Andrew Wakefield betrays another “whistleblower” with Brian Hooker helping

28 Aug

Probably the biggest story in years for the groups claiming that vaccines cause autism was when last week vaccine antagonistic activists Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker announced that they were in contact with an “informant” at the CDC who guided them to do a re-analysis of an older dataset. Andrew Wakefield has a history of not respecting the responsibility that one has when speaking with a whistleblower, having first threatened then actually outed a whistleblower who trusted him. As the recent story has unfolded, I’ve been asked and I’ve told many people that in my view, Brian Hooker sees himself as an honest person and, as such, he would not be a party to the sort of deception that would be involved in secretly recording someone while acting as his “priest”, then betraying him.

Apparently I was wrong.

When Wakefield and Hooker first released their story, they claimed that their “informant” wanted to remain anonymous. It says so right in the press release dated August 18. The (disgustingly race-baiting) video they put out was censored as if they wanted to protect the anonymity of the informant. But by the night of August 21st, 3 days later, the video had been changed without announcement. Mr. Wakefield (he owns/runs the Autism Media Channel that is putting out these videos) apparently uploaded the noncensored version. In it, Mr. Thompson is named early and repeatedly. His voice is no longer obscured. Mr. Thompsons’ anonymity (weakly veiled to begin with) was no more.

From the start many people questioned whether the “CDC Whistleblower” as he has been dubbed had agreed to be recorded, knew about the video that was made, or agreed to let his identity be known. Or if he ever had any intention that anyone would even disclose that there even was help from someone at the CDC on this.

My read on the press release Mr. Thompson has put out is that Mr. Thompson never intended for his role to be made public. That Mr. Hooker would just present the study as his own work and use that to advocate for a follow on analysis. Much less that his name would be revealed.

But, as we see, that didn’t happen. He was outed. His participation was revealed immediately. His name was revealed in a few days. His conversations with Mr. Hooker were edited for effect and put on the web.

How did Mr. Hooker describe his interaction with Mr. Thompson? From the video we hear:

“Dr. Thompson had appointed me his priest. And when he appointed me his priest, then he started confessing.”

Apparently Mr. Hooker is unaware that the secrecy of confession is absolute. Priests, real ones, not self appointed ones like Mr. Hooker, have been known to go to jail rather than divulge what they’ve been told in confession. Real priests don’t record confessions so they can betray another.

I once thought that perhaps Mr. Hooker and I were at a very basic level similar. That we were focused on doing what was best for our kids. I no longer think that way. At a basic level one either has integrity or one doesn’t. A person who takes on the role of a confessor in order to secretly tape and betray another has no integrity.

Mr. Hooker will no doubt be the hero of parent conventions in the future. It’s a very low price for one’s integrity in my opinion.

For whatever it is worth: Mr. Hooker lives in a state with a very clear two-party rule. It’s against the law there to record someone without his/her knowledge. Mr. Thompson also lives in a two-party state.

Below is that press release again.


By Matt Carey

August 27, 2014 Press Release, “Statement of William W. Thompson, Ph.D., Regarding the 2004 Article Examining the Possibility of a Relationship Between MMR Vaccine and Autism”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-AUGUST 27,2014

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM W. THOMPSON, Ph.D., REGARDING THE 2004 ARTICLE EXAMINING THE POSSIBILITY OF A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MMR VACCINE AND AUTISM

My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, where I have worked since 1998.

I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.

My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub­ group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.

I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes including autism spectrum disorders. I share his beliefthat CDC decision-making and analyses should be transparent. I was not, however, aware that he was recording any of our conversations, nor was I given any choice regarding whether my name would be made public or my voice would be put on the Internet.

I am grateful for the many supportive e-mails that I have received over the last several days.
I will not be answering further questions at this time. I am providing information to Congressman William Posey, and of course will continue to cooperate with Congress. I have also offered to assist with reanalysis of the study data or development of further studies. For the time being, however, I am focused on my job and my family.

Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information. I will do everything I can to assist any unbiased and objective scientists inside or outside the CDC to analyze data collected by the CDC or other public organizations for the purpose of understanding whether vaccines are associated with an increased risk of autism. There are still more questions than answers, and I appreciate that so many families are looking for answers from the scientific community.

My colleagues and supervisors at the CDC have been entirely professional since this matter became public. In fact, I received a performance-based award after this story came out. I have experienced no pressure or retaliation and certainly was not escorted from the building, as some have stated.

