When last we left Andrew Wakefield, hero to the antivaccine movement, he was a headliner on the Conspira-Sea Cruise, a cruise filled with conspiracy theorists, crop circle chasers, cranks, quacks, and antivaccine activists. It was a huge come down from his formerly exalted position as chief spokesman and “scientist” for the antivaccine movement, a position he enjoyed for many years before he was struck off (i.e., had his medical license stripped from him) in the UK and later had his scientific fraud documented so thoroughly by investigative reporter Brian Deer. Since then, it’s all been downhill. In January, it looked as though Wakefield had hit bottom.

Maybe he did, because, unfortunately, things appear to be looking up for him, at least somewhat. Here’s what I mean. Regular readers might remember my mentioning the documentary Andrew Wakefield was working on. It was going to be about the latest conspiracy theory coming out of the fever swamp of antivaccine pseudoscience, the so-called “CDC Whistleblower” William W. Thompson. Thompson, as you recall, is a the CDC scientist who complained to Brian Hooker, a biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivaccine epidemiologist, that the analysis of important study done by his colleagues at the CDC in 2004 and him (DeStefano et al) was manipulated to hide a real positive result correlating MMR vaccination with autism in African-Americans. As I said at the time, Hooker’s “reanalysis” of the DeStefano et al study basically proved Andrew Wakefield wrong in that, other than for a very small subgroup, there wasn’t a hint of a whiff of a whisper of a positive correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism, and the one seemingly positive result was almost certainly spurious. It was only because of Hooker’s utter incompetence at epidemiology and statistics that he foolishly inferred an actual result from his “reanalysis.”

Because this story seemed to confirm what I like to call the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement, namely that the CDC or other government agencies “knew” that vaccines cause autism but hid it from the people. Of course, only antivaccine activists are not “sheeple.” Only they know The Truth. Only they have figured the conspiracy out. Only they are not sheeple. And now Andrew Wakefield has made a movie about it, called Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe.

It’s going to premiere in New York on April 24. And, get this. It’s going to be featured in the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. Here’s its description on the Tribeca Film Festival website, which describes the film and points out that it’s in the “Tribeca Talks After the Movie” section, meaning there will be a discussion with the filmmakers afterwards. You read that right. Andrew Wakefield had an antivaccine film accepted by the Tribeca Film Festival. That’s why I said things might be looking up for him.

Here’s the trailer:

The film is described thusly on the Vaxxed website:

In 2014, biologist Dr. Brian Hooker received a call from a Senior Scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who led the agency’s 2004 study on the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and its link to autism. The scientist, Dr. William Thompson, confessed that the CDC had omitted crucial data in their final report that revealed a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Over several months, Dr. Hooker records the phone calls made to him by Dr. Thompson who provides the confidential data destroyed by his colleagues at the CDC. Dr. Hooker enlists the help of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist falsely accused of starting the anti-vax movement when he first reported in 1998 that the MMR vaccine may cause autism. In his ongoing effort to advocate for children’s health, Wakefield directs this documentary examining the evidence behind an appalling cover-up committed by the government agency charged with protecting the health of American citizens. Interviews with pharmaceutical insiders, doctors, politicians, and parents of vaccine-injured children reveal an alarming deception that has contributed to the skyrocketing increase of autism and potentially the most catastrophic epidemic of our lifetime.

Hoo boy. The trailer, as you might expect, is a greatest hits of “CDC Whistleblower” nonsense, beginning with a reenactment of Brian Hooker receiving a phone call form William Thompson and then a “medical journalist” Del Bigtree starts bloviating about how Thompson told Hooker that the his coauthors, Frank DeStefano et al, had committed scientific fraud in its analysis of the data for their study. Of course, we all know now that nothing of the sort happened and that Thompson never accused his co-authors of fraud, at least not explicitly, although he sure did make it sound as though there was something not quite on the up and up about the way they analyzed their data. Unfortunately, conspiracy-friendly journalists ate it up. Meanwhile Hooker’s “reanalysis” was so bad that the paper reporting it was retracted, even by a new journal.

Particularly deceptive is a segment that occurs around 1:22 in the trailer, a cartoon that depicts a large syringe with green liquid in it in surrounding a girl with a Teddy Bear, clearly meant to represent a vaccine, presumably the MMR given the whole focus on the “CDC Whistleblower.” Of course, as I pointed out before, among Caucasian girls, even Brian Hooker couldn’t torture the data to make them confess to a correlation between vaccinating girls and an increased risk of autism. Why didn’t the filmmaker choose to put an African-American boy in the syringe? After all, when Brian Hooker tortured the data, all he could get them to confess to was a correlation in a subset of African-American boys? Perhaps the filmmaker considered the image of the white girl with a Teddy Bear more palatable for a trailer than that of an African-American boy for the audience for which this documentary is intended.

Yes, I went there. I make no apologies.

True, later in the trailer children of all races are shown, but that seems to be just a means to imply that Hooker’s results are generalizable beyond African-American boys. Even if they were real results, based on sound statistical analysis, Hooker found no link in any other subgroup besides one group of African-American boys. Of course, they’re almost certainly not real, and I’ve discussed why on many occasions before. Basically, the filmmaker is making a blatantly obvious attempt to take a single result from an incompetent “reanalysis” of DeStefano et al and suggest to the audience that the results apply to the children of the intended audience for the film.

Then, to my surprise, Dr. Jim Sears shows up at around the 2:00 mark, thus shattering any of his claims that he isn’t antivaccine yet again. (Usually it’s “Dr. Bob” Sears who’s spewing the antivaccine misinformation.) After all, you don’t appear in a movie directed by Andrew Wakefield saying that Wakefield was right after all if you have a shred of scientific knowledge—or dignity—left or if you are not at least antivaccine-sympathetic, if not outright antivaccine. Sears is followed by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), whose swallowing of the misinformation promoted by Hooker and Thompson helped perpetuate the whole “CDC whistleblower” urban myth. He’s rapidly followed by Stephanie Seneff, someone with no expertise in epidemiology who thinks she can do autism epidemiology. Hilariously (to me), she claims that, if we extrapolate current trends, by 2032 80% of boys will be autistic. What’s particularly silly is that Seneff isn’t even an MMR crank. She’s a GMO crank, the author of a risibly bad paper blaming autism on glyphosate and another blaming it on aluminum adjuvants.

Upon learning about this film, my one question was this: How on earth did Wakefield get this film accepted by the Tribeca Film Festival? After all, this isn’t just any film festival, like the festival that accepted Eric Merola’s paean to the cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski three years ago. Its submission requirements are clear, and the festival regularly attracts renowned filmmakers and actors. In 2006 and 2007, the festival received 8,600 submissions and only had 1,500 screenings. This year, the festival will feature actors and actresses like Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, and the cast and crew of Taxi Driver, as well as acclaimed directors like J.J. Abrams, Jodie Foster, Baz Luhrmann, and Alfonso Cuarón. Also participating will be Patti Smith, Idina Menzel, and Francis Ford Coppola, Ricky Gervais, Katie Couric, David Byrne, and Anthony Bourdain. This is not B-list stuff. It’s at least A-list and above.

So, knowing that, once again, I ask: How on earth did this documentary full of antivaccine lies whose filmmaking isn’t even particularly impressive, if the trailer is any indication, get into Tribeca? Not being a filmmaker myself or particularly privy to the film selection process, I could only look around. I found one particularly revealing blog post buy a filmmaker that explains how this travesty might have happened:

Simply put, the festival submission process is the filmmaking equivalent to the lottery. Worse actually, because at least all lottery ticket buyers are playing on the same level. Do you think every film that submits to a festival gets equal consideration? You don’t? Good, I would hate to be the one to throw that bucket of cold water on you.

He continues:

I won’t pretend to know all the inner workings of the selection process but many films that get in get in do so through back channels, who-knows-who and sometimes even through bribery – friendly and playful bribery, but bribery none-the-less. Many films get selected after screening at a major festival or because the star of the film has connections. There is no way to compete with that. None. My very favorite story was reading an interview with the festival director of the 2009 South-by-Southwest Film Festival joking that she was thrilled a film she acted in was selected. She would have to be one hell of a great actress to make me believe she was really surprised.

So let’s see. The founders of the Tribeca Film Festival are Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff. Could there be a link? Robert De Niro, for instance, has hosted events with Autism Speaks. In the past, Autism Speaks caught deserved flak for being very sympathetic to the view that vaccines cause autism, although of late Bob and Suzanne Wright were never as much on the side of the vaccine-autism concept as their daughter Katie. In any case, Robert De Niro is known to have a son with special needs, but I could not find any evidence that he’s ever publicly said anything that could be interpreted as antivaccine. So it could just be that with hundreds of films accepted and thousands submitted Andrew Wakefield got lucky. Or maybe there was an antivaccine-sympathetic reviewer who saw his film. There’s really no way of knowing, and there certainly are lots of other people involved with organizing the film festival who might have given Wakefield some special consideration. It’s not as though there aren’t a lot of actors, actresses, and filmmakers out there who are antivaccine-sympathetic, if not outright antivaccine. One can only hope that the organizers can be embarrassed, because they should be.

