It was a busy day yesterday, and I had less time than usual to attend to the blog, but that's OK. This random thought popped into my head after spending the last three days writing about Stanislaw Burzynski, first reviewing Eric Merola's hagiography and infomercial about him, then seeing how well the BBC did in its news series Panorama in covering the patient-endangering phenomenon that is the Burzynski Clinic, and, finally, noting that what Burzynski said about his clinical trials doesn't necessarily jibe with what his SEC filings about his research institute say about them. Looking to move on to another topic, I happened to come across this gem about everybody's favorite antivaccinationist, Andrew Wakefield, describing the latest round in his Captain Ahab-like pursuit of the great white whale that is Brian Deer, the investigative journalist that led to his downfall by publishing exposes about his having been bought and paid for by trial lawyers before he published his infamous case series that claimed to have found a link between the MMR and "autistic enterocolitis," his lack of research ethics, and his "Piltdown medicine." Wakefield's attempts to rehabilitate his image have gotten increasingly ridiculous, in particular his series of videos "challenging" Dr. David Salisbury to a "debate."
As a result, Wakefield sued Brian Deer, the BMJ (which published the "Piltdown medicine" article, and Fiona Godlee, the editor of the BMJ. It was a transparent attempt at retribution using legal thuggery to sue for libel that appeared doomed from the start. And so it was. Yet for some reason Wakefield appealed, and yesterday his chief propaganda organ, the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, published a hilariously off-base description of a hearing in Wakefield's appeal, in which Wakefield, with no self-awareness whatsoever, was quoted as saying during his testimony:
“Anti-SLAPP is a new law and a good law,” explained Andy. “It was passed to protect free speech. Say you’re a blogger telling inconvenient truths about the pharmaceutical industry. Pharma can afford to hire a stable of attorneys who will file lawsuits they probably can’t win, but it doesn’t matter much. Their goal is to shut you up. They can bully you forever unless you file an Anti-SLAPP motion. That’s why it’s there: to protect the little guy. But here’s the twist. In my case, BMJ seek to apply the law perversely -- to give the big guys a club to beat us with. So does the anti-SLAPP law protect free speech and promote justice, or does it do the opposite? There’s a lot at stake here for Texas. Not so much with the hurdle today, which is procedural, but for future hurdles that BMJ have planned.”
I laughed, but I also thought of something. I thought of Stanislaw Burzynski, and I saw a resemblance between Burzynski and Wakefield. Think about it. Both think they are scientists. Both published dubious science in order to forward their own agendas. both view the scientific community as corrupt and out to get them. Moreover, the more I learn about Burzynski's early years (which I will write about in a future post), the more I see even more uncanny resemblances. For instance, Andrew Wakefield is justly (in)famous for a child's birthday party at which he offered children money to let him draw their blood. Burzynski was equally (in)famous (at least in the Houston area), for going to great lengths to procure first human blood and then later human urine to make his antineoplastons, even going to prisons to collect gallons of urine. True, he doesn't isolate antineoplastons from urine anymore (he synthesizes them chemically now), but the traits are very similar, particularly the willingness to use people and the love of publicity, and the martyr complex, in which his downfall is everybody's fault but his own.
The main difference between the two that I can think of is that Burzynski is apparently much better at it all. After all, Wakefield only had a few years of fame before Brian Deer published his first expose revealing Wakefield's undeclared conflicts of interest, which started Wakefield's downfall, culminating his being "struck off" (losing his medical license). In contrast, Burzynski has managed to keep doing what he's been doing with antineoplastons for 36 years. We can only hope that the recent attentions of the FDA and now the media will lead Stan to the same fate as Wakefield. Still, that leaves the question of why Wakefield flamed out so fast (relatively speaking), sinking to a pathetic crank suing his critics as he no longer has even that much juice even in the antivaccine movement while Burzynski continues to rule the cancer cranks and dodge everything the FDA throws at him. One reason might be that there hasn't been the definitive expose of Burzynski's activities, as there has been with Wakefield, thanks to Brian Deer. One wonders if anyone could get Deer interested into looking into the Burzynski Clinic.
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Speaking of AOA, John Stone has spent his last few posts trying to claim that the Welsh measles epidemic and annual flu deaths in the UK are made-up propaganda. Also, Jake Crosby has changed his Twitter address from "JakeCrosbyAoA" to "JakeLCrosby", signifying that he has been unofficially canned from the blog. Between this and the Nazi analogies, I wonder if the site is in the process of being just as radicalized as the Australian Vaccination Network.
