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Russell Simmons: The latest celebrity antivaccinationist?

I hadn’t planned on writing about this again today. (How many times have I started a post with that phrase? I forget, but a lot. Sadly, developments frequently make me change my plans about blogging.) Here’s what made me change my plans It was a pair of Facebook posts on hip-hop and fashion mogul Russell Simmons’ Facebook page.

Here’s post #1:


And here’s post #2:


This, of course, is the news report regurgitating antivaccine talking points broadcast in Atlanta late last week by Ben Swann, an all-purpose conspiracy theorist and, apparently, now antivaccinationist, who is anchor for the CBS46 news. Apparently Russell Simmons is the latest celebrity to throw his hat into the antivaccine ring, fresh on the heels of the anchor of the early evening newscast for a major market CBS affiliate going full on conspiracy theorist and antivaccine just the other day. Indeed, he’s credulously posting this video from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.:

It’s a video that RFK, Jr. made in the run-up to the antivaccine rally held in Atlanta a week ago. It’s full of the same talking points I’ve extensively rebutted over the course of a year, ever since RFK, Jr., risibly declaring himself “fiercely pro-vaccine” published a book full of fear mongering about thimerosal in vaccines. (How quaint. How 2005.)

What antivaccine rally? On October 23 and 24, the antivaccine movement joined with what is now basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the Church of Scientology, namely the Nation of Islam, to hold a protest in front of the CDC’s Atlanta headquarters and then the next day a rally at Grant Park. It was the culmination of a relationship cultivated by the antivaccine movement in the wake of Brian Hooker’s incompetent “reanalysis” of a 2004 study that failed to find a link between age at MMR vaccination and autism, a reanalysis that used a statistically naive and simplistic approach to torture the data and ignore relevant confounders in order to show that earlier age of MMR vaccination increased the risk of autism among African American boys (but in no other group). Basically, Brian Hooker’s “reanalysis” was so incompetent that even the editor of a brand new journal realized his mistake and and retracted the study article.

This whole thing came about thanks to William Thompson, a CDC scientist who was co-author with Frank DeStefano and others on the relevant 2004 MMR study. Basically, somehow he became buddies with biochemist turned antivaccine activist Brian Hooker and had several phone conversations with him in which he complained about his CDC colleagues and accused them of scientific fraud and “covering up” the result allegedly showing that MMR vaccines increase the risk of autism in African-American boys. Too bad Hooker was recording these conversations. In any case, thus was born the “CDC Whistleblower” saga around 15 months ago, the fruits of which include the Atlanta antivaccine rally a little more than a week ago.

I do know who Russell Simmons is, although I’m not that familiar with him. I know, for instance, that he’s been very successful in the music business, having founded the hip-hop music label Def Jam. I know that he’s also been very successful in the fashion industry, having founded successful clothing lines. I know that he’s incredibly rich and very influential in the hip-hop world. So why would he be susceptible to the siren call of the antivaccine movement? Why would he find RFK, Jr.’s misinformation- and pseudoscience-filled video convincing? The answer, I believe, lies in the involvement of the Nation of Islam in the “CDC whistleblower” controversy.

You might recall that in my post on the rally, I mentioned that Tony Muhammad, the Nation of Islam minister who gave speeches comparing the vaccine program to Pharoah’s slaughter of Israelite babies, to Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, and to the dragon in Revelations waiting to devour the savior as soon as he is born, also said that he was going to be meeting with hip hop artists and high profile African Americans to try to warn the about the “danger” of vaccines for African American boys. One wonders whether Tony Muhammad has been in contact with Simmons. Yes, I think that’s exactly what happened, judging from this article written by Simmons in 2009 praising Minister Louis Farrakhan:

