Of all the oddities of the embryonic election campaign is the candidacy of Marianne Williamson. We’ve last met her, she was a guest on Bill Maher’s television show. At the time, all I knew about her was that she was some sort of New Age spiritual advisor (in other words, grifter). Her performance in the first Democratic Presidential debate, held a month ago was truly bizarre, but for some reason she remains popular in Hollywood. As I noted at the time, she was full of fluffy, gauzy, New Age woo, and none of that changed at the Democratic debate. That she is utterly unqualified to be President is not the least bit in doubt, and fortunately her odds of becoming President are slim and none.
Indeed, Marianne Williamson is full of woo, representing herself as the “wellness candidate,” a self-described “bitch for God.” She’s known best for her self-help books and gained popularity after befriending high-power celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Cher, and Elizabeth Taylor. She’s written 13 books, given TED talks, and was famous for being Oprah Winfrey’s spiritual advisor (whatever that means). She’s also won support from various celebrities, like Alyssa Milano:
Late Tuesday, actress Alyssa Milano, who has rebranded as a political activist in recent years (replete with a CNN column and podcast), tweeted that she would be attending Williamson’s fundraiser in Beverly Hills. “I’m going to my first fundraiser of the election cycle and it’s [email protected] I know. I know. But she’s the only candidate talking about the collective, soulful ache of the nation & I think that’s an important discussion to have.” Milano, who also teased Williamson’s appearance on an upcoming episode of her podcast, was promptly ratioed, with critics upbraiding the Charmed star for boosting a candidate with a long history of espousing dangerous anti-science views.
Of more interest to me is her stance on vaccination. Why? Because, through her fame, her attacks on vaccine mandates, and her non-denial denials that she is antivaccine. Before I discuss her antics in the last month or so, let’s take a trip back to 2015, when she was on Real Time With Bill Maher. At the time, all while claiming she’s “not antivaccine,” she laid down a veritable cornucopia of antivaccine tropes, such as “too many too soon,” that “if you had any skepticism whatsoever [towards vaccines], you were antiscience,” and, laying down extreme distrust of pharma as her reason for being suspicious of vaccines, while adding that the “difference between having skepticism about science and having skepticism about the pharmaceutical industry.” As I described, truly her stupid did burn brightly and continued to burn brighter still. Even as Williamson touted that she vaccinated her children, she went on about how the government had “earned our distrust” and how the “government had suppressed information” and medicine had done the same. She bristled at being called antiscience for being suspicious of the pharmaceutical industry. Her conclusion? She said that the answer is “not to call us kooks” but for the government and pharmaceutical industry to “get their acts together.”
Of course, as I’ve noted many times, this is a tactic taken straight from the playbook of the antivaccine movement, to cite (disingenuously) reasonable suspicion of the pharmaceutical industry’s previous misdeeds as a reason to be suspicions of the safety and efficacy of vaccines. As much as antivaxers conflate the two, they are not the same thing, nor is one as reasonable as the other. Whatever misdeeds the pharmaceutical industry is guilty of, they do not cast doubt on the safety and efficacy of vaccines because there is plenty of independent evidence to support the conclusions that vaccines do not cause autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, sudden infant death syndrome, allergic conditions, or any of the other myriad problems frequently ascribed to them by antivaccinationists. I also not infrequently note that, no matter how much the government or the pharmaceutical industry ever “gets its act together,” it’s never, ever enough for people like Marianne Williamson. Also, the claim that you “can’t question” oor that “questioning does not make you antiscience” is a favorite cry of the crank, given that it is not reasonable “questioning” that we are talking about.
So now it’s four years later, summer 2019, and Marianne Williamson is running for the Democratic nomination for President. Even before the Democratic debate last month, she was getting herself into trouble on the issue of vaccines.
According to this news report:
Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, an author and self-help guru who will appear on the Democratic debate stage next week, apologized Wednesday night after she attacked mandatory vaccinations as “draconian” and “Orwellian” at a Manchester, N.H., event. “To me, it’s no different than the abortion debate,” Williamson said at the event, according to a tweet from an NBC News reporter. “The U.S. government doesn’t tell any citizen, in my book, what they have to do with their body or their child.” After a request for comment from the Los Angeles Times, Williamson acknowledged making the remarks and said she misspoke.
Hilariously, in addition, her response was to post a Tweet containing a video segment from her 2015 appearance with Bill Maher that I so lovingly deconstructed at the time.
Her “apology” on Twitter was in reality a not-pology:
Notice how there’s a “but.” She “understands that many vaccines are important and save lives.” She “recognizes there are epidemics around the world that are stopped by vaccines.” Of course, the “but” is coming. It always does:
I also understand some of the skepticism that abounds today about drugs which are rushed to market by Big Pharma. I am sorry that I made comments which sounded as though I question the validity of life-saving vaccines. That is not my feeling and I realize that I misspoke
There’s the tell for antivaxers. The antivaccine trope here is the “but big pharma” qualification to her statement of belief in vaccines, as in, “I know vaccines can save lives, but big pharma.” It’s the same sort of thing she did on The View, where the panel badgered her about vaccines (and appropriately so, in my opinion), leaving her frustrated:
Williamson was challenged last month in a contentious interview on “The View” over her previous statements calling vaccine mandates “draconian” and “Orwellian.” “My sloppiness in talking about that was a self-inflicted wound,” Williamson said. But she added “The View” co-hosts treated her unfairly. “I said to Joy Behar during the break, ‘Why are you doing this? I’m a liberal,’ ” Williamson said. “ ‘Why are you doing this?’ She said, ‘What are you talking about? I’ve always been good to you.’ I said, ‘Until today you have been.’ I don’t understand it.”
And, as in 2015, Marianne Williamson pulled the “questioning” gambit:
Any time there is a medical intervention, there is both benefit and risk,” she said. “Government must come down on the side of public health.” “Having said that, I understand that many areas having to do with food, health and safety are places where Americans have questions,” she added. “And I don’t believe that questioning should be squashed. There is intelligent nuance that should be respected.”
