One of the most insidious and oft-repeated myths of the antivaccine movement is that vaccines cause autism. Certainly, it is true that there was an antivaccine movement long before anyone thought of linking vaccines to autism. For example, in the the 1980s the DPT (diptheria-whole cell pertussis-tetanus) vaccine was linked to encephalitis and neurological damage, a scare that lead to a wave of lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers that threatened the US vaccine program. Congress replied by passing the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, a “no-fault” act in which vaccine manufacturers paid into a fund to compensate families of children with legitimate vaccine injury and in return all vaccine injury claims had to go through the newly created National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and Vaccine Court. Children with certain “table injuries” would be compensated rapidly and surely, and their legal costs were paid, win or lose.

Unfortunately, in the 1990s the myth arose that vaccines could somehow cause or trigger autism. this myth arose in part because broadened diagnostic criteria in the early 1990s coupled with screening programs that would result in diagnoses of autism where before there had been other diagnoses, such as mental retardation, resulted in a huge increase in the prevalence of autism. Humans being humans, some linked the increase in the number of vaccines in the vaccine schedule around the same time to this increasing prevalence of autism, and the vaccine-autism myth was born. Add to that Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 Lancet case series that purported to show an association between the MMR vaccine and autism, and the myth was greatly strengthened, such that now it is one of the central organizing myths of the antivaccine movement, along with the conspiracy theory that the CDC has slam dunk evidence showing that vaccines cause autism but is hiding it because it is in collusion with big pharma to keep selling vaccines.

Indeed, there is now a documentary making the rounds that makes in essence exactly those claims, using a disgruntled CDC scientist named William Thompson, who had a disagreement with his co-investigators over the interpretation of a 2004 study that failed to find a link between the MMR vaccine and autism and, as a result, reached out to a biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivaccine epidemiologist named Brian Hooker. Thompson helped Hooker get access to the raw dataset for that 2004 study, which he reanalyzed in a now-retracted paper that purported to show a correlation between vaccination with MMR and autism in African-American males. Thus was born the “CDC whistleblower” saga, which is now the subject of a movie produced by Del Bigtree and directed by Andrew Wakefield, VAXXED: From Cover-up to Catastrophe.

I’m not going to discuss VAXXED any further this post, although I have finally seen it and will in a few days be posting a modified version of a lengthy review I posted elsewhere. The reason I bring it up is because various combinations of Del Bigtree, Andrew Wakefield, and Polly Tommey have been going around the country promoting the movie and doing Q&As after screenings, which they’ve been recording and posting to Facebook and YouTube (for example, here). I’m going to discuss a couple of more of these videos because, better than anything I’ve seen recently, they demonstrate that when antivaccinationists claim not to be “antivaccine” but “pro-vaccine safety” or “vaccine safety activists,” they are either self-deluded or lying. It’s worse than that, though. When they claim to be “autism activists” or advocates for autistic children, that too is a lie or delusion.

Here is the main video I’m talking about, posted to Del Bigtree’s Facebook page of his Q&A with Polly Tommey in Pittsburgh on July 10:


The first relevant part of the video has been nicely excerpted by Reasonable Hank:

Polly Tommey states unequivocally that there is no such thing as a safe vaccine:

In my mind, Polly Tommey as a parent, people that I’m speaking to, there clearly is no safe vaccine, because the only person that I will believe—and every single parent stood up who’s lived the same misery that I have, I can tell you, we will never trust again. We will never stick another needle. You can say this is a safe vaccine, but we will never believe you. How can we believe you?

Got that? Tommey says unequivocally that there is no safe vaccine and that she will never believe scientists that vaccines are safe, no matter what. From the tone of her voice, her combativeness, it is easy to see that she means what she says. It’s also easy to see that it’s unlikely that any amount of evidence will lead her to change her mind.

Indeed, she goes beyond that. Before the clip above, before Tommey says she will never, ever vaccinated, she invokes a common antivaccine trope, namely that vaccines kill. Check it out around 14:00:

America, you have really opened our eyes up. We are hearing from parents whose babies have died from their Hib vaccine, babies who have died from the DTaP vaccine, and then they call it…SIDS. And from where we’re standing right now, that is a new word for “death by vaccine,” because nobody will acknowledge but the parents know. We parents know what happened to our children, and, death after death after death, it is incredible. It’s almost every Q&A we’re getting at least one baby that died from the the Hib or the birth [Hepatitis B vaccine] or from the DTaP. And then there are children like mine, who have seizures and regress, and that’s called “autism.” To me now, that’s just another word that we’re chucking our children under the rug, because actually what it really is is vaccine injury. Anything but vaccine injury, anything but death by vaccine. Why are they not talking about the fact that these vaccines are killing, maiming, and murdering the brains of our children? A 19-year-old boy wants to go to college, gets a flu vaccine, and dies. The Gardasil victims, it’s everywhere. It’s every single vaccine. We didn’t start out to listen to this. We just had our story to tell here, and now we’re hearing from the military. It’s coming out of every corner.

So let’s see. Wakefield, Bigtree, and Tommey are “not antivaccine.” At least, that’s what they’ve claimed again and again and again. Yet they’ve just made a movie filled with nearly every antivaccine myth, conspiracy theory, and trope known to humankind and are selling it by saying things like “Vaccines kill”; SIDS is “death from vaccines”; autism is “vaccine injury,” the result of vaccines “murdering the brains of our children”; that it’s “every single vaccine”; and that there is no safe vaccine. One of my favorite tricks to get an antivaccinationist to reveal herself is based on a similar trick I used to use in alt.revisionism regarding Holocaust history. Basically, it involves asking a couple of very simple questions:

  • Are there any vaccines you consider safe and effective enough to give your child
  • If the answer is yes, please name them and tell me why.

Someone who is not antivaccine will usually be able to rattle off at least a couple of vaccines—even if it’s just the tetanus vaccine—as being worth receiving. Antivaccinationists like Tommey, on the other hand, will either answer “none,” or, sensing the trap, equivocate, waffle, and go on a rant about specific vaccines.

This is just a taste, too. Elsewhere in the Q&A, Bigtree rants about the evils of big pharma and blames it for all this alleged death and destruction. In another Q&A in May, Tommey described a conversation she had from a caller to a radio show in which she was being interviewed, in which she was asked about California after SB 277, the law that eliminates nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates:

This one guy called in, and he says, “I have a four year old daughter who’s unvaccinated. Everything’s great. But now I have to vaccinate her.” And I couldn’t get him to say, “No you don’t have to vaccinate her.”

Here’s the thing. Parents are so worried—well, they should be worried; they’re in California. There’s no school, no job, no house, no anything worth putting a vaccine in your child, and it doesn’t seem to be sinking in, and I’m not judging, because I used to be that person. I mean, he saw VAXXED; yet he still says , “I live in California. I’m going to have to vaccinate my child.”

“There’s no school, no job, no house, no anything worth putting a vaccine in your child”? That doesn’t sound as though it’s something a vaccine safety advocate would say, but it sure does sound like something an antivaccine activist would say.

So does this gem from Bigtree at a different Q&A for VAXXED:

In this segment, Bigtree is clearly discussing SB 277 when he asks, “What were the Jewish people thinking when the Nazis took over?” (He even made a reference to the Yellow Star of David, just like Heather Barajas did last year when she likened herself and her daughter to Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation.) Nazi analogies are very popular among antivaccine activists and the antivaccine-sympathetic, after all. Oh, and Bigtree also likens the rhetoric about vaccination to slavery, as well! Truly, it’s a two-fer of antivaccine persecution complex.

It’s also far from the only time Bigtree has invoked such rhetoric:

Yes, in this selection of excerpts from speeches and appearances, Bigtree likens those promoting vaccination to Nazis during the Holocaust, to slave owners and slavery advocates before the Civil War (even explicitly saying that parents and children are being “enslaved”), and to whites during apartheid, with he and his brave band of antivaccine activists being the Jews, the slaves, and the blacks, respectively, in those historical events. Unfortunately, when you compare those who disagree with you to Nazis, slave owners, and whites enforcing apartheid and those people happen to be pro-vaccine advocates looking for strategies to increase vaccine uptake, it’s hard not to conclude that your rhetoric has nothing to do with vaccine safety and everything to do with being antivaccine.

It’s worse than that, though. Not long after Tommey’s little rant about how vaccines kill and cause autism and how there’s no safe vaccine, she sinks even lower. This brings me to the second claim that antivaccine activists like Polly Tommey frequently make, that they are advocates for the autistic. Indeed, Tommey started a magazine called The Autism File, as though it were a lifestyle and advocacy magazine for families with autistic children and adults, even though in reality it is more a paean to Andrew Wakefield and a repository of quack “autism biomed” treatments designed to treat the “vaccine injury” that Tommey believes autism to be. Another example is the antivaccinationists who believe that vaccines cause autism who started a blog. When they named it, they named it “Age of Autism,” even though it’s around 90% about vaccines and how they believe that vaccines cause autism, 9% about quack “autism biomed” treatments, and maybe 1% true autism advocacy. (OK, I’m probably giving them too much credit.) Yet another group is “Generation Rescue,” the idea being to “rescue” autistic children from autism.

Now let’s see what Tommey thinks of autistic children, as we pick up where we left off in her Pittsburgh Q&A:

And who is going to look after our children? Who’s going to take Billy on? Who’ll be able to stand Billy with those terrible tantrums he has? Who? No one’s going to take him on. They’ll put a four point restraint bed and psychotropic drugs or see him out on the street.

Then, she says this:

I’m going to let you listen to this for yourself, but I will point out that she concludes by saying I will “never judge them for what they did,” the “them” being parents who murdered their autistic child.

Just let that sink in a moment. Polly Tommey won’t judge parents who kill their autistic children. No doubt part of this reticence comes from the murder of Alex Spourdalakis, an autistic teen whose mother killed him. It was a story that was reported dishonestly by antivaccine reporter Sharyl Attkisson, but, worse, it was a tragedy that Andrew Wakefield and Polly Tommey glommed onto in order to make a video for their Autism Media Channel.

Matt Carey sums up her involvement thusly:

But the low point of Polly Tommey’s advocacy career came when she and Andrew Wakefield “helped” a family in crisis. They were working on a reality TV show (that failed to get off the ground) called the Autism Team. The idea was simple: find a family with an autistic child who is in need of help. Swoop in with Team Wakefield, blame vaccines, claim it’s all about gastrointestinal issues, claim to have helped the family and move on to the next. But it all fell apart with one family–that of Alex Spourdalakis. In the autism community, a community were people have extraordinary needs, Alex had extraordinary needs. What he didn’t need was for his mother to be fed false hopes and bad advice, which is what Team Wakefield did. What he didn’t need was for Team Wakefield to walk away to their next project, leaving his mother with nothing when the hope they were sold proved false.