One has to love moral myopia inherent in quoted Wanefield's plea. When antivaxxers call other Nazis it is all well and good when Anti-SLAPP protects them. When someone digs up skeleton or two in the antivaxx rock star dresser and publicizes? Anti-SLAPP becomes perverted, its spirit broken to use for EVIL *twirls a moustache*. One can even see it as a metaphore - Anti-SLAPP a thing of purity and good, becomes empty shell of itself by application by vaccine pushers! Not only vaccines (in the eyes of the Wakefield's crowd) cause autism, provaxxers corrupt the law! (And there I thought it was job of lawyers.)
But hey, it is "obvious" how Wakefield is a victim of abominable conspiracy. Big Government planted the incriminating materials and paid its shills to destroy Brave Maverick's credibility cause he was onto the secret plan for mind control drugs slipped to population under guise of immunization.
And here's one Greg (who'll inevitably come here to delude himself into thinking we agree with him) to quote: Andrew Wakefield's loss of license and the way his research was discredited is all a part of intergalactic conspiracy by Reptillians, who used press, government and libel to denigrate him and commit character assasination.
@The Smith - of course, Science is good when it supports the anti-vax position (i.e. the Lancet Paper) but bad when it does (just about all other research).
Laws are bad when they are used against anti-vax positions (harder to get vaccine exemptions), but good when the are used for anti-vax positions (like looser restrictions for exemptions).
Anything that goes against them is bad - anything for them is good.....classic double-plus good speak.
Again, look at Jake - he was an idol of the anti-vax world, until he got too "uppity" and tried to get his mentors to "put their money where their mouth was."
Now he's a pariah....
Here is a good example of what happens when people take "belief" over actual facts & hard science:
I think the biggest difference between Wakefield and Burzynski can be traced to the actual subject of their "research". AW put focus on something that affects mainly children with a lifelong disability, and while the same can be said for SB - in the public mind the cancer timespan is always short.
Pharmaceutical interventions are very poorly understood by the general population, and if they are preventing disease (such as vaccination) instead of treating it's even worse. The concept of risk-benefit is also extremely hard to grasp regarding vaccinations, as many of these diseases today are more or less forgotten for most of us westerners.
When it comes to cancer we are here talking of sick people, and a type of disease that affects everyone as some form of it will develop in 1 out of 3-4 people. It is also a disease label that still is regarded as a death sentence - so fighting cancer is so much more important than being scientifically correct.
The other point is that it is so much harder to prove a negative - especially as it seems we don't really know what SB is doing. Publications showing that antineoplaston therapy is unplausible or lack efficacy can be disregarded with the statement "the correct protocol has not been used". And telling someone that looks for the final straw of treatment that the lack of publication of protocols and trial results are a bit dodgy and indicates that the therapy probably isn't that great is sort of a Sisyphus mission. The thing we can do is to keep the stone rolling...
Re Captain Ahab:
named after a bibical king whose obsession was Jezebel- that didn't work out so great either.
In the story, when we meet Ahab, he has already lost his leg to the whale thus he hobbles around the deck on a peg leg ( made of whale bone IIRC). But he hasn't learned that he is no match for the whale.
Later, he disrupts the business at hand, whaling, to persue his enemy and eventually drags everyone down to the bottom of the ocean - save one to tell the tale- with him.
AJW, like Ahab, is obsessed with he who showed him up: he believed himself invulnerable to criticism, out-smarting the experts ( he thought) but then someone came along and tore the legs out from under him, leading to his striking off. At least Ahab still had a ship and crew to order around and could have continued his lucrative trade.
While Andy doesn't have a lucrative tade any longer, he could have just left well enough alone and accepted defeat. He could move on. However, he relishes the position of Brave Maverick Genius and its concommitant adulation so he continues the farce of persuing his nemesis. Publicly, I might add. So he's not gonna wind up at the bottom of the ocean **- although he may eventually wish that he did.
AJW is a fellow with a gigantic ego and pretensions of being important- losing face and becoming irrelevant are what he really fears- Brian Deer helped bring those conditions about.
** with lawyers, at the bottom of the sea.
Andy tried for the money AND a Nobel prize. Stan is happy to shovel his millions, making sure he doesn't leave any disputable evidence like papers behind.
In the novel, Mr Starbuck** tries to talk sense to Ahab to no avail. I wonder if Andy had someone close to him who attempted to reason with him? Cut losses and go on with his life. Certainly not the crew we know about.
