Three days ago, I noted a disturbance in the antivaccine Force.

Last night, I noticed that that disturbance continues.

The first time around, it was Brian Hooker, a biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivaccine “epidemiologist” completed the circle of clueless conspiracy mongering, who was at the center of the disturbance. His conspira-woo tapped into the Dark Side of the Force by taking a conspiracy theory that the antivaccine movement has been flogging for nearly two years now (as hard as it is to believe, it started in August 2014!), a conspiracy known as the “CDC whistleblower” and bringing it full circle as a means of preparing the people who have believed it for what appears to be an imminent disappointment coming down the pike. He did that by claiming that “The Man” had gotten to the CDC whistleblower, who, if you believe Hooker, is on the verge of basically recanting his claims about vaccines by publishing a reanalysis of the dataset whose original analysis had created him in the first place.

I’ll back up a minute, for the benefit of newbies to this blog. I’ve explained who and what the CDC whistleblower is and how the story of William W. Thompson (the CDC scientist whose indiscretions led him to become known as the “CDC whistleblower”) became so popular in the antivaccine cranksophere many times, most recently here. The reason that the CDC whistleblower myth has resonated so strongly among members of the antivaccine movement is obvious. Taken at face value, saga seems to provide evidence to support to what I like to call the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement, namely that the CDC “knows” that vaccines cause autism, has evidence proving it, but has been covering up that evidence to protect…well, it’s never clear exactly who is being “protected,” but always pharmaceutical companies seem to be involved in some way.

This myth came to be as a result of Thompson having reached out to Brian Hooker, apparently to bitch and moan about his job, how he was not appreciated, and how his colleagues and coauthors on one specific study didn’t listen to his demands that an obviously spurious result suggesting a link between vaccines and autism in African American boys be included in an epidemiological study examining MMR vaccination as a risk factor for autism. Unfortunately, for Thompson, Hooker betrayed him by secretly recording their phone calls together and letting antivaccine guru Andrew Wakefield know he had a live one. Meanwhile, with Thompson’s guidance, Hooker “reanalyzed” the dataset (incompetently) and “found” in the unadjusted data the correlation he as looking for.

In any case, Thompson lawyered up and hasn’t been heard from, publicly at least, since September 2014. For the antivaccine movement, this has been a very good thing indeed, having the salutary effect of letting antivaccinationists attribute to Thompson any viewpoint they wish to impose on him. Certainly, they’ve done just that, using Thompson to claim falsely that the CDC has been “covering up” the link between the MMR vaccine in African-American boys, using that claim to sucker the Nation of Islam into protesting at the CDC with them last fall. For nearly two years, antivaccinationists have milked the CDC whistleblower story for all it’s worth. Fortunately, outside the antivaccine whackosphere, the story hasn’t resonated very much because it’s so obviously a conspiracy theory to most journalists (with the exception of Ben Swann, of course). Then, when all the documents that Thompson had given to Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) that supposedly revealed the coverup were released by Matt Carey, it turned out there was no there there; the documents showed no evidence of a conspiracy to cover up data anywhere to be found.

Then, for some reason, three days ago Brian Hooker pivoted from praising Thompson and using him as “proof” that the CDC has been covering up “smoking gun” evidence of a link between vaccines and autism to seemingly launching a pre-emptive attack on him for being a turncoat. In essence, Hooker claimed that that ”The Man” had gotten to Thompson. Not long after I discussed that development, Brian Hooker issued a press release:

Very recently, Mr. Richard Morgan, Esq., Dr. Thompson’s whistle blower attorney, stated that Dr. Thompson will be publishing a paper in May, 2016, where he will assert that the MMR vaccine is not linked to autism in African American males. Instead Dr. Thompson will state that socioeconomic factors alone in the African American community account for the original MMR-African American male “effect” (the effect that he is on record as stating the CDC purposefully hid). I have not been given access to Dr. Thompson’s reanalysis and therefore cannot comment regarding the forthcoming paper at this time. However, I am suspect of any analysis coming from the CDC due to the historic nature of the agency’s scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest specifically around any link between vaccines and autism.

I laughed out loud—seriously, I did—when I read this paragraph. If there is a single paragraph that distills the antivaccine mindset into about 130 words, it’s the paragraph above, specifically the part about how, even though Hooker has not been given access to Thompson’s reanalysis (if such an a reanalysis is even forthcoming) he is suspect of any analysis coming from the CDC. This is, of course, a stunning turnaround from Hooker’s conversations with Thompson that Hooker surreptitiously recorded, in which the two chatted back and forth like old buddies. Obviously, to Hooker, Thompson’s “recantation” can’t be due to his having decided that maybe he had perseverated too long on a spurious result and, to ease his mind, did the reanalysis and found no correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism in African-American mailes. It must be because nefarious forces in the CDC “got” to him.

As amusing as Hooker’s flailing was, he’s got nothing on his young Padawan, Jake Crosby, who seems to have become disillusioned with both Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker (although certainly less so about Brian Hooker), but has not become any less antivaccine than he ever was back in his Age of Autism days. You remember Crosby, don’t you? I used to take it easy on him because back in the day I felt it unseemly to beat up too much on an autistic teenager and hoped that he might someday find his way out of the antivaccine quackhole that he had found himself in. For instance, when he wrote about his silly conspiracy theory about ScienceBlogs, I largely shrugged, referred to him as a “crazy mixed up kid,” and offered him some fatherly advice, given that I am indeed old enough to be his father.

Even when he lied about me, claiming I had an undisclosed conflict of interest in my research into the drug riluzole. It was a lie that led to an attempt by antivaccinationists to get me fired and, six years later, was regurgitated by Mike Adams (and, to be fair, others) in his recent torrent of abuse aimed at me. These days, Crosby is old enough that he no longer rates any consideration when he attacks me or spews antivaccine misinformation; so I treat him basically the same way I treat most hard core antivaccinationists, enjoying when he turned on his creators, betraying their trust by publishing private e-mails resulting in a massive falling out with the AoA/SafeMinds contingent of the antivaccine movement.