Alex was murdered. Brutally murdered. By his mother and another caregiver. Alex was poisoned. When that failed to kill him, he was stabbed. Repeatedly. His wrist was slit to the bone. By his mother and caregiver. Alex bled to death, leaving a grisly scene for when his father, estranged from the mother, found him.

The fact that Polly Tommey won’t face up to her abject failure with Alex Spourdalakis is not surprising. It is also not surprising that Polly Tommey won’t judge the people who committed that brutal murder, or any other murder by a parent of an autistic child. Not surprising, but an example of the failure of Polly Tommey and other faux autism advocates to actually stand up and lead. How hard is it to say, “No! Murder is wrong”?

Polly Tommey met Alex Spourdalakis. But she “won’t judge” the person who plunged a knife into his chest. She won’t judge the person who poisoned him. She won’t judge the person who slit his wrist.

No, she won’t judge Alex’s murderers. Instead she and Wakefield capitalized on the tragedy to make “documentary”, taking Alex’s story to promote their own agenda.

I don’t think I could have said it better than that, particularly given that I lack the direct experience with autism that Carey has. All I really have to add is that Tommey seems to be like a lot of mothers of autistic children who have turned to the Dark Side (become antivaccine). She doesn’t seem to view her child as fully human; her “real” child was the normal son she had before his symptoms of developmental delay and autism manifested themselves. Once that happened, the very human tendency to need an explanation manifested itself, and unfortunately, for whatever reason, the explanation that most resonated with her was vaccines.

Tommey might think herself a vaccine safety advocate uncovering CDC malfeasance and a champion for autistic children, but her own words and behavior show quite conclusively that nothing could be further from the truth. I wonder what Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who met with Bigtree in June to listen to the pleas of antivaccine activists to subpoena the “CDC whistleblower” would think if he knew just how antivaccine Bigtree is. Probably nothing, and that’s depressing.

Comments

  1. #1 Dorit Reiss
    July 14, 2016

    When you assume there’s no good future for your son, it feels like it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. At the very least, it probably means you are not working, making powerful efforts, to make such a future. People have limited energy, and with Ms. Tommey devoting all hers to fighting vaccines, how can she be working to help make sure there is an infrastructure in place to help and support adult Billy?

    And her dehumanizing comments about him – as you pointed out – are so, so troubling. Is he ever seen as a treasure rather than a burden? Appreciated?

  2. #2 Dorit Reiss
    July 14, 2016

    And the fact that Vaxxed team still go around saying that they are not anti-vaccine while saying these things doesn’t do much for their credibility, such as it is.

  3. #3 Chris Hickie
    July 14, 2016

    Tommey, Wakefield and Bigtree are the worst sort of ghouls–making their coin off pretending to help children when in reality everything they say and do hurts children. I hope this message gets out strongly and widely that those who made the movie Vaxxed think it’s allowable for parents of an autistic child to kill that child.

    Meanwhile here in Phoenix only 60 miles from the largest current measles outbreak in the US ( at 22 patients in a federal detention center– and having continued for the last six weeks only because unvaccinated employees that detention center have refused vaccination), Vaxxed is now returnin to the Phoenix area but at least two if not three showings in a local movie theater chain that has been anti-vaccine as long as they’ve been in existence, even refusing to show PSAs for vaccines. Given that Arizona has the worst MMR vaccination rate in the country for 2015 per CDC survey , this is all very concerning. The Vaxxed group is throwing gas on a fire.

  4. #4 Guy Chapman
    United Kingdom
    July 14, 2016

    The worst part of this is that the antivax cult is so deeply ideologically vested in its belief in the evils of vaccines that there is literally nothing that can change their rhetoric. As Lenin said, a lie told often enough becomes the truth, and for these people the lies they tell have become truth and any information conflicting with that “truth” is therefore evidence of suppression and cover-up.

    It is the same kind of paranoid delusional behaviour seen in 9/11 Truthers and elsewhere, but the political system cannot fix it because the political system decades ago gave up even pretending not to be dominated by corporate interests, and that means trust is essentially forfeit for a substantial minority of the population.

  5. #5 Helianthus
    France
    July 14, 2016

    Shaken baby syndrome

    Nice of them to put it on top of their list. Didn’t need to read any further.
    Antivaxers are baby-killers, the lots of them.

    Someone who is not antivaccine will usually be able to rattle off at least a couple of vaccines—even if it’s just the tetanus vaccine

    Ah. Indeed.
    I just found out a French antivaxer who published a book this month on how the tetanus vaccine is doing nothing, tetanus is just an illness of the elderly (so what’s the big trouble?) and most people survive it anyway.
    Example of a link to the book (in French)
    Let’s just say I was yelling a lot at my computer screen while reading the summary. Mostly on the lines of “biology doesn’t work this way, you m0ron”.
    But no, she is not antivax, just for safeguarding civil liberties and providing all the info on vaccines.

    Cherry on top of the cake: there is currently a trial in France about the case of a 8-year old child who contacted tetanus after stepping on a chunk of broken pottery (so, not an illness of the elderly after all – well, maybe he lied about his age).
    Since the tetanus vaccine in mandatory in France, the child’s pediatrician is suspected to have not provided it and falsified the child’s vaccination card. He has been suspended by the French board of pediatricians.(article in French)
    And this pediatrician? He is a homeopath. Oh, and it’s the fault of the hospital staff, maybe they didn’t dress the wound properly.
    Sounds familiar.

    In a similar vein, our happy Professor Joyeux has just had his physician licence revoked this week by the French medical board. But no, he is not antivaccine, he was just complaining (I say jumping on the bandwagon) about the shortage in France of DTP vaccines (which are mandatory), forcing people to purchase more expensive hexavalent vaccines (the other three components, like HiB, being only recommended). I admit it’s a real issue in terms of economics and seller-buyer relationship: it’s a forced sale.
    But no, no antivaccine at all. Well, he did say everything would be better if women were staying home breastfeeding babies instead of vaccinating them. Oh, and there are toxic loads of aluminium and mercury in vaccines. And HepB vaccination is useless for babies and give multiple sclerosis and it’s a just a risk for promiscuous people. And…
    OK, I’ll stop here. The regular readers have long recognized the usual suspects.

    tl;dr: don”t worry, yankees, it’s not just in the US. We French also have our lot of freedom-loving, pro-safe-vaccine advocates.

    • #6 Dorit Reiss
      July 14, 2016

      @Helianthus: Question about Dr. Bry in your article – is she also a doctor of medicine? (I’m not sure what the designation would be in France). Or is she only a homeopath? I’m not sure how it works.

  6. #7 Helianthus
    July 14, 2016

    @ Dorit Reiss

    is she also a doctor of medicine?

    That is not completely clear, I will admit. In another article, Dr Bry is refereed as physician (“médecin”).

    I believe he is a regular physician who further specialized into pediatrics and into homeopathy (not necessarily in this order).
    Checking the French status, I found out that the French board of medicine is recognizing homeopathy as an acceptable specialty since 1997 (integrative medicine at work).
    So, yes, I think he is a doctor of medicine as well as an homeopath. Hence the board of medicine suspending him – as one of their own – for malpractice/falsifying records rather than going after him for illegal exercise of medicine.

    (BTW, yes, Dr Philippe Bry is a “he”. The woman on the article’s picture is his lawyer)

    • #8 Dorit Reiss
      July 14, 2016

      Thank you for that very complete answer.

  7. #9 Renate
    July 14, 2016

    I suppose one could answer the flyer at the beginning with a simular flyer, which opens with: “There are no innocent childhood diseases”.

  8. #10 has
    July 14, 2016

    Guy Chapman@4: “The worst part of this is that the antivax cult is so deeply ideologically vested in its belief”

    It’s not just ideology. It’s also about certainty, status, power, and in quite a few cases wealth. Without their beliefs they are nothing – just pathetic little nobodies with empty “failed” lives, terrified and hiding from a vast unpredictable universe they cannot understand or control.

    The rest of us can point out all their lies till the last proton winks out and it won’t make a lick of difference to them: the lies are the product, and they will never abandon it no matter how transparently manipulative and dishonest those lies may be. That’s because it’s the ownership of the product – not its content – that they are actually buying, along with all the rights and priveleges that come with that ownership – including the right to lie to others inside and outside their movement in order to make it bigger and stronger and righter – and thus make themselves bigger and stronger and righter too.

    Not that we point out antivax lies for the movement antivaxxers’ benefit, of course – they’re a paranoid fascistic personality-driven cult with blood on their hands, and the only thing they flay harder than the vaccines is any dissent amongst their own – but for the fencesitters and shruggies and the newcomers who haven’t been around long enough to fully realize just how utterly hateful and insane the antivax movement really is.

    As to politics failing to fix antivax (and a myriad other societal woes) – I know the ‘corporate influences’ line is a popular theory, but I think it’s really far simpler than that: politics won’t even get out of bed for any issue that affects less than 10% of a nation’s population/GDP/whatever, because numbers smaller than that simply don’t hold any significant value. Never put down to vast paranoid conspiracy theory what can be fully explained by simple individual human nature: people just don’t give a shit for strangers’ problems, only for their own.

  9. #11 Orac
    July 14, 2016

    To be clear, the flyer above is not the product of Polly Tommey or the VAXXED publicity team. I simply used it because it came up on the first page of a Google image search for “antivaccine” and caught my eye.

  10. #12 Angela
    July 14, 2016

    The fact that they insist that SIDS and shaken baby syndrome are caused by vaccines really infuriates me.

    It’s been said before, but since babies get vaccines at least every 2-3 months in their first year of life, anything can be a vaccine injury using their logic.

    If we all just stopped vaccinating right now, and SIDS didn’t change, autism rates didn’t change, these anti-vaxxers would just change to something else (toxins in the environment, GMOs, etc.).

    Plus, maybe they would want to start vaccinating when VPDs come roaring back. (Or not…they would say something else is causing it).

  11. #13 Amethyst
    The Crystal Gem
    July 14, 2016

    Shaken Baby Syndrom I don’t even begin to understand how vaccines are supposed to have been the culprit. Does it super-charge the infant’s cells with vibrational energy or something and sets them off like something that fell out of mommy’s nightstand and dailed-up to eleven?!

  12. #14 Dangerous Bacon
    July 14, 2016

    Dorit: ” People have limited energy, and with Ms. Tommey devoting all hers to fighting vaccines, how can she be working to help make sure there is an infrastructure in place to help and support adult Billy?”

    Unfortunately, this sounds a lot like the argument just made in the comments section of another thread, where an antivaxer suggested that Orac needed to stop talking about vaccines and concentrate on saving breast cancer patients. People can and do devote attention to issues with which they’re deeply concerned (regardless of how off-base they might be) while carrying on competently in other spheres.