Here’s another possible explanation. During a talk on the Conspira-Sea Cruise Andrew Wakefield claimed that Leonardo DiCaprio was promoting his film and that DiCaprio and his father were “going to put all their efforts behind it,” although he denied that he had made that claim when interviewed later in the cruise. If Wakefield’s claim is true, one can’t help but wonder. DiCaprio and De Niro have known each other since DiCaprio was 15, when they worked together in DiCaprio’s first major film. Could this be how Wakefield’s propaganda piece was selected for Tribeca? Again. there’s no way of knowing, but it’s hard not to speculate that, if what Wakefield let slip is true, DiCaprio might have had a word with his buddy or just used his star power to “suggest” Wakefield’s film. If true, it would explain a lot. Certainly DiCaprio wouldn’t be the first famous environmentalist to extend his beliefs to include antivaccine pseudoscience about “toxins.” (I’m talking to you, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.) Unfortunately, I don’t have the resources or skill set to investigate further. Maybe someone else does.

By whatever means Wakefield’s film was accepted for the Tribeca Film Festival, through someone in the festival with power to influence film selection who is sympathetic to the antivaccine message, an antivaccine-sympathetic star putting a good word in to the festival organizers, or through sheer, dumb luck (it almost certainly wasn’t due to the quality of his filmmaking, if the trailer is any indication), you can count on antivaccine propagandists milking this selection for all it’s worth. (Indeed, the antivaccine crank collective at Age of Autism are very happy.) At the very least, it’s a propaganda coup for Wakefield. I’m sure this is by no means the worst or most offensive film ever selected for the Tribeca Film Festival or another major festival, but it’s certainly one that has the potential to do the most harm to public health. However they selected Wakefield’s documentary, the organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival have screwed up big time and given antivaccine a big, fat piece of propaganda to scare parents into not vaccinating.

ADDENDUM: Jezebel has picked up the story, and Anna Merlan reached out to the film’s publicist. Here’s the denial she got again:

Vaxxed is being represented by a company called Lighthouse Public Relations. We spoke with Dawna Schuman of Lighthouse today, who again denied that Leonardo DiCaprio is involved with promoting the film in any way.

That said, she added, “There’s been people who have supported it. A lot of people have liked the idea of the film. Nobody’s lent their name publicly to the film.”

That’s going to change at the Tribeca screening, Schuman added: “There is celebrity support and they’ll be attending in New York.”

OK, NYC Skeptics and any skeptics in the NYC area: You need to attend. Besides asking skeptical questions, you can report on which celebrities show up for this screening. My guess is that they’ll be on the order of Jenny McCarthy or Rob Schneider, as the really big name celebrities could just ask for a screener and almost certainly get it, but it never hurts to watch.

Comments

  1. #1 Joan Campbell
    United Kingdom
    March 24, 2016

    Lucy says
    “The reason why the debate won’t go away is because of repeat parental observation — which should be recorded as points of qualitative data– that their children’s functions regress following the vaccinations”
    Exactly my point thank you Lucy I have collected over 1,300 parents voices of vaccine injury and they all say the same thing that the child/children regressed after vaccines (all types) This list is just the tip of the iceberg and the pharma companies know the dangers in their products but do nothing about it. In the words of Thomas Hardy “may their dirty souls be cremeted in hell”
    http://www.followingvaccinations.com

  2. #2 Jacck
    United States
    March 24, 2016

    bla blah blah this “blogger” is a moron

  3. #3 Delphine
    Flintcomb-Ash
    March 24, 2016

    “may their dirty souls be cremeted (sic) in hell”

    He didn’t say that, though. In Tess of the d’Urbervilles, a character does say, “may their dirty souls be burnt to cinders!”

    But Hardy himself didn’t say it.

    It’s not even the most glaring thing you’re wrong about, just the one that irritates me.

  4. #4 JP
    March 24, 2016

    In the words of Thomas Hardy “may their dirty souls be cremeted in hell”

    I believe, technically speaking, that the cremation happens before one goes wherever one allegedly goes. I’m not sure about this, but my dad was cremated, and I was never visited by his ghost except in some dreams.

    Personally I am hoping for a funeral pyre, after which not much would be left in the way of ashes.

  5. #5 herr doktor bimler
    March 24, 2016

    I have collected over 1,300 parents voices of vaccine injury

    There are parents whose special snowflake children have turned out to be less than perfect, and who have found a convenient scapegoat. I think we knew that.

  6. #6 Delphine
    March 24, 2016

    Joan’s mistake does point out a flaw central to anti-vaxxers, though. It took me all of 30 seconds to verify that a. Hardy didn’t say this b. a character in Tess did and c. what Joan mistakenly attributes to Hardy is not even what he had his character say.

    I knew that Hardy didn’t say this because I once wrote about seventeen million essays on Thomas Hardy and it didn’t strike me as something he would utter for posterity.

    But I know, you’ve all “done your research” and it’s impeccable…and you repeat what you hear and especially what you read from fellow “researchers”….you don’t know your limitations enough to understand that you don’t know what you don’t know.

    The “physics” example upthread, f’irinstance….

  7. #7 Chris
    March 24, 2016

    Ms. Campbell: “Exactly my point thank you Lucy I have collected over 1,300 parents voices of vaccine injury and they all say the same thing that the child/children regressed after vaccines (all types) ”

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    I am still waiting for which one out of four different MMR vaccines were being studied in Wakefield’s now retracted 1998 case series.

  8. #8 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    March 24, 2016

    I stand corrected, and would like to amend my comment to read “randomized placebo controlled double blind study of the entire vaccine schedule IRT autism and every other known and unknown malady”, which seems to be what Ms. Johnson would like.

    I’d still like to know which conference Ms. Johnson was at last year, the topic that was under debate between scientist, and also if the debate was a scheduled event.

  9. #9 Vanessa
    March 24, 2016

    Get over yourself Orac. It’s a documentary, let the people decide. Besides, the medical and pharmaceutical industries, include the CDC are corrupt, bought and paid for. Why else would there be mandates for vaccines like Hep B, chicken pox and HPV?

  10. #10 Joan Campbell
    United Kingdom
    March 24, 2016

    Fair point, I remembered wrongly and put my own spin on what I thought he had written in Tess of the d’Urbervilles, a beautifully well written work by Thomas Hardy, so Tess’s words are his words lol

  11. #11 Delphine
    March 24, 2016

    so Tess’s words are his words lol

    Still wrong, Joan. Tess doesn’t say what you wrote, and she doesn’t say “may their dirty souls be burnt to cinders!” either. It’s another character in Tess who says it. It would take you 30 seconds to look this up on the internet. But you seem to want to insist on repeating something that is incorrect.

  12. #12 herr doktor bimler
    March 24, 2016

    The “physics” example upthread, f’irinstance…

    It was Lucy Johnson who attributes the definition of kinetic energy to Newton, and thinks it was invalidated by mass/energy equivalence.

  13. #13 Chris
    March 24, 2016

    I love it when they try to show us their “brilliance” and fail miserably.

  14. #14 Delphine
    March 24, 2016

    Yes, herr doktor, we have two keen examples of Dunning-Kruger on this thread. I’m wondering if Newton and Hardy are having a joint point-and-laugh session.

  15. #15 Narad
    March 24, 2016

    It’s not even the most glaring thing you’re wrong about, just the one that irritates me.

    Argument by aphorism has a predictable tendency of blowing up in slobovonoid faces, but the antivaccine brigade is close to 199 proof in this market.

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    March 24, 2016

    Delphine writes about (@ # 206) what I’ve discovered :
    alties mis-quote, mis-attribute, confuse numbers or people, and then INSIST on their correctness.

    I especially enjoy that this example is from Hardy- since I know this stuff well enough to realise that what she said doesn’t even *sound* like his writing.

    I have collected a few examples via prn.fm that others may enjoy:
    – the host insisted that a certain duel took place at an island near his childhood home when all those who study history know that the famous duel took place near a cliff ( hundreds of miles away). In truth, the survivor of the duel later had something to do with the island.
    – cats can be vegans and thrive!
    – El NIno is pronounced “el nino” as an English speaker would say it.
    – Parts of the brain and neurotransmitters can be mispronounced.

    Adams mostly humiliates himself with his vamping on themes involving physics and cognition psych.
    Even worse at AoA and TMR.

  17. #17 Kathy Young
    United States
    March 24, 2016

    I am so thankful for doctors that continue to tell the truth about the dangers of vaccines despite risk to their lives and career. Kudos to all who helped make this film. Anyone trusting the CDC, FDA and Big Pharma at this point in time, is either getting paid to speak for them, or seriously manipulated and brainwashed. Period. Do your own research.

  18. #18 Chris
    March 25, 2016

    Ms. Young: “I am so thankful for doctors that continue to tell the truth about the dangers of vaccines despite risk to their lives and career”

    Oh, please do share the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that told about the dangers of vaccines given to you by those brave doctors. Obviously they gave you several sheets of papers with those studies to counteract the dozens discussed on this blog over that last decade.

    Come on, give us those studies. The PMIDs would be sufficient.

    ‘Do your own research.”

