No mas! No mas!

I surrender. Even though what I’m about to blog about is over a week old (ancient history in blog time), the combined force of you, my readers, sending this link to me and my seeing it on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere compels me. Oh, I resisted. I read it and thought it so dumb, just a variation on the antivaccine nonsense I’ve deconstructed more times than I care to remember, and not even a particularly interesting variant, that I didn’t really want to blog about it. But sometimes duty calls, and I have to dive into a cesspit that I’d rather avoid. So here we go. If you’re on Facebook, I bet you’ve seen this. I’ve personally unfriended a person for posting such drivel. Consider this my public service. If you see this article, post a link to this post to counter it.

The article appears on a website I’ve never heard of before and is entitled Courts quietly confirm MMR Vaccine causes Autism, which is basically a reprint of the same article posted at something called Whiteout Press. I was half-tempted simply to write, “No they haven’t. The stupid, it burns.” However, fortunately, my somewhat less “Insolent” side restrained me, albeit barely. However, the article is truly a hunk o’ burnin’ burnin’ stupid on par with anything published on the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism or The (Not-So-) Thinking Moms’ Revolution. You know what I mean: Black hole-grade stupid, from which no light of reason can escape once within the event horizon.

So I got my hazardous waste suit, picked up my tongs, and picked up this turd to examine it closely. It was basically a new case from the Vaccine Court wrapped in the same old tropes, like a turd wrapped in rancid bacon. The whole thing stinks, but it’s hard to tell what contributes more to the stench, or whether it’s just a putrid mix of the two. Let’s take a look, if you can stand it. I knew I was in for a neuron-apoptosing blast of nonsense when I read the very first paragraph:

After decades of passionate debate, parents probably missed the repeated admissions by drug companies and governments alike that vaccines do in fact cause autism. For concerned parents seeking the truth, it’s worth remembering that the exact same people who own the world’s drug companies also own America’s news outlets. Finding propaganda-free information has been difficult, until now.

Yes, indeed. Secretly, The Man really knows that vaccines cause autism but has hidden it from you. He has, however, been forced to admit it, only you don’t know it. In this mindset, Andrew Wakefield (you do remember Andrew Wakefield, don’t you?) isn’t a crappy scientist in the pay of an attorney who wanted to sue insurance companies for “vaccine injuries” resulting in autism (as Brian Deer found) but is rather a hero who has been unjustly persecuted for revealing what The Man doesn’t want you to know. Added to the mix is the same old tired claim that the Vaccine Court has actually admitted that vaccines cause autism.

I always find it rather puzzling that antivaccinationists, who all too frequently claim that the government is against them and who heap opprobrium on the FDA, the government, and the courts for “hiding” that vaccines cause autism are so quick to point to any shred of a case that suggests to them that the courts have ruled that vaccines cause autism. Of course, as I like to point out, it doesn’t really matter what the courts think about science as far as whether that science is well-founded. Many have been court rulings that have found for plaintiffs based on bad science or even pseudoscience. (The rulings against Dow Corning in the 1990s that blamed silicone breast implants for a variety of systemic autoimmune diseases come to mind as a prominent example. Subsequent studies failed to find the links claimed.) Unfortunately, all too often court rulings on matters of science and what the actual science says are often related only by coincidence and all too frequently not at all. So even if a court ruled that vaccines cause autism, it would not actually mean that vaccines cause autism, just as the ruling in the Dow Corning case in the 1990s did not mean that silicone breast implants cause autoimmune diseases.

But, as I say so often about the antivaccine movement, when you don’t have the science, try to invoke the law, and that’s exactly what this article does. It invokes two cases from December decided by the Vaccine Court that allegedly ruled that vaccines caused autism in two, one named Ryan Mojabi and another named Emily Moller, all apparently based on this article from June. Basically, the story is spun thusly:

In December 2012, two landmark decisions were announced that confirmed Dr. Wakefield’s original concern that there is a link between the MMR vaccine, autism and stomach disorders. The news went mostly unreported, but independent outlets like The Liberty Beacon finally began publishing the groundbreaking news.

The website wrote last month, ‘In a recently published December 13, 2012 vaccine court ruling, hundreds of thousands of dollars were awarded to Ryan Mojabi, whose parents described how “MMR vaccinations” caused a “severe and debilitating injury to his brain, diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (‘ASD’).”’

The Liberty Beacon went on to describe the second court ruling that month, as well as similar previous verdicts writing, ‘Later the same month, the government suffered a second major defeat when young Emily Moller from Houston won compensation following vaccine-related brain injury that, once again, involved MMR and resulted in autism. The cases follow similar successful petitions in the Italian and US courts (including Hannah Poling, Bailey Banks, Misty Hyatt, Kienan Freeman, Valentino Bocca, and Julia Grimes) in which the governments conceded or the court ruled that vaccines had caused brain injury. In turn, this injury led to an ASD diagnosis. MMR vaccine was the common denominator in these cases.’

Uh, no.I thought the names Ryan Mojabi and Emily Moller sounded familiar. So I did what I always do when I’m not sure whether I’ve blogged about something and simply typed “Mojabi” into the search box and hit “enter.” Sure enough, back in January I wrote about these very cases, and guess who was promoting them as evidence that vaccines cause autism back then? Yes, it as washed-up antivaccine “journalist” David Kirby. A full discussion of these cases, complete with an Orac-ian length explanation and deconstruction, can be found in that length. Basically, Ryan was vaccinated with MMR, and his parents reported that he developed high fevers and encephalitis after that rendered him disabled. There are a number of inconsistencies and implausible claims in the parents’ testimony, not even counting that they took Ryan to France and Iran on a trip and apparently at the time of the trip there were no signs of fevers or a severe vaccine reaction. The parents reported taking him to the hospital several times in Iran, he was not admitted to the hospital, and there was a seven-week stretch before his trip home when he appeared to be fine. Moreover, if you read the court case carefully, you’ll see that the Vaccine Court ruled to compensate Ryan’s family because he appeared to have suffered a “table injury” of encephalitis. Whatever the reasoning for the court’s final decision, the court did not compensate the Mojabi family for Ryan having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). From the evidence that is publicly available, it doesn’t even sound as though Ryan has an ASD.

The case of Emily Moller is even less convincing. Although it does appear that she did have encephalitis within two weeks of being vaccinated. The funny thing is, there was no mention of autism in the ruling on Emily. I took note of that, as did others. It was also noted that the full concession documents were sealed; so no one knows exactly what the government conceded, but it appears from the rest of what we know that it is pretty unlikely that it conceded that vaccines cause autism. Unfortunately, that very sealing of the complete ruling left a huge hole for antivaccinationists to go into full conspiracy mode.

So now that we know that neither of these cases were actually cases of the government compensating a child’s family from having developed autism after being vaccinated with the MMR< we know that there is nothing to this article. Unfortunately, this article is an example of what I like to call a “zombie meme,” which is basically an antivaccine trope that keeps popping up time and time again for months or even years. For instance, there is one article that claims that a new scientific study shows that the MMR causes autism that I’ve seen popping up every few months for years now. It’s the same article. Exactly the same article. Yet every so often it shows up as though it were new news, to circulate again. This is a little different in that the stories are different, but the tropes are the same, but it’s the same idea. it’s an antivaccine story that just won’t die, no matter how many times it’s buried by evidence. I fully anticipate that this particular article will keep showing up in various forms for a long time to come.

Same as it ever was.

So is this comment from someone named Susan Beryrle, who wrote in the comments of the article using her Facebook login:

I was born in the 50s. We all contracted the measles, mumps and chicken pox. It was considered a natural part of childhood and NOT ONE SINGLE CHILD ever had a lasting medical condition from these childhood diseases.

And Vivian Vukojevich, who answered:

I agree. I was born in 1944. It was considered a normal part of childhood to contract measles, mumps, and chicken pox. They were not considered dangerous diseases. I never knew or heard personally of anyone who died of these diseases.

Black hole grade stupid, indeed.

Comments

  1. #1 TBruce
    August 21, 2013

    Here’s my conflict of interest:
    As a pathologist, I do not give vaccines. In fact, most vaccinations where I live are given by the local public health unit. I have, however, given several talks on vaccination, particularly its importance for health care workers. At one of these talks, I was given a small replica of a First Nations carved bowl. Obviously, my “denial” of a vaccine-autism link is based on the fear that I will lose the opportunity to complete a matched set.
    On the other hand, if I were an anti vaccination activist, I could credibly be accused of lining my pockets by increased traffic through our autopsy service.

  2. #2 flip
    August 22, 2013

    @Lilady

    @ flip: Practically every time Orac blogs about the infiltration of alt/CAM into science-based medicine, I check out the major medical center where all my physicians have privileges, just to make certain that no quacks are providing care there. There’s no chiropractor, no homeopaths/naturopaths or any other type of quackery.

    There is a division that provides hyperbaric oxygen treatment for wound care and wound healing, though.

    Hmm, good point, I never thought to do that. My (new) GP is pretty science-based though. I wouldn’t know how to go about researching who has what privileges and where though.. I’m guessing that info would be more likely to be found easily and publicly for US doctors but not so much for those working here. I did actually google search for one specialist I’m seeing and didn’t find much of anything outside of their own website.

    … Back on topic, I see I’ve missed some excitement. Greg’s post was hilarious!

  3. #3 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    @ flip: All my doctors are located at this one terciary care teaching hospital.

    I first was hospitalized there July 1976 for the birth of my son (my OB had privileges there and I actually inquired about OBs who delivered at that hospital because of the hospital’s excellent reputation.

    My PCP physicians have privileges at that same hospital and it is typical that your PCP will recommend surgeons and other specialists who have privileges at that same hospital.

    So, I just “Googled” the name of the hospital and all the specialty departments come up. on the screen, as well as listings and contact information for every physician and their specialty.