    To further make myself popular this morning: It troubles me to hear occasional comments here about how some parents of autistic children don’t recognize their humanity/intrinsic worth. Personally I’ve had very limited exposure to profoundly autistic children who are uncommunicative, violent and/or self-destructive, and I can’t really imagine what it must be for parents to live with that on a daily basis, and would allow them despairing remarks about what used to be or could have been.

    Yes, the vehemently antivax contingent is wrongly assigning blame and threatening the health of children in general. But maybe those who do not have autistic children should cut them some slack in how they discuss their “lost” kids.

  13. #15 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 14, 2016

    Sorry Dangerous Bacon, I’m going to have to disagree.

    But maybe those who do not have autistic children should cut them some slack in how they discuss their “lost” kids.

    While the frustrations of dealing with an autistic child are significant, that language doesn’t hurt just their children, it hurts ALL autistics. Their narrative says that we’re damaged goods. That we’re less than human. That murder of autistics is forgivable, acceptable, sometimes even a good thing. And that is something I will not stand for, no matter how much I sympathise with the struggles of Tommey and other parents of autistics.

    • #16 Dorit Reiss
      July 14, 2016

      @Dangerous Bacon:
      Your first point is well taken: what I said was wrong. It should be possible for people to devote themselves to a cause or a job and make provisions for their children future.

      That said, for these parents, the all-encompassing cause seems to take over instead of doing that. At least, Ms. Tommey’s words and as far as publicly seen her action suggest her focus is on the cause to the extent of excluding working to their future.

      On the second issue I agree with Julian. We can understand distressed, despairing parents using wrong language. But this dehumanizing language has very, very pernicious consequences in terms of what can be done to kids – theirs and others. It just legitimizes too many bad things.

  14. #17 MI Dawn
    July 14, 2016

    @DB: there is a difference between what has been “lost” – potential of an independent life, a long life, a healthy life (depending on illness) and a “lost kid”.

    The problem is, parents who are facing issues with their children can handle it many ways. The best way, like my cousin who is dealing with the regression and probably early deaths of two of her 3 children to GM1 gangliosidosis.

    She mourns for what her children have lost in health and ability but loves them deeply and rejoices in their current abilities, as small as they may be. Her children are not lost. Their potential has been. They spend days in pain and confusion. But she would not and has not ever thought of them or treated them as “lost” the way many of these parents treat their children.

    (She’s also very provaccine. If someone threatens her children’s health with their antivaccine nonsense, or tried to convince her the childrens’ issues are related to vaccines, they’d have their heads handed to them on a platter.)

  15. #18 Chris Hickie
    July 14, 2016

    @ Dangerous Bacon: No one forced Polley Tommey to say what she said at that Q & A for Vaxxed. And certainly that media mogul Del Bigtree must screen and edit all these videos before posting them publicly on the Vaxxed website. Sorry, she/they don’t get off on this one.

    Polley Tommey is a vile person–as vile as Wakefield and only slightly less slimy.

  16. #19 Helianthus
    July 14, 2016

    @ Angela

    If we all just stopped vaccinating right now, and SIDS didn’t change, autism rates didn’t change, these anti-vaxxers would just change to something else (toxins in the environment, GMOs, etc.).

    To some extent, that happened in Japan in the middle 70’s.
    After a few SIDS, pertussis vaccines were blamed and the authorities decided to delay them.
    Then a few babies got sick and died of the diseases these vaccines were designed to prevent. And SIDS rate actually increased.
    Antivaxers usually only remember the first part – Japanese authorities fingering the vaccines as guilty of inducing SIDS.

    Looking for some reference, I found this link of interest. The dozen other pages I found were antivax.

  17. #20 Eric Lund
    July 14, 2016

    It’s been said before, but since babies get vaccines at least every 2-3 months in their first year of life, anything can be a vaccine injury using their logic.

    This is a textbook example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Just because B happened after A doesn’t mean that A caused B. Unfortunately, we don’t do a good enough job of teaching basic logic in schools.

    Of course if it weren’t vaccines it would be somebody else. This crowd wants some assurance that their children’s autism is Not Their Fault, i.e., that the cause is some external environmental factor rather than genetic, or something about their parenting.

  18. #21 sirhcton
    moving farther from Bagdad any day now, really
    July 14, 2016

    Time for a visit from our resident “vaccine safety” mugwump, demanding proteomic testing for children before vaccination.

  19. #22 Orac
    July 14, 2016

    OK, too many people have latched on to the shaken baby syndrome part of the image I chose for this post, even though it is not really that relevant, to the point that on Twitter and Facebook (as well as, to a lesser extent, here) that’s dominating the discussion.. Let me be clear: Bigtree and Tommey are despicable and blame vaccines for all sorts of things (including SIDS), but they did not in these videos blame them for shaken baby syndrome. Other antivaccinationists have done that on numerous occasions, and for all I know maybe Tommey has at some time blamed vaccines for shaken baby syndrome, but she didn’t do so here. Shaken baby syndrome is a distraction to the post, and I’m changing the picture, as I had only chosen it originally because it was a good example of the sorts of things these self-proclaimed “vaccine safety advocates” blame vaccines for.

  20. #23 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    July 14, 2016

    Amethyst:

    Shaken Baby Syndrom I don’t even begin to understand how vaccines are supposed to have been the culprit. Does it super-charge the infant’s cells with vibrational energy or something and sets them off like something that fell out of mommy’s nightstand and dailed-up to eleven?!

    I’ve read some of the material. (And yes, felt like I needed a shower afterwards.) They don’t claim it causes the baby to shake; they actually question the coroner’s findings, and in some cases accuse the coroner of faking the results. They claim the subdural hematomas and damaged retinas and so forth are actually a hitherto-unknown form of stroke that, they claim, can only be caused by vaccines. I mean seriously, they go through all the findings showing a brain that has been smacked around back and forth inside the skull, and even detached retinas and torn tissue in the neck, as some kind of a stroke. They infuriate me. I mean, I might have sympathy for them and think they were just misguided if they weren’t willing to jump on LITERALLY ANYTHING, including DEFENDING OBVIOUS MURDERERS, if only it will in some way denigrate vaccines. Seriously. Yellowstone could erupt and kill thousands and they’d find some way to link it to vaccines, and be happy.

  21. #24 Ryan
    July 14, 2016

    She won’t blame an insane mother (and I use the term mother very loosely) for poisoning and then stabbing her own son but she will blame vaccines despite the overwhelming evidence that they don’t cause autism. Right. Delusional, thy name is Tommey.

    People like this are why we can’t have nice things.

  22. #25 capnkrunch
    July 14, 2016

    Ugh. The Nazi comments are antisemitic and the thing is, when you point that out they totally fail to get the point. Stop using our tragedy to advance your cause, it’s disgusting and the comparison diminishes how terrible the Holocaust was.

    “Poor us; we need to vaccinate our kids to be able to send them to public school. That’s just like that time when Hitler systemically killed six million of your people, right?”

    F*ck off.

  23. #26 Sheila Fitzgerald
    July 14, 2016

    To be fair, the Nazi and slavery references seem to be only a one time thing for him.

  24. #27 Eric Lund
    July 14, 2016

    Yes, they went there.

    There’s a reason why, in the original statement of Godwin’s law, the side that first compared their opponents to Nazis was considered to have lost the debate. Argumentum ad Hitleram is all too frequently the resort of people who aren’t debating rationally. As we all know, this describes the core anti-vax crowd to a T.

  25. #28 has
    July 14, 2016

    Angela@12: “The fact that they insist that SIDS and shaken baby syndrome are caused by vaccines really infuriates me.”

    Ah, but that’s only because you’re not a sickeningly amoral monster who says and does absolutely anything they can to recruit both crying heartbroken parents and malevolent child abusers to your cause. Otherwise you would see absolutely no problem here.

    “It’s been said before, but since babies get vaccines at least every 2-3 months in their first year of life, anything can be a vaccine injury using their logic.”

    Hell, the really experienced antivaxxers will happily blame it on the vaccines given to the parents when they were infants.

    Come to think of it, I’m honestly amazed that none of them have yet thought to blame vaccine pollution entering the waste water supply when newly vaccinated babby gotta go pee, only to be recycled via ocean evaporation into clouds into rain into reservoirs into the very water we drink from our very own household taps exclusive all-natural holistically-blessed 100% pure Alpine spring bottled water supply. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Homequacks…

    Vaccine Cooties, They Get Everywhere!

  26. #29 Politicalguineapig
    July 14, 2016

    I’ve thought of two things that might help. First of all more provisions and financial support for respite care, and a provision for legal abandonment with financial support only, after the autism diagnosis is confirmed.Anti-vax parents get a five-minute presentation about murdered autistic kids and what led up to the murders- if they are capable of thought, it might cause them to think.Anti-vax parents also get sent to the back of the line when they seek non-emergency medical treatment, which would infuriate the warrior moms, especially if they see poorer people being treated better and more swiftly than they are.

    HDB: Tetanus as a disease of the elderly?I’d like to see actual stats, because it seems to me that the elderly, at least in industrialized countries, are less likely to get tetanus.First of all, you’ve got a fairly large swathe that is hospitalized or in care. The mobile population is going to be more aware of risks and they’re careful of where they put their feet, since even a tiny fall could lead to major consequences. So, I think this guy is using rectum based statistics.

  27. #30 Orac
    July 14, 2016

    To be fair, the Nazi and slavery references seem to be only a one time thing for him.

    Oooh. I didn’t see that video. I’m adding it to the post! 🙂

  28. #31 Denice Walter
    July 14, 2016

    Speculating about the N@zi and slavery references –

    could it be because the movement is comp0osed of mostly lily white** Christian, middle class-plus parents who may not be socially sensitive enough to discern their error?

    I believe that Jewish and black members might school them well.

    To be fair, I believe that at least one of the TMs might be Jewish ( I forget her name but she appeared on one of the parent panels at Autism One 2015) There is one Moslem, a Hispanic-American and a French woman. Sheila Ealey is a recent addition.

    Otherwise…

    Our friend Dr Jay was unhappy with yours truly for once describing his clientele as such. There have been studies which Orac cited that described the anti-vax movement as quite white and affluent.

    ** I should talk!

  29. #32 Denice Walter
    July 14, 2016

    re that ‘modified version’ of Orac’s ‘lengthy review’ to be posted..

    Why? The original is just fine.

    • #33 Orac
      July 14, 2016

      Needs more Insolence.

  30. #34 Eric Lund
    July 14, 2016

    could it be because the movement is comp0osed of mostly lily white** Christian, middle class-plus parents who may not be socially sensitive enough to discern their error?

    That plus being so far off the deep end that they don’t realize they are talking crazy talk.

