Patrick McGean threatens violence against vaccine supporters

UPDATE: I’ve emailed Mr. McGean for a comment on all this. His response is at the end of this blog post. (Yes, he needs help.)

Patrick McGean is someone who needs help. Let me tell you why, then I’ll show you why.

Mr. McGean is a self-described “researcher” who has been conducting a “study” on whether or not “organic sulfur” is a miracle drug:

“While researching this cancer, it became obvious that the sulfur cycle plays an important role in the regeneration of our cells. The Study also found that the use of chemical fertilizers had effectively broken the sulfur cycle in countries that use these fertilizers.

Diseases we hadn’t even heard of have become typical, cancer has grown at an unprecedented rate, and the quality of our food has been greatly diminished. Is there a correlation here?

Since 1954, rates of disease in the U.S. have gone up approximately 4,000 percent. And in 1954, chemical fertilizers were mandated by our government. Fertilizers such as ammonium nitrates and sulfates, which lack bioavailability, appear to have broken the sulfur cycle. This appears to have contributed to the decline of our health, wealth, mental acuity, and quality of life. We believe that when the Study is completed, it will clearly demonstrate a connection between the lack of sulfur and the inability of cells to regenerate in a healthy manner.”

Never mind that deaths from cancer overall, and cases of some cancers in particular are going down. When it comes to snake oil salesmen, they don’t care about no truth.

So what kind of study is this? Check this out:

“The main hypothesis of our Study is that we all may be sulfur deficient. What we are trying to demonstrate is that by adding sulfur back into our diet we can allow healthy cellular regeneration to occur through the enabling of oxygen by sulfur. Sulfur is necessary for our bodies to make many of our amino acids and proteins. The function of the cell membrane is dependent upon the proteins and peptides in these membranes that allow the transport of nutrients and gases across the membrane. When these proteins and peptides are diminished the cell membrane become aplastic and leathery forcing the cell to undergo anaerobic metabolism, acidosis or fermentation are examples of unhealthy cellular metabolism and result in cellular degeneration. When cells are allowed to regenerate after years of being scarred or damaged we believe this is an example of how cellular regeneration can be reactivated and some of the examples of neurological regeneration may be the most impressive.

We follow our Study members with digital photographs of their face to support what they report from taking Organic Sulfur.”

Yep. He just takes photographs of faces. If old scars clear up (as scars do), then he claims it’s the “organic sulfur” the suckers participants are taking. Is there an institutional review board overlooking this “study”? Nope. Is there a control group? Not that I could find. Have the findings been peer-reviewed? Negative.

But that’s not what makes Mr. McGean someone who needs help.

Mr. McGean has taken to Facebook to post some very threatening statements against anyone involved in doing away with philosophical or religious vaccine exclusions. Exhibit A is this message he sent via Facebook to Dr. Paul Offit:

threat_to_offit

Not only do I think he needs help because of the threats in his message. I think he also needs help because the message is so nonsensical. It’s stream of consciousness stuff that I’ve only seen with people who are, well, in some sort of mental trouble. And it’s not the only thing he’s written. Here he subtly threatens anyone with a needle:

needle_threat

And then he just gets really weird, threatening California State Senator Richard Pan and others with castration for their efforts to get children vaccinated:

castration_threats

Then there is this very disjointed rant about people he believes are “pedophiles”:

pedophile_accusations

And here are the rest of his rants:

pmcgean_1

bull_run_rant

And people egg him on:

violence_threats

Also, if you know someone who has stock in Big Pharma, kill them, according to Mr. McGean:

kill_stockholders

And here, a very specific threat, with a date pinned on it:

fourth_of_july

I’d like to say that Mr. McGean is just kidding, just carrying on, or just venting. But I worry that he is not, especially in light of recent credible threats to California lawmakers who passed Senate Bill 277. I really hope Mr. McGean gets the help he seemingly needs to desperately.

UPDATE: Here is what Mr. McGean had to say about this blog post. It’s a threat of violence if I’ve ever read one.

Reuben
You speak to the mothers of “vaccine damaged” children and dr. Paul A. Offits arrogance
will get him harmed but not by my hands.  Parents understand the lies of the good doctor and
they also understand his conflict of interest.  Defend him if you must, in the land of free you
can do anything you wish even damage children for 30 pieces of silver.
Merck is so afraid we may say no they are bribing senators and congressmen to pass
laws so they can have access to our biology for rather insidious intentions.
Pedophlies are castrated and hung in Utah.  Harming a child for any reason is still
pedophilia and our children are OUR Children, not yours.
You threat has nothing to do with autistic children while my comments are those
from fathers and mothers who are told it was not the vaccination, but they were
there and all describe similar neurological issues Dr. Paul describes it as mimicry.
No they can not communicate thanks to the safe heavy metals used as preservatives
by the kind killers at Merck.
By the way we don’t play, is today a good day to die?
By the way why would defend the new rich, or are you just defending science
because they for the most part could not defend themselves for the damage they
do to children and their mothers.  There is no proof vaccines are safe nor
effective yet you may believe they are a modern medical medical, Rumor has
it, and the rumor is a deadly lie.  4 million children unable to communicate in
any language, being they are lost in their own mind, which Dr. Offit says it is
impossible.  Do the math somebody is lying and I speak to the mothers.
I hope the response has fed your testosterone effectively now consider
someone else other than Dr. Offit, Dr. Pan or even Gov. Jerry Brown.
Freedom still exists?  Or will the mandating vaccines remove all of those
who would violate the Constitution to make a buck and remove such
freedoms?
Got sulfur?
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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.

