Does Walker-Smith’s Exoneration Exonerate Wakefield?

Following the recent exoneration of Dr. Walker-Smith, who along with Dr. Andrew Wakefield was struck from the medical register and lost his medical license, I wonder out loud if this means Brian Deer was a) utterly wrong or b) partially wrong. This being a fairly mainstream blog with no particular affinity for Wakefield or against Deer, I would like to ask you in particular Dean, (because you are always fair) what do you think this means? Anti-Wakefield blogs have only gotten more vicious since this came out. They concede nothing. I am dismayed and confused. The Sunday Times has not reported on this. Nor CNN, which attacked Wakefield so vociferously (Anderson Cooper) nor has Brian Deer commented, nor the BMJ. (As far as I know.)

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  • Elizabeth Reid

    I’m not an expert on the situation by any means, but I’m not sure that the basis on which Walker-Smith won his appeal is applicable to Wakefield’s case. Walker-Smith appealed on the grounds that he wasn’t, in his mind, doing procedures for research purposes, he was doing procedures that were medically indicated. The court decided that since the question of his intent had not been explicitly clarified, the ruling couldn’t stand. Wakefield, on the other hand, wasn’t supposed to be involved in patient care at all, so it would be hard for him to argue that he was doing the procedures he did because they were clinically indicated. They were clearly for research purposes, so the same argument used for Walker-Smith’s appeal couldn’t apply to him.

  • Dean Esmay

    I’m going to have to spend some time thinking about this.

    Big Science–and yes there really is such a thing–gets an awful lot of things right but gets more wrong than it generally wants to admit, and has a habit of going after accused heretics with ruthless ferocity. Usually, indeed, when someone is simply ignored by Big Science my antannae don’t go up. But when Big Science attacks with ferocity, especially over things that don’t appear to have much to do with the issue at hand, my antennae go up and start quivering.

    Not every accused heretic is an unheralded genius and a hero. A few are. I do not know where Wakefield and/or Walker-Smith fit in that narrative. I do know that by raising questions about the multibillion$$ vaccine industry, he is attacking the professional and financial status of a very lucrative industry, and that is always a dangerous thing to do. When personal prestige and status are combined with large sums of money, you potentially harvest a whirlwind when planting any seeds of doubt.

    But that doesn’t mean every challenger is a hero.

    I’ll have to look at it more and think on it more. Sorry I don’t have an instant answer, but I don’t as yet feel I understand this case well enough. :-(

  • Dean Esmay

    The only major sources I’m finding on this online are going to the “Age of Autism” site, which I have no axe to grind with except that it appears they’ve got an agenda. That does not make their agenda wrong, but it’s making me uncomfortable because I just don’t know enough about this.

    It would appear that Walker-Smith has won a smashing victory to clear up his own name for any allegations of wrongdoing. I just don’t know how this affects allegations that Wakefield cooked his data and made up a nonexistent link. I literally don’t know. I must revert to what I said earlier: by casting the seeds of doubt against a very well-entrenched government and corporate complex of money, prestige, and power, Wakefield has reaped a whirlwind–no, strike that, a hurricane. Were his doubts correct? I do not know. It seems it would complicate the case against him if allegations that his co-author did something unethical are unfounded.

    I will be very interested to see where, if anywhere, Wakefield’s suit for defamation takes him.

  • Celia Farber

    I don’t think Wakefield “challenged” anything, except the triple-combo vaccine MMR. He suggested Measles, Mumps and Rubella be given separately, and for some strange reason the British Government did not make individual vaccinations available…it’s all very bizarre. I do not get the impression that Wakefield ever, ever, ever said, or suggested “vaccines cause autism.” What he did (as a gastroenterologist) was to examine 12 children with extreme forms of bowel disease that couldn’t be characterized as any bowel disease he or his team had seen before. Very very bad stuff. My impression is he only stated the obvious: His research found a correlation between this kind of bowel disease, and autism, and NOTED that all had recently had MMR vaccine. I’m very haunted by this. How can such an unfathomable, global media campaign be launched against a non controversial, well mannered, gastro-enterologist in the UK, who suddenly becomes more hated than Hitler, on CNN etc. It’s a very scary case of…..something. Also, Dean, why did Murdoch’s Sunday Times commission Brian Deer to go after Wakefield? Why did Richard Horton (Lancet Editor) describe those lunches where various power types said they wanted to ‘drink the blood’ of Andrew Wakefield? This is all documented at I don’t think you should think about it but if you agree with me that it is a bizarre and important case history of something that is terrifying, then probably you should read Wakefield’s lawsuit against Deer and BMJ. I will too. Maybe together we can at least pull out SOME true/false facts.

  • Celia Farber

    Dean, I am not suggesting Wakefield is a “genius,” and I know this is a fundraising video, but in it, there are some quotations from medical literature and Wakefield himself, that defy common accusations:

  • Celia Farber

    Dean, one more thing, then I will leave it alone. You have no obligation obviously to start studying this–I was just haunted and wanting to get your take. But the “one more thing” is this: When you say Age of Autism has an axe to grind and an agenda, you are right, but there’s more to it. UK editor John Stone’s son was a patient of Prof. Walker-Smith. []

    This makes him both somebody with a stake in the drama, AND somebody with first hand “information.” We can’t simply say that the afflicted mustn’t be trusted to “witness.” That would mean for example, no Jews could be reliably interviewed about their experiences in WW2 Europe….or take any example you want. Dan Oldsted, the US editor of Age of Autism, is a mainstream media veteran, who worked at USA Today, and wire services (forget which.) And yes, the staff have autistic children and investigate and are open to and/or certain of vaccine/autism links. But still, they tend toward hard data, facts, sober reporting, if you compare to the frothings of Brian Deer for example. As for agenda, apparently James Murdoch was appointed to the Board of GlaxoSmithKline just before Murdoch paper The Sunday Times commissioned Deer to go after Wakefield. Significant? Insignificant? Who knows? But we must never abandon the notion that facts can be gleaned, known, nailed down, EVEN when people have agendas etc. Everybody can be said to have “an agenda” yet facts are facts are facts, WHEN they are, when they become indisputable, which is what I am after here. What are the actual facts? In the end. Not your responsibility, to answer, but I wanted to pose the question.

  • Elizabeth Reid

    I’m afraid my opinion of Dr. Wakefield has never recovered from hearing the story of how he took blood from children at a birthday party for his research (a story he told himself, there’s video of it online) without any kind of IRB approval for this, shall we say, unusual method of recruiting human research subjects. As someone who is tangentially involved with human subjects research and has some idea of the scrutiny you undergo just to send someone a survey, let alone take their blood, I just can’t get over how inappropriate that was. And he thought it was a reasonable enough thing to do that he was telling the story himself! I don’t know which of the other allegations are true and which aren’t, but boy, that’s some nutty research protocols he’s got there.

  • Dean Esmay

    C: for disclosure’s sake, I have a preconceived bias against Richard Horton, due to side issues I will not bring up here. I only note that I instinctively mistrust anything he has to say. I do not know how that impacts on this because I’m not sure I understand exactly what he said in what context. I just mention it because his involvement in anything causes instinctive wariness in me.

    As with anything, nevertheless, one of the quotations I genuinely strive to live by is this, from Robert Heinlein’s character Lazarus Long:

    What are the facts? Again and again and again — what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell”, avoid opinion, Care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” — what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always in to an unknown future; facts are your only chance. Get the facts!

    I feel I don’t have anything close to a strong enough collection of facts here. I have an interest in the subject; oddly enough, I had no idea that this was originally a study about unusual bowel conditions in children. Given that I have an idiosyncratic and ideopathic bowel condition which has caused me no end of grief since childhood, and an autistic son, the whole thing sounds increasingly interesting to me.

    What I like is clean data and clean methodologies and frameworks. It seems that getting a reasonable start at all would first require reading the original paper(s) that started all the fuss, then the paper(s) that charged the men with fraud/abuse/whatever that supposedly proved they were charlatans. I think that if I read those first, I would have a reasonable framework to start gathering and placing any other facts into, free from any biases save my own.

    I don’t suppose you know where we can get PDF copies of same? I don’t have the budget to go ordering expensive copies, but I would read them if I had them. Starting from there I think I could start to have an opinion. I think I would like to have an opinion here.

    Elizabeth: Just as a data point, so far as I know IRB is a United States FDA/Department of Health thing. I know that medically the British operate under an often very different set of standards for medical ethics (some of them arguably more stringent than ours, some arguably less–it’s just plain different) and so it is not clear to me that a British physician working as you describe would be considered as out of line as it would be here.

    To be clear I’m saying I genuinely do not know, it may be that it would be considered as unusual and unethical there as here, but it may be that it would be considered nothing all that extraordinary over there. I literally don’t know, I’m just saying I would be cautious about applying American standards until we know what British standards were at that time.

  • Dean Esmay

    So in looking at the video that Celia provided, which was interesting enough, I also found this, from which I was able to glean a few more interesting facts but not enough to conclude anything:

    If I read the situation aright, the matter is now over for Dr. Walker-Smith but Wakefield, now in the United States, is pursuing everything through the US court system, which will presumably go by a quite different set of rules.

    Yes, I believe I would like to have an opinion here very much, but I believe I will not be able to have one until I see a minimum of two required papers: the original that started the imbroglio, and the paper that declared the first paper a sham. After reading those, I believe I would be equipped to start making some sort of factual observations about anything else that happened in between, and since.

    Absent those I do not feel I have anything like sufficient knowledge to judge anything except that a lot of people feel very strongly and something doesn’t look right but I don’t know what or in what direction.

    Yes I would like to read those papers very much.

  • Dean Esmay

    Oh, Elizabeth: Is this the video you’re referring to?

    Just asking to be sure.

  • Celia Farber

    WOW, what a splendid quote. Never heard of Robert Heinlein. But I have now. Thank you Dean. I found so much in what you just wrote enriching. I truly am not myself well read in this mess, but I watch over it with such bugged eyes of incredulity and feel so desperate, positively desperate, to get to “the bottom” of it, ANY bottom of ANY of it, and if you want to partner with me we can do our homework together. The Lancet paper–PDF–don’t know. It was de-published, right? But surely it’s floating around. I share your unease about Richard Horton. Where did you develop these feelings about him? Serge Lang felt as strongly as you do. All documented in his book “Challenges” which devotes its first chapter to Horton who if I recall, Serge referred to as “pernicious.” His quotes about the blood-lust that was out there for Wakefield do suggest that his conscience has bothered him, somehow. He does have these pangs of conscience, Richard Horton.

    It is interesting that you did not know this originated as a bowel disease study. That’s how well they branded it as a Down With Vaccines situation. They can transform anything into anything, these magicians.

    I suggest we both read The Wakefield defamation lawsuit against Brian Deer and Fiona Godley at BMJ and then we will have some starting points. I also have not read Deer’s body of work, in Sunday Times or BMJ. It’s a gargantuan oil spill. Mess. We all need to grab a beach-broom and help out if we can.

  • Elizabeth Reid

    Dean, you’re right that ‘IRB’ specifically is a US term, and that the British system is different. A little Googling seems to indicate that they would call it an ethics committee rather than an institutional review board, and I’m sure the rules aren’t identical. However, the birthday party incident was one of the things that the UK General Medical Council listed as a finding against Wakefield, so apparently he wasn’t following the UK rules for this either. And frankly, even if he were, the video clip of him laughing while describing how some the children were fainting and throwing up because of these blood draws is just awful.

  • cia

    I also thought that taking blood samples from boys at the birthday party of Dr. Wakefield’s son was strange, but then I read that Dr. Wakefield asked them and their parents for permission beforehand, and paid them five pounds apiece for giving blood as a normal control sample. Then I tried to think about where someone would get blood samples from normal children to compare with those from sick children, and I couldn’t think of anywhere to go to get them. I thought taking blood from volunteers whose parents agreed was as good a way as any.

    Since the GMC persecuted the entirely innocent Dr. Walker-Smith only to try to trash the evidence that pointed to a link between the MMR and autism/bowel disease and discourage other researchers from even thinking of going there, I’m confident that Dr. Wakefield will win his defamation suit and then, with the millions he will win in damages, win in Great Britain and have his license restored to him as well.

    If you read Callous Disregard, and read there the case histories of the Lancet Nine who developed both bowel disease and autism within days or weeks of the MMR, and consider the tens of thousands of American families whose children have had the same experience, you cannot help but be enraged by the pharmaceutical industry’s criminal attempt to both hide the truth and punish those who investigate it.

