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Apr 9, 2014

A hard case of harmful speech: should we ban anti-vaccination talk?

There are better examples of speech that causes harm than the ones we're debating in relation to the Racial Discrimination Act. What about the anti-vaxxers?

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While the government’s proposals to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act have prompted considerable debate, it hasn’t been particularly useful debate — plenty of heat and not much light, as Tim Soutphommasane described it, and people taking more or less standard positions — the Left strongly opposed, middle-aged white men (like me) supportive.

One interesting feature is that Holocaust denialism has emerged as a totemic example of what is supposedly beyond the pale in public debate. Labor repeatedly challenged the government to explain whether Holocaust denialism would be allowed under the new laws, if enacted; this week, Fairfax asked us to be alarmed that the changes proposed by Attorney-General George Brandis would allow Holocaust denialism, according to advice to the New South Wales government.

Holocaust denialism is the vile ranting of anti-Semites, and no doubt profoundly wounding both to Holocaust survivors and their families. But Australia doesn’t have a problem of Holocaust denialism: whenever the issue has been raised, the same example is always cited. Europe has a problem with Holocaust denialism, yes — and it’s outlawed in Germany — but Australia doesn’t. We may have a problem with anti-Semitism, but it doesn’t take the form of Holocaust denialism.

Moreover, it is seem to be the kind of case that the government’s changes to 18C seem designed to address. It is offensive and deeply wounding, but it does not cause or urge direct and demonstrable harm in the way an anti-Semite urging violence against Jews would — the sort of speech that, by and large, everyone is in agreement should be prohibited. That may not be the case in Germany, where there are demonstrated links between Holocaust denialism and neo-Nazism, which may well lead to violence against Jews, but even in that instance we’re talking about an indirect harm.

As Soutphommasane has correctly explained, there’s rampant inconsistency in all this. The Abbott government isn’t racing to remove prohibitions on all language short of urgings to violence in Parliament, for example. It isn’t even racing to remove much more significant impediments to free speech, like defamation law.

But what sort of speech should be banned, if we agree that all speech short of that which leads to, or is intended to cause, actual harm, is permitted?

Let’s do a quick check of recent history. There was the Keating government’s assault on free speech, when it outlawed Albert Langer’s urging of voters to vote in a way that was formal but didn’t allocate preferences. Langer was later injuncted from campaigning about it, and was actually jailed for contempt of court. The prohibition was later removed and the loophole that Langer exploited was fixed, but not before Langer had spent three weeks in jail purely for advocating a particular method of voting.

And it was on the watch of then-attorney general Philip Ruddock that online discussion of euthanasia — or “counseling suicide” as it was described in legislation — was banned in 2005, primarily to stop the activities of Dr Philip Nitschke, who continues to be harried by authorities to this day because of it. Discussing euthanasia is plainly not the urging of harm on others, but informing people of options if they themselves wish to end their lives.

Ruddock also refused to remove the old crime of sedition from his overhauled anti-terror laws, despite a review he himself commissioned recommending he do so; indeed, Ruddock significantly expanded the offence of urging the overthrow of the government or urging violence within the community, removing conditions relating to intention and actual violence resulting from a statement. Labor dumped the offence entirely when Kevin Rudd became prime minister, and the Abbott government — so far — has not indicated a wish to restore sedition, however much it appears to want to return to the 18th century.

“… there’s a particular form of speech in Australia that does, demonstrably, cause harm: anti-vaccination propaganda.”

That brings us to the example of Islamic extremist Belal Khazaal, jailed for 12 years in 2012 for cutting and pasting together a sloppy e-book of material supporting jihad. Khazaal was jailed because of one of the Howard government’s draconian anti-terror laws, s.101.5 of the Criminal Code, which makes it an offence to collect or make a document that “is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act” — even if it’s not intentional.

To his considerable credit, Chris Berg is probably the only non-lawyer to sound the alarm about what happened to Khazaal. “Words are cheap,” Berg wrote in 2012. “The Anarchist Cookbook provides more technical detail than Khazaal offered, and is free to read across the internet. Belal Khazaal may be a bad guy. He may deserve to be in prison … But if he deserves to be in prison in Australia, he deserves to be there for a greater crime than making an e-book.”

Khazaal’s case admittedly gets us close to the boundary of speech that urges people to harm others, even if “cake throwing” and “hitting with a hammer” sounds more like a Warner Bros cartoon than jihad. It’s the lack of specificity that’s the problem with Khazaal’s literary effort, since he urged violence against, well, most of the Western world. And, as Berg notes, it’s hard to say what particular harm has come from Khazaal’s work, especially given the source material is still available online. If you’re an incipient jihadist, it’s unlikely Provision in the Rules of Jihad is the dangerous material radicalising you.

But there’s a particular form of speech in Australia that does, demonstrably, cause harm: anti-vaccination propaganda. Unlike other forms of denialism, vaccination denialism kills. It has a provable body count, in terms of the number of children who die from preventable diseases either because their own parents have refused to vaccinate them, or because, despite their own parents doing the right thing and vaccinating them, they were exposed to an unvaccinated child while only partially protected, or because they were babies too young for their shots and they have been exposed to unvaccinated children.

To the extent that the lies of anti-vaccination campaigners influence a small number of parents to not vaccinate their children, it leads to the deaths of children from preventable diseases and leads to the illnesses and hospitalisation of others. It is speech that causes harm — and death.

On that basis, should anti-vaccination speech be banned? It’s a hard case: one is loath to add to the conspiracy theories and sense of persecution of people who are either sublimely stupid or who in their inner-suburban affluence believe they’re too good for vaccination, and don’t want to be part of any herd whose immunity is critical. Moreover, in many cases anti-vaxxers genuinely believe the lies they spout about Big Pharma conspiracies, autism and chemicals. None of them mean to cause harm; they just wilfully refuse to see the harm they cause.

A better response might be to stop facilitating denialism first before starting to ban it. The denialist “Australian Vaccination Network” was forced to change its name and recently (finally) lost its charity status. Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has commendably raised the issue of making it significantly harder for parents to claim “conscientious objection” status. We should go further and ensure parents who, without medical approval (some kids can’t be vaccinated safely), refuse vaccination do not receive family tax benefits, as proposed by Kevin Rudd before last year’s election. The media — especially television networks — could stop pretending there’s a “debate” about vaccination. That might help stop the death toll inflicted by the anti-vaccination lobby better than banning what they say.

But it’s odd that we’re talking about other examples of harmful speech when there’s a much more pressing one right under our noses.

Bernard Keane — Politics Editor

Bernard Keane

Politics Editor

Bernard Keane is Crikey’s political editor. Before that he was Crikey’s Canberra press gallery correspondent, covering politics, national security and economics.

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134 thoughts on “A hard case of harmful speech: should we ban anti-vaccination talk?

  1. David Brooks

    Naturally, had the writer been talking about “Freedom of the Press” the outlook would have been different. It is almost ingenious to lump freedom of speech with questions about vaccination: and not get either right!
    Clearly the two subject are deserving of separate articles. Let’s tackle the question begging.

    It is plain that some children react to vaccination, even to death. The postulations of the writer do not appear to protect them. They are, after all only a minority, and like all minorities, the aborigines, the jews, left handers etc., are disposable. And the State is renowned for taking care of those harmed by its actions, as are the companies promoted by the State! So the issue is settled. The herd mentality is promoted, but will it reign? The article below comes from, I believe, the most impeccable source. It is dated March 2014.

