What kinds of threats are these?

Remember a while back when an anti-vaccine activist called and harassed a pro-vaccine person, even going as far as cynically stating, “You do know hows these things work, these threats work, right?” Well, they’re at it again.

Well, it has happened again. It’s a different person making the threats this time, but it’s the same kind of call. The caller calls the pro-vaccine advocate and threatens to disclose home addresses and phone numbers if the vaccine advocate doesn’t just up and quit their work.

What follows are the transcripts of the calls, and then I’ll post the links to the audio so you can hear for yourself the level of vitriol in the messages. It’s really rather creepy to listen to, but these are the things I do for all 12 of you readers. Anyway, the vicim in this case is Dorit Reiss, professor of law and someone who has been very vocal in her refutations of anti-vaccine tropes.

Call #1 has only the transcript to it. I don’t want to disclose the information that this person leaves. So you’ll have to take my word for it that this is how it went. Don’t worry, there are other calls for you to listen to that have the same tone. The words in brackets “[ ]” are my comments or edits:

“Hi, [Dorit’s Husband], I’m the parent of a vaccine injured child. I am tired of your wife harassing people about their vaccine status. It is none of her business. If I hear or see of anything written by your wife after today, I will release your phone number, your work phone number… [She goes into the details of phone and address. She even mentions the cross-street of where the house is.] You live with your mother and your father. [Names of the mother and father.] Tell her to stop. Or else I will release all of your private information. This took me one minute to find. You are a researcher. I know how to do research, as do most of us parents. We are not stupid. We are not uneducated. And if she does not stop, I will release all of your information, and we will see where it goes from there. Thank you. Have a good day.”

Again, I won’t link to the audio file because it has all that information. One of the most worrying things about this call is that the woman caller seems very, very angry and there are children in the background. This woman is exhibiting this behavior in front of children. Keep that in mind as you read on.

Call #2:

“Like I said to your husband, I have all of your information. Stop it now. I mean it, or else it becomes public information. Got it? Good.”

Here is the link to call #2: LINK (You may need specific software to play back the audio.) SEE BELOW FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT AUDIO FILES

Calls #1 and #2 happened on the same day. Call #3 below happened five days later, after Dorit wrote something that didn’t please the caller.

Call #3:

“You and your wife are evil. Just evil. How dare she go after parents of vaccine injured children. Read a fucking package insert. It says right there all the freaking side… [She sighs, then a noise.]”

The call then ends with her making some sort of a mouth noise. It’s as if she was reading a script and went off of it, or she got very frustrated.


So how did I get these messages? I got them after a long conversation with Prof. Reiss. She is hesitant to do anything about it since most of these types of calls are just from frustrated people who see monsters under their beds. But I explained to her that these kinds of threats need to be brought to light to show anyone even remotely listening to these people the kinds of people we’re dealing with. This is not normal behavior. This woman on these calls needs help, and, if she is reading this, I encourage her to get that help immediately. There are plenty of mental health therapies that can help with her persecution complex, and there are plenty of organizations who can take care of her children before she hurts them.

The biggest piece of evidence of this person needing help is that she genuinely thinks that releasing information that is easily attainable is some sort of threat. It’s as if I told you right now that I was going to release your IP address from where you are reading this blog post. What kind of a threat is that?

Well, it’s all in the context. Some whacky “animal rights” activists and anti-abortion activists have released private home addresses and information to their followers in the hopes (and sometimes the direction) that their followers do something with the information. The results have been anything from vandalism to murder. Once this woman comes through on her promise, because Dorit will not stop (and neither will any of us), we will know who she is and what kind of direction she’ll give anyone who listens.

So let this be a public record of these threats, and, yes, let’s see where it goes from here.

UPDATE: The links to the audio files have been downloaded too much and google is throttling back. If you upload them to your own shareable space (dropbox or google drive), paste the link in the comments so others can hear.

46 thoughts on “What kinds of threats are these?

  1. Per your last paragraph, the messages this…person…left Professor Reiss do smack of some Scott Roeder/James Kopp/Eric Rudolph/Rachelle Shannon-style violent intentions. I agree with the others here who are saying that it’s a good idea to alert the police.