This past week, it was my honor to host the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at my apartment in NYC. He was joined by his sons Louis Jr., Mustapha and Joshua Farrakhan, along with their personal chef and at least 75 security personnel. It was quite a scene to see how they set up shop at my apartment. This was a week where I didn’t miss my 6 am prayer because I could hear them already awake and ready to start the day off right. This was a week where the word “Allah” was on the tip of everyone’s tongue. And was a very special time when I got to hang with my “second dad” and my other brothers. We reminisced about the three marches where more than three million people marched on Washington. We talked about how we brought Snoop, Ice Cube and other LA rappers together with members of the east coast rap community and how he helped mediate the beef between 50 Cent and Ja Rule and countless other instances where he was there to help hip hop. And of course we talked about his keynote address at the hip hop summit that created the Hip Hop Summit Action network. We even mentioned a subject that the Minister doesn’t care to discuss, his legacy. He has talked about the oneness of god for years, about the sameness of all religion and all people. He has given his followers spiritual roadmaps to happiness on Earth his whole life. I want future generations to know him as I do, so I am working to have his thoughts on this subject made into a book. I believe that his memoirs are going to be one of the most interesting and inspiring autobiographies ever written.

So that is my goal.

So Simmons admired the leader of the Nation of Islam. Russell’s Wikipedia page states that in January 2011 he stated that he is a non-religious practitioner of Yoga and practices Jivamukti Yoga and is a vegan. He is also a friend and admirer of Deepak Chopra and practices Transcendental Meditation. So he’s into woo now, too.

Even if he isn’t a member of the Nation of Islam, it’s not too much of a stretch to speculate that he probably still admires Minister Farrakhan. Indeed, just last month, heavy hitters in the world of hip-hop music gathered in Washington, DC for the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, including Russell Simmons, Snoop Dog, J. Cole, Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs, Young Jeezy, “Empire” star Bryshere “Yazz” Gray, Chuck D, Jay Electronica, “Love & Hip-Hop New York” star Yandy Smith, her husband, Mendeecees, Jasiri X, “Real Houswives of Atlanta stars Porsha Williams, Phaedra Parks and Sheree Whitfield, Kam, Ty Dolla $, as well as the godfather of Hip-Hop Africa Bambaataa. Not surprisingly, Tony Muhammad was there. Indeed, Simmons has supported Nation of Islam initiatives led by Muhammad dating at least back to 2002. At the very least, he proudly posts images from the event on his Instagram account:

@iamdiddy @snoopdogg @chuckd. Were in attendance as were hundreds of thousands of others.

A photo posted by Russell Simmons (@unclerush) on

The most likely explanation for Simmons’ posting antivaccine propaganda on his Facebook account is the influence of Tony Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, particularly given what he chose to post, antivaccine pseudoscience from RFK, Jr. and a credulous news report of the Atlanta rally by Ben Swann. I did some Google searches to see if I could find any evidence of past antivaccine statements from Simmons. I couldn’t find any, but I was running out of time and it’s possible looking harder might yield something. More likely, before this Simmons didn’t think much about vaccines one way or the other, and then Tony Muhammad contacted him and tried to persuade him to support the cause.

Thus far, Simmons has only posted two bits of antivaccine propaganda that I can find on his Facebook page. It might be possible at this stage to convince him with evidence and reason that he’s made a big mistake. However, given his long and apparently friendly relationship with Minister Farrakhan, Minister Muhammad, and the Nation of Islam, succeeding in persuading Simmons to admit his error is likely to be an uphill battle. That’s the real danger of the involvement of the Nation of Islam in promoting the “CDC whistleblower” manufactroversy and promoting the false message that the CDC somehow “covered up” data showing that vaccines are harmful to African American boys. As fringe as the Nation of Islam is, it has a lot of contacts in the world of hip-hop and rap who might be swayed by the pseudoscientific pronouncements about vaccines and autism being made by Minister Muhammad. If, as Russell Simmons has started to do, these hip-hop and rap artists start spreading the message themselves, then real damage to public health could result, particularly given the understandable suspicion many African Americans have about the medical community based on incidents like the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Worse, this damage would likely take the form of the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases in one of the populations in this country with the most difficult access to adequate health care resources. Unlike the children of the almost entirely white and affluent leaders of the antivaccine movement, many more African American children stricken with vaccine-preventable diseases will not have access to the level of care that the children of affluent parents do.

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]

73 replies on “Russell Simmons: The latest celebrity antivaccinationist?”

“I could’t believe what Bobby Kennedy has laid out…”

And if he’d only stopped there.

I have some questions.