    The Troll’s link was even more hilarious…

    http://intermetu.com/2012/02/what-causes-autism-a-theory/

  4. #4 Krebiozen
    August 22, 2013

    lilady,

    how about a degree in Ufology?
    Good idea – I hear a lot of scientists suffering from Alien Abduction Denialism Disorder are in desperate need of Greg’s support.

  5. #5 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 22, 2013

    Way back when I was preparing to meet my (now ex-) girlfriend’s parents for the first time, my GF casually mentioned that her father had made it onto Nixon’s famous ‘enemies list’. My respect for her father immediately went up by a huge amount.

    I confess to feeling a similar pride in myself, that I have obviously made it onto Dreggles’ own “enemies list”; he feels that of all the people it’s important to spread ridiculous lies about, in the futile hope that doing so will somehow nullify the truths we’re telling, I’m high up on the list along with Denice. I must be doing something right!

  6. #6 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    @AdamG

    “I’m genuinely curious, Greg. How much money do you imagine it takes to maintain this ‘cover-up?’ How does this compare to the amount of profit made on vaccines?”

    You did mention previously how difficult it is to pull off a grand conspiracy. I agree. The entirely affair is vulnerable to too many breaking points. History, however, has shown over and over again how vested interest can foster a climate that is hesitant in exploring truths, which can also have just as much of a sinister effect. And, this is the exact situation we find with the vaccine-autism epidemic where t big pharma, government, the media, and universities all act in concert, embraces the no-link meme, and resist tooth-and-nail to explore the definitive studies that will provide an answer. I feel Dr Schachter accurately describes this climate in his interview with Anne Dachel.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/08/dachel-qa-dr-michael-schacter.html#more

    Q: Dr. Schachter, you wrote that many doctors “quietly and privately” acknowledge a link between vaccines and autism, “but keep quiet out of fear of sanctions.” That’s a frightening observation. What will it take for doctors to finally speak out like you’re doing?

    A: I’m afraid the whole system will have to change. Doctors who are associated with universities and medical centers must be fearful of losing their jobs or being disciplined in other ways, such as loss of license, if their expressed views differ from the views of their hospital administration or the views of the university, which employs them. The hospitals, the universities, medical organizations and politicians must support the views of their major funders, which are the pharmaceutical industry and other companies with vested interests in the status quo. For major changes to occur in the current system, there will need to be a coordinated plan that would include some people with money who are willing to spend it to do what is right. There needs to be a coordinated effort and a serious plan to try to reverse all of this. This program would include publicity about (1) the scientific truths related to autism and (2) the coordinated efforts by pharmaceutical companies, mainstream medicine, governmental agencies and the media to suppress and distort the truth. It might include court cases. It would also include support from physicians and scientists who might have less to lose in speaking out against prevailing views.
    “I think the overall control by the pharmaceutical vaccine-making industry over medical organizations, politicians and regulatory agencies, and the media is far greater than the control that the tobacco industry exerted over these same elements of society.”

  7. #7 Chris HIckie
    August 22, 2013

    Hmmm…Dr. Jay says all sorts of wrong, stupid and dangerous things about vaccination, and according to his website, he’s still on the faculty at a medical school (though I honestly can’t find him on that med schools web site). Dr. Bob has never been sanctioned for his blatant antivaccine views either.

    Schachter is full of crap when he claims there’s this whole group of physicians cowering behind their desks over this.

    There isn’t.

  8. #8 Chris HIckie
    August 22, 2013

    how about a degree in Ufology?
    Good idea – I hear a lot of scientists suffering from Alien Abduction Denialism Disorder are in desperate need of Greg’s support.

    Ha! I’m disappointed I didn’t see a section in the syllabus on preparing one’s mind and spirit for the inevitable alien probing of all one’s private places (o/w known as “probing–what to expect and your rights to informed consent”

  9. #9 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    (merry, sing-song voice) Good Morning again VCADOD Group!

    We did get a few responses to yesterday’s ‘what do you feel is the main driving factor in vaccines-autism denialism’ question of the day. As to be expected, all your answers smack of denialism.

    Yes, I must conclude that fear is the over-riding factor that is contributing to the denialism. Indeed fear is a powerful thing, and, arguably, it more than anything has shaped history. Many of you call yourself doctors so how do you protect your esteemed, lucrative professions, while at the same time do the right thing? Yes, it’s a tough call but personally, if given the choice, I would rather pick up manure for a living than be a doctoring knowing that I am responsible for permanently disabling a child and destroying a family.

    Anyway, I will be with you guys just today so let’s get on with our question of the day. Today’s question is for the group in our audience that I rarely directly address — the parents of autistic children:

    If you could turn back time and do things over again would you alter your kids’ vaccines?

  10. #10 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    #210, ‘be a doctor…’

    @Khani

    Are you a parent of an autistic child?

  11. #11 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 22, 2013

    @Greg:

    You did mention previously how difficult it is to pull off a grand conspiracy. I agree. The entirely affair is vulnerable to too many breaking points. History, however, has shown over and over again how vested interest can foster a climate that is hesitant in exploring truths, which can also have just as much of a sinister effect. And, this is the exact situation we find with the vaccine-autism epidemic where t big pharma, government, the media, and universities all act in concert, embraces the no-link meme, and resist tooth-and-nail to explore the definitive studies that will provide an answer.

    The media? Are you serious? Private Eye and Amanda Platell (to name just two) both supported Wakefield, even after he had those charges proven against him. Wakefield was given the press’s ear for years. Deer’s expose that started Wakefield’s downfall happened in 2004, six years after Wakefield’s case study.
    You also seem unaware that multiple studies were done looking at the supposed link. The Royal Free Hospital where Wakefield worked offered him the opportunity to conduct a full scale study, which he accepted but stalled on for two years. That points away from any conspiracy.
    If there was genuinely a conspiracy, shortly after Wakefield’s case study was published, someone would have put in an anonymous tip that Wakefield was being paid from Legal Aid funds to find a link between MMR and Autism, and that he had been developing a measles vaccine. instead, it took six years for Deer to expose Wakefield’s conflicts of interest, and even longer to find out that he “misrepresented” (read, lied about) the children’s medical records.

  12. #12 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    @MOB
    “When someone (hint hint) manages to find high quality data that shows that vaccines do cause autism, I for one will gladly reconsider.”

    I find you one of the most tolerable VCADOD member (Narad, although being a devout shill, also comes across as a genuinely cool guy). When it really does start to take on water, I expect you to be one of the first to jump ship.

    @Antaeus,

    I don’t consider you an enemy and you are definitely not on my ‘enemies list’. I don’t keep such a list. I just consider you weak.

    Also, Denice Walter is also not my enemy. I actually find her to be an interesting case study. I imagine it would nice to have a game of tennis with her. After we could sit down for a beer (if she drinks beer) and, hopefully, get through her heavy layered mascara personality.

  13. #13 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 22, 2013

    I think Greg should back up his words and spell out a study design that a) could be done ethically and b) would be “definitive” enough to convince antivaxxers.

    If he cannot do so – if the design he proposes is clearly unethical, or if the results would be insufficient to convince, say, your average antivaxxer who still thinks that Andrew Wakefield did things honestly, then his arguments that “big pharma, government, the media, and universities” all resist these “definitive studies” that could supposedly be done all fall apart.

    And the rest of his argument then amounts to “big pharma, government, the media, and universities all embrace the no-link [conclusion]” which is exactly what they SHOULD do, of course, if the evidence overwhelmingly supports the no-link conclusion (and in this reality, it does.)

  14. #14 Narad
    August 22, 2013

    If he cannot do so

    He plainly can’t, as this has been requested of him on more than one occasion. Indeed, I was willing to skip the “ethically” part just to see whether he had even the vaguest notion of design statistics, and the silence was predictably deafening.

  15. #15 Chris,
    August 22, 2013

    Greg, Schachter was responsible the death of Joey Hofbauer. Like all child killers, he should be ignored.

  16. #16 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    Schacter’s part in the death of Joey Hofbauer from Hodgkins Disease was pointed out to the Troll before. Schacter is a “metabolic quack doctor”, with no qualifications to care for a child.

  17. #17 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    (knock knock) Hey Orac, are you there? Wake up Orac! Don’t mean to disturb you as you are no doubt planning another of your yawners of blogs (knock knock). I see that you are taking a long time to approve my comments. Hey Orac, why don’t you just go ahead and ban me. C’mon — do it Orac –it will make you feel good! (hee hee hee)

  18. #18 TBruce
    August 22, 2013

    Yes, it’s a tough call but personally, if given the choice, I would rather pick up manure for a living…

    You should know, seeing as your comments consist of not only picking up manure, but also shovelling great amounts of it over the rest of us.

    Cheap shot, but obligatory.

  19. #19 Chris,
    August 22, 2013

    Greg: “If you could turn back time and do things over again would you alter your kids’ vaccines?”

    Yes. I would have had my children five years later to make sure my son had a vaccine for the disease that gave him seizures and required an ambulance trip to the hospital.

    I would also love to have had them totally skip actually getting chicken pox by making sure they had the varicella vaccine instead.

    So, exactly where is that PubMed indexed study that shows a vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease? You’ve had a few months to find it… or admit it does not exist.

  20. #20 Khani
    August 22, 2013

    #211 Are you, Greg?

  21. #21 herr doktor bimler
    August 22, 2013

    Heh. Anti-vaccine televangelist suddenly becomes pro-vaccine after measles outbreak among his believers.

  22. #22 herr doktor bimler
    August 22, 2013
  23. #23 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    Thanks herr doktor bimler; I’ve already posted a comment there. That’s the same measles outbreak reported from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, that Dr. Chris and I commented on.

  24. #24 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    @Khani

    No, I don’t have an autistic child.

