Last Thursday I took note of a rather fascinating confluence of cranks who have come together to oppose SB 277 in California. For those not familiar with SB 277, it is a bill currently under consideration in the California Assembly that would eliminate nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates. It was passed by the Senate last month, and a couple of weeks ago it cleared its first hurdle in the Assembly, having been passed by the Assembly Health Committee on a 12-6 vote. So now it’s in the full Assembly to be debated, and it shouldn’t be too long before it comes to a vote. As I’ve said many times before, when SB 277 was first introduced, I didn’t consider its chances of becoming law to be that great, even in the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak, which was just the sort of occurrence that helped to demonstrate the problem with pockets of low vaccine uptake in the state to the world. In the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak, it became politically possible for Senator Richard Pan and Ben Allen to introduce SB 277 and actually have it considered, but even then I had a hard time envisioning SB 277 ever becoming law in the state that’s a hotbed of antivaccine celebrities and antivaccine celebrity pediatricians such as Dr. Jay Gordon and Dr. Bob Sears.
I was glad to be (probably) wrong, given that passage of SB 277 appears to have taken on an air of inevitability. True, it might still fail or be amended beyond recognition. Governor Jerry Brown might betray California children again by adding a signing statement to try restore a religious exemption, as he did with an earlier bill. However, that’s looking less and less likely, particularly after its having made it through committee.
Certainly the antivaccine opposition is doing itself no favors. What do I mean by that? Well, the confluence of cranks to which I referred at the beginning of this post was antivaccine activists uniting with the Nation of Islam and, by proxy, the Church of Scientology to oppose SB 277. Indeed, contemplating who’s crankier, the antivaccinationists or the Nation of Islam is not a straightforward question, which made me wonder just what on earth antivaccinationists thought they would gain by allying themselves with a group that is racist and antisemitic, preaching that white people are “devils,” Jews are evil, and Adolf Hitler was a person to be admired. Add to that its belief in the Great Mother Wheel or the Mother Plane, a human-built planet, a half-mile by a half-mile, a UFO that was seen by the prophet Ezekiel. No wonder the Nation of Islam has an affinity for Scientology, although given how white Scientology’s membership and leadership are it’s strange that they seem to be making beautiful cranky music together.
Oddly enough, the reaction of various prominent antivaccine bloggers to this alliance with the Nation of Islam and the town hall meeting held at an LA Scientology building last Thursday featuring Brian Hooker and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has been almost universally positive—ecstatic, even. For example:
EPIC! We have not seen The People Rise Up in Unity like this since the 60's and 70's ended the Vietnam War. TRUTH and JUSTICE will Prevail in this Land!
Posted by Californians for Vaccine Choice on Thursday, June 18, 2015
FULL HOUSE! They try to split us up but they bring us closer together instead! People of all ages, nations, races all together to fight for our kids! You don’t mess with the Nation of Islam, Robert Kennedy Jr. Or Brian Hooker! “You allow the same media who tells you that your baby got autism from natural causes, tell you about the Nation of Islam.There is wickedness in high places, the pharmaceuticals!” Tony Muhammad, speaking so much truth. ACTION ALERT, call legislators, numbers to call in pics!! #NOSB277 #CDCWHISTLEBLOWER #JUSTICEORELSE Brian Hooker, Eric Gladen, Wendy Silvers, Michelle Maher Ford, Julie Marsh Ed Arranga
Amazingly, longtime antivaccine activist and the originator of such antivaccine tropes as the claim that the Amish do not vaccinate and do not get autism, Dan Olmsted, was less than thrilled with this development. This just goes to show why Dan Olmsted is (usually) the blogger over at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism who tends to be relatively less objectionable. In a post entitled Knock-Knock-Knocking on Racism’s Door:
Sorry, but to my mind this is not a kumbaya moment. The Nation of Islam is a racist, bigoted, homophobic, woman-degrading hate group. I mean, isn’t it? It is. For Muhammad to compare the coverage of autism and the Nation of Islam is sickening, and it ought to sit poorly with us. It’s also choice to talk about “people of all ages, nations, races all together to fight for our kids” and getting “closer together” when NOI doesn’t really want white people around — they want a separate state. (“Rather than preaching a message of unification, NOI calls for segregation and separatism,” according to the Web site the blaze.com. “On the group’s web site, the denomination is clear that it wishes for African Americans to live separately from whites.”)
Sometimes it’s not the media that’s your problem, it’s the truth.
I know many in the autism activism community believe there is no problem with this association, that you use what you have to get what you need. Sorry to disagree with that, Friends, but I do. Desperate times call for desperate measures, yes, but not deals with the (small d) devils of racism, bigotry and homophobia.
This brings us to our reducto ad absurdum: Would we go to an Aryan Nation event if they agreed with us? Is “Racists For Vaccine Choice!” a placard we are prepared to get behind?
Not the best week to ask that question.
I wonder if Olmsted is aware of the increasingly close connection between the Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology. If he isn’t, his head will explode when he learns of it.
Be that as it may, one can’t help but wonder why Mr. Olmsted is so surprised and taken aback. The antivaccine movement has always shown itself to be willing to make alliances of convenience and not to be too concerned about whom it allies itself with. To answer Mr. Olmsted’s question, my prediction is that a significant percentage of the antivaccine movement would indeed ally itself with the Aryan Nations if it saw an advantage. In this particular case, the specific advantage antivaccinationists perceive comes down to two words: “CDC whistleblower.” I described the CDC whistleblower manufactroversy in more detail last time, but I can repeat the CliffsNotes version here. Basically, Brian Hooker, at the behest of a misguided CDC psychologist (now known as the “CDC Whistleblower”) incompetently “reanalyzed” a CDC dataset and claimed to find a correlation between MMR vaccination and autism in African-American boys. You can see quite quickly how black supremacist cranks like the Nation of Islam would latch onto a conspiracy theory like that, and they sure did.
And, in case you didn’t think it was all about the vaccines, rather than “health freedom” or “parental rights,” take a look at what Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. used to think of the Nation of Islam (and Jesse Jackson):
“His [Jesse Jackson’s] love affair with [Nation of Islam leader] Louis Farrakhan and his Jewish xenophobia are also unforgivable,” Kennedy adds.
“I feel dirty around him, and I feel like I’m being used. I feel like with Jesse, it’s all about Jesse.”
Yet, on Thursday night we saw this:
In the video above, RFK, Jr. is discussing the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and—you guessed it—using the CDC whistleblower narrative to claim that SB277 is another Tuskegee syphilis experiment. His narrative is chock full of conspiracy theories about big pharma, the government, the “CDC whistleblower,” and his full panoply of antivaccine pseudoscience. Hilariously, he even seems to be trying to adopt the cadences of a black preacher, as though he were trying to speak like Louis Farrakhan and Tony Muhammad. It was so bad that a credulous antivaccine treatment of RFK’s talk was nice enough to summarize it for me so that I didn’t have to find video of everything:
America’s foremost environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., whistleblower and top scientist Dr. Brian Hooker and Minister/civil rights leader Tony Muhammed addressed a standing room only crowd about California’s new Tuskegee Experiment, SB 277. Robert Kennedy calls this bill “Tuskegee Times 200,000” because of the disproportionate extent of the African-American injuries and deaths that SB 277 is scientificatlly projected to create. With the facts exposed, will the California Assembly vote to adopt what is now considered the most racist bill in California’s history? Will Jerry Brown sign a bill that will especially target Blacks with unnecessary injuries and deaths?
