I’m gone for a couple of days, paying little attention to the blogosphere or the Internet, and something big has to happen.
Remember a couple of weeks ago, when in the context of asking how we should respond to the anti-vaccine movement I discussed a recent campaign by the anti-vaccine group SafeMinds to infiltrate theaters with its deceptive anti-vaccine public service announcement (PSA) over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Well, it turns out that two of the three biggest American anti-vaccine groups, SafeMinds and Generation Rescue, teamed up to try to raise money to get these PSAs shown in as many theaters as they can over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Well, Skepchick Elyse Anders found out which theaters were going to run the PSA and urged Skepchick readers to launch a campaign of letters, e-mails, and telephone calls urging the owners of these these theaters to reconsider. In fact, so successful has she been so far that a representative from the AMC Theatres chain has replied and stated that the SafeMinds videos will not be shown at any AMC theatre.
Damn. Yesterday morning and I missed the fun. Oh, well, better late than never. It also warms the cockles of my blinking light-filled Plexiglass heart to see that other skeptics are there to take up the slack when I’m not around. My inner circuits blink faster with pride at this skeptical activism. No doubt SafeMinds and Generation Rescue will shortly be whining about how we are “suppressing” their right to free speech. Never mind that we skeptics are simply excercising our First Amendment rights by organizing to show businesses that there is a price if they sell advertising to loons spreading a dangerous message not based in science.
At this point, I figure, though, that, even late, the best thing I can do now is to point you to Elyse’s post and point out her latest update:
Here is the list of theaters who will be airing this PSA (I will update when necessary):
****UPDATE: AMC has replied saying that they will not be airing this or any other vaccine ads.****
- Empire 25 in New York City
- Long Beach 26 in Long Beach, California (Not AMC. Get on it Long Beach! Don’t let this be viewed on your watch!)
- River East 21 in Chicago, IL
- Boston Common 19 in Boston
- Phipps Plaza 14 in Atlanta
- Tyson’s Corner 16 in McLean, VA
- Northpark Center 15 in Dallas, TX
- Rosedale 14 in Saint Paul, MN
- Pavillions 15 in Denver, CO (Denver will not be airing the PSA.)
If any of these theaters is near you, you need to contact them. Let them know that you are displeased with their decision to air this commercial. We are calling for a boycott of all theaters showing this ad.
If you are not near any of these theaters, but know someone who is, please urge them to call, write and boycott.
And if your local theater does not think it should have to pull the ad, contact your local skeptics and organize. Get accurate vaccine informational materials together and hand them out to movie goers (off the premises). Contact your local media. Do something. Do something good. Do something to stop Age of Autism’s lies. Do something to stop your community from being threatened. Do something to save lives.
You have until Thursday.
I agree. Go. So does Podblack Cat.
Also remember this. These are not autism charities. They are anti-vaccine groups. Sullivan (remember Sullivan?) put it best in his post on this matter where he lays out what the real fundraising priorities are of these groups based on where they put their money. Sullivan notes that three people donated to the SafeMinds campaign at the $1,560 level, enough to show the PSA on 25 screens in New York or Los Angeles. He notes that many others donated at lower levels. Then he notes:
The Age of Autism had another fund-raiser recently. That story was met with skepticism even though it was, I have been told, supported by Andrew Wakefield himself. The fundraiser was for legal aide for an autism family. So far, about $1800: enough to put the PSA on a little more than 25 screens. None of the prominent “editors” of the Age of Autism blog came forward in support.
SafeMinds. Age of Autism. At least you know what their priorities are. Autism isn’t number 1, vaccines are.
Same as it ever was.
Hmmm. Maybe the nefarious Bonnie Offit really is working her magic.
61 replies on “Battleground movie theaters: Skeptical activism versus the anti-vaccine movement”
Oh, you mean Bonnie! Of course!
This is OT but it’s a scream. There is a Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the following abstract happened to come up for me on a PubMed search:
“Lionel R. Milgrom, Ph.D., F.R.S.C., M.A.R.H., M.R.Hom.
Homeopathy Research Institute, London, United Kingdom.
