What's going on here? Andrew Wakefield's antivaccine propaganda film to be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival

When last we left Andrew Wakefield, hero to the antivaccine movement, he was a headliner on the Conspira-Sea Cruise, a cruise filled with conspiracy theorists, crop circle chasers, cranks, quacks, and antivaccine activists. It was a huge come down from his formerly exalted position as chief spokesman and "scientist" for the antivaccine movement, a position he enjoyed for many years before he was struck off (i.e., had his medical license stripped from him) in the UK and later had his scientific fraud documented so thoroughly by investigative reporter Brian Deer. Since then, it's all been downhill. In January, it looked as though Wakefield had hit bottom.

Maybe he did, because, unfortunately, things appear to be looking up for him, at least somewhat. Here's what I mean. Regular readers might remember my mentioning the documentary Andrew Wakefield was working on. It was going to be about the latest conspiracy theory coming out of the fever swamp of antivaccine pseudoscience, the so-called "CDC Whistleblower" William W. Thompson. Thompson, as you recall, is a the CDC scientist who complained to Brian Hooker, a biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivaccine epidemiologist, that the analysis of important study done by his colleagues at the CDC in 2004 and him (DeStefano et al) was manipulated to hide a real positive result correlating MMR vaccination with autism in African-Americans. As I said at the time, Hooker's "reanalysis" of the DeStefano et al study basically proved Andrew Wakefield wrong in that, other than for a very small subgroup, there wasn't a hint of a whiff of a whisper of a positive correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism, and the one seemingly positive result was almost certainly spurious. It was only because of Hooker's utter incompetence at epidemiology and statistics that he foolishly inferred an actual result from his "reanalysis."

Because this story seemed to confirm what I like to call the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement, namely that the CDC or other government agencies "knew" that vaccines cause autism but hid it from the people. Of course, only antivaccine activists are not "sheeple." Only they know The Truth. Only they have figured the conspiracy out. Only they are not sheeple. And now Andrew Wakefield has made a movie about it, called Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe.

It's going to premiere in New York on April 24. And, get this. It's going to be featured in the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. Here's its description on the Tribeca Film Festival website, which describes the film and points out that it's in the "Tribeca Talks After the Movie" section, meaning there will be a discussion with the filmmakers afterwards. You read that right. Andrew Wakefield had an antivaccine film accepted by the Tribeca Film Festival. That's why I said things might be looking up for him.

Here's the trailer:

The film is described thusly on the Vaxxed website:

In 2014, biologist Dr. Brian Hooker received a call from a Senior Scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who led the agency’s 2004 study on the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and its link to autism. The scientist, Dr. William Thompson, confessed that the CDC had omitted crucial data in their final report that revealed a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Over several months, Dr. Hooker records the phone calls made to him by Dr. Thompson who provides the confidential data destroyed by his colleagues at the CDC. Dr. Hooker enlists the help of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist falsely accused of starting the anti-vax movement when he first reported in 1998 that the MMR vaccine may cause autism. In his ongoing effort to advocate for children’s health, Wakefield directs this documentary examining the evidence behind an appalling cover-up committed by the government agency charged with protecting the health of American citizens. Interviews with pharmaceutical insiders, doctors, politicians, and parents of vaccine-injured children reveal an alarming deception that has contributed to the skyrocketing increase of autism and potentially the most catastrophic epidemic of our lifetime.

Hoo boy. The trailer, as you might expect, is a greatest hits of "CDC Whistleblower" nonsense, beginning with a reenactment of Brian Hooker receiving a phone call form William Thompson and then a "medical journalist" Del Bigtree starts bloviating about how Thompson told Hooker that the his coauthors, Frank DeStefano et al, had committed scientific fraud in its analysis of the data for their study. Of course, we all know now that nothing of the sort happened and that Thompson never accused his co-authors of fraud, at least not explicitly, although he sure did make it sound as though there was something not quite on the up and up about the way they analyzed their data. Unfortunately, conspiracy-friendly journalists ate it up. Meanwhile Hooker's "reanalysis" was so bad that the paper reporting it was retracted, even by a new journal.

Particularly deceptive is a segment that occurs around 1:22 in the trailer, a cartoon that depicts a large syringe with green liquid in it in surrounding a girl with a Teddy Bear, clearly meant to represent a vaccine, presumably the MMR given the whole focus on the "CDC Whistleblower." Of course, as I pointed out before, among Caucasian girls, even Brian Hooker couldn't torture the data to make them confess to a correlation between vaccinating girls and an increased risk of autism. Why didn't the filmmaker choose to put an African-American boy in the syringe? After all, when Brian Hooker tortured the data, all he could get them to confess to was a correlation in a subset of African-American boys? Perhaps the filmmaker considered the image of the white girl with a Teddy Bear more palatable for a trailer than that of an African-American boy for the audience for which this documentary is intended.

Yes, I went there. I make no apologies.

True, later in the trailer children of all races are shown, but that seems to be just a means to imply that Hooker's results are generalizable beyond African-American boys. Even if they were real results, based on sound statistical analysis, Hooker found no link in any other subgroup besides one group of African-American boys. Of course, they're almost certainly not real, and I've discussed why on many occasions before. Basically, the filmmaker is making a blatantly obvious attempt to take a single result from an incompetent "reanalysis" of DeStefano et al and suggest to the audience that the results apply to the children of the intended audience for the film.

Then, to my surprise, Dr. Jim Sears shows up at around the 2:00 mark, thus shattering any of his claims that he isn't antivaccine yet again. (Usually it's "Dr. Bob" Sears who's spewing the antivaccine misinformation.) After all, you don't appear in a movie directed by Andrew Wakefield saying that Wakefield was right after all if you have a shred of scientific knowledge—or dignity—left or if you are not at least antivaccine-sympathetic, if not outright antivaccine. Sears is followed by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), whose swallowing of the misinformation promoted by Hooker and Thompson helped perpetuate the whole "CDC whistleblower" urban myth. He's rapidly followed by Stephanie Seneff, someone with no expertise in epidemiology who thinks she can do autism epidemiology. Hilariously (to me), she claims that, if we extrapolate current trends, by 2032 80% of boys will be autistic. What's particularly silly is that Seneff isn't even an MMR crank. She's a GMO crank, the author of a risibly bad paper blaming autism on glyphosate and another blaming it on aluminum adjuvants.

Upon learning about this film, my one question was this: How on earth did Wakefield get this film accepted by the Tribeca Film Festival? After all, this isn't just any film festival, like the festival that accepted Eric Merola's paean to the cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski three years ago. Its submission requirements are clear, and the festival regularly attracts renowned filmmakers and actors. In 2006 and 2007, the festival received 8,600 submissions and only had 1,500 screenings. This year, the festival will feature actors and actresses like Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, and the cast and crew of Taxi Driver, as well as acclaimed directors like J.J. Abrams, Jodie Foster, Baz Luhrmann, and Alfonso Cuarón. Also participating will be Patti Smith, Idina Menzel, and Francis Ford Coppola, Ricky Gervais, Katie Couric, David Byrne, and Anthony Bourdain. This is not B-list stuff. It's at least A-list and above.

So, knowing that, once again, I ask: How on earth did this documentary full of antivaccine lies whose filmmaking isn't even particularly impressive, if the trailer is any indication, get into Tribeca? Not being a filmmaker myself or particularly privy to the film selection process, I could only look around. I found one particularly revealing blog post buy a filmmaker that explains how this travesty might have happened:

Simply put, the festival submission process is the filmmaking equivalent to the lottery. Worse actually, because at least all lottery ticket buyers are playing on the same level. Do you think every film that submits to a festival gets equal consideration? You don’t? Good, I would hate to be the one to throw that bucket of cold water on you.

He continues:

I won’t pretend to know all the inner workings of the selection process but many films that get in get in do so through back channels, who-knows-who and sometimes even through bribery – friendly and playful bribery, but bribery none-the-less. Many films get selected after screening at a major festival or because the star of the film has connections. There is no way to compete with that. None. My very favorite story was reading an interview with the festival director of the 2009 South-by-Southwest Film Festival joking that she was thrilled a film she acted in was selected. She would have to be one hell of a great actress to make me believe she was really surprised.

So let's see. The founders of the Tribeca Film Festival are Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff. Could there be a link? Robert De Niro, for instance, has hosted events with Autism Speaks. In the past, Autism Speaks caught deserved flak for being very sympathetic to the view that vaccines cause autism, although of late Bob and Suzanne Wright were never as much on the side of the vaccine-autism concept as their daughter Katie. In any case, Robert De Niro is known to have a son with special needs, but I could not find any evidence that he's ever publicly said anything that could be interpreted as antivaccine. So it could just be that with hundreds of films accepted and thousands submitted Andrew Wakefield got lucky. Or maybe there was an antivaccine-sympathetic reviewer who saw his film. There's really no way of knowing, and there certainly are lots of other people involved with organizing the film festival who might have given Wakefield some special consideration. It's not as though there aren't a lot of actors, actresses, and filmmakers out there who are antivaccine-sympathetic, if not outright antivaccine. One can only hope that the organizers can be embarrassed, because they should be.

Here's another possible explanation. During a talk on the Conspira-Sea Cruise Andrew Wakefield claimed that Leonardo DiCaprio was promoting his film and that DiCaprio and his father were "going to put all their efforts behind it,” although he denied that he had made that claim when interviewed later in the cruise. If Wakefield's claim is true, one can't help but wonder. DiCaprio and De Niro have known each other since DiCaprio was 15, when they worked together in DiCaprio's first major film. Could this be how Wakefield's propaganda piece was selected for Tribeca? Again. there's no way of knowing, but it's hard not to speculate that, if what Wakefield let slip is true, DiCaprio might have had a word with his buddy or just used his star power to "suggest" Wakefield's film. If true, it would explain a lot. Certainly DiCaprio wouldn't be the first famous environmentalist to extend his beliefs to include antivaccine pseudoscience about "toxins." (I'm talking to you, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.) Unfortunately, I don't have the resources or skill set to investigate further. Maybe someone else does.

By whatever means Wakefield's film was accepted for the Tribeca Film Festival, through someone in the festival with power to influence film selection who is sympathetic to the antivaccine message, an antivaccine-sympathetic star putting a good word in to the festival organizers, or through sheer, dumb luck (it almost certainly wasn't due to the quality of his filmmaking, if the trailer is any indication), you can count on antivaccine propagandists milking this selection for all it's worth. (Indeed, the antivaccine crank collective at Age of Autism are very happy.) At the very least, it's a propaganda coup for Wakefield. I'm sure this is by no means the worst or most offensive film ever selected for the Tribeca Film Festival or another major festival, but it's certainly one that has the potential to do the most harm to public health. However they selected Wakefield's documentary, the organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival have screwed up big time and given antivaccine a big, fat piece of propaganda to scare parents into not vaccinating.

ADDENDUM: Jezebel has picked up the story, and Anna Merlan reached out to the film's publicist. Here's the denial she got again:

Vaxxed is being represented by a company called Lighthouse Public Relations. We spoke with Dawna Schuman of Lighthouse today, who again denied that Leonardo DiCaprio is involved with promoting the film in any way.

That said, she added, “There’s been people who have supported it. A lot of people have liked the idea of the film. Nobody’s lent their name publicly to the film.”

That’s going to change at the Tribeca screening, Schuman added: “There is celebrity support and they’ll be attending in New York.”

OK, NYC Skeptics and any skeptics in the NYC area: You need to attend. Besides asking skeptical questions, you can report on which celebrities show up for this screening. My guess is that they'll be on the order of Jenny McCarthy or Rob Schneider, as the really big name celebrities could just ask for a screener and almost certainly get it, but it never hurts to watch.

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Well, it might just boomerang on Wakefield.
"Callous Disregard" is a badly written pile of claptrap. Hopefully, attendees will watch "Vaxed", realise it's junk, and everyone will know.
One can but hope.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Because Orac mentioned the "torturing the data" part: A great new paper came out that "proved" the hypothesis that people born under the pisces starsign have a higher survival chance of sepsis after a specific treatment with a salt solution. The argument: Fish lives in salt water, so pisces people should respond better to the salt solution. :-)

The whole thing was luckily just an excercise to show what can happen if you analyse a large data set without a prior hypothesis and just look for anything, you will always be able to find something "significant" just by chance; truely torturing the data.

Citation:
Hjortrup PB, Haase N, Wetterslev J, Perner A.
Gone fishing in a fluid trial.
Crit Care Resusc. 2016 Mar;18(1):55-8.

By StrangerInAStr… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

the author of a risibly bad paper blaming autism on glyphosate and another blaming it on aluminum adjuvants.

IIRC, Seneff *also* links autism to the rising use of painkillers. Somehow this strengthens her confidence in her methodology. If you showed her the correlation between organic food consumption and autism rates, she would only nod her head approvingly and point to it as further proof of her method, thereby strengthening the case that glyphosate and adjuvants are also the causes.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Wakefield accused DeStefano et al. of "slicing and dicing" their datasets to make the correlation between AA males and autism risk "disappear". We know that isn't the case as they merely performed a sub-analysis with controlling for covariates. Hooker on the other hand DID slice and dice the dataset until he could make an association appear but that wasn't even mention. How strange. Why does Seneff appear in this? Isn't her gig that autism is caused by Roundup? That's too many competing "theories" sucking the oxygen out of already dead claims of causation.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

" Yes. I went there. I make no apologies" Orac.

Sure, because manipulative operators like AJW misuse imagery as well as torturing/ fixing data in order to force the audience into believing in implied threats to the innocent - and of course, white girls are much more innocent than the "true victims" ( at least in the film makers' fevered imaginations,) black boys.

Although I would think that Andy may have misread the audience who might be quite liberal and even actually be concerned about black boys. I certainly worry about black boys but not because of vaccines.

At any rate, I was surprised the film was accepted. I follow the exploits ( and exploitative films) of Gary Null who manages to get accepted at loads of film festivals- al of them distinctly small time, none of them prestigious - and even wins a multitude of awards, all neatly displayed as ribbons in his adverts. Needless to say, his films are even more abysmal that Andy's is ( if that is indeed possible).

Notice though how the film uses music to provoke emotional reactions of fear and dread surrounding its subject matter.
I get that feeling whenever I see a project branded as Wakefield.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Even though Fakefield got his fauxcumentary into Tribeca, it doesn't mean he hasn't sunk to the near-bottom of his career. This is the person who thought he was going to make millions using his prestige as a physician and "solve the autism epidemic" who has now been reduced to making crappy, exploitive "documentaries" and calls himself a filmmaker. He's pathetic.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

who provides the confidential data destroyed by his colleagues at the CDC

Lying right out of the gate.

how on earth did this documentary full of antivaccine lies whose filmmaking isn’t even particularly impressive, if the trailer is any indication, get into Tribeca?

If you'll recall, Wakefield said (and later denied that he made the claim) that Leonardo DiCaprio helped promote the film.

@Science Mom

This is the person who thought he was going to make millions using his prestige as a physician from his single measles vaccine patent

FTFY.

If you’ll recall, Wakefield said (and later denied that he made the claim) that Leonardo DiCaprio helped promote the film.

I don't know if Leonardo DiCaprio has anything to do with the Tribeca Film Festival, but he is definitely tight with Robert De Niro, who started with him in his first film (A Boy's Life) when he was 15.

I added a short paragraph exploring this possibility.

Looks like Jim Sears is blowing the AV dog whistle for all it's worth on his facebook page to show he's really not anti-vax ( http://tinyurl.com/jgcrbny ):

To be perfectly clear: I am a pro-vaccine pediatrician. Just today in my office, I gave many of my patients the MMR vaccine, the polio vaccine, meningitis vaccines, whooping cough and hepatitis vaccines. I treated patients with high fevers and was thankful they had been vaccinated, so I could be much more confident in saying, "It's probably just a virus..."

But I am also a pro-truth pediatrician. I rely on agencies like the CDC to provide me with guidance when it comes to protecting my patients. When I was presented with evidence that this agency had POSSIBLY committed fraud in their study of the link between vaccines and autism, I felt compelled to make my comments included in the film, VAXXED from cover-up to catastrophe.

I sincerely hope that fraud was NOT committed by the CDC. I hope that there is another logical explanation why their researchers decided to omit important data, and then cover up this omission. This film is asking for that explanation.

Dr. Jim Sears

He must borrow his boilerplate from Bob. His clip at about 2 minutes into the trailer is not pro-vaccine. Of course he is anti-vaccine, given that he shares office space with "Dr. Bob" and clearly must cover for him when "Dr. Bob" is off giving $125 a head dinner talks at "holistic health expos" (http://tinyurl.com/j3d64p7). If "Dr. Jim" was pro-vaccine, he'd try to catch up Bob's patients on their vaccines instead of tolerating the fact that only 50% of Bob's patients are vaccinated, which has to be one of the worst rates of any pediatrician in the US.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

I don't know about his position on vaccines, but, as I've remarked previously, DiCaprio is very concerned with environmental issues like AGW and even created a documentary ( The Eleventh Hour) about it which my cousin worked on.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

It doesn't really matter that much whether DiCaprio is connected with DeNiro or any of the other founders. He has star power and plenty of connections. All he would need to do is talk to the right people on the selection committee.

I hope DiCaprio isn't involved in this nonsense, but Wakefield did apparently let that slip on the cruise. It's a possible explanation.

I notice that AoA already has an announcement about this-
do you think the faithful might stage something at the premier? After all, the press will be there, etc.
Just their style.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

It doesn’t really matter that much whether DiCaprio is connected with DeNiro or any of the other founders. He has star power and plenty of connections. All he would need to do is talk to the right people on the selection committee.

If what I've read about how films are selected for major film festivals is true (and I have little reason to believe it isn't), then you're right. All it would take to get a film selected is the recommendation of a major star, and stars don't get much bigger than Leonardo DiCaprio. No need for Robert De Niro to have anything to do with it. After all, thousands of films are submitted to Tribeca every year.

I hate to say it, but this isn't surprising in the least, no matter what happened or didn't happen with De Niro and Dicaprio. Hollywood is notoriously antivaccine. How many celebs we'd never heard before of being antivax panicked and spoke against SB277? We have our staples--Jenny McCarthy and Rob Schneider (if they could be called "celebrities") but there are many more who simply don't crow about it, but are just as bad. I think the latest super-couple revealed was Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, who then tried to get it buried because they know they'll be branded as insane.

My thoughts are such "prestigious" film festivals would be heavily weighted FOR showing an antivax propaganda film to begin with. It sucks and I hate it, but this is kind of par for the course.

By Frequent Lurker (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Denice

Gary Null who manages to get accepted at loads of film festivals- al of them distinctly small time, none of them prestigious – and even wins a multitude of awards

Eh, the awards are for the artistic content of the movies. With so much use of licence artistique, these movies are prime contenders.
Plus, maybe the juries got confused and thought these movies are some sort of avant-gardiste faux intellectual assays. A bit like the pretzel-like metal statues and one-black-dot-on-white-canvas paintings one can see regularly primed as masterpiece.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Helianthus:

I always imagine that those who award these prizes know little about science but there are exceptions- people well educated in arts and science ( I know a few)
HOWEVER
I guess that the festivals which gave out these esteemed accolades might accept anything and his work is possibly less bad than the other amateur entries and
SERIOUSLY
if you had ever seen his work, you'd know that the artistry is not enviable or even tolerable.
The best I can say is that the illustrators are not entirely despicable.

Actually, I can grok the "pretzel-like sculptures" and " one-black-dot-on-white-canvas painting" because they usually illustrate an artistic concept or design problem or two. I like Henry Moore especially ( not really pretzels but lessons about topology and holes I suppose).

The films are much, much worse and only illustrate woo and self-aggrandizement.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Maybe it is intended as a comedy. Or a documentary in lieu of "This Is Spinal Tap".

:)

[DiCaprio] has star power and plenty of connections

DiCaprio is a big enough star that even the rumor that he was backing the film might have been enough to do it. We know that Wakefield made the since-retracted claim that DiCaprio was going to help promote the film. Have we had any confirmation of this claim from DiCaprio himself, or anyone in a position to know what he thinks of the film?

