Jim Carrey’s meltdown is the perfect microcosm of the anti-vaccine mindset

I was running up and down an unpronounceable neighborhood yesterday but still managing to check in with friends and colleagues in the USA. As they all celebrated the 4th of July, I was reminded of the spectrum of beliefs about everything that we humans have. Yesterday’s social media postings went from people who didn’t care much about the meaning of the holiday to people whose patriotism stepped into that bizarre area where the USA is the greatest place in the world even though those espousing this view have never been outside of their own state. That’s how humans roll. Some of us care a lot about some things, while others could care less. Some of us have realistic views about vaccines while others don’t see a difference between vaccines and Satan’s piss.

One of those people who can’t tell the difference is Jim Carrey. Once Senate Bill 277 was enacted into law last week in California, Jim Carrey lost his goddamned mind. He took to social media (twitter, mostly) to rant and rave about vaccines and their horrors. I’d call it a meltdown, but that doesn’t give it enough justice. It’s as if he googled for any and all anti-vaccine arguments and made a list, then googled for all pro-vaccine arguments and actively erased that from his mind, finishing up by googling images of children with autism and posting those as all being caused by vaccines.

He even got in trouble for posting one such picture of a child whose autism is the result of a genetic condition that causes physical changes to his brain. Of course, Jim Carrey read “autism” and immediately thought “vaccines.” That’s par for the course for anti-vaccine cult members, of which there are many in Hollywood circles. The mother of the child whose picture Jim Carrey used without permission filed a complaint, and Jim Carrey apologized for using the picture. He is yet to apologize for spreading outright lies about vaccines.

But I’m not surprised by Jim Carrey’s rant. He was once romantically involved with Jenny McCarthy, the model and actress whose child has gone back and forth between different diagnoses about his developmental delay. Whether or not he picked up his terror of vaccines (a terror so enormous that it forces him to lie and scare other people) from Jenny McCarthy is up for debate. One thing is for sure, reality is not something either of them deal with when it comes to vaccines. Well, them and the rest of the anti-vaccine cult.

The Pharma Shill Gambit? Check. According to Jim Carrey and so many other opponents of Senate Bill 277, the pharmaceutical industry “bought” lawmakers by donating $2 million dollars to political campaigns in California. Never mind that the money went to people who voted against the bill, not just the supporters. I guess it’s a misdirection play by Big Pharma. But what is $2 million in a multi-billion-dollar industry? If I have $5,000 in my checking account, is it really a conflict of interest if I give two or three bucks to a group to do my bidding on something that will probably give me back fifty cents in return? Because, have no doubt, vaccines don’t bring in that much money to Big Pharma. They make their money on what we use to stay alive in the last years of our lives, not what we use to survive childhood.

If Big Pharma wanted to make a load of money, they would stop vaccinations altogether, just like anti-vaccine cult members want. The ensuing wave of children with all sorts of diseases who have to get antibiotics and medical care would make them wealthy beyond belief. Just go and look at the number of cases of measles before the vaccine, multiply it by our growth rate since the 1960’s, and then divide that by a thousand to get the number of complicated cases requiring hospitalization, or divide it by 10,000 to see the number of cases requiring antibiotics or other medications. Then do the same exercise for Haemophilus influenzae B (Hib) infections, mumps, German measles, influenza, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, and the rest of the vaccine-preventable diseases. By selling vaccines, Big Pharma is cutting its profits.

Mercury in vaccines? Check. Jim Carrey tweeted out that the government regulates “mercury” in fish but not “mercury” in vaccines. Thing is, both kinds of “mercury” are different. When it comes to fish, it’s methylmercury, which builds up in biological systems and is hard to get rid of fast enough to prevent damage. When it comes to vaccines, a preservative called thimerosal is metabolized into ethylmercury, which is easily disposed of by our bodies. That, and thimerosal has been removed from all childhood vaccines with the exception of multi-dose vials of influenza vaccine. Just ask for the single shot if you’re so worried. Even better, the vaccine that everyone associates with autism, the MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) never had thimerosal in it. It’s a live-virus vaccine, and thimerosal would kill/inactivate those viruses. But Jim Carrey, like anti-vaccine people, must think reality is too complicated to understand the difference between methyl- and ethyl- compounds.

