Dr. Andrew Wakefield Feed

Weekly Wrap: A Win for Andy, a Loss for Lariam, Beating Up on Bobby

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

The cynically named Autism Science Foundation -- created to exclude scientific examination of the root cause of the autism epidemic, namely excessive vaccinations -- has been forced to apologize to the Devil himself.

Its Web site now says: "On a previous version of this page, the allegations contained in a lawsuit brought by Andrew Wakefield were inadvertently mischaracterized as conclusions of the court.  We regret this error."

ASF factotum Alison Singer also sent Andy an e-mail this week: "As you know, we previously removed the content about which you complained.  We have also posted a statement on our website apologizing for the error.  We trust this brings the matter to a close.  Alison"

The backstory is explained HERE. Needless to say, anything that makes Andy look bad is good for the Singer/Offit crowd. Unfortunately for them, the truth is a different matter.

And the truth is this: The bloated U.S. vaccine schedule harms kids far worse than the diseases it purports to prevent. That includes the MMR, as Andy has demonstrated.


Another bit of good news this week: Army Special Operations has finally pulled the plug on a drug the Army invented that has caused its soldiers to kill civilians -- right before they kill themselves.

The document, USASOC Mefloquine Instruction, orders its medical personnel to "immediately cease the prescribing and use" of Lariam for malaria prevention. The order cites recent changes from the FDA in the drug's product label that warn of long-term psychiatric and nerve problems. It also tells personnel to be on the lookout for such long-lasting problems, which can be mistaken for PTSD. (In other words, a significant percentage of "PTSD" is actually longterm Lariam toxicity, a manmade problem from hell if there ever was one.)

This is unalloyed good news, another day of reckoning for what retired Army Major Dr. Remington Nevin warned could be "the Agent Orange of our Generation." . But it also represents a systemic and deliberate failure by the FDA, CDC and military to respond to more than a decade of convincing evidence that the drug was doing that and much worse, including triggering homicidal behavior and suicide.

In September 2004, Mark Benjamin and I at UPI wrote an article about Special Operations soldiers  titled, "Malaria drug links elite soldier suicides." It began: "A startling pattern of violence and suicide by America's most elite soldiers has followed their use of a controversial anti-malaria drug," an investigation by United Press International and CNN has found.

Based on our reporting, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said: "The Department of Defense, and all other agencies that give this drug, should immediately reassess their decision to use this drug and look for alternatives."

Continue reading "Weekly Wrap: A Win for Andy, a Loss for Lariam, Beating Up on Bobby" »

Malicious Defamation of Dr. Andrew Wakefield by Autism Science Foundation

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotNote: At last report, Ms. Singer indicated that she would remove the content from the ASFwebsite  until such time as she returned from vacation and had direction from counsel.  Screen shots of the letter are below the verbiage and you can read this letter in pdf form HERE.

Ms. Alison Singer, Director
Autism Science Foundation
28 West 39th Street, Suite #502,
New York, NY 10018       

August 20, 2013

Dear Ms. Singer,
Re: Malicious defamation of Dr. Andrew Wakefield by the Autism Science Foundation. Without prejudice

    I am writing to you in light of false and highly misleading, reckless, and defamatory statements made about me on the website of the Autism Science Foundation of which, according to your website, you are a Director. These statements have been brought to my attention today, August 20, 2013.

    The offending statements are to be found at www.autismsciencefoundation.org/autismandvaccines.html. For the purpose of litigation, the relevant pages have been captured.

    Specifically, I refer to your lead article that, since it is the first hit to come up when one performs a Google search on “Autism+Vaccines”, is likely to have been heavily promoted to the public by you and/or your sponsors.  

    I refer to your article “Autism and Vaccines”; subheading  “History of the Issue”, paragraph 4. You cite from a hearing in the English Courts, the specific purpose of which was for Mr. Justice Eady to rule on whether or not the Claimants [Andrew Wakefield] should be allowed to stay defamation proceedings against Defendants Brian Deer, Channel 4 Television, and Twenty Twenty Productions.

    Justice Eady set out by summarizing the “words complained of” by me –  potentially defamatory words that had been made by the Defendants against me. In those “words” he deliberately “confined” himself to “identifying” my meaning. Justice Eady stated:   

“The words complained of consist of very lengthy extracts set out in the particulars of claim from the television programme. For present purposes, I do not think it necessary to replicate them in this judgment. I shall confine myself to identifying the Claimant's meanings, which were to the effect that he had:

i) Spread fear that the MMR vaccine might lead to autism, even though he knew that his own laboratory had carried out tests whose results dramatically contradicted his claims in that the measles virus had not been found in a single one of the children concerned in his study and he knew or ought to have known that there was absolutely no basis at all for his belief that the MMR should be broken up into single vaccines." 

(ii) In spreading such fear, acted dishonestly and for mercenary motives in that, although he improperly failed to disclose the fact, he planned a rival vaccine and products (such as a diagnostic kit based on his theory) that could have made his fortune.

(iii) Gravely abused the children under his care by unethically carrying out extensive invasive procedures (on occasions requiring three people to hold a child down), thereby driving nurses to leave and causing his medical colleagues serious concern and unhappiness.

(iv) Improperly and/or dishonestly failed to disclose to his colleagues and to the public at large that his research on autistic children had begun with a contract with solicitors which were trying to sue the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine.

(v) Improperly and/or dishonestly lent his reputation to the International Child Development Resource Centre which promoted to very vulnerable parents expensive products for whose efficacy (as he knew or should have known) there was no scientific evidence".

    In the offending article on your website you have deliberately, recklessly, and I believe maliciously, taken these words and presented them to the public as the conclusions of Justice Eady in relation to my alleged guilt. This is evident on any reading of what you have written. Specifically, you state:

“The following year, on October 28th, 2005, the Honorable Justice David Eady concluded  that Wakefield:”

“Spread fear that the MMR vaccine might lead to autism, even though he knew that his own laboratory had carried out tests whose results dramatically contradicted his claims in that the measles virus had not been found in a single one of the children concerned in his study1 … In spreading such fear, [Wakefield] acted dishonestly and for mercenary motives in that, although he improperly failed to disclose the fact, he planned a rival vaccine… that could have made his fortune. [Wakefield] gravely abused the children under his care by unethically carrying out extensive invasive procedures (on occasions requiring three people to hold a child down), thereby driving nurses to leave and causing his medical colleagues serious concern. [And] improperly and/or dishonestly failed to disclose to his colleagues and to the public at large that his research on autistic children had begun with a contract with solicitors which were trying to sue the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine.”

The entire ruling can be read here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2005/2410.html

Continue reading "Malicious Defamation of Dr. Andrew Wakefield by Autism Science Foundation " »

"Bought" A Film by Jeff Hays and Bobby Sheehan: What if Andrew Wakefield Was Right?

What if Andrew Wakefield Was Right?

New film being produced by Jeff Hays and directed by Bobby Sheehan “Bought” Asks & Answers this Question and Uncovers the Hidden Facts about Vaccinations

Jeff Hays today announced that principal photography has begun on the new documentary film – Bought. A new crowd funding campaign at indiegogo.com has an early trailer. Bought is a film dedicated to uncovering, exposing and highlighting the facts all individuals have a right to know. Andrew Wakefield may have been credited for the global awakening of the potential relationship between MMR vaccinations and autism, which has been highly controversial and debated heavily, but Bought is committed to uncovering the facts so each person can make the decision that is right for him or her.

Landmark cases have been won this year in U.S. Vaccine Court, granting families of autistic children financial awards for the damage caused to their children by vaccinations. For the first time ever, several of these families have agreed to be interviewed on camera, and let their stories be heard publicly.

“Andrew Wakefield has a role in this film because there is new evidence that has been uncovered that suggests his findings were correct. The media has tried him and virtually ruined his reputation. I’m here to expose the facts because I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, it appears much of the medical/industrial/governmental machine is about sacrificing a few, for the supposed greater good of others,” said Jeff Hays, producer of Bought. “We intend to ignite a national conversation that involves parents nationwide and stirs the curiosity of millions. I want to ignite that innate portion of our human instinct that is designed to question and ultimately protect each of us from harm. I know this is controversial, and it should be. The days of just accepting what the medical community, the media and the government say should be gone.”

Continue reading ""Bought" A Film by Jeff Hays and Bobby Sheehan: What if Andrew Wakefield Was Right?" »

BMJ Rapid Response to Measles in the UK: Test of Public Health Competency in a Crisis

British-Medical-Journal_0Measles in the UK: a test of public health competency in a crisis
BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2793 (Published 1 May 2013)

Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2793

Rapid Response from Jackie Fletcher  (see the online thread at BMJ.)

In my opinion public health competency has been tested and it has unequivocally failed the British public.

The authors refer to 'Wakefield's legacy' and seem to imply that problems with MMR vaccine started with the publication of The Lancet case series report in February 1998. This is their preferred start of the MMR controversy because it is more convenient to destroy one man's character than deal with the failings of the DH policy makers.

The DH and JCVI knew before the MMR programme began in October 1988 that 2 of the 3 brands carried a risk of meningitis and the third brand was linked with neurological complications, yet they sanctioned the use of all three brands. [1] [2]

During the first week of the new MMR campaign in 1988 an eighteen month old infant was given it, started with severe convulsions and subsequently died during a seizure. This child was one of a number of children awarded Government recognition of MMR vaccine-damage through vaccine damage payments following medical assessment of the individual cases.