Of course, it is not “questioning” or “intelligent nuance” that is being “squashed.” The “questioning” of vaccines by antivaxers is not in any way based in “intelligent nuance.” It’s based in pseudoscience, bad science, cherry picked evidence, and logical fallacies. In any event, Williamson has been catching a lot of criticism, and rightly so. Apparently this week, it got on her nerves, as she Tweeted:
Amusingly, one response was spot on:
I must admit, I found Williamson’s statement rather amusing. Quoting Einstein doesn’t make you pro-science any more than quoting Martin Luther King, Jr. makes one not racist. Even more hilariously, it was immediately pointed out that Williamson has a history of spreading fake quotes by Albert Einstein in her books, a lot of fake quotes.
It’s also generally a bad thing if you feel the need to deny that you are a “cult leader” or deny that you are “antiscience.” If you feel the need to deny it, chances are very good that you are, in fact, at least one of the two. Indeed, this 1992 article by Martin Gardner about her and A Course in Miracles, published in Skeptical Inquirer is quite revealing:
Williamson’s theme song is “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” The word love must appear in her book more than a thousand times, in such sentences as “We are all part of a vast sea of love…Love is a win-mode…Only love is real. Nothing else actually exists…Love is to people what water is to plants.” Here some more gems of Marianne’s mushy metaphysics: “We are pregnant with possibilities…Nothing occurs outside our minds…If God is seen as electricity, then we are his lamps…Gray clouds never last forever. The blue sky does…Time does not exist…We’re always perfect. We can’t not be….Sickness is an illusion and does not actually exist.”
So basically, at least since the early 1990s, Williamson has basically been a New Age guru. Maybe not a cult leader, but she’s definitely way out there and has been for a long time. She’s also into The Secret and its Law of Attraction, the concepts that just wishing hard enough for something will result in the universe granting it to you.
She’s also still antivax, her claims otherwise notwithstanding. I admit that I thought she probably wasn’t hard core antivax. Then she had to go and Tweet this, which made me realize that I was mistaken:
Ah, yes, leave it to Marianne Williamson to fall back on the most favorite trope of antivaxers, a variant of the “I’m not antivaccine; I’m pro-safe vaccine” gambit so beloved of Jenny McCarthy. This particular variant does the same sort of thing that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. does when he declares himself “fiercely pro-vaccine” before launching into antivaccine misinformation. In this case, she channels antivaxers by insinuating that vaccines are responsible for the rise in prevalence of chronic illnesses, when they are demonstrably not. She then channels antivaxers ranging from Rob Schneider to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in attacking the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 as somehow giving big pharma “freedom from liability” for adverse events due to vaccines, which is utter nonsense.
All the NVCIA requires is that vaccine injury cases go first through a special court first, and the funding of that court comes from a surcharge on vaccines. Moreover, unlike standard court, the Vaccine Court pays all the reasonable legal expenses of complainants, win or lose, which is a hell of an advantage of Vaccine Court over standard court. Basically, Vaccine Court is a much easier mechanism for parents of children with real vaccine injuries to be compensated. Notice how Williamson refers to the NVCIA as the “vaccine protection law.” I suppose I should give her credit for not calling it what antivaxers frequently do, the pharma protection law. Not surprisingly, she also cites the $4 billion paid out over 30 years as evidence that vaccines are somehow horribly unsafe, when in reality when taken in context of the billions of doses of vaccines to hundreds of millions of children given during that time it’s not really that large a figure.
Also note Williamson’s clever conflation of two things that aren’t related, the opioid addiction crisis and vaccines. Yes, there is considerable evidence that pharma had a hand in stoking the opioid crisis in the name of profits, but that has no bearing on the safety of vaccination. After all, we have copious evidence that vaccines are safe and effective that comes from many sources independent of pharma from many nations. There are multiple large epidemiological studies including many hundreds of thousands of children that have failed to find an association between vaccination and autism. Her ploy here is nothing more than poisoning the well. Similarly, the claim that the CDC refuses to do more research is a straight up lie. If that were the case, how come there are so many studies on vaccine safety funded by the CDC? Why are there two active surveillance systems (the Vaccine Safety Datalink and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment project) and one passive surveillance system (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System)?
No, Marianne Williamson is definitely antivaccine. She can deny it all she wants, and she might fool those not familiar with antivaccine misinformation, pseudoscience, and logical fallacies, but she doesn’t fool me, and she doesn’t fool anyone who is familiar with the tactics and tropes of the antivaccine movement. Fortunately, there’s virtually no chance that she will become President, but before she drops out she is likely to spread antivaccine misinformation while denying being antivaccine. Don’t let her fool you. She’s not saying anything about vaccines that I couldn’t find on Age of Autism or other antivaccine blogs or social media accounts.
102 replies on “Marianne Williamson is antivaccine, period.”
You’d still vote for her if she got the Dem nomination, that’s how much you hate the sitting president.
If it came down to such a choice, it would certainly be a choice of horribles, and I might go with that, depending on whether her other oppositions were reasonable.
Let’s hope we don’t get to the point where these are our only choices. I really hope we end up with at least one candidate that understands law, administration, and democracy.
I’m a South African, but be honest. There is a LOT to hate about Donald Trump. He has shown himself to be consistently dishonest, corrupt, and utterly incompetent.
It’d be a dilemma for sure. She’s every bit as reality challenged as Donald Trump is, maybe more so—and not just about vaccines—just in different ways and on different issues.
Marginally less likely to be violent. Much less likely to nominate total incompetents and grifters for Cabinet. Less likely to steal from America.
This is crazy. it’s to the point that the President is worse than a woo-woo. Less, Ms. W is far better than the current President. We’re fucked.
Don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly would. She’s a nut, and unqualified, but she has not given me any reason to hate her. Oh, and while I felt nothing but contempt for Teflon Don the Con before he was put in office by the EC and the Russians, I did not hate him. That came after the election. Fortunately, Williamson v tRump will never be a choice I have to make.
Electoral College [as opposed to the majority of voters].
If we nominate this batsh*t muppet, we have truly failed as a party.
Fortunately, I don’t see that happening. She’s trying to attack Harris to keep some modicum of attention on her, which smacks of desperation.
I was happy to be part of Alyssa’s ratio.
You’re right, of course. The thought of an unqualified, woo-minded unknown gives me shudders; I’m very troubled by not knowing what she’ll do that’s destructive. But the current administration’s harmful efforts in so many areas are unlikely to be topped.