“I’m not antivaccine!” gambit. Check. Jim Carrey also tweeted out that he is not anti-vaccine. He stated that he’s just “anti-mercury.” So he must be pro-MMR vaccine, right? Wrong. He was asked this and never answered. He has also endorsed and promoted Andrew Jeremy Wakefield’s whacky ideas about the MMR vaccine. So, if Jim Carrey is not anti-vaccine, he is just as weird as all the other anti-vaccine cult members who claim to not be anti-vaccine but can’t endorse one single vaccine. Then they run off yelling, “Parental choice! Parental choice!”

Jim Carrey goes on and on, embarrassing himself through the ignorance of science and denial of reason that he displays in his statements. The worst part is that there are people out there who would listen to him and believe him over what 99.99% of scientists, healthcare providers, and public health professionals have to say. After all, if a Hollywood celebrity says it, it must be truth, right?

Oh, wait…

https://twitter.com/daxshepard1/status/616776698692923392

These are your “vaccine experts”: Christina England

Now that I’m done wading into the cesspool of “vaccine experts” found within Facebook, I’ve come to realize that most of them never got any kind of formal training on the science of vaccines. This is no surprise by itself, but it is kind of scary when you realize the number of people who listen to them and take their word as gospel. Even those among them who self-identify as journalists don’t do much journalism, per se. Their brand of journalism is filled with personal opinions and misinterpretation of scientific evidence. Hell, they don’t even consult with anyone who has any kind of scientific training to see if the evidence they have in hand stands up to scrutiny.

For example, take a look at Christina England. She writes a lot about vaccines and what she perceives to be their dangers. She even seems to think that babies who die at the hands of their parents, with broken skulls and brain damage, actually died from a vaccine reaction and not from Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS):

“Amanda died from multiple skull fractures and the triad of injuries associated with Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) which are Retinal haemorrhages (bleeding into the linings of the eyes); subdural haemorrhages (bleeding beneath the dural membrane); Encephalopathy (damage to the brain affecting function).
The question is did Elwood Sadowsky deliberately kill his daughter or was her death the result of a series of tragic circumstances?”

She goes on to quote a paper on ergonomics, and then adds this:

“An encephalalitic reaction after the Hepatitis B vaccine is well documented and is a reaction discussed in many papers. Professionals often refer to high pitched screaming or seizures shortly after this vaccination, indicating a problem. Neil Z Miller an American medical research journalist, anti-vaccine and natural health advocate wrote the following in the Vaccine Safety Manual.
“Many of the mothers noticed that their children had a high-pitched cry soon after their vaccination or vaccinations. This is called the encephalitic cry, meaning that it is caused by an inflamed, swollen brain. It also explains the difficulty many mothers have in waking their children, the vomiting, passing out and irritability following vaccinations. These are all signs of an inflamed brain.”
Did Amanda suffer from this reaction and was this the reason that baby Amanda was so distressed? If so the injuries found just weeks later may have been caused by the Hepatitis B vaccine, however, this possibility this was never investigated.”

If you’re shocked that someone would defend the murder of a child by trying to tie it to vaccines, you shouldn’t. This is a common thing that anti-vaccine people are doing the world over. Ms. England also takes blog posts from known anti-vaccine sites, misreads and misinterprets the “evidence” presented in those blog posts, and writes her own blog post about how there is “evidence” that non-vaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children. All the studies quoted are from surveys. All the papers written clearly state that there were surveys and that actual case-control or cohort studies should be done.

If you look at her bio page on Whale.to (a known cesspool of conspiracy theories in its own right) you’ll see that Ms. England never had any formal training in epidemiology, yet she continuously criticizes epidemiological studies. This would be funny if it wasn’t so goddamned serious. She adds “HND” to her name, meaning that she obtained a “Higher National Diploma“, something that is equivalent to about two years of a bachelor’s degree (or an Associate’s Degree here in the United States). That HND is in journalism. She also claims to have taken “A Level in Psychology” (a vocational certificate) and have a BTEC certificate (also a vocational certificate) in learning disabilities.

Yes, there are plenty of people who are experts in things without having professional degrees. But you don’t find these people in the biological sciences stating opinions without facts, or publishing quality papers on biological sciences. Or, if they weigh in on scientific issues, they consult with actual experts (and not just quacks who think vaccines are the enemies of God). They also don’t exaggerate the dangers of vaccines to the point of writing that SBS, in which a baby’s skull is broken and their brain separated from their spinal cord, is actually caused by vaccines.

