To the Editor of Organic Lifestyles magazine:
Originally I trashed this response to my article The Psychology of Vaccine Injury Awareness because it was so uninformed and poorly conceived. On further consideration, I realized that the author pretends to harbor many misconceptions similar to many of the general public who have never really looked at the vaccine issue beyond what they are told in the glossy magazines, popular media and from the evening newsreaders. Following standard propaganda in this way, having no information on the underlying science, low-end copy like this email will result. Which is OK as long as the individual is the only one who loses. But it is for the children of the people this misinformed that I will try to respond to these confused comments and try to set the record straight.
I class this type of response in the Hand Holding category, which I usually don’t do. It means that these issues are set straight very clearly and incontrovertibly in the new edition of the book Vaccination Is Not Immunization. Even though this book is very short and very reader friendly, I realize most people will not take the time to absorb the minimal information it contains before they make one of the most important decision they will ever make for their child.
The author of the email attacking my article comes up with nothing new – no new ideas, no fresh insight, no worthwhile assertions. His comments are a very average-level parroting of standard media propaganda which has formed the public perception of vaccines for the past 200 years. The same phrases, the same mantras, the same disregard for scientific fact, physiological processes and actual historical events. So Average Parrot here has put no special effort into researching the areas on which he is holding forth; merely repeating back the same timeworn phrases he has passively absorbed during a lifetime of standard conditioning through popular media. It’s all rhetoric, all chatter, notable for its complete lack of supporting references. This is one of the hallmarks of mundane propaganda – no documentation.
In his opening paragraph Average Parrot makes the same charge at me about unsupported assertions, etc. The ideas in the article in question The Psychology of Vaccine Injury Awareness are excerpted from the book Vaccination Is Not Immunization, which contains over 350 medical, legal and scientific references covering every single fact and statistic stated not only in the book but in this short article as well. To that list then do I direct any reader looking for documentation of the position I represent.
The first chattering about how mercury is gone from vaccines sets the tone of the letter. It’s going to be the usual line, mercury is gone now from vaccines so everything’s fine, etc. So let’s get this straight: mercury is not gone from vaccines. Either I’m right about this or Average Parrot is right. We can’t both be right. One of us is wrong. Clear? On the 2012 CDC website we see that there are currently 19 flu shots mandated before age 18. In the 2012 PDR the manufacturers of the influenza vaccines tell us that thimerosal (50% mercury) is added. They also state that thimerosal is put into Twinvax. On the FDA website in 2008 mercury levels permitted in current vaccines read as follows:
DTaP. . . . . . . 0.3 mcg
DT. . . . . . . . 25 mcg
Td. . . . . . . . . 8.3 mcg
TT. . . . . . . . 25 mcg
Hep B. . . . . . 1 mcg
Hep A. . . . . . 1 mcg
Influenza. . . 25 mcg
In addition to all this, remember that mercury was never made illegal, nor will it ever be. Vaccines never expire, so all those millions of old stockpiled doses of mercury vaccines may still be given out, any time any place. Which they are, every day all over the country. The other fact Average Parrot glosses over is that it wasn’t 7 years ago that manufacturers started to try to cover their tracks. Until 2004 thimerosal was still being admitted as a preservative in 4 different vaccines on the mandated schedule.
All these facts are just the tip of the thimerosal iceberg. What about the Kennedy Report, what about the secret meeting in Simpsonwood Georgia, what about the Institutes of Medicine report…? But all this is even a smokescreen — mercury isn’t the only problem with vaccines — it’s not the only thing that makes vaccines suppress the immune systems of children. At least let’s not pretend that the problem has been taken care of when thousands of kids in the US every day are still loading up with the third most toxic substance known to man: mercury in vaccines.
The debate about mercury is dead, Average Parrot is correct. What he missed is that his side lost. The etiology between mercury and autism is incontrovertible. He just never did the research. Guess it never came up on Oprah.
All these references are listed the new book.
Next, with respect to the community I discovered with the abnormally high rates of autism, Average Parrot is right. No one can prove that was a vaccine hot lot I witnessed up there, and indeed no one will ever gather the real statistics of autism incidence in that isolated community. Because studies like that would take huge money and the only one with money like that is the drug industry. And this is the exact reason why legitimate estimates of the true number of autistics in this country not only have never been undertaken, but have been routinely blocked and prevented by every possible method. But don’t worry, you’re safe Mr AP. Those backwoods people didn’t get it, they never understood what Haley and Yazbak and I were talking about so no one will ever follow up on that lead. As far as vaccine hot lots, you are correct again — bad lots are dispersed geographically for that exact reason — to protect the vaccine manufacturers from liability. But remember — they only re-distribute lots after there is a problem: an abnormally high incidence of deaths and reactions. Then they redistribute. All I was suggesting is that we may have been observing that first outbreak in a new lot, before redistribution.