    My daughter did not get the MMR, she was given the hep-B vaccine at birth in the hospital without asking permission, and even though I had told her doctor I didn’t want her to get it, as I had read it often caused autism. She reacted with four days and nights of endless, inconsolable screaming, vaccine-induced encephalitis, and was later diagnosed with autism. If you read Judy Converse’s book When Your Doctor is Wrong: Autism and the Hepatitis-B Vaccine, again, you will be appalled that despite so much evidence that it was extremely dangerous, it has continued to be used routinely for newborns on their first day of life since 1991. For no reason, unless the mother has hep-B (which I didn’t). Babies and children don’t get it, it wears off before they can have sex and do illegal drugs. Dr. Robert Sears wrote in The Vaccine Book about how the numbers of children with hep-B were artificially multiplied by a hundred in order to justify a massive campaign to vaccinate vulnerable newborns in their first hours of life.

    Judy Converse’s child, like mine, reacted to this vaccine with encephalitis and autism, and school nurse Patti White testified at a congressional safety hearing in 1999 that thousands of children had developed autism from this vaccine. (Autism rates tripled between 1992 and 1996.)

    This is a nightmare. Medical professionals everywhere jabber that Dr. Wakefield’s study was a fraud (the word fraud is nowhere mentioned in the disciplinary proceeding), and has been discredited. The judge Sir John Mitting found the Lancet study to have been professionally done and the children appropriately treated, the GMC’s reasoning to have been superficial and its conclusions wrong. No American media have reported on Walker-Smith’s exoneration. Why not? Do they not want to consider that they are permanently damaging thousands of children if the Lancet case study really meant what it appeared to mean? Is this not the most important question in the whole affair? Are their profits really more important to them than children’s health?

  • Celia Farber

    I found it. Brian Deer has it on his site.

  • Celia Farber

    And one more thing: Why did Walker Smith pursue this in UK courts and Wakefield did not? My understanding is that Wakefield’s insurance did not cover it whereas Walker Smith’s insurance did. I have no idea how Wakefield is able to sue these folks from the US. But presumably that’s explained in the suit.

  • Elizabeth Reid

    Yes, Dean, that’s it.

    To finish telling this small part of the story, Wakefield later said that a) he’d been exaggerating in a joking way about children fainting and throwing up, none of that actually happened and b) he’d been “naive” in thinking that because he was doing the blood sampling away from the hospital no oversight was required, definitely it was required “nowadays” and “probably then”. I was in graduate school from 1992 to 1995, a similar time period (I’m not sure exactly when the incident happened but the paper was published in 1998) and I was working in a setting where all we did was observe children playing, and I was highly aware of the need for consent for that, let alone taking blood. It’s not like this happened in the 1970s so I have trouble taking the “nowadays” vs. “then” as a valid excuse.

    It was a small part of the overall case against him and by itself probably not earthshaking, but it happens to be something where a regular person without access to medical records and so on can readily see the video of him cheerfully describing this highly irregular approach to research.

  • Elizabeth Reid

    Sorry, I realized I shouldn’t have said “need for consent”, because I don’t think in the specific case of the birthday party blood samples anyone has alleged that Wakefield didn’t have consent. I should have said “need for oversight”.

  • Dean Esmay

    Elizabeth: In looking at the video in question (and the page of commentary it was on) I was struck rather the other way. Having been in any number of situations wherein my young children get medical needle sticks, there’s always much screaming and sobbing and medical professionals in those situations frequently do one of three things: they get emotionally very pitiful, they get stony, or they view it with humor and reassurance of the “there that’s not so bad is it? Haha almost done” and you know, in my experience the laughter is often helpful to making the children (and their parents) relax and calm down. Seriously, am I the only parent who ever laughed in retrospect at his own memories of freaking out over a needle stick at that age, let alone his children’s?

    The very last time I took one of my children to something like that (a dental visit a month or two with our 7 year old) there was much squealing that was difficult for his mother and I to sit through but much comforting laughter of the “you’re doing so doing great, it’ll all be over soon, you’re doing great” from the doctor and his assistant. And laughter. Genuine gentle laughter. It was a release. His mother and I walked out of there with enormous respect for that pediatric dentist and his staff and will be back there in the future and were busy highly recommending them to all parents we ran across just a few weeks ago.

    Your mileage may vary, but when I saw the clip, I laughed with the audience. So the whole thing just strikes me as an odd overreaction. I guess I am a monster, along with some of my kids’ doctors and dentists?

    He must I think have had parental consent. So I just don’t know what British standards are otherwise on such things, but I didn’t see on balance this being something deserving of more than a wrist slap. I have a very hard time believing it would cause anyone to lose a medical license, so there must be more here. The reaction seems enormously out of proportion to the offense.

    The methodology would raise questions about data reliability but from the current context I don’t know what conclusion to draw about that, and frankly I’m more interested in data reliability than any effort to view the guy as a cruel man. In fact I don’t much think it’s relevant if he is a cruel man or not, or even why we’d spend much energy on that question.

  • Dean Esmay

    Celia: Heinlein is… oof. I could write a 20,000 word essay on the good and bad in that man’s career. I have read about 98% of his output and can only recommend about 50%, and perhaps 10% of it as truly wonderful. But the good 50% is terribly good, and the best is brilliant. Unfortunately you’ll find that sometimes a single book will be a mix of both. He’s sort of like Vonnegut that way. Heinlein is one of the few people ever dubbed with the title “Grand Master of Science Fiction,” an honorific he deserved, despite his flaws.

    That particular quote is from the overlong novel “Time Enough For Love” in the section called “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long,” which, other than one or two other sections, is probably the only part of the book worth reading. You can find it free for the reading here, and it’s very short. It’s almost like reading the Tao; not just short, but infinite ways to interpret much of what’s in it and sometime at first glance internally self-contradictory; that’s part of what makes it fun.

    The character of Lazarus Long in the book is the oldest living human being in the universe at a time in the distant future, if that background is helpful.

    Anyway I am fascinated to hear that Serge Lang thought Horton pernicious. I had no idea. I don’t want to get distracted here with why I think so but I have for years viewed him as a man willing to abuse his position at The Lancet to posture as an authority figure entitled to push around others and forward his own political agenda (and possibly his own ego) rather than to promote solid science. I have thus for a while now viewed anything coming out of The Lancet with suspicion. That may not be fair, but I’m fascinated to learn that an intellect like Lang thought poorly of him too.

    I see that the redacted paper is on line. Excellent. Too tired to read it tonight but will try to give it a go in the next few days. But now we must also find the paper that caused it to be redacted. I would think reading both of those would really be the starting point to looking at anything else in this sorry affair with something resembling a firm foundation; all the opinions and all the anecdotes of all the involved parties aside, what are the most relevant facts, down to the last decimal place? That would have to start with the papers themselves I would think. Then reading the lawsuit filing will make more sense.

    I do have some caution though: I tire of tilting at windmills. It might be comforting to read it all and conclude that Wakefield’s full of shit, but if I conclude the reverse, what then? Your comparison to grabbing a broom to help clean an oil spill is apt; it is a good thing to do that but it may be that no more than that is possible. I have had to learn the very hard way not to get overly wound up in things that, in the end, I have virtually no real control over, or can only control or influence a very tiny portion of.

    Another quote from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long comes to mind: “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity! ”

    The word “heretic” at root originally meant “one who chooses to lie” or, more broadly translated, someone who knowingly and maliciously spreads a falsehood even after having it amply explained to them that it is false. It isn’t a good thing to be a heretic, but it’s worse to be falsely accused of being one. I have known more than one accused heretic, some guilty and some I’m pretty sure not. It’s always unpleasant, seedy business no matter what and I have more than once become deeply depressed over something I had to finally admit I was impotent before and that the universe didn’t give a damn how I felt about it. I’ve watched helplessly as people I cared about got destroyed in these situations, and the feeling of powerlessness can be overwhelming. I won’t get sucked into that; picking up a broom to help clean the mess, yes, but probably not much more.

    I liken this to telling people about what happened (still happens) in the Laogai: I do, whenever people will listen. But I have learned that most people even if they do believe you often make sympathetic noises but at root simply don’t care, and I can’t shake them into caring. I try to remember all I do is hurt myself when I try to do more than say what I know and move on. I do my best, and hope to brighten one small corner of the world, and no more.

    Maybe that’s cynicism; maybe it’s weariness; maybe it’s cowardice. But still the question comes: what if upon looking at it all I decide Wakefield’s been falsely accused of heresy? What then? Another year or two of being kicked around and called names and accused of all sorts of venal things, only to have most people not care anyway? That’s one possibility. I think it will be possible to say more if Wakefield wins in his defamation suit. If he doesn’t, no one is likely to give a damn.

    Still. I’m willing to learn enough to decide I have a firm opinion. I’m not sure what I’ll do with that opinion once I have it.

    By the way I do have another project I’m working on that, if it works out, may be of strong interest to you and for once has the potential to actually make the world a better place not by stopping something bad (the world is full of bad) but by creating something good. Drop me a line if you’re interested in hearing about it. In the meanwhile, I’m willing to at least look at the papers and trade notes with you about it. :-)

  • mark.hawk

    Hi Dean
    first of my COI’s
    I am the parent of child with autism and bowel disease, the bowel disease was diagnosed in the last 5 years on the NHS (the uk health system) my child has undergone 2 of the “unethical” tests based on clinical need. With treatment my child’s disease is in remission and his autistic symptoms have reduced.

    Just like to point you in the direction of a film about Brian Deer produced by an independent film maker. “Selective Hearing, Brian Deer and the GMC”
    it is based on 15 minutes of cam footage taken of Deer outside the GMC by myself.

    please ask if you have any questions

  • Elizabeth Reid

    I guess one’s emotional reaction to the clip is obviously a matter of opinion so I can’t tell you you’re wrong. I certainly don’t expect the medical professionals who treat my children to sob along with them when they cry, but at the same time I don’t really expect them to be telling it as a funny story at conferences.

    However, again, if you work in human subjects research, the idea of getting your control blood samples by rounding up the kids at a private social event, sticking them right then and there, and giving them money for it seems so obviously inappropriate that it makes you wonder what’s going on in someone’s head. As we’ve both said, by itself this incident wouldn’t have been remotely serious enough to have gotten his license to practice revoked, and of course it wasn’t just this. This just happens to be one thing I can verify with my own eyes.

  • Dean Esmay

    “CIA”: Autism rates tripled between 1992 and 1996? I am aware that there is a large increase in reports of autism over the last generation or so but the reasons for that are not clear; a claim for a tripling in four years seems very strong. What is the basis for that claim?

  • Celia Farber


    1. Can you share the source? I’d like to look at it.
    2. What is the basis for the statistic or do you mean how does the government account for the spike?
    3. Mark.Hawk–do you know why autism may have spiked in 1992? Does that fit with a big change in the vaccine schedule?

  • Celia Farber

    This is a very informative article. Forget all else for the moment: In my question below this article, I ask: Does it follow naturally from this ruling that the GMC is compelled to restore Dr. Wakefield to the medical registry of the UK? If not, why not? This is, right now, the ONLY question to focus on. If not, why not?

  • Dean Esmay

    Mark: Thank you for the video. I watched the first 10-15 minutes and I confess I began to want to claw my eyes out in my confusion trying to sort out what all is going on here.

    What I can glean so far is that a lot of people feel very strongly and that any of these seem possible: 1) Wakefield is a very bad man, 2) Deer is a very bad man, 3) everybody is batshit insane, or 4) I am batshit insane.

    My brain retreats, screaming “Must have clean data in a clean framework!”

    I want to read Wakefield’s original paper, the paper(s) that caused said original paper to be redacted, then perhaps the contents of Wakefield’s lawsuit filing and perhaps the defense’s counter. I don’t think that until I get all that read, I will be able to come close to having an opinion that means anything except “my God what a spectacle.”

    Yes I do have a dog in this hunt, since I do have an autistic child. I frankly don’t even know if he had the MMR vaccine though; I’m thinking not but I’ll have to ask his mother this afternoon. He obviously received a lot of vaccines given that Americans use a lot of them, but I don’t remember which ones he had prior to age 2 precisely. I do know that even at the time we tended to look carefully at vaccines (preferring, for example, dead-virus to live-virus vaccines) but that is all I remember at the moment.