I recently told you that anti-vaccine people are their own worst enemies, and I still stand by it. They genuinely think that people like Christina England know more and are more of an expert than someone who did the work of getting an undergraduate, graduate, and even a doctoral degree. They believe that babies shaken to death and killed in a manner most horrible is not the result of an adult doing it to them but the result of vaccination. So, if these are your “experts,” you have a lot to worry about.

So I friended some anti-vaccine people on Facebook…

…And, Jesus H. Christ, are they nutty.

Apparently, there are “thousands and thousands” of children being “injured” daily by “toxic chemicals” in vaccines. Of course.

First, we have Christina England, who wants vaccines to be 100% safe and 100% effective. Only then will she stop misinforming people about them:

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 6.50.35 PMThen we have Tristan Wells, who is a germ theory denialist and thinks that vaccines didn’t save us:

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 6.50.56 PMAlso, I’m an unhealthy and uneducated person:

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They also don’t understand the Nirvana Fallacy:

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Then they call in the clown car:Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 7.15.17 PM

Then a person hiding behind a computer screen writes this:

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And, of course, they deny they’re anti-vaccine:

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Then there was this conversation with “Thinking Moms Revolution” blogger Zoey O’Toole:

Me:To be honest, I want to know if anti-vaccine people like you really do believe that required vaccination policies are like the Jewish Holocaust that almost killed my great grandparents.

Zoey: You can’t expect people to think you are seriously interested in their thoughts when you use a term like “anti-vaccine people” at the outset, especially when you are using it to refer to people who mostly vaccinated their children just as they were told. In addition, there is no quality or belief that everyone in the group of people you are referring to shares but a desire to improve children’s health. No one can or should speak for everyone else, including me. I’m going to overlook these things, however, and I’m going to answer your question seriously because promoting understanding is important to me and there is the tiniest possibility that by answering your question seriously understanding can result.
I’m not Jewish, but I grew up in two heavily Jewish communities, spent four years with an Israeli that I nearly married, and live in a house owned by Hasidic Jews who consider me, a very “modern” single mother of two children, to be the best tenant they could ever have imagined. In addition, as an empathic person, I have always felt drawn to the huge physical and psychic wound of the Holocaust. I’ve read a number of biographies of people who lived to tell the tale (and I know that only a small percentage did), watched Shoah in its entirety with tears streaming down my face, and even played Anne Frank on stage. As the very Jewish director said at the time, “You’re too old, too tall, and too blonde (I dyed my hair to do the part), but I want you to do it anyway.”
I understand why people feel the way they do about the Holocaust. It was a tremendous injustice perpetrated on innocent people, and it’s one that we should remember and make absolutely certain never happens again. If I had lived in Europe at the time, there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that I would have been part of the Resistance because injustice demands resistance.
Now . . . imagine you have a child, a beautiful, healthy baby. You are told that to keep that beautiful, healthy baby safe you must repeatedly inject a slew of toxic chemicals into that child’s body. You do as you are told because, of course, you want to protect that innocent child whose life depends upon your making smart decisions. Only, instead of being “safe,” your child spikes a fever, screams in an unearthly way that you have never heard before, has grand mal seizures and loses all his/her previously acquired skills right before your eyes. Your child comes down with a host of related physical conditions that make life difficult and possibly dangerous for all concerned, resulting in repeated ER visits, stress on the order of combat veterans, and the complete devastation of your finances. Then you find out that the same exact thing has happened to thousands and thousands of other babies.
Can you understand why people might feel very strongly about something they were told would HELP their children but, instead, ended up harming their innocent babies beyond anything they could possibly have imagined? Can you imagine what it’s like when the world doesn’t listen and not only does not acknowledge their losses, but actively DENIES them as well? Denies them to the point of ADDING unnecessary mandates that are going to reap more and more victims on a global scale? I know you don’t believe this is the case, but just IMAGINE for a moment what it would be like for YOU if it WERE the case. (Because it IS the case for many, many people.) FEEL the despair. Feel the anger.
The people who compare what happened to their children to the Holocaust are NOT trying to diminish what happened to people like your great-grandparents in World War II; they are trying to get you to understand the depth and intensity of their feelings about what happened to their own children when they did as they were told. They’re trying to get you to see that “doing as you are told” can get you hurt or killed now, just as it could get you killed as a Jew in Germany in the 1930s. And that’s just not right.
Injustice is injustice, and allowing it to continue hurts us all.