    Alternatively, some of these parents might be undiagnosed high-functioning autistics themselves. Michael Lewis’s book The Big Short has a central character who is an example of this: he only realizes that he is autistic when his son is so diagnosed, and recognizes that the symptoms the doctor is describing could equally well apply to him. He made a bundle of money shorting mortgage backed securities because he had the patience (which, as he later realized, came from his autism-related ability to focus on a problem he found interesting) to read the prospectuses and recognize these AAA-rated investments as junk

  31. #35 R.P. McMurphy
    United States
    July 14, 2016

    Hi people. I am terrified of getting Japanese Encephalitis, Typhoid, Rabies, Cholera and Diphtheria.

    What are the chances that I would get side effects from these vaccines?

    And what are the chances that an unvaccinated person would catch these horrible diseases?

    Does Japanese Encephalitis make your head look Japanese? That would be worse than Rabies.

  32. #36 Roger Kulp
    July 14, 2016

    @ Dorit Reese
    People have limited energy, and with Ms. Tommey devoting all hers to fighting vaccines, how can she be working to help make sure there is an infrastructure in place to help and support adult Billy?
    Several prominent antivax parents have put their autistic children away in “residential treatment facilities,as soon as they hit 18 or 21,in order to devote all of their time to “the cause”.If Ms. Tommey has done this,she would not be the first.

  33. #37 Roger Kulp
    July 14, 2016

    I’m not going to discuss VAXXED any further this post, although I have finally seen it and will in a few days be posting a modified version of a lengthy review I posted elsewhere.

    Or you can just go read it at the not so secret other blog.
    790 comments so far.

  34. #38 Chris
    July 14, 2016

    R.P. McMurphy, have you ever heard of Google? So sorry we will not be accepting your thread hijacking attempt today.

    Do try again on another day when we are not discussing those who think it is perfectly fine to murder people who are not considered normal.

  35. #39 R.P. McMurphy
    July 14, 2016

    I don’t follow.

    Are you saying that withholding vaccines is murder?

  36. #40 JustaTech
    July 14, 2016

    R.P. McMurphy @39: No, Chris is saying that stabbing an autistic child to death is murder. In case you somehow missed that huge part of the original post.

    Also, your statement about Japanese Encephalitis @35 is incredibly racist.

  37. #41 Chris
    July 14, 2016

    McMurphy, are you saying poisoning, stabbing, smother and throwing a kid off a bridge just because they have a neurological difference is okay?

    Go take your racist creepiness elsewhere.

  38. #42 Matt Carey
    leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk
    July 14, 2016

    Note that she also tells parents to not go to pediatricians.

    Just another example of the junk advice one gets from Polly Tommey and her team

    https://www.facebook.com/lbrb.sullivan/videos/1228128707237936/

  39. #43 Travis
    July 14, 2016

    #20 ” that the cause is some external environmental factor rather than genetic, or something about their parenting”

    It think would be hard to make a case for genetics, but psychological abuse has been implicated in autism for quite some time. The first to use the term “Autism”, as it is understood today, was Leo Kanner. Kanner believed Autism to be the result of Sociological factors.

    Whether this be true or not, most mothers would surely prefer other aetiological explanations.

  40. #44 R.P. McMurphy
    July 14, 2016

    Chris said that: “…poisoning, stabbing, smother and throwing a kid off a bridge just because they have a neurological difference is okay…”

    What a terrible thing to say Chris.

  41. #45 Chris
    July 14, 2016

    Orac: “Indeed, Tommey started a magazine called The Autism File, as though it were a lifestyle and advocacy magazine for families with autistic children and adults, even though in reality it is more a paean to Andrew Wakefield and a repository of quack “autism biomed” treatments designed to treat the “vaccine injury” that Tommey believes autism to be.”

    I remember that rag. When my son was in the hospital a bit over four years ago I went down to the gift shop to get something. And among the magazines were several copies of that vile excuse of autism exploitation. This was on a day that a nurse had offered to vaccinate my son before he was discharged.

    Guess who its scientific editor was? Dear ol’ fraudypants Wakefield.

    So I complained to the hospital. It turns out they were not very pleased. Apparently the magazine vendor had place the copies of “Autism File” in the gift shop by mistake. The hospital customer service people went down and removed the rest of copies.

    They were not keen on having something that was counter to their hospital policies (all employees must be vaccinated) that are in place to protect their patients. Like the ones who go to the Heart Transplant clinic down the hallway from the gift shop.

  42. #46 Chris
    July 14, 2016

    Right back atcha, McMurphy. Now go away.

  43. #47 R.P. McMurphy
    July 14, 2016

    “Also, your statement about Japanese Encephalitis @35 is incredibly racist.”

    True, but I was just trying to be funny. Perhaps I should have used a more flattering stereotype such as:

    Does Japanese Encephalitis mean you become really good at math?

  44. #48 JustaTech
    July 14, 2016

    McMurphy @47:
    That’s just as racist. And in no way funny.

    Strike 2 (at least).

  45. #49 R.P. McMurphy
    July 14, 2016

    I am a lousy comedian.

    I am not racist though, and have a very favorable impression of the Japanese. I apologize in anyone took offense.

  46. #50 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    July 14, 2016

    In a historical context these people are vary similar to the Nazi, Khmer Rouge and ISIS (I am sure I left out many others) that if you are not what we call normal then we can kill you. And if you are not normal you; then are not human and we will feel no guilt when we kill you.

  47. #51 Tiger
    Sol system, Terra
    July 14, 2016

    The more I read, the more I realize that the anti-vaccine moment (particularly those with autistic children) is more a cult moment than anything else – and most of its leaders/activists are the “high-priests/priestesses” (the larger portion of them likely sincere but wrong- which explains why they are so tenasous in their beliefs).
    Their comments on Apartheid RSA, they haven’t a clue, but I do – as a white South African I lived through it and all its ugliness. On the Nazis claim, they are even more misinformed. If they really want to get a glimps of what the Nazis were really like, the Nazis true evilness, they should watch the series:- World at War – particularly the eprisodes on the Final Solution.
    DELUDED, HURT, RAGING AND ENTRENCHED – that is what they are.

  48. #52 herr doktor bimler
    July 14, 2016

    Hell, the really experienced antivaxxers will happily blame it on the vaccines given to the parents when they were infants.

    I give you the blurb for Dr Heinz Reinwald’s* presentation at Scamfest2016:

    ASD may not only derive from peri- and postnatal insult to the brain, but also from pre-natal stresses and lifestyle of the mother. Toxic loads and diet habits (e.g., teeth fillings, exposure to toxins, high carb, low fat) of the mother, C-section, too early weaning and the use of baby formulas instead of breast feeding, antibiotic abuse during and after birth, adjuvants in vaccines and high carb consumption may be just some of the determinants forcing this development. All the named aspects, amongst others,…

    * PhD in Political Philosophy.

  49. #53 herr doktor bimler
    July 14, 2016

    If they really want to get a glimps of what the Nazis were really like, the Nazis true evilness, they should watch the series

    Don’t get Orac started on Aktion-T4, the warm-up for the Final Solution, when the victims of mass murder were autistic kids and other unproductive burdens.

    But Polly Tommey would “never judge them for what they did”.
    “Watch the series”? It would suffice to look in the mirror.

  50. #54 Emma Crew
    July 14, 2016

    Travis @43 and in 1969, Leo Kanner made a public apology to the Autism Society of America for the damage he had done with the “refrigerator mom” theory. The idea that autism is a result of something mom did to her kid is as pernicious as the idea that vaccines did it. Not all of us parents of kids with ASDs are like Tommey et al.

  51. #55 Politicalguineapig
    July 14, 2016

    RP McMurphy: Most people don’t actually need to be vaccinated for rabies, unless they get bitten by an animal that might have rabies. The easiest way to prevent rabies is to vaccinate the family pet-assuming it is a small mammalian carnivore. Or, you know, not be a mammal, as I don’t believe birds and reptiles can get rabies.

    .In your case, however, I’d suggest that the easiest way to prevent rabies is to sell the house and immediately relocate into a cave full of bats. Make sure you handle the bats daily. Alternatively, find a skunk and corner it.

    Everyone else: please don’t spoil the surprise for Mr. Mc Murphy. Though I am sorry for the bats, as they have to live with a Trumpeeter.

    DW: : could it be because the movement is comp0osed of mostly lily white** Christian, middle class-plus parents who may not be socially sensitive enough to discern their error?

    I don’t think social nous has a thing to do with it. I think it’s just that the leaders of the anti-vax movement are fundamentally unpleasant people and the rest take their cues from them. In the same way that athiesm has become a very unpleasant place for non-white and non-male people because most of the “leaders” are white, male and techy, and lead very sheltered lives where they never encounter anyone who is not in their field, not the same color that they are , and is female. The anti-vaxxers simply have never met normal, nice people. Yet another reason I wouldn’t live in the suburbs- it’s like an inescapable high school.
    (Mssrs Dawkins and Hitchens also share part of the blame, as they have spent their entire lives avoiding women and minorities they don’t employ.)

    It doesn’t help that the anti-vax people forgot everything they ever learned and only vaguely remember that the holocaust and slavery were supposed to be bad, but they don’t remember why or even how to access that information. It’s kind of amusing, in a way, that they spend all that time online, and don’t ever access Google or Netflix.

  52. #56 Travis
    July 14, 2016

    I did not know that Emma.

    I did not mean to imply that all cases on the Autism spectrum were caused by their mothers. I will maintain, based on my experience, that sociological factors can cause symptoms and behaviors similar to what is seen in Autism.

    Since the diagnosis of autism is based on behavior, I doubt there could be one cause responsible for every single case.

  53. #57 skeptiquette
    July 14, 2016

    Travis,

    Actually you are correct.

    Although the “refrigerator mom” hypothesis is not entirely accurate… deprivation during early postnatal development is actually a significant risk factor for the development of autism in genetically susceptible individuals.

    There have been a number of studies on orphaned children and autism which support this connection. Romanian? IIRC.

    Anyways, As is always the case, the individuals– genetics, environment, and development (both in utero and postnatal) are very significant factors.

  54. #58 Travis
    July 15, 2016

    Perhaps two different conditions are commonly diagnosed as Autism: one being Lead Poisoning, and the other being Kanner’s Autism.

    There has been studies showing higher than normal levels of Mercury and Lead in hair samples of so-called “Autistic Children”: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609793/

    And this study from the Journal of Toxicology found a striking correlation between Lead Toxicity and Autism: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809421/
    With smaller but significant correlations with the elements Hg, Sn, and Sb.

  55. #59 herr doktor bimler
    July 15, 2016

    Kanner believed Autism to be the result of Sociological factors.

    Travis @43 and in 1969, Leo Kanner made a public apology to the Autism Society of America for the damage he had done with the “refrigerator mom” theory.

    Kanner noted that the parents of some of his autistic cases displayed milder forms of the same behaviour, but he was equivocal about explaining this in terms of inherited traits or as transmission through upbringing.
    He can be forgiven for his ambiguities and dithering, as he was working at a time when the Eugenics movement was still strong, and he did not want to give the eugenicists fresh excuses for extinguishing unfit bloodlines.

