I hesitated over discussing this story because it only comes from one source and that source is not one that I normally trust, The Washington Free Beacon. It might be fake news. On the other hand, it is a story that is not implausible and appears to be reasonably well reported, complete with a reproduction of an invitation to the event being reported on. Moreover, even though this particular source is unabashedly conservative and partisan, it has done some reporting that even Nick Baumann at Mother Jones admitted to be pretty good. So it is with a little bit of trepidation that I note this story, Tipper Gore Holding Fundraiser at Home of Anti-Vax Dem Donors:

The former wife of failed Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore will be a special guest at a fundraiser at the Virginia home of anti-vaccine Democratic donors Claire and Al Dwoskin, according to an invitation emailed to supporters Monday.

Gore’s appearance at the June 8 event will be in support of Kathleen Murphy, a candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates. The event will take place at the Dwoskins’ McLean mansion.

The Dwoskins, who have a history of supporting the political ambitions of Bill and Hillary Clinton, have claimed through their family foundation that there may be links between increased cases of reported autism and childhood vaccinations. The Dwoskin Family Foundation once claimed “gaps in the knowledge about the biological and genetic risk factors for vaccine induced brain and immune dysfunction,” according to The Daily Beast.

You can see why this story caught my attention. First of all, I’ve been spending a fair amount of “electronic ink,” so to speak, pointing out why two “vaxed vs. unvaxed” studies funded by Anthony Mawson in part by the the Dwoskins that are being flogged by the antivaccine movement right now are such execrably, risibly bad science. The studies were published in a bottom-feeding, predatory “open access” pay-to-publish journal, seemingly retracted, and then mysteriously published again—this after having been briefly published and retracted by a somewhat higher grade of bottom-feeding, predatory “open access” pay-to-publish journal after some truly awful peer review. Second, I’ve been pointing out for at least a decade now how antivaccine pseudoscience is the pseudoscience knows no political boundaries. Contrary to the oft-cited cliche, the antivaccine movement is not primarily a bunch of crunchy left wing, Whole Foods-loving hipsters. Indeed, as I’ve noted with alarm, even though antivaccine views are fairly evenly distributed between liberals and conservatives, over the last three years or so the loudest voices in the antivaccine movement have been associated with libertarian-leaning antigovernment conservatives, including Rand Paul and some in my own state. And, of course, Donald Trump routinely parrots antivaccine nonsense, has done so for at least a decade, and has met with antivaxers Andrew Wakefield and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Because my Insolence is not limited by politics and is free for all promoters of pseudoscience, I’ve wanted to write about Dwoskin for a while. This gives me an excuse. I also can’t help but use the Dwoskins as an example of how, as much as antivaccine views have risen on the right, the left still has its own antivaxers, the most prominent of whom are Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and, of course, Claire Dwoskin. Thus far, for the most part I’ve only mentioned Claire Dwoskin in passing, but it’s important to remember that she and her husband Albert Dwoskin founded the Child Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI), which is a group as rabidly antivaccine as any I’ve seen, including even Mike Adams’ NaturalNews. Indeed, it was the CMSRI that largely funded the two crappy studies I mentioned above.

Before I take a look at CMSRI, though, I do have to address the story. Is Tipper Gore holding a fundraiser for candidate for Kathleen Murphy, a Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates who’s running for reelection this year? Hell if I know. A convincing looking invitation is published, and it looks scanned, albeit not very clearly. it wouldn’t surprise me if it were true. I haven’t been able to find much on Kathleen Murphy and vaccines, other than that she once criticized an opponent for being against providing the HPV vaccine for free to low income women. On the other hand, the Dwoskins are heavy hitting donors to the Democratic Party, just as the antivaccine chiropractor and Trump supporter Gary Kompethacras is a long time heavy hitting donor to the Republican Party. Money is money, and it’s hard to ignore when running for office. Indeed, The Dwoskin’s antivaccine proclivities became a problem for Hillary Clinton in 2015 as she was contemplating her run for the Presidency, given that Bill Clinton had spoken at the Dwoskin’s mansion twice. So it could well be that this fundraiser is real, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were to be confirmed by other sources. I also wouldn’t be particularly surprised if it turned out to be fake news, given the propensity of The Washington Free Beacon to try to paint the Democratic Party as rabidly antivaccine even as libertarian-leaning conservatives are fast becoming the loudest, most influential group of antivaxers.