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Chris Hickie@19: Will there be popcorn?

@ Denice

Actually, I can grok the “pretzel-like sculptures”

Eh, I didn't said these are bad art forms. Just that Wakefield's oeuvre ended up in this category by accident rather than by purpose.
Although his soul was definitively pretzel-shaped on purpose.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

has @ 21: "dr jim" is taking it from both sides on his FB page. definitely worth a large with a free refill.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Helianthus #16

It's all in knowing WHERE to put the dot.

Let's hold off on speculating about De Niro and DiCaprio until we learn more details. Wakefield's lied about a great many things, and it wouldn't surprise me if he lied or exaggerated his ties to DiCaprio too.

Otherwise, I left a comment on the Tribeca website.

By Sebastian L. J… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Film festival selection is a mystery to everyone in the film world. There are different kinds of festivals with different methods, but all of them are obscure. I'll spare the minions the details, but just note all the hypotheses are possible, and several others, too.

But I'll note that 'Vaxxed' isn't in the film competition. That it's in the "“Tribeca Talks After the Movie” section isn't an honor. It probably means 'we're showing this movie because we think people will want to talk about it.' Which would the opposite of how you present propaganda – you want that to be the sole voice of authority, and avoid anyone questioning it.

Orac misleads in introducing the quote of the promo blurb that follows the note that Tribeca has selected it with "The film is described thusly:" It's described that way by Whackfield, NOT Tribeca. Take a careful read of Tribeca's capsule description:

Digging into the long-debated link between autism and vaccines, Vaxxed features revealing and emotional interviews with pharmaceutical insiders, doctors, politicians, parents, and one whistleblower to understand what's behind the skyrocketing increase of autism diagnoses today.

What that tells us is that the programmer knows what's in the film, and at least suspects that it's all BS. The key word, of course, is "diagnoses". Also, "emotional interviews" hints at exploitation, and "one whistleblower" hints at crank-ism. Andy did not write this, and can't be happy about it.

However, another promo blurb – this one no doubt from the festivals PR department – paints a very different picture:

The most vitriolic debate in medical history takes a dramatic turn when senior scientist turned whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson of the Centers for Disease Control, turns over secret documents, data, and internal emails confirming what millions of devastated parents and "discredited" doctors have long-suspected — vaccines do cause autism.

Ouch. That's just so wrong.

The only way to know what Tribeca is doing here is to know the context in which the film will be screened – most specifically how they're going to do the "After the movie conversation with creators and subjects of the film." They could just let Andy run the show, letting him and the participants he picks (distraught parents? Jim Sears?) speechify and double-down on the thesis, maybe take a fawning query or comment or two. Or they could open the floor to an open discussion, knowing there will be pro-science/pro-vax voices in the room. (And by "knowing" I mean the programmer could have identified some folks, contacted them, and made sure they'll be in attendance, not just assumed the other side of the "vitriolic debate" would show up by themselves.)

Regardless, it's fine to complain in the comments thread for the film on the Tribeca site, as Chris and has have already done, but the thing to do is make sure Andy and the film don't go unchallenged at the festival. Either get as many vax advocates inside the screening room as possible, or set up a picket line outside. Come with punchy debunking handouts - copies of the Texas Childrens VPD pamphlet, cards with weblinks, etc. – make sure there's an articulate telegenic spokesperson there, and alert the press.

One thing that struck me in the trailer was the way the images of the autistic kids were used. Gee, hate your "damaged" kids much? I'd like to see a protest at the screening from neuro-atypical folks damning the demeaning way they're represented by the anti-vaxxers.

Having seen his trailer, I wonder if the organisers of the film event are aware how gravely unethical and dishonest is this exercise of his.

Here he is, a proven research cheat and scientific fraudster, who has lost his license to practise medicine on grounds of his dishonesty over precisely the subject matter of his "film", accusing others of fraud - and in fact verballing Thompson, who has made no allegation of fraud over the Atlanta paper of 2004.

He interviews one of his (provably) past and (possibly) present sexual and business partners (not previously relevant personal information, but in this context is relevant), and appears to be fabricating the claim that the DeStefano data actually support himself.

I can tell you, no ethical filmaker would be so compromised. Unless he makes some kind of clear statement to the effect that "I ended my career in medicine over MMR, and now it's my time for revenge", then this exercise is itself a fraud.

Somebody should pull the Thompson statement quotes again , and make sure that people who see the film know who this man Wakefield is, and what is the nature of his game.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the "1 in 2 boys will be on the autism spectrum by 2030" claim in the trailer. How in the world is that even possible? Are vaccines becoming more able to cause autism now than they were 10 years ago? It's a ridiculous statement even by the standards of that trailer, which was pretty ludicrous and scaremongering.

Orac misleads in introducing the quote of the promo blurb that follows the note that Tribeca has selected it with “The film is described thusly:” It’s described that way by Whackfield, NOT Tribeca.

I suppose that's why I linked the text "The film is described thusly" to Andrew Wakefield's website advertising the movie rather than the Tribeca entry link in order to claim that Tribeca described it that way. Hyperlinks. Learn them. Love them. :-)

But to make you happy and stop your irritating pedantry, I changed the text linked to in order to make it absolutely crystal clear that I'm quoting Wakefield's website.

Oh, and get a load of how Tribeca lumped Wakefield's film in with "Social Issue" films:

https://tribecafilm.com/stories/tribeca-film-festival-social-political-…

There it is, listed along with documentaries about the integrity of the voting process, "three strikes" laws, the use of solitary confinement in the US, sexual abuse, the militarization of police forces in the US, abortion, and drone warfare, among other topics.

One thing that struck me in the trailer was the way the images of the autistic kids were used. Gee, hate your “damaged” kids much? I’d like to see a protest at the screening from neuro-atypical folks damning the demeaning way they’re represented by the anti-vaxxers.

This.

They couldn't possibly show moments where the kids were involved in watching a favorite TV show, engaging in a hobby or some artwork, or just generally enjoying life? The whole presentation is dehumanizing.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the “1 in 2 boys will be on the autism spectrum by 2030” claim in the trailer.

Watch it again. It's actually a claim that 80% of boys and 50% of all children will be autistic by 2032.

Hopefully they include the groundbreaking street research comparing kids' responses to either being vaccinated with a shot, or getting a lollipop. If I remember, and I know the problem in stating absolutes, but I believe 100% of the participants chose the lollipop. It should support similar methodology as the film.

@ Brian Deer:

Perhaps someone will tell them.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ JP:

Did you ever see his film about ( the late) Alex?

I have see similarly maladroitly handled film imagery of kids/ young adults with ASDs at AoA and TMR by actual parents of said kids/ young adults. Also there are horrendous verbal descriptions. Names like Kim and Lisa immediately spring to mind although they aren't the only ones.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Watch it again. It’s actually a claim that 80% of boys and 50% of all children will be autistic by 2032.

*brain explodes*

Since then, it’s all been downhill. In January, it looked as though Wakefield had hit bottom.

Maybe he did, because, unfortunately, things appear to be looking up for him, at least somewhat.

Nothing too much to worry about: it's just regression to the mean.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Have you ever thought about shutting TFU and just letting the truth be the truth? Thanks for exposing the film to a much greater number of people though.

I have see similarly maladroitly handled film imagery of kids/ young adults with ASDs at AoA and TMR by actual parents of said kids/ young adults.

Yeah, I recall one in particular where Stagliano made a video of her daughter watching and following along with Sesame Street and hugging a Grover doll as if, "You SEE, her life is RUINED, which means MY life is RUINED!"

I just remember sitting there and thinking... "I still like the Muppets."

Thanks for exposing the film to a much greater number of people though.

That's a change from the usual trollery, in which Orac's opinions are wasted words because the number of people who read Resp.Ins. is vanishingly small.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Have you ever thought about shutting TFU and just letting the truth be the truth?

Pot, kettle, etc. etc.

Oh, I'm only getting started. Don't be surprised if later this week this shows up on another blog, with a much larger readership than RI, if you know what I mean. :-)

At least Jeff didn't use caps for truth. Then again he may not understand the difference.

Stephanie Seneff! My favorite GMO kook, all growed up and flapping her gums about vaccine woo as well.

By Robert L Bell (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Wow, watching that trailer really started to make me angry. All of the lies, distortions, and half-truths mostly just made me roll my eyes (my favorite part was when they zoomed way in on the graph to show a divergence in the two plots, but then they stopped panning before they got to the part where the plots converge again).

What really got to me was the way these parents were willing to exploit their kids for this documentary. Yeah, my son stims (which for some reason is considered a bad thing). You know what else he does? Gymnastics and rock climbing and bike riding and drawing and playing with his sister, etc, etc. So why not show any of that? Nope, we have to make sure we show autistic children in the worst possible light. "You don't want your kid to end up like that, do you?" is Wakefield's message, and it's a message I find horribly offensive.

What really got to me was the young man banging his head with the iPad. Do you know why he's doing that? Because he's either agitated or in discomfort or in pain. Could be from the lights, could be his clothes, it could be that he's tired of the camera in his face. But rather than try to find out what's wrong and correct it, his parents allow them to just keep on filming. Utterly disgraceful.

Sorry this wasn't better written, but I'm pretty agitated myself right now. But writing this was rather cathartic...

By Brian Bruce (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Here's my take.

http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2014/09/27/andrew-wakefield-apparently…

I take on the first 30s. Because it only takes that much time to see exactly what is going on here.

Listen to that initial recording of Thompson. First off--it's two different statements spliced together. Second, when you put them in context they say very different things that Wakefield is leading his audience to believe.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

"What really got to me was the way these parents were willing to exploit their kids for this documentary"

Much of that footage is recycled from Wakefield's failed reality TV show project.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

We can expect more questionable content from Autism Speaks now that their head has no experience with autism at all..(seriously, she admitted it)

I don't have much more to say other than Wakefield and antivaxxers in general disgust me.

Ears to the ground. The rumble of Congressional hearings. I wonder what kind of suit Thompson will wear, I can not believe Wakefield is going to go down in history as the man who exposed the greatest medical fraud of all time. :)

@Jeff at #51

I think you mean Brian Deer. Or did you mean to say "the man who was exposed as"?

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Jeff:

How'd he do that? Confess?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

I wonder what kind of suit Thompson will wear,

It will involve a red rubber nose that honks, big flappy shoes, and a button-hole that squirts water.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

I can not believe Wakefield is going to go down in history as the man who exposed the greatest medical fraud of all time.

That's good, because he won't be.

@Matt Carey

I'd forgotten about his failed reality series. I guess it's good he didn't exploit more kids this time around?

By Brian Bruce (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

It’s actually a claim that 80% of boys and 50% of all children will be autistic by 2032.

Reminds me of this passage by Mark Twain:

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that... seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long... There is something fascinating about [pseudo]science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

^ In case it's not obvious, I added the "[pseudo]" in front of "science."

@ Jeff #37: Have you ever thought about shutting TFU and just letting the truth be the truth?

The thing about "the truth" is, if it's the real thing, you don't have to let it be the truth, nothing you can do or say can stop it from being the truth. If it can't stand up to criticism then it's not the truth.

@Jeff #51

I hope you can discern the difference between a scientist like Orac and a fraud like Wakefield? Very simply put it is ethics. Wakefield has none.

At best Wakefield is a fraud and at worst is the direct cause of many deaths from lack of vaccination around the world.

I just the place where Wakefield should opening his film. The Nation Museum of Poo will be opening Friday on the Isle of Wright.

The National Poo Museum “is set to be the place to immerse oneself in the wonder of excrement.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the “1 in 2 boys will be on the autism spectrum by 2030” claim in the trailer. How in the world is that even possible? Are vaccines becoming more able to cause autism now than they were 10 years ago? It’s a ridiculous statement even by the standards of that trailer, which was pretty ludicrous and scaremongering.

What's really odd about that statement is that her hypothesis isn't vaccines at all. It's that the chemical in Roundup is causing autism.

Why is she in this movie?

Well, for one reason, the "star" of the movie isn't present. It's sort of a "Plan Nine from Outer Space" project where the main character (WIlliam Thompson) isn't actually available to participate.

This leaves Wakefield with a lot of time to fill. So, let's bring in anyone and everyone, including the person who doesn't think it's vaccines.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

I’d forgotten about his failed reality series. I guess it’s good he didn’t exploit more kids this time around?

Well, since the last one of his subjects was Alex Spourdalakis, it's good he's moved on. Wakefield filled his mother with false hope and left town. Who knows how much the false hope played into her murdering her son.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

BD: " I wonder if the organisers of the film event are aware how gravely unethical and dishonest is this exercise of his."

Reading between the lines of the two differeent bits of Tribeca copy I quoted above, I'd guess some do, others don't, there were arguments within the festival staff about whether to screen this, and how to treat it, and it's a continuing matter of considerable behind-the-scenes drama within the festival.

Do realize that with the #CDCwhistleblower thing getting attention from a powerful Tea Party Congressman, a programmer might want to screen this, or at least agree to it, because it's so bad. 'Let 'em hang with their own rope.'

The first thing that struck me in the trailer was the inclusion of "80% of boys will be autistic by 2032" scare claim. That's so over-the-top, it's awful from a propaganda perspective: It's going to get the guard up of anyone who might be 'neutral'. It seems 'Vaxxed' lays its bat guano crazy bare. An experienced documentary programmer is going to know this turkey won't fly with much of anyone other than the nutjobs already on board.

The anti-vaxxers are used to talking to each other inside their own bubble: Autism One etc. Especially lately, they don't come off well when they try their schtick with the general public, (e.g. anti-SB277 efforts). The Tribeca screening is going to put a much wider public spotlight on Wakefield than he's used to here in the U.S., and his peeps won't be in control of the event. We can bet Anna Merlan from Jezebel will be there, and I doubt she'll be the only reporter on the story.

In short, if I had to bet on the outcome here, I'd bet it blows up in Andy's face. And per Orac's 'Addendum', there are things we can do to help make that happen.

BD may want to obtain an intern to help handle the inquiries he's going to get for commentary from journalists and maybe even some public figures in NYC.

LA Times: Tribeca to screen movie by controversial anti-vaccine activist Andrew Wakefield

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-anti-vac…

Wakefield continues to be discredited by wide swaths of the scientific community, many members of which have held him responsible for convincing parents not to vaccinate their children, with disastrous consequences for public health.

"It's shocking," Michael Specter, a staff writer at the New Yorker who has studied and written extensively about the issue, said when asked in a phone interview Tuesday about the screening. "This is a criminal who is responsible for people dying. This isn't someone who has a 'point-of-view.’ It's comparable to Leni Riefenstahl making a movie about the Third Reich, or Mike Tyson making a movie about violence toward women. The fact that a respectable organization like the Tribeca Film Festival is giving Wakefield a platform is a disgraceful thing to do."....

And then,

Already the news has caused a stir in the online-science world, where the blog Respectful Insolence, which has published frequently on Wakefield, questioned the decision to screen the movie, saying from the trailer that it is "a greatest hits of 'CDC whistleblower' nonsense" and called on "any skeptics in the NYC area" to attend the event.

Oooh.

It looks as though our visitor Jeffy is also shrilly commenting on the Tribeca site. According to him, anyone who thrashes Wakefraud's propaganda piece is a PHARMA SHILL ASTROTURFER. And we're all going to be very sorry when it is shown.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

I'm already sorry it was considered in the first place

Are vaccines becoming more able to cause autism now than they were 10 years ago?

Less, apparently: Seneff's claim (which Wakefraud recited for a while) was by 2025.

I can not believe Wakefield is going to go down in history as the man who exposed the greatest medical fraud of all time.

FTFY.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Jeff is making quite a time of it, throwing "shill" about like some sort of magic talisman that will make all the commenters he doesn't like somehow magically disappear.

Jeff is a charmer on the Tribeca thread, isn't he?

Well, for one reason, the “star” of the movie isn’t present. It’s sort of a “Plan Nine from Outer Space” project where the main character (WIlliam Thompson) isn’t actually available to participate.

Perhaps if Wakefield holds his cape over his face nobody will notice he doesn't look at all like Thompson.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2016 #permalink

Dunno why my browser was being evil but I finally got a comment to post:

When people are misinformed they can't make choices in their own best interests. Instead the person who gave them bad info chooses for them.

Misinforming America is a bad look, Tribeca. Please think about the greater numbers of sick, injured, and dead American children that will result from Wakefield's slick propaganda designed to convince parents not to vaccinate their kids.

Sadmar #66,

I would be okay with a film festival showing Wakefield's propaganda if they were clear that the film was dangerous disinformation per the scientific community, and they had a statement from physician groups countering the false claims in the film.

Because this disinformation will harm children, spreading it is more like yelling "fire" in a theater than simply letting a crank have a free speech platform.

I would be okay with a film festival showing Wakefield’s propaganda if they were clear that the film was dangerous disinformation per the scientific community, and they had a statement from physician groups countering the false claims in the film.

Not how it works, titmouse. The festival Isn't a science journal that vets true/false or methodological rigor. They just put the thing on view, and which point it gets praised/damned or usually both. What would be heinous is if the festival tried to protect the film by blocking discussion – doing a Trump-ish, 'only our supporters can get tickets thing', etc. It's the scientific community's job to get into the discursive space opened by the announcement, counter the false claims, and reveal Andy for the con-artist he is, not the programmer's. Which, it seems, the scientific community is doing rather well, so far...

Maybe you've never been to a documentary screening at a film festival. This is yes like yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater than putting a spotlight on the some kids with lit matches walking toward the projection room.

Sadmar, we know what will happen if this film is promoted or given any sort of credibility by celebutards: kids will get sick and some will die. We can thank Wakefield and the UK to thank for the evidence that backs my point.

People at Tribeca are people just like me. They can't be totally neutral to their role in spreading bad info about vaccines. They should feel some responsibility here as fellow citizens.

Particularly deceptive is a segment that occurs around 1:22 in the trailer, a cartoon that depicts a large syringe with green liquid in it in surrounding a girl with a Teddy Bear, clearly meant to represent a vaccine, presumably the MMR given the whole focus on the “CDC Whistleblower.” Of course, as I pointed out before, among Caucasian girls, even Brian Hooker couldn’t torture the data to make them confess to a correlation between vaccinating girls and an increased risk of autism. Why didn’t the filmmaker choose to put an African-American boy in the syringe?

It has become an article of faith among most anti-vaxxers that Hooker's (crap) paper showing (incorrectly) that African-American boys vaccinated late had higher rates of autism is proof positive that vaccines cause autism in all groups of children.

This is the explanation of why the CDC Whistleblower meme continues to get traction, despite the pointing out that it showed MMR isn't associated with increased autism in girls or white boys.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Liz Ditz

Matt_Carey is laying down some serious smiting of Wakefield’s iniquities here

I just went and read some of the comments. I recognized a few names - or styles - from around here.
I felt like home.

As an aside, I noted that this "charming" Jeff's shtick is the Bonnie Offit defense*, i.e. to dismiss his opponents as being the various sockpuppets of a single, pharma-paid, commenter.
Antivaxers are boringly predictable.

* not to be confused with the Chewbacca defense.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

What’s particularly silly is that Seneff isn’t even an MMR crank. She’s a GMO crank

In fact before GMOs caused autism it was low fat diets and statins

Then it was sulfate deficiency, vaccines, aluminium, painkillers and finally GMOs. As far as Stephanie Seneff is concerned if you throw enough hypotheses at the wall one might stick and the cranks will invite you to their conferences.

Her partner in crime Anthony Samsel actually pays to go to OMICS conferences* where he proposed that water dynamics are responsible for autism. I kid you not

*Actually it may be Robert Davidson who paid to go

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

I need to get some sleep, titmouse, as I'm making more typos than usual. "AT which point..."LESS like yelling..."