  2. Is that your own personal Google Drive it’s posted to? If so and you can still get the files, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them to my own blog — I have unlimited bandwidth through my hosting provider.

        • Kenneth, don’t see a save link. I do see a link to share the file on assorted social media and send it by e-mail.

          Regarding your I-35 posting, it’s a message that can never repeated often enough. I had pulled over for an accident in Philadelphia. Five teens in a car were T-boned, resulting in the vehicle rolling five times, per witnesses. The driver was ejected, killing the front seat passenger on the way through the window, suffering a depressed skull fracture, depressed approximately 3cm. He was well into agonal respiration by the time I arrived.
          Two passengers were alive in the back seat, one expired before the city EMS workers could exit their vehicle.
          All of this, two days after Christmas. A decade later, there is still a makeshift memorial at that site.

          With seatbelts, the worst injury I personally witnessed was a pelvic fracture. Considering the amount of energy required to fracture a pelvis with a seatbelt, one does not want to consider that energy being dissipated by one’s face with the steel of the vehicle or the highway.

          • Much better!
            I’ve done similar and worse in my day. That’s what feedback is for. :)

      • Still bouncing off of it. Google has throttled it good. If you can e-mail the first one, I can toss it up on dropbox.

  3. What kind of threats are these?

    This threats are meant to silence people. Dorit, who at all times has maintained poise and respect for those she converses with in her online discussions, an top-notch example of a parent speaking up for science and directing the public towards appropriate vaccine educational resources. As a fellow parental vaccine advocate, I am appalled by the disgusting behavior I see directed at my colleague. This behavior, rather than scare me away, only motivates me to show the public the true colors of these ‘vaccine skeptics’ and the company they keep.

    Dorit keep up the good job… You’re saving lives with the education you provide.

  4. FYI, Google is throttling the audio files.
    “Sorry, you can’t view or download this file at this time.

    Too many users have viewed or downloaded this file recently. Please try accessing the file again later. If the file you are trying to access is particularly large or is shared with many people, it may take up to 24 hours to be able to view or download the file. If you still can’t access a file after 24 hours, contact your domain administrator.”

    Looks like quite a few folks have been listening to the files.

  5. I like the first one. Every single statement, outside of the personal info, is the opposite of truth. No, you’re not the parent of a vaccine injured child because that’s not a thing, you don’t know how to do research, neither do most parents, you are stupid (very stupid), and you are uneducated. And if all that information truly was searchable in 1 minute, then releasing it really isn’t much of a threat, is it? What a ‘tard.

    • Vaccine injuries exist. They’re rare, they’re not a good excuse not to vaccinate, autism is not something which vaccines are known to cause, but even the CDC admits that there are rare but present side-effects which can be very significant. Let’s not overstate the case. The fact is that vaccine injuries are rare, almost never life-threatening, extremely rarely cause lasting damage, and are far preferable to endemic infectious diseases. But let’s not say they don’t exist.

      • Something Dorit herself has not shied away from saying and has actually been very good about pointing out and has given it the perspective it requires along with the legal analysis that the average person can understand when it comes to understanding the purpose and background of the vaccine injury compensation system.

      • Angry, some deleterious effects exist for any treatment, any intervention, any medication and any vaccine. Allergies can cause problems, inappropriate immune responses are rare, but are known to occur.
        But, that is why we have science evaluate every treatment, drug and vaccine. To make an educated risk analysis, determine the cost/benefit ratio and make an educated decision on whether the risk is excessive for a particular intervention or not.
        As an example, I’ll use our most perilous of vaccines, the smallpox vaccine. Compared to every vaccine available today, the risks are horrendous. Compared to the disease, the risks are downright innocuous. That doesn’t dismiss the deaths caused by such woes as progressive vaccinia or eczema vaccinatum, but the massive morbidity and mortality rate of the disease was that much higher that the risk of vaccination far, far outweighed the risk of the disease.
        When it was finally determined that smallpox was definitely extinct in the wild, the vaccine was withdrawn from common usage and only used now for military and specialist infectious disease professionals. From that usage, we’ve learned of new interventions for the deleterious effects of vaccinia in the sparse few who suffer from them and can apply some of those interventions to other viral infections.