Dr. Thompson is represented by Frederick M. Morgan,Jr., Morgan Verkamp, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio, http://www.morganverkamp.com.

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37 Responses to “Andrew Wakefield betrays another “whistleblower” with Brian Hooker helping”

  1. reissd August 28, 2014 at 05:13 #

    He should certainly have known better than to trust them.

    Sad. Bound to harm children.

    • STEVE August 28, 2014 at 17:49 #

      One day they will look upon the AGE OF VACCINES the same way we look at THE AGE OF GMO’s … who gave these massive corporations/agencies so much power.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 28, 2014 at 18:10 #

        That would be us. The citizens of the United States. Who engaged these private corporations in our (note “our”) public health campaign. We could do this the way some countries do and manufacture the vaccines ourselves. Do you think that would be cheaper and produce a higher quality product? I don’t.

        But, nice to know that you are basically a general conspiracy person. GMO’s and vaccines are bad. Government is bad. Got it. I wish you people would stop using my community, my kid, as your hammer.

      • STEVE August 28, 2014 at 18:15 #

        Matt said … I wish you people would stop using my community, my kid, as your hammer …

        Perhaps we should do away with the right to free speech, Matt ?

        We “conspiracy nuts” have families and communities as well.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 28, 2014 at 18:46 #

        You put “conspriracy nuts” in quotes. Are you implying I said that? As a member of the disability community, I do not use terms like “nuts” as it is derogatory towards my colleagues in the mental health community.

        As to your free speech argument, sounds like you don’t have a real discussion to have here if you need to rely on such a straw man. You are a carpet bagger, commenting on a disability blog because you have strong feelings about conspiracies. I called you out on it. In many years writing here I’ve seen your type come and go over and over again. Sorry to point out that you are a type. But you are. I probably could write your response to this, as well as most of the rest of your comments here. Including where you will pat yourself on the back for being a free thinker and tell me I am closed minded. It’s always ironic when people saying the exact same things as so many others tell me about how independent they are in their thinking. Your “free speech” retort is less common, but common nonetheless. As is the putting words in my mouth with “conspiracy nuts”.

        So, do you condemn the outing of a whistleblower or don’t you? Simple question. If you can get past your bias in this story, you might see that failure to protect the rights of a whistleblower harms us all.

        Do you want me to go into details about how anti-vaccine activists (some driven by conspiracy theories, some just embracing conspiracy theories) harm my community? Do you want to step up and take responsibility for the abusive “treatments” that are used on disabled kids in order to cure faux “vaccine injury”? About how you and your ilk help the charlatans sells their services and wares by telling people not to trust experts like doctors?

        yes, you and your ilk cause harm. You are a carpet bagger.

        Yes, this is harsh. But you need to hear it. And since all you have are knee jerk straw man responses, why don’t you leave now? I’m sure there are people who will tell you what a hero you are for spreading the word. I could point you to those sites, but I’m sure you already know more of them than I do.

      • reissd August 28, 2014 at 18:17 #

        There’s a big difference between criticizing the way people use speech – in this irresponsibly, in ways that leave children at risk – and censoring speech.

        Matt is using his own free speech to criticize. Your right to free speech does not extend to freedom from being criticized for the way you use it.

  2. caseybest August 28, 2014 at 05:30 #

    The omitted data may have had nothing whatsoever to do with the question that was asked by the designers and leaders of the study. (a) Scientists in-charge of studies they are reporting on have the ethical (and in the view of the scientific community professional) right to remove or omit any form of data from what they publish. It is none of the business of their under staff as to how the ”bosses” decide to use the data they collect. That is like a truck driver telling Walmart how to display specific stock in the store because he delivered it to the store (b) Citing that one particular ethnic group has a large percentage of reaction than another may not have had any relation on the question the scientists asked or were reporting on and therefore not be required-in that case the data can ethically and professionally be omitted. (c) Why did this fellow wait 10 years before he said anything (d) what is the relationship between him and his somewhat disgraced associates specifically Wakefield and Hooker? Why reveal this? Why now? What has happened to cause the change? (e) As a scientist Thompson would very clearly understand that given 10 years has past since the original study he claims was flawed whatever was or was not found that was published or not published is too out of date to have any validity. (f) Is Wakefield; infamous for inaccurate and untrue data, looking to show someone else up in retaliation – if so it is a bit late. There is one thing still missing in all of this – THE EVIDENCE OF THE DATA.