Six years after Crosby’s broadside against me, I think I’ve found my best revenge, and it comes from being able to laugh heartily at Crosby himself. Basically, Crosby’s written one of the silliest, dumbest things I’ve ever read on the Internet. It’s a demand, a hilarious demand:

For the phenomenon that Offit described to occur, one would expect to see a diminished odds of vaccination for those ages among black autistic children compared to vaccination after age three, not an increased risk. In fact, that was probably why the race effect was yanked from the paper and thrown in the garbage in the first place. A comment under Offit’s article seeking to point that out was removed from the thread, even though it was part of an ongoing conversation with a CDC-tied attorney.

But worst of all, this claim will not be confined to Offit’s review. It will also be made in a published “reanalysis” of the CDC’s study due to be published next month, authored by none other than the very coauthor of the original study who raised the alarm in the first place: “whistleblower” William Thompson. According to his initial contact Dr. Brian Hooker, Thompson has been “handled.” He is expected to publish his “reanalysis” with a researcher named Michael Blank – who had advised the MMR vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline. Among the promises Thompson has been allegedly bribed with are a huge bonus and his own autism research foundation. Not surprisingly, having a scientist claim that vaccination was caused by autism diagnoses likely made after vaccination instead of admitting that vaccines cause autism comes with a steep price. It’s just too bad that that price will also be the unnecessary harm to countless more children. To add insult to injury, Offit will apparently write a commentary accompanying this awful work.

Please write and call Dr. Thompson at the following numbers and email address and tell him to withdraw his “reanalysis” and that he will face ethical complaints against him due to the ridiculous nature of his claims.

And:

Also contact the journal publishing his paper as well and tell them withdraw his paper and that they too will face ethics complaints for publishing it. Here is the email for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where the “reanalysis” will likely be published. You should let the journal know that it too will face an ethical complaint for publishing Thompson’s analysis and should withdraw it from press: pnas@nas.edu, Phone: 202-334-2679.

Yes, you read that right. Crosby is demanding the retraction of a paper that hasn’t even been published yet, a paper that might not even exist. Even more hilariously, he is demanding that retraction of a journal where the paper (if it even exists) might or might not be scheduled to be published. This is, without a doubt, one of the most risible things I’ve ever seen, and I fully expect that Crosby’s “demand” will be roundly ignored; that is, if anyone who has any actual knowledge of what the hell he’s talking about actually sees Crosby’s ranting, which is unlikely. One has to wonder how someone could go through a graduate program in epidemiology and not manage to understand a bit about how academic journals and academic publishing work. I laughed at Crosby. Hard.

My amusement aside I must confess that I don’t quite know what is going on here. The best guess that I can come up with is that Brian Hooker has been in contact with someone who claims to know that Thompson is the co-author on some sort of “reanalysis” of the data used for the 2004 paper that concluded that the MMR vaccine is not correlated with an increased risk of autism or autism spectrum disorders. How he got that information, who knows? Is Hooker’s information correct? Again, who knows? Will the article be published in PNAS? Again, who knows? I tend to doubt it. It used to be pretty much impossible to be published in PNAS if you don’t have a member of the National Academy of Sciences either as a co-author or a sponsor of your article. It’s true that, in response to complaints about how NAS members used to use PNAS as a dumping ground for results they couldn’t publish elsewhere and would sponsor questionable papers written by their buddies, the rules have changed to tighten up peer review such that it is no longer the preferred method to have an NAS member-contributed track. (At least, that’s what the website says; I don’t really believe it.) Even so, it’s still still pretty difficult to be published in PNAS. What member of the National Academy of Sciences would sponsor such a paper, anyway?

In any case, I do rather suspect that something is coming in May, some bit of news that antivaccinationists won’t like, be it a statement from Thompson or a paper in which Thompson and co-authors conclude there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. I can hardly wait, because I just love the taste of antivaccinationist tears of unfathomable sadness:

Comments

  1. #1 Guy Chapman
    Riga
    April 29, 2016

    “On record” is an interesting choice of words, since the record in question consists of illicit recordings which have been recorded and edited without the subject’s knowledge, consent or confirmation of accuracy. One wonders if Hooker is in conversation with messrs. Sue, Grabbit and Runne.

  2. #2 Chris Hickie
    April 29, 2016

    PNAS? For a “reanalysis”?

    No.

  3. #3 Rich Woods
    April 29, 2016

    Crosby is demanding the retraction of a paper that hasn’t even been published yet, a paper that might not even exist. Even more hilariously, he is demanding that retraction of a journal where the paper (if it even exists) might or might not be scheduled to be published.

    Maybe Crosby thinks the paper doesn’t actually exist either, and is planning to claim victory over the CDC when it isn’t published in May.

    Too Machiavellian? I wouldn’t be so sure.

  4. #4 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2016

    In a post just before this one, Jake includes a video in which he “humiliates” ( his words, CERTAINLY not mine) BMJ editor, Dr Godlee.

    Jake is a doctoral candidate in epi? What’s the world coming to these days?

  5. #5 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2016

    @ Guy Chapman:

    To make Hooker’s tale even more hilarious, he supposedly drove from California ( he’s in the north so it’s not as bad) to Oregon so he record legally.

  6. #6 Eric Lund
    April 29, 2016

    There’s a lot to unpack here. Start with this:

    Very recently, Mr. Richard Morgan, Esq., Dr. Thompson’s whistle blower attorney, stated that Dr. Thompson will be publishing a paper in May, 2016, where he will assert that the MMR vaccine is not linked to autism in African American males.

