There is a perception that strikes me as common enough to be considered “common wisdom” that antivaccine views are much more common on the “left” of the political spectrum than they are on the “right.” I’ve discussed on multiple occasions how this perceived common wisdom is almost certainly wrong, or at least so incomplete as to be, for all intents and purposes, wrong. Frequently, the accusation that the left is antivaccine, usually coupled with the stereotype of the crunchy, affluent, liberal elite living on the coasts being antivaccine, is often thrown back by conservatives stung by justifiable criticism that today’s conservative have a nasty antiscience streak, as evidenced by the prevalence of anthropogenic global climate change denialism, anti-evolution views, and denial of science when it comes to women’s health so common among conservatives. In essence, it’s a tu quoque response, in which conservatives retort, “You have your antiscience fringe, too,” such as antivaccinationists and anti-GMO (genetically modified organisms) nuts.

Unfortunately, as I’ve described on multiple occasions, there is no compelling evidence that antivaccine views are any more prevalent among liberals than they are among conservatives. Indeed, antivaccine beliefs span the political spectrum from left to right and everything in between. On the left, there are antivaccinationists who fall prey to the naturalistic fallacy, believing vaccines to be an affront to nature, plus a distrust of big pharma, while on the right there are antivaccinationists whose antivaccine views derive from “health freedom” beliefs that are often a combination of the naturalistic fallacy with good, old-fashioned libertarian contrariness that leads to an intense belief that the government shouldn’t be able to tell them what to do. “No forced vaccination” easily teams up with conspiracy theories about the government and suspicions about public health efforts, which is why antivaccine views are quite at home among libertarians.

The reason I briefly recapped how there is no strong predilection among liberals or conservatives, compared to each other, to fall for antivaccine views is because the stereotype that antivaccine views are more prevalent on the left serves as the basis of an unintentionally gut-bustingly funny rant from what appears to be the newest member of that wine loving, vaccine hating, coffee klatch of mommy warriors for whom the terms Dunning-Kruger effect and arrogance of ignorance were coined. I’m referring, of course, to the other wretched hive of scum and quackery, the one fueled by a combination of hubris, quackery, and wine, namely the Thinking Moms’ Revolution. In it, an apparently new member of the boozy crew who prefers Belgian ale to wine and going by the ‘nym of Karma, disappointed at finding no support for the antivaccine quackery that provides the raison d’être for TMR, demands that her fellow antivaccine moms Stand Up and Refuse To Be Counted. It’s even part 1, meaning that there’s more hilarity to come. (I can’t wait.) It’s tempting to go for the really obvious joke that Karma’s a bitch, but in reality Karma is really, really hurt that the media, particularly the left wing media, has been so very, very mean to antivaccinationists lately, eventually finding her way to the grandmommy of all liberal publications (or at least one of the most famous), Mother Jones. Karma was not pleased at what she found:

In my quest to find a progressive, non-biased media presence I went to the most notable sources of independent journalism. Mother Jones is a publication with a rich history, referenced on their website ” . . . Award-winning Mother Jones magazine is a project of the non-profit Foundation for National Progress (FNP), founded to educate the American public by investigating and reporting on important social and political issues of our time. The FNP launched Mother Jones magazine in 1976 and MotherJones.com in 1993 to bring uncompromising reporting to a broad national audience.”

Intrigued, I then did a internet search on the terms “Mother Jones vaccines” and was surprised to find a long history of negative posts that, to my dismay, did not provide a balanced, independent discussion on their pages.

Just for yucks, I did the very same search, and indeed what came up consisted mainly of solidly pro-vaccine articles. One of them included the interview with an antivaccine pediatrician in the Bay area called Dr. Stacia Kenet Lansman, which I described in a post just this month. This particular poor excuse for a pediatrician thinks that vaccines are “messing with nature.” Actually, I thought that the article, if anything, was a bit too sympathetic towards Dr. Kenet Lansman. Many of the rest of the articles appeared to share one thing in common, namely Chris Mooney’s name in the byline, either as the author or co-author (although, long before Mooney joined Mother Jones, one other was written by Arthur Allen). In any case, it is a truly welcome development that over the last couple of years, Mother Jones has been generally rational with respect to vaccines, and the “Thinking Mom” named Karma doesn’t like it at all.

Still, she does manage to come up with one rather interesting observation. She heads on over to MJ’s media kit, including this document, this document, and this document. Basically, it indicates that MJ readers are in general educated (90% attended college), pretty affluent, and are into a whole lot of woo:

  • 78% of readers buy organic and natural products
  • 43% of readers prefer using alternative methods of medicine/healing
  • 86% of readers consider healthy eating and good nutrition important
  • 45% of readers shop at natural foods or health store at least once per week
  • 84% use vitamin or mineral supplements
  • 43% prefer alternative medicine/healing over prescription medication
  • 39% use homeopathic/herbal remedies

Now, if there’s one (sort of) not nutty thing that Karma writes about MJ, it’s that she not unreasonable infers from the reader profile above that a lot of MJ readers are likely to be antivaccine like her. Given the known association between interest in “natural health” and “alternative methods of healing” and antivaccine views, it’s not such a leap to make that deduction:

Notice anything unusual? The very demographic that Mother Jones relies heavily on to attract advertising dollars is the same one they disparage on a regular basis on their website that draws 8 million views per month. According to their own research, 40% of their readers have a household income in excess of $75k, 43% prefer alternative medicine, homeopathic treatments and herbal remedies. More than likely, this coveted market share also exercises their vaccine exemption rights and are educated consumers when it comes to health-related matters.