Me: Thank you for your lengthy response. Let me begin by defining what I mean by “anti-vaccine.” When I call someone anti-vaccine, I am not denying that they at one time or another vaccinated their children. I am not denying that they themselves may have been vaccinated at one time. However, they are now exaggerating the risks of vaccination while minimizing the benefits. They claim, as you do, that there are “thousands and thousands” of children hurt by vaccines when all the evidence is that there are not.
Now, in your mind, instances of things like autism, cerebral palsy, allergies, and so on are the result of vaccination. Why? Perhaps because those conditions were only recognized after an exposure to a vaccine in utero or once born. Or perhaps because the lies and misinformation posted widely on blogs and websites has convinced them of this. However, people who have been trained extensively on teasing out coincidence from associations have found that the observed associations in “thousands and thousands” of children with different diseases fade away when confounders and effect modifiers are taken into consideration.
But that won’t convince you or your friends because we are paid shills. The men and women, parents themselves, who have worked to make vaccines as safe and effective as possible with the technology we have and in the imperfect world that we live in are called things like “devils,” “pharma shills,” or worse. To people like you, we are not experts even with our myriad of degrees, our work in the field treating and preventing vaccine-preventable diseases, or the papers that we have published in peer-reviewed journals. We are not experts especially if we are not parents, as if I could go have sex right now and be branded an expert in about 40 weeks. Or, if we do have children, we are not experts because our children are neurotypical or otherwise healthy. Or, if we do have children with autism or any other of the conditions you attribute to vaccines, then we are not experts because we do not see the world as warped as you think that it is.
Not only do I disagree with you that you are not anti-vaccine, I disagree with you that anyone in any circumstance is justified in comparing the Holocaust to anything but the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a systematic program to exterminate an entire people. At last count, it killed 12 million (half of whom were Jews). The vaccine program in this country and around the world is not designed to make a people disappear. It is not aimed at putting anyone in slavery so that one day they be killed in cold blood.
And that’s another big error in the narrative of the anti-vaccine groups in California and everywhere. Diseases and conditions like autism, cerebral palsy, allergies, etc. are not death sentences. The children are still there, still alive. They were not stolen. They were not taken. They were not killed in a systematic way in hopes of purifying humanity. To put it simply, there is no Holocaust caused by vaccines, and there is no justification in comparing the perceived association between a child’s health and vaccines to the Holocaust.
Speaking of Freedom and Justice. Freedom goes hand-in-hand with Justice. While we are free to be vaccinated or not, it is unjust for us to not spread out the risks and the benefits of vaccination among all of us. It is unjust for any of us to sit in our position of privilege, with access to some of the best healthcare in the world, and spread ideas that convince people who do not have said access to skip or outright refuse a public health intervention.
I don’t deny that vaccines have caused unfortunate severe reactions in children, but they have done so at a rate orders of magnitude smaller than what Whale.to or AgeOfAutism.com would like us to believe. Likewise, they have saved lives in orders of magnitude larger than what TMR or Lowell Hubbs wants us to believe. Anyone who says that vaccines are 100% safe and/or 100% effective are no better than anti-vaccine people, and I will be among the first to call them out. But you know what I haven’t seen any “pro-vax” person do? I haven’t seen them protest with such vitriol and such hatred as I’ve seen some of your friends do. I haven’t seen a pro-vax person tell an anti-vaccine person that they’re going to hell, or, as AgeOfAutism.com has done, engage in anti-semitism such as the blood libel of their “Thanksgiving Dinner” photoshop fiasco.
So we are on opposite poles, Zoey. I’m sitting here in Seoul looking at an enormous outbreak of something very deadly, praying to God that we can control it and come up with a vaccine soon. I bring with me the tools of epidemiology, the knowledge collected by generations of people who saw associations and decided to explain them with science not rhetoric. And I will never, ever stop.
You and I will be long gone form this earth, Zoey, and children the world over will still be vaccinated, diseases will be forgotten. And that right there is worth debating you and your like-minded colleagues… That right there is worth not using caps lock.