    There are legitimate back-channel ways of finding out that a paper is making its way through the publication process, but through a scientist’s lawyer is not one of them. Morgan is bound by attorney-client confidentiality. So either Morgan is behaving unethically, or Hooker is putting words in his mouth. That’s assuming that Morgan knows about the alleged paper, which is reasonable but not necessarily true.

    Then you have Crosby’s claims and demands. He claims to know that Offit has something to do with the publication of this paper, that Offit is writing a commentary to accompany the paper, what journal is involved, and that a Michael Blank is a co-author on the study. Again, how does he know these things? There are reasons why medical researchers don’t have something comparable to the arXiv in physics, and some of them are good reasons (e.g., you want an editor/reviewer to make sure you aren’t inadvertently violating HIPAA in your manuscript). Crosby would have to have a source in the editorial department of the journal to know these things, if indeed they were true.

    If there actually is such a paper, then an appropriate response from the journal would be to refer Crosby to the reply in Arkell v. Pressdram.

  7. #7 James Lind
    Out at sea
    April 29, 2016

    Jake say: “Never mind that the significant risks found were in children who received the vaccine in the 12-18 month age group,…”

    Oops

  8. #8 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 29, 2016

    @James Lind

    Don’t go pointing out Jake’s factual errors. He might actually surreptitiously correct his mistake without actually acknowledging that he got it wrong.

  9. #9 James Lind
    April 29, 2016

    Oops. Ok, I will just chuckle in that case. Here is a clear case that even specialized training, much like the MMR, is not 100% effective.

  10. #10 Skeptico
    April 29, 2016

    Not surprisingly, having a scientist claim that vaccination was caused by autism diagnoses likely made after vaccination instead of admitting that vaccines cause autism comes with a steep price.

    Does anyone have a clue what that sentence is supposed to mean? I understand “comes with a steep price” but the rest is gibberish.

  11. #11 Ren
    Baltimora, Tarzan Boy
    April 29, 2016

    “Jake is a doctoral candidate in epi? What’s the world coming to these days?”

    Anyone with grades and cash can get into a doctoral program of any kind and not really know what is going on. Then you do the work and give the answers that professors want to hear, and you get the grades. The real test comes in what you do with that degree. If a Jake Crosby, PhD, ever does anything worthwhile in public health, I will eat my hat.

    Eat. My. Hat.

    Right now, it looks like a cushy job punching STATA code at one of the Geiers’ homes business headquarters in Florida is the best he can hope for. In my opinion, no self-respecting health department or agency (where the real epidemiology work is done) with an actual mission to the public would touch his analyses of anything vaccine related. I wouldn’t.

  12. #12 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 29, 2016

    @Skeptico

    Does anyone have a clue what that sentence is supposed to mean?

    Apparently Jake can’t wrap his head around the fact that in order to receive special education services, the children would have had to have been vaccinated. No vaccine, no enrollment. This leads to the very likely explanation that those AA children who were vaccinated late probably were vaccinated because they were diagnosed with autism and their parents wanted special ed. services for them.

    But, of course, Jake is a True Believer and thus, it’s always the vaccines.

  13. #13 ScottK
    BMore
    April 29, 2016

    Don’t forget the esteemed journalist Sheryl Attkinson is helping fuel the conspiracy fires….

  14. #14 has
    April 29, 2016

    Ren@11: “I will eat my hat.”

    Be careful what you say. Ace Boy Reporter Bluebottle Crosby will take one look at your profile pic and declare himself victorious; that’s how frighteningly sharp he is.

  15. #15 Helianthus
    April 29, 2016

    @ Skeptico

    Does anyone have a clue what that sentence is supposed to mean?

    Jake is trying to summarize his “smoking gun” argument put is tripping over his own words.
    Let me unpack, as I understand it:

    CDC/Offit version:
    1 – there are social disparities among Afro-american families, leading to autism under-diagnosis and vaccination delay (in other words: there are poor people, a lot of them Black people, who can not afford to bring their newborn child to a pediatrician as often as rich people, so things get delayed)
    2 – when these poor families do manage to bring their child to a physician because the child is non-verbal, or something similar, that visit results in autism diagnosis
    3 – at some point during the visit, the backlog of vaccination is noticed and taken care of.
    Hence, autism diagnosis “results” in vaccination

    Jake’s version:
    1 – a scientist has claimed that vaccination was caused by autism (not quite so, but who cares)
    2 – as everybody knows, autism is caused by vaccination, so, since autism follows vaccination, then the diagnosis of autism has to follow vaccination as well (that’s the “autism diagnoses likely made after vaccination” part)
    3 – CDC scientists are just big liars in the face of Truth

    The logical weakness in Jake’s step 2 should be glaring.
    Something about circular reasoning. Or assuming.

  16. #16 Helianthus
    April 29, 2016

    Oh, Todd W. beat me to the explanation, and better than me – I didn’t realize about vaccination being mandatory before enrollment.

  17. #17 Dangerous Bacon
    April 29, 2016

    Hooker said “I am suspect of any analysis coming from the CDC”

    Obviously then, he should have ignored the original finding of a correlation involving a subset of black male children and autism, in the paper on which Thompson was a co-author.

    “You can’t trust the CDC” cuts both ways.

  18. #18 Sebastian Jackson
    Lynchburg, Virginia
    April 29, 2016

    Hey Orac, I think you forgot to mention how Crosby turned on his masters at “Age of Autism” and triggered what I think is an enduring schism within the anti-vaxxer movement. I don’t think Crosby has any more real friends in the movement — maybe no friends at all. Which, given his behavior, serves him right.

  19. #19 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 29, 2016

    @Helianthus

    You hit upon one aspect that I missed: docs noticing the lack of vaccinations during the autism evaluation visit. Of course, if the doctor suspects autism, but is not properly qualified to make the diagnosis themselves, they may refer the child to a specialist, but still do the immunization catch-up at the same visit. Since the official diagnosis follows the vaccination, it must mean that the vaccine caused autism, even though signs and suspicions were present beforehand…at least in the anti-vaccine activist’s mind.