Of course, it might just be possible—likely, even—that the antivaccine fringe that’s fringy enough to read, much less write for, TMR is such a small proportion of MJ’s readership that it doesn’t concern itself overmuch with winning their business. That would be perfectly reasonable, if true. Moreover, perhaps MJ sees part of its mission to educate its readership, even those that might have antivaccine tendencies. Given the mild tone of the articles (this is Chris Mooney, after all, and I’ve gently remonstrated with him before for being a bit to—shall we say?—optimistic about the possibility of building bridges to the antivaccine movement). MJ articles tend to be pro-vaccine these days, but they are about gentle about dealing with the antivaccine movement as you can imagine. Yet, Karma is clutching her pearls for dear life, so much so that she extends her complaints about how the mainstream media portray the antivaccine movement to other sources, such as NPR, TIME, Slate.com, Salon.com, Forbes.com, and Newsweek:

In the interest of keeping things fair and balanced, Mother Jones is not the only example of attracting an educated and desirable readership to draw advertisers only to court controversial blogging tactics that seek to control the flow of information as well as distort it. The list is actually quite long. Think NPR is above these tactics? I wagging fingerdid until I read their “Shots” blog. Financial publications including Forbes and The Wall Street Journal have joined the fray. Slate, Forbes and Salon have latched on to the subject of parents and vaccinations, wagging their collective finger at anyone that disagrees, and their elders, Time and Newsweek, are the grandparents who want an in with the cool kids and their money by upping the ante in regards to outright inflammatory hate speech as evidenced in posts during April 2014.

Hate speech? Seriously? This from someone who identifies with Generation Rescue and Age of Autism, both of which regularly lay down rhetoric far more inflammatory and insulting towards their proclaimed enemies (anyone who opposes them and their desire to demonize vaccines as harmful and a cause of autism). I mean, seriously. AoA, for instance, is a source that Photoshopped the heads of Paul Offit, Steve Novella, and other defenders of science into a painting of a Thanksgiving dinner where the main course was a baby. These are people who regularly deride Dr. Offit as Dr. PrOffit.” These are people who liken the vaccination program to the Holocaust (or the Titanic or the Oklahoma City bombing). Now, that‘s hate speech.

So what’s Karma’s answer? I’m sure we’ll hear more about it in part 2, but for now, she thinks that antivaccinationists like herself should cease to patronize media outlets that criticize the antivaccine movement. That is, of course, her right and the right of antivaccinationists everywhere. (America, dammit!) She also advocates not clicking, sharing, or commenting on such articles. Of course, that would make it a lot more difficult for, say, AoA’s “media editor” Anne Dachel, to get the message out to her flying monkey patrol to fly in and dive bomb the comments of pro-vaccine articles with the poo they fling.

Come to think of it, it might not be so bad if the “Thinkers” succeeded at this. Think of it. No more waves of antivaccine stupid flowing over the comments of pro-science articles about vaccines in online forums and comment threads! Wouldn’t that be awesome. Maybe I shouldn’t be so dismissive of Karma’s effort. After all, it’s incredibly unlikely that there are enough hard core antivaccine activists like Karma and her fellow “Thinkers” that MJ or Salon.com or NPR or Slate.com would miss them, at least from a financial standpoint. There are, however, more than enough to turn the comment threads after widely read pro-science articles into cesspits of pseudoscience and antivaccine quackery. Maybe I should encourage her. I’m sure that Dorit Reiss, lilady, and all the other commenters who have the guts and persistence to wade into those comment threads would be more than happy to apply their skills at combatting the antivaccine movement to other venues, and I wouldn’t mind not feeling obligated to blog about antivaccine pseudoscience so often. Win-win!

Comments

  1. #1 Narad
    June 7, 2014

    To address the wrongness of this poster’s arguments is more important than who he really is.

    Philip Hills does not have “arguments,” he has “making things up and changing the subject.” His dishonesty, including sockpuppetry, is a free choice. Once one willfully embraces the role of bad-faith actor who wishes to deny responsibility so as to carry on (and on and on), the standards of propriety that underlie pseudonymous posting have been eviscerated by the actor, in my book.

  2. #2 Yawn noonoo
    June 7, 2014

    “Antaeus
    “If people who believe in a scientific principle get bad results kinda-somehow related to that science it means that the principle is WRONG!!” ” Vogon speaks

    Well like smearing steroids on kids with eczema or handing out steroid inhailers and doing nothing else about asthma. Ask anyone who is chronically atopic what they think of ‘proper doctor’ treatment.

  3. #3 herr doktor bimler
    June 7, 2014

    “Please also highlight some of the most significant discoveries and revisions to practice guidelines over the past 20 or so years.”