How do the vaccines determine the gender of the child? How do the vaccines determine the race of the child? What happens if it’s a mixed race child – say black/Caucasian? Does only the black half get autism, while the white half is spared? Is it only skin color? Does that mean children in India with darker skin are going to be afflicted? How about those native Australians? What happens to them? Or, is it only those of pure sub-Saharan ancestry that are so afflicted?

I have a few more questions, but those will do to begin with.

What a shame. He’s always been dedicated to uplifting-the-race type causes. I guess I can see how watching decade after decade roll by without progress on that score could take a toll on one’s judgment.

FWIW, his brother (Run from Run-DMC) is now a Pentecostal minister, and I doubt he’s fully NOI. Maybe he’s not completely immune to reason.

Simmons’s politics are described as ‘progressive” so I hope he would follow the lead of most of his fellows/ sisters who appear to support vaccines.

Actually, frequently and recently woos and anti-vaxxers are heaping scorn upon the democrats/ liberal press because of their position on vaccines
( esp the Californians). So I hope.

Ellie writes (#2),

What happens to them?

MJD says,

With respect to causation, a preponderance-of-evidence clearly indicates that vaccine-injuries are attributed to atypical immunity.

For example, vaccine-induced food allergies may adversely affect a child’s neurological development and quality-of-life based on ethnicity.

Food allergies have nearly doubled among black children:

It’s time for the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) to recognize vaccine-induced food allergies as a severe adverse-event and place it on the vaccine injury table.

@ Ellie

I have some questions.

To play devil’s advocate, a few diseases with a genetic component are male-specific (most usually, something due to a recessive trait on the X chromosome).
And similarly, some conditions, like thalassemia, lactose intolerance, or alcohol sensitivity are more common among some ethnicities – again, genetics.
Funny, how I have to use the word “genetics” to make some sense of this hypothesis.

That being said…

Well, I have a question of my own. If, for whatever reason, little African boys are more susceptible than anyone else, how comes the demographic of autistic people doesn’t reflect it?

I have this funny feeling that this Swann bozo and his pals at Reality Check are perfectly aware of this inconsistency, in the way they are phrasing the Thompson controversy.
“Statistical findings among African-American boys” has suddenly become “link between some vaccines and autism and tics, particularly among African-American boys”.

They make it sound like it’s about Black people, but no, it’s about the vaccines, as always.


It’s time for the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) to recognize vaccine-induced food allergies as a severe adverse-event and place it on the vaccine injury table.

The subheading of the article says:

Unclear if it’s due to better detection or environmental triggers, researchers say

Secondly, even assuming that the increase is genuine and not just the result f better detection, where is your evidence that vaccines are the cause of the increase?

Julian Frost asks (#8),

… where is your evidence that vaccines are the cause of the increase?

MJD says,

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee has concluded that food proteins, including egg (ovalbumin), that are present in vaccines cause healthy non-allergic people to develop allergies to those food items upon receiving the vaccine.

@MJD —

I second Julian Frost’s question and add this one:

If vaccinations cause food allergies, why are food allergies twice as common among African-American children, when vaccination rates are not twice as high?

ann wrote: “I guess I can see how watching decade after decade roll by without progress on [racial justice and equality] could take a toll on one’s judgment.”

Yup, but I think it’s more than that. When you feel that ignored in your real injuries, you’re likely to grab the bumper of any vehicle that gets your general case some attention, even if you have a good idea it’s a bad car.

All we have from Simmons is two Tweets in which he expresses shock and concern over the accusations against the CDC. Put yourself in his position, and you might say a lot more than “whoa.” At this point, he’s just saying “check this out!”, not that he buys it. He probably thinks the CDC might suppress data on harm to African-Americans, but that doesn’t mean he thinks they did.

I’d guess for now he’s actually what the AVers claim to be, suspicious enough to ask questions about vaccine safety. For various reasons, I can’t see him ever advocating against immunization for poor kids – he’s nowhere near that stupid/crazy/opportunistic. My guess is that ‘mainstream’ African-American activists like Simmons see the accusations as a metaphor for the very real situation of Black male youth in American society: mass incarceration, joblessness, police shootings. I’d guess further that they’ll ride the wave of suspicion for all the pub they can get for the larger issues, without ever really going anti-vax (regardless of where the NOI lands).