Brian Hooker a “top scientist”? That’s rich, really rich. Here’s a guy who bragged about the simplistic approach he took to reanalyzing the CDC dataset, which, recall, involved analyzing case control data as a cohort study and failing to control for basic confounders. In any case, apparently RFK, Jr. got really despicable. He claimed that the CDC “played with the numbers” to get rid of the autistic kids to “flatten out the numbers,” with a jaunty explanation that “”statistics don’t lie but statisticians do,” by also claiming that statistics can show that”…sex doesn’t make you pregnant” by getting rid of all the pregnant women in the study of people who have sex the same way they get rid of all the vaccine-injured participants in the studies into whether vaccines cause injuries. According to this same report, Kennedy noted that, if the CDC hadn’t lied, they could have saved 250,000 Black children who today are crippled by debilitating neurological illnesses, comparing it to the the Tuskegee Experiment, which “only” affected 399 individuals.
You get the idea. If you’ve been a regular reader her for the last year, you’re familiar with all these pseudoscientific conspiracy theories.
While I commend Dan Olmsted for actually having a problem with associating with the Nation of Islam based on its history and teachings, I’m afraid he’s very much in the minority. For instance, get a load of this commenter remonstrating with Olmsted:
Have you watched the entire meeting? I cannot believe that you have for all that I saw was 100% truth and unity in action. As a Canadian, I feel we are finally seeing a coming together where the media will be called out and politicians will be held to what is true and right. I am sure the black community will be disparaged for what they will do and more games will be played to try and divide and conquer us. Finally, though, I feel this movement for medical freedom and integrity has wings.
Crank magnetism overcomes all.
ADDENDUM: Just this morning, Kent Heckenlively, too, is ecstatic about this new alliance with the Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology, writing a post that wasn’t published when I wrote this last night, The Battle for California, Part 4 – The Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology Join the Fight Against SB 277. He reveals its roots, which were in Autism One in Chicago, where, apparently, Brian Hooker, Barry Segal, Eric Gladen, Shiloh Levine, and Robert Kennedy, Jr. had met with Minister Louis Farrakhan, whom Heckenlively portrayed as “deeply disturbed by the information” about the “CDC whistleblower” and the made up claim that the CDC had “covered up” a correlation between vaccines and autism in African-American boys. The first part of Farrakhan’s reaction:
Maybe it shouldn’t have surprised Dr. Hooker to find himself at a United Methodist Church in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 listening to Minister Farrakhan preach to an inter-faith audience of approximately 1,400 people. Near the end of his speech, Farrakhan called on the group to oppose SB 277 and urged them to call their Congressional representatives and demand that Dr. William Thompson be subpoeaned to appear before the American people and tell the truth about what had been done. Minister Farrakhan pledged to support this effort. On October 10, 2015 there will be a large march in Washington D. C. to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. Two weeks later, on October 24, 2015, the Nation of Islam will lead a protest at the CDC demanding that Dr. Thompson appear before Congress.
The funniest line of Heckenlively’s post? Obviously this one:
Dr. Hooker was impressed by Minister Farrakhan’s command of the science. As a scientist, Dr. Hooker finds most people mess up the science when they try to talk about it, but it was clear to Hooker that Farrakhan had listened closely.
Here’s a hint: If Brian Hooker is “impressed with your command of the science,” you’re doing it wrong. Very, very wrong.
No, wait. This is even funnier:
I believe it is incumbent upon us as a community to admit our shortcomings. We have not been good protestors. We do not know how to defend ourselves against powerful interests. Although we may be good warriors for our children, we are outmatched in the political arena. The Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology are superb warriors in the political struggle. When putting together a coalition our partners will have strengths and weaknesses. I welcome them to the fight and encourage others to do the same. I say let us defend our children and hold any disagreements we may have among the various groups for a later time when our common enemy lies defeated on the battlefield.
Yep. Let’s team up with those racist, Hitler-admiring conspiracy theorists and their newfound best buds, a religion made up based on the writings of a science fiction author whose adherents are known for fanaticism and harassing critics. Seriously, Kent Heckenlively should watch Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.
I say again: Do antivaccine activists really think that teaming with groups like the Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology will help them defeat SB 277? If the opposition to SB 277 was disreputable before, it goes beyond disreputable now.
ADDENDUM #2: Now Greg has chimed in:
Thanks Kent for seeing the sense in accepting NOI support in fighting for the health of our kids. But wait!! Orac and his minions are sharing how crazy we are associating with NOI. I don’t know –I am starting to rethink things now! Orac loves us and wants the best for us ‘cranks, quacks, and conspiracy theorists’. He cares passionately about what goes on here in our little ‘wretched hive of anti-vaxx scum’. Maybe we should just continue to engage them with our polite, reasoned arguments, and cooler heads will prevail and they will eventually see our point of view. LMAO!
No, Greg is, as usual, dead wrong. That was mockery and glee. Actually, I’m lovin’ it that RFK, Jr. and his fellow antivaccine activists are getting in bed with the Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology to rally opposition to SB 277. If those on the fence about the bill, perhaps over issues of health freedom or parental rights, had any doubts about the reasonableness of the opposition, those doubts will be magnified 1,000-fold by seeing RFK, Jr. getting on stage with a high ranking leader of the Nation of Islam (Tony Muhammed) and going full antivaccine crank conspiracy theorist (but I repeat myself) in a Church of Scientology building while bragging about having met with Louis Farrakhan. Seriously, Greg, I want to see more of this, as it makes the job of those supporting the bill much easier.
130 replies on “Cranks of a feather, part 2: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. cozies up the Nation of Islam over SB 277”
The level of delusionality in the comments to Olmsted’s piece is truly something to behold. Julie M:
It’s fantastic: there’s just some sort of amorphous Black blob, but the AoA commentariat has its ear to the ground. The NOI is somehow going to repeat the Million Man March. On Atlanta. Despite being leaderless and with a dwindling membership.
Seriously, these people have never heard of W. Deen Mohammed. “Divine Universe”:
Gus the Fuss, Gerg, etc., think “angry black men” will be spilling into the streets, or something, as though that were the NOI’s shtick in the first place.
Strangely, nobody seems to have remembered the squeeing over the Atlanta Blackstar. Not only is this going to end with a whimper, mark my words, it’s going to do so too quickly for Jay Electron even to leave them with an anthem – nothing in so much as the De——er this week, and Hooker Skülter’s grand aspirations are toast.
And this is without even pointing out that Hooker’s own results showed no “signal” even in the most egregious, Table 2, if one vaccinated on time.
A mark of the true die-hard believers.
A few decades ago, public protests organized by dwindling French far-left political parties which resulted in, top, 200 people congregating locally, were celebrated as “an historical meeting”.
This disconnect from reality only hastened the dwindling part.
spreading through the black community like a lightening bolt
The slip, it is Freudian.
what is now considered the most racist bill in California’s history?
“In California’s history”? This is hippocampectomy-level amnesia. Perhaps if history, for the anonymous antivaxxer, stretches only as far back as Thursday lunchtime.
Note too the use of the the Kevin Bell / Johnny Chav empassiviser. The anonymous antivaxxer had the choice of owning the words, and writing “what I consider” — which would have been stupid but honest — or hiding between the passive mood and faux vox-pop… and quelle surprise, he or she preferred the Gutless Sh1tweasel option.
A few decades ago, public protests organized by dwindling French far-left political parties which resulted in, top, 200 people congregating locally, were celebrated as “an historical meeting”.
“Now that we have purged the last of the reformists and moderates who were holding us back, victory is inevitable!”
Sounds like the antivaxxers have a denialist fantasy in which Kennedy fills the role of Arrowroot son of Arrowshoot, turning up with the
Army of the DeadNation of Islam to turn the tide of battle.
