A homeopath and Dr. Jay will teach you about vaccines—and, no doubt, autism

Remember Dr. Jay?

Regular readers know about whom I speak. I'm talking about Dr. Jay Gordon, pediatrician to the stars' children. Dr. Jay has been a fixture on this blog on and off for seven years, first having popped in as a commenter way back on Respectful Insolence, Mark 1, when I first noted him promoting antivaccine nonsense claiming against all science that vaccines cause austism on—where else?—that wretched hive of scum and quackery, The Huffington Post. Since then, Dr. Jay has assiduously denied that he is antivaccine, all the while spewing antivaccine canards hither, thither, and yon. If the search box were working properly on the new blog setup, I'd tell you just to type Dr. Jay's name into it and see the evidence for what I've just said flow. However, since the search box isn't working, I'm reduced to providing you a link to a custom Google search that should provide the same thing in a clumsy, but reasonably effective, manner.

Basically, over the last seven years, Dr. Jay has become known for his ceaseless need to convince you, my readers, that he is not anti-vaccine, combined with his utter failure to do so. The reason that he fails to do so is because he can't resist repeating easily refuted anti-vaccine tropes, such as the "formaldehyde" gambit or the toxin gambit, likening vaccine manufacturers to tobacco companies (a comparison that, I daresay, greatly inspired the young antivaccinationist Jake Crosby), and using an old Brady Bunch episode as "evidence" that measles is not that big a deal. Meanwhile, he is pediatrician for Evan, Jenny McCarthy's son (he wrote the foreword to one of her books), and is apparently also pediatrician to Mayim Bialik's children as well, supporting and reinforcing both her attachment parenting and her antivaccinationism. Basically, while piteously proclaiming that he is not "antivaccine," Dr. Jay is an apologist for the antivaccine movement and spreads fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about vaccines. Over the years, both here and by e-mail, I’ve had exchanges with Dr. Jay in which he repeatedly asserts that his 30+ years of “clinical experience” have led him to conclude that vaccines cause regressive autism and that this clinical experience trumps the numerous epidemiological studies that have not only failed to find the link but failed spectacularly, to the point where we can conclude that vaccines almost certainly have nothing to do with autism. Over time, I (and several of my readers) have tried and tried again to educate Dr. Jay, to no avail. No matter how many times we try to explain the concepts of confirmation bias and that correlation does not necessarily imply causation, it all seems to fall on deaf ears.

The bottom line is that Dr. Jay has a profound misunderstanding of science and far too much faith in his own ability to avoid the cognitive pitfalls to which every human being is prone. Not that any of this stops him from advising parents not to vaccinate their children or showing up on TV to assert with utter conviction and confidence (and, of course, no scientific evidence) that vaccines cause autism. Deny it as much as he will, he is clearly antivaccine. Even Steve Novella, who is usually much more polite and less—shall we say?—insolent agrees.

Despite Dr. Jay's serious problem with science and antivaccine proclivities, I generally think that he's basically a good guy. He's just wrong, so very, very wrong. Sometimes, I even have hope that you and I might be starting to get through to him. Not anymore. At least, not any more since I saw this:

The Vaccine Talk with Drs. Jay Gordon and Lauren Feder on Saturday, June 23 in Los Angeles

Dr. Feder is described as:

Lauren Feder, M.D. is a nationally recognized physician who specializes in primary care medicine, pediatrics and homeopathy. Known for her holistically minded approach and combining the ‘best of both worlds,’ Dr. Feder is a frequent lecturer for parents and professionals and has been seen nationally on various health-oriented television and radio programs including most recently on The Doctors, Oprah and Friends interviewed by Dr. Mehmet Oz. She is the president of the Holistic Pediatric Alliance, author of Natural Baby and Childcare and The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations, and is in private practice in Los Angeles. www.drfeder.com


But does anyone here remember Lauren Feder? I do. I've written about her before. In fact, her medical group is made up of herself, a P.A., and a chiropractor. Feder was a frequent contributor to Mothering Magazine, back when it still existed (sadly, Mothering.com persists as a website that's even more of a wretched hive of scum and antivaccine quackery than HuffPo ever was). Indeed, last fall I noted that she wrote about the pertussis vaccine and whether children should receive it. In it, she recommended homeopathic remedies for whooping cough and "natural" methods to prevent "vaccine injury." In fact, in the case of pertussis, she recommends giving three pellets of homeopathic DTaP 30C once a week for three weeks, beginning the day of the vaccination. She recommends the same thing for the Hib vaccine, homeopathic Hib given the same way. On her website, there is a whole slew of articles on homeopathy, including one that advises taking homeopathic remedies as though they were real medicine. In one of them, Feder even writes:

The homeopathic remedies described in these articles for the website are for basic self-limiting conditions that do not require a medical diagnosis. These are minor illnesses with few symptoms. The homeopathic treatment of severe illnesses and chronic diseases requires the expertise of a professional homeopath.

No, homeopaths shouldn't be allowed in the same room as a patient with a severe illness unless she is a family member there to give support. Certainly, no homeopath should ever be allowed to attempt to treat a severe illness or chronic disease. Unfortunately, Dr. Feder disagrees. She advises the use of homeopathy for pertussis (as I mentioned before), for colic, thrush, teething, ADHD, the flu, colds, skin rashes, infertility, menopause, conditions during pregnancy, depression, psoriasis, and many others. Moreover, Feder is not just a homeopath. She's into all sorts of woo, including—of course!—"detoxification" woo (gemmotherapy).