No, you don't know what will happen if this film is screened – which BTW is hardly required for it to be promoted/endorsed by 'celebutards', there being YouTube and all, not that Rob Schneider has any credibility with anyone who isn't already a lost cause. I don't know what will happen either. We both have hypotheses. Mine is informed by having made and taught documentary film for 35 years, studied how media messages work for just as long, read tons of theory and research on the subject, written a PhD dissertation on the politics of pop culture, published essays on the same in good journals and well received books... but as I have my reasons for not using my real name online, I'm not expecting you to take my word for how this stuff works. I could be wrong here, but if I were you, I'd run a Dunning-Kruger check and look at some studies of the actual receptions dubious docos have received in the past. In any event, 'the proof is in the pudding', and if Tribeca goes ahead with the screening*, we'll see whether that gets good pub for anti-vax or bad, and where the 'movement' goes from there...

*My plate of Flying Spaghetti, could you imagine the screaming if Tribeca cancels? Orac would be able to hear Brian Martin without the aid of electronics.

Why are you so worried about the film being shown at The Tribeca Film Festival? What if all the hype is true? Let people make their own decisions. I know one thing, and that is that I work in a setting with children on the spectrum, and so many of the parents say that their child was fine, thriving, meeting their milestones, until they had their combination immunizations. These children were then diagnosed with autism, somewhere on the spectrum. Cause and effect, probably not, because there are so many children who received these immunizations that are OK, but association, yes. Maybe they should not be bombarding children with so many vaccines at one time? Something is up. Is it hard to believe the CDC is dishonest? Really! Everything is a business. All I'm saying is open up your mind to hear what is said. Take away whatever you want from it, but listen to the other side of the coin.

Who's worried? While I thought it was a horrible idea for the Tribeca Film Festival to have selected Wakefield's film for screening in the first place because antivaxers will milk that for all it's worth as "evidence" that the film has merit, what's done is done. Now that Tribeca has screwed up so royally in making this decision, I now actually hope that the screening goes forward on schedule as announced. given that, unlike the case with most antivaccine gatherings, the filmmakers can't control who can attend the screening. The only thing that worries me is that, after hearing all the rumblings about skeptics showing up to the screening, Wakefield will get cold feet and cancel the Q&A. It wouldn't surprise me if he did that or somehow tried to control the questions that can be asked.

@Hope

A couple of reasons. First, we know that the hype is not true. We have Thompson's documents. A number of us have actually read through them, the original study, Hooker's retracted paper, and so on. And there isn't any evidence of fraud or a coverup. Second, the film has great potential to do harm, both to public health and the autism community. Thankfully, there are people like Orac and Matt Carey who have done and will continue to do a great deal of fact-checking, but a lot of people may view this film and be persuaded by the misinformation it contains. This promotes vaccine rejection, distrust of the medical community, and stigmatizes autism.

We have kept open minds. We have looked at the evidence. And all we've found are lies, distortions, and Wakefield cynically exploiting others to promote himself.

@Hope:

so many of the parents say that their child was fine, thriving, meeting their milestones, until they had their combination immunizations

Here's what's odd. Invariably, whenever a claim like this is investigated, it's turned out to be incorrect. In the Omnibus Autism Proceedings before Vaccine Court, one of the Test Cases was Michelle Cedillo. Her parents introduced video taken when she was 15 months old. An expert in autism was able to show that she was already showing signs of autism.

Maybe they should not be bombarding children with so many vaccines at one time?

"Too many too soon" is a known antivaccine trope that has been disproved.

All I’m saying is open up your mind to hear what is said. Take away whatever you want from it, but listen to the other side of the coin.

We have listened. We've responded to the antivaxxers and we've been met with goalpost shifting, logical fallacies, insults, and personal attacks. There aren't two sides to this argument. The Earth travels around the Sun, humans have walked on the Moon, and vaccines do not cause autism.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

Here's a thought; why couldn't Tribeca screen, straight after it, Brian Deer's "MMR: What They Didn't Tell You", preferably with an added "Epilogue" silent end-screen listing the full time-line of what has happened to 'Saint Andy' since? (As in failed lawsuits, the revelation of just how much cash Andy had trousered, paper retracted, struck off, more failed lawsuits, Autism Omnibus, 'let go' from Thoughtful House etc etc), After all, screening them back-to-back should help the "talking about" no end. Not to mention it would be an example of serious documentary / film-making covering the same sort of turf. Sounds just up their street.

Hope@85: Please to learn the difference between worry and contempt. The response would be the same were Trifecta presenting 9/11 Truther or Holocaust Denial garbage as anything but outrageous propaganda and falsehood. There is a world of difference between screening "Triumph of the Will" or "Birth of a Nation" as significant historical and cinematic artefacts, and showing them in order to make people believe what they say is true.

Psycho Andy and the rest of his partners in crime don't have a legitimate leg to stand on, and they know it. That's why they put all their effort into pushing propaganda cruises and pseudo-documentaries instead of publishing in Nature and picking up Nobels for revolutionizing medicine: to shake down the rubes for the maximum amount of cash.

They show zero compunction or responsibility to anyone crippled or killed as a result, and are well known for their savagery to those that subsequently speak up. They have demonstrated again and again and again that they are contemptible people with a greedy, cruel, and malicious agenda that leave even their most delusional baby-eating caricatures of scientists and medics looking kind and honest in comparison.

So, exactly just how many times must they prove themselves frauds and liars and manipulators and thugs before people like you stop playing your I'm-just-being-reasonable-and-you're-all-meanies "there's two sides to every story" bullshit games?

We know what their "side" is, and we know why it is as it is, because there is already vast screeds of evidence out there for anyone who chooses to look. The only thing we still struggle to fathom is why any human being who isn't utter scum inside would deliberately choose to pretend otherwise.

and so many of the parents say that their child was fine, thriving, meeting their milestones, until they had their combination immunizations. These children were then diagnosed with autism, somewhere on the spectrum. Cause and effect, probably not, because there are so many children who received these immunizations that are OK, but association, yes

Until they...started eating solid foods.
Until they...began potty learning.
Until they...were weaned from the breast/bottle.
Until they...were introduced to screened media.
Until they...were moved from a crib to a bed.

Cause and effect, probably not, because there are so many children who received these immunizations that are OK, but association, yes...................

Oh look Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon

http://www.salon.com/2016/03/23/anti_vaxxers_tribeca_triumph_discredite…

"But in a prepared statement, a representative of the festival said that “Tribeca, as most film festivals, are about dialogue and discussion. Over the years we have presented many films from opposing sides of an issue. We are a forum, not a judge.” To which I reply, are you kidding? On the one hand, there’s the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control. On the other, the “opposing side” in this case a discredited charlatan whose work has been thoroughly refuted. That’s like having Neil Degrasse Tyson saying the earth is round, and then saying we need to hear the other side of the story from a guy in a tinfoil hat who lives under a bridge. Do we? Really?

So here it is again. Vaccines don’t cause autism. Not vaccinating children, however, can be incredibly dangerous for children and for individuals with compromised immune systems who are unable to be vaccinated. And spreading gobbledygook from quacks isn’t being non judgmental. It’s being irresponsible and dangerous."

Well that's ringing. Wish she had mentioned that Thompson does not appear in the film.

http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/anatomy-of-witch-hunt…
That's marvellous, we have seen most of those clips over the years it's nice to see them in a proper film. BTW we are not the anti-vaccine movement , you should call us the vaccine injured children of parents movement. If I question the safety of cars am I anti car. Wake up people before your children and grandchildren are injured by un safe vaccines.

By Joan Campbell (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

"you should call us the vaccine injured children of parents movement."

An unsubstantiated assertion. Belief does not equal truth.

@Joan Campbell - I am opposed to unsafe vaccines as well. Could you please tell me?
- Which vaccines are unsafe compared to the diseases they prevent?
- How you know that?

Thanks.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

Take away whatever you want from it, but listen to the other side of the coin.

I have a handful of assorted change (British, Euros, American) and I tried listening to both the heads and tails sides of each. Nada. If money talks, then coins talk very quietly.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

Joan Campbell@93: Nobody cares what you believe, only what evidence you've got. To date all we've seen is evidence of a circus of screaming paranoid narcissists rotating ever more rapidly around a nasty psychopathic core. Your precious "movement" has already destroyed all credibility and sympathy it might once have mustered; what more do you want?

Even as a raging misanthrope and not nice person, I deeply feel for any disabled child whose entire future lies beneath parents whose strangling idée fixe has declared her "broken" or "stolen" and has nothing better to do with its time than blame everyone else for such undeserved misfortune. But for you and your ilk, nothing. Not any more. Go away. You're done.

Listen to that initial recording of Thompson. First off–it’s two different statements spliced together.

The cut-&-paste ransom-note work with Thompson's words, to make up new statements and put them in his mouth, that's Wakefield's depraved indifference. He simply does not give a toss about any damage he does to Thompson's credibility or career. Thompson is just another body for Wakefield to walk on, and the Tribeca organisers are complicit in this.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

has97
The name suits you has been, you go away and join the circus you clown.

By Joan Campbell (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

Ms. Campbell, you seem to lack one crucial bit: actual evidence.

We are not overly impressed by the blog written by the Queen Bee of the Clown Canary Party.

The name suits you has been, you go away and join the circus you clown.

OK, this is the second of your utterances that bears only a passing resemblance to a coherent English statement. (Cf. "you should call us the vaccine injured children of parents movement.")

Perhaps you should stay in the circus you're accustomed to, where pretty much anything goes without question so long as it blames vaccines for Something Bad.

The name suits you, has-been. You go away and join the circus you clown.

There, now it makes sense. Although the pun makes it no less cringe-worthy nor stupid (perhaps even more so).

If I question the safety of cars am I anti car.

No, but if you tell me your child doesn't need a car seat because car seats don't prevent all deaths and some kids who've died in accidents were in car seats and there's CLEARLY a conspiracy on the part of Big Car Seat to injure children and anyone who questions you is just a Car Seat shill................

So, Joan @93, which diseases are you looking forward to coming back? Measles, which kills? Rubella, which causes a host of birth defects including brain damage? Polio, which killed and crippled thousands?
You say you're from the UK, how about some of those lovely tropical diseases that so decimated the British Empire?

Vaccines do not cause autism.

Vaccines prevent diseases that cause untold suffering and death.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

So, Joan @93, which diseases are you looking forward to coming back? Measles, which kills? Rubella, which causes a host of birth defects including brain damage? Polio, which killed and crippled thousands?

Don't forget diphtheria, aka the "Strangling Angel", which was once the leading cause of death in young children in the UK. Nothing like watching a child choke to death.

@Joan Campbell - I see you took a moment to respond to has. When you get a moment, could you please respond to my topical and polite questions above?

Thanks.

By the way, what are your standards for a safe car?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

But Delphine @105, without diphtheria, we wouldn't have the Iditarod sled race! /sarc

By JustaTech (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

Don’t forget diphtheria, aka the “Strangling Angel”, which was once the leading cause of death in young children in the UK. Nothing like watching a child choke to death.

This was something I wondered about after the Obel et al. "just measles" piece. Recently, the H5N1 blog mentioned a fatal case in Belgium.

Hell, if people are going to pitch a fit about aP not preventing carriage, they might as well go whole hog.* Then again, infection-based immunity doesn't prevent carriage either.

* Oh, wait, NVIC already has: "Transmission of diphtheria can occur in vaccinated individuals who become asymptomatic carriers of the disease as a result of the vaccine."

Nice article, starting with horrible slurs. Take a look at this language. Before we even get into ANY discussion at all, you've called everyone calling for more research into vaccine safety conspiracy theorists, crop circle chasers, cranks, quacks, ' dehumanising labels designed to immediately diminish and reduce anyone who takes a different position in the debate, or even thinking of asking a question. And then the dog piling of dissenting voices. Slurs again, like 'narcissist' etc. This is very typical of internet bullying. And so dismissive of a documentary you've not even seen. We seem to accept that large pharmaceutical corporations are only concerned with shareholder's profits and the next quarter's balance sheet when they unethically raise the cost of HIV-AIDS medication, yet become the lighted shining angels when it comes to vaccines -- an area where they profit by millions of dollars every year, and where they would stand to lose considerably if their products or the way those products were administered were proved unsafe. And yet, anyone asking perfectly reasonable questions is slurred before they even open their mouths or put pen to paper. How is this promoting proper inquiry? I'll wait for you to select your slurs to distract yourselves from answering that question.

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

“A spokesperson for the film tells Jezebel that there will be “celebrity support” for the film at the screening.”

Because the support of a Hollywood celebrity totally trumps 35 years of epidemiological studies.

By shay simmon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

Lucy Johnson @110:

conspiracy theorists, crop circle chasers, cranks, quacks, ‘ dehumanising labels

"Dehumanising"? Do you have any idea that words have meanings, or do you just open your face-hole and transcribe whatever noises come out?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

Ms. Johnson should try being a woman who's been taken for a man on the regular since age 15 or so. She would quickly learn what "dehumanizing" actually means and feels like.

@Lucy Johnson (110)

People have been studying vaccine safety for decades, and even more so in the last 15 years ago. The Rand study in this link
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/07/02/yet-more-evidence-that-vac…
is the most recent major analysis of these decades to studies by multiple research groups in different countries using different data sets.

To paraphrase Orac in that article, there is no such thing as an effective medical intervention with no Adverse Effects, but this study (and many others) show that the risk of AEs from vaccines is extremely low, and much, much less than the risk of AEs from the diseases the vaccines protect against from "minor" things like deafness and blindness to spending the rest of your life in pain from a later recurrence like Shingle up to and including death.

So what data do you have that there is a serious risk that was somehow missed in all these researches?

It needs to be something more than "yeah, but I just don't believe vaccines are safe yet".

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

last 15 years or so
...
decades of studies

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

Ms. Johnson: "And yet, anyone asking perfectly reasonable questions is slurred before they even open their mouths or put pen to paper. How is this promoting proper inquiry?"

Since you are an expert on scientific query and how those of us who ask questions are slurred, could you please answer I question that everyone refuses answer. It is so unfair, I ask this simple question and I either get no answer or I am called nasty names.

Here it is: Which particular MMR vaccine was Dr. Wakefield investigating for his now retracted 1998 Lancet paper?

In 1988 the UK introduced three different MMR vaccines, but in 1992 withdrew two due to issues with their mumps strain. Plus one of those children was American, which means a fourth type of MMR vaccine.

When someone investigates the effects of a drug, they usually make sure all of the test subject had the same one. So when it is said that Wakefield investigated the MMR vaccine, which of the four versions was it?

@Lucy Johnson #110

If I didn't know better, I would suspect that you are pulling the classic crackpot dodge of "I AM NOT AGAINST VACCINES I AM JUST ASKING QUESTIONS BECAUSE I WANT THEM TO BE SAFE FOR OUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN!!!!!" Celebrity radio blabbermouth Robert F Kennedy jr uses that one all the time.

Getting to the meat of your comment, how can we be sure that you are not just a shape shifting reptilian overlord? They often are assigned to this planet for the purpose of torturing and manipulating us, just as you are attempting to do with your incoherent nonsense and your empty posturing?

By Robert L Bell (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

bullying

Just stop it with that word, I've had enough.

* Oh, wait, NVIC already has: “Transmission of diphtheria can occur in vaccinated individuals who become asymptomatic carriers of the disease as a result of the vaccine.”

Jesus wept, these people are pathological douchecanoes.

My late grandfather qualified as a surgeon in London in the 30s. According to my late Dad, Grandfather once performed an operation on a young boy with diphtheria, without anesthetic, because it was either that or the kid was going to die right then and there. And even if the operation was successful (it was) you didn't have antibiotics, so you could still lose the patient. A child, a small boy, who would ultimately flail around, gasping, panicking, until he could move no longer. Which my Granddad had witnessed, in other small children. That was only 85 or so years ago, in a large city with comparatively great facilities.

Delphine: "Just stop it with that word, I’ve had enough."

Oh, yes. Please stop it.

Though she was probably one of the types that ran into me with a bicycle, called me names (it includes one that is a reason why I dislike my full given name, apparently it was "weird" in the 1960s), shunned me and made my life miserable in fourth grade. Heaven forbid that you should accept and befriend someone who moved to your small town because the Army base forty miles away had a housing shortage.

Also, my oldest son was bullied just because he is autistic. Go figure. (though he has fought back at least once, see note... plus he got crushes on female classmates who defended him in high school)

At least it prepared me for what I had to deal with as a parent of a disabled child. I grew a backbone by the time I entered fifth grade in not only a new school but in another country. This backbone helped me deal with the elementary school "concerned" parents who wanted my son's special ed program removed from their campus, make sure that its new playground was disability friendly (ramp, activities for deaf/blind, etc.), and dealt with the fact that even though we invited all kinds to his birthday parties* ---- he only got invited to parties for kids in his special ed. program.

By the way, he realized he was being discriminated by the kids in his mainstream classes. He had done his best to friendly to a new kid in class who moved here from Europe. But then that kid who appreciated someone not looking at him as strange decided my son was not worthy of his friendship and excluded him from his birthday party.

My son is autistic, not stupid. A while later in third grade they ran into each other in the changing room after swim classes. According that child's mom he said something to her precious child that was upsetting. My son saw her son and just said "I hate you" and then went on his way. Sorry "upset mom", that made me a bit proud.

* Birthday parties for my sons were always weird and different. First my boys' birthdays are only four days apart, other than one sleepover party, they have always been joint parties. Second It is interesting when you see all of the sorts of behaviors from the child who is ADHD autistic and the child with echolia who recites the Beatrix Potter stories the entire time.

On the movie-making topic, Denice Walter might remember this from three years ago:

And here’s another one: ( @AoA) “Canary Kids” declares that
“we have the power to stop the autism epidemic in its tracks”.. and how will they do that?
They’ll create a film to spread the gospel of anti-vax plus**, funded by ” parents, scientists, writers, and people who ‘get it'” utiilising the services of an “award-winning documentary director and former law partner”, Mary Mazzio.
[...]
There’s a new condition, called “almost autism” which includes just about every chronic condition. The film makers will follow seven children with autism, asthma, ADHD, chronic Lyme and other conditions, providing them with free alt med services for 18 months, documenting the startling “transformation” that will most certainly occur.
This masterpeiece is being initiated by Beth Lambert of Epidemic Answers: they have 70K USD already and are soliciting funds for the remaining 180K USD: it’s slated for a “theatrical release”.

...followed by an Orac report:
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/02/22/almost-autism-a-new-diagno…

This came to mind because Beth Lambert is still around, still trying to raise funds off the Canary movement, now inviting contributions and community participation in a documentary "Documenting Hope" -- basically an advertisement for DAN that doesn't actually mention DAN.
ht_tp://documentinghope.com/the-team/

The idea seems to be to mobilise enthusiasm from individual families, and rely on their vanity to pay for the whole project.

"Documenting Hope" is affiliated to and sponsoring this "Autism Intensive Online Summit"... a collection of pay-to-watch advertisements from the usual congregation of autism grifters and scoundrels, organised by a supplement pill-pimp who's trying to enlarge his grift:
ht_tp://theautismintensive.com/

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

We seem to accept that large pharmaceutical corporations are only concerned with shareholder’s profits and the next quarter’s balance sheet when they unethically raise the cost of HIV-AIDS medication

Lucy, could you go into something resembling detail about this ART assertion in the real world, or was it just random glue between "slurs," "slurs," "bullying," and "slurs"?

[Y]ou’ve called everyone calling for more research into vaccine safety conspiracy theorists, crop circle chasers, cranks, quacks...

No. He's called people who demanded research into vaccine safety because they wanted their preconceived notions that vaccines were bad confirmed "conspiracy theorists, cranks and quacks". He's called people who reject the results of research that fail to confirm their biases about vaccines "conspiracy theorists, cranks and quacks".

...diminish and reduce anyone who takes a different position in the debate...

There is no "debate". Vaccines work and are far safer than the diseases they prevent.

[S]o dismissive of a documentary you’ve not even seen.

That "documentary" was made by a man who was hired to find evidence against MMR, subjected autistic children to needless and traumatic medical procedures, cooked the data when it failed to support the MMR-Autism hypothesis, and failed to disclose his conflicts of interest. In short, it is almost certain to be another load of lies.

And yet, anyone asking perfectly reasonable questions...

The questions being asked are not reasonable. All too often, they are leading or loaded (JAQing Off) or have been answered already but the answers are rejected because they contradict the antivaxxers beliefs.
As for your remarks about bullying, from an autistic whose social ineptitude made him a target for bullies (including teachers)...
Find an erupting volcano and jump in.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Narad

Then again, infection-based immunity doesn’t prevent carriage either.