Good grief. Get out of your bubble! If you could, even for a nano-second, imagine voting for Donald Trump you are either pathetically ignorant about current events or totally devoid of a moral compass. Let’s start with kidnapping, concentration camp internment and institutionalized child abuse. Still have a “dilemma”? How about forbidding climate science and actually increasing carbon emissions from fossil fuels? Still wondering about marking a hypothetical ‘X’ for Williamson? Well, there’s Betsy DeVos, reproductive rights, affordable care, the war in Yemen, the functional end of product and work safety regulation, about a hundred other policy deplorables I’m too shell-shocked to recall right now… Plus unbridled racism, misogyny, xenophobia and staright-up, period, fascism.
Whatever Williamson’s faults, using the same word for her and Trump is an unconscionable false equivalence.
But if Williamson can get the nomination, what about Bill Weld? Would you vote for him over him?
She’s not gonna get the nomination; she’s got a snowball’s chance in hell as far as I can see. Pretty much everything I see about her on social media is jokes about “the Orb lady” and galaxy-brained application of New Age woo to politics.
Congratulations Jeff, you have just written latest version of the “trolley problem.”
“If you see an out-of-control trolley car heading for a crowd, and you can throw a switch on the track to divert it to squish only one person, would ya’ do it?”
Problems of that sort are often used in philosophical arguments, and can also be used for “sociopath recruitment”: whatever the innocent party’s answer, the determined sociopath seeking recruits can say “welcome aboard, you’ve just demonstrated (callousness for human life) / (willingness to kill someone)” as the case may be.
While moral dilemmas are frequent enough in real life, the probability of the posed problem actually occurring is vanishingly small: its usefulness is primarily rhetorical.
Marianne Measles presently has the support of about 1% of Democrats. Compare to the double-digit support Trump had early in his campaign. (There are low-probability/high-consequence events, and then there are space-alien invasions.) Her wacky-woo aura (sorry, couldn’t resist) will confine her to the jokes column, if she can even manage to get out of the “that’s so 1980s” column.
However, your “trolley problem” is certainly useful as a rhetorical exercise. If nothing else it would demonstrate how many of us would tolerate a dangerous fool as the price of removing a monster.
Is there some problem with hating the actions/policy of this President and kiss ass support on lips of the Republican party? Lord, this is such byatch stuff. Gabbard isn’t ever going to have support cause she doesn’t represent, so ya know it won’t be a choice for freedom / country loving dems. We do hate this President — not a doubt. He’s such an ass and soo corrupt. We don’t care about his goofy hair or small hands. What he says and what he does is wrong. That’s why he is hated by like 90% of the world.
So, the way I see it is to ask, “Would you rather have an inexperienced, airhead ignoramus, or a crooked, evil, inexperienced, airhead ignoramus?”
Personally, I would prefer Rodrigo Duterte to either one, but only because the land of my wife’s birth is the only place in the world where I already have an extended family that I could fit right into.
Either that or my other homeland – Netanyahu can’t last forever.
A. If you don’t want to be considered anti-vaccine, try not reaching to anti-vaccine tropes as your defense.
B. The strong case you make aside, in what way is this person qualified to be President? In what way are her statements about public policy, government, administration less problematic than thsoe about vaccines? I want a pro-science president, but that’s not a sufficient qualification.
I love this one, because invariably it is followed with a declaration that no vaccines the speaker knows about are safe.
…there is plenty of independent evidence to support the conclusions that vaccines do not cause… (e.g., allergic conditions)
Aluminium adjuvants, comprising Adju-Phos® and Alhydrogel® (aluminium hydroxide), are the most commonly used class of adjuvants. Both products increase Th2 antibodies…
Q. With respect to allergic conditions, how are adjuvant-inclusive vaccines like black holes.
A. There’s much to learn and discover.
@ Orac’s minions,
Are immunologic adjuvants used during allergy immunotherapy? Please ponder.
“TH2 antibodies” are not a thing. TH2 stands for T-helper cell type II. It’s a type of T cell whose activation leads to the production of antibodies. THE MORE YOU KNOW
TH2 was also half the ‘nym of an antivaxer who regularly graced us with their innate ramblings a number of years back.
Very literal-minded, but also unfortunately very reality-challenged. With a bit of bad-faith arguments.
(sorry, nostalgia time)
Don’t go down this road, MJD. Seriously.
I remember that TH2.
She, of he, stated that children wouldn’t voluntairy play in the dirt.
Yep, so there was no need to vaccinate children against tetanus.
Speaking of which, I see our ‘gain tetanus immunity naturally’ expert is back, somewhere downthread.
Th2 cell reaction promotes antibodies (instead of cell mediated response). Allergy is another thing.
You mean desensitization, I presume. Adjuvants are obviously not used, because it is minor challenge that desensitizes. Purpose is not Immunization.
There you are, MJD,you who once described carbon dioxide as colorless, tasteless, and regarded as an irritant. No doubt you were looking in the mirror when you wrote that.
There it is for all to see, the dochniak that keeps distimming the doshes. You will work it out someday
In an interesting parallel to the argument that it’s legitimate to distrust vaccines because Big Pharma, a long-term supporter of genetic modification recently announced that she now thinks too little attention has been given to abusive industry practices by GM advocates.
Kavin Senapathy was evidently embarassed after several articles she co-wrote for Forbes were taken down when it was revealed that her co-writer had published articles ghostwritten by Monsanto. Does her ”change of heart” sound familiar?
“It’s impossible to have a constructive conversation about GMOs without acknowledging that underlying the unscientific claims made by many GMO opponents is a legitimate desire for trustworthy behavior from the companies that dominate the agricultural marketplace…people, this millennial included, don’t necessarily want the world to look the way that Monsanto wants it to look. What was missing…were answers to big picture problems — about the health of our families, the environment, the food system, and the injustices that pervade all of these facets of life — that people on both sides of the GMO debate care about.”
I think Senapathy has veered off the rails here. The “big picture problems” she mentions can be markedly improved by genetic modification technology (as in the production of drugs to treat cancer) and it’s foolish to cast dark suspicion on them merely because Big Pharma might be involved in their manufacture.
But I’m open to hearing how pro-immunization advocates would handle it. Should we acknowledge the misdeeds of Merck and Sanofi-Aventis more often when praising vaccination? And how would one do that? “Vaccine makers have done rotten things. But do get your shots, they’re safe and effective.”?