    “The developing human brain is uniquely vulnerable to toxic chemical exposures, and major windows of developmental vulnerability occur in utero and during infancy and early childhood.8 During these sensitive life stages, chemicals can cause permanent brain injury at low levels of exposure that would have little or no adverse effect in an adult.”

    And, it seems, Mr. Keane would like to shut up any opposition to his opinion. Even The Lancet? Mr. Keene, this is one of the reasons government hates the internet! It is difficult to stop people talking; do you really believe that making such talk illegal will stop it? Such talk will simply go underground, and there it is much more dangerous than in the open

  2. Nev7989

    I have news for Bernard Keane. Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one and very often full of shit! RE his opinion of some anti-vaxxers believing the lies they spout about big Pharma conspiracies, autism and chemicals well what qualifications or research does Bernard have to make this claim they are lies in the first place. I can tell Bernard categorically there is a mountain of evidence that there is conspiracies of big Pharma to make big money at the expense of public health, if you know where to look. These big Pharma have money to burn and can make sure that the truth is kept in a very dark place and if you are scientist or doctor who speaks out your career is over.

    Bernard also has the opinion that Holocaust denialism is the vile rantings of anti-Semite’s. Well I can say with some certainty that Bernard’s opinion is one not based on facts but rather consensus. If you look at facts the Holocaust is not what it is made out to be and the so-called Holocaust deniers are not denying it happened but are disputing the accepted, not proven and so-called facts and the many have attacked the few who have the guts to present other facts. Since when has telling the facts that certain people don’t like been anti anything.

    The other point is that since when do other people’s opinions like the anti-vaxxers whether right or wrong need to be regulated if it is not inciting hatred or harm. You argue it is causing harm but most likely know little about the complexities of this subject and people can make up their own minds and just like most opinions they are not conclusive so don’t imply they are.

  3. Don

    this article is by someone with no expertise in the area just runs the standard Big Pharma line with no evidence or science. just unsubstantiated statements and claims and blind assumptions.

    smacks of corruption, or stupidity (possibly someone who has had too many vaccinations 🙂

    the world-wide Big Pharma vaccination industry is a massive possibly trillion dollar industry (paid for by us by our Govts) – and a lobbying and disinformation effort and budget to fit that amount of money.

    yet the real vaccination science going back decades does not support its effectiveness, and also shows the long term damage to individuals’ health (and deaths)

    there are none so blind as those who will not see.

    vaccination is not about your health or the health of your children (if only!): it is solely about MONEY. And how much more they can gouge out of our Govts and our taxes.

    if vaccines actually worked as we are told (otherwise why get them?), why would anyone who had vaccine get the relevant disease?

    only those unvaccinated would, and you could say ‘serve them right’.

    and isn’t it funny that the people who get flu most are those that have been vaccinated?

    and isn’t it funny (not) that those who have been vaccinated against whooping cough now get a more dangerous and deadly form of it?
    billions and billions given to greedy and corrupt global corporations for something that not only doesn’t work, but makes things worse

    the links below substantiate various facts, such as that vaccines don’t work, actually cause more disease, and massive health side effects.





    btw, have you noticed how much sicker and sicker and sicker our population is becoming? it seems these days the population spends half their time in a doctor’s surgery, not being made healthy, just being subscribed more and more drugs, incl vaccinations?

    so why are people and children getting sicker, getting diseases, so much more often, so constantly and frequently, than in the past?

  4. rhwombat

    Marty Dubal: since my direct response to you was moderated out of existence ( with 2 more waiting the same fate) I will again attempt to express my outright contempt for your “hypocracy” @#22.

    I have been a specialist physician in Infectious Diseases in NSW public hospital and academic practice (including managing HIV, transplant and other immunocompromised – and those with polio, varicella encephalitis, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (the hideous consequence of measles) and pertussis patients) for more than 25 years. I did a PhD in host defence (that’s the immunology of infecion), and serve on the examining board and advisory committees for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases at state, national and international levels. So I am well qualified to say that what you are stating is complete, unadulterated, sociopathic bullshit.

    I and every single one of my colleagues vaccinate our kids because we know too well what happens to children (and some adults) when blithering idiots like you (and your co-conspirators Nev & Don) succeed in convincing a susceptible parent of your poisonous paranoid lies. I know of no qualified, practicing doctor (excluding the ones who talk through your fillings) who does not vaccinate themselves and their children in the absence of a valid reason not to (such as hypersensitivity to a vaccine component, lymphoma, SCID, hypogammaglobulinaemia etc). If you know of any, then perhaps they might not appreciate you citing their names, as all of their colleagues would refuse to work with them, and many would notify AHPRA.

    Well done BK, for shaking the tree.

  5. Sean

    Pro-vaxxers, on scrutiny, are arguing from a position of religion and faith, not genuine scientific enquiry or examination of the evidence, especially over the last 30 years of heavy vaxxing — it’s almost identical to going along with the doctrines of the medieval Catholic church on inspection.

    The ‘anti-vaxxers’ most definitely do not have a ‘measurable body count’. Would you care to indicate what it is and how you arrived at a figure? Consider, for instance, that 92% of children who recently came down with pertussis in a wave in California were already supposedly vaccinated against the disease. That tends to screw your pseudo-scientific, unexamined, unconsidered, social consensus via brainwashing religious case right away, doesn’t it?

    There is a body count from vaccine adverse reactions, on the other hand. There has been a massive rise in a number of syndromes in infants and young children in the past 30 years, co-inciding with the introduction of the universal Hib vaccination, followed by the introduction of a number of multivalent jabs, more jabs, and at an ever younger age — because the ‘religion’ tells us that such invasive jabs are ‘perfectly safe’ — except when a child very obviously dies or is maimed by it. It seems that if you only maim or kill about 1-2% of the population you can continue to get away with it — which is equal to or greater than the problems caused by many of the wild diseases themselves, an exercise obviously conducted at great cost to the consumer and taxpayer.

    In particular, consider the following:
    – autism was only identified and described for the first time in the very early 1940s just after widespread diphtheria vaccinations commenced
    – we have a sudden uptick in SIDS from the 1980s, commencing with the HiB vax and the use of DTaP and DTP at very early ages — the SIDS spike occurs at exactly the time the DTaP is given in age, or within a month. It is suspected that vaxes regularly cause asthmatic and similar auto-immune respiratory problems in quite a few kids, causing suffocation in their sleep in the case of SIDS babies. The death rate from SIDS, a previous non-problem, is about 0.1% of all infants.
    – a few recent studies have shown that long term asthma rates in kids are halved by the age of 7 if you delay the DTaP vax events by even 1 month in infancy, suggesting 1) they cause harm, and 2) we really don’t know overall how much harm in that case
    – many parents report adverse reactions in their infants after the MMR jab, including the onset of regressive autism — now 2%
    – we have seen a spike in ADHD diagnoses, also arguably caused by brain inflammation and disorganisation in reaction to vaxes, as encephalitis is known to be caused by vaxes — now 8% of children
    – we have seen an uptick in serious allergies — now 11% of children. In particular to food proteins like peanuts and eggs — both these substances are used in vaxes — egg whites to produce deactivated pathogens, peanut oil as a convenient excipient. Injecting food proteins into people is known to sensitise them and cause allergies. In the 1930s there was a sudden rash of allergies to cottonseed oil — which just happened to be used at the time as an excipient in the diphtheria vax. As we know, these allergies can be life threatening.
    – we have seen an uptick in asthma — now 25% of Australian kids. A quarter of pigeonholes in preschools need an asthma puffer. The findings that asthma rates are halved by just delaying the schedule by a month have already been noted above.