I’d say the guy to watch here is Al Sharpton. A quick Google suggests the Rev. isn’t giving the ‘whistleblower’ thing any play at all, and lately he’s been having Neil de grasse Tyson do guest appearances on science in Star Wars and Star Trek. Simmons might or might not listen to NdgT, but he’d listen to Rev. Al…


The Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee has concluded that food proteins, including egg (ovalbumin), that are present in vaccines cause healthy non-allergic people to develop allergies to those food items upon receiving the vaccine.

You are at best misinterpreting and at worst lying. I used “search”. The only reference to allergies is “anaphylaxis”. That is not proof that the vaccines induced the allergies, erely that something in the vaccine caused an already allergic individual to experience a reaction to a component of the vaccine.

All we have from Simmons is two Tweets

And two posts to his Facebook page, with hundreds of comments.

@Julian (#12),

MJD says,

Immunity 101 – Nobel Laureate Charles Richet demonstrated over a hundred years ago that injecting proteins into humans or animals causes immune system sensitization to that protein.. Subsequent exposure to the same protein can cause anaphylaxis.

Thus, when the VICP recognizes food allergies as a vaccine-injury “adverse event” they should also extend the statute of limitations for filing a petition to greater that 36 months based on such a historical precedence.

@Julian Frost: please don’t start with MJD. He will insist to his dying day that vaccines cause allergies…latex, food, skin…you name it, the vaccines cause it!

Vaccines do not cause food allergies no matter how much you want to believe they do.

Vaccines cause allergies? Ohhh. That’s a good one. Should be able to sell a lot books and get paid for speaking engagements on that one. To quote Bill Mayer, “Americans are stupid”, which means you can sell them on almost anything. If it worked for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it could work for disinformation of mass distraction in any state of the union. I mean, people don’t call the country the Excited States of America for nuttin.

@Liz Ditz —

True. But he’s also on Twitter urging people to sign up for health care and being a booster for Cory Booker, Obama, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Kennedy’s imprimatur rather than NOI’s that caused him to take it seriously.

He hasn’t historically been a silly person. And…You know, When you live in a country where it’s an age-old national tradition for agents of the state to shoot people like you dead with impunity, I can see how a lot of stuff might start to seem pretty plausible.

A lot of civil rights activists have done limited business with the NOI. That’s how the Million Man March happened.

I’m hoping he just made a mistake.

That all may be. The reason I speculated that it was the NOI is because Simmons has in the past expressed admiration for Louis Farrakhan and has a least a 13 year history of working on various projects with Tony Muhammad, at least as far as I could glean from the almighty Google. Also, NOI is tight with a lot of hip-hop artists, as evidenced by their showing up in droves for the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. But you have a point. It could have been RFK, Jr.’s appeal, coupled with Simmons’ past activism for environmental issues, that had an impact as well.

I was NOT aware of Simmon’s environmental advocacy, thanks Ann.

Here’s how Kennedy and the Nation of Islam got together. A white woman who believes her child is vaccine-injured, Michelle Ford (the one who organized the Atlanta micro-rally) reached out to Tony Muhammad. RFKjr agreed to meet with Muhammad, and from there, RFKjr met with Farrakhan. This happened in the spring of 2015, I believe.

And off to the races.

Background on Michelle Ford:

Michelle Ford of Culver City said she founded the Vaccine Injury Awareness League after vaccines caused her eldest daughter to suffer from years of chronic diarrhea as well as digestive problems, mood swings and insomnia that persist to this day. Ahead of the first hearing for the vaccination measure, Senate Bill 277, she was in Sacramento, rallying bill opponents by railing against “medical tyranny.” She considers her 22-year-old daughter fortunate to have endured relatively minor injuries.

“I have interviewed mothers whose children are my daughter’s age and they have (protective) helmets, and diapers, have gut and intestinal issues, have brain damage, dare I say the word autism,” Ford said.


Read more here:

@Delphine #21

Oh. My. God. Those poor kids…but all she talks about is how their coughing (until they puked! For 120 – 150 days!) kept her from sleeping, stressed her marriage, was the hardest thing she’d ever faced as a mother. She writes as if putting her poor kids through all of that unnecessary pain and suffering was some sort of personal achievement. And now she’s patting herself on the back because now her kids have “natural” immunity – guess she didn’t realize that natural immunity to pertussis wanes just like vaccination-induced immunity does and over a similar period of time.