    Combining ‘classical osteopathy’ with completely incompatible modalities like acupuncture, herbalism and TCM — all the while claiming that the ‘osteopathic lesion’ is central to the paradigm — possibly counts as a “revision to practice guidelines”. Although there is nothing new about “scamming with whatever grift you have”.

  4. #4 ann
    June 7, 2014

    Prof. Mervyn Singer is funded by the Wellcome Trust, and the expert at anon’s link is from the CDC.

    I notice.

    Funny how being on the medic-septic payroll isn’t always a disqualifier.

  5. #5 ann
    June 7, 2014

    But I suppose it’s no more of a contradiction than arguing that vaccine manufacturers are lying about their products, except on the package inserts, where they blurt out the truth.

  6. #6 herr doktor bimler
    June 8, 2014

    How about the NICE guidelines after studies on kids with fevers at great Ormond Street finally realising that suppressing fevers in kids was not only counterproductive it produced more sequalae. It showed that kids with meningitis recovered much quicker than using magical medical potions to thwart nature.

    I was SHOCKED to check the actual NICE guidelines and discover that Johnny Labile is lying through his teeth. Again. It is as if he can’t help it.

    His dishonesty, including sockpuppetry, is a free choice.

    It is entertaining when JL, of all people (if his insults are any guide, he believes that ‘puerile’ is a location in the Outer Hebrides) waxes indignant because people are addressing him by a name that is not whatever nym has currently caught his fancy.

  7. #7 Narad
    June 8, 2014

    I was SHOCKED to check the actual NICE guidelines and discover that Johnny Labile is lying through his teeth.

    There does seem to be some issue with mixing sources into a mental slurry smoothie.

  8. #8 Narad
    June 8, 2014

    Although I’ll be jiggered if I can find the real payload, the paper seems to be attached to the Great Ormond findings. Wherever they be.

    I’m disappointed, because I was curious whether this source was going to do me the favor of summarizing why slowing the early growth of N. meningitidis was a net clinical good.

  9. #9 herr doktor bimler
    June 8, 2014

    the paper seems to be attached to the Great Ormond findings

    Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown the Daily Mail.

  10. #10 Narad
    June 8, 2014

    It appears that fever is indeed of some utility, but not exactly in the sense intended.

    “When contacts of patients with meningococcal disease receive parenteral antibiotics at the time they develop fever, no disease develops (22, 161, 225; R. A. Wall, M. Hasson-King, H. Thomas, and B. M. Greenwood, Letter, Lancet ii:624, 1986). When antibiotic therapy is started later in the course of the disease, i.e., when ischemic lesions have progressed, more bacteria can escape the effect of antibiotics, since meningococci remain viable in the nonperfused center of these lesions for up to 13 h after the start of antibiotic therapy (499).”

  11. #11 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    June 8, 2014

    @sockpuppeting antivaccinationist:

    Well like smearing steroids on kids with eczema or handing out steroid inhailers and doing nothing else about asthma.

    My sister had both eczema and asthma as a child. I can tell you for a fact that you are talking horse apples about how physicians treat these conditions.

  12. #12 Krebiozen
    June 8, 2014

    Labile,

    If they had better survival rates at Waterloo than they did in the Falklands I’d say modern infection control, along with 1 in 15 leaving hospital with an infection they didn’t have on the way in, is pure bullshit!

    Ah, the good old days of Waterloo. Why did we abandon that wonderful era of medicine? Clearly the preferred method of preventing infection in the early 1800s was very effective. I wonder what that might have been? Here’s an excerpt from ‘The Bloody Fields of Waterloo’, written by British surgeon M. K. H. Crumplin:

    Complications were commonplace – infection, non-healing of the fractures and limb deformity. As with thigh fractures, ascending erysipeloid infection (caused by astreptococcal bacterium) of the wounds often was so rapid as to preclude amputation and heralded the demise of the patient.

    That doesn’t sound so great, does it? Especially when your only hope of avoiding it was for a field surgeon to amputate the injured limb before infection set in: “amputations carried out speedily after a wounding were twice as likely to be successful than ones delayed by a day or more”. No effective anesthetic either. I hope Professor Mervyn Singer isn’t suggesting a return to that!

    In contrast, here’s an account from the Falklands War, the Battle for Goose Green specifically:

    For someone not long out of medical school, the injuries suffered, mostly multiple shrapnel fragments, presented a challenge – especially as gunshot wounds were a rare sight in civilian hospitals at the time.

    “These were all guys who were gungy, their smocks are covered in whatever they had picked off the ground. So you’ve got contaminated wounds so everyone’s having penicillin.

    “We’re trying to clean things up as best we can and put a dressing on. And then move them out as they need to be under the knife of a surgeon ideally within six hours in order to reduce the risk of subsequent infection of the wound,” he says.

    Mr Hughes said he was “absolutely gobsmacked” that everyone treated at the field hospital survived.

    “It is a testimony to the fitness of these young men. Not only did they survive but their recovery subsequently was amazing. The wounds they sustained and then the short period of time before they were back to almost fully fit. It was humbling really to see that.”