Zoey: Right off the bat your definition of my friends and I is completely off. We do not “exaggerate the risks of vaccines while minimizing the benefits.” We tell the truth. There is plenty of evidence that there are thousands and thousands of children who have been badly harmed by vaccines, and many, many others who have been less badly harmed, but you are not willing to see it. We have no motivation to tell anything other than the truth because we are concerned with the safety and health of children, all children, first and foremost. There are some people who do exaggerate surely, but then there are some people on every side, including yours, of every issue who exaggerate.
The only way for you to believe what you’re saying is to discount the evidence of thousands of smart, caring, attentive parents and their doctors, many of them my very good friends. Not just the evidence of what happened to them in the first place, but the evidence on what happens to them when they are treated for the damage that was done. Shockingly enough, many of them get well. Some of them completely. Being a smart, caring, attentive parent myself, I cannot discount that testimony so easily.
NO ONE is an “expert” in MY health or my children, but me. So, no you are not an expert in what has happened to me or my children, nor are you an expert in my friends or their children. And, no, those parents are not going to believe your “expert testimony” over what they saw with their own eyes and what the lab tests told them. When they DID listen to “people like you” (and sorry, but that “people like you” is offensive because you clearly know nothing about me) their children got sick, very sick. There are those who can “tease out” etiologies of issues, but they are rarely considered the “experts” by the mainstream. The “experts” merely shrug their shoulders, throw up their hands and say, “I’m sorry, you’re just unlucky.” Or “It’s genetic.” Only when the parents stopped listening to the so-called “experts,” did they figure out how to get their children well. Which do you think is more motivating to a parent? The road where you arrive at a very sick, supposedly “incurable, genetic” condition? Or the road where that child gets well? Is it any wonder those parents aren’t listening to you? You may not be a parent, but I hope to God that, if and when you ARE, you choose the road with the well child.
I never said “anyone in any circumstance is justified in comparing the Holocaust” to anything. I tried to get you to understand, just for a minute, why someone would do it. I agree that the Holocaust was about systematic extermination. While genocide is not unique in human history, the scale and cold efficiency of the Third Reich was indeed unique, and I hope it stays that way. I do not believe that the vaccine program is INTENDED to harm children. I think that there are a great many people of integrity working within the system trying to do their best to serve humanity. However, the vaccine program as it is currently constructed IS harming children on a large scale (mainstream study determined up to 54% of American children today are living with chronic health conditions when you include obesity. Clearly all that vaccinating is making us the healthiest population on the planet — oh, wait. No, it’s not) and the people in charge of the program either truly don’t believe it (largely because they don’t want to, there is PLENTY of evidence), or because they simply don’t care because the situation as it is feeds their egos, their desire for power, and/or lines their pockets. THAT is not in any way unique in human history, unfortunately.
So . . . you’re not a parent, right? I suspect you don’t have any idea how offensive the parents you’re talking about would find your paragraph about “diseases and conditions like autism, etc.” not being death sentences. Just as they may not understand why you find the Holocaust comparison so offensive. Would it really be “okay” with you if your beautiful, healthy child were rendered permanently ill by something you were told was “perfectly safe” and would “protect” your child? Would you really console yourself with the fact that your (previously healthy) child, who has multiple seizures daily, can’t talk, is still in diapers and beats you frequently because he is in so much pain, is “still there”? “Still alive”? Would you really say to Karen Kain, whose daughter Lorrin spent her short life on many seizure medications, with a breathing tube and a wheelchair, you “didn’t lose her”? And when your child’s sensory processing is so over-the-top that ordinary moments cause the child to “bolt” with no warning from safe places with no awareness of safety, to the point that no less than five children with autism ‘wandered” to their death in the last few weeks, would you say, “Well, hey, that’s fine with me, at least he won’t get measles”?
I happen to be the parent of a child who died, and you know what? I’d take my chances with measles any day, and I’m not alone because existence is not all anyone wants for his or her children. And it’s not all they should want for their children. We are not guaranteed existence. Children are killed by car accidents, drowning accidents, freak illnesses, etc. every day, and that is tragic, yes, but it is simply impossible to escape all risk of death. And if you spend your life trying to avoid death rather than living it to the fullest, you render it meaningless.
You haven’t been paying attention to your “pro-vax” friends if you’re not seeing vitriol. EVERY SINGLE one of us has been told MANY times that we’re “child killers,” “cunts,” and that people hope that our children die of vaccine-preventable diseases. Someone even made a website with a “Jenny McCarthy body count” because Jenny McCarthy DARED to TELL THE TRUTH about what happened to her child. Believe me, you”re getting off easy with “devil.” I have no idea what you’re talking about with the Age of Autism Thanksgiving Dinner photoshop stuff.
*sigh* “Generations of people who saw associations and decided to explain them with science not rhetoric.” You know what I find most ironic here? Your use of the name Edward Jenner. You want to know why? Edward Jenner listened to “anecdotes.” He heard that milkmaids didn’t get smallpox. He thought about what that might mean. Maybe it meant that people who got cowpox were then immune to smallpox. Did he have any scientific data to support that hypothesis? Hell, no! Just a bunch of “anecdotes.” The whole field you’re talking about was BUILT on anecdotes, but now, somehow, “anecdote” is a dirty word. As if by ignoring them, we can pretend they have no bearing on reality. Any scientist with a truly curious mind who wishes to solve problems, one worth their salt in other words, knows that in those “anecdotes” lies scientific gold, clues to questions worth answering, some of which haven’t even been imagined yet. It’s piles of data just begging to be quantified, and yet no one has. So much for “seeing associations” and “explaining them with science.” You may not know this because it is probably of no interest to you, but virtually every scientific study that has any value to the autism community is merely confirming things that those “crazy, anti-vaccine” people knew a long, long time ago and that “experts” — “people like you” told them was categorically untrue. A truly scientific mind would find it curious that these people could be right about everything else, and yet be so “wrong” about something so basic as vaccines.
In addition to not discounting the testimony of thousands of literally thousands of parents, I cannot discount the science I had read that makes it very clear that what is injected can indeed affect the brain, especially if it is injected before the blood/brain barrier is closed. I gather you are an epidemiologist. I don’t know how much you know about immunology, but if you really wanted to “explain associations with science” you would be interested in the fascinating science being done on how autoimmunity can be induced with hypodermic needles and aluminum adjuvants. I suggest you hunt it down, otherwise you will be completely taken by surprise when people actually stop vaccinating — at least wide-scale vaccinating — because they recognize that it has caused a host of unintended consequences that is slowly crippling the population, well maybe not that slowly anymore.
I’m sorry if my use of caps lock annoys you, but in addition to a degree in Physics, I have a background in acting. In my head I emphasize certain words, and I like to convey the sense as I think it. Facebook does not give me the option of italics, so caps lock it is.