    I did that. Do you really want me to express my true opinion on the matter? Or do you want to provide the actual evidence that my opinion is flawed? Come on, prove that we are wrong… provide the true verifiable evidence from real scientists who are not paid by the Dwoskin Family Foundation, SafeMinds, Mr. Belkin, NVIC, Autism Speaks or other pro-disease entities.

  19. #19 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 25, 2016

    Get over yourself Orac. It’s a documentary, let the people decide.
    Oh FFS, and where does Orac order any of his readers to let him decide for them? By the way, “documentary” is a rather lofty category for another one of Wakefraud’s grifts. Just in the trailer he doctored the recordings of Thompson.

    Besides, the medical and pharmaceutical industries, include the CDC are corrupt, bought and paid for. Why else would there be mandates for vaccines like Hep B, chicken pox and HPV?

    Oh I don’t know…maybe so children won’t get and spread Hep B, Chicken Pox and HPV sparing them from suffering and possibly severe sequelae?

  20. #20 sadmar
    March 25, 2016

    I don’t know what caused my depression. I now understand it could have been the water-memory of a substance left on Earth in 666BC by shape-shifting lizard-like aiiens that found it’s way into a cup of Dr. Pepper I drank in the Hopkins Theater during a Saturday matinee of ‘Abbot and Costello Go To Mars’ in 1965. I was fine before that, but by the time my Mom picked me up, the light in my soul had just gone out. Knowing this is a great comfort to me. So, if you ever feel like a Pepper, you should get Mr. Pibb instead, just in case.

  21. #21 capnkrunch
    March 25, 2016

    I can understand people not getting the science. It worries me, but I get it. What I don’t get is the unquestioning trust of provably dishonest Fraudy-pants.

    Even if you think he was set up by Brian Deer, Bill Gates and the WHO the trailer deceitfully splices together quotes that change the meaning of Thompson’s words. The kicker is that this can be proven because they published the transcripts in a book. This is not a “he said, she said” situation bettlween AVers and us. It is strictly an internal inconsistency.

    But these inconsistencies must be ignored at all costs, because arrogance forbids them from being wrong.

  22. #22 Delphine
    summertime rolls
    March 25, 2016

    because arrogance forbids them from being wrong

    Yes, that, and what Denice wrote: alties mis-quote, mis-attribute, confuse numbers or people, and then INSIST on their correctness.

    Joan Campbell provides us with a perfect example. She attributes a quote to someone who said no such thing. When corrected she admits she “put her own spin” on it but still tries to incorrectly attribute a quote that never was.

    The problem with this sh1t in anti-vaxx land is that it frequently goes unchallenged, gets sucked up, repeated as truth, over and over. It becomes their reality, whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter. And if you call them on it, they simply cannot admit that they are wrong.

    I can understand people not getting the science — I am no scientist, I don’t always get it myself. But I know when I’m over my head and I trust the actual folk who do indeed comprehend the science.

  23. #23 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 25, 2016

    I can understand people not getting the science. It worries me, but I get it. What I don’t get is the unquestioning trust of provably dishonest Fraudy-pants.

    I think I can offer my very layperson* reasoning for this. These parents desperately need to believe in the narrative they crafted to explain their child’s less-than-perfection. Truth be told, physicians weren’t terribly responsive or receptive dealing with autistic children, especially those who are non-verbal. Wakefield is a slick, smooth-talking physician who exudes empathy and gives lofty promises to fight to the death for their children. And that’s pretty much it; he is nice to them, makes them pretty promises and has a terrific martyr image all in the name of their children. As cliché as it may be, he’s their knight in shining armour. Notice his appeal to mainly women for some odd reason or perhaps the one I explained.

    *lest the lovely Ms. Walter smacks me silly for proffering up amateur (or worse) psychoanalysis.

  24. #24 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2016

    anyone asking perfectly reasonable questions is slurred before they even open their mouths or put pen to paper.</i/

    When *my* perfectly reasonable questions are slurred, it is Nature's way of telling me to stop drinking.

  25. #25 Julian Frost
    South Africa
    March 25, 2016

    I have collected over 1,300 parents voices of vaccine injury and they all say the same thing that the child/children regressed after vaccines (all types)

    Late to the party (I know), but I wish to point out that upthread I mentioned the case of Michelle Cedillo, one of the Test Cases for the Omnibus Autism Proceedings. Her parents were adamant that the MMR had caused her autism, and presented video of Michelle at 15 months old as supporting evidence. An expert in autism was able to prove that Michelle was already displaying autistic behaviour at 15 months, and that her parents were unconsciously adjusting their behaviour towards her.
    The Cedillos lost the case and appealed the verdict. They lost, and appealed again with the same result. Despite this, they are still convinced that vaccines caused Michelle’s autism.
    The fact that people fervently believe something doesn’t make it true.

  26. #26 LouV
    France
    March 25, 2016

    For all those who say “It’s a documentary, let the people decide.” :
    “It’s a documentary who is only going to tell one side of the story, repeat lies long debunked and quote people out of context ad nauseam.” FTFY
    While pharma corruption is a problem, fighting against it with glaringly inaccurate information is not terribly constructive.
    So of course people can go see this documentary ; in the meantime, we are going to criticize it so that people can really decide.
    The other side of the story, from the pro-vax point of view : http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com/2014/09/mmr-cdc-and-brian-hooker-media-guide.html

  27. #27 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2016

    Get over yourself Orac. It’s a documentary, let the people decide.

    Get over yourself Vanessa. Respectful Insolence is a blog, let the people decide.

  28. #28 Kathy Young
    United States
    March 25, 2016

    @ Chris: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964337/

  29. #30 Kathy Young
    USA
    March 25, 2016

    THE US GOVERNMENT HAS PAID OUT $3 BILLION TO VACCINE-INJURED AMERICANS SINCE 1989 http://www.thedailysheeple.com/government-has-paid-out-3-billion-to-vaccine-injured-americans-since-1989_022015

  30. #31 LouV
    France
    March 25, 2016

    @Ms. Young
    Quoting Marcia Angell, who is strongly pro-vaccination, does not play in your favor in a debate on this subject. She is far more POed at “me-too” drugs and regrets vaccines aren’t more available.
    Also, do you sincerely think that she and other known critics of scientific journals (Horton or Ioannidis for example) advocates completely discarding scientific studies ?

    And as for the “3 billion $” claim, it completely ignores the real number of claims compensated compared to the number of vaccine doses given.
    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2016/03/if-vaccines-are-safe-why-has-the-us-gov-paid-out-3-billion-to-vaccine-injured-families.html

  31. #32 Lucy Johnson
    United Kingdom
    March 25, 2016

    To Herr Doctor at 212: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_energy
    Yup there it is, Newtonion Kinetic Energy. And was I wrong in my understanding of Eistines development and the relationship between Ek = 0.5m(v squared) and E = m (c squared)? Please, I haven’t had enough mansplaining today. I’ll wait. Speaking of which:

    <<>>

    Not at all. Not if it is done, first, for example, on primate populations. 🙂

    In fact there are many ways to do such a study. Such as keeping ONE cohort on the schedule as it was in 1977, and giving one cohort the maximum vaccination schedules (lets take the UK, it was in a British context I asked for that study). This means that BOTH cohorts get some vaccinations, therefore the population remains vaccinated, and the efficacy and safety of the post-1990 vaccinations are test. In other words, test the cognitive process of a Gen X vaccination schedule against a Gen Y vaccination schedule. And test everything, especially neurological function and autoimmunity (asthma etc).

    It would be really interesting to see the result of that study. Then, when the study is over and we conclude that the Gen Y schedule is fine (but still double blind and randomised, still the Gold standard) you offer everyone on the Gen Y schedule the rest of the vaccines. No ethics problems there.

    There are many ways the studies can be designed to help safeguard ethics.

    But you know what IS unethical? Refusing to offer families with medical histories of autoimmunity and autism alternative vaccination schedules for their children because of a political reason.

    But thank you for the excuse, sorry, explanation as to why you cannot design a double-blind randomised safety trial BEFORE rolling out a proposed schedule.

  32. #33 Amethyst
    The Crystal Gem
    March 25, 2016

    You know what is even more unethical, Mrs. Writer? Continuing to spread anti-vax nonsense under the guise of “vaccine safety”(at least open anti-vaxxers have the balls to put it all out on the table!) which puts not only children, but people that rely on herd immunity due to compromised immune-system, at risk of suffering, long-lasting injury and even death at the hands of vaccine-preventable diseases.

  33. #34 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 25, 2016

    There are many ways the studies can be designed to help safeguard ethics.

    And you have yet to offer one. What you proposed is still unethical; it’s asking people to sign up for getting less vaccines along with whole cell pertussis and live oral polio vaccination. Stick to writing, science isn’t your strong suit either.

    But you know what IS unethical? Refusing to offer families with medical histories of autoimmunity and autism alternative vaccination schedules for their children because of a political reason.

    Physicians routinely vaccinate off-schedule where indicated. Again you don’t know what you are talking about.

    But thank you for the excuse, sorry, explanation as to why you cannot design a double-blind randomised safety trial BEFORE rolling out a proposed schedule.