Considering that in this location the injuries all did come up in the same age group within the same very short time period, that is a perfectly reasonable hypothesis. But again don’t worry, Mr AP. No one will ever follow up, and your autistic population is guaranteed never to go after your employers. The locals did report it so that it could be studied, but all that Washington did was to send them another Average Parrot like yourself, who literally ran out of the meeting room when the crowd became upset at the condescending mantras he was offering them about why their kids were now permanent defectives. Same rhetoric as you’re chanting here. Perhaps you’d like to take a shot at explaining things to these ordinary people yourself. Sure, you should try it. As long as you have no aversion to tar and feathers.
We see how narrow is the scope of Average Parrot’s academic purview by pretending that the only studies ever showing a connection between mercury and vaccines damage came from Dr Mark Geier’s work. Again this is typical in the world of propaganda — take one reference out of hundreds and pretend like that summarizes the whole field of enquiry. My statement about the overwhelming scientific evidence for neurological damage as a potential result of vaccines stands, and will always stand. But the individual has to be capable of looking a little beyond the texts that are written by his employers, the drug companies. He must look into mainstream scientific literature and be willing to go wherever the data leads. Average Parrot won’t do that. He’s not allowed.
Surprisingly Average Parrot admits the 1700% increase in autism in the past decade, but then predictably ascribes it to the same boring explanation E.L. Bernays media has been using during that whole period: we’re better at diagnosing it now. More autistics now because we’re better at diagnosing it now, right? This impotent dismissal is easily refuted: as Dr Yazbak and others ask, then where are the 40 year old autistics?
Dr Wakefield explained long ago how the diagnostic criteria for autism had not changed as the numbers skyrocketed.
You people really need some new material. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, stop saying it.
As far as deliberate misdirection and misstatement of fact, Average Parrot really goes over the line when he states that there have been no changes in the number of vaccines since 9/11. Is this a joke? What country was he living in during this period? Anyone paying the slightest attention to the Mandated Schedule of childhood vaccines in the past 2 decades saw the increase:
1980 – 20 vaccines
1999 – 40 vaccines
2004 – 53 vaccines
2005 – 58 vaccines
2006 – 63 vaccines
2013 – 68 vaccines
This is not really subject to a difference of opinion. These are the numbers of vaccines we gave our kids during those years. No amount of doubletalk by Average Parrots or even good parrots can change the fact that the number of autistics and the number of vaccines have risen sharply since 9/11. Don’t even need my book for that. This is what I mean about these pedestrian-level would-be pedagogues and their education. They don’t even try and follow historical events. Average Parrot here wants to read one article by Geier and pretend to understand the argument, and make all these unwarranted pronouncements about this and that, but is frightened to death to be confronted with a review of the literature known all over the world that holds more than 350 references, which taken together are irrefutable.
The epitome of the academic ivory tower: the difference between seeking the truth and preventing the truth from being known.
Average Parrot’s comment about lack of scientific evidence linking vaccines and diabetes really tips his hand about his own education. In the new edition there are abundant clinical studies since the 1980s showing a strong connection between vaccines and infant diabetes. But again, one must take the time to actually read the studies. Much easier to say there aren’t any such studies, because the 2 minute google search they might have done didn’t turn up any.
Just a few of the researchers who have documented the connection between diabetes and vaccines:
– Robert Mendelsohn MD in his 1985 book showing how diabetes was an effect of the new MMR vaccine
– all the 1997 peer reviewed journal articles in the US, UK and in Finland showing the connection between the new HiB vaccine and infant diabetes, as cited in the new edition.
– Bart Classen MD has an entire website showing scientific connection between diabetes and vaccines
Indeed it was the high incidence of diabetes from the HiB vaccines which banned the shot forever from Finland. We still give 4 doses to our kids. And what is the incidence of childhood diabetes in the US in the last 10 years?
There was virtually no such thing as childhood diabetes before 1960. That was when vaccines began doubling and redoubling. At least it is suspicious as a risk factor alone.
The amount of documentation connecting vaccines with diabetes is overwhelming, but one must actually look at it.
Currently there is a vaccine in the developmental pipeline for diabetes!
We have run to the end of my allotted hand-holding time. Except one final comment to unmask Average Parrot and show whom he represents.
Epidemiologists are part of one of the new pseudo-sciences that have popped up in recent years pretending some scientific veneer, but beneath it all found to be just shills for the drug companies, or having some specific political agenda. These would include sociology, social science, psychiatry and several other non-sciences. What they share in common is a dependence on a very structured though unfounded rhetoric, sloganeering, and simplistic phrase-mongering.
In the new book, there is a whole section explaining this new phenomenon which is trying to pass itself off as scientific, using epidemiological studies. Here is the excerpt:
also called population studies, are the poor cousin of true clinical trials. They are not controlled studies done under set scientific conditions, but rather attempts at verifying a hypothesis just by counting the incidence of a certain disease or condition within a certain population. The problem is that results from epidemiological studies are subject to widespread interpretation, depending on who’s doing the counting, who decides the criteria for what gets counted, who’s paying for the study, who publishes the results, etc. For this reason, epidemiological studies can be used to “prove” two opposite hypotheses.
In the exploding vaccine industry today, epidemiological studies are quickly becoming the standard to validate our need for more vaccines, because they’re faster, cheaper, and capable of supporting practically any required outcome.”