So who are Claire and Al Dwoskin? Albert J. Dwoskin is President and CEO of A.J. Dwoskin & Associates, Inc., a large real estate development and management company in Virginia, having founded it in 1967. Claire Dwoskin is rabidly antivaccine, having served for many years on the board of Barbara Loe Fisher’s Orwellian-named National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). You can tell exactly where the Dwoskins are coming from by looking at the website of the Dwoskin Family Foundation and CMSRI:

According to the CMSRI website, the foundation’s mission is to:

  • Provide scientific research to address gaps in the knowledge about the biological and genetic risk factors for vaccine induced brain and immune dysfunction, including lack of adequate safety data, particularly for delayed or chronic health outcomes
  • Evaluate the biological and genetic reactivity of vaccine additives such as aluminum adjuvants (immune stimulating agents), mercury preservatives and other toxic ingredients
  • Research the effects of multiple vaccine exposures and their potential impact on development of chronic illness, disability, cancer, fertility and neurodegenerative disease
  • Evaluate bias in reporting of vaccine risks and benefits
  • Research and quantify incidence of novel vaccine-associated autoimmune diseases
  • To provide information to government agencies responsible for developing national vaccine policies, the media, and the public to address real and perceived vaccine safety concerns

CMSRI firmly believes it is possible to expeditiously discover the significant causal factors in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, autism, autoimmune diseases and other serious chronic health conditions and in the importance of prevention as a strategy to address these critical obstacles to optimum health.

Vaccines, vaccines, vaccines. In other words, it’s all about the vaccines, as becomes very apparent if you just visit the CMSRI website. Indeed, when Mawson’s horrible “vaxed/unvaxed” studies were “retracted,” the CMSRI happily posted them on its website. Indeed, the page listing publications funded by CMSRI includes papers by a rogues’ gallery of antivaccine “scientists” well known to regular readers of this blog, including Anthony Mawson, Christopher Shaw, Lucija Tomljenovic, Yehuda Shoenfeld, and Christopher Exley. One very obvious pattern that pops up in this funded “research” is that CSMRI seems to think, against all evidence for their safety, that aluminum adjuvants cause autism and a whole host of health problems. Meanwhile, the CMSRI Facebook page is a wretched hive of scum and antivaccine villainy, chock full of every antivaccine trope in the book and links to antivaccine activist sources.

Indeed, if you want to know how utterly, risibly, rabidly antivaccine (and silly) the CMSRI is, simply consider this. Celeste McGovern writes a lot of posts for its blog. She’s the one whose contortions of fact and logic required a healthy dose of not-so-Respectful Insolence last week and is now gloating that Mawson’s abuses of science are back on the journal’s website and accusing Retraction Watch and Snopes of, in essence, being in on the “conspiracy” to “suppress” Mawson’s results. I’m disappointed she didn’t mention me as well. Of course, all I did was to point out the numerous flaws in the study, its having been funded by antivaccine groups, and how it rose from the grave after having been retracted once before. Accusing me of trying to suppress any study would be attributing way more power to me than I in fact have. Come to think of it, the same is true of accusing Retraction Watch or Snopes of the same thing.

Through McGovern, the CMSRI, like most antivaxers, demonizes autism and dehumanizes autistics in a post about the new Muppet character Julia, who is portrayed as autistic and intended to educate children about autism and how to deal with friends and fellow students who are autistic:

I’m guessing little Muppet Julia won’t be smearing feces on Sesame Street’s walls then? Or banging her head on the floor like some autistic kids do. Or crying in agony from gut pain – bowel disorders are one of the many “comorbid” conditions of autism. Will she have regular epileptic seizures – they affect one in four autistic children, you know? Does the Muppet develop an autoimmune disease that goes along with autism and is now a leading cause of mortality in girls and young women. Is there going to be a “Self-Injuring Julia” on the market beside “Tickle-Me-Elmo”?

Stay classy, Celeste. Stay classy.

Both Liz Ditz and Todd W. have documented some of the antivaccine activism of the Dwoskin family, and it is extensive. Todd notes:

The Dwoskin Family Foundation is a philanthropic vehicle for Albert and Lisa Claire Dwoskin. They established it as a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation in 2001. The sole contributions to the foundation are from the Dwoskins themselves (not unusual for a family foundation) to the tune of $600,000 in 2010 and $750,000 in 2011. In addition, a significant portion of the foundation’s assets are held in off-shore accounts and cash investments. The foundation’s 990 form for 2011 (the latest available via GuideStar.com, free registration and login required to view) lists net assets at $3.5 million. Needless to say, they have a lot of purchase power, as it were.