    If any provaxxer genuinely makes a scientific enquiry into the epidemiology above, you would also hope they could use the ordinary scientific hypothetico-deductive method to guess at what the ‘environmental cause’ might be to explain all those syndromes, without casting about for unlikely excuses and reasons like ‘blaming the parents’ genes’ and ‘must be new pollutants’ when these things have never been a problem before in modernity.

    I suggest any pro-vaxxer who actually IS capable of scientific thought, if such a thing exists, to in particular study the role of aluminium used as an adjuvant in over-stimulating infants’ immune systems, crossing the blood-brain barrier and doing damage, etc — plus the longterm effects on Alzheimers. Remember aluminium is most definitely not a nutrient of any sort, it’s an out and out poison to the human body.

    You think injecting a bunch of immune stmulating substances into yourself is perfectly safe? And so safe you think it’s OK to subject infants to it? Regardless of how severe or trivial the wild disease actually is, or the real risks of even catching that disease in a society with good hygiene and sanitation, and the risks of having the worst possible outcomes from those diseases rather than taking a moderate course? Less than 0.1% of kids in the modern world contracting measles would ever die from it, and only when they have another concomitant serious illness or disability when you actually examine their records — something big pharma doesn’t want you to do.

    And then deny parents the right of choice and informed consent? You also want to violate the Nuremberg Doctrine and return to what you think of as a form of benevolent Nazism?

    I wasn’t in the wave of vaccinations in the 80s, I was a teen — but I remember the sudden announcement of SIDS cases in the community, something that had never been a problem before in our day. We also all caught measles, mumps and chickenpox, and I have never heard of a serious lifelong problem arising from having those diseases — short perhaps of the problem of shingles in old age. The only problem is, kids getting chickenpox jabs right now are also getting shingles right now, not in old age. The first measles jabs caused a nasty syndrome called ‘atypical measles’. Mumps jabs appear to be mostly ineffective, so you’re taking on all the risk for NO benefit whatsoever.

    You are being hoaxed by the doctors and big pharma on the risk profile of vaxes, and the balance of risks between a serious AR from being vaxed or the possibility of even catching the wild disease and then having long term problems from it.

  6. Sean

    rhwombat, all you have are UNRESEARCHED OPINIONS and your pointless remarks are therefore of course INVALID.

    Further, there is no left-right distinction whatsoever to be made here, more totalitarian-libertarian — except that ‘the Right’ are more likely to be doctors or big pharma executives or hold shares in a pharmaceutical company and are therefore all for promoting widespread vaccination programs for profit. The irony is that one of the least vaxing areas in Sydney are the eastern suburbs and the north shore — it seems the elites (and possibly intellectuals and creatives) may have heard a few whispers on the grapevine amongst themselves on real safety profiles and risks — as Barbara Loe Fisher of the NVIC points out — people can network better than ever now via social media and swap stories and even photographs.

    Interestingly one of the Murdoch kiddies is on the board of a pharmaceutical company and coincidentally Murdoch has been running a ‘no jab, no play’ campaign in his papers — although this represents a fundamental violation of the Nuremberg Doctrine and the right of informed consent to an invasive medical procedure which inevitably and unavoidably carries risks up to severe disability and death which cannot be determined in advance for any single recipient — aka Russian Roulette. Murdoch is known to never do anything that will not somehow profit him or his family personally — witness the NBN freeze and one-eyed Abbott support and cheerleading.

    Hence, attacking the AVN is pretty well irrelevant, as a big pharma-funded attack on free speech, as there is a huge number of vaccine safety websites out there internationally publishing much the same findings and epidemiology and warnings. However all these site have documented that they have been coming under attack from a big pharma-inspired campaign in the last 12 months or so.

    I will bet you a king’s ransom rhwombat has never actually perused the AVN site for any reasonable period of time or considered the contents or worked out a refutation for the articles published there.

    But certainly put the link up there so others can check it and consider the points that are being made, thank you.

  7. Sean

    The thing about vaxing your kids, along with many other medical interventions requiring informed consent, is that once your kid is vaxed, they can’t be unvaxed, once the damage is done in the form of encephalitis, auto-immune reactions, autism, asthma, allergy, ADHD or SIDS, it cannot be undone. If you are lucky, they may very slowly heal and get better over many years, possibly approaching 100% if you are very very lucky. Hence we see some kids hit with regressive autism at 18 months (just a ‘coincidence’ that it hits with a month of getting their MMR jab that ppl here want to make mandatory for diseases that are not particularly serious most of the time for most people) who very gradually get better over many years of childhood, obviously missing important educational milestones as they go and causing a world of worry for their parents and some very steep caring bills.

    Those collections of toxic aluminium, foetal cells, egg white, peanut oil, and numerous other adjuvants and bizarre substances being injected straight into your system past your protective skin layer can never be removed. We know they seem, in some cases, to stimulate an IgG response and invoke a form of immunity to some strains of disease — but what of the adverse reaction and side effect profile? Doctors are trained to tell every concerned parent with a kid having an AR from a vax that ‘it’s not possible, it’s just a coincidence’. Never mind when ‘bad batches’ are released and consumed to devastating effect before they can be withdrawn, never mind the frequent recalls made by governments of vaxes that prove to unsafe from the start, when certain flu vaxes rushed out for profit to the community turn out to cause convulsions and even permanent brain damage and illness, when 2% or more of kids get encephalitis from the vax (MMR), when kids die of SIDS at peaks of 2 and 4-5 months from suffocation straight after getting their DTaP jab.

    The Hippocratic Oath says ‘first, do no harm’ — that thing went by the wayside from Day 1 when the first cowpox vax was invented — look at the AR rate from the original cowpox/smallpox vaxing programs back in the day — they were horrendous! How soon people forget.

    There is a reason vaccinating health ‘professionals’ are being attacked in Pakistan, a country which has a problem with public sanitation and hence some disease types — where even there, vaccination advocates are being attacked because parents are noticing severe and disabling adverse reactions in their newly vaccinate children. It’s not superstition, it’s that they are not as cowed by authority and bullshit discourses as we in the West.

  8. Sean

    TO be philosophical for a second, there are many definitions of religions from which we can select the meaning I intended.

    “A religion refers to a set of variously organized beliefs about the relationship between natural and supernatural aspects of reality, and about the role of humans in this relationship. While religion is difficult to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who simply called it a “cultural system” (Clifford Geertz, Religion as a Cultural System, 1973). A critique of Geertz’s model by Talal Asad categorized religion as “an anthropological category.” (Talal Asad, The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category, 1982).