I would acknowledge that some companies have behaved badly in some areas but state that doesn’t mean everything that company does is bad or tainted, especially for vaccines. This Nirvana requirement by anti-vaxxers that everything even the slightest bit related to vaccines be perfect (or they won’t vaccinate) is just one of the excuses used by the anti-vaxxer who refuses to look in the mirror and admit they are anti-vax. At least the anti-vaxxer who isn’t afraid to admit s/he is anti-vax (such as “The Drs. Wolfson”) has the intellectual honesty not to lies to their audience about their true stance on vaccines, unlike Williamson
We must stop giving vaccines because Big Pharma promoted an OD epidemic for profit!
So we must stop driving cars because Volkswagen falsified emissions data! Get a bicycle
We must stop riding bicycles because Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France 7 times while doped to the max and threatened potential whistleblowers! Start walking.
We can’t walk because Nike makes its shoes in inhumane sweatshops! Stay put.
I think Laz-E-Boy is corruption-free, though.
I knew it – you’re just a shill for BIG LInEer!
My problem with that whole line of thinking is that the corporate behavior is problematic whether there’s “GMO”s or not. They can engage in predatory practices using old-school mutagenesis or sterile hybrids, eg.
Not to mention that many issues with “the environment, the food system” can be better addressed with recombinant technology.
It’s all just based on a truly depressing degree of willful scientific illiteracy.
True. In particular, Monsanto’s horrible corporate behaviour well predates their involvement in GMOs or even crops of any sort. Remember that they got involved in GMOs mostly to better sell their weedkillers by creating crops that were more resistant to them; they were a chemical company specializing in things that were targeted killers already.
They also had a long-standing reputation of dumping chemical outflow into the river and treating the rare cases of being held accountable as ‘the cost of doing business’; as far as they were concerned it was cheaper to pay the fines than it was to actually fix their factories to be less polluting, so that’s what they did.
I don’t really think Senopathy has gone off the rails, really. She’s right in that a lot of GMO-phobes’ reaction to GMO tech is related to general criticism of agribusiness, which is a legit concern. And I don’t think she’s anti-GMO or denying the fact that GMO is a really important tool in making food production more sustainable.
Actually I think it’s pretty good strategy; gaining trust by recognizing legitimate concerns makes it harder for people to do the knee-jerk “MONSANTO SHILL!!!” thing. I mean, Monsanto isn’t the company making golden rice or whatnot; they’re a big (not as big or powerful as some imagine) corporation that’s interested in making people filthy rich.
(I mean, it won’t work with the people whose sole argument is IT’S NOT NATURAL!! FISHMATO!!, but I can see the point.
@Dang Bacon – “Should we acknowledge the misdeeds of Merck and Sanofi-Aventis more often when praising vaccination? And how would one do that? “Vaccine makers have done rotten things. But do get your shots, they’re safe and effective.”? ”
Great questions! Yes, please acknowledge the multiple lawsuits and fraudulent behavior of all the major players! Millions and millions paid out and billions and billions made! Keeping the shareholders happy! Never mind the pesky collateral damage. It’s been built into the formula.
Why would a person go back for more? Trust is paramount. Untrustworthy behavior is not overlooked especially when it comes to my health.
Simple answer: THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES NEED TO RESUME LIABILITY FOR THEIR VACCINE PRODUCTS.
Already have assumed liability for their vaccine products. Your lot seems to believe that ‘Big Pharma’ has free rein to but any vaccine on the market without testing or assumption of liability. These claims are false, and I invite you to read all about it through an open-minded search of the archives of this blog and also Science-Based Medicine.
The pro-vaccine case is convincing even if you totally distrust ‘Big Pharma’. Reasons have been given here often and at Orac’s other space.
It is standard in analytical philosophy to argue with gusto for your own opposition, and try to show that your conclusion follows (perhaps in attenuated form) notwithstanding these arguments. Very few people in the mainstream have tried this on any issues; maybe now is the time.
As often pointed out by Sadmar, people who exhibit this distrust of ‘Big Pharma’ typically have an ungrounded, highly selective skepticism that does not extend to very similar phenomena and does not make any sense in terms of their everyday lives. The fact that essentially the same people own ‘Big Pharma’ as all the other corporations does not register; it’s a big performative non sequitur. The sheer scale of the conspiracy that would be required to prop up poisons for ‘Big Pharma’ would require that a large percentage of one’s fellow citizens are in on the scam.
I don’t trust any corporations. Even with organizations I basically respect, it’s ‘trust, but verify’. My advocacy of vaccines arises from the observations of many, many unrelated people, most of whom have nothing in particular to gain by propping up ‘Big Pharma’. Always follow the money – and if you do, you find that the big vaccine conspiracy is massively implausible, even for a hard leftist.
Ellie: She’s a nut, and unqualified, but she has not given me any reason to hate her.
Making our entire gender look like fluffbrained idiots isn’t a reason to hate her? Or at least, strongly dislike her?
Julian Frost: He has shown himself to be consistently dishonest, corrupt, and utterly incompetent.
Yup. He makes Warren Harding and Richard Nixon look good. I mean Nixon was at least competent.
You know my friend said exactly the same thing: ” Nixon wasn’t so bad- compared to Trump”. Now this is from a lefty, socialist former government worker who thought that Watergate was a coup d’état.
There’s also a meme of George W asking ” Do you miss me yet?”
But seriously, I don’t think that she makes ALL women look stupid because she will always be compared to the other women who are running- Warren, Harris etc. although to misogynists, any excuse will do. Williamson is indeed abysmal. Although I didn’t make notes, her comments on topics other than vaccines were pretty awful too.
As for ‘reasons to hate her’, well, she’s been pounding out BS artistry books etc ( A course in Miracles ?- more like a course in
raging idiocy) for over a generation and profiting off of – UNFORTUNATELY – the deficient education of many women. We have to say it: many women buy into claptrap like hers because of ( perhaps) societal pressures in the past that discouraged adult thought and ability in mathematics amongst other things. We can’t say this doesn’t exist.
Anti-vax- like generic woo- targets women too: it appeals to that old-time belief that being a mother trumps everything else a woman does. That a mother knows better than SBM and experts. A great part of the audiences of the woo-meisters I survey are women and the charlatans know it and tailor their message to them.