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2016

    Newcomers to RI should note that Jake used to comment here frequently several years ago. Many of us tried to directly inform him of his errors and criticise his odd way of viewing the world because as educated adults, we would like to assist young students who are being led astray intellectually by charlatans and mountebanks

    Personally, I attempted to *reason* with him about two aspects of his Shtick :
    – I asked how likely is it that a gigantic worldwide conspiracy exists involving thousands of doctors, researchers and governmental officials over decades? Is that more likely than ONE guy fixing data?
    – I questioned if he believed that his views on vaccination would be damaging in his future search for employment in the health field. Wouldn’t his internet activities and opinions work against him?

    He was adamantly opposed to my point of view and IIRC made a remark about evil psychologists or suchlike.

    So Jake’s been around and he doesn’t like us.
    He also tried to get ;Someone We Know’ fired.
    Actually two of them.

  21. #21 Eric Lund
    April 29, 2016

    Does anyone have a clue what that sentence is supposed to mean?

    My take is different from Todd W.’s. I think Crosby was falling into the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy and garbled the words. He presumably meant to say that the vaccines caused the autism and the autism diagnosis came later, which would be logically consistent but factually wrong.

    Then again, there may be something to Todd’s interpretation. Lots of poor and working class people don’t get their kids vaccinated on schedule because of various barriers (insurance, ability to schedule appointments, etc.). And the vaccine schedule is spread out over many years, so that many vaccines would be routinely given to children who have been diagnosed as autistic. But that doesn’t explain the “vaccination was caused by autism diagnoses” part of the sentence.

  22. #22 BA
    April 29, 2016

    Hahahahaha, you made them eat their parents.

    Too bad there won’t be a, “That’s all folks!” at the end of this episode.

  23. #23 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 29, 2016

    @Denice Walter

    I, too, tried to reason with Jake about how his online activities might affect his future employability. He chose to take it as a threat, that I would somehow sabotage his employment prospects, rather than that I was trying to advise him that employers might not look too favorably on his online rantings.

  24. #24 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 29, 2016

    @Eric Lund

    I don’t think Jake got his words garbled at all, at least not in the way you suggest. He was talking about Offit’s comments (which mirror the DeStefano explanation) that the diagnosis of autism probably led to the children getting vaccinated (whether because the doctors noticed they weren’t up to date or because they were required for school entry). He’s essentially scoffing at the “autism causes vaccines” claim that no one ever made (other than AVers).

  25. #25 Michael J. Dochniak
    Iowa
    April 29, 2016

    Skeptico (#10) says,

    Does anyone have a clue what that sentence is supposed to mean?

    MJD says,

    Deep passion and concern from Mr. Crosby.

    @ Orac,

    Most hilarious introduction..

  26. #26 MikeMa
    April 29, 2016

    @Guy #1
    “messrs. Sue, Grabbit and Runne”
    Here in Boston we have Dewey, Cheatem & Howe.

  27. #27 capnkrunch
    April 29, 2016

    I’m of the opinion that this is much ado about nothing. Or rather much ado about a lie Hooker is telling. I expect May to come and go with not a peep from Thompson.

    My guess is this is a bid to keep the conspiracy train rolling after Vaxxed brought renewed attention to the fact of Thompson’s continued silence. This advances the stale narrative and keeps the faithful from thinking on an inconvenient point for too long.

    Hooker and co can make sh!t up freely because when May passes without a word from Thompson this will simply be forgotten by the masses and the leaders will move on to new lies to keep the audience engaged.

    However, I am suspect of any analysis coming from the CDC due to the historic nature of the agency’s scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest specifically around any link between vaccines and autism.

    That’s rich from Brian “physically incapable of disclosing financial COIs” Hooker.

  28. #28 KeithB
    April 29, 2016

    Isn’t it Cambridge (our fair city!)?

  29. #29 Dangerous Bacon
    April 29, 2016

    Minions of the Vaccine Deep State* beware: even if Thompson has been bought off in order to have him refute his “whistleblower” claims, the CDC cannot escape the consequences of its evil actions.

    Next month, an explosive sure-to-be-bestseller will blow the lid off the machinations at the CDC, penned by a Freelance Journalist, with introduction and foreword by two of our foremost medical watchdogs, RFK Jr. and Sharyl (My Computer Is Haunted) Attkisson.

    http://www.amazon.com/Master-Manipulator-Explosive-Embezzlement-Government/dp/151070843X/ref=pd_rhf_cr_s_cp_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=51hfCcvfSaL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_SL500_SR89%2C135_&refRID=1VF14Z8GQ6R6M6RA7E9P

    They thought they could get away with covering up for Poul Thorsen – but they were wrong! This book will be an IED in the bowels of our corrupt government; when it goes off, you better be wearing a raincoat and facemask.

    *The Vaccine Deep State is the clever appellation given to the Pharma-CDC-Lizardati-Offit-Oracian Conspiracy by the author.

  30. #30 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2016

    @ DB:

    Oh, Dangerous One. isn’t Kennedy doing a book with Dachel?

  31. #31 SBP
    NY
    April 29, 2016

    “Not surprisingly, having a scientist claim that vaccination was caused by autism diagnoses likely made after vaccination instead of admitting that vaccines cause autism comes with a steep price.”

    I took this to mean Crosby was claiming a large payoff was required to get Thompson to parrot Offit. But he incorrectly paraphrased Offit, using “after” when he should have said “before.”

  32. #32 Eric Lund
    April 29, 2016

    Isn’t it Cambridge (our fair city!)?

    The offices are in Harvard Square, yes. But that’s only four subway stops from downtown Boston–about two miles. And most people who call the freeway between Dedham and Lynnfield “I-95″[1] wouldn’t care about the difference.