The two Urabe mumps containing brands were subsequently withdrawn in September 1992 after four years of use and having had an 85% share of the MMR UK immunisation programme. As mentioned, the DH and JCVI knew of the link with mumps meningitis from these brands. They also knew it was down to a chance finding due to a cluster of meningitis cases in a short period of time coming to light in a Nottingham hospital which finally led to the full exposure of the problems. The hospital had a strict policy of routinely conducting lumbar punctures whenever a child was brought in following a febrile convulsion and the Urabe mumps vaccine strain showed up in the spinal fluid samples.

And what of the Urabe mumps MMR withdrawal? Did the DH contact every doctor in the country to cross check their patient records to determine if each child who had received either of the brands was developmentally well and thriving to the same degree as before the vaccine was given? The answer is no!

Continue reading "BMJ Rapid Response to Measles in the UK: Test of Public Health Competency in a Crisis" »

Best of AoA: Sir Liam’s Skeleton: the UK Department of Health Fabricates Flu Deaths to Boost Vaccinations

Bring_out_your_deadBy John Stone

As the smoke and mirrors operation of the bogus Welsh measles epidemic continues members of the British medical establishment are lining up to attack the reputation of Andrew Wakefield, whose defamation case against British Medical Journal and Brian Deer is hanging fire in Texas. On Sunday the UK government’s former Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, took his turn in the Observer to accuse Wakefield of junk science. But when it comes to junk science Sir Liam is something a past master himself…..

Contribute to the Dr. Wakefield Justice Fund at www.drwakefieldjusticefund.org/

From January 2010: 

Annual flu deaths in the UK averaged no more than 33 over the last 4 years despite an earlier statement by the Department of Health that 12,000 people die in the country from flu every year. Recent disclosures by out-going Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson demonstrate that such figures are fabricated to boost vaccination uptake. Quizzed in on-line British Medical Journal by deputy editor Tony Delamothe, Sir Liam posted details late on Christmas Eve.

Sir Liam and colleagues state that an:

"Estimate of ‘flu deaths is found in the annual mortality statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics. These statistics record the underlying cause of death. They are based on all registered deaths, based on the information on death certificates. The number of deaths for England & Wales with an underlying cause of influenza (ICD-10 code J10-J11) for the four recent calendar years are: 39 (2008), 31 (2007), 17 (2006) and 44 (2005). Many more deaths are attributed to pneumonia, some of which will be secondary to influenza.

However, they also give another official method of estimating flu deaths which greatly inflates the numbers in some years: 

The official estimate of influenza mortality is produced by the Health Protection Agency. It is derived from excess all-cause death registrations in the winter. When the number of all-cause death registrations rises above an ‘expected’ level in a given week, this excess is counted. The estimates for the last five years in England & Wales are: 1965 (2004-05 winter season), 0 (2005-06), 0 (2006-07), 426 (2007- 08), and 10351 (2008-09). The highest estimate in recent years was for the 1999-2000 ‘flu season, at 21,497.

It is interesting to note that in two out of five quoted recent years there was a zero figure, which means that mortality was under the projected estimate, and therefore a negative sum. Since projected mortality can only be based on average, it is inevitable that in some years it will be above and others below. The Department of Health has also tried to associate flu death with entire excess mortality for the winter season. For instance, a BBC news report with Sir Liam - which was part of the annual flu vaccine drive in 2007 - declared:

Continue reading "Best of AoA: Sir Liam’s Skeleton: the UK Department of Health Fabricates Flu Deaths to Boost Vaccinations" »

Former UK Medical Research Council Chief: ‘There is more of the MMR scandal to come’

Colin Blakemore
Professor Colin Blakemore
By John Stone

Too right!

Prof. Colin Blakemore – head of the MRC from 2003 to 2007 - is just one more member of the British medical establishment to express agitation about Andrew Wakefield   in the wake of the phony Welsh measles epidemic, reporting of which by one of many strange coincidences took off in the US media in the week of Wakefield ‘s hearing to have his case re-instated against BMJ and journalist Brian Deer in Texas.

Blakemore it should be noted became head of the Medical Research Council on 1 October 2003. On that very same day the UK Legal Services Commission, in the process of attempting to dissolve the MMR litigation announced that “All the research paid for by the LSC will be sent to the Medical Research Council who are investigating the causes of autism”.

It is by no means clear that the research was for the LSC to dispose of (as opposed to belonging to the

Sally Smith
Sally Smith
devastated and by then unrepresented litigant families) or that the Medical Research Council ever intended to seriously research the causes of autism (with nothing of substance a decade later to show for it), but another curious twist is that in 2004 Queen’s Counsel Sally Smith, who was to become prosecuting attorney for the GMC against Wakefield and colleagues, was appointed to the Ethics Committee of the MRC, where she remained until 2009 (by which time the GMC prosecution was virtually complete).


Anyhow, if Blakemore had really wanted to find the causes of autism he might have liked to consider the statement issued by officials of the US Vaccine Injury Compensation Program:

 "The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures."

Or the remarks Merck’s vaccine chief, Julie Gerberding, when she was still head of the CDC in relation to the Poling case:

Continue reading "Former UK Medical Research Council Chief: ‘There is more of the MMR scandal to come’" »

Texas High Court Hears Wakefield Appeal

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotYesterday, the three judges of the Texas High Court heard the appeal over jurisdiction in the case of Andrew Wakefield against the British Medical Journal and journalist Brian Deer. The case was presented by attorney Brendan K McBride, which was felt to be well-conducted. It will now be between 1 and 6 months before the judges return their verdict.

Andy Wakefield's Day in Court Coming This Month

Kent legalEditor's Note: The judge has set May 22 for an appeal in Austin, Texas of the jurisdiction issue in Dr. Andy Wakefield's defamation suit against the British Medical Journal, Editor Fiona Godlee and "journalist" Brian Deer. The case was dismissed by a judge who said Wakefield was not entitled to sue the British publication in Texas, but Wakefield appealed.  Supporters of Dr. Wakefield will be in attendance.

See here for the latest filings, and stay tuned for updates. -- Dan Olmsted



David Aaronovitch Loses Exchange About Wakefield & MMR: Then it is Deleted

AaronovitchNewly appointed Index-on-Censorship chairman David Aaronovitch loses on-line exchange about Wakefield and MMR in the London Times: then  it is deleted.

By John Stone

With British journalists running relays to resuscitate the dead story of the Swansea measles epidemic  the former Communist Party activist, David Aaronovitch – newly appointed chairman of the “human-rights” organisation Index-on-Censorship  -  has come off worse in an exchange with me about Andrew Wakefield and MMR in The Times of London, which was after some hours deleted.

I had written under his article:

It is very unclear that Wakefield cheated bearing in mind the complete exoneration in the High Court last [year] of the senior author and clinician in the Lancet paper Prof John Walker-Smith, who unlike Wakefield was funded to appeal. Walker-Smith was equally responsible for [the] paper and it’s reporting, and more responsible for any clinical decisions regarding the patients in it. The GMC findings, which were based on Brian Deer's allegations, cannot be considered reliable: indeed were highly flawed.

However, an over-riding problem with MMR is that irrespective of Wakefield it is used despite any scientific certainty as to safety. The conclusion in abstract of the Cochrane review of MMR in both 2005 and 2012 is:

"The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate. The evidence of adverse events following immunisation with MMR cannot be separated from its role in preventing the target diseases."


Perhaps by some Orwellian sleight of hand "largely inadequate" for the professional has become "adequate" for the layman, but in my opinion being lulled to sleep by official truths is not being a good journalist.

To which Aaronovitch responded:

@John Stone You have a dog in this fight, John. Brian Deer's "allegations" as you call them concerned Wakefield's methods, his undeclared financial interest in single vaccinations and role as paid expert to anti-vaccination litigation, his doctoring of case histories and the ethics of his research on his subjects. And obscure the facts as much as you will, you cannot come up with credible evidence of an autism link to MMR, either correlative or causal. It would have been much better for those dealing with autism had this whole MMR farrago not distracted from the business of research into causes and help to parents.

For those who want it here is the link to Brian Deer's website…

Continue reading "David Aaronovitch Loses Exchange About Wakefield & MMR: Then it is Deleted" »

Transcript: Statement from Andrew Wakefield

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotBelow is the transcript from Dr. Andrew Wakefield's video statement (with special thanks to Jeannette Bishop for correcting the text).

Good morning. The first thing that I want to say is that  I did not seek out this latest media maelstrom. It came about because of an outbreak of measles in South Wales in the United  Kingdom for which I have been blamed by her Majesty's government.  So I did not seek this out but now it seems I have been denied the  opportunity to redress the allegations that have been made against me by members of the government; by members of public health and that is clearly unacceptable.
So legitimate debate about the safety of MMR vaccine and the origin of the measles epidemic in Wales have now been effectively blocked by the government insisting that the British media do not give me air time; do not allow me to respond. And that is the purpose of this. So I did not start this current fight.
The important thing to say is that back in 1996 -- 1997 I was made  aware of children developing autism, regressive autism, following exposure in many cases to the measles mumps rubella vaccine. Such  was my concern about the safety of that vaccine that I went back and reviewed every safety study, every pre-licensing study of the MMR vaccine and other measles containing vaccines before they were  put into children and after. And I was appalled with the quality of that science. It really was totally below par and that has been reiterated by other authoritative sources since.

I compiled my observations into a 200 page report which I am seeking to put online once I get permission from my lawyers. And that report was the basis of my impression that the MMR vaccine was inadequately tested for safety certainly compared with the single vaccines and therefore that was the basis of my recommendation in 1998 at the press conference that parents should have the option of  the single vaccines.

All I could do as a parent was to say what would I do for my child. That was the only honest answer I could give. My position on that has not changed.

