The other day, I got to thinking about cults. The reason is that it’s been clear to me for some time that the antivaccine movement is a quack cult. In fact, a lot of quack groups are very cultish, the example that reminded me of this having been an excellent report published by a young mother named Megan Sandlin, who used to be antivaccine but is no longer. Her post, Leaving the Antivaccine Movement, reminded me very much of the genre of “deconversion” stories, in which atheists who were once fundamentalist Christians describe the process of their losing their religion or cult members describe how they ended up leaving their cult.

Sandlin begins her story by telling first how she became an antivaccinationist when her oldest daughter was about four months old. It was that time that she described discovering the world of “crunchy” parenting, which led her to a world of cloth diapers, “intactivism,” and home birth. It didn’t take her long to notice that a lot of her newfound friends who raised children that way were hostile to vaccines, which led her to a Google University education that provided her with all the antivaccine “knowledge” and “science” that would mesh with her preconceived notions about “natural” parenting, “toxins,” and the like, and fuel an antivaccine world view. And that’s exactly what it did. However, even at her most antivaccine, Sandlin had more self-knowledge than the typical antivaccinationist (like the one I described the other day), as Sandlin’s musings reveal, or at least, in retrospect she understands where she went wrong:

However, my research was very skewed. I was going into it with preconceived ideas – my anti-vaccine friends had put ideas into my head, such as not trusting government websites. I was forced to rely on whatever I could find while Googling, which were often websites like Mercola or whale.to. I even started “liking” anti-vaccine pages on Facebook – pages that I now understand masquerade as “information” centers. I got added to Facebook groups like “Great Mothers Questioning Vaccines.”

Even though all of my supposed research was coming from non-scientific sources, I trusted it.

Hilariously, what ultimately led Sandlin to start questioning her nice, cozy world view and her nice, supportive friends was the phenomenon of crank magnetism, in which a person with irrational beliefs in one area tends to have irrational beliefs in multiple areas. In this case, Sandlin started to notice things about her friends’ beliefs that disturbed her:

However, I’ve always considered myself a skeptic, and I began to notice how some of my anti-vaccine friends believed in some other things that I found, well, questionable. For example, several of my anti-vaccine friends posted about chemtrails pretty frequently. I’d never heard of chemtrails, so I did some research and quickly discovered it was just a conspiracy theory easily explained away by people who actually understood how airplane contrails work. I also noticed that skeptic pages I followed occasionally made jabs about “anti-vaxxers” and homeopaths.

It was a slow process, but I gradually began to question my own anti-vaccine views. I stopped posting about vaccines for several months and began seeking out real science that would show me the truth, either way. What I found shocked me.

She went on to describe her process of seeking out real science and real scientific studies and how, more and more, she realized that antivaccine beliefs were not based in science or reason. Ultimately, she did a complete 180° turn and decided that she should be vaccinating her children. So she took her children to the pediatrician and got them their shots, and her two daughters are now in the process of catching up on their vaccines now, which is a wonderful thing. Not surprisingly, however, the reaction of her crunchy friends was not particularly supportive:

The fallout from changing my views was pretty extreme. Within two weeks of “coming out” on Facebook about my new stance, I lost over 50 friends. People who had cheered me on and supported me through my home birth, who had told me countless times that I was an awesome mother and an inspiration, just dropped me like we’d never been friends at all. I was removed from groups and blocked by people I didn’t even know. I was accused of being brainwashed and told that my girls were going to get autism and have terrible reactions. It hurt.

I now view the anti-vaccine movement as a sort of cult, where any sort of questioning gets you kicked out, your crunchy card revoked. I was even told I couldn’t call myself a natural mother anymore, because vaccines are too unnatural. That’s fine. I just want to be the best parent I know how to be, and that means always being open to new information and admitting when I’m wrong.

Notice the characteristics of a cult that I can identify here:

  1. Authoritarian Leadership: OK, the antivaccine movement, being a diffuse, more dispersed movement doesn’t really have this, although it does have heros that it worships who cannot be spoken ill of without severe consequences, like Andrew Wakefield.
  2. Exclusivism: Antivaccinationists have this in spades. The Thinking Moms’ Revolution is a perfect example, in which only the “Thinkers” who have accepted the antivaccine views of the group are viewed as worthy of respect. Everyone else is the enemy.
  3. Isolationism: The isolationism of the antivaccine movement isn’t so much physical but takes more the form of online isolationism, where the antivaccinationists form online communities that avidly try to keep outsiders away.
  4. Opposition to Independent Thinking: We see this in the case of mothers or other antivaccinationists who start questioning the beliefs of the group, like Sandlin.
  5. Fear of Being “Disfellowshiped”: We see this in Sandlin’s case as well. Until she overcame her fear of losing all her online friends, she couldn’t truly be free.
  6. Threats of Satanic Attack: Antivaccinationists (well, most of them anyway) don’t use fear of an actual Satanic attack to keep its adherents in line. It does, however, have Satan equivalents, like Paul Offit, the FDA, the CDC, the government in general, big pharma, and, of course, us skeptics. They are all the enemy that will tempt members from the straight and narrow of the purity of the antivaccine path.

Obviously, the analogy isn’t perfect. Cults often have charismatic authoritarian leaders who demand absolute obedience. The antivaccine movement doesn’t really have that, but it does have several cults of personality around its heroes. They also aren’t as isolated as real cults in that most of them mingle just fine with the rest of the world, with possibly no other problem other than annoying some of their friends for haranguing them about vaccines. All the while it celebrates these online communities thusly:

Thank God for them. Through the message boards, Facebook pages, and websites. I have met some pretty awesome people. Some of them I have even been fortunate enough to meet up with in person a few times. But what I love most about the online community is when I’m having a frustrating/down day I can go to my phone or computer and send them a message. We can chat for hours about all things biomed. We bounce ideas off one another, or just vent. And it’s okay because we support each other, and know that deep down the other one GETS IT!

It’s very clear that there are other very cult-like groups going under the alt-med mantle. Perhaps the most prominent one of them is the people who admire Stanislaw Burzynski, which is, if anything, even more cult-like than the antivaccine movement. For example, there is more of a single authoritarian leader who is in charge and about whom no ill can be spoken. He is believed to have powers above and beyond that of average men in that he, apparently alone of all doctors, can cure certain kinds of incurable cancers. For those who believe in him, faith in him is unshakable. No matter how much evidence is presented that he can’t do what he claims to be able to do, no matter how much evidence indicating his malfeasance is presented, faith in the Great Savior never wavers. The enemies are the FDA, the NIH, the Texas Medical Board, and, seemingly above all lately, skeptics.

Examples abound of other alt-med practitioners with the same characteristics. The degree to which each of the six characteristics applies varies, sometimes markedly, which is why I’m not referring to these groups as being strictly cults, but rather as being cult-like. Think Robert O. Young, whose defenders have popped up, although unfortunately for him, his cult of personality is nowhere near as powerful as that of Stanislaw Burzynski. Think Jess Ainscough. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

Irrational beliefs have a great deal of power over the human mind. Beliefs such as those at the core of alt-med appeal to our deepest desires, desires for purity, for health, for immortality, for community, for a purpose in life. In these things and others, belief in such treatments shares many characteristics with religion and cults. As imperfect as the analogy might be, it’s still a compelling one. Alt-med, antivaccine beliefs, and the like might not be an actual religion or cult per se, but they share enough with cults for the analogy to help us understand the resistance to evidence, the hatred of outsiders, and the shunning of “apostates” who abandon the religion. Evidence alone can rarely overcome such irrational beliefs, but the case of Megan Sandlin demonstrates, if a member is primed for a deconversion, putting the evidence out there can help it along. It’s part of why I do what I do.

