Antivaccine nonsense Autism Quackery

Science is quite safe from your pitiful little band…

I’m having a hard time keeping myself from laughing uproariously. I’m talking gut-wrenching belly laughs, the kind that are so intense that you have trouble catching your breath between paroxysms of laughter, the kind that threaten to force the contents of your stomach to go the wrong way, up and out. What, you may ask, is so hilarious that it would make me laugh so hard that it hurts? Let’s go back to last week, when I urged my readers to rally the troops to counter a couple of different antivaccine activities, one of which will occur later today. This is the appearance of the Dark Lord of Vaccine Pseudoscience himself, disgraced “scientist” and gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in response to Brian Deer’s appearance at the University of Wisconsin as part of its Distinguished Lecture Series in Life Sciences. At the time, Andrew Wakefield’s personal P.R. machine and propaganda organ, Age of Autism, hadn’t yet settled on a location for His Fraudness’s desperate attempt to remain relevant after his utter disgrace (i.e., his promised press conference).

Now Wakefield’s handler have:

Researcher and patient advocate Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath, will hold a press conference with Midwest autism families at a public park in LaCrosse, Wisconsin on Thursday, October 4 from 1-1:45 p.m.

The information session will be at the Myrick Park Gun Shelter, 2020 Myrick Park Drive, just north of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse off Highway 16/LaCrosse Street.

My first thought upon reading this was something along the lines of “What, they couldn’t afford a bowling alley? At least there would be a bar there.” Certainly alcohol would be necessary to fortify oneself against Wakefield’s misinformation Then I did some Googling. The Myrick Park Gun Shelter is described as costing $140 a day for a non-resident to rent and having a capacity of 40 people. That’s right, 40 people. It’s described as follows:

This cabin style shelter is located right next to the Myrick/Hixon Ecopark, as well as the Kid’s Coulee Playground, and is great for any reuinon or get-together! The shelter includes a fireplace as well as 6 interior tables and 4-5 exterior tables.

And here’s a picture I found on the La Crosse website:

How cozy. It’s also one of the smaller shelters offered by the City of La Crosse. I’m guessing that the organizers of this little antivaccine whine-fest know how many people will be there. After all, using Myrick Main or the Riverside Bandshell, which accommodate 100 and 300 people, respectively, would make it painfully obvious what a pitiful band Wakefield’s groupies are. I mentioned that I had heard it through the grapevine that Wakefield is being featured in a new antivaccine propaganda movie and that his appearance in La Crosse would be filmed (which led me to speculate that he would likely try at some point to crash one of Brian Deer’s talks). I’m guessing they’ll be using all sorts of careful camera placements to make it look as though there’s a crowd there. It’ll be a crowd that consists of people who can write something like this with a straight face:

Because of deer and his stupidity important research gets
delayed.Go home mr.deer,you caused lot of damage and lot of pain already.
I wish I could be there at your presentation Dr.Wakefield.
Stay strong and protect the children.Please keep us up-dated. Thank you.

Yes, this is one of the commenters on AoA, and she’s got it exactly wrong. So much time, energy, and research dollars have been wasted chasing a highly improbable hypothesis (that vaccines cause autism). The opportunity cost of that diversion is staggering, and the public health cost even more so. And who, arguably more than anyone else, is responsible for that diversion of research effort down an unproductive blind alley? Andrew Wakefield. Paid off by a trial lawyer to manufacture research to use in lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers, Wakefield stands accused of scientific fraud and an undisclosed conflicts of interest, uncovered by, of course, the investigative journalism of Brian Deer.

Today ought to be…interesting in La Crosse. One wonders if any skeptics would be allowed anywhere near that log cabin in which Wakefield will be trying to rally his little band of groupies.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

108 replies on “Science is quite safe from your pitiful little band…”

Well, I wonder if I need to leave early for LaCrosse as I had planned in order to see both speakers? Is the event open to the public even? In a way, I now feel challenged to get in just to see these people for myself–all twelve of them.

Anyone got a zinger question to ask should the opportunity arise? My adult daughter who has long pink hair and loads of tattoos is going with me. I figured I could tell them she had all her childhood vax repeated because of lost shot records (true) and just look what it did to her! Maybe she could drool a little at this point.

No, really, she wants to hear Mr. Deer because she’s collided with a few anti-vax types and because I’ve shared a lot of your blinking light wisdom with her. We’ll likely skip the Little House in the Woods love fest. What the heck is a “gun park” anyway?

I hadn’t actually pictured it as having walls, but I suppose the fellows that have left the area polluted with lead shot probably were early-bird types.

Jeez Orac, you missed Dan Olmsted’s first blog about Wakefield’s “press conference” where he notified his readership about the LaCrosse Tribune blog that has chosen to label Brian Deer’s Seminars and Andy’s “press conference” as the “Vaccine Autism Debate”.

Immediately, the Dachel bot, “Twyla” and other assorted cranks started flooded the LaCrosse Tribune blog with spamming posts.

“Science Mom”, Matt Carey from LB/RB and I have been posting back at these thread-derailing Wakefield-apologists posters. For some reason, some of the idiots think I am Matt Carey. (Well, their gender-bending crackpot idea that Sullivan was Bonnie Offit, didn’t pan out, did it?)

I don’t think the AoA gang is too pleased with me…which pleases me immensely.

Lilady. The *ASD Researcher* has a familiar writing style. I think I have come up against him at HufPo. Same crap citations, same conflating GI issues as a cause and not a *possible* co-morbidity, same smart (dumb) ass style.