Delphine @21: I couldn’t even read that whole article, it made me so mad. At what point would she actually take those children to a real doctor? Or is she so delusional that they would have to be dead or missing a limb before she could admit she couldn’t fix it?

And why didn’t the dad actually do anything? The tone of the whole thing is pretty sexist “Mom or Gramma is all the doctor you need”. So what’s Dad, chopped liver?

The only reason she got away with not treating these kids properly is because they’re home schooled, so no other adult could see them and say “hey, that’s not right”. I’m sure most home schoolers aren’t like that, but there seems to be a subset…

I can’t imagine anyone watching little children suffer through that without doing everything in their power to help them. At that point, who cares whether what you’re doing builds immunity or not. Just get those kids some relief!

The Dads in these families are mostly sperm donors/wallets. They either choose this dynamic because it’s easy, or they allow it because they’re spineless.

And yeah, she has no idea that naturally acquired active immunity lasts about as long as artificially acquired active immunity. But that doesn’t matter, it really wasn’t about that anyway. Just the chance to show the world how awesome a martyr I mean mother she is.

Medical neglect at its finest.

I do remember watching an episode of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore where the topic of vaccines was discussed. (Wilmore took the pro-vax position; there was also an anti-vaxxer there, and some assorted other people.) There was one black gentleman, IIRC, who wasn’t anti-vax, really, but expressed his slight skepticism and general mistrust of big pharma/the medical profession/etc. in one word: “Tuskegee.” I mean, I can kind of see where he’s coming from.

^ That link is irrelevant; I think I was meaning to blockquote something somebody said, but I had the link in my clipboard and managed not to notice what I’d done.

^ Also “skepticism” (wrt vaccines) should probably have been in scare quotes. Although I suppose the usage does fit the actual definition of the word, or one of them.

Both Ren & Amy Tutuer have blog posts on the child-harming naturopath mommy.

Ren’s post:

After reading all this, including her lies and misrepresentations about antibiotics and vaccines, I can only hope and pray that this is all a spoof. I hope that no person can be so delusional and cruel so as to willingly put children through whooping cough (or a disease as she describes it) for months. And I hope that even naturopaths whom she consulted were not as deluded as to say that this is a normal thing.

If it’s real, and I have no indication at this point that it is not, it is very, very, very close to child abuse.

I hope this is a sick joke.

Amy Tutuer’s post

But the suffering that angers me the most is that visited on small children by the selfishness of their parents. Such suffering comes in many different forms but can ultimately be traced back to the narcissism of mothers and fathers who think that fulfilling their own needs — whether that is a need to vent their anger, exercise their fists or bolster their fragile self esteem — is more important than meeting the needs of the children who depend on them for everything.

“I just want you to ask yourself… How did people make it through for thousands of years? How did they get through the Spanish Influenza, the Black Plague, fevers and other ailments?”

Um, lady, do you not realize LOTS OF THEM DIED? She has no idea how lucky she was. I feel so bad for her kids.

Just the chance to show the world how awesome a martyr I mean mother she is.

You say “martyr”, I say “Munchausen-by-Proxy”. Certainly your version is shorter.

@Orac —

I think that’s a reasonable surmise on your part. And it could well be the case.

The thing is that this…

When I grew up in Hollis, Queens there was a rehab, a mosque and a “Steak n’ Take” on my corner, all of which where run by the Nation of Islam. There was also a heroin epidemic on that corner that was killing off our teenagers and young adults. Our parents would tell us that when we grow up we should make a choice to either join the army or “be a Muslim or something.” The Nation of Islam secured our housing projects, promoted dignity and transformed men with criminal pasts. Those men would then, in turn, raise refined, educated black children. Hard to dispute this. It took guys off the street and created a powerful, non-violent movement. The Nation of Islam has never been associated with any form of violence and always been about uplifting our communities and making a better future for black people. If you ask anyone from my generation, from any ghetto in this country, I promise you they have roughly the same experiences regarding the Nation’s presence in their communities.