    The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith, belief system or sometimes set of duties;[3] however, in the words of Émile Durkheim, religion differs from private belief in that it is “something eminently social”.[4]”

    Fundamentally I use the word to mean a belief system that is adhered to without factual evidence being required, and that retains adherents even in the face of contradictory facts. The overarching authority behind some religions benefits from maintaining such untestable belief systems or actively opposed their being tests — witness the Catholic church and universities’ treatment of Galileo and Copernicus.

    Further, anthropologically, the original primitive role of shaman (sometimes known as the ‘medicine man’) was often as a tribal healer in the absence of any better science, so the role of religion and medicine has long between intertwined.

  9. Nev7989

    I have had to modify this post presumably because the editors are afraid of the backlash from vested interest groups in debate over the facts surrounding the Holocaust. If this is the case well it is a pathetic reflection of freedom of speech in Australia! I will re-post and see what happens.
    Some advice for fhwombat at #23, has life become so shitty that you need to do some psychological displacement and take your anger out on bloggers. I suggest you get some anger management. If you didn’t crack up so easily and read what I said you would realize your response was not even relevant, it would appear the only way can deal with other people’s opinions is to be angry and abusive so I may as well be nasty to a conceited arrogant wanker like you!
    The only thing you are good at fhwombat is losing control of your emotions and making assumptions and jumping to conclusions. I never said vaccines are harmful or not useful and I am inclined to believe they are extremely useful and have saved many lives but that the Pharmaceutical companies are not completely honest with us on a number of things.
    I don’t care about people knowing who I am but only a dickhead like you would think people should give their real names on a blog site and criticize those who don’t.
    I would say that the ONLY knowledge you have about the holocaust is what you have read in mainstream history books and on mainstream media and are totally convinced that what you are hearing and reading is the truth. Wake up cretin but then you are a clone of the medical establishment. With all those qualifications why don’t you put them to some more good use and do some research into the history of the pharmaceutical industry then employ those critical thinking skills in the hidden recesses of your pea brain and you may realize that all is not what is seems.
    You claim I am ranting about the Holocaust but it is obvious from your halfwit reply that you were unable to understand what I said.
    I am not denying the Holocaust happened but I am disputing the official claims of what happened and the numbers that were murdered in a planned genocide by Hitler and the Third Reich for the simple reason I am NOT anti-Semitic but I have looked extensively at both sides of this debate and the official line is I believed flawed. The entire official story or World War II is mostly lies if you take the time to investigate the fact. Did you know that the term Holocaust did not exist until the 1950’s, I think I know the answer to that! Did you know that the most authoritative author on Hitler and the Third Reich David Irving has proven that the official line is flawed and he has had a reward on offer for the last twenty years for anyone to provide a photo of a German bulldozer or German soldiers disposing of mass corpses. The answer is there isn’t any and the photos we all had rammed down our throats were American and British bulldozers and soldiers that were disposing of corpses that died mainly from disease and starvation because the allies had bombed the shit out of the infrastructure and there was little food, clean water and medicine to assist the prisoners in the camps. There is a lot more factual evidence also to support these facts. (and yes I can hear the keyboards in Tel Aviv clunking already because they can’t let the facts out of the bag!) The second world war killed 60 million people and about 50% of them, 30 million people, were innocent civilian including millions of women and children. The allied bombing of Germany and Japan including the two nuclear blasts on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed tens of thousands of people in seconds, minutes and hours. The Holocaust victims seem to have all the sympathy (and monetary compensation), well what about all the others who were innocent victims, their voice and their suffering and loss is not allowed to be heard by the deceivers!
    So you see hrwombat you are a slimy maggot that goes around announcing your knowledge and authority which in reality is conceited arrogance to service your ego and insecurities and the reality is you are the quintessential bigot!

  10. Sean

    Apologies, reading back beyond the last 6 posts, rhwombat actually does have significant medical credentials. Even scarier. Given that he is making a big deal out of talking about treating the tiny minority of encephalitis cases caused by wild measles vs the 2% autism rate that has come about by encephalitis caused by the MMR and other vaxes. But, of course, the medical fraternity and big pharma deny that these diseases and illnesses and ARs that commence right after a vax event are caused by the vax, because it stuffs up their impressive-looking life-saving stats, their pay packets, and their claim to high priest status.

    The whole point is, there are quantifiable risks in every society of catching certain diseases which in some cases have severe sequelae. Societies that have better and better personal and domestic hygiene, better nutrition, better sewerage and water treatment, and so on and so forth, intrinsically have far fewer problems with serious infectious diseases — this was the reason for all the public health infrastructure and hygiene campaigns in the first place. They worked. However, doctors followed up with vaxes and attempted to take the credit for these large scale improvements through better hygiene and awareness. There are also (potentially) quantifiable risks from receiving a vaccine designed supposedly to prevent the wild disease. In the cleaner societies, those risks are now very close to each other, and in fact the serious vax AR risk may be higher than the serious disease sequelae risk. Profit-makers don’t want you to know that, so they suppress the link between vaxes and their ARs so that they only talk about the upside.

    Even in poorer countries where, say, measles fatalities in infancy are 30%, if you race through those countries vaccinating the kids, you are still going to have a death rate and an autism rate similar to what honest researchers have estimated in the West — 0.1% SIDS, 2% autism, asthma, allergies, and so on. However, it is an EXTREMELY POOR ARGUMENT to point to ‘successes’ in 3rd world countries where the death rate from measles is not due to lack of vaccination, but due to extremely poor nutrition (the children will continue to be malnourished and probably stunted growing up), poor water quality, poor sanitation, poor sewerage, etc etc, NONE OF WHICH THE WEST IS INTERESTED IN DOING ANYTHING TO RECTIFY. So we will give them a $2 vaccination for profit, but not fix all the extremely serious underlying profits, THEN use that argument for further propaganda value back in the West to continue profiting from vaxes there. Nowhere in this is the real AR rate being examined. Just like Ciprofloxacin and the Cox-2 inhibitors and numerous other drugs, the real side effect profile and adverse reaction rate is hidden in the doctored studies presented for drug registration, then hidden as ‘anecdotal instances’ once released upon the public.

  11. Sean

    Can somebody, including Bernard Keane, the original author, please indicate exactly what the ‘death toll’ is from that small percentage of parents who choose not to vaccinate their children against absolutely everything in the delicate time of infancy? Given that 92% of children who had pertussis in a recent wave of infections in California had received vaccinations, and 81% were FULLY vaccinated on the schedule — where, of course, vaccination clearly does not equal immunisation. I suggest to all the provaxing true believers out there that they go and look that one up — along with all the other anomalies and cover-ups they should be looking up before weighing forth with their unresearched opinions in public.

    Is is possible the wild diseases are already mutating away from the vax strains, making the vaxes useless? This is the standard model of disease resistance, of course, and vaxes are just as vulnerable as any other treatment in this area — so you get all the risk of an AR with none of the benefit of protection. Is it possible the vaxes never really worked much at all in the first place, and better public hygiene measures have been reducing infection rates? (The mumps vaccine and flu vax have been shown to not even work, by and large. Bet the author and the provaxing posters here didn’t know about that, because they’ve never bothered to do any balanced research on the matter before blathering off with their untested religious ‘opinions’.) Or is it possible that they only work a bit and serve to attenuate the severity of the disease if you’re lucky? Then there’s the cases where receiving certain vaxes seem to CAUSE the disease in recipients inside of a week, including fluvax. Or nasty cases of ‘atypical measles’ in the 1960s, another sequela that was suppressed by the authorities.

