Give your ego a rest

17 Feb

hu·bris (hy??’br?s)
n. Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance.

Since the first set of Omnibus decisions have come in we’ve seen demonstration after demonstration of the personal hubris of one person after another from the antivaxosphere. This is not unusual from that camp of course. Who can forget Mark Blaxill’s self-aggrandising pontificationon AoA regarding blogs that don’t agree with him:

Let serious people do serious work.

The implication being of course that what AoA do is ‘serious work’ and the people it calls scientists are ‘serious scientists’.

Trouble is, as has recently been made absolutely crystal clear, the sort of person Mark Blaxill likes to refer to as serious of are _not_ serious scientists at all.

Sadly, the petitioners in this litigation have been the victims of bad science, conducted to support litigation rather than to advance medical and scientific understanding of ASD


After careful consideration of all of the evidence, it was abundantly clear that petitioners’ theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive


[they have]…been misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment.

Just in case anyone is in any doubt, those judgements are referring to the people who formulated the ‘science’, practised ‘medicine’ on children and who stood as ‘experts’ in its defence during the Omnibus hearings.

On AoA since the decisions were made the spin has been so furious I’m surprised the planet has orbit has changed direction. Over there I’ve read:

1) ….They really believe that we are a bunch of anti-science, creationist, non-global-warming believing, tin foil hat wearers. Really. It’s just so surprising and disappointing to me that the same people who are so willing to “fight the power” on the political front have absolutely no concept of where the recent science is….

2) …this ruling couldnt be more transparent, its not about the topic or the science, but the word play….

3) ….I’m actually rather appalled at the Special Masters summation of the expert testimony, and the fact that they actually stated the respondents “were better and more qualified” (defamation?)….

4) …While large scale studies have not shown a link between vaccines and autism, there are lingering legitimate questions about the safety of vaccines that must be addressed… (Autism Speaks statement)

5)…I have to think that the reason it took nineteen months for a verdict is that the decision was difficult to conclude. The burden of scientific proof in vaccine court is “more likely than not” that the vaccine caused the child harm. These Special Masters must have wrestled with their verdicts….(TACA statement)

There are so many other examples that I would be here for a long time putting them all down. The JABS loonies attacks on Brian Deer whilst refusing to tackle the content of what he says, Kent Heckenlively’s petulant ranting about the decisions following his gloating predictions on AoA that victory was assured, Melanie Phillips statement that the Omnibus decisions looked ‘pretty thin’ to her – as if she had the intelligence or familiarity with the subject matter to offer a legitimate opinion – I could go on and on.

Here’s the bottom line. The people you rely on for science are not scientists. The people you rely on for medical treatment are cranks. The big organisations you think represent you are useless. A lot of you are individually egotistical fools so convinced you are right that you will twist and spin anything. I have read accusations of conspiracy, comparisons to Hitler and Nazi’s generally – all the usual crap that the antivaxosphere reel out when their bottom lip starts trembling after reality has just kicked their collective arse. I sincerely hope the Special Masters have taken steps to protect themselves and their families.

And heres another thing. All the antivax groups who released statements ‘acknowledged’ the three families. As well they should. These three families were their lab rats. But lets not beat around the bush. These families are going to be pretty much bankrupt as a result of being their labrats.

I’ve estimated that the collective spend of some antivax orgs, based on registered accounts for 2004/05/06 is over US$2M. I’m not sure what exactly thats gone on but I have a suggestion for where the next two mil could go – the Cedillo’s, Snyder’s and Hazlehursts who bankrupted themselves in the name of…well…nothing…

And here’s the last thing for now…I’m fucking furious. Really, really angry. £16M in the UK has been spent defending the MMR/autism shit. Christ knows how much the Omnibus proceedings are costing. For shit science, from shit scientists. For ‘results’ that people have been saying for _years_ are rubbish and mean nothing. You people are actively holding back autism science.

You’ve been proved wrong. Now shut up and get the fuck out the way.