Introduction: The Memory of Water, a âlocalâ explanation of homeopathy’s efficacy, has been supplemented recently by complementary ânonlocalâ hypotheses. One of these envisages âquantum macro-entanglementâ among patient, practitioner, and remedy to form a âPPRâ entangled state, from which the possibility of cure may manifest.
Methods: Semiotic analysis affords a geometrical description of this entangled state as a patient-centered chiral tetrahedron. Its four corners depict three different types of symptoms (of the patient, the dis-ease, and the remedial substance) and the potentized remedy.
Results: Reflecting this state in a practitioner-derived mirror-like âtherapeutic state spaceâ generates two notional patient-centered chiral tetrahedra: cure may be thought to arise from their patient-driven combination âthrough the looking glassâ of the therapeutic state space, into one polyhedron called a stella octangula or stellated octahedron; in essence, a 3-dimensional Star of David.
Conclusions: The practitioner helps in forming these notional semiotic polyhedra, but the patient is at their epicenters (i.e., the practitioner facilitates but ultimately does not control the curative process).”
I mean, is that profound, or what?
My local theater is the Rosedale 14, and I thought it was an AMC. I checked their website and the picture of the theater has AMC in gigantic letters above the front door. Is Rosedale 14 an exception or should it be removed from the list? More importantly, should I call/write to my local theater?
What is the best, most clearly written, referenced, blog post written that presents and attacks each of the antivax stawmen/lies?
If I am going to post this on FB to my friends you may be in those areas, I probably get one shot at pointing them to a resource. It should be concise and attack each of the fairy tales that they have heard.
Is Todd W.’s site the best for this? Again, pointing them at a compendium is unlikely to keep their attentions, especially the ones who are not science minded, which is most of them.
No offense to Todd and his helpers. I know they have made a great site and a great resource. But a lesson I learned recently is that if you are not familiar with the science of a matter (or science at all), someone can put up an opposing set of posts to any subject (which is what I recently did about macro economics, when I contended that no one, no expert, knows shit about anything regarding the future of our economy).
What has worked for you guys for people who you know who simply never bothered to learn about the matter?
No offense taken. I would say the best resource is probably one that specifically addresses the PSA, like Elyse’s post. There may be some other skeptical blogs out there that have also addressed the PSA. One of them may work, too.
You mean like my post from three weeks ago?
Err…like I said, there may be other posts around…
@ cervantes : how Milgrom came by this abstract – a long time ago, he had to take a semiotics course to fulfill an arcane requirement in college; about 20 years later, he scanned through a Time magazine article explaining physics for the general audience. Last year, he needed to come up with a topic for a lecture at the HRI in London, so he had some Cognac and an anti-histamine, went to bed, and prior to falling asleep, had a *brilliant idea*, which he hurriedly jotted down. The next morning, he cleaned up the syntax a bit and, “Voila!”
JM_Shep, no, you don’t. It is part of the AMC group that will not be playing the PSA. The list was written before, and the only one that needs to be contacted is the Long Beach, CA theater.
techskeptic, try http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/?cat=3 . It has an overview, then several articles. You also might try http://www.historyofvaccines.org/ .
The problem with finding one page is that there are so many different (and often wrong arguments). You can bat one down, and then they will come up more weird statements. First they say it is the thimerosal, explain that it was never a problem and removed from pediatric vaccines ten years ago. The they will say but it is the influenza vaccine, explain that vaccine is available without thimerosal. They will the say it is the aluminum… which is used in only some, and in quantities less than they breathe in everyday. Then it will be formaldehyde, which is made in their bodies as part of normal metabolism. Then they will say too many too soon… which is nothing compared to the actual diseases. Then they will say vaccines did not cause disease reduction… smallpox is now monkey pox and polio is now aseptic meningitis! Explain that there are PCR tests to determine the virus. Then they will scream it was sanitation that reduced measles. So I bring out the census data showing measles incidence from 1912 to 1997 and ask what happened between 1960 to 1970 to reduce measles by 90%. That seems to cause the most convulsions.
Can you see why one shot will not be enough?
Are you sure it was cognac and an antihistamine, and not some weird dry mushrooms his cousin brought back from Colombia?
Jacques Lacan no doubt just spooged all over his coffin lid.