  • Dean Esmay

    Celia: 1) Source for which? 2) My question is what is the basis for the claim that there was a specific spike between 1992 and 1996.

    I will read the linked article you mention later, am on way out for pizza with my sons, my wife, my ex-, and her husband. I imagine this topic will be discussed at least a little at said pizza joint.

  • Celia Farber


    It’s all in here. This is the document to read. I’ve read most of it. It sounds like this team was trying to do some very important research that might have helped some (many) very sick children and reading it, one simply can not conclude, if one is sane, that any of this was “fraudulent.” Parents have pointed out repeatedly that one of the travesties of this fake “scandal” is that it blocked all possibility of having autistic children examined for entero-colitis, so years of potential critical research and medical advancement was sabotaged. Every person who has partaken in blocking this research, whether inside the medical profession, or as members of the media, are partly responsible for the continued immense suffering of children and parents caught up in this situation. Apparently, there are at least 5 studies that have confirmed Dr. Wakefield’s original thesis that some element of some measles vaccine or vaccines has been associated with entero-colitis and autism. I’m curious to study this body of research, to know which countries it took place in, and to finally understand why this debacle happened, why it happened in the UK, at the time that it did, and what role industry, government, and media really played.

  • Elizabeth Reid

    Without commenting on Celia’s general thesis that anyone who disagrees with her is insane, I will say that is absolutely untrue that it is currently impossible to do research on digestive issues in autistic children. Just go to PubMed and search on “autism gastrointestinal”. It continues to be an active area of research.

  • Dean Esmay

    Where did Celia say anyone who disagrees with her is insane?

    Anyway in looking at several videos I am already aware that Wakefield says his research has been replicated by 5 others. Don’t know who they are and have not yet attempted to confirm it. I have also seen repeat assertions by parents of some of these kids that they haven’t been able to get anyone to do more research in this particular issue, but I do not know what that means in this context. I do not know what everybody means in all these various videos by everything they say, and it’s not clear to me that they all know what they mean by whatever it is they’re saying either. All it’s doing is making me frustrated because apparently either Wakefield or Deer are horrible people or everybody’s nuts or I am.

    Celia’s latest link goes to WALKER-SMITH v. GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL which looks like it would have all sorts of useful information so I will try to read it but I hold out for reading the original papers as well as the papers claiming fraud.

    By the way my son had the MMR vaccine. Which proves nothing to my mind. I continue to hold no opinion and refuse to have one until I can read the relevant medical literature.

    I’ll look at Walker-Smith v. GMC. But I think I will read the redacted Wakefield et. al. paper first.

  • Elizabeth Reid

    Quote from Celia, above:

    ‘one simply can not conclude, if one is sane, that any of this was “fraudulent.”’

    Which seems to say that if one concludes that any of it is fraudulent, one is not sane.

  • Celia Farber

    I’m sorry, I did not see “cia’s” post earlier, I don’t know why, and so I failed to respond to it and thought Dean when you wrote “CIA, Autism rates tripled…” that you had found a CIA source that said that. Sorry to have missed this important post. I don’t know why it didn’t appear on my end, sooner. I will go back now. Apologies to CIA for seeming to be ignoring you and only addressing Dean. Really sorry.

  • Dean Esmay

    I think I shall wait a day or two before any further reading because I am becoming over-agitated. Since achieving my hard-won sobriety, I have had to learn not to allow myself to become over-agitated.

    Thus this gives my general opinion on the entire subject (everything) for now:

    And otherwise, I think I shall go watch some South Park. The rest of you may feel free to discuss as you wish. I shall return. 😉

  • Celia Farber

    I don’t think anybody who disagrees with ME is insane. I do think that to read the entire record, Walker-Smith V. General Medical Council, to to cling tenaciously to Brian Deer’s paranoid, aggressive hypothesis that “this was an elaborate fraud,” perpetuated by this one evil man (Wakefield) who dragged a nation into a health crisis over a non issue, (MMR totally safe, always, never caused any problems) sneering that the kids just had “diarrhea…” saying the data was cooked…that Wakefield has a polished exterior and caring manner and “posh” accent but deep down lurks this….unendingly devious man…etc indicates a perturbed relationship to reality, in the group hostility sense depicted in Animal Farm. The evidence is just not there. I mean I can’t see it. I suppose I could change my word ‘any sane person” to “any really fair minded person.” I would like to change that wording. I don’t think that pursuing a persecution this vast, this punishing, having THIS profound a vendetta, as Deer has toward Wakefield, is quite “sane.” I think, as Dean does, that sanity has nothing to do with it, but facts, fact, facts, so sorry to bring up psychological language. Let’s return to fact, facts, facts.

  • Celia Farber

    Agreed Dean, let’s give it a rest. Sorry to trigger agitation. This has gone on for years and years. No need to solve it tonight. We’ll sift and read and then discuss. I have spent the day looking up documented damages and deaths from MMR vaccine in various countries including the UK and am also way too upset to continue. I simply think this story is so disturbing beyond all words.

  • Celia Farber

    Before I am accused of being a rabid anti-vaxxer who distorts, refuses to see the evidence, etc…here is what I mean by facts:

    This documents is to demonstrate: not that all MMR shots are dangerous nor that all are “perfectly safe,” but that in this case the BRITISH GOVERNMENT decided the child had died from MMR, and compensated the family.

    I’ll come back with the main link to the site and then leave it.

  • Celia Farber
  • Elizabeth Reid

    I don’t think anyone has ever said that the MMR is perfectly safe. If you can quote any medical doctor saying that the MMR has never hurt or killed anyone, I’d be really surprised. However, that is a completely different question from whether or not it causes colitis or autism. The MMR vaccine, among others, has saved society from many, many dead and damaged children due to measles, mumps and rubella, but that doesn’t mean it is 100% safe. Just a lot safer than letting those diseases spread unchecked. I’m sure that does very little to assuage the pain of parents whose children died or were damaged after a vaccination, but nevertheless, there would be many more grieving parents without vaccines than with them.

  • cia

    I’m trying to remember where I read that autism rates tripled between 1992 and 1996, I’ll post the source as soon as I remember. But I found this, which is similar: The U.S. Department of Education found that between 1991 and 1997, the number of children with autism requiring special education services increased 556 percent. Testimony of Colleen Boyle, Ph.D., in Government Reform Committee Hearing, Washington, D.C., “Autism: Present Challenges, Future Needs- Why the Increased Rates?”, April 6, 2000.
    School nurse Patti White’s testimony before a congressional safety hearing on the hep-B vaccine in May 1999, asserted about the same period that a sudden deluge of autistic chidren had suddenly appeared in Missouri schools as a result of having gotten the hep-B vaccine at birth starting in 1991 (as my autistic daughter did in 2000).
    When I saw the statistic you asked about, I was surprised, and thought that it started in 1992, but probably the infants first vaccinated in 1991 wouldn’t have been recognized as autistic until at least a year later. My daughter was diagnosed with suspected autism, later confirmed, at twenty months. I’m sure I’ll find my source soon, but I haven’t been able to remember yet.

  • cia

    Brian Deer brought the GMC action against Drs. Wakefield and Walker-Smith himself, no parents had complained. He attended many days of the hearings over several years, and, when asked who had paid him to do this, replied that the Sunday Times had. The Sunday Times denied this, saying he was a freelance journalist whom they had bought some stories from, but that they had not paid him to attend the hearings. We believe that someone in the vaccine industry paid him to bring the action to prevent the truth about the MMR causing autism and bowel disease from becoming public knowledge for as long as possible (to protect their damned profits).

  • cia

    Two reasons that the autsim rate spiked in 1992 is the start of the hepatitis-B vaccine for newborns starting in 1991, the other is that in 1990 Merck quarupled the amount of the mumps virus included in the U.S. MMR vaccine, it was increased from 5,000 to 20,000 units. The viruses contained in the MMR vaccine interfere with each other and may increase the risk of adverse reactions. The U.S. birth cohort of 1989 was the first to receive this new vaccine. And, again, there’s a lag time of up to several years between babies getting a damaging vaccine and being diagnosed with autism. There are lots of other factors, as well, but these are the two most obvious.

  • Celia Farber

    cia, I am going to post a link and I just wonder if you could say either, “I’ve seen this,” or, “this is new, I have not seen this.” I am trying to get a handle on levels of the story. be right back.

  • ArnoldHarris

    I have neither a fixed opinion nor knowledge beyond that of a layman concerning the topic under discussion here. But in following the comments of Elizabeth Reid and Celia Farber, I am impressed by the quality of the commentary: Argumentive without degenerating into nastiness.

    Over and over again, you all prove to me that the 10 year investment of my time that I have put into Dean’s World commentaries has helped earned me more than my share of intellectual dividends.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  • Celia Farber

    “The Sunday Times’ freelancer was assisted in his efforts with free advice and assistance from the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry funded and controlled company Medico Legal Investigations Limited. Medico Legal Investigations Limited speciality was in getting medical doctors on charges before the General Medical Council. So we know that before a single word was published by The Sunday Times, it was already being planned with the involvement of interested parties that Wakefield and colleagues were to be taken before the GMC.
    Another free of charge helper to Sunday Times journalist Deer was Glaxo Wellcome funded Fellow and active British Medical Association member, Dr Evan Harris MP. Harris has advised and assisted Deer up to the present, including attending the Wakefield GMC hearings with Deer. ”

  • Celia Farber

    Thank you Arnold. I keep promising to back out. I have a lot of work overdue. But this is haunting me and angering me at a very deep level. I can’t handle it. I mean…must take a break and let others hopefully with cooler minds assess the information.

    cia: Is this stuff…known, among vaccine safety advocates and parents? How could we, the general culture, not have heard this? Or is it just I who hadn’t heard it? I know nobody in the US media has reported this but I also haven’t picked it up, quite, from the alternative media who specialize in this matter—but it seems to me to be really devastating material that points to a true Set Up. Why are we so disinclined to believe in collusion? See Dean, this is why I tried to make this something YOU could unravel because I am too flabbergasted and emotionally overwhelmed. I want somebody to tell me it’s NOT what it seems to be. Not as filthy and horrific as it seems to be.

  • cia

    I would be glad to say

    I have seen this:

    Could you either cut and paste that and put it in front of the article link, or tell me how to do it? I have a law degree and a Ph.D., but am not good at using computers.

    For those who are interested, I think the best books to read (to start with) are Dr. Mayer Eisenstein’s Make an Informed Vaccine Decision (virtually wall-to-wall citations of scientific studies, congressional testimony, and horrifying VAERS reports on vaccine reactions), Judy Converse’s When Your Doctor is Wrong: Autism and the Hepatitis-B Vaccine (they gave it to her son without even informing her, much less asking permission, at the hospital when he was born, and he reacted with encephalitis, autism, and bowel disease. She testified at the safety hearing in Washington in 1999, and her book has a lot of evidence, statistics, and citations of scientific studies), and Vaccine Epidemic, edited by Louise Habakus. Also Andrew Wakefield’s Callous Disregard.