    THEN there was the death rate noted in aged care facilities in the US in the 1970s that seemed to be caused by the massive number of flu vaxes being given that year ‘just in case’ there was going to be a flue epidemic. The authorities took steps to hide that stat.

    So who is causing what death rate exactly? Where are the stats with these wild and actually quite defamatory and unsubstantiated and vile accusations? Where is the respect for parents’ freedom of choice in doing what they think is best for their child based on an informed opinion, on informed consent, even when the medical fraternity are doing their best to hide all the information? And what of the Nuremberg Doctrine? When did we all become eugenicist Nazis again?

    Which diseases are genuinely dangerous in our present day hygienic first world existence? Many parents choose to do selective immunisations for only the most dangerous diseases that might realistically still be prevalent or present in the environment their children are operating in, and often at a time later than the first 2 years of infancy given the apparent increased probability of a nasty AR at that sensitive age. That, therefore, is their best attempt at balancing the risk of serious disease and sequelae vs a risk of AR, and they are perfectly free, and indeed I would argue very wise, to make that call individually and in a considered way. That is their prerogative. This belief that all vaxes are completely safe at any age and any strength and with any ingredients and never mind the bollocks of loads of reports of SIDS and autism and ADHD and asthma and allergy that was never a problem before in previous generations and reports from parents and friends and strangers that their kid was never the same again after a vax event is just a form of insanity. We’re killing and maiming 2% of kids and giving life threatening asthma and allergies to another 25% to (supposedly) ‘save’ 1% from wild diseases, many of which are trivial. Now they’re arguing it just saves today’s stressed 2-income households from taking a week off work to look after a sick kid so they don’t get the sack — some convenience when the kid is maimed for life! Cui bono?

    Crikey! indeed. What happened to this newsletter? When did it become conventional, boring, pedestrian, mainstream and unable to look at the real discourses and cover-ups going on out there?

  12. rhwombat

    Ah. So “Sean” is an AVNer. One of Wakefield’s spawn, Gish galloping bullshit only in pseudonymous safety. Possibly even a pseudonym for Dorey herself. Case closed.


    It really is quite important for public (and community) mental (as well as physical) health, to expose these deluded charlatans to public ridicule, even if it does mean having to trawl through Nev7989’s (? Töben or Irving) spittle flecked rant to get there.

  13. Sean

    Here’s a webpage that references a recent study linking aluminium levels in vaccines to autism rates:


    The paper’s title is ‘Aluminum in the Central Nervous System: Toxicity in Humans and Animals, Vaccine Adjuvants, and Autoimmunity’

  14. rhwombat

    ‘Sean’: got you. “Recent peer-reviewed published studies…two of which have been posted already” – since the Grandjean & Landrigan review has no reference to vaccines or their components, you must be referring to noted (and long dead) anti-vaccination nutter Ian Sinclair’s crap. I’ve told you my credentials and experience – what are yours?

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks – you are a Dorey sockpuppet, citing the same old tendentious bullshit recycled from AVN, NVIC and other aggregators of pathetic, self-absorbed new age poseurs looking to displace their guilt and anguish onto anyone but themselves. The MMR-causes-autism lie that you continue to promulgate was dead and buried long before Wakefield’s crash and burn (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield), but you guys are still out there pushing this crap, in defiance of ALL the data, analyses, conclusions, recommendations and reviews of ALL of the worlds medical organisation. Someone’s out of step, so I guess it must be world medicine, not the anonymous illuminati of anti-vaccination, ’cause Gallileo (!) and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (!), and mystic wisdom, and Big Pharma bought you all anyway.

    Oh, and the 3 AVOs:

    The ugly truth is that this is all a smug intellectual game for you vampires. You never have to tell a parent why their child is permanently disabled or dead. I have. You disgust me.

  15. Sean

    OK. Here’s something inboxed to me just now, apart from all the other stuff that is being inboxed every day.

    Not so smart are you now, ‘scientists’? Guess what — we don’t control nature completely and deterministically, and we don’t understand it particularly well either, especially in biology. All we can do is observe it and fiddle with it a bit. Hence authoritarian control freak demands to vaccinate everyone with a serious risk attached start to look a bit hollow…

    Whooping Cough Outbreaks being Triggered by Vaccinated Children

    It is a common myth perpetuated by both the entrenched system of monopolistic medicine and the mainstream media that unvaccinated children are the social scourge responsible for triggering outbreaks of rare diseases like pertussis (whooping cough), measles and shingles. But the scientific literature suggests otherwise, showing in many cases that vaccinated children are the ones largely responsible for triggering and spreading disease.

    A recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences for instance, found that, despite more than 50 years of population-wide vaccination, cases of whooping cough are on the rise. The culprit? Antigens of Bordetella pertussis that not only are completely ineffective at preventing infection with Bordetella parapertussis, a whooping cough bacterium similar to B. pertussis, but actually promote it by interfering with the body’s natural infection clearance protocols.

    “[W]e show that aP [whooping cough] vaccination impedes host immunity against B. parapertussis-measured as reduced lung inflammatory and neutrophil responses,” wrote the authors. “[W]e conclude that aP vaccination interferes with the optimal clearance of B. parapertussis and enhances the performance of this pathogen. Our data raise the possibility that widespread aP vaccination can create hosts more susceptible to B. parapertussis infection.”

  16. Sean

    The ugly truth is that this is all a smug intellectual game for you vampires. You never have to tell a parent why their child is permanently disabled or dead. I have. You disgust me.

    You don’t tell them when you’ve killed or maimed them with a vaccine though — SIDS and autism. Once again, what is the cause of the sudden epidemic of SIDS since the 1980s, which peaks at the time of the DTaP jabs? What is the cause of the late onset regressive autism epidemic, which happens to coincide most with MMR jabs given at 18 months? What is the cause of the huge uptick in asthma and allergies and ADHD in infants and children? Why are all of these phenomena coincidentally intimately related with the immune system? Why are kids suddenly apparently being born with terminator genes and problems with immunity? What are you pumping into them, and why is there only upside and benefits and no side effects or adverse reactions as with every single other drug known to medicine? What is the size and scale of these adverse reactions really? And what is the genuine risk involved for most people with any of the wild diseases in a modern hygienic first world country?

    I haven’t even gotten on to the vaccine-induced diabetes and non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer epidemics in children since ‘universal vaccination’ programs with a record number of injected pathogens and adjuvants really got underway.

    All your personal anecdotes are very clearly and obviously to other readers simply a smokescreen and an attempt to maintain the façade of the ‘long suffering and benign priesthood’ to keep you in a job. You claim to have some sort of personal responsibility for every disease and outcome, except when you cause them. You ‘need to be needed’, i.e. you need the money, right?

    I would recommend to any readers hanging on so far that they look at the evidence published on the vaccine information website, whether the AVN or NVIC or age of autism or a bunch of others, start hooking into the network, educate yourselves, inform yourselves, and then you are in a position to consider the real risks and benefits of vaccinating or not vaccinating both yourselves and your kids for specific diseases that may or may not be dangerous, respectively. Because you are certainly not getting that information from doctors, from big pharma, or from govt programs.