    Because real life. Vaccines weren’t and aren’t developed at the same time. Please stop blaming us for your scientific-ignorance.

  34. #35 palindrom
    March 25, 2016

    @231 —

    mansplaining

    OK. I guess all us penis-Americans will just have to shut up now and let any ridiculous howlers in our areas of expertise simply stand uncorrected. Because, you know, we’re penis-Americans.

    Got it.

  35. #36 Denice Walter
    March 25, 2016

    @ Science Mom:

    Thanks.

    I don’t ever smack anyone, silly or otherwise.
    I also cast a jaundiced eye towards psychoanalysis**,

    HOWEVER I think that you do describe a likely scenario involving Andy and the mothers (as well as woo in general).
    Similarly, isolated parents may resent how parents of NT kids have a different life than their own and seek solidarity and comfort amongst their own group. A few even gain celebrity ( notoriety) there a/k/a secondary gain.

    ** Freud is important for other reasons.

  36. #37 Orac
    March 25, 2016
    mansplaining

    OK. I guess all us penis-Americans will just have to shut up now and let any ridiculous howlers in our areas of expertise simply stand uncorrected. Because, you know, we’re penis-Americans.

    Mansplaining is a real phenomenon, but it doesn’t encompass what Lucy appears to think it does. No doubt she’ll now accuse me of mansplaining as well.

  37. #38 Denice Walter
    March 25, 2016

    I have heard about Marcia Angell many times.
    A newer meme concerns the ‘former editor of BMJ” or suchlike.

    One woo-meister, trying to out-do those, actually quoted Ben Goldacre- which only tells me that he cherry picked quotes and NEVER actually read Goldacre who precisely – and cleverly- describes scams like his own.
    I especially like how he wrote about about faux degrees/ certificates, one of which he purchased in his ( dead) cat’s name. That woo-meister has a rather glaringly bad degree or two.

  38. #39 JP
    March 25, 2016

    OK. I guess all us penis-Americans will just have to shut up now and let any ridiculous howlers in our areas of expertise simply stand uncorrected.

    Although the good herr doktor is actually a penis-New-Zealander.

    Personally, I like to keep people guessing.

  39. #40 Denice Walter
    March 25, 2016

    -btw-
    What do w call it hen women ‘mansplain’? I hear it tme at TMR and Ao.

    Also, please forgive my lack of editorial finesse and word choices, I didn’t sleep much.

  40. #41 palindrom
    March 25, 2016

    Orac — I completely agree that “mansplaining” is a legitimate concept, and I even understand what it is.

    But as you implied, Lucy was using it as a shield to distract attention from her own demonstrated ignorance. As an older man who has always considered gender pretty much irrelevant to intellectual ability and accomplishment, I took offense at her use of this rhetorical trick. Complaining about “mansplaining” when you’re making one one piss-poor argument after another is just cheap.

  41. #42 Chris
    March 25, 2016

    Ms. Johnson: “Yup there it is, Newtonion Kinetic Energy. And was I wrong in my understanding of Eistines development and the relationship between Ek = 0.5m(v squared) and E = m (c squared)?”

    Yes, you are. I have been laughing at the misunderstanding about the refinement of Newtonian physics at the extremes since I was in college (aerospace engineering). Trust me, Newton’s laws work fine for structural analysis on this planet. It might help if you learned how to spell Einstein.

    If you accuse me of “mansplaining” I will laugh even harder, as will those who know me here.

    Just like we laughed at Little Auggie who decided I was transgendered because his little brain could not figure out how a mother could also be an engineer.

  42. #43 palindrom
    March 25, 2016

    Just like we laughed at Little Auggie who decided I was transgendered because his little brain could not figure out how a mother could also be an engineer.

    I can’t decide whether that’s hilarious or just sad!

  43. #44 Chris
    March 25, 2016

    Ms. Young, I see you have nothing except excuses. I am sure if I had not excluded certain funding agencies you would have been glad to include the PMIDs of papers by Chris Shaw, Gary Goldman, etc.

    Then this gem: “THE US GOVERNMENT HAS PAID OUT $3 BILLION TO VACCINE-INJURED AMERICANS SINCE 1989”

    Well here is a little math problem for you: look at the table of the NVICP statistics. Go to the very bottom and find the total number of vaccines given during that time period. I’ll make it easy for you: it is 2,532,428,541 vaccines. Then run your finger along the row and get the total number of compensated claims, again I’ll make it easy for you: 2146 total compensated claims.

    Now find the ratio between those two numbers, and then explain to us what it means. Your computer and/phone should have a built in calculator.

    Extra credit: Explain the meaning of the word “Settlement” and what that column means about the compensated claims. Here is a hint: the next page has the definitions.

  44. #45 Denice Walter
    March 25, 2016

    @ palindrom:

    I thought it was hilarious.

    -btw- you ( and Eric and Narad), who studied physics more than the average @ RI, probably have much to snicker about when those who want to impress us, talk about it.

    Similarly, woo-meisters sometimes discuss their studies of cognition and/ or neurophysiology . Needless to say, they’ve never impressed me. AS the French say: It is to laugh!

  45. #46 Brian Deer
    March 25, 2016

    Sorry to be picky, but the following statement is untrue at any level:

    “THE US GOVERNMENT HAS PAID OUT $3 BILLION TO VACCINE-INJURED AMERICANS SINCE 1989”

    The true position is that a large amount of money has been paid out to people who it has been conceded by the government, or found by the court, MAY have been vaccine injured, and it is in the public interest that they be compensated without further proceedings.

  46. #47 Chris
    March 25, 2016

    Hence the extra credit question on what the term “settlement” means.

    Though I have learned that these clowns do not know how to use a calculator, and get confused by dictionaries.

  47. #48 sadmar
    March 25, 2016

    @ Science Mom #222

    Layperson to layperson, I think you’re right on. The only revision I’d suggest is “parents desperately need to believe in the narrative they have adopted to explain their child’s less-than-perfection.” Which is to sat they didn’t craft it by themselves. They react to the fact or idea of an ASD child with a sort of shock or trauma. They don’t have an answer, and in that moment of emotional instability, the anti-vax narrative appears – thanks perhaps t the fact that con-men like Andy are pushing it out there. So they grab it instantly and completely, because it explains everything!, and makes them feel “empowered”. To even question it would be to return to the chaos, and the impotence.

    Not coincidentally, perhaps, your hypothesis is quite similar to the one advanced in the film ‘Nuts’ – the experimental documentary about depression era quack John Romulus Brinkley by Penny Lane, the filmmaker who posted the scathing open letter to Tribeca on Facebook. Here’s part of her ‘Director’s Statement’ about ‘Nuts’.

    I began to think about how much people want to believe in miracle cures. The weirder the better, really. How “one weird trick to melt belly fat” is way better click-bait than “eat less to lose weight.” Who doesn’t sometimes wish the world was more interesting, more magical, more colorful than it really is? This is why …we fall for quack doctors, time and time again: they sell us a story we want to believe.

    I believe that more than any other single human quality, it is our love of great stories that makes us so endlessly susceptible to being conned. We believe the stories we want or need to believe, and we believe anyone who tells them to us. Con men know this. So do politicians, propagandists, pitchmen, cult leaders, televangelists, pick up artists and manipulators of all kinds – including documentary filmmakers.

    And so, NUTS! is not a film that allows us to sit back and laugh at the dummies who fell for bullshit. Instead, it’s a film that shows we are all those dummies. Unlike Brinkley, however, I seduce you, and then I show you how I did it. Brinkley’s story is not presented as the object of a neutral nonfiction gaze, but as an opportunity for viewers to actively wrestle with the ethical and epistemological issues central to the narrative nonfiction form.

    http://www.nutsthefilm.com/#directors-statement

  48. #49 Pete
    March 25, 2016

    I had no idea there were still so many people still insisting that injecting known neurotoxins and mutated forms of the disease you are trying to prevent directly into your bloodstream somehow manufactured immunity. Yeah, gee, I wonder what the side effects of such an absurd concept would be?

    It’s over folks. Take your “winnings” and go home. The biggest medical fraud in history is over. Some of you are already aware of it and are going to go down with the ship- likely because you’ve invested too much time into protecting the lies and deceit, some just in denial because corporate “science” is a powerful cult.

    “For 30 years Stephen Hawking was the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. That’s the same job once held by Sir Isaac Newton.
    He’s a certified genius — and probably the most famous scientist since Albert Einstein.

    And what Hawking just revealed in a British television interview is scarier than the worst horror movie you’ve ever seen. He said that genetically engineered viruses are now one of the biggest threats human beings face.

    Right up there with nuclear weapons.

    You see, just like the GM food they want us to eat, Big Pharma has been genetically modifying viruses in vaccines for years. They’re combining deadly viruses into a single shot, and even mixing animal and human DNA.

    These shots are called “recombinant” vaccines and they may be the biggest medical experiment ever conducted on human beings. The FDA has been approving them since 1986, even though these shots may have the ability to create new and deadly diseases we have no way to treat.

    In fact, it’s already happening.”

    – See more at: http://hsionline.com/2016/02/10/gm-vaccine-viruses/#sthash.KsMWc4ek.dpuf

  49. #50 JP
    March 25, 2016

    I see the black helicopters have arrived.