Now Kent Heckenlively is ecstatic about antivaccinationists’ new alliance with the Nation of Islam:
Yes, because aligning with a group that has become increasingly irrelevant to the black community at large, mostly because of its stringent anti-gay, anti-white, and anti-Jewish tenants, plus the recent alliance with the Church of Scientology, which is also suffering under a deluge of bad press and ever dwindling membership, will be great for their cause…..
If there intent is to be viewed as crazy, bigoted and irrelevant – the anti-vax movement is doing a fantastic job.
Eh, Kent Heckenlively was seeing himself as Aragorn, isn’t it?
America’s foremost environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Granted that environmental law is not my field, and that this press release was issued by his hosts, but when was RFK Jr. ever known as America’s foremost environmental attorney? The first I heard of him in his own right was during the brouhaha over his infamous 2005 book, and he’s been primarily known since then as a leading anti-vax nut. Before then, of course, he would have been known as the son of Sen. Kennedy and the nephew of President Kennedy.
Also, is it just me, or is there an implied threat behind that “Justice or Else” slogan? The specific threat is not described, but that’s a phrasing people normally use to indicate that There Will Be Consequences if you do not comply with their “request”.
Ah dear idiotic Cia Parker, who wouldn’t know the truth if it reared up and bit her on the bum.
The crazies have really come out of the woodwork on those two threads: Bob Moffitt, Greg, Guss the Fuss.
It is going to be a trainwreck and make fascinating viewing. The NOI are going to be a poisoned chalice to the No on SB277.
I’d be careful about cozying up too closely to the Co$. I mean, did they learn nothing from their experience with Jake Crosby?
There is something loathsomely ironic about antivaxers who use Holocaust imagery to push their agenda, while simultaneously cozying up to the Nation of Islam, which has a long history of engaging in Holocaust denial and other grotesque examples of anti-Semitism.
Iit’s not that surprising, since anti-Semitic themes have frequently been employed by antivaxers.
OT but concerns autism and cranks : in Switzerland, the “First Immune” clinic, which practiced GcMAF injections for cancer, autism etc has been closed after the death of five patients.
ImmunoBiotech, the society promoting this treatment (based in Guernesey), is currently under investigation from other countries.
Isn’t the blaze Glen Beck’s current padded cell? It is crackpots all the way down and all the way horizontally
Isn’t the blaze Glen Beck’s current padded cell?
I believe it is, but every once in a while, Beck gets one right (e.g., during the Cliven Bundy standoff last year, Beck, who is a part-time rancher himself, correctly identified Bundy as a moocher). The SPLC, who specialize in tracking hate groups, say similar things about NOI’s ideology.
Could Olmstead be employing a subtle strategy of quoting the biggest kooks among his allies’ critics as a way of discrediting said critics? Maybe, although that’s pretty deep thinking by Olmstead if that’s what he’s doing. More likely, Olmstead is himself a fan of Beck, and quoting the latter’s (in this case, well-supported) opinion to bolster his case.
Antivaccinationism,like anti-semitism is a powerful crank magnet.Hate conquers all and makes for some very strange bedfellows.I am reminded another alliance the NOI made once upon a time.An alliance with one George Lincoln Rockwell.Will history repeat itself over vaccines?Who knows?
One might argue appropriating the use of the term “Holocaust” from the Jews,as well as the Star of David,would be the ultimate act of anti-semitism.Since it minimizes what the Jews experienced in Europe from 1933-45.
I can see where even “movement” antivaxers like Olmstead.who might have problems with these alliances.might be sacrificed and thrown overboard for the betterment of “the cause”.
Don’t forget how the anti-vaccine movement has allied itself with Genesis II Church to promote MMS. Despite claiming to be non-religious, they were quick to play the “religious freedom” card when Trading Standards agents aided their
sales pitch“church service” in Farnham, England one week ago, as the hyperbolic video below shows:
Genesis II Church does have a weird theology, though, that Kerri Rivera has been reluctant to discuss in public. Jim Humble claims to be a billion year old god from the Andromeda galaxy who used to move solar systems for fun and accepted a mission from the “space navy” to watch over Earth. He devoted a badly-edited two hour YouTube video to his supposed life story:
And yet more insight into the anti-vax mindset – they actually believe that the more we criticize their alliance with the NOI, the better of an idea it is….I mean, our criticism could have nothing to do with the fact that the NOI is anti-gay, anti-white, anti-Jewish, and holds a host of other bigoted positions…..
To say nothing of its clear association with the Church of Scientology & it’s associated baggage.
So, I’m thinking that these groups obviously deserve one another & wish them the best of luck with all of their future endeavors.
The good Doktor is referring to “Bored of the Rings”, a spoof of,amongst other things, Tolkien: Arrowroot is the Aragorn equivalent.
Beck Antivaxers are like Galileo.
And let’s pause to remember – for it doth not assist Mr Kennedy or Rev Farrakahn – that it was the American Academy of Pediatrics and the public health service who, in 1999, announced a theoretical risk from thimerosal.
Not parents, not anti-vaxxers, not even at that point trial attorneys. The medical establishment.
@ Murmur #19
Oh. I missed the reference. Thanks 🙂
Does anybody have any idea what Olmsted claims to be his occupation?
He can’t be a journalist, because a journalist would be on the phone, reporting on the death of Dr Jeffrey Bradstreet, and perhaps putting to bed the rumor that he killed himself after a visit from the FBI.
Instead, he’s posting blow-jobs for a mob of racists, anti-semites and homophobes, who are evidently now part of his extended family.
Brian Deer @ 23
Maybe Olmstead is on the payroll of the Unification Church?More links to Scientology,and even RFK Jr. I see.
Is there a a link to the Unification Church,Scientology,and Age of Autism,that most of us are missing?
Interesting how someone who describes vaccination as a “holocaust” joins forces with an organization that itself operates concentration camps:
Coming soon on Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?
– The Cheryl Hines Story.
I think our Lord Draconis will be most pleased with the success of our latest operation “Petard Hoist”. The cultivation of the most unlikely and self-destructive alliances was no easy task by our operatives. We should keep our eyes on Greg, quite a clever one, who seems to be on the verge of spotting our cunning plan.
RFK Jr. might just as well have gone to the graves of his father and his uncles and voided his bladder on them.
Kennedys everywhere have had their names disgraced, even the ones not related.
Miss this transcript of Dr. Brian Hooker’s speech at the link? Perhaps the physicians here would benefit from directly reading the cited science? Hold your nose and dive in, I implore you. Debunk, explain, or join:
“Autism and neurological injury due to vaccinations are extremely important problems specific to the African American community. There are strong evidences in the scientific literature that African Americans may be more susceptible to vaccine injury and may also have increased susceptibility to neurological disorders such as autism. The most reliable studies show that autism incidence is higher in African Americans as compared to Caucasians.
Durkin et al. (published in 2010 in the journal PLOS One) applied a correction to autism incidence to account for under-reporting at lower socioeconomic status and found that autism incidence was about 25% higher in African Americans as compared to Caucasians. This was determined in a nationwide study using the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring Network. Further, in a study by Becerra et al. (published in 2014 in the journal Pediatrics), it was shown that the incidence of autism among African Americans in Los Angeles County was higher than that of Caucasians. The effect was most profound in foreign-born blacks (living in the U.S.) with a 76% greater risk of autism as compared to U.S. born whites. The effect was also seen to a lesser extent (14% greater risk) in U.S. born blacks. However, when considering children with severe autism (autism with mental retardation), Becerra et al. found that the incidence was much higher in foreign-born blacks (163% greater) as well as U.S. born blacks (52% greater) as compared to U.S. born whites. This pronounced effect was not observed in any other race category considered.
