The Boston Bombings and Anti-Vaxxers

Soon after the Boston Bombings last year, nasty rumours began to surface about the true nature of the bombings and who perpetrated them. All you have to do is Google “Boston Bombing False Flag” and you’ll get a flavor of what I mean. In simple terms, conspiracy nuts claim that the bombings were done by the US Government in an attempt to justify tighter gun control and surveillance measures. If we are led to believe that we are in mortal danger, the theory goes, we’ll be happy to exchange our freedoms in order to be safer.

Some of the “evidence” put forth by conspiracy theorists the world over was that the victims of the bombing were actors. For example, look at this victim:



According to conspiracy theorists, this person, who lost his legs at the bombing is none other than this person:


The one on the left

Conspiracy nuts claim that the soldier who lost his legs in combat went on to make a living posing as a bombing victim in Boston. Never mind that the bombing victim was seen by plenty of people walking around with two legs made out of flesh. Never mind that the soldier is clearly missing more of his legs than what the victim lost. When you’re sold to an idea, a conspiracy, there is nothing that will stand in its way.

This is the case with anti-vaccine activists. In their world, vaccines cause everything, and I do mean everything. So when you tell anti-vaccine nutjobs that not vaccinating leads to a life full of vaccine-preventable disease, they will almost immediately go into conspiracy mode. The woman who is the subject of this blog post, posted this on Facebook:

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 7.25.28 AMIn it, she writes:

“Someone sent this to me this morning….I’ll let you decide! – A recent post on MommaMania called, ‘Growing up un- vaccinated’ seemed to be written by a mom/piano teacher, who lived a horribly sick life because her mother didn’t vaccinate her. So now she speaking out on how her kids are fully vaxed and never, ever get sick.

Well look at this: Both these websites show pictures an Amy Parker that loosk very similar — and check this out! “Since 2005, Amy has been an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, one of the nation’s elite disease detectives, with the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.”

*IF this* is the same Amy Parker, the post is total propaganda, sponsored by the CDC.”

After planting the seed of conspiracy, she links to this page from Luther College. In it, a woman with the same name as the subject of the pro-vaccine article is shown. Here’s her picture:

Amy Parker, Luther College Alumna and CDC Epidemiologist

This is the picture of the “Amy Parker” in the pro-vaccine article:

Amy Parker, who suffered vaccine preventable diseases from not being vaccinated

They’re totally the same person, right?

According to the pro-vaccine article, their Amy “is a 37 year old mother of two teenagers, with a new arrival on the way. She was brought up in the idyllic countryside of the Lake District, England by health conscious parents. She currently lives on the Fylde Coast in England where she teaches piano and singing.” According to Luther College, their Amy “continues to travel the world monitoring polio immunization campaigns in India (one of four countries that still harbors the virus), and making sure safe water practices are followed in rural clinics in Africa.” Because piano and singing teachers are also EIS officers, don’t you know?

At this point, all that the above mentioned anti-vaccine loon has to go on are these two pictures. That’s it.

Look, I don’t blame Sherri Tenpenny for wanting to believe. After all, she admits that she is not a research scientist. Not only that, but she also admits missing a year of school because she had vaccine-preventable diseases. She departs from the idea that vaccines are absolute evil and then forms her opinions on things from there. All it took was for someone to find two Amy Parkers that sort of look alike for the conspiracy theory to be developed. Even if one Amy Parker did not work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the loons would believe that there was still a conspiracy and that the pro-vaccine article was false. Facts, evidence, and the truth are not things that anti-vaccine activists will bother themselves with when trying to justify their anti-scientific beliefs.


19 thoughts on “The Boston Bombings and Anti-Vaxxers

  1. I find it both amusing and sad that Tenpenny feels the need to fabricate such a ridiculous conspiracy. Oddly she and others’ doubting of the author’s account is based on very U.S.-centric vaccines and today’s VPD rates. There was no MMR in England until 1988 and parents weren’t always that great about getting the single jabs so it’s not at all inconceivable that the author did suffer from what she claims especially if mum was the uber crunchy type and did intentional exposures. Looking back I had much of what she did as well in addition to other “childhood diseases”. Seriously, these anti-vaxx nutters need to just go away and live clustered together.