    [1]It technically is I-95, but calling it that is as sure a sign as pronouncing your final R’s that you’re “not from around heah”. Locals always call it Route 128. There’s a long story behind that–Google “Boston inner belt” for the full story.

  33. #33 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 29, 2016

    The offices are in Harvard Square, yes. But that’s only four subway stops from downtown Boston–about two miles.

    FWIW, It’s 3.5 miles from Hahvahd Square to the Union Oyster House if you go down Cambridge St.

  34. #34 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2016

    @ Todd W:

    Sounds about par for the course.

    I vaguely recall him likening me to N-zis/ similar because I remarked that we didn’t study much about Bettelheim in graduate school.

    Actually, very little about autism in master’s / doctoral level studies in the 1980s. I suppose that that was because it was before the ‘epidemic’.( =btw- clinical AND experimental).

    BUT Jake and co don’t believe in diagnosis substitution at all.

  35. #35 herr doktor bimler
    April 29, 2016

    Mr. Richard Morgan, Esq., Dr. Thompson’s whistle blower attorney

    In English usage, you can style yourself “Mr So-and-so”, or “So-and-so Esq.”, but using both is on a par with “Sir So-and-so (Kt)”.
    Perhaps things are different among US lawyers, but even so this duplicated title is causing me physical pain.

  36. #36 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 29, 2016

    One of my favorite professors many years ago (way to many now) stated: All a degree means — BS is literate, MS is more literate, PhD is most literate but not how much you know. It is obvious that Jake Crosby fits this to a T.

  37. #37 herr doktor bimler
    April 29, 2016

    Also contact the journal publishing his paper as well and tell them withdraw his paper and that they too will face ethics complaints for publishing it. Here is the email for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where the “reanalysis” will likely be published. You should let the journal know that it too will face an ethical complaint for publishing Thompson’s analysis and should withdraw it from press:

    The subsequent sentence takes this exercise in bumptious cansorious asshattery to new heights:

    Also make a complaint to the Committee on Publication Ethics. Let them know you complained to both the author of the piece and to PNAS: http://publicationethics.org/contact-us

    Once his readers have finished stalking Thompson, contacting him through his employers, and harassing a journal, Jake wants them to dob that journal in to COPE.

    Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?

  38. #38 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 29, 2016

    @hdb

    Not only that, but he got Mr. Morgan’s name wrong. It isn’t “Richard”, it’s “Rick” as in “Frederick”. Yet another factual error by the boy wonder.

  39. #39 sadmar
    April 29, 2016

    I thought Skyhorse was a teeny weeny vanity press devoted to anti-vax nuttery. The hideous layout of ‘Vaccine Whistleblower’ just screamed ‘posers here!'” But checking DB’s link I wondered what all they’d published… and was surprised to find it’s a general list house “with books on sports, flyfishing, nature and history a central part of [its] program”. plus “narrative nonfiction, military history, gambling and business titles.” It publishes a shelf of JFK assassination CT books, but also seems to have some pro-neuro-diversity titles amongst the anti-vax screeds.

    The publisher is Tony Lyons. I put his name in the RI search box, and got no hits. Anybody know what’s up with this guy, why the AVs have found a home among the flyfishing books at this publishing house?

  40. #40 sadmar
    April 29, 2016

    One can’t get a PhD at a real school w/o knowing a lot, and working like a dog, often for a very long period of poverty. But most doctoral candidates collect and process knowledge within a very narrow lane of expertise. Outside of that, the may be abysmally ignorant. And as long as they keep their wacky ideas out of the lane (or in the trunk of the car) they can progress to the degree w/o them getting in the way. I’ve known some solid PhD students who were batpoop bonkers about something or other outside their specialization. Any number of public figures pushing bizarre ideas have PhD, but usually if you check what they did for their dissertations, the works are subdued, narrow, academic, with naught but hints of the flames to come.

  41. #41 JustaTech
    April 29, 2016

    I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to go around using “odds” and “risk” as synonyms in an epi context. (They mean similar things but are calculated differently and that difference is important.)

  42. #42 herr doktor bimler
    April 29, 2016

    Anybody know what’s up with this guy,

    See the discussion starting here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/07/22/robert-f-kennedy-jr-still-an-antivaccine-crank-after-all-these-years/#comment-340260

    Lord Draconis makes an appearance later in the thread.

  43. #43 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 29, 2016

    …often for a very long period of poverty.

    But not when you have mommy and daddy bankrolling the whole thing.

    I suspect that Jake will be a student as long as his parents are alive. After he gets his PhD, I wouldn’t be suprised if he enters the UT law school (because, why not?).

    Just think – he’ll be a lawyer and a doctor. He will bring the whole Vaccine Deep State to its knees.

  44. #44 John Phillips
    On the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 29, 2016

    @ capnkrunch #27

    I hate to give them ideas but I imagine this is already on their back burner just in case and if it doesn’t come out as claimed Hooker will claim that Thompson found more proof that vaccines cause autism or something and was prevented from publishing by the CDC or big pharma’s jack booted thugs in black helicopters. I do hope I’m not getting my conspiracies mixed up.,

  45. #45 MikeMa
    April 29, 2016

    @KeithB and othahs,
    I didn’t expect such detailed knowledge of Our Fair City.
    Happy to know that so many of Orac’s minions are familiar with the area! Boston and environs are great fun.

  46. #46 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2016

    @ sadmar :

    We know about Tony Lyons- he’s in NYC:
    he supports belief in vaccines-autism and thus, prints books by AoA stalwarts, TMs, AJW and RFK jr- there is a separate line for Gary Null tomes.

    Tony was married and had a daughter with autism: his ex-wife, ( she has a Scandinavian patronymic name) wrote a book about their daughter, Lina; Tony wrote books with AoAers like Kim and at least one other person.

    I imagine that some of his other lines of books earn money.
    I truly wonder how much these specialities make.