  56. #60 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 15, 2016

    @Travis, your second link has Bradstreet as an author, and the References include articles written by Bradstreet, Geier, Blaxill and Haley. Those are familiar names to our host and the readers here.
    The first link’s references include both Geiers, Kern, Blaxill, Haley, Tomljenovic and Shaw, and Blaylock. Also familiar names to our host and the readers.
    Already, they’re dubious.

  57. #61 Emma Crew
    July 15, 2016

    Travis, I didn’t think you were trying to say all cases were mom’s fault, but for a long time that is what everybody thought. People a generation or so older than me sometimes still think my kid is just badly behaved because we’re crappy parents, and telling them he is autistic just solidifies that in their minds (and don’t get me started on the “if only he had been breastfed” camp. I made myself crazy for a month and a half trying to nurse a baby who had ZERO interest. In retrospect that may have been signficant).

  58. #62 Emma Crew
    July 15, 2016

    HDB @59 exactly. And boy, it sure made our decision to have a second child rather fraught looking at ourselves and our families…

  59. #63 Travis
    July 15, 2016

    Does anyone else want to attempt an explanation for the Autism epidemic?

    Perhaps the Hg connection is being obfuscated by the clout of the notorious ADA? [ominous music and thunder]

    Yes. I went there. Increase my “woo” score by 63 points.

  60. #64 herr doktor bimler
    July 15, 2016

    @Travis, your second link has Bradstreet as an author, and the References include articles written by Bradstreet, Geier, Blaxill and Haley.

    That is to say, it was a paper co-authored by a known fraudster (who shot himself when the scope of his fraud was about to be exposed). It presents itself as a step in Bradstreet’s campaign of legitimising part of his fraudulent career (pimping chelators as an autism cure).

    We also read that

    Briefly, this study was conducted with the approval of the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

    That is to say, it was conducted by quacks.

    Now it happens that the impact on children’s health from exposure to environmental mercury are well-known from large-scale epidemiology studies (in New Zealand, the Faroes and the Seychelles), and from other observational studies; these neurotoxic effects are nothing like autism.
    None of this body of research is cited in either of the papers you mention. This deliberate omission in itself would be enough to convince me that the authors are simply dishonest.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096006/
    — Refs 113 and 114 in that paper are also valuable.

    the Journal of Toxicology
    A Hindawi journal, from a publisher noted for having negotiable standards of peer review. I am not convinced that either paper would have passed actual review.

    It seems odd, Travis, that you are so unacquainted with the mainstream studies on mercury toxicology, if your search of the literature was so thorough that you encountered a couple of cranks publishing in a vanity press. You should probably refine your search terms.

    Does anyone else want to attempt an explanation for the Autism epidemic?

    I prefer not want to gallop that particular Gish.

  61. #65 Helianthus
    July 15, 2016

    @ Politicalguineapig #29

    HDB: Tetanus as a disease of the elderly?I’d like to see actual stats

    I believe it was me who quoted this crazy one, upthread at #5.
    (it’s easy to tell me and Herr Doktor Bimler apart, he is the witty one)

    Actually, in developed countries where the tetanus vaccine coverage is adequate, tetanus has become an illness of the elderly, I guess in people whose immunity waned out.
    (source: WHO weekly epidemiological record from 2006, via Wikiped – scroll down to page 200)

    OTOH, in countries without good vaccine coverage, newborns, children, and young adults are more often the victims. This include women who just became mothers.

    For the nitpickers, hygiene is a definite factor in preventing a tetanus infection. Although, as the bacterium is omnipresent in soil, manure and the like, anyone working in the countryside or simply having a garden in its backyard is going to be exposed to the bacterium, good hygiene or not.

  62. #66 herr doktor bimler
    July 15, 2016

    It is always flattering when a comment from Helianthus is attributed to me.

  63. #67 Travis
    Woo score = 63
    July 15, 2016

    Perhaps the epidemic was caused by the DSM? Diagnostic criteria was revised in 1980, 1987, and 1994.

    A graph: http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/Images/graphs/2002/2002-10califautism.gif

  64. #68 Murmur
    UK-ia
    July 15, 2016

    Travis, there isn’t an autism epidemic.

    This has been discussed and demolished here and elsewhere more times than I care to think about.

    Rates of autism diagnosis have risen in the UK, where we don’t use DSM-whatever.

    Yes, diagnostic criteria have changed over the years (do I need to point out, yet again, that a diagnosis of Asperger’s could not have been made before the mid-80s?, but of more importance is that, certainly in the UK, there are more services (well,until 2010) around providing assessment and diagnosis, we got a lot better at assessment as we became more experienced and got better tools.

    And prior to the ’90s no-one has a clue what the actual prevalence of autism was, because NO-ONE WAS LOOKING! Anecdotally I, and several colleagues, were pretty sure that quite a few folk we knew from long-stay wards of the large psychiatric hospitals we trained in had been mis-diagnosed and were actually autistic rather than psychotic (I can remember a consultant psychiatrist in around 1996 mis-diagnosing a 16 year old with classic Kanner type autism as being psychotic).

    Oh, and autism does not resemble the neurological sequelae of any heavy metal poisoning…

  65. #69 Travis
    United States
    July 15, 2016

    There was an Autism epidemic, at least in the imaginations if millions of people.

    In your opinion: Was the “epidemic” merely an artifact of an overly-sensationalistic media?

  66. #70 Travis
    United States
    July 15, 2016

    Perhaps I am using the word “epidemic” too loosely, but the prevalence has more than doubled in one decade according to the CDC.

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

    The CDC is widely considered the foremost authority on disease statistics in my country.

  67. #71 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 15, 2016

    @Travis:

    In your opinion: Was the “epidemic” merely an artifact of an overly-sensationalistic media?

    Partly. Especially the media that trumpeted Wakefield’s “Case Study” and then failed to do the journalism that would have exposed his dishonesty. Also, it could be due to people not realising that more diagnoses does not automatically mean more cases.
    Perhaps I am using the word “epidemic” too loosely, but the prevalence has more than doubled in one decade according to the CDC.
    A rising rate of diagnosis does not automatically mean that the rate of autism is rising. Broadened diagnostic criteria, increased awareness and previous underdiagnosis mean that diagnoses went up, but the real prevalence of autism likely is unchanged. In fact, people are now being diagnosed in their 40s or later.

  68. #72 Travis
    United States
    July 15, 2016

    ” …rising rate of diagnosis does not automatically mean that the rate of autism is rising. Broadened diagnostic criteria, increase…”

    I did allude to that earlier.

  69. #73 Travis
    July 15, 2016

    #67

  70. #74 Dangerous Bacon
    July 15, 2016

    “Perhaps the Hg connection is being obfuscated by the clout of the notorious ADA?”

    What’s notorious about the American Diabetes Association? Or is the fault of the Americans with Disability Act?

    We are confused.

  71. #75 Helianthus
    July 15, 2016

    @ Amethyst 13 / Calli Arcale 23

    Shaken Baby Syndrome. I don’t even begin to understand how vaccines are supposed to have been the culprit.

    To add to Calli’s explanations, another “theory” from the truly vile part of the crankosphere is the “sudden scurvy” effect.
    It started with a study which found that after immunization, rats have a sharp drop of their blood vitamin C level – so, eh, instant scurvy, with internal hemorrhage, bruises, broken bones, the work.

    Never mind that the study also showed that their vit C level got back to normal after a few days.
    Or that a vit C deficiency must abide by the ontological inertia* in the real world. Meaning, previously healthy bones don’t magically become brittle the same day your diet was short of 10 mg of vit C – it will take some time to deplete your reserves, and then some more time for the lack of vit C to result in damaged tissues.

    This “sudden scurvy” theory – or any other alternative theory – also fails to explain how bruises on the baby’s arms would look very much like the shape left by the fingers of an adult’s hand.

    Calli wasn’t exaggerating when talking about the need of a shower after reading the related reports. I would propose a chlorine shower, myself. Really not something you want to read if you have to watch your blood pressure.

    As you may have seen, it’s a berserk button for a number of us. We just tripped on the “shaken baby” part and didn’t read very carefully after that.

    I was primed for this by reading about a recently published article which concluded the number of cases of abusive head injuries are increasing in the US (I saw this on a French medical newsletter, and the writer was clear that my country may be no different).
    While a misdiagnosis of shaken baby syndrome is possible (and has happened a decade ago in the UK, IIRC), we really don’t need evil clowns running around and adding confusion.

    * beware, TVTropes will ruin your life.
    Also, I’m only a poor amateur in literature analysis, so I may be manhandling the concepts a little.

  72. #76 MI Dawn
    July 15, 2016

    @Travis: quit derailing. The point is, you apparently feel, like the horrible people discussed in the post, that it’s just fine to be able to kill your child because they have autism. Since you don’t condemn their actionis and keep talking about spurious things.

    As for mercury: that’s so 1990s. Join us in 2016.

  73. #77 Helianthus
    July 15, 2016

    Um, badly worded sentence in my first paragraph of #75:

    To be clear, the vit-C depleted rats did not have anything like scurvy themselves, sudden or otherwise.
    It’s the phantasmagorical human vaccine-induced sudden scurvy which is supposed to make its victim look like a beaten baby.

  74. #78 Amethyst
    The Crystal Gem
    July 15, 2016

    The reason why there *seems* to be an autism epidemic is because no longer do we label them with some out-dated mental illness and toss them away in a home (home if lucky, asylum if not!) somewhere.

    No, the appearance of an epidemic is because we are better at diagnosing it as well as trying to help them get by with their lives and integrate with society rather than shut them away.

    This is not rocket surgery. 1+1=2.

  75. #79 Amethyst
    July 15, 2016

    @Helianthus & Calli – Thank you both for the elaboration/explanation. Disgusting, to say the least..

  76. #80 Politicalguineapig
    July 15, 2016

    HDB: Thanks for the link. I’ll read it later- I have a lot of places to run to today, and it’s going to be a busy weekend.

  77. #81 Terrie
    July 15, 2016

    @Murmer, 68, and the flip side is that things which are probably not autism are being disagnosed as autism, just as autism was once diagnosed as seomthgin else. I’ve seen kids with obvious facial features of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome disagnosed as autism, because the doctor isn’t familiar with the sugns or the mother claims she never drank. FAS requires confirmed or Unknown alcohol exposure, and some doctors go with a conservative approach and won’t diagnose if status is unknown.Can’t confirm? Kid usually gets labeled as autistic.

  78. #82 Murmur
    UK-ia
    July 15, 2016

    Terrie: the service I worked in, and most other UK ones I know of, would exclude FAS before giving a diagnosis of autism.