100 years of voting and 50 years of radical feminism and we still have amazingly stupid crap aimed at a female audience. I have hopes for millennial women but worries as well.
Every single word of this resonates with me. I am in my 60s and had a lifelong battle to establish legitimacy as a thinking human beyond my fertility. To be sexist, I think only women really get this.
Personal anecdote: I met this flake when she was first becoming prominent in the flakery/quackery universe. She is grandiose, rude, ignorant, and hypocritical in person as well as in her shrewdly designed New Age-y PR persona. I was a technical and science writer working in the private sector and asked her a question that any marginally literate person could have easily answered. I couldn’t believe the verbiage of love, universe, shared experience blah blah that resulted.
Someone needs to investigate this person’s actual education and funding sources for her endless workshops, nonsensical books, and speaking tours. I suspect that would yield a more upscale Gwe Ptr level of subsidized G**P from outside sources. There can’t be much of a market for her ridiculous guru-ness. But….Mehmet OZ and Deepak Chopra, who are truly raking it in.
She is just smart enough to twist the usual anti-vaxx tropes and do some real harm. Not to mention that she is a narcissistic, rude, arrogant twit……
@ Sara Owen:
In the 1990s/ early 2000s, I would attend various new agey/ woo events: quite a few of the speakers espoused ideas like Williamson. Fortunately, I am able to keep a poker face even whilst listening to the most uproarious nonsense- including Native People’s Crystal Skulls that store and transmit information from the stars.
And yes, I do believe that much of this BS/ woo is aimed at women because MANY of them are susceptible.
An exception might be people like Mike Adams who may be also targeting men by adding alt right/ survivalist/ liberal hate/ gun worship to their alt med spiel- he works with Alex Jones, too. Similarly, Gary Null may have expanded his audience by adding politics ( mostly, libertarian) and economic topics ( truly awful ideas) in the wake of the Financial Crisis. I notice that many of his callers ( he gives advice over the phone) are men..
Men can be clueless too.
Hey, they want customers.
“There’s also a meme of George W asking ” Do you miss me yet?””
Oh man, I hate that meme. No, I don’t miss Guantanamo. I don’t miss the Patriot Act. I don’t miss Dick Cheney. I don’t miss Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. I don’t miss the global gag rule on abortions. I don’t miss the utter hellscape the Mideast got turned into in his tantrum over Iraq.
I refuse to move my Overton window THAT far.
Even so, I’d take W back in a heartbeat over what we have now if presented with the binary choice.
Eh, I absolutely loathe and detest Trump, but I’ve never stopped hating George W. I can tolerate someone saying he might possibly less bad than Trump, given that Trump could be worse than W in the future. In terms of actual lives lost, damage done, war crimes, etc., Bush still takes the cake at this point.
What actually does get my gall is liberals with the memories of goldfish who actually practically gush over W now. “Aww, he gave a cough drop to Michelle Obama, look, they’re friends now.” “Ahaha, look at the good in his rain poncho, how harmless.” Gag me with a spoon.
On the other hand, men, in my admittedly anecdotal experience, are a lot more likely to fall for bizarre conspiracy stuff, like chemtrails, flat earth, and other such nonsense. It’s like a boost to the ego to be on the special knowledge that the “sheeple” don’t have.
I think that most memes and remarks about George W are purely comedy : my friend went to rallies against the war and spent REAL money in the campaign against him, is the one who joked like this.
Like you said, W’s death toll is ( currently, at least) higher. Who knows what Trump can do.
That would be a terrible choice W or Trump.
I think that men do have the edge for weird conspiracy theories like chemtrails- women may go for the natural living purity and the spiritual and woo about birth and child care.
Interestingly, calls to PRN.fm are mostly men asking about health concerns although some are political and “save the planet” .
I DO think that woo-meisters may be adding more conspiracy and political talk ( mostly rightist) to attract a male audience. Adams may have learned this by working with Alex Jones where he had/ has? a weekly show and often substitutes for the honky host.
Perhaps some day, men and women will equally reject woo and altie BS.
This whole ‘hate’ talk and more generally, the focus on the fleeting and trivial qualities of individual politicians is a distraction from real issues. If you want to overcome Trump, stop talking about him, stop talking about how dreamy your candidate is, and focus in on what is really happening.
He also makes Reagan seem not so bad — and that’s hard to do.
Hell, has done the impossible. He has made me feel sympathy for Jeff Sessions.
And he’s a better president than Mush Mouth Moscow Mitch is a Senate majority leader.
That is correct, Politicalguineapig, I do not hate her. Hate is a strong, wearying, and destructive emotion, and up until the current president took office, the only person I ever hated was my ex husband, and I even got over that – when he died. There are many, many emotions between love and hate. It is not an either/or situation. I look forward to the time Himself is out of office, because I hope I will be able to stop hating him then.
Yes, key point: hate is wearying and destructive. It’s also counterproductive. The US Armed Forces teaches recruits that “hating the enemy” fouls up their judgement, even when it comes to the most routine tasks on the battlefield.
All the more so in an era where “emotional warfare” is a known tactic of cyberwar. Getting hooked by one’s feelings is the surest route to getting manipulated.
If ever there was a time to relentlessly practice our professed values of clear-headed rationality, now’s the time.
Fortunately, there’s virtually no chance that she will become President
I believe the same thing was said for Donald Trump (And Boris as PM in the UK.)
In fact, I remember some commentator back in 2015 laughingly talking about Donald Trump and Boris Johnson as preposterous ideas.
It may be time to consider moving to New Zealand. Prime Minister Arden seems relatively sane.
ArdeRn, Jacinda Ardern is the Prime Minister of NZ.
No, I don’t hate Williamson, but I pity the fool. /End Mr. T impression
Indeed fool she is, and pitiful because of it.
See my above comment about asking her a simple, direct question years ago at some overhyped lecture/speaking event. It was free for me, but I think others were paying $15 or so to hear her immortal words of wisdom. Her “speech” lasted for about 15 minutes. There was an audience of about 50 or 60. You can do the arithmetic. My eyes were rolling out of my skull at the end while the gullible rushed onstage to preserve her signature for all time on their magnificent tomes of Williamson wisdom. It was genuinely surreal.
