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Debunk Translated: To Convince Public Otherwise


NOTE: When you read the word "debunk" you know you've stumbled across an article about vaccines and autism. 

By Anne Dachel

I've long said this about Andy Wakefield: THE MEDIA ENDLESSLY TALKS ABOUT HIM.......AND NO ONE WILL TALK TO HIM.

Andy has told me a number of times that no one in the media will interview him.

They have a carefully scripted way of presenting this. Robert Kennedy, Jr. is to be handled the same way Wakefield is, that is as a dangerous purveyor of fraudulent claims about vaccines. There is no need to listen to a word they have to say.

 This is phony journalism. Since when do reporters NOT WANT TO TALK TO THE MAJOR PLAYERS IN ANY CONTROVERSY?



Here at the Pacific Standard, the message is: Robert Kennedy  is totally off the mark. His views aren't even worthy of consideration. They're dismissed as "myths" and "folklore."

So why doesn't David Perry confront Kennedy with his charges against him? Why doesn't he talk to Kennedy so he can quote him first-hand? What does he think a reporter's job is all about?

Instead Perry interviews an English professor who compares the link between vaccines and autism to folklore.

Of course, Perry starts out denying ANY increase in autism.  "... there is no autism epidemic, or that the increase, as recently explained by NOS Magazine, is due to changes in how we diagnose the condition." Kennedy's $100,000 challenge as phony.

(And my personal challenge to Perry: If there's been no real increase in autism, please show me the 40, 60, and 80 year olds who look and act like our kids on the spectrum.)

March 6, 2017, Pacific Standard: How to Debunk Myths About Autism

An interview with Andrea Kitta about anti-vaccination, fake news, and the academic discipline that’s seen it all before.

By David Perry

Beyond the White House, alarmism over vaccines has wealthy and powerful proponents. It used to be Jenny McCarthy leading the Hollywood antivax league, but now Robert de Niro has taken the spotlight. He and Kennedy recently offered $100,000 to anyone who could prove vaccine safety to their satisfaction (which will never happen). No matter how many studies prove otherwise, and like so many other issues for which there is scientific consensus (global warming, evolution, etc.), anti-vaccine hysteria feels impervious to facts.

How do we fight back? I put that question to Andrea Kitta, associate professor of English at East Carolina University. Kitta is the author of Vaccinations and Public Concern in History: Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception, a book that applies her expertise as a folklorist to the spread of anti-vaccination myths. Alas, she is not optimistic.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.



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"... there is no autism epidemic, or that the increase, as recently explained by NOS Magazine, is due to changes in how we diagnose the condition."

Perry uses an article in NOS Magazine - "a news and commentary source for thought and analysis about neurodiversity culture and representation" - written by John Marble, "the second openly-autistic presidential appointee in the Obama Administration" who quotes Steve Silberman, presumably considered an autism expert since he wrote his book, who tweeted last year that "older folks with autism... were misdiagnosed, overlooked and ignored by researchers".

As if autism in childhood could be missed.

"And my personal challenge to Perry: If there's been no real increase in autism, please show me the 40, 60, and 80 year olds who look and act like our kids on the spectrum."

Perhaps that's the idea behind the new TV show called "How Autistic are You?" by the producers of The Autistic Gardener.

"We’ll work alongside the National Autistic Society to try to demystify one of Britain’s most misunderstood neurological disorders. Overseen by experts from the University of Cambridge, UCL and King's College London, we'll present a new way for viewers to visualize where they are on the spectrum of autistic traits, and a team of autistic people will also take to the streets to try to teach the public what it really means to be autistic."

I wonder how many self-diagnoses this show will generate, and income for clinicians, after all didn't Uta Frith say that we're all a little bit autistic?

Donna L.

Nice work on the video you chose for this post! Reading the word 'debunked' always made me cringe with disgust and anger. Now whenever I see it I will burst into laughter. Much appreciated! ;)


Whenever I see someone use the term 'debunked', I automatically assume they're just another propagandist being paid by big pharma.

And I ignore every word that comes out of their mouth.

Angus Files

Nil from the horses mouth?
Why buy a dog and do the barking yourself?
Why buy the dogs and let the dogs bark at all ?
The bark might be worse than the bite?
The financial bite to pharma will be worse than any barking.
Let the band howl on.
Do not disturb.

