Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is despicable.

I just wanted to get that off my chest. (Do clear Plexiglass boxes full of multicolored blinky multicolored lights even have chests?) The reason for my outburst will become painfully apparent all too soon, but I just had to say that. There’s also one other thing that I just have to say as well, and that’s this. When the managing editor of the antivaccine crank blog to rule all antivaccine crank blogs gives me a blogging topic and practically begs me to blog about it, in general I usually blog about it because, well, how can I resist? Think of it this way. When Dan Olmsted says something like “I’m well aware I’m handing Orac his next feces-flinging column,” I feel as though it would be downright unsporting, unchivalrous, even, not to take him up on his offer. I also feel that I owe Olmsted my sincere thanks. it’s not every day I get such a massive, juicy target so deserving of a heapin’ helpin of the not-so-Respectful Insolence that I’ve become known for over the last eight and a half years.

Of course, I must admit to some mild insult that Olmsted apparently thinks that my carefully crafted not-so-Respectful Insolence directed at cranks, quacks, and loons is akin to the sort of poo-flinging that Age of Autism (AoA) bloggers throw hither, thither, and yon upon anyone with the temerity to suggest to them that maybe, just maybe they’re off base in their fanatical belief that vaccines must cause autism. My criticism, Respectful or not-so-Respectful, consists of precision jabs fired exactly where I want them to land. In comparison, AoA bloggers are about as subtle as a brick to the head and even less fun.

In comparison to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., AoA bloggers are veritable Shakespeares of clear and witty thought.

If you have any doubt of that, just take a look at Dan Olmsted’s latest post over at the wretched hive, RFK Jr., Nazi Death Camps and the Battle For Our Future. Yes, it’s every bit as bad as anything you can imagine, and not only is there no subtlety but there is no creativity. I mean, seriously. Nazis? Comparing your enemies to Nazis? How boring is that, RFK, Jr.? Our good ol’ buddy Dan Olmsted seems blissfully unaware of this as he tries his very hardest to see how far he can stick his head up RFK, Jr.’s nether regions. Suffice it to say, it’s pretty far, far enough to see his tonsils from the other side:

Each of us will have our highlights from last weekend’s extraordinary Autism One gathering in Chicago, but for me it was Bobby Kennedy Jr. saying, “To my mind this is like the Nazi death camps.”

“This” is the imprisonment of so many of our children in the grip of autism. Talk about cutting through the neurodiverse claptrap! When Bobby Kennedy says something, it gives “cover,” in a sense, for others to use the same kind of language and frame the debate in the same kind of way. (Language that reminds me of David Kirby’s phrase, “the shuttered hell” of autism, in Evidence of Harm.)

Those who can advocate for themselves should do so. Move right along, please. Those who cannot have advocates like their parents and RFK Jr. who are sick of mincing words.

That’s funny. When someone makes a truly idiotic and, yes, offensive analogy, the reaction of an intelligent and moral person is to be offended at the pure idiocy and the utter historical ignorance demonstrated by such an analogy. Of course, Dan Olmsted is not an intelligent or moral person. Think of it this way. Olmsted approves of RFK, Jr.’s analogy. He thinks it gives him cover to use similar language. He thinks that such analogies help the antivaccine cause (and, make no mistake, Dan Olmsted is antivaccine to the core). In reality, what they do is to reveal people like Dan Olmsted and RFK, Jr. for the historically ignorant, antiscience cranks that they are. I suppose that in a small way that’s a favor to society, rather like a warning about whom not to take seriously, just as Hilary Butler let society know that she is not one to be taken seriously when she tried to liken non-vaccinators to the “new Jews,” as in the Jews during the reign of the Third Reich.

What is it with antivaccinationists and ridiculous Holocaust analogies, anyway?

Particularly hilariously inept is a statement that Olmsted makes in which he whines to his readers that they should “note that Bobby wasn’t calling those who’ve enabled the autism epidemic Hitlers (just as I was not saying that about the media).” Of course, this is a massive straw man. You don’t have to compare someone to Hitler for it to be an offensive, completely over the top analogy. Let’s go back to what Olmsted actually did say. It’s worth repeating again what Olmsted about the journalists who, to him, didn’t engage in sufficient fear mongering about vaccines and autism:

It’s not going to be very PC to say this, but one of the most vivid images from the end of World War II is the Allies making local villagers walk through a newly liberated concentration camp. The message was — how can you say you did not know?

When the history of the Age of Autism is written, I hope that part of mainstream journalism’s pennance is having to listen to parent after parent, hour after hour, describe just what Jami Nelson did. Healthy kids. Shots. And autism.

So it’s true that Olmsted didn’t compare journalists to Hitler, but he did compare them ot Nazis living near concentration camps who claimed they didn’t know what was going on in the camps, thus implying that they were implicit in something that to him is the equivalent to the Holocaust. Then, after denying that he called journalist Hitlers, he goes right on to say that it wouldn’t matter if he had because the “scale of the catastrophe, the immensity of the denial, the suffering of the victims do justify the language.” In other words, after denying he said it, Olmsted says, in essence, “So what if I did? It was justified!”

Olmstead goes beyond that, though, carrying the analogy beyond that and aiming it squarely at one of the favorite enemies of the antivaccine movement. In his hero worship of RFK, Jr., Olmsted buys into RFK, Jr.’s apparent idea that someone must be a war criminal on par with the guards who rand the Nazi death camps. It’s not too hard to guess who it is. Anyone who follows the antivaccine movement knows who it is. To RFK, Jr., if the “vaccine Holocaust” is as huge as the real Holocaust, then Paul Offit is a war criminal. Don’t believe me? Check out this passage:

The enablers may not belong in Nuremburg, but they do belong in jail, Bobby said. “I would do a lot to see Paul Offit and all these good people behind bars,” he said, after listing Offit’s litany of lies and profit. Just to make sure people got the point, he returned to it in his speech. “Is it hyperbole to say they should be in jail? They should be in jail and the key should be thrown away.”

Yes, RFK, Jr. is such a highly warped individual that he believes that a man who has dedicated his lives to saving children and has actually contributed a life-saving vaccine to the world should be in jail, adding only the offhand disclaimer that he “may not belong in Nuremberg.” For those who might not be familiar with the history, the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial was where the Allies tried many of the Nazi doctors responsible for the atrocities committed in the camps, such as the horrifically unethical medical experimentation. These were doctors who had supervised mass murder, torture, evil abuses of medical experimentation, and forced euthanasia. The only reason, for instance, that Josef Mengele was not in the defendant’s box for the Doctors’ Trial is because he had escaped before the Allies had subdued Nazi Germany. Other doctors who were on trial included, for example, Waldemar Hoven, Chief Doctor of the Buchenwald concentration camp, who was involved in Nazi euthanasia programs and medical experiments involving administration of typhus to prisoners, many of whom were subjected to phenol injections. (Phenol injections were a favorite means of “euthanasia,” a precursor to murder by gas chambers. Then there was Herta Oberheuser, who did gruesome experiments purported to be for the purpose of learning how to regenerate bone and muscle in which she killed healthy children with oil and evipan injections, then removed their limbs and vital organs. She also inflicted wounds on subjects and rubbed dirt, foreign objects, and other items designed to simulate the wounds German soldiers suffered on the battlefield.

These are the sorts of people RFK, Jr. is implicitly comparing Paul Offit to, a comparison that Dan Olmsted totally approves of! Lest you think that Olmsted and RFK, Jr. are an isolated example, right there in the comments is a commenter by the ‘nym Farmer Geddon seriously and without irony says that he thinks that Dr. Offit should be tried for “crimes against humanity.” Meanwhile, another commenter by the ‘nym “no vac” writes:

I totally agree. We must stop using euphemistic language and apologize for offending the vaccine criminals and their enabler politicians. Their place is in prison for life and we should use the strongest condemning language possible! We must organize with global parents many international marches (Monsanto style exactly) to protest against destroying our children and humanity’s future for profits of vaccine- mafia. Enough of suffering and accepting vaccine genocide.