Believe it or not, I had thought that even Dr. Jay recognized that homeopathy is about the purest form of quackery that there is. I really had. Apparently, I held too high an opinion of him. From my perspective, teaming up with a homeopath for a business proposition like this to give a talk on vaccines tells me one of two things. Either Dr. Jay doesn't understand some seriously basic science, thus completely belying his claims of being a scientists, or he doesn't care. Either way, one has to wonder whether Dr. Jay has forgotten Avogadro's number from his days in college chemistry and pre-clinical medical school classes. It's that number that demonstrates the utter scientific bankruptcy behind homeopathy. Basically, many homeopathic remedies are serially diluted in 100-fold dilutions that are abbreviated as "C." Thus, a 1C dilution is a 100-fold dilution, but you'll rarely, if ever see only a 1C homeopathic dilution given that one tenet of homeopathy is that diluting a remedy makes it stronger. More frequently, we see 30C dilutions, which are 30 serial 100-fold dilutions, or a 10-60 dilution. Given that Avogadro's number is approximately 6.023 x 1023. That means that we're talking about dilutions more than 1036-fold higher than Avogadro's number. That's why skeptics and scientists frequently point out that homeopathy is nothing more than water. In fact, any dilution greater than about 12C (certainly greater than 15C) is unlikely to have even a single molecule of active compound in it.

In fact, because I feel merciful today, I will provide Dr. Jay with a lesson. Here's perhaps my absolute favorite deconstruction of homeopathy. It's only a bit more than two and a half minutes long, and it comes from Richard Dawkins' The Enemies of Reason TV documentary:

As I've pointed out before, homeopathy is basically sympathetic magic following the law of similarity and the law of contagion. Yet, Dr. Jay has decided to start doing talks with a homeopath about vaccines:

Come join these nationally recognized doctors for a candid talk about vaccinations in the 21st century. Together they bring a wealth of experience in the field of holistic pediatrics and vaccine safety. This educational workshop is for parents and practitioners who are seeking optimal health for our children. In this workshop they will present information on vaccinations, and answer your questions on:

  • Pros and cons of vaccines
  • How vaccines work
  • Vaccine ingredients
  • Vaccination in the news (including California’s bill and exemptions)
  • Overview of each vaccine/illness
  • Safe Shot Strategy


Holy crap! A homeopath and Dr. Jay explaining how vaccines work and proposing a "safe shot" strategy? One might as well have a creationist explaining evolution, a birther discussing Barack Obama's early childhood, a moon hoaxer describing the Apollo 11 mission, or an antivaccinationist explaining the immune system.

Oh, wait. We already have that right here in this advertised event.

I realize that Dr. Jay is an easy target. However, sometimes easy targets are the most necessary targets. After all, Jay has made quite the name for himself in alternative health circles. He's been associated with two celebrity moms (Jenny McCarthy and Mayim Bialik), both of whom are antivaccine and both of whom have achieved a fair amount of notoriety. He's become the go-to pediatrician for the anti-vaccine movement (although I note that Dr. Bob Sears appears to be nipping at his heels these days). It's because he shows up in the media so often and because he so frequently serves as an apologist for the antivaccine movement that it's important to point out the erroneous statements he makes. It's also important to take note of a talk like this, because Dr. Jay's willingness to team up with a homeopath to promote dubious information about vaccines demolishes any pretension he might have to being science-based.

I really didn't think Dr. Jay could sink this low. I really didn't. Apparently I was wrong, and he can. What's next? Becoming a homeopath himself? As hard as it is to believe, I'm really disappointed in Dr. Jay. As often as we've butted heads in the past and as annoyed as I've been by his embrace of the antivaccine movement, I did expect better. Admittedly, expecting him to realize that homeopathy is pure quackery is a really low expectation, particularly given that he's a physician, but sadly he now can't clear even that low bar anymore.


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Holy crap! A homeopath and Dr. Jay explaining how vaccines work and proposing a “safe shot” strategy? One might as well have a creationist explaining evolution, a birther discussing Barack Obama’s birth, a moon hoaxer describing the Apollo 11 mission, or an antivaccinationist explaining the immune system.

And a surgeon...

I wonder if he believes in bloodletting, to balance the humours?

"I'm not anti-chemo, I just believe that once. these leeches drain this plethora, your black bile level will rise. Then, in time, your tumour will sort itself out".

Dr Jay should be well and truly ashamed of sharing a stage with a homeopath. What a fool.

"Bring us your questions"?

What's the point? Dr. Jay won't answer them anyway. At least, not based on his track record in the comments here or on Twitter. I know there are a number of questions that I've asked him and that others have asked him that he has yet to answer.

Oh, and your post comes at an interestingly coincidental time; just had a news alert to a Mothering-dot-com post discussing homeopathic vaccines. Ho boy.

Homeopathic vaccines. Or how to pack the maximum stupidity in the smallest package.

I was ranting about homeopathy --
http://eusa-riddled.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/do-aquastors-dream-of-hydrau… (warning, contains frivolity and distractions)*
and discovered in the course of my research that the homeopaths in question are regular contributors to the 'Frontiers' stable of open-access e-journals:

Obviously this calls into question the value of Frontiers' gate-keeping. What next? Will they be publishing submissions from Creation scientists?
Is it worth publishing in any of the Frontiers journals? Any feedback from people here would be welcome. Asking for a friend, of course.

* Executive summary: There is a serious need for some Respectful Insolence directed at the University of Verona.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

Dr Jay may have forgotten Avogadro's number...
but we have ways of making him remember!**

No, I don't think he's forgotten: perhaps he merely goes along with an amusing notion : homeopathy is natural medicine without side effects ( I think James Sweet said that here @ RI)- a mild herbal tonic that *does no harm*.

Thus a woo-meister ( or a real doctor) might talk of how this mild remedy helps without damaging like pharmaceuticals.
Here's where I draw the line: woo-meisters may have a serious lack of education and thus may not know anything at all about how truly weak the dilution is ( actually, it's as weak as their argument)
how can a person who completed med school NOT know this? If you forget this.. how reliable would you be as a physician. This is something basic.

No, I believe- with all due respect- that he is going with the flow of woo that this audience accepts and cherishes. Even though he probably knows otherwise. Homeopathy is popular amongst certain groups and he preaches to the converted. There's something intrinsically wrong about that. Shouldn't a doctor want to educate patients or the general public in ways to help them to have a healthier life and to avoid health hazards? Shouldn't he warn them that this is indeed, nonsense? A waste of time and money?