  25. #25 Chris HIckie
    August 22, 2013

    Yes, I must conclude that fear is the over-riding factor that is contributing to the denialism. Indeed fear is a powerful thing, and, arguably, it more than anything has shaped history. Many of you call yourself doctors so how do you protect your esteemed, lucrative professions, while at the same time do the right thing? Yes, it’s a tough call but personally, if given the choice, I would rather pick up manure for a living than be a doctoring knowing that I am responsible for permanently disabling a child and destroying a family.

    Since you don’t have the choice, it’s moot. But I’m ok with you literally shoveling sh*t instead of the metaphorical sh*t you spew.

  26. #26 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    The bot has alerted her flying monkey squad about this article…

    http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/08/21/marin-vaccinations/

    Poor bot…she’s getting a lot of flack and push back posts.

  27. #27 Khani
    August 22, 2013

    #225 Then why bring it up? It’s not a relevant question for either of us.

    For what it’s worth, I do indeed have a relative “on the spectrum.” However, if I did not, that would make me neither more nor less correct in my statements.

  28. #28 Alain
    August 22, 2013

    Guess what Dreg, I decided to make a career of administering vaccines :D:D:D isn’t that great!

    @ Everyone else,

    During my sejour at the hospital, I asked some of the licenced practical nurses about what their job entail and the training needed to become one (one year) so I called in today at a school teaching LP nurses and they have a waitlist for next year.

    Job conditions is excellent because it pay over 20$ / hour so I’ll be able to funnel a lot of money into saving in preparation for med school and the schedule is 3 days a week with overtime if desired (count me in). The demand is huge too.

    As for med school, this is more a retirement project in that I want to retire doing medical care on a part-time basis in community clinic and shelters but in any case, I won’t wait too much until my capacity declines.

    Alain

  29. #29 TBruce
    August 22, 2013

    Hey Orac, why don’t you just go ahead and ban me. C’mon — do it Orac –it will make you feel good! (hee hee hee)

    Do you think he’s going to miss out on you making a complete ass of yourself?

  30. #30 Krebiozen
    August 22, 2013

    Greg,
    What is the matter with you? Seriously, not only do you insist on retaining your deluded beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence, but you are so entrenched in them that you imagine other people have them as well. This is not normal behavior, and I suggest you get some professional help. I found you amusing at first, but now I’m concerned.

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    August 22, 2013

    @ lilady:

    I read over the comments: Dachel makes a complete spectacle of herself. I can’t see how any reasonable adult wouldn’t see through her obvious manoeuvring and placement of ridiculous adverts for AJW, crappy movies or AoA reading lists.
    HOWEVER not everyone who has children is either reasonable or thinks like.an adult.

    Go get her. Figuratively, of course.

    @ Dr Chris:

    this current thread reminds me of when I listened to a well-known SB journalist being interviewed by an alt med guru on the latter’s internet radio show. The woo later bragged about his “scathing” questions and noted that the journalist couldn’t respond at all.** Yes, he “won” the “debate” -according to him.

    I can synopsise the entire episode ( and I did @ RI) as ‘2 sd’
    That is, for whatever I could conceivably measure in order to compare the two participants I keep getting “2 sd” as an answer. Enough said.. Same here. Maybe more.

    @ Alain:

    Then we can call you the Great Dark Lord of Vaccine Adminstration. Woo hoo.

    @ TBruce:

    My feelings exactly.

    ** probably because he was laughing too hard and had to keep hitting the mute/ cough button.
    I tried to find the tape but it is buried amidst the rubble at the Gary Null Show/ PRN ( late January 2011).

  32. #32 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: The bot is being taken care of. 🙂

    Take a look at ccdaddy a.k.a. ccdaddy57 a.k.a. Joe Harris’ comments. That’s a certifiable loon. He’s into conspiracy sh!t big time, mangles the English language (“Wakefield was made the escape goat’) and he will eventually tell me I’m going straight to hell without passing “Go”, because I a shill for Pharma and for science.

  33. #33 Denice Walter
    August 22, 2013

    @ Kreb:

    I’m glad you said it so I didn;t have to.

    @ lilady:

    re the article:
    remember this is MARIN county: what do you expect? Great scenery, great cheese, lovely art but immersed in woo.

    -btw- “escape goat” is kind of funny. Unintentionally for sure.

  34. #34 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    I don’t want to be part of the grammar police…however…ccdaddy was sucking up to the bot and stated “The calvary has arrived”.

  35. #35 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 22, 2013

    @Antaeus,

    I don’t consider you an enemy and you are definitely not on my ‘enemies list’. I don’t keep such a list.

    I have no reason to value your opinion, but nevertheless, you can’t deny you’ve made that opinion clear, that you perceive me as a major obstacle to whatever aims you think you’re advancing with your continued tiresome prattling here. Whether you use the term “enemy” or not is an empty distinction; your aims are asinine, petty, and wrong-headed, so to frustrate them (as I must be doing, otherwise you would find no need to single me out to tell lies about!) makes me a happy bunny.

    I just consider you weak.

    That’s interesting, meaning it’s not. Your perception that I am weak comes, I presume, from your tiresome delusion/pretense (I see no reason to care which it is) that actually I agree with you and secretly think vaccines cause autism, right? And in this fantasy world of yours, it’s only my being “weak” that causes me to agree with the scientific evidence – if I was “strong”, that would surely result in me siding with the stranger on the Internet who claims vaguely that he’s a “BT” (what a “BT” is in this context, he refuses to disclose) who “works with autistic clients” instead, right?

    Let me tell you what I think of you, Greg.

    There are two hypotheses in my mind for why you act as you do. The one which gives you the benefit of the doubt, which reflects less poorly on you as a human being, is that you are completely, willfully, rock-stupid.

    You didn’t have to be, that’s the sad part; there’s definitely a glimmer there of potential for actual thinking ability. You’re not like some of the sad ranters who come along every now and then to barrage us with rambling, ranting screeds that wander all over the place, clearly reflecting a thought process just as baffled and aimless. Your writing is organized, and focused; it’s clear you could be organizing and focusing the thinking behind it. Or, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that once, you could have.

    But if I had to guess, I’d say that at exactly the time in your life when you should have been developing that ability to think things through and examine ideas critically, you were dissuaded away from it. I would guess at an unsupportive home life; those who should have encouraged you to set your aims high made it clear that instead, they expected you to wind up just another loser. Perhaps they even resented, feared, the possibility that you might live up to your potential, and thus make them feel bad about where they ended up; they were scared of seeing in you just what they could have had if they hadn’t screwed up – or maybe they were scared they’d realize that they never had your potential.

    And there you were, feeling (even if you coludn’t articulate at that age) those mixed messages of “we want you to do your best and succeed, but actually we don’t, not really,” you resolved it the only way that seemed feasible at the time: you found a peer group who valued and encouraged your failure. Hey, man, don’t waste your time trying to figure out why you’re failing in math and science and history! Buy into our myth, the one that says that if you show enough contempt for what you don’t understand, it means you’re superior to it! Why settle for sitting in the classroom, praying the teacher won’t call on you and humiliate you by making you admit you don’t understand what everyone else in the class seems to? Disrupt the class with belching, instead! That’ll show ’em you’re way too cool for all those skills that could help you navigate life later! Hey, you know what’s even cooler than getting suspended ’cause you won’t stop the class clown act? Ditching class altogether and going out to drink and toke! Ohh yeeah, that’s how we prove we’re the ones who got it going on! Oh man, if ditching school shows we’re rebels, you know what really shows our superiority? Dropping out of school! Oh man, that’s gotta be, like, the ultimate middle finger to the system! They’ll really know they can’t push me around then!

    And that all seemed to make so much sense. Until years went by and the fog of adolescence (which seemed to make it so important to rebel) cleared from your head, and you said to yourself, I was offered an education. Free of charge. And I said “No.” What the hell was I thinking? And all those friends for whose approval you so happily threw away and spit on the best chance you had to get ahead in life, well, they’re nowhere to be found, now, so what was so great about having them approve of you, again? All those jokes about “Would you like fries with that?” don’t seem so funny now that it looks like that’s what you’ll actually have to do to make ends meet. And then the comedown when it turns out you can’t actually do that job! It seems that all those old “mouth off; that’ll show them they ain’t the boss of you” reflexes don’t work in your favor when they are your bosses, the ones with the power to fire you when you mouth off one time too many.

    Those daydreams never really went away. The ones where you didn’t give up on your education but made the most of it and those stymying subjects finally came clear to you and now you’re the respected man of learning who stands at the front of the lecture hall and easily answers all the bewildered pleas of “Professor, I don’t understand, can you explain…?” Oh, how those daydreams feed the hunger in your soul! Oh, how they *hurt* when you look up and remember where and who you really are – you’re the dropout who has to take a job babysitting your neighbor’s autistic children. And the only reason you have that job is because there’s no one else who’s desperate enough to deal with the head-banging, and clean up the poop-smearing, for the little she can afford to pay you.

    Sooner or later, you hear the rumors: someone out there thinks that vaccines cause autism. Maybe it’s true, you think. In fact, if it was true, that would be wonderful. It would mean that for once, instead of all the smart educated people looking down on me for what I don’t know, I could be looking down on them for what I know that they don’t. And these kids – I realize they need someone to look after them, but I hate being that someone! And frankly, sometimes I look at the poop they’ve smeared all over the place and I hate them. And yet I feel guilty for feeling that hate. If I can believe that someone else caused their autism, I can pour all my guilty feelings into a conviction that it’s THOSE people, the ones who CAUSED the autism, who should be feeling guilty!