“Merton” who posts along with us at the Ho-Po agrees with you, yet “Science Mom” thinks ASD Researcher is “Blackheart” who trolled RI, months ago.

Lead poisoning in Nigeria due to gold mining. Checking the comments at NPR, I find this gem in the comments:

Lady Bird
“When they start treating the masses for the real stealth prion protein infections causeing all the syndromes and getting rid of the toxic metals built up that SICK cells cannot eliminate then the people will have a chance.”

There’s more, but you get the idea. Autism is also mentioned.

I hadn’t run across the prion/heavy metals/autism confabulation before.

@Anji, you mean autism isn’t caused by quantum entanglement? Or maybe that’s homeopathy… which as every alternative reality medicine expert knows is the cure for autism!


I hadn’t run across the prion/heavy metals/autism confabulation before.

It’s brand new to me too.

Today’s Post-Dispatch has an article on Mark Geier’s upcoming med license review. No false ‘tell both sides’. It clearly states why his license has been pulled in other states and that he claims to be treating 15 year old’s for precocious puberty. Just a few years ago, the tone was completely different. Missouri’s reg board is very slow to remove quacks, so they flock here.

“Merton” who posts along with us at the Ho-Po agrees with you, yet “Science Mom” thinks ASD Researcher is “Blackheart” who trolled RI, months ago.

Kelly and lilady, they are one and the same. ASD Researcher=John Richard Smith=blackheart.

I hadn’t run across the prion/heavy metals/autism confabulation before.

That may explain why Lowell’s gishgallop webpage includes this link to a study on prions among all the other irrelevant, misunderstood citations and links to cranks, quacks and antivaxx websites. It is one of several citations there that puzzled me as I couldn’t imagine why anyone would think they had even a tangential relevance to vaccines or autism.

I must share one howler I found there, this link to a study on microbial byproducts that act as adjuvants. Someone obviously just read the title, ‘Autoimmunity, infection and adjuvants’ and got not just the wrong end of the stick, but the wrong stick.


I saw that article this morning. I think my favorite paragraph was this:

David Geier said Wednesday that “many peer-reviewed scientific studies” have been published that support the theory. All of the research articles cited on the ASD Centers’ website are co-authored by Mark or David Geier.


That was great. The whole tone is skeptical of Geiers’ claims. But since Todd Akins is my congressman, I know debunked junk science sticks in some minds for decades.

I realise that the *gun shelter* may be rather small but imagine what a LIVELY place it will become when filled to capacity, bursting with fervent, passionate advocates of ‘scientific integrity’. I’m confident that there will be invigorating speeches – lovingly recorded for posterity- and enthusiastic cries of support; then perhaps even a march or a protest of some sort will transpire, moving the entire congregation over to another venue on the campus where the public might witness their righteous ire in full resplendence. I expect that various spokespersons will shout derisively concerning ‘corrupt journalism’ via megaphone, waving makeshift signs. Oh, they’ve been working themselves up for this for a long time.

I think that we’ve seen a bit of this outside the GMC hearings and at rallies in the US ( there was another one in a park, IIRC) and at several events Louise Kuo Habakus has sponsored or atttended.
All of the ‘prenticed woo-meisters and rabble rousers will have worked diligently on the presentation of their comments and possibly, on their mind-numbingly, achingly awful questions aimed at the Dark Lord of SB Journalism himself: Jake has been prepping for this years.

We will be able to observe the goings-on and carryings-on over the internet. I’m so glad that I canna watch video on this machine: the photos will be bad enough.

Still, woo-meisters say that laughter is the best medicine.

Lilady and Science Mom! Bingo….John Richard Smith. His smarmy style is like a fingerprint.

Ladybird kind of sounds like the Lymeslime lady on HuffPo. The whole prions thing. Maybe Ladybird is the Lymeslime lady when she is taking her psych meds.

Ruth/Todd–The StL P-D reporter gave me a heads up yesterday that this was coming out–she’s been looking for local parents to speak out against the Geiers, but as you know the autism biomed movement is pretty strong here, so I wasn’t able to find anyone for her. If either of you ever hear from any St L or Missouri parents willing to talk, let her (Blythe Bernhard) know; anything that might help shut these quacks down down here would be great. I frequently forward blog postings about the Geiers (from LB/RB, RI and to her to remind her to keep on top of this. It’s embarrassing how slow MO is to take action–but as Ruth said, this is the state that gave the country Todd Akin.

Denise Walter @ 10:42 a.m., Wakefield will undoubtedly use the venue that mocks him so to mark the humble place where HE will make his stand and keep fighting for the children (please send donations to the Wakefield Justice Fund), where HE will lead his devoted followers to the fight for their health freedom (please send donations to the Wakefield Justice Fund) and where HE, like so many other brave mavericks before him will reveal the truth and confront his oppressors to his dying days (please send donations to the Wakefield Justice Fund).

How’d I do?


Not local to the MO area, but I’ve also been trying to keep covering the Geiers at HS. I recall that last year there were some rumblings about the MO board starting to look into Mark Geier, but nothing has materialized.

@Science Mom

You forgot to capitalize TruthTM.

Dear god, why not just have an autism pot luck?

Looks like AoA’s stalker in chief isn’t going to be there. Does this mean he’s going to attend Mr. Deer’s speech?

You forgot to capitalize Truth™.