Santa Barbara shooter and autism

Last night, a shooter identified as Elliot Rodger, shot and killed several people in Santa Barbara, California. Today, the BBC had an article about the alleged shooter after his family identified him:

“He said the son had Asperger’s syndrome, had trouble making friends and had been receiving professional help.”

Let’s make it clear to anyone that tries to pin his rampage on his autism that autistics are far more likely to be the victims of violence than to be the perpetrators of violence. All the evidence states that someone who “snaps” and kills people and is autistic didn’t do it because of the autism but because of all the other things that happen in the mind of someone who “snaps.” All things equal, neurotypical people are more likely to be those who “snap,” but society likes answers to questions about monsters. There will be plenty who will point to this young man’s autism and say that the answer to his horrible actions is his autism. They did it with Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary shooter.

The truth is that the answer to why there are monsters in the world is more complex than that. And you’ll be very likely to be very wrong if you bet that the answer is autism.

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.

Here is the link to call #3: LINK SEE BELOW FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT AUDIO FILES

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.

Autism: It is not a disaster

Believe it or not, people who are mentally ill are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of violence. This doesn’t make much sense to people because we want to believe that someone who kidnaps, rapes, and murders a person has to be deranged. A “normal” mind can’t possibly do something so horrible, right?

Even worse, a lot of people are quick to point out that a criminal — especially a young criminal — was kind of “quirky” or maybe had “autism or something” instead of waiting for the facts to come through on a case. I believe that it’s our own attempt to justify what happened and to tell ourselves that we would never do something like that. Because, deep down, we’re afraid to be monsters ourselves.

Don’t deny it. It’s true.

Furthermore, autism and other neurological disorders are not mental health problems. You wouldn’t walk up to someone with cerebral palsy and say that they’re “crazy,” would you? Likewise, you wouldn’t say that Muhammad Ali, who has Parkinson’s, is more likely to commit violence than someone who is neurotypical. Would you? Nevertheless, for a very long time, children with cerebral palsy or autism have been treated as being “crazy” or “quirky,” and mass shooters as possibly being autistic (with the implication that said autism was the cause for their violence).

And so we come to yesterday’s news that “1 in 50 children have autism.” From Dr. Willingham’s post:

“According to the CDC, hidden within these numbers is the finding that most of the increase from 2007 to now occurred in school-aged children. In other words, given that it’s possible to diagnose autism as early as age 18 months and usually by age 5, many of these new autism diagnoses were in children who received them relatively later. Children who were, therefore, walking around for quite a few years with autism that went unrecognized … and uncounted. That fits with the idea that a lot of the increase in autism we’ve seen in the last decade has much to do with greater awareness and identification.”

The anti-vaccine blogs are already chomping at the bits at what this new prevalence number means, totally misunderstanding the meaning of the data. (I’m not surprised, are you?) Not only that, but they have their dire predictions:

“Any expressions of concern from anybody with the power to do something about this disaster? No . And the press, as usual is soft pedaling the findings. Fifteen years ago the autism rate was 1 in 10,000, 12 year ago it was I in 2,500, 10 years ago it was 1 in 1000, and so on. When President Obama was elected in 2008 the official rate was 1 in 150, then it went to 1 in 88 and now it is 1 in 50. Where is it going to stop?”

It will never stop. We will get to 100% saturation. Every child will be autistic.
I’m joking, of course. The prevalence rate will remain the same as it has always been. Our estimate of it will even itself out and approach the prevalence rate and remain there. This is because our ability to do surveillance for autism is improving. The identification of cases by healthcare providers is improving. People with autism are coming forward and demanding to be counted. Our elected leaders are devoting more resources to ways to assist people with autism to lead long and productive lives. These are all good things.
It is not a disaster.
What is a disaster is that people who call themselves “advocates” for children and adults with autism continue to say and do things that actually harm people with autism and other neurological disorders. They call it a “disaster” to have a child with autism, or they say that they “lost” their child to autism. They then write that their children are monsters or have monsters inside them. And we’re supposed to just stand back and be understanding because we don’t have children or children who are autistic? We’re supposed to agree that it’s a “disaster” when all rationality says that it’s not and that children with autism can and will grow up to be productive citizens who even appear on CSPAN as advocates of people with similar neurological disabilities?
No, we’re not. I won’t. And I hope you won’t either.