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Book Review: (Poul Thorsen) The Master Manipulator by James Grundvig from Skyhorse Publishing

Best of: Sir Crispin Davis and James Murdoch Leave GSK Board

GskWe are running this "Best of" in light of the VaXed, The Movie controversy having been pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival and subsequently thrust into the limelight.  From January, 2012.

By John Stone

The Wall Street Journal reports that James Murdoch, son of beleaguered media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose empire is embroiled in scandal, has stepped down  from the GlaxoSmithKline board. See WSJ online HERE.  In addition, Sir Crispin Davis, former Chief Executive of Reed Elsevier, which owns The Lancet, which published the paper that included Dr. Andrew Wakefield's MMR information,  is leaving the board after a nine year tenure.

The heir to Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has quit the board of Britain’s biggest drugs company in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

James Murdoch joined  GlaxoSmithKline less than two years ago.

He has come under fire from MPs who have questioned him about signing off out-of-court settlements to hacking victims without a full picture of what had gone on at the News of the World.

He was forced to deny misleading Parliament over the extent of his knowledge.

Glaxo said Mr Murdoch’s decision to turn his back on the £98,000 role was entirely his own.

Chairman Chris Gent said: ‘James has taken this decision to focus on his current duties as non-executive chairman of BSkyB and following his decision to re-locate to the United States as chairman and chief executive, international, of News Corporation.’

John Stone has written about both Murdoch and Davis and their proximity to the Dr. Andrew Wakefield MMR Lancet Paper BMJ topic.

James Murdoch Still Supported by GlaxoSmithKline
ran last July:

Lancet Boss Failed to Disclose Own Conflicts to Parliament While Denouncing Wakefield

Both posts run in full following the jump:

James Murdoch Still Supported by GlaxoSmithKline

James Murdoch, the beleagured News Corporation executive, has received a ringing endorsement from MMR manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline according to Reuters news agency on Friday. GSK who appointed him to their board in February 2009 insist Murdoch has made “a strong contribution” to the group and received share payments worth $158,000 in 2010. Murdoch was appointed to the board of the pharmaceutical manufacturer with a brief to “review…external issues that might have the potential for serious impact upon the group's business and reputation."

Within a fortnight of his appointment News International had published at least 5 articles attacking MMR researcher Andrew Wakefield’s integrity.

The accusations, while flawed, were devastating to Wakefield’s reputation. According to the Sunday Times, and its journalist, Brian Deer Wakefield was singly guilty of fabricating the data in the Lancet paper of 1998 although none of his 12 co-authors have ever repudiated it and one of them, histopathologist, Susan Davies subsequently wrote to British Medical Journal rebutting Deer’s interpretation of her evidence before the General Medical Council. Deer’s allegations were also based on his own inexpert interpretation of GP records which were never available to the authors of the paper. The allegations which were re-cycled by British Medical Journal were rebutted by Wakefield in his book Callous Disregard, and frequently in articles published on Age of Autism (AofA The Big Lie , AofA Time To Revisit Deer's Claims , AofA Part 2 Time To Revisit Deer's Claims ). In contrast to normal academic journal policy BMJ have adopted a legalistic defence of its allegations and (more here). Furthermore, they were forced to admit under pressure that they had undisclosed conflicts with MMR manufacturers Merck and GSK.

The Sunday Times campaign against Wakefield began in 2003 when section editor Paul Nuki approached Deer saying that he needed "something big" on "MMR" . Nuki was the son of Prof George Nuki who sat on the Committee on Safety on Medicines when MMR/Pluserix were first introduced in the late 1980s. Shortly afterwards Deer interviewed parent litigants under a false name. Unknown to Sunday Times readers Deer also pursued his own official complaints against Wakefield and colleagues and came to an arrangement with General Medical Council lawyers that he would not be named in the case, leaving him free to continue reporting as if an independent journalist . Deer’s obtaining and use of confidential data remains to be investigated. A statement on copyright on his website probably dating back some years states (my underlining.):

'For reference, with regard to Brian Deer's MMR investigation, almost all of the key facts and documents are not public domain, and, such is the culture of plagiarism, he will act against authors who represent his writing, interviews, documents, or other research, as the fruit of their own inquiries, whether referenced or not.'