    Maybe it took a while, for “wouldn’t it be nice for me if this were true” to become “this must be true” in your mind. Or maybe it was quick. As I said, your writing shows a mind that can focus and organize. It also shows a mind that cuts corners, goes for the lazy convenient answers rather than putting in the sustained effort needed to get the right answers. (After all, if you’d learned stick-to-it-iveness earlier in life, chances are you wouldn’t be a dropout now.) Whether it was slow or quick, you decided you were going to cling to that belief from now on; you’d let your hope that vaccines really did cause autism, and made you smarter than all those eggheads who said it didn’t, fill up the empty hole in you where self-esteem should be.

    So where do you go from here? You don’t like who you are, not really. Every so often you make the mistake of taking stock of yourself and when you do you’re too overwhelmed by humiliation and hurt and shame to see a way forward. Let me tell you something important, that will help you get off this treadmill: You have to make your decisions for the future and not the past.

    The world will not come to an end if you say “You know, all that antivax stuff sounded plausible when I first encountered it – but first it turned out that all those graphs which were claimed to show diseases ‘going away’ before vaccines didn’t show that at all. And then it turns out that all that stuff about ‘they could easily and ethically do a definitive study which would settle the question, but they won’t’ is garbage too: you could do a definitive study, but not ethically; or you could do the study ethically, but it wouldn’t be definitive enough to satisfy the anti-vaxers around me.” The world will not come to an end if you choose not to make a mistake today just because you made it yesterday.

    As I said, that’s the hypothesis that gives you more benefit of the doubt. The one that gives you less is that you are actually smart enough to understand what complete horse manure you present to us mislabelled as “thinking”. You understand how badly you humiliate yourself when you say things like “for every one autistic like you there’s thousands that are head-banging and poop-smearing – oh wait, but when I say ‘like you’ I mean specifically a computer programmer” or “well, sure, the correct statistic to be looking at is incidence, but instead of actually looking at incidence, let’s look at mortality and just assume that incidence must follow pretty much the same curve as mortality”.

    The reason you are willing to make such a gigantic ass of yourself is because you are truly that desperate to impress your fellow antivaxers over at AoA. And that’s just sad. Pathetic. Craven. It profits not a man to give his soul for the whole world – but for AoA, Greg?? Who can look at that clown pit – who on this earth is so devoid of self-respect that they can look at that clown pit and think “Wow, I want to sell out to impress them!”? As utterly despicable as Andrew Wakefield is, at least he’s making money from cynically pandering to the fanatic fringe. If you’re doing it for anything less than the hope of getting laid, you’re so pathetic I don’t even know where you’d begin an attempt to redeem yourself.

  36. #36 Khani
    August 23, 2013

    Honestly, Antaeus, I think he’s just a garden variety troll.

  37. #37 lilady
    August 23, 2013

    I have to agree with Khani about the Troll, being a garden variety type.

    He claimed to be a “BT” (Behavioral Therapist) who works with autistic adults. It soon became apparent to me that Troll does not have the educational background to work with autistic people in any capacity.

    Troll first started posting at AoA just before he came here to pester us, no doubt because of the AoA groupies mentioned this blog. When anyone would ask him to analyze a study he referred to, he immediately went back to the mother ship and begged someone…anyone…to assist him with a plausible explanation/reply. Of course none of them were able to help him because they are all science illiterates. (It sort of reminds of the SFB Troll who claimed she was a registered nurse).

    So it is best to just ignore the Troll; talk around him, poke fun at his ignorance and deny him the attention he so desperately craves.

    Troll’s best bet is to return to AoA as “a regular”, where Jen, Benedetta and the denizens, post inane comments and never get any push backs from the groupies…because they are so desperate to have the traffic there

  38. #38 flip
    August 23, 2013

    Hope nobody’s posted this before… but I just saw it and knew people here would enjoy seeing it.

    education-today.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4534/14-year-old_designs_phone_app_to_remind_parents_about_vaccinations.html

    “14-year-old designs phone app to remind parents about vaccinations”

    Specifically targets the MMR vaccine from the sounds of it.

  39. #39 flip
    August 23, 2013

    @Lilady

    My PCP physicians have privileges at that same hospital and it is typical that your PCP will recommend surgeons and other specialists who have privileges at that same hospital.

    So, I just “Googled” the name of the hospital and all the specialty departments come up. on the screen, as well as listings and contact information for every physician and their specialty.

    What does PCP stand for?

    Anyway, again, I’m not sure how much this info is available. Like I said, the specialist I did google for didn’t pop up on any hospital information pages, just their own and a couple of (legit-sounding) websites that discuss such services. Given that I don’t know what hospital they’d be attached to (or if they are at all) it’s not worth my time to try and dig up each hospital in the city and hope I find their name.

    Actually, what’s been more useful to me is the bulletin-board style wall in my doctor’s office. Seeing what kind of business cards and flyers they have posted up their is quite informative. I keep trying to see if there are any woo-ish type of services displayed and haven’t seen any so far. — Even better is that I got my flu vaccine recently, at my request, no major convincing required. Lots of flu pamphlets and posters put up in the waiting area. All discussions with my doc/specialist suggest to me they’re both very science-based and interested in data and tests rather than special-snowflake feelings and guesswork.

    @Greg

    This conspiracy is not going well. It’s not really a secret if you know about it, is it?

    I mean there’s been well over 100 years of vaccines. Surely the conspiracy should be completely exposed by now! Deer took less than a decade to discover Wakefield’s fraud; how long did it Nixon’s conspiracies stay hidden? Or any other real, unimagined conspiracy?

    But no, the anti-vaxxers have only now caught on that vaccines are ebil.

    This has to be the most coordinated, most cooperative, like-minded bunch of people ever. Ten friends can have an argument, but thousands of scientists across the world over a century can all get together and agree on every aspect of this ‘conspiracy’ all the time, with no one finding out about it until now… yeah, that’s believable!

    Sheesh *rolls eyes*

  40. #40 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 23, 2013

    flip – PCP typically stands for Primary Care Physician. It can also stand for phencyclidine, but that makes less sense given the context.

  41. #41 Greg
    August 23, 2013

    @Khani

    What exactly constitutes a ‘garden variety’ Troll?

    @Lilady

    “So it is best to just ignore the Troll; talk around him, poke fun at his ignorance and deny him the attention he so desperately craves.”

    Perhaps never in the history of mankind has someone paid so much attention to someone that they expressly stated they were ignoring. It still warms my heart though.

    @Antaeus

    So you read me as intelligent, underachiever who compensates for my shortcomings by lashing out at authority and those who are successful. Hey Antaeus, did you see the movie Good Will Hunting? Do you remember Matt Damon’s character who came from a dysfunctional family, was a high school dropout, thumbed his nose at society, and worked as a janitor at a high school? Still he was incredibly smart, and solved complicated math problems left behind on the blackboard. Well, perhaps, you are not describing me as that smart!

    Antaeus, I am not a high school dropout. I have an undergrad degree in psychology and college certification as a counsellor. My official job title is a Behaviour Therapist but I think I am more of a counsellor working with special needs clients. Denice is right – you really don’t need a master’s degree to work as a therapist. I don’t work with my neighbour’s twin autistic boys. And, I must confess, despite going on repeatedly about autistics’ poop smearing, I have not personally witnessed this. I do believe the stories though. The closest I came to such unsavoury aspects of autism was an intake I had with an autistic teenaged boy who covered every inch of his family’s home with spit–not a pretty sight!

    Antaeus, I also don’t challenge you guys out of some deep-seated grudge against you intellectual heavyweights. Really Antaeus, my motivation stems from my conviction that the crime being committed against kids in the name of vaccination is an injustice of epic proportion. I am compelled to voice my opposition, and I will challenge any and everyone that defends vaccines. (Perhaps, maybe I do have a little rebellious streak to me that makes me prone to fight against injustice).

    As to my issues with you specifically, Antaeus, it does not merely extend from believing that you are in denial about the autism-vaccine link. All you VCADOD members are in denial, except maybe autistics such as Julian who are unable to grasp the web of deception. (You take issues with this characterization, Antaeus? Then answer the million dollar question – once and for all: Despite the pharma funded studies that found no link between vaccines and autism, do you personal believe that vaccines as administered in their totality according to the CDC’s immunization schedule play no causal role in autism? Antaeus, remember a one word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response! I trust that you are too proud to lie.)

    Antaeus, my issue with you is that perhaps of all the VCADOD members you seem to be the most bothered by your decision. It’s so apparent in your long-winded, croonings, as you desperately attempt to rationalize your choice to no other than yourself. Yet Antaeus, you just don’t have the courage to do the right thing, and this make you weak. Perhaps, you could have been a Sears or Gordon, but you opted for the safe out.

    Antaeus, I am also not so enamoured to AoA in my quest to compensate for my ‘shortcomings’ by gaining acceptance. Truly, I do respect AoAers and find them genuine, unlike you VCADODers. Perhaps AoAers go on too much about thimerosal and with the conspiracy stuff where they see you guys as some evil, elite, tactical force. They give you guys too much credit and really do not appreciate just how scared you are.

    Finally Antaeus, reading your spew, buried within it is the same disingenuous elitist message that has gotten us into this autism mess: The intelligent, educated individuals know what’s good and right, and the uneducated rabble are just plain stupid.

  42. #42 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 23, 2013

    Just to add to my comment at #212 and filp’s at #240, I would like to point out that Greg’s supposed “conspiracy” is simultaneously so well organised and disciplined that it is able to slam a lid on the vaccine-autism link, and yet so hopelessly incompetent that it failed to expose Wakefield for six years.

  43. #43 Greg
    August 23, 2013

    Good Morning VCADOD Group!

    Sorry for the late greetings but, again, I got caught up responding to comments from yesterday’s program.

    Well, it seems that other than Chris I did not get any response to yesterday’s question to parents of autistics children of what, if any, vaccines would the alter if you could do things over again. Guys, I really do think it’s an important question, so please feel free to provide a response. Anyway, I will wait for your responses and bid you adieu, again, later in the day.