Continue reading "Transcript: Statement from Andrew Wakefield" »

Andrew Wakefield Responds on Camera to Wales Measles Outbreak

Dr. Andrew Wakefield responds to UK public health officials call for censorship on MMR vaccine safety debate, measles vaccine failure, and issues a further challenge for open debate (full transcript beneath). While he has been booked to appear on several media programs, all have cancelled just prior to airtime.

Below is the transcript.

Good morning. The first thing that I want to say is that  I did not seek out this latest media maelstrom. It came about because of an outbreak of measles in South Wales in the United  Kingdom for which I have been blamed by her Majesty's government.  So I did not seek this out but now it seems I have been denied the  opportunity to redress the allegations that have been made against me by members of the government; by members of public health and that is clearly unacceptable.
So legitimate debate about the safety of MMR vaccine and the origin of the measles epidemic in Wales have now been effectively blocked by the government insisting that the British media do not give me air time; do not allow me to respond. And that is the purpose of this. So I did not start this current fight.

Continue reading "Andrew Wakefield Responds on Camera to Wales Measles Outbreak" »

Statement: Isabella Thomas Mother of 2 Lancet Study Children


AW T boys
Dr. Andrew Wakefield with the Thomas boys
Statement by Isabella Thomas, mother of two boys who were part of the Lancet Study

“It is now time for the truth to be told”

I, as a parent of two children in the Lancet study, have had to speak out about the vicious attacks on Dr. Andrew Wakefield by his own government, the US government and the media blaming him for the measles outbreak in Wales. The Lancet study was not paid for by the Legal Services Commission and our children were referred to the Royal Free Hospital because they were very sick and would still have had investigations done even if they were not part of the Lancet research as many more children have done after the Lancet study by other consultants at the Royal Free and other hospitals in London.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield listened to the concerns of many parents about their sick children suffering with bowel conditions and a form of Autism, a bowel condition and brain damage that was ignored by other professionals. These parents were demonstrably ‘black listed’ for saying their children became ill after the MMR vaccine.

Parents were speaking about this situation years before Dr. Wakefield came on the scene and our government also knew about these concerns years before the Lancet study yet they did nothing to investigate, leaving hundreds of other children at risk of side effects. Our government did not listen to parents but accused them of making the symptoms up and threatening to take their children away if they did not stop making a connection with MMR vaccine. As a result, these children and young adults live in a great deal of pain to this day (one doctor saying to my son ‘we believe you believe you are in pain’).

There is much more I could say about the experience of my family and others but I want to make it clear that the children’s claims in relation to MMR were supported by many other experts in several disciplines all of whom provided reports for the court. I attach a list of them. These experts would all have given evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice on behalf of hundreds of children we claim were damaged by the MMR vaccine had the cases been allowed to continue. In addition, the solicitors representing the claimants were in touch with and drawing on the expertise from many more than these, but many did not want to be formal experts. I don't know how much the experts listed were paid, but they were all paid fees just as Dr. Wakefield was in the normal way that experts are paid in litigation cases (and probably much less than the defendants’ experts were paid!).

Continue reading "Statement: Isabella Thomas Mother of 2 Lancet Study Children" »

The Detail Explores MR Vaccine Death Decision (Dr. Salisbury intervenes)

Their 15-year-old son Christopher was found dead in his bed a week before Christmas in 1994, 10 days after receiving the MR vaccine at school. Ten days is highly significant as this is the exact point when any reaction caused by the vaccine is expected.
Please read and comment on the full article Another rejection but parents maintain vaccine is linked to their son's death at The Detail.   "The Detail aims to help put investigative journalism at the core of the news industry in Northern Ireland. It aims not to challenge existing news outlets, broadcasters or newspaper, but to supplement them.

The site is run and the content produced by Belfast-based independent TV and online production company Below the Radar, which is owned by UK wide independent producer Ten Alps Plc. It is funded by Atlantic Philanthropies and Northern Ireland Screen, and it has five full-time journalists."


THE parents of a Co Down teenager who died just days after receiving a combined Measles and Rubella vaccination as part of a government campaign have vowed to continue their fight to prove that the injection caused his death.

Anne and Harry Coulter, from Hillsborough, have spoken to The Detail after learning that an appeal they lodged with the government’s Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme has been refused. They were first turned down for compensation in 1997 and say the system is massively weighted against those who challenge the UK’s vaccination regime.

Please read the full story Another rejection but parents maintain vaccine is linked to their son's death at The Detail.

UK Health Minister's Reply Undermines Media Claims About The Measles Outbreak and MMR

Earl HoweFrom the Child Health Safety site in the UK comes this post,  Dr Andrew Wakefield Not Cause of Welsh Measles Outbreak – Confirms UK Government Minister In Parliament.

It looks like British Health Minister Earl Howe has put egg over the faces of the British media regarding their claims that Dr Andrew Wakefield is to blame for recent UK outbreaks of measles. But they do not know it yet...

Minister Howe stated in relation to recent cases in 2012 that the highest proportion occurred in those under five years of age and that [CHS emphasis added]:  a “minority of cases in 2012 can be attributed to the fall in coverage with MMR vaccine in the early part of this century …” and that “… MMR vaccination uptake is currently at historically high levels.“ (emphasis added)

...the Department of Health is presiding over the ultimate legacy of their MMR vaccination campaigns: “vaccination failure“.  Measles vaccine failure is not new and will be likely to increase over the years.  The MMR vaccine is failing but the Department of Health and especially Professor Salisbury want instead to deflect blame to Dr Andrew Wakefield and historical events of over 14 years ago which most people it seems have forgotten about.

Read the full post at:
Dr Andrew Wakefield Not Cause of Welsh Measles Outbreak – Confirms UK Government Minister In Parliament.

MMR and the Crumbling Façade of the British State

David salisbury
Dr David Salisbury - Head of UK Immunisation in Victoria Towers Garden by the Palace of Westminster
By John Stone

Truth is a hard game and when people start admitting it you scarcely know where it might end. Today, the BBC and the United Kingdom Department of Health tacitly admitted that a key finding of the GMC hearing against doctors Wakefield, Walker-Smith and Murch was false, to wit that the Wakefield Lancet paper of 1998 was identical to a study commissioned by the Legal Aid Board: with that finding out of the way – dismissed as it was Mr Justice Mitting in the High Court in the appeal of Prof John Walker-Smith – then many of the other accusations against all three doctors crumble to dust.


This is the wording of the BBC report:

 Dr Wakefield's study considered whether there was a link between the three-in-one MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease.

It focused on tests carried out on 12 children who had been referred to hospital for gastrointestinal problems.

Dr Wakefield was also paid to carry out another study at the same time to find out if parents who claimed their children were damaged by the MMR vaccine had a case. Some children were involved in both studies.

However,  this  study was not the abandoned  one that the GMC panel insisted on in its findings:

The Panel has heard that ethical approval had been sought and granted for other trials and it has been specifically suggested that Project 172-96 was never undertaken and that in fact, the Lancet 12 children’s investigations were clinically indicated and the research parts of those clinically justified investigations were covered by Project 162- 95. In the light of all the available evidence, the Panel rejected this proposition.

Obscenely, the GMC panel deliberated for three years over this falsehood and yet such is justice that it has only been over-turned in the case of one of the doctors. However, it really is time that the manufacturers of these official deceits started answering questions. For instance, why - if MMR was safe - were such disgusting perversions necessary to protect its reputation?

 John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.

Mail Online's Peter Hitchens "Some Reflections on the Measles and MMR"

PeterhitchensFollowing a measles outbreak in the UK, this post has been excerpted from Mail Online: Some Reflections on the Measles and MMR.    Peter Hitchens is an English author and foreign correspondent. You can also read a letter we ran from Dr. Wakefield earlier this week titled UK Government Culpable for Measles Outbreaks. From Mr. Hitchens:

I’m asked for my thoughts on the measles outbreak in Swansea. I’m not sure quite why, as most readers here will know my views on the MMR controversy.

Perhaps there’s some intended suggestion that I am in some way responsible for this outbreak, which is also being attributed by some to a long-ago local newspaper campaign against the MMR vaccination. The local newspaper, I should add, says that it covered the controversy fairly, which I have no reason to doubt. I was interested to hear its current editor rather aggressively and righteously questioned on the subject by a BBC presenter the other day.

Longstanding readers will know that I was myself mysteriously targeted, some years ago, by a skilful anonymous letter writer who faked a letter from a mother claiming that her child’s terrible illness was my fault. As it turned out, the woman whose identity the fraud had stolen (and whom I eventually traced) confirmed that no such thing had taken place. Nor, of course, had she written the letter sent to me with her signature faked upon it. The address from which the letter was sent was also a fake, though a very clever and carefully-planned fake which I only uncovered by going to visit it personally, a step the fraud did not think I would take.

The elaborate faking of the letter, the invention of a real-seeming address, the use of an actual name, have always seemed to me quite sinister and unpleasant. And it is things like this, rather than the science of the matter, which have continued to make me question the behaviour of those who petulantly insisted that the MMR injection was the only option for worried parents. I am still astonished that the supposedly beloved National Health Service, every inch of which is paid for by the public, treats the parents of children in this high-handed way. If it is the people’s service, a national benefit, surely its loyalty is above all to those who use it? Is the state our servant or our master?

Continue reading "Mail Online's Peter Hitchens "Some Reflections on the Measles and MMR"" »

Andrew Wakefield: British Government Culpable for Measles Outbreaks

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotUK Measles Outbreaks

Statement from Dr. Andrew Wakefield

 British Government is entirely culpable for measles outbreak

In the wake of further media distortion, misrepresentation, and ignorance in relation to the measles outbreak in Wales, it is important to clarify some key facts.