Sometimes educating people involves more than imparting new ideas, it means you have to assist them in discarding old ones as well. He is not an anthropologist going into a pristine, isolated culture trying with all of his might not to interfere with their mores and taboos. This is freaking LA!

** I've always wanted to use that phrase- cognitive psych and all

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

As if to provide grist for my mill, today's Natural News articles include one by Willow Tohi who discusses homeopathic remedies for children.

First she informs us that children die from conventional medicine and doctors keep on writing those prescriptions and then describes a Starter Kit of 6 "remedies"and their applications. Needless to say, adults may benefit from them as well but people with chronic conditions should consult a practictioner. Dana is mentioned as a source.

If what you espouse or tolerate** as a doctor is similar to an article at Natural News, perhaps you should be doing some soul-searching about your path in life and where you're heading next. Deep thoughts should be forthcoming, I'd hope.

** Dr Lauren and Dr Jay, respectively

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

Dr. Oz has shown him the way, and he will stop nothing short of his own TV show to tell the masses what his peers ridicule. If you can't go for the Nobel price, go for the money.

The first question for Dr. Jay that comes to mind is, as always, "Are you F-ing serious? You're telling us as a trained physician you support treating depression, infertility, etc. with nothing more than water?"

My personal favorite Dr. Jay moment was his claim that the devaluation of anecdotes as scientific data relied on some sort of appeal to authority, and that his anecdotes have equal scientific weight to decades of accumulated data. In short, that he has as much scientifical knowledge in his head as all of the rest of us put together.


So on the assumption that you'll show up again, Dr. Jay, do you still believe that you know more than everybody else put together?

The kind of irresponsible behaviour displayed by Dr Gordon here - cavorting with homeopaths? Come on! - is IMO a complete and abject abdication of his professional ethics and standards as an MD.

By Composer99 (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

@ Composer99:

I think he already so abdicated by knowingly committing gross malpractice in regard to vaccination.

(By "knowingly" here I mean that he has been informed of the truth - repeatedly - even if he's too clueless to care about facts.)

Thanks, NG! Thanks for directing the financial sharks with their imbecilic English over to RI!

By Queen Khentkawes (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

@herr doktor bimler

The microbiology related frontiers journals have been fine in my experience. Since I'm a bacteria person I don't really pay attention to their other journals, and its possible that there are bad papers in those journals but when I've had pubmed hits lead me there what I've read is fine.

I have some "friends" who've published there and some "friends" who've reviewed for them, so really not any different than any other microbiology journal.


Dr. Jay reminds us of a very passive/aggressive prelate of ours back on Glaxxon Prime, whose placid, syrupy sweetness is often revealed to be a façade when the pressurized rage beneath the surface breaks through from time to time. Almost started a war with the Kthraaxx over a lovely platter of flenk one night. So it appears to us with the good doctor. He seems so chipper and good natured . . . at first. Then the cracks in the edifice of "kindly Dr. Jay" appear when he's presented with actual scientific reality and he's reminded that the fluffy, all-natural bed in which he's chosen to lie means that he will never gain the acceptance of the majority of his peers. Well we certainly know how we feel when confronted with an impudent "no." Alas, poor Dr. Jay, tedious human decorum prevents you from the simple joy of flensing the quarrelsome and the contrary, it's so satisfying.

Lord Draconis Zeneca VH7iHL

Glaxxon PharmaCOM Department Chair of the Armchair Psychiatric Division, Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Flenser Extraordinare.

Glaxxon PharmaCOM Terrabase DIA

ARMCHAIR PSYCHIATRY ENDS--------------------

By Glaxxon Pharma… (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

I really miss the preview feature.

I meant the above to find comments from Jay, not about him or responding to him.

I lost any respect for Dr. Jay years ago. He does not really care about the health and well being of children, he only cares about pandering for the cash. Especially since he does not take health insurance.

Along with leaving children vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases, he denigrates women who cannot breast feed for a number of legitimate reasons.

Hey! Perhaps that is why he does not like vaccines! Dr. Maurice Hilleman was not able to get breast milk because his mother (and twin sister) died shortly after he was born. Maybe Dr. Jay is jealous of Dr. Hilleman's genius and very positive impact on the health of children.

Dr. Jay probably has forgotten that death in child birth was very common, especially in what were the frontiers of the American West like Montana. Actually, Dr. Jay has forgotten lots of history. There is just not enough room in his head for history and medical science when it gets filled with homeopathic nonsense.

I just find his attitude insufferable. Not only is he wrong about pretty much everything, and I basically don't trust everything he says including "the," "but," and "then," but he's also always so smug and smarmy about everything. I can't stand either smugness or smarm.

By Interrobang (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

@ Interrobang:

I'd describe it as an attitude that, if only everyone else would simply admit the self-evident truth that he's perfect and infallible, the world work run so much more smoothly.

@ Chris: " he denigrates women who cannot breast feed for a number of legitimate reasons."

Not wanting to BF is a legitimate reason on its own. The denigration of women who choose or cannot BF (regardless of reason) should stop.

Although mothering magazine may be gone, mothering.com is still in full force, crazy forums leading poor women to terrible (dangerous) parenting choices.

I recently registered at a baby store and received a copy of "fit pregnancy" which had 2 articles (one was answering readers question). 1 by Dr. Jay, 1 by Dr. Andrew Weil! I was appalled to see my OB's office had copies in their waiting area. While I realize none of the pregnancy and parenting mags are completely woo free (or judgement free), I really wonder if the OBs have any clue the crap in some of those magazines, that sometimes have articles directly refuting OBs recommendations!

@herr doktor binter:

Frivolity and distraction?! I'm there!
Oh my, a topless George Takei. *fans self*

By Katherine Lorraine (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

@Chris (12:30pm) I too am bothered by Dr. Jay's ability to ignore history. Never mind theory or process, actuarial tables (and headstones at cemeteries, or heck even old newspapers) just don't support the concept of "natural health". Humans are, by nature, vulnerable to the diseases that evolved to prey on us... arguing against vaccination is like arguing that we should only fight off wolves bare-handed because using fisticuffs is the natural way and natural is better than the artificial defenses of spear, bow, or gun.