I sound like a get-off-my-lawn crank, but people like this really scare me. Once they reach a critical mass of being able to afford a PR apparatus, you really can’t stop them. Very clever marketing, public ignorance, the total failure of our educational system(s) in the US, and endless brainwashing by Stupid Media have resulted in this. Now we have Donald Trump and Marianne Williamson. That speaks for itself to anyone who has a few functioning brain cells.
Like a very recent Presidential candidate, Ms. W takes something noble and worthwhile – love (for Ms. C, feminism and anti-racism) – and turns it into a vehicle for advancing the interests and self-regard of a particular group of well-heeled American liberals.
I’m not inclined to blame the educational system of the U.S.A., which is flawed but still in many ways the best in the world. C.f. the American ‘trade surplus’ in graduate students. Many people who should know better, who have every reason to know better, credit Ms. W and an endless assortment of woo-woos. Sure, you got yer training in critical thinking on one hand – but you got Ms. W telling you you’re super duper on the other hand. Most people go for the latter.
Follow Marx – always follow the money first, the critical thinking after. This leads, I think, to a more accurate sociological outlook. Ms. W’s followers are not all idiots; they just like to feel good about themselves, same as everyone. There’s a reason New Age seminars are so expensive, and it isn’t stupidity.
Now I’ve got a Hollies earworm thanks to this thread.
Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo-doo doo
Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo-doo doo
What’s your game now, can anybody play
Where’s your brain now, you’re incredibly lame
You’re so, so like a nimrod to me…
Mom of a young child syndrome: see doo doo doo, think Baby Shark.
Basically, this means anything that does not fit within the very narrow range of the provaccine & allows them to invalidate without addressing any concerns. All’s you have to do, is to say ‘more Antivaccine trope …’ & congratulate yourselves on how clearly superior your intellect is. That’s sort of lazy.
As amusingly concerned with strategy & counter-intelligence as the provaccine are, surely you will be receptive to some constructive criticism ( … snort)?
The WHO has declared that ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is the greatest threat to global health. The WHO did not state that ‘the Anti-vaccine are a threat to global health’.
The WHO also did not state that ‘the unvaccinated are a threat to global health’.
In this context; I fail to see how calling anyone’s views or concerns ‘trope’ is going to be helpful. That only serves to heighten hesitancy. Backing parents into a corner, demanding media blackouts, cherry picking elected officials, etc is only going to make things worse.
Unfortunately, none of those tactics has actually decreased adverse vaccine reactions. The only thing that will do that, is to improve the vaccines & to adjust the immunization schedule to reflect the evidence regarding the non-specific efffects of vaccines.
Hint: The correct response is not; ‘There are very few adverse vaccine reactions’. Remember, the threat has not been identified as ‘the under-vaccinated’. If you think that way; keep it to yourself. If you are right, you will prevail in the end. If you are wrong, you will prevail in the end because you care about science based evidence, you will have addressed the issue & gained trust.
If you continue to misidentify your enemy, you will lose. No matter how hard you fight. You will be doomed. You are falling to heed your WHO’s call to arms.
I could easily qualify as ‘vaccine-hesitant’. I have been highly compromised by adverse vaccine reactions. ‘Whatsoever you do unto me’ …
Christine K, for something who dislikes the term “antivaccine tropes” you certainly use a lot of them.
Surprise, surprise. ?
@Christine K, I know you addressed your question to JDM, but I will answer it.
From Orac’s post on SB 277:
This trope is “Autism did not exist before vaccination”, and it is very dubious indeed. There are numerous instances of people from history who were almost certainly autistic. William McGonagall, the worst poet ever; Isaac Newton; the wild boy of Aveyron. I’ve even argued that William Bligh was on the spectrum.
This is “Unspecified claims of harms caused by vaccination”.
As was pointed out by Dr. Najera, this is false. Denying/misunderstanding the evidence.
Tone trolling. Not specifically an antivaccine trope, but frequently used by the antivaccine.
Despite the fact that large, well designed studies (including the huge meta-analysis I mentioned before) have shown no correlation between vaccines and autism and vaccines and SIDS, you still insist that they are causing harms. I’d also like to point out that you didn’t answer my other questions, namely:
Favouring circumstancial evidence (known to be unreliable) over properly designed studies.
Straw man. Again, not specifically antivaccine but frequently used by them.
From Barbara Loe Fisher cries “McCarthyism!” over vaccines.
“The Medical Field are dupes!”
From Larry Cook’s “Stop Mandatory Vaccination” page is about to be removed by Facebook
You ignored the fact that VAERS is not the only system used to track Vaccine Injuries and possible injuries.
I hate to be a bromide, but if the item in question is perambulating like an anatidaeid and vocalising like an anatidaeid, consideration must be given to the possibility that the item in question is an anatidaeid. You have recited a LOT of antivaccine tropes.
Ah, I see: an abstract concept is the culprit.
Is there someone left in the world so benighted as to believe that there was no autism before vaccination? The reason there was no autism was that autism had not been recognized as a separate entity before Hans Asperger and Leo Kanner described it as such and named it, each separately, in 1943.
Asperger’s paper wasn’t translated from German to English until 1989, and received little notice for a number of years after.
Before that, there were diagnoses of “Infantile schizophrenia”, “mental retardation’, “oppositional defiant disorder”, and whole lexicons of other names. The ones who were more functional were “oddballs” or “eccentrics”, or were considered to have a “mania” (which today would be called an obsession) for one or another subject. The more seriously affected were considered a curse, or a shame on the family, or even possessed, and were kept hidden away in basements and attics, or at one time might have been the village idiot (“Idiot” had a very different meaning at one time.). Or they would be locked up in a bedlam, or Bedlam itself, to serve as a kind of human zoo exhibit for the amusement of paying customers. Some, I am sure, were taken out to the forest and left. Others may have died suddenly of no discernible cause as just another tragic case at a time when infant mortality was common.
All this “My child was taken” and all the quack cures bullshit that’s around may be a survival of the curse/possession/shame mentality.
Don’t tell me that there was no autism before vaccination.You clearly don’t know the history and haven’t learned from people who come from cultures or times where those views are/were more common than they are today in the English-speaking world.
Incorrect. Anti-vaccine tropes are obviously incorrect claims about that are repeated over and over by those with anti-vaccine viewpoints, such that they become a recurrent theme: e.g. aborted fetal tissue in vaccines.
The WHO did not.