In an article his website he also mentioned reading confidential reports in the MMR litigation and commented on them. When these issues were raised in British Medical Journal last year the journal took the step of removing several letters from its on-line correspondence, effectively banning all further reference to the matter from its columns.

The role of both BMJ and the News International in this affair require urgent official investigation.


Lancet Boss Failed to Disclose Own Conflicts to Parliament While Denouncing Wakefield

Sir Crispin Davis, until recently chief executive of Reed Elsevier which owns the Lancet, failed to disclose his own conflicts while denouncing Andrew Wakefield to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in March 2004. Sir Crispin failed to disclose either that he was a non-executive director of MMR defendants, GlaxoSmithKline, or that it was his own brother Sir Nigel Davis who had endorsed the Legal Services Commission’s decision to pull the plug on the funding of the case in the High Court 3 days before ((HERE).

This was barely more than a week after allegations had been levelled against Wakefield by Lancet editor Richard Horton, and Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer.  Nor do Davis’s conflicts ever seem to have been mentioned by Horton.

Remarkably, these relationships had been mentioned in Sunday Times article about Sir Crispin, just weeks earlier:

"Family get-togethers could become galling for Davis if he ever slips up, such is the incredible success he and his brothers have achieved. One of them, Ian, is managing director of McKinsey, the management consultancy, another, James, is a partner at the top law firm Freshfields, while a third, Nigel, is a High Court judge.

"Davis’s only other City job is as a non-executive board member at Glaxo Smith Kline, a position he secured last year."


This did not stop Sir Crispin accusing Wakefield as he was cross-examined before the committee by Dr Evan Harris MP who had accompanied Deer to the Lancet offices 12 days earlier.  He told Harris:

At the time of the submission of the article there was no admission of conflict of interest. Three months later there was a written letter. I think I have got it somewhere here.“
 
To which Harris interjected:

“I have it here as well, 7 May 1998.:

And Davis responded:

"It actually says, 'There is no conflict of interest'. Should the editor then—"

However, what the interchange hides is the fact that Wakefield disclosed his involvement with the litigation while denying that there was a conflict - all of which had anyway long been known to the Lancet (AoA Smoke and Mirrors , AoA The Last Day of Wakefield's Defence). In the letter published on 2 May 1998 Wakefield had stated:

"A Rouse suggests that litigation bias might exist by virtue of information he has downloaded from the internet: from the Society for the Autistically Handicapped. Only one author (AJW) has agreed to help evaluate a small number of these children on behalf of the Legal Aid Board. These children have all been seen expressly on the basis that they were referred through normal channels (eg, from general practitioner, child psychiatrist, or community paediatrician) on the merits of their symptoms. AJW has never heard of the Society for the Autistically Handicapped and no fact sheet has been provided by them to distribute to interested parties. The only fact sheet we have produced is for general practitioners, which describes the background and protocol for the investigation of children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. Finally all those children referred to us (including the 53 who have been investigated already and those on the waiting list that extends into 1999) have come through the formal channels described above. No conflict of interest exist."

Davis’s evidence was defective in not mentioning that Wakefield had made a disclosure while denying –  correctly – that there was any conflict in the paper (nor was he corrected by Harris). He was also wrong in implying that Wakefield had taken 3 months to respond. The letter was published only 9 weeks after the original paper, and was responding to a letter from Dr Rouse dispatched only four days after publication, the delay being determined entirely by the Lancet and not by Wakefield.

The delay quickly became a key part of the Lancet’s defence, with Horton claiming that he took Wakefield to mean that he had been engaged by the Legal Aid Board after the publication of the paper. Horton responded to Wakefield in the Journal on 17 April 2004:

"We do not accept Andrew Wakefield and colleagues' interpretation of the letter published in The Lancet on May 2, 1998,..which was, in any event, only published 3 months after the original 1998 Lancet paper."

And when Horton was examined by Sally Smith QC at the GMC in August 2007 the delay was beginning to extend to four months:

“Smith: Looking at the wording of the sentence you referred to "only one author that agreed to evaluate a small number of these children on behalf of the Legal Aid Board", you say you took that to mean since the publication of the paper and we are now some three or four months on.”