You’re right and I find it’s easier to just cheat. I wonder if either of these work: ™ ™

Since Wakefield does like to feign assimilation into local cultures and it is Oktoberfest in Wisconsin, I would like to visualise for my entertainment Wakefield giving his “press conference” in the homey shack, wrapped in the American flag (of course), wearing a cheesehead whilst inspirational Oompah music is playing in the background (most likely from a nearby bandshell).

And the American flag has to be small enough that his lederhosen are clearly visible! It isn’t an authentic celebration of Oktoberfest without guys in lederhosen!

“ASD researcher”????
John Richard Smith is a psychologist by qualification but has nothing to do with ASD research. All his “research” comes directly from the Jenny McBubblehead school of Google Uni, where a few hours internet surfing qualifies one to know more than specialists who have spent years studying the topic in real life.


They’d be too scared to have a potluck. I mean… all that aluminum, aluminum foil, etc – they’d have to detox for weeks!

And the American flag has to be small enough that his lederhosen are clearly visible! It isn’t an authentic celebration of Oktoberfest without guys in lederhosen!

I’m not sure what I could give to see that entire image.

“ASD researcher”????
John Richard Smith is a psychologist by qualification but has nothing to do with ASD research. All his “research” comes directly from the Jenny McBubblehead school of Google Uni, where a few hours internet surfing qualifies one to know more than specialists who have spent years studying the topic in real life.

He’s been called out on his misrepresentation and sock-puppetry there and elsewhere. Not that lying about yourself makes any difference to the AoA critters who are lapping his bollocks up like pablum. And one proudly proclaims THEY are the ones who follow “evidence-based science”, I kid you not. I’m almost embarrassed for them.

My first thought upon reading this was something along the lines of “What, they couldn’t afford a bowling alley? At least there would be a bar there.” Certainly alcohol would be necessary to fortify oneself against Wakefield’s misinformation

From the looks of that place, the only alcohol there would be served in Mason jars.


I live in St. Louis county and have a child with autism, but have no direct contact with the Geiers. I would be glad to work with an anti-quack reporter, if I could be of any use. I am also an unemployed toxicologist.

When we moved here, I found the local support groups were so dominated by biomed parents, I really had no one to turn to. My daughter is doing well in Rockwood schools-the teachers have amazing skills and dedication.

The Lacrosse Tribune Reporter where Science Mom and I have been posting, has this to say about the “Vaccine-Autism Debate”

“Thursday’s vaccine brouhaha

The international vaccine-autism debate between medical professionals and outraged parents comes to town Thursday in Brobdingnagian fashion, as Sunday’s Tribune pointed out.

(Last I checked, the story had more than 200 comments.)

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, whose 1998 Lancet report linked the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine with the onset of autism – a study since dismissed by the medical journal – has confirmed a location for his Thursday presentation.

Wakefield is scheduled to speak 1 p.m. at the La Crosse Gun Club shelter in Myrick Park.

As reported this weekend, Wakefield is coming to town in response to news of an upcoming visit from British reporter Brian Deer. Since 2004, Deer has exposed Wakefield’s conflicts of interest and questionable research practices.

Deer is scheduled to present 5:30 p.m. Thursday and 3:30 p.m. Friday at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Centennial Hall.”

Interesting, that this LaCrosse Tribune cub reporter who reports on schools and colleges, was chosen to report on the ‘international vaccine-autism debate between medical professionals and outraged parents’….and Andy’s “press conference”.

Interesting, that this LaCrosse Tribune cub reporter who reports on schools and colleges, was chosen to report on the ‘international vaccine-autism debate between medical professionals and outraged parents’

Um, he’s the education reporter. The event is at the local university. Whether he fully appreciates that the comments have long since stopped coming from La Crosse, if indeed any did in the first place.

Did Patrick Anderson graduate from the Dan Olmsted/Jake Crosby School of Reporting? Not the brightest bulb on the tree is he?

@ Science…clever, and a “keeper.” How about “a few cans short of a six pack”?

@ Narad: I think the “education reporter” is delighted that his first blog evoked so many responses.

Look what I found…an opinion piece by an ID doctor on the LaCrosse Tribune site. I just posted there, where not too many trolls have taken up residence. Make sure you “vote”, as well:

I think the “education reporter” is delighted that his first blog evoked so many responses.

He’s been with the paper since June 2011. I really don’t get what the issue is supposed to be, but perhaps that’s because I have some second-hand familiarity with small-market print and radio reporting.


I have two daughters on the spectrum, and they are doing very well in Parkway, thanks to evidence-based therapy and no quackery. I like to leave the doctoring to the real doctors.

You might want to email Blythe…I’m sure she would be interested in your background as a toxicologist. She can be reached at [email protected].

“Researcher and patient advocate Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath”

Another “patient advocate”! Does he really want that company?

Note that of the 15 letters after his name, Mr. Wakefield is entitled to use 4. From what I can gather, he was expelled from one “royal college” and, apparently, never paid his dues to remain in the other.

What a pathetic group of ill-informed ‘follow the herd’ type of posts.

Those of you posting on this hateful article are the same people falling in line at Walgreens getting their mercury-laden flu shots…oh well…at least this is one way to clear out the herd…

Happy Vaccinating!!

Oh boy the hits keep coming. The deeply misinformed Rob Schneider will be on live radio tomorrow. Elyse Anders of Skepchick has some good suggestions.