For this reason we can see why Average Parrot is threatened by the article The Psychology of Vaccine Injury Awareness and especially by the new vaccine book, which he will certainly never read, being beyond his permitted scope. Even though I have directed some comments in this response to Average Parrot, I’m really addressing it to the average educated parents who are struggling with the idea of vaccines today and trying to make up their minds whether or not there is anything to all this noise they hear about problems with vaccine risks and dangers.
To those parents I’m saying yes, follow your instincts, it’s not as simple as your pediatrician and as Average Parrot here would pretend. The issue is not who wins the argument or who is the cleverest at word games like this. The outcome affects your child and his chances of developing a normal immune system. In the modern world today with its Clintons and Bushes and Roves and Obamas, it’s about protection — protecting ourselves from propaganda and the science of lying, protecting the blood of our children from processed foods, contaminated air and water, and specifically from experimental vaccines being shot into their formative immune systems during infancy. It is for them that the parent owes a little investigation — from sources other than those making a living off the selling of vaccines. If the parents have a lot of time they can do their own research. If they want to save months of time they can look at the new book: Vaccination Is Not Immunization.
Don’t believe the book, believe the references. And believe in your child’s future.
Dr Tim O’Shea
I was disheartened to read the rather ironically titled article “The Psychology of Vaccine Injury Awareness”, published in the December 2008/January 2009 issue of your magazine. Dr. O’Shea’s article was a misleading assemblage of opinion stated as fact, unsupported assertions, and outright untruths.
First, Dr. O’Shea casually mentions mercury toxicity without also mentioning that childhood vaccines in the U.S. no longer use the mercury containing preservative thimerosal, what was previously the target of the outrage of the anti-vaccine movement. Nor did he mention that in the 7 years since the preservative was removed, childhood autism rates have continued to rise. The debate as to whether mercury in vaccines is causing the autism epidemic is dead.
Second, Dr. O’Shea’s assertion that the increase in autism seen in this unnamed “backwoods” community is “very likely the textbook example of hot lot damage” is simply ludicrous. Even if one takes at face value his dubious assertion that this community has a vastly elevated rate of autism, a claim that is uncited and unverifiable in the absence of a place name, his indictment of vaccines as the obvious culprit can not be supported. There is no reason to think that a vaccine “hot lot” would result in any geographic clustering. As he stated, vaccine lots can include anywhere from 20,000 to millions of doses of vaccine. These doses are distributed nationally and internationally. Therefore deleterious effect from any alleged “hot lot” would be geographically dispersed, not clustered in a single small town. Furthermore, it has been shown that 90% of vaccine from a given lot are used within 5-9 months of distribution. If the this increased rate of autism were caused by a single lot of vaccine, the cases would all have occurred in a terribly short timespan in children of the same age cohort. But Dr. O’Shea has done nothing to show that this is the case.
Third, he states that “there is overwhelming scientific evidence of their [vaccines] potential for permanent neurological and developmental damage”, backing this statement up only with a tantalizing reference to his own book, the contents of which the reader would conveniently have to purchase in order verify. This statement, however, is patently false. There has been no single article published in a reputable peer reviewed journal establishing a link between vaccines and neurological damage; a fact that Dr. O’Shea would no doubt chalk up to the vast conspiracy that hides such abominable evidence. The simple truth is that the few studies that have been done that have drawn the conclusions he alludes to, most of which were conducted by Dr. Geier, who is also quoted in his text, were not published by reputable journals because they suffered from poor methodology, weak analysis, and far too strong conclusions drawn from limited results.
Fourth, he mentions the %1700 increase in autism across the U.S. without mentioning that an unknown, but substantial proportion of that increase is likely the result of expanding diagnostic criteria and a vast increase in awareness among both mental health practitioners and the population in general. While it is likely that there has been a real increase in autism over this period, baldly stating the increase statistics without also mentioning the known caveats is alarmist and irresponsible.
Fifth, his reference to the “shocking increase in the number of vaccines since 9/11” is laughable. No such shocking increase has occurred for the ages during which autism typically develops. There has been a single added series, a three dose schedule against rotavirus, plus a booster dose of MMR and varicella added over this time period. These changes clearly do not represent a precipitous increase in the vaccine burden. Furthermore, there were no changes made to the recommended childhood immunization schedule as a result of the events of 9/11. Slyly linking vaccines to those events only serves as a na’ked attempt to tap into people’s fears and paranoias.
Sixth, Dr. O’Shea vaguely links childhood vaccines to “the sharp increase in childhood cancer and diabetes”, with no supporting evidence or even discussion. The fact is, we know that the cause of the diabetes epidemic is the corresponding childhood obesity epidemic resulting from sedentary lives fed by junk food and soda. Mentioning childhood diabetes in the same breath as vaccines is completely absurd.
This kind of pabulum is a slap in the face to the epidemiologists who study this and other important health issues, obsessing over every decimal point, and painstakingly and ever so carefully drawing conclusions in the causal relationships they study. But far more importantly, it undermines the good public policy that is supported by their findings, endangering the public health by feeding a movement embedded in misplaced anger, misinformation, bad science, and paranoia. I suggest you do some more research before publishing articles with such far reaching public health implications.
Marin County, California