    If you go to you can find all of the brilliant articles he has done. His son is autistic from several vaccines given at once, and his articles are scathingly witty and devastating, like “Autism Not Really on the Rise? 96.7% Impossible,” about a North Dakota study in 1987 which counted every single last autistic child there, using essentially the same criteria as now, and found a piddling number compared with today. They are trying to say now that autism has always been around at the same rate as now, but the man who studied the first autistic children, Dr. Leo Kanner, in the late 1930s, said in his published study in 1943 that such a condition had never before been seen or described by anyone. He and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins had collaborated in writing a compendium in the mid-1930s of every neurological disease known to mankind, and had described nothing resembling autism. It was only after the first pertussis vaccine started to be given (only to the children of rich, well-educated parents) that these children began to be seen. Autism only affected wealthy children until the DTP offered by public health programs for free caused autism to spread, at rates of one to three in ten thousand, to all social classes.
    As to why this has not become a publicly-recognized problem, the vaccine companies’ motivation to increase the number of vaccines given and teach medical professionals to engage in a massive campaign of dismissal and denial of adverse reactions, is primarily one of simple rapacity. Revenue from vaccines has increased dramatically since so many more vaccines have been added to the recommended schedule. Investment analyst Michael Belkin (whose baby daughter died four hours after getting the hep-B vaccine) explains in “The Vaccine Bubble and the Pharmaceutical Industry,” in Vaccine Epidemic, how the patent cliff reached by its blockbuster statin drugs, among many others, have forced it to seek new markets. Only since last year, when statins were allowed to become generic, have they publicized the news that statins cause diabetes in 50% of the women who take them, and often cause dementia. The companies have now been ordered to black label the drugs with this information.
    On the side of ordinary people, the medical cartel has engaged in fearmongering. It has magnified the danger of pertussis out of all proportion to the facts. Pertussis is usually only dangerous to babies less than four months old, whose airways have not developed enough to efficiently cough up the mucus. The pertussis vaccine does nothing at all to protect them when they are given the DTaP at two months (Miller, M.A. Safety and Immunogenicity of PRP-T combined with DPT. Pediatrics 1995. 4.), while it more than doubles their chance of having asthma at the age of seven, compared to those who start the series a few months later (McDonald, KL, “Delay in Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus Vaccination is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Childhood Asthma,” J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Mar;121(3):626-31.) Children who get the pertussis vaccine develop asthma at the rate of one in nine, those who do not get it have it at the rate of one in fifty. The pertussis vaccine is only 30-70% effective, meaning that about half of even recently vaccinated people can still catch and transmit pertussis. Quarantine is the only way to reliably protect young babies. My daughter got the DTaP at 2, 4, 6, and 18 months, as per schedule. She caught pertussis anyway at a La Leche League meeting when she was nine months old, and gave it to me as well. It was frightening, ten coughs on one breath, coughing up sheets of slippery mucus at the end of each fit. Antibiotics do nothing to reduce the coughing once it has started, because the coughing is due to toxins produced by the bacteria breaking off the cilia in the respiratory passage, so that it becomes harder to push the mucus upward, and it takes a long time for the cilia to grow back. (I learned these things in Hilary Butler and Wendy Lydall’s books.) My daughter coughed for over a month, I for over two months, but we both recovered completely, with no residual damage. Except that, already vaccine-damaged by the hep-B at birth, she had only acquired two words by eighteen months, uh for up when at the slide on the playground, and uff for dog. After getting the DTaP booster at 18 months, she didn’t say these words or any others ever again, until she started saying baby repeated syllables like mama, baba, a year and a half later.
    Death rates from asthma have gone up a lot in the last twenty years, and these rates should be balanced with the tragic but small number of infant deaths every year from pertussis, which has evolved from being a major killer a hundred years ago to being a not very dangerous disease. Most of the children who had pertussis in California two years ago had been appropriately vaccinated, but caught and transmitted the disease anyway.
    Big Pharma does the same thing with measles. I had the natural disease as a child; at that time virtually all children did. The mortality rate from pneumonia or, more rarely, encephalitis, was one in a thousand. In the outbreak in Europe last year, about thirty thousand got it, and the death rate was a total of nine, so a rate of one in 3,300, lower than fifty years ago here. Giving vitamin A and refusing to give antipyretics like Tylenol reduce the rate of serious complications to almost nothing in previously healthy, well-nourished people. But Big Pharma creates and inflames fear of pertussis and measles to serve their own ends.
    The Australian activist Wendy Lydall has devastating chapters in Raising a Vaccine-Free Child on the failure of the smallpox, diphtheria, and polio vaccines to protect against the respective diseases, with, again, wall-to-wall references to scientific studies and articles on epidemics of these diseases.
    People have been conditioned to believe that vaccines are harmless, and that they successfully quelled smallpox and polio, and so it is easy to convince them that all the other many vaccines are necessary and harmless, especially when official figures in all the news media, government agencies, and medical facilities all pour out the same party line, and dismiss and deny the rising tide of first-hand reports from the vaccine-damaged. Cynthia Cournoyer’s book What About Immunization? is another good one, her thesis being that people have been conditioned to believe in the vaccine philosophy as though it were religious dogma, and so believe in it on fervent spiritual grounds, in spite of all the factual evidence, which she provides, that on the whole vaccines do more harm than good.
    I reacted to a tetanus vaccine when I was nineteen with both arms becoming paralyzed for two days, brachioplexal neuropathy, a rare side effect of the tetanus vaccine recognized since 1968. I later developed multiple sclerosis, which I believe may have been caused by an autoimmune process set in motion by the vaccine.
    I’m going to send one more thing. Last year I found a reference to an article published in Neurotoxicology, on a study done by Wakefield and several other researchers on the dire effects on the development of baby rhesus (or maybe macaque?) monkeys given the hep-B vaccine at birth. I found the reference, but it said that the article had been retracted from the journal. Several months later, Age of Autism had an article by Hilary Butler (Just a Little Prick, and From One Prick to Another), on the dangers of the hep-B vaccine, and she included the article. She recommended that people copy it before it was banned from the website, and I did.

  • cia

    WITHDRAWN: Delayed acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates receiving a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine: Influence of gestational age and birth weight

    Laura Hewitsona, c, Lisa A. Housera, Carol Stottc, Gene Sackettb, Jaime L. Tomkoa, David Atwoodd, Lisa Blued, E. Railey Whited and Andrew J. Wakefieldc
    a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States
    b Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, United States
    c Thoughtful House Center for Children, Austin, TX 78746, United States
    d Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, United States
    Received 16 June 2009;
    revised 9 September 2009;
    accepted 17 September 2009.
    Available online 2 October 2009.

    This article has been withdrawn at the request of the editor. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.
    The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at

    Note to users: Withdrawn Articles in Press are proofs of articles which have been peer reviewed and initially accepted, but have since been withdrawn before being published in this journal. Reasons for withdrawal may be due to a decision by the author and/or editor, accidental duplication of an article elsewhere, or because the content contravenes the Elsevier publishing policy in some way. Withdrawn Articles in Press are only visible to users when following an external link, e.g., an end user following a PubMed or DOI link. Such Withdrawn Articles in Press are not searchable or otherwise available in ScienceDirect.

  • cia

    Part 1 of 3. Unanswered questions about the Hepatitis B vaccine
    Hilary Butler – Monday, June 27, 2011
    In the early 1990s, the American National Institute of Medicine (IOM) was mandated to enquire into the safety of childhood vaccines. At the time, my concern was Hepatitis B, because New Zealand was one of the few countries in the world implementing Hepatitis B vaccination at birth, as well as doing “catch-up” campaigns in children, adolescents and various adult groups. It seemed logical that what had been learned here, should be presented to the National Institute of Medicine. Dr J. Anthony Morris co-wrote the presentation, which will be the subject of Part 2.

    The neonatal Hepatitis B vaccine was removed from the schedule and placed with the 6 week shots because “minor side effects could be confused with more serious Ill health.” A study of the language is instructive…

    On 9th April, 1992, a New Zealand doctor also wrote a presentation to the IOM. The doctor said that in the decades before Hep B was given at birth, their medical practice had never had to use antibiotics in any babies in their care, before the six week check, and first vaccinations. Neither had they seen serious and abnormally prolonged neonatal jaundice, accompanied by blood tests showing significant, abnormal liver enzyme profiles.

    After Hepatitis B vaccine at birth was introduced, the practice had more health difficulties with babies, and was prescribing antibiotics in an age group not previously prescribed for. After the Hepatitis B vaccine was removed from the birth schedule, their practice returned to the “pre-hepatitis B” non treatment normal mode, and neonatal jaundice returned to normal limits.

    The doctor then went on to say that after the Hepatitis B vaccine was added to the DPT and Polio at six weeks, the practice then experienced a significant rise in intercurrent infections with some babies going on to be caught in a cycle of recurring ear infections, and sometimes bronchitis, which progressed to asthma. The submission commented on the rise of the numbers of babies constantly coming to the practice with some infection or other, and the doctor offered the opinion that somehow, the Hepatitis B vaccine appeared to cause some form of immune suppression, and therefore the practice had concerns about it’s long term safety.
    The doctor then wrote to the Ministry of Health asking them to enquire of Merck Sharp and Dohme, to provide the studies looking at the effects of an at-birth Hepatitis B vaccination on neonatal liver function and neonatal immune system function. The Ministry of Health faxed the reply back to the practice, which stated that Merck had performed no studies of the Hepatitis B vaccine on either topic.
    That’s not particularly surprising, given that at that time, immunologists hadn’t yet started studying neonatal immunity, since it hadn’t seemed to dawn on the medical research community that there might be a specific difference between adult and neonatal immunity, other than what they saw a baby’s defective “inability” to make enough antibodies. The reality is that at the time, no-one had any idea what neonatal immunity was all about.
    (If this is your first stop by this blog, please read:
    Vaccines and neonatal immune development
    How a baby fights infection and develops the immune system
    How Vaccines Become Cluster Bombs
    Furthermore, if you read transcripts of FDA vaccine safety meetings, (such as this 2002 meeting) you will soon discover that contrary to the assertions that vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety, the FDA didn’t even have suitable animal neonatal models defined in order to do basic research, and still doesn’t, 9 years later.
    The default study mode is still “mice” which are supposedly the “best comparison” vaccine researchers have with human neonates. As of 2002 the FDA still hadn’t got it’s head around Aluminium, because they consider that it was “IPSO FACTO – safe”.
    After all, as IMAC so glibly say, we eat it, don’t we? It’s only now that some researchers are detailing just how different it is, when you inject aluminium, as opposed to eating it!
    Worse than the lack of meaningful study on the effects of vaccines on babies, or aluminium toxicity, is that, vaccine trials have always excluded any baby with any whiff of any potential problem. Which is ironic, when you consider that parents of fragile children will have even more pressure to vaccinate, put on them, than parents of healthy babies. Parents of fragile children are told that these vaccines are even MORE important for their children, and of course they are safe, and of course, reactions are the “coincidental effect”.
    Yet the mantra continues to be played out on autopilot, that vaccines are the best most extensively tested substances ever administered to humans.
    With vaccine testing being this bad, and since we are told that vaccines are tested better than any other drug Big Pharma produces…. perhaps that explains why so many drugs succeed in killing and maiming so many people, and why the FDA is constantly having to take drugs off the market all the time.
    In 2009, a study was accepted (then removed), showing what happened when monkeys were given Hepatitis B at birth The results were not pretty, and mirrored exactly what is happening across American babies who are getting Hepatitis B at birth.
    Parents who believe their children are “coincidentally” vaccine damaged, asked the question why it was that TOTAL vaccine schedules (let alone single vaccines) had never been tested in this manner before. It was no surprise when the study was pilloried from one end of the globe to another – after all, one of the names was none other than that alleged arch-criminal… Dr Andrew Wakefield. So obviously, it was a load of rubbish, right?
    This year, a Chinese medical study looked at what happens to gene expression and inflammation markers when you administer Hepatitis B vaccine to mice at birth, and showed that the Hepatitis B vaccine significantly altered liver gene expression, indicative of not just “inflammation”, but subtoxic adverse effects from the vaccine including subtle liver injury.
    Which is presumably why the said doctor had been so alarmed at the abnormal liver function tests, and prolonged jaundice in their practice way back in 1987.
    Let’s see how long that study STAYS in peer reviewed medical literature. Or maybe the provaccine people are hoping that it won’t be noticed amongst all the patsy studies ghost written before hand, to snow storm the issue.
    Here’s the interesting thing to me. The New Zealand doctor’s submission was rejected by the IOM, because they considered it to be of no relevance. There was “no science” to back it up – it was anecdotal…. even though, as the Ministry of Health’s fax to the practice admitted, Merck had done no research into the effects on neonatal immunity, or a newborn recipient’s liver function.
    In 2011, we still have a situation where any country that injects newborn babies with Hepatitis B vaccines, is subjecting those (guineapig) babies to an untested medication.
    The WORST part of these guineapig trials, is that because the vaccine has been hailed for decades as the saviour of mankind, and ipso facto safe, no-one is following any of these children to see whether or not the vaccine schedule is causing problems.
    Any logical parent, would now ask another question. Has any other vaccine been tested to see what it does to a baby’s gene expression? The answer is, “Yes”. In 2008, a medical study testing human blood in a laboratory, found that the DPT vaccine caused gene expression associated with asthma and allergy. Another study showed that the longer a parent delayed vaccines, the less likely their child was to get asthma or allergy.
    The resounding silence continues.
    Has anyone done similar studies looking at the whole schedule as given to babies today, and compared those babies gene expression with children who have never had any vaccines? No. and they won’t.
    Which is why the nuked monkey study was so important.
    In order for a parent to make an informed choice based on science – quite apart from any other conviction – you have to know WHAT question to ask. You can’t know which questions to ask, unless you know what the relevant issues are, in order to formulate a logical question.
    The medical community isn’t going to give parents the sort of information (in this blog) which takes them to the point of starting to ask incisive, logical and important questions, …. which the medical community cannot answer.
    The information in this post would raise very logical questions in the minds of ANY parent who primary concerns are, “Will these vaccines given to very young babies, cause the immune system to work in a way which is undesirable?” If those parents ask those questions to “Outreach” nurses aligned to IMAC, they will be told that there are no concerns whatsoever.
    The stock answer will be, “…. of course not, and because of these vaccines we no longer see children dying of smallpox, or in calipers after Polio.”
    In 2011, the questions which most worry parents are, “Why do we see such huge increases in asthma, allergy, chronic diseases and autism?”
    I was talking about the Hepatitis B issues with some midwives recently, to get a feel for their thoughts. One of them suddenly said, “It’s still a real problem though Hilary. There are still a lot of young first time mothers who are shown to be carriers in the pregnancy blood tests.” My first reply was, “Given that the vaccine programme with school catchups started in 1980’s, are these carrier mothers vaccinated?”
    There was a long silence, then I asked, “Have you asked these women for their vaccination records?”
    “No” she replied.
    I replied, “Well, don’t you think you should? And don’t you think that if all these women were vaccinated that you midwives should be asking more questions?” It’s very plain to me that midwives don’t even want to “go there”… and neither does anyone else.
    Parents have believed, and taken it upon faith, that vaccinating their baby with the Hepatitis B vaccine, means they won’t catch Hepatitis B, or become a carrier, and that vaccine is safe – and none of the health problems which their children have, are in any way related to the vaccine. Yet no-one has studied it – it’s just been taken “on faith” that this would be the result.
    On the subject of removing studies because of supposed professional fraud by one of the authors, none of the vaccine pushers like IMAC/Offit et al, have yet emblazoned across their website, the fact that the author of the key provaccine studies which supposedly prove the MMR has nothing to do with autism, is being indicted for far more serious “Fraud” than anything ever tossed Wakefield’s way. Thorsen’s articles are still much too useful to the vaccine machine, for them to worry about “taint by association”.
    They assume that so long as they don’t talk about it, the provaccine parents won’t hear about their hypocrisy.
    There is one rule for doctors who threaten the maximum use of vaccines – and silence and protection for those who really do commit intellectual, medical, ethical and fraudulent “crimes”, not just against the American CDC, but by proxy, against ALL parents as well.
    One thing you can guarantee, is that parents will get no definitive scientific answers to any of the above, any time soon.
    to be continued.