“Vaccine genocide”? Yes, this loon is totally serious. He or she really thinks that what is happening is a genocide. I can’t make up my mind if this is hilarious, sad, outrageous, or so offensive as to be beyond the pale. Maybe it’s a little of each. What I do know is that people who seriously make a comparison like this, between genocide and an imaginary “vaccine-caused autism epidemic” are so divorced from reality that it’s hard to imagine ever bringing them back. We have to try, though, while simultaneously doing what we can to prevent or obviate the harm to public health they cause in the form of resurgences of vaccine-preventable diseases.

If there’s one hilarious thing about RFK, Jr., though, it’s his complete lack of self-awareness coupled with a combination of the arrogance of ignorance and an overwhelmingly inflated view of his own importance. Only someone with these “qualities” could have written something so clueless:

Kennedy has put together a book-length treatment on the dangers of ethylmercury, given every year to 84 million children around the world including the United States (in prenatal and infant flu shots). He wants to get meetings with the CDC, AAP, FDA, etc., and get a commitment by the end of this summer to finally remove thimerosal from vaccines in one year. ONE year. If not, he said, he’ll publish the book.

“If they don’t do this,” he said, “this is what I’m going to do with my life.” Since they’re not going to do it, it looks like we’ve got a friend for life.

That’s right. RFK, Jr. is threatening the federal government that he’ll—gasp!—publish a crank book full of autism fear mongering, quackery, and pseudoscience if the government doesn’t do what he demands. And if that doesn’t work, he’ll sit down and hold his breath until he turns blue. And if that doesn’t work, he’ll sit down, stamp his feet against the ground, and cry like a little baby.

Meanwhile, from his vantage point behind RFK, Jr.’s tonsils, Olmsted tries to “out-antivax” even RFK, Jr., which is very, very hard. However, he somehow manages it:

People who think mercury in vaccines is a dead issue need to think again after Autism One. Dan Burton and others on the Congressional panels stressed it; Eric Gladen’s preview of his movie “Trace Amounts” triggered much buzz; Brian Hooker’s session on FOIAs trying to get the CDC to cough up documents on thimerosal and other vaccine horrors; and our own debut of How Mercury Triggered the Age of Autism show that mercury is the defining clue, the core issue, of the autism epidemic.

It’s got nothing to do with vaccines, actually. It’s got to do with harming babies with no offsetting public health imperative except sloth, arrogance and stupidity and, in some cases, neglect and knowledge that constitute evil.

“Vaccine horrors”? How about horrors of abuses of science by ignoramuses like RFK, Jr. and Dan Olmsted? “Sloth, arrogance, and stupidity”? That could apply very well to them, too.

Comments

  1. #1 Edith Prickly
    June 12, 2013

    That new article does make the situation sounds much, much worse.

    Yes, it does. I’m hesitant to throw around any accusations but I did read the AoA and FB posts Narad linked before they went down the memory hole, and the whole situation gave me the creeps. Trust that bunch not to notice that they were dealing with a parent and caregiver that may have been mentally unstable themselves because they were useful tools for propaganda purposes. I feel ill.

  2. #2 Edith Prickly
    edit fail
    June 12, 2013

    Oh crap, I hope I didn’t italicize the Internet.

  3. #3 EEB
    June 12, 2013

    Sorry I’m late, I just read this and I have to say: how much clearer could these people make it that they really hate people with autism? It’s a sick joke that these anti-vaccination cranks masquerade as “autism advocacy” organizations. Not only do they not include anyone who actually has autism in leadership positions (apparently not getting the irony of an organization called “Autism Speaks” which doesn’t include–or even listen to!–people with autism), but their language makes it very clear. Mocking the neurodiversity movement? Olmstead’s obvious irritation (and dismissiveness) towards autistic individuals who dare to speak for themselves–and *gasp!* don’t agree with him! Sick.

    Yeah, their anti-vaccination views piss me off, but it’s their obvious hatred of people with autism and the eliminationist rhetoric that pushes me over the edge of Rage Mountain.

  4. #4 Lawrence
    June 12, 2013

    EEB – that has been obvious for a while now. In any situation, they embrace the worst quacks and apologists as long as they can promote the anti-vaccine narrative.

  5. #5 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    June 12, 2013

    Found that FB post from Ms. Goes that I referenced earlier. It can be found here. In case she memory holes it, here’s the text:

    Could EVERYONE who acted on behalf of Alex please PM what you did and when? Meaning, if you called Loyola, please send me your name, the date you called, and the result of that interaction. If you filed complaints, to whom, what was the result? Please, as many people as possible who did something I need you to respond so I can compile a cohesive document. Thank you, lj goes

    One commenter recommends that no one provide any details of what they did on a public forum.

  6. #6 lilady
    June 12, 2013

    I was just about to link to the Chicago Trib’s updated article, Narad.

    I don’t know if Alex was receiving SSI…a developmentally child living at home may be eligible if parental income is low. Alex would not be on Medicare until he reached age 18, the only exception being if he was end stage renal failure or had been diagnosed with ALS:

    http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10026.pdf

    Alex’s parents were “separated” and he did not live in the apartment with Alex, mother Dorothy and the caregiver/godmother…so his financial resources would be evaluated for eligibility for SSI for Alex. Mother Dorothy could have been eligible for Medicare payments, if she had a ten year employment record.

    Leslie Manookian, producer of “The Greater Good Movie” weighed in promoting the AIM (Autism Is Medical) parents (who have “cured their children who had iatrogenic autism”).

    http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/news-views/patient-safety-awareness-week-would-this-happen-to-a-child-without-autism/

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    June 12, 2013

    @ EEB:

    This fits in wtth alt med theories that bad outcomes are the result of external interference**- autism from vaccines and SMI from meds ( fancy that!), cancer from adulterated foods.
    Illness comes from doctors iatrogenically.

    It is a denial of the reality that death and illness may come from ‘within’ – i.e. physiological processes, genes- and ASDs from genetic and other internal processes.

    Modernity – and its advocates- doctors and scientists- are the causation of all ills humankind is subject to-
    prior to their control , people lived to be 140, there was no cancer, autism, mental illness. It was eden before the fall.

    One may recapture that paradise lost by avoiding doctors, meds, processed food, GMOs, tainted water etc.

    The faithful, who religiously hang upon AoA’s or Natural News’ words, seem to think like primitives who feared evil spells and poisons that would sap their life energies.

    ** primitive people attributed death to witchcraft

  8. #8 herr doktor bimler
    June 12, 2013

    Could EVERYONE who acted on behalf of Alex please PM what you did and when?

    What she means, I suspect, is “Everyone who *thought* they were acting on behalf of Alex when they weighed in to support a psychotic mother, accused of abuse, in her custody battle to take her son out of care and kill him at home.”

    The list of those who *actually* acted on behalf of Alex would be considerably shorter.

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    June 12, 2013

    Just an awful thought:
    it seems that the two women insured peaceful, painless deaths for themselves ( overdose of meds? which failed) but didn’t give much thought to what Alex and the cat might have felt in their last moments.

  10. #10 Narad
    June 12, 2013

    Alex’s parents were “separated”

    They were in divorce proceedings. Next court date was June 20.

  11. #11 herr doktor bimler
    June 12, 2013

    Mocking the neurodiversity movement? Olmstead’s obvious irritation (and dismissiveness) towards autistic individuals who dare to speak for themselves

    What EEM said. Olmsted will grudgingly concede the right of some autists to speak for themselves as long as they shut up afterwards and don’t presume to speak for the condition in general, that being his job.

    Talk about cutting through the neurodiverse claptrap! […] Those who can advocate for themselves should do so. Move right along, please.

    He alternates between accepting Aspergers, high-functioning autism and so on as part of the Autism umbrella when it is a case of pointing to total numbers and emphasising the severity of the Epidemic, then switching to a narrow definition of “autism” as only highly-disabled, intensive-care cases — so you high-functioning people don’t count — when he is emphasising his own martyrdom, and the need for outside advocates such as himself.

  12. #12 Narad
    June 12, 2013

    ^ Actually, I should’ve just said “court date” and dropped the “next.”