    As I’ve said, once you’ve been injected, you can’t uninject yourself, once the substances are in your system, you can’t take them back out, and they will take their course in your body. If you have a massive immune over-reaction, or an auto-immune reaction with incorrect recognition of your own nerve cells as foreign with MS or other nervous system symptoms, or Guillain Barre syndrome, or encephalitis, or aluminium poisoning and Alzheimers symptoms, remember they never warned you of any of that.

    So still more empty vituperation and emotional haranguing from rhwombat to preserve the holy tabernacle of the high priests.

  17. rhwombat

    ‘Sean’: Now you are really showing your desperation: Long et al. Proc Biol Sci. Jul 7, 2010; 277(1690): 2017–2025 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2880100/) is about the dynamics of immunity in a mouse model, and concludes:

    “As always, it is important to be cautious about extrapolating from animal models to humans. The dynamics of B. pertussis and B. parapertussis infection in rodent hosts shares many similarities with human infection, but like all experimental models, differs from the human situation in a number of key ways (Elahi et al. 2007). However, the relative efficacies of pertussis vaccines in the rodent model correspond to those obtained in clinical trials (Mills et al. 1998; Guiso et al. 1999), and we note that epidemiological evidence in human whooping cough infections is consistent with an enhancement effect for B. parapertussis (Bergfors et al. 1999; Liese et al. 2003). Directly proving aP vaccination puts treated people at risk of acquiring B. parapertussis is very difficult, but we hope our study highlights the need for more thorough B. parapertussis epidemiological data and encourages further work in this neglected area. If our experiments are capturing the phenomenology of what is happening under aP vaccination in humans, it may be important to consider the introduction of vaccines that better protect against both bordetellae; for example, live attenuated B. pertussis nasal vaccines (Mielcarek et al. 2006), wP vaccines containing both B. pertussis and B. parapertussis (Burianova-Vysoka et al. 1970), or supplementation of aP vaccines with B. parapertussis protective antigens (Zhang et al. 2009a). An enhanced understanding of the evolutionary consequences of widespread aP vaccination is needed in order to optimize the next generation of vaccination strategies and fully reap the benefits of this powerful medical intervention.”

    Do you understand the concept of confirmation bias? If you spent your time combing the literature (and the wider media) you will find lies that you can twist to support your contrarianist propaganda. That doesn’t mean it’s correct or believable, it just means you are dishonest and are working with an agenda that has nothing to do with anybody else’s benefit.

    I’m particularly taken by the vituperative way you project arrogant, totalitarian, religious certainty onto those of us who actually work with real victims in the real world. None of us claim certainty or absolute knowledge, but your vehemence and monomania demonstrates a pathetic disconnection with consequence. For you, this is all about trying to convince yourself that you are not insignificant – and anyone can read the pique in your words. I don’t hate you, Dorey, but I do find you utterly contemptible.

  18. rhwombat

    ‘Sean’: ” Recent peer-reviewed published studies”? In Vactruth, by Christine England and Health Impact Daily News, by a couple of Philippines-based scammers, as creditable evidence of your ? That is Nev7989-level delusional crap.

    England is a another well known vaccination=autism english exile , whose main claim to fame is blaming child abuse on evil vaccines:

    The “peer-reviewed” study (actually a review of published papers) cited by England (Immunol Res. 2013 Jul;56(2-3):304-16. doi: 10.1007/s12026-013-8403-1.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23609067
    is from Shaw and Tomljenovich, two ‘controversial’ (read notorious) non-medical scientists from UBC who have been darlings of the US antivax (particularly anti HPV vaccine) scene for years. Note the number of citations in PubMed: 1. This means that no one believes the relevance of their overdrawn bow either. S&V have an hypothesis that they spruik, but they haven’t ever published any proof of causality – and no one who knows about this field thinks they will.

    As for Shilhavey’s regurgitated crap about Ben Cowling & Malik Peiris’ study (http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/54/12/1778) – I know Ben & Malik personally (Malik identified SARS coronavirus), and know how embarrassed and angry they are about the way their study has been abused by the anti-science loons like you.

    The difference between useful medical science and your faith-based bleating is that we examine our errors and learn from them. You just sit in the dark and pretend.

  19. rhwombat

    Still too long?
    Trying again:

    ‘Sean’: Now you are really showing your desperation: Long et al. Proc Biol Sci. Jul 7, 2010; 277(1690): 2017–2025 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2880100/) is about the dynamics of immunity in a mouse lung co-infection model, and concludes:

    “… An enhanced understanding of the evolutionary consequences of widespread aP vaccination is needed in order to optimize the next generation of vaccination strategies and fully reap the benefits of this powerful medical intervention.”

    Do you understand the concept of confirmation bias? If you spent your time combing the literature (and the wider media) you will find lies that you can twist to support your contrarianist propaganda. That doesn’t mean it’s correct or believable, it just means you are dishonest and are working with an agenda that has nothing to do with anybody else’s benefit.

    I’m particularly taken by the vituperative way you project arrogant, totalitarian, religious certainty onto those of us who actually work with real victims in the real world. None of us claim certainty or absolute knowledge, but your vehemence and monomania demonstrates a pathetic disconnection with consequence. For you, this is all about trying to convince yourself that you are not insignificant – and anyone can read the pique in your words. I don’t hate you, ‘Sean’, but I do find you utterly contemptible.

  20. Sean


    Posted Sunday, 13 April 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    ‘Sean’: still blustering on I see. Jennifer Raff provides a far more succinct and documented demolition of your bullshit that I can (and she’s an anthropologist, not one of us evil medicos).:

    This just came out of moderation. It’s possible to do a lengthy point by point refutation of every single remark the supposed ‘anthropologist’ made. There has also been a false chain letter going around written by someone in the CDC claiming to be a writer in England — whose article is full of mistakes and Americanisms, and whose name just happens to match the first two names of a CDC worker.

    Everything that ‘anthropologist’ has written is eminently refutable, and I would be happy to refute them line by line in another forum which is not so laborious as this one. Once again, whenever the question is raised about why the new epidemics of autism, SIDS, asthma, allergies, ADHD, juvenile diabetes and non-Hodgkins lymphomas in infants and young children — all immune and auto-immune problems — just happens to coincide with changes in the vax schedules and with the introduction of many more new vaxes, we are always greeted with the same response from the provaxers — silence.

    (One troll says I’m blustering, another one says I should somehow publish on this crappy commenting board every last skerrick of proof and information, it’s hard to keep every troll happy at once. You can’t have it both ways guys.)

  21. Sean


    Posted Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I and every single one of my colleagues vaccinate our kids because we know too well what happens to children (and some adults) when blithering idiots like you (and your co-conspirators Nev & Don) succeed in convincing a susceptible parent of your poisonous paranoid lies. I know of no qualified, practicing doctor (excluding the ones who talk through your fillings) who does not vaccinate themselves and their children in the absence of a valid reason not to (such as hypersensitivity to a vaccine component, lymphoma, SCID, hypogammaglobulinaemia etc). If you know of any, then perhaps they might not appreciate you citing their names, as all of their colleagues would refuse to work with them, and many would notify AHPRA.