  44. #44 Denice Walter
    August 23, 2013

    I think Antaeus has something there**-

    woo-supporters often scoff at SBM in a manner that makes me suspect that they are trying to scores points for themselves- either to build eroded self-esteem or to impress like-minded advocates AND simultaneously strike back at the empire of consensus.

    Pretense, posturing and poseur*** are the words that immediately spring to mind: they’re trying to convince others that they have knowledge or abilities that trump what experts believe or what studies have shown. They’re above it all: and the card they play most often is the ace of conspiracy.

    As I’ve mentioned previously, they would have their audience look at flaws in the opposition ( and in its proponents) to divert attention AWAY from themselves.

    So I would ask: who are these people and what’s in it for them?

    When we study woo-meisters, we find that they often do not achieve a level of education commensurate with their attitude of being an over-arching evaluator:
    critics of medicine should at least be educated and trained in that area so that they UNDERSTAND the issues, history and complexities before they start talking.
    HOWEVER nearly every nutritionist comments on the atrocities commited by oncologists or psychiatrists. .
    IF you look at their backgrounds, you might find very dodgy, sporadic or odd educational achievement. Or if they do have a meaningful degree, it’s not in a relevant discipline. Yet they speak *ex cathedra*. As if.

    Conspiracy is a very useful tool because it explains why their brilliant theory has not been accepted by the mainstream: it’s all a fix. The world is against them. The powers-that-be are keeping the truth away from the public.
    Rather than the fact that it’s either meaningless or ill conceived as well as unrealistic.

    When you examine the details of their theory you frequently find a cobbled together mishmash of recognisable terminology without meaningful support ( data) for the linkage between concepts. One of the finest examples of this is Blaxill and Olmsted’s book about mercury.

    So my own method woud be to focus our attention on these scoffers:
    who are they, why are they involved and what do they get out of their partisanship? What motivates them?

    Every time one of them announces how corrupt the establishment is and how much they have to hide, we need to turn the spotlight back on them: what are they trying to prove? I suspect it’s more about themselves than about science.

    ** and I hope that David Mamet doesn’t see what he wrote because he might steal it and put it in a play. It’s that good.

    *** I know, I know I usually avoid alliteration like the plague..
    Ooops!

  45. #45 Denice Walter
    August 23, 2013

    I might illustrate this better by resorting to an anecdote from RL ( non-client based):

    a fellow asked me to look at his nephew’s writing: he’s over 40, has an unchallenging job, an education in IT and basically no social life.

    He follows the news and writes up opinion pieces for his blog which he e-mails to everyone he knows ( mostly family) several times a day.To be perfectly honest, he has little to say that departs from what he hears on television yet he surrounds his scanty materal with a great deal of pomp and circumstance as well as heat and light. Unfortunately, his abilities do not seem to be beyond average in response to news events.

    He’s escaping his mundane life by creating an alternate identity. Sometimes this play acting can be a way of resting, re-grouping and preparation – by rehearsal- for actions taken in RL. Someone might try on a new persona for size and then work on attaining the skills necessary to achieve it in the real world. Or emulate a role model and then attain the qualities that are admired.

    I fear he’s not gearing up for a change but is AVOIDING real life opportunities: he works with many IT people- male and female ( I don’t know his sexual orientation- his relative doubts he has any); he lives in an area that has many venues for entertainment; his family has enough money that if he needed help to take time off of work to go back to school/ training,it wouldn’t be a problem.. Also by directing his missives to family members he decreases the odds of disapproval of his writing. I have no qualms about saying he writes like a teenager who is tryng to find himself- skill wise and emotionally

    There are always options for any person who wants to acquire new skills and change their occupation but realism is necessary.
    HOWEVER searching these out brings great risks of rejection and stigma.

    Thus, I don’t think that this guy has huge problems BUT that he needs counselling by someone who is NOT a family member and who understands possible avenues of escape into adulthood for him: e.g. social skills via a group, education building on his present IT background or related office computer training.

  46. #46 Lawrence
    August 23, 2013

    I wonder what kind of response I’d get if I was allowed to go over to AoA & post as Greg does here…..Greg, would you like to sponsor me over to your AoA buddies so I can “engage” in your type of discussion of how they “know” that vaccines play no part in autism?

  47. #47 Khani
    August 23, 2013

    Troll is a troll is a troll is a troll.

    (With apologies to Gertrude Stein.)

  48. #48 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 23, 2013

    Really Antaeus, my motivation stems from my conviction that the crime being committed against kids in the name of vaccination is an injustice of epic proportion.

    As to my issues with you specifically, Antaeus, it does not merely extend from believing that you are in denial about the autism-vaccine link. All you VCADOD members are in denial…

    But your conviction that there is a “crime being committed against kids in the name of vaccination” comes from a process of reasoning that, when you look at it from a reality-based perspective, completely falls apart like tissue paper. I mean, it’s basically this:

    1) There’s lots of parents who are convinced that, since they remember first seeing signs of autism shortly after their child’s vaccination, the vaccination must have somehow caused the autism.

    2) That many parents couldn’t possibly be mistaken.

    3) Therefore, the vaccination really did cause the autism.

    Now the problem with that syllogism is that premise 2 is really, incredibly, amazingly false. And a syllogism only has meaning if both the premises are true and the form is sound. So anyone who can see any of the many reasons why premise 2 is false is going to be utterly unconvinced by this syllogism.

    But, see, it’s like you don’t understand a single thing about how adults reason with each other. It’s like you think you can make us accept premise 2 if you just insult us enough. If you just persist sufficiently in making the false claim that we secretly really do accept premise 2 and thus the rest of the syllogism. If you just tell enough pointless lies about how Orac seeks your advice on how to make his blogs better. If you just keep repeating “VCADOD” as if it was somehow witty or intelligent even the first time. If you just, God help us, tell disgusting stories about Dan Olmsted’s bowel movements.

    I’ll give you a free hint: even if Matt Damon’s character from Good Will Hunting was a real person and not a figment of a screenwriter’s imagination, he’d have much more successful ways to try and convince people of things he wanted them to believe than stories about Dan Olmsted’s bowel movements. But you know something? If he was trying to convince people of premise 2, he probably couldn’t do it. Because, once again, premise 2 is false. People can be mistaken. Even if they’re parents. Even if there are a large number of them. Anyone who claims that they received an undergraduate education, but who doesn’t understand the fact that human perceptions are actually quite prone to mistakes, should be seeking a refund on that wasted tuition.

    (You take issues with this characterization, Antaeus? Then answer the million dollar question – once and for all: Despite the pharma funded studies that found no link between vaccines and autism, do you personal believe that vaccines as administered in their totality according to the CDC’s immunization schedule play no causal role in autism? Antaeus, remember a one word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response! I trust that you are too proud to lie.)

    You realize that question doesn’t make sense, right? “Do you believe there is no evidence of a vaccine-autism link, despite the studies saying there is no evidence of a vaccine-autism link?”

    Since the last time I checked, this was not your blog and you had no rights to dictate how (or whether) people answered you, I completely disregard your “one word” requirement. I will, however, answer your question, or at least the most sensible interpretation of it: Do I personally believe that vaccines as administered in their totality according to the CDC’s immunization schedule play no causal role in autism?

    My answer is a strong and resounding yes. I’m not likely to have a child any time soon, nor does it look likely that anyone near and dear to me will, but if it happens you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be getting that child to the doctor for their vaccinations on schedule (or pestering the child’s parents to do so, if I thought for one minute they were hesitating.) Hell, if I could travel back in time and get myself vaccinated on today’s schedule, I would; I would love to skip that bout of chicken pox I had in the fifth grade.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we have never had any reason to think that vaccines cause autism except the unquantified perception that “there are so many parents who first noticed signs of autism after a vaccination, there must be a connection.” If for some reason you were absolutely totally to the point of fanaticism/psychosis convinced that those parents could not be mistaken, then I suppose the “logical” conclusion would be that the connection had already been established, just from the fact that someone out there thought they saw it. However, for those of us who live in the real world, that unquantified perception was tested to see if it corresponded with reality, and guess what? It didn’t! Just like that old myth, where ER personnel thought they were seeing a big spike of cases right around every full moon, but when the admission records were actually checked, those patterns weren’t there. The perception that there was a big vaccine-caused “autism epidemic” was an illusion.

    And that should have been the end of it. Because once the proof came back that there was no autism epidemic, vaccine-caused or otherwise, it meant that most of the parents who thought their child was part of such an epidemic had to be wrong. And there was, and is, no reason to think “most parents who think their child’s autism was caused by vaccines are mistaken, but a tiny minority are right” is a better explanation for the evidence than “parents who think this are mistaken.”

    Now, Greg, now that I’ve answered your question, if you can’t think of a more intelligent response than “Well, sure, you told me what you believe but I refuse to believe that you actually believe it,” then I have two things to say to you: 1) Matt Damon’s character would certainly have a more intelligent response than that and 2) snort my taint.

  49. #49 Jenora Feuer
    August 23, 2013

    Chris Hickie @#196:

    Silflay hraka, u rowf.

    Wow, a Watership Down reference. Haven’t seen that in a while.

    Granted, I think the original was ‘Silflay hraka, u embleer rah’, but ‘rah’ definitely doesn’t apply to Greg here. You could make a good case for ’embleer’, though.

  50. #50 Denice Walter
    August 23, 2013

    People who have ideas to sell ( in alt med or anti-vax) use stories- not data- to get the audience on their side.:
    parents tell how they child was “destroyed” by vaccines;
    alt med apologists talk about how the establishment is persecuting them,
    both may follow up with anecdotes about how discreditable their opponents are whilst trumpetting their own merits.

    Thus the audience’s attention is focused on personalities rather than data
    and on emotions rather than on facts.