If you’re local, tune into X 96 (96.3 FM) tomorrow morning at 7 am local time.
If you’re not near Salt Lake City, listen online at 7 am MDT which is 9 am EDT.
Call in during the show to talk to Mr. Schneider* and confront him with weird ass facts that he’s discussing. 877-602-9696


This is another one that could use some comment bombing. The stupid here is pure and strong.

@ Science Mom:

8 out of possible 10.
However, I can’t quite place which anti-vaxxer you’re channelling…too restrained for Jake; word usage is too normal for Olmsted. Mike Adams would talk more about
the Police State … aThinking Mom would use more
exclamation points. Maybe the Canary Party?
I give up.

He’s been with the paper since June 2011. I really don’t get what the issue is supposed to be, but perhaps that’s because I have some second-hand familiarity with small-market print and radio reporting.

Well he does seemed overly-pleased with himself and the number of comments his crappy article generated. But my problem is moreso with the fact that he announced, “Vaccine-autism debate coming to La Crosse” when it was just Brian Deer invited to speak which is one shy of an actual debate and the other potential half of that debate would be yodelling over a mile away in a shack.

But my problem is moreso with the fact that he announced, “Vaccine-autism debate coming to La Crosse”

Has it been established that he writes his own heds?

Not that I’m aware of Narad but it seems pretty consistent with what the first paragraph implication is:

“Two of the most prominent figures in the debate over whether vaccines contribute to autism are coming to La Crosse.

Andrew Wakefield, the English doctor who championed the now-dismissed link between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and the onset of autism, and Brian Deer, the newspaper reporter who showed how the study’s findings were manipulated and embellished, will speak Thursday.”

Some news and pics have appeared on Facebook regarding the Wakefield “news conference”. I looked at all the pictures Anne Dachel posted and the most people I can see in any one picture is 25 (or 26 counting Anne).

The entire event appears to have taken place outdoors – it was a beautiful day. There are pictures of Wakefield setting up, of his books on display next the podium. Of someone introducing him, then of him speaking, and finally quite a few pics of the faithful having their pictures taken with Wakefield. A pitiful rump indeed. Even Jake couldn’t bother to attend.

Not that I’m aware of Narad but it seems pretty consistent with what the first paragraph implication is

I don’t think a flaw in the lede is any particular reason for the guy to be given a hard time. Certainly, nothing can be gained by complaints in a separate venue other than alienation on the off chance that he were to wander over and observe them.

@ Kelly: I believe CIA Parker has always claimed her child had encephalitis from the first hepatitis B vaccine, given in the hospital…not the DTaP vaccine (See comment here)…

CIA Parker kept posting on the “Shot of Prevention” blog with that same b.s. Another troll came along with a similar b.s. story at the SOP blog…which could have been one of CIA’s many sockies. I need a scorecard to keep track of the morphing trolls’ sockies.

My Report From The Field:

Deer was great! Very self-deprecating at times and very sincere in his ultimate concern for the kids. He seemed truly filled with disgust at a couple of points when recounting Wakefield’s apparently deliberate data manipulations and the tests he did on those original 12 kids. I thought I knew a lot about this case, but Deer takes it back to the very beginning and retraces Wakefield’s journey from young doctor to fraud and quack is lengthy and tortured. It is clear that Deer loathes him. I may have had some idea that Wakefield was just badly led astray by misreading his findings, but according to Deer, it was very deliberate, every step of the way. I haven’t read ORAC’s posts on this for a while, so maybe it is all there and I don’t recall.

The woman who introduced him (from the Biology Dept) made it very clear that this was about how the MMR scare came about, NOT about any controversy. She said the question was definitely settled and that “this University will not invite speakers who try to claim otherwise”–or words to that effect.

Brian Deer apparently just found out about the gun club shelter event and found it amusing. He doesn’t mince words and flat out said he didn’t much like the questions on note cards format although he understood “what they were trying to achive” with it. I think he thought some of the questions were designed to bait him and he would rather have dealt with those people face to face. He deferred to “expert medical opinion” on questions about vaccine schedules and other medical questions. He stuck very close to what was clearly established and I wonder if he is concerned about libel what with the state of libel laws in England (although some changes are being discussed I believe).

As we were walking toward the auditorium some very hippy-type people with a very odd child asked something and we said, “oh, this way, which talk are you going to?” They made a bit of a face and replied with one curt word: “Deer”. This was in a sea of college students, so they really stood out. I half expected them to jump up at some point and yell, “you lie!”, but nothing happened so maybe I misread them.

A great time and a beautiful drive with the trees in full autumn splendor.

@ JBC A few of your observations are quite interesting…

“The woman who introduced him (from the Biology Dept) made it very clear that this was about how the MMR scare came about, NOT about any controversy. She said the question was definitely settled and that “this University will not invite speakers who try to claim otherwise”–or words to that effect.”

I’m wondering if *Team Wakefield* tried to rent a small meeting room nearby the auditorium…or even requested that Wakefield be allotted some equal time to *discuss the Vaccine-Autism Debate*.

“As we were walking toward the auditorium some very hippy-type people with a very odd child asked something and we said, “oh, this way, which talk are you going to?” They made a bit of a face and replied with one curt word: “Deer”.

Why would a ‘hippy-type’ couple drag a child to Deer’s presentation? Perhaps to link up with other anti-vaxxers (who were no-shows) and create a disturbance and put their child in Deer’s face?