  13. #13 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 12, 2013

    @Denice Walter,

    If the story is to be believed, they did try to overdose Alex with sleeping pills first and resorted to knives when it took too long (perhaps an insufficient dose). There’s no indication they took any particular care for the cat, however.

  14. #14 lilady
    June 12, 2013

    Why didn’t Dorothy take her child out of the hospital…if she *believed* that Alex didn’t received good care and was medically neglected?

    Why didn’t Dorothy take her child to Wakefield’s colleague Dr. Krigsman, for bowel scoping? He’s been known to diagnose autistic kids as having autistic enterocolitis after a “telephone consult” and has professional practices in New York and in Austin, Texas.

    Wanna bet, that Alex had rectal digital exams, abdominal palpations and X-Rays to rule out serious pathological processes?

  15. #15 lilady
    June 12, 2013

    Alex was in restraints 24/7? I don’t think so:

    http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/tired-moms-unseen-worlds-and-revolutionary-acts-my-time-with-dorothy-spourdalakis/

    “…“Don’t spit, Alex! Don’t hit, Alex!” Were the first words spoken to Alex by the hospital’s care team during my visit with him. Appalled at the complete lack of the staff’s understanding of how to handle an aggressive child with autism, an audible gasp escaped my lips. Alex, who had not yet noticed me (my friend and I came into the room while he slept), turned and darted toward me. He sprawled out on the bed in front of me and grabbed a spoon off the table beside my head. Dorothy gently removed it from his hands and redirected his attention to his iPad. Alex glanced at it, returned to his bed, curled into a ball and looked directly into my eyes…”

  16. #16 Greg
    June 12, 2013

    @Antaeus,

    Very well then Antaeus, again I put three typical provaxx sentiments to RI folks at #304, #313, and #360 asking for their dissenting views, and to date, Antaeus, there has been none. None! Yes, indeed at times I have engaged in a fair amount of mocking and teasing, because, to be honest, I find I get more out of you by pushing your buttons. Still, other times I have been serious and sought honest feedback to various queries. And, again Antaeus, RIers show a consistent pattern of not being forthcoming when they are pressured to concede anything negative about vaccines. I challenge you to review the last few threads and point to me where there has been a sustained divergence of opinions amongst posters. Antaeus, I am not talking about the usual shots taken at those deemed to be ‘cranks’ or ‘quacks’, nor am I talking about the odd corrections here and there. Show me instead where posters are expressing significant disagreements in viewpoints. You won’t find any such disagreements, Antaeus. None! If this doesn’t constitute proof that RI is an echo chamber bent on pushing a pro-vaccine agenda then I don’t know what does.

  17. #17 Chris,
    June 12, 2013

    Greg, please post the PubMed indexed study by a competent researcher that shows a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease.

    You’ve had more than a month to come up with the PMID.

  18. #18 Politicalguineapig
    June 12, 2013

    I think the A.S. situation is what Todd was talking about upthread when he mentioned worries that the anti-vax movement might turn violent. Sure, they’re all crying crocodile tears now, but they won’t acknowledge that the spaces they created enabled parents to dehumanize their children. Also, I second the unease about the selection of photos, they were very clearly chosen to objectify Alex, and move the discussion from what would be best for him to what would be best for his mother. It probably would’ve been better if AOA hadn’t stuck their oar in, who can say?

    Greg: see the thing about crocodile tears? That’s you, go cry them someplace else. And let me ask you something..do you believe in tables? Or wind? I’ll give you a while to think about it, because, frankly, you don’t seem all that bright.

  19. #19 Greg
    June 12, 2013

    It’s so easy to heap all the blame on the parent, Dorothy. The truth is those likely shots that AS received as a child also played a significant part in the tragedy. Hey, but at least he also took them for the herd!

  20. #20 Chris,
    June 12, 2013

    Greg, please post the PubMed indexed study by a competent researcher that shows a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease.

    You’ve had more than a month to come up with the PMID

  21. #21 Greg
    June 12, 2013

    @PGP,

    No crocodile tears here PGP. Just a little heart-to-heart with Antaeus. I do have a sensitive side, you know? Also, re not being too bright — I think that is a subjective assessment. I will say though that I have done reasonably ok in life, so I don’t suspect any possible shortcomings in intelligence have hindered me too much. Hee, hee, hee!

  22. #22 Chris,
    June 12, 2013

    Greg, please post the PubMed indexed study by a competent researcher that shows a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease.

    You’ve had more than a month to come up with that PMID

  23. #23 Khani
    June 12, 2013

    #417 There’s a lot of disagreement here. Check out any thread about religion, for a bevy of examples.

    Or do what you usually do, which is to ignore information that disproves your half-baked notions when it’s given to you, insult everyone and spout your apparent belief that autistic people are subhumans who should be eliminated.

  24. #24 Greg
    June 12, 2013

    @PGP,

    So anti-vaxxers dehumanize autistic kids and some parents will take the next step and kill these kids? Sorry PGP, I find it easier to connect the dots at vaccines screwing up everything.

  25. #25 Chris,
    June 12, 2013

    Greg, again, please post the PubMed indexed study by a competent researcher that shows a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease.

    You’ve had more than a month to come up with that PMID

  26. #26 Chris,
    June 12, 2013

    Greg: “Sorry PGP, I find it easier to connect the dots at vaccines screwing up everything.”

    Prove it. Answer my question.

  27. #27 Greg
    June 12, 2013

    @Khani,

    C’mon Khani, who doesn’t disagree about religion? Bring up religion and verbal diarrhea is soon to follow. Let’s instead entertain the contentious topic of whether autism is truly increasing over the ages. Disagreeing about religion! Please!

  28. #28 Chris,
    June 12, 2013

    Greg, prove your beliefs, please post the PubMed indexed study by a competent researcher that shows a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease.

    You’ve had more than a month to come up with that PMID

  29. #29 Narad
    June 13, 2013

    It’s so easy to heap all the blame on the parent, Dorothy.

    You know what, asshοle? Nobody here is doing that. The only people with a motivation to do so are the principals that oozed themselves into the situation for their own benefit and fυcked up very seriously.

  30. #30 Narad
    June 13, 2013

    Here, Greg, I’ll throw you a softball. You like those one-word-answer questions, right? Have one on the house: Do you think a failure by Polly Tommey to contact the authorities in response to being told “this was the end for Alex” could have played a part in what transpired?

    If your answer is no, then you have just done what you were piteously whining about.

    Remember, one word.

  31. #31 Politicalguineapig
    June 13, 2013

    Greg: So anti-vaxxers dehumanize autistic kids and some parents will take the next step and kill these kids?

    This is psych 101, bub. Anytime you can’t see somone else as human, it becomes easier to degrade them, or in this case to talk themselves into killing them. Parents can easily fall into the trap of thinking that no one else will properly care for their kids, and therefore, it’s better that the kids not be alive. Heck, it happens to full-grown adults; if they happen to fall outside what their society thinks of as normal or belong to the wrong ethnic group, their life expectancy goes down. What happened in Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, came about precisely because the populace had talked themselves out of seeing anyone from the other group as human. What sorry diploma mill did you graduate from?

    And I note you didn’t answer my question about tables or wind. My point, probably circling above your head, was that one doesn’t believe in things they know. Therefore asking if someone believes that vaccines work or cause autism is equally nonsensical. I don’t have to believe that vaccines work; I know they do. I know vaccines don’t cause autism, and belief doesn’t enter into the discussion at all.

  32. #32 lilady
    June 13, 2013

    @pgp: Don’t waste you time on the Troll.

    Here, Lisa Goes’ dreadful series of articles about Alex at AoA:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/lj-goes/

    BTW, my spastic-quadriplegic son required a special custom-built and custom-fitted wheelchair for mobility and was placed…2 hours in the chair…2 hours on his play mat during his waking hours. He too, had episodes of constipation, but we wee able to avoid enemas by keeping him well hydrated with jello whipped with yoghurt, thickened fluids and breakfast stewed/pureed prunes.

    He was also *restrained* in a large hospital crib, because I refused to have him in a regular hospital bed with side rails up; he was able to side-sit and it was too risky to have him topple over the side rails on to floor. The Intermdiate Care Facility were he resided, was audited by the Medicare/Medicaid audit team and was cited each year for his crib and the crib that “my other son” slept in.