    I’ll stick with modern medicine, including the antibiotics, thanks.

    Also, you seem to have conflated sepsis both with infection generally and with all causes of death. Sepsis is what used to be called septicemia; it’s a generalized systemic inflammatory condition, caused by severe infection. It mostly affects very sick people whose bodies are unable to fight off infection effectively; people with cancer, serious injuries, the malnourished, the very young and the very old. The most factor in surviving sepsis is how quickly intravenous antibiotics are started. There is no effective alternative or traditional treatment for sepsis. Conventional treatment may not be great, but it’s a lot better than what was available in 1815.

  13. #13 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 8, 2014

    If they had better survival rates at Waterloo than they did in the Falklands I’d say modern infection control, along with 1 in 15 leaving hospital with an infection they didn’t have on the way in, is pure bullshit!

    The article refers to 52 privates in the 13th Light Dragoons wounded at Waterloo. There were 4700 killed on the side of the UK, Prussians, and their allies; another 14,600 were wounded. In the Falklands, there were 255 killed and 775 wounded on the UK side. There were remarkably few sabre injuries at the Falklands. How you can draw any kind of conclusion from that is beyond me.

    I would agree that improvements could be made in infection control in hospitals. On the other hand, the fact that they can get new infections contradicts all you try to say about infections not being transmissible.

  14. #14 herr doktor bimler
    June 8, 2014

    The article refers to 52 privates in the 13th Light Dragoons wounded at Waterloo.

    That was my thought too, when I read the BBC item… to wonder how long the UCL press department had spent scouring through the Waterloo annals, looking for some narrow combination of regiment and rank where the survival rate among the wounded was high enough to make the point they wanted for their churnalism press-release (“Give us more money for our dramatic research on organ failure”).

  15. #15 Narad
    June 8, 2014

    I have no idea why you keep directing me to therapies I know nothing about and ask me to validate them?

    This doesn’t speak well to the level of expertise offered by the Hope Osteopathic Clinic Essex, Philip Hills.

    Is it your usual method of communication to start insisting that someone is someone they are not

    Remember this?

    “The big issue is this. Someone decided that an antibody response equated with an immune response and this has been extrapolated to ‘protection’ or ‘immunisation’.

    “This is a fantasy, even Immunity Journal has pointed out that equating antibody levels with protection is not really a correlate.”

    What a coincidence:*

    “So this medical theory that ‘antibodies protect’ how does that fit in with traditional osteopathic practice? Well it doesn’t!

    “It doesn’t fit with medical research either.

    “‘Antibodies are not required for immunity against some viruses’ Immunity journal March 1 2012′”

    This ship has sailed, Sockdrawer.

    and then offload piles of medical magik, claiming to be a scientist

    Where have I claimed to be a scientist, Philip?

    and expect a logical reply?

    From you? Heh.

    You need more help than I will ever forget.

    To wit.

    Now how do you respond to new (2009) NICE guidelines telling doctors not to dish out antipyretics to kids with fevers

    I’ve already responded, bonehead.

    because it is doing what many alt meds speakers have known since Hipporcrates-

    “If the fever be acute, and if there be pains on either side, or in both, and if expiration be if cough be present, and the sputa expectorated be of a blond or livid color, or likewise thin, frothy, and florid, or having any other character different from the common, in such a case, the physician should proceed thus: if the pain pass upward to the clavicle, or the breast, or the arm, the inner vein in the arm should be opened on the side affected, and blood abstracted according to the habit, age, and color of the patient, and the season of the year, and that largely and boldly, if the pain be acute, so as to bring on deliquium animi, and afterwards a clyster is to be given….”

    suppressing temperatures in acute illness directly leads to chronic illness.

    Gee, I misssed that part in the actual guidelines. Oh, wait, you haven’t provided any. Get moving.

    * Also characteristically screws up the number of people that Krahling & Wlochowski comprise.

  16. #16 ann
    June 8, 2014

    What a coincidence:

    In a crowded field of ’em. Here:

    last years vaccine failure was whooping cough, highest uptake of vaccine ever coinciding with the highest outbreaks ever.

    There:

    The highest whooping cough vaccine coverage for years runs alongside the highest number of cases for decades!

    Here:

    Cochraine does a 96 season study of the efficacy of flu vaccine and tests the top 10 claims.

    No 1 is “flu vaccine halves winter deaths” Cochraine tested this anecdote and found that only 10% of winter deaths are attributable to ‘flu like illness’. It concluded that to halve winter deaths the flu vaccine would have to have an impact on road traffic accidents!

    There:

    Last years 96 season Cochraine review on the flu jab looked at the top ten claims that the NHS made for still using it. I will only mention the top one, the rest also failed to stand at all with Cochraine saying the whole EBM for flu jab was implausible at best. So the top claim made by health chiefs in this country for using flu vaccination and making us all pay for it was that it halved winter deaths. Cochraine found that as only 10% of winter deaths were caused by flu like illness, not even confirmed flu, if the jab was to halve winter death it would have to have an impact on road traffic accidents!

    Etc.