The actuarial tables say I have a decent shot at seeing my centenial with most of my teeth, hearing, and eyesight. That is due in no small part to the advances of modern medicine... anyone giving that up is a chump, and anyone denying that standard of care to their kids is even worse than a chump.

-- Steve

By Anton P. Nym (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

he denigrates women who cannot breast feed for a number of legitimate reasons.

I did like the RI comment thread in which Dr Jay simultaneously argued that vaccination mandates are an unwarranted intrusion into parental autonomy, and that breast feeding is so important it should be made compulsory.

The microbiology related frontiers journals have been fine in my experience.
My friend thanks your friends.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

Oh my, a topless George Takei. *fans self*
A close-up.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

Okay, how did herr doktor bimler manage to post two comments within twenty minutes, while I just got told I was going too fast and it was hours ago when I posted!

The "too fast" has absolutely nothing to do with actual comment timings. I got it this morning - after not having posted for at least a couple DAYS.

Dr. Jay and a homeopath?

Sounds like the blind leading the stupid.

Chris Hickie, MD, PhD

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

I have ranted on this subject before but once again into the breach. Why hasn't the California Medical Society lifted this clown's license to practice medicine?

This interview shouldn't come as a big surprise, seeing as how Jay Gordon has been promoting homeopathy on his website for a long time. Check out the alternativ medicine section and one of Jay's remedies for ear infections in kiddies:

"I like to put mullein/garlic oil in the ears hourly for a day or two and give pulsatilla 6X or 12C (homeopathic strength–the range I have given indicates homeopathic ignorance… but it works) or lachesis homeopathically hourly for two days."


Yes, I know, "homeopathic ignorance" is a redundancy.

Apparently in Jay's case, FAAP means "Follower of Ancient Asinine Practices".

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

I'm sad. I'm very sad. Dr. Jay told his twitter followers that they should follow me because, apparently, he had learned a lot about epidemiology from my Epi Night School series. (I got inundated with requests to be followed by many a warrior mommies.) It appears that he didn't learn.

He didn't learn a thing.

All my opinion, of course. And none of this is to be construed as the opinion of any of my employers. To do so puts you on the same wavelength as one Jake Crosby. Trust me, you don't want to be on that wavelength. <-- Also my opinion.

My dearest Lord Draconis;

We here at Illuminata Ltd are not amused with your so-called armchair psychiatrising, most ESPECIALLY when you extend your provenance to include fellow humans-
even if they are fellow humans that we do not particularly LIKE -
it is all well and good when you stick it to your own kind, i.e. scaley otherworldlings dominated by their limbic systems, it is another story when you step into our area of expertise. So watchit there, Mister! Or else we will no longer train your shills and create information tailored to your needs.

SIncerely yours,
DW, CEO & CFO, Illuminata LTD

@ herr doktor bimler:

We here at Illuminata Ltd are very amused.

Okay, how did herr doktor bimler manage to post two comments within twenty minutes

It's the special Takei Fast-track Exemption.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

BLOCKQUOTE> “I like to put mullein/garlic oil in the ears hourly for a day or two and give pulsatilla 6X or 12C (homeopathic strength–the range I have given indicates homeopathic ignorance… but it works) or lachesis homeopathically hourly for two days.”

Ah, yes, dilutions of 10^-6 and 10^-24 should of course seem equally efficacious to Dr. Jay. Perhaps, though, he needs to collect a few more anecdotes before he will feel comfortable prescribing even more incredibly dilute preparations of water.

I had forgotten how hawt he was.... well he still is, he just doesn't play for my team.

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!" - possibly the first and only thing Dr Jay learned at dinosaur training school.

Sigh. I miss the preview function. Let me try that again:

“I like to put mullein/garlic oil in the ears hourly for a day or two and give pulsatilla 6X or 12C (homeopathic strength–the range I have given indicates homeopathic ignorance… but it works) or lachesis homeopathically hourly for two days.”

Ah, yes, dilutions of 10^-6 and 10^-24 should of course seem equally efficacious to Dr. Jay. Perhaps, though, he needs to collect a few more anecdotes before he will feel comfortable prescribing even more incredibly dilute preparations of water in pure water.

(fans Katherine Lorraine) There, there. I know just how you feel.....

Good Herr doktor - please give out fans and warnings before posting such things.

They make for MUCH better thoughts than dear Dr Jay. I fear any day that pertussis, measles, et cetera, will be back more than they already are, and then we can all applaud at Dr Jay - who will make LOTS of money caring for the sick children while he can't make lots of money caring for healthy ones who had their vaccines. And they call US Pharma Shills....

...um... er
pardon me, but um..
isn't it customary for dear Dr Jay to show up soon after he is mentioned @ RI... especially if his name dominates the title of a post?
I sincerely hope that nothing is amiss..
Perhaps someone should check on him.
I hope that he still likes us.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

The “too fast” has absolutely nothing to do with actual comment timings. I got it this morning – after not having posted for at least a couple DAYS.

Indeed. I've found more often than not that simply hitting the back button and immediately hitting submit again works. The whole thing's a mess.

@herr doktor bimler 7:07am

regarding frontiers'in journal, I have one publication (neuroscience) with them (third author out of 4) and the review was excellent and rigorous.


By Autistic Lurker (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

As a long-time commenter at WordPress, believe me when I say that you will, in time, get used to hearing that you are posting too fast. At such times, the standard response is FYWP. I trust I shall not have to explain the acronym . . .

Yes, where is Dr. Jay? I expected him to show up long hence, at first all phony-friendly and slowly becoming more acid as his protestations were snarked and refuted. Maybe he's caught whooping cough or measles from one of his patients.


Cadre Leader DW, DL, etc., etc.