  79. #83 Murmur
    UK-ia
    July 15, 2016

    Travis @69

    Yes…

    As I, and others, have pointed out it is unarguable that rates of diagnosis have increased, but we do NOT know what prevalence rates prior to the 1990s actually are.

  80. #84 Irène Delse
    Under a cloud
    July 15, 2016

    “To some extent, that happened in Japan in the middle 70’s.
    After a few SIDS, pertussis vaccines were blamed and the authorities decided to delay them.
    Then a few babies got sick and died of the diseases these vaccines were designed to prevent. And SIDS rate actually increased.
    Antivaxers usually only remember the first part – Japanese authorities fingering the vaccines as guilty of inducing SIDS.”

    Interesting. So that’s what happened. My sister spent a year in Japan and while there, contracted whooping cough. Worse month of her life, according to her.

  81. #85 Irène Delse
    July 15, 2016

    Oh, and while we’re at it: she had been vaccinated as a child, but apparently lost immunity. Which is not a problem in a country where every kid is vaccinated, but if the disease is circulating among the population…

  82. #86 Terrie
    July 15, 2016

    Murmer, maybe it’s different in the UK, but generally, it’s hard to disagnose FAS and FAE, etc, if the mother says she did not drink.

  83. #87 Murmur
    UK-ia
    July 15, 2016

    Oh, further to my comment at 82: the diagnosis of PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified) was, IME, frequently used if there was doubt that a bairn was actually autistic while still displaying features of developmental delay.

  84. #88 Denice Walter
    July 15, 2016

    In other anti-vax news…

    TMR today features an article that attributes adult onset type 1 diabetes to a single hepatitis A vaccine.

    Childhood type 1 diabetes in a particular time frame increased because of…..
    increased vaccines.

  85. #89 Gilbert
    July 15, 2016

    I have a lot of places to run to today, and it’s going to be a busy weekend.

    Pokemon Go, gotta catch’em all.

  86. #90 Travis
    July 15, 2016

    MI Dawn said: “@Travis: quit derailing. The point is, you apparently feel, like the horrible people discussed in the post, that it’s just fine to be able to kill your child because they have autism. Since you don’t condemn their actionis and keep talking about spurious things.”

    Good logic Dawn!

  87. #91 herr doktor bimler
    July 15, 2016

    another “theory” from the truly vile part of the crankosphere is the “sudden scurvy” effect.

    Do not forget the “instant rickets” effect, in which vaccination depletes vitamin D, weakening the infant’s bones so that skull and thighs break under the parent’s gentle caresses. This is Buttram’s argument of choice for providing baby-killers with an alibi.

    Innis also favours a role for “instant vitamin-K deficiency”. where the instant micronutrient depletion leads to blood-coagulation failure, and exacerbates the internal hemorrhages after the parent’s loving caresses.

  88. #92 JustaTech
    July 15, 2016

    Irène Delse @85: All whooping cough immunity wears off (vaccine derived or infection derived). For whatever reason (and I’m sure someone somewhere is studying it) most people just don’t build long-lasting immunity to pertussis.

  89. #93 Politicalguineapig
    July 15, 2016

    Gilly: Oddly, enough, no. Picking up things on sale and putting in an appearance at the neighborhood festival. And mowing.

  90. #94 Helianthus
    July 15, 2016

    @ herr doktor bimler

    Do not forget the “instant rickets” effect, in which vaccination depletes vitamin D

    Ah, this is too similar to the way I remember it being about vit C.
    Maybe I mis-remembered and it’s vit D, not vit C.

    I was so sure about this “sudden scurvy” thingy. Checking a few old posts, apparently the “sudden scurvy” theory is about the vaccines preventing the vit C from being absorbed, while the “instant rickets” theory is about the vaccines making the body consuming its stocks.

    And then there is the vit K vaccine-triggered deficiency theory. Hold, I am sure, by people who also oppose vit K injection to neonates.

    It’s so hard to keep all this bullsh!t straight.

  91. #95 perodatrent
    Italy
    July 15, 2016

    @ Helianthus, # 65
    Many years ago I worked together with a nurse who had been working previously in Intensive Care Unit, where tetanus patients were cared for. He told me the patients were all old women: old men were still protected from the tetanus vaccine they were given when they were enrolled in the Army, dozen of years before!

  92. #96 Travis
    United States
    July 15, 2016

    “And then there is the vit K vaccine-triggered deficiency theory”

    Seriously? I thought Herr Bimler was being sarcastic.

  93. #97 JustaTech
    July 15, 2016

    Re: Tetanus as a disease of the elderly:
    In a manual for midwifery in the developing world I found instructions to not let family members put manure on the umbilical cord stump, because it would cause neonatal tetanus. So, that would be a non-elderly population.

    (It wasn’t a particularly old book, either. I think it was published some time in the 1990’s.)

  94. #98 Travis
    United States
    July 15, 2016

    #97 ???

    What is the name of the book?

    Forgive me for my incredulity, but that it the most absurd thing that I have read all year.

  95. #99 herr doktor bimler
    July 15, 2016

    I thought Herr Bimler was being sarcastic.

    UNPOSSIBLE.

  96. #100 MI Dawn
    July 15, 2016

    @Justatech: I remember reading that, though it wasn’t manure, it was ashes, and, IIRC, it was “A Nun’s Story”, when she was in the Congo before WWII. But I’m willing to be corrected.

  97. #101 Narad
    July 15, 2016

    I remember reading that, though it wasn’t manure, it was ashes, and, IIRC, it was “A Nun’s Story”, when she was in the Congo before WWII.

    Mud, ashes, dung, ghee, take your pick.

    In related news, not only did India “eliminate” neonatal tetanus last year, yaws is on the run.

  98. #102 Liz Ditz
    United States
    July 15, 2016

    2013:

    Local Perceptions, Cultural Beliefs and Practices That Shape Umbilical Cord Care: A Qualitative Study in Southern Province, Zambia

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0079191

    A wide variation in knowledge, beliefs, and practices surrounding cord care was discovered. For home deliveries, cords were cut with non-sterile razor blades or local grass. Cord applications included drying agents (e.g., charcoal, baby powder, dust), lubricating agents (e.g., Vaseline, cooking oil, used motor oil) and agents intended for medicinal/protective purposes (e.g., breast milk, cow dung, chicken feces). Concerns regarding the length of time until cord detachment were universally expressed. Blood clots in the umbilical cord, bulongo-longo, were perceived to foreshadow neonatal illness. Management of bulongo-longo or infected umbilical cords included multiple traditional remedies and treatment at government health centers.

  99. #103 Politicalguineapig
    July 15, 2016

    MIDawn: In ancient Egypt, crocodile dung and honey was an inexplicably popular remedy, so it wouldn’t surprise me if people downriver copied them or came up with that on their own.

  100. #104 Travis
    Woo score = 63
    July 15, 2016

    Dr. Bimler failed to mention Gardasil-Induced Beri Beri.

    https://www.hormonesmatter.com/post-gardasil-pots-thiamine-deficiency/

    Article By Derrick Lonsdale MD

  101. #105 herr doktor bimler
    July 15, 2016

    not only did India “eliminate” neonatal tetanus last year,
    No-one told them that tetanus shots are part of the Global Sterilisation Agenda.

    yaws is on the run.
    “What’s yaws?”
    “That’s very kind of you. I’ll have a double Glenfarclas.”

  102. #106 KayMarie
    July 15, 2016

    Dang I think I used to know what yaws was *googles*

    http://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/diseases/yaws/en/

  103. #107 MI Dawn
    July 15, 2016

    @Travis: that doesn’t even make sense. How can a vaccine lead to a vitamin deficiency?

    And Dr Lonsdale sounds like he has a few bees in his bonnet…

  104. #108 TRAVIS
    United States
    July 15, 2016

    “@Travis: that doesn’t even make sense. How can a vaccine lead to a vitamin deficiency?”

    Why don’t you read the article an find out?

  105. #109 Stuartg
    July 15, 2016

    @Justatech, #97

    I recall the same thing, but can’t recall if it was in the context of obstetrics or public health (or both). Whichever, it was decades ago.

    @Narad, thanks for the reference. To that list can be added titoki berry extract (an oil) used by the Maori of New Zealand. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/te-whanau-tamariki-pregnancy-and-birth/page-2

  106. #110 Politicalguineapig
    July 16, 2016

    HDB: Pakistan is fairly rabidly anti-vaccine. (Largely due to the US.)
    The best way to get a person from India to do anything you want is to tell them that a Pakistani person did something exactly opposite to what you want them to do.

  107. #111 dussehra pictures
    India
    July 16, 2016

    Awesome, keen to read you again. i like it…
    happy dussehra images

  108. #112 R.P. McMurphy
    July 16, 2016

    It’s purple and it’s fuzzy….

    It’s furple

  109. #113 herr doktor bimler
    July 16, 2016

    @Travis: that doesn’t even make sense. How can a vaccine lead to a vitamin deficiency?

    Dr Lonsdale’s conception of metabolism and neurochemistry is cheerfully idiosyncratic, and no-one can accuse him of slavishly following the conventional wisdom.

  110. #114 Travis
    July 16, 2016

    Thanks for your input.

    I was only following the trend of citing vaccine/deficiency disease theories, I was going to post the Beriberi thing as a sarcastic confabulation, but to my surprise, It turned out to be a real theory.

    I wasn’t championing the Damn thing like Dawn implied.

  111. #115 herr doktor bimler
    July 16, 2016

    I was only following the trend of citing vaccine/deficiency disease theories

    It was an excellent contribution to the trend, and thank you for introducing me to fresh weirdness.

  112. #116 Peter
    Australia
    July 16, 2016

    So ….. the words of the CDC whistleblower co-author of the autism studies, should be ignored, because he was just unhappy with his employer ? As a co-author, doesn’t he know, what data was excluded and why ? His admission (audio) are available on YouTube, and frankly those words are more convincing than dismissing him as a whistleblower in the article above.

  113. #117 Denice Walter
    July 16, 2016

    In other non-news…

    Dan Olmsted ( AoA) continues his never-ending saga about polio and sugar.

    Seriously, I am not amused.
    Doesn’t his partner / his friends & family need to think about staging an intervention or something?

  114. #118 Dangerous Bacon
    July 16, 2016

    You know who else was a vegan? Hitler!!!

    Alas, I do not have the Photoshop skills to arrange cucumbers in the shape of a swastika.

  115. #119 Liz Ditz
    Great State of California
    July 16, 2016

    the words of the CDC whistleblower co-author of the autism studies, should be ignored, because he was just unhappy with his employer ?

    Wrong premise. We can ignore Thompson (and Vaxxed) because studies subsequent to 2004 have failed to show a connection between MMR and vaccines, even in African-American boys vaccinated after 24 months but before 31 months.

  116. #120 MI Dawn
    July 16, 2016

    Peter: Why don’t you read all the documentation about the “CDC Whistleblower” and know that NOTHING was omitted that hadn’t been planned for in the original plan, finalized 2 months before BEFORE the effect was known regarding the birth certificates.