I didn’t respond after this. It’s just not worth it. She’s not going to understand that we live in a world where there are easy scientific tools to look into the spurious associations that her and her friends see. We don’t live in the times of Jenner or Pasteur. We don’t need to take coincidences as “scientific gold,” and we don’t need to be parents to understand the science of vaccines.

The only silver lining in all this is something that a friend wrote on his blog: Many years from now, the anti-vaccine people will be remembered en masse for the whacky things they said and wrote. The rest of us will be remembered for standing up to the lies and for promoting a public health intervention that has saved millions of lives.

Keep it up, anti-vaccine nuts, you’re your own worst enemy

If we were to no longer write anything in our blogs and just post comments from the anti-vaccine community, we probably would get more pro-vaccine bills and pro-science policies passed. Why? Because the most vocal anti-vaccine leaders out there are, quite simply, nuts.

Exhibit A is “MaMa Wendy” on YouTube. It takes her about 57 seconds before she validates Godwin’s law by comparing the vaccination of children to the Holocaust. Also, the “struggle” of the anti-vaccine club, according to this white woman, is a lot like MLK’s and Rosa Parks’ struggle for Civil Rights, or like Gandhi’ struggle for Indian independence:

Talk about lacking a sense of historical perspective.

Exhibit B are the numerous documented online rants by anti-vaccine advocates where they throw out every known conspiracy theory out there when it comes to vaccinations. Many of these rants are compiled by the “Anti-Vax Wall of Shame” and the “Things Anti-Vaxers Say” pages on Facebook.

And Exhibit C is this article from the Sacramento Bee, where we are told that even the president of the California Quacks Chiropractors Association is getting in on the action by telling people to stalk pro-vaccine people advocating for the passage of SB277, a California Senate bill requiring vaccination of all children attending public school in California and doing away with all exemptions to vaccination except for medical ones.

The article reads:

“The emotional debate over Senate Bill 277, which would make vaccinations compulsory for California schoolchildren and passed the Senate last week, has taken a personal turn in recent weeks. Lobbyists championing the bill on behalf of the California Medical Association and the California Academy of Family Physicians have attracted the attention of bill opponents, who have begun sharing information on the lobbyists and disseminating photos of their locations on social media.

California Chiropractic Association President Brian Stenzler has spurred them on, according to a letter signed by California Medical Association CEO Dustin Corcoran, with a video in which Stenzler tells an SB 277 opponent who asks about the two lobbyists to follow them “all day long – follow them to a T.””