…is sad but true. They pretty much had the field to themselves when it came to offering a route to autonomy/pride and so on. (Or appearing to do so.) And to some extent they still do.

The Million Man March was a real achievement, although of course it went nowhere because NOI has no follow-through or real political game, in a large-scale sense.

But even still, he’s right. There are a lot of people, including reputable people, who only know them for their community activism and are happy to express solidarity with them on it. That march was endorsed by for-real civil-rights orgs across the land. And it was not a bad thing.

I note that he minimizes but does implicitly disown the zaniness:

Certainly some of their preachers were fiery, especially in their pointing out the evils of white supremacy. They said some things in a way that was hard for most whites and some blacks to digest. For example, “THE WHITE MAN IS THE DEVIL.” We have to remember the climate of the country during this time. It was an all out war and the Nation was not about to back-down. The Nation of Islam, which was started by Elijah Muhammad and a white man named, Master Fard Muhammad, always pointed out that one day we would all live in harmony. Although this still isn’t quite true, their message under the leadership of Minister Louis Farrakhan has evolved to fit the time.

So who knows? I’m just rooting for my preferred outcome, really. I can’t pretend I actually have a case to make in favor of it.

let’s rewind to one short year ago to what could be considered the most traumatic period of my life

At this point, Madilyn’s cough was beginning to scare me. She would wake in the middle of the night, multiple times a night, coughing so hard that she would puke over the side of her loft bed. Her normally rosy cheeks would drain pale until she was able to gasp for air. Madilyn was 6.

During the night, Lucien would cough until he barfed up mucus, proceeded by crying and screaming fits. He was genuinely terrified each and every time he woke from sleep without breath. Lucien was 3.

Emilia’s breathing had now reached the scary point. She was now coughing until she puked, making her normally rosy cheeks drain to pale. This was followed by crying, which would cause the process to repeat itself until often times she would just fall asleep due to pure exhaustion. Emilia was 9 months old.

Words can’t convey how much I hate these parents.

I think that’s a reasonable surmise on your part. And it could well be the case.

^^Meaning “that he comes to it via his association with NOI.” That could totally be true.

MJD @9

So your argument is that food allergies have increased over time…..therefore…..vaccines!

I guess you missed this:

“We randomly assigned 640 infants with severe eczema, egg allergy, or both to consume or avoid peanuts until 60 months of age.”

…. the prevalence of peanut allergy at 60 months of age was 13.7% in the avoidance group and 1.9% in the consumption group (P<0.001)."

So it turns out that the reason that food allergies are on the rise is that parents have been delaying the introduction of allergenic foods. Kind of lets vaccines off the hook, dont ya think?

And it is customary when you cite a reference to support your argument that
#1) you include a page number when the reference is several hundred pages long
#2) the reference actually supports what you are arguing.

Vaccines do not increase he risk of food allergies. I would be happy to discuss any evidence you believe says otherwise.

Oh dang. I knew about the “white devils” bit (which I can kind of understand, to be honest), but I had no idea just how far the absurdity went. I guess I do remember now some bits in Malcolm X’s biography about it, but I read that back in middle school I think.

I knew about the “white devils” bit (which I can kind of understand, to be honest), but I had no idea just how far the absurdity went.

One thing that I’ve noticed when looking at random rah-rah things about NOI’s relationship Co$ is the emphasis on Dianetics (the “spiritual healing technology”) per se. One might wonder whether the issue of the completely incompatible cosmogonies has ever come up.

BTW, the Dachelbot’s latest is fantastic. After recounting a news story that plainly states that the child has ADEM, she emits this:

They’re talking about Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Um, err, well… the family seems pretty damn sure that it’s not GBS, Anne.

Only in an ignorant society anybody would take a medical advice from a so-called celebrity (or from internet), if you need to change a tire you go to a mechanician, you don’t go to the baker!!!

How often to you get out of your basement? Multi-syllable words don’t truly make you sound like an intelligent person. Try harder.

The Nation of Islam has never been associated with any form of violence

Malcom X would beg to differ

Narad @46

Thanks. I left a comment, not that it has any chance of getting past moderation.

My comment:

“Ms. Dachel,

There is an inaccuracy in your article. Acute disseminated encephalitis (ADEM) and Guillain-Barre are not the same thing, although both are believed to have an autoimmune etiology.