Comments

  1. #1 Lawrence
    February 27, 2014

    @Derg – and your evidence that DTaP is related to SIDS at all is, what exactly?

  2. #2 Lawrence
    February 27, 2014

    @Derg –

    DTaP Vaccine and SIDS
    One myth that won’t seem to go away is that DTaP vaccine causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This belief came about because a moderate proportion of children who die of SIDS have recently been vaccinated with DTaP; and on the surface, this seems to point toward a causal connection. But this logic is faulty; you might as well say that eating bread causes car crashes, since most drivers who crash their cars had probably eaten bread within the past 24 hours.

    If you consider that most SIDS deaths occur during the age range when 3 shots of DTaP are given, you would expect DTaP shots to precede a fair number of SIDS deaths simply by chance. In fact, when a number of well-controlled studies were conducted during the 1980s, the investigators found, nearly unanimously, that the number of SIDS deaths temporally associated with DTP vaccination was within the range expected to occur by chance. In other words, the SIDS deaths would have occurred even if no vaccinations had been given. In several of the studies, children who had recently gotten a DTaP shot were less likely to get SIDS. The Institute of Medicine reported that “all controlled studies that have compared immunized versus nonimmunized children have found either no association . . . or a decreased risk . . . of SIDS among immunized children” and concluded that “the evidence does not indicate a causal relation between [DTaP] vaccine and SIDS.”

  3. #3 Lawrence
    February 27, 2014

    No wonder Derg likes Ms. Parker – they are both experts at expressing ideas that have been thoroughly debunked & shown to be lies, over and over and over again…..

  4. #4 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    February 27, 2014

    I see you inching to appear as the big-man, wanting to talk straight.

    I’m sorry, but what does that even mean?

    Very well Johnny, let’s see if, unlike your peers, you won’t blink: Do you personally believe that vaccines play a role in the causation of autism?

    No.

    Johnny, don’t answer him. If you say “no” he’ll just assume you’re lying

    why should Johnny care what I think of him? {snip} If I accuse Johnny of this, and in his heart of hearts he knows this to be not true, then what’s the harm?

    You’re probably right, dedicated lurker. However, I think this is the first thing Greg has said that I can agree with.

  5. #5 squirrelelite
    February 27, 2014

    @Greg (525 & 598)

    Let’s see…..

    Occam razor logic stipulates that the simplest explanation with the least exceptions is usually the accurate one.

    So, compare these two possible explanations for the cause of autism:
    1) Genetic variations change the neuronal development of the brain, which changes it to behave in the way we characterize as autism.

    i.e. per AdamG @ 575

    when we sequence autistic individuals and their families, we find plenty of de novo mutations in genes that are all deeply connected to neuronal development pathways, but none in genes related to immunity

    2. Genetic variations set up the possibility of a change in the neuronal development of the brain, which when triggered by a vaccine, changes the brain development so that it behaves in the way we characterize as autism.
    i.e. Greg @ 573

    Genetics may indeed predispose an individual to the environmental insult of vaccines that may result in autism. In this regard, genetics appears to play a role in autism. Yet, I do not believe it in itself causes autism.

    Occam’s razor doesn’t tell which of those is the true explanation. Only careful research can tell us that. But, Occam’s razor suggests that the first explanation (autism is caused by genetics) is more likely to be true than the second (autism is caused by genetics when triggered by a vaccine) because it is simpler. It doesn’t require the second factor of a vaccine trigger.

    And then there are the pesky data, which don’t show a correlation with vaccines anyway.

  6. #6 Helianthus
    February 27, 2014

    @ Greg

    You never tire of talking out of your ass without providing evidence?
    Rhetorical question.

    looking at the matter in terms of death rate, DTaP is well established as a cause of SIDs, accounting for 2300 annual deaths. Whooping cough, on the other hand, accounts for about 20 deaths.

    2300 out of how many, 20 out of how many? You are supposedly talking about death rates.
    Also, which populations do you compare?

    For the curious reader, I was coincidentally reading some old charts from 1898 – death rate for whooping cough was listed as 14 per 1000 in these old good pre-vaccine days; I doubt SIDS was ever at 2300 per 1000…
    Actually Wikipedia mentions nowadays death rates between 0.05 per 1000 (Hong Kong) and 6 per 1000 (american indians), with white americans at 0.5 per 1000.
    Everybody know that people in Hong Kong, being so destitute, don’t vaccinate, so it must be the US vaccines which are the cause of the big difference. (sarcasm)

    So, for my hypothetical baby, unproven link toward 0.5/1000 chance of death by SIDS vs documented 20/1000 chance of death by whopping cough… Factor in the documented chance of death by diphtheria and tetanus, also countered by DTaP, and that’s a no-brainer for me.

    I am not even considering the other maladies such as autism, ADHD, LD, cancers, allergies, diabetes, and so on, that vaccines such as DTaP are known to cause.

    OK. Autism, that’s the topic. ADHD, sort of related.
    Diabetes, freaking cancer? You are making this shit up.

    And your evidence for such an array of bad effects from DTaP is?

  7. #7 Chris,
    February 27, 2014

    Greg: “DTaP is well established as a cause of SIDs, accounting for 2300 annual deaths.”

    Citation needed.

    “Whooping cough, on the other hand, accounts for about 20 deaths. ”

    So you would rather have babies die from whooping cough than get a safe vaccine.

    By the way this part is missing: Provide the PubMed identification number to the study by qualified reputable researchers to support your answer.

    Here is one PubMed paper you need to look up:
    15889991

  8. #8 Helianthus
    February 27, 2014

    OMG, Orac is suppressing me, my last comment #606 is in moderation.

    Er, on second thoughts, no. I should not have used some anatomically specific terms to address our visitor.
    Sorry, cold not resist.

    Also, around mid-way, I forget to say that I was quoting the Wikipedia article on SIDS. Death rates in US about 0.5 / 1000 for white americans, up to 6 / 1000 for indians. To be compared with whooping cough death rate pre-vaccination…

  9. #9 AdamG
    February 27, 2014

    Greg, I see you’ve continued to completely ignore my point about the actual results of genomic studies of autistic individuals.

    Why haven’t these studies found anything related to immunity? Why is it that the alleles they do find lead to developmental disorders in mice, who have never been exposed to any vaccines?

    I suspect, based on your refusal to engage with the results, that you attempted to read the paper I cited, but quickly became frustrated as you do not understand basic genetics. Would this be an accurate assessment, Greg?

  10. #10 Greg
    February 27, 2014

    @AdamG
    Re the scientific literature pointing to genetics as causing autism, perhaps you shoulld discuss this with someone better verse on this literature. Perhaps also that person will point you to the latest, large twin study reporting that autism is only 38 percent genetic in origin.

    I will also remind you that the prevailing circumstantial evidence clearly indicates that environmental influence is driving the autism numbers. I suppose I also need not remind you that there is no such thing as a genetic epidemic.

    @Johnny
    Thank you sir for your response. But, a full day to respond to such a simple question, big-man? It would appear that indeed you blinked.

    @Narad
    The time is here again when I must flounce. (You looking at me? Are you looking at me?)