Anne Dachel on her Facebook page, stated she was going to attend the Wakefield *press conference* and Deer’s presentation. I’m certain she and other attendees will be posting on AoA’s blog.

I’d like to think that our posts back and forth on the LaCrosse Tribune blog were noticed by the students and faculty at LaCrosse, so that they all know how crazy *Team Wakefield* cranks are.

For some time, I stopped reading AoA but look like I’m curious about their reaction to Deer’s presentation.


@Alain – it was probably be full of how they can’t stand his “demeanor” or “attitude” or something to that effect. They can’t challenge his facts (with real rebuttals of evidence) so they’ll just claim he was being “mean” to AW.

I was thinking this morning, as to why AW remains such as focus for groups like AoA & I realized that he is about the only “once-legitimate” researcher that fully jumped on the Autism-Vaccine bandwagon…..he’s all they have, even after his being discredited, there isn’t anyone else that has a “real” – and you know how that term gets used here, study that they can point to that has anything to do with connecting autism to vaccines…..

Without AW, they don’t have anyone with any credentials (not that Wakefield has any, anymore), who care add any legitimacy to their message.

Scary, huh?

>co-authored by Mark or David Geier.

are you aware that Geier is the German word for vulture?

@ Lawrence:

I suspect that AJW, like other woo-meisters, serves as a rallying point for disturbed people who have an axe to grind against ill fortune that has visited them ( -btw- Olmsted shares today that Andy has more axes in his toolshed) as well as their *collective* gripes about not having made more of a splash in their own lives. So they blame the world for their woes. Just like they blame autism on vaccines.

Some may live vicariously through the exploits of their martyred hero or use him as a role model ( I guess Jake couldn’t get into medical school, so epi it is). Hero worship is a strange thing: rather than working on your own tasks in life and honing your own skills, you admire someone else’s so-called abilities, perhaps even imagining the other as something more than an object of worship alone. They identify with Andy as a martyr and might imagine him as a companion of sorts in their harsh trudge through life: both of them unappreciated and mis-understood and PERSECUTED by the powerful and corrupt. This makes them feel better about themselves. So the worshipper’s low spirits are raised through worship and identification with the object of their love: they bask in his light.

However, if you only see good in the beloved and yourself, the focus of evil or even any hint of wrong must be cast elsewhere- along with your aspersions. Thus if you have a g-d there’s got to be a demon: the world is divided into shadow and light without any gradations in-between. Guess where we reside.

I suspect that many of these parents who hang around with anti-vax communities on the net retreat from their own problems in this manner; fantasy can be a useful respite for stressed people or a means of planning for a future life change BUT in adults, it might just represent a huge waste of time that could be better utilised by attaining education or helping their children learn to function better in the real world with assistance from experts- whom they sometimes
paint with the same tarry brush as they do critics( see TMR).

Yes Andy serves a useful purpose as an object or worship and love in unhappy lives. At least that is an improvement over performing unwarranted tests on children.

OMG. Just watched the video. Andy looks crazier and crazier.

Just FYI here; it’s not a press conference when the only cameras there are the ones on your minion’s cell phones and the one local affiliate needing a fluff story.

Dingo199 – I did not pick him as having psych qualifications. He has never actually been registered to practice has he?

Being a psych ( registered for 20 years or so now) I can usually pick people with psych backgrounds – I must be losing my touch.

My favorite part of the article:

Presenting a stoic figure in the windy autumn afternoon at Myrick, Wakefield called Deer a “Murdoch” journalist.

“We are now on the offense,” Wakefield said.

He accused Deer of deception and incompetence, and wondered at the public acceptance of Deer’s reporting.

“This is a man who the medical profession, public health, the pharmaceutical industry, the world health organization and, indeed, this university across the road appear to have invested their trust and belief,” Wakefield said.

The fact that Wakefield would accuse Deer of incompetence and deception is mind blowing to me. This is something along the lines of Danny DeVito insisting he was taller than George Clooney, or someone standing outside in a downpour claiming to be dry as a bone.

Maybe they believe Brian Deer because he actually shows his work, backs up his statements with FACTS, and doesn’t require the attention of a personality cult that Andy needs.

Robyne, if you have a religious objection to the use of thimerosal as a preservative in vaccine formulations (there are, after all, no credible medical counter-indications to its use) be aware that Walgreens also offers a thimerosal free vaccine on request as well (trade name Afluria).

See you at Walgreens!


What a pathetic group of ill-informed ‘follow the herd’ type of posts.

Those of you posting on this hateful article are the same people falling in line at Walgreens getting their mercury-laden flu shots

Please tell us how you are not following the “Mercury Mom” herd by using a statement that is a decade out of date. Do tell us which vaccines on the American pediatric schedule is only available with thimerosal. Don’t use influenza, because of the eight influenza vaccines approved for children, four (yes, that is half!) have no thimerosal.

I’ve already posted on the latest LaCrosse Tribune blog:

I’m haven’t even addressed any of the Dachel bot’s posts or the posts of other cranks…I did so on the two previous Tribune blogs. My objective now is to refer Tribune readers to the scurrilous, vile blogs emanating from AoA directed to Deer and every other individual who is on their “hit list”.

Lawrence @5:54 am you know them very well! I took my first slumming trip to the AoA comments and found this:

I actually believe that Deer’s arrogance and self congratulatory BS showed though loud and clear and may have worked against him in an audience of young adults with modest Midwest values.

The rest is just the usual BMJ-Godlee conspiracy nonsense. They’ve got nothin’ else.