Indeed. One can even say that the whole point of an infection is for the responsible bug to implant itself in its host and to spread to other hosts.

@ Lucy Johnson

And yet, anyone asking perfectly reasonable questions

It's OK to ask questions, but are you willing to listen to the answers?
The previous decade following this pseudo-debate has showed me that most of your antivaxers colleagues are not. Those who are willing to listen stop being antivaxers.

Case in point with the crowd surrounding Wakefield. No matter how many times his wrongdoings are pointed and documented, he remains above all reproaches.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

I'm a writer and study language — and what I'm primarily looking at here, in the debate on vaccines (yes there is a debate, there has been for decades, and the reason for this is because it isn't just individual vaccines being questioned over safety, but the safety and timing of the schedule and the age of the subjects. In Science, real science, there is ALWAYS debate, or its not proper science, but dogma, but we can have a discussion on this another time.)

What I find interesting is language and the way its used in these sorts of discussions. For example:

If I didn’t know better, I would suspect that you are pulling the classic crackpot [<-------slur, this is designed to dehumanise the questioner and also anyone who might be reading this with doubts or even objections to how language might be used or IS being used against people with different opinions. And note the BLANKET nature of the slur. The speaker means EVERYONE. It's the blanket nature, much like the opening lines in the first paragraph which indicates a dogmatic, rather than scientific approach.] dodge [<------ this word also has highly negative connotations, ones of dishonesty. The use of it is designed to IMMEDIATELY call into question the integrity of the speaker (me) and sends a signal that my opinions, because of their critical nature, are not worth responding seriously. This is a form of gas-lighting, and very subtle.] of “I AM NOT AGAINST VACCINES I AM JUST ASKING QUESTIONS BECAUSE I WANT THEM TO BE SAFE FOR OUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN!!!!!” [<--- and a twisted reframing of the post, again a form of gas lighting the purpose of which is to minimise and dismiss the speaker further. Note the use of '!!!!', the subtle implication here being that the speaker, in this case me, lacks education. You don't know my levels of education, of course, but the reframing helps to create the impression that the speaker knows very little.) Celebrity radio blabbermouth [<-- another slur, deftly inserted. We don't know, or at least cannot verify, whether the radio host IS a blabbermouth or is just a journalist doing his job -- I'm British and don't have access to his show, and cannot verify this -- but let's for a second suppose he deserves the slur of blabbermouth, much as David Icke ACTUALLY deserves the table of 'crackpot'. By likening, straight off the bat, the speaker to someone objectionable, the responder immediately creates a negative impression. Again, you don't have listen to this person, they're not worth listening to, minimisation and dismissal.] Robert F Kennedy jr uses that one all the time (<--- and a blanket statement example which is impossible to verify, especially for a British person.]

Note several things about this response. How many slurs were used and how dismissive the language is. My post above was actually about the way peoople are treated and the way language is used, not about the safety of vaccines per say. But note now language is twisted and reframed. Now lets look at how Mr Bell, responding to my comment continues, having dismissed and minimised in his first paragraph. What we see here is classic 'escalation'.

Getting to the meat of your comment, how can we be sure that you are not just a shape shifting reptilian overlord? [<---- MASSIVE slur. Here he makes a DIRECT connection to David Icke and real 'crackpots'. Note I haven't disclosed anything about what my views are, I've just made a comment on language, but because the comment is a critical one in a discussion on vaccines, even if it's not critical OF vaccines, this means I could be a potential dissenting voice, and therefore must be rooted out and dismissed. This sort of abusive, smearing language can be seen everywhere where there are parents of autistic children involved in discussions of this nature.] They often are assigned to this planet for the purpose of torturing and manipulating us, [The escalation of the slur, now reaches a crescendo, having used the dehumanising 'crackpot' slurs in the first paragraph and reduced me, a human being, to a mere lable that can be comfortably abused] just as you are attempting to do with your incoherent nonsense [<--- and here we are again. There was in fact nothing incoherent about my post. I wrote in very clear English, as is my wont, given the fact I'm a writer I'm rather good at it. I was also a lawyer and therefore trained not to be incoherent. But this is the ultimate linguistic dismissal. Mr Bell does not say HOW my post was 'incoherent' or 'nonsensical'. This is just another slur, this time directed at the 'meat' of my comment to dismiss it completely.] and your empty [<--- and another dismissive adjective, of course, unsubstantiated. How was what I said empty? No EVIDENCE. Just slurs.] posturing?[ open slurs and outright dismissal.

Thank you for being the object lesson here that proves my point above Mr Bell.

How we use language is important. How discussions are framed is important. And how we TREAT each other is important.

Miss Delphine above wants us to stop using the word 'bullying'. She's had enough, apparently. Perhaps if the people doing it could stop, there would be meaningful discussion.

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

In Science, real science, there is ALWAYS debate, or its not proper science, but dogma, but we can have a discussion on this another time.)

Sigh. Science is not philosophy. What is true and false is not decided in a debate, but through evidence - and the evidence speaks for vaccines being safe and effective. There is no need for further debate on "vaccine safety" than there is for evolution, gravity or that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around.

Amethyst, I'm sorry, that's just not correct. Science is 'natural' philosophy and there are very, very few scientific principles which are not open to further development or knowledge --especially in the are of biochemistry and the brain, where so little is known in the first place, there is always room to further our knowledge. As you say, empirical evidence (which also includes properly recording points of qualitative data and clinical observation).

A fact in science is provisional until we know more. There is ALWAYS cause and effect. There is no such thing as the autoimmunity fairy that strikes down children. If you don't know what the cause is, you do more research, not just say 'sh*t happens'.

Of course there's a debate. I was at a conference last year where the debate between scientists was in full swing. If anyone EVER says to you 'science has conclusively proved x' then they're peddling dogma, not science.

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

Hogwash. There are several "things" that have been proven to be true without a shadow of a doubt in science.

"Science has conclusively proven that the earth revolves around the sun."

It is true that science constantly challenges itself, and that is why it is such a great tool to use, but that does not lead towards the conclusion that 'everything' should be constantly questioned and challenged. Also, I take issue with this:

Science is ‘natural’ philosophy and there are very, very few scientific principles which are not open to further development or knowledge

That was very dishonest of you. In no way or form did I ever say that science should not be "open to further development or knowledge" - I said that debates is not the way to do it. As someone who throws the fact that she is a writer around like no tomorrow, you should've known better than to strawman me. I mean, really now.

“Science has conclusively proven that the earth revolves around the sun.” <--- in the field of astronomy, much further down the road than biochemistry. Not all disciplines are at the same level of knowledge. Planets going around the sun, electrons going around a nucleus, these things are comparatively simple compared with highly complex biological systems. It is factually incorrect for you to say that we know everything there is it know about science in terms of biochemistry. Once again, we deal only with probabilities and likelihoods. Take physics. E=0.5m(v-squared) is Newtonian physics and works very well as an 'absolute' fact. Until of course v, velocity, reaches the speed of light. Then it changes. The fact was provisional until Einstein came along with E = m (c-squared). Even in Physics, where things are simpler and principles established for longer, there's still room to know more. But when it comes to highly complex biological systems, about which we know comparatively little compared with our knowledge of physics, there's even more room. Science has not conclusively proved the safety of the current vaccine schedule because not enough studies, have been done in the area. There's no need to call into question my integrity (count number 2 for this discussion). I'm not 'dishonest', I'm pointing out your farming and examples of physics aren't the best ones to use with biology. :)

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 23 Mar 2016 #permalink

It is factually incorrect for you to say that we know everything there is it know about science in terms of biochemistry

Not only factually incorrect, but a downright idiotic thing to say - good thing I never did.

I'm not 'dishonest', I'm pointing out your farming and examples of physics aren't the best ones to use with biology

You're dishonest to the max, actually. Not only through your constant misrepresentation of what I'm saying, but for your generally sneaky argumentation tactics:

Just because we don't know everything in the field of bio-chemistry as a whole does not mean vaccines aren't safe and effective. I'll gladly give you the fact that there is much to be discovered in the field.

I swear, it is like arguing with a Creationist using the "God of the gaps"-fallacy. Jeesh.

You’re dishonest to the max, actually. Not only through your constant misrepresentation of what I’m saying, but for your generally sneaky argumentation tactics:

Just because we don’t know everything in the field of bio-chemistry as a whole does not mean vaccines aren’t safe and effective. I’ll gladly give you the fact that there is much to be discovered in the field.

I swear, it is like arguing with a Creationist using the “God of the gaps”-fallacy. Jeesh.

Okay, since I came on here to point out about how language is used.

1. You used physics as an example of conclusive facts in science to argue that 'science' had conclusively proved the safety of vaccines. An example from physics, to talk about complex biological systems. I haven't twisted anything you said.

2. You said there is 'no debate' when actually, there most certainly is a debate, not only a debate within the scientific community but in society at large. By framing the argument in terms of 'science has conclusively proved x' you demonstration you either 1) don't understand what scientific consensus actually is or 2) are using science to back up a dogma or preconceived idea.

3. Throughout your posts, and others, we see, again, the use of slurs and personal insult, and comparison with 'crackpot' ideology. Creationist, this time. Maybe I should have made a bingo card.

I'm not mis-respenting what you're saying. You're saying that science has conclusively proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the current vaccine schedule as it is rolled out to under fives is safe and effective for all children, and that this has been conclusively proved, so there is 'no debate.' If I have misunderstood this, then I apologise. Your argument is flawed because it rests on a wrong understanding of what science is. When its pointed out, you whip out the slurs. "Dishonest" and "just like a Creationist" <---- this last statement is designed to undermine the fact you've got your understanding of science wrong and used apples (physics) to compare oranges (biochemistry). Note how quickly the slurs emerge.

Just because someone disagrees with you, does not make them dishonest.

And once again, it comes back to HOW the debate is framed, and the LANGUAGE that's used. When discussing with parents and critics of the vaccine schedule, there is always slurring language used. Always. And that suggests its dogma, politics, and just plain abuse, rather than actual science.

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

You used physics as an example of conclusive facts in science to argue that ‘science’ had conclusively proved the safety of vaccines. An example from physics, to talk about complex biological systems. I haven’t twisted anything you said.

You're either misrepresenting me, or suffering from an epic a reading comprehension fail. Pick your posion Mrs. Writer.

I am not using these examples of physics to argue for examples of biochemistry. That is absurd. I am obviously using things like heliocentrism to show that there are indeed things that are not up for debate in science; facts proven beyond the shadow of a doubt - nothing more, nothing less.

Throughout your posts, and others, we see, again, the use of slurs and personal insult, and comparison with ‘crackpot’ ideology. Creationist, this time. Maybe I should have made a bingo card.

... "Creationist" is not a slur. And the reason I compared you to a Creationist was that you seemingly apply the same "God of the gaps" (but in this case, "Autism of the gaps") by arguing that because we don't know everything there is to know in biochemstry, vaccines could still be unsafe.

Not because I was trying to sully your credability by association - you did that all by yourself, Mrs. Writer. :)

You used physics as an example of conclusive facts in science to argue that ‘science’ had conclusively proved the safety of vaccines. An example from physics, to talk about complex biological systems. I haven’t twisted anything you said.

You’re either misrepresenting me, or suffering from an epic a reading comprehension fail. Pick your posion Mrs. Writer.

I am not using these examples of physics to argue for examples of biochemistry. That is absurd. I am obviously using things like heliocentrism to show that there are indeed things that are not up for debate in science; facts proven beyond the shadow of a doubt – nothing more, nothing less.

Throughout your posts, and others, we see, again, the use of slurs and personal insult, and comparison with ‘crackpot’ ideology. Creationist, this time. Maybe I should have made a bingo card.

… “Creationist” is not a slur. And the reason I compared you to a Creationist was that you seemingly apply the same “God of the gaps” (but in this case, “Autism of the gaps”) by arguing that because we don’t know everything there is to know in biochemstry, vaccines could still be unsafe.

Not because I was trying to sully your credability by association – you did that all by yourself, Mrs. Writer. :)

My kingdom for a comment edit function.

Lucy Johnson #110

And yet, anyone asking perfectly reasonable questions is slurred before they even open their mouths or put pen to paper.

This blog and others have followed every development of the CDC whistleblower manufactroversy since the beginning. Wakefield, Hooker et al had ample time and opportunities to "open their mouths" and "put pen to paper", and the evidence they provided has been found insufficient or even contradictory to their claims.
You can find a summary here : http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com/2014/09/mmr-cdc-and-brian-hooker-media…
Asking questions on a product's safety isn't bad in itself ; however, asking questions answered a thousand of times, and who don't have any pertinence... For example, some vaccines were pulled off the market and/or some adverse effects have been proven ; however, none of this happened thanks to activists who found there were "toxins" in vaccines.
As for the "slurs" debate, I don't always agree with the tone of this blog. However, the arguments and documentation presented make up for it. I also hope that the link I have provided will be sufficiently neutral for you to learn where our reactions come from.

A fact in science is provisional until we know more. There is ALWAYS cause and effect. There is no such thing as the autoimmunity fairy that strikes down children. If you don’t know what the cause is, you do more research, not just say ‘sh*t happens’.

On the other hand, when there is a massive preponderance of evidence supporting a scientific conclusion, that "provisional" conclusion achieves such a high degree of certainty that it takes a hell of a lot to cast doubt on it and the burden of evidence shifts from those supporting it to those who think it is incorrect or incomplete; i.e., the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, the scientific consensus that human activity is causing the climate to warm. The evidence failing to find a link between vaccines and autism has reached that point.If Wakefield has evidence that the overwhelming scientific consensus is incomplete or incorrect,, he has over the course of 18 years utterly failed to make his case or present compelling evidence to cast the consensus in doubt. Since I am very familiar with the "CDC whistleblower" case that will be at the heart of his documentary, I know with a high degree of certainty that what he will be presenting again will be smoke and mirrors and pseudoscience.

The tone of this blog is understandable to me. You can only take wading through the muck for so many years after it starts to get to you. My favourite quote from Nietzsche (from my all-time favourite game, "Baldur's Gate"!) comes to mind:

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.

And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Just replace "monsters" with "quacks" That being said, I find Orac (and the regulars) to be very respectful and most likely possessing the patience of saints.

A fact in science is provisional until we know more. There is ALWAYS cause and effect. There is no such thing as the autoimmunity fairy that strikes down children. If you don’t know what the cause is, you do more research, not just say ‘sh*t happens’.

But we ARE doing more research, and certainly not saying "sh*t happens" !
I follow autism research for my work, and there are lots of other hypothesis other than vaccines being studied. Vaccines themselves have been one of the, if not the most studied environmental hypothesis in the field ; that's why we can now reasonably say that it is time to use funds for more plausible hypothesis.
(Pretty sure my phrasing is incredibly awkward here, hope it still makes sense.)

<>

Or you fell into the slur trap most folks do? Creationist is most definitely a slur to someone trained in the scientific method, Amethyst. The use of it is language designed dismiss and minimise. My point.

<<>

LouV, thanks for coming in with something respectful.

When you actually look at what the 'activists' are saying -- the people trying to be reasonable -- is that there hasn't been sufficient research of the right kind, asking the right kind of questions. We don't actually know what causes the broad phenotypes of autistic traits, and therefore we cannot say, conclusively, that the vaccine schedule has nothing to do with it for SOME of those children. The research hasn't been done. I've looked. For example, I asked NICE (being a writer, doing an article, actually on the hysteria and scaremongering) for the clinical trial information for the testing of the whole schedule -- not just individual vaccines -- they couldnt give me it. I was stunned. I have a degree in biomedical science (one of them) and it's an elementary move if you're going to roll out a medical process to test the entire process clinically to ensure it was safe. This clinical trial was never carried out. While there had been testing of individual vaccines, the whole schedule had never been looked at. And the more I asked about it, the more cagey NICE and Immunisation Scotland and the other government agencies became. Now, am I a crackpot for asking for that study? Of course not. I was just trying to fact-check.

The reason why the debate won't go away is because of repeat parental observation -- which should be recorded as points of qualitative data-- that their children's functions regress following the vaccinations. To be fair, DTap now lists this as a side-affect, but the routine dismissal of parental observation smacks of politics, not science.

It is simply not possible -- given our current knowledge -- to say conclusively, sure-as-the-earth-goes-round-the sun conclusively, that vaccine injury does a) not occur and b) does not cause central nervous or enteric nervous system damage or c) that autoimmunity cannot result from vaccine use. This is where the real 'scientific debate' as opposed to the slurs and political mudslinging happens.

That's why the confusion of the slurring-type debates and real scientific debate is so damaging.

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

@Lucy Johnson:

I’m a writer and study language

That would be a lot more convincing if it hadn't been followed by a wall of text.

in the debate on vaccines (yes there is a debate...

Not in the way you seem to think.

it isn’t just individual vaccines being questioned over safety, but the safety and timing of the schedule and the age of the subjects.

Ah yes. The old trope of "too many too soon". Looked at years ago, and no longer questioned except by those who distrust vaccines.
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/04/01/the-death-of-too-many-too-…

The use of it is designed to IMMEDIATELY call into question the integrity of the speaker (me) and sends a signal that my opinions, because of their critical nature, are not worth responding seriously.

You're very new to this blog, aren't you? I've been reading RI for over six years now. I've seen far too many instances where a commenter like you comes in, makes a number of initially reasonable claims, then goes full antivaxx, repeating demonstrable falsities and half truths about vaccination.

How we use language is important. How discussions are framed is important. And how we TREAT each other is important.

Concern/Tone Trolling noted.

there most certainly is a debate, not only a debate within the scientific community

No. There is no debate within the scientific community. The issue has been looked at in great depth. Vaccines are effective and an order of magnitude safer than the diseases they prevent. The schedule was carefully thought out to maximize effectiveness and minimize risk.

Just because someone disagrees with you, does not make them dishonest.

Another straw man. Multiple large studies, including a meta-analysis looking at literally millions of subjects, were done on the subject of vaccines causing autism. No link was found. Each time, vaccine "sceptics" responded by shifting the goalposts. "It's an ingredient in the vaccines!" This was checked and refuted. "The schedule overloads the immune system!" Also checked and refuted.
There is no debate. Just a bunch of loudmouths shouting nasty things about vaccines because they reject the evidence put before them.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

Or you fell into the slur trap most folks do? Creationist is most definitely a slur to someone trained in the scientific method, Amethyst. The use of it is language designed dismiss and minimise. My point.

Your point is invalid. I did not simply call you a Creationist to dismiss/smear you - THAT would've been the situation you explained above.

No, I called you a Creationist because you created your own "God of the gaps"-fallacy by calling attention to the fact that we don't know all there is to know about biochemistry and as such vaccines might still be unsafe - "Autism of the gaps".

Untwist your panties, please. Also, I am pretty sure I already explained my usage of the term Creationist Before. In one ear, out in the other, I suppose.

@ Lucy Johnson

I’m not mis-respenting what you’re saying. You’re saying that science has conclusively proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the current vaccine schedule as it is rolled out to under fives is safe and effective for all children, and that this has been conclusively proved, so there is ‘no debate.’

Your criticism is technically true. There is always room for more research.
But in the context of Wakefield, vaccination, and autism - which is the topic of this blog post and the topic of the movie we are decrying -, Amethyst position is correct.

We didn't say that vaccines are always safe. But as far as autism is concerned, the current state of research is strongly on the "not connected" side.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

When you actually look at what the ‘activists’ are saying — the people trying to be reasonable

"The people trying to be reasonable"?!?! Are you kidding me?! As I pointed out above, these people aren't reasonable. They demanded that research be done into vaccines and autism, and when the results contradicted their notions, they doubled down and demanded more research. That's not reasonable. "Reasonable" is changing your ideas when the data contradicts them.

We don’t actually know what causes the broad phenotypes of autistic traits, and therefore we cannot say, conclusively, that the vaccine schedule has nothing to do with it for SOME of those children.

