Laura Hewitson’s Stinker

18 May

Sorry about the title, I couldn’t find a word to rhyme with her last name to infer wrong-doing a la Age of Autism’s ‘Grinker’s Stinker. Anyway….

Meet Laura Hewitson. Laura is the lead and joint author of a trio of papers presented at this years IMFAR as posters.

These papers (also shredded by Orac) purport to show how it is possible to mimic the 1999 US vaccine schedule and give monkeys autism as a reult. Never mind the fact that the results reported don’t sound or present anything like autism (<em>”survival reflexes, tests of color discrimination and reversal, and learning sets”</em> huh??), lets look at Laura Hewitson a bit more closely then I managed to in a quick 10 min post last time.

As I mentioned at the time, Laura Hewitson claims affiliation with DAN! Thats enough in my book to place a rather large red flag against her impartiality.

Now I’ve learnt that her entanglement with the vaccine/autism hypotheses goes very much further than that.

It turns out that Hewitson’s partner is Dan Hollenbeck, an Age of Autism contributor. Hollenbeck owns the website FightingAutism.org and in the top right hand corner of the FightingAutism website are the words:

FightingAutism is now part of Thoughtful House Center for Children.

And we all know who is the big cheese at THoughtful House don’t we? That’s right – one Andrew Wakefield. He’s also the co-author to the three studies poster presented at IMFAR.

Hollenbeck’s asociation with Thoughtful House goes beyond just having a website affiliated with them however. He’s also an employee of Thoughtful House.

Director of Information Technology for Thoughtful House, Dan Hollenbeck received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992

….

When their son was diagnosed with autism in 2001, the Hollenbecks relocated from Oregon to Pittsburgh in order to accept employment as an Information Technology Manager for a large NIH (National Institutes of Health)-funded medical research organization

….

He is also on the Board of Directors, as well as the Research Committee, for SafeMinds…

So, here we are with three poster presentations from a woman who has an autistic son, affiliated with DAN!, is married to the Thoughtful House IT guy (who also happens to be on the Board of Directors of SafeMinds) and these afore-mentioned poster presentations are also co-authored by Andrew Wakefield.

I wonder just how impartial this science can be?

How about when we throw one more fact into the equation?

437. Laura Hewiston (sic) and Dan Hollenbeck on behalf of Joshua Hollenbeck, Dallas, Texas, Court of Federal Claims Number 03-1166V

That’s right. Hewitson and Hollenbeck are suing HHS for vaccine injury visited upon their son Joshua.

Now, lets turn our attention to IMFAR where Hewitson made her three poster presentations. INSAR have regulations governing the papers and abstracts submitted.

INSAR requires authors to disclose their sources of contributed support (commercial, public, or private foundation grants, and off-label use of drugs, if any). INSAR also requires authors to signify whether there may be a real or perceived conflict of interest. Any potential for financial gain that may be derived from reported work may constitute a potential conflict of interest.”

Now, maybe Hewitson did note the fact that:

a) Her husband is an employee of an organisation that makes money from treating what they allege is vaccine caused autism.

b) She has an autistic child.

c) Said child has been registered for compensation for alleged vaccine damage resulting in autism (I assume they’re part of the Omnibus proceedings then?)

But if she did, then it isn’t recorded in the abstracts posted on the Age of Autism website.

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128 Responses to “Laura Hewitson’s Stinker”

  1. Erwin Alber May 23, 2008 at 12:43 #

    In reply to Tom, regarding his comment to Schwartz:

    “Schwartz, do you even know what safety is?”

    If you are referring to ‘vaccine safety’, this term is like “medical ethics” or “military intelligence” obviously a contradiction in terms.

    Something that can (and often does) sicken, maim or even kill some children is quite obviously far from “safe”. Parents who demand guarantees of vaccine safety don’t realise that vaccines are unsafe by their very nature and that they are therefore asking for the impossible.

    Because of the biological and chemical substances a vaccine contains, it is not possible to predict whether or not its injection is going to cause (potentially fatal) anaphylactic shock, or brain-damage and, or (in some instances)death.

    It was this unpredictability of vaccines which led Harris Coulter to call his first book “DPT – A Shot in the Dark”.