    • Lawrence August 28, 2014 at 10:20 #

      But the data is available & was made public as part of the study presentation back in 2004 – the authors were quite clear as to why the data was not included.

  3. Anne August 28, 2014 at 06:22 #

    “Why did this fellow wait 10 years before he said anything?” Maybe Bill Posey and his ongoing anti-vax investigative activities had something to do with it.

  4. ADee August 28, 2014 at 13:32 #

    You’re concerned about Wakefield and Hooker “betraying” a whistleblower? What about the millions of children who are injected with this carp every year? Anyone concerned about how they have been betrayed??? This is some of the dumbest smut I have read on the internet.

    • Lawrence August 28, 2014 at 14:04 #

      Last I checked, we don’t inject people with fish……

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 28, 2014 at 17:36 #

        took me a couple reads to see what that was about.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 28, 2014 at 15:15 #

      Sure. If our “heroes” are unethical its OK because we like them. By the way, do you think anyone will ever leak confidential information to the autism community again?

      Hadn’t you thought of that? There are real consequences to this mishandling.

      Take on the question above. I’ve already taken on your question in a recent article.

    • Elaine Hamley August 29, 2014 at 17:27 #

      ADee has just hit the nail on the head, thank you… millions and millions of innocent children…. Not only CDC but everyone who has benefited financially by this. Those who have supported them in indoctrinating and shaming decent parents should have to make public apologies to all the lives ruined. It doesn’t just affect the child – it impacts on the whole family, destroys lives.

      The left out data shows a clear link with autism and the vaccine given at a certain time and to a certain ethnic group. Considering we all migrated from Africa some millions of years ago its not surprising it’s about our ‘genes’. Isn’t our bodies saying that our human makeup does not like something that is in this vaccine. If I’m smart enough to work that out then these doctors/researchers really have something to answer to.

      The increased risk is extreme for this cohort of people, whether it was the data or not the CDC wanted, they got it. I thought when you researched something you did not start with the end already determined and then change the data analysis to suit your means. You might have some thoughts on the matter but the results would speak for themselves. CDC had an ethical moral and social responsibility to publish those findings and explore honest solutions instead of sitting back watching children being destroyed in the name of ‘the better of two evils’ or ‘the loss of some for the betterment of mankind’. Unfortunately it means 1 in 60 children and increasing.

      It also begs the question of if this study is flawed how many others are, on both sides there are extremists. People just want the truth. How much data is hidden or never undertaken so that the real nature of side effects is publicly transparent.

      I’m saddened and disgusted and hope that this brings an honest and open new way forward to address all these new diseases. One in sixty children with autism is one in sixty too many. It’s in the genes of course and yes environmental factors but it’s also in this vaccine. It is a bit like Russian Roulette for those who cannot make informed choices, for those who are fortunate to have a choice. Trying to change our genes to fit in with the vaccines is beyond comprehension and experimenting on people is just plain wrong regardless of nationality, disability, etc,

      We can discredit Wakefield and we can discredit CDC researchers – where does it leave us? It doesn’t help – we need real answers and real honest people with no conflict of interest, bias or prejudices to investigate what is the truth and what is not. It should have been done years ago and CDC is responsible for the delay as far as I am concerned. None of this scientific research based on this side or that. We want the truth. Only then can we move forward and address this horrible invasion of autism and other neurological diseases.

      Over time every study has to be reviewed to ensure the study controls meet the objective of seeking out a cause/s, effect/s and in turn finding a cure/s.

      And I still don’t get why they need to add foetuses and other deadly toxins to begin with. So we have an immunity response? Yum well yeah – complete shut down in some cases…. There has to be a better and safer way.

      I sure know that if they were going to potentially use my aborted foetuses without my knowledge or consent to use and inject into other people in some way I would have brought them home with me and given them a dignified burial. Not that I want to get into a debate on rights of women but no wonder the so-called counselling sessions were pathetic. It all makes me feel sick.

      A decade or so ago we were told to watch eating fish – too much mercury – what the? just curious how much mercury is in a fish compared to the vaccines and how much mercury is too much for babies, especially considering there is enough of it in everyday living without it being injected directly into the body.

