Was autism ever a first advocacy priority for those promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism?

2 Mar

Years back the evidence was rolling in debunking the hypotheses that the MMR and/or thimerosal in vaccines causes autism. At that time I naively wrote some colleagues in online writer’s community about how perhaps the groups that had been advocating about autism being a vaccine-induced epidemic would now become actual autism advocacy groups. They were at a fork in the road: become autism organizations or focus solely on vaccines. But acting like they were doing both was no longer going to work. One writer responded in a way that has stuck with me as he has been shown to be dead on right. Dr. David Gorski (who writes at Science Based Medicine among other places) was the colleague and I he said essentially: it has always been about the vaccines for them and it always will.

Years later it’s obvious: Dr. Gorski was correct. I was wrong. And we are seeing good examples of that now in this measles outbreak as groups like Safeminds and, of course, the Age of Autism blog chime in with articles downplaying the dangers of measles. A prime example recently came on AoA from Mark Blaxill. Mr. Blaxill is largely responsible for the thimerosal scare of the past decade. He wrote a paper (published in the non peer reviewed Medical Hypotheses) Thimerosal and autism? A plausible hypothesis that should not be dismissed. It was junk when it was published, it’s junk now.

His recent article on AoA is “Measles Hysteria — The Truth About a Non-Epidemic in Eight Simple Slides”. It’s junk and one could spend an article debunking each point. But Let’s take a more focused look. He has a slide “Why Measles is No Longer a Threat in the U.S.” (click to enlarge)

M Blaxill misinfo 1

So, it was supposedly 1500 infections ago that someone in the U.S. died of measles. Only 1 in 1500 or so and so it’s not a big deal. Mr. Blaxill even called (or got someone from his organization to call) the CDC for a statement. Who knows what was asked, what was said. Maybe the CDC spokesperson made a mistake. You see, Dr. Vincent Iannelli at Pediatrics.About.Com actually tabulated measles deaths in the U.S. in recent years. Even with a low infection rate, people die of measles and have died in the U.S.. After presenting the data for each year he summarizes:

So that’s 10 measles deaths since 2000 and at least 7 measles deaths since 2005.

Why do people say that there have been no measles deaths in the United States in the past 10 years? Whether they are misinformed or intentionally trying to misinform people, they are wrong.

One can confirm this on the CDC Wonder website. Here’s a screenshot.

This isn’t about proving Mark Blaxill wrong on some point. Because in the end it doesn’t matter if it’s one death or ten deaths, it’s too many. But I suspect 1 death or 10 deaths wouldn’t change Mr. Blaxill’s assertion that measles is a minor deasease.

\Those 10 measles deaths Dr. Iannelli mentions are deaths that occur during the infection, usually from complications like pneumonia or encephalitis. But the thing about measles is that it can kill years later. There’s a condition called SSPE, Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis. You see, for some people, the measles virus enters the brain and stays there. And slowly kills.

From Dr. Iannelli:

About 6 to 8 years after having measles, children with SSPE develop progressive neurological symptoms, including memory loss, behavior changes, uncontrollable movements, and even seizures. As symptoms progress, they may become blind, develop stiff muscles, become unable to walk, and eventually deteriorate to a persistent vegetative state.

Children with SSPE usually die within 1 to 3 years of first developing symptoms


That’s 32 SSPE deaths since 2000 and at least 19 SSPE deaths since 2005. Why so many? Many of them can likely be attributed to the large number of cases associated with measles outbreaks from 1989 to 1991.

There is no cure for measles infection. There is no cure for SSPE. One can read more about SSPE at the link given above or at a recent article at Science Based Medicine: SSPE: A Deadly and Not-That-Rare Complication of Measles.

Mr. Blaxill includes a quote from someone in the 1963 who stated that measles is of “moderate severity” or “low fatality”. Perhaps to someone who lived through the early 20th century when measles was even more deadly, this might seem so. Perhaps. But not now. And how can someone ever use the phrase “self limiting” about a disease that can lead to SSPE? SSPE is only “self limiting” in the death of the patient.