Normally I would have such pluck and verve rewarded with some time in the thranzor vats, but for some reason from you it simply delights me no end. It's what makes you so valuable to us. Still, with all my experience, I think I know what it is that makes you monkeys tick. But really, I don't think you could do without my largesse. Where do you think all of Illuminata's money comes from, the Rothschilds? Remember on which side your butter is breadeded . . . ed (I never know how to end that word). I must say that I'm crestfallen that the good doctor hasn't shown up to bask in all the attention he's recieving, perhaps he's just sitting back, admiring it from afar . . .

Lord Draconis Zeneca VH7iHL

Glaxxon PharmaCOM Department Chair of the Armchair Psychiatric Division, Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra

Glaxxon PharmaCOM Terrabase DIA

-------------------------------MESSAGE ENDS

By Glaxxon Pharma… (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

OMG I just got this tweet in response to me re-tweeting this post:
"We have JAY GORDON as GUEST DJ here at Sinister in Hollywood on Sat June 9! Please help spread the word!" via @ClubBarSinister

Can you imagine? LOLOLOL

Yo Orac- I'm catching up here & see my name just came up in your "The Refusers Attack" column and it looks like something to do with spam. I'm down with a cold right now but I'll go back & read all the relevant stuff to try to figure out what went on. If someone spoofed my userID that would be "interesting" to put it mildly because I'm nobody special. BTW, everyone, this is the real g724 here, and Orac will be able to tell because the email address I list for this will match the one on most of my comments with few exceptions. In the exceptions, I substitute a phrase with four syllables, for the last syllable of the phrase that is in the domain name position in the usual address, and this should be pretty obvious to someone who checks it. (Yes, I'm protective of my privacy online, and take whatever steps I know of to prevent being tracked. Ideas stand or fall on their own merits; it's good most of us here agree on that point.)

Mr. Silver, it is a state law we must have car insurance. Why are you here?

Did you also have your car totaled by someone who failed to pay their auto insurance bill? Do you think it was the vaccines that caused the student driver to hit our car?

(yes, folks, before flying to Rochester, MN for son's heart surgery our seventeen year old car was hit by a student driver and totaled because the rear axle was bent... such fun!)

Oops, Mr. Silver got zapped.

“I like to put mullein/garlic oil in the ears hourly for a day or two and give pulsatilla 6X or 12C (homeopathic strength–the range I have given indicates homeopathic ignorance… but it works) or lachesis homeopathically hourly for two days.”

What does it mean then when I did nothing for my children's couple of ear infections and it worked? Have I just proven homeopathy works?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 31 May 2012 #permalink

Lions & tigers & bears, oh my.

To avoid digressing this column, I posted in the column "The Refusers Attack Orac's Readers," where the "G724 topic" was discussed.

Brief summary of what I posted: Apology to Orac for wasting his time dealing with my stuff. Rationale for gray ops & psywar, and pledge to not promote those tactics in this forum in the future. Observation that the Refusers quoted none of my stuff about law enforcement related tactics (e.g. turning in pox mailers to the US Postal Inspection Service). And speculation that my stuff at least had the effect of making anti-vaxers more paranoid than they already were.

To read that stuff, go over there and reply there; there's no need to digress this column.

I keep reading antivaccinationism as antivacationism.

To quote Futurama:
Random guy waving a piece of paper: "I have a degree in homeopathic medicine!"
Robot*: "You have a degree in baloney!"

*Robot is roaming the streets recruiting scientists

Back to our regular war against reckless-endangerers....

Which is worse: doctors who promote anti-vaxism, or doctors who promote vaccination and also, as a means of getting "vaccine skeptics" their shots, promote homeopathic "remedies" to ward off any bad magic that might reside in the vaccines?

To my mind, if a spoonful of (homeopathic) water helps the (real) medicine go down, that's preferable to letting people avoid their shots and become walking vectors. By analogy, if a cancer patient needs chemo, and believes in prayer, it's OK for the doctor to encourage the patient to have their congregation pray for them when they're getting their chemo. The point is to get them to take their chemo, and if going along with prayer helps that goal, wonderful!

Of course I don't think that's what Dr. Jay is up to; if the above descriptions are correct it appears he's just up to the merry pursuit of self-interest and that's all. But it seems to me there would be room for someone to quite consciously and conscientiously risk some ridicule in order to round up a few more "vaccine skeptics" for their shots, by offering them the Waters of Woo to repair the pinpricks in their auras where the needles went.

Ideas stand or fall on their own merits

If you actually believed that, Sekrit Agint G724, you wouldn't still be standing by the suggestion of posting fake straw-man posts on antivax blogs to make antivaxxers look like paranoid conspiracy theorists. What part of "letting ideas stand or fall on their own merits" is it to stand next to someone describing their idea and shout "Hey, look at me! I share that same idea, and I'm a freaking nutball that you can dismiss!!"?

Go away, G724. Even if we knew whose side you were really on, we don't want your tactics on our side.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink

@herr doktor binter:

Oh... my... *fans self furiously*

By Katherine Lorraine (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink


I don't think it's giving away too much to say that I can't use your e-mail address to verify that the person posting is you, given that you use a nonexistent e-mail address I've seen other people use over the years. Also right now I can't reliably use IP addresses because for some reason the current setup we have doesn't log accurate IP addresses. It did before, and I'm sure it will again, but right now IP addresses don't help me verify who someone is.

Denice: "pardon me, but um..
isn’t it customary for dear Dr Jay to show up soon after he is mentioned @ RI… especially if his name dominates the title of a post?
I sincerely hope that nothing is amiss.."

No, he's probably too busy healing the sick, unlike all the posters here who are wasting their time worrying about diseases that nobody sees anymore, which is proof that we don't need the vaccines that vanquished or vastly reduced their incidence, and besides you're all a bunch of poopy-headed shills who call him names.

Damn, but channeling Jay is a neuron-numbing task.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink

A homeopath and an anti-vaxxer walk into a bar, the homeopath asks for water with a drop of liquor in it and the anti-vaxxer... something related to something?

I can't write those kinds of jokes, shaddap.