Maybe. I’ll read that one again. One problem with your style is that you are loquacious. Another problem is your snark. Now don’t get me wrong. I like it, but frankly normal people (people who dont make skepticism central to their personality) are turned off by it and simply wont read it. Works for me, but not for many of my friends who can barely make it through a 460 character facebook post.
I think someone has to be weaned into your writing, much like how someone grows to like beer, or a new style of music. You are an acquired taste.
(no need to tell me I have stupid friends or anything, they arent, but frankly most of them, and i suspect most people also, do not have the same drive to wean out reality as skeptical bloggers)
Todd, I think you changed your website since I have last been on it. Upon review, I think its more along the lines of what I was thinking of. Apologies.
Maybe I’ll link both and risk bombarding low attention spans.
It seems many of these ads were intended to be aired at theatres showing the latest Harry Potter movie.
Could some enterprising person contact j.k. rowling somehow, for her opinion on the matter. She might agree with the ads, though, but who knows. If she doesn’t like them her stance might be of some weight against them.
thanks, but I am not referring antivaxxers to this issue. I am referring people who mostly havent thought hard about this issue. They may be pro-vax and simply not thought about the damage the antivaxxers do.
Thanks for those links!
J.K. Rowling’s publisher in the U.K. is Bloomsbury.
Bloomsbury’s ‘contact us’ page is here.
I have sent an email to several of the email links on that page, asking that J. K. Rowling be made aware of the situation.
Looks like Milgrom has finally gone completely batshit.
In his first papers he used to at least use comprehensible language, even if he couldn’t be bothered to do his experiments properly.
It should serve as a warning to other chemists – belief in homeopathy and chemical knowledge cannot both occupy your brain without extensive damage.
I wonder what dressing tastes best on that word salad – quantum maybe ?
Let’s all go to the lobby
Let’s all go to the lobby
Let’s all go to the lobby
And get ourselves some vax!
All kidding aside, I’m glad that up here in the Great White North we don’t have to deal with crap like this often. The worst we get hit with is the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.
If you recall, a few years back there was a program to show a free movie and do free vaccinations in a theater in New Mexico.
The movie was one in which Jim Carrey was starring, so he pulled strings and got the event canceled. The Age of Autism blog bragged about it.
Also, the PSA SafeMinds put out this year warns people, especially pregnant women and parents of very young children, about the dangers of mercury in vaccines. Why, then, did they put this out in LA? California prohibits using thimerosal containing vaccines on children under 3 and pregnant women.
This sounds kinky.
Sullivan (Bonnie Offit) #18 sayeth,
There are two reasons for this particular placement:
1. The general gullibility and susceptibility towards woo in this part of California. California wouldn’t have gotten into this mess otherwise, right?
2. Long Beach has an health department autonomous from the rest of LA County. LA County Public Health has no jurisdiction over what goes on in LB, and in fact, LB has been known to get territorial when LA County tries to intervene. LA County would have put some smackdown on this sort of crap if it were on home territory.
But for what it’s worth, I will make a phone call to somebody over at LB.
Depending on when you last visited, that may be true. I did add the table of contents a while ago to make it easier to get down to specific sections. I also took a little time to redo some of the links so they open a new tab, instead of navigating away from the page.
The link on my name is an ABC news story that insists that the ads will run:
So what is wrong in demanding thermisol free vaccines? Obviously, there has been issues with mercury in vaccines (otherwise, why would it have been banned?)..I don’t see the issue in informing mothers that at least there is a choice in the matter…thermisol or none.
Impecable logic there. While I wish all regulations were made with the best reasoning this is simply not always the case.
Actually they have not been banned though in some places they are not generally given to certain age groups (last year I got an H1N1 vaccine with thermisol and Orac got a flu vaccine with it this year so obviously it is not banned). However there is no real evidence that thermisol is a problem even if those at AoA and Generation Rescue believe it is. Also, these groups are not simply trying to get thermisol out of vaccines, they really are anti-vaccine, mercury or not.
Thimerosal was removed from most vaccines, not for any science-based reason, but because parents were concerned and vaccine refusals were on the rise.