That’s plenty of money to spread around to antivaccine “scientists” doing bogus studies whose results are predetermined, and indeed the Dwoskins are major funders of antivax activities:

Both Liz and Todd note that the Dwoskins funded an infamous antivaccine conference in Jamaica in 2011 featuring Andrew Wakefield as keynote speaker as well as the antivaccine “documentary” The Greater Good. Todd also notes this quote from Claire Dwoskin in response to a segment by John Stossel on his daughter’s ordeal suffering from pertussis:

I just saw the show and am so sorry to hear that other than what Chris had to say, not a word of truth was spoken by Stossel or Offitt. What a travesty – I hope someday he will recognize the error of his ways and realize the fear and damage that he is contributing to by allowing falsehoods to rule the air. At least his daughter is alive, smiling, educated and enjoying life. That cannot be said for the hundreds of thousands of vaccine injured children in the US. What his daughter went through is NOTHING compared to what the families of autistic children go through every day of their lives. No disease can match this record of human devastation. Vaccines are a holocaust of poison on our children’s brains and immune systems. Shame on you all.

Yes, indeed. Dwoskin called vaccines a “holocaust of poison on our children’s brains and immune systems,” but she’s not antivaccine. Oh, no, don’t you dare call her antivaccine! Unfortunately, she’s in “good” company. Holocaust analogies are favored by antivaxers. RFK, Jr. uses them. “Dr. Bob” Sears uses Nazi analogies. One antivaxer even wore a “vaccine badge” patterned on the yellow Star of David that Jews had to wear in Nazi Germany to announce that they were Jewish and thus the hated enemy upon whom Germans could heap contempt, humiliation, and even beatings freely. Holocaust and Nazi analogies (and worse) are basically baked into the DNA of the antivaccine movement.

If Kathleen Murphy is holding a fundraiser hosted by the Dwoskins, shame on her. If she doesn’t know about the Dwoskins’ antivaccine activities, she’s too clueless for public office, and if she does know but can ignore their views she’s too unconcerned with children’s health to be trusted to legislate. If Tipper Gore is going to appear at that fundraiser, shame on her too. Given Al Gore’s efforts to educate the public on human-caused climate change and given that climate science is prone to the same sorts of science denial as vaccine science, she ought to know how much it undermines science to appear with science-denying antivaxers (redundant, I know, but true).

Shame on the Democratic Party too. I know it’s hard to turn down money, whatever the source, but this is money coming from a family that is actively undermining children’s health by discouraging vaccination. The Republican Party might be in danger of becoming the antivaccine party and has definitely become the antiscience party with respect to climate science, environmental science, and evolution. That’s no reason for Democrats to pander to the antivaccine movement.

Comments

  1. #1 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 24, 2017

    It’s money and politicians. Do any of us really expect the latter to develop a spine and a moral compass?

  2. #2 Chris Hickie
    May 24, 2017

    Maybe as long as your party looks less anti-vaccine than the other party….well, you can still get those votes of the people who will pick the lesser of the two wrongs.

  3. #3 Frequent Lurker
    May 24, 2017

    In our current situation I’m torn on this one. Money/politics is messy, and there is an urgency with which Dems need to take back control. Like, if Jenny McCarthy herself threw a fundraiser in my district for Chris Collins’ opponent, I’d probably go.

  4. #4 Orac
    May 24, 2017

    I hear ya, but for some things the price is too high.

  5. #5 Eric Lund
    May 24, 2017

    In answer to the implied question in the post, yes, Virginia is holding state elections this fall. They elect their legislature in odd-numbered years, and they have a gubernatorial contest this year (which is always an open seat because Virginia does not allow governors to be elected to consecutive terms).

    Yes, Ms. Murphy has an optics problem here.

    OTOH, the Democrats cannot afford unilateral disarmament. And while it’s not certain that the Republican candidate would be worse, that’s the way to bet.

  6. #6 Ellie
    Still on the green side of the grass
    May 24, 2017

    @#3
    I don’t think I would, but the temptation would be great. Mr. Collins and I don’t see eye to eye.

  7. #7 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    May 24, 2017

    Orac writes,

    I’m disappointed she didn’t mention me as well.

    MJD says,

    Be careful what you wish for…

    I must admit, I’m a science based pay-to-publish admirer of the ScienceBlog Respectful Insolence (RI).

    Most important, I’m a frequent commenter.

    Please release me from RI auto-moderation and retract the unfortunate article below:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/12/02/mr-michael-dochniak-meet-prometheus/

    Your a skilled writer Orac but hypertension and sleep deprivation is not an excuse for poor quality, and misdirected, respectful insolence.

  8. #8 Anonymous Coward
    May 24, 2017

    Well, she was the force behind that misguided organisation called the PMRC back in the day, which helped to promote one of the biggest moral panics of the last century so not such a big surprise that she would not exactly be rational even after all these years.