  50. #51 Chris
    March 25, 2016

    Pete: “I had no idea there were still so many people still insisting that injecting known neurotoxins and mutated forms of the disease you are trying to prevent directly into your bloodstream somehow manufactured immunity.”

    Which vaccines are given intravenously?

  51. #52 stewartt1982
    Oxfordshire/Ibaraki
    March 25, 2016

    I’m a physicist too! Can I be an expert at virology and genetic engineering as well? please!?!

    The source you quote in your link :
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/19/stephen-hawking-warns-threats-to-humans-science-technology-bbc-reith-lecture

    has the following

    Speaking to the Radio Times ahead of the BBC Reith Lecture, in which he will explain the science of black holes, Hawking said most of the threats humans now face come from advances in science and technology, such as nuclear weapons and genetically engineered viruses.

    “We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognise the dangers and control them,” he added.

    where Hawking is suggesting caution moving forward, rather than what you are claiming.

  52. #53 Dangerous Bacon
    March 25, 2016

    “It’s over folks. Take your “winnings” and go home.”

    Nah, there’s too much money still to be made shooting diabolical neurotoxins and GM viruses into the bloodstreams of tiny tots.

  53. #54 Chris
    March 25, 2016

    Pete: “I had no idea there were still so many people still insisting that injecting known neurotoxins and mutated forms of the disease you are trying to prevent directly into your bloodstream somehow manufactured immunity.”

    What in vaccines is a more dangerous than tetanospasmin?

  54. #55 Denice Walter
    March 25, 2016

    sadmar quotes Penny Lane:

    “it is our love of great stories”

    Sure. People see faces in appliances and mentally fill in drawings of objects to make them look more ‘complete’. They guess which horse will win the cup and who will become the next recording star.

    Interestingly, during adolescence, people ALSO begin to develop abilities that question this tendency as well as their other abilities and re-hash their past bad judgments.

    Unfortunately, not everyone gets very far in this enterprise as we’ve seen time and time again.

  55. #56 JP
    March 25, 2016

    It’s over folks. Take your “winnings” and go home.

    Still waiting on mine. When are those filthy pHarma lucre checks supposed to start rolling in, anyway? I could use a little spending money. Does anybody have Lord Draconis’s contact info? I imagine I could handle talking to the man (er, lizard) directly.

  56. #57 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 25, 2016

    I had no idea there were still so many people still insisting that injecting known neurotoxins and mutated forms of the disease you are trying to prevent directly into your bloodstream somehow manufactured immunity.

    Please explain how intramuscular injections, used for most vaccines, is “directly into the bloodstream”. Yeah, gee, I wonder what the side effects of such an absurd concept would be?Immunity from the disease would be one. Some people have other reactions ranging from mild to severe. The risks from current vaccines are, by and large, less than the risks of the diseases they protect against.

    The biggest medical fraud in history is over.

    Is that Wakefield, Burzynski, or homeopathy? Please be more specific, as I lost my scorecard.

    Sadly, the rest of your comment is merely alarmist claptrap that doesn’t merit a response.

  57. […] the last three days I’ve been complaining about how the Tribeca Film Festival selected for screening Andrew Wakefield’s antivaccine […]

  58. #59 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 25, 2016

    Please pardon my format failure. The sentence starting with “Yeah, gee” is a quotation.

  59. #60 Narad
    March 25, 2016

    where Hawking is suggesting caution moving forward, rather than what you are claiming

    Moreover, I presume he’s referring to gain-of-function studies, not those dastardly recombinant vaccines.

  60. #61 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2016

    but the following statement is untrue at any level:
    How can that be, when it is backed by a source called “Daily Sheeple”?

  61. #63 Narad
    March 25, 2016

    Yup there it is, Newtonion [sic] Kinetic Energy. And was I wrong in my understanding of Eistines [sic] development and the relationship between Ek = 0.5m(v squared) and E = m (c squared)?

    Oh, the original had more problems than that. Let’s review:

    Planets going around the sun, electrons going around a nucleus,

    Electrons don’t “go around” the nucleus. Atoms are not little solar systems.

    these things are comparatively simple compared with highly complex biological systems.

    You have failed to establish a yardstick for “simplicity” that would allow comparisons to be made in the first place. It’s bad enough that you think the n-body problem is “comparatively simple” (quick: explain why Pluto’s orbit is stable), but you would extend this to quantum chemistry?. The mind boggles.

    It is factually incorrect for you to say that we know everything there is it know about science in terms of biochemistry.

    And who, exactly, has done that, Ms. Straw Man?

    Once again, we deal only with probabilities and likelihoods. Take physics. E=0.5m(v-squared) is Newtonian physics and works very well as an ‘absolute’ fact. Until of course v, velocity, reaches [sic] the speed of light. Then it changes. The fact was provisional until Einstein came along with E = m (c-squared).

    This is simply garbled. First of all Einstein never wrote E = mc² in the sense you’re trying to assign it, i.e., as containing a “relativistic mass” term. For that matter, it should be E: the expression refers to the energy of a particle at rest. This is why juxtaposing it with the Newtonian kinetic energy is inapposite.

    Even in Physics, where things are simpler and principles established for longer,

    By this “logic,” mathematics should be even simpler than physics. It’s simply a demonstration of your ignorance of a subject that you’re trying to wave around as some sort of stage prop.

    there’s still room to know more.

    No shіt, Sherlock. I take it you haven’t noticed that general relativity and quantum mechanics are mutually incompatible.

  62. #64 Narad
    March 25, 2016

    ^ Eh, change “quantum mechanics” to “quantum theory.” I also forgot to throw in a link to, e.g., Mochizuki’s abc papers to illustrate the “simplicity” of modern mathematics.

  63. #65 rs
    March 25, 2016

    Oh, why stop there. The ‘inverse square law’ in Newtonian gravity is not a law. It is at best an idealization and in practice it is an approximation. No real orbits are truly closed. Indeed, Newtonian dynamics is known to be chaotic (in the mathematical sense) making long term predictions imprecise or even impossible. Our solar system isn’t even stable thanks to Newton, that scoundrel.

  64. #66 Narad
    March 25, 2016

    Oh, right:

    I’ll wait. Speaking of which:

    <<>> [followed by an apparent bowl of copypasta]

    Screw the ethics. Let’s get down to brass tacks. For a full-blown, prospective, vaccinated-versus-unvaccinated trial, pick a single endpoint. Then specify the lack of effect between the two groups that would convince you that there’s no there there.

    In practical terms, calculating the requisite sample size is something that is simple.

    I’ll wait.

  65. #67 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 25, 2016

    these things are comparatively simple compared with highly complex biological systems.

    Ever tried to derive a solution to the Schrodinger wave equation for an atom with more than 2 protons? Really?

  66. #68 Narad
    March 25, 2016

    I just remember sitting there and thinking… “I still like the Muppets.”

    Speaking of which, what’s the over–under on an AoA freakout regarding their participation in the Zika false-flag operation?

  67. #69 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2016

    Ever tried to derive a solution to the Schrodinger wave equation for an atom with more than 2 protons? Really?

    I still wake up screaming “Hartree-Fock!!!”

  68. #70 Narad
    March 26, 2016

    I still wake up screaming “Hartree-Fock!!!”

    Heh. I hadn’t thought about Double Zero in a while, but ζζ free-associated it right up.

  69. #71 palindrom
    March 26, 2016

    I had a professor who solved the Schroedinger equation for the helium atom over about two weeks in an 8:30 class.

    Needless to say, I don’t remember the development in any detail 40 years later.

  70. #72 Kathy Young
    United States
    March 26, 2016

    @ Chris
    It must be nice to know everything, right? Except you really don’t. The claims paid out are a SMALL portion of what should actually, ethically, be paid out. You see, Chris, the claims paid out are those that have made it to and then all the way through the system. The system that is not set up like a regular court of law. Much tougher. I do not have to act superior and condescending to you. You are acting so ugly, and it is really not necessary. I am not your enemy. I believe that I am vaccine injured, I have a good friend with a son who was vaccine injured. I know what happens. Personal and up close. I will pray for your eyes to be opened, or for your hatefulness and selfishness to leave you. I pray that the spirit of Jesus Christ opens your heart and your eyes.

  71. #73 herr doktor bimler
    March 26, 2016

    The system that is not set up like a regular court of law. Much tougher.
    O RLY?

    I do not have to act superior and condescending to you
    It is way, way too late to try that.

  72. #74 Doesn't take a genius
    Canada
    March 26, 2016

    Well I couldn’t figure why everyone is so scared of this vaxxed film getting seen, but after seeing the trailer, it makes sense.
    Can’t wait to see it!
    Hope you sheeple are getting paid enough!
    Karmas a bitch, enjoy!

  73. #75 Narad
    March 26, 2016

    I will pray for your eyes to be opened, or for your hatefulness and selfishness to leave you.

    Perhaps you could instead pray for the willpower to get off your preachy ass and actually try to learn something about civil law.