  11. #11 Calli Arcale
    February 27, 2014

    Lawrence:

    But this logic is faulty; you might as well say that eating bread causes car crashes, since most drivers who crash their cars had probably eaten bread within the past 24 hours.

    Oh, don’t give the GF/CF crowd ideas, now….

  12. #12 dedicated lurker
    February 27, 2014

    No, ham sandwiches cause car accidents. I was hit by a car minutes after eating a ham sandwich. That’s even more of a temporal connection than the SIDS/DTaP one.

  13. #13 Narad
    February 27, 2014

    Well Chris, looking at the matter in terms of death rate, DTaP is well established as a cause of SIDs, accounting for 2300 annual deaths.

    That’s the total number of SIDS deaths per year, jackass.

  14. #14 Denice Walter
    February 27, 2014

    @ Helianthus@ # 606:

    ” You are making this sh!t up”

    *Au contraire*: he’s repeating crap that other people made up.
    The Canary Party ( see website/ “Manifesto”/ a side project of AoA’s Blaxill et Cie) holds that many chronic illnesses and serious health conditions that children ( and adults) experience can be blamed on vaccines. And other chemicals that are associated with modern life. TMR has a new peiece up about peanut allergies being caused by peanut oil in vaccines amongst other places.

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    February 27, 2014

    And 2300 divided into the total number of infants in the susceptible age range IS…..?

  16. #16 lilady
    February 27, 2014

    @ Alain: Unlike you, who hadn’t read Dawson’s paper, before you first condemned ABA as a violation of the Declaration of Helsinki, I already read Dawson’s paper. Dawson’s paper does not prove that ABA is a violation of the Declaration of Helsinki.

    You commented without any information about ABA or its forerunner non-aversive behavior modification to amerliorate/extinquish self injurious behavior. You were quite insistent that a profoundly mentally two year old’s IQ could be tested using the WISC and if found to be “untestable” could be tested using the Ravens Scale….all the while ignorant of the fact that those tests are not used for infants.

    When I asked you for an explanation for your outrageous statement and your support of Dawson’s opinion about ABA violating the Declaration of Helsinki, you replied that you support Dawson’s opinion because “She’s my friend”.

    Now, you are claiming to be playing catch up by reading scientific papers about ABA to produce a “dissertation”.

    You were supposed to come back here and provide information to back up your claim that ABA violates the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. That was weeks ago and you posted a comment that you would put forth a cogent statement to back up your statements regarding ABA and the violation of the Declaration of Helsinki.

    I’m still waiting for your legal opinion to back up your statements that my infant’s successful therapy was unethical.

    http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/

  17. #17 Denice Walter
    February 27, 2014

    .5 per 1000 perhaps?
    ( Totally rough estimate of infants but you get my point)

  18. #18 Narad
    February 27, 2014

    One might also note the complete failure to respond to multiple accusations that the following was an undiluted lie:

    Chris, I keep providing you with the study that you been asking everyone for showing that infections from natural diseases are safer than infections from vaccines.

  19. #19 herr doktor bimler
    February 27, 2014

    I was hit by a car minutes after eating a ham sandwich.

    Thus doth G*d smite the unbeliever!

  20. #20 Narad
    February 27, 2014

    I was coincidentally reading some old charts from 1898 – death rate for whooping cough was listed as 14 per 1000 in these old good pre-vaccine days

    If you bring it closer to the introduction of the vaccine, the was 64/100,000 for ages 0–1 and 6.4/100,000 for ages 1–4. Allowing for improvements in supportive treatment, one can still say that Gerg is advocating for a minimum of 3328 life-threatening cases of pertussis annually in children before their fifth birthday. On the basis of a fraudulent claim about DTaP causing SIDS.

  21. #21 dedicated lurker
    February 27, 2014

    There was swiss cheese on it too, so it was extra non-kosher.

  22. #22 Narad
    February 27, 2014

    ^ Unless I’m misreading that 1–4 figure. If calculated on the basis of rolling “not dead” four times in a row, it comes out at 26 deaths per 100,000 for ages 0–4.

  23. #23 dingo199
    February 27, 2014

    No wonder Derg likes Ms. Parker – they are both experts at expressing ideas that have been thoroughly debunked & shown to be lies, over and over and over again…..

    Has anyone ever seen the 2 of them in the same room together?

  24. #24 Narad
    February 27, 2014

    I suppose I also need not remind you that there is no such thing as a genetic epidemic.

    Something that you failed to defend either the veracity or relevance of when you brought it up a week ago. In fact, you’ve failed to defend every single thing that’s oozed out of your head in these comments.

  25. #25 Krebiozen
    February 27, 2014

    As I explained, this matter is superseded by the fact that the no-link claim is in conflict with Occam’s razor logic, and which ultimately makes the claim suspect; and as well, your pharma’ science.

    It’s odd how Greg can get something so utterly wrong, as long as it supports his delusional idée fixe I suppose.

    Occam’s Razor (in its most common form) stipulates that “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity”. An entity, in this context, is a cause that acts in some way. In other words, it is a good rule of thumb to choose the simplest explanation that adequately explains our observations.

    It would be difficult to find a better example of this than vaccines and autism.

    The simplest and most elegant explanation for our observations is that autism starts in the uterus, partly due to genetic and partly due to environmental causes, and that vaccines play no role at all. This is supported by our observations of the effects of valproate and congenital rubella, by genetic research, by twin studies and by other data.

    The observations by parents that Greg holds in such high regard are substantially correct, in terms of temporal association of vaccines and the signs of autism becoming obvious, but they are mistaken in thinking there is a causative relationship. This is supported by large amounts of experimental evidence proving the unreliability of anecdotal observations, as well as video evidence of children showing signs of autism before they were vaccinated that were not noticed by parents.

    Greg’s alternate explanation, that vaccines somehow interfere with normal neurodevelopment, requires us to postulate an additional entity, some means as yet unknown by which vaccines cause this to happen. Inventing such an entity is completely unnecessary to explain the data, so Occam’s Razor tells us to prefer the null hypothesis that there is no such entity or cause, and that vaccines play no role in causing autism.

    I also added that Occam’s razor logic is a powerful tool that average-Joe can use to discern truth.

    Assuming, somewhat charitably, that Greg is an average Joe, his complete misunderstanding of how Occam’s Razor is used doesn’t bode well in this regard.

    Perhaps our discussion may be more fruitful if it is restricted to discussing the merits of Occam’s razor logic, and what can be made of the no-link claim, with it appearing to be in conflict with this rule.

    Greg, how is the hypothesis that vaccines play no role in causing autism in conflict with Occam’s Razor? What entity or causes are we required to propose compared to those required for the hypothesis that vaccines do cause autism?

    Isn’t it obvious that the exact opposite is true? It is to me.

  26. #26 Narad
    February 27, 2014

    Perhaps also that person will point you to the latest, large twin study reporting that autism is only 38 percent genetic in origin.

    Gerg’s “average-Joe” “occam razor logic” fails him once again (the reference is this), because he fails to grasp that heritability isn’t the same as “genetic in origin.”

    This is also a novel definition of “large,” which isn’t surprising, given that Gerg assuredly has never looked at so much as the abstract. Naturally, he thus also fails to note that the concordance rate for fraternal twins is higher than that for nontwin siblings, meaning that the “environment” distinctly includes the prenatal environment.

  27. #27 Politicalguineapig
    February 27, 2014

    *Sigh* ADD/ADHD is not a malady. Also, I can point to at least two members of my family who were born long before the MMR was ever used who clearly exhibit symptoms.