  9. #9 darwinslapdog
    hereandthere
    May 24, 2017

    @Anonymous, #8

    …one of the biggest moral panics of the last century…

    I think you greatly exaggerate this bit of history. Even though I scoffed about it all at the time, as a mother of four, I came to find it helpful at times. Does that make me irrational?

    Tipper Gore has a lot to her credit beyond the PMRC, including a lot of work for mental health causes, so a bit of balance is due perhaps?

  10. #10 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    May 24, 2017

    Please release me from RI auto-moderation and retract the unfortunate article below:

    While I wouldn’t presume to tell our host how to manage his blog, I do have to agree with MJD that the referenced article is most unfortunate.

    It’s unfortunate that the link on that page to our host’s post that introduced MJD to the minions doesn’t work. The correct URL is –
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/05/10/anti-vaccine-contortions-they-never-end/

    It’s unfortunate that friend Prometheus no longer comments at RI.

    It’s unfortunate that Prometheus’ blog has gone dark, and that links to it don’t work. However, it can still be found on the Wayback Machine, and this page will take you to an archived entry where you can read the most excellent review of MJD’s silly book in three parts.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20120504073101/http://photoninthedarkness.com/

    However, despite these unfortunate flaws in the page that so offends MJD that he wishes it was removed from the Internet, I do not think ‘retraction’ is the proper corrective action. A simple edit to correct the link, and an addendum to note the new location of the book review in question would be sufficient.

    I hope MJD will agree that his call for action, and his associated reasons, were just a bit excessive, and that we can all agree that, should our host be moved to action, that my proposed course is the most reasonable.

  11. #11 Orac
    May 24, 2017

    Wow. I wasn’t aware the there was a dead link there. I fixed it. I note that a few years ago, when the Sb overlords changed over to WordPress, although most links translated perfectly there were a few here and there that did not. I find them from time to time while looking up old posts to link to when I’m blogging.

    Thanks for pointing that out!

  12. #12 Elliott
    Nowhere near the coast of California
    May 24, 2017

    Johnny
    Thanks for the link–hadn’t seen that before.

    I should add that it’s often amusing to see the Streisand Effect in action.

  13. #13 Alain
    May 24, 2017

    Dear MJD,

    Please release me from RI auto-moderation and retract the unfortunate article below

    Thanks for the laugh 🙂

    Alain

  14. #14 Dr. Antonietta Gatti
    italy
    May 24, 2017

    Dear Mr Orac,
    thank you for having reviewed my paper on nanocontamination in vaccines and the lack of quality control. I wonder on what your criticism may be based since it seems evident that you have no notion of nanotoxicity and nanopathologies.
    I am looking forward to receiving the analyses you yourself have made, as basic science works like that. The rest is prattle. Any scientist can see that you did not demonstrated anything. You think you showed, in fact, that contamination is not present and for reasons you should explain, I forged my results.
    I am sure you understand that that is far from being enough and you are not being credible the way nobody is when prefers chats to facts.
    I will be glad to check your results as soon as you have some to show.

  15. #16 RobRN
    May 24, 2017

    Note who’s on the “Scientific Advisory Board” of CMSRI… Christopher Shaw and Stephanie Seneff! LOL!

  16. #17 Lawrence
    May 24, 2017

    Oh look he’s popped up….and it prattles on.

  17. #18 Dorit Reiss
    May 24, 2017

    Does anyone know what Dwoskin was doing before she became anti-vaccine?

  18. #19 Dangerous Bacon
    May 24, 2017

    “I am looking forward to receiving the analyses you yourself have made, as basic science works like that.”

    If basic science actually worked that way, peer review and other critiques of methodology would be impossible, since everyone would be obliged to try to replicate the other person’s findings.

    Or is that what the Italian courts are now demanding?

  19. #20 herr doktor bimler
    May 24, 2017

    Through McGovern, the CMSRI, like most antivaxers, demonizes autism and dehumanizes autistics in a post about the new Muppet character Julia

    They want it both ways from the broadening of diagnostic criteria to “autism spectrum”, to include more high-functioning people who were not previously categorised. Oh look, is epidemic! Oh look, is evil plan to normalise autism!

  20. #21 JustaTech
    May 24, 2017

    I’ll admit that I’m not familiar with the Washington Free Beacon, but something seems a bit off in their description of Al Gore as “failed Democratic presidential candidate” rather than “former Vice President”.
    Both are true, but only one has a judgement value.

  21. #22 herr doktor bimler
    May 24, 2017

    Let us not forget CMSRI’s instigation of the AutismOne scamfest trade fair, currently in progress. Is anyone following it to see what new “cures” the grifters and conmen are pimping now?