I think a qualification is in order:Thimerosal IS known for toxic and allergenic effects. From what I have read, I think there was a reasonable case to be made for replacing vaccines with thimerosal, even apart from concerns over mercury toxicity. Unfortunately, reasonable concerns have long since been obscured by the autism boogeyman.
Why don’r you shut the fuck up about vaccines, idiot? If you want to get one go ahead, I’m not going to force the damn things up our ass. MY family chooses not to vaccinate; for obvious reasons. You want to place a ubiquitous virus into your butt? I find your reasoning obfuscatory. We lived for hundreds of years without vaccines, why do we need them now? Seriously, what the fuck is your obssession? Say scientists are right. OK, so we made it 13.7 billion years to now. Suddenyl, we need to start injecting shit in our blood? Fuck that. I’ ll continue to eat lean meats, vegetables, and healthy nuts to ward off disease. You can stick little poisonous unintelliglbe needles into your butt; no thanks. One day we’ll look back at your sorry ass and laugh like our parents used to. What the hell is our country coming to? Tea Party is rampant, scientitst are shoving vaccines and abortions up our ass. I need to move out the country to a more sane region.
It’s amazing that the anti-vaxxers would idolize someone like Andrew Wakefield who stood to profit from discrediting one vaccine regimen by holding a patent on another. I wonder how they rationalize that. As for Wakefield, I guess he burned all his boats so going full woo is the only way to turn these days.
Thimerosal is not a problem for adults.
It is a big problem for 1 day babies and hence a logical explanation for the sudden rise in autism.
To give mercury injections to the unborn child is madness.
Evidence? Proof? Cite?
Whenever people in Africa were near Acacia xanthophloea, they were likely to get malaria. It was logical, then, for them to believe that the tree caused the Malaria. Hence its common name of Fever Tree. It was also wrong.
Straw Man squared. Pregnant women don’t get thimerosal containing vaccinations and thimerosal is to mercury as table salt is to sodium.
Fryer-whale.to-Chemist: You’ve been reading Handley et al’s old notes from 5-6 years ago. Those extremists have moved on, perhaps you should too.
Who let Fryer out of the basement?
Nice rant. Moving toward sanity will not make you more comfortable I fear.
Oh, and in the golden old days, people died needlessly without vaccines. Good luck and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
And we also lived with non-trivial lifetime odds of getting Polio, Smallpox, Measles, etc.
Those that actually survived childbirth and the first year or so of life. People like Noddin forget about the high rate of stillbirths, miscarriages and infant mortality back in the “good ol’ days”.
Damn, Noddin. (Poe?)
Are you referring to the universe? The human species is only a few million years old.
Yeah, good luck with that.
I’d love to get me some “intelligible” needles too!
Wait, so are Regal Cinemas showing this crap? I see them listed at the top, but then the updated list doesn’t mention them.
When in doubt, I’d say just contact the theater to express your concern.
MY family chooses not to vaccinate; for obvious reasons./i>
What obvious reasons are those?
You want to place a ubiquitous virus into your butt? I find your reasoning obfuscatory. We lived for hundreds of years without vaccines, why do we need them now?
Perhaps you think the past was all candy floss and rainbows. Go look up a few photos of kids suffering from smallpox, polio etc., go and look up historical mortality rates in infants and children and see if the clue sinks in.
Count your blessings you live in an age where most people sensibly choose to be vaccinated.
Seriously, what the fuck is your obssession? Say scientists are right. OK, so we made it 13.7 billion years to now. Suddenyl, we need to start injecting shit in our blood?
The stupid, it burns.
Fuck that. I’ ll continue to eat lean meats, vegetables, and healthy nuts to ward off disease.
Eating a healthy diet might be a good idea but it doesn’t turn you into superman. It does not magically protect you from infections that your body is unfamiliar with.
You can stick little poisonous unintelliglbe needles into your butt; no thanks. One day we’ll look back at your sorry ass and laugh like our parents used to. What the hell is our country coming to?
Well if your views were representative, then I suggest your country is about to enter a new dark age.
Tea Party is rampant, scientitst are shoving vaccines and abortions up our ass. I need to move out the country to a more sane region.
I believe parts of sub-Saharan Africa might suit you better.
You must be unfamiliar with Andrew Moulden M.D. – anti-vaccination whackaloon, fringe politician and autism con-man extraordinaire.