Another of Mr. Blaxill’s slides shows the decline in measles infections and deaths following the introduction of the vaccine. Mr. Blaxill annotated this with his own observations (click to enlarge):

M Blaxill misinfo 2

Here’s the thing that pops out of that graph: the death rate has remained constant at about 1 in 1,000 since at least 1950. Take a look at any datapoint in the deaths and go up a factor of 1,000 and there’s the infection rate. And that doesn’t account for SSPE deaths years later.

Over the years I’ve found that Mr. Blaxill often takes an unreasonable and unfounded stance on issues. But since when is a death rate of 1 in 1,000 low enough to state “Why Measles is No Longer a Threat in the U.S.”?

For comparison, Mr. Blaxill informs us that there have been 80 deaths attributed to measles containing vaccines reported to VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) in the past 10 years. He ignores, as most people do who use VAERS in this manner, to include the disclaimer one must acknowledge in order to access VAERS data, which concludes that VAERS data do not imply causality. But let’s for the moment assume that every report to VAERS is causal. 80 deaths. There are about 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year. About 90% get the MMR vaccine. Twice. Over 10 years. That’s nearly 80 million doses of MMR vaccine administered. So, even if we take each report to VAERS as causal, that would be 1 death in 1 million doses. 1 death in 500,000 infants. This is a huge over estimate given the assumptions, but let’s do the difficult: compare these numbers. To Mr. Blaxill 1 in 500,000 is too many, but 1 in 1,500 is “low fatality”.

Even using the Mr. Blaxill’s flawed assumptions, his logic doesn’t make any sense.

Let’s take a look at Mr. Blaxill’s concluding slide so I can bring this back to how it shows that he has abandoned not just logic but also the autism community. I’ve highlighted one sentence that is particularly important. (click to enlarge):

M Blaxill misinfo 3

Measles has ceased to be a dangerous illness? Seriously? First, the idea that we can accept 1 out of 1000 people dying due to measles is just astonishingly bad advocacy. For that point alone we in the autism community need to distance ourselves from Mr. Blaxill and people like him. These irresponsible actions are not the actions of the autism community.

That said, let’s consider this key phrase: “in healthy children”. If you will, try to recall back in the day when Mr. Blaxill presented himself as an autism advocate. Actually, we don’t even have to go back that far, only recently he was telling a congressional hearing:

In New Jersey, 1 in 29 boys born in 2000 were diagnosed autistic.

What’s going on? Why are so many American children sick?

The message he had for many years was that autistic children are sick. Not healthy. His former organization (Safeminds) would be quick to point out a number of conditions that are more common in autistics than in the general population. Since even by his own definition autistics are not “healthy”, why should we let measles return in force to the U.S.? Of course it is Mr. Blaxill’s failed hypothesis that vaccines are making children “sick”. But let’s consider this very real point: the developmentally disabled are more likely to become sickened by infectious diseases and they are more likely to die (Why vaccination uptake matters to the autism community).

And that’s ignoring the fact that a large fraction of autistics are also epileptic. And a huge trigger for seizures is infectious disease and the prolonged fever that comes with it. Perhaps Mr. Blaxill is unaware of the term status epilepticus, the situation where someone gets into a state of constant seizures. And, yes, this can be brought on by infection.

Or perhaps Mr. Blaxill has forgotten the emphasis his community placed on mitochondrial disease and autism just a few short years ago.

From a U.C. San Diego Metabolic Deseaese Center website, the paragraph: What is Mitochondrial Disease?

If a child is stricken with a catastrophic disease affecting three or more organ systems, or if a child has been afflicted with a relapsing disease that affects two or more organ systems and leads to slow but measurable deterioration, he or she may have a mitochondrial disease. At times, mitochondrial diseases can cause isolated symptoms. These may include unexplained seizures, low blood counts, dystonia (abnormal muscle tone or spasms), blindness, deafness, dementia, ataxia (stumbling or tremors), cerebral palsy, heart failure, or progressive muscle weakness. More often, however, several organ systems are affected in sequence, one faltering or failing after another. Good periods are frequently punctuated by abrupt deteriorations that are caused by simple infections. For children with mitochondrial disease these infections can be life threatening, and leave them with deficits that cannot be recovered.