    The Medicaid Audit Team put the word out to look for a safe bed alternative throughout NY State, and both sets of parents drove several hundred miles to see a custom built bed, that met their needs. We immediately contacted the designer/builder who met us at our sons’ residence, where, we all participated in taking measurements. I located a custom -designed mattress manufacturer who constructed twin size mattresses for the boys, covered in thick waterproofed soft material…plastic covered hospital mattresses are uncomfortable and encourage the formation of decubiti on tender skin (the boys were repositioned every 2 hours during hours of sleep).

    So no. That bullsh!t about Alex’s hospital neglectful hospital care didn’t pass my “smell test” when he was alive…and still doesn’t pass my “smell test”, since he was brutally murdered by his mother and the caregiver.

  33. #33 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    June 13, 2013

    People with autism are egocentric?

    That would be news to the family of the teenager at the severe end of the spectrum who lived on our street 45 years ago.

    He barely knew what was going on as he endlessly rocked back and forth. Of course, that was his ego-maniacal plan. Gobshite.

  34. #34 Greg
    June 13, 2013

    @PGP,

    “Do you think a failure by Polly Tommey to contact the authorities in response to being told “this was the end for Alex” could have played a part in what transpired?”

    Actually, that is indeed a leading question Narad that does not lend for a one word response. Asking whether you believe vaccines play no role in autism is not. Anyway, I know you will protest so for the sake of avoiding your wranglings I will lift my condition of requesting only a one word response. So Narad, do you believe that vaccines play no role in autism? The floor is yours, use as much words as you desire.

  35. #35 Greg
    June 13, 2013

    @Narad, not @ PGP….

  36. #36 Greg
    June 13, 2013

    @PGP

    Spare me your psychology babble crap about autistic kids being dehumanized and so it’s easier to kill them. Christ, I would expect such drivel from Denice Walter. Is the simple truth kryptonite to your species? Vaccines most likely screwed up the kid, leaving him with a host of medical and behavioural issues. The mother and godmother struggled caring for the kid as best they could with minimal help from the medical establishment. This drove them to the breaking point where they snapped and killed the boy.

    BTW also PGP, I received my education from a reputable university. Still, even if I were a high school drop-out, I don’t think that in itself would preclude me from seeing through RIers nonsense.

  37. #37 The Smith of Lies
    June 13, 2013

    Greg complaining about loaded questions not lending themselves to one word answers?! What next? Bible Belt fundies complaining about too much class prayers and overly religious curriculum in schools? Young Earth Creationists whining about how 6K years old Earth is absurd? Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes… The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

    But hey, I guess he is blind to hypocrisy of that. But notice how he never denied either my waaay old constatation that he is a shapeshifting, baby devouring lizard. Neither he denied when I unmasked his filthy lies about being antivaxx.

    Also, he never clarified (with one word, as he is wont to demand) wheather he stopped beating his wife. All in all Greg does not deliver.

  38. #38 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 13, 2013

    Show me instead where posters are expressing significant disagreements in viewpoints. You won’t find any such disagreements, Antaeus. None! If this doesn’t constitute proof that RI is an echo chamber bent on pushing a pro-vaccine agenda then I don’t know what does.

    And you don’t know what does, Greg. Your argument is in the form:

    1) An echo chamber causes people to conform to common opinions without dissent.
    2) Regulars at RI seem to share common opinions and my loaded questions have produced no one dissenting from them in the direction of my beliefs.
    3) Therefore RI is an echo chamber.

    This is an argument in the exact same form:

    1) If the umpire is hideously biased against my team, he’s going to make calls that go against my team.
    2) The umpire is making some calls, as umpires do, and they’re going against my team.
    3) Therefore, that makes the umpire biased, or I don’t know what does.

    You’ve told us all what a genius you think Einstein is, even though you’ve proven yourself utterly ignorant of how Einstein actually came to his conclusions, discounting the role that paying attention to evidence that didn’t conform to his hypotheses played in him reaching solid conclusions. Tell us, Greg, if I waltzed onto a forum of physicists and students of physics and barked “Tell me where you have significant dissent with Einstein! Tell me where you think Einstein is badly wrong!” and people shrugged and said “first, I’d have to find some point on which the evidence actually suggests he’s wrong” would you jump to the conclusion that the forum was an “echo chamber”?

    What is your test for distinguishing between a place where people share common opinions because an echo chamber has inculcated them and a place where people share common opinions because those are the opinions that match the evidence? My bet is that your test is “do they match my opinions?” Still egocentric.

  39. #39 Greg
    June 13, 2013

    @al kimeea

    In response to Antaues suggesting that autistics suffer from a ‘theory of mind’ deficit I countered that some of my autistic clients do seem able to see things from my perspective. I then briefly speculated that their problems may extend from self-centred thinking in which although being able to see things from another person’s perspective they choose not to at times. The truth, al kimeea, is that we don’t know how vaccines precisely screw up the autistic brain and accounting for its symptoms. That is why I would love to see us move away from defining autism in terms of its symptoms and instead finding the real underlying bio-markers for the condition.

  40. #40 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    June 13, 2013

    Greg:

    Spare me your psychology babble crap about autistic kids being dehumanized and so it’s easier to kill them

    Really? So you don’t think that labelling autistics as “damaged”, “stolen” or a “burden” is dehumanising?

    [S]ome of my autistic clients do seem able to see things from my perspective.

    Those poor people.

  41. #41 Greg
    June 13, 2013

    @Antaeus,

    “What is your test for distinguishing between a place where people share common opinions because an echo chamber has inculcated them and a place where people share common opinions because those are the opinions that match the evidence?”

    Actually Antaeus, I put the test to them at #304, #313, and #360 asking for their dissenting views to typical pro-vaxers sentiments that are, nevertheless, contentious. Even other notable pro-vaxxers do not support some of these assertions. For the most part, Antaeus, RIers refused to take me up on my challenge and leading me to suspect that they are too scared to be seen as stepping out of line. Maybe, Antaeus, you can help me with my test by encouraging them to respond and thereby proving one way or another whether RI is indeed an echo chamber.

  42. #42 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 13, 2013

    Yes, indeed at times I have engaged in a fair amount of mocking and teasing, because, to be honest, I find I get more out of you by pushing your buttons.

    “Because it serves my purposes” is not an adequate answer to “why are you choosing to be an utter asswipe?”

    Still, other times I have been serious and sought honest feedback to various queries.

    Oh, really. I wonder when you thought you were doing that. When you barked “The studies showing that vaccines don’t cause autism are exhaustive, yes or no! One word only!” and ignored the responses you got that explained why your word choice “exhaustive” complicated the question beyond the point where any one-word answer could be accurate, did you delude yourself that that was “seeking honest feedback”? When you asked “Tell me what choice you would make, if deciding whether or not to abort a baby with Down’s, and by the way, I’ll just call you a liar if your answer doesn’t match what I think you must think,” did you pretend to yourself that that was “seeking honest feedback”?

    Just as you keep proving that you don’t understand the “echo chamber” accusation you keep hurling, I seriously don’t think you understand what it would actually mean for you to participate in discussion honestly. You’re not asking what anyone thinks because you actually want to understand what they think. You’re asking only so you can plan your next barrage of insults and accusations.

  43. #43 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    June 13, 2013

    Vaccines most likely screwed up the kid, leaving him with a host of medical and behavioural issues.

    Here we see the (not so) elusive Greg engaging in its stereotypic behavior. Notice how it makes its oft-repeated claim that vaccines are to blame, yet provides no evidence that such is in actuality the case. In more than a month of observation we have seen this behavior repeated regularly, almost ritualistically. One must wonder if, much like Skinner’s circling pigeons, the Greg continues to make evidence-free, anti-reality statements in the hopes that a crumb of approbation will slide down to sate its appetite for praise and good conduct. Does it realize, is it capable of understanding, that its posturing is merely an amusement, and that no satiation will be forthcoming unless it provides support for its mindlessly parroted claims?