** yes, it's where they got the name. Wake up and smell the coffee, Captain.
I think Brian Deer was able to nip Wakefield in the bud before his carrion flower could fully bloom. And then Wakefield had to expend the resources and money to uproot himself to the US. Compare to Burzynski, who started his flim-flam here in the US and managed to set down deeper roots before his stink flowers started to blossom. Burzynski also has the advantage that if a patient of his dies he can say "well, that's cancer for you". In contrast, Wakefield isn't really treating patients (ok, he hires stooge US doctors to run his flim flam endoscopy clinic in Texas (maybe he learned that from Burzynski)), but Wakefield was more interested in making his $$$$ from screwing with public health policy by making up lies about vaccines.
Both of them give medicine a bad name.
Surely the difference between the two is abundantly clear: while Wakefield built his infamy on the blood of children, Burzynski just took the piss.
@Lawrence in #6--thanks for the link. I especially liked the quote by Dr. Offit:
Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, says a parent’s faith does not trump their health.
“Although, you are allowed to martyr yourself to your religion, you are not allowed to martyr your child to your religion,” he said.
Dr. Offit is now writing a book about the 1991 measles outbreak. He says Pennsylvania’s laws need to be changed to prevent additional faith-healing related deaths from happening.
Well, that is what normal people, possesed of consience and some kind of moral compass, however measly it may be, would think. But if you belive in dogma of "Vaccines Are Satan" you'd gladly march, nay - run!, along the highway of children corpses just to see your victory. Thanks to some visitors from the hives of scum and villainy (and thanks to some people who think that parents of child, who died of v.p.d. should suffer more than they already have) we established that there those, who belive child is better of dead than stolen by Fair Folk (swapped by Satan? mutilated by aliens? having Indigo Aura? Vaccine damaged? I always confuse those...).
So, if 10 billion children had to die, antivaccine front would be ok with that, as long as the evil vaccines were banished.
Actually, some kind of morbid, incredibly misanthropic part of me wants them to win - it would be positively dlightful to see all those people who'd like to be autism ending heroes squirm, when children born post their "glrious revolution" turn out to be autistic.
And both Wakefield and Burzynski found happy homes in Texas to push their woo. What gives? They are making California look bad...
I think Wakefield made the mistake of starting a public health outcry and when it turned out to be bogus he reaped what he sowed . He could have probably skulked in the shadows indefinitely coining it from expert testimony court appearances, assuming he was more careful with his ethics and conflicts of interest.
I might have insight on that:
a few years ago, Gary Null, whilst heaping invective upon states that had " too many rules and taxes" then praised Texas because it was a "great place to do business". The government isn't looking too closely at what you do as an alt med practitioner : perhaps one can get away with (proverbial) murder. He despises the "police states" of the NorthEast and CA- nearly as bad as the UK and other socialistic states in (( shudder)) Europe, he said recently.
He once had a ranch there where he hosted retreats and brainwashing, I mean: "counselling"; he also had/ has an estate in Florida where he held workshops, healings and educational seminars. Now- apparently- he's bought another Texas ranch and will be inaugerating his first retreat in July: it includes personal training, yoga, healings, meditation, counselling by his woo nurse, cooking/gardening lessons and nightly workshops at the Master's feet. Probably simultaneoulsy spiritually bent and rabble rousing: fancy that!
He also implores his audience to leave the cities and suburbs- soon to be wasteland/ gangland- and live sustainably in pristine organic Nature.
You may also notice that Adams, after a stint in Ecuador, left Arizona for the Austin outskirts. It's more free for health freedom and guns aren't forbidden in polite society. Join him, he says.
So Dr B, AJW et Cie, Adams and now Null.
It must have something to do with money too, I'd venture.
Cheap land? Low taxes? Low cost of living? Low cost workers?
As Ahab-inspired villains go, at least Wakefield isn't Khan (as per his appearance in The Wrath of Khan).
(On second thought, the "at least" goes the other way: Khan is fictional. Wakefield's villainy has cost real people their lives.)
Shills and Minions:
I'm looking out over your tiny, blue world after a long day of treachery and mayhem, and the vista makes puts me in a contemplative mood. It occurs to me that though I am entirely fictional (or am I?), my world makes a good deal more sense than the world as seen through Burliszkzy . . syz's or Wakefield's eyes. It's rather sad when the thought that earth is in thrall to a half-dozen, bickering, marauding extraterrestrial species makes a good deal more sense than "My secret pee formula cures cancer." and "Vaccines are evil . . . except for the one I'm trying to patent."