In 1998, following an analysis of all published pre-licensing studies of MMR vaccine safety I recommended the use of single measles vaccine in preference to MMR. This remains my position.

At that time, in contrast with the false assertions of many commentators, including Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet, and vaccine millionaire Paul Offit, the single vaccines were licensed in the UK and freely available to the British public.

While MMR vaccination uptake fell from February 1998, there was a reciprocal increase in the uptake of the single vaccines – a fact that is never acknowledged in the press. Vaccination clinics administered many thousands of doses of measles vaccine and children were “protected.”

Six months later, in September 1998, the British Government withdrew the importation license for the single vaccines, effectively blocking this option for parents.  

Measles cases in the UK rose when the government withdrew the importation license for the single measles vaccine leaving concerned parents with no choice.

When I demanded to know why, if the government’s principal concern was to protect children from measles, it would prevent parents with genuine safety concerns over MMR from protecting their children, Elizabeth Miller of the Health Protection Agency responded, “…if we allowed parents the choice of single measles vaccines it would destroy our MMR program.” The government’s concern appeared to be to protect the MMR program over and above the protection of children.    

MMR Vaccine is Not Safe

Despite the claim of David Salisbury, head of the UK’s Immunization Division, that MMR has, “ an exemplary safety record,” two of the three brands introduced in 1988 had to be withdrawn for safety reasons – they caused meningitis.

Continue reading "Andrew Wakefield: British Government Culpable for Measles Outbreaks" »

Shame of British Science II

 This afternoon journalist Brian Deer is a keynote speaker in the Evidence Live conference hosted jointly by the British Medical Journal and Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine. Yesterday, Age of Autism republished the unanswered open letter that many readers sent to CEBM. Today we link once again to Alan Golding’s documentary Selective Hearing as a reminder to the “great and good” of British and world science of exactly who and what they are hiding behind in maintaining the integrity of MMR vaccine. AoA suspects that the conference organizers have held Deer’s appearance over till the end so that as many delegates as want to can make their excuses and leave before the humiliating event. Read our post Shame of British Science I.

Shame of British Science I

BMJ GibberishToday in Oxford starts the two day Evidence Live conference sponsored by the British Medical Journal and the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at which journalist Brian Deer is an undistinguished guest, winding up the event tomorrow afternoon with a “keynote” speech. To mark the occasion Age of Autism is republishing the open letter it published early last month to the centre’s director Dr Carl Heneghan and colleagues, to which there has never been any reply. What Deer’s muck raking techniques and proven deceits have to do with scientific evidence is the sick question which hangs over the entire event.

Dear  Dr. Heneghan,

I am writing to voice my objection to Brian Deer’s scheduled appearance  March 26 at Oxford University as a keynote speaker in the EvidenceLive  Conference, sponsored by the British Medical Journal which is currently  being sued for libel over allegations of fraud made by Deer in the BMJ, which have already been substantially proven false in the English High Court through the successful appeal of Prof. John  Walker-Smith, senior author and clinician in the controversial Wakefield Lancet paper. (This sponsorship also represents a conflict of interest  for the conference.)

Brian Deer is an agenda journalist. He was hired in 2003  by a Sunday Times editor, Paul Nuki, who told him “I need something big” on “MMR”   (Nuki’s father was on  the Committee on Safety in Medicines when MMR was introduced in the late 1980s, while Nuki junior now heads the National Health Service’s main “information” site, NHS Choices). Sanctioned by his newspaper, Deer then interviewed parents using a false identity  , disguising from his subjects his role in an earlier report on successful Irish DPT litigant Margaret Best, in which he claimed “vaccine and drug companies might be welcome scapegoats.” 

Contrary to his later conceit that he was somehow taking on “the establishment” Deer obtained unimpeded access to confidential medical and legal  documents which he was ill-equipped to interpret (and while the agencies stood by and did nothing). Moreover, the allegations were rapidly taken up by the BBC and an NHS website linked to his. However, any public  interest defense effectively collapsed with the exoneration of Prof  Walker-Smith, who is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert in  pediatric gastroenterology and who had to spend eight years of his  retirement fending off incompetent allegations, and undergoing a show  trial.

Equally outrageously it was Deer, subsequent to his initial newspaper articles, who covertly submitted three formal complaints to the General Medical Council requesting the prosecution of doctors Walker-Smith, Murch and Wakefield, while coming to a mutually beneficial arrangement with the GMC prosecutor that he not be named, allowing him to continue reporting on a case when he had a personal interest. Deer was the only complainant against the three doctors and his role as complainant was confirmed in a High Court Judgment of Mr Justice Eady.

In the High Court last year, Mr Justice Mitting rejected virtually all Deer’s claims about misconduct in the Wakefield Lancet paper which had been adopted by the GMC prosecutors: the data regarding autism, GI illness, onset of symptoms had not been misreported, the paper correctly described the referral of the children, the paper was not funded by the Legal Aid Board, and there had been no unauthorized or inappropriate investigation of children. All these claims, which had originated in Deer’s reporting were found to be without foundation. Furthermore, Deer’s re-interpretation of the Wakefield paper’s GI findings, and the claim that Wakefield had in some way tampered with them, were denied and disproven in letters to BMJ by both histopathologist co-authors of the paper, neither of whom was on trial at the GMC (here  and here.)

Following the exoneration of Dr. Walker-Smith, the University College London (the parent institution to the Royal Free where Dr. Wakefield was employed) stopped its own inquiry into “the Wakefield affair” on advice of the UK Research and Integrity Office. This was despite the BMJ’s plea for the inquiry to continue. UCL stated that such an inquiry would cost a substantial sum of money and would yield nothing conclusive.

Deer’s presentation at the University of Wisconsin in October of last year defamed several researchers including microbiologist Dr. David Lewis, board member of the National Whistleblowers Center, whose investigation turned up a 2004 document showing that the UK Freedom of Information Office provided Deer with copies of necessary ethics approvals to cover the research component of the Lancet study, which he apparently never passed on to the GMC. A letter from the attorney for the National Whistleblower’s Center informing U of W of the defamatory content of Deer’s lecture and other of Mr. Deer’s fabrications and falsehoods can be read here.

Deer’s breaches of ethics and journalistic standards know no bounds. When parents of children in the study became outspoken in their support of Dr. Wakefield, Deer retaliated by publishing children’s identities online after accessing their private medical records. Deer has frequently disparaged autism parents, blaming them for their children’s disorders in the crassest terms: 1) “And they wonder why their children have problems with their brains…The festering nastiness, the creepy repetitiveness, the weasly, deceitful, obsessiveness, all signal pathology to me.”   2) “…a living example of how autistic disorders, and allied conditions, such as pathological demand avoidance syndrome, psychopathy and whathaveyou, are genetic. Certainly, if you are aware of his behaviour, you can see how hard he would run from the idea that it was the expression of his own genetic makeup that lies behind his son’s disorder.”

Brian Deer has played a major role in the corruption of the scientific process. He appears to be no longer employed by any news organization and has not published an article in nearly a year.  He has no visible means of support aside from advertising revenues from his website. In 2011, he gave the keynote address at a pharmaceutical conference hosted by a foundation with financial ties to three MMR manufacturers.

An open letter which covers the major issues in the Wakefield controversy can be read here.
Please reconsider Brian Deer’s inclusion in the speaking schedule of the upcoming conference. If these are the means necessary to defend the vaccine program then there is something deeply wrong.

Hear The Silence: A Film About Autism


The recent article about the TV movie, Hear the Silence, on Age of Autism was stunning.

It is the story of a mother's search for answers when her son regresses into autism, all the while facing overwhelming opposition from those she's forced to deal with. The mom, Christine Shields, comes to Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist, for help for her son---a story familiar to us in the autism community.

I was captivated by the passion Shields displays. She is the autism warrior mom. She has to be. People I've talked with about the film have told me that her role brought them to tears. Her story is also their story. Internationally known British actor, Hugh Bonneville, (The Gathering Storm with Albert Finney and the current PBS series, Downton Abbey) is ideal in the role of Wakefield.

I discussed the film with Dr. Wakefield. Here's what he had to say.

Question: How did this incredible film come to be made? How involved were you in the production?

Wakefield: I was interviewed for it. I believe that it was inspired by the fact that the writer, Tim Prager, has a son with CP. One day he was called to his son's school because another student had been bullying his son. The boy in question had autism.  Tim met the mother weeping in a corridor, at a loss to understand why her son had started behaving badly. After talking with her, he was moved to write the story.

Following this, Prager interviewed Wakefield, talked to parents and put the story together.

In the film, it seems that Dr. Wakefield is the only one concerned about the lack of research on the MMR vaccine. In response to the claim that the science doesn't support single vaccines, he says, "The safety studies don't support the MMR."

Later, Wakefield says, "How is it that this triple vaccine gets licensed? Why didn't the trials spot the Urabe meningitis consequence? Why didn't their trials show any of the results we found?

“They didn't do it. They've got a single license for mumps, a single one for rubella, a single one for measles. So they go to the licensing agency and they say, each of these is licensed, we'll just put them together. Give us a license."

My question for Dr. Wakefield: Is this really what happened? Did they really license a vaccine that was never tested in combination? Are they really giving three lives viruses together, something that would never happen in nature?