For many years now, chiropractors have felt that vaccines are a threat to their income flow. Why wouldn’t they? More vaccinated children mean more healthy children. That translates to less visits to the chiropractor for sham treatments of infectious diseases. (Chiropractors are not trained on how to treat infectious diseases, but they sure will try to sale you on some snake oil if they can.)

There are other bits of evidence out there on the lunacy of the anti-vaccine arguments, but I think you get the gist. So we’ll leave you with this one last video by chiropractor supreme, Billy DeMoss, smooching all over Andrew Jeremy Wakefield, talking about “depopulation agendas”:

Keep it up, you nutjobs. Keep it up.

Grasping at straws to blame vaccines for an infant’s death

I will never, ever be happy that a child dies. You will never hear me say that they are in a “better place” or that there is some grander plan behind said death. And I can only imagine how tough it must be for a parent to lose a child.

What really grinds my gears is when a parent who loses a child goes to great lengths to blame vaccines. It’s one thing to grieve and want to blame something, but it’s another to waste money and resources in order to blame vaccines. This is the story of such a story:

“Rachel French did what most parents do: she took her baby to the doctor to get vaccinated. She was unaware of the associated risks that come along with these drugs and learned the hard way. She lost her adorable son less than three days after he was given eight routine vaccines.”

Of course, anything that happens after vaccination is directly a result of the vaccination, no matter what. At least that’s how anti-vaccine nuts operate in Crosby’s Labyrinth. The story gets really weird further down, but look at this part first:

“Her son’s autopsy report stated he died from asphyxiation from an undetermined cause. There was nothing obstructing his airways, nor did he have any physical signs of trauma at the time of his death.

The medical examiner and detective handling the case did not provide a good enough explanation for Rachel to understand what had happened to her baby. This led Rachel on her own journey to find out the truth. Rachel was told by the doctors that the vaccines had nothing to do with what had happened.

Years later, her lost son came through to her in a dream and eventually helped her uncover the truth. Her own investigation involving a child death investigator and pathologists proved the vaccines were responsible. This is their family’s harrowing story.”

Again, losing a child is horrible, so I’m sure that “Rachel” wanted some evidence that something else, like vaccines, killed her child. It’s not that she was anti-vaccine, per se. After all, the child was vaccinated. But everything just goes flying off the rails after that dream she had:

“It wasn’t until more than a few years after Danny passed, that I had a weird dream of my son. He came to me in my dream and it is the only dream I know of him being in.

He was just sitting in his bouncy seat and a man’s voice said, “It was the ‘site-o-kin’ storm that killed me.”

I decided to Google the term and found the term cytokine storm.”

And this is where I call bullshit. Our dreams are these very impressive constructs of fantasy and reality created by our brains in order to help us file away memories in a proper manner. Dream help us sort things out that are in our heads bothering us. Without dreams, we’d go crazy in a most literal sense. This statement by Rachel tells us all we need to know. She had more than likely looked up “cytokine storm” in relation to her son’s death, or she read about the cytokine storm somewhere and associated it with her son’s death. In either case, the dream tells us that her brain was in the process of filing the information away. However, because the death of her child was so meaningful, her brain instead associated the two things, leading her to hire “experts” who must have taken her for a chump:

“Danny had blood samples taken when he was twelve months old. On the day of Danny’s well-baby visit two months later, just before he passed, the day he was given that last set of shots, they had to take his blood again because of a previous lab mix-up.

I wasn’t comfortable with the way things were going so I had requested that the samples be sent to a facility for storing.

I had kept a locket of Danny’s hair after he had passed away, some slides requested after his autopsy, and decided to send some teeth and bone fragments from his ashes to the pathologist, along with the stored blood samples I had requested be saved. I then made arrangements to have the evidence reviewed.

Everything was reviewed by three separate pathologists. All three confirmed the same findings. The pathologists stated vaccine-induced hypercytokinemia as the cause of my son’s asphyxiation.”

First, routine blood samples are kept for no more than a week after they are collected. So we’re expected to believe that they were kept for years after his death. Next, based on this likely inexistent blood, some slides, and some bone fragments, these “experts” came up with “vaccine-induced hypercytokinemia”?

I’ll give you one guess and one guess only as to who uses that term? Yep, anti-vaccine nuts.

What’s more puzzling? This:

“They were able to determine this in large part to the blood panel taken prior to Danny receiving his vaccines, in contrast with the samples I had stored.”