To which Horton responds with a single word:

“Yes” (First amended complaint).   This delay – which seems to have been so important to Horton’s and the Lancet’s case against Wakefield  - has never had any basis in fact. 
 

 

Comments

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Gary Ogden

Blair was also the one who aided and abetted George "Dubya" Bush's destruction of the Middle East, for which we will be paying in lives and treasure for decades to come. John: Thank you for filling in so many details of this tawdry affair. Will there ever be any justice in this? Of course, criminal high government officials are never prosecuted for their crimes, just ordinary folks. Thank you also Jenny Allan for the details you've added.

Angus Files

Camp commander Roy Meadows from todays Daily Mail Angela Canning..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3557433/Ex-husband-Angela-Cannings-wrongly-convicted-murdering-two-three-cot-death-babies-ordered-work-ll-lose-benefits.html


MMR RIP

Angus Files

And not forgetting our great and glorious leader on the day Prime Minister Tony Blair ...

said there was "absolutely no evidence" for a link between MMR and autism. "I hope, now that people see that the situation is somewhat different to what they were led to believe, they will have the triple jab,"

To this date it is not known whether he had his son Leo vaccinated with the MMR..

MMR RIP

John Stone

Jenny

From my letter to BMJ Rapid Responses about Trisha Greenhalgh's competing interests.
---------------------------------

When Deer's original allegations were published in the Sunday Times in February 2004 he was supported by
the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who told ITV [8]:

"There is absolutely no evidence to support this link between MMR and autism. If there was, I can assure you that any government would be looking at it and trying to act on it. I hope, now that people see that the situation is somewhat different to what they were led to believe, they
will have the triple jab because it is important to do it."
and by Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, who told the BBC[8]:

"I don't think that spin and science mix. If they are mixed, it is a very unfavourable position for children's health. Now a darker side of this work has shown through, with the ethical conduct of the research and this is something that has to be looked at."

and Jeremy Laurance reported in the Independent [9]:

"At the Department of Health, which has striven for the past six years to bolster public confidence in the vaccine, joy is unconfined at the discrediting of Andrew Wakefield, as the researcher responsible for the scare."

Meanwhile, Health Secretary John Reid asked the GMC to investigate [10].

[8] James Meikle, 'Claim that MMR work mixed science and spin',
Guardian 24 February 2004,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/feb/24/science.sciencenews

[9] Jeremy Laurance, 'Ministers temper their triumphalism but delightspreads at Whitehall', 24 February 2004,
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ministers-temper-their-triumphalism-but-delight-spreads-at-whitehall-571091.html

[10] BBC NEWS, Top doctor wades into MMR debate',
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3512195.stm

-----------------------------------------------

I don't think there is much doubt that Deer was carrying out work on behalf of a deeply guilty establishment.

Jenny Allan

John says:-"As I recall Dr David Salisbury - Department of Health vaccine supremo - descended on the GMC hearing one afternoon, gave testimony that the entire MMR programme had an exemplary safety history, and was not cross examined by any of the defence attorneys."

Yes John -It's easy to blame Brian Deer, but the 'bigger fish' are far more culpable, including former Labour Health Minister John (now Lord) Reid, who openly put pressure on the GMC to 'prosecute' Dr Wakefield and his colleagues. I suspect the UK taxpayers paid a substantial amount of the estimated £8million cost of that abortive 3 year medieval 'inquisition'.

Salisbury went 'off the radar' shortly after blaming Dr Wakefield for a measles outbreak in Wales, which was ridiculously overhyped by the BBC and UK press & media, declining a challenge to publicly debate the MMR vaccine issues with Dr Wakefield. Like Poul Thorsen previously, he has retreated behind the protective wall of the WHO and UN.

Like the more recent Disney outbreak at Anaheim, the UK outbreaks were almost certainly caused by visitors from the Phillipines, and a substantial percentage of lab confirmed cases were measles vaccinated. In Wales, MMR vaccinated infants aged 1-4 formed a significant cohort of measles cases. (UK notifiable diseases stats are published with an ages breakdown.)