In terms of vaccine injury, let me be clear – I am not anti-vaccine. I want safer vaccines that protect and not harm children. I want populations vulnerable to vaccine injury to be identified and protected as well. You don’t call someone who wants safer automobiles, “anti-car”. Similarly, it is ridiculous to refer to vaccine safety advocates as “anti-vaccine.”
In terms of vaccine injury, the study by Gallagher et al. (published in 2010 in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A) showed that blacks were at significantly greater risk of regressing into autism after receiving the thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccination series as infants. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that is used in some vaccines in multidose vials and is still used in the flu shot, the tetanus vaccine and meningococcal pneumonia vaccine and is also in trace amounts (sufficient to cause harm) in the Hepatitis B, Hemophilus influenza B (HiB) and DTaP vaccines. The data show a 5.53 times greater risk of autism for black boys receiving the thimerosal-containing HepB vaccine series versus those black boys not receiving any HepB shot. White boys did not show a statistically significant risk in this instance.
Further, background information released by the CDC whistle blower, Dr. William Thompson, showed that the CDC found higher risks of autism in black children who received the MMR vaccine on time versus those that received the vaccine after 3 years of age. Unpublished data released by the CDC whistle blower show that black boys were up to 3.36 times greater risk of receiving an autism diagnosis when they received their first MMR vaccine prior to 36 months of age versus those black boys receiving their first MMR vaccine at or after 36 months of age. This effect was not observed in any other race category considered.
Although the CDC attempted to hide this information (which was discovered by Dr. Thompson on November 7, 2001), Dr. Thompson ultimately issued an August 27, 2014 press release through his attorney stating, “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism.” Dr. Thompson further stated in his press release, “My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.”
Over the period of November 2013 to August 2014, I had over 30 separate phone conversations with Dr. Thompson. He initially reached out to me in an unsolicited phone conversation to my cell phone. Dr. Thompson and I had talked on the phone and exchanged email correspondences much earlier, between 2002 and 2004, back when I was trying to advise the CDC on their vaccine safety studies related to childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the CDC curtailed my conversations with him in 2004 due to my family’s participation in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program where we were seeking renumeration for my own son’s vaccine injuries. The phone calls from November 2013 to August 2014 were secret and Thompson did not let CDC officials know that he and I were talking as that could have cost him his employment.
I made the decision to record four of the last phone conversations I had with Dr. Thompson, without his knowledge, based on the revelation of harm to children, caused by the CDC’s very dysfunctional and even criminal vaccine safety program. These recordings were obtained legally and involved advice from legal counsel in each instance.
In my phone conversations with Thompson, he also discussed thimerosal containing vaccines. Dr. Thompson revealed adverse neurological outcomes specifically in boys exposed to thimerosal in vaccines within their first 7 months of life. This consisted of motor and phonic tics present in “neurotypical boys” tested in standardized tests. Although Dr. Thompson did not comment regarding the relationship between thimerosal and autism, he did note that tics were about five times more prevalent in autistic boys compared to the general population.
Dr. Thompson also described a culture of fraud in the CDC, an institution with a built-in conflict of interest regarding vaccine update versus vaccine safety. The CDC buys over $4 billion of vaccines each year from the pharmaceutical industry to distribute to the states’ public health departments. Vaccine uptake in the U.S. must be high for the CDC to get reimbursed for that purchase. Thus, vaccine safety scientists are under tremendous pressure not to find associations between vaccines and neurological adverse events, among others. He has been specifically told “point blank” from his superiors in multiple instances to not report such findings and to find ways using fraudulent statistical methods to obviate the results and falsely give vaccines a clean bill of health. Dr. Thompson stepped forward due to the agony of over 10 years of lying and covering up the real truth regarding vaccine injury.
I also wanted to talk about another specific whistle blower lawsuit, regarding MMR’s effectiveness. There is a False Claims Act lawsuit pending against Merck in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 10-4373 (CDJ). This case was brought by two former Merck virologists who were involved in the efficacy testing of the mumps portion of Merck’s MMR vaccine. According to these scientists, Merck engaged in fraudulent testing and data falsification to conceal the vaccine’s diminished efficacy.
As a result of Merck’s fraudulent scheme, the scientists allege, American children are being injected with a vaccine that does not provide the efficacy Merck claims it provides and does not provide the public with adequate immunization. According to the scientists, Merck’s MMR vaccine contributed to the recent mumps outbreaks in the U.S. Late last year, the Court denied Merck’s motion to dismiss the case and the case is in the discovery phase.
SB277 removes the last “check and balance” in preventing vaccine injury in children, parental consent rights. In the past, parents have been able to opt out of vaccines for their children based on personal beliefs, without jeopardizing school attendance. SB277 will change all that whereas the only children that will be able to attend school will be either fully vaccinated or receive a very “difficult to obtain” medical exemption based on some condition that would increase her/his susceptibility to vaccine injury. These exemptions are rare and extremely difficult to obtain. Based on CDC guidelines, even if an earlier vaccine leads to seizures or the death of a sibling, the child is still not exempt and this is being widely misrepresented by the proponents of SB277. Homeschool children will be exempt from the law but this is just not an option considering the large number of two income families in our underserved communities.
I urge you to contact your state Assembly members and tell them to vote NO on this bill. I urge you to reach out to the legislative black caucus members and educate them about the CDC whistle blower and other issues regarding vaccine injury that make this bill nothing but medical tyranny.
We want Congress to subpoena Dr. William Thompson. In fact, Dr. Thompson himself wants to be subpoenaed so the entire truth about the CDC can become public record. I urge you to contact key Congressional offices to ask that Dr. Thompson be subpoenaed in an open Congressional hearing. The truth needs to come out, period, and this is one way to bring the truth to light.”
reader, you missed the part where Hooker completely hacked the CDC data and there is no increased risk of an ASD in Black children. Merck’s mumps nonsense has zero to do with this. Why don’t you post actual citations instead of regurgitations of a known crank.
@reader – here’s your rebuttal:
And another thing you twit. If Thompson is willing to testify before congress, he doesn’t have to be subpoenaed. Congress doesn’t appear to be interested in another clown show by anti-vaxxers.
Thanks for sharing my post. Also, pertinent to Hooker’s bit about parental consent, I put up this post this morning on how the whole “choice” argument is nothing but a hollow smokescreen: http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com/2015/06/SB277-Opposition-Smokescreen-of-Parental-Choice.html
Does anybody have any idea what Brian Deer claims to be his occupation?
He can’t be a journalist, because a journalist would be on the phone trying to get an interview with CDC fugitive Poul Thorsen and CDC whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson.
He should also interview Florida Congressman Bill Posey to find out what happened to Thompson’s 100,000 pages of CDC vaccine safety documents he was sent.
Instead, he’s posts Black Majik NLP words: “mob of racists”, “anti-semite”, and “homophobes”, which are evidently now part of his extended vocabulary.
Isn’t he a Fellow of East Anglia Institute of Name Calling?
“And another thing you twit. If Thompson is willing to testify before congress, he doesn’t have to be subpoenaed. Congress doesn’t appear to be interested in another clown show by anti-vaxxers.”
Name calling is an admission of failure to produce a logical defense for your argument. If Thompson does not testify under oath, he doesn’t have to tell the truth. His testimony can’t be used in a court of law. I find it interesting that you refer to the CDC vaccine safety employee as a “clown.” Evidently you support CLOWN APPROVED VACCINES.
Thank you for making this clear.