    If anyone were to base their beliefs about medical choices on how much they sympathetised with the story teller or how much they identified with him or her, they exit the realm of evidence and data and enter into relationship building and friendship making. They suspend their criticism because they like the person or feel sorry for his or her plight. That doesn’t make the story true. It just makes it a good story.

    Again, I would ask: who are they and
    what’s in it for them?

    Sometimes when you counsel adults, it’s useful to strip away descriptive elements and details from clients’ narratives- “Just tell me the bare bones’-
    It clarifies the situation and gets us to approach the more solid material, unadorned.

    We might say that some parents believe that vaccines caused autism because they noticed their child behave in certain ways following vaccines. That’s it.

    There’s no other data to support this idea.

    You might notice that their stories are embellished baroquely with emotionalism and heart-rending details.
    Many parents maintain that their child was outgoing and social prior to vaccines-
    yet in these days of photo-mania and film-itis, can they SHOW us how the child was previously so very different?

    Some data involving films show otherwise- especially when the rater is not the parent.

    In advertising, you want the audience to identify with the person who is selling the product. It’s exactly the same here.

  51. #51 lilady
    August 23, 2013

    I knew from the onset that the Troll is not a BT (Behavior Therapist).

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

    I was taught the principles of behavior modification (a forerunner of ABA), using positive reinforcement (chocolate syrup) then fading to positive praise, to work with my child at age two. I used behavior modification to eliminate his stimming and self abusive behaviors for four hours each day, for two years. He derived immense benefits from that therapy.

    So, when the science illiterate Troll claims credentials as a behavioralist, he is lying.

  52. #52 flip
    August 24, 2013

    @MOB

    Thanks. That’s what I thought, but just wanted to make sure.

    @Greg

    Antaeus, I am not a high school dropout. I have an undergrad degree in psychology and college certification as a counsellor. My official job title is a Behaviour Therapist but I think I am more of a counsellor working with special needs clients.

    In other words, not an epidemiologist.

    Perhaps AoAers go on too much about thimerosal and with the conspiracy stuff where they see you guys as some evil, elite, tactical force. They give you guys too much credit and really do not appreciate just how scared you are.

    And yet you also go on about conspiracies… cognitive dissonance much?

    What’s interesting actually is that you simultaneously hold that what you learned about psychology is all true, but at the same time that the medical establishment is creating this worldwide conspiracy. Either you went and did super-special studies with people who aren’t part of the conspiracy, psychology is somehow different and not part of the medical establishment (both of which is special pleading) or that you yourself are *part* of the conspiracy.

    Or you’re just full of crap.

    @Antaeus

    Even if there are a large number of them. Anyone who claims that they received an undergraduate education, but who doesn’t understand the fact that human perceptions are actually quite prone to mistakes, should be seeking a refund on that wasted tuition.

    Especially if they don’t understand human perceptions AFTER taking a course in psych.

  53. #53 Krebiozen
    August 24, 2013

    Wow, a Watership Down reference.

    That made me laugh. I had assumed it was Klingon, not Lapine.

    I haven’t read Watership Down for several decades, though I was talking about it just yesterday in relation to coprophagy and infanticide in rabbits.

  54. #54 Krebiozen
    August 24, 2013

    Antaeus,

    It didn’t! Just like that old myth, where ER personnel thought they were seeing a big spike of cases right around every full moon, but when the admission records were actually checked, those patterns weren’t there.

    Wandering OT here, but I looked at that myself a few years ago. I had access to several years of data from a hospital pathology department computer system, which included clinician requests for urgent serum acetaminophen and salicylate levels, including clinical data and the results. I wondered if there were more around the time of a full moon. Extracting the anonymized data was the easy bit.

    I then had to decide if I was looking at days of the full moon only, what I was comparing that with (dark of the moon? any time not full?), whether I should look at requests that were positive (in the vast majority no drug was detected) i.e. real overdoses, not cries for help and doctors ruling them out. I found myself looking for dates of full moons for the previous several years, and add those dates to my spreadsheet. It all got far more complex than I initially expected.

    In the end I concluded there was no clear pattern that related to the moon’s cycles, as you might expect. I did see clusters, as you do in any truly random data, and these I suspect are the reason that this belief has emerged. People remember the night of the full moon when ten attempted suicides more than they do if the moon is waning or whatever. I wish I had kept the data now, though it might still be sitting on the server where I left it. I’ll have to check on my next visit there.

    It’s the human compulsion to look for patterns again, the same phenomenon that leads people to think microwave towers cause leukemia, or indeed that vaccines cause autism

  55. #55 Greg
    August 24, 2013

    Good Morning VCADOD Group!

    Well, I wanted to address you yesterday evening, but after working, a game of tennis, and going out for drinks with fellow players, I got home quite late.

    Seems like parents of autistic kids still did not respond to my question of whether if they could do things over again, if they would alter their kids vaccines. I have my suspicions, but I guess it’s best we leave them just as that.

    Seems also that I had a few responses on other issues. Guys, let me make a few things clear again. My reasoning for believing vaccines do cause autism is quite simple. Applying occam’s razor logic, that hypothesis fits perfectly with vaccines causing autism. It accounts for all the exceptions…why autism rates would skyrocket with more vaccines….why autism would be an immune-mediated condition, the same immune system that vaccines target….why vaccine courts would compensate for damages leading to autism….why you guys would be so hesitant to do the definitive studies that would settle the entire dispute….why provaxxers always want to underscore how bad autism truly is…why pro-vaxxers always want to dispute that autism cases are rising, despite the evidence to the contrary….and so on and so on.

    Further guys, I explained that there is not a single plausible explanation that accounts for parents’ anecdotal stories that their kids’ dramatically changed after vaccines that is not due to the vaccines. None! I explained already how the ‘bad remembering’ and ‘coincidence’ arguments are just plain inadequate. Essentially there is no tying up of loose ends.

    Guys, taking these things together one would be an idiot to believe that vaccines do not cause autism. I also know that you are not idiots, which leads me to conclude that you are all suffering from a denial disorder.

    And for the ‘umpteenth’ time guys, I never admitted that there is a grand conspiracy to cover-up the vaccine-autism link. In truth, the definitive studies that would settle the entire dispute have never been done so there is really nothing to cover-up. What there is instead is a campaign orchestrated by pharma to ensure that such studies are never conducted, and foster a climate where other players will not be motivated to explore the autism-vaccine link. We are not dealing with a conspiracy but with resistance. I gave you the link earlier where Dr Schachter spelled out how the whole thing works. Yes, grand conspiracies are difficult to pull off — resistance is another matter and it’s quite easy.

    Anyway guys, I must bid you adieu, again.

  56. #56 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 24, 2013

    My reasoning for believing vaccines do cause autism is quite simple. Applying occam’s razor circular logic illogic, that hypothesis fits perfectly with vaccines causing autism.

    FTFY.

  57. #57 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 24, 2013

    Oh, and also, Greg, you never answered MY question: what is the study design of these supposed “definitive studies” that could be ethically done which would settle the question once and for all?

    You keep insisting that there is such a study that could be done, which would settle the question, and you cite pro-vaxers’ supposed “resistance” to doing the study as supposed evidence that they know the results wouldn’t go their way.

    Yet if you wanted such a study done, what you could do to push it forward would be to spell out the study design, so that everyone could see that how ethical and definitive it would be, and for some reason, you don’t want to do that. Every time you’re asked about it, you ignore the question entirely. Why would you do that… unless you knew that the answer wouldn’t fit in with your public pretense that such a study could be done and pro-vaxers are to be faulted for not doing it?

    In fact, Greg, I think it’s time to make it an ultimatum question: What is the study design of this study that supposedly could be done ethically and would be so definitive that even anti-vaxers would accept the results no matter what they were? If you make three more comments, on this or any other thread, without answering the question, then your failure to answer the question will be taken as you admitting to the answer “I have no such study design in mind; I just thought lying and saying there was one would serve my purposes.”

  58. #58 Julian Frost
    August 24, 2013

    @Greg:

    Applying occam’s razor logic, that hypothesis fits perfectly with vaccines causing autism.

    Occam’s Razor says that “The simplest explanation that fits all known facts is most likely the correct one”. The evidence, including large scale epidemological studies, shows that vaccines are not correlated with autism.

    It accounts for all the exceptions…why autism rates would skyrocket with more vaccines

    By that logic, you could link the internet, computers in general, organic food sales and many other things with autism.

    why autism would be an immune-mediated condition,

    What evidence do you have that autism is immune-mediated?

    why vaccine courts would compensate for damages leading to autism

    Autism is not brain damage. Try again.

    why provaxxers always want to underscore how bad autism truly is

    Stop with the “autism as tragedy” meme. It’s offensive and untrue.

    why pro-vaxxers always want to dispute that autism cases are rising, despite the evidence to the contrary

    Firstly, stop trying to psychoanalyse us. You are useless at it. Secondly, given that the vaccine schedule hasn’t been altered in a while, you would think that autism rates would have stabilised by now. Yet according to anti-vaxxers, they’re still rising. That points to increased awareness and broadening diagnostic criteria, not to an actual increase.

  59. #59 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 24, 2013

    And when you answer that, the next ultimatum question will be “Show us, in the form of links to the actual comments, just where you ‘explained’ why parents of autistic children cannot be mistaken in their memories, unlike every other human being on the planet, and cannot be being fooled by coincidence.” If you fail to answer in the requisite period, your answer will be taken as “Sorry, I was lying when I said I ‘explained’ it; I only asserted it and crossed my fingers that no one would question whether my assertion really held up under examination.”

  60. #60 Julian Frost
    August 24, 2013

    And for the ‘umpteenth’ time guys, I never admitted that there is a grand conspiracy to cover-up the vaccine-autism link.