Emphasis added. Some fraction of our population does have mitochondrial disease. Allowing diseases like measles back would put this community (as well as those with mitochondrial disease without autism) at huge risk.

I’d like to say that Mr. Blaxill, like many in the “autism is a vaccine-induced epidemic” camp, has lost his way. A very valid question is whether Mr. Blaxill and his colleagues were ever on the path of autism advocacy. Was it always, as Dr. Gorski opined, about the vaccines?

While I’ve entitled this article “Was autism ever a first advocacy priority for those promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism?”, in the end motivations are secondary. Mr. Blaxill’s actions are and have been irresponsible. They are an example of the actions of a group of faux autism advocates that have a history of irresponsible actions. Not just to public health but to the autism communities.

By Matt Carey

25 Responses to “Was autism ever a first advocacy priority for those promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism?”

  1. Roger Kulp March 2, 2015 at 18:27 #

    Wow.This is definitely one of the better articles I have read at LBRB.I don’t know if this is the first time LBRB has admitted those with mitochondrial disease are a part of the autism community or not.There are many,especially those in the neurodiversity movement,who want to deny we are.You have come a long way in the years since Hannah Poling,

    Nothing you write about is new to me.I am now most of the way there towards a diagnosis of a still undetermined mitochondrial disorder.It has been a six year journey starting from just an autism diagnosis,and has been more or less a full time job.Along the way I have racked up several other metabolic diagnoses,and worked my way up the ladder to being seen at one of the top mito hospitals in the US.My doctors are presuming I do have mito.

    It was a semi prominent doctor with known antivaccine beliefs,who did the initial genetic and metabolic testing on me.There was no one else willing to do any such testing on me,as an adult with only an autism diagnosis.For that I will always be grateful.I have mitochondrial involvement with the brain (autism,developmental delays,learning disabilities,seizures,and finally a diagnosis of cerebral folate deficiency),muscles,heart,blood,vision,immune and GI systems.I have had many many regressions triggered by febrile illness.Starting as a baby,and well into my 40s.I have literally come back from the dead a number of times,either from acute infection,or from organ failure that doctors never investigated the cause of.I was lucky enough to be vaccinated against most childhood diseases.There was no vaccine for chicken pox when I was a child,and I ended up spending almost two weeks in the hospital with heart and brain complications.Diseases like measles can actually be fatal for children with mitochondrial disease.Many of my lifelong disabilities,not just autism,were triggered by febrile illness as an infant or child.Unexplained vision loss in one eye,muscle atrophy,etc.

    Initially I thought I might have an ally in the antivaccine movement,because they seemed to be the only ones acknowledging serious diseases can exist with autism.It took me years to realize these people were not my allies.That these people are only interested in their own agenda about vaccines,but it was a gradual process.There were a few red flags for me like when antivax parents told me that infections like measles or chicken pox were probably no big deal for kids with mito,that no unvaccinated child ever regressed into autism,that it was not possible for somebody with autism to regress more than once.All of which are pretty much accepted as fact by mitochondrial disease specialists.

    But it was not until relatively recently,that it finally dawned on me that these people were only interested in their own agenda.It was all vaccines all the time.They could care less about sick children and adults with either mito or autoimmune disorders.I think it has been the increasing fanaticism and all the wild claims on their blogs that finally convinced me of this.

    I don’t know to what extent those of us with autism and mitochondrial disease will ever get wide support and acceptance in the broader autism community maybe we never will,but the antivaccine movement is certainly no friend of ours.

  2. Lenny Schafer March 2, 2015 at 18:33 #

    This ad hominem assault on Mark Blaxill appears to have the purpose of challenging his motives as something less than honorable. It asserts that he is not so much nobly concerned about autism as he is about dastardly opposing vaccines. So how exactly does this benefit him, if that is indeed his motive? Is he financially benefiting from some competing technology of vaccines? Has he been appointed onto powerful government boards desiring his views? Are his associated non-profits reeling in massive donations from deceived followers? I cannot find how he is reaping any rewards for taking a skeptical stance on vaccination orthodoxy. Since you have opened the door on challenging Mr. Blaxill’s motives, perhaps you can fill in some of the data to support your personal attack, Mr. Carey. I should add that Mark Blaxill is the father of a daughter diagnosed with autism, I would suggest that his love for his daughter and others like her, might be the simplest and best explanation for his motives.