  22. #23 sadmar
    May 24, 2017

    I wouldn’t worry too much about this. Politicians take $$ where they can get it; Dems especially are desperate for funding as most deep pocket types are all for GOP cut-taxes-for-the-rich candidates, and even so the crankiest of Dem donors can’t match the nuttiness of typical GOP funders – check out Trump’s main backer Robert Mercer…

    As I understand it, Albert Dwoskin is the one in the couple into the politics, and Claire is the big-time anti-vaxer. What with HRC having gotten bad pub from being cozy with the Dwoskins, I’d guess this is just a case of them lending out their mansion for the event, and Claire won’t be proselytizing anyone lest it get Al into further hot water. I’d guess Tipper Gore is just showing up to support Kathleen Murphy. I doubt the Free Beacon has conjured “alternative facts” here, but the guilt-by-association conclusion is standard wingnut propaganda. FSM help Ms. Gores if she stops fort a slice at the wrong pizza parlor.

    The PMRC thing was a fiasco, but Tipper got worse pub from that than she deserved. All in all, she’s pretty cool, and I’d guess she has her head on straight about all this, is just doing what politicians have to do, and campaigning in Claire Dwoskin’s sitting room is one of the less slimey things that involves.

    Now, if Claire pulls a Gary Kompethacras, and arranges for Mawson, Tomljenovic et al to be there, rub elbows, and get dubious photo ops with Gore and Murphy that would be worrisome. But hey, those are sort of higher order anti-vaxers, since Kompethacras got Andy Wakefield that photo-op with Trump, the invite to the inaugural etc. etc.

    To add to what Eric said that the way to bet is that the GOP candidate is worse than Murphy (not that we know Murphy’s ‘bad’ in any way): this is party politics, and whatever the views of the individual candidate, a vote for the GOP is a vote against public health, including rational policy on vaccines. The vote on SB277 made it clear where the battle lines are drawn, and that “health free-dumb” rhetoric is only coming from one side of the aisle.

  23. #24 Orac
    May 24, 2017

    I’ll admit that I’m not familiar with the Washington Free Beacon, but something seems a bit off in their description of Al Gore as “failed Democratic presidential candidate” rather than “former Vice President”.

    Oh, The Washington Free Beacon is totally right wing and biased. Notice how it mentions that in 2008 Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama bought into the idea that vaccines cause autism (they didn’t, at least not as presented) and neglected to mention that John McCain did the same thing during that campaign. That doesn’t mean it’s fake news, just that it’s biased and that it does its reporting in an obviously biased manner.

  24. #25 Chris Preston
    Australia
    May 25, 2017

    Let us not forget CMSRI’s instigation of the AutismOne scamfest trade fair, currently in progress. Is anyone following it to see what new “cures” the grifters and conmen are pimping now?

    Sadly I have missed Erica Daniels, BS on “Adding Cannabis as a Natural Addition to Your Child’s Overall Organic-Non-GMO Healthy Diet and Lifestyle”

    But you just knew that was goiung to be there.

    Today you can listen to Marcia Hinds tell you how a regimen of antiviral, antifungal and antidepressant drugs indefinitely coupled with a gluten free and dairy free diet will cure autism.

    Then there is Barry Smeltzer on camel’s milk (which by contrast is likely to be innocuous, if expensive).

    The detoxers are still there as well.

    But much of today is taken up with thimerosal (guess who) and of all things HPV vaccine. These two just demonstrate that once again Autismone is all about the vaccines.

    Best of all, you could get to see VAXXED tonight.

    To think that I only missed the opportunity of dropping in on this caper by a month.

  25. #26 Chris Preston
    Australia
    May 25, 2017

    I want to say that I am really grateful for MJD bringing up that old post again. It meant I searched out and read Prometheus’ review of MJD’s copy-and-pasteathon again. It is a hoot and well worth reading all three posts.

  26. #27 sadmar
    May 25, 2017

    On further thought, I was way too mild in my earlier comment, or maybe naive. The Free Beacon isn’t just “biased”. All news is biased. It’s a scurrilous, dishonest propaganda rag, and this ‘story’ reeks of classic disinformation strategy. That is, it was likely published to sow dischord among those opposing it’s wingnut agenda, entirely disingenuously, designed to generate secondary coverage with headlines exactly like the one atop this page. For all the restraint and qualifications Orac shows in the text, the fact he wrote this post at all indicates he took the bait of a con job.