  17. #17 Krebiozen
    June 8, 2014

    Maybe someone’s plagiarizing poor Mr. Labile in order to discredit his revolutionary ideas.

  18. #18 Militant Agnostic
    25 km west of Cochrane
    June 8, 2014

    ann @616 or therabouts.

    The identical misspelling of Cochrane is a bit of a tell.

  19. #19 Narad
    June 8, 2014

    Maybe someone’s plagiarizing poor Mr. Labile in order to discredit his revolutionary ideas.

    Except for the sockpuppets, which he’s effectively copped to already. So, yes, it’s but one hapless osteopath who has not only lovingly seized upon the scattered aphorisms of “Johnny Labile” et al. but also stitched them together into long-form homage.

  20. #20 Johnny still not Hill
    June 9, 2014

    “That was my thought too, when I read the BBC item… to wonder how long the UCL press department had spent scouring through the Waterloo annals, looking for some narrow combination of regiment and rank where the survival rate among the wounded was high enough to make the point they wanted for their churnalism press-release (“Give us more money for our dramatic research on organ failure”).” Boomler doomler

    It is interesting though that when one has a belief system so dependent on dissing anything that is not ‘in the book’ that Her Docky almost vomits on paper to dismiss blasphemy. Does it scare you that simple events like leaving the temperature alone and not using sexy high tech med equipment may be better than intervention?
    We don’t want the public thinking that they might not need a doctor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTXSTGGRvKY

    I suppose you would shit your stethoscope watching this short film, let’s see how you diss this.

    Tell us how dangerous vitamin C is – I can’t wait to piss myself laughing.

  21. #21 Johnny still not Hill
    June 9, 2014

    http://www.bolenreport.com/skeptics/Skeptics2/fun%20down%20under.htm

    Here is the bit about the AVN you left out.

    So no pro vaxxer had the guts to stand up and defend woo

  22. #22 AdamG
    June 9, 2014

    Ohhh, a Bolen link! Mr. Hill, do you agree with Mr. Bolen when he states:

    The so-called “skeptics” are a misinformation campaign run by angry male homosexuals masquerading as atheists whose management has a significant interest in pedophilia, its promotion and protection.

  23. #23 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 9, 2014

    Bwahaha! I thought Hills couldn’t go downwards from using whale.to as a source, but Scudamore the pig farmer is the soul of reliability compared to Patimmy Bolen!

  24. #24 herr doktor bimler
    June 9, 2014

    I have no idea why you keep directing me to therapies I know nothing about and ask me to validate them?
    It seems a little late in the conversation for Johnny to suddenly feign ignorance of osteopathy.

  25. #25 Narad
    June 9, 2014

    Does it scare you that simple events like leaving the temperature alone and not using sexy high tech med equipment may be better than intervention?

    Where is the NICE Guideline, Philip Hills? You know, the one that supports this assertion:

    suppressing temperatures in acute illness directly leads to chronic illness

    It is already clear that you think that there is no such thing as a dangerous fever:

    It is in fact known that unless there is a hypothalamic disorder where the body temperature cannot be regulated, the fever will not be allowed to reach a temperature that is damaging to the human body, basically we do not boil ourselves….

    It is remarkable that you return with babbling about being “scared” and “shіtting your stethoscope” when you’re merely running away again to try to change the subject to vitamin C.

  26. #26 herr doktor bimler
    June 9, 2014

    Well like smearing steroids on kids with eczema or handing out steroid inhailers and doing nothing else about asthma.
    My sister had both eczema and asthma as a child. I can tell you for a fact that you are talking horse apples about how physicians treat these conditions.

    Smearing stuff on children is another of Johnny’s obsessions (one hesitates to wonder why). Here he was as “Shurma Wallace” at Skeptical Barista:

    What on earth is a ‘proper doctor’? Is that the man that smears your child with steroids telling you how to clear up that nasty skin condition that doesn’t tell you that the slippery slope down the atopic pathway starts here.

    (in the same thread, “Shurma” also mentions the ‘Cochraine fellowship” and an “Ashfar ruling” known only in osteopathy circles).

  27. #27 herr doktor bimler
    June 9, 2014

    Credit for introducing this “Ashfar ruling on informed consent” (a misspelling of Afshar’) into the osteopathy hivemind goes to one Howard Broadmore, in a 2007 article for the British Institute of Osteopathy. Thereafter it turns up in a Hope Osteopathy FB post, and from sockpuppets who can’t spell ‘Cochrane’. The Broadmore article is also Johnny Labile’s source for the “survival rates at Waterloo” story (Broadmore reprints a clipping from the Guardian but was evidently unable to read it properly).

  28. #28 Narad
    June 9, 2014

    Here is the bit about the AVN you left out.

    How drunk were you when you posted that? I only ask because nobody’s mentioned the AV(S)N. Were you trying to make an ass of yourself in two places at once and get confused?