And they call me a monster . . .
Carry on with your bad monkey selves,
Lord Draconis Zeneca, VH7ihL
Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Choreographer of Calumny (Level XII)
Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital
In other Wakefieldian news, over on Twitter under the hashtag #WakefieldDebate, @TannersDad is making excuses for Wakefield not following through on his debate challenge after it was accepted by Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, going so far as to cite Renaissance dueling etiquette.
AJW's mistake was to publish. SB is smarter in that he promises but does not publish. Even so it took years for someone (warning: metaphor ahead) to finally pull on that paper that was the doorknob of a skeleton-filled closet. Lesson: if you're going to scam the only thing you should put in writing is an invoice.
I like my own brand of dueling etiquette, in which I always end up in a good old-fashioned Mexican Standoff.
My dearest Lord Draconis,
Our preparations for the solstice celebration are coming along spectacularly however I was wondering if I might have some of that new pacification drug- for strictly off-label use during the festivities?
I can report that the shortage of the *other* new drug - Lemmingex- that shuts down executive functioning, self-preservation and self-criticism- has been explained. For some unearthly reason, the emptied cannisters have turned up in a hotel outside of Chicago after the autism conference. I have no idea who ordered that - they hardly have need of that med.
It's like gilding the lily.
At any rate, I will continue upon my path of species-betrayal and high fashion innovation.
your devoted servant and highest paid employee,
There is another important difference between Wakefield and Burzynski. Burzynski's harm is limited to his patients and their families. Wakefield's harm extends to people who do vaccinate their kids, because in some fraction of cases the vaccines don't take, as well as those who have valid medical reasons for not vaccinating. These two groups depend on herd immunity, and Wakefield's life work has had the systematic effect of reducing or eliminating herd immunity. In other words, while I think Burzynski should be shut down as Wakefield has been shut down (or better yet, indicted as the con man he gives every appearance of being), I don't have a personal stake in that outcome, and probably most of the people who post here don't either. With Wakefield, anybody who has children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews is potentially affected by what Wakefield has done.
That's in addition to the line of fabricating data in a publication, which Wakefield has crossed, but not Burzynski. In order to have published fraudulent data, one must have published, which Burzynski has not.
"Win or lose, there are more procedural hurdles ahead. BMJ will drag it out as long as they can."
Yah, Dan Burns. Why did Wakefraud wait until the last minute to file the case, again?
This latest video is posted on AoA. Andy is still trying to engage someone (anyone) in "a debate".
He tried that same sh!t in LaCrosse Wisconsin, when Brian Deer was invited to U-Wisconsin and ended up in a gun shed in a public park.
Pathetic, that he is doing this. Do we give a platform to AIDS denialists, Holocaust deniers and other cranks to spread their pseudoscience?
BTW, who videotaped Andy? Crappy job.
I'm reminded of the hidden camera footage of Simoncini diagnosing and agreeing to treat a man's prostate cancer with sodium bicarbonate, and reducing his fees on condition the man paid in cash and didn't insist on a receipt. It seems to have disappeared from YouTube, sadly.
Isn't that a bit of self-defeating venture? One would imagine that once the alt-med crowd moves from those cities and suburbs to prisitine nature, the aformentioned nature will no longer be pristine.
Oh well, expecting logic from Gary Null, it couldn't have ended otherwise.
@Smith, @Denice: Null also assumes the availability of "pristine organic Nature" to move to. There are parts of the Earth that could reasonably be called pristine. But a lot of that is in Antarctica, which is not exactly conducive to the sustainable organic lifestyle Null advocates. Interior Greenland, likewise. Just about every other part of this planet has had some kind of direct human intervention in the last thousand years--even the Amazon basin, which was apparently home to a thriving civilization around 600 years ago. And there is certainly not enough land to support anywhere near the present population of the Earth by the methods Null advocates. He may be assuming that if he and his followers get there first, they'll be among the survivors. That's not necessarily true--just ask the First Nations of the Americas, or anyone familiar with Chinese or medieval European history.
@ Eric Lund;
No, you see according to this wanker, a person can still live in harmony with Nature by going back to the land and becoming an organic farmer, being off-the-grid with sustainable energy systems ( solar/ wind), using well water, un-beholden to the corporate elitist power structure and governmental police state control.