    ( For a partial listing, look at AoA columns around Christmas because book suggestion are shown- mostly Skyhorse)

  47. #47 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2016

    @ MikeMa:

    I love the place.
    We also sometimes leave off our Rs here in [redacted]

  48. #48 herr doktor bimler
    April 29, 2016

    Even so, it’s still still pretty difficult to be published in PNAS. What member of the National Academy of Sciences would sponsor such a paper, anyway?

    They seem to be adopting the clickbait “churnalism” paradigm of publishing off-the-wall speculations and sending out press releases to the media, along with lists of suggested headlines, secure in the knowledge that none of the journamalists will pay the access fee to check that the text of the paper backs up the press release.

    Hence the recent bafflegab about insects having midbrains and consciousness:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/04/13/1520084113.abstract

  49. #49 sadmar
    April 29, 2016

    Thanks for the Lyons refs, hdb & Denice. It seems he’s the perfect publisher for anti-vax, as his personal experience (severely autistic daughter—>broken marriage), background (well-off family, Waldorf school), and professional skills all fit together:

    I have always been involved in niche publishing, which means publishing to a distinct population—fisherman, golfers, Minecrafters, Lego enthusiasts, homesteaders, science-fiction readers, political junkies, etc. We want to have a terrific sense of the target audience and the more specialized, the more well-defined, the better… If you know of some underserved niche that is crying out for books, I’d love to hear from you.

    So he’s probably both pursuing a genuine personal interest, AND making money from the well-defined AV niche.

  50. #50 Derek Freyberg
    Some miles south of Baghdad by the Bay
    April 29, 2016

    In other vax news, today’s San Francisco Chronicle published a rather credulous and enthusiastic review of “Vaxxed” by its usual movie critic, Mick LaSalle. I’d hoped the film would die quietly, but not so – of course, parts of the Bay Area are a hotbed of antivax activity. Mick does say that the movie was directed by “Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the gastroenterologist whose findings in this area have been largely discredited by the medical community”, but too politely fails to mention that Wakefield was struck off for fraud, etc., etc. Unfortunately the story on-line seems to be behind a paywall, or I’d link it.
    And on The Poxes Blog on Monday, Reuben posted “Need a laugh? Read this anti-vax lawsuit.” (https://thepoxesblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/need-a-laugh-read-this-anti-vax-lawsuit/) with a link to what seems to be the first lawsuit filed against California’s new vaccination law – filed by an attorney in Las Vegas. Several of the commentators here have dropped by, but perhaps not everyone has seen it.

  51. #51 rs
    April 29, 2016

    “Unfortunately the story on-line seems to be behind a paywall…”

    That’s a feature, not a problem. Paywalls ensure that next to no one will ever see that article. I’ve been thinking of using paywalls to safeguard us from nuclear waste. They’re almost foolproof.

  52. #52 John Phillips
    on the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 29, 2016

    @Derek Freyberg. I’m not a lwayer nor do I play one on the Interwebs, but even I can see that lawsuit is junk and any half decent judge is likely to rip the lawyer a new one, iat least if they can stop giggling long enough.

  53. #53 Alain
    April 29, 2016

    He also tried to get ;Someone We Know’ fired.
    Actually two of them.

    Speaking about that, in both case, this was over a or a few blog post(s) and in one case that I remember one of them having to censor his blog posting because of work requirement. If that particular blogger had to apply for a PhD in order to enjoy his free speech, can there be tort lawsuit over Jake’s shenanigans?

    Paging Dr. Reiss please 😉

    Alain

  54. #54 sadmar
    April 29, 2016

    Mick LaSalle’s brief review of ‘Vaxxed’ has been re-posted at AoA, where Anne Daschel harrumphs (excerpted):

    Mick LaSalle still doesn’t have it right, is still missing the point of the movie. No Mick LaSalle, this isn’t a film about not getting the MMR,, as you seem to think. Seriously…IT’S ABOUT FRAUD… CORRUPTION… COVER-UP… AT THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL Did LaSalle watch the same film that I did? Wasn’t he at all concerned about the statements made by William Thompson about what is going on at the CDC?

    Damn MSM, they just won’t learn!

  55. #55 Eric Lund
    April 29, 2016

    All a degree means — BS is literate, MS is more literate, PhD is most literate but not how much you know.

    The alternative version: You know what B.S. stands for. M.S. means “More of the Same” and Ph.D. means “Piled Higher and Deeper”.

    That, too, fits Crosby to a T.

  56. #56 shay simmons
    April 30, 2016

    All of the hoopla surrounded “Vaxxed” can’t disguise the fact that not only did Thompson not appear in the film, but he has refused to comment on it. Perhaps Hooker is doing some damage control to try and head off embarrassing questions.

  57. #57 has
    April 30, 2016

    @shay simmons: “not only did Thompson not appear in the film, but he has refused to comment on it”

    Presumably due to strict orders from his lawyer to shut his yap and stop digging. That he’s successfully doing so is perhaps an indication that he’s not beyond learning or self-correction, or at least now is satisfied that he has the ear of his employer which is what he was really after.

    It also reinforces the original hypothesis of an unhappy person and dysfunctional employee lashing out haphazardly against colleagues for some actual or perceived snub, rather than someone who’s bought into the anti-vax self-martyring movement. Had it been the latter, he’d have been incapable of staying shtum more than five minutes before blowing his lot completely, and by now would’ve been both firmly out of his old CDC job and nice set up as the newest and most beloved high priest of the Church of the Sainted Andy.

    It doesn’t really matter to Hooker and Wakefield now anyway: they’ve already got all they needed out of him – inviolable Articles of Faith that shall stand now for all eternity – and anything else he might say in future can only reinforce that further, either by confirming [their interpretation of] what he’s already said (unlikely) or by confirming [their claim of] the vast malicious conspiracy that’s now gotten to him too.