So the blood that was mixed up at the lab at twelve months, and the blood that was likely not available after, all helped in determining this? I repeat, Rachel states that blood was drawn at twelve months but re-drawn because of a mix-up. The re-draw she states was stored in a facility, which explains the availability of the blood. But how did she find the mixed-up blood drawn at twelve months?

The whole thing has more questions than answers.

According to Google, the child died on July 4, 2008. There was one record that matches his in VAERS (ID 573366-1). I don’t know if it is his or not, but it bares many similarities to the story on the above mentioned anti-vaccine blog. There is no information on the investigation, and there likely won’t be. VAERS doesn’t work like that.

So how did Rachel even start wondering if vaccines caused her child’s death? A friend lost a child, too:

“A friend I had met before learning the truth about what happened to Danny went through something similar with her baby. The coroner called her and said her baby’s death was a SIDS case related to the DTaP vaccine he received at two months of age.

She called the next day, got a new medical examiner who said the other medical examiner was gone, she waited eight months for the autopsy report that was filled out by a different person and it stated accidental suffocation or something along those lines.”

Once that little seed of doubt got planted, it was only a matter of time until Rachel went looking for an answer, like a hammer looking for a nail.

The rest of the blog post is the usual dreck of anti-vaccine nuttery. In their pea brains, there is a cover-up and SIDS deaths are deaths from vaccines, accidental asphyxiations are deaths from vaccines, package inserts are confessions from pharmaceuticals about the evils of vaccines, and so on and so forth. You know the drill.

All in all, I really feel bad for Rachel. Here is a mother who lost her child and apparently wanted answers. When the answers were not enough, and when someone planted the idea that it was the vaccines, it seems that Rachel went looking for definitive proof of vaccines doing something to her child. And it seems that “experts” with some sort of anti-vaccine agenda took her for a ride and sold her the idea of “vaccine-induced cytokine storm.”

We do wonder who these “pathologists” are that confirmed this diagnosis. Are they board-certified, and, if so, does the medical board of the state where they practice know of these shenanigans?

In case you were wondering how evil the anti-vaccine cult can get

I know that you probably won’t be surprised to hear how evil the anti-vaccine zealots can get over the topic of vaccination. But, just in case you think that theirs is a religion of peace, let’s take a look at what is happening in California right now.

State Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician, has proposed legislation that does away with the personal belief exemption from vaccination requirements for school. That’s all the bill does. If an anti-vaccine parent wants their precious little snowflakes to go to school with the rest of society, then they need to due their civic duty and protect the most vulnerable from vaccine-preventable diseases. Hey, everyone does this for them, so it’s time that they do it for others.

In no place within the bill does it state that children would be forced to be vaccinated. There are no civil or criminal penalties for not vaccinating. Anti-vaccine cult members can continue to not vaccinate their children, but they can’t take advantage of herd immunity provided by the children of responsible parents. They also can’t erode herd immunity at a school level.

Sorry, creeps, but we took a vote, and we want you to be responsible if you’re going to be part of our society.

Of course, the anti-vaccine priests came out in full force and decided to brand Dr. Pan a traitor, a Nazi, and other choice adjectives, just like they do so much with Dr. Paul Offit. As a result of their anger, the California Capitol has had to be under a state of alert because…

“Emotions have flared as deliberations begin on SB 277 and anti-vaccine advocates lobby aggressively against the bill. At a raucous committee hearing last week, where several audience members were ejected, Democratic senators Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles and Bill Monning of Carmel chided opponents for calls to their offices that they said crossed the line.

The office of Sen. Ben Allen, a Santa Monica Democrat who is a co-author of Pan’s bill, declined to comment on whether he was also receiving threats or additional security.

Pan blamed the “vitriol” of prominent anti-vaccine advocates, such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who apologized this week for calling the rise in autism, which he believes is linked to vaccines, a “holocaust.””

See, when a high priest like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., stands up in front of his congregation and proclaims that vaccines are bringing about a “holocaust,” many if not all of the congregation members are going to collectively lose their goddamned minds. There’s no science in what RFK Jr. says. There’s no good evidence of what he stands for (or against, really). But why listen to evidence when the lies make you feel more comfortable?

RFK Jr. is not the only one stoking the flames. There are plenty in the anti-vaccine cult who are thirsty for blood. So stay safe out there, as you continue to fight the good fight.