  74. #76 gaist
    March 26, 2016

    Kathy Young, nice of you to (albeit tacitly) acknowledge that the “LOOKOHMYGODTHREEBILLION” does not support your claims of the dangers of vaccination.

  75. #77 Chemmomo
    Where writers use apostrophes when needed
    March 26, 2016

    Lucy Johnson @140, 231

    I asked NICE (being a writer, doing an article, actually on the hysteria and scaremongering) for the clinical trial information for the testing of the whole schedule — not just individual vaccines — they couldnt give me it.

    All vaccine trials are trials of the whole schedule. Did you think they withhold the rest of the schedule from the test subjects?

    Most of your questions have been asked and answered – why is it the fault of the scientists that you don’t like the answers?

  76. #78 Chemmomo
    yeah, pot calling kettle black over proofreading, but both commas and apostrophes are a peeve for me even though I'm a scientist and not a writer <----
    March 26, 2016

    Lucy Johnson 231

    I haven’t had enough mansplaining today

    I’ve had enough I’m a writer!-splaining.

    It’s not working for you.

  77. #79 Kathy Young
    United States
    March 26, 2016

    I wonder how many in here are paid shills? Why would ANYONE care if people just watched the documentary and made up there own minds? And, there is very little humanity in here. I do hope that some are not shills, are just young and will grow and learn that what they THINK they know could be based on lie after lie after lie. Sometimes those who think that they are the smartest in a room are actually believing the biggest lies. Peace. Out.

  78. #80 LouV
    France
    March 26, 2016

    Why would ANYONE care if people just watched the documentary and made up there own minds?

    Because : http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2016/03/22/wtf-andrew-wakefields-antivaccine-documentary-to-be-screened-at-the-tribeca-film-festival/#comment-432198
    Also, because I am personally and professionally concerned by autism, and am fed up with the focus on vaccines leeching resources from research on other possible causes or promising therapies, or from activism to better autistic people’s lives.
    And I also care about people who, among other things, quote Marcia Angell incorrectly to support their own agenda.

  79. #81 John Phillips
    On the other side of the channel somewhere else.
    March 26, 2016

    Kathy Young..
    …The system that is not set up like a regular court of law.

    You’re correct, but not in the way you think. For in fact it is much less strict than a real court for it works on the preponderance of evidence standard rather than a beyond reasonable doubt standard. I.e. you don’t have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the vaccine/s caused the injury, only that it may have, so a much lower standard of evidence is sufficient. E.G. because a particular vaccine is known to have a rare side effect causing certain conditions, even if that condition can happen even without vaccines. In which case the court decides with caution that there is enough of a proven link with the condition displayed, or a similar one, actually being caused by a particular vaccine that they will accept that it MAY have been the cause in a particular case even if it can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    And please, not the Pharma shill gambit. That is so old hat that it is more painful than funny by now. And unlike you, probably, I can remember when things like polio was a reality in the UK as my best friend in primary school didn’t live beyond 7 and while I was relatively lucky when I caught my batch of childhood illnesses, I can still remember how miserable they made me. Also, my daughter almost died from pertussis because while I was working away from home long term my wife and her friends got caught up in the pertussis vaccine scare in the UK in the mid 70s and so didn’t get her vaccinated and a year or so later it broke out in her primary school. Fortunately, while it was one of the worst things I have ever witnessed, she did survive without lasting damage but effectively lost nearly a year of her life before getting close to back to normal. Some of her friends weren’t so lucky, a couple died and a few more had varying degrees of physical and mental disabilities as a reminder of bad vaccine advice from anti-vaxxers. So you and your fellow pro-disease campaigners can stick your pharma shill gambit where the sun don’t shine.

  80. #82 herr doktor bimler
    March 26, 2016

    And, there is very little humanity in here.

    Now I am feeling dehumanised. Lucy Johnson will not approve.

  81. #83 Amethyst
    The Crystal Gem
    March 26, 2016

    Electrons don’t “go around” the nucleus. Atoms are not little solar systems.

    Which is a shame; I’ve always found the “atomic solar system” visual representation quite neat – everything and evertyhing being made up by tiny versions of such a grand and spectacular thing is sorta beautiful in a poetic kind of way.

  82. #84 Julian Frost
    South Africa
    March 26, 2016

    @Kathy Young #271:

    The claims paid out are a SMALL portion of what should actually, ethically, be paid out.

    You’ll have to be more specific. Do you mean that more should have been paid out to each person? Do you mean that you believe that certain cases that were lost by the claimants should have been compensated? Do you mean something else?

    I do not have to act superior and condescending to you.

    They why are you acting so?

    I believe that I am vaccine injured, I have a good friend with a son who was vaccine injured.

    A lot of people have believed a lot of foolish and demonstrably wrong things. What is your evidence that you suffered a vaccine injury? Have you filed a claim for compensation with the Vaccine Court?

  83. #85 Chris
    March 26, 2016

    Ms. Young: “I will pray for your eyes to be opened, or for your hatefulness and selfishness to leave you. I pray that the spirit of Jesus Christ opens your heart and your eyes.”

    I just wish you would learn how to use a calculator and figure out how to read the PDF I linked to, or at the very least use a dictionary.

    You made a claim based on compensations by the NVICP. So I linked to its actual statistics, asked you to read it and answer a few questions hoping you would understand it better. Because of that you can only conclude I am part of Big Pharma? Do you seriously think it cheaper to treat diseases than prevent them?

    My kids are old enough to some of the diseases that are now vaccine preventable. One actual illness caused seizures in my oldest, he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. How do I file a claim to the National Disease Injury Compensation Program?

  84. […] few days ago, I learnt from Orac that the Tribeca Film Festival in New York will be showing the “documentary” […]

  85. #87 shay simmons
    March 26, 2016

    I wonder how many in here are paid shills?

    None. Next question?

  86. #88 Chemmomo
    March 26, 2016

    Kathy Young 278

    I do hope that some are not shills, are just young and will grow and learn that what they THINK they know could be based on lie after lie after lie.

    Back at you, Kathy. What if it’s not the boogeyman of Big Pharma and the CDC that’s doing the lying?

    What if the liar is in fact the man whose research paper was retracted for fraud?

  87. #89 Denice Walter
    March 26, 2016

    – and to continue with Chemmomo’s charges-

    other liars :
    including alt med experts, real and faux doctors, nutritionists, chiropractors, health food/ supplement gurus and web site owners who make money off of –
    docudramas, books, videos, supplements, special foods,, non-SB therapies, ad sales etc etc
    as well as fame-seekers and conspiracies theorists intent upon riding fantasy-based theories to fame and recognition.

    I can name dozens by now.

  88. #90 Denice Walter
    March 26, 2016

    CONSPIRACY theorists ( altho’ there are many)

  89. #91 Chris
    March 26, 2016

    Some of the biggest liars who proposed Ms. Young’s old and stale arguments as if they are valid. I asked for real research to support her claims I get the old stale stuff about the validity of the published papers.

    She then follows up with an all caps version of stale boring “look they paid elevenity billity for vaccine injuries” from, of all places “thedailysheeple.” So when I present the PDF of the actual statistics and ask questions about it, I get the stinking old stale Pharma Shill Gambit.

    It is just so boring and stupid.

  90. #92 Chris
    March 26, 2016

    Left out words: “Some of the biggest liars are those who proposed Ms. Young’s old and stale arguments…”

  91. #93 Jock Doubleday
    March 26, 2016

    Ha ha, why read beyond your Rockefeller death-medicine high school textbook? Ha ha ha.

  92. #94 Chris
    March 26, 2016

    Well looky looky looky! Guess who came to grace us with his presence! Why it is Mr. Gentlebirth himself (though he seems to have ignored his website lately):
    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/gentlebirth.htm

    …. and:
    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-150000-vaccine-challenge/

  93. #95 Chris
    March 26, 2016

    Talk about your old boring arguments, here is some more:
    http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2015/12/1555-jock-doubleday.html

    Oh, it is such a dubious honor for him to grace us with his silly insults.

  94. #96 rs
    March 26, 2016

    “I wonder how many in here are paid shills?”

    Not me. The last few checks bounced.

    “Peace. Out.”

    Are you perchance employed by the Ministry of Peace?

  95. #97 Robert L Bell
    March 26, 2016

    @Julian Frost #283

    A lot of people have believed a lot of foolish and demonstrably wrong things.

    This! This! This! I wouldn’t mind the ‘believing foolish and wrong things’ bit nearly so much, if they didn’t have such a track record of getting all snippy and dismissive when people actually try to engage them on the questions they are ‘just asking.’

    For instance, just recently I approached a young person who had proof from the peer reviewed literature that GMO food was harmful. When approached for details, because such papers would be incredibly valuable to the Scientific Community and deserved wider distribution than they seem to have received, it came out that she did not so much have them as she had seen them a couple of months previously. The natural rejoinder was that you can’t go around claiming to have sensational evidence on a sensitive topic without actually having that evidence because that’s not only dishonest but it creates a false impression on true believers who are already predisposed to believe things that are Not True. Which of course led to an escalating series of taunts and badgerings over why do I hate women and want to take away their right to choose (?!?) but precious little about the alleged peer reviewed proof.