    Or other unknown genetic and probably untestable likely reactions to aluminium and other vaccine ingredients like squalene, yeast, eggs, peanuts, foreign DNA from animals, viruses and bacteria, causing asthma, allergy, and SIDS from asthma suffocation in infancy. Or the prospect of causing juvenile diabetes and non-Hodgkins lymphomas in any kid. Or paralysis. Or Hughes syndrome or antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Or rheumatoid arthritis, macrophagic myofasciitis, multiple sclerosis, autism, and siliconosis. But then that just creates more work and money for the medical fraternity ‘fixing’ the problems they created and deny creating. The only smoking gun of course is the uptick in these cases as the number of vaccines and number of boosters goes up and the scheduled ages in infancy and childhood come back.

    And it’s funny, there’s a considerable list of GPs and specialist paediatricians overseas who are extremely leery of vaxes, and have become apostate.

    You only have to google ‘doctors who don’t vaccinate’ to find any number of them. It’s only the brainwashed Aussie technical barbarians who carry on like ‘Dr’ Wombat, blatantly violate the Nuremberg Doctrine on informed consent in medical interventions, bluff and bullshit the populace, take medical credit for simple public health hygiene measures set up decades ago, deny parents the right of choice and the right of informed choice, and so on. It’s a new form of fascism by stealth in the interests of making money.

    If childhood vaccines are safe, why are well over half a million vaccinated American children afflicted with autism, while non-vaccinated Amish and Mennonite children rarely suffer from the disorder? Why has the incidence of asthma, allergies, autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes and neurological conditions also dramatically increased in vaccinated children?

    Furthermore, why do obstetricians give pregnant women influenza vaccines that contain a toxic dose of mercury and why are new babies injected with the Hepatitis B vaccine within hours of birth when there is no medical justification for it?

  22. Sean

    This is a good summary that just came to me on FB. The link will be held up in moderation forever here, of course, so I might post it separately following. The article is long, and the quote below will also probably put this post in moderation. But the article is worth a read.

    Please stop telling people vaccine injuries are rare and brushing off individuals who have suffered vaccine injuries. Vaccines are associated with serious adverse reactions like: Blood and lymphatic system disorders, immune system disorders, myocarditis, nervous system disorders, convulsions, seizures, encephalitis (brain swelling), facial palsy, skin disorders, sudden infant death (SIDS), death, meningitis, paralysis, anaphylactic shock, skin and tissue disorders, eczema, lower respiratory infections, cerebrovascular accident, transverse myelitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Bell’s palsy, aseptic meningitis, pneumonia, ringing in the ears, multiple sclerosis, myelitis including transverse myelitis, seizure, febrile seizure, peripheral neuropathy, herpes zoster, migraines, neurological syndromes, chronic arthritis, hearing loss, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, neuropathy, and vaccine-strain versions of chicken pox, measles, mumps, polio, influenza, meningitis, yellow fever, and pertussis. For a list of other exciting (yet downplayed) reactions check out the package inserts here. To view the VAERS database where you will find more adverse reactions reported including deaths, click here.

    Everyone knows a vaccine-injured child. Conditions we consider “normal” like ear infections, food allergies, and eczema were unheard of in the days of our grandparents. Asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, autism, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, brain encephalitis, developmental disorders, and neurological problems were also uncommon. So we traded in polio (which according to the CDC is asymptomatic in 95% of people who actually get it) for vaccine induced paralytic polio and cancer via contaminated Salk vaccines. We traded in chicken pox for shingles, anaphylaxis shock, and death; measles for brain encephalitis; and the minuscule chance an infant would get Hep b for rheumatoid arthritis and SIDS. If we’re going with the touted 1 in 1,000 mortality number for measles, wouldn’t it make sense to question the MMR vaccine which could cause Measles-Induced Neuroautistic Encephalophathy, seizures, coma, and death?

  23. Sean

    1) ‘David Hand’ — yes, that is a known adverse reaction to vaccines, it has been demonstrated, why don’t you do some research of your own and report back to us when you’re done, and you also have to wonder if indeed your wife’s case and countless other cases of MS — a disease that often affects younger women — are triggered by vaccinations they’ve received over the lifespan. The epidemiology has been done on many other childhood diseases examining obvious correlations, although official channels try to suppress those findings.

    All the other syndromes that we KNOW can be triggered by vaccines are immune in nature, including auto-immune attacks on the nervous system. It is therefore definitely scientifically plausible to start with. Whenever ‘modern medicine’ professes a new epidemic to be a ‘mystery’ I start to get suspicious. After all, what has changed in ‘the environment’ in the past few decades? — for most people, it is simply the quantity and scheduled ages of vax events.

    Further, I or the quoted author has not said every case of MS is caused by a vaccine (although who knows whether some, most or all are), rather that MS can be an adverse reaction in some individuals from receiving a vaccine. Your logic is twisted and backwards and a classic common fallacy of argumentation we see from unskilled or deliberately sophistical debaters — I’m still not sure which one you are.

    2) Chris Hartwell, you clearly haven’t been reading about the harms caused by vaccines. If the rates of harm are as high as they appear to be, the last thing you would want to do is take even more vaccines which you conjure up, as you are increasing the risk of harm in susceptible individuals, and indeed magnifying the risk of harm for everyone. In other words, you insist it is ‘LOGICAL’ to keep playing Russian Roulette over and over and keep spinning the chamber, putting the gun to your head and pulling the trigger, and somehow the odds remain the same at 1 in 6 that the bullet is in place this time? You clearly 1) cannot think logically at all, 2) have no idea whatsoever about medical risks concerning vaccinations, the variety of vaxes, the adjuvants used, in how different ways vaxes are made all of which introduce different dangers in terms of ARs and allergic and auto-immune reactions, and so on. It’s akin to saying you will drink a cup out of every single container you find under the sink but the danger will remain the same. Your attempt at an argument, juvenile and witless though it is, only makes sense if it was the case that vaccines were perfectly safe, or several orders of magnitude safer than having the wild disease in the community at whatever level of infection and spread — after all, not everyone reacts the same way to all diseases, nor does everyone catch every disease in circulation, whereas universal vaccination requires 100% of the population to be vaxed and exposes the entire population to risks associated with ARs to the vax. (An early estimate of the real level needed to achieve so called ‘herd immunity’ is only 68% in fact, except herd immunity is obviously a fallacy. If you bothered to read the link I posted immediately above.) However, not only have you not bothered to read the article linked above and think about it, or any other link examining vaccine safety realistically, but you also fail to engage your brain utterly, presumably every day of your life. LOGIC – you don’t have any.

  24. Sean

    Myelin is the fatty acid sheath that protects and insulates nerve cells and the brain. Some people with autoimmune disorders, including MS, present with damage to myelin in the brain.

    Myelin damage has long been suspected in autism, though the jury is still out on this question. One thing that does seem to be certain is that children with ASD appear to have unusually high levels of antibodies to myelin basic protein, or MBP. That would suggest they might have myelin damage as well. Some studies have also shown highly elevated levels (up to 90%) of MBP antibodies in ASD children who received the MMR vaccine. The development of MBP antibodies could possibly be caused by a reaction to the live measles virus in the vaccine, because the virus may mimic the molecular structure of MBP. (The finding of antibodies to MBP is also associated with MS, which is a demyelinating disorder).