    You didn’t? Then what did you mean when you said at 194 that:

    Then we also have the bigwigs behind the scene in pharma who are really pulling the denialism strings.

    and at 207 where you said:

    And, this is the exact situation we find with the vaccine-autism epidemic where t big pharma, government, the media, and universities all act in concert

    ?
    I hate to be a bromide, but if the item in question perambulates like an anatidaeid and vocalises like an anatidaeid, consideration must be given to the possibility that it is an anatidaeid.

  61. #61 Denice Walter
    August 24, 2013

    As an aside:
    usually undergraduate degrees in psychology involve learning about statistical analysis. There probably is a specific course requirement AND perception, cognition, developmental, social and clinical should discuss stats in research.

    At any rate, I imagine that a study could be done about anti-vax *beliefs* that might answer my question-

    ” Who are these people and what do they get out of their position?”:

    I would venture that believers/ proselytisers for the vaccine-autism connection ( especially in comment sections of blogs) are more likely ( than non-believers/ non-proselytisers) to:
    -have a child ( or close family member) with an ASD
    – have a product, service or book to sell ( includes lawyers, supplement sellers and AJW)
    -have an axe to grind ( usually against the establishment).

    I would imagine that at least one variable will show up when we examine well-known anti-vaxxers but occasionally we will hit the jackpot with all three .

    This is not entirely a joke.

  62. #62 Denice Walter
    August 24, 2013

    For a timely example of first rate anti-vax conspiratorial thinking patterns, see Autism Investigated.com today:

    “Gardiner Harris Infects Forbes With Herper Virus”

    wherein Jake Crosby castigates Forbes’ “vaccine industry’s talking heads”, spells Peter’s name wrong and asks,

    ” Why would different reporters from different publications report on this story from the same dishonest perspective?”

    Uh, because it’s based on the real world outside their own heads rather than based upon *idees fixees* emanating from dire need and bizarrely restrictive audience requirements.

  63. #63 lilady
    August 24, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: I frequently post on the Forbes Science Blogs and I have never seen Jake comment on any of those Forbes’ sites.

    In other news from AoA, Dan is touted a doctor who “spread out” childhood vaccines and I see the return of the banner ad for a Panamanian autism stem cell treatment clinic. The interesting thing about that ad is that I posted comments on RI and on popular media outlet websites about that ad…which mysteriously “disappeared” ~ a year ago…and now it’s back.

  64. #64 AdamG
    August 24, 2013

    And for the ‘umpteenth’ time guys, I never admitted that there is a grand conspiracy to cover-up the vaccine-autism link.

    You said it first:

    They must safeguard their profits that vaccines bring, and do everything to cover-up the autism tragedy.

  65. #65 TBruce
    August 24, 2013

    Antaeus, I am not a high school dropout. I have an undergrad degree in psychology and college certification as a counsellor. My official job title is a Behaviour Therapist but I think I am more of a counsellor working with special needs clients

    Greg, before I comment, I’ll let you know that I have no specific training or knowledge of behavioral therapy and counselling of special needs clients. With that in mind, let me tell you what your clients really need – a good flogging. After all, people usually change their behavior after being flogged. How do you think the pyramids were built? And back in the good old days, there weren’t so many people with special needs around. They learned pretty quickly to shape up, otherwise they’d be flogged. History tells us this! Common sense tells us this! Since flogging was abolished, there are way more people with special needs around – why, it’s an epidemic! There’s obviously a conspiracy in Big Counselling to suppress effective measures like flogging so that there’s lots of work and money available. Let’s expose the conspiracy and bring back flogging immediately for the sake of people with special needs!

    See how stupid that sounds to someone like you with a degree and training in this area? Some nobody like me is presuming to tell you The Truth about the field in which you are trained and work in. Just about as stupid as you appear to those of us with degrees and training in medicine, nursing and the other health care fields.

    Think about it, if you can.

  66. #66 lilady
    August 25, 2013

    Troll is still shilling for AoA and their latest quack Dr. Michael Schacter, who “oversaw” the care of Joey Hofbauer, a youngster diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease circa 1978. Dr Paul Offit devotes many pages to this child and this quack, in his new book “Do You Believe in Magic”

    When the child’s pediatrician reported the parent to CPS because they refused to take him to a hematologist/oncologist for an evaluation, they fled to Jamaica to have him treated with Laetrile. When they returned to NY State jurisdiction, with the child, there were a bunch of hearings and one judge allowed the parents to take the child to Dr. Schacter in Rockland County for “metabolic treatment”. (Schacter is still a licensed medical doctor and still practicing “metabolic treatment”, having expanded his practice to treat autism).

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1917&dat=19780627&id=gdkwAAAAIBAJ&sjid=muAFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4501,8602894

    Quackwatch has more information about Laetrile, the “metabolic treatment” provided to Joey, in lieu of traditional therapy that would have given him a 95 % chance of surviving Hodgkins
    Disease, and Joey’s needless death in 1990:

    http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/laetrile.html

    “…Joseph Hofbauer was a 9-year-old with Hodgkin’s disease. Unlike Chad Green’s parents, Joseph’s parents never allowed him to receive appropriate treatment but insisted that he receive Laetrile and “metabolic therapy.” When New York State authorities attempted to place him in protective custody, his parents filed suit and convinced family court judge Loren Brown to let the parents make the treatment decision. Brown stated that “This court also finds that metabolic therapy has a place in our society, and hopefully, its proponents are on the first rung of a ladder that will rid us of all forms of cancer.” The parents rejected standard treatment, and Joseph died of his disease two years later. Acute lymphocytic leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease both have a 95% 5-year survival rate with appropriate chemotherapy..”

  67. #67 flip
    Swimming in that long river in Egypt apparently
    August 25, 2013

    @Greg

    Seems like parents of autistic kids still did not respond to my question of whether if they could do things over again, if they would alter their kids vaccines. I have my suspicions, but I guess it’s best we leave them just as that.

    Whether you’re a parent of an autistic child or not doesn’t change the science. This is like saying that only parents of schizophrenics have a right to discuss, understand or study the issues behind mental illness. If anything, it only means that parents have more likelihood of bias towards one set of results over another. And we all know that proper science tries to be as objective as possible. (Well, those of us with a rudimentary understanding of how science works at any rate)

    By the way, it’s also offensive to those who have those particular conditions – what, the parents and not the children who have autism, are the only ones allowed to discuss it?

    Applying occam’s razor logic, that hypothesis fits perfectly with vaccines causing autism. It accounts for all the exceptions…why autism rates would skyrocket with more vaccines….why autism would be an immune-mediated condition, the same immune system that vaccines target….why vaccine courts would compensate for damages leading to autism….why you guys would be so hesitant to do the definitive studies that would settle the entire dispute….why provaxxers always want to underscore how bad autism truly is…why pro-vaxxers always want to dispute that autism cases are rising, despite the evidence to the contrary….and so on and so on.

    Has anyone ever told you that you’re really unoriginal? Seriously, you act like you’re the first one to make these complaints, or that they’ve never been answered before.

    Further guys, I explained that there is not a single plausible explanation that accounts for parents’ anecdotal stories that their kids’ dramatically changed after vaccines that is not due to the vaccines. None! I explained already how the ‘bad remembering’ and ‘coincidence’ arguments are just plain inadequate. Essentially there is no tying up of loose ends.

    You seriously need to get your money back on that psych degree. I took psych in HIGH SCHOOL and covered how perceptions can be wrong/influenced.

    I also know that you are not idiots, which leads me to conclude that you are all suffering from a denial disorder.

    Ah, projection again.

    And for the ‘umpteenth’ time guys, I never admitted that there is a grand conspiracy to cover-up the vaccine-autism link.

    Re-read comments 207 and 194 for proof that you’re the one in denial.

    Also, the clear and utter discordance in your following sentence which reads “What there is instead is a campaign orchestrated by pharma to ensure that such studies are never conducted, and foster a climate where other players will not be motivated to explore the autism-vaccine link.”

    How you passed basic reading comprehension either is beyond me. Utter fail at attempting to backtrack.

    … Seeing as how Greg is acting all argument from authority about his degree… Can I suggest that Greg points to some proof of earning this degree? A place where one might read your theses, or a listing on a college/university website for graduates? A yearbook perhaps?

    You seem not to understand basic ethics, methodology, the tenets of how science works, human perception and bias, or other things that you would have learned during your undergrad.

    The sum of your comments can be thus: “lalalalalalal I can’t hear you! Evidence you say? I can’t hear you. Bias? Still can’t hear you. Oh, you have other points which need to be responded to? [crickets] Whatever guys, it doesn’t matter, I’m still right and you’re still wrong!”

    Which by the way, is the epitome of pseudoscience and closed-mindedness.

  68. #68 herr doktor bimler
    August 25, 2013

    AoA and their latest quack Dr. Michael Schacter, who “oversaw” the care of Joey Hofbauer, a youngster diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease circa 1978.

    IIRC the NY state authorities tried to investigate Schachter and his Laetrile regime, but he convinced a court that his medical degree conferred upon him the right to kill patients (and that his patients’ right to privacy was more important than finding out how many of them were still alive).

  69. #69 Denice Walter
    August 25, 2013

    @ flip:

    I used to have serious discussions with parents/ family members of (usually) young adults with SMI ( schizophrenia and bipolar) who were still reeling from the diagnosis:
    they might have their own theories about what “caused” the condition/ episode and many of them are highly unrealistic.

    Counselling/ therapy/ family education is *supposed* to help people learn what most likely ’causes’ this in reality ( or as close as we can approximate it via research, history taking) as well as how to treat and cope.

    Some admit that the person had earlier issues but often they do not label them as MI, using euphemisms and code words instead ( nervous,odd, learning problems).