  29. #29 herr doktor bimler
    June 9, 2014

    Where is the NICE Guideline, Philip Hills? You know, the one that supports this assertion:
    suppressing temperatures in acute illness directly leads to chronic illness

    The existence of a no-antipyrexic NICE guideline seems to be a tenet of faith among UK osteopaths — including the idea that meningitis is best left untreated. For instance, here:

    Children get infectious diseases at appropriate times to provoke a ‘healing crisis’ whereby they detoxify themselves. […] However, in order to effectively practice holistic medicine, and allow the ‘healing crisis’ to occur – often getting worse before getting better – we must be able to educate our patients and to manage their expectations
    …at least the writer there is telling the truth about educating osteopathy clients not to expect any effective treatment.

  30. #30 herr doktor bimler
    June 9, 2014

    The anti-vaccine article from the British Institute of Osteopathy is unsigned, because cowardice. Having misspelled ‘Afshar” as “Asfar” while providing legal advice, the author claims to be neutral (“My personal understanding of this subject is irrelevant to someone else making a choice and I would never advise anyone what decision to make”) while linking to Mercola, NVIC, an alt-health magazoid, and a UK-specific antivax site. Because dishonest sh1tweasel as well as cowardice.

  31. #31 Narad
    June 9, 2014

    Oh, but, hey, Philip, since you’re whoring around over there,* could you get Patty Bolen to issue an update about when Mark Geier is going to finish making Maryland “face the music“?** Or David Geier’s overturning that little practicing-medicine-without-a-license thing?*** Or his suit against the, er, “NVIC attorneys”? Patty never did follow through on the “I’ll be telling you this story shortly” line from a year ago that I can tell.

    * Number 18 for the year.
    ** No. 368510V.
    *** No. 374822V.

  32. #32 Narad
    June 9, 2014

    The existence of a no-antipyrexic NICE guideline seems to be a tenet of faith among UK osteopaths

    Oh, I know where one relevant guideline is,* but I’m waiting for Philip Hills’ one: “new (2009) NICE guidelines telling doctors not to dish out antipyretics to kids with fevers because … suppressing temperatures in acute illness directly leads to chronic illness.”

    All the 2009 guidelines are here.

    * Punatr “1…7/4…9/fnzr.cqs” nobir gb “14171/63908/zhgngvf-zhgnaqvf.cqs”.

  33. #33 Narad
    June 9, 2014

    The anti-vaccine article from the British Institute of Osteopathy is unsigned, because cowardice.

    Regrettably, this item seems nowhere to be found:

    “Interestingly some years ago I wrote an article for the BOA magazine entitled ‘the context of adverse reactions.’ It was a response to an IJOM article where I believe the Australian osteopathic org had tried to draw up a list of adverse reactions to osteopathic treatment. It included fever, diarrhoea and vomiting and my article was a critique of this ridiculous position.

    “This could be taken to imply that provoking an immune reaction, or healing crisis in your patient, as a result of your treatment might lead to you being effectively struck off for mal practice!”

  34. #34 Narad
    June 9, 2014

    Compare-and-contrast time with the unsigned piece.

    Unsigned: “In 2009 Jayne [Donegal] was asked to be an expert witness in a high court case where two parents had split up, one wanted vaccination for the child but the other didn’t…. After losing round one on a technicality the GMC finally lost and was forced to concede that the High Court ruling on this issue was based on the sound up to date evidence that Jayne had provided in her court report.

    “The High Court ruling was that vaccination was not in the best interests of the child. This ruling was on the GMC website for a number of weeks before it was taken off.”

    One might note that this story, as told, is entirely incoherent. Why would the GMC be involved in a parental dispute? Oh, wait, somebody got it into their head that she was bringing the profession into disrepute. And the GMC found there was nothing to the charge (n.b. the correction). Yet, contrary to the anonymous author’s claim, the mother(s) lost.

  35. #35 Militant Agnostic
    June 9, 2014

    However, in order to effectively practice holistic medicine, and allow the ‘healing crisis’ to occur – often getting worse before getting better

    The trick appears to be surviving the “healing crisis”. I assume that if the patient does not pull this off it is their own damn fault. At any rate there have been no complaints from those who did not survive the healing crisis.

  36. #36 herr doktor bimler
    June 9, 2014

    one Howard Broadmore, in a 2007 article for the British Institute of Osteopathy
    Broadmore’s omnium-gatherum of loosely connected thoughts contains an earlier recension of the “mumps prevents ovarian cancer” story. He promised more details in a forthcoming article on osteopathy and cancer, which to date remains unpublished.

  37. #37 Narad
    June 10, 2014

    Side note: Since Philip Hills has seen fit to try to drain Perryani Boilen here, I’ve brought the RECAP docket for Doctor’s Data v. Barrett current.

  38. #38 ChrisP
    June 10, 2014

    Howard Beardmore is the British Institute of Osteopathy.

  39. #39 Krebiozen
    June 10, 2014

    I suppose you would sh*t your stethoscope watching this short film, let’s see how you diss this.

    I note the evasive change of subject, but I’ve seen this before, with no adverse effects on my digestive system.

    Firstly, I think it’s ironic that the patient in this video was initially ill with influenza, which could have been prevented by a vaccine. Or was it just a ‘normal physiological adaptation to environment’ that nearly killed him? It’s odd that he was also diagnosed with leukemia; perhaps this has something to do with his unusual presentation, and subsequent unexpected recovery.