    Thanks to Coulter’s book and the publicity it created, many parents suddenly became aware (or had their suspicions confirmed) that their children’s brain injuries had been caused by vaccination.

    Fearing that they would be sued out of existence, vaccine manufacturers were quick to pressure the US government to shift the liability for vaccine-injuries from them to the US tax-payers. The US government complied by passing the US vaccine injury compensation act.

    Coulter followed up his first book with another, which he co-authored with B L Fisher: “Vaccination, Sociopathy and Criminality – The Medical Assault on the American Brain” In this book, he pointed out that the physical disabilities caused by vaccinations are only part of the picture and that “the mental, emotional and moral dimensions of vaccine damage are far more important”. He linked youths’ violent behaviour including youth suicide to vaccine-related post-encephalitic sequelae.

    It seems to me that far from making childhood safer for children, vaccinations have made the lives of many children and their parents a living hell.

  2. Catherina May 23, 2008 at 14:22 #

    what I of course meant was:

    a causal relationship between cessation of pertussis immunisation and rise in unexplained infant deaths and conversely, the re-introduction of the vaccination and the subsequent fall in unexplained infant deaths.

  3. Schwartz May 24, 2008 at 03:28 #

    Catherina,

    Thanks for the information. I’m not sure what to think of the numbers because they don’t correlate that well with the removal of the vaccine — the rates were very low and constant for over 5 years, and there is a drop in the rate before the vaccine was re-introduced. Perhaps the other factors affecting SIDS clouded any effect the vaccine might have had — It would be interesting to test correlation against smoking rates etc. Although the more I read about SIDS rates in other countries (I wanted to compare the changes in rates elsewhere) I’m finding there is a lot of debate on the accuracy of those rates… as usual I suppose. Looking at the US numbers, the relative SIDS rate (per births) also drops around 1991. http://www.sids.org/nannualrates.htm. In Canada, SIDS is responsible for about 1/4 of all infant deaths since 1996, but in Germany the relative rates varied a lot more.

    There are a few other interesting results of the study I noticed:

    1) The rate of detection from NTS was much lower than TS in the study group (almost twice as many — 1.7% vs 3.0%) and only one showed positive in both. I’m not sure if this means the location of Pertussis infection is different, but only 1 subject tested positive for both.

    2) The rate of positive PCR NTS for controls was far higher than for the study group 5.1% vs 1.7%. When comparing apples to apples that means despite double the vaccination rate of the study group (68% vs 33%), they had more than 3x the detection rate of Pertussis B in NTS samples. If you extrapolate that the NTS/TS sample ratio holds for controls that puts the likely PCR detection rate of ~15% for a population that had 68% vaccination. That doesn’t show that well for vaccine efficacy in preventing infection although we can’t determine from these numbers if the effects were more mild or not.

    3) I find it unbelievable that they did NOT publish the vaccine status of the subjects from controls or study group that actually tested positive for Pert B using PCR. I certainly think that if any conclusions were to be drawn about vaccines, that information would be very important, but it’s glaring ommission from the study results is notable.
    Given the funding source of the study, I would guess that the data did not support vaccine efficacy in this matter, but that’s based on an assumption of bias.

  4. Erwin Alber May 24, 2008 at 04:21 #

    In reply to Catherina’s comment “Buchwald is hardly a reliable source”

    Dr med G Buchwald is a (retired) specialist for pulmonary diseases, doctor for internal medicine and was medical advisor to the German “Society for the Support of Victims of Vaccine Damage” (Schutzverband fuer Impfgeschaedigte) for 38 years. In this capacity he prepared many expert testimonies for the social courts in which parents claimed compensation for their vaccine-injured children.

    He may indeed be biased, but for good reason: his son suffered severe brain damage caused by a smallpox vaccination he was given at the age of 18 months. Now over 50 years old, his son is still unable to say a single word, to shave, or brush his teeth.

    Even if Buchwald has made some mistakes in his book, it does not detract from the general message of the book: that the risk of vaccine damage is now generally greater than that of infectious diseases vaccines supposedly protect us from.

    Nor do any mistakes he may have made distract from the validity of the many graphs featured in the book, as they are based on the official government statistics of infectious disease mortality rates.