      End of the day, mothers in particular and fathers generally know best and should be able to make a choice, a choice based on assessment based on honest transparent information.

      I’ve been reading a lot lately and most promo marketing material quote these studies bla bla but then don’t even bother to give the links to read the studies. Further if you seek them out often they are in some medical journal or something that you have to pay for. Like where did the money come from to do the study in the first place – the people so they should all be freely available to everyone – that would be transparent.

      • reissd September 3, 2014 at 14:50 #

        I’d urge you to reread the science bloggers’ analysis of Brian Hooker’s paper. There’s no real evidence of a link between MMR and autism for any group. If Thompson saw a result for one of the group, evidence is that it was a spurious result. Whether to include it or not is a professional question, and as Thompson pointed out, reasonable scientists can disagree.

        There’s no evidence of any link or a fraud, hence nothing to apologize for, and nothing to feel betrayed about. Well, maybe the fact that Hooker and Wakefield promoted a misleading conspiracy theory that stirred up people’s anger and guilt.

  5. STEVE August 28, 2014 at 14:01 #

    100% AGREED Adee !!

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 28, 2014 at 18:13 #

      You 100% AGREE that whistleblowers should be treated with contempt?

      I need to know that whistleblowers can step forward safely and report on their findings. I need to know that I could step forward if I needed to and report. When whistleblowers are betrayed, the chances of someone else stepping forward goes down.

      So, yes, I care that this man was betrayed. Besides just because it is injustice, it makes it less likely that potential misconduct will be reported in the future. I guess you didn’t think that one through. Or you did and you don’t care.

  6. Dave August 28, 2014 at 20:10 #

    If this had been the only CDC study on the subject, it would be of great interest to know that certain information had been excluded from the results. But this is not exactly an obscure area for research. By my count, this subject has been addressed more times than I have watched that same “Chuggington” video.

    The CDC claims that data for certain individuals was not presented by race, because the birth certificates were not available. This seems to me like the only way to present such data. If you allowed researchers to determine race by any other method, then you would be introducing a source of bias into the study that could not be removed.

    The only thing that was even interesting about the 2004 study was that vaccination rates (at certain ages) was slightly more common among children with autism. This is a well-known correlation: Parents who bring their kids to the doctor to get routine vaccinations are the same parents who bring their kid to the doctor to diagnose behavioral, language, or social problems.

    There are other factors that explain the relationship as well: Older parents tend to have more disposable income and better health insurance, which not only leads to earlier vaccinations, but earlier diagnosis as well. Older parents are also more likely to have autistic children.

    Even after adjusting out the improved diagnostics and age of parents, though, there is still an income gap. Children of parents who work in certain types of jobs are more likely to be autistic. There are hundreds of theories to explain this, and feel free to pick any five. The most likely is that people who work at computers all day long might have other habits that lead to reproductive genetic damage. In no particular order, these include terrible diet, soaking in hot tubs, smoking, tanning, and sitting with a piping hot portable computer on your lap.

    I can’t speak to the politics of becoming a whistleblower. Sometimes people allow their cover to be revealed so they can ask for whistleblower status. It is a complicated way to protect your job in situations where you might be about to be fired for unrelated issues.

    Of all the things Wakefield has to answer for, I consider this to be relatively low on the list. If he would spend his time trying to help autistic patients with gastroenterology problems, then he might even get to the point where he could do some good for someone.

    For all I know, he might do plenty of good work that we don’t know about: I don’t make it my business to care. But his efforts at self-promotion seem terrible.

  7. Roger Kulp August 28, 2014 at 20:30 #

    One of the most remarkable things I have read during this whole kerfuffle,is the thread of comments at Jake Crosby’s blog post here

    http://www.autisminvestigated.com/andrew-wakefield-betrays/

    Two of the best comments in the whole thread are JB Handley
    amazing comment on August 27, 2014 at 7:13 pm,where Mr.Hanley expresses his disgust at the infighting i the autism community,and how he admits chelation was a failure for his son,and admits GR overplayed the idea of thimerosal and autism.It’s something everybody needs to see.

    http://www.autisminvestigated.com/andrew-wakefield-betrays/#comment-37496

    And then there is this

    “Jake Crosby
    on August 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm said:

    Thimerosal was never in the MMR vaccine”

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 28, 2014 at 20:45 #

      thanks for bringing that up. I wish Mr. Handley would realize people aren’t looking at him as though he is a hypocrite. People are wondering when he will have the courage to step forward and make a strong statement retracting his earlier comments.