    • Lawrence March 2, 2015 at 18:51 #

      Mr. Carey is merely pointing out that Mark Blaxill is incorrectly categorizing measles as some kind of benign ailment.

      More importantly, rather than advocate for those with autism today, Mark Blaxill is instead encouraging a resurgence of Vaccine Preventable diseases which, if allowed to continue, could have a very profound impact on those with autism (a negative one).

      Instead, Mark Blaxill is convinced that vaccines are the root of all evil & should be eliminated – he doesn’t care about autism anymore, as evidence by his actions to date.

    • Chris March 2, 2015 at 18:55 #

      “I would suggest that his love for his daughter and others like her, might be the simplest and best explanation for his motives.”

      And you don’t think Matt is motivated by the love of his kids? Do you ever wonder why he publishes so many articles on autism advocacy, education, etc that have absolutely nothing to do with vaccines?

      Also, please explain what in the above article is an “ad hominem.” He did not say Mr. Blaxill was wrong because he has a business degree nor that he writes for Age of Autism. He said Mr. Blaxill was wrong because his facts were wrong.

      In short:

      Mr. Blaxill claimed there were no measles deaths in the USA over a certain period, but that was wrong.

      Mr. Blaxill claimed that measles deaths had declined, but the ratio still is one death out of about a thousand cases of measles, so he was wrong about that.

      Mr. Blaxill still claims that vaccines cause autism, when the scientific consensus shows there is no real correlation. So he is wrong about that too.

      So again, where is the ad hominem? And if you say it is because Mr. Blaxill is wrong about vaccines causing autism, then you’ll have to come up the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers to prove that.

    • thirdwarning March 2, 2015 at 18:57 #

      If, as it seems, Mark Blaxill sees his autistic child as ‘sick’ then his statement that measles is not dangerous to healthy children is a tacit admission that measles is dangerous to her and those like her. And yet, he continues to dismiss measles as nothing to worry about, and encourages decisions that will allow it to come back as an endemic disease, essentially putting his own child in danger through his advocacy for vaccine refusal.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 2, 2015 at 22:41 #

      Mr. Shafer,

      you are focused on motivations, which is not the topic above. I wrote “was autism ever a first advocacy priority..” not “why isn’t autism a first advocacy priority…”

      Consider my last paragraph:

      “While I’ve entitled this article “Was autism ever a first advocacy priority for those promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism?”, in the end motivations are secondary. Mr. Blaxill’s actions are and have been irresponsible. They are an example of the actions of a group of faux autism advocates that have a history of irresponsible actions. Not just to public health but to the autism communities.”

      I don’t particularly care why his actions are irresponsible. I care that they are irresponsible. I do not challenge that his motivations are “less than honorable” at all. I do challenge that his actions have benefited the community.

      I do not “open the door on challenging Mr Blaxill’s motives”. As to challenging his argument as false and his actions as irresponsible, I have filled in that data.

      First, consider the statement that I highlighted. It is, in my view, the heart of his argument: “measles has long since ceased to be dangerous for healthy children”. I do not accept a 1 in 1,000 death rate. Nor do I expect any reasonable person to do. Second, it is our community who will be most at danger of injury or death. Documented above and in a previous article.

      I have no doubt that Mr. Blaxill loves his child. I never challenged that or even came close to challenging that. I too love my child. And when Mr. Blaxill or others take positions that could put my child in danger, I will speak out. As demonstrated above.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 4, 2015 at 02:14 #

      “Has he been appointed onto powerful government boards desiring his views?”

      That would be yes. He was appointed to the Autism and the Environment IOM group. He was called up to testify before congress. So, since you brought this question up, why is it important to this discussion?