If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says
15 miles to the, Gun Shack! gun shack yeah yeah
I’m headin’ down the Wisconsin highway, lookin’ for the love getaway
Heading for the love getaway

I got me a car, it’s as big as a whale and we’re headin’ on down
To the Gun Shack
I got me a Chrysler, it seats about 20
So come on and bring your defense fund money

The Gun Shack is a little old place where we can get together
Gun Shack baby,
Vax Quack, at the Gun Shack!
Vax Quack, at the Gun Shack!

That is fabulous Edith but damn you now I have an ear-worm with those lyrics.

Sorry – variations of that have been in my head ever since I saw the pic of the gun shelter. 🙂 We need a vaccine for earworms!


I got mine at work (for free, as part of the employee benefits package). With extra thimerosol on top, yum, yum!

@ Robyn Rohde: Is this your husband who posted at AoA?

“Those interested in attending the event, here is the complete schedule.

Andy Wakefield press conference 1:00pm at Myrick Park (Gun Club Shelter) across from the north side of the University. LaCrosse Street and Hillview.

Brian Deer presentation at Centennial Hall. This is on the south side of the university off Vine St.

Also, the town will be very chaotic. One of largest Octoberfest celebrations in the country will be taking place along with Homecoming for the university.

Need more information email me. [email protected]

Posted by: Wayne Rohde | September 29, 2012 at 05:42 PM”

Attention readers. Scan the blog to see me referred to as a “saloonkeeper”. I am honored that I am now officially on their “Enemies Lists”. 🙂

Is this your husband who posted at AoA?

That pretty much goes without saying. After that contribution, I’m kind of wondering whether the construction of the team follows the model of Charles and Tara Carreon.


I guess Jake couldn’t get into medical school, so epi it is

oufff….I nearly choked on my beer! Don’t they (med commity) run mini-interview with candidates to screen them out?


@ Alain:

I was thinking that it was apparent *long* before it ever progressed to that point..I would guess earlier difficulties in mathematics and general science .. perhaps standardised tests provided hints .


Maybe indeed. Also, consider that according to my ex-doctor (MD/PhD doing research on autism, the one who hired me), autistics needs rich access to learning material. This is why in my latest blog post, I considered Concordia university because there’s lot of demands for student in research and I get to learn a lot more and better if I get to do 2 courses or 3 while doing research on the subjects of these courses as compared to taking 4 or 5 courses covering basic material and not learning them well.

If JC couldn’t manage to do research on the subject that interested in (and according to my ex-doctor, most autistics are excellent doing research on autism), I can see why he failed to have interest in math and general science.

before you ask, I know the learning curve to work in a research group is steep (it was to me) but then, I managed to help create a meta-analysis out of 2 courses: BIO191 introductory biology and PBI128 (now PBI288) Brain and Behavior I and finally, with some elbow grease. Now, for praise, the ex-doctor said that they wouldn’t have published the studies if I wasn’t involved with them.


@ Science Mom: I’ve been posting at that new blog for hours now and having a lot of fun. 🙂

@ Alain: Jake’s undergrad degree was some gmish of assorted topics, which left him totally unqualified to apply to medical school. He’s in his second year of a two year MPH-Epidemiology program at GWU. He may graduate with that degree…but he will never be an epidemiologist. He’s burned all his bridges with his vicious blog at AoA and his stalking behaviors. Yes, he’ll b*tch and moan about his situation, but he has only himself to blame. With Jake…it’s always been an inside job.

@ lilady,

I agree, a double-major in “BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy.” isn’t going to provide much material for med school.


@ Chris: Yup Silvermaven and his prions…an example of how ridiculous those posters are.

@ Alain: I’m not certain if Jake has a clinical rotation, but if he does he will have to be up-to-date with his immunizations.

@ lilady,

I’d wagger (sp?) what’s the problem, he’s already autistics, nor harms there except he’ll have to increase his dosage of B12…


@ Alain (wager)…It is not his autism that is the **problem**, although he clearly claims he had another diagnosis earlier for which he was prescribed Ritalin (ADD/ADHD?). Mommy Nicole, who is heavily into woo, took him off Ritalin and started giving him B12 and other (unknown) types of supplements.

**Jake’s problem is that he is a spoiled brat from a very privileged background, whose outrageous stalking behavior and vile blogs are quite acceptable to mommy and daddy and his adoring sycophants at AoA.

@ lilady,

I have my oldest brother who has been prescribed Ritalin, he is also asperger but keep in mind that there are published cases studies about *some* aspies developing mental illnes[1] (regarding auties, I only have myself as example with a PTSD) but we are essentially in agreement.

[1] == I view stalking as a mental illness.


I would hesitate to call his stalking behavior a mental illness. It is bad behavior pure and simple…that is reinforced every time he stalks someone at a public meeting…blogs about it and is praised.

I assume you “lurk” over at AoA and have seen the dreadful vile blogs that he posts. They are truly atrocious.

Yes I do lurk.

regarding stalking, I agree with you and I don’t know what’s the status of stalking in itself wrt mental illness but what cause the stalking may well be indeed mental illness. I’ll have to look-up pubmed on that.


I have two comment in moderation with 8 pubmed urls (3 in the first and 5 in the second) which I might blog about wrt stalking.


Over at the Dead Marsh of decaying intellectual detritus**:

Anne Dachel posts her take on the Thurday’s events in Wisconsin. Included in the university talk was a reference ( in a slide presentation) about about a gambler who was too greedy *** which led to his downfall.
I love analogies and metaphor.