  28. #28 TBruce
    February 27, 2014

    Has anyone ever seen the 2 of them in the same room together?

    I now have a picture in my head that can only be removed by desperate measures. Why can’t I ever find a guillotine when I need one?

  29. #29 Denice Walter
    February 27, 2014

    @ TBruce:

    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease! No guillotine.

    In fact, there is not ever a necessity for utilising one:
    if you have an ( atrocious, unseemly, disturbing, frightening, horrible, unearthly et al/ choose one) image/ thought in your mind’s eye, you need to construct another even more (ridiculous, disgusting, hilarious, outrageous, mind-shattering, decadent et al/ choose one) with which to replace it immediately. Try to put effort into creating something profoundly gross or offensive so that it’ll become even more difficult to remove.

    Then, you might ask, “How do I get rid of that second image?”
    Well, you have to go back and create….. etc.

  30. #30 Shay
    February 27, 2014

    you need to construct another even more (ridiculous, disgusting, hilarious, outrageous, mind-shattering, decadent et al/ choose one)

    Count Stan and Parker?

  31. #31 Alain
    February 27, 2014

    @lilady,

    Okay, ABA is unethical when the goals are to render the autistic child indistinguishable from its peers because the capacity to act like a neurotypical child drain a lot of ressources and brain power.

    You said you wanted to know why ABA is unethical regarding your son’s injurious behaviours; it is not. How about stiming (one of the goals I studied last night)? It is unethical (I stim a lot), it shouldn’t be restricted because preventing such behaviours will lead to self-injurious behaviours. Social situations for HFA and asperger, it’s unethical because it tries to render the child indistinguishable from its peers.

    I have absolutely no problems WRT self-injurious behaviours but please, install a squeeze machine in each homes; this will go a long way. Why do you think I’ve been non-verbal for most of the week; because I’m drained from social interaction for days on end (for the past month) and I have thrown my brother out after 10 minutes of interaction (he understand). When I was being harassed some years ago, peoples around me didn’t understood how I was on the verge of a burnout and no amount of ABA would have relieved the situation. I had to change town and I did display SIBs and stiming for days on end before the move.

    I’m trying to raise a business and need all my energy but just dealing with you put me on the edge.

    Is that enough?

    Now if you refer to the WAIS, the WISC and the Raven for a 2 years old, I’d agree you’ll get nothing but I was specifically talking twice and now for the third time about a PUBMED PUBLICATION, THIS ONE: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17680932

    There where never a 2 years old subject in that publication. Will you care to read at least.

    Alain

  32. #32 Alain
    February 27, 2014

    and stop shoving words in my mouth, I hate it.

    Alain

  33. #33 Alain
    February 27, 2014

    I would like to excuse myself and ask for pardon for the behaviour I displayed here to lilady. On a quick reflexion (it was quick), I went too far and put too much pressure on myself and my comment tone was uncalled for. Please excuse me.

    Alain

  34. #34 Arctic Snowbird
    February 27, 2014

    Alain,

    I don’t think you owe anyone an apology. If anything, I think lilady owes you one for being so demanding and thinking she runs this site.

  35. #35 lilady
    February 27, 2014

    Alain: You still have not acknowledged that your statements about my son’s therapy being unethical and a violation of the Declaration of Helsinki were baseless and unwarranted. Have you read the Declaration and do you realize it applies to doctors and human experimentation?

    “Okay, ABA is unethical when the goals are to render the autistic child indistinguishable from its peers because the capacity to act like a neurotypical child drain a lot of ressources and brain power.

    You said you wanted to know why ABA is unethical regarding your son’s injurious behaviours; it is not. How about stiming (one of the goals I studied last night)? It is unethical (I stim a lot), it shouldn’t be restricted because preventing such behaviours will lead to self-injurious behaviours. Social situations for HFA and asperger, it’s unethical because it tries to render the child indistinguishable from its peers. statement.”

    You still don’t “get it”, do you? Behavioral therapies that are not aversive, such as ABA, are not unethical for the ameliorating/extinguishing of self-abuse and self-stimming behaviors, and such therapies definitely do not “drain a lot of ressources and brain power.”

    Perhaps you need to be reminded about your series of comments about me, my child and ABA starting here on this thread http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/02/03/when-antivaccinationists-play-on-mothering-com/

    “Alain
    February 4, 2014

    I’d like to bring out a point regarding ABA. Michelle Dawson (PhD…) carefully reviewed every publications and clinical trials of ABA for autistic. None of them was found out to be complying with the human research subject guideline of the declaration of Helsinki. None.

    As long as the goals of such therapy are to render the autist indistinguishable from its peers (and lilady, I’ve seen you mention this in the past), such therapy won’t ever be compliant with the human research subject guideline of the declaration of Helsinki. And I’m not okay with it; autistics deserve better. Unfortunately, it is because of these lousy standard dating from the 60′s and 70′s that autistics have a bad reputation in research. Their right are being denied and I’ve been part of a research group who, for all of their failing, only do research according to the standard held by the declaration of Helsinki. Fully ethical research. And it should be a given.

    Unfortunately, an ethical replacement of ABA is still in the work; and it couldn’t happen soon enough.

    Alain”

    You were supposed to provide a legal opinion about ABA two weeks ago..and didn’t.

    The next time you post a series of provocative and offensive remarks at me Alain…you’d better have the facts to back them up.

  36. #36 lilady
    February 27, 2014

    @ Arctic Snowbird: What happened to our internet friendship? A few weeks ago you offered to help me with a troll I encountered on the Ho-Po and the LB/RB blog?

    Why do I have that sense that you are gambolputty the blogger on “My Socrates Note”?

  37. #37 Alain
    February 27, 2014

    @lilady,

    Fuck off.

    Alain

  38. #38 Alain
    February 27, 2014

    Furthermore, you do intend to carry this battle to the end. Let’s do it 🙂

    Alain

  39. #39 Alain
    February 28, 2014

    “Quick question, would you recommend ABA to the full spectrum of IQ score found in autistic subjects?”

    Why would you ever assume that I, who is not a developmental psychologist or a behavioral specialist and who is not qualified to evaluate the appropriateness of instituting ABA for any individual, would ever make such a recommendation?

    Surprising isn’t it, I conceded that your boy need ABA for its SIBs. Now, are you arguing for everyone else on the autism spectrum to receive ABA upon their diagnostic? Regardless of IQ and further development on IQ later in life? did you happen to notice that the category of ABA subject such as your son where in the severe autism range which take 6.8% of all autism subject in an aforementioned post (please, I’m drunk) who needed ABA for Self-Injurious Behaviours apply to the rest of the population. Now did you acknowledge that the publication of which Michelle Dawson is the author, the scientific one (I don’t care about her sentex.net publications) which you refuse to acknowledge after the fourth post (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17680932) might indicate that autistic subject of any IQ might be able to complete the Raven Standard progressive matrix within the range of 50th Percentile up to 98th percentile, regardless if they have completed the WISC or the WAIS (yes, that’s right, they did complete a group of 12 on the WISC and 12 on the WAIS).

    Isn’t it funny.

    Alain

  40. #40 Alain
    February 28, 2014

    I think I’ll stay in Sherbrooke next week to see what lilady is up to. Might as well as to cancel the week of work to take care of lilady….

    Alain

  41. #41 Narad
    February 28, 2014

    did you happen to notice that the category of ABA subject such as your son where in the severe autism range which take 6.8% of all autism subject in an aforementioned post

    Read the x-axis, and note that it was a phone survey. You can’t read too much into (or out of) that report.