      “Are his associated non-profits reeling in massive donations from deceived followers?”

      First off, why did you insert the word “deceived” in there? And the word “followers”. Do you assert that he has “followers” and that they are “deceived”? Because those are not my words, they are yours.

      To answer your question, it appears to be no. His “Canary Party” appears to have been largely funded by his colleague Jennifer Larson, although he ade substantial donations himself. Oddly, both he and Ms. Larson later recharacterized part of their donations as “loans”. I suspect this is for tax purposes in that a bad loan would be a loss but a donation to a political party are not tax deductible. But I’m not an MBA so perhaps I missed the point. His “heath choice” organization took in $70,000 one year and $74,000 in another year. Such round numbers suggest to this observer that once again this is a largely self-financed operation. And, much like the Canary Party, much of the money is going to travel, entertainment expenses and conventions.

      “I cannot find how he is reaping any rewards for taking a skeptical stance on vaccination orthodoxy.”

      I do not speculate on why he takes his actions. I do not characterize his position as a “skeptical stance on vaccination orthodoxy” but as an irresponsible stance for one who formerly presented himself as a member of the disability community. I make my case for that clearly above.

      My arguments above are not a personal attack nor an ad hominem. Characterizing them thus appears to me to be an attempt to avoid the clear arguments presented.

      Perhaps you would like to take up the question of (a) whether these diseases are dangerous, (b) whether they present a greater danger to the developmental disability community and (c) whether downplaying the dangers of diseases would thus be an irresponsible act in general and an especially irresponsible act for one in the disability community.

  3. chavisory March 2, 2015 at 18:49 #

    I also wrote about this recently. The lives of autistic and medically vulnerable people are a non-issue to anti-vaxxers. We aren’t really people equally worth protecting from preventable disease as non-autistic children to them.

  4. Broken Link March 2, 2015 at 22:06 #


    I am sure Mark Blaxill cares deeply about his daughter with autism. However, the facts show that he is deeply invested in his theory that her autism was caused by vaccines. So much so that he treated her with chelation for a prolonged period of time, and he’s spent massive numbers of hours on the vaccine-causation theory, writing books, blogs and papers. He can’t admit now that he was wrong – he’d be admitting that he’d wasted his time and subjected his daughter to quackery.

    There’s no need to propose conspiracy theories, or claim that he’s being paid off. He’s simply invested.

  5. Rick Brown March 3, 2015 at 02:15 #

    Each shot is “Russian Roulette” with your child. CDC records show ZERO MEASLES DEATHS in past 10 years, but 108 DEATHS FROM MEASLES VACCINE during same time period, plus autism and other adverse effects. Which is riskier?

    CDC Whistle blowers admit covering up MMR-Autism association [google: CDC MMR Whistleblower]

    JAPAN quit MMR in the early 90’s due to numerous adverse reactions identical to those Wakefield hypothesized.

    Italy doesn’t protect vaccine manufacturers and recently forced them to produce results from their vaccine trials. The results said at least 5 of the vaccine trial subjects developed autism. Americans are not allowed to demand these documents due to the Supreme Court ruling, but they are available online. [Google Italy Vaccine Autism to see for yourself] Has not made it to American Media for some reason.

    The US has paid over $3 BILLION from the VACCINE INJURY COMPENSATION PROGRAM established because pharma & Govt knows there’s 100% chance some number of kids will react adversely and develop neurological problems, such as autism, or even die. The vaccine package inserts inside vaccines state autism and many more possible side effects.

    The CDC head acknowledged vaccines caused Hannah Poling’s Autism and admitted vaccines cause autism [google: CDC admits vaccines cause autism]

    Recently, pharma lobbied the Supreme Court for hold-harmless from product liability for vaccine damage to your kids, which they got, meaning less incentive to make safe vaccines now.

    ONLY the vaccinated caught this ‘vaccine preventable’ disease [MUMPS]. None of the unvaccinated were affected. [google: mumps outbreak NJ college 100 victims all vaccinated]

    The US autism rate is 1 in 68 kids. Anything else would get epidemic treatment and response. We are looking everywhere except the obvious.