  44. #44 The Smith of Lies
    June 13, 2013

    @Todd W. #444
    Greg is simply like an evil and not as intelligent version of Adam Savage – he rejects the reality that rest of humanity shares and substitutes his own. And in that reality of his, that mind you he is only inhabitant, we all agree with him, vaccines cause autism and kids that do not conform to Greg’s standards of neurotypicality are not human beings, but changelings dropped by Fair Folk, thus perfectly OK to kill.

  45. #45 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 13, 2013

    Actually Antaeus, I put the test to them at #304, #313, and #360 asking for their dissenting views to typical pro-vaxers sentiments that are, nevertheless, contentious.

    And who determined that those points were “contentious,” so contentious that agreement upon them could not come from any reasonable source except an echo chamber? Would that be you, the person who’s demonstrated repeatedly that he doesn’t understand what an echo chamber is, making that assessment?

    The only respect in which a person without AVM (Anti-Vax Myopia) glasses would consider the propositions on which you demanded to see quarrels and dissent actually contentious is solely in the extreme phrasing you chose for them.

  46. #46 TBruce
    June 13, 2013

    That is why I would love to see us move away from defining autism in terms of its symptoms and instead finding the real underlying bio-markers for the condition.

    Here’s an idea: you could quit wasting time, energy and money on the “vaccines cause autism” craziness and direct it to finding those bio-markers.

    How are those answers coming along, hmm?

  47. #47 Lawrence
    June 13, 2013

    @Antaeus – once again, Greg proves that he’s on the side of the Catholic Church in the Galileo Argument….all belief, no evidence…..

  48. #48 The Smith of Lie
    June 13, 2013

    In the eyes of Greg – what is an Echo Chamber and what is not:
    * IF everyone agrees THAT vaccines cause autism =/= Echo Chamber.

    * IF no one agrees with every single thing Greg said = Echo Chamber.

  49. #49 Narad
    June 13, 2013

    Actually, that is indeed a leading question Narad that does not lend for a one word response.

    Surprise, surprise, the braying jackass collapses into a puddle of goo when presented with an isomorphism of its own favored drooling point.

  50. #50 Greg
    June 13, 2013

    @Antaeus Feldspar,

    I respect Edith Prickly and Lilady in a certain way. Acting out of self-interest they can lie and move on without skipping a beat. They are easy to deal with because they are so honest in their dishonesty. Then there are the likes of character train-wrecks like you and Denice Walter, Antaeus. You choose an unconscionable position, also out of self-interest, but you have trouble living with the sin. Attempting to reaffirm your ‘upstanding reputations’ to yourselves you will engage in all the tricks in the book. Keep coming with your long-winded verbiage, Antaeus. You and I know who you are.

  51. #51 Greg
    June 13, 2013

    @Narad,

    Very well then, Narad, please provide your response to the question of whether you ‘personally’ believe that vaccines play no role in autism. Again, use as much words as you desire. Please also try to refrain from the usual track that ‘studies find no link so I will have to accept those studies.’ Let’s have a good heart-to-heart, and tell me what you really think. Let’s rap!

  52. #52 The Smith of Lie
    June 13, 2013

    @452
    I know that Morton’s Demon blinds you to anything that does not conform to your preconception, but multiple people already answered that question. I know that this will break your little hear, but solipsism is wrong and the fact that YOU do not acknowledge existance of something, does not make that thing nonexistant.

    By the way, you are fully aware that you virtually admitted my former accusations? I mean that you are a vile lizard, who does not work with autistic people but eats them?

  53. #53 Lawrence
    June 13, 2013

    Greg’s “baseless & evidence-less” screeds do quite well at the Holy Church of AoA, but really don’t fly when you bring evidence, facts, and science into the mix…..I continue to find his floundering to be humorous to watch.

  54. #54 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 13, 2013

    I respect Edith Prickly and Lilady in a certain way. Acting out of self-interest they can lie and move on without skipping a beat. They are easy to deal with because they are so honest in their dishonesty. Then there are the likes of character train-wrecks like you and Denice Walter, Antaeus. You choose an unconscionable position, also out of self-interest, but you have trouble living with the sin. Attempting to reaffirm your ‘upstanding reputations’ to yourselves you will engage in all the tricks in the book. Keep coming with your long-winded verbiage, Antaeus. You and I know who you are.

    Thank you for confirming what we all knew already, Greg, that you were never participating in discussion here honestly. You were never seeking honest feedback, trying to find out what our beliefs were and why, you were feverishly hunting for grist for your confirmation bias mill.

    You claim that you “know who I am.” You obviously don’t; if you did, you’d know that at no point in my life has so much as a single penny gone into my pocket because of vaccines. You like to think you’re a crusader after truth, Greg, too bad that everyone else can see what you really are, a crank and a conspiracy theorist who resists the truth with all his strength.

  55. #55 Greg
    June 13, 2013

    Ok Guys,

    I am start to really appreciate Jen’s perspective on RI being an echo chamber. Indeed, I am also starting to get bored. I want to attend to some other business. Maybe I will be back in a week or so.

  56. #56 Denice Walter
    June 13, 2013

    Greg, what in the f@ck are you talking about: “living with the sin”? What? Supporting scientific consensus? This makes Antaeus and I war criminals or suchlike?

    I’m not a medical doctor, nurse or epi, I have nothing to do with vaccinating children or instructing parents. I work- and have worked exclusively- with young adults and adults with diverse problems.

    Your position illustrates that you have little background in the relevant subject material and thus, like many others- including RFK, Jake, TMR and AoA- have no issue with AJW’s so-called research.

    To accept AJW’s research, you need to NOT be familiar with physiology and development: here’s why-
    he presents a scenario wherein “normal” children “regress” after MMR after an average of 6 days!

    What would have to happen physiologically in order for this major transformation to occur? In six days, no less.
    Parents recount that children lose communication skills, language, interpersonal reactions, the proverbial “light goes out of their eyes” – they behave differently as well.

    How would this occur? What would be the mechanism of action?

    When people lose skills and abilities in other situations, within a short period of time- hours, days, months- we can trace those losses to something happening in the brain- and SEE the damage via imaging! Head injury, stroke ( 2 types- btw-), tumour growth, AD, atherioschlerosis… even the underlying changes associated with schizophrenia strikingly display their origins (e.g. LONI @ UCLA imaging studies).

    How come no one can show this metamorphosis via sophisticated imaging? Because it never happened.

    We can study brain development and differences in autistic people via these same techniques. Autistics’ development is different and can be shown visually., their brains vary in predictable ways- there are even pre-natal differences.

    To buy that g-d forsaken theory, you would need to accept that microscopic amounts of “toxins” or viruses somehow travelled from the injection site, entered the brains and did massive damage or re-routing/ re-arrangement and possibly encouraged growth of particular areas in which some autistic people have more cells than is average.

    In six days. Without any trace that can be shown. If AJW were correct, he’s had 15 years to produce studies- including imaging- to show the entire process,
    He hasn’t- he just sues people.

  57. #57 The Smith of Lie
    June 13, 2013

    @DW
    You are wasting your time. Greg already told us that autistic individuals are brain damamged. That the alledged damage is invisible? Well, so is the Invisible Pink Unicorn and that is not a reason not to belive it exists.

  58. #58 Narad
    June 13, 2013

    Let’s have a good heart-to-heart, and tell me what you really think. Let’s rap!

    I find watching you squirm to be far more entertaining.

  59. #59 Edith Prickly
    June 13, 2013

    I respect Edith Prickly and Lilady in a certain way. Acting out of self-interest they can lie and move on without skipping a beat. They are easy to deal with because they are so honest in their dishonesty.

    Kindly impale yourself on a rusty chainsaw, you mendacious little twerp. And in case there’s any question about whether I “honestly” want you to do that, the answer is yes.

  60. #60 Krebiozen
    June 13, 2013

    I had been ignoring Greg as a simple (double-entendre intended) time-waster, but he has aroused my curiosity.

    Does he really believe that it is “a simple truth” that vaccines cause autism? That the scientific consensus, that vaccines are certainly not an important cause of autism, and very probably not a cause at all, is “contentious”?

    Or is he just repeating assertions that he knows are untrue and in many cases offensive, just to get a reaction?