13 Responses to “Give your ego a rest”

  1. Socrates February 17, 2009 at 15:50 #

    You people are actively holding back autism science.

    You’ve been proved wrong. Now shut up and get the fuck out the way.

    And running riot among the UK’s public health program, corrupting legitimate and necessary debates; polarizing opinions into entrenched and mutually exclusive camps; wasting trees, photons and magnetic domains on puerile sophistry and pseudo-intellectualism. Striking dread into the hearts of GP’s that have to put up with you turning up with reams of printouts and parading your PhD (Google)’s to your beleaguered health visitors while stuffing your kids full of nutrient-free tofu and recycled Grauniad burgers.

  2. al_capone_junior February 17, 2009 at 16:06 #

    Great blog.

    The court decision took so long because of the lawyers and their ridiculous accusations about MMR that take a long time and a lot of effort to debunk. But they were clearly (once again) debunked, and it wasn’t a 51/49 decision either, it was a clear slam-dunk. Like it has been for years.

    Now, how about you AoA JABS wakefield et al people shut your friggin’ yaps and let the real scientists do their work.

  3. Liz February 17, 2009 at 16:33 #

    Seeing as ‘Raymond of ‘Rain Man’fame was diagnosed- after Fmri – with a ‘white matter in the brain’and NOT áutism'(!!!) – Fmri disallowed to children under 18 here, to which I had a nonsensical argument with Prof.Frith over, many moons ago- well, that IS just a teeny part of it isn’t it? Still, if they took gentics tests, read here from 1998 …….the things they aren’t saying is psychology is CHEAPER than genetics. On R4 one morning years ago, this ws admitted by a senior peadiatrician- though not in so many words- but genetic tests cost over a grand, and if neurological cause is ruled out (as in my sons case) or it’s likely ‘baby had an accident in the cot, and blaming the parents is worth nothing’OH…tell that to some lawyers..and there’s the traumatic pregnancy thing. Lots of things cause these behaviours and conditions, and no two people are the same. Sure some behaviours are similar and there are traits. Check genetics. Autism and it’s umbrella terms do cover child-abuse, but I think it’s in a minority where children are misdiagnosed, when often they have MH issues that need different support.

  4. Becky Fisseux February 17, 2009 at 16:51 #


    Unfortunately, the problem is that the likes of John Stone, Jackie Fletcher and the rest have so much of their lives invested in lying to us, that no matter how much evidence comes up, however many court cases they lose, they will not be able to admit that they were wrong all the time.

    It takes a big man (or woman) to stand up and say “I’m wrong” – perhaps we should all say now, to John Stone, Andrew Wakefield, Jenny McCarthy and the other anti-vax shouters who know they’re wrong, but have invested so much of their lives in being rude and vicious; “Look – you can say you’re wrong. We won’t hold it against you. Anyone can make a mistake, and we’ll think all the better of you for holding your hands up and admitting it”

    I propose an amnesty.

    Kind regards,


  5. Socrates February 17, 2009 at 18:04 #

    my ranting confined to the moderation queue?

  6. Another Voice February 17, 2009 at 19:33 #

    I really would not worry about the spinning disturbing the orbit of our planet; it is a tempest in a tea pot. The average person has no idea of what an Omnibus hearing is all about and even less of an urge to find out.

    Even to the many whom care about these decisions, the results do not impact the programs available or what must be done to make everyday living just a bit better.

    People can rant and rave all they wish; these decisions are now part of the court record and can be cited in future litigation. Some talk about suing drug companies in civil court, the lack of evidence still needs to be overcome. I don’t feel that blog entries or appearances on talk shows will satisfy that void.

  7. Nicky February 17, 2009 at 19:46 #

    Well said, Kev!

    But they’re not going to admit they’re wrong, and they’re not going to shut up and get out of the way, so perhaps it’s time to take some action to start GETTING them out of the way – like petitioning federal authorities to initiate investigation and criminal prosecution.