    The graphs clearly show that the vaccines against e.g. TB, diphtheria, whooping cough and measles contributed absolutely nothing to the remarkable decline in the number of deaths from these diseases over the past century.

    The book also features the case histories (including photos) of vaccine-injured children.

    His conclusion at the end of his book, that vaccines are useless, ineffective and cause harm (“Impfen nuetzt nicht! Impfen schuetzt nicht! Impfen schadet!”) is therefore based on verifiable evidence he has presented in his book.

    In his book, Dr Buchwald also presents evidence which shows that Jenner’s barbaric smallpox vaccine was not only useless but also very dangerous.

    The blurb on the back cover says:

    “A great coalition of health authorities, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry claims that vaccines protect against diseases and therefore promote health. In this book, Dr Buchwald shows that the opposite is the case: vaccines make many people ill!”

    Although Dr Buchwald may seem a lone voice in the wilderness, this is not the case. Many other doctors – though as yet definitely not a majority! – have independently from each other arrived at the same conclusion. To quote one of them: “The belief in vaccination is a form of delusional insanity.”

    Having been involved in the vaccination issue for about 15 years, I feel that it is a thought which is definitely worth considering.

  5. Erwin Alber May 24, 2008 at 05:11 #

    It is interesting to note that in 1977, the ethyl-mercury compound Thiomersal (or Thimerosal) killed 10 babies in a Toronto hospital when it was dabbed on their umbilical cords as a disinfectant.

    It was banned from topical use and injection into animals after that, but – incredibly -continued to be used in vaccines for humans, including babies!

    The 2000 CDC Simpsonwood conference was chaired by Dr. Dick Johnston, who mentioned early in the proceedings that, “There is very limited pharmacokinetic data concerning ethylmercury. There is very limited data on its blood levels. There is no data on its excretion. It is recognized to both cross placenta and the blood-brain barrier. The data on its toxicity is sparse. It is primarily recognized as a cause of hypersensitivity. Acutely, it can cause neurologic and renal toxicity, including death from overdose.”

    For a more detailed report on the Simsonwood conference, google “The vaccine cover-up” by neurosurgeon Dr R Blaylock MD on Dr Mercola MD’s website.

    I think Shakespeare’s words are quite apt here: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it”.

  6. Ms. Clark May 24, 2008 at 05:34 #

    It is interesting that almost everyone in the US used to have a bottle of tincture of thimerosal (merthiolate) or it’s chemical cousin mercurochrome in their medicine cabinets. I have some real merthiolate with real thimerosal in it (and some real mercurochrome) and I have put it on scratches–and on my skin, just for fun, because it’s such a pretty red color. It’s not toxic. A man drank a whole bottle of pure thimerosal and survived quite well (after being sick for a bit).

    A baby had a huge amount of thimerosal injected into her leg, by accident, and survived and did not become autistic, or have any other big neurological problems, apparently, from the record. It came up in the Cedillo trial.

  7. Schwartz May 25, 2008 at 00:30 #

    Ms. Clark,

    I think that any man who drank a whole bottle of Thimerosal likely had some medical problems to start with. Judging any long term effect of the bottle on him might be a bit difficult.

    10 infants dying from the application of Thimerosal at a hospital counts as evidence of harm. You playing with Thimerosal for fun doesn’t count as evidence of safety. I’m glad you don’t have any issues excreting mercury.

    When I was in elementary school, a friend of mine had collected a vial of mercury from thermostats and it was rolled around in people’s hands. Fortunately, no one became noticeably ill, however, you’ll have a difficult time convincing me (or anyone) it wasn’t toxic. I’m curious how you define toxicity, especially since the toxicity of methyl mercury has not been determined.

  8. Joseph May 25, 2008 at 02:36 #

    Judging any long term effect of the bottle on him might be a bit difficult.

    The case report said the guy recovered completely in something like a month or a few months, as I recall. He ingested 5 grams of thimerosal. He actually became very sick, as you can imagine, even going into a temporary comma, but the clinical picture didn’t look anything like autism.

  9. Here we go again... May 25, 2008 at 03:25 #

    I’m glad you don’t have any issues excreting mercury

    According to the experts testifying in the Ombibus–no one has issues excreting mercury. There is nothing like Wilson’s disease for mercury.