  117. #121 capnkrunch
    July 16, 2016

    We can ignore Thompson (and Vaxxed) because studies subsequent to 2004 have failed to show a connection between MMR and vaccines, even in African-American boys vaccinated after 24 months but before 31 months.

    Or because we have the documents and there’s no evidence of misconduct. Or that it’s been shown that Hooker, Wakefield and friends cut, splice, and selectively release Thompson’s quotes to make him say things he never intended while the full transcripts show that he actually is in support of vaccination. Or that even Hooker’s awful reanalysis , when properly corrected, shows no correlation. Etc, etc.

    I wonder if Peter has read/seen anything beyond approved AV propaganda; because it’s been shown time and again that the AV leaders tightly control and manipulate what their followers are allowed to know.

  118. #122 herr doktor bimler
    July 16, 2016

    the words of the CDC whistleblower co-author of the autism studies, should be ignored

    Drive-by trolls of the burning-bag-of-poop-on-the-doorstep variety should certainly be ignored.

  119. #123 travis
    United States
    July 16, 2016

    “You know who else was a vegan? Hitler!!!”

    Untrue. This was propaganda. The German people may have believed it, but his Chef said otherwise.

  120. #124 Dangerous Bacon
    July 16, 2016

    Ha – my food taster trumps your “Chef”:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/9859294/Hitlers-food-taster-speaks-of-Fuhrers-vegetarian-diet.html

    Hitler wasn’t just a vegetarian, he was an _evangelical_ vegetarian:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30313326

    (since this last link describes Hitler as taking a medication made of extract of Bulgarian peasants’ feces, one hopes they were vegetarian peasants.

  121. #125 Travis
    United States
    July 16, 2016

    There is a difference between “vegan” and “vegetarian”.

    There are probably only a handful of people who have read all the primary records on Hitler. To get the best answer to this myth, we need to ask David Irving or Sir Ian Kershaw.

    There is enough conflicting accounts to argue interminably on this topic. Robert Payne’s biography on Hitler:

    “Hitler’s asceticism played an important part in the image he projected over Germany. According to the widely believed legend, he neither smoked nor drank, nor did he eat meat or have anything to do with women. Only the first was true. He drank beer and diluted wine frequently, had a special fondness for Bavarian sausages… .”

  122. #126 Dangerous Bacon
    July 16, 2016

    You know who else was a flatulent science illiterate?

    Hitler!!!!!

  123. #127 TBruce
    July 16, 2016

    To get the best answer to this myth, we need to ask David Irving

    Why would you trust David Irving to tell the truth about anything?

  124. #128 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 17, 2016

    TBruce, before Irving went off the rails, he was actually a very good historian, particularly about the Nazis. In addition, I understand that the stint he had in Austrian Jail for Holocaust Denial actually appears to have brought him back to earth somewhat.

  125. […] a month. Life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes. I learnt about this noxious video from Orac and Matt. I’ve been having problems with embedding, so here’s a direct link to the […]

  126. #130 Lorie
    Austin
    July 17, 2016

    Polly Toomey has been attempting to build the Autism Trust in Austin. Her disaster-in-the-making is hoping to be financed by a church and gullible parents. For someone who already has blood on her hands, how can she not see that the Trust is not a reality with her incompetent background and lack of common sense, morality and basic business/healthcare skills? It’s Polly’s latest con that is going to kill someone again.

  127. #131 Orac
    July 17, 2016

    TBruce, before Irving went off the rails, he was actually a very good historian, particularly about the Nazis.

    I would beg to differ on that. As shown to devastating effect by the defense in David Irving’s libel suit against historian Deborah Lipstadt, whether consciously or unconsciously, Irving consistently slanted facts in a way that favored Hitler and the Nazis dating back to very early in his writing career. Whenever there were errors of fact, they always favored making the Nazis look better and never the other direction.

  128. #132 DrBollocks
    July 17, 2016

    To add to Orac’s comment about David Irving, Richard Evans, Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, was one of the expert witnesses for the defence in the aforementioned libel trial. Here is one part of Evans’ report:

    Not one of [Irving’s] books, speeches or articles, not one paragraph, not one sentence in any of them, can be taken on trust as an accurate representation of its historical subject. All of them are completely worthless as history, because Irving cannot be trusted anywhere, in any of them, to give a reliable account of what he is talking or writing about. … if we mean by historian someone who is concerned to discover the truth about the past, and to give as accurate a representation of it as possible, then Irving is not a historian.

  129. #133 Politicalguineapig
    July 17, 2016

    Lorie: It’s Polly’s latest con that is going to kill someone again.

    Sadly, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Speaking of, does anyone know why Tomney’s son is still in her custody?

  130. #134 Lorie
    July 17, 2016

    @PGP. The Toomeys are residing on church property for free. They are living off them until they can get the zoning approved for donated land. I’m doing my part to put the kibosh on this crazy idea. I wish they would leave Austin and take Wakefield with them.

  131. #135 Travis
    July 17, 2016

    Irving consistently slanted facts in a way that favored Hitler and the Nazis dating back to very early in his writing career. Whenever there were errors of fact, they always favored making the Nazis look better and never the other direction.

    Perhaps his “slant” is closer to reality. We all know how the “winners” write history to make themselves seem more favorable than the defeated opponents.

    The fire-bombing of Dresden could be seen as a war crime by a less patriotic person, and so could Hiroshima.

    @Bruce before Irving went off the rails, he was actually a very good historian, particularly about the Nazis

    I was under this impression as well.

  132. #136 Travis
    July 17, 2016

    PS I tried to add David Irving to the list of WWII historians on Wikipedia only to have the edit removed within minutes. This happened twice. This has become a political issue.

    German apologist or not, I think he deserves to be on the list.

  133. #137 Politicalguineapig
    July 17, 2016

    Lorie: The Toomeys are residing on church property for free. They are living off them until they can get the zoning approved for donated land.

    Isn’t Polly rich? I was under the impression that she was a former model, which makes the mooching more disgusting. Good luck with the kiboshing; if you need any letters written or petitions signed, I’d be happy to help. Sadly, I’m at the opposite end of the country, so that’s all I can do. And, yep, I think we all wish Wakefield would leave. Is there some way he could be left on an ice floe or in a desert?

    Travis: I tried to add David Irving to the list of WWII historians on Wikipedia only to have the edit removed within minutes. This happened twice. This has become a political issue.

    That’s not a political issue at all, it’s that he doesn’t merit the name of ‘historian.’ He was dumb enough to go on record denying a historical event that was very well documented. The German records are very explicit that the Nazis knew what they were doing. Hell, the US knew what they were doing, but no one cared until Pearl Harbor. If Pearl Harbor hadn’t happened, we’d’ve sat out World War 2 almost entirely. (I say almost entirely because FDR was getting pretty fed up with everyone, and it’s more than likely a few Americans went overseas to serve with the Brits. I imagine FDR would ‘ve committed as much aid as he could’ve without Congress kicking, and possibly sent over some troops.)

    Mr. Irving knows about as much of history as that idiot David Barton. And Barton doesn’t know much about anything. (Barton is that ‘the US has always been a Christian country, the founding fathers were super-duper Christian and they wanted to run the country on Biblical principles’ twit.) I wish their skulls would collapse into the hollow spaces that are their alleged brains and that they’d stop stinking up my field.

    They should have just gone into writing fiction instead. At least writing terrible unreadable novels would keep them busy and out of politics.

  134. #138 Del Monte
    July 17, 2016

    @ politicalguineapig He was dumb enough to go on record denying a historical event that was very well documented

    Show me his most damning quote!

  135. #139 Jake Crosby, MPH
    July 17, 2016

    Alison Singer talked about murdering her own autistic daughter within earshot of her.

  136. #140 Del Monte
    July 17, 2016

    Jake said: Alison Singer talked about murdering her own autistic daughter within earshot of her.

    Is this recorded?

  137. #141 Jake Crosby, MPH
    July 17, 2016

    6:13 – “…I sat in the car for 15 minutes and actually contemplated putting Jodie in the car and driving off the George Washington Bridge. That would be preferable to having to put her in one of these schools. It’s only because of Lauren – the fact that I have another child – that I probably didn’t do it.”

  138. #142 Politicalguineapig
    July 17, 2016

    Del Monte: Do your own research. There’s this new thing called google.
    But if you insist:
    https://us.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?hspart=elm&hsimp=yhs-001&type=hdr_s_16_22_orgnl&param1=1&param2=f%3D4%26b%3DFirefox%26cc%3Dus%26pa%3DHodor%26cd%3D2XzuyEtN2Y1L1QzutAzzyCtA0B0Bzy0A0A0AyD0C0DyBzyyDtN0D0Tzu0StCyCtCtBtN1L2XzutAtFtBtCtFtCtFtDtN1L1Czu1M1Q1CtBtBtFtCtFtDtN1L1G1B1V1N2Y1L1Qzu2StCyEtByByCzytCyCtGtB0DtCtAtGtAtCyDyBtGtD0B0CtDtG0B0CtDyCtB0F0E0BtDyCtBtD2QtN1M1F1B2Z1V1N2Y1L1Qzu2SzyzytC0C0B0FtC0DtG0A0AyByDtGyEyCyEyEtG0B0A0F0CtGzy0AyBtAyE0DyE0FyE0DyEzy2QtN0A0LzuyE%26cr%3D256666223%26a%3Dhdr_s_16_22_orgnl%26os_ver%3D10.0%26os%3DWindows%2B10%2BHome&p=David+Irving

    https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/david-irving

    Also, there’s a search function on this blog. I’m sure Orac’s written about him.
    (Side note: Jesus christ, two of his speeches are an hour long. Who has the frigging time for that?)

    Jake: Your mother probably did the same thing Ms. Singer did. It’s not new that most anti-vax people (or champion wafflers, which Ms. Singer is) hate their autistic kids and would cheerfully murder them. So why do you bring it up?

  139. #143 Politicalguineapig
    July 17, 2016

    DM:Irving also lost two court cases about whether or not he denied the holocaust. So, there’s that too.

  140. #144 Del Monte
    July 17, 2016

    :Irving also lost two court cases about whether or not he denied the holocaust.

    Irving vs Lipstadt was a Libel suit initiated by Irving.

    What is the other court case??

    I think you are talking out of your ass.

  141. #145 Politicalguineapig
    July 17, 2016

    And as far as damning quotes go:
    Until the end of this tragic century there will always be incorrigible historians, statesmen, and publicists who are content to believe, or have no economically viable alternative but to believe, that the Nazis used ‘gas chambers’ at Auschwitz to kill human beings. But it is now up to them to explain to me as an intelligent and critical student of modern history why there is no significant trace of any cyanide compound in the building which they have always identified as the former gas chambers.”
    — 1989 comment questioning the gas chambers

    “I’m going to form an association of Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust and Other Liars — or the ASSHOLs.”