The "susceptible subgroup" is another antivaccine trope. Remember that meta-analysis I mentioned? It looked at over 14 million children. If vaccines caused even a minority of cases of autism, it would have been picked up. It wasn't.

The research hasn’t been done. I’ve looked.

Then you didn't look very hard.

It is simply not possible...to say conclusively...that vaccine injury does a) not occur

Another strawman. Nobody has said that vaccine injury does not occur.

and b) does not cause central nervous or enteric nervous system damage

Very well. Propose a mechanism how that could occur please.

or c) that autoimmunity cannot result from vaccine use.

See my comment to your Point 1.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

I've done the research, but I've not found a single study to disprove vaccines turning children into werewolves.

More research is needed before I deem them safe!

How many horror movies involve unvaccinated Amish children turning into werewolves? NONE.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Julian Frost

You’re very new to this blog, aren’t you?

'twas my first thought, too.

@ Lucy Johnson

Robert F Kennedy jr uses that one all the time (<— and a blanket statement example which is impossible to verify, especially for a British person.]

Orac usually put links to previous articles of him about the topic he is referring about. Or you have the search box on the top right.
Ah, but these other articles are also by Orac, and will show the same bias, you will tell me.
Well, in these articles discussing Robert F Kennedy jr, you will get links sending you to the newspaper interview, press conference or whatever medium was used by RFKjr to express his opinions.
Do you research and judge by yourself.

I asked NICE [...] for the clinical trial information for the testing of the whole schedule — not just individual vaccines — they couldnt give me it. I was stunned. I have a degree in biomedical science (one of them) and it’s an elementary move if you’re going to roll out a medical process to test the entire process clinically to ensure it was safe. This clinical trial was never carried out. While there had been testing of individual vaccines, the whole schedule had never been looked at.

The elementary move is to test the new procedure against the previous standard of care.
So, just to be sure of what you want: When a new vaccine is added to the vaccination schedule, should it be tested:
- added to the current schedule vs the unmodified schedule
- as part of the whole new schedule, to be tested on people vs people not receiving any vaccination
- following a third option you could expand on?

In the first case, the study boils down to individually testing the new vaccine in people already vaccinated with the rest of the schedule. Which is that was done.
In the second case, well. Could you spot the few ethical issues with a vax vs unvax study?
Ethical issues which arise whether you believe that vaccines work, or that they cause harm.

And the more I asked about it, the more cagey NICE and Immunisation Scotland and the other government agencies became.

Since you were essentially telling them "drop the current vaccination policy and start a multi-billion-dollar study to assuage my fears", they may be wont to react this way. Disrupting an established health policy and having more work on their plates are not things they would like much.
Of course, if you could establish the need for such a study...

tl;dr:
Could you, in fact, describe in some detail the type of study you would like to be done?

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

Oh, goodness. I take a quiet evening away and we get a verbose warrier mommy who re-words every anti-vaccine trope (so we don't identify that she's JAQing off) and throws Wall o'Text at us.

Lucy Johnson: before coming and calling all research into doubt: do some actual research. Don't accuse the regulars of denying true things - i.e. "vaccines don't cause injury" when no one on this blog EVER denies that vaccines have a risk - it's just that the risk is minuscule compared to the actual disease risk.

As far as the vaccinated becoming asymptomatic carriers - would you prefer unvaccinated carriers? Or the acknowledgement that we all make that herd immunity is important to protect those who CAN'T be vaccinated or who (like me) don't mount an adequate response so depend on the herd.

And you could answer some of the questions asked very respectfully - like Chris'

Blech. Sorry for incoherence. Need more coffee.

If anyone here can point me in the direction of a clinical, double blind, randomised trial of the entire vaccine schedule as it is currently administered to under-fives, please, do it. I want to read it. I've asked for it. No one so far has been able to do it. For Amathyst, a clinical double-blind randomised trial looking specifically at neurological impacts is the study I'm looking for, and which, so far, no one has been able to point me towards.

No one knows what causes the broad phenotype so of autism. Current thinking concludes that is its a combination of heritable AND environmental factors. What those environmental factors are, we don't know, because not enough research has been done. Of course, if you can point me in the direction of clinical trials...

Julian, there is a difference between the Icke-lizard crackpot camp, and those people, like myself, looking at the corpus of evidence used in the past and emerging today. Caught in the middle are suffering families and children -- who are repeatadly told that 1) we don't know what caused the autism but 2) it's defeinately not vaccines. How do you know? The logical fallacy of this is obvious. If you don't know what caused the autistic traits, YOU DONT KNOW.

Now, there is a corpus of scientific evidence suggesting that regressive autism (autism you acquire or develop) as opposed to congenital autism present from birth are different conditions, the former being an autoimmune disorders. Papers have appeared in Autominity and other reputable journals to this effect. IF that is the case, and the emerging research into the causes of autistic regression suggests a form of autoimmunity, then it is LOGICAL to return to the things children's immune systems are exposed to. Like vaccines, which contain a number of ingredients known to stimulate immune response. Given the high degree of autoimmune co-morbidity with regressive autistic children (nut allergies, athsma, etc) it is LOGICAL to look at autoimmunity as a possible cause of neurological damage. The brain and the body are not discrete.

This is what the current scientific debates -- and they are debates, real ones -- are focused on. Overly simplifying the scientific debate and conflating it 'David Icke Crackpots vs Reasonable People' type hysteria is NOT helpful, or respectful and does both the scientific community and the families an extreme dis-service. Amethysts simplification and slurring is typical of the nonsense we have to endure every time two people with a different point of view come together to discuss this. (So far we've had were wolfs, lizards. I have a space on my 'abuse bingo card' for space aliens and the New World Order. Someone say it! I need a full house!)

I do hope nothing I've said in this post is 'unreasonable'. It's time certain sections of the pro-vaccination campaign start acknowledging there is actually a healthy, lively debate in academia over this, and stop slurring and lumping everyone into the crackpot basket. I think we can do better than this.

I'm mostly interested in the way the language of these discussions and debates are framed, but if anyone can actually point me in the direction of the double-blind randomised clinical trial of the entire vaccine schedule then please produce it.

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

When you actually look at what the ‘activists’ are saying — the people trying to be reasonable — is that there hasn’t been sufficient research of the right kind, asking the right kind of questions.

This is why I posted the link summarizing the whole "CDC whistleblower" affair, so that you can judge if Wakefield and co have been acting "reasonable" and "asking the right kind of questions". I don't see how their attitude during this farce brought anything constructive on the table ; quite the opposite.

I am puzzled by the "we only looked at individual vaccines, not the whole schedule" argument. Even if we ignore the existence of the 2014 meta-analysis, DeStefano 2013, or Smith 2010 ; aren't the majority of vaccinated children in individual vaccines studies vaccinated according to the schedule anyway ? If it was really "too many vaccines at once", wouldn't we see at least some kind of signal even in individual vaccines studies ?

Regarding possible vulnerable subgroups, see also : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25898051

While I can't say, for a specific case, that no vaccine played even a partial role in autism apparition, I still can say this is probably the case, and that a parent who claims vaccines were responsible is probably wrong.
(I avoid having this kind of conversation in general, too much chance the parent will feel insulted when it is not my intention. )

(Oh, saw Helianthus' answer @147, saying the same thing as me)

LouV,

I'm not talking about a broad epidemiological study. I'm talking about controlled, double-blinded randomised clinical studies looking specifically and vaccinated cohorts (usually this is done with primates) against control groups. Studies that meet the gold standard of clinical research, done PRIOR to rolling out the schedule. It hasn't been done. There is a reason why double-blind trials, rather than after-the-fact studies, are so important.

Thanks for your nbic paper, I will look at it (I have an appointment right now so I'll have to come back to you on it), and I do try always to read the papers people refer me to.

However, if the growing corpus of evidence suggests that regressive autism and autoimmunity are linked, for example, this paper in Nature:

http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v7/n4/full/4001137a.html

Then we many have to accept that the role of immune interventions (like vaccines) has yet to be fully explored. It's therefore not wise to say there is 'no debate' or 'no validity' in concerns, case closed and you are a crackpot if you say different. The case is far from closed, and the use of slurs and dehuminising, dismissive language whenever this is discussed is particularly telling. But thank you for not flinging lables. I promise I will read the paper you linked me to later today.

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

MI Dawn, I think you need to go back and read again what I actually said -- with coffee. My posts were about blanket slurring and smearing., You'll see above I actually analysed the language used by Robert Bell above to demonstrate how languages is used to dismiss concerns in these sorts of discussions. I hear you, and I agree with you, I just don't accept that this was the thrust of what I was saying or that you can ascribe those opinions to me. I too have coffee...and now I really must get going. I'll come back when I've read the papers Lou linked me to. :)

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

And once again, my thanks to Lou and Dawn for an informative and helpful discussion without finger pointing, name calling, or Slur Bingo. :)

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

A cruical first step would be to actually present a plausible hypothesis as to HOW vaccines would cause autism. AFAIK the anti-vaxxers have done no such thing. If anything, they all present such a cornucopia of possible causes that leaves them on an even shoddier leg to stand on! The causes of autism in vaccines are just as varied as the individual quacks and their wonder treatments.

Lucy - there isn't even a solid foundation to begin "more research" on at the moment. A rallying cry for "more research" is utterly pointless until we actually have something to test for.

Lucy: tell us HOW you could create the controlled, double-blinded randomised clinical studies. How many children would you need? How would you randomise the children? I certainly wouldn't want MY children in the "unvaccinated" arm, and I'm sure that parents who don't want vaccines wouldn't want their kids in the "vaccinated" arm, even if no one knew which arm they were in. I don't chose to take that risk.

How would you get IRB approval? No IRB in the world will approve withholding a proven medical intervention.

Please answer those questions. Also - please reference the vaccines that were added to the schedule WITH blinded testing. Note that polio was added that way, as was the HPV vaccine. Also note we no longer routinely give the smallpox vaccine because we were able to eradicate it and the risk of the vaccine is now greater than the risk of the disease.

@ Lucy Johnson

If anyone here can point me in the direction of a clinical, double blind, randomised trial of the entire vaccine schedule as it is currently administered to under-fives

So you want a vax vs unvax study, on children.
Sounds familiar.
How do you feel about telling parents: "we are going to inject you little baby with something which could be an useless saline solution, so if they catch measles, diphteria, mump, and are harmed by the infection... Well, tough luck."

The difference with injecting a vaccine and getting autism as a side-effect? We don't have a real basis to think that vaccines can do that. And since autism happens in non-vaccinated children, clearly something else is, if not the sole, at least a major cause.
OTOH, medical chronicles from the past century and beyond are perfectly clear on what happens to newborns who catch the wild form of now-vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. A good number of them suffer and a few of them die.

who are repeatadly told that 1) we don’t know what caused the autism but 2) it’s defeinately not vaccines. How do you know? The logical fallacy of this is obvious.

Only if you dismiss the studies already done. Or what we know about how the immune system works.

Also, I assume you want this study you ask for to be done on the UK vaccine schedule. It's not the same as the French one. Or the US one. Or the Japanese one.
Be precise in what you ask, please. You don't want people to think you are making open-ended demands so you always have a way out.

But just in case, Orac is discussing a German study from 2011 here

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

It's all very well and good to ask for something that can't be done, and then point out that the testing you want hasn't been done, while conveniently ignoring the instances in which it HAS been done.

Lucy, sure. I mean, leaving aside the ethics behind leaving a huge group of people unprotected (let's do a double-blind study of hand antisepsis in the OR while we're at it...I mean, the last one of those was Semmelweis in the 19th century!), we can.

But I do have a question: would you, or any other "vaccine concerned parent," volunteer your child? Would you allow yourself to be blinded as to whether or not your child is receiving a real vaccine, or saline in a syringe?

I can say unequivocally, I would never allow my child to be a part of it, simply because I would never allow my child to go unprotected, ESPECIALLY if I didn't know. I mean, the public health hit would be astronomical if there was an outbreak--tracking and testing children, then subsequently RUINING the study because ooops! Now it's not blinded anymore, we know who is who know, you know, in order to prevent more people from getting sick and the morbidity/mortality that comes with these diseases, but I wonder how many people asking for this impossible study--which again, leaving ethics aside, is pretty much statistically and feasably impossible--would be willing to take part in it?

Oh, no, that's everyone else's responsibility. Just like how the rest of us maintain herd immunity in the face of the VERY SMALL risk vaccines present; people who "question" are only able to do so because they're being kept safe by those of us who fulfill our societal obligation. I have no doubt whatsoever the burden of this would be expected from just as well.

By Frequent Lurker (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

@Helianthus: thanks...I forgot to ask about which schedule, though I assume she means the US schedule since it has the most vaccines (IIRC, approx 50 total for the 5 years from birth to age 5 IF you count every flu vaccine)

Ah. Calling for a vaxed/unvaxed study, then claiming to be "just asking questions"? Check.

Wanting to "hear both sides of the argument" while only listening to one side? Check.

Claiming to always read documents put to her, then ignoring those that demonstrate how wrong she is? Check.

Fairly standard antivaxer behaviour in my book, although I can't immediately find anything on her blog. Mind you, that stops four years ago, so maybe antivax wingnuttery is a new hobby.

By Rebecca Fisher (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

@Lucy Johnson

Caught in the middle are suffering families and children — who are repeatadly told that 1) we don’t know what caused the autism but 2) it’s defeinately not vaccines. How do you know?

Did you not read what I wrote? Here it is again.
"Multiple large studies, including a meta-analysis looking at literally millions of subjects, were done on the subject of vaccines causing autism. No link was found."
And:
"Remember that meta-analysis I mentioned? It looked at over 14 million children. If vaccines caused even a minority of cases of autism, it would have been picked up. It wasn’t."

The logical fallacy of this is obvious. If you don’t know what caused the autistic traits, YOU DONT KNOW.

The fact that we can't say precisely what causes autism doesn't mean we can't exclude things. In the case of vaccines, the studies have been done. The fact that you don't like the answers doesn't invalidate them.

Re your paragraph on autoimmunity as a possible cause of regressive autism, why look at vaccines? A full blown illness exposes the body to multiple times more antigens than is in the entire vaccine schedule. In fact, in your supposition, an illness is far more likely to cause regressive autism that the vaccines.

Overly simplifying the scientific debate and conflating it ‘David Icke Crackpots vs Reasonable People’ type hysteria is NOT helpful

Yet ANOTHER straw man. One does not have to be a "David Icke Crackpot" to be irrational about vaccination.

I do hope nothing I’ve said in this post is ‘unreasonable’

You failed. Your use of the straw man fallacy was unreasonable. In addition:

a clinical double-blind randomised trial looking specifically at neurological impacts is the study I’m looking for

is also unrealistic.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

Lucy Johnson:

Would that be a "clinical, double blind, randomised trial of the entire vaccine schedule as it is currently administered to under-fives" with Roundup, acetaminophen, or french fries?

Hey, we wouldn't want to start a clinical, double blind (better not tell the kid), randomised trial, come back in ten years and find we forgot something, would we?

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

I see that Lucy's posts can be summarized as:

1) Big Pharma is Bad, therefore everything it produces is suspect, no matter what research and clinical experience shows.
2) We don't know what causes autism, therefore it could be vaccines, no matter what research and clinical experience shows.
3) Some of you are Mean To Me, and that is far more important than what others have patiently pointed out about the results of research and clinical experience.

Standard stuff from the land of antivax.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Julian, #165:

See, I told y'all - "autism of the gaps".

"We still don't know what causes autism, therefore vaccines!"

"We still don't know there isn't a god, therefore god!"

Once again, my kingdom for an edit function! That was directed at #163 of course!

I’m talking about controlled, double-blinded randomised clinical studies looking specifically and vaccinated cohorts (usually this is done with primates) against control groups.

If we are talking about non-human primates, there is this study : http://www.pnas.org/content/112/40/12498.abstract
(However, I don't have the skills to comment on its pertinence (number of groups, number of subjects, etc.))

I was at a conference last year where the debate between scientists was in full swing.

I'm late to the discussion, but I'd like to know. Which conference, and the topic of the debate?

As to the tone of this blog and associated comments - sure, there is snark and 'insolence'. But if that's all there was it wouldn't be worth a darn. There is also evidence given for the positions held. Citations are provided (well, maybe not links to a vaxed vs unvaxed study, because they don't exist) and knowledge freely shared, by both our host and his associated minions.

If you want straight snark, go to 4chan. If you want "science" (note the quotes) without evidence, go to AoA. If you want to learn something, hang around.

The reason why the debate won’t go away is because of repeat parental observation — which should be recorded as points of qualitative data– that their children’s functions regress following the vaccinations.

Ever hear of repetition confirmation? Do you see the echo-chambers these parents get themselves into?

To be fair, DTap now lists this as a side-affect, but the routine dismissal of parental observation smacks of politics, not science.

No DTaP does not list this as a "side-affect". The package inserts list everything reported to them during clinical trials. They are not side-affects.

I see others have explained the unethical nature of an RCT to you. But the fact that you even spewed this out reveals your bias and your sources of information.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

According to Ms Johnson, the only way we can study the effects of vaccines is by the classical ( and unethical) unvax/ vax study. Actually, there are other ways to investigate what side effects vaccines may have that are not problematic- which have already been done. Someone mentioned the German study comparing kids who were vaccinated to those who weren't. There are international reports of injuries that have been vetted. Different schedules can be compared. Children who have been vaccinated less, later or on a looser schedule have been studied. There are also mathematical means that separate the effects of different variables- such as different vaccines . Believe me, they exist but I won't go into them.

Thus, Orac and his minions, are not supporting vaccination without evidence- it's not a philosophy or a political position: the truth is, most of us are steeped in this stuff because we have been reading this and other sources for years.

Furthermore, RI contains handy dandy internet miracles called the LINK and the SEARCH BOX. If utiised properly, these marvelous innovations will reveal what our esteemed host- and his dutiful underlings- already know:
- Wakefield's results were not replicated; he even refused to re-do the study
- other research shows that vaccines DON"T CAUSE AUTISM- many, many studies from around the world
- vaccines injuries are indeed rare
- there is a genetic component to autism.

In addition,
psychological research explains why people may believe autism is caused by vaccination:
- parental recall is not reliable
- people attribute negative events in interesting ways
- anti-vaccination groups manipulate information to suit their own ends
- people in groups think differently

Wakefield was investigated by the press and the GMC as well as having his research contradicted by other research both prior to and after his scam. The biological mechanisms he proposed are quite preposterous.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

Well, Ms. Johnson, I am very put out. I asked you a very basic science question about which out of four MMR vaccines Dr. Wakefield's 1998 case study was about ---- and you ignored me! I am extremely upset that with all of your wall of text about how science should be done, that you totally forgot to answer me.

Though you did say: "I’m not talking about a broad epidemiological study. I’m talking about controlled, double-blinded randomised clinical studies looking specifically and vaccinated cohorts (usually this is done with primates) against control groups. Studies that meet the gold standard of clinical research, done PRIOR to rolling out the schedule. It hasn’t been done"

Well, if you can't get it done right, do it yourself. That is what my mother used to tell me. So go do it. Ms. Johnson use all of your supreme science and writing expertise to design that study, making sure it conforms to the Declaration of Helsinki, get it approved by an IRB, and then write a grant to get it funded. I am sure Autism Trust, the Dwoskin Family and others would love to fund your ten year study. Then go recruit the several thousand test subjects whose families don't care if they are vaccinated or not --- and get it done.

Don't whine to us about. Especially since you can't be bothered to answer my simple question about which out of four MMR vaccines Wakefield studied.

Ms. Johnson: "To be fair, DTap now lists this as a side-affect, but the routine dismissal of parental observation smacks of politics, not science. "

Uh, no. We know that classic trope, and noticed you did not provide a link. It was the Tripedia DTaP which discontinued five years ago.

Try something fresh and new: like real evidence instead of clattering a stale wall of text on your keyboard.

***Well, Ms. Johnson, I am very put out. I asked you a very basic science question about which out of four MMR vaccines Dr. Wakefield’s 1998 case study was about —- and you ignored me! I am extremely upset that with all of your wall of text about how science should be done, that you totally forgot to answer me.***

Of course I didn't, I just didn't see your comment. I'll go back now and look for it, when I have time,because right now I have about 3 million more pressing things to do.