Pharma for Prison.



Yet it's we in the vaccine injury community who've truly seen it all before:
- the lazy reporters who let themselves become clueless pawns in a larger corporate/political game of health damage blame avoidance, and
- the clubby, insulated academics who use vaccine-induced autism as an opportunity to pontificate and publish theory.

Their payoffs are less financial than psychological; they march in circles within their tight thought silos, reinforcing their beliefs instead of questioning them. Though asking questions -- the right questions -- is the core of both fields of intellectual pursuit.

Up is down.

Bob Moffit

@ John

"What people really know is that is they take up a certain position they will become the object of social, institutional, political scorn and it is a matter of control."

My friend .. what people SHOULD be fully aware of are Sol Alinsky's twelve .. "Rules for Radicals" .. such as:

* RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge."

(Anne's question: " Why doesn't he talk to Kennedy so he can quote him first-hand". Because .. to do so .. would be in violation Sol's Rule #2)

* RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh?"

(For decades .. Jenny, RFK & Wakefield .. have been ridiculed and scorned as believers in "myth" and "folklore". As per Sol's Rule #5))

* RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.

There is NO ESCAPE from Sol's "Rules for Radicals" .. NONE .. in ALL controversial issues .. one side WILL play by Sol's rules .. and .. the other side will suffer the CRUEL-EFFECTIVE consequences that Sol has taught them.

After all .. being cruel, rude and mean .. WORKS.


Kitta buys into some legends herself. She writes: "Interestingly enough, since the retraction all of the researchers [sic] save one [sic] (Andrew Wakefield) have also rejected their research [sic], stating that there was not enough evidence for the claim [sic]."

But *did* the clinicians reject their findings? This is the text of the "Lancet author retraction":

"This statement refers to the Early Report 'Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children,' published in The Lancet in 1998. It is made by 10 of the 12 original authors who could be contacted. It should be noted that the statement does not necessarily reflect the views of the other co-authors.

The main thrust of the paper was the first description of an unexpected intestinal lesion in the children reported. Further evidence has been forthcoming in studies from the Royal Free Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology and other groups to support and extend these findings. While much uncertainty remains about the nature of these changes, we believe it important that such work continues, as autistic children can potentially be helped by recognition and treatment of gastrointestinal problems.

We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings in the paper, according to precedent."

Kitta's book may be something of an inside joke if this collegial review is any indication:

"This is the 5-star piece of the season, no doubt. Delightful top notes with a strong finish, hints of berry and chocolate. The must serve amuse-bouche of the academic season. Complements the stodginess of more quantitative studies perfectly, relieving them of their self-aggrandizing investments in knowledge as a found-by-experiment-only practice, and revealing, slowly, gracefully, how we might engage public health conversations differently and more meaningfully. Guests will delight in gentleness and the sudden punches of flavor. Best served in the afternoons with a little contemplative reflection. Also good at parties!"

Amuse-bouche? Load of cobblers more like.


I'm beginning to GET IT! Vaccines are "safe and effective", because THEY say so, and because YOU better believe it! And if you don't believe it, then you must be one of those nasty anti-vax folks.
Gee, I didn't realize that the PLACEBO EFFECT was such a large part of so-called "vaccine science"....

John Stone


Yes, it is the poison of the rumour merchants again. What is not at stake is knowledge, it is the public parade. You will look foolish if you believe "x". We are a very malleable species: soldiers have to be more frightened of their officers than the guns of their opponents - into the valley of death rode the 600. What people really know is that is they take up a certain position they will become the object of social, institutional, political scorn and it is a matter of control.

Here we have the basic "quackbuster" game of comparing something to something else. Is believing that a vaccine can do harm - when even the package insert will confirm it - equivalent to believing in werewolves, believing that the earth is flat etc etc.? The journalist wins approval, he gets paid, and if he said something else he would not even get published (at least not there). But it is not a scientific argument unless we regard science as a brand. I am afraid, once again, the emperor has no clothes - he has fallen for the swindlers and the courtiers try maintain social order. The lying and hypocrisy go on, maintained with greatest sense of moral rectitude.

But if you believe that vaccines cannot cause neurological impairment you are being truly silly.

Hans Litten

"debunked" a wonderful military word . Emphasizing the "military" .
For vaccines are weapons , weapons of mass depopulation .

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