    Hilary Butler is the author of the blog Beyond Conformity.
    Posted by Age of Autism at July 01, 2011 at 5:45 AM in Vaccine Safety | Permalink | Comments (6)
    Tweet This!
    You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.
    HepB at birth is the one that angers me the most . . . and even pro-vaccine people I know question that one now.
    Pharma and “public health” over-reached, and they may be paying the price for it. Once parents realize the obfuscation, they start questioning the entire schedule. Despite massive PR campaigns, parents are still not sure (though most do vax).
    As long as there is uncertainty it is much more difficult to enforce mandates.
    Posted by: Parent | July 01, 2011 at 09:22 AM
    One of the questions that never seems to get answered is this: If you can test every pregnant mother to see if she is positive for Hep B, then why not just DO THAT and then give the vaccine to only those newborns who have been exposed by their carrier mothers in utero? Why give the vaccine to every baby when it can be clearly established that most babies have virtually zero risk of acquiring Hep B (unless they are in fact sexually ASSAULTED at birth by a carrier)?
    Other than the billions it makes for Merck and the Hep B vaccine-pusher, there appears to be no logical answer to this burning question.
    Posted by: lisa | July 01, 2011 at 09:21 AM
    The cycles of infections???
    Before I pass away on this earth I would like to know —

    Is it that the vaccine that is inhibiting the immune system allowing pathogens to take over?
    It is a natural immune response “there is no pathogen” and it is some kind of re- occurring serum sickness?
    But then again I suppose it really doesn’t matter now does it – unless it is some little virus like the XMRV that we could throw off normally.
    Dr. Wakefield in his recent speech at Jake Crosby’s university said that the Hep B was only tested for saftey for four days!!!!!!
    And Dr. Wakefield was complaining at the time he found out – about the MMR that was tested for a short three weeks!
    Ohhhhh the inhummanity!
    Ohhh in the words of from the book “Heart of Darkness” Oh the horror!
    Posted by: Benedetta | July 01, 2011 at 09:01 AM
    Glad my kids are in camp this week cuz I dropped the “f” bomb several times this morning. I read that in one year 67 babies never made it home to their nursery. The quickest way to piss a nurse off in a maternity ward off is to refuse the Hep B and promise to keep your child away from dirty needles and unprotected sex. Do not take your eyes off your baby if you do not want them to get the Hep B. The nurses will do it out of spite and give you a smug “oops”. I am shocked at how many times I’ve heard parents refusing the Hep B and they do it anyway.
    Posted by: Diane W Farr | July 01, 2011 at 08:34 AM
    Glad my kids are in camp this week cuz I dropped the “f” bomb several times this morning. I read that in one year 67 babies never made it home to their nursery. The quickest way to piss a nurse off in a maternity ward off is to refuse the Hep B and promise to keep your child away from dirty needles and unprotected sex. Do not take your eyes off your baby if you do not want them to get the Hep B. The nurses will do it out of spite and give you a smug “oops”. I am shocked at how many times I’ve heard parents refusing the Hep B and they do it anyway.
    Posted by: Diane W Farr | July 01, 2011 at 08:34 AM
    I said “Jesus Christ” four times out loud while reading this article, and I am someone who never uses the holy Name like that.
    Posted by: Mary W Maxwell | July 01, 2011 at 06:25 AM
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  • cia

    I’m sorry, I’ve been trying to figure out how to send you a copy of the article which Neurotoxicology withdrew, apparently under pressure from the vaccine industry. It’s hewitson-et-al-09-primate-hbv-study-1.pdf , and it has black lines through it to indicate that it’s been censored. I can’t find the copy I made last summer, and I can’t copy it, but I found it just now by going to
    and then going down to the lines: “In 2009, a study was accepted (then removed), showing what happened when monkeys were given Hepatitis B at birth.” I clicked on that last phrase, in blue, and was taken to the article.
    I hope you will be as shocked as I am at this censorship of valuable research appearing to explain how the hep-B vaccine at birth has damaged and caused autism in thousands of babies, including mine.

  • cia

    The Columbia Daily Tribune published a letter to the editor I wrote about Robert MacNeil’s PBS series on autism last April. His daughter Alison is certain that her son’s autism was caused by vaccines. I wrote to the editor Jim Robertson the other day to draw to his attention the exoneration of John Walker-Smith, suggesting that it would be an important story to report on, but that I understood there might be factors I was unaware of preventing him from reporting on it (i.e., Big Pharma as a big shareholder in all of the news media). He hasn’t replied, and so we see a situation in which this was labeled Top story in the U.K. Guardian the other day, being completed blacked out by the American news media.
    Up until the late 1980s, children who developed autism as the result of a vaccine sometimes won an award from the Vaccine Court, like Michelle Cedillo. But at that time, there started to be so many children with vaccine-induced autism bringing suit, that the court started the current strategy of dismissal and denial, no longer admitting that vaccines can and often do cause autism. Hannah Poling was the big exception, and she won millions. See Ginger Taylor’s commented interview of the dishonest head of the CDC Julie Gerberding (who quit to become CEO at Merck) on the Hannah Poling case, in which she is forced to sort of admit that vaccines can cause autism, but Sanjay Gupta immediately asks: “So you’re saying that vaccines don’t cause autism?”
    I contacted a law office that specializes in vaccine injuries, but Mr. Dempsey told me that while he has heard so many parents’ stories, that he believes they cause autism, no law firm in the country is willing to take a case contending that vaccines caused someone’s autism. Pennsylvania is going bankrupt from autism-related expenses, soon to be followed by everyone else, because this is an avalanche of permanently-disabled kids who will ultimately be supported by the taxpayer, at a cost of billions for lifetime care. I’m going to send a copy of Mr. Dempsey’s letter.

  • cia

    Leland Dempsey

    to me

    Some day I believe there will be clear medical evidence showing the relationship between these vaccines and autism. I’ve just spoken with too many parents and heard their stories. Good luck!

    Leland Dempsey
    Dempsey & Kingsland, P.C.
    City Center Square, Suite 1860
    1100 Main Street
    Kansas City, Missouri 64105Phone: (816) 421-6868Fax: (816) 421-2610E-Mail:


    We are not handling autism cases. Frankly, I do not know if
    there are any firms in the U.S. that are taking them.

    You should consider a nation-wise internet search to see.

    I am sorry not to be of more help.

    Leland Dempsey
    Dempsey & Kingsland, P.C.
    City Center Square, Suite 1860
    1100 Main Street
    Kansas City, Missouri 64105

  • cia

    Another thing. The U.S. had the third-lowest rate in the world of infant mortality in 1950, before the mandatory-vaccine schedule began. Now we’re at number 43, tied with Poland, the worst rate in the first world, because we vaccinate more than anyone else does. These infant deaths are often attributed to SIDS, but since they usually occur within a short time of receiving a vaccine, many of us believe that that is yet another piece of evidence indicting vaccines as seriously damaging or killing our children.

  • sroy

    You say, “The U.S. had the third-lowest rate in the world of infant mortality in 1950, before the mandatory-vaccine schedule began. Now we’re at number 43, tied with Poland, the worst rate in the first world, because we vaccinate more than anyone else does.”

    I don’t think comparing us to other nations is the proper argument and, in fact, detracts from the point you are trying to make. I think a more accurate measurement would be to compare the 1950 rates to today. According to Infoplease’s Infant Mortality Rates (, the US rate has declined from 29.2 in 1950 to 6.9 in 2003. To me, that is a significant improvement, and contradict’s your theory, as it shows that the US’s infant mortality rate has significantly improved since we began vaccination.

  • mark.hawk

    Mittings decision proves 1 thing that the children were actually in need of specialist medical help.

    the GMC’s other rulings can’t possibly be reliable in regard to Wakefield they simply were not up to the Job.

  • Dishman

    I’m a genetic Aspie.

    My understanding of Autism is that is heavily genetic.

    The sex ratio (more than 4:1 male) points to genes on the X chromosome.

    My own personal theory is that the particular genes involved may manifest in the mother as well, possibly including Bipolar Disorder.

    That would go a long way towards explaining the behavior of mothers of autistic children.

  • Dean Esmay

    The idea that some vaccines or some forms of vaccines might cause a triggering event to cause autism to express itself does not strike me as crazy. Possibly not true, possibly true, but not crazy.

    The idea that vaccines are generally a major pandemic threat doesn’t strike me as very easy to sustain rationally.

    I simply MUST tear myself away from any further discussion of this for at least 72 hours. Then I can start looking at it again.

  • cia

    I guess it depends on how you look at it. This is a report on the lack of progress in the reduction of infant mortality in the U.S.:
    Our position has slipped in world rankings a little more every few years. So it’s not that we have a larger underclass than the European or east Asian countries, we had a large underclass in 1950, and still ranked number three in the world in infant mortality rates. The fact that we spend more on health care than anyone else should theoretically result in better health, but it doesn’t. Quite the opposite, this generation suffers a higher rate of disabling conditions than any other in history: autism, ADHD, seizure disorders, learning disorders, allergies, asthma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, other kinds of paralysis, all linked to vaccines. Vaccines are supposed to cause the immune system to react with inflammation, that’s what makes it produce antibodies, but a lot of people’s immune system reacts with too much inflammation, leading to encephalitis or the chronic inflammation of autoimmune diseases. Adjuvants like aluminum are supposed to make the immune system react indefinitely with inflammation, to keep up the antibody level as long as possible. A decidedly mixed blessing. We have a MUCH higher rate of autism than Scandinavian countries, which vaccinate much less than we do.
    Every first world country contends with many babies born prematurely, and is able to help many of them survive who previously would have died. So it’s not that that causes our higher rate of infant mortality. Why would all the other first world countries enjoy a lower rate of infant mortality than we do, if it’s not vaccines? Why do you think it’s not a good question to ask what they’re doing that we aren’t?

    I’m an Aspie too, but it’s because I reacted to the DPT vaccine as an infant with several days of inconsolable screaming (encephalitis). My father took me to the doctor and demanded that he stop my screaming, and said he wouldn’t leave until he did. My brother, another Aspie, also reacted, but by beating his head on the bars of the crib.

