope he means it. Deluded, creepy, pompous, narcissistic little psycho.

    (Which could be overlooked if he wasn’t so boring. Can’t string together a single coherent argument, can’t answer a single question, can’t stop repeating himself. Like trying to talk to a Jonny Cab…)

  81. #82 Wolf
    Texas
    June 13, 2013

    There was an article published at

    http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/new-published-study-verifies-andrew-wakefields-research-on-autism-again/

    which summarily stated that “Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and the parents were right all along.”

    The link to this article, which disclosed Dr. Wakefield’s legal victory, which reported that the parents of victimized children were being paid billions as a result, was inserted at Wikipedia, then was removed from Wikipedia [Revision as of 19:06, 18 March 2013], and then the article itself was removed from its website [removal date not known].

    Freedom of speech … anyone … ?

  82. […] And Orac’s take on Dr. Doshi’s opinions. […]

  83. #84 Jude brad
    UK
    August 4, 2013

    I am genuinely confused about vaccines and who we should believe. I do feel the governments of our countries are less than transparent but hate the thought that they truly seek to damage our children knowingly due to the power of money and drug companies, but we all know power corrupts. In Britain our MP’s are corrupt and fiddle expenses, a small thing but this shows they are not given to honesty. Therefore if dishonest about this …. why would they be honest about anything else. A lie is a lie. An untruth an untruth. Doctors of repute who claim to be vaccine experts are then found to be funded by the very companies whose drugs are then recommended to the NHS.
    How can women be advised to have a flu vaccine that has not been found to be safe in the light of well known Debendox
    and Thalidamide law suits for the very reason these drugs were thought to be safe. NO DRUGS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN IN FIRST TRIMESTER that are not safe for an unborn foetus.
    Furthermore most of the drugs given to children are unlicensed and untested for use on children. That is a fact.

    So as I have said …. I am confused, I am not anti vaccination and my own children have been vaccinated, but I am not sure I would allow my children to have vaccinations today at 2/3/4 months, with the volume of the stuff that is in vaccines…..and the amount of vaccines the government are advocating. I am horrified by the fact this government does not seek to be more transparent and make information more readily available. My sister has an autistic son, who knows what caused it, there is no history in our family or his fathers of autism. Some thing is causing this to our children. Something is and the quicker we find out the better.

  84. #85 Alain
    August 4, 2013

    Jude Brad,

    What are you looking for here? Are you open to a change in opinion or you have set your mind?

    Alain

  85. #86 Khani
    August 4, 2013

    Vaccines are not perfect, but the odds of having a severe bad reaction to them are much much smaller than having a severe complication from one of the illnesses they prevent.

    For example, measles causes measles encephalitis in 1/100 cases, whereas the vaccine against measles (and two other illnesses) causes encephalopathy in fewer than 1/1,000,000 cases.

  86. #87 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 4, 2013

    There was an article published at

    http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/new-published-study-verifies-andrew-wakefields-research-on-autism-again/

    which summarily stated that “Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and the parents were right all along.”

    The article is there now as I type this, and it’s a crock of crap.

    The whole article is founded on the false assumption that if the Vaccine Court compensates parents for anything, it must mean that they affirm everything claimed by the parents. This is utterly false, especially if you understand how the Vaccine Court compensates “table injuries”; parents don’t even have to prove that the source of their child’s table injury was the vaccine, only that it could have been and that there isn’t some more likely cause (e.g. like the parents who were sure that their child’s neurological impairment had to do with the vaccination he had months before his first symptoms … and nothing to do with the fall down a flight of stairs a couple of days before symptoms began.)

    The link to this article, which disclosed Dr. Wakefield’s legal victory, which reported that the parents of victimized children were being paid billions as a result, was inserted at Wikipedia, then was removed from Wikipedia [Revision as of 19:06, 18 March 2013], and then the article itself was removed from its website [removal date not known].

    First of all, it’s not Wakefield’s legal victory. It’s not even his moral victory. It’s simply misinterpreting the normal operation of a no-fault system.

    Second, Wikipedia is supposed to cite only reliable sources, and healthimpactnews.com is clearly not one, so removal of the link is exactly what should have happened.

    Freedom of speech … anyone … ?

    Freedom of speech means that the government can’t restrict your speech based on its content, not that a private entity like Wikipedia has to let idiots who jump to prejudiced and wrong conclusions about the implications of court cases they don’t understand spread their misinformation with Wikipedia boosting the signal.