    Does anyone really think these Righties give a flying fig about science, or public health for that matter? Except as a ploy to demonize immigrants as with the Minnesota Somalis who were bamboozled by Andy Wakefield. It’s their peeps taking meetings with RFKJ and Del Bigtree. So they distract by ginning up a story around the fact the Dwoskins are loaning out their mansion for a fundraiser – not for any national political figure, but a lowly State representative whose only recorded position on vaccines is pro-vax? Folks, this ain’t newsworthy unless you’ve got an agenda.

    And what makes the peg: the scheduled attendance of Tipper Gore… Who has not held public office, isn’t running for anything, and happens to have been involved, among her charitable works, in the creation of National Infant Immunization Week in 1993. And who still shares political pub with the public figure who is A-number 1 on the AGW-denier hit-list. Tying a Gore to an anti-science zealot with the thinnest of threads! Oh my, how they must with laughing with self-congratulation down in the Free Beacon sewer.

    FWIW, while Tipper Gore would be a highly unlikely fellow traveler of Claire Dwoskin’s anti-vax ‘science’ squad, she’d likely have truck with other causes receiving support from the Dwoskin Foundatrion, which include Media Matters, Planned Parenthood, La Raza and feminist film distributor Women Make Movies…

    … and speaking of Planned Parenthood, it’s no accident this ‘story’ is not just on the Free Beacon, but all over the wingnut web as the Trumpers are trying to duck the just released CBO score on the House-passed ‘Trumpcare’ bill, which will force 23 million people into the ranks of the uninsured, gut services for the poor, women, and children, and raise premiums for low-income seniors 800% (not a typo, eight HUNDRED percent).

    Oh yeah, the anti-vaxers may be more upset that Dwoskin is hosting Gore than Orac is worried about Gore attending an event at Dowskin’s home, since Tipper has been ID’ed as part of the Big Pharma Conspiracy ever since as Mental Health Policy Advisor in the Clinton Administration she encouraged psych patients to actually take their meds.

  27. #28 herr doktor bimler
    May 25, 2017

    “Adding Cannabis as a Natural Addition to Your Child’s Overall Organic-Non-GMO Healthy Diet and Lifestyle”
    But you just knew that was goiung to be there.

    Ha! Yes, marijuana has much become part of the Alt-Med scammocopoeia, curing autism as well as cancer and every other ailment to which flesh is prone. I can see two driving factors there:

    1. The more professional grifters are hoping to cash in on the coming marijuana boom, selling Health-Ranger-Approved THC — Organic and free from GMOs and heavy-metal-contaminated Chinese imports.

    2. Thanks to the workings of Crank Magnetism, there is a large and influential subsector of the anti-vax Wooniverse who are — how shall I put this? — stoners. They started out as paranoid-ideation Truthers, seeing False Flags and Crisis Actors everywhere (because the weed does that, or so I hear from a friend), then gravitated to the dark side of Antivax because crank magnetism.

    Of course there is a great deal of overlap and synergy between these two factors. It is hard to tell with the whack-jobs whether they are sincere with the paranoid ideation or just putting it on in order to appeal to their customers, i.e. affinity fraud.

  28. #29 Liz Ditz
    Great State of California
    May 25, 2017

    1. Thank you HDB for scammocopoeia,.. I shall use it henceforth.

    2. As to the subject of this post: I don’t know what Claire Dwoskin’s philanthropic focus was before the anti-vaccine push. The Dwoskin Family Foundation was recognized by the IRS in 2001, but the 990s available to hand only go back to 2013. I suppose somebody with better internet access than I could dig up the early-days 990s and see what they supported.

    3: As to the subject of this post: I agree that this is likely Al Dwoskin’s gig, and does’t really make much of a difference one way or another (other than bringing the Dwoskins more into the light). It’s possible that Gore wasn’t aware of Claire Dwoskin’s proclivities.

  29. #30 Dangerous Bacon
    May 25, 2017

    Since marijuana has been found to decrease production and activity of IL-6, antivaxers like VP should be leaping to embrace dope-smoking during pregnancy to prevent autism.

    On the other hand, exposure to pot in utero may be harmful to brain development and cognition.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/health/marijuana-and-pregnancy.html?_r=0

    Maybe the Dwoskins can bankroll a study looking at whether marijuana toxins trump vaccine toxins. An anonymous online survey of High Times readers should give us the answer.

  30. #31 Antonietta Gatti
    May 25, 2017

    Dear Mr. Orac (sorry, but I cuoldn’t find any scientist by that name), It very strange that a great cancer surgeon as you say you are and a researcher to boot has never realized that the cancers he cuts contain solid, non biodegradable micro- and nanoparticles, particularly at the interface between healthy and pathological tissue. The impression you give is you are a mediocre amateur full of hatred.