  58. #58 Helianthus
    April 30, 2016

    @ Dangerous Bacon

    Next month, an explosive sure-to-be-bestseller will blow the lid off the machinations at the CDC

    Again?
    They said it already last month.
    And the month before.

    And last year.

    And five years ago.

    Maybe they should stop blowing the lid off and give it a chance to crash down.
    That, or they have a big box of pétards mouillés.

  59. #59 John Phillips
    on the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 30, 2016

    They can’t help it, they’re stuck in an infinite loop with them hoping, this time, definitely this time. Or next time, definitely next time, ad infinitum.

  60. #60 Julian Frost
    South Africa
    April 30, 2016

    “They said it already last month.
    And the month before.

    And last year.

    And five years ago.”
    One is reminded of the fictional English schoolboy Billy Bunter, who was eternally convinced that his father had sent a postal order for money to him. Needless to say, said postal order never arrived.

  61. #61 Michael J. Dochniak
    Iowa
    April 30, 2016

    Orac writes,

    …given that I am indeed old enough to be his father.

    Quote:

    There are older and fouler things than Oracs in the deep places of the world. – Gandolf

  62. #62 capnkrunch
    April 30, 2016

    shay simmons@56

    Perhaps Hooker is doing some damage control to try and head off embarrassing questions.

    That’s pretty much what I’ve been saying all along. Although I think it’s more about placating the faithful because they will simply ignore uncomfortable questions from the outside. What they can’t have is the horde stopping to think long enough to come up with those questions on their own. And so more lies are piled on to advance the conspiracy.

    I think this whole thing is 100% pure BS cooked up by Hooker likely with help from Wakefraud. The AVers are so indoctrinated that they will not (can not?) question it when May passes and it becomes clear that Hooker is lying through his teeth.

    As John Phillips said in #47 at that point they’ll just make up more sh!t. I imagine there’s parallels between this behavior and that of cult leaders…

  63. #63 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2016

    And speaking of “100% BS cooked up”…

    Usually, I alert readers to an Olmsted’s weekly ( fish) wrap
    HOWEVER he has, of late, been discussing polio: seriously, it’s difficult to read – and I’ve read volumes of nearly, impossibly unreadable stuff , some reality-based, others not- and it goes on and on – three sections so far- it is almost in the same league as Gamondes but without oddball illustration THANKFULLY.

    At any rate, Dan believes that he can have insight into illnesses that scientists- including epidemiologists and physicians- haven’t fathomed in 100 bloody years. Who can ever forget his forays into the explication of ‘hysteria’ or into autism itself?

    Jake at Autism Investigated calls AoA a “crazy place run by crazy people”. Right, I agree but he used it as a platform for a long time. Why didn’t he quit?

    Last, and certainly not least ( as alreadyI mentioned Jake) , Mike Adams presents a three-part video about vaccination-
    same old crap, different packing:
    doctors are indoctrinated, it’s not real science ( as if he would know), vaccines cause death, on and on:
    mercifully, the first segment stopped playing after a few minutes, I saw the second IN FULL and couldn’t bother with the last.

  64. #64 sadmar
    Protestland
    April 30, 2016

    In my investigations of Lord Draconis, I wound up at the pharma forums on davidicke.com. Maybe half (?) of the Ickean’s comments referenced Mike Adams. The son of the Godhead himself reposts Adams’s’ ‘article’ from NN from time to time.

    Jake obviously was originally taken in by AoA at first. Only over time did he come to realize it was a false flag operation, and that Dan, Anne, and Kim are actually Reptillians.

  65. #65 MarkN
    April 30, 2016

    What is a machination, and why does it have a lid?
    Does only the CDC have them? Can I get one too??

  66. #66 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2016

    Oh sadmar, that’s not a very nice thing to say about reptilians! Hey, what did they ever do to you/

  67. #67 sadmar
    April 30, 2016

    “What did reptillains ever do to you?”

    You know the answer, Denice.

    They never send us those checks.

  68. #68 Narad
    April 30, 2016

    At any rate, Dan believes that he can have insight into illnesses that scientists- including epidemiologists and physicians- haven’t fathomed in 100 bloody years.

    It’s also coming pretty late in the game.

  69. #69 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2016

    @ Narad:

    Oh I know.

    -btw-
    What I do for sceptics.. I so excellent

    I watched Mikey’s third video – all 28 minutes!!!
    a few highlights ;
    at 15 minutes in :
    war.. nature of vaccine supporters…
    “creatures in human form” Darth
    at 21-22 minutes:
    if you look into Bill Gates’s eyes you see……
    also about Drs O and G
    at 26 minutes:
    Jedi…the Divine… love, life, light
    we’ve already won.”

    WAW**

    ** what a wanker

  70. #70 Dangerous Bacon
    April 30, 2016

    “The AVers are so indoctrinated that they will not (can not?) question it when May passes and it becomes clear that Hooker is lying through his teeth.’

    Two options then.

    1) Triumphantly boast that revealing the sinister CDC plot has embarrassed the agency into backtracking, and preening about how nothing gets past the vigilance of antivaxers, or

    2) Move on to the next conspiracy theory pretending the first did not crash and burn. Sort of like those quackery website bozos who issue year-end predictions of ghastly end-times scenarios which never come to pass.

    Making failed doomsday predictions has never come back to haunt supplement dealers and their allies. The faithful marks will panic anew at the next set of alarums, sending e-mails (and more importantly) money to their fearless leaders.

  71. #71 has
    April 30, 2016

    capnkrunch@62:

    I imagine there’s parallels between this behavior and that of cult leaders…

    I think you mean “congruence”.

  72. #72 has
    April 30, 2016

    Denice Walter@69: Good lord, you’re going to hurt yourself. You’re going to hurt yourself, and we’re not cleaning it up.