It may be of interest to your readers that the incidence of severe ADEM decreased sharply after the introduction of the Measles vaccine. Turns out that Measles can lead to a particularly severe case of ADEM in about 1 out of every 800 cases.”

I often wonder what vaccines were causing Guillain-Barré Syndrome back in 1916 when Georges Guillain and Jean Alexandre Barré identified it.

@ ann

Guys like Simmons respect the NOI for what they do in the community, but they don’t follow the Nation. It’s a little dance: friends at arms length; allies when purposes coincide, mouths shut when they don’t. The biggest thing is “The Nation of Islam secured our housing projects.” This was also true in Chicago when i lived there in the mid-90s. You don’t dis the only guys willing to take on the dealers and keep grandmas and little kids out of a free fire zone, no matter what weird talk they may spout.

Thus, I’d guess it was the combination of Tony Muhammed and RFKJ that got Simmons’ attention. I don’t think it would be correct to say it was just the Kennedy name and RFKJ’s environmental work, any more than it would be correct to say that fact Simmons listens to Rev. Tony means he’s persuaded by any given thing Rev. Tony says.

@ Militant Agnostic
Simmons certainly knows about Malcolm’s assassination. When he says, “the Nation of Islam has never been associated with any form of violence” he’s not referring to individual violence, internecine power struggles, or even showing ‘muscle’ in the projects. He’s talking about the organization’s policies, and it’s broad means to its ends, contrasting the NOI with the Panthers, fringe groups like MOVE in Philly: the folks who take up arms against ‘the man’.

@sadmar —

Honestly, I have no idea what goes on in the mind of Russell Simmons, or why he does what he does. After all, I don’t know him. I do know some people who have worked with him. And if I were to judge him by those associations, I’d judge him well.

When it comes the NOI, I take him on his word (ie — what he says in that article.) When it comes to what Kennedy means to him, as I said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the name “Bobby Kennedy” signified “right on” to him. It’s not all that unreasonable a presumption, ftm. It just happens to be wrong.

But the truth is I’m mostly reluctant to think ill of him because I’ve liked a lot of what he does. Nevertheless. I have no very solid reason to think he’s not capable of true anti-vaxitude. I just hope that he merely made a mistake.

Captain-a (#40) says,

Kind of lets vaccines off the hook, dont ya think?
Vaccines do not increase the risk of food allergies.

MJD says,

What do you get when you take a peanut protein (i.e., antigenic protein), adsorb it onto an immunologic adjuvant (e.g., Aluminum hydroxide), and inject it into the body?

A peanut allergy, anaphylaxis, or nothing depending on the individual’s immune profile.

The good news is some vaccines will not increase the risk of a food allergy or anaphylaxis (e.g., egg allergy) if the food protein is not present in the vaccine. (See Flublok)

Eliminating a vaccine contraindication(s) one technology at a time.

Michael, you’re beginning to sound like APV, another antivaxer here who was fixated on the idea that vaccines cause allergies.
Peanut oil has NEVER been used in vaccines, so your question above is obvious JAQing off.

Continuing cracks and eroding confidence in the vaccine construct. It’s just a matter of time. Simmons is no dummy either, When anyone outside the medical establishment researches all sides of this issue they find themselves stunned by what they uncover.

Indeed, Theodore. They are shocked by the lies, distortions and wooden-headedness of the antivaccine side.
At least, I was.

I really don’t understand. Do they think there’s some sort of subversive experiment going on where there is one vial of a vaccine labeled for African-Americans and another viallabeled for white people? I wonder if there is any correlation with the recent police shootings of unarmed black youths. Maybe they are just trying to add fuel to the fire and promote a false narrative.

Theodore: “Continuing cracks and eroding confidence in the vaccine construct. It’s just a matter of time.”

Yes, in the coming days a tsunami of truth will sweep the vaccine apologists to their doom, sparing only those who have climbed the mountain of concealed facts, avoiding eruptions of pharma shills and dodging the reeking piles of false medical justifications, at last attaining the summit of complete and total vindication.

Theodore says (#56),

Continuing cracks and eroding confidence in the vaccine construct.