    Frequently they blame the condition on a more recent event : parents’ divorce, alcohol/ drug abuse, a teacher’s remarks or a romantic rejection. ( In the history of psychology, some earlier theorisers also used more traumatic and child rearing explanations)

    This is similar to ASD parents blaming more recent and EXTERNAL events like vaccines, meds, foods rather than accepting that the condition is inherently part of the person.
    And no one is to blame. And it’s not a stigma.

    Because of the genetic component in both ASDs and SMIs, it is also possible that a parent might have issues of his or her own ( research quoted by Torrey shows that unaffected close relatives of a person with schizophrenia are more likely to have cognitive issues than people without a relative so diagnosed/ Torrey has a family member affected -btw-).

    HOWEVER I know how much trouble saying this got Brian Deer into so I’ll not even suggest it.

    We also have to remember that *de novo* mutations are responsible for ASDs also.
    AND people without any psychological/ learning issues are subject to bias and motivated reasoning.

    Sometimes denial is a brief interlude in the process of acceptance of reality but it can also become a lifestyle and job description ( see AoA, TMR etc).

  70. #70 Khani
    August 25, 2013

    #268 And of course, Greg isn’t a parent of a child with autism and doesn’t have autism either. So it’d be a *real* short conversation.

  71. #71 Lawrence
    August 25, 2013

    Something just posted over at LR/RB – that vaccines, again, don’t have any effect on the rate of autism….

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23959427

    Recurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Full- and Half-Siblings and Trends Over Time: A Population-Based Cohort Study.

  72. #72 lilady
    August 25, 2013

    @ herr doktor bimler: Michael Schacter has a “clean record” with the NY State OPMC (Office of Professional Medical Conduct). Unfortunately, the OPMC’s records only provide medical license sanctions and revocations from 1990 on forward.

    Schacter still is licensed as doctor, but he has has expanded his metabolic medicine practice to include treatment of autism:

    http://www.schachtercenter.com/Autism.htm

    I suppose that Dachel and her cronies are looking for quack practitioners who are still licensed (think Geier and Wakefield).

  73. #73 flip
    August 26, 2013

    @Denice

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

  74. #74 MH.
    NYC
    August 26, 2013

    From the court documents in the Hannah Poling case:’In sum, DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, respondent recommends that compensation be awarded to petitioners.’
    From court documents in the Mojabi case: ‘petitioners asserted that “as a cumulative result of his receipt of each and every vaccination between March 25, 2003
    and February 22, 2005, Ryan has suffered . . . neuroimmunologically mediated dysfunctions in the form of asthma and ASD.” On June 9, 2011, respondent filed a supplemental report pursuant to Vaccine Rule
    4(c) stating it was respondent’s view that Ryan suffered a Table injury under the Vaccine
    Act – namely, an encephalitis within five to fifteen days following receipt of the December 19, 2003 MMR vaccine, see 42 C.F.R. § 100.3(a)(III)(B), and that this case is
    appropriate for compensation under the terms of the Vaccine Program.’
    It would seem that encephalitis can be an injury caused by vaccines, and a common sequelae suffered is ASD. Vaccines do cause injuries to some – why there is such a strong need to deny this is irrational. Famillies who have vaccine injured children simply deserve compensation, and all famillies have the right to know the risks involved with vaccines both ways – due to disease by not vaccinating and due to vaccines sometimes causing harm. It is called being an educated parent and consumer.

  75. #75 Chris,
    August 26, 2013

    MH:

    Famillies who have vaccine injured children simply deserve compensation, and all famillies have the right to know the risks involved with vaccines both ways – due to disease by not vaccinating and due to vaccines sometimes causing harm. It is called being an educated parent and consumer.

    No one disagrees with that, as long as they are honest about the relative risks between the vaccine and diseases.

    Before the 1960s almost every kid got measles before age fifteen, with around 400-600 dying each year. Plus several times more becoming permanently disabled (deafness, blindness, brain damage, paralysis, etc.). Now compare that to how many are injured from the MMR vaccine.

    In the over twenty years of vaccine injury compensations, has there been a comparable level to the injuries causes by measles?

    It would seem that encephalitis can be an injury caused by vaccines, and a common sequelae suffered is ASD.

    So prove it is common. Which vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more encephalitis than the disease? Provide a PubMed indexed study from a qualified researcher.

    Since my kid got seizures from an actual disease, I have been asking Greg for a PubMed indexed study showing that a vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease. You will notice he never answered, and just ignores me. So we can only conclude that the vaccines do not cause the same level of seizures, and are therefore much safer than the diseases. If you have verifiable scientific evidence to the contrary, please provide it.

    By the way, while there is a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, there is nothing for those whose children are injured by actual diseases. Definitely not for my son, nor for the kids who have been hospitalized in the past few years for measles, mumps and pertussis.

  76. #76 Lawrence
    August 26, 2013

    Actually, given that encephalitis is very rare, I would expect that the background rate (i.e. occurring via virus, etc.) be higher than anything related to vaccines….so your point is basically moot.

  77. #77 JGC
    Encephaltis is however an extremely rare adverse effect of vaccination
    August 26, 2013

    For example, the CDC calculates the risk of encephalitis or severe allergic reaction following receipt of the MMR vaccine to be 1 in 1,000,000 doses, while the risk of encephalitis associated with the disease itself is 1 in 1000 infections.

  78. #78 Denice Walter
    August 26, 2013

    Another zombie antivaccine memes rises from the grave again…

    There may be a new zombie shambling about antivaxville- and wouldn’t you know Ann Dachel is responsible for its nurturance-
    (@ AoA, today)
    she enumerates evidence that antivax’s message is finally sinking in because more and more parents are using exemptions and vaccination rates are falling ( in her view).

    Dachel methodically lists recent US news stories about exemptions in her inimitable manner: cite, squawk, rankle, self-congratulate, repeat.

    She appears to be happy that rates are falling towards the
    herd immunity margin. Just amazing, isn’t she?

    The Japanese call accomplished, older individuals “National Treasures”- what’s the reverse of that?

  79. #79 Denice Walter
    August 26, 2013

    @ Chris:
    @ JGC:

    Interesting how antivaxxers leave out numbers like those you cite.
    Esp that million/ thousand ratio.
    I wonder why they do that ( I ask, knowing full well)?

  80. #80 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 26, 2013

    MH, if I live in a state which has no-fault divorce laws, and I go to the state and say “Give me a divorce! I deserve a divorce because that no good spouse of mine is a liar and a cheater!” and I get granted a divorce, does that mean the court affirmed that my spouse was a liar and a cheater?

    That’s pretty much what’s wrong with your interpretation of the Mojabi decision. The respondent (that is, the court) decided that Ryan had the table injury of encephalitis, and that it was plausible enough that it *could have been* the result of a vaccine that compensating *as if* it had been proven to be was appropriate. The claims of the parents that “well, we went in there saying that Ryan had an ASD caused by a vaccine; if we got compensated, obviously it means the court agreed that the vaccine caused an ASD!” is completely wrong.

  81. #81 JGC
    August 26, 2013

    And if, just for the sake of argument, we accept MH’s claim that autism spectrum disorder is a common sequelae of having had encephalitis, that million /thousand ratio can only mean MMR vaccination reduces your risk of developing an ASD by orders of magnitude.

  82. #82 AdamG
    August 26, 2013

    Meanwhile, an outbreak of measles in Texas is linked to an antivax pastor:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/23/texas-measles-outbreak/2693945/

    When will these fools realize that the return of VPDs is an actual, credible threat?

  83. #83 Lawrence
    August 26, 2013

    @Adam – especially in light of the missionary work that these types of places do….what the hell were they thinking??!?

  84. #84 Chris,
    August 26, 2013

    JGC:

    MMR vaccination reduces your risk of developing an ASD by orders of magnitude.

    Especially since Congenital Rubella Syndrome is one of the known causes of autism (along with many other disabilities). So it reduces the chance a pregnant woman will get rubella and harming the child.

  85. #85 Krebiozen
    August 26, 2013

    MH,

    It would seem that encephalitis can be an injury caused by vaccines,

    That is far from certain. In fact it has been argued that vaccines do not cause encephalitis at all.

    and a common sequelae suffered is ASD.

    Just FYI, “sequela” is singular, “sequelae” is plural. Since many vaccine-preventable-diseases cause encephalitis, isn’t this an argument that vaccination prevents autism? In fact it is not true that autism is a common sequela of encephalitis.

    Vaccines do cause injuries to some – why there is such a strong need to deny this is irrational.

    Who is denying this? It is the gross exaggeration of the truth that annoys me, and a seeming inability to assess relative risk. Would you stop your children wearing a seat belt in your car because on very rare occasions people have been trapped in a burning vehicle by their seat belt? I hope not, because you realize that despite this very rare possibility of harm, seat-belts greatly reduce the overall risk of death and injury.

    Famillies who have vaccine injured children simply deserve compensation, and all famillies have the right to know the risks involved with vaccines both ways – due to disease by not vaccinating and due to vaccines sometimes causing harm. It is called being an educated parent and consumer.

    I agree with all that, of course. The truth is that the risks of vaccine-preventable-diseases exceed the risk of vaccination by a factor of several hundreds at least, so that if you don’t get your child vaccinated you are greatly increasing his/her risk of death or permanent injury, and also risking the spread of diseases to other vulnerable people.

    It’s a no-brainer, and I don’t understand why some people appear to find it so hard to grasp.

  86. #86 Denice Walter
    August 26, 2013

    @ Kreb:
    ” I don’t understand why some people appear to find it so hard to grasp”

    Possibly because they believe that the risk of ASDs ( from vaccines) is 1 in 100…
    oh wait, it’s 1 in 50 now.

  87. #87 herr doktor bimler
    August 26, 2013

    It would seem that encephalitis can be an injury caused by vaccines, and a common sequelae suffered is ASD.

    I would like to see the evidence that ASD is a common sequela* of encephalitis.

    * Singular form, please.

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