  • lizditz

    Hi Celia, Dean and all,

    As I often do, I have made a roundup of posts about both the UK high court’s ruling on Professor Walker-Smith and Brian Deer’s anti-SLAPP suit. I’ve included this post in the list, both at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (where the list will be static) “What the UK High Court’s Ruling on John Walker-Smith Means and Doesn’t Mean”,

    and at my own blog, I Speak of Dreams “UK High Court Quashed Rulings Against John Walker-Smith; Means NOTHING about Andrew Wakefield”

    I’ll continue to update the latter post daily.

  • Elizabeth Reid

    Wakefield’s hypothesis about a connection between the MMR and autism was specifically about the measles component of the vaccine, which is an attenuated but live virus, establishing itself in the colon and causing gut damage which let proteins into the blood where they didn’t belong. It was also consistent with some parents’ impression (right or wrong) that their children’s behavior changed right after the MMR. His hypothesis would say nothing at all about any killed-virus vaccines like the Hepatitis B vaccine.

  • Dishman

    cia wrote:
    I’m an Aspie too, but it’s because I reacted to the DPT vaccine as an infant with several days of inconsolable screaming (encephalitis). My father took me to the doctor and demanded that he stop my screaming, and said he wouldn’t leave until he did. My brother, another Aspie, also reacted, but by beating his head on the bars of the crib.

    This suggests to me that cause and effect are backwards.

    If both you and your brother are Aspie, that suggests that the already strong (0.9 for Asperger’s) genetic correlation applies in your particular case.

    What I am suggesting is that the characteristics that make you Aspie also caused an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

    I intend to explore this connection in greater detail later. For now, I will note that I have a peculiar immune profile, in that I am allergic to a great many things, but not Bee venom (no swelling at all) or other similar immune-triggering toxins.

  • Dishman

    cia wrote:
    We have a MUCH higher rate of autism than Scandinavian countries, which vaccinate much less than we do.

    The distinction between Americans of Scandinavian extraction and Scandinavians is whether or not they participated in a self-selection to become American. This is a conscious process, so I would not expect the two populations to retain the same profiles relating to mind or personality. I have no notion of the magnitude of this effect, but I would need evidence before making an evaluation.

    Every first world country contends with many babies born prematurely, and is able to help many of them survive who previously would have died. So it’s not that that causes our higher rate of infant mortality. Why would all the other first world countries enjoy a lower rate of infant mortality than we do, if it’s not vaccines?
    There are several explanations, and I do not have a sufficient grasp on the numbers involved to say that there is or is not a real difference. One major difference is how infant mortality is calculated. From the article you linked, over 2/3rds of all infant mortality in the US follow pre-term births, with over 1/3rd counted as a direct consequence.

    Why do you think it’s not a good question to ask what they’re doing that we aren’t?
    I have not expressed this opinion.

  • maggie – labrat

    I don’t have much to offer to this thread as I have to admit my eyes started to glaze over halfway through this thread. While I’m not a rabid anti-vaccinator, I’m a very strong skeptic. I have to admit that they lost me with the Hep B vaccination advice. When my daughter was born in 1992, I was flabbergasted that they wanted to give my 5lb 3oz 24hr old infant a vaccine for a disease that I knew as a laboratory technologist she was absolutely at NO risk for. Their reasoning that they were protecting her for the future when she might be at risk made no sense. They had absolutely no proof that this would be the case. The vaccine hadn’t been in use long enough to prove that. I immediately knew they wanted my child to be a guineau pig for them. What was even worse than their bad advice was the outrageous harassment I got from them for refusing to let them give it to her. They wanted to put my child at risk – not me – but you would have thought I was a child abuser for my decision.
    I researched quite a bit about vaccines since then and one of the things that has maintained my skepticism is the shoddiness of vaccine trials and studies. They leave me unimpressed.
    My children have had their mandatory vaccines for school – although not always on the recommended schedule – but I resent that I was more or less forced to let them get them. I refuse the voluntary ones. They had no discernable adverse reactions to them – not even fevers or crankiness.
    Gardisil makes me furious as do flu shots.
    I dread the day the flu shot becomes mandatory at work – each year they make it harder to refuse. Will I give in to keep my job?
    I wish I had the time to read everyone’s links but I don’t – I look forward to reading the analysis of those of you who do.
    BTW – that same daughter was just recently labeled Asperger’s at 17y/o , her father is a bipolar alcoholic – related?

  • cia

    Dr. Wakefield also participated in a study done at the University of Pittsburgh, called “Delayed Acquisiton of Neonatal Reflexes in Newborn Primates Receiving a Thimerosal-Containing Hepatitis B Vaccine: Influence of Gestational Age and Birth Weight.” It found that giving baby monkeys a hep-B vaccine within 24 hours of birth in an amount comparable to that given to human infants resulted in significant delay in the acquisition of root, snout, and suck reflexes, compared with unexposed animals. The study was accepted for publication by Neurotoxicology a couple of years ago, then mysteriously withdrawn with no explanation. There have been other disquieting studies done on the hep-B vaccine: Gallagher’s “Hepatitis B Vaccination of Male Neonates and Autism Diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2003,” which found that boys vaccinated at birth were three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism as those vaccinated after one month of age. Gallagher also did a study called “Hepatitis B Triple Series Vaccine and Developmental Disability in U.S. Children Aged 1-9 Years, ” which found that boys who got the hep-B vaccine were nine times more likely to require special education services in school than those who were not vaccinated.
    No one can make anyone get a flu vaccine or any other kind of vaccine. A religious exemption is available for anyone, in all states except West Virginia and Mississippi. Most doctors refuse to get them themselves.

  • cia

    I agree with you that the flu shot is a bad idea, it causes Alzheimer’s (aluminum accumulation in the brain from the adjuvant in the vaccine), paralysis, and sometimes death. In some nursing homes they call flu shot day culling day because so many people die so soon after getting it. I have never gotten it, and never will. Increasing numbers of people are taking the religious exemption to the vaccine requirement for school. You actually don’t have to get the shots, you just have to fill out a form that the school is responsible for collecting. Some states permit a philosophical exemption.

  • Elizabeth Reid


    I don’t think it’s all that mysterious; it happened after the Lancet withdrew the MMR paper and the GMC raised serious concerns not just about Wakefield’s findings but his ethics. You may or may not be convinced that’s a good reason to do it, but it’s not inexplicable. The people at Neurotoxicology probably read the papers too.

    Nevertheless, the Hep B vaccine is given at a different developmental stage than the MMR, is for a different and completely unrelated virus, and is a killed-virus vaccine instead of an attenuated virus vaccine. The Hep B vaccine can’t possibly cause autism by the mechanism in the Lancet paper, by infecting a child’s gut, because it’s dead, and the MMR can’t possibly cause autism by the mechanism usually attributed to the Hep B vaccine, because it never contained thimerosal. It’s not actually impossible that both of these vaccines, along with DTP which you also mentioned, cause autism in completely different ways, but it’d be a hell of a coincidence if vaccines cause autism no matter what they’re made of or with. And nothing about the Hep B vaccine is relevant to the court case that Celia started this thread with.

  • Celia Farber

    It’s impossible to know what to say except: This should be a national emergency priority, every night on the news, and I think anybody who says it can be swept under an Anderson Cooper indignation rug labeled “Andy Wakefield,” is in severe denial. Today I interviewed a man whose infant daughter died from Hep B vaccine. She was a newborn, still in the hospital. A nurse told him the truth. The pathology confirmed it. His name is Michael Belkin. You can look him up. He’s unbelievably factual and also connected to himself, meaning compassionate and alert. He reminded me, that guess who has been INDICTED, repeat INDICTED for fraud?
    As Age Of Autism (alone pretty much) covered, Poul Thorsen, Danish, CDC affiliated, he of “thimerisol has been discounted” fame, was indicted on 13 counts of wire fraud for embezzling funds while in Denmark, where Belkin told me, he is seen as a “Bernie Madoff” figure. And we have never HEARD of him, while “Wakefield” is a household name associated indelibly with ‘fraud?’

    This whole situation is insane. And now I sound insane, of course, for getting this upset. It just goes round and round.

    I don’t know what, if not this, is an American battle front. I can’t imagine what would possess somebody to call a website a “thinking person’s” autism website, because that very very very cruelly suggests that others can’t think. They can’t “THINK?”

    Michael Belkin? He does not think?

    I am wounded and offended on behalf of Michael Belkin and all the hundreds of thousands of parents worldwide who have suffered devastating loss and are constantly told they can’t “think” straight,” or that they hinge all their “beliefs” on a single Lancet paper…or that they worship their “hero” Dr. Wakefield.

    I think we all share collective guilt, and should apologize to these constantly abused people, these parents, who are treated like second class citizens because they carry a terrible knowledge. That’s what this is.

    We can ALL THINK.

    WE ARE ALL able to process “information.”

    “IT” is not “about” these red herrings “thimerisol,” or “Wakefield.”

    It is a whole lot of dots that must now be connected. Shoot down this or that dot and millions remain.

    We owe it to these fellow Americans to help them connect the dots and at the very least not perpetuate denial about what has happened here, which we “don’t know” yet BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE MECHANISM in this whole mad society is devoted to not knowing and not feeling and not caring, but mainly not KNOWING.

    The mainstream media should be ashamed.

    What an absurd thought, statement, about an organized body of violence. That’s my working definition of media.

  • Elizabeth Reid

    All right. I’m out. Given the direction and tone that this comment thread seems to be taking, I have absolutely no reason to believe that my contributions are going to be useful to Celia, or indeed anyone involved. I’m going to follow Dean’s example and recognize when a situation isn’t emotionally healthful for me.

  • cia

    You may not read this, but I thought that the important topic was whether or not the medical establishment is persecuting those who present evidence that the vaccines routinely given, which are yielding billions of dollars in revenue, are severely and permanently damaging many of those who get them. The measles virus remaining in the intestines of some of those who got the MMR and develop autism and bowel disease may well be the causative factor, but since the research which Dr. Wakefield responsibly called for has never been done, it is not certain that that is the cause. The Merck Manual admits that vaccines can cause encephalitis, and since this sequence of encephalitis then autism is so common, it must be considered that it is likely that in many cases it is the brain damage from the encephalitis which causes autism. Everyone admits that encephalitis can cause encephalopathy, but the establishment insists that the particular encephalopathy called autism cannot possibly be linked to vaccines. At the present time, if a child screams inconsolably for even three hours, that is an indication that he should be rushed to the ER, as that is very likely caused by the pain of a swollen brain reacting to a vaccine. My baby screamed for four days and nights, only sleeping for two hours after screaming for twelve, then waking to scream again. And that was ignored and dismissed. And she was later revealed to have autism.
    It is not a hell of a coincidence: the inflammation always caused by vaccines deliberately is often more severe or prolonged than was hoped it would be. The severe inflammation of the brain causes encephalitis with brain damage being a frequent sequela, autism, ADHD, seizure or learning disorder resulting from the brain damage. The immune reaction to the vaccine skews the response of the immune system from a mainly Th-1 response of “defeat the foreign invader,” to a mainly Th-2 autoimmune response of “what the hell was that, let’s attack it,” even though it results in attacking the body’s own systems. The long-lasting immune response desired from a vaccine often results in a long-lasting chronic autoimmune reaction in the recipient, resulting in the unprecedented rates of asthma, allergies, diabetes, bowel disease, arthritis, and MS.
    In 1970 the CDC says that autism affected 4 American children in 10,000. Now the autism association Touch Point says that the rate is 1 in 88 children, 1 in 48 boys. The CDC says that now over 9 million kids have asthma (1 in 9), in 1979 asthma affected only 2 million children under 14. Today the CDC says 3 million kids in public schools have been classified as learning disabled: in 1976 it says the figure was 796,000. Today 4 million kids have been diagnosed with ADHD, one in ten. This is a new syndrome, but in 1997 it was reported to affect about 1.6 million elementary school children. The CDC says that between 1945 and 1969, the incidence of childhood diabetes was 1 in 7,100. Now it is one in 450.

  • cia

    Thank you, Celia, I just read your most recent comment, and am relieved that you interviewed Michael Belkin. The rock songs he has written and performed with his group the Refusers bring a passion and intensity to the issue which moves me, at least, to tears. I was hoping all day yesterday that your silence meant that you were investigating the question, rather than that you had been overwhelmed and turned off by its immensity and implications. I cannot tell you how much it means to me and, by extension, the families of all the vaccine-damaged children, that you have lent your voice to our demand for recognition and change.