    • #32 Orac
      May 25, 2017

      You know, my real name is about the worst kept secret in the blogosphere. I now use it as a sort of intelligence test for commenters. If you can’t figure it out, you’re not worth much, if any, of my time. (Hint: It’s right on this blog somewhere, and not difficult to find.) If my “real identity” means so much to you and you didn’t bother to find out, then why should I bother to dig into your claims?

      As far as nanoparticles as The One True Cause of All Disease…

      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2017/02/08/nanoparticles-the-new-one-true-cause-of-all-disease/

  31. #33 Narad
    May 25, 2017

    cancers . . . contain solid, non biodegradable micro- and nanoparticles, particularly at the interface between healthy and pathological tissue

    You don’t say.

  32. #34 Lawrence
    May 25, 2017

    Well, someone has “nano-particles” on the brain, that’s for sure.

  33. #35 herr doktor bimler
    May 25, 2017

    a mediocre amateur full of hatred.
    Said the person who thinks that Tungsten and Wolfram are different elements.

    Well, someone has “nano-particles” on the brain, that’s for sure.
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/21196301
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/7C425F1D7E82F1280504EA4DEAC914
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/27669365
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/16362224
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/15332619

  34. #36 Jane Ostentatious
    Canada
    May 25, 2017

    So, if these nano particles are non-biodegradable, does that mean if you exhumed a cancer victim, every part of their body except the cancer will have decomposed? Cool!

    Sorry – morbid black humour !

  35. #37 doug
    May 25, 2017

    The impression you give is you are a mediocre amateur

    Funny. That’s exactly the impression I had of the whole collection of authors of that abysmally badly done paper on particles in vaccines. There might actually be some minor issue with particulates in vaccines, but the paper was incredibly bad in documenting process and the actual work was apparently done without any reasonable controls to validate process that the only reasonable response is to reject the work in its entirety.

    There is a clear distinction between hatred and contempt.

  36. #38 Dangerous Bacon
    May 25, 2017

    Gatti: “cancers…contain solid, non biodegradable micro- and nanoparticles, particularly at the interface between healthy and pathological tissue.”

    Son of a gun. I’ve signed out four cancers so far today but have observed none of these mysterious micro/nanoparticles, even at the interface between normal and malignant tissue. They seem even more elusive than Morgellons critters.

    Maybe I should be using the oil immersion microscope lens for maximum magnification, although that tends to kill efficiency.

  37. #39 JustaTech
    May 25, 2017

    How do these nanoparticles at “the interface between healthy and pathological tissue” work with cancers of the blood? You know, where the cancerous cells and healthy cells circulate around with each other?

  38. #40 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    May 25, 2017

    Orac (#32) writes,

    Hint: It’s right on this blog somewhere, and not difficult to find.

    @ The honorable Antonietta Gatti (#31),

    Click on the word “Orac” below the title.

    Ironically, after six years of commenting this was the first time I clicked on said “Orac”.

    I wonder if there are other hidden treasures?

  39. #41 TBruce
    May 26, 2017

    Son of a gun. I’ve signed out four cancers so far today but have observed none of these mysterious micro/nanoparticles, even at the interface between normal and malignant tissue.

    Back in the Olde Dayes when I was a resident, we were still using electron microscopy to diagnose certain cancers (now supplanted by immunostains and genetic analyses). Never saw any nanoparticles. There still could be yoctoparticles, though. You never know.

  40. #42 Vaccine Papers
    May 26, 2017

    Hi ORAC

    Can you provide citations supporting your statement below about the safety of aluminum adjuvant? Thank you.

    Were you perhaps referring to Mitkus 2011? Or Jefferson 2004 (The Lancet)?

    Where is the “evidence for their safety”?

    QUOTE:
    “CSMRI seems to think, against all evidence for their safety, that aluminum adjuvants cause autism and a whole host of health problems.”

  41. #43 Chris Preston
    Australia
    May 26, 2017

    There still could be yoctoparticles, though. You never know.

    Those will be the ones containing all the Al adjuvants from vaccines. You should be able to find them with EDS-SEM. Clearly everyone has been looking with the wrong equipment.

  42. #44 TBruce
    May 26, 2017

    Are aluminum adjuvants safe?
    A man in France ate an entire airplane with no apparent ill effects. He did die later at age 57 of “natural causes”. So I guess the jury’s still out.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Lotito

  43. […] il deplorevole cross-blogging, m'è debordata la Schadenfreude. Il 24 maggio la Dr. Antonietta Gatti sbarca da "Respectful insolence" sull'aria di lei non sa chi sono […]

  44. #46 Dangerous Bacon
    May 26, 2017

    “Are aluminum adjuvants safe?
    A man in France ate an entire airplane with no apparent ill effects”

    Yes, but he didn’t _inject_ an entire airplane right into his bloodstream! There’s a difference, ya know.