By Katherine Lorraine (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink

@ Katherine Lorraine:
Homeopaths believe that a drop of liquor makes a stiff drink
Anti-vaxxers are terrified of toxins ( therefore, no Scotch)
World-weary Bartender has 'seen it all" before.

@ Dangerous Bacon:
Maybe he went to off to Hawaii.

In other anti-vax news:
At AoA, Jake again attempts to question Dr O and is forbidden entry to the event at the door Ranting follows.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink

A homeopath and an antivaxer walk into a bar. The homepath asks for a drop of vodka in a glass of water, "Shaken, not stirred!"

The antivaxer tells him "You look taller on film."


I'm much better at elephant jokes.

How is an elephant like water? It never forgets.

Ohoh, that was an elephant and homeopathy joke. Ohoho, I'll go sit in the corner now.

By Katherine Lorraine (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink


I'm too lazy to verify, but I am going assume Jay Gordon, guest DJ is Jay Gordon of the band Orgy and not Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, doesn't understand measles virus.

Looking at his drink with one drop of liquor, says
"Wait a minute barman, you'd better add more- I'm driving"

Anti-vaxxer refuses a second drink- "Too many, too soon."

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink

A homeopath and Dr Jay walk into a bar. The bar is struck by a meteor, and there was much rejoicing.

Dr. Jay doesn't appear to use Twitter or Facebook every day. He hasn't tweeted since Wednesday & hasn't updated his Facebook since Tuesday.

Excellent work, Dangerous Bacon! I can't even try.... I am sure your neurons will regain sensibility soon.

that was an elephant and homeopathy joke

Feeling thick-skinned? Try some homeopathic elephant.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink

Also right now I can’t reliably use IP addresses because for some reason the current setup we have doesn’t log accurate IP addresses.

That's quite impressive, but I suppose I'm not surprised. What does it report?

The same IP address for every commenter. The funny thing is, it didn't do that before. It first started doing that a day or two ago, which makes me think that the powers that be changed a setting somewhere and screwed things up.

isn’t it customary for dear Dr Jay to show up soon after he is mentioned @ RI… especially if his name dominates the title of a post?

I never did work out whether he was saying stupid things deliberately to bait Orac's commentors into responding, or whether he does genuinely believe that the measles virus is an ancient pathogen that has co-evolved with H. sapiens.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink

A homeopath and Dr. Jay walk by a bar. Dr. Jay asks "Why don't we go in there for a drink?" The homeopath says "That place is a rip off, they don't water down the drinks".

And don't forget the 9:30 show is completely different than the 7:30 show. Enjoy your dinner!

By Kelly M Bray (not verified) on 01 Jun 2012 #permalink

The same IP address for every commenter.

This would be hysterically funny if it weren't the compounding of a problem while accomplishing nothing, with trivial solutions staring one in the face.

The same IP thing may be reporting a server handling all posts or a dchp server or an incoming proxy maybe. The actual reported IP from each post probably isn't lost but just not getting passed.

Change is only good from a vending machine? Nah.

Yo Orac- Apologies again for wasting more of your time. At this point I'm thinking I should just let the G724 identity die of natural causes, and come back as another identity that will hopefully generate no further controversies and no further waste of your time dealing with same.

KMB: One Internetz™ to you.

By Pareidolius (not verified) on 02 Jun 2012 #permalink

My "alert" scanner is set to "ding" whenever my name is mentioned or even thought about by Orac and Company. It failed! Yes, Dr. Feder--she's an MD!!--and I will present together in a few weeks. AND, there will a discounted ticket price for denizens of RI.

This site is new and very buggy since I was here last. What happened?


By Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP (not verified) on 02 Jun 2012 #permalink

If you put two quacks together how many ducks do you get?.....or is it the other way around?.......

By Kelly M Bray (not verified) on 02 Jun 2012 #permalink

Dr. Jay, if an MD turns their back on science and subscribes to homeopathy then they don't get to use their MD as credibility, at least not amongst the more initiated. You also couldn't pay me to attend your sad little woo-fest; I know what you peddle.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 02 Jun 2012 #permalink

Yeah Dr. Jay, and I have a Ph.D., big deal. One of the most important things I learned while working on it was that advanced degrees are not complete proof against believing nonsense.

By the bug guy (not verified) on 03 Jun 2012 #permalink

Yes, Dr. Feder–she’s an MD!!–and I will present together in a few weeks. AND, there will a discounted ticket price for denizens of RI.

I'll pass, thanks. Even if I were in the LA area, I doubt I'd go.

So, Dr. Jay, are you now a homeopathy believer? Don't you appreciate that homeopathy is complete and utter nonsense from a scientific point of view? It's utter piffle, perhaps the most blatant form of quackery outside of psychic surgery out there now. That's why I don't give a rodent's posterior if Dr. Feder is a physician; her medical school failed her (or she failed it) if she now believes that "like cures like," diluting things makes them stronger, and that water has long-lasting memory, which are the main tenets of homeopathy these days.

Seriously, Dr. Jay. Watch the video I included. It's the best two and a half minute deconstruction of homeopathy I've ever encountered.

Can't think how I missed this before, but Dr. Jay also touts homeopathic remedies for nursing moms (remember, he is a self-proclaimed male lactation specialist). His website encourages women to use:

"Rescue Remedy
This is a homeopathic remedy that is useful for triggering the letdown reflex. You take four drops under the tongue up to five minutes before pumping or nursing. Rescue Remedy can have a slight sedative effect, so use with caution".

"Ignatia 6x*
This is a homeopathic remedy that can work well in combination with a mild galactagogue. Dosage would be two tablets three times a day"

Jay is actually wrong about Rescue Remedy being a homeopathic preparation. It's a Bach flower product, which is highly diluted and relies on water "memory", but is not truly homeopathic because it is not succussed (shaken) and does not rely on the principle of similars.
Of course, one other resemblance between Bach flower remedies and homeopathy is that systematic clinical reviews have found the Bach remedies to be no better than placebo.