    The fact that he appears to have completely ignored the well-reasoned explanations for most rational people’s rejection of the “vaccines cause autism” hypothesis suggests the latter. I can understand how someone who has only been exposed to the misinformation provided by, for example, AoA might still believe that vaccines cause autism, but I honestly don’t see how anyone could look at all the available evidence, much of which has been pointed out to him here, and still cling to that belief. It boggles belief.

    The only piece of evidence he appears to take seriously is that from the “tens of thousands” who “report their child dramatically regressed into autism following vaccination”. As we have seen, in several cases in which parents have claimed this has happened, video evidence of the child before vaccination showed signs of autism, meaning that vaccines cannot possibly have been to blame, and that the parents were mistaken.

    It seems likely, given the other evidence that supports the idea that autism starts much earlier, probably in the womb, that most or, more probably, all the parents who have reported this phenomenon are similarly mistaken.

    The North East London study of 567 autistic children I cited earlier found that in only 12 (2.1%) of cases did parents blame vaccination for their children’s autism, and in 8 cases they blamed MMR, which has been thoroughly exonerated as a possible cause of autism, as even Greg admits, only 2 of these blamed MMR before the publicity surrounding Wakefield’s 1998 paper, and several parents revised their accounts of when their child regressed, all but one of them to make it sooner after MMR, strongly suggesting that recall bias played a large part in their mistaken recollections. That leaves 4 cases out of 567, or 0.7% who blamed other vaccines, which I think we can safely dismiss as being due to either recall bias or to sheer coincidence. That doesn’t fit at all with the picture Greg paints.

    I also wonder how many autistic people actually suffer from incontinence of the kind Greg describes. Some quick research suggests it is a tiny minority, mostly in those who have other disabilities, so I have to wonder if even severe autism ever causes lifelong double incontinence, as Greg claims. There is no mention of incontinence in this study of bowel problems in autistic children by the authors of the study I cite above. Toilet training may take longer in children with severe autism, but permanently in diapers? Even among the severely disabled people I did voluntary work with 30 years ago, only a small minority required diapers. I don’t buy it.

    Greg, do you really believe what you claim to? If so, what do you make of the evidence I and other have provided that firmly contradicts your beliefs? Why do you apparently simply dismiss it without any reason?

    Also, please identify any examples of either Edith Prickly and Lilady lying about anything at all ever. I have only ever known them to be scrupulously honest. They may not suffer fools as gladly as some of us, but lies? That’s BS, and you owe them both an apology.

  61. #61 Denice Walter
    June 13, 2013

    @ The Smith of Lie:

    But you see, I do it for the lurkers.
    And I share Narad’s sentiments.

  62. #62 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    June 13, 2013

    I respect Edith Prickly and Lilady in a certain way. Acting out of self-interest they can lie and move on without skipping a beat. They are easy to deal with because they are so honest in their dishonesty.

    Like the octopus that comes out of hiding, we see here the Greg displaying its true colors. Notice how it freely defames others, stating as a fact about others that they lie and are dishonest, despite having no evidence that such is the case. The Greg is a truly remarkable creature that, like black mold, is difficult to eradicate.

  63. #63 Denice Walter
    June 13, 2013

    Ooops! Pardon my edit phail @ 456.

  64. #64 Edith Prickly
    June 13, 2013

    Thank you for that, Krebiozen. I am not expecting that puerile shmegege to comply with your request of course, but I appreciate the support.

  65. #65 JGC
    June 13, 2013

    The truth, al kimeea, is that we don’t know how vaccines precisely screw up the autistic brain and accounting for its symptoms.

    The actual truth, greg, is that there’s no evidence that vaccines screw up brains to produce the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders.

    Certainly you haven’t offered any, despite being asked to do so more times than I care to recall.

  66. #66 Politicalguineapig
    June 13, 2013

    Greg: Spare me your psychology babble crap about autistic kids being dehumanized and so it’s easier to kill them.

    As I pointed out, this ain’t just psychology. It’s literally history. Perfectly normal people can turn against their neighbors if they hear, again and again, that those people don’t count as human. That’s what makes your movement so dangerous, Greg.
    I imagine that until modern times, very few autistic (and other disabled) children made it out of infancy alive. You know why? Because the parents didn’t believe their children were human, and attempted all sorts of extreme cures to rid themselves of the ‘changeling.’ Or else, they neglected or abandoned the children in favor of raising their NT siblings. Do you want to go back to those days?

    Lilady: I know, I know, but he’s so much fun.

  67. #67 Denice Walter
    June 13, 2013

    @ JGC:

    You know, we do know that specific substances can alter foetal brains if used by the mother early in pregnancy. These changes have been documented.

    If vaccines altered children’s brains, it would be easy to show. Imaging is a spectacular resource.

  68. #68 Krebiozen
    June 13, 2013

    PGP,
    I think what you write is very true. I remember reading about a damaged individual, a man who had been abused as a child, and who had spent his life involved in often-violent crime, never showing any remorse for the pain and injuries he had caused to others – a battle-scarred hard-man who saw any sign of emotion as weakness. I’m sure you are familiar with the type.

    One of his therapists was talking to him and realized that he literally thought of other people as flat cartoon-like figures, not as 3-dimensional living, feeling people like himself i.e. a complete lack of empathy. Once the therapist pointed this out, and invited him to look back at his life seeing the people he had hurt as real people like himself, he broke down in tears and sobbed like a baby, appalled at what he had done. He went on to become a counselor and therapist himself.

    That tale, though I can’t vouch for its veracity, rings true with me.

  69. #69 The Smith of Lie
    June 13, 2013

    I imagine that until modern times, very few autistic (and other disabled) children made it out of infancy alive. You know why? Because the parents didn’t believe their children were human, and attempted all sorts of extreme cures to rid themselves of the ‘changeling.’ Or else, they neglected or abandoned the children in favor of raising their NT siblings. Do you want to go back to those days?

    Considering some of Greg’s previous statements and his reactions to the recent tragedy of Alex Spourdalakis it wouldn’t be a surprise if it turned to be true. He’s just despicable like that.

  70. #70 Denice Walter
    June 13, 2013

    There’s also research along these lines.
    I recall something from the Harvard Symposium on Agrresssion and Conflict.

  71. #71 Denice Walter
    June 13, 2013

    Again, pardon the errata- on my way out the door.
    My 471 is in reference to PGP and Kreb. I should have the book around somewhere.

  72. #72 lilady
    Delighted to be on the Troll's Fecal Roster
    June 13, 2013

    Cripes almighty, I’m beginning to miss Thingy and the trolls we used to have…this Troll is so utterly boring and repetitive.

    Hey Edith, it’s a badge of honor for me that when I ignore Troll, he’s still trying to get my attention.

    I suggest we treat Troll as we did Thingy…ignore, ignore, ignore.

  73. #73 Renate
    June 13, 2013

    I’m still trying to ignore Greg, who is one of the most anoying trolls I’ve seen here. I suppose in his heart he knows we are right and he is wrong, but he is just still in denial. That’s why he accuses us of being lying if we don’t agree with him.
    And still he keeps coming back, accusing us of being lying if we state there is no reason to believe there is no relation between vaccines and autism.

  74. #74 Edith Prickly
    June 13, 2013

    Hey Edith, it’s a badge of honor for me that when I ignore Troll, he’s still trying to get my attention.

    Yes, he reminds me of that annoying kid who sat in the back of the class and constantly made armpit fart noises to interrupt the teacher, even though people stopped laughing after the first time he did it.

  75. #75 Edith Prickly
    June 13, 2013

    @Renate –

    I suppose in his heart he knows we are right and he is wrong, but he is just still in denial. That’s why he accuses us of being lying if we don’t agree with him.

    The DregTroll admitted further up the thread that he mostly does it just to provoke a reaction. Obviously his mommy didn’t pay enough attention to him when he was a kid, so he’s still acting out that petty psychodrama as an adult.

