In the world of vaccine antagonistic groups and the fake-medical approach to “treating” autism (how can you “treat” anything with fake medicine like MMS?) we hear a lot about the lack of freedom and how we are in some sort of a police state. Anyone who openly counters the misinformation is likely to be branded a “Nazi” or similar epithet (remember Andrew Wakefield’s video where he claimed the CDC were running a new Tuskegee experiment with vaccines, and that the CDC were worse that Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin? And remember how many groups and blogs actually promoted this embarrassment?)
Much as it is aggravating to watch my own community (autism parents) spread misinformation and work against public health (remember J.B. Handley bragging that his team are “… in the early to middle stages of bringing the U.S. vaccine program to its knees”?). Much more, it’s very, very painful to watch groups like AutismOne promote fake medicine (for example chelation, chemical castration, bleach enemas) for use in disabled childen.
I’d be very happy if these practices ended. But I do not, have not and will not advocate that these groups be “silenced”. I and others counter the misinformation. And that’s the way of a free society.
I was reminded of this in a recent business trip. To Beijing, China. I did not blog during that time and not just because I was very busy. WordPress (the platform on which LeftBrainRightBrain.co.uk is hosted) is blocked in China. As are Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Gmail, Google and many other sites.
Groups with misinformation complain that they aren’t given “balance” in the press in the U.S.. They complain over and over (and over) again in ways which are just not available in a non free society.
I was attending a science/engineering conference. Conferences are very different from parent conventions like AutismOne and the newer Generation Rescue meetings. While they bill themselves as conferences and they have “scientific” talks, they lack one very important thing: criticism. No one stands up and speaks out against clearly wrong ideas. Mark Geier, for example, can stand up and give a ridiculous talk about mercury and testosterone (which is in reality just an advertisement for his “Lupron Protocol”) and no one will stand up and say, “Mark, could you explain how your logic, in which you discuss mercury/testosterone complexes produced in beakers of hot benzine, has anything to do with the brains of autistic children?” (which is how scientists say, “your talk was a bunch of hokum”).
No. No one speaks out. Not any of the self-proclaimed leaders of this movement. Not Andrew Wakefield. Not Mark Blaxill. Not Brian Hooker. Not anyone at the Age of Autism Blog, the so called “thinking mom’s revolution”, AtuismOne. The list goes on and on of the fake leaders. They lack courage. Plain and simple. They will never stand up to people who claim that vaccines cause autism, no matter how wrong or harmful their proposed “therapies” are. They will circle the wagons and accuse their critics of being against treating autistics.
You want to talk courage? Of all the sites in Beijing that people wanted to see, Tiananmen Square was number one. And for only one reason: to stand where perhaps the bravest act I’ve ever seen happened. I’m speaking of the man who stopped a row of tanks in 1989.
Tienanmen Square is the fourth largest public square in the world. But public is an interesting word. The square is closed to the public from 10pm to 5am. And when it is open all entry points require a security check. And there are security cameras. Everywhere cameras. To get to the Palace (the Forbidden City) one must walk through a few large gates. No big deal there. But at the first gate, the one leaving the square (the one with the giant picture of Mao on it), I counted no fewer than 20 security people watching people walk through.
After you pass through the first two gates, at the entrance to the Forbidden City, just across from the Palace Museum ticket booths, there is a small garrison.
Think that is a ceremonial guard? Well, if you come back later, the guys are training in camo gear. And how about the armored personnel carrier?
Those who throw out terms like “police state”, “Nazi” and “censorship” belittle those who live under a very real, very strong, controlling government.
And don’t mistake the fact that my ability to write here is very dependent on living in a free society. As I noted above, WordPress is blocked in China. And I have little doubt that many of those who ask for “health freedom” would not support a free criticism of their actions were they in power.
Coincidentally, today is Memorial Day in the U.S.. A day when we remember and thank those who served and especially those who gave all in the protection of our freedom. I am more aware than ever of what they have given to me and my family. I don’t think that those with failed ideas about autism, vaccines and more who cry about a lack of “freedom” honor the people who fought for that very freedom.
There’s a reason why those ideas don’t gain traction. It’s not because they aren’t heard. They are heard. The ideas fail because they aren’t right.
By Matt Carey