    • I remember contracting chickenpox, wasn’t much fun, but a vaccine wasn’t available when I was young.
      Contracted the mumps pretty bad as well, I still have lymph nodes that are quite solid from it. Not sure if I was vaccinated at the time or not, but knowing my parents and family doctor at the time, I should have been. But, back then the mumps vaccine was a killed virus type that had a fading immunity issue and wasn’t extremely effective.
      I was vaccinated against influenza quite a few times, contracted influenza once, out of pure, distilled lousy luck of the draw that year. I still get it, when I have the money for it (no health insurance currently, as I’m not working).
      When going over my military immunization record, I found that I was immunized against things I didn’t realize that there were vaccines for, as many of the optional ones were administered to members of my units.
      While in the military, I watched with horror and grief, every one of my team feeling the same way, as tiny grave after grave was filled from a simultaneous measles and polio outbreak ravaged a village.
      I still get recurring nightmares from that one.
      Especially lately, as my granddaughter has been hospitalized with an RSV infection in her very first week of life. She’s finally off of high flow O2 and D10, was on room air, showed distress and was placed on cannula O2.
      But, at least she wasn’t badly enough to require intubation.

      Back when I went through SF medic school, later verified by personal experience, I learned that we in the west are extremely fortunate. Bad things don’t normally happen to children here.
      Regrettably, in the underdeveloped regions of the world, that is not true.
      But, that doesn’t seem to slow down those who wish that it were true, that we matched the underdeveloped regions of the world in child mortality.

  2. I do agree you shouldn’t insult those lovely birds by comparing them with antivaxxers and conspiracy kooks. The Boston bombing conspiracy is sickening. I had a buddy who was there to run the marathon with his platoon and he clearly recalls the scene. I think he’d know if it was fake blood etc. Sorry, no, it would be too much to ask that many people to keep such a secret. Secrets don’t keep. And there were several Soldiers and NCOs who responded in the immediate aftermath, none of whom would have been expected to be right at the right spot to be “in on it”. Soldiers and NCO’s aren’t known for keeping stuff like that to themselves.

    In the case of the UK lady, I too usually question when someone claims to have experienced a laundry list of illnesses, but without knowing her story first hand, I can only say, it seems a bit much. Doesn’t mean didn’t happen. It used to be pretty common to suffer several childhood diseases. I remember a school teacher doubting me when I said I had never had any childhood illnesses. She asked me so many times, I finally “remembered” having Rubella to satisfy her. I don’t know why she was collecting that info from everyone in the class. It was a DoD school back in the 70’s. Don’t know if anyone else had similar experience.

    • It may seem like a bit much, but what we’re seeing is a worst case scenario. Even Tenpenny admits to getting many vaccine-preventable diseases. If this woman’s parents were good about keeping records, then she may have a historical record of all this. I’m one of the last ones to get the smallpox vaccine, and I am now hard-pressed to meet anyone who actually had it. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Because it happened a lot. Millions had it in the first half of the 1900s. So something similar may be going on in that we see someone who had a lot of diseases we don’t see anymore, at least not put together like this.

    • @Pamela: I had the “usual childhood vaccines” for a baby born in the early 1960s. That didn’t keep me from getting rubella and chicken pox (To be honest, my mom didn’t recall my having rubella. But I was tested before I got the MMR and I was immune. So who knows when I got it?). I didn’t get the other usual illnesses though some of my friends did. Some of my other friends were never sick. Another friend was always sick – if there was any illness around she caught it, and has a severe case. My sister never had “any childhood illnesses” partially due to vaccines, partially because she managed to miss them. Unfortunately, she got chicken pox at age 23. Not fun.

      So no, you were not unique. Just one of the lucky ones, and the teacher should have accepted that. (And why was the teacher asking you instead of your parents?)

  3. I’m unclear as to why you need to label people as “loons” – which are, in my neck of the woods, a beautiful species of waterfowl. As a 50-ish Canadian woman who was not vaccinated because my RN mom was concerned about allergic reactions, I am rarely sick. My child (now 25) received some of the standardized vaccines with my consent, and others at school without my consent and under threat of being expelled from Grade Two. She tended to be sick more often than I ever was, though she dodged the mumps. I personally do not believe that mass vaccinations are for everyone, and that individuals should be given information and support to make good choices.

    As for the Boston bombings, I watched the coverage online from the start because I attended the marathon while visiting a friend in 2010. I wondered at the significant presence of private security contractors from The Craft, and once the bombers were identified, I marvelled at how the older one was dressed in a remarkably similar fashion to those contractors. I have wondered if perhaps there was prior info, or perhaps if even it was a training exercise gone horribly wrong. The fact that one of the bombers is dead and the other was shot in the throat and has since been held in extreme lockdown, does not dampen my thinking that perhaps there is more here than we are being told.