  76. #76 Alain
    June 13, 2013

    One Dreg ignoring cookie please 🙂

    Alain

  77. #77 Denice Walter
    June 13, 2013

    @ Edith Prickly:

    I have observed that amongst particular people, there is profound disrespect for experts of any sort: there is a tendency to discount the fruits of study, research and experience and offer up alternatives ( ahem!) to SB research and experience. This takes place on a grand scale with alt med / CAM or on an individual level by disparaging experts like Orac or Dr Offit. I survey the grand masters at their trade.

    The chief practitioners of this art form are disgruntled folk who perhaps had dreams about a career in science and were refused entry at the hallowed gates of the ivory towers. They didn’t measure up; they weren’t accepted at elite universities or to revered programmes; they never got past a general degree or perhaps an even lesser achievement ( mail order) so they despise anyone who DID achieve and thus, seek to ameliorate the value of their hard work- making it seem worthless or even criminal.

    Jake Crosby talks to Drs DG or Offit as though he himself were the expert and they were lazy students trying to get away with shoddy work, one step away from being tossed out the door of their university experience. LIsten to the tone. Listen to Mikey and Gary excoriate doctors or psychologists: amidst the spittle and hatred you can hear the seething anger and envy because their targets have arrived where they themselves are forever *personae non grata* ( sp?).

    You can hear similar diatribes at AoA and TMR- there is an added poignancy to their derision in that the target of their spleen – usually a doctor- is also the bearer of bad tidings who dashed their hopes for a child prodigy by diagnosing an ASD. Read Mama Mac’s’ Dr Asshat’ again or yesterday’s similarly resonating epistle- the anger isn’t really about her child’s condition, it’s all about her.

  78. #78 Politicalguineapig
    June 13, 2013

    On that note, I posted a third comment at AOA, and I suspect I got hit with the banhammer.

  79. #79 Narad
    June 13, 2013

    On that note, I posted a third comment at AOA, and I suspect I got hit with the banhammer.

    In my experience, they don’t even have the nerve to wield a banhammer and say so. Some comments will be disappeared, others might still get through. Engineering of the narrative, if you will.

  80. #80 lilady
    June 14, 2013

    Uh, oh…The two bloggers on Slate are in deep doodoo now. Dachel and her little posters are mad that they can’t get respect when they post comments. One of the cranks has written a letter to the Slate publisher.

    What’s next…another lame petition on change.org ?

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/06/dachel-news-update-slatecom-accuses-rfk-jr-of-being.html

  81. #81 Narad
    June 14, 2013

    What’s next…another lame petition on change.org ?

    Ah, but it’s better, as the Gerggie trope appears courtesy of “Show Me Your Child’s Vax Records.” Has this bit of idiocy actually been in circulation for a while?

  82. #82 Narad
    June 14, 2013

    Funny, a search of reuters.com doesn’t actually turn up that Girard item in the comments, and there are exactly three hits (one being AoA) for a text extract. Anybody have Lexis/Nexis access?

  83. #83 novalox
    June 14, 2013

    @lilady

    Well, you know what they say…. respect has to be earned, and the anti-vax trolls certainly haven’t earned an iota of respect.

    They have, however, earned all of the crap and scorn heaped upon them and deservedly so.

  84. #84 lilady
    June 14, 2013

    How about this link Narad?

    http://www.rolandsimion.org/spip.php?page=forum&id_article=14&lang=fr

    Open up that link to see two separate links on the top of that article; the medscape link is a dead end, but when you open the second link it leads to…ta-da…a JPAND article. 🙂

  85. #85 lilady
    June 14, 2013

    @ novalox: Does Parker actually believe that you are Venna/Lara Lohne?

    BTW, I am still unable to post on the SOP blog. Christine has tried to unblock my comments, to no avail….sigh.

  86. #86 novalox
    June 14, 2013

    @lilady

    Short answer: yes, and she still persists in that accusation, despite Christine saying that it was not so.

  87. #87 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 14, 2013

    The chief practitioners of this art form are disgruntled folk who perhaps had dreams about a career in science and were refused entry at the hallowed gates of the ivory towers. They didn’t measure up; they weren’t accepted at elite universities or to revered programmes; they never got past a general degree or perhaps an even lesser achievement ( mail order) so they despise anyone who DID achieve and thus, seek to ameliorate the value of their hard work- making it seem worthless or even criminal.

    Jake Crosby talks to Drs DG or Offit as though he himself were the expert and they were lazy students trying to get away with shoddy work, one step away from being tossed out the door of their university experience. LIsten to the tone. Listen to Mikey and Gary excoriate doctors or psychologists: amidst the spittle and hatred you can hear the seething anger and envy because their targets have arrived where they themselves are forever *personae non grata* ( sp?).

    Excellently spotted and described, Denice. And although you didn’t spell it out, we see it of course in our latest least troll who spun a whole narrative of how Einstein arrived at his answers by some sort of super-intuition rather than rigorous attention to the evidence – the implication being that we should be ultra-impressed by a hypothesis he came at through ‘super-intuition’ untainted by consistency with the evidence.

  88. #88 Denice Walter
    June 14, 2013

    There’s an additional layer in this facade:
    sometimes people do get a decent degree and training but don’t become over-night legends so they take the contrarian route and can rant and rail against the establishment which hasn’t rewarded them in a manner in which they thought apropriate ( Barrett notes that medical personnel in auxilliary positions may do so to overcome the stigma suffered from taking orders from on high -Quackwatch).

    Both rebellious doctors and poseurs get adulation from those who don’t know enough to see through their criticisms’ motivation and research goals ( AJW) or are desperate enough to try their miraculous cures ( Dr B) or seeking to ride the wave of paradigm shift alongside them ( Adams, Null, Mercola).

    People who actually have a meaingful backgrounds can spot the holes in their holism: these groundbreaking theories usually have gaps in them through which you can drive a large van. In the old days, when folks didn’t know what existed beyond certain a point on their maps, wrote in “here be monsters” – usually artfully illustrated.

  89. #89 Greg
    June 14, 2013

    Hey Denice,

    So sorry that I must return to address your point of dismissing the whole autism debate as envy of the successfuls. There again you display perfectly the dishonesty that I am talking about. Now, I supposed it suits your ego and ‘insecurties’ fine to consider that the ‘lowly’ parents are just jealous of you intellectual elites with advanced degrees and respectable jobs. Still Denice, in my honest observations, I find the ‘lowly’ bus drivers, plumbers, domestic servants, construction workers’ parents don’t really give squat about your existence. What they truly care about Denice is not having sick autistic kids. Had they have healthy kids, Denice, they would have been perfectly contented revelling in their ‘insignificance’ and leaving you guys alone. I am off again.

  90. #90 JGC
    June 14, 2013

    What they truly care about Denice is not having sick autistic kids.

    Which argues that they should be vaccinating their kids, as vaccination has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of contracting infectious diseases (such as polio, mumps, measles, pertussis, etc.), in the total absence of any evidence a causal association between vaccination and the development of autism specturm disorders exists.

    Right, greg?

  91. #91 Denice Walter
    June 14, 2013

    Again, Greg misses the point: I’m writing primarily about practitioners. Followers are another issue.

  92. #92 Edith Prickly
    June 14, 2013

    Again, Greg misses the point

    Dreg’s sole modus operandi appears to be missing the point.

  93. #93 Greg
    June 14, 2013

    Denice, it’s still ditto to my last post. I know how you like to flatter yourself by believing everyone is so envious of you guys for being so ‘smart’ and ‘successful’, but even practicioners are sincerely pissed at the crimes committed against kids in the name of vaccination.

  94. #94 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 14, 2013

    Greg – you said

    even practicioners are sincerely pissed at the crimes committed against kids in the name of vaccination.

    Please name three. Or as many as you can. Thanks.

  95. #95 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 14, 2013

    Greg starts from the false premise that there is an autism debate. In the way he means it, no, no there isn’t an autism debate; there’s just the conclusion that’s supported by all the evidence and then a fringe faction that stays in denial. The existence of a fringe faction which rejects the truth does not alter the truth.

    There is no “9/11 debate” about whether planes were flown into skyscrapers on 9/11/2001; the fact is that it happened. There is no “moon landing” debate about whether mankind really went to the moon; we did. There is no “autism debate” anymore because what was once a legitimate hypothesis, that vaccines might cause autism, has failed every evidentiary test it has been put to.