***Well, if you can’t get it done right, do it yourself. That is what my mother used to tell me. So go do it. Ms. Johnson use all of your supreme science and writing expertise to design that study, making sure it conforms to the Declaration of Helsinki, get it approved by an IRB, and then write a grant to get it funded***

My point is, why wasn't it done before the schedule was rolled out? it's not my role or remit to do clinical trials, Mr Chris. I was just looking for the studies. The onus is not on me to prove the schedule is UNSAFE (since the trials weren't done, we don't know, do we?) but for governments and pharmaceuticals to prove it IS safe. Since the double-blind,randomised trial of the schedule wasn't done (as far as I know, but please, if you have knowledge of where to find it, tell me), the safety trials at best were not complete.

***Don’t whine to us about. Especially since you can’t be bothered to answer my simple question about which out of four MMR vaccines Wakefield studied.***

I'm not whining, Mr Chris. I'm happy to enter into discussion, provided, of course, you can, like Lou, show that you're capable of respectful interactions, sans slurring, which after all is what I originally posted on. Not so much the content but the sort of slurring language, and tone, that's used. The tone of your post is one of patronising, demeaning, put-downs. It's aggressive. And for no reason. My call was primarily for respect in discussions.

Let's look at your language for a second.

"I'm put out!" <--- You've taken personal offence, because you were looking for it, and have used the language of victimhood. The reader invited to infer you have been deliberately slighted.

*I am extremely upset that with all of your wall of text about how science should be done, that you totally forgot to answer me.* <-- Ditto the language of 'offence', a sort of populist authoritarianism which is designed to place me on the back-foot and get me to 'justify' myself despite an obvious flame. You're not 'extremely upset', at best that's hyperbole. At best, you're irritated because I overlooked your post.

My question about the lack of a double blind randomised study is perfectly reasonable, but you've followed your dismissive flame with with a 'do it yourself then.' Not my question. My question is why it wasn't done in the first place.

Now, have a respect pill, while I go and read Lou's papers. And when you can demonstrate to me you're capable of a discussion without slurring, offence taking, name calling, and flaming, then we can have that discussion on the MMR, one of the many vaccines in the untested schedule.

In the meantime, why not google 'autoimmunity' and 'autism' or perhaps look it up on Pubmed.

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

"My question about the lack of a double blind randomised study is perfectly reasonable, but you've followed your dismissive flame with with a 'do it yourself then.' Not my question. My question is why it wasn't done in the first place."

If you research the Belmont Report and the Declaration of Helsinki as you go and design the study and get it past an Independent Review Board you will learn why.

Now go find out which out of four MMR vaccines that Wakefield's 1998 case series was all about. Obviously since you know so much about how to do scientific studies you would know how it is important to minimize the variables. Especially if two of those variables are the two MMR vaccines that the UK removed due to the use of the Urabe mumps strain (which was never used in the USA).

Lucy: My question about the lack of a double blind randomised study is perfectly reasonable, but you've followed your dismissive flame with with a 'do it yourself then.' Not my question. My question is why it wasn't done in the first place.

You totally ignored my comment also, about why it can't be done, which Chris kindly pointed out. You also ignored that *adding* new vaccines to the schedule usually does consist of a vax/unvax group. If you want us to go all the way back to the beginning and test every code in every possible combination, it won't happen. It can't be ethically done.

Again, double-blinded studies are usually done (see the package inserts) for new vaccines being added to the schedule. If that doesn't satisfy you, please tell us how we can ethically make you happy.

My point is, why wasn’t it done before the schedule was rolled out? it’s not my role or remit to do clinical trials, Mr Chris. I was just looking for the studies. The onus is not on me to prove the schedule is UNSAFE (since the trials weren’t done, we don’t know, do we?) but for governments and pharmaceuticals to prove it IS safe. Since the double-blind,randomised trial of the schedule wasn’t done (as far as I know, but please, if you have knowledge of where to find it, tell me), the safety trials at best were not complete.

You obviously can't grok the unethical nature of an RCT for vaccinated v. unvaccinated I doubt you can grok this either. Safety studies are done when a new vaccine is approved for use. How they are tested is to use it in one arm along with the scheduled vaccines v. an arm with the scheduled vaccines minus the new vaccine. That is because you can't ethically withhold a known safe and effective potentially life-saving treatment. Do you get that? Do you get yet why an RCT is unethical and would never be approved?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

Where is the preview...

If you want us to go all the way back to the beginning and text every VACCINE in every possible combination...

Multitasking fail.

One correction:
they ( whomever they may be) didn't just 'roll out' the schedule- it evolved over many years as newer vaccines were introduced. There are many schedules as there are many countries involved. I believe that occasionally a country may drop a vaccine ( Japan did).

The schedule is not un-tested: I believe Orac discussed this right here at RI recently. I'll try to find it.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Chris:

Watch it, Mr!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

My 2 cents : while I prefer trying to avoid insults myself, I find unending nitpicking on tone and form annoying too. Just select the arguments without caring about the manner they are expressed.

Here we go:
Search this blog for ' vaccine schedule'
yields 2 recent posts from January and March 2016.

I don't forget stuff like that.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

@Lucy Johnson

Thanks for your posts. I have appreciated your contribution to this discussion.

Oh, look! The tone troll has made a friend.

Beth, can you please explain to Ms. Johnson the significance of the Belmont Report and the Declarations of Helsinki?

My point is, why wasn’t it done before the schedule was rolled out?

it was done, incrementally. See above #151, 177, 178.

----------------------------------
I asked, way up, "It’s OK to ask questions, but are you willing to listen to the answers?"

Seems to be a big "No".

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

Planets going around the sun, electrons going around a nucleus, these things are comparatively simple compared with highly complex biological systems. It is factually incorrect for you to say that we know everything there is it know about science in terms of biochemistry. Once again, we deal only with probabilities and likelihoods. Take physics. E=0.5m(v-squared) is Newtonian physics and works very well as an 'absolute' fact. Until of course v, velocity, reaches the speed of light. Then it changes. The fact was provisional until Einstein came along with E = m (c-squared).

I strongly suggest that you avoid trying to invoke physics, because that offering was just painful to behold.

well, maybe not links to a vaxed vs unvaxed study, because they don’t exist

Salk field trials on line 2.

it’s not my role or remit to do clinical trials, Mr Chris.... My question about the lack of a double blind randomised study is perfectly reasonable, but you've followed your dismissive flame with with a 'do it yourself then.'... In the meantime, why not google 'autoimmunity' and 'autism' or perhaps look it up on Pubmed.

Heh.

Let’s look at your language for a second.... Now, have a respect pill

Double heh.

An Open Apology to Our Colonial Friends

As a proud Brit and spiritual descendent of Jon Swift's left nut, please allow me to apologize unreservedly to all you fine folks here upon behalf of Joan@99. I beseech you, please you not consider her excruciatingly failed attempt at a pathetic playground insult to reflect in any way upon the rest of my fine countryfellows, every one of whom I assure you can still scald the arse off a bald-faced fool at 50 feet with a single lash of the tongue, in as robust and entertaining a manner as we have since that memorable day on which Good King George told nasty Mister Washington to “Go Suck It.” Also, ah... um... also, Joan smells like wee too. Yeah.

And now please excuse me as I must run away bawling, for she has hurt my widdle feelings so.

As to Lucy@110, I can only suggest: Ach, awa’ an bile yer heid ya grate keechin bawbag, ye dinnae even ken whit yer haverin’ aboot.

For someone who claims to study language, Ms. Johnson is well-nigh unreadable. My tearcherly impulse is to reach for the nearest red pen, but writing on a screen would not, I imagine, accomplish much.

Brevity is the sister of talent. Murder your darlings. Etc. Where did you learn to write, anyway, and didn't you ever encounter a real writing instructor, by which I mean a brutal one?

Or maybe Ms. Johnson attended a college where instructors are not supposed to be "mean."

A colleague reports that a student who received extensive feedback on a "B" paper now feels "unsafe" as a result.

In my day, one said "thank you" and took the advice. Grumble, grumble, harrumph.

Oh, look! The tone troll has made a friend.

Beth, can you please explain to Ms. Johnson the significance of the Belmont Report and the Declarations of Helsinki?

Ouch...will the Beth that Chris is referring to in # 185 please stand up? Perhaps I'll change my name to Beth S.? Because truly the "Beth" referenced here is not the Beth writing this post.

Lucy @175
"My point is, why wasn’t it done before the schedule was rolled out? it’s not my role or remit to do clinical trials, Mr Chris. I was just looking for the studies. The onus is not on me to prove the schedule is UNSAFE (since the trials weren’t done, we don’t know, do we?) but for governments and pharmaceuticals to prove it IS safe. Since the double-blind,randomised trial of the schedule wasn’t done (as far as I know, but please, if you have knowledge of where to find it, tell me), the safety trials at best were not complete."

Lucy, you seem to be under the impression that in medical science, all trials must be "treatment" vs "control" (nothing). I'd like to ask you to think about a separate example that I hope will show you why this is not done all the time.

Imagine, if you will, a new treatment for colon cancer. There are existing, well studied, treatments for prostate cancer that are used to treat patients right now that work. But I have a totally new treatment I think will work even better, and in a different way. All my pre-clinical data, and my phase I trial data look great. So I'm going to set up my big RCT, with thousands of patients.
But here's the thing. I can not give my "control" patients nothing. Because that is unethical, unfair and cruel. I *have* treatments that work. I would be a monster to demand that a patient forgo a known useful treatment in order to be in my trial. So I compare the existing treatments to my new treatment to see if my new treatment is better.

Now, with vaccine schedules (plural, there are many all over the world), I might not have a vaccine against, say, Zika, that I am comparing against. But I can not ask that the children in my study be denied all of their other vaccines in order to test this one. Because there are *known* harms of not being vaccinated. Particularly when the childhood vaccines were being introduced there was a very real risk of catching each disease and becoming very ill, disabled or dying from that disease.

I hope that my explanation helps to clarify why exactly we (here at RI) describe your "vaxed vs unvaxed" study as unethical.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

Beth: "Because truly the “Beth” referenced here is not the Beth writing this post."

Actually I noticed that on another thread. There is also another Chris that posted today who is not me, but I liked what he/she said, so it was cool.

:-)

Johnny #170 The Madsen MMR study was vax/unvax. Very big study.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

who are repeatadly told that 1) we don’t know what caused the autism but 2) it’s defeinately not vaccines. How do you know? The logical fallacy of this is obvious. If you don’t know what caused the autistic traits, YOU DONT KNOW.

A little late to the party, but...

Where are my keys? Not in the jacket pockets, I checked. I then checked the shoulder bag, the kitchen table, then the jacket pockets, then the living room table, my pants, then the jacket pockets again, as well as the other places I already looked. Just in case I missed them the first (or second) time, My spouse started searches for the keys then, independently checking my jacket pockets along a number of other places. She tells me to check my jacket pockets again, and eventually I cave in and do. Then again while she watches, suggesting pocket after pocket.

Am I allowed to say that a) my keys are missing but b) they are not in my jacket pocket, or is there logical fallacy there along with the lint and (scientifically speaking the increasingly probable absence of keys)?

Hi Chris...This is Beth S formerly known as Beth who is firmly planted in the science-based but not limited to vaccines way of making life decisions....Actually I noticed that on another thread. There is also another Chris that posted today who is not me, but I liked what he/she said, so it was cool.

LOL...Ya, I think I saw 2 "Chris" also. It's a conspiracy...I wish I had more time to spend here....Lately, Zika is taking my attention.

Lucy says
"The reason why the debate won’t go away is because of repeat parental observation — which should be recorded as points of qualitative data– that their children’s functions regress following the vaccinations"
Exactly my point thank you Lucy I have collected over 1,300 parents voices of vaccine injury and they all say the same thing that the child/children regressed after vaccines (all types) This list is just the tip of the iceberg and the pharma companies know the dangers in their products but do nothing about it. In the words of Thomas Hardy "may their dirty souls be cremeted in hell"
www.followingvaccinations.com

By Joan Campbell (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

bla blah blah this "blogger" is a moron

“may their dirty souls be cremeted (sic) in hell”

He didn't say that, though. In Tess of the d'Urbervilles, a character does say, "may their dirty souls be burnt to cinders!"

But Hardy himself didn't say it.

It's not even the most glaring thing you're wrong about, just the one that irritates me.

In the words of Thomas Hardy “may their dirty souls be cremeted in hell”

I believe, technically speaking, that the cremation happens before one goes wherever one allegedly goes. I'm not sure about this, but my dad was cremated, and I was never visited by his ghost except in some dreams.

Personally I am hoping for a funeral pyre, after which not much would be left in the way of ashes.

I have collected over 1,300 parents voices of vaccine injury

There are parents whose special snowflake children have turned out to be less than perfect, and who have found a convenient scapegoat. I think we knew that.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

Joan's mistake does point out a flaw central to anti-vaxxers, though. It took me all of 30 seconds to verify that a. Hardy didn't say this b. a character in Tess did and c. what Joan mistakenly attributes to Hardy is not even what he had his character say.

I knew that Hardy didn't say this because I once wrote about seventeen million essays on Thomas Hardy and it didn't strike me as something he would utter for posterity.

But I know, you've all "done your research" and it's impeccable...and you repeat what you hear and especially what you read from fellow "researchers"....you don't know your limitations enough to understand that you don't know what you don't know.

The "physics" example upthread, f'irinstance....

Ms. Campbell: "Exactly my point thank you Lucy I have collected over 1,300 parents voices of vaccine injury and they all say the same thing that the child/children regressed after vaccines (all types) "

The plural of anecdote is not data.

I am still waiting for which one out of four different MMR vaccines were being studied in Wakefield's now retracted 1998 case series.

I stand corrected, and would like to amend my comment to read "randomized placebo controlled double blind study of the entire vaccine schedule IRT autism and every other known and unknown malady", which seems to be what Ms. Johnson would like.

I'd still like to know which conference Ms. Johnson was at last year, the topic that was under debate between scientist, and also if the debate was a scheduled event.

Get over yourself Orac. It's a documentary, let the people decide. Besides, the medical and pharmaceutical industries, include the CDC are corrupt, bought and paid for. Why else would there be mandates for vaccines like Hep B, chicken pox and HPV?

Fair point, I remembered wrongly and put my own spin on what I thought he had written in Tess of the d'Urbervilles, a beautifully well written work by Thomas Hardy, so Tess's words are his words lol

By Joan Campbell (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

so Tess’s words are his words lol

Still wrong, Joan. Tess doesn't say what you wrote, and she doesn't say "may their dirty souls be burnt to cinders!" either. It's another character in Tess who says it. It would take you 30 seconds to look this up on the internet. But you seem to want to insist on repeating something that is incorrect.

The “physics” example upthread, f’irinstance…

It was Lucy Johnson who attributes the definition of kinetic energy to Newton, and thinks it was invalidated by mass/energy equivalence.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

I love it when they try to show us their "brilliance" and fail miserably.

Yes, herr doktor, we have two keen examples of Dunning-Kruger on this thread. I'm wondering if Newton and Hardy are having a joint point-and-laugh session.

It’s not even the most glaring thing you’re wrong about, just the one that irritates me.

Argument by aphorism has a predictable tendency of blowing up in slobovonoid faces, but the antivaccine brigade is close to 199 proof in this market.

Delphine writes about (@ # 206) what I've discovered :
alties mis-quote, mis-attribute, confuse numbers or people, and then INSIST on their correctness.

I especially enjoy that this example is from Hardy- since I know this stuff well enough to realise that what she said doesn't even *sound* like his writing.

I have collected a few examples via prn.fm that others may enjoy:
- the host insisted that a certain duel took place at an island near his childhood home when all those who study history know that the famous duel took place near a cliff ( hundreds of miles away). In truth, the survivor of the duel later had something to do with the island.
- cats can be vegans and thrive!
- El NIno is pronounced "el nino" as an English speaker would say it.
- Parts of the brain and neurotransmitters can be mispronounced.

Adams mostly humiliates himself with his vamping on themes involving physics and cognition psych.
Even worse at AoA and TMR.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

I am so thankful for doctors that continue to tell the truth about the dangers of vaccines despite risk to their lives and career. Kudos to all who helped make this film. Anyone trusting the CDC, FDA and Big Pharma at this point in time, is either getting paid to speak for them, or seriously manipulated and brainwashed. Period. Do your own research.

By Kathy Young (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

Ms. Young: "I am so thankful for doctors that continue to tell the truth about the dangers of vaccines despite risk to their lives and career"

Oh, please do share the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that told about the dangers of vaccines given to you by those brave doctors. Obviously they gave you several sheets of papers with those studies to counteract the dozens discussed on this blog over that last decade.

Come on, give us those studies. The PMIDs would be sufficient.

'Do your own research."

I did that. Do you really want me to express my true opinion on the matter? Or do you want to provide the actual evidence that my opinion is flawed? Come on, prove that we are wrong... provide the true verifiable evidence from real scientists who are not paid by the Dwoskin Family Foundation, SafeMinds, Mr. Belkin, NVIC, Autism Speaks or other pro-disease entities.

Get over yourself Orac. It’s a documentary, let the people decide.
Oh FFS, and where does Orac order any of his readers to let him decide for them? By the way, "documentary" is a rather lofty category for another one of Wakefraud's grifts. Just in the trailer he doctored the recordings of Thompson.

Besides, the medical and pharmaceutical industries, include the CDC are corrupt, bought and paid for. Why else would there be mandates for vaccines like Hep B, chicken pox and HPV?

Oh I don't know...maybe so children won't get and spread Hep B, Chicken Pox and HPV sparing them from suffering and possibly severe sequelae?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

I don't know what caused my depression. I now understand it could have been the water-memory of a substance left on Earth in 666BC by shape-shifting lizard-like aiiens that found it's way into a cup of Dr. Pepper I drank in the Hopkins Theater during a Saturday matinee of 'Abbot and Costello Go To Mars' in 1965. I was fine before that, but by the time my Mom picked me up, the light in my soul had just gone out. Knowing this is a great comfort to me. So, if you ever feel like a Pepper, you should get Mr. Pibb instead, just in case.

I can understand people not getting the science. It worries me, but I get it. What I don't get is the unquestioning trust of provably dishonest Fraudy-pants.

Even if you think he was set up by Brian Deer, Bill Gates and the WHO the trailer deceitfully splices together quotes that change the meaning of Thompson's words. The kicker is that this can be proven because they published the transcripts in a book. This is not a "he said, she said" situation bettlween AVers and us. It is strictly an internal inconsistency.

But these inconsistencies must be ignored at all costs, because arrogance forbids them from being wrong.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

because arrogance forbids them from being wrong

Yes, that, and what Denice wrote: alties mis-quote, mis-attribute, confuse numbers or people, and then INSIST on their correctness.

Joan Campbell provides us with a perfect example. She attributes a quote to someone who said no such thing. When corrected she admits she "put her own spin" on it but still tries to incorrectly attribute a quote that never was.

The problem with this sh1t in anti-vaxx land is that it frequently goes unchallenged, gets sucked up, repeated as truth, over and over. It becomes their reality, whether it's true or not doesn't matter. And if you call them on it, they simply cannot admit that they are wrong.

I can understand people not getting the science -- I am no scientist, I don't always get it myself. But I know when I'm over my head and I trust the actual folk who do indeed comprehend the science.

I can understand people not getting the science. It worries me, but I get it. What I don’t get is the unquestioning trust of provably dishonest Fraudy-pants.

I think I can offer my very layperson* reasoning for this. These parents desperately need to believe in the narrative they crafted to explain their child's less-than-perfection. Truth be told, physicians weren't terribly responsive or receptive dealing with autistic children, especially those who are non-verbal. Wakefield is a slick, smooth-talking physician who exudes empathy and gives lofty promises to fight to the death for their children. And that's pretty much it; he is nice to them, makes them pretty promises and has a terrific martyr image all in the name of their children. As cliché as it may be, he's their knight in shining armour. Notice his appeal to mainly women for some odd reason or perhaps the one I explained.