Brian Deer will inevitably take the blame for Nuki Salisbury et al when this finally 'hits the fan', but who would have paid any attention to Deer's ridiculous unqualified dissertations, without such powerful backers as the Murdochs and the BMJ, a journal utterly reliant on Pharma cash, along with The Times and The Guardian, both losing vast amounts of money annually.

John Stone

Jenny

As I recall Dr David Salisbury - Department of Health vvaccine supremo - descended on the GMC hearing one afternoon, gave testimony that the entire MMR programme had an exemplary safety history, and was not cross examined by any of the defence attorneys. I haven't checked the record.

Jenny Allan

From above:- "The Sunday Times campaign against Wakefield began in 2003 when section editor Paul Nuki approached Deer saying that he needed "something big" on "MMR" . Nuki was the son of Prof George Nuki who sat on the Committee on Safety on Medicines when MMR/Pluserix were first introduced in the late 1980s."

I have often wondered whether the GMC guilty verdicts against Clinicians Profs Walker-Smith and Murch and researcher Dr Wakefield, would have been different if the GMC panel had been given the facts about Urabe Mumps containing MMR vaccines, Pluserix and Immravax, before the hearing. Several of the 'lancet children' in the 1998 Wakefield et al Lancet early report, had received one or other of these dangerous MMR vaccines.

Both of these MMR vaccines were withdrawn in the UK more than 3 years after the introduction of the MMR vaccine in 1988. There's little doubt the live Urabe Mumps component caused widespread problems, in particular viral meningitis, which is known to cause encephalitis, which in turn can lead to brain damage causing 'autism like symptoms'-hmmmm!!! SHAMEFULLY- it was NOT the UK Government which withdrew the vaccines. Instead, the manufacturers SmithKlineBeecham (now GSK) and Merieux UK, withdrew these vaccines, plainly concerned about the possibility of litigation for the injuries caused by them.

The UK Government machine immediately went into 'cover up' mode, including a 20 year suppression of all official papers pertaining to the Urabe MMR vaccine and its aftermath. These papers SHOULD have been released to the press and media in January 2010, in accordance with usual UK practice. Instead, the release was delayed until June 2010, coinciding with the GMC guilty verdicts on the three doctors. Even then, only a couple of reports surfaced in the Scottish Herald and Scottish Daily Mail.

Outside the GMC premises in Euston Road, awaiting the verdicts a nasty wee reporter was arguing with another autism grandma. "I want FACTS' the reporter stated sniffily when she attempted to point out the MMR vaccine damage done to her grandson. "I've got Vaccine damage facts", I stated, waving the Herald Urabe report in his face. "The UK Government has covered this up for the past 20 years." The reporter was plainly not pleased. 'Can I have this?", he requested. "I need to check it out."

Naively, I handed over the Herald Internet print out, thinking I could obtain another one when I went home. How stupid I was! By the time I got home to Scotland, the Herald article had been expunged of all evidence of Government involvement in the cover up of widespread Urabe MMR vaccine harm. Thankfully, I kept the Daily Mail smaller report, refusing to hand this over to the reporter, since the Scottish DM does not publish internet copies.

John Stone

Thanks Eddie. John

Eddie Unwind

John - A very shadowy character in Sir Crispin Davis...might you permit me to quote the words of another Davis, as it may reveal much about a deeper aspect to the psychology of modern medicine...

'The essential requirements for our body chemistry are protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and water with catalysts to allow effective synthesis of these materials. The latter on the one hand are the vitamins supplied from food and made by the animal or plant - a good outside worker for this chemical factory - and the hormones, which are in effect internal catalysts. If one pauses to think on this, normality is much more complex and incomprehensible than is disease. Disturbance of an exquisite balance is surely more easily understood than its maintenance.'

This remarkable passage is from a document entitled ’The Totality of Medicine’ by the Late Morris C.Davis, M.D. F.R.A.C.P. Note the ominous implications of the final sentence - ‘Disturbance of an exquisite balance is surely more easily understood than its maintenance’. In the context of our current debate, it follows from this that it is easier to evaluate (monitor, predict, and so on) the internal processes of an unhealthy human being than a healthy one. Hence, once a person has absorbed a sufficient amount of toxins, it is easier, through 'managing' them, to further validate the effectiveness of modern medicine.

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