    There are some people for whom it doesn’t require sophisticated psychological explanations to explain why they would cling to some false notion or other. For instance, I’ll talk about an imaginary parent we’ll call Aaron, a composite of some of the parents who have come here over the years. Aaron’s a nice guy, and he’s definitely smart, smart enough to run his own business quite successfully for many years. Aaron’s son is autistic, and Aaron has become convinced that it must have been the vaccination that his son got the week before he started showing symptoms that did it. Does believing this mean Aaron must be a profoundly disturbed individual, a megalomaniac for daring to have an opinion that contradicts the experts’ opinion?

    No, not at all. But at the same time, Aaron’s opinion does come from him not knowing things that the experts do. Probability, for instance. Aaron doesn’t need an intimate knowledge of probability to run his business, so he’s never developed a rigorous grasp of the subject. When he says “It cannot be a coincidence that my son got his vaccinations and then developed autism! It just can’t!” he’s being 100% sincere about believing that, but he’s still wrong. That’s what coincidence is: things happening together that may appear to have causal relation but don’t.

    Aaron also believes what the average person believes about human memory: that it’s basically trustworthy and if someone feels very confident in their memory of things happening in a certain order, that means that memory is reliable. Aaron would be shocked if he looked at his son’s medical records and realized that he and his wife were taking his son to the doctor, concerned about behaviors they now consider manifestations of his autism, months before the vaccination they think caused it. They just don’t realize what people who really study human memory know about human memory: it’s not like pulling records out of storage, where it may have some smears and smudges and faded ink but if you can read something on there, what you read must be the contemporary recording of what occurred. “Remembering” is much more a process of reconstruction than the average person realizes, and that reconstruction is guided by assumptions about “what must have happened”; when Aaron and his wife try to remember those appointments with the pediatrician, the ones where he got his shots and the ones where they discussed his failure to meet milestones, and their existing belief that the shots must have been the cause of the developmental problems tells them “those appointments must have been before the others!” Except, of course, the actual records don’t match the way they remember things.

    It doesn’t take complicated psychological analysis to explain Aaron and other parents like him. But it’s a different story when we talk about “Blake”. Blake is a young gentleman who, even before he had finished an undergraduate degree, had decided that he knew The Truth about vaccines and autism. He has never wavered an inch in his fervent insistence that he has The Truth. He claims that science is on the side of his The Truth, but has preemptively announced that if he ever sees science and The Truth pointing in two different directions, it’s science that will get kicked to the curb: he has stated flat-out that no matter what evidence is ever presented that contradicts The Truth, it will not change his mind in the least. Blake has initiated confrontations with people who have been studying and working with vaccines for decades, whose study of the subject including the peer-reviewed research papers they’ve published differs from Blake’s “The Truth.” When they meet, does Blake entertain for one moment the possibility “Gee, he’s been studying this subject longer than I have been alive; maybe he actually knows something I don’t?” No, Blake jumps to the conclusion that since he doesn’t agree with Blake’s The Truth, then he must be part of a big Big Pharma conspiracy.

    Now, I’m sure Greg is shrugging his shoulders, saying “So? That sounds like perfectly normal behavior to me.” That’s the point. That’s what the 9/11 “truthers” think, too, and the moon landing conspiracists, that the tenacity with which they cling to a hypothesis that just does not match the real world is perfectly normal. They think that refusing to bow to anyone else’s expertise is actually laudable integrity, even though it isn’t: “Okay, I never formally studied structural engineering, and you’ve literally written textbooks on the subject, but still, when I tell you that jet fuel couldn’t have melted those girders and you say it did, I must be right and you must be wrong!” Despite what these people think about themselves, they are obviously not rational thinkers. The question is a legitimate one: why do they cling so stubbornly to these narratives, when it’s clearly not because the narratives make sense?

  96. #96 Krebiozen
    June 15, 2013

    Antaeus,

    Despite what these people think about themselves, they are obviously not rational thinkers. The question is a legitimate one: why do they cling so stubbornly to these narratives, when it’s clearly not because the narratives make sense?

    That question fascinates me, and I think the answer is that they have an emotional investment in those narratives. How often do antivaxxers claim that we vaccine proponents are emotionally unable to even consider the possibility that vaccines are unsafe? An antivaxxer on the HuffPo meningitis vaccine thread I just gave both barrels wrote, “Like birthers, vaccine apologist must believe that vaccines are safe because it insults their sensibilities to think other wise. There is something in their consciousness that will not go there.” That’s projection, pure and simple.

    All too often we come to a conclusion emotionally, and rationalize it afterwards. It’s a natural human tendency we all have to try to be aware of, as it is extremely difficult to see it in ourselves.

  97. #97 lilady
    June 15, 2013

    At the top of Helmuth’s Slate blog, I commented directly at Bobby Kennedy to produce the video of his keynote speech at the Gen Rescue/Autism One conference…or have Olmsted produce it. I also urged him to publish the vaccine book he commissioned (according to ***Jake Crosby, Kennedy hired experts to do the research for the cost of $ 100,000 + another $ 100,000 for editing and publishing costs), to give us the opportunity to analyze the book for factual accuracy.

    He stated he is not anti-vaccine and I asked him which vaccines he has provided to his children…and which vaccines he has not provided…based on his *expertise*.

    ***Jake Crosby thinks there are political forces behind Kennedy’s decision to not publish…I’m with Jake on this one.

  98. #98 Denice Walter
    June 15, 2013

    Sure, emotional investment may load the dice. Self-protection and self- esteem building are important.

    People who create/ support pseudoscience while simultaneously scoffing at experts have another plank in their eyes because we’re talking about ideas, theories, learning, self-evaluation – all insubstantial, abstract products of mindstuff.

    I think it’s easier for most people to accept the *physical* prowess of experts: you can see Mr Bell’s fingers fly on the violin or Ms Williams clock an incredibly fast serve. Tyros can be directly measured against the professionals. The video camera and the speed meter don’t lie.

    However, woo-meisters do lie and probably fool themselves as well. When we read alt med theories- if we know our stuff- we can re-construct the level of learning the pseudo-scientist had acquired to create his or her theory:
    above, I talk about what you had to MISunderstand in order to accept that vaccines cause autism.
    Orac discusses cancer pseudo-science and its floundering premises – e.g. ANPs, zappers, fungi and acids.

    So Mike and Gary can spin fantastical cures and conspiracies in order to sell their products AND themselves as brilliant innovators and rebel genii but it is all the stuff of which dreams are made …limitless and creatively burgeoning…fuelling their fantasies.

    HOWEVER- it really isn’t because ideas can be tested.

    Here’s a very esoteric concept – ” people’s deepest motives will consistently reveal themselves and show a nostalgia and longing for the past- a return to simpler times”.
    Of course, not everyone will agree but MOST will endorse this-
    so , an accomplished politician creates his entire agenda to cater to this deep underlying motivation:
    his speeches and plans for the future all reflect this underlying theme; he selects like-minded advisors and pollsters- everything looks great-
    but he loses to a younger upstart because his people mis-evaluate how the upstarts will vote-
    they predict that the conservatives will turn out at a higher rate- until the last hour they cling to their cherished beliefs.
    However this theory worked for other conservatives. As we know all too well.

    When anti-vaxxers call for particular studies to test their theories or natural health advocates speculate about orthomolecular cures, although they rant and rail, they’ll be disappointed because – for the most part- science has moved on and what they shriek about usually has already been done and rejected decades ago.

  99. #99 I. Rony Meter
    August 25, 2013

    For whatever it is worth, Brian Hooker claims in his court papers for his FOIA case (which he lost) that RFK Jr.’s book is slated to come out next year. And it will include information that Hooker found in his FOIA searches.

    “I have worked with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to incorporate
    information I have obtained via the FOIA on the data CDC has hidden regarding vaccine adverse events including autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders into his new book (Untitled at this point) on thimerosal in vaccines that will be released in 2014. ”

    Either the information he gave to RFK Jr is different than that he submitted to the FOIA case, or this is going to be one dull book.

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