“reader” did you miss the blog posts here where Hooker’s methodology was shredded by other scientists? Did you miss the blog posts here that announced that his paper was retracted and why?
There’s a reason Hooker’s testimony is being ignored and it’s not a conspiracy.
I guess it would be a bit much to expect Hooker to get things in the ballpark.
Then again, given that I’m not seeing the “correction” anywhere, maybe he’s just dishonest.
We have really got to get a better class of troll on this blog. Toto & reader add nothing in their attempts to deny science.
My, little doggie Toto just reeks of desperation now…..
Are the other veterans who post here remembering what a rock is in military slang, I wonder.
Toto doesn’t seem to understand the difference between subpoenaed and testifying under oath, the latter one doesn’t need to be subpoenaed to do. Thompson has allegedly stated his willingness to “testify”. Add Toto to the anti-vaxx clown car.
in Switzerland, the “First Immune” clinic, which practiced GcMAF injections for cancer, autism etc has been closed after the death of five patients.
the death of Dr Jeffrey Bradstreet
Bradstreet was part of the GcMAF racket, so whatever he died of, it can’t have been cancer.
The only reason I let trolls like Toto and reader post from time to time is that I figure my regulars like a good chew toy to play with. But you’re right. Their schtick is getting staler by the day.
Funny, the exact same thing is seen in Hispanics. Kind of takes the wind out of your basic premise, eh, Brian?
Now you’re just lying.
I, for one, don’t mind numpties like Toto commenting; it reveals the whackaloon mindset of the typical anti-vaxxer. I do object however, when they become flat-out abusive and disgusting like Philip Hills. For what it’s worth of course.
The basic idea is to somehow preserve this:
This originally came from Marcella Piper-Terry:
Once it was pointed out to them that you can’t be “granted Congressional immunity” without being subpoenaed, the story mutated into its present form. (They still haven’t figured out that “granted Official Whistleblower Status” literally doesn’t mean anything, as far as I can tell.)
Given how long it’s been, I really wonder what Thompson has been doing all this time – I just have this picture of him sitting in his office at the CDC, playing Solitaire for the majority of the day…..
^ Oh, and “reader,” now that I have wasted an hour going through those two papers, it’s your turn:
You don’t call someone who wants safer automobiles, “anti-car”. Similarly, it is ridiculous to refer to vaccine safety advocates as “anti-vaccine.”
Actually, yes: if someone was claiming we need “safer” cars because they believed that cars were causing thousands of extremely improbable “adverse events,” and they attributed the complete lack of evidence for this fact to a government conspiracy, I probably would call them anti-car. People don’t typically believe obviously irrational things like that unless it resonates with them on an emotional level.
“granted Official Whistleblower Status” literally doesn’t mean anything, as far as I can tell
Presumably the nearest equivalent is when a federal employee goes to the Office of Special Counsel with information, and the OSC determines that the employee was not complaining frivolously and is therefore a legitimate whistleblower, protected from reprisals.
Of course this is irrelevant because Thompson has not gone through OSC channels (preferring the channel of a press release) and is not under their coverage.
Goofling the cargo-cult incantation “Official Whistleblower Status” reveals that it is practically unknown outside of Thompson-related antivax frothing, while inside those circles its usage follows the principle that Capitalisation Gives Power.
@HDB – they don’t understand science, they don’t understand the law, the don’t understand Federal Regulations, the don’t understand the political process, etc, etc, etc.
It would probably be easy to articulate what they do understand, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out what that is.
“easier” = faster (we really need an edit function)
I wouldn’t get too excited (emphasis added):
“For purposes of deciding the Motions to Dismiss, this memorandum [PDF] takes as true facts as alleged in the Amended Complaints….
“[T]he Court dismisses Count II, except for claims brought under the NYDAPA and the NJCFA; and, dismisses Count III, Count IV, Count V, and Count VI in their entireties.”
All this really amounts to is a finding that Count I didn’t fail on the grounds of wholesale incompetence in pleading. It says exactly nothing about the merits of the case.
Do get back to everyone on this bit, too, “reader.”
Thank you again Narad and HDB. The above sounds like something Jon Rappaport would barf up (remembering how his “sources” saw Thompson escorted off the CDC campus by big, scary security thugs). It’s just so precious to watch the various factions try to make this a thing.
they don’t understand science, they don’t understand the law, the don’t understand Federal Regulations
If only there were some way of searching a collective network of computers to check whether a putative legal title or status actually meant anything before echoing the whole claim on one’s own website
I don’t think that holds up. The Whistleblower Protection Act just is; OSC can seek redress (or serve as an amicus) after the fact for a Prohibited Personnel Practice, but there’s simply no official “status” to speak of until there’s a violation.
Brian Hooker said: “In terms of vaccine injury, let me be clear – I am not anti-vaccine. I want safer vaccines that protect and not harm children.”
Olmsted said: “We don’t recommend any specific schedule. We suggest to parents they should vaccinate, or not, based on diligent research about the risks of the vaccines and the diseases.”
Both of these views are being trashed wholesale on AoA, where those with open anti-vax views come out to play. It’s fun to see them tear each other apart. How long will it be before Olmsted stops writing on AoA, as Mark Blaxill appears to have done? It can’t be fun to see your “fans” disagreeing with you, particularly when it’s an ethical issue such as seeking the support of NOI. This must be making Dan wonder if his fans have any ethics at all…..
One might note that there’s a double-dip of failed aphorismology to be had at AoA: Not only does Heckenlively choose this as a graphic lede, Gerg attempts a put-down:
Gerg was always an equal-opportunity troller.
Oh good grief the comments there are truly painful to read. The justifications for forging a partnership with the NoI are truly a wonder to behold. Let them have each other, they richly deserve one another.
The recent blow-up about the NOI just shows that AoA is loosing control of the tin-foil hat brigade…..
Any word lately on the “hundreds of thousands of documents” provided by Thompson, supposedly containing more smoking guns than Verdun? Any repetitions of Heckenlively’s calls for unconditional surrender?
As “the Kid” has pointed out, Wakefield has been waving said papers on video for months now, but has yet to publish even a single one…..
A lot of those comments at AoA reek of desperation.Like most of you,I wonder if SB277 isn’t going to be a watershed moment for the antis.Where the movement either implodes,or breaks into multiple factions at war with each other.
Besides the real crazies are on Facebook.
The comments here are just as nutty as the photo is offensive.Read them all.
The Underground Bunker provided some background on the NOI–$cientology connection a couple of days ago.
This link is well worth following down:
Kirstie Alley time!
@ Science Mom
“Hooker completely hacked the CDC data and there is no increased risk of an ASD in Black children.”
LETS PROVE YOUR ASSERTION IN A COURT OF LAW.
Let Congress subpoena Thompson and give him his day in court.
“Merck’s mumps nonsense has zero to do with this.”
“Specifically, the suit claims Merck manipulated the results of clinical trials beginning in the late 1990s so as to be able to report that the combined mumps vaccine, known as MMR-II (a revised version of the 1971 MMR shot containing a different strain of the rubella virus), is 95 percent effective, in an effort to maintain its exclusive license to manufacture it. This percentage is the benchmark used by the FDA to grant Merck approval to sell its original mumps vaccine in 1967. It is believed by vaccine authorities to guarantee herd immunity for people who have skipped on the shots.
However, instead of reformulating the vaccine whose declining efficacy Merck itself has acknowledged, the company reportedly launched a complicated scheme to adjust its testing technique so that it would yield the desired potency results. The virologists say they witnessed firsthand the fraud and were asked to directly participate in the dishonest testing, which was dubbed “Protocol 007″ and is outlined in great detail in the complaint.”