        Where anti-vaccinationists fail is that they see every intervention as harmful and refuse to recognize the low incidence rate of vaccine preventable disease today as a direct result of our highly successful vaccine campaigns.
        Would that they had stood by as helplessly as I and my teams did in villages ravaged by polio and in once horrific time, a village ravaged by a simultaneous outbreak of polio and measles. I suspect they’d change their mind by the tenth grave they helped dig. In the latter case, nearly 60% of the children of the village succumbed to the outbreak, a truly heartbreaking outcome that was entirely preventable.
        To this day, I am awakened by nightmares from that village, with the faces of the children being joined by my own children and grandchildren.
        And hence, why I have absolutely no tolerance for these deluded, foolish and potentially disaster courting people.
        In my personal view, Samson defeated the Philistine army with their jawbones.

        • Oh, I agree completely with just about everything you’re saying. I’m just saying, we need to stop saying that there are no side effects. It makes us out to be liars, and that’s not gonna get us anywhere. Rather, we need to be firm on figures like “There’s about a 1:1,000,000 chance of getting a severe but non-life-threatening and non-chronic condition from the MMR vaccine. Measles kills 1:1000 infected.” Perhaps not the best example, but things like that. We’re totally in agreement on the science, it’s just a matter of how best to present it. Or, as Zach Wiener puts it so aptly:


          • Fair enough, but I’ve yet to hear Reuben or any other professional here say such things.
            Where have you heard it said that there were no deleterious effects from vaccines at all?

            • I certainly don’t see it that much and when it is suggested or said it is pretty quickly called out by provax people with the education to set the record straight on that and other inaccuracies with solid evidence to back them up. Dorit excels at that as well.

              • Well, Dorit *should* be proficient at that, she is an attorney. Attorneys are good at covering every detail and caveat.
                Those aren’t tend to become politicians. ;)

          • True I do sometimes see inaccurate things said on the provax side. The problem becomes when you do acknowledge the real but very minimal risks of course then the argument becomes one of not believing those low numbers or thinking that the real rate and risks are hidden or not reported accurately. But Dorit has always been very careful about being accurate and deferring to experts when questions or ideas are beyond her scope of knowledge or area of expertise. Her humility alone in expressing her thoughts is commendable. Nice comic btw!

  6. That is just a disgrace Dorit. I hope they are found out and get what the law dishes out.
    There are too many nutters out there, and antivaxers have more than their fair share.

    • This would classify as the type of “threat” which would bring the police into it, correct?

  7. While there is no justification for such vile treatment I just hope Prof Reiss realises how much her work is valued and the respect in which she is held by the silent majority.
    (And yes, lock them up pour encourager les autres…)

  8. I am astonished that they would do this to a Lawyer of all people…..Dorit has been a Saint to have ignored the vile attacks and now personal threats directed against her. I would assume that she not only has cause, but now reasons to pursue legal action against these individuals (and organizations, for that matter) who are attacking her.

    If Wakefield can file suit against Brian Deer (with the flimsiest of excuses), then in this case, I would see a suit by Dorit as being a slam-dunk…..

  9. Dorit is a lovely, patient and thoughtful person. It is such a shame that professionals like her suffer attacks like these.

  10. this person needs to be jailed, they made credible threats, admitted they where threats even, and honestly, their kids will probably be better off… and its likely they can track where they called from easy… i mean yeah, its likely if they DO post the info, and especially if they post any direction about what they want people to do with it, it will be much easier to throw the book at them, but do we want it to go that far? what if some psycho decides to kill her and her family? this needs to be nipped in the bud NOW before it can get that far… these people are not well…

  11. I believe that there are certain anti-vaccine cult organizations that can be held culpable for creating the kind of atmosphere that allows this behavior to flourish. Those organizations are the National Vaccine Information Center, Colorado Coalition for Vaccine Choice, Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice, Age of Autism, and Inside Vaccines, to start. They certainly are not the ONLY cult organizations who bear responsibility for creating, incubating, and encouraging this level of vitriol, but they are important contributors.

    • The flux capacitor is fully charged. We can plug it into a temporal dialator if you want.
      Although, I usually reserve that for vacations, it would work at extending working weeks to insufferable lengths.