Continue reading "Hear The Silence: A Film About Autism" »

Britain Becomes a Closed Society

Britian doorBy John Stone

On Monday the three main British political parties came to an agreement to create a Royal Charter  for press regulation based on the recommendations of Lord Leveson,  which also hints at draconian powers over the internet which may extend across national borders. Inevitably, at the table in the small an hours of Sunday night was the shadowy lobby organisation Hacked Off, which had pretended to act as public watchdog  at the Leveson Inquiry while representing powerful global interests , meanwhile including as an adviser  the pharmaceutically aligned former Member of Parliament Dr Evan Harris, who collaborated with Brian Deer on his "MMR investigation" .  The implication of the charter in its draft form is that it may even attempt to control what is said about British concerns by British citizens on foreign websites, with the threat of legal retribution. The key clause comes in Schedule 4 (1b) (Page 21) :

“relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom:

  1. i.    a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material, or
  2. ii.   a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine)”

If this happened powers could plausibly be used to limit informed comment on such things as the vaccine programme and the causes of the autism epidemic  according to bureaucratic consensus, as we have already seen effectively happens in the British media for the most part without statutory controls, and as is also now being threatened in Australia.

At the inquiry Lord Leveson refused to allow evidence about the conduct of the Sunday Times MMR investigation but took care to hear evidence from the pharma funded PR guru Fiona Fox of Science Media Centre, and he later denounced Andrew Wakefield in his report, none of which was apparently in his original remit. Fox had chaired a Department of Business committee to determine the future of British scientific journalism which included Paul Nuki, who had hired Brian Deer to find “something big” on “MMR”,  and Martin Moore the boss of Hacked Off. Leveson and lead counsel to the inquiry, Robert Jay, also failed to disclose that they themselves had had an historical role in denying British MMR litigants a hearing.

The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday:

“The Royal Charter also states that it will cover 'news-related material' including current affairs news and information, opinion and 'gossip about celebrities, other public figures and other persons in the news'.

“Kirsty Hughes, the chief executive of Index on Censorship said: 'This will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on everyday people's web use,' she said.

'Bloggers could find themselves subject to exemplary damages, due to the fact that they were not part of a regulator that was not intended for them in the first place.'

Continue reading "Britain Becomes a Closed Society" »

The Deer Crusade and Collateral Damage

Collateral_damageThank you to Sheri Nakken for creating a site to house the insightful articles of Dr. Edward Yazbak.   

From Articles by Dr. F. Edward Yazbak: F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP of Falmouth, Massachusetts, practiced pediatrics and was a school physician in Northern Rhode Island for 34 years. He was formerly the Assistant Clinical Director of the Charles V. Chapin Hospital, a specialized infectious disease hospital and the Director of Pediatrics at the Woonsocket Hospital in Rhode Island. He was also the Pediatric Director of the Child Development Study, the Brown University division of the NINDB Collaborative Study and an assistant member of the Institute of Health Sciences at the University.

Since 1998, Ed has devoted his time to researching vaccine injury and the increased incidence and autoimmune causes of regressive autism focusing on maternal re-vaccination with live viruses.

Ed has been recognized as an expert witness on autism, pediatric disabilities, vaccine injury and Shaken Baby Syndrome. He has also published extensively.

Ed and Maureen, a pediatric nurse practitioner, have four children and twelve grandchildren. Their family like many others has been severely affected by autism.

The Deer Crusade and Collateral Damage

By F. Edward Yazbak

Four years ago, on February 16, 2009 to be exact, Ms. Melanie Phillips wrote a long exposé in The Spectator titled “A deer in the headlights”[1] that started with the following paragraph:

“Eleven days ago, Brian Deer renewed his onslaught against Andrew Wakefield in the Sunday Times. I wrote about it here and made the point that, since Deer’s allegations sparked the General Medical Council case against Wakefield which would not have occurred without his involvement, he was effectively a principal player in the story he was reporting — a clear conflict of interest and breach of journalistic standards”

To which, Mr. Deer apparently reacted by stating:  

Continue reading "The Deer Crusade and Collateral Damage" »

Wakefield vs. Brian Deer, Fiona Godlee and the BMJ: Dispatches from the Front

AustinBy Dan E. Burns

This is Chapter One in a series of occasional dispatches from An Independent Me, a charity for ASD adults on the front of the autism epidemic. Read the PROLOGUE HERE.

Zero and I stomped down the parking garage stairs near the Travis County Courthouse, footsteps ricocheting through the concrete ramps.  Above us, the courthouse stood like a stone sentinel, caressed by shadows of summer foliage, live oaks and panicles of crepe myrtle, this July day in 2012.

The hearing was about jurisdiction. Dr. Wakefield was suing BMJ – the British Medical Journal – for libel. Hack writer Brian Deer, commissioned by the Sunday Times of London, had called Dr. Wakefield a fraud; and Fiona Godlee, editor of the BMJ, reprinted the libelous Times article, embellished it, and profited from it in promotions throughout the United States, including Dr. Wakefield’s home state of Texas. Would the lawsuit play out in a Texas courtroom, or would the proceedings be remanded to England, home base for the libelers? “Mr. Wakefield has been found unfit to practice,” the BMJ team argued. “Why should a Texas court decide what has already been litigated in England?” Beyond that today rumbled the larger question: Who is the fraud, Wakefield or Deer?

Continue reading "Wakefield vs. Brian Deer, Fiona Godlee and the BMJ: Dispatches from the Front" »

Alert the Media: Yes, Autistic kids have a Novel Bowel Disease

Stomach_acheEditor's note: You've really got to check out and connect people to this interview Andy Wakefield did with Arthur Krigsman, one of the authors of the new journal article that confirmed unusual bowel disease in children with autism. That, you no doubt recall, is what the whole "discredited" Lancet paper was about lo these 15 years, and millions of autism cases, ago. Sadly, the denial of this reality plays out every day, including at Loyola hospital in Chicago where a 14-year-old boy is currently being treated as a psychiatric patient while his mother's pleas to investigate his GI symptoms have so far gone unheeded. -- Dan Olmsted

Thank you to Bob Moffit for the transcription.

DR. WAKEFIELD:  Hi, I'm sitting here with my friend and colleague, Dr. Arthur Krigsman, who brings us some very exciting news from pediatric gastroenterology.  Arthur, welcome to the show.
DR. KRIGSMAN;  Thank you Andy.
DR.W:  You've published previously in the area of inflammatory bowel disease in children with autism.  In a nutshell, what were the findings of that paper?
DR. K:  Well, in the initial paper published in early 2010
("Clinical Presentation and Histologic Findings and lleocolonoscopy in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Chronic Gastrointestinal Symptoms")
What we were able to show, was that, children with Autism who had long standing gastrointestinal symptoms, like diarrhea, constipation or abdominal pain, growth failure .. when those children underwent colonoscopy .. the biopsies showed inflammation.  So that, these children were not just having a bad day, they weren't children with nervous stomachs, rather, they had a real organic disease that related to the symptoms parents were complaining about.

Continue reading "Alert the Media: Yes, Autistic kids have a Novel Bowel Disease" »

Controversial Doctor and Autism Media Channel Director Proven Right

Autism Media ChannelMarch 8, 2013 Austin, TX

Two landmark events - a government concession in the US Vaccine Court, and a groundbreaking scientific paper – confirm that physician, scientist, and AMC Director, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and the parents were right all along.

In a recently published December 13, 2012 vaccine court ruling, hundreds of thousands of dollars were awarded to Ryan Mojabi,[i] whose parents described how   “MMR vaccinations," caused a "severe and debilitating injury to his brain, diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder ('ASD')."

Later the same month, the government suffered a second major defeat when young Emily Moller from Houston won compensation following vaccine-related brain injury that, once again, involved MMR and resulted in autism.

The cases follows similar successful petitions in the Italian and US courts (including Hannah Poling[ii], Bailey Banks[iii], Misty Hyatt[iv], Kienan Freeman[v], Valentino Bocca[vi], and Julia Grimes[vii]) in which the governments conceded or the court ruled that vaccines had caused brain injury. In turn, this injury led to an ASD diagnosis. MMR vaccine was the common denominator in these cases.

And today, scientists and physicians from Wake Forest University, New York, and Venezuela, reported findings that not only confirm the presence of intestinal disease in children with autism and intestinal symptoms, but also indicate that this disease may be novel.[viii]

Using sophisticated laboratory methods Dr. Steve Walker and his colleagues endorsed Wakefield’s original findings by showing molecular changes in the children’s intestinal tissues that were highly distinctive and clearly abnormal.

Continue reading "Controversial Doctor and Autism Media Channel Director Proven Right" »

Banned Wakefield Films From British TV Emerge on Youtube After Nearly a Decade

Dreamstime_55921591Three controversial television films suppressed as part of the continued persecution of Andrew Wakefield are now available to watch on YouTube. The drama ‘Hear the Silence’ starring Hugh Bonneville as Andrew Wakefield and Juliet Stevenson as a mother trying to find the truth about what happened to her child was seen once on British television in December 2003 and then disappeared. Two months later the allegations of Brian Deer began to appear in the media. It has now been posted on the web by ‘ScienceIsrael’ in the original English with Hebrew subtitles.

Recently Kathleen Yazbak recalled her involvement in the film:

“Our family's autism journey has been challenging and humbling, like that of the many who have tread the same path. We were fortunate to have the ear of an amazing screenwriter [Tim Prager] who also dug deep with his own independent research of the situation and engaged countless others so this story could be told and the movie created. It is our hope that parents and grandparents try to make a difference in the dialogue about autism.”

When it was first screened the British radical investigative journalist, Paul Foot, wrote in the Guardian:

“Last week's Channel Five programme Hear the Silence about the MMR controversy was one of the best dramas I have seen. It was not just a moving true story, beautifully acted. It was also a shocking indictment of the medical establishment. A group of parents were confronted with the fear that their children had become autistic after having the triple vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. A responsible authority should surely take such fears seriously and deploy the full extent of scientific research to testing the fears, if only to allay them. The reaction of the authorities was exactly the opposite.