The WHO did state that vaccine hesitancy is a threat to global health. By extension, those who are unvaccinated are part of that threat.
Nothing is going to convince the hard core of anti-vaxxers to vaccinate their children. Pandering to the views of anti-vaxxers is only seen as providing legitimacy to anti-vaxxers. Far better to point out that their nonsense is nonsense.
So you are not anti-vaccine Christine, just pro safe vaccines?
I will let you in on a secret, Christine. The scientific community is also pro safe vaccines. That is why when a safer option for a vaccine becomes available, it is included in the schedule. For example acellular Pertussis vaccine. What the scientific community understands that you anti-vaxxers ignore is that vaccines, like most medical procedures, are used on a risk assessment basis. The risks of damage from the vaccines are so small that they are completely dwarfed by the risks from the diseases they prevent. As a consequence, it is unethical not to use vaccines – barring a small number of contraindications.
What complete and utter nonsense.
@ Chris Preston,
My concerns are not trope.
I have called no one a shill.
I have said nothing about aborted fetal tissue.
I have not invoked toxins.
I have not alleged Pharma profiteering.
And the reply is more often than not ‘just more Antivaccine trope’. Not always. There are some good people here.
Many of your concerns are indistinguishable from anti-vaccine tropes. They should be called what they are.
Strangely, I have never said you did. Are you getting the denial in first?
Strangely, I have never said you did. I used that as an example trope.
Polio vaccine and SV40 is an example of anti vaxxer trope. I have posted relevant citations three times, and you still repeat it. This is how a trope works
A high school friend used to be relatively close to Williamson and she (my friend) offered on FB to answer any of our questions about her (Williamson).
I asked point blank about the anti-vax, and got the “she’s not anti-vax she just has questions” response I expected. But then we had a pretty good conversation about the corrosive nature of The Secret. (Upside, you get what you wish for. Downside, if you get it, you wanted it, so you actually wanted to get cancer.)
That lead to a longer conversation about medicine and science and policy and then my friend said that I am the person that they think of when they think of a “good” scientist. I really don’t know how to feel about that.
Am I good? Am I a good scientist? Am I a “good” scientist? (I would also say that more scientist should be visibly scientists to their friends/family/neighbors, but then again this person is the only comedian I know personally, so I see how that happens.)
But my overall take away is that Williamson sometimes says things that some people really need to hear, but she’s loonier than a Canadian’s pocket change and needs to be limited to at most the self-help circuit.
” Williamson sometimes says things that some people really need to hear”
OR that they WANT to hear
That’s the REAL secret of woo or other forms of grifting:
lots of woo boils down to EAT LESS, lose weight or DON’T BE SO WORRIED- chill out
which are meaningful although HOW they achieve these ends can be baroque – bizarre dietary prohibitions, odd meditation or exercise regimes.
The more dangerous stuff encourages them to substitute SBM with supplements or diets or magical formulae for serious illness.
They WANT to hear that you can treat cancer with green juices not chemotherapy. I just heard today ( PRN of course) that kids with ADHD need omega 3 / DHA not meds. Treat SMI with B vitamins.
Hearing “Vaccines caused your son’s ASD” sounds better ( to them) than, “It’s genetic with possible influence form infection/ trauma”
-btw- that’s a quote to save: ” Loonier than a Canadian’s pocket change”
”The WHO has declared that ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is the greatest threat to global health.”
No, the W.H.O listed vaccine hesitancy as one of ten threats to health facing the world in 2019, among many other issues. Not “the greatest threat”.
”Basically, this means anything that does not fit within the very narrow range of the provaccine & allows them to invalidate without addressing any concerns. All’s you have to do, is to say ‘more Antivaccine trope …’ & congratulate yourselves on how clearly superior your intellect is. That’s sort of lazy.”
Nope. Antivax tropes are bad arguments based on misinformation that has been refuted countless times. Rather than simply say “that’s an antivax trope”, pro-immunization advocates habitually debunk these tropes using good evidence which antivaxers ignore. Examples are the “toxin” gambit, fetal tissue in vaccines, no placebo testing etc. etc.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve patiently explained why these claims are wrong, only to be ignored, have the subject changed or be accused of being a pharma shill.
Repeating garbage from antivax websites without caring about its accuracy is a prime example of laziness, not to mention sleaziness.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve patiently explained why these claims are wrong, only to be ignored, have the subject changed or be accused of being a pharma shill.
This is true … I’ve seen it happen myself. Repeatedly.
If an activist says it; it’s strategy. If it’s a parent, it’s because you are a doctor & they expected to be received better than that by you. Amateurs mistake. Pharma has nothing to do with this. If they did; this would be easy.
I am not sure I am understanding actions you are advising doctors to take. You list some things that should not be done, such as call things tropes, but other than working to improve vaccine safety (which most primary care doctors are not directly involved with) do you have any advice on actions to take to correct misinformation (or disinformation if motives are in doubt).
For example, you state vaccine hesitancy as the greatest health threat identified by the WHO and seem to use that to defend those who spread antivaccination views. What would be the best way to convince (or at least convey to) you that the following is the WHO statement which does not seem to support your statement regarding hesitancy?
From the WHO top 10 threats (8th on the list):
“Vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines”
Further down they discuss the need to support primary care doctors in providing information to promote vaccination.
Its good that you’ve put her in the box of your choice. Your favorite box too. How special, we’re all so surprised you picked the anti-vax box this time. What would us Simpletons do without Orac’s labeling, discrimination and hateful name calling?
So where is your evidence that it is better for kids to get chicken pox and measles? Or do just love seeing kids suffer?
Christ, Ball, couldn’t you go start a campaign to save dracunculiasis?
“What would us Simpletons do without Orac’s labeling, discrimination and hateful name calling?”
Actually, I’m sort of in agreement with you, but dispute the label of hateful. What you would do? You would do as you do now, which is to continue spreading your lies and counterfactuals. You would aid and abet the spread of dangerous infectious diseases, leading to suffering, disability, and deaths.
One place where we both agree is when you label yourself and presumably others like you as “Simpletons”, with a capital S, no less.
Well, Ms. W is not simply anti-vax. Probably she’s kind to her neighbors also. It’s indeed irrational to ‘box’ people into stringent categories. With this in mind, you need to reject your crazy vaccine-poisoning conspiracy theory, which strongly implies this ‘boxing’ that you are now complaining about in such a hypocritical manner.