He maintains that such places exist in the US/ & outside- far away from cities and suburbs ( gangs/ corrupt politicians/ pollution) but you have to pick a place away from the ocean ( because of hurricanes), far from rivers ( floods), not near fault lines, with adequate ground water but far from natural gas exploration ( ooops!) or nuclear plants ( might leak/ blow) as well as many other conditions that limit health freedom and his business plan.
His website had a list of the "best places"- I never bothered to download it- I guess Texas is numero uno wherever there isn't a drought.
Eric Lund @28:
"He may be assuming that if he and his followers get there first, they’ll be among the survivors. That’s not necessarily true–just ask the First Nations of the Americas, or anyone familiar with Chinese or medieval European history."
I can see where you're going with the whole First Nations bit, but where do the Chinese and medieval Europeans fit in with your analogy?
to see all those people who’d like to be autism ending heroes squirm, when children born post their “glrious revolution” turn out to be autistic.
Why would they squirm? The continuing incidence of autism despite the Thimerosal revolution did not lead to heart-searching, but rather to an increase in the vehemence.
Can't say much about Chinese history, but if you dig into Europe's history it is pretty much a long chain of new tribe showing up, tearing the place down and settling on the ruins of the precedessors, till the time came that new tribe came and tore them down.
Sadly, my memory not being what it used to be, I'd be hard pressed to give you any very detailed examples. But I can point you towards the time period that should contain some - see the pre fall Roman Empire. Waves after waves of migration, mostly instigated by Huns, made for pretty mixed barbarian grab bag back then.
bksea: And both Wakefield and Burzynski found happy homes in Texas to push their woo. What gives? They are making California look bad…
Cheap land, no government rules to speak of, and the locals don't hold with the booklearnin.' (I kid, sort of)
the more I learn about Burzynski’s early years (which I will write about in a future post)
It's also worth looking at the parallels with Milan Brych, a Czech grifter who liked the sound of "oncologist". He took advantage of Cold War tensions to invent an academic past for himself and a story of fleeing persecution, with little danger of contradiction from behind the Iron Curtain.
Brych had loyal believers (though they tended to be short-lived and were constantly changing); varied between applying his own invented therapies and legitimate chemo drugs (though in cack-handed "individualised" combinations, which he insisted were "not chemotherapy"), and was adept at manipulating local politicians into enabling his activities.
Can’t say much about Chinese history
Much of what is now "China" used to be inhabited by someone else before the Han Chinese expanded into it.
Not to mention the fun times when Han people themselves had to bow down to that ruffian Kublai Khan and his people.
Frankly, as much as history goes, "I was there first" wasn't much of an argument.
@hfb - There was a docudrama (dramamentary?) called 'Cancerman', about Brych. It was really good and yes, very much like Burzynski.
To all eBil pro-vax transhumanist pharma shills, WRT Andy Wankfield:
As for the idea of Brian Deer investigating Burzynski...
No no no no no!!!
Brian needs to go back to doing pharmaceutical drug exposes for awhile, to divert the suspicions of True Woo Believers. After that it'll be safe for him to use Filthy Pharma Lucre to bring down Saintly Stanley.
(one hand typing...long story)
"As for the idea of Brian Deer investigating Burzynski…
No no no no no!!!"
brian needs to concentrate on the texas lawsuit...and nail andy with anti-slapp damages.
The critical difference is that Wakefield's plan required him to convince the government to change policies which would be noticed by he entire medical profession.
Burzynski took the classic approach of avoiding the government. His clever insight was figuring out that the old "it's being studied", which makes a scam sound legitimate to victims without having to prove anything, works on the government too. Sure, he heaps the false promises on his marks, but when the government comes along it's "don't mind me, I'm just doing research". The cops are placated and other doctors don't have to take notice unless they want to.
@lilady - re one hand typing.
Regarding the John Stone/ British Measles epidemic thing: NHS England has a Facebook page, promoting their MMR catch up campaign. It periodically gets heavily trolled by anti-vaccination activists, if anyone feels like following it and contributing to it to counteract that:
"...the great white whale that is Brian Deer...."
That seems a bit unfair - the man looks downright svelte to me!
"@lilady – re one hand typing.
no...klutzy hubby, who was holding both frames on double-hung windows for me to wash the outside glass panes. he 'managed' to crush and gash my index finger between the frames.
Try gin. It may help. ;-)
No. Vicodan...then vodka with a twist of lime.