*lest the lovely Ms. Walter smacks me silly for proffering up amateur (or worse) psychoanalysis.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

anyone asking perfectly reasonable questions is slurred before they even open their mouths or put pen to paper.</i/

When *my* perfectly reasonable questions are slurred, it is Nature's way of telling me to stop drinking.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

I have collected over 1,300 parents voices of vaccine injury and they all say the same thing that the child/children regressed after vaccines (all types)

Late to the party (I know), but I wish to point out that upthread I mentioned the case of Michelle Cedillo, one of the Test Cases for the Omnibus Autism Proceedings. Her parents were adamant that the MMR had caused her autism, and presented video of Michelle at 15 months old as supporting evidence. An expert in autism was able to prove that Michelle was already displaying autistic behaviour at 15 months, and that her parents were unconsciously adjusting their behaviour towards her.
The Cedillos lost the case and appealed the verdict. They lost, and appealed again with the same result. Despite this, they are still convinced that vaccines caused Michelle's autism.
The fact that people fervently believe something doesn't make it true.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 24 Mar 2016 #permalink

For all those who say "It’s a documentary, let the people decide." :
"It's a documentary who is only going to tell one side of the story, repeat lies long debunked and quote people out of context ad nauseam." FTFY
While pharma corruption is a problem, fighting against it with glaringly inaccurate information is not terribly constructive.
So of course people can go see this documentary ; in the meantime, we are going to criticize it so that people can really decide.
The other side of the story, from the pro-vax point of view : http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com/2014/09/mmr-cdc-and-brian-hooker-media…

Get over yourself Orac. It’s a documentary, let the people decide.

Get over yourself Vanessa. Respectful Insolence is a blog, let the people decide.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Chris: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964337/

By Kathy Young (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

@Ms. Young
Quoting Marcia Angell, who is strongly pro-vaccination, does not play in your favor in a debate on this subject. She is far more POed at "me-too" drugs and regrets vaccines aren't more available.
Also, do you sincerely think that she and other known critics of scientific journals (Horton or Ioannidis for example) advocates completely discarding scientific studies ?

And as for the "3 billion $" claim, it completely ignores the real number of claims compensated compared to the number of vaccine doses given.
http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2016/03/if-vaccines-are-sa…

To Herr Doctor at 212: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_energy
Yup there it is, Newtonion Kinetic Energy. And was I wrong in my understanding of Eistines development and the relationship between Ek = 0.5m(v squared) and E = m (c squared)? Please, I haven't had enough mansplaining today. I'll wait. Speaking of which:

<<>>

Not at all. Not if it is done, first, for example, on primate populations. :)

In fact there are many ways to do such a study. Such as keeping ONE cohort on the schedule as it was in 1977, and giving one cohort the maximum vaccination schedules (lets take the UK, it was in a British context I asked for that study). This means that BOTH cohorts get some vaccinations, therefore the population remains vaccinated, and the efficacy and safety of the post-1990 vaccinations are test. In other words, test the cognitive process of a Gen X vaccination schedule against a Gen Y vaccination schedule. And test everything, especially neurological function and autoimmunity (asthma etc).

It would be really interesting to see the result of that study. Then, when the study is over and we conclude that the Gen Y schedule is fine (but still double blind and randomised, still the Gold standard) you offer everyone on the Gen Y schedule the rest of the vaccines. No ethics problems there.

There are many ways the studies can be designed to help safeguard ethics.

But you know what IS unethical? Refusing to offer families with medical histories of autoimmunity and autism alternative vaccination schedules for their children because of a political reason.

But thank you for the excuse, sorry, explanation as to why you cannot design a double-blind randomised safety trial BEFORE rolling out a proposed schedule.

By Lucy Johnson (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

You know what is even more unethical, Mrs. Writer? Continuing to spread anti-vax nonsense under the guise of "vaccine safety"(at least open anti-vaxxers have the balls to put it all out on the table!) which puts not only children, but people that rely on herd immunity due to compromised immune-system, at risk of suffering, long-lasting injury and even death at the hands of vaccine-preventable diseases.

There are many ways the studies can be designed to help safeguard ethics.

And you have yet to offer one. What you proposed is still unethical; it's asking people to sign up for getting less vaccines along with whole cell pertussis and live oral polio vaccination. Stick to writing, science isn't your strong suit either.

But you know what IS unethical? Refusing to offer families with medical histories of autoimmunity and autism alternative vaccination schedules for their children because of a political reason.

Physicians routinely vaccinate off-schedule where indicated. Again you don't know what you are talking about.

But thank you for the excuse, sorry, explanation as to why you cannot design a double-blind randomised safety trial BEFORE rolling out a proposed schedule.

Because real life. Vaccines weren't and aren't developed at the same time. Please stop blaming us for your scientific-ignorance.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

@231 --

mansplaining

OK. I guess all us penis-Americans will just have to shut up now and let any ridiculous howlers in our areas of expertise simply stand uncorrected. Because, you know, we're penis-Americans.

Got it.

By palindrom (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Science Mom:

Thanks.

I don't ever smack anyone, silly or otherwise.
I also cast a jaundiced eye towards psychoanalysis**,

HOWEVER I think that you do describe a likely scenario involving Andy and the mothers (as well as woo in general).
Similarly, isolated parents may resent how parents of NT kids have a different life than their own and seek solidarity and comfort amongst their own group. A few even gain celebrity ( notoriety) there a/k/a secondary gain.

** Freud is important for other reasons.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink
mansplaining

OK. I guess all us penis-Americans will just have to shut up now and let any ridiculous howlers in our areas of expertise simply stand uncorrected. Because, you know, we’re penis-Americans.

Mansplaining is a real phenomenon, but it doesn't encompass what Lucy appears to think it does. No doubt she'll now accuse me of mansplaining as well.

I have heard about Marcia Angell many times.
A newer meme concerns the 'former editor of BMJ" or suchlike.

One woo-meister, trying to out-do those, actually quoted Ben Goldacre- which only tells me that he cherry picked quotes and NEVER actually read Goldacre who precisely - and cleverly- describes scams like his own.
I especially like how he wrote about about faux degrees/ certificates, one of which he purchased in his ( dead) cat's name. That woo-meister has a rather glaringly bad degree or two.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

OK. I guess all us penis-Americans will just have to shut up now and let any ridiculous howlers in our areas of expertise simply stand uncorrected.

Although the good herr doktor is actually a penis-New-Zealander.

Personally, I like to keep people guessing.

-btw-
What do w call it hen women 'mansplain'? I hear it tme at TMR and Ao.

Also, please forgive my lack of editorial finesse and word choices, I didn't sleep much.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Orac -- I completely agree that "mansplaining" is a legitimate concept, and I even understand what it is.

But as you implied, Lucy was using it as a shield to distract attention from her own demonstrated ignorance. As an older man who has always considered gender pretty much irrelevant to intellectual ability and accomplishment, I took offense at her use of this rhetorical trick. Complaining about "mansplaining" when you're making one one piss-poor argument after another is just cheap.

By palindrom (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Ms. Johnson: "Yup there it is, Newtonion Kinetic Energy. And was I wrong in my understanding of Eistines development and the relationship between Ek = 0.5m(v squared) and E = m (c squared)?"

Yes, you are. I have been laughing at the misunderstanding about the refinement of Newtonian physics at the extremes since I was in college (aerospace engineering). Trust me, Newton's laws work fine for structural analysis on this planet. It might help if you learned how to spell Einstein.

If you accuse me of "mansplaining" I will laugh even harder, as will those who know me here.

Just like we laughed at Little Auggie who decided I was transgendered because his little brain could not figure out how a mother could also be an engineer.

Just like we laughed at Little Auggie who decided I was transgendered because his little brain could not figure out how a mother could also be an engineer.

I can't decide whether that's hilarious or just sad!

By palindrom (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Ms. Young, I see you have nothing except excuses. I am sure if I had not excluded certain funding agencies you would have been glad to include the PMIDs of papers by Chris Shaw, Gary Goldman, etc.

Then this gem: "THE US GOVERNMENT HAS PAID OUT $3 BILLION TO VACCINE-INJURED AMERICANS SINCE 1989"

Well here is a little math problem for you: look at the table of the NVICP statistics. Go to the very bottom and find the total number of vaccines given during that time period. I'll make it easy for you: it is 2,532,428,541 vaccines. Then run your finger along the row and get the total number of compensated claims, again I'll make it easy for you: 2146 total compensated claims.

Now find the ratio between those two numbers, and then explain to us what it means. Your computer and/phone should have a built in calculator.

Extra credit: Explain the meaning of the word "Settlement" and what that column means about the compensated claims. Here is a hint: the next page has the definitions.

@ palindrom:

I thought it was hilarious.

-btw- you ( and Eric and Narad), who studied physics more than the average @ RI, probably have much to snicker about when those who want to impress us, talk about it.

Similarly, woo-meisters sometimes discuss their studies of cognition and/ or neurophysiology . Needless to say, they've never impressed me. AS the French say: It is to laugh!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Sorry to be picky, but the following statement is untrue at any level:

“THE US GOVERNMENT HAS PAID OUT $3 BILLION TO VACCINE-INJURED AMERICANS SINCE 1989”

The true position is that a large amount of money has been paid out to people who it has been conceded by the government, or found by the court, MAY have been vaccine injured, and it is in the public interest that they be compensated without further proceedings.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Hence the extra credit question on what the term "settlement" means.

Though I have learned that these clowns do not know how to use a calculator, and get confused by dictionaries.

@ Science Mom #222

Layperson to layperson, I think you're right on. The only revision I'd suggest is "parents desperately need to believe in the narrative they have adopted to explain their child’s less-than-perfection." Which is to sat they didn't craft it by themselves. They react to the fact or idea of an ASD child with a sort of shock or trauma. They don't have an answer, and in that moment of emotional instability, the anti-vax narrative appears – thanks perhaps t the fact that con-men like Andy are pushing it out there. So they grab it instantly and completely, because it explains everything!, and makes them feel "empowered". To even question it would be to return to the chaos, and the impotence.

Not coincidentally, perhaps, your hypothesis is quite similar to the one advanced in the film 'Nuts' – the experimental documentary about depression era quack John Romulus Brinkley by Penny Lane, the filmmaker who posted the scathing open letter to Tribeca on Facebook. Here's part of her 'Director's Statement' about 'Nuts'.

I began to think about how much people want to believe in miracle cures. The weirder the better, really. How “one weird trick to melt belly fat” is way better click-bait than “eat less to lose weight.” Who doesn’t sometimes wish the world was more interesting, more magical, more colorful than it really is? This is why ...we fall for quack doctors, time and time again: they sell us a story we want to believe.

I believe that more than any other single human quality, it is our love of great stories that makes us so endlessly susceptible to being conned. We believe the stories we want or need to believe, and we believe anyone who tells them to us. Con men know this. So do politicians, propagandists, pitchmen, cult leaders, televangelists, pick up artists and manipulators of all kinds – including documentary filmmakers.

And so, NUTS! is not a film that allows us to sit back and laugh at the dummies who fell for bullshit. Instead, it’s a film that shows we are all those dummies. Unlike Brinkley, however, I seduce you, and then I show you how I did it. Brinkley’s story is not presented as the object of a neutral nonfiction gaze, but as an opportunity for viewers to actively wrestle with the ethical and epistemological issues central to the narrative nonfiction form.

http://www.nutsthefilm.com/#directors-statement

I had no idea there were still so many people still insisting that injecting known neurotoxins and mutated forms of the disease you are trying to prevent directly into your bloodstream somehow manufactured immunity. Yeah, gee, I wonder what the side effects of such an absurd concept would be?

It's over folks. Take your "winnings" and go home. The biggest medical fraud in history is over. Some of you are already aware of it and are going to go down with the ship- likely because you've invested too much time into protecting the lies and deceit, some just in denial because corporate "science" is a powerful cult.

"For 30 years Stephen Hawking was the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. That’s the same job once held by Sir Isaac Newton.
He’s a certified genius — and probably the most famous scientist since Albert Einstein.

And what Hawking just revealed in a British television interview is scarier than the worst horror movie you’ve ever seen. He said that genetically engineered viruses are now one of the biggest threats human beings face.

Right up there with nuclear weapons.

You see, just like the GM food they want us to eat, Big Pharma has been genetically modifying viruses in vaccines for years. They’re combining deadly viruses into a single shot, and even mixing animal and human DNA.

These shots are called “recombinant” vaccines and they may be the biggest medical experiment ever conducted on human beings. The FDA has been approving them since 1986, even though these shots may have the ability to create new and deadly diseases we have no way to treat.

In fact, it’s already happening."

- See more at: http://hsionline.com/2016/02/10/gm-vaccine-viruses/#sthash.KsMWc4ek.dpuf

I see the black helicopters have arrived.

Pete: "I had no idea there were still so many people still insisting that injecting known neurotoxins and mutated forms of the disease you are trying to prevent directly into your bloodstream somehow manufactured immunity."

Which vaccines are given intravenously?

I'm a physicist too! Can I be an expert at virology and genetic engineering as well? please!?!

The source you quote in your link :
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/19/stephen-hawking-warns-t…

has the following

Speaking to the Radio Times ahead of the BBC Reith Lecture, in which he will explain the science of black holes, Hawking said most of the threats humans now face come from advances in science and technology, such as nuclear weapons and genetically engineered viruses.

“We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognise the dangers and control them,” he added.

where Hawking is suggesting caution moving forward, rather than what you are claiming.

By stewartt1982 (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

"It’s over folks. Take your “winnings” and go home."

Nah, there's too much money still to be made shooting diabolical neurotoxins and GM viruses into the bloodstreams of tiny tots.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Pete: “I had no idea there were still so many people still insisting that injecting known neurotoxins and mutated forms of the disease you are trying to prevent directly into your bloodstream somehow manufactured immunity.”

What in vaccines is a more dangerous than tetanospasmin?

sadmar quotes Penny Lane:

"it is our love of great stories"

Sure. People see faces in appliances and mentally fill in drawings of objects to make them look more 'complete'. They guess which horse will win the cup and who will become the next recording star.

Interestingly, during adolescence, people ALSO begin to develop abilities that question this tendency as well as their other abilities and re-hash their past bad judgments.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets very far in this enterprise as we've seen time and time again.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

It’s over folks. Take your “winnings” and go home.

Still waiting on mine. When are those filthy pHarma lucre checks supposed to start rolling in, anyway? I could use a little spending money. Does anybody have Lord Draconis's contact info? I imagine I could handle talking to the man (er, lizard) directly.

I had no idea there were still so many people still insisting that injecting known neurotoxins and mutated forms of the disease you are trying to prevent directly into your bloodstream somehow manufactured immunity.

Please explain how intramuscular injections, used for most vaccines, is "directly into the bloodstream". Yeah, gee, I wonder what the side effects of such an absurd concept would be?Immunity from the disease would be one. Some people have other reactions ranging from mild to severe. The risks from current vaccines are, by and large, less than the risks of the diseases they protect against.

The biggest medical fraud in history is over.

Is that Wakefield, Burzynski, or homeopathy? Please be more specific, as I lost my scorecard.

Sadly, the rest of your comment is merely alarmist claptrap that doesn't merit a response.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Please pardon my format failure. The sentence starting with "Yeah, gee" is a quotation.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

where Hawking is suggesting caution moving forward, rather than what you are claiming

Moreover, I presume he's referring to gain-of-function studies, not those dastardly recombinant vaccines.

but the following statement is untrue at any level:
How can that be, when it is backed by a source called "Daily Sheeple"?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Yup there it is, Newtonion [sic] Kinetic Energy. And was I wrong in my understanding of Eistines [sic] development and the relationship between Ek = 0.5m(v squared) and E = m (c squared)?

Oh, the original had more problems than that. Let's review:

Planets going around the sun, electrons going around a nucleus,

Electrons don't "go around" the nucleus. Atoms are not little solar systems.

these things are comparatively simple compared with highly complex biological systems.

You have failed to establish a yardstick for "simplicity" that would allow comparisons to be made in the first place. It's bad enough that you think the n-body problem is "comparatively simple" (quick: explain why Pluto's orbit is stable), but you would extend this to quantum chemistry?. The mind boggles.

It is factually incorrect for you to say that we know everything there is it know about science in terms of biochemistry.

And who, exactly, has done that, Ms. Straw Man?

Once again, we deal only with probabilities and likelihoods. Take physics. E=0.5m(v-squared) is Newtonian physics and works very well as an 'absolute' fact. Until of course v, velocity, reaches [sic] the speed of light. Then it changes. The fact was provisional until Einstein came along with E = m (c-squared).

This is simply garbled. First of all Einstein never wrote E = mc² in the sense you're trying to assign it, i.e., as containing a "relativistic mass" term. For that matter, it should be E₀: the expression refers to the energy of a particle at rest. This is why juxtaposing it with the Newtonian kinetic energy is inapposite.

Even in Physics, where things are simpler and principles established for longer,

By this "logic," mathematics should be even simpler than physics. It's simply a demonstration of your ignorance of a subject that you're trying to wave around as some sort of stage prop.

there's still room to know more.

No shіt, Sherlock. I take it you haven't noticed that general relativity and quantum mechanics are mutually incompatible.

^ Eh, change "quantum mechanics" to "quantum theory." I also forgot to throw in a link to, e.g., Mochizuki's abc papers to illustrate the "simplicity" of modern mathematics.

Oh, why stop there. The 'inverse square law' in Newtonian gravity is not a law. It is at best an idealization and in practice it is an approximation. No real orbits are truly closed. Indeed, Newtonian dynamics is known to be chaotic (in the mathematical sense) making long term predictions imprecise or even impossible. Our solar system isn't even stable thanks to Newton, that scoundrel.

Oh, right:

I’ll wait. Speaking of which:

<<>> [followed by an apparent bowl of copypasta]

Screw the ethics. Let's get down to brass tacks. For a full-blown, prospective, vaccinated-versus-unvaccinated trial, pick a single endpoint. Then specify the lack of effect between the two groups that would convince you that there's no there there.

In practical terms, calculating the requisite sample size is something that is simple.

I'll wait.

these things are comparatively simple compared with highly complex biological systems.

Ever tried to derive a solution to the Schrodinger wave equation for an atom with more than 2 protons? Really?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Ever tried to derive a solution to the Schrodinger wave equation for an atom with more than 2 protons? Really?

I still wake up screaming "Hartree-Fock!!!"

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

I still wake up screaming “Hartree-Fock!!!”

Heh. I hadn't thought about Double Zero in a while, but ζζ free-associated it right up.

I had a professor who solved the Schroedinger equation for the helium atom over about two weeks in an 8:30 class.

Needless to say, I don't remember the development in any detail 40 years later.

By palindrom (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

@ Chris
It must be nice to know everything, right? Except you really don't. The claims paid out are a SMALL portion of what should actually, ethically, be paid out. You see, Chris, the claims paid out are those that have made it to and then all the way through the system. The system that is not set up like a regular court of law. Much tougher. I do not have to act superior and condescending to you. You are acting so ugly, and it is really not necessary. I am not your enemy. I believe that I am vaccine injured, I have a good friend with a son who was vaccine injured. I know what happens. Personal and up close. I will pray for your eyes to be opened, or for your hatefulness and selfishness to leave you. I pray that the spirit of Jesus Christ opens your heart and your eyes.

By Kathy Young (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

The system that is not set up like a regular court of law. Much tougher.
O RLY?

I do not have to act superior and condescending to you
It is way, way too late to try that.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Well I couldn't figure why everyone is so scared of this vaxxed film getting seen, but after seeing the trailer, it makes sense.
Can't wait to see it!
Hope you sheeple are getting paid enough!
Karmas a bitch, enjoy!

By Doesn't take a… (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

I will pray for your eyes to be opened, or for your hatefulness and selfishness to leave you.

Perhaps you could instead pray for the willpower to get off your preachy ass and actually try to learn something about civil law.

Kathy Young, nice of you to (albeit tacitly) acknowledge that the "LOOKOHMYGODTHREEBILLION" does not support your claims of the dangers of vaccination.