    Was his ‘miraculous’ recovery anything to do with vitamin C? We don’t know. He had been turned into the prone position, in the hope this would help him to clear gunk from his lungs, just before the vitamin C was administered, which may have had something to do with it. How would IV vitamin C immediately start to clear someone’s lungs? There is evidence for vitamin C deficiency in chronically ill patients, and in these cases administration of vitamin C may be beneficial, but since ITU patients are routinely given relatively large amounts of vitamin C anyway, it seems unlikely in this case.

    IV vitamin C is hugely popular in CAM circles, so why don’t we see more of these miracle cure tales? If there were dozens of them I would start to get more curious.

    It does seem the hospital were premature in wanting to pull the plug in this case, but sadly this does happen. If you have a limited number of life support machines, you have to pick and choose which patients are most likely to benefit. A patient who appears to have complete lung failure, and leukemia, who hasn’t improved in weeks and is very unlikely to improve in the future probably doesn’t fit the criteria for life support.

  40. #40 Krebiozen
    June 10, 2014

    However, in order to effectively practice holistic medicine, and allow the ‘healing crisis’ to occur – often getting worse before getting better – we must be able to educate our patients and to manage their expectations

    In other words, we must be able to p!ss on patients and convince them it’s raining.

  41. #41 herr doktor bimler
    June 10, 2014

    we must be able to p!ss on patients and convince them it’s raining

    Burzynski’s career in a nutshell.

  42. #42 Vaughn
    June 10, 2014

    “I suppose you would shit your stethoscope watching this short film”

    There’s your problem – you have been seriously misled about where a stethoscope is supposed to go. Once you take it out, your life may have one fewer pleasure, but you’ll probably be able to concentrate better, and learn some real science.

  43. #43 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 10, 2014

    By the way, “Memphis O’Brain” is a surprisingly good alternate screen name. I may keep it. Thanks.

  44. #44 Narad
    June 12, 2014

    There’s your problem – you have been seriously misled about where a stethoscope is supposed to go.

    I had been meaning to use this at some point, but it appears that Philip’s last tantrum was grade A projection.

  45. #45 biblia
    winter
    June 12, 2014

    Hi Krebiozen, I’m fairly sure the patient in that vid became ill during the first wave of H1N1 in the southern hemisphere, before a vaccine was available. Some of the bloggers at Sciblogs were critical about the unscientific approach and lack of balance on the show. Alas, it remains a rally point for many Kiwi alt medders (meddlers?) See! those ebil doctors were going to let him die!

  46. #46 Krebiozen
    June 13, 2014

    Hi biblia,

    Hi Krebiozen, I’m fairly sure the patient in that vid became ill during the first wave of H1N1 in the southern hemisphere, before a vaccine was available.

    You’re quite right. According to my reading he contracted H1N1 influenza in June 2009, which was before a vaccine was available anywhere. However, he might have been afforded some protection from H1N1 if he had influenza vaccines (or had survived influenza) in previous years.

    The likes of Labile claim, when it suits them, that infectious diseases such as influenza, are ‘normal physiological adaptation to environment’ that simply require rest and a good diet for a full recovery, and that vaccines are unnecessary. When someone is actually seriously ill with such a disease, they criticize doctors for doing exactly what they say will allow the body to heal – I don’t know how else you can describe an induced coma with all nutritional requirements (and more*) provided – and demand that doctors administer massive doses of IV vitamin C, which is about as unnatural as you can get.

    Personally I would like to see more research on higher than usual doses of vitamin C, especially in very sick patients who often have very blood concentrations. I think the evidence does support its use in specific circumstances (for example here) but only in doses high enough to restore normal plasma levels.

    The evidence for the benefits of doses of hundreds of grams of ascorbate per day, to increase plasma levels above normal is limited, at best. The risks are minimal, but do exist; excreting large amounts of anything can cause problems in patients with renal impairment. As I wrote above, where is the evidence from alternative practitioners who are using IV ascorbate? Whether negative or positive, it would be useful to see this.

    Looking at this case reminded me how the CAM brigade routinely describe the H1N1 pandemic as a debacle or a scam, and claim that hardly anyone was killed by the disease. Recent estimates suggest that globally more than half a million people died of H1N1.

    * A few years ago an ITU nurse in the UK told me that patients are routinely given gram quantities of vitamin C in their feeds, though I have been unable to confirm this.

  47. #47 herr doktor bimler
    June 13, 2014

    I had been meaning to use this at some point, but it appears that Philip’s last tantrum was grade A projection.

    Which brings to mind another highlight of “Johnny Labile”‘s trolling career. Sometimes, as noted, he likes to style himself as “sarah007”, or as “nancy”. So it was inevitable that he would complain that:

    sometimes people pretend to alter their gender so it looks more softy/hard

    (this came as an addendum to his speculation that UK skeptic blogger Josephine Jones was really “a lady boy”).