    Yes, seriously. I don’t know what the laws are in the UK right now, but here in the USA, the PATRIOT Act is still in effect, and the activities of the anti-vaxxers meet the PATRIOT Act’s definition of terrorism.

    That’s right: the PATRIOT Act’s definition of terrorism includes any activities “dangerous to human life” (e.g., likely to cause outbreaks of potentially fatal diseases) that are “a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State” (e.g., fraud, reckless endangerment) and that are intended to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population” and/or “influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”

    So, yes, according to US law, these people really are bona fide terrorists. It’s time they were dealt with accordingly.

  8. century February 17, 2009 at 20:05 #

    Kevin said on another thread

    “Century – I thought better of you.”


    then blogs with a title

    “Give your ego a rest” – irony indeed

    Are you Brian Deer in disguise?

  9. Kev February 17, 2009 at 20:54 #


  10. Roger February 17, 2009 at 23:21 #

    Great blog.

    The court decision took so long because of the lawyers and their ridiculous accusations about MMR that take a long time and a lot of effort to debunk. But they were clearly (once again) debunked, and it wasn’t a 51/49 decision either, it was a clear slam-dunk. Like it has been for years.

    Now, how about you AoA JABS wakefield et al people shut your friggin’ yaps and let the real scientists do their work

    We all know the anti-vaxers are NEVER going to admit they are wrong.Anymore than Obama is going to admit his escalation of Bush’s war in Afghjanistan is a mistake.

    I think the only way these people are going to go away,is if enough people ignore them, as trite as that may sound.Don’t read their blogs,or respond to their posts at places like this. In addition to having serious neuropsychiatric issues themselves,these people are attention whores.Scientific research has moved on,and left these people in the dust,it’s time for all other intelligent people to do so as well.

    Isn’t it interesting that neither side of the vaccine wars,ever mention the fact there are adults out there,like myself,who are too old to have received the MMR shot,but nonetheless have both autism and mitochondrial disease.I know I am bot the only one,either.

    While I am usually opposed to that sort of thing.I sort of like the idea of using The PATRIOT Act to shut down organizations,like AoA as (cyber)terrorists.These groups make me embarassed to be an autistic.

  11. jruch February 18, 2009 at 00:32 #

    This autism thing has been studied for 66 years now, with 66 years of various forms of hubris, but as we sit here on February 17th 2009, none of us have any clue what we are talking about when it comes to most forms of autism. Autism is still a mystery. We can cross a few hypotheses off the list, but that really doesn’t do us much good. That list should not be completely discarded – some of those hypotheses were probably partially correct. I still want to see if rates of chronic disease are any lower in unvaxed kids. That’s a pretty fundamental question, and I would be surprised if any self respecting scientist hasn’t entertained it. Most dismiss it by saying it would be too expensive, not possible, too difficult or too unethical, and yet, there may be 1% of the population that fits the bill. The percent may be even higher when you look at kids under the age when many of these curious modern illnesses emerge. Some may be unvaxed because they have other conditions, but that should not disqualify them from offering insights into other illnesses. It takes a certain kind of hubris to say its not worth trying. The answers may not advance knowledge of autism, but they would either answer other questions of chronic illness, or help build confidence in vaccines, and any of those possible outcomes would be progress. More than any other, this one study area has the potential to put a whole lot of questions to rest. Its just basic troubleshooting, really.

  12. Socrates February 18, 2009 at 00:53 #

    curious modern illnesses

    What, like the marsh ague?

    In 1901, Jospeh Conrad in the Secret Agent, painted an unmistakible pen-portrait of a boy with autism. Uta Frith did a similar job many times over, in her book “Autism: Explaining the Enigma”.

    I’m going to go and do a Cobain now, because there is no hope, redemption or mercy.

    Goodbye, fool world.

  13. Kev February 18, 2009 at 13:07 #

    jruch, most times I would agree with you but the vaccine question has been so thoroughly looked at I think its entirely possible to draw a big fat line through it.

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