One thing I try to do is not to alienate people to the point that they’ll outright hate me. Even my so-called enemies get some measure of compassion from me. When I have a falling-out with a friend or colleague, I try to make things better. More than anything, I try to show some goddamn integrity when people turn on me. “Oh, you’re coming at me with the same stuff I came at you? Fair enough.”
This is not true in the world of the anti-vaccine activists.
I’ve told you before about the falling out between the kid and his masters at the “daily web newspaper of the non-existent autism epidemic” and how he has turned on them. He initially got pissed because he wasn’t called upon to testify before the United States Congress in 2012. The kid was fuming because allowed to testify was Ari Ne’eman, a well-spoken, coherent, reasonable young man (who happens to be autistic) who co-founded an autism advocacy group. In the kid’s opinion (though his rants), he should have been allowed to testify because he knows all about all the conflicts of interests at all levels of government, among all people in government, at all times, in all places. (Not that he’s paranoid or anything.)
Or is he?
The anti-vaccine organizations tried to get another hearing this year to, again, try and link vaccines to autism. Since they can’t do it through science, or the non-Italian courts, they’re trying to influence Congress to go after the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). The program is partly the bastard child of anti-vaccine people themselves. A couple of decades ago, they wanted all children injured by vaccines to be compensated in some way. Since not all injuries were the same, and not all of them were, well, real, they settled on a no-fault system where people could get compensated on the spot without a lengthy trial process (and the lawyers getting a big cut). Also, companies that manufactured vaccines were not going to be on the hook for millions or billions of dollars from frivolous lawsuits. All one has to do is prove one has any of the many conditions associated with vaccines listed on compensation tables, and one gets compensated. Simple, right?
The second hearing, planned for this year, was not to be. It appears that the congressional committee is not interested in conspiracy theories at this moment. I don’t blame them. There are bigger fish to fry. The kid didn’t accept the version of events from his former masters. For him, it’s all a conspiracy, and he blames it all on his former masters.
Well, his one former master had something to say about the kid:
“[The kid’s] last two stories are built around the false notion that [the daily web newspaper of the non-existent autism epidemic] took down the [conspiracy theory-filled] video for some sneaky reason. We told him it was a technical glitch but it doesn’t fit his paranoid scheme so he doesn’t accept it. Nor does he accept my word. His claim is demonstrably false, false in every particular. And very characteristic of his entire approach. He is not interested in contrary evidence, it doesn’t concern him.The same applies to the rest of his attacks on [the other master] [the other anti-vaccine group] et al. FALSUS IN UNO FALSUS IN OMNIBUS”
The above quote is from Facebook, by the way. It was obtained through one of the few friends he still has that he hasn’t pissed off (yet).
As you can see, it was okay for the kid to write all sorts of conspiracy theory-laden “articles” on the daily web newspaper of the non-existent autism epidemic. In such articles, the kid made spurious associations between scientists and funding sources and other people, making it look like scientific facts stated by such scientists were just opinions from, as he put it, “big pharma shills”. Even now that he has a master of public health degree in epidemiology — perish the thought — the kid fails to understand basic science and, ironically, epidemiology. When he did that as part of his job with the “daily web newspaper blah, blah, blah”, it was all fine and good. His masters applauded his efforts to smear the good name of many good people. But now? Now, the kid is just “not interested in contrary evidence” and his writings are “attacks.”
In fact, the whole thread on Facebook is filled with people who once supported, nurtured and loved the kid to death for being so staunchly anti-vaccine that he ignored any and all evidence against his statements. Now that he’s turned on them, the very same people are refuting him in every way short of saying that he’s nuts. Even when someone dared say that his autism was getting in the way of him understanding things now (not then, when they were allies), the kid had a meltdown. In essence, he can’t handle the truth (that he’s getting stuff wrong, not that he’s getting it wrong because of his autism) any more than his masters can’t handle his untruths now (not then).
This is what happens when you nurture and create a monster. The monster runs out of control and becomes a threat to everything around them, including you. It’s why I don’t make enemies on purpose, and I especially don’t make enemies from friends. My friends have too much dirt on me. If any of them turned on me… Well, it would be bad. But, as we’ve seen time and time again, reality is not one of those realms where anti-vaxxers operate.
There is a silver lining in all this. The kid and his masters are busy eating each other alive, becoming their own worst enemies, sparing us from their inanity for now. Keep at it, guys. The entertainment is priceless.