    I’m curious how you define toxicity, especially since the toxicity of methyl mercury has not been determined.

    I believe you have the litany mixed up. The argument is that the toxicity data for methyl mercury have been used for ethyl mercury–since it is ethyl mercury that supposedly has no toxicity data. I.e. it has been determined for methyl mercury and not for ethyl mercury.

    However, you can find toxicology information on thimerosal and ethyl mercury chloride.

    For the purposes of the discussion on autism blogs and about the autism omnibus, “toxic” should really be limited to “causes autism”. Sort of a strange standard to apply to Ms. Clark. However, by that test, no form of mercury exposure is “toxic”. Perhaps you can listen to Dr. Rodier’s testimony? Very educational.

  10. Erwin Alber May 25, 2008 at 05:04 #

    Ms. Clark:

    “Dr. Hewiston is a litigant, and her husband is and her husband also works for Andy Wakefield and is also associated with SAFE MINDS, besides writing for the clown blog.

    “Nepotistic” doesn’t seem to quite cover what we are seeing here. Maybe something like some kind of inbreeding.

    Did Safe Minds, DAN! and NAA fund these studies?”

    Never mind that pharmaceutical companies including vaccine manufacturers fund their own studies and have been found to manipulate data, right?

    Or that people with financial ties to vaccine manufacturers sit on vaccine licensing and vaccination policy-making boards?

    Or that on their retirement, FDA officials are offered cushy jobs with the pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers whose drugs and vaccines they have licensed while working for the FDA?

    One can hardly blame people “on the other side” of the great divide for getting together to expose some of the medical-pharmaceutical rackets.

  11. Sullivan May 25, 2008 at 05:47 #

    One can hardly blame people “on the other side” of the great divide for getting together to expose some of the medical-pharmaceutical rackets.

    People should be on the watch for improper actions. However, when this is used primarily as a tool to create an atmosphere of distrust and is often exaggerated or worse, then yes, we can assign blame.

    Case in point–there is no great coverup in autism. Any other misdeeds, real or imagined, by the government and pharmaceutical industry are used as a smokescreen in place of real evidence of wrongdoing in the autism arena.

    Case in point: Did Dr. Healy disclose the great government coverup? No.

    The conspiracy theorists gloss over that point as they glom onto her interviews.

  12. Schwartz May 25, 2008 at 08:07 #

    Joseph,

    Just curious. Do you actually think that kind of occurence tells us anything about the toxic effects of Thimerosal on infants?

    Why did the guy ingest that amount?

  13. Erwin Alber May 25, 2008 at 08:20 #

    In response to Ms. Clark’s comment:

    “I used to have a bottle of tincture with real thimerosal in it (and some real mercurochrome) and I have put it on scratches—and on my skin, just for fun, because it’s such a pretty red color. It’s not toxic.”

    People who haven’t got a clue because they never question anything or who take pleasure in using toxic substances “just for fun” because “they are such a pretty colour”, or because they have been told that “they are good for us”, are the medical-pharmaceutical mafia’s dream come true, because it’s this kind of ignorance which keeps mindless consumerism and resulting corporate profits going.

    Today, our health is under threat from numerous sources which were non-existent until about 200 years ago:

    -toxic pharmaceutical drugs, including
    highly neurotoxic vaccines
    -toxic and addictive psychiatric or
    behaviour-modifying drugs
    -pesticides, fungicides and herbicides
    -carcinogenic and neurotoxic fluoride in
    water and toothpaste
    -mercury amalgam fillings
    -food preservatives,colourings and other
    food additives
    -food grown on mineral-depleted soils by
    means of chemical fertilisers
    -denatured food including refined sugar and
    flour, hydrogenated oils and genetically
    modified food
    -artificial sweeteners such as NutraSweet
    and aspartame (e.g. in Diet Coke)
    -monosodium glutamate or MSG
    -poisons released from teflon-coated cooking
    ware
    -microwaved food
    -irradiated food
    -aluminium-containing roll-on
    deodorants/antiperspirants
    -radiation from mammograms and excessive use
    of X-rays
    -routine/unnecessary ultrasound scans during
    pregnancy
    -medicalised childbirth
    -unnecessary or ineffective
    medical “treatments” like chemo- and
    radiation “therapy”
    -electromagnetic frequencies from power
    lines and appliances including cell phones/
    wi-fi
    -radioactivity from military weaponry and
    nuclear power plants
    -toxins sprayed from aeroplanes evident
    as ‘chemtrails’
    -chemicals in household cleaners and in
    cosmetics and other body care products such
    as toothpastes and shampoos
    -general pollution of air, food and water