  96. #98 herr doktor bimler
    March 26, 2016

    “Peace. Out.”
    Are you perchance employed by the Ministry of Peace?

    A shill for Big Desert.

  97. #99 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 26, 2016

    Why would ANYONE care if people just watched the documentary and made up there own minds?

    Why do you care whether someone cares?

  98. #100 capnkrunch
    March 26, 2016

    Interesting that while they are all too happy to throw around baseless accusations of shillery and buy into evidence-less conspiracies not one of the AVers here has chosen to comment on Fraudypants’ utterly (and provably) dishonest trailer. So, to all the “critical thinkers” here, go read this article then address the issues presented. Matt kindly provides scans from Vaccine Whistleblower so you can verify the manipulation.

    If you want we can get into the documents themselves. Have you read them or are you just taking Hooker and Fraudypants’ word about what they say? Because what they actually say is nothing.

    Rather than specifics we can also talk about how Hooker and Fraudypants, concerned about transparency as they are, refused to release the documents themselves. Or how Ben Swann, another champion of TRUTH didn’t release them until Matt Carey did ajd only after concatenating, renaming, duplicating and releasing them in multiple nested zip archives.

    Or since you are so concerned about COIs shall we talk about Hooker’s apparent inability to disclose real, provable financial COIs like his ongoing NVICP petition? Andrew Wakefield (’nuff said). If you have a shred of integrity and any concern for the truth rather than simply protecting your egos apply some of that research and critical thinking that you are so proud of to them.

  99. #101 Darthhellokitty
    March 26, 2016

    I’m a shill for Big Dessert. Still waiting for those donuts they promised me.

  100. […] you might recall, I was quite critical of the decision of the Tribeca Film Festival to screen Andrew Wakefield’s antivaccine […]

  101. […] in the above trailer, and other related maters (I suggest you start with the science blog Respectful Insolence, the LA Times, the New York Times, Forbes, Snopes, and the Autism Science, News and Opinion blog, […]

  102. #104 Caty
    March 27, 2016

    This is a hit piece on Wakefield. If the Vaxxers Documentary was baseless and not truth exposing then the people promoting Vaccinations would have nothing to fear. The fact that Vaxxers has now been canned speaks volumes, and has helped promote the Anti-Vax cause. Well Done boys!

  103. […] here? Andrew Wakefield’s antivaccine propaganda film to be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, Respectful Insolence am 22. März […]

  104. #106 The struggle never ends
    March 27, 2016

    […] the last few days, there have been some ups and downs in crank medicine. The Tribeca Film Festival scheduled Andrew Wakefield’s anti-vaccine documentary to be shown, and Robert DeNiro defended it as a legitimate contribution to the discussion of the causes of […]

  105. #107 gaist
    March 27, 2016

    Caty seems to live in a happy world where lies have no consequences…

    If the Vaxxers Documentary was baseless and not truth exposing…

    If?

    then the people promoting Vaccinations would have nothing to fear.

    It’s not fear you’re seeing. It’s indignation at seeing lies and misinformation presented as a documentary. I’d be happy to see the film back on Tribeca, in an indie fiction category. Still doubt it would be any good, though.

    But basically your argument is that people should be able to dishonestly shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater. And if anybody would object, to you it seems, it would mean there somehow was a fire.

    Well Done boys!

    Sexist.

  106. #108 John Phillips
    March 27, 2016

    @Caty, Actually what we fear is misinformation reaching those who don’t know better as the lies in that film can cause injury or, at the extreme end, even death if people listen to it without. Wakefield, the producer of this film, already literally has blood on his hands from the effects on vaccination uptake due to his infamous fraudulent Lancet paper which ultimately led to him being struck off as a doctor by the BMC.

    Thanks to his fraudulent ‘research’ and the effect it has had on vaccine uptake in the UK and the US alone, we have already had unnecessary deaths due in both young adults and children due to measles outbreaks due to lowered herd immunity. If you defend such a person without informing yourself of the actual facts, more so if you do know the facts and dismiss them as inconvenient truths and by the sound of it an anti-vaxxer yourself, then you are no better than him and have blood on your hands as well.

  107. #109 John Phillips
    March 27, 2016

    first sentence should end;

    listen to it without the knowing how wrong this film actually is.

    @caty In fact, as gaistabove me says

    I’d be happy to see the film back on Tribeca, in an indie fiction category. Still doubt it would be any good, though.

    In other words, it is, to be charitable, pure fiction, but truthfully? It is lies, which you can see for yourself by following some of the links in the OP. Though now it has been withdrawn because based on the statement Tribeca put out, it is obvious they have now looked properly and seen this film for the lying piece of propaganda it is.

  108. #110 Caty
    March 28, 2016

    So have the people who have replied in these comments actually seen the Documentary? If not then the comments are baseless and atypical of the Vaxxer Tryanny trolled out.

    What I said stands, if the Vaxxers film has something to highlight against the TRYANNY of a Vaxxer cover up, then it will be canned. Otherwise why fight it? It is only a film, not the end of the world.

  109. #111 herr doktor bimler
    March 28, 2016

    Caty seems to live in a happy world where lies have no consequences…

    And where words have no spelling.

  110. #112 gaist
    March 28, 2016

    Otherwise why fight it?

    I do regular gigs for a local news organisation (newspaper and tv/internet feeds). If any of the reporters here would take separate statements and splice them together, like Wakefield did to Thompson’s words in the trailer, they’d be fired immediately, with certain reprimand from the ethics committee and possibly a lawsuit to follow. It’s that bad; dishonest at the very least, more likely intentionally fraudulent.

    I don’t want intentional fraud or even blatant dishonesty in documentary films. Do you?

    Nor would I want any documentary I was involved in being grouped together with such films (I wouldn’t deign to call Vaxxed a documentary), so I can – and hopefully you can – understand and appreciate the damage it would do to a film festival’s credibility.

    And as been made clear, the document didn’t pass the usual selection process, but was thrust in through the back channels. This by itself damages the festival’s credibility, and even more so if the film in question was demonstrably fraudulent.

    Imagine what outrage you’d feel, Caty, if you heard a politician who took money from a corporation then called in a special favor from a celebrity to have a film fraudulently promoting those corporate interests included at Tribeca without selection review?

    Imagine tobacco manufacturers paying politicians to arrange for a film to be shown, where the words of a real, honest doctors were cut-and-pasted together to make them say how smoking is the best thing a child could do? Can you imagine the outrage that would generate?

  111. #113 MI Dawn
    March 28, 2016

    @Caty: no, I haven’t seen the film. But from the trailer, where you can see that already there are blatant lies (i.e. the CDC documents don’t show fraud, nor does Thompson EVER say what the trailer seems to imply.) For pete’s sake, Hooker published his little book with the transcripts of the conversations, and you can simply read that and see that.

    Sure, I have no problems with the film being shown. As long as it’s made clear that it is NOT a documentary, but pure fiction. I’m fine with fiction.

  112. #114 MI Dawn
    March 28, 2016

    (by the way…it’s spelled “tyranny”…)

  113. #115 herr doktor bimler
    March 28, 2016

    I was wondering who Anny was, and how we should try her.

  114. […] discusses the content of the movie in detail, but here is a quick summary. The movie is produced by Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced struck-off […]

  115. […] I learned that Robert De Niro had reversed himself and decided to pull Andrew Wakefield’s dishonest antivaccine propaganda “documentary” from his Tribeca Film Festival after having admitted that he […]

  116. #118 shay simmons
    March 28, 2016

    She seems to be atypical.

  117. […] a story like Robert De Niro’s decision to choose an antivaccine film by Andrew Wakefield for screening at his prestigious Tribeca Film Festival followed by his decision to drop the film […]

  118. […] da Orac che ha scritto almeno 7 post (link a quelli successivi nella colonna di […]

  119. #121 Alastair Carnegie
    United Kingdom
    March 29, 2016

    A colleague pointed out the significant rise in autism immediately following the introduction of the MMR vaccination campaign. I am an applied mathematician. and review UK’s MRC papers. I could not spot any sudden spike related to the vaccination. Autism was starting to rise well before the program. My colleague suggested I read the ‘small print’ in the appendix. The base line was NOT date of vaccination, it was date of birth. …. Now remove the ‘Catch-Up Cohort’ my colleague suggested…. That was when the colloquial ‘Fit his the shan!” This does not rove MMR was responsible, it demanded investigation as to what other confounding factors might possibly be coincident with the vaccination program.

  120. #122 Alastair Carnegie
    United Kingdom
    March 29, 2016

    (sp.) “Fit hits….” and “prove” not ‘rove’.

  121. #123 Chris
    March 29, 2016

    “A colleague pointed out the significant rise in autism immediately following the introduction of the MMR vaccination campaign. ”

    Ask your colleague to please provide the data that autism rose in the USA during the 1970s and 1980s after the MMR was introduced there in 1971.

    Surely it would have been noticed in the USA and other countries that were using the MMR almost two decades before the UK introduced three separate versions in 1988.

  122. #124 Lawrence
    March 29, 2016

    Anti-vaxers ignore the DSM, the changes in the DSM, and even the timeline for when autism was first “officially” diagnosed….to somehow create this linear line that shows that the rate of autism has been ever-increasing.