    (please, I’m drunk)

    This is an excellent reason to take a break.

  42. #42 Julian Frost
    February 28, 2014

    I know I’m responding to something posted way back at #597, but the Gregger’s mendacity irked me too much to let things slide.

    DTaP is well established as a cause of SIDs, accounting for 2300 annual deaths.

    False. In fact, horse droppings. Studies show that vaccinated children are less likely to suddenly die. However, the effect is too small to determine whether it’s the vaccines or if the parents of vaccinated children take other steps that lower SIDS risk.

    Whooping cough, on the other hand, accounts for about 20 deaths.

    Hm. Is it possible that vaccinating against a dangerous disease lowers the number of deaths from said disease? Oh wait, Gregger thinks that if we stop vaccinating, the diseases won’t come roaring back.

    Then there is also the matter of the DTaP vaccine proving not to be so effective of late, so it’s questionable how much of these deaths it could have prevented.

    Another half-truth. People not going for their full course of shots has led to an erosion of herd immunity, and to infants too young to be vaccinated falling victim to Pertussis. Also, some countries are actually reintroducing wholecell pertussis vaccine.

  43. #43 Arctic Snowbird
    February 28, 2014

    Wow…

    Instead of being gracious and acknowledging that you might be acting rude and offensive to Alain, you continue to pester him, and then accuse me of being someone I’m not. I just happen to be a lurker here who rarely comments, so why don’t you accuse me of being a stalker now so that we can follow your typical pattern, shall we?

    We aren’t friends, but we should stick together against these anti-vaxxers. And we are certainly not going to be friends now.

    Alain was kind enough to offer an apology, even though I don’t think it’s necessary. Maybe you should follow that example?

    Or, you can continue to act like an obnoxious b*&%h and give the anti-vaxxers fodder by letting them see us fight.

    Your choice.

  44. #44 Arctic Snowbird
    February 28, 2014

    I think I’ll stay in Sherbrooke next week to see what lilady is up to. Might as well as to cancel the week of work to take care of lilady….

    I know, right? Let’s all drop what we’re doing and capitulate to lilady’s demands. It’s not like you have anything better to do.

  45. #45 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 28, 2014

    Hm. Is it possible that vaccinating against a dangerous disease lowers the number of deaths from said disease? Oh wait, Gregger thinks that if we stop vaccinating, the diseases won’t come roaring back.

    Believe it or not, Dregs is even stupider than that. He believes that we might have wiped out the diseases once and for all if only we didn’t vaccinate. Despite this never happening once in all of recorded history with any disease in all the thousands of years we didn’t have vaccination.

  46. #46 Greg
    February 28, 2014

    @Arctic Snowbird

    Lilady a b!tch? Au contraire Arctic Snowbird! The mission cannot be stopped, AS, and you have just witnessed another of Lilady relentless sorties. It will obliterate the enemy of ‘quack’ moms claiming their kids’ adverse vaccine reactions, by unmitigated brutality, showing them absolutely no mercy. And, if any friendlies get in the way by questioning any aspect of the denialism agenda, they too will feel the wrath.

  47. #47 Alain
    February 28, 2014

    Read the x-axis, and note that it was a phone survey. You can’t read too much into (or out of) that report.

    It’s better than the refrain of all autistics are doomed if they don’t get ABA.

    This is an excellent reason to take a break.

    I shall do battle fasting or drunk. lilady want war, she’ll get it.

    Alain

  48. #48 dingo199
    February 28, 2014

    I was just looking back on Grog’s efforts to manufacture a case for “vaccines cause autism” earlier in the thread, and thought I’d chuck in my 2p worth.

    . Independent scientific studies, not connected to pharma, establish a link

    Those studies very few in number, and of poor quality and low validity. One should always consider the totality of evidence, and not place undue reliance on the tiny minority of weak studies that exists, purely because they confirm your own bias.

    2. Countless parents report their kids’ dramatic reaction to vaccines, and shortly developing autism

    There are numerous anecdotes, explicable through “anchoring” and extensive “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacious reasoning. Check out Michelle Cedillo if you want specifics on how such irrefutable “evidence” can rapidly unravel in the face of independent objectivity.

    3. Vaccines target the immune system causing such things as seizures and brain inflammation, and autism appears to be an immune dysfunction condition (I will leave Pd to expand on this, and which he already has) with seizures and brain inflammation also being traits

    Pd has had himself ripped a new a-hole by the other posters here. Go read, and understand. The reasoning is facile, and inconsistent with the proposed hypothesis. “If” autism is an autoimmune or inflammatory reaction, it is inconceivable that the numerous challenges to the immune system which infants face in early life (and comprise antigenic stimuli of several orders of magnitude greater than any induced by a vaccine) would not induce autism of themselves. Everyone would be autistic, vaccines or not.

    4. The expanded vaccination schedule corresponds precisely with the autism spike

    As do many things with equivalent “plausibility” (such as EMR exposure). You know correlation does not necessarily mean causation, I hope? Correlation here does not meet the Bradford Hill or WHO criteria for possible causation. In addition, for many countries there is an absence of any correlation whatsoever, so the “correlation” itself is variable and inconsistent.

    (On this note, I would like to ask, which idiot truly believes that throughout human history we have always had all these hand flapping, head banging, non-verbal autistics and we are just starting to notice them?)

    Calling people who understand there is clear historical evidence of such individuals “idiots” is no way to win your argument.

    5. We have vaccine courts compensating for damages leading to autism.

    We also had the Salem witch trials for people exhibiting “witch like” behaviour. Doesn’t mean witches exist. But In fact you will find the vaccine courts have never made a compensation payment for autism. If you do not yet know there is a difference between neurological damage which may have some autistic features, or of “autistic behaviours”, and the syndrome of “autism”, which is a specific neurodevelopmental problem with DSM diagnostic criteria, then go look them up.

    Bottom line, Grog: You got nothing here, go away and play with your AoA friends, who might fawn over your superior intellect. Superior to them, that is.

  49. #49 Lawrence
    February 28, 2014

    I’d also like to know what Derg considers “countless?” Because we keep seeing the exact same people, making the exact same claims, without any real evidence to back it up – and when we do look at population studies, we find only very small numbers….so which is it Derg – something so vast that only a worldwide cover-up involving millions of people could hide it, or something occurs in such small numbers that even very large population studies are unable to find the link?

  50. #50 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 28, 2014

    Okay, let me pitch in a few cents here. These are just my opinions, but I flatter myself I’ve been around long enough that you all have reason to know my opinions are, at the very least, considered carefully before I offer them.

    Lilady – you have had to fight some very pitched battles in the past, for the best of causes, and I admire you greatly for that. Not all the battles are in the past, either, and again I’m both impressed and grateful that you are ready to fight the good fight.

    What I think is a regrettable tendency, though, and perhaps even one that the trolls have started calculating how to exploit, is the tendency to see pitched battles to be fought everywhere. More than once, I’ve seen you go hammer and tongs at someone over a matter that might have been better handled by saying “You know, you might not have fully thought out that position; has it occurred to you that ….?” or even “Did you actually mean that, or did you mean something else entirely, and just phrased it poorly?”

    The reason we go through these discussions is in the hopes that those who hold wrong beliefs will come to understand why they’re wrong, and change beliefs and actions accordingly. But a natural human reaction to an aggressive attack, or what feels like one, is to dig in your heels on your current ground and not grant one inch you don’t have to.