** AoA
** * I have been a great fan of Mr Scorsese for many years plus he has often makes use of my cousin’s arcane movie magic skills. The film has an opening scene that adroitly manages to synchronise a Bach piece ( Eng. trans.. something something ‘with tears falling’ or suchlike) with an exploding car. In Las Vegas. You can’t beat that!

Oh sorry for the various errata.. I’m not quite myself today.


People with SMI often imagine that they have relationships to others they don’t know and stalk them or become obsessed with them. That’s obviously the most extreme case: stalking enabled by delusion. We all hear about celebrities’ being stalked or bothered taking legal measures.

In someone who is not seriously mentally ill, it could reflect many different conditions or anomalies of personality. Or perhaps it’s just an adolescent fascination with a hero/ine, role model or fantasy partner/ enemy. Thus a failure to mature.

Rather than speculate on specifics, I’d best leave the interpretation of stalking to the police and legal experts. At what point does a nuisance become a threat?
How much should a person tolerate if others interfere in his or her life causing inconvenience and making it difficult to do one’s job? Believe it or not, I’ve experienced it myself and was able to take care of the problem on my own. I had to watch out whenever I left my place to get my car and was barraged by letters. It wasn’t fun but over time it decreased.

I’m not a psychologist, so take my opinions with the standard grain of salt.

I suspect stalking in itself isn’t mental illness, but it’d be a strong indication. If you find someone who engages in regular stalking, chances are pretty good there’s some kind of obsessive mental illness in play, either preexisting or in development.

Another topic mentioned in the thread was the hero worship. That’s very much an ongoing theme I see in a lot of woo culture, especially with regard to alties. The worst I can imagine the “establishment” doing to a parapsychologist is laughing at him, rejecting papers, or ignoring him. A quack, however, can face having his license taken away and/or be charged with practicing medicine without one, providing more martyr potential. The stakes get higher if the “hero” claims to have the one true cure or that he knows about some hidden, ubiquitous threat. The latter gives the believers a chance to play Cassandra and thus the potential to say ‘I told you so’ when the Illuminati gets exposed. I’ve seen plenty that seem to relish in the idea that we’re going to suffer as a result of dismissing them, so there’s a retributive aspect to it.

@ Bronze Dog:

Pretty good analysis! I survey how followers speak to and about their leaders and it is quite un-nerving to me because they give a great deal of creedence to nonsense and project their worshipful awe at charlatans thus further re-inforcing the woo-meisters’ grandiosity. You can read this @ AoA , TMR or listen to the ProgressiveRadioNetwork’s Talkback show. I suspect that there’s even more than hero worship going on.

In contrast, read the portrayals of their various *betes noires*. Derisive and insulting venom, often venturing into libel. This can’t be a sign of mental health or indicative of realistic skills for living. If you’re all caught up in worshipping/ hating people with whom you have NO real life relationship – and perhaps never even met- how that benefit you getting on with your own life and perhaps helping your child?

“The Stalker” is not stalking any of his heroes…he stalks people who are science bloggers, respected physicians and researchers. His “latest” is a screed against the judge in Texas who tossed out Wakefield’s lawsuit against the BMJ, Fiona Godlee and Brian Deer.

@ Denice Walter: He just doesn’t “venture into libel”…each and every one of his posts are scurrilous and libelous:


One point that I haven’t adressed is that I don’t see mental illness as an excuse for the stalking behavior JC has; he is responsible for his act.


Cover of Parade Magazine this week: Seth Mnookin’s “Truth and Consequences: The Vaccine Controversy.”

Circulation: 32.2 million
Readership: 69 million (53% Female; 47% Male)

The nutters are going to be PISSED.

@demandbanana – Parade never struck me as one that would embrace a “controversial” topic, but I’m glad they have.

Oh, and it seems one of my posts made it through the AoA filter & has got them all in a tizy again….Brian “Lawrence” Deer would be proud….lol

. . . Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath, . . .

I realize that university degrees are forever, but haven’t the RCs de-fellowed this creep? Or doesn’t it work like that?

@ Lawrence:

The responses are hilarious! They are absolutely convinced that you are ‘bought and paid for’!
Now if only you could convince Big Pharma perhaps the money will come rolling in.

@ lilady:
Well, the obsessed stalk/ insult their *betes noires* and follow/ praise their heroes/ love objects. Again, they demonstrate black-and-white thinking, oblivious to qualifiers- either all good vs all bad; notice how they refer to those they despise with scorn finding many things awful about them in ALL categories.Scarcely realistic.
-btw- we are the *noires*.

@ Molly, I don’t know the status of Wakefield’s FRCPath but he hasn’t been entitled to use FRCS since 1996 when he stopped paying his dues. Wakefield’s continued use of at least one of these titles is considered fraudulent although not against the law.

@ lilady:

As much as it pains me to suspect that Mr. Crosby and I might have anything in common besides a gender and first name, his behavior really strikes me as symptomatic of ADHD and not Asperger’s. He’s an adult, so he can do whatever he wants in terms of his own health, but let me just point out that his current lifestyle of writing angry accusatory screeds against anyone he feels is participating in his grand Big Pharma conspiracy, and stalking said individuals IRL, doesn’t require any of the sorts of skills of mental discipline that Ritalin and other drugs that he despises/fears have been proven to help with.