Narad @67 Kirstie Alley is in her 60s and her kids are 20+, so I don’t quite get her point.
This growing coalition of fruitcakes & nutbars needs a name.
May I humbly suggest:
I had the impression that https://xkcd.com/882/ is, approximately, what Hooker did with the CDC data. Is that correct, or was it a less, um, stupid error?
Let Congress subpoena Thompson and give him his day in court.
A train-wreck of cliches in which the fascist octopus steps on yet another rake.
All caps and courts of law do not decide matters of science. But you go right ahead and keep screeching that alongside your comrades-in-arms and don’t forget your sandwich board with “I’m made of cheese” emblazoned across both sides.
If only. What Hooker did was incompetent and dishonest. He analysed the dataset with the wrong statistical model and he intentionally omitted important controls for confounding because neither produced the results he was looking for. It is the exact opposite of research.
Ken, Brian Hooker did the 882 to the data set, but he also did something much, much stupider (is that a word or something I just remember from the playground?).
Brian Hooker, because he finds statistics hard and can’t understand how to program software, decided that simple statistical methods were always better than those complicated ones. In doing so he broke the first rule of statistical methods: GIGO. You use the statistical test that is appropriate to the data set and question being asked.
Excellent AoA entry from Jenny:
That reminds me of a story:
“During an early meeting after the Ashram had moved into the Big House, Tim had proposed to move the entire League to Europe, where they would proceed to march across the continent on a ‘journey to the East,’ gathering adherents as they went. For seasonal reasons, it would be necessary to get this show on the road in a matter of ten days or something like that.
“Everyone had thought this was a groovy idea, sort of, but Allan Marlowe raised a crucial objection which sank the whole project then and there:
“‘But Tim,’ he said, ‘my robes won’t be ready by then.'”
It’d be nice if there were some way to add the HIV/AIDS denialism that crazy Leonard Horowitz, who is still popular with this crowd, fed to Farrakhan.
Then again, IIRC, at least Bayareamom owned up to that as well back when Ebola was a conspiracy and Kary Mullis was being quoted repetitively.
The Battle for California, Part 4
I for one will be grievously upset if they start re-purposing Blue Oyster Cult lyrics.
Oooh but Science Mom, Brian is just a simple man, so in reanalyzing the data, he went with something simple, because as he says, “I think that in statistics, simplicity is elegance.”
He’s just simple, is our Brian.
“more smoking guns than Verdun” *adds to file*
“He analysed the dataset with the wrong statistical model and he intentionally omitted important controls for confounding because neither produced the results he was looking for. It is the exact opposite of research.”
AMAZING! With all his ignorant bumbling, Dr. Hooker came up with the same results as Thompson et al in their ORIGINAL study. Hooker has a phone recording of Thompson confirming this. Dr. Thompson is still employed by the CDC in the Vaccine Safety Division. HE HAS NEVER RECANTED HIS WRITTEN ADMISSION OF FRAUD REGARDING THIS STUDY.
I have not heard ONE pro-vaxxer calling for Thompson’s resignation!
THEREFORE, pro-vaxxers are PRO-THOMPSON! They trust HIM to keep their snowflakes SAFE with SAFE AND EFFECTIVE vaccines.
LOL! LOL! LOL! etc.
When Star isn’t even printing pics of her bloated arse then what’s a washed-up attention whore gonna do.
And managed to demonstrate that administering MMR according to the schedule nullifies the very “result” that he’s now stuck peddling.
“Their schtick is getting staler by the day.”
You are so right Orac. Brian Deer’s posts are so embarrassing; it takes Toto to give them a stylish makeover.
This turns out to work both ways.
No he didn’t
No he isn’t and hasn’t been for years now.
So? He also hasn’t recanted his admission of delusions and psychotic episodes.
Why would we?
As further background to my comment 57 above, the ABA has summarized the state of affairs as of 2012.
It would probably be simpler to concede the point, as “Thompson et al” is actually DeStefano et al., which found no correlation whatever.
I confidently presume this was a reply to Tutu, so very well played on her part.
“No he isn’t and hasn’t been for years now.”
Please post a CDC link to verify your claims.
Actually, that would support Thompson’s “Dear Dr. Gerberding” letter which indicates that he had slides of the ORIGINAL results, and he was not happy about presenting them, hence, the letter. I do not believe he was allowed to make the presentation with the NEW results.
“So? He also hasn’t recanted his admission of delusions and psychotic episodes.”
Please post evidence of these accusations. Do you have access to his medical records?
“No he didn’t”
Yes he did.
“Why would we?”
Thompson isn’t being a “team” player. His accusations undermine the credibility of the CDC to assure the public of vaccine safety. He is bad for business.
Annual Meeting 2015: From Cells to Community and Back!
Kristen Salomon, PhD, Program Chair
“Finally, drawing upon local Georgia talent, William W. Thompson, PhD, Immunization Safety Branch, National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia will present on the CDC’s important work examining health-related quality of life and well-being.”
No he didn’t. DeStefano et al. did not find a statistically significant effect for the children analysed i.e. those with birth certificate information. OR was 1.68 with CI of 0.82 to 3.47.
Untrue. He is employed in the Health-Related Quality of Life Program at he CDC.
Why would he need to resign?
Thompson is a psychologist, so he doesn’t really have a role in vaccine safety.
Silly Science Mom & ChrisP. Toto is obviously referring here to the double-secret-probation ULTIMO-ORIGINAL version, the one that was suppressed, sent back to the authors to revise with new analyses into something more compatible with the chemtrail depopulation agenda.
I only just noticed this in Orac’s OP:
Add to that its belief in the Great Mother Wheel or the Mother Plane, a human-built planet, a half-mile by a half-mile, a UFO that was seen by the prophet Ezekiel
Elijah Muhammad taught his followers about a Mother Plane or Wheel, a UFO that was seen and described in the visions of the prophet Ezekiel in the Book of Ezekiel, in the Hebrew Bible.
Did Elijah Muhammed plagiarise von Daniken or vice versa? Vast cool intelligences would like to know.
Also, “Mother Plane” is not funny enough, this fictitious vehicle should have been called ‘The Ecliptic Plane’. Reality, make it so.
Hell, he seems to have worked like gangbusters in terms of lighting the fuse for a wholesale implosion of the antivaccine fantasts goes, so what’s not to like?
I mean, the poor fellow’s naivete has been ruthlessly taken advantage of by the Hooker–Wakefield slime brigade, but this is about the third tier after the principals and the bumblers who imagine themselves to be MollUSCLAR lieutenants rather than just more cannon fodder.
And then there’s Tutu, who represents a sort of waste product left to figure out its own disposal and with the misapprehension that somebody’s actually going to pay for the privilege.
^ Then again, she sometimes is so disconnected from the reality of her non-role that things like this spill out, as well:
^^ Strike the “goes” from #92; I lost interest in the rewriting by the end.
One might note that Farrakhan wasn’t the legitimate heir of NOI in the first place.
OK, so Elijah Muhammad’s Ezekiel-themed disquisitions came in 1973, well after von Daniken’s, although sadly too early for him to have heard the UFO theory explained in Leonard Nimoy’s inimitable tones.
One might note that Farrakhan wasn’t the legitimate heir of NOI in the first place.
If Farrakhan wants to appropriate E.M’s whole corrupt farrago, by claiming to have been anointed heir to the throne in his own Paul-like fraudulent revelation, then good luck to him. It’s not like he’s stealing anything of value.
Ezekiel and the UFOs was conjured up well before von Daniken wrote his silly books. When I was a kid in the late Fifties, I borrowed a book about UFOs that discussed the theory that Ezekiel’s wheels were the first reported UFO sighting. I was fascinated. I was also ten years old.