    Alain – You really need to stop digging in your heels. You’re a good guy and you have a valuable perspective on things – but everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to be able to step back and say “gee, if everyone else, including people I admire and respect, is taking the opposite side of this issue, is my position maybe flawed?”

    I understand that you consider Michelle Dawson your friend. I understand that you want your friend’s position to be right. But the arguments you’ve been advancing have been bad arguments, exactly the kind you wouldn’t accept from the VCA crowd that buzzes in here! If someone tried to tell you “vaccination violates the Geneva Convention, because So-and-so says it does and So-and-so is a Ph.D!” you would point out, quite correctly, that Ph.Ds can still be wrong – but you’ve been pointing to Dawson’s Ph.D as if that meant she was correct. If someone, challenged to defend their claim that vaccination is a bad practice that should be avoided, pointed to people with egg allergies and said “see, it’s bad for those people, therefore it’s a bad practice!” you’d point out that something is not a bad practice, just because it’s not appropriate for everyone – but here you are, trying to defend the claim “ABA therapy violates the Helsinki Declaration” by pointing out that it shouldn’t be used to try and make autistic people behave neurotypically.

    Alain, it will not harm you to say “Okay, I may have been wrong. I’ll have to rethink this.” People will respect you more, not less, for being willing to change your beliefs based on evidence and reason – and any who don’t, well, is their respect meaningful to you??

    Arctic Snowbird – butt out. Even if you are not “gambolputty”, even if you are not some troll who decided to impersonate a lurker who hasn’t been seen in some time, so what? That means that the amount you’ve “contributed” to this site that isn’t trying to stir up fights is, what, 50% at best?

    Take everything I said to lilady above about the problems of approaching everything as a fight, whether or not it needs to be a fight. Now subtract everything in there about the respect earned by fighting the good fight, the fights that really need to be fought, because none of that applies to you: you haven’t earned anything. You’re swaggering around as if you had a pedestal up among the pantheon of good guys from which you can look down on lilady and judge her, but what have you done to earn that? I’ll give you a clue for free: Nothing. You sure as hell haven’t earned the right to suggest she’s a “b*&%h” and then in the same sentence sanctimoniously drone about the importance of a united front against the antivaxers. Do you perhaps naively think we are puppets, whose strings you can pull so long as you wave the “anti-antivaxer” flag? Got news for you: that trick has been tried before. It doesn’t work.

    In the best case scenario, you are shoving your nose into a fight where you have absolutely no place. In the worst case scenario, you are a snivelling troll with delusions of adequacy. In either case, you can kindly butt out.

  51. #51 Lawrence
    February 28, 2014

    @Antaeus – I can’t help but agree. The conversation has taken on a real tone of hostility without the benefit of taking that “step back” and looking to see if the responses are truly beneficial to the discussion.

    Both Alain & Lilady have valid arguments here – but the way in which they are being directed leaves a lot to be desired.

  52. #52 TBuce
    February 28, 2014

    I’d also like to know what Derg considers “countless?”

    None?

  53. #53 Alain
    February 28, 2014

    Alain, it will not harm you to say “Okay, I may have been wrong. I’ll have to rethink this.”

    I agree. That was precisely my intent 2 night ago to reread (I read it before being severely depressed) all the data but I don’t react well under significant pressure. The last time I did a dissertation in school, that took me over 2 weeks and it’s 2 weeks I won’t have until 2015 when I take some vacations.

    and any who don’t, well, is their respect meaningful to you??

    No.

    Alain

  54. #54 Greg
    February 28, 2014

    Bravo Antaeus! Yes — let’s work on Lilady, giving her a make-over, and turning her into a softer, more hospitable shill. You know — the type of shill you can take home to Mother. (Hee hee hee.)

  55. #55 lilady
    February 28, 2014

    Thank you Antaeus for your opinion. I really do value it.

    My sole goal was to have Alain review all the comments he has made about ABA for the past several weeks about my child’s therapy and ABA therapy, and acknowledge that it is an evidence-based treatment that is not unethical and not a violation of the Declaration of Helsinki.

    ABA and other intervention therapies when begun in early childhood are the only therapies that have proven track records to ameliorate/extinquish self-injurious behaviors.

    Just to clarify, my child was diagnosed with profound mental retardation and displayed autistic-like behaviors.

  56. #56 Chris,
    February 28, 2014

    Julian Frost: “Hm. Is it possible that vaccinating against a dangerous disease lowers the number of deaths from said disease? Oh wait, Gregger thinks that if we stop vaccinating, the diseases won’t come roaring back.”

    Well his pseudo-answer to my question is that he would prefer a baby to get pertussis, than to get a DTaP vaccine.

    He neither understands, nor does he care, that more babies will die from pertussis. I see he gets his kicks by referring to us as “drug pushers.” Well his friends are on the record of question whether or not a dead baby had other health issue and flatly did not deserve to live (a classic Cia Parker move), and also for defending actual child killers:
    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2014/02/vactruth-writers-defending-baby-murderers.html

    Perhaps now we just need to refer to him as “Greg the baby killer.”

  57. #57 Denice Walter
    February 28, 2014

    Antaeus, that was marvellous!

    I think that the discussion can be illuminated by going back to research as well as the historical origins of ABA.
    And other stuff….

    So we have to ask ourselves Are there data that show ABA works? If so, in *what cases* does it work? Do we find that it is useful? For *whom*?

    Most of these therapies – including ABA and CBT- have origins going back to the early days of psychology- what might be called S-R psychology or learning theory. From the early days of Pavlov and Watson to the later revelations of Skinner, this movement has always had critics in that it _ignored_ aspects of people that are specifically and essentially human. These ideas have undergone a long evolution over the past century.

    Notice that the first letter in CBT is C- *cognitive*- which means that internal processing or organisation is just as important a factor in achieving the desired results- subjects aren’t regarded only as passive, malleable clay for an experimentalist potter to sculpt into an acceptable form. Subjects help determine or choose the outcome. In a way, many adults use a form of unofficial CBT on themselves whenever they attempt to change how they live or behave.

    HOWEVER CBT is not applicable in every situation and for every subject: it has limits. It may be not useful for subjects who have a SMI, who are very young, pre-verbal or intellectually disabled.

    OBVIOUSLY we can ask, “Who has the right to determine HOW and IF others should change how they behave?” And that’s an important question. I think most people can agree though that stopping SIBs is a humane cause even if the decision is made by others, not the subject..

    A thornier question is whether we should implement structured change for individuals to make life easier for caretakers and family members at the expense of the subject- who may not have much choice in the matter?
    Is aversive therapy EVER to be considered?
    Remember though, that ABA is largely non-aversive- we shouldn’t discourage a therapy because it can be used in an unacceptable way. Should we get rid of meds because they can be prescribed and/ or used in destructive ways?

    There are other questions about whether people with ASDs should be persuaded to learn to be ‘more NT’. I don’t know- I would hope that it would be left up to them.

    Lastly, what can I say when two of our most highly esteemed minions argue publicly?
    Oh my. Draconis will not be pleased: we need to show a united front or else the bold rebels will take heart, assisting them on their road to pardigm shift and eventual triumph.

    But if we’re interested in investigating information uncensored – why not?

  58. #58 Greg
    February 28, 2014

    Bravo Coach Antaeus — Bravo!! What a hard-hitting, explosive speech delivered at #650 to motivate the shill football team at half-time, before they return to the field to battle the ‘quacks’. Bravo!