    These are just a few of the health hazards which immediately come to mind. While one of them by itself may or may not cause obvious health problems, their cumulative effect may be disastrous, especially in people whose organisms and immune systems have been weakened/undermined by vaccinations.

    Vaccinations are are usually the first immunological insult inflicted on babies after they are born, causing them enormous stress and throwing their immature immune systems into turmoil and disarray. Hence the asthma, allergies, ear infections and “cot deaths”.

    Everything considered, the current epidemic chronic and degenerative diseases including cancer is not really surprising, but if we keep informed and aware, we can avoid and thereby minimise much of the toxic load we would otherwise be exposed to.

    People who become aware of this also tend to avoid the orthodox medical system as much as possible and to turn to wholesome nutrition and natural healing methods instead. The medical-pharmaceutical establishment intensely dislikes a large chunk of dollars spent on health care disappearing into the competition’s pockets, for obvious reasons. It has therefore retaliated by getting governments in various countries to impose repressive legislation designed to deny us ready access to natural remedies, vitamins and supplements, all under the pretext of “protecting the public”.

    While ignorance may be bliss, it comes with a price. It definitely pays to check the ingredients of food items, body care products and vaccines by reading the labels or package inserts, and to keep up-to-date with information and developments by subscribing to (free) e-newsletters such as:

    Dr Mercola
    Natural News
    Zeus Information Service

    Probably the most important thing to remember in all of this is that – to paraphrase Alan Watt:

    “The world is run by psychopaths who impose a psychopathic culture on the rest of us”.

    It is up to us to be aware of this and to opt out of their sick schemes, vaccination programmes being just one of them.

  14. Kev May 25, 2008 at 10:30 #

    _Why did the guy ingest that amount?_

    Suicide attempt. I blogged about this awhile ago.

    In the normal course of events I’d agree that parents != kids but in this case, we’re talking about so much thiomersal I think that overrides that caveat.

    Erwin Alber: Are you interested in debating science or just ranting? If the former, please stay. If the latter, please leave.

  15. Erwin Alber May 25, 2008 at 10:56 #

    Kev:

    “Erwin Alber: Are you interested in debating science or just ranting? If the former, please stay. If the latter, please leave”.

    Sorry, I thought you previewed all comments and that you would delete any comments you considered inappropriate. I’ll try to stick to the point in future comments though.

  16. Kev May 25, 2008 at 10:58 #

    No, I don’t preview any except my own.

    I understand we differ in opinions but I don’t want to stop you commenting but really – long rants like the above don’t move the debate forward.

  17. Erwin Alber May 25, 2008 at 11:07 #

    “long rants like the above don’t move the debate forward”

    Thanks, I got the message!

  18. Alex May 28, 2008 at 00:58 #

    (This is my fourth attempt at posting this message….)

    HCN,

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15889991?

    “An antivaccine movement developed in Japan as a consequence of increasing numbers of adverse reactions to whole-cell pertussis vaccines in the mid-1970s. After two infants died within 24 h of the vaccination from 1974 to 1975, the Japanese government temporarily suspended vaccinations. Subsequently, the public and the government witnessed the re-emergence of whooping cough, with 41 deaths in 1979. This series of unfortunate events revealed to the public that the vaccine had, in fact, been beneficial.”

    Two infants may very well have died within 24 hours of pertussis vaccination from 1974 to 1975, but, according to Dr Raymond Obomsawin, the total number of children killed by this vaccine between 1970 and 1974 was 37, and 57 children were compensated for severe permanent damage. No wonder there was an anti-vaccine movement! The abstract continues, ” Furthermore, researchers and the Japanese government proceeded to develop safer pertussis vaccines”, and the schedule was changed. Immunization was delayed until children were 2 years of age. Safer DTaP vaccines were licensed in Japan in 1981. The question is why did it take the rest of the world fifteen years plus to switch to the safer DTaP vaccine? I think everyone knows the answer to that.