Yes, William Thompson appears to be a fragile, trusting, tortured soul who couldn’t take the pressure of having to testify in front of a hostile committee and seems to have let his distress lead to unjustified doubts about the research he did with guilt following. That guilt led him to foolishly trust Brian Hooker, who betrayed his trust by recording him and then was further betrayed by Andrew Wakefield, who used some of the audio Brian Hooker had recorded to produce the first “CDC whistleblower” video. Sadly, despite his previous experience in research, Thompson appears to have forgotten some basics about statistics (as in controlling for confounders and being wary of analyses of very small subgroups) and research design (the final research protocol was not modified post hoc in the way he claims it was).
I used to feel sorry for Thompson, thinking he was just an innocent dupe with a hypersensitive sense of guilt, but the more I looked into what he did, the less impressed I was by him. In any private business or foundation he would have been fired with extreme prejudice for his flirtation with people dedicated to destroying the reputation of his employer, but this is the federal government. So he works on, likely a pathetic figure in a (now) do-nothing job because likely no one trusts him or wants to work with him any more.
[email protected]: “William Thompson appears to be a fragile, trusting, tortured soul”
Well I hope at least some of his self-torture is in guilt for being so bloody awful at Statistics 101. Hell, I flunked stats in high school and even I can grasp that you can’t go fitting arbitrary conclusions to the numbers after they’ve been run, for that way forever cherry fishing lies.
Sure it’s a very human failing, and one we’re all inherently prone to. That said, it’s also not unreasonable to expect one tasked with all the status and responsibilities of a CDC researcher to demonstrate a bit more competence and duty of care than that.
Also, obligatory xkcd.
Interesting. It looks as though Scientology is distancing itself from this crankfest:
I suspect AJW cut and pasted Thompson’s words on the Youtube and also that he is possibly violating Califonia laws reckless misrepresentaiions fraud child endangerment and practicing medicine without a license.
AoA commenter Julie M. has a rather peculiar take on that Times item:
Aside from the part where no, they clearly weren’t referring to Wakefraud, it doesn’t even vaguely resemble an attack on T.M.
HIV denialist Bayareamom reminds everyone that Julie M. was one of the “spreading like wildfire types” – apparently, a visit to the pretty tame streets of Oakland was too much for her.
TBruce is right.There were books like this years before von Daniken.Von Daniken is known to have “borrowed freely”from two books at the start,both first published in 1963,by French authors.One Hundred Thousand Years of Man’s Unknown History,by Robert Joseph Grugeau,who wrote under the name Robert Charroux,and The Morning of the Magicians AKA The Dawn of Magic‘by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier.
I need to update my comment #26:
RFK Jr – too nutty for Scientology?
Charitable interpretation: “don’t drag me into your fight, you troublemakers”.
Less charitable one: “Let’s not offend the nice guy who just rented our little room, but let’s not offend his opponents, either. At least not until we know where the money is.”
I imagine they’re pretty cautious about their tax-exempt status.
As someone who has rented facilities for, um, functions, it’s perfectly reasonable that a venue would welcome all well behaved, paying customers while at the same time neither condemning nor endorsing them. Of course, one wonders given other reports of collaboration between the two groups.
Orac, @ 103 and Hellanthus @ 107, also Hellanthus @ 109 and Mephisto @ 109:
I don’t think that Scientology is distancing itself from this, I don’t think they’re waiting to find out which side of this has more money, nor tax exemption issues nor “welcome all.. without endorsing or condemning.”
1) “We’re only providing a venue” sounds overtly smarmy (and even amateurishly smarmy), like “We’re not defending racism, we’re defending free speech.”
2) Scientology _does_ have a stake: their fanatical opposition to science-based psychiatry and promotion of the quack treatments that they offer. Anything that stirs up a nasty buzz against psychiatry helps them sell their quackery.
I’m quite sure that (2) is correct: Scientology is using this as an opening for their anti-psychiatry fanaticism and their “alt healing modalities.” Seen that way, the rest of their behavior makes about AB 277 makes much more sense.
Re. the UFO angle: NOI is a different flavor than most of what we’re used to in that area:
Their “mother wheel” with lots of little “orbs” that each carry three bombs: this is a “UFOs as Destroying Angel” myth, rather than the “UFO cargo cult” beliefs we see among New Agers (“the Space Brothers will land and give us miracle technologies”). It’s “UFO-gods as divine threat against our enemies” rather than “UFO-gods as divine benefit to ourselves.”
OTOH lots of reasonable people have seen puzzling objects in the sky (that usually turn out to be natural phenomena or new jet fighters on test flights, etc.), so we should be careful to not make the entire subject “taboo” and thereby drive these folks up the nut trees.
Since any badguys reading this can’t track me down, I’ll stick my neck out and say that NOI (as well as the rest of the anti-277 crowd) is just flat-out crazy. Its members must be exceptionally credulous as well as hostile toward other races, toward Jews, etc., and as we’ve seen with white supremacist racism and conspiracy theory, that combination of credulity and hostility is definitely not good.
I don’t see the NOI leadership as crazy. Farrakhan didn’t hallucinate an experience of flying-saucer abduction, and receiving the keys to EM’s grifting operation directly from the saucer gods. He made it up, hybridising Adamski with Joesph Smith, because no-one was going to give him money and power otherwise.
Ezekiel and the UFOs was conjured up well before von Daniken wrote his silly books.
Von Daniken was a plagiarist too?! I am shocked and disappointed!
Interesting!, now we have two hypotheses here:
1) Farrakhan hallucinated his flying saucer abduction. (How he hallucinated it isn’t specified: taking LSD etc. is unlikely, dreams are more likely, some kind of self-induced trance is to my mind most likely since many of the UFO abductee experiences meet the criteria for occurring in a waking trance state. Try this exercise: next time you’re in a highway trance, and see an airliner, imagine it’s a spaceship and see what kind of wild content you come up with. This is better to do as a passenger for obvious safety reasons. To induce a highway trance, just stare out at the road as if you’re driving, and don’t shift your gaze much for about a half hour.)
2) He stole the ingredients for it from three (or more) other authors and assembled them into a narrative.
Without having read the material from those other authors, I’m inclined toward (a), because:
a) Those types of experiences involve elements of cultural archetypes that are held more or less in common among members of a given society. (For example many “UFO abductees” in the US report being variously poked, prodded, injected, and implanted by their ETs.)
b) It takes a higher level of talent and a lower level of ethical scruples, to create a story like that from bits & pieces picked up elsewhere, _and_ to promote that story relentlessly with a straight face, than it does to have a hallucinatory experience of whatever kind and then honestly believe that it has made one “special” in whatever way.
c) There are many more people in our culture who are seriously deluded, than there are high-functioning sociopaths (the latter by definition are talented liars). For example 30% of Americans believe in young-Earth creationism, whereas 3% of American males and 1% of American females meet the diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder.
Hypothesis (1) could be falsified by demonstrating that Farrakhan meets the criteria for being a sociopath, as distinct from the criteria for being deluded. I don’t know much about the guy so I’m agnostic as to whether he’s a sociopath or not.
The vast majority of people who are thoroughly deluded do not meet the criteria for psychosis e.g. schizophrenia: they are able to function as workers, parents, candidates for election and holders of public office.
This discussion about NOI is one of those that is greatly facilitated by the ability to comment on this blog anonymously with no link to our legal names. I for one, and probably others here, would be reluctant to say anything about NOI if members of NOI could find out “who we are and where we live.” The same case applies to speaking out about Scientology, other aggressive quacks, etc. We can live with the occasional troll (per Orac’s viral meme, “chew toy”) in exchange for the privacy that protects our freedom to speak.