    Anyone with even the most basic understanding of statistics, and the actual history, can easily show that diagnostic substitution, recognition of additional symptoms of autism, and the just general recognition of the condition can easily explain how something that no one talked about 40 years ago can be something that is easily recognized today.

  123. #125 Denice Walter
    March 29, 2016

    In addition, there is the phenomenon of de-institutionalisation which made people with IDs and ASDs more visible to the general populace.

    Ann Dachel always says that there were never adults with ASDs until today-
    no, they weren’t out in public and were most likely called something else.

  124. #126 JP
    March 29, 2016

    In addition, there is the phenomenon of de-institutionalisation which made people with IDs and ASDs more visible to the general populace.

    Heck, if it weren’t for my stingy insurance, I might still be in an institution. Especially in another age.

    Instead, I am just a grad student again.

    *chagrin*

  125. #127 John Phillips
    On the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    March 29, 2016

    @caty, what gaist said at #312, especially after seeing how audio in the trailer was fraudulently manipulated to make it appear that the ‘whistleblower’ said something he didn’t and which was the opposite of what he has actually said.

    Additionally, we have already seen the damage that nearly twenty years of Wakefield’s lies have had on the health of people, especially children, around the world, including deaths, so many of us consider the only responsible thing to do is to counter such blatant dishonest propaganda. Now personally, in my ideal world (though in my ideal world such crooks and charlatans wouldn’t exist), I would in some way prefer to have had the film go ahead but with a truly independent panel, not the sycophants that were chosen, so as to be able to properly question the film makers about their dishonesty. But since I doubt very much that Wakefield would have allowed such a scenario, we have to make do with second best and its removal from the festival.

  126. #129 Chris
    March 29, 2016

    Brian Deer is used to it. Right now some numpty on LBRB is trying to get him to answer these very important questions… and day after he called him “John Deer.”

    The guy did not like it when I asked him why he wanted Wakefield to debate a lawn mower. Come on! I could not help but think about John Deere tractors and lawn mowers.

  127. #130 Orac
    March 29, 2016

    Bwahahahahaha!

  128. […] hilarity of deceit at play here requires length and focus. The facts are examined here, here and here. This blog’s Wakefield tag is here. What has been predictable is the conduct […]

  129. […] it? I’ve probably beat the Tribeca Film Festival story into the ground, even for me, having spent the last week blogging about it. Scratch that. There’s no “probably” about […]

  130. […] causano l’autismo inventato dall’ex-medico Andrew Wakefield. Il Festival aveva infatti in programma di proiettareVaxxed, presentato come un documentario che svela il legame nascosto (anzi, insabbiato) tra le […]

  131. […] causano l’autismo inventato dall’ex-medico Andrew Wakefield. Il Festival aveva infatti in programma di proiettareVaxxed, presentato come un documentario che svela il legame nascosto (anzi, insabbiato) tra le […]

  132. […] causano l’autismo inventato dall’ex-medico Andrew Wakefield. Il Festival aveva infatti in programma di proiettareVaxxed, presentato come un documentario che svela il legame nascosto (anzi, insabbiato) tra le […]

  133. #136 Amethyst
    The Crystal Gem
    April 6, 2016

    @Chris, #329:

    I am reminded of one of my all-time favourite cartoons, “King of The Hill”, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has seen it. :3

  134. #137 sadmar
    April 6, 2016

    If the Vaxxers Documentary was baseless… then the people promoting Vaccinations would have nothing to fear. The fact that Vaxxers has now been canned speaks volumes, and has helped promote the Anti-Vax cause. Well Done boys!

    Broken clocks yada yada, but Caty almost has a point. Had Vaxxed screened at Tribeca (in a poor location and time slot) only a handful of naive and gullible souls could have seen it there. The AV sites would have whooped in triumph, but they were going do that if Vaxxed screened anywhere. Getting on the Tribeca schedule through the back-door (film people gossip, and this was in the wind before we heard about it) wasn’t going to get Vaxxed any legs in terms of additional screenings. Even documentary competition winners at festivals rarely get theatrical distribution (trust me, I have the hardware, and you’ve never heard of me…)

    Given the small festival audience, the smart move for skeptics would have been:
    1) To sound a warning about Vaxxed on the basis of Andy’s history of fraudulent representation of Thompson as continued in the trailer…
    2) Avoid criticizing Tribeca, but rather paint them sympathetically as victims of Andy’s slick con. (…which is what they were, not that this matters…)
    3) Save the full ripping of the film until after the premiere, and then, with the specifics of the fraud verified by the actual screened ‘text’, argue that it would be irresponsible for any self-respecting film venue to show it again.

    Had the Tribeca screening gone forward, the critique would have received even more press than it did, but Andy couldn’t have screamed “censorship!” “big pharma conspiracy” blah blah anew. Most importantly, The Streisand Effect would not have been activated, and the Angelika probably wouldn’t have scheduled the one-week commercial run.

    See, if you can paint it as being ‘canned’ that does ‘speak volumes’, not about whether anything in the film is true, but about whether curious people will want to see it.

    So, let’s be honest about what happened here: Andy Wakefield played ‘the scientific community’ like a fiddle. A good con-artist thinks two or three steps ahead, and knows his adversaries well enough to bait them into a trap. Cinema Libre was trying to get Vaxxed booked at the Angelika, but the theater wasn’t biting. So Andy cashed in the chip from his years of working the De Niros for a crappy slot at Tribeca, figuring pro-vaxers would go apeturd, trash the festival, try to get the screening cancelled, and generate scads of publicity. Which allowed him to trade that one non-revenue-generating showing for 44 showings at a commercial theater from which he gets a nice rental fee, and maybe a cut of the box office take. Of course, if the Angelika makes a profit on it’s run of Vaxxed, that opens the door for it to be booked at other commercial theaters in large cities.

    NOW, you have an orders-of-magnitude greater fear of the lies in that film reaching those who don’t know better and causing injury. If that “Well Done boys!” doesn’t sting, maybe it should. (Fwiw, I got sucked in at least part way myself, and didn’t see the next move coming either… so yeah, I feel stung.)

    I think there are ‘Lessons To Be Learned’ here,which I’ll put in a following comment some time after I get some sleep.

  135. #138 Helianthus
    April 6, 2016

    @ sadmar

    Fwiw, I got sucked in at least part way myself, and didn’t see the next move coming either

    I’m afraid we were close to a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario. I mean, either way, Wakefield would have found a way in. He does this for a job, we do it in our spare time.

    If he was feeling he was losing control of the movie’s projection (e.g. with skeptics everywhere inside and outside the theater), he could have dropped the whole thing at the last minute, for “fear of physical assault”, or something. It may not have been as bad as the current situation, but we would still be blaming ourselves for not doing better.
    Remember, hindsight is 20/20.

    I could agree that “our” response was suboptimal, with one minor point: AFAIK, there is no “our”. There was a multitude of non- to barely-coordinated responses, with at best some major trends of non-overlapping opinions emerging. There was those arguing for the movie’s retraction, those for picketing it, those for avoiding the whole festival…

    Silver lining: skeptics are not about to take over the world. We are far from being united. And as a whole, far from being Machiavellian enough for the cold calculation of PR benefits we should have done, according to you.

    I know the hold saying about hanging together to avoid being hanged alone, but… Maybe the “skeptics” non-united community is for the best. Independence of thoughts is supposed to be part of being of an inquiring mind, be it for scientists or skeptics. I don’t think I want to be part of some sort of Borg collective.

  136. #139 Amethyst
    The Crystal Gem
    April 6, 2016

    I hear ya, sadmar. Even when Wakefield loses, he wins at some level…

    I just wish Tribeca would make an annoucement in regards to the reason they pulled the movie. If they make it clear that they pulled it because it fails as a documentary (being based upon the work of a fraudster, exposed as having used dishonest tampering with recordings etc) as opposed to them caving in under the pressure of the calls for censorship, it would at least kill all these stupid conspiracy theorists up.

  137. #140 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 6, 2016

    @Amethyst

    it would at least kill all these stupid conspiracy theorists up

    Oh, I’m sure they could find some way to spin it into a conspiracy theory.

  138. […] procedures and asked that the film be shown. All of this happened after an uproar over a film so full of antivaccine quackery, conspiracy theories about William W. Thompson (a.k.a. the “CDC whistleblower” in […]

  139. […] directed by arguably the most famous icon of the antivaccine movement, Andrew Wakefield himself included in the list of films to be screened. Regular readers will recall that VAXXED recounts the “CDC whistleblower” conspiracy theory […]

  140. […] as Skeptical Raptor likes to call it, fraudumentary), VAXXED: From Cover-up to Catastrophe screened at Tribeca. Ultimately, De Niro was forced to withdraw VAXXED from Tribeca because of the furor its inclusion […]

  141. […] that documentary, VAXXED: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, somehow found its way into the Tribeca Film Festival. After a few days of head scratching about […]

  142. […] to bring newbies up to speed. A couple of months ago, science-based medicine advocates were scratching their heads over news that the Tribeca Film Festival was going to include among its documentaries a film called VAXXED: […]

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