*not to be confused with Ignatius 6X of the Nation of Islam.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 03 Jun 2012 #permalink

@ Dr Jay:

I have a question for you which might be best illustrated by an analogy:

in the past, I often spoke in public about issues related to my studies and former work; more recently, I am occasionally asked to address groups of women about their concerns by friends who think I might provide useful ideas for their associations. Generally, I decline.

Now suppose- oh, I don't know- I am asked to talk about psychological adaption after illness or recreational opportunities for women following a talk by an astrologer concerning personality and marriage based on astrological sign.

I don't think I'd want to be on board with that lineup. It's putting superstition and folklore on an equal footing with what I would present which would be based upon research. Of course, it would be different if I met an astrologer at a garden party and tolerated a brief conversation with her- I wouldn't make an issue or start an argument because we would be attending a purely social function and not being presented as speakers or information sources. And I have manners.

I think that you're in a similar scenario: if you speak at the same venue as a homeopathic physician it seems as though you subscribe to her beliefs unless if you loudly proclaim otherwise. Do you catch my drift?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Jun 2012 #permalink

Dr. Jay, I would never trust an MD who has forgotten, or more accurately, rejected basic chemistry. You and Dr. Feder don't care about the science, you just want to perform walletectomies on naive new age fools.

In reference to Dangerous Bacon's post above:

Most regular readers will recognize that "Ignatia 6x" is a 1ppm dilution of strychnine (or of a bean that contains strychnine, so the actual concentration of strychnine may be somewhat less). Unlike stronger homeopathic remedies, this is an actual measurable amount and could, I suppose, have some sort of physiological effect. fortunately, the standard pills provide well below the human LD50 dose.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 Jun 2012 #permalink

To add to that M O'B, none of these woo nostrums have any oversight and quality control with regards to purity and potency so there are no guarantees of nasty contaminants and higher-than-claimed amounts of strychnine.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 03 Jun 2012 #permalink

Hey, don't knock strychnine - it's good for what's ailing you.

"If you listen to what I say
You'll try strychnine some day
Make you jump, it'll make you shout
It'll even knock you out

Some folks like water
Some folks like wine
But I like the taste
Of straight strychnine"

- The Sonics

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 03 Jun 2012 #permalink

I don't see anything wrong with attachment parenting. I did research on it because I'd like to adopt in the future, and attachment theory is extremely interesting. Not so much attachment therapy quacks. Those guys are full of it. But, responding to a baby cries instead of leaving them to cry it out isn't a bad thing. No, I'd say Ezzo and Pearl is a lot worse on a child.
But Bailik annoys me for pushing attachment parenting, but being OK with infant circumcision which is painful and unnecessary and does NOT prevent HIV.
I want to be an attachment parent when I have kids, but I WILL vaccinate and use modern medicine because it's useful and not all folks who are interested in attachment parenting are anti-science. Attachment and brain development is an interesting thing to explore...

By Chromesthesia (not verified) on 03 Jun 2012 #permalink

"Dr. Jay" (FAAP) states:

"Yes, Dr. Feder–she’s an MD!!–and I will present together in a few weeks."

Whether or not Dr. Feder has an "MD" or not, believing in homeopathy is proof positive of faulty reasoning. And since "Dr. Jay" also espouses homeopathy (and, apparently, Bach flower remedies), it appears that he isn't all that rational, either (of course, regular readers of RI knew that, already).

There are so many "MD's" who believe errant nonsense that I no longer see the degree as evidence of anything apart from once having had the ability to get through medical school.


By Prometheus (not verified) on 05 Jun 2012 #permalink

Dangerous Bacon,

Or Tom Lehrer's immortal lyrics:

My pulse will be quickenin'
With each drop of strychnine
We feed to a pigeon.
It just takes a smidgen!
To poison a pigeon in the park.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 05 Jun 2012 #permalink

Just when will Dr. Gordon revise his vaccine *recommendations*?:

This still appears on his website...

"The Prevnar vaccine is too new for me to recommend. The number of cases of Pneumococcal ear infections which could be prevented is very small and the number of cases of meningitis prevented is also small. I have no quarrel with doctors who recommend the shot or with parents who choose to get it. I have very strong objections to advertising this immunization to the general public on television. I don’t think enough information can be disseminated in 60 seconds."

Dr. Jay, the AAP approved the 7-valent vaccine in 2001 and approved the 13-valent Prevnar vaccine in 2010:


How does it feel to be a pariah amongst your colleagues in the medical profession, Dr. Jay?

Lilady comments:

"How does it feel to be a pariah amongst your colleagues in the medical profession, Dr. Jay?"

I don't believe "Dr. Jay" is a pariah even among the medical profession - in fact, I doubt that his fellow physicians pay much attention to him. After all, in Los Angeles there are so many medically-oriented cranks (and have been for decades) that one out-of-date eccentric paediatrician doesn't even rise out of the noise.

I'm sure that "Dr. Jay" even has a circle of like-minded physicians and other "alternative" medical practitioners he can get together with over coffee (or, more likely, herbal tea) to share the illusion that they aren't completely irrelevant to medicine in the 21st century. In a city of over three million, there are enough eccentrics that any fringe belief can have a "support group".

No, making "Dr. Jay" a pariah would be giving him more credit than he is due. At best, he might become infamous as a contributor to an outbreak of some vaccine-preventable communicable disease, but even then he wouldn't be a pariah, just a sad, misinformed, out-of-date doctor - one of hundreds in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.

Why else do you think "Dr. Jay" keeps coming back to this 'blog? Do you think he enjoys getting his intellectual ass handed to him on a regular basis? No! What "Dr. Jay" gets from this 'blog is the sense that he's still relevant - that people will listen to what he has to say and take him seriously. Yes, it is thin gruel to sustain an ego, but there are precedents - for example:

"And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover, to entertain these fair well-spoken days, I am determined to prove a villain and hate the idle pleasures of these days.

Richard III, Act 1, Scene 1


By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Jun 2012 #permalink

But Bailik annoys me for pushing attachment parenting, but being OK with infant circumcision which is painful and unnecessary and does NOT prevent HIV.