There are many more people in our culture who are seriously deluded, than there are high-functioning sociopaths (the latter by definition are talented liars)
That is an interesting point. I agree that I have personally dealt with more seriously deluded people than high-functioning sociopaths, but that has always felt like more of a comment about the social milieu to which I gravitate than about society as a whole.
[…] invocation of this particular conspiracy theory was so attractive to the Nation of Islam, which was recruited to add to the opposition to California SB 277 on the basis of the claim that the CDC “covered up” results that showed that the MMR […]
Grey Squirrel @113:
Without having read the material from those other authors, I’m inclined toward (a), because:
Should we also conclude that Hubbard established the Church of Scientology as an expression of hallucinations and delusive thought rather than as a conscious fraud? That Joseph Smith genuinely hallucinated each of his experiences with Moroni the Angel, and the golden plates, and the special glasses for reading those plates, rather than making them up to manipulate his rather credulous followers?
Re. Herr Doktor Bimler @ 114 and 116:
Hubbard was reported to have said, at a science fiction convention, that “the way to make a fortune is to establish a phony religion.” If he actually said that, it would be a strong indication that he had fraudulent intent from the get-go. Though I would also say that Hubbard was delusional (grandiose etc.) as well, based on others’ reports of his behavior.
I’m not sufficiently familiar with the history of the LDS Church and critiques thereof, to speculate about Joseph Smith. I consider LDS to be within the American mainstream at this point, even though its anti-gay activities have hit me hard “where I live.” One must none the less be objective about these things as far as possible.
But to make one thing clear, I do not subscribe to the hard-line atheist position that all forms of religious experience and/or religious philosophy are a-priori delusional, and I find that position to be prejudiced in the manner of bigotry. Whether or not a deity or immortal soul exists is, objectively, an empirically untestable question. We also know that human variability as to beliefs about deities etc. strongly suggests a basis in variability of brain structure and function that is (very) roughly analogous to sexual orientation. The “common sense” of theists that a deity etc. exists, and the “common sense” of atheists that a deity etc. does not exist, are both reflective of this variability, as with the natural sexual attractions of heterosexuals and LGBTs. Given that the variability may inhere in the brain, as distinct from whatever cultural overlay occurs (e.g. children raised as theists or atheists depending on culture), civic ethics against prejudice call for a basic level of respect for the right of individuals to believe what they will about those issues as long as they do not harm others (refusing to immunize their kids is an example of harm).
That however is not the same thing as according equal respect to all types of content that occur in religious beliefs. Where there is a clear indication of a fraudulent origin, or of a diagnosable psychiatric disorder, or that the premise of a belief or ritual is empirically falsified, those points can be valid critiques. But those types of critiques are on a different set of axes of measurement, than the critique of theism or atheism as such by those at the other end of the scale. And those types of critiques are also not-relevant to getting SB 277 enacted into law.
Getting back to Farrakhan, delusion is to my mind a more parsimonious explanation than fraud, unless evidence emerges to the contrary.
Operationally, whether Farrakhan is delusional or fraudulent or both, doesn’t much matter for our political strategy, which need only demonstrate that NOI is wholly at odds with the mainstream culture in ways that are sufficient to discount its pronouncements about vaccination. Attacking NOI, we should be careful to not level the attack in a manner that will alienate e.g. mainstream denominations of Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc., who are by a large majority supportive of AB 277.
The bottom line is: strategically, draw your inclusion/exclusion or friend/adversary boundaries in such a manner as to maximize the number of friends and allies, and reduce the number of those who are seen as adversaries to a bare minimum. That results in the largest possible coalition of allies and the isolation of the adversaries at the far fringe. That strategy wins.
In the presentation speech as winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work with anaphylaxis, Charles Robert Richet said, “We are so constituted that we can never receive other proteins into the blood than those that have been modified by digestive juices. Every time alien protein penetrates by effraction, the organism suffers and becomes resistant. This resistance lies in increased sensitivity, a sort of revolt against the second parenteral injection which would be fatal. At the first injection, the organism was taken by surprise and did not resist. At the second injection, the organism mans its defences and answers by the anaphylactic shock.” In naming “anaphylaxis”, Richet described, “Phylaxis, a word seldom used, stands in the Greek for protection. Anaphylaxis will thus stand for the opposite. Anaphylaxis, from its Greek etymological source, therefore means that state of an organism in which it is rendered hypersensitive, instead of being protected.” Richet concluded his lecture by saying, “Seen in these terms, anaphylaxis is a universal defense mechanism against the penetration of heterogenous substances in the blood, whence they can not be eliminated.”
Hey WTC7, got any science more recent than 102 years ago? We’ve learned a lot about how the human body, immunology, and immunization works since then.
Repeated for great justice.
“Dr. Hooker was impressed by Minister Farrakhan’s command of the science. As a scientist, Dr. Hooker finds most people mess up the science when they try to talk about it, but it was clear to Hooker that Farrakhan had listened closely.”
I wonder what Brian Hooker thinks about the “science” that shows that white people are the product of an evil black scientist’s eugenics experiment to create a master race 6000 years ago.
Yes, the NOI really believes that is true. They also believe that there is good scientific evidence in support of it.
I’m beginning to think there is no conspiracy theory the NOI wouldn’t believe. Someone needs to test this. I feel sorry for Malcolm X. I suspect Earth has developed a slight wiggle in it’s orbit because of him.
Hey WTC7, got any science more recent than 102 years ago?
Imagine my surprise to find lazy-ass cut-&-paste spam coming from a Twin Towers truther.
SB277 just passed the last hurdle before the Governer’s signature: final vote in Senate to approve the amendment made in the Assembly.
Next stop: Jerry’s desk!
I would like to thank the Dachelbot for crystallizing the failure of Laura Hayes:
Common Rule on line 2.
BTW, I do wonder how Stagmom’s random administration of “OSR#1” and all the rest of the biomeddling fit into this Nuremberg Code “analysis.”
Re. Herr Doktor Bimler @ 120: Thanks!;-)
There’s another category I forgot to mention, which consists of religious organizations that use coercive means to gain or maintain membership or to control the lives of members. Technically the term “cult” refers to any new religion that is not a sect (split-off) from an existing church, but we can reasonably call this category “mind-control cults” or “totalitarian cults” or something along those lines.
Re. Politicalguineapig @ 122:
Re. paraNOIa, that’s a testable hypothesis;-) Just whip up some new conspiracy theories (CTs) and feed ’em in via the social media channels that NOI members frequent, and see what takes and what doesn’t.
CTs are like Lay’s Potato Chips: “Bet ya’ can’t eat just one!”
Now everyone who is reading this: take five minutes to email Governor Brown to ask him to sign SB 277 as it exists, without adding a signing statement that might have the effect of weakening it.
[…] is how SB277 will work in practice. Sure, it’s fun to watch the antivaccine fringe completely lose it as SB 277 got closer and closer to passing. Indeed, if you want to experience a combination of […]
[…] parents being labeled the same way Jews were labeled during Hitler’s Germany. It’s the equivalent of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. It’s fascism, authoritarianism, and Communism all rolled up into one! In brief, it’s […]
Yet another whistleblower trying to make things right. People should also read about the lymerix vaccine that was released through the CDC in 2002 after fraudulent trial results were released. Many people who received the vaccine who didn’t have Lyme disease ended up symptomatic and tested positive….but that’s okay, anything to make more billions….criminal or not.
Citation needed. For every claim you made.