  45. #47 HeatherVee
    On a bridge to nowhere
    May 26, 2017

    We’re so lucky here in VA, being the home of NVIC and the Dwoskins :/

    Our Dem delegate candidate is an ER nurse who understands the importance of vaccination. His Rep rival (the incumbent) supports vaccination, too – but he has a tendency to get a little too wrapped up in the “religious freedom” argument when it comes to non-medical exemptions.

  46. #48 herr doktor bimler
    May 26, 2017

    Hilarity ensues again – Ocasapiens – Blog – Repubblica.it

    I recommend this auto-link to Sylvie Coyaud’s blog.
    She links (indirectly) to a report on vaccine safety from the French ASNM, responding to a lawsuit — http://ansm.sante.fr/content/download/90397/1135567/version/1/file/CR-CSST-13052016_med_vaccins.pdf
    Relevant because Dottori Gatti & Montanari presented the ASNM with their own assessment of vaccine nano-contamination. The Agency dismissed their efforts as worthless, unscientific rubbish:

    2. L’étude réalisée par le Dr Montanari est critiquable sur le plan méthodologique (absence de contrôles, analyse d’un seul échantillon, mode de préparation favorisant la formation de particules…) et scientifique, notamment sur l’interprétation des résultats présentée dans le rapport. Du fait que l’analyse réalisée par le Dr Montanari soit uniquement qualitative, il n’est donc pas possible de tirer de conclusions claires quant à un risque sanitaire lié à la présence de certains métaux.

  47. #49 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    May 28, 2017

    Almost completely off-topic (it involves an anti-vaxer), but check out Jake’s latest at http://www.autisminvestigated.com/christiaan-tarbox/.

    Jake seems to be a bit upset because some guy with autism has done a few things Jake hasn’t, like move out of mommies house and get a job. But, being Jake, he has to dial up the crazy to 11.

    Another post, consisting of heapin’ helpings of copypasta, designed to keep himself unloved and unemployed.

    He claims it’s humor. I don’t see it.

    It also appears he’s really unclear about female anatomy.

  48. #50 herr doktor bimler
    May 28, 2017

    Yes, but he didn’t _inject_ an entire airplane right into his bloodstream! There’s a difference, ya know.

    I saw a documentary in which an entire submarine was injected into someone’s bloodstream, with beneficial effects. I bet it was largely constructed of aluminium.

  49. #51 Alain
    May 28, 2017

    Guess i’m not likely to be graced the “honor” of featuring the gnat’s websites. Only failures of mine is not yet having a college degree.

    Romantic relationship with neurotypical womans: check.

    Help raise child: check.

    All the rest, checked-out too.

    Alain

  50. #52 Alain
    May 28, 2017

    Raising child [definition]:

    the vet student: accept bear-hug whenever they came (often), be there for her, stroke hair when listening to movie (alternating between me and her mother), do exactly as told by her when doing the meal task (the vet student and me did the lunch and diner, she could manage me very fine since she learned how to cook by age 7).

    The younger one: accept hug, play with her, do funny faces, make her laugh.

    Raising child like these over a few years, pure bliss. Alas, I’m no longer with their mother which is unfortunate but I suspect some mild jealousy over the bear-hug (I was the only one receiving them).

    Alain

  51. #53 Narad
    May 29, 2017

    It also appears he’s really unclear about female anatomy.

    And the meaning of “neckbeard.”

  52. #54 Narad
    May 29, 2017

    ^ I mean, really, think ahead.

  53. #55 Chris Preston
    Australia
    May 29, 2017

    check out Jake’s latest at

    There is something seriously eating Jake. He is having a massive envy attack. Perhaps this was brought on by his failed Ph.D. program.

    Sadly, for Jake, what he obviously can’t see is that this particular effort was neither funny, nor big. It just portrayed Jake as the ultimate whining loser.

  54. #56 Renate
    May 29, 2017

    @ Chris Preston
    He still seems to think that vaccine preventable diseases are just a walk in the park.

    Very sour grapes, I think.

    He should try to imagine how to live with some of the serious side-effects of measles.

  55. #57 Panacea
    May 29, 2017

    I read a lot of self loathing in Jake’s post, especially the first paragraph.

    I’d almost feel sorry for him if he weren’t such an obnoxious, hateful twat.