  • Celia Farber


    Thank you for saying that. Right at the moment I became “too emotional” I was filled with a sense of shame. I don’t want anybody, ever, to feel I am imposing emotions or interpretations but I have become so upset by all I have now finally steeped myself in, reading and hearing, that I can’t remain aloof. I will lend my voice, and anything else I can offer. My one child is very marginally vaccinated (very marginally, only got Tetanus, once.) He’s 17 and he’s always been in good health, never had an ear infection, cleared chicken pox in a few days. I feel that I perhaps “got away” with something that others had to pay for. He was born in 1994, and we found the religious exception route, and started him in an orthodox Jewish pre-school even though his father is entirely non Jewish and I have one Jewish parent, and we had no ties to this community. But they respected our choice. My decision making was simply: I asked which vaccines prevented fatal illness. I would ONLY consider those. No good answer. I was angrily expelled from a few pediatricians’ offices until I found one who respected our choice and did not yell at me. Things have gotten much worse since then, with all the propaganda about “outbreaks,” of whooping cough etc. They never report how many of these kids DID get Whooping Cough vaccine. Nothing is ever made clear, always generalizations.

    I feel that parents of vaccine damaged children are kept behind a veil and only they know what the reality is behind that veil, and as a society, we ask that they please stay back there, so WE don’t have to see it, don’t have to lose faith in “public health,” fathom that our on government would DO this, or that the media is paid to help keep terrible secrets….

    Before the spring/summer of 2011, I was not personally aware of what we were talking about, quite. “Autistic” is a word that has lost precise meaning. In the spring of 2011, I went to a panel discussion at NYU and listened to Mary Holland, Louise Habakus, Andrew Wakefield, Vera Sharav, Michael Belkin, and many members of the audience who stood up and said such shocking things, such as one woman who said: “My teenage daughter died right after getting the Gardisil HPV vaccine…” I just felt I was witnessing something surreal and impossible. My good friend Dr. Christian Fiala, an OB/GYN in Austria, personally campaigned to kick back the Gardisil vaccine in Austria after the father of a girl who’s died (and another almost died, (identical symptom progression, but she survived, and based on the evidence he presented, he (and the father, and others) were successful. In Sweden, where I grew up, and visit regularly, the media HAS reported openly on a slew, a few hundred I believe, of young people who have developed narcolepsy after getting I think swine flu vaccination. So they can never drive, swim, live normal lives. This is at least an open media story there. One journalist I have gotten to know, Torbjorn Sassersson who edits a news site called NewsVoice ( and who I am collaborating with journalistically, is bravely reporting what others will not. There is censorship in Swedish media as well. None of these problems are unique to America. In fact, as you know cia, the Hannah Polling story (did I spell her name right?) was not reported at ALL in UK media, but was reported in US media.

    My main feeling is that we MUST stop this pervasive shutting up and putting down and discrediting of parents. We must stop calling them “anti-vaccers.” We must stop saying they are a bunch of people who are guilty of undermining public health. These are dreadful and unfair accusations. I have met many of them and I find them to be among the most sane, fact oriented, and heroic people I have ever met. I say “heroic” because they have taken their losses and ordeals, their immense unfathomable daily nightmares, and still found time and energy to organize, to fight for their kids, to care. And they are not shrill or angry. They are dignified and brave. It is we who do not have this “problem” who are allowed to sit on the sidelines and judge them.

    When I read the chapter “Three Short Years” by Gay Tate, mother of two autistic children, in the book “Vaccine Epidemic” by Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland, I was sitting at a cafe and I started weeping, and it continued for hours after I got home. Thus my own hazy shield was pierced. Then in the summer of 2011, I rented a house for a week from a single mother of two teenaged autistic children, one of whom was severely autistic, the younger one, the boy. In my first five minutes with this family I understood everything I had not before, because you do not get it from reading about it. I think what got me weeping in the “Three Short Years” chapter were the sections about what happens when these kids hit puberty. When the girls menstruate and in this case…are sent home from school for not being able to properly handle the hygiene of menstruation. Then a developmental specialist recommends putting her on birth control so she only menstruates 4 times a year. The son, at 15, has a grand mal the day after Christmas. “I had taken Kenny to sit on the toilet when he started to seize.” Stop right there. Imagine, you’re 15, you’re a boy, and you need your mother to help you on the toilet. “He was fully grown by then and in the small bathroom, there was no place to get him down to the floor without one of us being injured. I don’t remember how I dailed 911, but I did. Inexplicably, they did not arrive for 15 minutes. In that time, his breathing stopped and started several times, and I had trouble finding a consistent pulse. When the paramedics finally arrived, they hustled me out of the house and began working on Kenny. I remember sobbing in our driveway while Olivia smoothed my hair and wiped tears off my cheeks.” The boy was airlifted to intensive care where he remained for a week. “I believe,” his mother wrote, “that if this had happened during the night or I had not been nearby, he would have died.”

    In this particular family, let me just share this: Both parents in medicine, both very orthodox views, 3 kids, only the one born first, ie vaccinated less, made it through without damage. The one born last, vaccinated most, is most severe. They tested them for mercury. “Kenny, cognitively and physically the most affected child, showed the highest level of mercury toxicity.”

    At what point do we feel the US Government must: Test mercury levels in all autistic children, compare in broad studies, the vaccinated to the unvaccinated (Amish for example…) At what point do we feel that maybe, maybe, yes, there is a “link?” Between something environmental, not genetic, and neurological impairment? And it goes by way of gastro-intestinal destruction, what Wakefield called entero-colitis. At what point do we look at that? There is a super-highway between the gut and the brain.

    I hope nothing I have written causes anybody to leave, or feel assailed. Nobody here is responsible for this nightmare. The government IS. And it is a nightmare. A catastrophe. All I ask is that we open our minds, hearts, wallets, souls to these parents, and especially since they are all, de-facto, “mainstream” in the sense that they DID vaccinate, on schedule…we can’t say they are biased against mainstream medicine.

    We ave thrown every imaginable block and accusation against this these people, against this problem, EXCEPT open honest research. That is outrageous. I am very sorry if careers will be lost, billions lost, Public Health must be revised in its mandates, but this MUST be faced head on. The US government indemnified pharmaceutical companies against litigation from vaccine damage when the lawsuits were so many that the pharmaceutical companies told the government: “We will stop making vaccines.” So they got protection from litigation, and now parents only recourse is “vaccine court,” which sounds like a really strange kind of court, not like the REST of the court system. Vaccine damage and death cases have their own court in the United States? This is simply bizarre.

  • Celia Farber

    Another travesty: All the innocent parents sent to prison for “shaken baby syndrome” when their infants brains in fact swelled from vaccination reactions. We must get them out of prison, and fast, those who remain. Here is some info:

    The case of Sally Parker is incredibly tragic. Clearly, she was innocent. The whole situation is very scary, because the cost of keeping the whole truth under the carpet is a miscarriage of justice so deep it seems to come from another century. All we need to do is connect all the dots. But how? If our Federal Research Institutions refuse to do real, unbiased research into the truth, what recourse is there? Private research? I guess that is what Andy Wakefield is doing now in Texas. Does private research get “accepted?”

    Are we still hanging our estimates on esteemed medical journals, almost literally outright owned by pharma companies, who ghost-write their copy, even?

  • Celia Farber

    And Maggie, thank you for your reporting. You are absolutely right of course. Hep B is perhaps the single craziest and transparently wrong vaccine they’ve got going, except maybe now Gardisil is even worse.

    There has never been a proven causative association between “viruses” and cancer. (!)

  • Celia Farber

    “Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.” – I. F. Stone

  • cia

    Thank you again, Celia, I just got back from a vet’s appointment. I lived in Stockholm with my Italian (now ex-) husband, near Ulvsundaslott in Bromma. I’m really glad you’ve read Vaccine Epidemic, I also was very upset by “Three Short Years,” with the oldest son born before 1990 normal, and the two after 1990 both severely affected by autism. The author had believed in the necessity and value of vaccines, her mother had been a polio nurse in the 1950s. But there are so many other upsetting articles in it, like the one by Judy Converse about how sick children are now, and how it’s become normal to believe that they can’t eat, walk, talk, poop, socialize, etc., without the aid of polypharmaceutics from the pediatrician, and it’s those who are normal who are considered the outsiders. Or the one about Zeda Pingel, who got the HPV three or four years ago and within weeks had severe seizures and soon became unable to walk, talk, eat, or breathe unassisted by a feeding tube and a trach. Or the one by Lisa Marks Smith, paralyzed for four years by a routine flu vaccine.
    Michael Belkin wrote in his article in Vaccine Epidemic that he and his wife were investigated by the police on suspicion that they shook their baby and caused the brain inflammation found upon autopsy. Then the coroner, who had said it was encephalitis, after talking with a Merck rep, changed his story and said there was no brain swelling, because “vaccines do a lot of good things for people, Mr. Belkin.”
    Have you read the things put on as comments to vaccine-related articles by the pro-vaccine “trolls,” paid by pharmaceutical companies to mount opposition to people talking about their experiences and opinions of vaccine damage? Paid to ridicule, dismiss, and deny. Of course they have a right to free speech, I guess, (paid to lie? paid to shout Fire in a crowded theater?), but I hope that parents bewildered by the debate, but needing to make a decision as to what the most responsible thing to do for their children is, can see past their obfuscation of the issue. Who’s more likely to be telling the truth, someone paid by a very rich pharmaceutical company to defend its products, or someone who gives a first-hand account of how her child was vaccine-damaged? And now there are many thousands giving such accounts, and vaccine-damaged children on every block in America.
    The list of mandated or recommended vaccines is already very long, and getting longer. I got the smallpox vaccine, nine DTPs (too many! my mother just assumed vaccines were very safe), and seven polios (!!, both Salk and Sabin) as a child. And I was vaccine-damaged. In the ’80s the smallpox had been discontinued (but read Wendy Lydall and Jamie Murphy before saying that it was because smallpox had been wiped out by the vaccine), and children were only given the DTP, polio, and MMR vaccines (but the MMR was only changed dangerously quadrupling the amount of mumps vaccine in 1990). Now they get hep-B starting the day they’re born in many cases, Hib, DTaP, polio, Prevnar, rotavirus, hep-A, flu, chickenpox, and, as teens, HPV and meningococcal. Plus boosters fairly often for many of these. And more vaccines are in the pipelines, and, as soon as they come out, the vax companies design a campaign to make people terrified of a new disease, and get it added to the “mandatory” for school entrance schedule. State legislatures are still totally willing to just rubber-stamp anything emanating from a vaccine company.
    People say that mercury is no longer in the vaccines, but the rate of autism is still increasing. They think that proves that it wasn’t mercury that damaged the children and caused autism and other problems. They forget that in the past decade a yearly flu vaccine has been added to the schedule for everyone over six months old, and, unless you pay a dollar extra for a shot from a single-use thimerosal-free vial, you get a lot of mercury in it still. And they have added several aluminum-containing vaccines in the last decade, Prevnar, hep-A, HPV, and flu to the old ones which contained aluminum and still do, DTaP, hep-B, and Hib. The rate of Alzheimer’s has gone up twenty-fold in the U.S. since 1980, when the institution of yearly flu vaccine for the elderly began. Research by Fuderberger showed that those who got three or more flu vaccines in a decade were ten times more likely to get Alzheimer’s than those who got fewer or none. So aluminum messes with your brain. Could this not be enough to explain why autism is still increasing?
    Sorry, Celia, I know I go on too long and take up too much space, but the more we fight, the more children may be saved from a life of permanent disability, and I keep thinking of one more point that people would probably be interested in reading.

  • cia

    I thought a few minutes ago that maybe measles virus in the brain could provoke encephalitis, with the same results as the encephalitis caused by vaccines other than the MMR. The Merck Manual defines encephalitis as a swelling of the brain that can be caused either by a natural disease or by a vaccine, and the resulting damage can be totally devastating whichever the cause.

  • Celia Farber


    I simply have no idea how parents survive this torture, of agonized children who can’t be comforted. It must be sheer sheer hell.

    Here is a piece about the screams. Today, at Age of Autism.