Not sure if you’re a drunk, a poe, both, or if you’re just well and truly pig ignorant and borderline illiterate. However, I wanted to say that your quote has just been submitted to Fundies Say The Darndest Things (under CSTDT). I really, really hope they take it!
We lived for hundreds of years without vaccines. Well it was thousands (millions if you want to get technical) and most of us _didn’t_ live. Infant and maternal mortality is nature’s population control in the absence of effective contraception.
Dare I ask? Have you ever spent time in an old graveyard? I did recently. The ages of the many, many dead children, sometimes 2 or more from one family in a matter of days, was not something a modern society would tolerate.
You can stick little poisonous unintelliglbe needles into your butt; no thanks.
Are unintelligible rants caused by unintelligible needles? And what’s with this obsession with things stuck in butts? Is this guy one of those people who keeps on wailing about gays shoving their agendas and other things down his throat?
Never once have I gotten a vaccine in my butt.
Am I missing out on something?
I don’t think so, kittywhumpus, since gamma globulin (not a virus, IIRC) is the only gluteus maximus injection I’ve dealt with.
OW, by the way.
Am I the only one to see the irony of this being posted by someone selling a way to inhale toxins into lungs?
Oh, and Noddin, go practice some reading on books about the good ol’ days when one in three kids born never made it past age five. William Shakespeare had at least three kids, only one lived past him. Wolfgang Mozart and his wife had six kids, only two made it past infancy. Of at least four babies Mary Shelley gave birth to, only one made to adulthood (the loss of her children, were part of why she wrote Frankenstein — one of her children died from malaria).
My maternal grandmother had two sisters that I knew about. It was when a cousin sent me the family Bible that I learned she also had two brothers. One died when he was about ten months old, and the other when he was six years old. Just go visit an older cemetery.
You might want to watch and listen to The Vaccine Song.
I wonder if safeminds will be getting their money back. For that matter, I wonder if they’ll be giving refunds to their donors – they’re still soliciting donations on paypal as of today. Fraud?
I wonder if safeminds will be getting their money back. For that matter, I wonder if they’ll be giving refunds to their donors – they’re still soliciting donations on paypal as of today. Fraud?
@Noddin the fool,
My grandmother who died recently at age 104 had a twin who died at age 12 (I think) of the flu. I’ll bet he would have been thrilled to get a thimerosal laced flu vaccine. Too bad it wasn’t available.
Did you people even watch the video? It mentioned nothing about autism. I hope anyone who called in to the theaters is proud of themselves. I’m sure the future babies and children that suffer any toxic effects will thank you. Good job. (excluding David N Brown who had the decency to say what he did in #26). Sorry, David, that may get you 20 lashes here!
Jen – the fact it didn’t mention autism was the whole point. You know, the fact a supposed autism organization is more concerned with vaccines than autism.
jen strikes out yet again. How pathetic.
According to Kent Heckenlively, posting at AoA today,
“I think the new Safe Minds public safety announcements being shown in movie theaters in Oregon is also a wonderful development.”
Oregon is not listed in the main article. Have we been protesting to the wrong theatre?
Well, it seems to be official. Age of Autism is whining about how the SafeMinds commercial was rejected by AMC. They suggest contacting AMC to complain. I’ve just contacted AMC to thank them, and I’d suggest you do so too.
The link to contact AMC is on my name.
The latest update from AoA
Feel free to try to leave a comment at Age of Autism, but be aware that comments there are aggressively moderated. Comments disagreeing with their world-view are rarely (if ever) posted. I recommend that you keep a copy of your comment & forward the comment to Silenced by Age of Autism
Thanks for the opportunity but I’ve rarely ever gotten a challenging comment on AoA. Not worth the effort but I will check AMC first for movies from now on.
Symptoms such as itching, burning, pink hands and feet, swelling, hypertension, loss of hair, and kidney disfunction, of course.
Joseph, I’ve found my blood pressure rises when I read posts from AoA.
Clearly, AoA causes autism. The fact I don’t have autism is a moot point.
“MY family chooses not to vaccinate; for obvious reasons.”
Because your family consists of idiots when it comes to issues like vaccination and herd immunity, right?