    What happened in Britain in the fifteen years from 1968 to 1983 when uptake of pertussis vaccine fell to 50% or less because of safety concerns? Hospital admissions DECREASED. There were NO deaths from pertussis. There were NO cases of encephalopathy. NO cases of permanent brain damage or lung damage. Compared with the frequency of encephalopathy, permanent brain damage and death after injections of pertussis vaccine, the authors concluded that: “in children living in non-deprived circumstances in Britain, the risk of pertussis vaccine during the period 1970-83 exceeded those of whooping cough.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3835080

    “(Dev Biol Stand. 1979;43:101-6.) Experiences with pertussis vaccination in GDR…. which says “Because of a high pertussis morbidity, compulsory vaccination with DPT-vaccine was started in GDR in 1964.”

    What is your purpose in quoting from an abstract from 1979 that discusses morbidity? Pertussis vaccine, with a 36% efficacy rate (for whole cell), was never successful at eradicating whooping cough. If it had been, why do you think over the last few years three more pertussis vaccines have been added to the immunization schedule, and with the introduction of the less reactive DaPT vaccine, regular booster shots are now recommended for teens and adults? Many children (and teens and adults) get whooping cough, but when they are vaccinated it is often called something else. Such is doctors’ faith in the pertussis vaccine.

  19. Alex May 28, 2008 at 06:21 #

    Kev on May 25th, 2008 10:58:27
    “No, I don’t preview any except my own.”

    Then someone else does.

    Why don’t you publish the message I have been trying to post? I guess that one of your team members doesn’t want people to read what Gordon Stewart Professor of Public Health at the University of Glasgow wrote about pertussis in Britain.

    Why do you find it necessary to gag the opposition?

  20. Kev May 28, 2008 at 06:58 #

    No, Alex, nobody does.

    Your message got spamtrapped thats all. You used a word or combination of words or too many links that triggered my anti-spam software.

    If I can find your comment then I’ll release it.

  21. Kev May 28, 2008 at 07:02 #

    Right. It got spamtrapped because you used an email address (sneakemail) well known to be the source of spam. Then you carried on trying to post the same thing four times.

  22. Alex May 28, 2008 at 11:57 #

    Yes, after changing my computer settings and then using a legitimate address twice. (Not that a disposable address to stop spamming is not legitimate.)

    Thanks for finally posting it, anyway.

  23. Kev May 28, 2008 at 11:59 #

    I’m not saying its not legitimate. I’m saying that my antispam software is set very high. I get approx 100 pieces of spam comments a day so I err on the side of caution. Sometimes, legitimate comments get trapped. Thats life.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. blog-thing : Conspiracies, conflicts of interest and the bigger picture. - May 19, 2008

    [...] there is more. Over on LeftBrain/RightBrain Kev has revealed that Dr Hewitson has her own potential conflicts of [...]

  2. An Invasion of MMR/Vaccine Misinformation - May 26, 2008

    [...] poster presentation is by Laura Hewitson, who (along with her husband, Dan Hollenbeck) is a petitioner in a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. [...]

  3. Science-Based Medicine » Monkey business in autism research - May 30, 2008

    [...] it goes beyond even that. Kev has also figured out that not only is Dr. Hewitson married to Dan Hollenbeck, but that Dan [...]

  4. Who needs facts? These vaccine conspiracy pieces write themselves… « Dr Aust’s Spleen - June 4, 2008

    [...] at the University of Pittsburgh. All of that is accurate. However, she is also, as revealed on the autism blogs, a litigant in a vaccine-injury suit. Her partner is the IT man for Andrew Wakefield’s Thoughtful [...]

  5. Autism Blog - Age of Autism still don’t get it | Left Brain/Right Brain - July 15, 2008

    [...] support that statement belies their beliefs. They reference the recent IMFAR poster presentation of Laura Hewitson. A study that has not even been published. This is a science committee [...]

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