    This is a national emergency. Yet it’s gone on for so long. Those paid trolls you speak of, are beyond despicable. Do you think there will come a time when journalists who have been vaccine damage deniers and assisted in attacking parents, or Wakefield, or both, will be marginalized, the way Holocaust deniers rightly are?

  • cia

    I have been uneasy thinking about what I said about paid trolls. I also think they are beyond despicable, and when people also posting on stories on the Internet accuse them of being paid by Big Pharma as a full-time job to defend the indefensible, they do not deny it. They just dismiss vaccine damage as coincidental, and say that correlation does not equal causation. They think those words sound high-falutin enough to silence us, without publicly recognizing that that is exactly what science does, notice a correlation and design a study to establish or disprove causation. That is what Drs. Wakefield, Walker-Smith, et al, did, and called for further, larger-scale research. But since their research was leading in a direction that was clearly going to prove that the MMR was doing horrible damage to a lot of people, Big Pharma had to throw all they had at it to squelch it and punish the researchers.
    I didn’t, however, want anyone expressing their honest opinion to think that I was talking about them. I understand that most people still believe that vaccines are usually harmless, while the diseases are very dangerous, and I in no way am saying that they should not express their opinion. I hope, though, that they will read a lot on the subject and talk to those with personal experience of vaccine damage.
    I am still surprised that the newspapers are not saying anything about Dr. Walker-Smith’s exoneration. The newspaper I sent information to has not responded, nor covered the story. What does it mean that every newspaper in the world joined in the barricuda-fest last year ripping apart Drs. Wakefield and Walker-Smith, and their colleagues, but now is saying nothing at all about proof that they had behaved with the utmost cruelty last year, and should be seeking honest information on what is crippling our children at this horrific rate?

  • cia

    What leverage do you think Big Pharma has to prevent newspapers from covering stories like those of Hannah Poling and Dr. Walker-Smith? Are they big shareholders even of local newspapers?

  • cia

    I was looking for a link to Dr. Wakefield’s complaint so I could send it to you, but it looks like it’s been taken down and is no longer available. But I made a copy of it last February, an Adobe file, and I’m going to see if I can e-mail it to you. I can’t attach here, but if you sent me an e-mail to I could attach it and send it to you.

  • mark.hawk

    “What leverage do you think Big Pharma has to prevent newspapers from covering stories like those of Hannah Poling and Dr. Walker-Smith? Are they big shareholders even of local newspapers?”

    over the last 10 years in the UK groups like “sense about science” and “the science media centre” have taken control of medical reporting, as soon as a negative story appears or is about to appear these organisations provide “experts”

    I have seen several news stories concerning vaccination get re-written with a positive spin presumably after government intervention. some even suspect “d” notices are used to “protect” the public health system.
    the Best example of autism related media bullying was when the editor of the observer was forced out for reporting that autism had climbed to 1 in 64. a year later the study was released that confirmed this

    and just to top it of the Murdoch MMR connection
    not even hidden ,,

  • lizditz

    Here are the original charges against Wakefield

    This blog is continuing to post transcripts of the GMC Fitness to Practice hearings. They have posted up to Day 60

    I have been accused of being a paid Pharma troll in the past. I am not. Here is my conflict of interest statement from 2008.

  • lizditz

    Here is Andrew Wakefield’s complaint against Deer, Godlee & the BMJ

  • lizditz

    Cia asked, “What leverage do you think Big Pharma has to prevent newspapers from covering stories like those of Hannah Poling and Dr. Walker-Smith? Are they big shareholders even of local newspapers?”

    I think you are making too much of the lack of interest from US papers in Prof. Walker-Smith’s hearing. Mr. Justice Mitting’s findings about the GMC’s conduct (which is really all the Walker-Smith ruling meant) have no relevance for the US, but they surely do for UK physicians and patients, hence the wide coverage in the UK of the hearing and ruling.

    It did get covered in speciality medical news outlets

    Here’s a counter-example Huge front-page news for weeks in the UK: proposed changes to the National Health Service. In the US, nada zip nothing. Why? The issue is of very low salience to US readers, especially in view of the competing stories such as the Republican nominee battle, the Afghan civilian massacree, gas prices, the Iranian nuclear issue vs Israel, the on-going suffering in Syria, Linsanity, etc etc etc — you get the drift.

  • cia

    Thank you, Mark. And, Liz, last January every news broadcast in the U.S., every newspaper, and many interviews went on and on about Dr. Wakefield having lied, committed fraud, and sought personal financial gain in his false case study published in the Lancet, which were the reasons for the retraction of his license. Since everyone in the U.S. was interested last year, and every parent wants to know the truth about whether the MMR causes autism, I think every parent would want to know that Wakefield’s fellow researcher, the eminent gastroenterologist John Walker-Smith, was completely exonerated of all wrongdoing, and it was instead the disciplinary proceeding of the GMC that was castigated for its false conclusions. If there was no connection between the lawsuit and the study, as the judge said, and the children were appropriately treated for their medical condition, as he said, and he restored Dr. Walker-Smith’s license, as he did, then all of this would tend to absolve Dr. Wakefield as well, who didn’t participate in this lawsuit because his insurance wouldn’t pay for it.
    The bottom line is one every parent in the world is passionately interested in. If Drs. Walker-Smith, and, by implication, Dr. Wakefield, are innocent, then they were dishonestly raked over the coals by a selfish and venal regulatory commission, now castigated itself, which looks like the truth is that the MMR does sometimes cause autism and bowel disease. The question was an extremely passionate one which everyone in the U.S. was talking about a year ago. One can understand the embarrassment of the news agencies who will eventually have to admit their criminal involvement in a witch hunt, but there are probably a lot of new reporters, many with young children themselves, who would be very willing to report this story from a new angle.
    If it were reported here, everyone would be shocked and extremely interested. The longer the admission is delayed, the more guilt those involved will incur. And it can’t be delayed forever.

  • lizditz

    Dear Cia,

    I have been following the MMR-autism saga since about 1999, as that is when I became interested in vaccine fears and refusal. At the time of the Omnibus Proceedings I was following the testimonies very closely.

    My understanding of the various issues around Wakefield’s conduct in 1995-1998 is quite different from yours.

    In particular, I am satisfied that there never was “measles virus” in the guts of the 12 children in the study . The lab that found that there was was hopelessly contaminated, as was detailed in the Omnibus Hearings.

    That is just one of many, many points.

    As to “autistic enterocolitis”. All children, including autistic children, have guts. A subset of children have trouble with their guts. There’s little evidence yet that autistic children have any special kind of gut trouble unique to autism. Yes, there are some intriguing studies (like differences in gut microflora between autistic children and typically-developing children).

    My position is that Andrew Wakefield set back research in the connection between GI issues and autism by at least a decade if not more. No reputable researcher wanted to touch the subject after 1998. I’m not alone in that, Timothy Buie has been quoted saying so in news releases about the consensus report,

  • cia

    I’ve read that now doctors are told to routinely screen all newly-diagnosed children with autism for the enterocolitis, as it’s become so well-known that it’s common among them. My daughter and autistic nephew have extreme problems with constipation, my brother took him to the Mayo clinic for it, and he was paying several hundred dollars a month for medication. His typical son has no such problems. We struggle along with Miralax, Natural Calm, and aloe vera juice. I really don’t know if that’s related to the same issue or not, but it is a serious, inexplicable bowel problem. It wouldn’t be because of measles virus in my daughter’s case, but I’ve read that there is lymph tissue in the gut, that it’s part of the immune system, so that might be an autoimmune condition that could be triggered by a vaccine reaction.
    I’ve read a number of things about the MMR strain measles vaccine virus being in the guts of autistic, but not normal children. I cannot say any more about it than that, I refused the MMR for my daughter. I had measles as a child, and I know how to nurse her if she gets measles, mumps, or rubella. It wasn’t a big deal when I was a child, and it shouldn’t be a big deal now. Total bed rest, dark room, stay well-hydrated, maybe vitamin A, no fever reducers under any circumstances. She’s healthy and well-nourished, she’d do fine.
    I read the case histories of the Lancet Nine, and there are so many thousands more cases similar to theirs, that I really don’t need any more evidence that the MMR is dangerous. Besides autism and bowel disease, it has often caused many other severe conditions, even death. Why bother? Touch Point says that one in 88 kids get autism now. I’m just going to make wild estimates now, but if 40% of that one in 88 are caused by hep-B vaccine and 40% by MMR, 8 % by DTaP or some combination of vaccines, and nine out of 30,000 people who had measles last year in Europe died of it, one out of every 3,300, then I personally would take my chances with natural measles over the MMR any day.
    I think the study Wakefield called for to follow up on the suspicious Lancet case study should certainly be done. If researchers were not afraid of losing their license if they go that route, I think a lot would be interested in doing it.
    I appreciate your politeness, and I respect your viewpoint, but in my situation, I cannot share it.

  • lizditz

    Hi Cia,
    Thank you. I do endeavor to be civil.

    You wrote, “I’ve read that now doctors are told to routinely screen all newly-diagnosed children with autism for the enterocolitis, as it’s become so well-known that it’s common among them.”

    I think that is inaccurate, and possibly a misunderstanding from the January 1, 2010 articles linked above,

    Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Individuals With ASDs: A Consensus Report

    Recommendations for Evaluation and Treatment of Common Gastrointestinal Problems in Children With ASDs,

    Relative to the former:

    Statement 1 (Key Statement)
    Individuals with ASDs who present with gastrointestinal symptoms warrant a thorough evaluation, as would be undertaken for individuals without ASDs who have the same symptoms or signs. Evidence-based algorithms for the assessment of abdominal pain, constipation, chronic diarrhea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should be developed.

    Individuals with ASDs deserve the same thorough diagnostic workup for gastrointestinal symptoms as should occur for other patients. There is no evidence for pathogenic mechanisms specific to ASDs that warrant a distinct diagnostic approach. Guidelines for the evaluation of common gastrointestinal symptoms have been developed by medical societies, medical centers, and managed care practices.9–12 Few, if any, published documents have addressed modifications in the diagnostic evaluation on the basis of the needs of persons with disabilities such as impaired language. An evidence base is needed to guide evaluation and therapy, but until appropriate studies are conducted, guidelines must be based on expert opinion.

    Statement 2
    Gastrointestinal conditions that are reported to be common in individuals without ASDs are also encountered in individuals with ASDs.

    In persons with ASDs, gastrointestinal conditions can present typically or atypically as nongastrointestinal manifestations, including behavioral change and/or problem behaviors. Symptom severity can be quite variable in patients with ASDs, as in other patients.

    Statement 3
    The prevalence of gastrointestinal abnormalities in individuals with ASDs is incompletely understood.

    Statement 4
    The existence of a gastrointestinal disturbance specific to persons with ASDs (eg, “autistic enterocolitis”) has not been established.

    There are a total of 23 statements. I have linked to the full-text versions of b0th articles; I urge you to read them both.

    As to the rest, I suppose we shall have to agree to disagree about the safety of vaccines and the role of vaccines in autism causation.

  • cia

    Thousands of parents say that their autistic children improve or even recover on a GFCF(SF) diet, on the theory that the vaccines damage the intestinal lining, allowing peptide chains from the incompletely broken-down casein, gluten, and soy to leak through the damaged lining and go to the brain, where the peptide chains, identical in structure to opium, cause autistic behaviors similar to those shown by those high on opium. The theory is that by avoiding those substances, the autistic behaviors decrease, and the holes in the gut may even heal, allowing them to go back to a normal diet. My daughter was transferred in November to another school that has two special classes for autistic children, mainly because of her inappropriate laughter when she was mainstreamed into a typical fifth-grade class. I thought it was because she was bored, since her brain damage doesn’t allow her to readily comprehend language, especially the fast, noisy barrage of language commonplace at school, and she retreated into thinking about zhu zhu pets and Alvin and the Chipmunks. But inappropriate laughter is one of the symtoms of this syndrome, and I considered trying the diet for her, but after only one day I realized that there’s no way vegetarians can comply with this diet and get enough protein, even consuming lots of eggs, peanut butter, chickpeas, ground almonds, and protein drink. We only got up to 29 g, when she needs 44 g a day. I considered buying chicken breast at Schnucks for her, but when she heard me talking to a friend about it, vehemently asserted that she was a vegetarian too, and would never eat chicken. So we’re trying expensive enzymes that digest casein and gluten, one at the start of every meal.
    I would think that this would be an area that should be studied. They’ve found the opioid peptide chains in the urine of autistic children, but not in that of normal children. Do you have any opinions about this?