    This vaccine-myelin association was also supported by a study in the October, 2008 issue of the journal Neurology. It reported that exposure to Hep B vaccine in children was associated with a 50% increased risk for CNS inflammatory demyelination of 50 percent (OR: 1.50; 0.93–2.43). This was especially true for children who got GlaxoSmithKline’s Engerix B vaccine, in which case the risk was elevated by 74% (1.74; 1.03–2.95). Among ASD children with confirmed multiple sclerosis, the risk increased by 177% (2.77; 1.23–6.24).

    “Hepatitis B vaccination does not generally increase the risk of CNS inflammatory demyelination in childhood,” the authors concluded. “However, the Engerix B vaccine appears to increase this risk, particularly for confirmed multiple sclerosis, in the longer term. Our results require confirmation in future studies.”

  25. Sean

    Equally intriguing, along these lines, is a new study published in the Journal of Child Neurology. That paper reported that “anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein positivity” was found in a stunning 62.5% of the autistic children studied. And, a family history of autoimmunity was five times more common in ASD children (50%) than controls (9.4%).

    “Anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein serum levels were significantly higher in autistic children than those without such history,” the authors wrote. “Autism could be, in part, one of the pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders. Further studies are warranted to shed light on the etiopathogenic role of anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein antibodies and the role of immunotherapy in autism.”

    This information is tantalizing, to say the least. And it could provide new avenues of research into the role of vaccines, demyelinating diseases, “autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders,” and autism.

    If the HepB series can destroy myelin in some kids and adults, and cause full-blown MS in adults, then is it really that “fringe” to investigate the plausibility of a biological mechanism whereby some vaccines (including MMR) in a subset of susceptible infants might produce symptoms that are characteristic of autism and/or other neuro-developmental disorders?

    For years, the US Government and the IOM have insisted that Hepatitis B vaccine does not and can not cause MS. But the Federal Vaccine Court has now, essentially, overturned that opinion. Will the Court now do the same for vaccines and autism? I don’t think so – not this week. But it just might keep that door slightly ajar for the future.

  26. Sean

    hmm, greatly increased RR of juvenile diabetes in 12 yos from the Hep B vaccination program:

    “In 1991, the Italian government implemented a mandatory hepatitis B immunization program, requiring all children to receive the vaccine when they either reached three months or twelve years of age. No vaccinations were given at any other age to people in the study, and no catch-up vaccination program was implemented for children between those ages. In their study, the scientists measured the incidence of type-I diabetes in vaccinated and unvaccinated children from central Italy. They also measured the differences related to their ages at the times they were vaccinated. The overall relative risk of type I diabetes in vaccinated versus unvaccinated children was 1.34. This means that any children who received the hepatitis B vaccine would be 34% more likely to develop diabetes than unvaccinated children. While this overall risk of diabetes may not seem that great, the statistics took a dramatic increase in children who were vaccinated at age twelve. In that group, the relative risk was measured at 2.58. In other words, children who received the hepatitis B vaccine at age twelve were more than 2.5 times as likely to be diagnosed with type I diabetes as their unvaccinated peers. Based on their findings, the scientists concluded that children inoculated with the hepatitis B vaccine are at an increased risk of type I diabetes. They also suggested that “hepatitis B vaccine per se, or the timing of administration, must be reconsidered to reduce the risk associated with it” (4).

    Several large studies conducted in the 1990s have provided convincing evidence that vaccines may be associated with the development of type-1 diabetes. In New Zealand in 1996, researchers saw a 60% increase in childhood diabetes cases after the country had a mass hepatitis B vaccination campaign from 1988 to 1991 for infants six weeks and older. Finland has had a vaccination programs for decades, and J. Barthelow Claasen, M.D., a former researcher at the National Institute of Health, has been documenting a vaccine-diabetes connection. In Infectious Disease in Clinical Practice, he reported that the incidence of diabetes in Finland was stable in children younger than four years of age until the government modified its immunization schedule. In 1974 a total of 130,000 children aged three months to four years received HIB or meningitis vaccine. In 1976, the government added a second pertussis strain to its pertussis vaccine. Between 1977 and 1979, the incidence of type-1 diabetes increased by 64% compared to 1970 to 1976. Overall, childhood diabetes increased by 147% in children younger than three years after all the vaccine changes were made (5).

    Funny that the Aus govt never advises or warns anyone about these things going into their universal vaccination campaigns, choosing instead to demonise anyone who wants to exercise their right of informed consent and power of guardianship. Aided and abetted by BK, Rupert Murdoch (whose son is coincidentally on the board of a pharma co), and the vaccine industry.

    David Hand will continue to insist that all these findings are ‘fabrications’ only found on ‘antivaxing websites’ — i.e sites set up to try to inform the public fairly about vax risks. Another circular argument from DH — any site that contains adverse info about vaxes is an anti-vax site, and any anti-vax site is invalid.

    So the quality of arguments we’ve seen from the pseudo-scientists and pseudo-sceptics and medical vested interests so far have all been one of:

    – appeals to emotion ignoring the true stats
    – appeals to authority
    – circular reasoning and definitions

    pretty amazing stuff. and you wonder why I compare them to 16th century Catholic universities denying the size of the universe and clinging to the heliocentric model to retain power.

  27. Sean

    I’m not going into the whole Wakefield story on this lousy commenting board. I’m happy to go into it elsewhere, including multimedia links to current interviews with Andrew Wakefield, etc etc.

    Andrew Wakefield insists that 10 out of 12 authors were bullied into retracting their research contributions into his paper, 2 retain their position.

    Apparently other studies have been done confirming the presence of measles in the gut of autistic children who have been vaccinated with MMR vaccine — which was his original case study premise, nothing more. He never linked autism to the MMR vaccine in his paper per se, although he was being approached by a lot of parents. He maintains that his methodology was quite sound as it was a multi-case study, not some kind of large scale epidemiological survey or RCT.

    Your argument that ‘his findings have never been replicated’ is ridiculous, because you cannot ‘replicate’ a case study, you can confirm the findings in other patients, or run a much larger study. Apparently, in fact, the result has been found in other studies, I will leave it as an exercise for the gentle readers to go and google those studies for themselves. In fact, it has been established that vaccines can cause the infection of the actual disease itself in subjects, so it should come as no surprise that Wakefield detected measles virus in the gut of these autistic children who had received MMR vaxes.

    Your claim that Wakefield claimed an autism-MMR link or causation in his study is completely wrong, and juvenile again, Chris Hartwell, it’s another piece of incorrect folklore in the provaxing religion that shows you haven’t researched the topic for yourself, just like all the contributors who research nothing and live off third hand received wisdom from vested interest sources.

    If you google ‘Wakefield interview’ you will find any number of recent video interviews with Andrew Wakefield outlining both his own personal experiences and his ongoing concerns about vaccine safety, right up to the present day.

    You ‘accept’ my non-existent apology and accuse me of ‘ignoring’ your typically uninformed Wakefield barbs earlier — which I hadn’t actually seen or read, to be honest, as I know all the provaxers’ remarks broadly aren’t worth reading, and skim them superficially — especially all the usual folklore about Wakefield — but you still haven’t apologised for your completely uninformed and unknowledgeable conflation of Type I and Type II diabetes in children — another convenient conflation like the claims that unvaccinated kids are spreading pertussis and measles when it turns out it’s the supposedly ‘immunised’ kids who are spreading the wild disease. Another ‘inconvenient truth’ for the vested interests.

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