  59. #59 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 28, 2014

    Baby killer Dreg –

    Did you enjoy it the other day when you challenged me to point out exactly where you asserted by analogy that antivaxers might well commit injury upon children so that they could blame it on vaccines, and I did show exactly where you made that assertion? Did you enjoy having your embarrassing failure spelled out for all to see? Are you hoping, perhaps, that since I’ve referred to your idiotic assertion that doing nothing to check the spread of a disease might lead to it being wiped off the face of the earth, that I might with proper goading link to where you said that, so that your ignorance can be witnessed by all, and you can be treated as the assclown you are?

    I’m starting to think you’re not here for the hunting.

  60. #60 Greg
    February 28, 2014

    Looking back, I think I started this fight between Alain and lilady when I told Alain on another thread that I think ABA is overrated, and he pretty much agreed. I feel sooooo bad! How would I have known that my opinion would cause such hard feelings? *Shaking head*

  61. #61 lilady
    February 28, 2014

    Now, let’s just go back a bit to Arctic Snowbird’s comments on this thread…where he claimed he wanted to help, because he claimed that he had experienced some similar problems with gambolputty/Caro from My Socrates Note. (I had mentioned earlier on that thread than an entire post had just been put up about me by gambolputty):

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/01/23/on-orac-isis-pseudonymity-and-anonymity/

    This random poster “Arctic Snowbird” tried to keep a dialogue going about the filthy and libelous statements directed at me, made by “The Pothead Troll” and his hundreds of sockies.

    Every time “Arctic Snowbird” made a “helpful” comment, I immediately viewed the ongoing comments about me by gambolputty, Craig (Willoughby) and “Anonymous” with their time stamps as well, here:

    http://my-socrates-note.blogspot.com/2014/01/musings-on-anonymity-and-libel.html

    So Arctic Snowbird, whose sockie are you; gambolputty’s, Anonymous’s or Craig Willowby’s?

  62. #62 lilady
    February 28, 2014

    Correction:

    So Arctic Snowbird, whose sockie are you; gambolputty’s, Anonymous’s or Craig Willoughby’s?

  63. #63 Arctic Snowbird
    February 28, 2014

    Antaeus Feldspar @650
    For the most part, fair enough. However, let me respond to one particular comment.

    You sure as hell haven’t earned the right to suggest she’s a “b*&%h” and then in the same sentence sanctimoniously drone about the importance of a united front against the antivaxers.

    Or maybe it’s that I saw someone that I perceived was bullying a fellow aspie and I said something about it. Alain made it clear what his opinion was, and lilady continued to harass him demanding answers. Then, the person I spoke up against made a very inaccurate and insulting comment that I took exception to. So, I gave my personal opinion of the way she was acting. Are we not allowed to express our personal opinions here? If not, then these comment sections would be awfully bare. And hey, I call them as I see them, and if the shoe fits, etc.

    Alain @653
    I agree. That was precisely my intent 2 night ago to reread (I read it before being severely depressed) all the data but I don’t react well under significant pressure.

    I think your response was warranted, and I apologize if you felt my comment offering encouragement to you was inappropriate. I know you can take care of yourself. But I sometimes can’t help but stick up for a fellow aspie.

    Dreg @646

    Lilady a b!tch? Au contraire Arctic Snowbird! The mission cannot be stopped, AS, and you have just witnessed another of Lilady relentless sorties. It will obliterate the enemy of ‘quack’ moms claiming their kids’ adverse vaccine reactions, by unmitigated brutality, showing them absolutely no mercy. And, if any friendlies get in the way by questioning any aspect of the denialism agenda, they too will feel the wrath.

    If I wanted your opinion, I’d tell you to pull your head out of your a$$.

    Now, to lilady

    where she claimed she wanted to help, because she claimed that she had experienced some similar problems with gambolputty/Caro from My Socrates Note

    There, ftfy. And I didn’t say I was having problems, just that I had encountered someone I thought was him/her. I’ve seen him/her on HuffPo, and I also saw someone I thought may be the same person on Facebook. My inquiry was to determine if my theory was correct and to offer advice.

    So Arctic Snowbird, whose sockie are you; gambolputty’s, Anonymous’s or Craig Willoughby’s?

    Try none of the above. And trying to “out” me? Really?

    I have never commented on that site. Your evidence tying me to these individuals is riddled with your own confirmation bias and is so weak that it can’t even be considered to be circumstantial. Really the nicest way that I can express myself regarding your extremely insulting accusation is that you’re a f&%king b*&%h. Your extreme paranoia isn’t doing any favors to your credibility.

  64. #64 Narad
    February 28, 2014

    Bravo Antaeus! Yes — let’s work on Lilady, giving her a make-over, and turning her into a softer, more hospitable shill. You know — the type of shill you can take home to Mother. (Hee hee hee.)

    Hey, who am I?

    Chris, I keep providing you with the study that you been asking everyone for showing that infections from natural diseases are safer than infections from vaccines. The problem is Orac has me on automatic moderation, and at every turn, he is blocking my release of this information.

    Name a single comment of yours here that you haven’t fled from, O lying sack of shıt.

  65. #65 Greg
    February 28, 2014

    @Antaeus
    As you become angry and indignant your ‘gentleman’ veneer starts wearing, and exposing the raw scoundrel underneath.

    C’mon Antaeus — ‘Baby killer Dreg’? I don’t even support abortion. Well, maybe in cases where a serious defect is detected. Ok — maybe I am a ‘little baby killer’, but I see it as pro-health.

    I advocate parents to injure their kids and blame it on vaccines? Seriously Antaeus, what the hell are you talking about?? I didn’t make much sense of your last comment referring to this, with you suggesting I only said this by way of analogy, and I didn’t mean what I was saying.

    I argued that if we stop vaccinating then diseases would disappear? Well — maybe this was a little silly of me. Like, in the past, diseases have never disappeared on their own without vaccines.

    @Narad

    Name a single comment of yours here that you haven’t fled from, O lying sack of shıt.

    You’re lucky it’s the weekend and I must be on my way again. Otherwise, you would be in big trouble for that comment. Woo hooo — I am outta here!!

  66. #66 Greg
    February 28, 2014

    (Just have to take one last nibble at this nut.)

    Arctic Snowbird to lilady:
    f&%king b*&%h

    Greg’s tip to lilady:
    I think asking for a ‘t’ and a ‘c’ should bring you some dollars there, lilady. If you haven’t solved the puzzle by then, I suggest you buy some vowels.

  67. #67 dedicated lurker
    March 1, 2014

    These are my favorite “correlation is not causation” graphs: http://girljanitor.tumblr.com/post/46426989694/tacticalconscience-even-if-you-dont-think

  68. #68 Narad
    March 1, 2014

    You’re lucky it’s the weekend and I must be on my way again.

    I will take that as a wholesale concession that you’ve fled from every bit of scat you’ve dropped on this path, without so much as the sense of a cat in a litter box to cover the detritus.

  69. #69 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 1, 2014

    Thank you Antaeus for #650 and happy to see cooler heads prevail now. Always excepting Greggums however.

  70. #70 Gray Falcon
    March 1, 2014

    Greg, have you ever considered not acting like a ten-year-old?

  71. #71 anon
    March 2, 2014

    I am so thankful I found alt med. Symptom free now at 71,
    won’t bore you with my “delusional” opinion or a list of supplements I take which, of course, is only “anecdotal”.
    Thanks to all those wonderful people who shared their “anecdotal” stories and brave “out of the box” thinker MDs
    who incidentally went to medical school unlike most of Orac’s “cult” followers. I am also glad I was not subjected to the chemical poisoning of the current vaccine schedule as an infant; only against the schedule for infants, not vaccines.