"The one senior doctor who took the parents seriously, Andrew Wakefield, had his research stopped and was effectively banished to the US. Despite his record as an often published scientist, he was widely smeared. Legal aid for the parents to sue the government was cut off.

"On the programme, the two sides confronted each other. On the parents' side there was anguished concern, backed by sober science from Wakefield. On the other was outraged impatience, led by two slightly fanatical GPs, including Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West. He insisted there was no link between autism and MMR, and loudly failed to prove that this was so. Instead, he went some way to proving the time-honoured medical principle that doctors know everything, and patients nothing."

Continue reading "Banned Wakefield Films From British TV Emerge on Youtube After Nearly a Decade" »

Voice Your Opposition to Brian Deer Lecturing at Oxford University

Speak your mindEditor’s Note: Brian Deer, known for his false allegations of research fraud against Dr. Andrew Wakefield and vitriolic attacks against autism parents who witnessed regression in their children following vaccination, is scheduled to lecture at Oxford University at a conference organised by British Medical Journal and hosted by the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine. Please make your opinions known to the organizers of his lecture. The letter below can be used as a guide or copied and pasted into an email. You may wish to include your own story if you or a family member has suffered from a vaccine injury. If a diagnosis of bowel disease is involved, include that information as well.

Send your e-mail to: Dr.  Carl Heneghan, Director of the Center for Evidence Based Medicine carl.heneghan@phc.ox.ac.uk , Prof. Richard Hobbs, Head of Department, Primary Health Care Sciences richard.hobbs@phc.ox.ac.uk,  Dr. Rafael Parera rafael.perera@phc.ox.ac.uk , Dr. Matthew Thompson  matthew.thompson@phc.ox.ac.uk  and Dr. Amanda Burls Amanda.Burls@phc.ox.ac.uk . Subject line: ‘I oppose Brian Deer at Oxford’.

Dear  Dr. Heneghan,

I am writing to voice my objection to Brian Deer’s scheduled appearance March 26 at Oxford University as a keynote speaker in the EvidenceLive Conference, sponsored by the British Medical Journal which is currently being sued for libel over allegations of fraud made by Deer in the BMJ, which have already been substantially proven false in the English High Court through the successful appeal of Prof. John Walker-Smith, senior author and clinician in the controversial Wakefield Lancet paper. (This sponsorship also represents a conflict of interest for the conference.)

Brian Deer is an agenda journalist. He was hired in 2003  by a Sunday Times editor, Paul Nuki, who told him “I need something big” on “MMR”   (Nuki’s father was on the Committee on Safety in Medicines when MMR was introduced in the late 1980s, while Nuki junior now heads the National Health Service’s main “information” site, NHS Choices). Sanctioned by his newspaper, Deer then interviewed parents using a false identity  , disguising from his subjects his role in an earlier report on successful Irish DPT litigant Margaret Best, in which he claimed “vaccine and drug companies might be welcome scapegoats.” 

Contrary to his later conceit that he was somehow taking on “the establishment” Deer obtained unimpeded access to confidential medical and legal documents which he was ill-equipped to interpret (and while the agencies stood by and did nothing). Moreover, the allegations were rapidly taken up by the BBC and an NHS website linked to his. However, any public interest defense effectively collapsed with the exoneration of Prof Walker-Smith, who is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert in pediatric gastroenterology and who had to spend eight years of his retirement fending off incompetent allegations, and undergoing a show trial. 

Equally outrageously it was Deer, subsequent to his initial newspaper articles, who covertly submitted three formal complaints to the General Medical Council requesting the prosecution of doctors Walker-Smith, Murch and Wakefield, while coming to a mutually beneficial arrangement with the GMC prosecutor that he not be named, allowing him to continue reporting on a case when he had a personal interest. Deer was the only complainant against the three doctors and his role as complainant was confirmed in a High Court Judgment of Mr Justice Eady.

Continue reading "Voice Your Opposition to Brian Deer Lecturing at Oxford University" »

Best of AofA: Brian Deer's Second Award - As Meaningless As The First

Dumb deerAuthor's Note: This post originally ran in 2011, after the vaccine lobby's hired gun Brian Deer received his second "Press Award," to explain why his second such award is as meaningless as his first. Later that same year, Deer won another "award" from the UK pharma front group "HealthWatch." Then just a few days ago, another front group in the UK run by pharma-backed "science" writer Simon Singh gave Dr. Andrew Wakefield - whose Lancet paper was vindicted by colleague Prof. John Walker-Smith's successful appeal earlier this year - a mock award for "quackery." In response, we are re-running this piece to remind readers that Brian Deer's "awards" are just as farcical. 

By Jake Crosby

The UK’s “Press Awards” are not nicknamed the “Hackademy Awards” for nothing, especially in the case of Brian Deer. He has been given not one, but two such awards. The claim, made by Brian Deer, that the UK Press Awards are like the Pulitzer Prize is laughable and absurd.

The UK’s Society of Editors runs the Press Awards. Sitting on the Editors’ advisory council is Les Hinton, who recently resigned as CEO of Dow Jones in the wake of the Murdoch phone hacking scandal. Also on that committee is Rebekah Brooks, who resigned as senior executive of News International - which publishes The Sunday Times - and was then arrested.

For over a decade,  Brian Deer's only award was based on a faulty premise. It was called “Specialist Reporter of the year.” The judges said Deer was “the only journalist in Britain that polices the drug companies.” However, during the year for which he won his award, 1998, Brian Deer wrote an article alleging that patients who suffered neurological injury from the DTP vaccine were not really injured and should therefore not have received legal compensation for their injuries. That is the exact opposite of “policing” the drug companies, but is instead harrassing the victims of defective drug company products. In 2004, Glenn Frankel reported in the Washington Post that one of Brian Deer’s specialties “was tracking down false claims of damage from vaccines.

Weeks after the bogus premise behind his first award was reported on Age of Autism, Brian Deer was nominated for “News Reporter of the Year” and also for “Specialist Reporter of the year,” the latter of which he won at the ceremony in London’s Savoy Hotel on April 5th, 2011. That award was given to Deer for his smear campaign against Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

The measure of any great or even good journalist must be his independence. Journalism awards are supposed to be based on independent assessments of reporters’ work, otherwise they are meaningless. Furthermore, it seems too perfect that Brian Deer was nominated for a Press Award (that he would later win) mere weeks after Age of Autism revealed he had only won one award.

How surprising can this really be given that the Academy of Judges for this year’s awards ceremony included Richard Caseby, managing editor of The Sunday Times? Caseby became notorious for his exchange with Rosemary Kessick – one of the few parents of the Lancet 12 children that Brian Deer actually interviewed.

Following a 6-hour interrogation of Kessick by Deer in 2003, during which he falsely gave his name as “Brian Lawrence,” she complained to The Sunday Times executive editor John Witherow. The exchange is detailed by Dan Olmsted in his article,  An Elaborate Fraud, Part 2: In Which a Murdoch Newspaper’s Deceptive Tactics Infect the British Medical Journal.

Unfortunately, Kessick might as well have been complaining to GlaxoSmithKline, the board of which has retained News International boss, James Murdoch, since 2009. John Witherow recently wrote in a self-congratulatory piece about The Sunday Times’ investigative journalism on July 17th:

There have, of course, been many other investigations, including Brian Deer's outstanding work on exposing the doctor behind the false MMR scare.

This sentence exposes a clear desire to try and shift the arguments off the ground of the Sunday Times and GSK and into a more general arena so showing that what happened to Wakefield was a result of universal investigating and popular will. In fact one of the most staggering things about the Wakefield case was that Deer carried sole responsibility for it prior to lodging it with the GMC; no other investigative journalist in the world uncovered or wrote anything original critical of Wakefield besides Deer. 

Instead of Witherow responding to Kessick’s complaint, Richard Caseby wrote back:

Continue reading "Best of AofA: Brian Deer's Second Award - As Meaningless As The First" »

Patterns In Chaos: Child Psychiatry, Violence and Autism

Wakefield2By Andrew J. Wakefield

Patterns in chaos: understanding acts of “senseless” violence (also available at The Academic Integrity Fund site.

At the Royal Free Hospital, London, in 1996 my gastroenterology colleagues and I were reliably informed by our attending child psychiatrist, that acts of extreme violence, such as the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School, were perpetrated more commonly by those with Asperger’s syndrome (AS). Like so much that child psychiatry has had to offer - then and since - this assertion is misleading.

In support of his statement, the Royal Free’s child psychiatrist, Dr. Berelowitz, cited the example of Martin Bryant who had recently been imprisoned for committing 35 murders and causing 37 serious injuries in Tasmania in April 1996, in what became known as the Port Arthur Massacre. Bryant, according to Dr. Berelowitz and later, Wikipedia, had AS. Both sources turn out to be incorrect: the report of Paul E. Mullen, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, who examined Bryant in prison in May 1996, tells the story. In his criticism of an earlier diagnostic assessment by a Dr. Sale, Dr. Mullen wrote:

“Mr Bryant craves the attention of others. He desires relationships but fails to effectively communicate with others unlike the patients with Asperger's who are blandly indifferent to others. Mr Bryant also lacks, in my opinion, the central features of this condition, which are repetitive activities, unusual skills with all absorbing obsessive interests and problems with motor coordination. He also showed marked delay in the acquisition of language skills and required remedial therapy for this language deficit which is contrary to the picture found in those with Asperger's Syndrome.”[1]

While my experience of 18 years suggests to me that many with AS are not blandly indifferent to others, Bryant’s speech delay precludes this diagnosis. In addition, Bryant had an IQ of 66 – well below the average or above average IQ that experts consider necessary for this diagnosis.[2].