  48. #48 Johnny still not Hill Labile
    June 16, 2014

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTXSTGGRvKY

    Still find it remarkable that the Kreb cycle managed to watch this and forgot that the family had to take the ‘proper doctors’ to court to get an injunction to force them to give the patient vitamin C intravenously. And then the ‘proper doctors’, against the wishes of the patient’s family withdrew the vitamin C and the patient went down.

    It was only removing the patient from the big critical care unit to a smaller provincial hospice that enabled the family to get him back on the large doses.

    Your septic myopia would be funny if it wasn’t so dangerous. It’s laughable that the tube fed patient was ‘probably’ getting vit C so by default the ‘proper doctors’ sussed it really.

    Science isn’t about taking sides, it is about looking at what is happening, you cannot divide the world into pro or alt med, that kind of dualism died out with Descartes.

  49. #49 Narad
    June 16, 2014

    Have you found the “new (2009) NICE guidelines telling doctors not to dish out antipyretics to kids with fevers because … suppressing temperatures in acute illness directly leads to chronic illness” yet?

  50. #50 Johnny still not Hill labile
    June 16, 2014

    Well yes but you still haven’t obviously. Try adjusting the septomiter filter.

  51. #51 Narad
    June 16, 2014

    Well yes but you still haven’t obviously.

    I take it you missed the part where I provided the relevant guideline. Now, I’m waiting for yours.

  52. #52 Krebiozen
    Citric acid is OK so send for more oranges
    June 16, 2014

    Labile,

    Still find it remarkable that the Kreb cycle managed to watch this and forgot that the family had to take the ‘proper doctors’ to court to get an injunction to force them to give the patient vitamin C intravenously.

    Since the ‘proper doctors’ could be sued for negligence if they gave a treatment that was not part of standard care and something went badly wrong, I can understand their reluctance.

    And then the ‘proper doctors’, against the wishes of the patient’s family withdrew the vitamin C and the patient went down.

    Perhaps, we only have the family’s word for this, and even if it’s true, it doesn’t mean the vitamin C had anything at all to do with it.

    It was only removing the patient from the big critical care unit to a smaller provincial hospice that enabled the family to get him back on the large doses.

    As far as I can ascertain that’s not true, the next hospital also objected to giving him an unproven and potentially dangerous treatment, but eventually agreed to smaller doses which the family supplemented with liposomal ascorbate by mouth.

    Your septic myopia would be funny if it wasn’t so dangerous. It’s laughable that the tube fed patient was ‘probably’ getting vit C so by default the ‘proper doctors’ sussed it really.

    All ITU patients are given at least 100 milligrams of ascorbate in their feeds daily, and often much more. There is evidence that patients deficient in vitamin C do better with supplementation, but in those who aren’t deficient it makes no difference. A patient who has been on ITU for three weeks is unlikely to be vitamin C deficient. I see nothing laughable about that.

    Science isn’t about taking sides, it is about looking at what is happening, you cannot divide the world into pro or alt med, that kind of dualism died out with Descartes.

    Science is about not getting fooled by cognitive biases; the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy in this case. This patient was turned into the prone position shortly before he showed signs of improvement. How do you know that this wasn’t the cause of his improvement? Which is more likely to be the cause of this man’s recovery, IV vitamin C which has apparently only ever had this miraculous effect on this one occasion, or turning the patient which has been shown to be beneficial in clinical trials (I linked to one earlier, you might have noticed)?

    I agree that there is only one kind of medicine, medicine that has been proven to work. The rest is quackery.

  53. #53 Krebiozen
    June 16, 2014

    “Citric acid is OK so send for more oranges”, by the way, is a mnemonic I use to recall Krebs Cycle, which someone might find useful:
    Citric = citric acid
    acid = aconitate
    is = isocitric acid
    OK = alpha-ketoglutarate
    You still have to memorize the enzymes and side reactions, but it’s a helpful start.
    so = succinyl-CoA
    send = succinic acid
    for = fumaric acid
    more = malic acid
    oranges = oxaloacetate

  54. #54 herr doktor bimler
    June 16, 2014

    It was only removing the patient from the big critical care unit to a smaller provincial hospice

    For anyone interested in reality, Waikato Hospital is not a “smaller provincial hospice”.

  55. #55 Narad
    June 17, 2014

    And over at ERV he’s “buckthetrend”. He’s a busy wee dude.

    For completists, add ‘buckthetrendi.

    Miscellaneous entry:

    That Xjus comment reminds me of the crazy anti-vaccine guy from a couple of months back who also kept addressing people that don’t have anything to do with this site.

  56. #56 Narad
    June 17, 2014

    And… “optimus prime,” “nobbly,” “bucker,” “buckthewowser,” and “bouquet.”

    40 years of study by the cold and flu unit failed to prove the contagen theory of flu, the idea only exists in the mythology of pubmedists and medical peer reviewists.

  57. #57 Narad
    June 17, 2014

    I present you with: “swingvalse.” And the YouTube channel he rode in on.

  58. #58 Narad
    June 17, 2014

    ^ Although I could swear the guitar angle came up before.

  59. #59 Narad
    June 17, 2014

    Impressively, it looks as though “Dwarky is a system bot” was deployed twice, but “weebeehealthy.com” is toast.

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