  12. Unlike the good professor, I am an ogre. I would have the ones attempting to extort me before a judge to explain their behavior and permit them to enjoy the glare of justice.
    They would, at a minimum, get a psychiatric evaluation, courtesy of the state, they’d also learn what is protected free speech and what is not.
    If any were foolish enough to actually come to my door due to who I am employed by at the time, they are welcome to sparkling, friendly conversation. If, however, I deem them a threat, once they are released from the hospital, they also will get to enjoy the glaring eye of an angry judicial system.
    I learned many, many things in my life. I learned how to reason with some of the most unreasonable people on the planet. I learned how to find common ground with those previously though to be implacable enemies. I learned some less enjoyable things, such as when a knee bends in an anatomically incorrect position, there is no more fight left in that person.
    In the military, my primary and most enjoyed job was treating the ill and injured, we ran village clinics, cared for children and elders, we immunized villages to break the back of epidemics in the area. I also had less salutary duties, those were to quite literally terrorize terrorists.
    We all were quite proficient at both tasks, but we far preferred playing with the children, knowing that many less would be in tiny graves in the next few years.

    If you converse with the good professor, please pass along my greetings and thanks for her efforts. They are appreciated by far more than she knows.
    And do advise her again, there are times one *must* be an ogre, for then, that poor delusional person may well finally get the help that they do desperately need and just possibly, prevent them from causing harm to themselves or others. It is regrettable, but it is our system of justice that the mentally imbalanced can only be forced to receive treatment if a judge decides that they are a danger. It is far preferable that that if ascertained early, rather than too late, as events in Aurora, Middletown and Tucson have shown.

  13. These telephone calls are shocking and vile. I’m so sorry that Dorit and her family have been subjected to these harassing evil people on her job and at her home.

    I’m putting the blame for these incidents directly on the *journalists* at Age of Autism, who first started, and who have continued, with their multiple posts, to encourage their readership to harass Professor Reiss.

    • I’ve crossed swords with ciaparker on that Philly.com article.
      Wow, but she’s funny. She pulled an obsolete definition of a medical condition, so I pulled an equally obsolete condition and reminded her that obsolete ideas are invalid ideas in evidence based medicine.
      I was also kind enough to toss ICD9 and 10 codes, diseaseDB and a few other resources for her to not study.
      Meanwhile, her drones tried to attack my anonymity as a lack of credentials or knowledge. After toying with them, I reminded them that they never offered a refutation of the medicine or science I gave them, but insisted upon ad hominem attacks.
      Merciful heavens, but I’ve disposed of far worse in the bathroom with toilet paper!

      I’ll still play moderately dumb, but giving them plenty of valid information and citations.
      It’s fun being underestimated.

      • I admit I find some of what Ms. Parker says very disturbing – her habit of dismissing the harms from the diseases, blaming the victims of the diseases (they were poor, malnourished, or their parents gave them tylenol) and claiming pertussis can be treated with vitamin C disturb me very, very much.

        • Would that we could sue such people for malpractice!
          That is some of the most irresponsible rubbish to ever come out of a human mind.
          She tried that hygiene and sanitation balderdash with me, I reminded her that transmission of disease by fomite has nothing whatsoever to do with a clean water supply or hygiene, though I’ll admit that I did omit handwashing. Pity she knows so little as to not have caught that one.
          She also tried the malnutrition number in reference to an epidemic I was personally working, thankfully with a handful of professionals. Malnutrition that was not present at the location we were in, indeed, not present in that entire region.

          Of course, her drones then jumped in demanding my real name. I identified my MOS and region. If they had a need to know, they would be able to find my real name quite trivially. I’m in, under a derivation of this moniker in multiple DoD databases, including DBIDS (the least restricted of the databases). The hilarious thing is, I’m in other databases under this moniker as well, I’m not really all that hard to find at all. :)

          I already told them I’m going to bed, right after I noted a response in my inbox that I’ll ignore until the morning.
          I’ll ignore them further, after informing them of that fact, throughout the afternoon. I have family business tomorrow afternoon.

  14. It is not surprising that followers of the antivaxx movement would participate in this when people high up in the antivaxx movement harass the parents of children who die from VPDs.

Comments are closed.