  87. #88 lilady
    August 4, 2013

    @ Jude Brad: You’re talking nonsense. The information about the ingredients in vaccines is readily available on the internet:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/b/excipient-table-2.pdf

    “My sister has an autistic son, who knows what caused it, there is no history in our family or his fathers of autism. Some thing is causing this to our children. Something is and the quicker we find out the better.”

    We may not have all the answers for what causes autism (although a lot of the gene mutations have been identified), but we know definitely that no vaccine, no ingredient in any vaccine, the timing of vaccines, and the spacing of vaccines, do NOT cause autism. How many more studies would you or your sister want, to be convinced that your nephew’s autism was not caused by a vaccine and/or the multiple vaccines, he received during his early childhood years?

    http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

  88. #89 herr doktor bimler
    August 5, 2013

    Freedom of speech … anyone … ?
    If you don’t like Wikipedia, stop whining and start your own version.

  89. #90 Austinite
    August 5, 2013

    Andrew Wakefield has only ever lost lawsuits and administrative hearings. A surprisingly large number. He has never won one over anything.

  90. #91 Krebiozen
    London UK
    August 5, 2013

    Jude brad,

    Doctors of repute who claim to be vaccine experts are then found to be funded by the very companies whose drugs are then recommended to the NHS.

    So when vaccine manufacturers employ people with the most expertise about vaccines this somehow demonstrates their dishonesty? Who would you prefer them to pay to help them ensure vaccines are safe and effective? Tree surgeons? The last thing any pharmaceutical company wants is a safety scare about its products that can cost them billions.

    How can women be advised to have a flu vaccine that has not been found to be safe in the light of well known Debendox and Thalidamide law suits for the very reason these drugs were thought to be safe.

    Thalidomide was taken off the market for pregnant women more than half a century ago – don’t you think we have learned something from it, and improved the safety of drugs and vaccines?

    Debendox is safe for pregnant women and its withdrawal from market resulted in a doubling of the rate of hospitalization for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. This a very good example of the kind of hysteria that can spread about a perfectly safe medication, supported by a maverick doctor who fabricated evidence, and which resulted in demonstrable harm to patients. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

    NO DRUGS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN IN FIRST TRIMESTER that are not safe for an unborn foetus.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree with this, but you have to look at risks and benefits. If, for example, the risks of a pregnant woman getting flu and she or her baby being hurt by it outweigh the risks of her getting a flu vaccine, it makes sense for her to have the vaccine, doesn’t it?

    Furthermore most of the drugs given to children are unlicensed and untested for use on children. That is a fact.

    Evidence? Examples?

    […] I am not sure I would allow my children to have vaccinations today at 2/3/4 months, with the volume of the stuff that is in vaccines…..and the amount of vaccines the government are advocating.

    The volume of the “stuff” in vaccines I suspect you are talking about is minuscule and extremely safe. The more vaccines the government advocates, the more diseases your children are protected against. I don’t understand what you are worried about.

    There is a small but highly vocal lunatic fringe who make various claims about vaccine safety that are simply not true. Just one example is formaldehyde, which is present in some vaccines in amounts far smaller than you will find in a glass of orange juice, and far smaller than our bodies constantly produce when breaking down proteins in food. It is clearly ridiculous for anyone to claim that this amount of formaldehyde is dangerous, but you will find thousands of websites claiming just that.

    I am horrified by the fact this government does not seek to be more transparent and make information more readily available.

    What exactly should they seek to be more transparent about, and what information is not readily available? The UK government which provides a huge amount of accurate information on vaccines e.g.here.

    I think lilady has your question about autism covered.

  91. #92 JGC
    Thalidomide was a success for the FDA
    August 5, 2013

    How can women be advised to have a flu vaccine that has not been found to be safe in the light of well known Debendox and Thalidamide law suits for the very reason these drugs were thought to be safe.

    Brad, you are aware that Thalidomide is an example of the FDA getting things right?

    Pharmacologist Fraces Kelsey refused FDA approved for Thalidomide because it’s safety had never been evaluated in pregnant animals. As a result of this success the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic act was amended to thereafter require drug manufacturers provide proof of the effectiveness and safety of their drugs before approval could be granted (the 1962 Kefauver Harris Amendment).

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