It *could* take me months to recover...in the meantime he's my kitchen slave. :-)
Rebecca is correct.
The other day I injured myself : as is usual, it wasn't playing tennis where I frequently leap about but walking down narrow stairs carrying something when I accidentally took 3 steps at once ( I have no idea why).
Hope you feel better, lilady.
Domina DW, DL, laurels, wreaths, medals, etc., etc. . . .
We're all terribly relieved you solved The Case of the Missing Lemmingex™. Must have gotten mixed up with that shipment of Blaxxill DX™ we had sent to Chicago last week. These things happen. Our new soporific is chemtrail dispersed, so you'll have to use it in a perfume atomizer or something. Wear an antidote patch.
As for the upcoming PharmaPhunTyme Solstice Soirée, I am all tingly in anticipation. You have your work cut out for you to outdo yourself this year. That huge Solstice Temple structure you created from unread copies of Dianetics was simply divine (and it burned magnificently). I can't wait to see what's up your diaphanous sleeve this time, but I do promise that I shall endeavor to comport myself with a modicum of dignity this year (no ayahuasca shooters). And speaking of misbehaving, I'll keep an eye on the Rothschilds and and younger Windsors to prevent a repeat of last year's sauterne-fueled "floor-show."
I trust that Cadre Leader Elburto will be running security from her newly upgraded El Turbo LazerSloth MkVIIb attack lounger. I pity the attendee that doesn't hew to her very liberal-yet-firm Party Rule Manual.
I also look forward to stealing back the Crack the Quack crown you won from me last year. I do so love party games!
Until we meet in costume,
Lord Draconis Zeneca, VH7ihL
Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, M.C. MixxMaster O Mayhem
Booz-Barn™, Canoga Park, Earth
Shills and Minions: Please be careful, the staircase can be . . . treacherous.
Lord Draconis Zeneca, VH7ihL
Place honorifics here_________________
Place secret location here _________________
Place zeroes and ones here________________
Lord Draconis, don't text and drive. Who'd replace you?
I have always spoken in Wakefield's defense, after a fashion: By absolutely all indications, he truly believes in the claims he promotes, and I would go so far as to say that he has probably lost more in monetary and professional terms than he ever stood to gain for his persistence.
I believe that Mr. Wakefield would have owned the patent to "The Good Jab" after the evil MMR had been thoroughly discredited as the toxic Glaxxon plot to . . . to . . . well, do something bad to our children. I think the fall we've witnessed is hubirs and ego, not faith and belief.
How about the money Wakefield made when he forgot his medical ethics and threw his lot in with lawyer who was getting set to sue the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine in the U.K. ($ 750,000 USD), on top of the salary he was earning?
What about the yearly salary he received ($275,000) during his tenure at Thoughtful House in Austin Texas?
How about the yearly salary he received ($200,000) through his employment at the Strategic Autism Initiative...for a 30 hour work week?
Andy and Polly Tommey are partners in the Autism Media Channel (and its affiliated businesses), where wifey Carmel is employed.
I'm positive that Andy derives income from other sources as well...supported by well-heeled benefactors.
Yup, selling your soul and discarding your ethics has worked well for Andy:
so you've finally acquired a slave. I love mine: the large blond one does actual work and the smaller, darker one follows me around, gazing in adoration. Not bad at all.
re the Celebration:
Burning man? done that. Burning temple? right. Wicker man? that's old. Sacrifice animals etc? what do you think.
Orgies, pyrotechnics, drug trials, blood letting, key exchanges, assistant swapping, masquerade..done it all.
How about something involving drones?
Use your imagination.
The important thing to keep in perspective is that Wakefield WAS a reasonably successful professional, and presumably well-paid. If he had stuck to legitimate research, or even pursued his claims about vaccines less aggressively, he could easily have maintained a substantial and steady flow of revenue while retaining the full respect of his peers. The one obvious thing he obviously stood to gain by taking the "maverick" path was to become a center of other people's attention, which I believe is a major factor in cases of fraud by scientific professionals. Also, Wakefield's background clearly differs from Burzynski's: As an immigrant from the East Bloc, Burzynski had no prior reputation to build on or risk in the eyes of the US medical establishment. (Fair questions have been raised about his history and credentials where he came from, but to me this comes a little too close to cultural chauvinism.) By all appearances, he fell quite quickly into the "cancer cure" niche without making any other impression, whereas Wakefield truly chose the anti-vaccine path over a mainstream career.