More recent reviews of the relevant medical literature do not support an association between an increased risk of violence and AS.[3]. This fact is crucial, lest the wider community stigmatize a population of individuals that are already poorly served and badly misunderstood by many. This does not mean, however, that those with AS are not at increased risk of violence under certain circumstances, as discussed below.

A further Web-based review (see below) of acts of violent crime similar to those seen in Port Arthur, Colombine, and Connecticut reveals that the majority of cases are not associated with any evidence of an ASD diagnosis in the perpetrator at all. So what do these tragedies have in common?

A common denominator

As with all tragedies of this nature, many try to make sense of the “senseless.”  In the case of Martin Bryant, Dr. Mullen failed. He concluded his expert psychiatric report with the following:

“The enormity of Mr Bryant's crimes call out for some explanation equally dramatic and extraordinary. It is not to be wondered at that the media have either attempted to portray Mr Bryant as afflicted by a dramatic mental illness, such as schizophrenia, or to be some kind of evil genius. In my opinion the origins of this terrible tragedy are not to be found in a single dramatic and sufficient cause, but in the interaction and combination of a range of influences and events. We may never know fully the intentions and state of mind which led to the killings, but a number of the contributions are apparent.”

Continue reading "Patterns In Chaos: Child Psychiatry, Violence and Autism" »

Wakefield Battle Revs Up with Appeal, Facebook Page and More

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotEditor's note: It's been great to see our side fighting back against Brian Deer and the medical-media orthodoxy, with the strong parental protest against Deer's appearance in Wisconsin, most recently Jen Larson's powerful letter to Deer's enablers in and around academe.

Tim Bolen explains the status and strategy of Andy Wakefield's appeal in the Texas defamation case.

Now there's a new facebook page, where Andy will be writing frequently. Check it out, beginning with this post, The Parent's Narrative.

"Autism’s Original Sin is that it fell, head-first, into the hands of Child Psychiatry. There it has foundered, washed back and forth on a tide of pin-the-tail on the DSM donkey – a pain in the metaphorical ass."


Canary Party Responds To Brian Deer's Rebuttal


When Brian Deer was introduced at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse earlier this month to give his version of events in the Wakefield/MMR controversy,  the audience was told, "There is no debate.”   That statement was swiftly refuted by WKTV news whose top story was: "Vaccine-Autism Debate Reaches La Crosse," (See video here.)    Among the many vaccine safety advocates who had contacted university officials was Jennifer VanDerHorst-Larson, President of the Canary Party and mother to a child with regressive autism, triggered by vaccines.  Her e-mail, critical of Deer,  was also sent to Canary Party's 5,000 members. Deer posted a response to her on his personal website, and VanDerHorst-Larson has now answered him in an e-mail to the more than 30 sponsors of  Deer's lectures at La Crosse. Her hope is to enlighten the La Crosse community and others about the side of the controversy the media does not report. In the latest installment of the debate, it looks like Deer is caught the headlights. Her response, running on the Canary Party website is below:

OPEN LETTER to the Sponsors of Brian Deer’s Lectures at The University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, October 2012

Allergy Associates of La Crosse (Drs. Vijay Sabnis, James Thompson, Ted Habel, David Morris, George Kroker, Mary Morris)

Marshfield Clinic and Labs  (Brian H. Ewert, MD, C. Todd Stewart, MD, Gene R. Shaw, MD)

Gundersen Lutheran Clinic  (Jeffrey E. Thompson, MD, Julio J. Bird, MD, Mary Kuffel, MD)

U of W La Crosse Foundation, Allen Trapp, President, Greg Reichert, Asst. Chancellor

College of Science and Health, Dean Bruce Riley

Departments of Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry, English, Health Education and Promotions, Communication Studies, Exercise and Sports:

Dr. David Howard, Chair, Biology Dept., Dr. S. N. Rajagopal, Chair, Microbiology Dept., Dr. Aaron Monte, Chair, Chemistry Dept. Dr. Susan Crutchfield, Chair, English Dept. Dr. Dan Duquette, Chair, Health Education and Promotions Dr. Linda Dickmeyer, Chair, Communication Studies, Dr. Mark Gibson, Chair, Exercise and Sports Science

Faculty of the Dept. of Microbiology: Sue Anglehart, Marisa Barbknecht, Bonnie Jo Bratina, Michael Hoffman, Michael A. Lazzari, Marc A. Rott, William Schwan, Diane Sewell, Bernadette C. Taylor, Peter Wilker, Mike Winfrey

Susan Betts, Dept. of Microbiology

Premed Club,  Jordan L. Ludwigson, President

Biology Club 

Microbiology Club, William Close, President

Institute for Biomolecular Sciences

Members of Distinguished Speakers Committee

cc:        Editor, Racquet Student Newspaper, Chancellor Gow

My name is Jennifer VanDerHorst-Larson, and my open letter to university officials was singled out by Brian Deer for response. As you know, Mr. Deer recently lectured at the university about the Wakefield/MMR vaccine controversy. On his website, Mr. Deer referred to my letter as a form of “abuse.”  (Please judge for yourself if it’s abusive.) My letter.  Mr. Deer’s response.

I am the mother of a boy with autism who developed normally – exceeding his milestones - until he received his Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) and other vaccinations at 15 months. He reacted immediately and showed clear evidence of regression the day after his 15-month shots. By 18 months, he had lost all of his skills.  By 19 months, all he did was cry, bang his head and say “go” – his only remaining word. I was told to consider an institution for him, and he wasn’t even two.

At age 12, he is now diagnosed as severely autistic and in need of 24-hour supervision. He will never be independent. My son is also diagnosed with colitis – the bowel disease that was diagnosed in the Lancet 12 children with autism – denied by Brian Deer who spoke at La Crosse University. The gut-autism hypothesis has been placed under prolonged attack by those defending the vaccine program, including Brian Deer whose unsupported statements about the Lancet 12 children’s health  (“They don’t have bowel disease!”) have resulted in UK parents being unable to find medical help for their autistic children with bowel disease, the effects of which are profound and tragic.

High Court Judge Mitting has since rejected Mr. Deer’s claim that the 12 children were not seriously ill and did not require the medical attention they received from Professor Walker-Smith’s team at the Royal Free Hospital where Dr. Wakefield co-authored the controversial Lancet paper. 

 I am one of thousands of parents who have reported that their child (or children) regressed following vaccination. I was given the official medical explanation by Minneapolis doctors that my son’s regression was coincidental, even though no other pediatric medicine or procedure is associated with large numbers of “coincidental” reports of regression into autism.  To my knowledge, there is no case of a completely unvaccinated child developing normally and then spontaneously, dramatically regressing into autism. I think that’s significant. A retrospective, vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study would tell us more, but the government refuses to undertake such a study.

To Mr. Deer’s claim that the vaccine/autism link is a “fringe” theory put forth by “small groups of ill-informed, misguided” and “malicious people,” “desperate for attention,” I can only respond by asking you to watch this brief CBS interview of former NIH Director Dr. Bernadine Healy describing how medical authorities have refused to consider the possibility of an autism/vaccine link in susceptible children, for fear of scaring the general public.

There is also the case of Hannah Poling, a child who developed normally until she received 9 vaccine doses at one doctor’s visit. Her family will be compensated in the amount of $20 million over her lifetime by the U.S. government for her autism resulting from MMR and thimerosal-containing vaccines.  The Cochrane Review is not reassuring of MMR safety either, concluding: “The design and reporting in MMR safety studies both pre- and post marketing are largely inadequate.”  Please see the last page of my letter for links to independent studies that support Dr. Wakefield’s work, including peer-reviewed papers that duplicate his original findings in five additional countries.

Continue reading "Canary Party Responds To Brian Deer's Rebuttal" »

Enduring Memories: Prof John Walker-Smith recalls his life and the Wakefield affair.

Walker-smith.jpg.displayNote: Enduring Memories, Prof. Walker-Smith's memoir, is now available in the UK at The Village Bookshop.

By John Stone

‘Looking back I am astonished that I was able to study as many as 116 child autopsies during the period 10 October 1967 to 11 August 1969. That so many children should have died in a children’s hospital during this period of one year ten months shows how much we have advanced during the following thirty years. During my last five years at the Royal Free not one child died of a gastroenterological cause.’ [John Walker-Smith, Enduring Memories, 2nd edition 2012,  p. 113]

The corollary of this arresting statement was not only did John Walker-Smith live through those years he was at the very centre of the developments that enabled so many lives to be saved. It is an even more remarkable achievement when you consider that during those last five years Walker-Smith’s department was a place of tertiary referral and that many of the most intractable cases in the country would have been referred on to his department. As we know, in one of the most shameful episodes in modern British history (the nearest comparison being the mysterious death of David Kelly), and with the connivance of the medical and political establishment, within four years of  his retirement the department dismembered, his name publicly tarnished while a journalist with no medical qualifications – and a political agenda   - made accusations in a national newspaper, meanwhile accessing children’s private medical records with state connivance.

Continue reading "Enduring Memories: Prof John Walker-Smith recalls his life and the Wakefield affair." »

Brian Deer at UW-Lacrosse "The future for investigative journalism is very bleak"

Brian Deer LaCrosse Oct 5 2012By Nancy Hokkanen

On Friday, October 5 UK reporter Brian Deer gave his second presentation at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, on “Stiletto Journalism: Busting the Vaccine Scare.” Ostensibly a primer on his coverage of the fallout from the 1998 Lancet MMR case series of Andrew Wakefield et al., in reality the presentation was part vanity schtick, argumentum ad hominem, and careful deception.