    So here’s what I really think about you wrote – neither of these issues is black or white. Very few matters relating to humans are. We are innately wired for truth, and if something isn’t sitting right within us, some sort of primal response kicks in for some of us to find out what’s really true. Now – the truth may not be as far out there as some people go on their quest to find it, but suppressing small details in order to paint a completely black or completely white picture is going to have an effect. The truth, as we know, tends to out, eventually. There are negative consequences attached to some vaccines – both inadvertent ones and those that are deemed by those in charge to be offset by risk, and thus obscured to meet the intended ends. There are questions about dark ops at the Boston bombings – and dare I say 9/11 – that are not being addressed in the hopes that many will just believe what they are told and everyone can carry on with whatever their agendas are – good or bad. I think the days of a massively uninformed, unintelligent, disconnected and disinterested populace are on their way out, and those in charge would be well served to find ways to be more honest. Because the truth is probably far easier to deal with than the imaginings of people who know there is something untold and seek to find it.

    Truth hurts – lies destroy. A lesson from the loons that’s best heeded.

    • Sure, Nancy. Thousands of trained scientists, engineers, epidemiologists, physicians, nurses, mid-levels, etc., are all in it. We all know the truth but we don’t want to tell you. We know that vaccines are evil and cause more disease than they prevent. We know that 9/11 was an inside job, and “The Craft” caused the bombings. You got us!


      • I do have to agree with the OP on one point.
        Why insult a perfectly honorable bird by associating its name with a bunch of bird brained lunatics?

        For the rest, not scathing enough.
        I’ll not begin to go on about the raving lunatics “that know the truth” of mythical government actions that are “sooooo classified”. Ignoring the fact that I hold a TS with full alphabet soup after it and only found the same information known to the public, plus some sources and means information that is rightfully classified.
        It really is amazing to see it build up though, one raves some nonsense, another raves and builds upon the prior pile of excrement, soon enough, there is a massive, steaming pile of conspiracy theory excrement.
        It just displays for the world to see what a shambles our mental health care system is and how lousy our educational systems have become.

        • Wow. A friend linked to this blog and I mistakenly assumed that there was potential for reasonable discussion. I didn’t read other posts before replying, so didn’t know I’d stumbled into one of those “I have many letters, respect my authori-tie!” kind of places. My bad. I’m outta here. Happy life, kiddies!

          • In other words, do not respect the education and practical knowledge of subject matter experts.
            Don’t as a physician about medicine, they know nothing about it.
            Don’t ask an epidemiologist about contagious disease, they know nothing about it.
            Don’t ask an engineer how to build something, they know nothing about it.
            Don’t ask a rocket scientist how to build a rocket to go into space, they know nothing about it.

            For, they are people of many letters.
            The ignorant know more than the knowledgeable.
            At least, that is what the willfully ignorant want to believe.
            And that is what is turning a once great nation into the world’s newest third world nation.
            So, be willfully ignorant on your own time, not ours.
            But, do come back when you actually want to learn something from the experts in the field of public health.

          • There is always potential. But you should have known that I, of all people, have a very low tolerance for conspiracy theories. Autism caused by vaccines? Debunked. 9/11 an inside job or with unanswered questions? Nope. Debunked. Trying to defend all this bullshit by telling us that there is some truth out there is bullshit in itself. The truth comes from systematic analysis of the evidence at hand by people trained to do such research and analysis. Conspiracy theorists who have broadband and imaginations are not exactly reliable.

            • What, what, what makes people just HAVE to have a conspiracy to fall back on? Not enough sadness in the world to occupy your brain?

  4. I’ve been posting at about this woman who tells her story about being denied vaccinations during her childhood years, because her mother believed in “natural defenses” and all that nonsense. Come and join me there:

    P.S. The woman from the U.K. mentioned “quinsy” as a childhood illness. I now know that what the Brits label as quinsy is a bacterial abscess surrounding the tonsils.

    • I haven’t heard that term for tonsillitis in ages!
      It used to be a term used in the US, but has fallen out of usage. Last medical literature I saw it in dated back to the 1920’s.
      The term is more common in the UK though.

  5. I wouldn’t let Tenpenney treat a constipated pet rock, much less a human being. I despise these paranoid fools who think the whole world is against them. What a pathetic life that must be.

  6. They really feel threatened by this story and the second story of the Grandmother who died from cervical cancer.They’re going very far to try and discredit it. I guess it strikes home – they don’t like to hear about the costs of their choices.

  7. Well, after looking at the two sets of photographs, it’s quite clear that of the two, both are of the same species.
    So, obviously, it’s part and parcel of the Grand Conspiracy of the Space Aliens!
    Or some other crap.

    Evidence, reason and critical thinking are not things the conspiracy theorist is known for.

  8. Even IF they were both the same woman, it wouldn’t mean that her story was false. Perhaps her experience with growing up unvaccinated was part of what led her to want to become a doctor and work in helping make sure kids around the world could get vaccines. I mean, of course these are two different women, I’m just saying hypothetically, even if they weren’t, it doesn’t discredit her story.

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