MJD says,

A quick search in the United Stated Patent and Trademark data-based shows that there are 286 patents granted in 2015 with the word vaccine in a claim(s).

Fortunately, scientists are working very hard to fix the vaccine problem(s).

Julian Frost@55
I had the same thought back when he pulled the IOM into Richet combo at the beginning of the thread. It’s sad too because MJD has always been mildly entertaining by virtue of being so incredibly whacko. APV is just an unamusing liar through and through.

About Simmons, it doesn’t seem like he was actually initiated into the movement. I think it was just a passing “hey look at this” kind of thing. The AVers have been twatting at him on Twitter for the past three days with nary twit in response.

capnkrunch says (#61),

It’s sad too because MJD has always been mildly entertaining by virtue of being so incredibly whacko.

MJD says,

Filing fees:

$400 Vaccine-injury filing fee (VICP)
$306 Chapter-7 bankruptcy filing fee (California)
$165 Immigrant-VISA filing fee (USA)
$100 Political-Office filing fee (Michigan)
$35 Marriage-License filing fee (Iowa)


Why is the VICP filing fee so costly?

Since MJD provides no context for the fee in relation to those others he mentioned, it is pretty expensive for me to register my car in my state…..and I only get a piece of paper.

If someone files for NVICP, they get all of their legal fees paid, plus if they qualify, they get an award….seems to be a fair trade for only a $400 filing fee.

Lawrence writes (#63),

If someone files for NVICP, they get all of their legal fees paid, plus if they qualify, they get an award….seems to be a fair trade for only a $400 filing fee.

MJD says,

Since 1988 there have been 16,318 petitions filed according to the NVICP statistics report.

A total of 9,912 cases were dismissed since 1988.

That’s about 4 million dollars in filing fees collected from dismissed petitions.

Americans already pay an extra 0.75 cents per dose of vaccine to fund the VICP and billions of doses have been distributed in the U.S. according to the CDC.

Furthermore, a $400 filing fee is a financial barrier for lower income individual’s and families that continue to support vaccine public safety (i.e., herd immunity).

In my opinion, the VICP should discontinue the $400 filing fee in an effort to make the process less expensive and increase public trust in vaccines.

Furthermore, a $400 filing fee is a financial barrier for lower income individual’s and families that continue to support vaccine public safety (i.e., herd immunity).

So, that’s about what it costs to file for bankruptcy. Anyway, newsflash (PDF):

“If you are unable to pay this fee, call (202) 357-6400 [i.e., the Clerk’s office] for assistance.”

Filing fees:

$400 Vaccine-injury filing fee (VICP)
$306 Chapter-7 bankruptcy filing fee (California [sic])
$165 Immigrant-VISA filing fee (USA)
$100 Political-Office filing fee (Michigan)
$35 Marriage-License filing fee (Iowa)

What the f*ck do you imagine that the last three have to do with the first two? (C.D. Cal. is also $335, G—le-boy.)

Narad (#65),

“If you are unable to pay this fee, call (202) 357-6400 [i.e., the Clerk’s office] for assistance.

MJD says,

Thanks Narad!

I just called the number (202) 357-6400 and a recording said they were closed.

I’ll call again Monday 11/9/15 to see if I can actually talk to a person and determine what the “If you are unable to pay this fee” means and then give an update here at RI.

@ Orac’s (happy vaccine) minions,

I’m in the process of filing a vaccine-related injury petition for my 25 year old autistic-son who has a diagnosed egg allergy that is severe enough to adversely affect his quailty of life (e.g., egg-allergy symptoms with a restricted egg-free diet)

He’s had all his flu shots that unfortunately contain egg proteins.

What are the chances of a negotiated settlement with the VICP?

Anyone seen Dan’s (AoA) post today? It’s about whether Holocaust is an appropriate word for the autism “epidemic”. Starts off:

Bob Krakow — I have a strong view that the choice of the word “Holocaust” is not appropriate and does not serve the interests of our children.

For a second I thought maybe some of them have some sense after all.


Holocaust is not the correct word because having a child with autism is actually worse than attempted genocide.


What are the chances of a negotiated settlement with the VICP?

Given the data you’ve given us, snowball in hell.

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