  72. #72 anon
    March 2, 2014

    Thank you pD@329

  73. #73 Lawrence
    March 2, 2014

    @anon – and when would you prefer that children get vaccinated? Because it isn’t like infants getting measles, mumps, etc. should be considered a good thing (especially in light of the deaths of infants we’ve already seen occur from VPDs in recent years).

    Sorry that you consider relying on evidence and Science to be a bad thing.

  74. #74 Narad
    March 2, 2014

    Thank you pD@329

    What do you think the most salient parts are, and how do you think that they stack up to the direct rebuttal?

  75. #75 anon
    March 2, 2014

    Thank you again pD @399

  76. #76 notation
    March 2, 2014

    And how do you explain, anon, the MILLIONS of people who HAVE been vaccinated and don’t rely on unproven “alternative” and “homeopathic” remedies, yet are in excellent health? I’m one of them. I don’t go to some quack who thinks donkey piss cures cancer; I go to an actual doctor who went to medical school. I drink fluoridated water and I have amalgam fillings. I’ve never had any major surgery and have never been hospitalized for anything. And I’m not all that much younger than you are.

    Explain that.

  77. #77 lilady
    March 2, 2014

    “I am also glad I was not subjected to the chemical poisoning of the current vaccine schedule as an infant; only against the schedule for infants, not vaccines.”

    anon definitely was vaccinated against diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus and smallpox before (s)he was allowed into school, and definitely had polio vaccine, during the mid 1950s.

    Which types of “alt med” have you found, anon?

  78. #78 anon
    March 2, 2014

    @notation- Great genes-
    @lilady- only had smallpox-small town budget.

  79. #79 Lawrence
    March 2, 2014

    @anon – probably more like dumb luck…unfortunately, a lot of people weren’t so fortunate.

  80. #80 anon
    March 2, 2014

    @lilady 5 HTP, Tyrosine for depression.

  81. #81 notation
    March 2, 2014

    Great genes, my ass. There are millions of people who are alive today that would never have survived had they not had access to vaccines and antibiotics. In 1900, the average life span for a man was ~47 years. What do you think it is today? That’s because of modern medicine, not “great genes.”

  82. #82 notation
    March 2, 2014

    Here’s what WebMD has to say about 5 HTP: “5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a chemical by-product of the protein building block L-tryptophan. It is also produced commercially from the seeds of an African plant (Griffonia simplicifolia).

    Don’t use 5-HTP until more is known. 5-HTP might be UNSAFE. Some people who have taken it have come down with eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), a serious condition involving extreme muscle tenderness (myalgia) and blood abnormalities (eosinophilia). Some people think the EMS might be caused by an accidental ingredient (contaminant) in some 5-HTP products. But there is not enough scientific evidence to know if EMS is caused by 5-HTP, a contaminant, or some other factor. Until more is known, avoid taking 5-HTP.”

    So much for “alternative medicine” as a safe alternative.

  83. #83 Lawrence
    March 2, 2014

    @notation – people like “anon” should take a look at this:

    http://www.tycho.pitt.edu/

    And then come back and tell us how horrible vaccines are…..

  84. #84 anon
    March 2, 2014

    @notation How the hell did you infer I was against anti-biotics?!
    That is not what I said. I had blood poisoning as a child- thank God for penicillin. Researchers and out of the box thinkers are needed. I am not against vaccines, just the current schedule
    which has been in effect for about 20 years.

  85. #85 notation
    March 2, 2014

    And what is “wrong” with the current schedule? Do you have any data to support your misgivings about it? You have yet to answer the question that Lawrence asked you.

    There is plenty of evidence to support administering vaccines to infants.

  86. #86 anon
    March 2, 2014

    @notation Here’s the data on Cymbalta
    http://www.rxlist.com/cymbalta-drug.htm

  87. #87 notation
    March 2, 2014

    So? Is your “alternative” better? How?

  88. #88 Chris,
    March 2, 2014

    Cymbalta is not a vaccine, and therefore off topic. Answer the actual question you have been asked.

  89. #89 herr doktor bimler
    March 2, 2014

    Thanks to all those wonderful people who shared their “anecdotal” stories

    That’s exactly what this thread about alt-med as religion has been missing. Someone exclaiming “Share your testimony, brother!” in full-on Pentacostal manner.

    So far no snake-handling, though I suppose “Good genes will protect from disease” is near enough.

  90. #90 notation
    March 2, 2014

    “Thank you again pD@399” is a pretty telling non-response to Narad’s question to you about the direct rebuttal of the post to which you referred, anon. Why can’t you answer?

  91. #91 notation
    March 2, 2014

    @herr doktor: yeah, those “great genes” must be the ones I inherited from my grandmother. Two of her three triplets died in infancy.

  92. #92 notation
    March 2, 2014

    Oops. Edit: I should have written that “two of her triplets died in infancy.”

  93. #93 Krebiozen
    March 2, 2014

    anon,

    Researchers and out of the box thinkers are needed.

    I agree, which is why I’m so glad there are so many brilliant, innovative thinkers doing research for universities and for drug companies, developing new vaccines among many other things. I think the current vaccine schedule is a spectacular success, almost eliminating many infectious diseases, some of them killers, with serious side effects vanishingly rare despite close surveillance. What’s not to like about this?

    What useful alternative treatments have NCCAM and OCCAM found? Bear in mind they have spent billions dollars researching this. Why haven’t they found anything that has saved a single life? Are they lacking the “out of box thinkers” that clearly work in conventional medicine?

  94. #94 lilady
    March 2, 2014

    @ anon: Meta analysis of studies of 5-HTP and Tyrosine for depression, from the Cochrane Collaboration:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869656

    What did your “out of the box thinker M.D.” tell you about the pneumonia vaccine and the Tdap booster vaccine?

  95. #95 herr doktor bimler
    March 2, 2014

    Meta analysis of studies of 5-HTP and Tyrosine for depression, from the Cochrane Collaboration:

    Imagine my disappointment that the list of studies therein does *not* include Brander, 1985 — a good study, with placebo and double-blinding. Also how I met the Frau Doktorin.
    Spoiler alert: 5-HTP did not improve mood or alleviate depression.

  96. #96 lilady
    March 2, 2014

    anon: Did you attend public school in the United States?

    These are the vaccines you were required to have when you entered school circa 1948….and during your attendance in school for the next 12 years.

    http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-schedule/history-of-vaccine-schedule.html

  97. #97 herr doktor bimler
    March 2, 2014

    out of the box thinkers are needed.

    I got your out-of-the-box thinkers here!

  98. #98 lilady
    March 2, 2014

    “Let’s think out of the box. I have to poop in it later” Meow.

  99. #99 anon
    March 2, 2014

    @notation From the CDC- an historical perspective –
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4829a1.htm

  100. #100 Lawrence
    March 2, 2014

    @Anon – excellent, so you admit that vaccinations have been an important part of the control of infectious diseases…good for you.

  101. #101 notation
    March 3, 2014

    What Lawrence said.

    I notice you seem to have forgotten to answer the question I asked you as to your opposition to the current vaccine schedule, anon. Why is that?

  102. […] our state and elsewhere.  Such groups are not pro-science.  Instead, they have the features of a cult. […]

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