Selective critical thinking is possibly more dangerous than none at all.
So, references to tropes or memes are now ”discrimination”, and maybe even tantamount to hate crimes?
Oh, what a world.
It is part of her precious paranoid pity party.
Who me? Did you just get your antivaxxers mixed up? Did you just prove my point?
Oh never mind I AM WRONG.
But so are you. You didn’t mix us up, you thought David Ball was rescuing me?
@ Christine K
Uh? Of course not. We don’t expect Ball to come rescue anyone. He is just here to blow off steam and cheaply feel self-righteous by posting a (bad) Bond one-liner.
Common human behavior, us regulars even engage in it ourselves from time to time.
I have been told that putting people in a box, based on what they have said, is also a common human behavior. So Ball’s post has about as much data as a hard drive after exposure to a powerful magnet.
Like in real life, stuff becomes interesting when people take the time to build cogent arguments.
Or, failing that, start exchanging meal recipes. There are some regulars who are quite fond of lutefisk (not me, but, eh.variety is spice of life)
Well, that’s the conclusion a number of us are positing, yes. At least when regarding vaccine topics.
It’s the sort of thing which happens when people have a debate and come to opposite positions.
Any argument to try to change our mind?
(seriously, at least you are trying to engage us. Even if I don’t agree with your position, I cannot blame you for that. Please don’t become a Ball)
“Oh never mind I AM WRONG.”
At last, reality sets in.
Ms. Williamson was on Colbert this past week, and actually made some good points about prioritizing the State Dept. over the Dept. of Defense in policy and budget matters.
Too bad she’s a woo-addled loony-tune.
State did us no favors during the cold war.
The “idiot” Ronald Reagan won it without firing a shot.
Perhaps that is why some here hate him so much.
Cold War was won because communism collapsed. Reagan has nothing to do with it.
Shhh – don’t tell it to the GOP.
For them, Reagan caused communism collapse by engaging in a nuclear arm race, so one side eventually ended bankrupted.
I mean, their narrative is that he somewhat divined that this will be the result. Instead of a nuclear WW3, or simply just maintaining the balance of mutual assured destruction. Both the latter being, to me, what building nuclear weapons was really all about.
Not to mention having the biggest red button.
“The “idiot” Ronald Reagan won it without firing a shot.”
Reagan was an idiot, and he did show that racism could be weaponized, an act that lead directly to the modern Republican party’s widespread use of it, but he had nothing to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The records that have opened since they fell show that the were bankrupt and essentially “out of business” for a long time, starting pre-Reagan.
From “Adjuvants in Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy: Modulating and Enhancing the Immune Response” http://www.jiaci.org/summary/vol29-issue2-num1764
“Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is the only treatment that can affect the natural course of allergic diseases such as allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, and IgE-mediated food allergy. Adjuvants are used to induce a quicker, more potent, and longer-lasting immune response. Only 4 compounds are used as adjuvants in currently marketed AIT products: aluminum hydroxide, calcium phosphate, microcrystalline tyrosine (MCT), and monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL).”
This has nothing necessarily to do with adjuvants in vaccines, but there you go.
Its good that you’ve put her in the box of your choice. & I thought Chris thought he meant me (as the ‘her’) because she said
It is part of her precious paranoid pity party. Which is how she started referring to me on another thread, because I am ASD, am taking care of a severely autistic son with ASD & had a daughter who died of SIDS in 1994 (within 24 hours of immunization). I then saw that Chris was not replying to Ball but another poster. That’s why I said I was wrong.
I’m here about the vaccines & I’ve backed up my assertions as best I know how. I’m not very good at reciprocal conversations but I can get better. I appreciate Orac giving me a voice, although he’s probably just doing it so I can get defeated. I’m in your world & I know it. It’s okay. He said once he likes to give his regulars ‘chew toys’. At that, at least; I’m doing a great job.
It’s very difficult to get banned or even automodded from RI. You’re just another passer-by, I’m afraid.
‘… the Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs …’
“I’ve backed up my assertions as best I know how.” I’m afraid you have not given any fact-based, coherent reasons for your views. There’s a reason you sound exactly the same as so many other anti-vax posters, and it’s not a confluence of awareness. Everything you said has been refuted, many times, years ago. You strike me as totally sincere, and that saddens me.
Please be willing to examine the possibility that some people pointing you to anti-vax views have much to gain in so doing. You seem to be convinced that the anti-vax side is the Robin Hoods and Davids here; I’m not, that’s for sure. In reality, life rarely presents us with cases of pure and simple Davids and Goliaths.
I agree. I couldn’t resist quoting from a favorite book:
“I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You’re wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.”
I found it very helpful for coming to terms with some of real-life large ethical issues.
It’s not about ‘bothsidedidit’. It’s a reminder to not judge one side by what you see on the opposite side.Also, not to expect or request the other side to be made of angels because you have demons – or nazis – on this side.
Williamson is hoping to look better in the next debate:
”I hope that this time my delivery will be more aligned with my substance,” she told USA Today. “I don’t regret the substance of anything I said, but I understand that my delivery made me vulnerable to mockery.”
I’m not sure if the delivery of her message is the only thing at work.
Marianne rides again – this time she sounds even more aggressively pro-immunization than RFK Jr.!
“On the issue of vaccinations I’m pro-vaccination, I’m pro-medicine, I’m pro-science,” she said. “On all of these issues, what I’m bringing up that is very legitimate and should not be derided and should not be marginalized, particularly in a free society is questions about the role of predatory Big Pharma.”
Presented with a tweet in which she called federal vaccination mandates “draconian” and “Orwellian,” Williamson began to spew typical anti-vaxxer arguments about how when she was a child there were fewer vaccines and therefore fewer “chronic illnesses”—an assertion that is not backed up by science.”
I saw this happen live: it was great.
[…] Marianne Williamson is antivaccine, period. July 25, 2019 […]
Williamson’s opinion on this subject of medicalization of normal human despair echoes that of the architect of the DSM-IV. https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/08/media-scolds-marianne-williamson/
[…] Williamson has a number of horribly denialist views about medicine, particularly about vaccines and psychiatry and antidepressants (about which she sounds rather Scientology-like). She routinely […]