    I’d note that as far as the 1989 quote goes, it also shows how deficient his education was in all areas, not just history. Most gases don’t hang around for a day, let alone decades. And the second quote just cements the idea that this man is clueless, heartless, and soulless.

    I think that’s enough for now Del Monte, so why don’t you head back to your bridge or your reddit den?

  142. #146 Del Monte
    July 17, 2016

    What is the other court case??

    You said two but there was only one.

    It was a libel suit.

  143. #147 Jake Crosby, MPH
    July 17, 2016

    “Jake: Your mother probably did the same thing Ms. Singer did.” – Fuck you.

  144. #148 Politicalguineapig
    July 18, 2016

    Del Monte: He was jailed in Austria for a while, so there had to be some sort of proceeding, and I think he did some time in England due to contempt of court. Since it’s late here, you go find it. Or better yet, scoot off to reddit or 4chan or wherever you call home.

    Jake:Right back atcha. Only not literally, because you’re a fairly horrible human being and the worst sort of quisling. Man, I guess I hit a little too close to home. No wonder you lie so often. You’ve never heard one true thing from your family or friends in your whole life.

    • #149 Dorit Reiss
      July 18, 2016

      @Jake: here is the difference: Alison Singer didn’t.

      People can have horrible and dark thoughts in a variety of contexts. This was such a thought. Ms. Singer has addressed it and made it clear her moment of despair was not a reflection on her daughter.
      https://autismsciencefoundation.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/speaking-out-about-autism-every-day/

      Thinking about harming your child shouldn’t happen but can. Actually killing your child is murder. Ms. Tommey spoke in public in a way that does not condemn and legitimizes the act. That can put children with autism at risk.

      We need to condemn the act, first because it’s wrong and second to protect other victims. Legitimizing language is a danger.

  145. #150 HillandKnowlton
    UK
    July 18, 2016

    I think Political Guinea Pig needs to be a little less severe.

    You are losing your credibility.

  146. #151 WeberShandwick
    July 18, 2016

    And I think that he needs to get his facts in order.

  147. #152 Del Monte
    July 18, 2016

    Why would you say that to Jake? That is terrible.

  148. #153 Sri
    Australia
    July 18, 2016

    Hi,
    I recently came across this. What’s your view? I have given all recommended vaccine for my daughter some of them are pentavleny, she’s doing quiet fine. But wondering when I read this, how significant is the risk?

    https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2016/06/14/848493/0/en/Combining-Multiple-Childhood-Vaccines-Not-Safe-According-to-Article-in-the-Journal-of-American-Physicians-and-Surgeons.html

  149. #157 R.P. McMurphy
    July 18, 2016

    PoliticalGuineaPig He was jailed in Austria for a while, so there had to be some sort of proceeding, and I think he did some time in England due to contempt of court.

    You are talking out of your ass.
    Endless prevarications and BS.

    That sounds much different than your claim that: Irving also lost two court cases about whether or not he denied the holocaust

    And then you just say something like “it’s getting late” and and hope everyone forgets how incredibly wrong you are by tomorrow.

  150. #158 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 18, 2016

    @R.P. McMurphy:

    You are talking out of your ass.

    Incorrect. Irving lost a libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt (case 1) and he was indeed jailed in Austria for holocaust denial. Those are both recorded facts.
    @Orac: wow, I didn’t know he was that irrational. I thought he was at one time reasonable, as he was one of the first to realise that the “Hitler Diaries” were fake.

  151. #159 R.P. McMurphy
    July 18, 2016

    @JulianFrost

    You can be jailed without losing a court case idiot.

    What is the the other court case?

  152. #160 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 18, 2016

    @R.P. McMurphy, he was put on trial and found guilty of Holocaust Denial in Austria. It’s a criminal offence there. As a result, he was jailed in Austria for several months. That is the second case he lost.

  153. #161 R.P. McMurphy
    July 18, 2016

    What is the name of the court case?

  154. #162 R.P. McMurphy
    July 18, 2016

    OK. Julian, you are right. I had no Idea.

    I am sorry for calling you an idiot.

  155. #163 herr doktor bimler
    July 18, 2016

    PGP @ 142:
    I am the last person to take on the role of Speech Police — especially at someone else’s blog — but I think you owe Jake an apology.

    • #164 Dorit Reiss
      July 18, 2016

      @HDB, #158: I agree too.

  156. #165 R.P. McMurphy
    July 18, 2016

    I watched a few lectures from Mr. Irving and he struck me as sincere. Perhaps he was a sensationalist and too interested in capturing a niche market for his books. I am no expert in WW2, but he did help dispel the “soap” myth and the “lampshade” myth.
    But apparently sensationalism works, since he is one of the only historians I know of by name.
    I got kinda combative over PolicalGuineaPig’s demeanor, but I am not really a huge Irving buff or anything.

  157. #166 Orac
    July 18, 2016

    Why would you say that to Jake? That is terrible.

    I actually rather have to agree. Jake is a flaming asshole, but even so that was beyond what I was comfortable with.

  158. #167 Darthhellokitty
    Being a piece of furniture for my beasts
    July 18, 2016

    My favorite “autism epidemic” theory is that now that we have the internet, it is much easier for socially awkward folks like myself to meet, to date, perchance to have children. ? I find this to be such a feel-good idea that I embrace it whether it makes sense or not.

  159. #168 Politicalguineapig
    July 18, 2016

    All: All right, as much as it galls me.

    Jake: I’m sorry I said that about your mother. However I stand by the rest of what I said.You might want to think about where your life is going and the people on your ‘side.’

    Del Monte: We’ve run into Jake around these parts before. As I said, he’s a fairly terrible person. He actively endorses all anti-vaxxers, used to be Age of Autism’s pet puppet, got a degree in “public health’ so he could lie better, and apparently learned nothing while getting that degree. Also, his mentor, Dr. Geier was a disgraced doctor who cheerfully castrated autistic boys.

    RP: So why did you apologize to Julian and not me? I signed off because I have a life and it was well past midnight. Some of us do have lives outside the net. And, everything I said was true. (Austria isn’t a third world country, you know. It actually does have courts.)
    And you could have fooled me about not being an Irving fanboy. The only thing worse than a denier fanboy is one who lies about his fanboy status.

    As far as tone goes, I’ll be as abrasive and blunt as I want, jack, this is the ‘net after all. People who are rude to me reap what they sow.

  160. #169 Darthhellokitty
    Still occupied by cat and chihuahua
    July 18, 2016

    #128 – I take pride in the fact that despite being a vegetarian for 30 years (a vegan for the first ten), I have NEVER evangelized about it. I am NOT AS BAD AS HITLER! ?

  161. #170 Denice Walter
    July 18, 2016

    @ PGP:

    I think you can find much more elegant and non-speculative ways to insult Jake.

  162. #171 Darthhellokitty
    July 18, 2016

    I meant #124. Doh!

  163. #172 DangerousAcorn
    July 18, 2016

    @Darthhellokitty I am NOT AS BAD AS HITLER!

    No, you are worse.
    Way worse than Hitler.

    All you anti-vaxxers are worse than Hitler.

    You people are creating a Holocaust by refusing vaccination! Diptheria and Typhoid is going to kill you all!

    Right people?

  164. #173 herr doktor bimler
    July 18, 2016

    #153: I recently came across this. What’s your view?

    The JAP&S? I have no idea why the newsletter of a bunch of rightwing conspiracists — the John Birch Society with stethoscopes — is paying for press releases (don’t they have a journal to publicise their fantasies?), and even less idea why you would care about the septic bullsh1t that spills out of their heads.

  165. #174 Politicalguineapig
    July 18, 2016

    DW: I apologized for the crack about his mother, what more do you want? Until he stops lying and publicly advocating for anti-vax nuts, there’s absolutely no reason for me to not consider him a lying, self-hating jerk who unerringly seeks out unethical people and liars to socialize with.

    Also, are RP, Del Monte and Dangerous Acorn all the same people? I smell sock-puppets.

  166. #175 James Castle
    July 18, 2016

    Well, I think you have finally scared away Jake.

    If you look at #155 and #156, you could conclude that RP and Del Monte are the same people.

    Del Monte is a vegetable and fruit company. I thought it was some Spanish guy for a sec before he posted that overly promotional soybean spiel.

  167. #176 Gilbert
    July 18, 2016

    <blockquote I smell sock-puppets.

    Sniff sniff, Chattanooga!

    Huff it up, PgP; I know what you smelled last summer.

  168. #177 JustaTech
    July 18, 2016

    There are so many sock puppets here all of the sudden you’d think Alton Brown’s yeast socks puppets had gotten loose from the bread factory!

  169. #178 sadmar
    July 18, 2016

    • You know who else was a vegan? Hitler!!!
    # Untrue. This was propaganda. The German people may have believed it, but his Chef said otherwise.
    • Ha – my food taster trumps your “Chef”. Hitler wasn’t just a vegetarian, he was an _evangelical_ vegetarian.

    Well, The Residents trump everything:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRweyGHJ3bc
    (The Third Reich and Roll, vinyl LP, 1976. Cover text: “The Residents present The Third Reich ‘N’ Roll – This side explains why Hitler was a vegetarian.”)
    So. That settles it.

  170. #179 Darthhellokitty
    Asleep
    July 18, 2016

    I’m no anti-vaxxer – actually I have a faulty immune system and rely on others being vaccinated (and a weekly infusion of antibodies).

  171. #180 Politicalguineapig
    July 18, 2016

    Gilly: Why are you even still here? Isn’t there a stoner board somewhere that you should be on? Or do we need to call your mother ship?

  172. #181 Darthhellokitty
    July 18, 2016

    Sadmar, I’d forgotten what fun the Residents are! Thanks for posting! I especially like the dance sequences.

  173. #182 Denice Walter
    July 19, 2016

    @ PGP:

    I want nothing more: I am observing that you are capable of more finely-honed snark, observation and insults.

  174. […] and Tommey have been saying some pretty outrageous things. Tommey, for instance, said that she won’t judge parents who kill their autistic children, while Bigtree has frequently compared school vaccine mandates to the Holocaust, slavery, and […]

  175. #184 Narad
    July 20, 2016

    I’d swear that I saw Lyons-Weller’s name come up in a recent thread, but I’m not finding it. Anyway, it appears that he thinks the way to file an FTC complaint is… by online petition.

    Good luck with that one.

  176. #186 Narad
    July 20, 2016

    Ah! Thanks.

  177. #187 Pheobe C
    sitting on the washing machine
    July 25, 2016

    #58 @Travis

    For anyone that wants to simply say that mercury in vaccines is evil, just copy and paste this: ?+☿=卍. This will help save memory on my computer while viewing longer blogs.

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