    CDC refuses to compare vaccinated vs unvaccinated autism rates for over 20 years, but that conclusive study has been done, as over 250,000 Amish, Homefirst Medical and 10,000 families surveyed by Generation Rescue, who have not vaccinated, have virtually no Autism.

    Subject: 86 Research Papers Supporting the Vaccine/Autism Link http://www.scribd.com/mobile/d

    Just as doctors in the 1920’s were taught to prescribe HEROIN, COCAINE, ALCOHOL and CIGARETTES to pregnant women, we learned better. Thanks to open minded thinking, have changed the 1920’s behavior. It took 40 yrs of legal trials to defeat ‘cigarette science’ to force warnings on cigarettes.

    Perhaps in 100 years we will look back at Autism as the most preventable tragedy of the century. Do your own independent research.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 18:49 #

      That’s a lot of the standard fare for those opposing vaccines. Except you get a lot of it wrong.

      “CDC Whistle blowers admit covering up MMR-Autism association [google: CDC MMR Whistleblower]”

      I’ve written extensively on this. Here is some of that discussion:
      If this is what keeps a CDC researcher up at night, how would they ever keep a huge conspiracy going?
      Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker complain. Not honestly, but they complain
      A new Autism Media Channel video. A chance to watch some sleight of hand
      A look at the analysis plan for DeStefano’s MMR study: no evidence of fraud

      “JAPAN quit MMR in the early 90’s due to numerous adverse reactions identical to those Wakefield hypothesized.”

      Japan stopped the MMR due to reactions linked to the Urabe strain mumps component. Mr. Wakefield did not hypothesize anything about that. In fact, he was approached on the subject by someone in the UK and Mr. Wakefield did nothing with that information for over a decade until he came forward and threatened the whistleblower.

      “Italy doesn’t protect vaccine manufacturers…” “The results said at least 5 of the vaccine trial subjects developed autism.”

      Yes, a document which lists all potential adverse events was made public and some people (including a court for some reason) misinterpreted this as a causal connection (For example, I seem to recall the same document listed a broken arm as a reported event–an event that was clearly not due to the MMR vaccine). One of the Italian decisions was just overturned. Here’s a discussion:

      “The vaccine package inserts inside vaccines state autism and many more possible side effects.”

      The package inserts list autism as a “reported” side effect. Some people during trials and afterwards have claimed that autism is a side effect. Which is different from stating that autism is caused by MMR.

      “The CDC head acknowledged vaccines caused Hannah Poling’s Autism and admitted vaccines cause autism”

      No, she didn’t. And even if she did, Hannah Poling’s mother made it very clear that the case did not admit that vaccines caused her child’s autism. This comment can be found on the Age of Autism blog.

      “Recently, pharma lobbied the Supreme Court for hold-harmless from product liability for vaccine damage to your kids…”

      Really, so if they fail to warn about a potential side effect or use poor manufacturing methods, they have no liability (OK, this isn’t a question–they are liable for failure to warn or manufacturing defects). But, what about liability? Are you saying that no one has liability for potential injury? Because that would be wrong. We as a people have accepted liability by allowing ourselves (through our government) to be sued for injury claims. This is the vaccine court that you’ve already mentioned. And vaccines can be pulled faster than almost any medical product out there. The U.S. maintains active surveillance of vaccine safety and has pulled a vaccine. Compare this to drugs such as Vioxx which are monitored largely by the manufacturers themselves and can take a long time to get pulled.

      “NLY the vaccinated caught this ‘vaccine preventable’ disease [MUMPS]”

      Mumps outbreak discussion: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-2014-ohio-mumps-outbreak/

      “The US autism rate is 1 in 68 kids. Anything else would get epidemic treatment and response.”

      Really? How long has the rate of intellectual disability been at about 1%? Autism gets a very vigorous response, including checking the idea that vaccines were a cause.

      “CDC refuses to compare vaccinated vs unvaccinated autism rates ”

      Provide a link where they were asked to and paid to do such a study. You can’t, so how do you say they have refused? NIH has funded a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study. On the other hand, Andrew Wakefield and Generation rescue have been funding such a study for years but won’t tell us the results.

