I told you just the other day about “Your Baby’s Best Shot“, a book describing the necessity of vaccines and placing the risks and benefits in real terms, and how an error in the book was being used and abused by anti-vaccination groups to say that the entirety of the book was in error. Well, if you go to the Amazon.com page for the book, you will be able to read some reviews on it. Most of the reviews are positive, and then there is this one. It is a 3,466-word rant about all of the perceived errors and “sloppiness” in the book, combined with plenty of anti-vaccine propaganda.
I can’t possibly review the entire review. That would be very meta, and I just don’t have the time or the intestinal fortitude. However, if you’re familiar with anti-vaccine rants, you’ll be able to pick up on the reviewer’s antics right away. Also, a few people responded to her rants, including a friend of this blog. They pushed the reviewer to reveal some interesting things about herself. As always, I will not mention the reviewer by name, but you can read this rant by her — in the form of a letter to the editor.
So what did she reveal in her follow-up comments? In this follow-up comment, she writes:
“I got a tetanus booster at 19 which paralyzed both arms for two days, brachial plexus neuropathy, and then I went on the develop MS, caused by the mercury in that and previous vaccines I had gotten. My daughter and I are two of the millions of severely vaccine-damaged people in the U.S., and in the world.”
MS stands for “Multiple Sclerosis“, a neurological condition in which the nerves lose their ability to properly conduct electrical impulses because the myelin sheath — a layer of insulation — around the nerves gets worn down or destroyed. Multiple Sclerosis is caused by inflammation that destroys the myelin. That inflammation is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking the myelin. What triggers the auto-immune reaction is not known. But you know what has been ruled out? Thimerosal has been ruled out as causing MS. It’s been pretty much ruled out as causing anything because there is just not enough mercury in thimerosal to cause anything. It’s too little, and it’s the kind of mercury that doesn’t accumulate in the body. It’s all in the chemistry.
The reviewer mentions her injury and subsequent disability on her next reply:
“So, Binky Boy [Ed. a person replying to her rants], have you seen the medical records I provided Voc Rehab with recently, in an attempt to find employment I can do with the limitations imposed by my MS, most seriously the mitochondrial damage which leaves me with very little energy? Have you seen my daughter’s medical records, were you there when we both had severe reactions to vaccines? If you were not there, then you are only trying to insult us with your lies, plain and simple. We have suffered vaccine damage in extremely classic ways. I have read Dr. Wakefield’s Callous Disregard, which I puchased on Amazon two years ago. I have read many books on the subject. I have read the articles about and by him in Vaccine Epidemic. I have read about every one of the false calumnies which you and your colleagues have attempted to smear him. I am proud that you put me in the same category as Dr. Wakefield. It is you who are endangering children by your mindless, absolute defense of all vaccines all the time, at any cost, and the cost is quite a large one, both in terms of permanently damaged lives and the monetary gain from vaccines, which rains down on their paid promoters as well. I submit that it is you and your little army of fellow pharma employees who are the real danger, the real fraud.”
I bolded the “Pharma Shill” Gambit for you, one of the many gambits she tries to use to prove her point. No science, just gambits.
Did you catch the part where she has “limitations” due to her MS, wherein she has “very little energy”? Another person replying to her mentioned it. Here’s the interesting part: Up to this comment, she has written 4,855 words. That’s one weak disability if you can write that much. But she keeps going, and going, and going, and going. She even states this, my emphasis added:
“I am dizzy, wobbly, and exhausted all the time. The hospital records from an MS attack which completely paralyzed my left arm and leg for over a months were sufficient proof of my disability (caused by the mercury in the DPT) to qualify me for help from Voc Rehab and Job Point.”
But not exhausted enough to post, by this point, 6,469 words.
Seven thousand words in, she tells us why she is an authority on the subject of vaccines:
“I consider myself well-informed on this issue because I have read books and articles on both sides of this issue. I have read things by Offit, the tawdry book that is the subject of this review, and the shallow propaganda on Shot of Prevention.com You people, on the other hand, cannot bring yourselves to read books and articles from our side, which you really should do to prevent you from making as many stupid mistakes as you do. You might even learn something about the immune system.”
Well, we don’t read anti-vaccine books to educate ourselves because fiction doesn’t educate, it just entertains — and misinforms.
When asked why she keeps using the “Pharma Shill” Gambit, she answered with this:
“You haven’t actually said that you are not. Let’s clear that up first.”
Ah, well, if one doesn’t state that one is a murderer, it’s okay to be called a murderer, right? Aside from all her other statements, this one was very telling. It was telling because it shows exactly the level of paranoia and mistrust that many in the anti-vaccine camp seem to show. Further evidence was her reply to when someone mentioned their education:
“If you have degrees from accredited institutions, it means you have vested interests in the vaccine issue, which means that you are not a reliable source for credible information on the question. Vaccine-damaged families are much better sources for information when trying to decide whether to risk the vaccines for their own children.”
When someone states that they have degrees in the sciences, this was her response:
“College and master’s degrees in what? I have a B.A. in French, with honors, 4.0 average, a Ph.D. in Spanish, 4.0 average, and a J.D. in law. If just having college degrees means one knows what one is talking about, then I have more than you, so must be presumed to know better what I am talking about.”
I almost fell out of my chair reading that. Two degrees in languages and one in law make her an expert? I ask you again, what universe is she living in?
It seems to be a universe in which she is too damaged to work, but not damaged enough to post over 7,300 words on her review and subsequent comments. Not damaged enough for 1,035 words here, the myriad of comments here, comments here, comments here, another letter to the editor here, and so on and so forth. Someone with her ability to communicate should not be unemployed. Then again, someone who is exhausted, dizzy, and wobbly all the time because of vaccines should probably rest up and save their energy, PhD in Spanish or no PhD in Spanish.