      I am worried by his statement that he is doing a “parasite” therapy. Sounds like MMS to me.

      • TLPG August 28, 2014 at 23:36 #

        Maybe he’s scared of JBest putting another Handley attack on his blog [/sarcasm].

        If Hooker is practicing medicine anywhere he should cop what the British medical authorities slapped on Wakefield (and rightly) for such a level of deception on a number of points. He should drop the “Dr” in front of his name and replace it with a more appropriate five letter word starting with “Q”. The man is a fool and should be treated as such.

      • Julian Frost August 29, 2014 at 08:12 #

        I am worried by his statement that he is doing a “parasite” therapy. Sounds like MMS to me.

        It may be something else. I wrote about this last year.

        http://africanjungle.iblog.co.za/2013/12/15/new-treatments-for-autism-yeahdont-hold-your-breath/.

        A therapy involving feeding autistics the eggs of an intestinal worm found in pork. I was, shall we say, unimpressed.
        The article is also on my other blog if you can’t access iBlog.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 29, 2014 at 17:38 #

        I hadn’t thought of that. Even though I am aware of the helminth (sp?) therapy idea. I would think that someone saying “parasite” would be thinking whatever he is talking about is bad. Putting parasites into one’s kid doesn’t read well, especially when the idea is that these worms don’t stay. That’s at least my thought process. I do not claim to understand his.

  8. Science Mom August 30, 2014 at 02:15 #

    TLPG, Hooker is a PhD, not an MD so he isn’t practising medicine.

    • lilady August 30, 2014 at 05:58 #

      It sounds like delusional parasitosis (by proxy) to me:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusional_parasitosis

      I’d like to know what tests, if any, were done on a child’s stool to determine that a child, is, in fact, in need of medication prescribed by a physician.

  9. benjephunneh August 30, 2014 at 16:48 #

    You guys must hate investigative journalists, like Greg Palast; the way they go undercover to get to the root of an issue, and then expose corruption. Those poor criminals trusted them! And then they were betrayed by being exposed without being asked if they ‘d like it.

    Nevermind that the CDC endangered children’s livelihoods. They were betrayed!

    • reissd August 30, 2014 at 17:12 #

      The problem is that there isn’t any evidence of corruption here. Certainly not of endangering children’s lives.

      But putting that aside – do you think it was appropriate for Hooker and Wakefield to betray someone who gave them information (however lacking in real content it is turning out to be)?

    • Chris August 30, 2014 at 22:12 #

      “Nevermind that the CDC endangered children’s livelihoods.”

      How has the CDC endangered their livelihoods? Wasn’t that already done when laws against child labor were passed.

      By the way, can you tell us which is more dangerous and why: measles versus the MMR vaccine.

  10. Brian Morgan September 19, 2014 at 15:50 #

    Appeal handed down today, 19/9/14

    This is an appeal from the judgment signed by the trial court on August 3, 2012. Having reviewed the record and the parties’ arguments, the Court holds that there was no reversible error in the trial court’s judgment. Therefore, the Court affirms the trial court’s judgment. The appellant shall pay all costs relating to this appeal, both in this Court and the court below.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) September 19, 2014 at 15:53 #

      Is this about the defamation suit in Texas?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) September 19, 2014 at 16:00 #

      Got it– I wonder if all costs include those of the BMJ.

      • Lawrence September 19, 2014 at 17:01 #

        About freakin’ time!!!

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) September 19, 2014 at 17:24 #

        Too late to start the pool on how long before people start saying “of course they released this now…they need to attack Andy because he’s getting to the truth”.

      • Anne September 19, 2014 at 19:45 #

        Yes, Wakefield will have to pay the defendants’ costs. Texas apparently has a broad definition of what is included in recoverable litigation costs.

    • brian September 19, 2014 at 17:44 #

      The judgement and opinion are linked under “Case Events” on this page:

      http://www.search.txcourts.gov/Case.aspx?cn=03-12-00576-CV

      • Lawrence September 19, 2014 at 19:59 #

        I wonder how the folks over at AoA will react when they learn that their contributions to the Wakefield Defense Fund will be paid directly to the BMJ & Brian Deer…..

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