That's an odd thing to be "annoyed" about, given the plain reason.

@ Prometheus: I disagree with your appraisal of Dr. Gordon's standing with the majority of pediatricians and family practice doctors, who encounter parents who are reluctant to vaccinate their children, because of his quack pseudoscience.

It's not as if Dr. Jay maintains a "low profile"...he has gone over to the dark side in his quest to be the celebrities' pediatrician...all for fame and fortune (he's raking in the bucks by his policy of a cash practice).

While every pediatrician has to deal with a vast number of medical insurance plans and waiting for reimbursements for office visits and for vaccinations, the "pediatrician to the stars" has no worries about meeting his office overhead costs.

The overwhelming majority of pediatricians and family practice doctors follow the recommendations of the AAP and the AAFP Standards of Practice regarding timely and complete immunizations and take the time to educate parents about vaccines. These doctors also wrestle with the consequences of permitting parents to "pick and chose" if and when they will immunize their kids, because of the risks to unimmunized kids and exposing other infants and children who may have valid contraindications to some vaccines.

Dr. Jay may have "earned" some respect from his patients parents and other doctors such as Bob Sears, but he is a pariah amongst the majority of doctors who care for children.

He's sold his soul by pimping himself out to some D-List celebrities and he earned the derision of doctors who really understand immunology, and who actually care for children who have been sickened and maimed by vaccine-preventable diseases.

The whole concept of gently parenting a child doesn't go with forcing painful unnecessary surgery on an infant even if it is for religious reasons.
I really, really, strongly believe that things like circumcision should be left to the individual who owns their penis and not doctors, parents or religion.

By chromesthesia (not verified) on 07 Jun 2012 #permalink


I don't disagree that "Dr. Jay" has contributed as much to the success of measles, mumps and pertussis in the US as nearly anyone since Andy Wakefield. He certainly deserves to be a pariah, but from my perspective (currently attending a viral communicable disease conference in the Los Angeles Megalopolis), the local paediatricians and other physicians generally see him as an object of laughter rather than scorn.

Granted, the paediatricians do tend to wince a bit when I mention his name and they do complain that he has made their job harder (though not nearly as much as "Dr. Bob" Sears). While they do get a lot more questions (and hostility) about vaccinations, the general consensus is that most parents still get the vaccinations on schedule - a feeling supported by the vaccination statistics.

Despite the vapid nonsense shoveled out by "Dr. Jay" and his forename-favouring brethren (e.g. "Dr. Bob", "Dr. Amy", etc.), vaccine uptake in the US has only fallen a few percentage points, which speaks well to the skepticism of the majority of parents.

Don't get me wrong - a drop of even a few percent in vaccine uptake can be - and is - terribly critical. All you need do is witness the unprecendented (at least, since the development of effective vaccines) outbreaks of measles, mumps and pertussis in the US to see the effect of even a small fall-off in vaccine uptake.

However, it is reassuring that only a few percent of parents have "drunk the Kool-Aid" (apologies to Kraft Co.) and decided to not vaccinate their children. Imagine the carnage if 20% or 30% of parents decided they wanted their children to become immune to measles, mumps, rubella etc. "naturally".

So, I will concede that "Dr. Jay" should be a pariah and should be run out of town on a rail (of rough-hewn California redwood), but I don't see any evidence that his fellow physicians - even his fellow paediatricians - pay enough attention to him to bother reviling him, no matter how much he may deserve the honour.


By Prometheus (not verified) on 08 Jun 2012 #permalink

Imagine the carnage if 20% or 30% of parents decided they wanted their children to become immune to measles, mumps, rubella etc. “naturally”.

We don't have to imagine it. We've seen what happened in the U.K. in the wake of Andrew Wakefield, where MMR uptake rates in London and some parts of the U.K. plummeted to below 70%. Not surprisingly, measles came roaring back, going from being declared under control in the mid-1990s to endemic again as of 2008.

And look at what happened in Japan with slightly less than 20% of undervaccinated kids , from Measles vaccine coverage and factors related to uncompleted vaccination among 18-month-old and 36-month-old children in Kyoto, Japan:

According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88 [11,12]. Measles cases are most frequently observed among non-immunized children, particularly between 12 to 24 months. However, a nation-wide survey conducted in 2000 showed that measles vaccine coverage in Japan was 81.4%, which is not enough to prevent outbreaks [13].

Ugh. I don't think I trust a doctor that calls themselves Dr. (First Name).

Plus it doesn't help that it makes people interested in AP look like we are all nuts and I certainly do not think I am. This whole anti-vaccine thing is making me crazy and just about every day I have to explain WHY autism isn't caused by vaccines and NO autism isn't a myelin degenerative disease. Where do they even get this? Orac, if you have heard of this could you rant about it?

By chromesthesia (not verified) on 08 Jun 2012 #permalink

Darn, there goes that supposed medical truth down the drain: Harvard Med School researchers in co-operation with other institutes have debunked the imperative of anti-body mediated immunity via vaccination (never mind that there are less risky and actually healthful ways of ensuring robust immunity).
It seems that our innate, not acquired, immune system is the first gate-keeper in protecting us against viral attack.

Immunity 2012 Mar 23; 36(3): 415-426:

And another thing:

"Current intramuscular vaccines and their adjuvants may produce an inflammatory response which fails to self-limit, triggering a cascade of potentially debilitating events. This chronic /systemic inflammation may eventually trigger /activate glial cells, which may then result in the expression of SEMA3B/SEMA5A and /or related semaphorins/factors, which may then negatively impact the growth and guidance of developing axons, and may further prevent their re-growth after injury, resulting in what we presently call AUTISM.

Autism rates are now increasing almost exponentially in proportion to vaccinations"

This the summary on evidence suggestive of vaccines causing autism in susceptible children posted on an essentially pro-vaccination web site (the authors just believe the number of vaccines children receive nowadays is excessive). - http://deathbyvaccination.com/