  73. #73 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2016

    @ has:

    Please don’t trouble yourself with worry about yours truly: I am quite immune to nonsense. I’ve been following Mikey since 2007-8 and the other idiot for much longer and I am no worse for the wear.

    For you see, I am descended from a long line of business people and am constitutionally armoured against stupidity. In fact, often we must tolerate inanity for the sake of a profit or the career ladder. Of course, I found this ability rather useful when I worked in advertising and studied psychology.

    Thus, I read or listen to crap and then go off and have a lovely time conversing with the more sophisticated and enjoying drinks, dinners and entertainment as I did today.

    Never fear, I am made of strong stuff.

    To be honest, I find much of it funny.

  74. #74 herr doktor bimler
    May 2, 2016

    I am quite immune to nonsense.

    Here’s some of my own:
    http://www.eusa-riddled.blogspot.com/2016/04/distraction-watch.html

  75. #75 Delphine
    LEICESTER CITY!!!!
    May 2, 2016

    “Schrodinger’s Manuscript” — perfect end to a remarkable day.

  76. #76 herr doktor bimler
    May 2, 2016

    a remarkable day.

    Foxes!

  77. #77 Mandy Kay
    May 3, 2016

    Todd W your comment couldn’t make less sense. Newborns here in the US are vaccinated on the first day of life. Get with the times dingbat.

  78. #78 mandy kay
    May 3, 2016

    Looks like all comments that don’t agre with you don’t get approved. you little faggot. Little pussy.
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/06/david-gorskis-financial-pharma-ties-what-he-didnt-tell-you.html

  79. #79 MI Dawn
    May 3, 2016

    @Mandy Kay: all first time comments go into moderation and Orac releases them when he can. Now that he’s released yours, we’re all able to see that we have a very classy person from the slum of AOA being so polite and having such educational things to say.

    By the way…if you’d done ANY searching on this site, you’d know Jake lied.

  80. #80 Helianthus
    May 3, 2016

    Newborns here in the US are vaccinated on the first day of life. Get with the times dingbat.

    Ooooh
    Someone has anger issues.

    Also, CDC vaccination schedule

    At birth, Hep B, 1st shot.
    All the rest: starting around the 2nd month and onward.
    So, for a given value (1) of “vaccinated on the first day of life”, you were right.

    However, what were we talking about, here? Ah, yes a study about MMR.
    First shot around 12 months.

    Anger issues and reading comprehension.

  81. #81 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 3, 2016

    @Helianthus

    In addition to not being able to differentiate between HepB and MMR (and the differences in timing for both), Mandy Kay apparently also is unaware of racial disparities in health care, and how minorities tend to be underserved because they lack the resources to obtain the same health care that more privileged people take for granted.

  82. #82 squirrelelite
    May 3, 2016

    @Mandy B

    Since this whole kerfuffle is based on questions about the interpretation of raw data in a study of MMR vaccination, the newborn Hepatitis B vaccination is a total non sequitur.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14754936

    But, if you’d like to present a prima facie argument that the Hep B shot causes autism or ASD (with real supporting evidence!!!), we’ll certainly give it a read through.

  83. #83 Helianthus
    May 3, 2016

    @ Todd W.

    I agree, Mandy takes a lot of things for granted.

  84. #84 Denice Walter
    May 3, 2016

    @ herr doktor bimler:

    Your blog isn’t nonsense: it’s ABOUT nonsense ( woo etc)

  85. #85 has
    May 3, 2016

    Mandy Kay@78: Do you always kiss your mother Andy’s ring with that mouth? Normally I’d advise washing it out with soap, but all the lye in the world couldn’t disinfect your putrid personality.

  86. #86 Liz Ditz
    Great State of California
    May 4, 2016

    Three things of beauty relative to the “vaccines cause autism” zombie myth.

    1. Iida Ruishalme is a Finnish cell biologist living and working in Switzerland. She writes a blog called Thoughscapism which is quite good. Last month she published a blog post, The Great Myth of Vaccines and Autism. It is quite good. Do give it a read.

  87. #87 Liz Ditz
    Great State of California
    May 4, 2016

    Three things of beauty relative to the “vaccines cause autism” zombie myth.

    2. Fallacy Man is the pseudonym of the fellow who writes the blog The Logic of Science, one of my new favorite blogs. He is a PhD candidate in biology with a pretty long CV of published works in the field. Earlier this week he published Vaccines and autism: A thorough review of the evidence, in which he evaluates two sets of article lists: 1) the ones that advance the argument that vaccines do not cause autism & 2) the ones that claim to show that vaccines do too cause autism. The most famous of the latter being of course Ginger Taylor’s ever-growing list.

    I highly recommend the article.

  88. #88 Liz Ditz
    Great State of California
    May 4, 2016

    Three things of beauty relative to the “vaccines cause autism” zombie myth.

    3. Doc Bastard is a trauma and general surgeon who writes the blog Stories from the Trauma Bay, which is also very much worth reading for … well, real life. He also is a staunch defender of science on the Twitter (@DocBastard). So he got tired of having Ginger’s list waved in his face, and wrote a blog post discussing every single one of the 124 papers, <a href="http://www.docbastard.net/2016/05/124-papers-that-do-not-prove-vaccines.html"124 papers that DO NOT prove vaccines cause autism". Highly recommended.

  89. #89 Narad
    May 4, 2016

    Jake has made the following strange pronouncement:

    How ironic for [Trump] to win the nomination on the eve of Thompson’s extremely dishonest and contradictory report in which he is expected to recant and say autism diagnoses caused vaccinations instead of the vaccinations causing autism.

    I’m not sure how far “eve” can be stretched, particularly when coupled with “expected.”

  90. #90 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 4, 2016

    Doesn’t Jake see connections EVERYWHERE?

  91. #91 MarkN
    pulling clinic hours this week with a bunch of crazy women
    May 5, 2016

    DocBastard! luv it

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