Lucy Johnson @140, 231

I asked NICE (being a writer, doing an article, actually on the hysteria and scaremongering) for the clinical trial information for the testing of the whole schedule — not just individual vaccines — they couldnt give me it.

All vaccine trials are trials of the whole schedule. Did you think they withhold the rest of the schedule from the test subjects?

Most of your questions have been asked and answered – why is it the fault of the scientists that you don’t like the answers?

Lucy Johnson 231

I haven’t had enough mansplaining today

I’ve had enough I’m a writer!-splaining.

It’s not working for you.

I wonder how many in here are paid shills? Why would ANYONE care if people just watched the documentary and made up there own minds? And, there is very little humanity in here. I do hope that some are not shills, are just young and will grow and learn that what they THINK they know could be based on lie after lie after lie. Sometimes those who think that they are the smartest in a room are actually believing the biggest lies. Peace. Out.

By Kathy Young (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

Why would ANYONE care if people just watched the documentary and made up there own minds?

Because : http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2016/03/22/wtf-andrew-wakefields-anti…
Also, because I am personally and professionally concerned by autism, and am fed up with the focus on vaccines leeching resources from research on other possible causes or promising therapies, or from activism to better autistic people's lives.
And I also care about people who, among other things, quote Marcia Angell incorrectly to support their own agenda.

Kathy Young..
...The system that is not set up like a regular court of law.

You're correct, but not in the way you think. For in fact it is much less strict than a real court for it works on the preponderance of evidence standard rather than a beyond reasonable doubt standard. I.e. you don't have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the vaccine/s caused the injury, only that it may have, so a much lower standard of evidence is sufficient. E.G. because a particular vaccine is known to have a rare side effect causing certain conditions, even if that condition can happen even without vaccines. In which case the court decides with caution that there is enough of a proven link with the condition displayed, or a similar one, actually being caused by a particular vaccine that they will accept that it MAY have been the cause in a particular case even if it can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

And please, not the Pharma shill gambit. That is so old hat that it is more painful than funny by now. And unlike you, probably, I can remember when things like polio was a reality in the UK as my best friend in primary school didn't live beyond 7 and while I was relatively lucky when I caught my batch of childhood illnesses, I can still remember how miserable they made me. Also, my daughter almost died from pertussis because while I was working away from home long term my wife and her friends got caught up in the pertussis vaccine scare in the UK in the mid 70s and so didn't get her vaccinated and a year or so later it broke out in her primary school. Fortunately, while it was one of the worst things I have ever witnessed, she did survive without lasting damage but effectively lost nearly a year of her life before getting close to back to normal. Some of her friends weren't so lucky, a couple died and a few more had varying degrees of physical and mental disabilities as a reminder of bad vaccine advice from anti-vaxxers. So you and your fellow pro-disease campaigners can stick your pharma shill gambit where the sun don't shine.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

And, there is very little humanity in here.

Now I am feeling dehumanised. Lucy Johnson will not approve.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

Electrons don’t “go around” the nucleus. Atoms are not little solar systems.

Which is a shame; I've always found the "atomic solar system" visual representation quite neat - everything and evertyhing being made up by tiny versions of such a grand and spectacular thing is sorta beautiful in a poetic kind of way.

@Kathy Young #271:

The claims paid out are a SMALL portion of what should actually, ethically, be paid out.

You'll have to be more specific. Do you mean that more should have been paid out to each person? Do you mean that you believe that certain cases that were lost by the claimants should have been compensated? Do you mean something else?

I do not have to act superior and condescending to you.

They why are you acting so?

I believe that I am vaccine injured, I have a good friend with a son who was vaccine injured.

A lot of people have believed a lot of foolish and demonstrably wrong things. What is your evidence that you suffered a vaccine injury? Have you filed a claim for compensation with the Vaccine Court?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

Ms. Young: "I will pray for your eyes to be opened, or for your hatefulness and selfishness to leave you. I pray that the spirit of Jesus Christ opens your heart and your eyes."

I just wish you would learn how to use a calculator and figure out how to read the PDF I linked to, or at the very least use a dictionary.

You made a claim based on compensations by the NVICP. So I linked to its actual statistics, asked you to read it and answer a few questions hoping you would understand it better. Because of that you can only conclude I am part of Big Pharma? Do you seriously think it cheaper to treat diseases than prevent them?

My kids are old enough to some of the diseases that are now vaccine preventable. One actual illness caused seizures in my oldest, he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. How do I file a claim to the National Disease Injury Compensation Program?

I wonder how many in here are paid shills?

None. Next question?

By shay simmons (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

Kathy Young 278

I do hope that some are not shills, are just young and will grow and learn that what they THINK they know could be based on lie after lie after lie.

Back at you, Kathy. What if it’s not the boogeyman of Big Pharma and the CDC that’s doing the lying?

What if the liar is in fact the man whose research paper was retracted for fraud?

- and to continue with Chemmomo's charges-

other liars :
including alt med experts, real and faux doctors, nutritionists, chiropractors, health food/ supplement gurus and web site owners who make money off of -
docudramas, books, videos, supplements, special foods,, non-SB therapies, ad sales etc etc
as well as fame-seekers and conspiracies theorists intent upon riding fantasy-based theories to fame and recognition.

I can name dozens by now.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

CONSPIRACY theorists ( altho' there are many)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

Some of the biggest liars who proposed Ms. Young's old and stale arguments as if they are valid. I asked for real research to support her claims I get the old stale stuff about the validity of the published papers.

She then follows up with an all caps version of stale boring "look they paid elevenity billity for vaccine injuries" from, of all places "thedailysheeple." So when I present the PDF of the actual statistics and ask questions about it, I get the stinking old stale Pharma Shill Gambit.

It is just so boring and stupid.

Left out words: "Some of the biggest liars are those who proposed Ms. Young’s old and stale arguments..."

Ha ha, why read beyond your Rockefeller death-medicine high school textbook? Ha ha ha.

By Jock Doubleday (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

"I wonder how many in here are paid shills?"

Not me. The last few checks bounced.

"Peace. Out."

Are you perchance employed by the Ministry of Peace?

@Julian Frost #283

A lot of people have believed a lot of foolish and demonstrably wrong things.

This! This! This! I wouldn't mind the 'believing foolish and wrong things' bit nearly so much, if they didn't have such a track record of getting all snippy and dismissive when people actually try to engage them on the questions they are 'just asking.'

For instance, just recently I approached a young person who had proof from the peer reviewed literature that GMO food was harmful. When approached for details, because such papers would be incredibly valuable to the Scientific Community and deserved wider distribution than they seem to have received, it came out that she did not so much have them as she had seen them a couple of months previously. The natural rejoinder was that you can't go around claiming to have sensational evidence on a sensitive topic without actually having that evidence because that's not only dishonest but it creates a false impression on true believers who are already predisposed to believe things that are Not True. Which of course led to an escalating series of taunts and badgerings over why do I hate women and want to take away their right to choose (?!?) but precious little about the alleged peer reviewed proof.

By Robert L Bell (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

“Peace. Out.”
Are you perchance employed by the Ministry of Peace?

A shill for Big Desert.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

Why would ANYONE care if people just watched the documentary and made up there own minds?

Why do you care whether someone cares?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

Interesting that while they are all too happy to throw around baseless accusations of shillery and buy into evidence-less conspiracies not one of the AVers here has chosen to comment on Fraudypants' utterly (and provably) dishonest trailer. So, to all the "critical thinkers" here, go read this article then address the issues presented. Matt kindly provides scans from Vaccine Whistleblower so you can verify the manipulation.

If you want we can get into the documents themselves. Have you read them or are you just taking Hooker and Fraudypants' word about what they say? Because what they actually say is nothing.

Rather than specifics we can also talk about how Hooker and Fraudypants, concerned about transparency as they are, refused to release the documents themselves. Or how Ben Swann, another champion of TRUTH didn't release them until Matt Carey did ajd only after concatenating, renaming, duplicating and releasing them in multiple nested zip archives.

Or since you are so concerned about COIs shall we talk about Hooker's apparent inability to disclose real, provable financial COIs like his ongoing NVICP petition? Andrew Wakefield ('nuff said). If you have a shred of integrity and any concern for the truth rather than simply protecting your egos apply some of that research and critical thinking that you are so proud of to them.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

I'm a shill for Big Dessert. Still waiting for those donuts they promised me.

By Darthhellokitty (not verified) on 26 Mar 2016 #permalink

This is a hit piece on Wakefield. If the Vaxxers Documentary was baseless and not truth exposing then the people promoting Vaccinations would have nothing to fear. The fact that Vaxxers has now been canned speaks volumes, and has helped promote the Anti-Vax cause. Well Done boys!

Caty seems to live in a happy world where lies have no consequences...

If the Vaxxers Documentary was baseless and not truth exposing...

If?

then the people promoting Vaccinations would have nothing to fear.

It's not fear you're seeing. It's indignation at seeing lies and misinformation presented as a documentary. I'd be happy to see the film back on Tribeca, in an indie fiction category. Still doubt it would be any good, though.

But basically your argument is that people should be able to dishonestly shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater. And if anybody would object, to you it seems, it would mean there somehow was a fire.

Well Done boys!

Sexist.

@Caty, Actually what we fear is misinformation reaching those who don't know better as the lies in that film can cause injury or, at the extreme end, even death if people listen to it without. Wakefield, the producer of this film, already literally has blood on his hands from the effects on vaccination uptake due to his infamous fraudulent Lancet paper which ultimately led to him being struck off as a doctor by the BMC.

Thanks to his fraudulent 'research' and the effect it has had on vaccine uptake in the UK and the US alone, we have already had unnecessary deaths due in both young adults and children due to measles outbreaks due to lowered herd immunity. If you defend such a person without informing yourself of the actual facts, more so if you do know the facts and dismiss them as inconvenient truths and by the sound of it an anti-vaxxer yourself, then you are no better than him and have blood on your hands as well.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 27 Mar 2016 #permalink

first sentence should end;

listen to it without the knowing how wrong this film actually is.

@caty In fact, as gaistabove me says

I’d be happy to see the film back on Tribeca, in an indie fiction category. Still doubt it would be any good, though.

In other words, it is, to be charitable, pure fiction, but truthfully? It is lies, which you can see for yourself by following some of the links in the OP. Though now it has been withdrawn because based on the statement Tribeca put out, it is obvious they have now looked properly and seen this film for the lying piece of propaganda it is.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 27 Mar 2016 #permalink

So have the people who have replied in these comments actually seen the Documentary? If not then the comments are baseless and atypical of the Vaxxer Tryanny trolled out.

What I said stands, if the Vaxxers film has something to highlight against the TRYANNY of a Vaxxer cover up, then it will be canned. Otherwise why fight it? It is only a film, not the end of the world.

Caty seems to live in a happy world where lies have no consequences…

And where words have no spelling.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 Mar 2016 #permalink

Otherwise why fight it?

I do regular gigs for a local news organisation (newspaper and tv/internet feeds). If any of the reporters here would take separate statements and splice them together, like Wakefield did to Thompson's words in the trailer, they'd be fired immediately, with certain reprimand from the ethics committee and possibly a lawsuit to follow. It's that bad; dishonest at the very least, more likely intentionally fraudulent.

I don't want intentional fraud or even blatant dishonesty in documentary films. Do you?

Nor would I want any documentary I was involved in being grouped together with such films (I wouldn't deign to call Vaxxed a documentary), so I can - and hopefully you can - understand and appreciate the damage it would do to a film festival's credibility.

And as been made clear, the document didn't pass the usual selection process, but was thrust in through the back channels. This by itself damages the festival's credibility, and even more so if the film in question was demonstrably fraudulent.

Imagine what outrage you'd feel, Caty, if you heard a politician who took money from a corporation then called in a special favor from a celebrity to have a film fraudulently promoting those corporate interests included at Tribeca without selection review?

Imagine tobacco manufacturers paying politicians to arrange for a film to be shown, where the words of a real, honest doctors were cut-and-pasted together to make them say how smoking is the best thing a child could do? Can you imagine the outrage that would generate?

@Caty: no, I haven't seen the film. But from the trailer, where you can see that already there are blatant lies (i.e. the CDC documents don't show fraud, nor does Thompson EVER say what the trailer seems to imply.) For pete's sake, Hooker published his little book with the transcripts of the conversations, and you can simply read that and see that.

Sure, I have no problems with the film being shown. As long as it's made clear that it is NOT a documentary, but pure fiction. I'm fine with fiction.

(by the way...it's spelled "tyranny"...)

I was wondering who Anny was, and how we should try her.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Mar 2016 #permalink

She seems to be atypical.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 28 Mar 2016 #permalink

A colleague pointed out the significant rise in autism immediately following the introduction of the MMR vaccination campaign. I am an applied mathematician. and review UK's MRC papers. I could not spot any sudden spike related to the vaccination. Autism was starting to rise well before the program. My colleague suggested I read the 'small print' in the appendix. The base line was NOT date of vaccination, it was date of birth. .... Now remove the 'Catch-Up Cohort' my colleague suggested.... That was when the colloquial 'Fit his the shan!" This does not rove MMR was responsible, it demanded investigation as to what other confounding factors might possibly be coincident with the vaccination program.

By Alastair Carnegie (not verified) on 29 Mar 2016 #permalink

(sp.) "Fit hits...." and "prove" not 'rove'.

By Alastair Carnegie (not verified) on 29 Mar 2016 #permalink

"A colleague pointed out the significant rise in autism immediately following the introduction of the MMR vaccination campaign. "

Ask your colleague to please provide the data that autism rose in the USA during the 1970s and 1980s after the MMR was introduced there in 1971.

Surely it would have been noticed in the USA and other countries that were using the MMR almost two decades before the UK introduced three separate versions in 1988.

Anti-vaxers ignore the DSM, the changes in the DSM, and even the timeline for when autism was first "officially" diagnosed....to somehow create this linear line that shows that the rate of autism has been ever-increasing.

Anyone with even the most basic understanding of statistics, and the actual history, can easily show that diagnostic substitution, recognition of additional symptoms of autism, and the just general recognition of the condition can easily explain how something that no one talked about 40 years ago can be something that is easily recognized today.

In addition, there is the phenomenon of de-institutionalisation which made people with IDs and ASDs more visible to the general populace.

Ann Dachel always says that there were never adults with ASDs until today-
no, they weren't out in public and were most likely called something else.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 29 Mar 2016 #permalink

In addition, there is the phenomenon of de-institutionalisation which made people with IDs and ASDs more visible to the general populace.

Heck, if it weren't for my stingy insurance, I might still be in an institution. Especially in another age.

Instead, I am just a grad student again.

*chagrin*

@caty, what gaist said at #312, especially after seeing how audio in the trailer was fraudulently manipulated to make it appear that the 'whistleblower' said something he didn't and which was the opposite of what he has actually said.

Additionally, we have already seen the damage that nearly twenty years of Wakefield's lies have had on the health of people, especially children, around the world, including deaths, so many of us consider the only responsible thing to do is to counter such blatant dishonest propaganda. Now personally, in my ideal world (though in my ideal world such crooks and charlatans wouldn't exist), I would in some way prefer to have had the film go ahead but with a truly independent panel, not the sycophants that were chosen, so as to be able to properly question the film makers about their dishonesty. But since I doubt very much that Wakefield would have allowed such a scenario, we have to make do with second best and its removal from the festival.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 29 Mar 2016 #permalink

Brian Deer is used to it. Right now some numpty on LBRB is trying to get him to answer these very important questions... and day after he called him "John Deer."

The guy did not like it when I asked him why he wanted Wakefield to debate a lawn mower. Come on! I could not help but think about John Deere tractors and lawn mowers.

@Chris, #329:

I am reminded of one of my all-time favourite cartoons, "King of The Hill", for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has seen it. :3

If the Vaxxers Documentary was baseless... then the people promoting Vaccinations would have nothing to fear. The fact that Vaxxers has now been canned speaks volumes, and has helped promote the Anti-Vax cause. Well Done boys!

Broken clocks yada yada, but Caty almost has a point. Had Vaxxed screened at Tribeca (in a poor location and time slot) only a handful of naive and gullible souls could have seen it there. The AV sites would have whooped in triumph, but they were going do that if Vaxxed screened anywhere. Getting on the Tribeca schedule through the back-door (film people gossip, and this was in the wind before we heard about it) wasn't going to get Vaxxed any legs in terms of additional screenings. Even documentary competition winners at festivals rarely get theatrical distribution (trust me, I have the hardware, and you've never heard of me...)

Given the small festival audience, the smart move for skeptics would have been:
1) To sound a warning about Vaxxed on the basis of Andy's history of fraudulent representation of Thompson as continued in the trailer...
2) Avoid criticizing Tribeca, but rather paint them sympathetically as victims of Andy's slick con. (...which is what they were, not that this matters...)
3) Save the full ripping of the film until after the premiere, and then, with the specifics of the fraud verified by the actual screened 'text', argue that it would be irresponsible for any self-respecting film venue to show it again.

Had the Tribeca screening gone forward, the critique would have received even more press than it did, but Andy couldn't have screamed "censorship!" "big pharma conspiracy" blah blah anew. Most importantly, The Streisand Effect would not have been activated, and the Angelika probably wouldn't have scheduled the one-week commercial run.

See, if you can paint it as being 'canned' that does 'speak volumes', not about whether anything in the film is true, but about whether curious people will want to see it.

So, let's be honest about what happened here: Andy Wakefield played 'the scientific community' like a fiddle. A good con-artist thinks two or three steps ahead, and knows his adversaries well enough to bait them into a trap. Cinema Libre was trying to get Vaxxed booked at the Angelika, but the theater wasn't biting. So Andy cashed in the chip from his years of working the De Niros for a crappy slot at Tribeca, figuring pro-vaxers would go apeturd, trash the festival, try to get the screening cancelled, and generate scads of publicity. Which allowed him to trade that one non-revenue-generating showing for 44 showings at a commercial theater from which he gets a nice rental fee, and maybe a cut of the box office take. Of course, if the Angelika makes a profit on it's run of Vaxxed, that opens the door for it to be booked at other commercial theaters in large cities.

NOW, you have an orders-of-magnitude greater fear of the lies in that film reaching those who don’t know better and causing injury. If that "Well Done boys!" doesn't sting, maybe it should. (Fwiw, I got sucked in at least part way myself, and didn't see the next move coming either... so yeah, I feel stung.)

I think there are 'Lessons To Be Learned' here,which I'll put in a following comment some time after I get some sleep.

@ sadmar

Fwiw, I got sucked in at least part way myself, and didn’t see the next move coming either

I'm afraid we were close to a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. I mean, either way, Wakefield would have found a way in. He does this for a job, we do it in our spare time.

If he was feeling he was losing control of the movie's projection (e.g. with skeptics everywhere inside and outside the theater), he could have dropped the whole thing at the last minute, for "fear of physical assault", or something. It may not have been as bad as the current situation, but we would still be blaming ourselves for not doing better.
Remember, hindsight is 20/20.

I could agree that "our" response was suboptimal, with one minor point: AFAIK, there is no "our". There was a multitude of non- to barely-coordinated responses, with at best some major trends of non-overlapping opinions emerging. There was those arguing for the movie's retraction, those for picketing it, those for avoiding the whole festival...

Silver lining: skeptics are not about to take over the world. We are far from being united. And as a whole, far from being Machiavellian enough for the cold calculation of PR benefits we should have done, according to you.

I know the hold saying about hanging together to avoid being hanged alone, but... Maybe the "skeptics" non-united community is for the best. Independence of thoughts is supposed to be part of being of an inquiring mind, be it for scientists or skeptics. I don't think I want to be part of some sort of Borg collective.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 06 Apr 2016 #permalink

I hear ya, sadmar. Even when Wakefield loses, he wins at some level...

I just wish Tribeca would make an annoucement in regards to the reason they pulled the movie. If they make it clear that they pulled it because it fails as a documentary (being based upon the work of a fraudster, exposed as having used dishonest tampering with recordings etc) as opposed to them caving in under the pressure of the calls for censorship, it would at least kill all these stupid conspiracy theorists up.

@Amethyst

it would at least kill all these stupid conspiracy theorists up

Oh, I'm sure they could find some way to spin it into a conspiracy theory.