      “Subject: 86 Research Papers Supporting the Vaccine/Autism Link”

      I’ve discussed many of those studies here and how they really don’t support such a link. In fact, chasing down claims such as those in those paper is what showed me that there is no substance to the claims.

      “Just as doctors in the 1920’s were taught to prescribe HEROIN, COCAINE, ALCOHOL and CIGARETTES to pregnant women…”

      We now have charlatans prescribing chelators, chemical castration, bleach enemas and more to disabled children. How do they do this? A big part of their sales pitch is the idea that they are “healing vaccine injury”.

      “Perhaps in 100 years we will look back at Autism as the most preventable tragedy of the century. Do your own independent research.”

      I have. Published it even. Plus over 1000 article on this website are written by me. It appears to be you who just repeats what is out there, often getting it wrong.

  6. Rick Brown March 3, 2015 at 02:16 #

    Here are a few resources EVERYONE should view before making their own personal, informed vaccine decisions.

    Trace Amounts: The Documentary The CDC Doesn’t Want You To See | Collective-Evolution http://ow.ly/JmbtJ

    http://ow.ly/Jyozd MUST SEE Free Viewing of “BOUGHT” Movie ends 3/6

    Doctors speak out: Vaccines don’t work, but do cause brain damage and death http://ow.ly/JrQj1

    The FDA Is Hiding Scientific Fraud, And You Should Be Pissed http://t.co/0raoIDoYHk

    Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on Thimerosal – Let The Science Speak, Part 2 – YouTube http://ow.ly/Ji14M

    A Reminder: Merck Chief, Former Vaccine President, Former CDC Chief told CNN Vaccines Cause Autism – AGE OF AUTISM http://ow.ly/JeiVl

    In Perspective: Measles 2015 – AGE OF AUTISM ow.ly/JGhlH

    Vaccine dangers are hidden by the FDA using a simple TRICK – make the placebo as toxic as the vaccine so both have = reactions

    EXCELLENT RESEARCH ANALYSIS @VaccineXchange: Why CDC’s own data suggests you should not vaccinate

    How Mercury Triggered The Age Of Autism – YouTube ow.ly/J3BsY

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 02:28 #

      Do you really want to include the claim that vaccines don’t work? Of all the bad claims (and there are a lot, and they are demonstrably bad) that you have, “vaccines don’t work” is just plain wrong.

      Smallpox. Eradicated by vaccination.

      Measles, rubella, mumps, more diseaes–eliminated from the U.S. by vaccination. Outbreaks are caused by imported cases now.

      Project Tycho: presents the data that in multiple locations in the U.S., with multiple diseases, each disease incidence drops precipitously when a vaccine is introduced. https://www.tycho.pitt.edu/

      The basic science of a vaccine is simple. One just has to accept the germ theory of disease. Which is about as hard an established scientific fact as you can come across.

      So, again, do you really want a link to “Doctors speak out: Vaccines don’t work, but do cause brain damage and death”?

      The rest of your links are bad science and old failed ideas, but really, vaccines don’t work? You actually believe that?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 02:31 #

        Let’s follow the link to your “vaccines don’t work” stuff.

        Don’t Fear the Measle[sic]! The last fatal case of measles in the United States was in 2003. However, CDC tries to scare us by reporting worldwide death figures that include populations which are malnourished and live in unsanitary conditions, and news reporters then refer to measles as “deadly.” We should be more concerned about the not rare serious vaccine side-effects listed on the MMR Package Insert such as thrombocytopenia, deafness, blindness, and death. The VAERS database indicates that between 2000-2014 there were 140 deaths reported from the MMR vaccine. Evidence shows that Recent Measles Cases are Due to Vaccine Failure, not failure to vaccinate.

        Well, that’s pretty well covered in my article above, isn’t it.