OTOH, as a software developer at Google, I would never have been able to get past the interview process, much less hold down a job there, without science-based meds to manage my ADHD. So I hope he will excuse the fact that I don’t share his crusade against Ritalin and his other boogiemen because I’ve seen and felt the benefits first-hand.

BTW, just saw a news story that the Tevye generic brand of Wellbutrin XL 300mg has been recalled by the FDA for not working. I guess they didn’t get the sustained-release thing working properly. I’m on that exact dosage, but the Walgreens in my area dispenses Mylan brand generics for Wellbutrin, which I’ve been taking and they work great.

So even when generic pharma screws up, there is a mechanism in place to correct for it. I’m reminded of this after following the link to Jake Crosby’s screed and noticing the big sidebar ad for some random unproven autism pills that do nothing if you’re lucky, and it’s so obvious that if he applied his 6-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon investigative research towards his own team, he probably wouldn’t like what he discovered.

@ Jake Hamby:

You are definitely a realistic person and that is part of the reason you have been successful. Conditions like LDs aren’t the end of the world and can sometimes be controlled with meds. I’d glad to hear you’re doing well.

Although AoA and other sites like TMR mention their disdain for pharmaceuticals ( for ASDs and other conditions), other anti-SBM sites advocate against ALL psychiatric drugs- including those for SMI: they broadcast horror stories and conspiratorial tirades to scare people AWAY from meds. ( Natural News, Progressive Radio Network; Mercola; ANH et al) Quite a public DIS-service.

If you are aware of the history of mental illness, you’ll know that the past 60 years have been an era witnessing- nearly simultaeously- the ultilisation of effective ( not perfect) meds for mental illness and the dismantling of institutions that societies had relied upon previously to treat mental illness, i.e. by locking people away.

While these advances are not entirely without problem ( meds/ de-institutionalisation), meds have assisted many people, with conditions ranging from LDs to depression to SMI, to live more like the rest of the population and have more choices in careers, life style and the potential for true independent living. And hopefully, to suffer less.

Your advocacy is appreciated.

@ lilady:

You are acquiring quite a bad reputation amongst the faithful @ AoA- I would wear it proudly as a compliment or a badge of merit. Inverse logic over there, you know.
Actually, they detest our esteemed and gracious host as well as the devoted and rather clever minions who provide the sparkling repartee and insightful commentary @ RI.

Here’s food for thought from Mnookin’s article: in the US, about 2% don’t vaccinate their children at all while more than 10% *selectively* vaccinate. Last year’s Reuters poll revealed that about 30% of parents had “concerns” about vaccination. Thus we are dealing with a minority- the diehards being an extreme of that minority. Loud, but a minority: we need to remember those figures and similar ones from other industrialised societies.

I know that particular areas** are *hotbeds* of anti-vax.. I like that term because it conjures up the idea of *fever* which I’m sure they’ll learn about from experience not medical history books.

** where “Uncle Stabby” lives- Santa Rosa/ Sebastopol, CA

@ Denice Walter: The AoA crowd despises me because I keep posting back at the groupies here:

They debated whether I am the LB/RB blogger…in the *fine tradition* of Handley’s gender-bending accusation that Bonnie Offit was that science blogger. Right now the consensus about me (“the saloon keeper lilady”), is that I am in the pocket of Orac.

I’ll continue to post on blogs that are of interest to me…as long as the Dachel bot alerts her groupies at AoA that she has spammed a blog with her wall of words.

Yes…it is a *badge of honor* for me to be on their Enemies List…along with respected doctors, researchers, real journalists such as Brian Deer and science bloggers.

@ lilady :

I think they confabulated the ‘Saloon Keep lady’ as a mis-interpreattion of your ‘nym- the derivation of which they can’t fathom. I won’t tell.( But I am experiencing a hilarious visual image *a la* western movies) Personally, I’m waiting for JC to go 60 degrees on Seth ( see AoA today) because the Prof knows some very *interesting* people.

HOWEVER the tragic note in this (usually) comedic opera is the fact that many of the parents who suffer the daily travails they write about/ read about @ AoA and TMR aren’t going to get the help that they deserve and need because their cohorts/ leaders scare them off of SBM and SB psychology. Often, they may also pooh pooh SB therapies for the kids as well ( some die-hards do accept these services, THANKFULLY).

@lilady – I love the fact that they are “up-in-arms” over the Gates Grant to counter anti-vaccine myths spread on the Internet, but the DaschelBot has no problem with spamming every single pro-vaccine article on the planet with her batch of cut and paste posts……

Off-topic TV alert, disappointing performance by a former (serious?) news reporter and national anchor:
On her brand-new daytime show, Katie Couric interviewed a psychic then two people who believe in Heaven and now sell books about their trip to heaven.

Katie Couric presented ZERO evidence to counter the psychic, the child who met god, or the MD who had a after-life “experience.”
Katie Couric asked NOT EVEN ONE SINGLE questioning-question, never mind report like a journalist ought to report. Even a former journalist ought to try and separate fact from fiction. The fact that she does not makes me question every single report she’s ever done.
Here is her take, in her own words:

The show in question aired on Oct 8, 2012
with former news anchor Couric empowering medium Theresa Caputo, Dr. Mary Neal and preacher’s son Colton Burpo, who at 4 had a near-death experience and at 9 writes books about it.

Katie’s “forum” requires Facebook log-in, with believers crowding the responses. Not a skeptic in sight!

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