        Do you accept 1 in 1000 deaths by measles? Is that OK? And, really, measles cases are due to vaccine failure? So, all those who weren’t vaccinated, how exactly is that a vaccine failure?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 02:35 #

      Trace Amounts and RFK Jr. on thimerosal. I know Mr. Kennedy took out much of his autism arguments, but since this is an autism site–

      Seriously, why are we still arguing about thimerosal? Aside from people like Mark Blaxill (discussed above) who has zero science or medical credentials writing non peer reviewed papers claiming that autism looks like mercury poisoning, what evidence do you have? The rise in autism rates with the exposure to thimerosal in infant vaccines, right? And the expected drop in autism rates once the thimerosal was removed? That’s right, it didn’t happen.

      Here in California infant vaccines, including influenza, are thimerosal free. Vaccines given to pregnant women are thimerosal free. And I can tell you that the number of people in Special Education and the other support services getting the autism label has continued to climb.

      No, autism is not mercury poisoning (see Patricia Rodier’s discussion, she was the one expert on both autism and mercury poisoning) and No autism rates do not correlate with thimerosal exposure.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 02:37 #

      “‘The FDA Is Hiding Scientific Fraud, And You Should Be Pissed”

      Followed the link. Searched for “vacc” and no hits. So why is this article a part of this discussion?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 02:38 #

      “A Reminder: Merck Chief, Former Vaccine President, Former CDC Chief told CNN Vaccines Cause Autism – AGE OF AUTISM”

      Really, an interpretation by the Age of Autism blog? They will interpret anything as “vaccines cause autism”. The Age of Autism blog has caused a great deal of harm to the autism communities. And doesn’t put much effort into being accurate.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 02:41 #

      “In Perspective: Measles 2015 – AGE OF AUTISM ”

      yet another “don’t worry, be happy. Measles isn’t scary” article.

      Roughly 1 in 1000 die from measles in the U.S.. Is this acceptable to you?

      • Chris March 3, 2015 at 02:47 #

        And if it was not for very expensive hospital treatment, many more would die. The most common cause of measles death is pneumonia.

        As a parent who has seen my child hooked up to respiratory equipment, this is something that is best avoided. Only a cruel and sadistic person would prefer to see kids suffer from measles.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) March 3, 2015 at 02:42 #

      “How Mercury Triggered The Age Of Autism”

      Covered in great depth on this site. Mercury is did not cause an epidemic of autism. Autism rates have not declined as thimerosal was removed from vaccines.

      e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18180424

    • novalox March 3, 2015 at 07:35 #

      @rick brown

      Considering that you have to resort to outright lies and fraud to support your cause, especially with a measles outbreak that could have been prevented altogether, you really do prove Sullivan’s point rather well, that you and your ilk don’t really support autistics at all and cling to a fraudulent and failed idea.

    • Science Mom March 4, 2015 at 02:53 #

      Holy Cow, those last two posts from Rick filled a dozen anti-vaxx bingo cards. I am in awe of your patience and graciousness Matt to answer them so factually and tactfully. I can easily do the first, a lot harder for the second. 😀

  7. dennis March 20, 2015 at 21:01 #


    Perhaps vaccines are, uh, too *mundane* – as in not ‘Magic(k)al enough’?

    Or is the true answer – the real motivation – darker still? As in, perhaps, some instinctual drive present in NT folk psychology, like a hypertrophiied version of in-group bias? Perhaps a covert version of what looks a bit like social darwinism? Or, perhaps that especial form of ‘acquired situational narcissism that seems to be common whenever especially *fortunate* Norms are in the presence of those they name lesser beings?

    There is a reason that the “just world fallacy’ is named that – and there is a very ***dark*** reason why so many people believe it to be true in spite of contrary evidence.

    Self-deification. Dominance, power, and control. The greater shall prey upon the lesser. Vulnerability invites predation; and not merely do the vulnerable attract such tratment – they also deserve such abuse – “for they have chosen to be as they are.”


  1. What I’ve been reading — March 2015 | ASD Dad - March 25, 2015

    […] Was autism ever a first advocacy priority for those promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism? Basically, no. Read more […]

  2. Do Vaccines Cause Autism? | Skeptics Shop - August 9, 2020

    […] From LeftBrainRightBrain: Was autism ever a first advocacy priority for those promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism? […]

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