Seated in the unfilled room were students given credit to attend, and faculty positioned as if anticipating disruption. A muscular bald man sat in front facing the crowd, rather than the podium. Dr. Thomas Pribek, an assistant professor of English whose tweedy appearance came right out of central casting, mentioned having Deer in class the day before. In introducing the speaker, Pribek pontificated that stories garnering an “emotional response dissipate in the fog” but “facts remain in the light of day.”

Perhaps advised about the threatening implication of his chosen title, Deer stated that his use of the word “stiletto” only meant applying great force to a narrow area; he said journalists should use narrow focus rather than broad. The diminutive Brit claimed to have received intimidating emails at times in his career, and he used AIDS denialists as an example of zealotry over public health issues.

Deer announced to his audience that he had uncovered a “secret network of businesses” that would profit from Wakefield’s actions, including the affiliated University. All the information, he said, was “waiting in the public domain,” and took years to unfold because “you have to wait… not dump information.” (Later a student asked whether anyone else would ever have uncovered the MMR/autism story; Deer replied “No.”)

In a puzzling contradiction for someone seeking credibility, Deer quoted his aunt’s advice: “Believe nothing you hear, and hardly anything you see.”

The pejoratives and machismo began early, with Deer describing Andrew Wakefield as “this strange person” and using intimidating imagery – describing a scene from the movie A Bronx Tale in which a mobster beats a Hell’s Angel. Deer took obvious delight in listing the penalties against Wakefield onscreen and verbally, and boasted, “That was a result of journalism.”

Displaying a 2004 photo of Wakefield and Deer, the reporter admitted he “pursued Dr. Wakefield at Indianapolis.” To the laughter of the audience, he animatedly asserted that Wakefield covered the camera lens and ran, adding for humorous effect, “It was all very Edwardian.” Deer claimed Wakefield “called on parents to boycott the MMR vaccine” and “started the vaccine scare.”

(Below is a video of parental experience at an event in protest of the Deer appearance.)

At times the balding presenter used risqué language on the young audience, saying there are only two things he likes: “One is sex and the other is reading my name in the newspaper.” Deer said that after the BMJ ran its January 2011 article on Wakefield, a Harris poll showed that 145 million Americans “knew the fundamentals of the story” and his work had “a massive impact on public opinion.” Knowing that newspaper presses across the U.S. were running his story, he “felt a great honor at the time.”

(On a related note, students of journalism should look up which U.K. and U.S. newspapers once promoted a false link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.)

Next came comments discrediting the UK parents. Onscreen appeared a photo of Isabella Thomas and her two boys; according to Deer, who is not a medical professional, “neither had autism… it turned out they didn’t have it.” He said he filmed Jodie Marchant, and discussed her daughter’s digestion problems in repulsive detail. Marchant, he said, had made allegations against a doctor and a nurse; he noted without a touch of irony, “You can’t broadcast anybody’s unsupported allegations against anybody.”

Then Deer moved from parents to professionals. Dr. Richard Halvorson was maligned for selling single vaccines. Journalist Lucy Johnston was criticized for writing articles that provided Wakefield’s point of view (along with quotes from another MMR researcher, Dr. Vijendra Singh). Again, Deer seemed unaware of the self-incriminating implications when he proffered, “Newspaper [reporters] believe they have to climb on board and become public relations people.”

Continue reading "Brian Deer at UW-Lacrosse "The future for investigative journalism is very bleak"" »

Brian Deer at the University of WI La Crosse: “An Elaborate Fraud”

Brian deerBy Anne Dachel

It was truly a sad day for education on October 4, 2012 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as Brian Deer came to La Crosse to speak as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series in Life Sciences. The title of Deer’s talk was, An Elaborate Fraud: The MMR Vaccine & Autism. I was there with a number of other parents from the autism community from WI, MN, IN, and IL.

The University of WI-La Crosse made their position clear in the opening remarks of professor of immunology, Bernadette Taylor, before an audience of hundreds of UWL students. “There is no debate… This University did not invite a debate on that issue.”

Case closed: the University would not allow for a free exchange of ideas so informed, intelligent students could make up their own minds.

Brian Deer was then allowed to present his version of the most heated controversy in medicine today: Is our aggressively expanded vaccination schedule behind the exponential increase in autism. According to Deer and the UWL, the debate is over. Only a few desperate parents still believe in a link. The science has spoken.

This was a forum for Deer to expound on his claim that Dr. Andrew Wakefield had perpetrated a fraud on the public when he wrote about the possible link between the MMR vaccine and bowel disease and autism in children and Deer expressed no concern over why autism is now an epidemic affecting one in every 88 children, one in every 54 boys in the U.S.

Deer showed slides throughout his lecture. On the opening slide, in full view as the students came in, Deer had this quote highlighted: “If he wasn’t so fucking greedy, he’d a been tougher to spot.” In small type below were the words “Sam Rothstein, Casino, 1995.” Shown with the quote was a hand holding five aces—one extra ace of spades.

In his opening remarks, Deer explained that this was from the movie, Casino, which was about fraudulent gamblers and how they were caught, an obvious reference to Wakefield.

Deer attacked everything about Wakefield and his work. He ridiculed him both personally and professionally. He claimed Wakefield manipulated data and falsified the records of his patients. He said that Wakefield tried to blackmail officials into funding additional studies. He said Wakefield recruited patients to use as “guinea pigs” for his fraudulent research. He alleged that none of the 12 patients Wakefield wrote about actually had bowel disease. He said that the claim of Michelle Cedillo in Vaccine Court had been a fraud and that she was shown on video to display autistic behavior before her MMR. He even made a reference to Dr. Wakefield’s mother where he speculated that she might have been into the sherry before he interviewed her.

Deer singled out Josh Edwards from the UK. He described him as a boy who had GI disease that resulted in the removal of his bowel because of a “severe food intolerance,” and not the result of the MMR vaccine.

(See this Age of Autism story about Josh Edwards. Also see his mother, Heather Edwards, on the video about parents in the UK whose children were damaged by the MMR.)

Deer never mentioned that the British government indemnified the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine against all liability for MMR damage and that the UK government will be liable if it’s recognized that this vaccine triggers bowel disease and autism.

Continue reading "Brian Deer at the University of WI La Crosse: “An Elaborate Fraud”" »

British Medical Journal Deposition Raises Questions For Brian Deer in Wakefield Lawsuit

Brian deerBy Dan Olmsted

Brian Deer's appearances in Wisconsin yesterday and today -- and Andy Wakefield's press conference there Thursday -- are coming amid the continued crumbling of Deer's British Medical Journal case against Wakefield. Check out the depositions from Andy's defamation suit against Deer, including the first one, featuring a British Medical Journal fact checker who can't remember too many facts and doesn't sound like she checked too many, either (including whether the children did or did not have autism, kind of a key point).

 “The parents’ story is the most valuable starting point, and if the parents say, ‘This is what happened to my child, they were normal, they had a vaccine, now they're not normal,’ and this happens not once, but thousands of times around the world, then we have to take that very seriously,” Wakefield told a crowd of about 50  at a local park, according to WKBT in LaCrosse. “Here we have, for the first time, something in autism, which is directly treatable and where we can make the lives of these children so much better, and what a tragedy not to capitalize on that,” said Wakefield.

I got an e-mail press query yesterday: "Do you think Dr. Wakefield has a chance at rebuilding his reputation among most Americans after what has occurred in recent years?" My response: Andy plans to address Deer's claims that he engineered "an elaborate fraud" in the 1998 Lancet paper. It's certainly appropriate for Deer and others to investigate that paper, but it's also important for other journalists to hold Deer to high standards of accuracy and fairness in making such a serious and important claim.

I spent several months both in the US and England investigating Deer's claims. I found no evidence of fraud at all and have so far written 10 articles about that at AgeOfAutism.com. The vindication of Andy's co-author, John Walker-Smith, puts Deer in an even more problematic position, in that Walker-Smith independently vouched for the accuracy of many statements in the Lancet paper that Deer claims were fraudulently manipulated by Wakefield.

The fact is, based on my own reporting including interviews with parents in Lancet paper and many other sources, I believe that the MMR does cause bowel disease and autism. Thousands of parents and others know it to their great sorrow and have tried to sound the alarm. Andy will be speaking along with some of those parents. Ultimately, because he and they are telling the truth, his reputation will be rebuilt. The quickest way for that to happen is to get Deer's false claims in front of a jury, which Andy and his supporters are diligently working to do.

Read the depositions HERE. Learn more at Dr. Wakefield's justice fund.

Researcher Wakefield in LaCrosse Oct. 4 to Detail UK Reporter’s Fraud

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotST. PAUL, MINN. – Researcher and patient advocate Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath, will hold a press conference with Midwest autism families at a public park in LaCrosse, Wisconsin on Thursday, October 4 from 1-1:45 p.m.

The information session will be at the Myrick Park Gun Shelter, 2020 Myrick Park Drive, just north of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse off Highway 16/LaCrosse Street.

Wakefield, an academic gastroenterologist and author of more than 140 scientific articles, will correct false reports on the 1998 Lancet MMR vaccine case series he co-authored with 12 other researchers. Freelance writer Brian Deer will talk Oct. 4-5 at UW-LaCrosse; in 2003 Deer was asked by a newspaper editor to come up with “something big” on the MMR.

Examples of Deer’s inaccuracies and unethical behavior are posted on the Internet, including a nine-part “Elaborate Fraud” series at the Age of Autism. Editor and former UPI investigative reporter Dan Olmsted interviewed more Lancet parents than Deer, whose deceptions include:

  • Deer obtaining confidential medical records that patients’ doctors couldn't even access;
  • Deer lying to parents by interviewing them using a fabricated name;
  • Deer lying about what was said in an interview with a parent;
  • Deer falsely claiming that children from the Lancet case series “didn’t have bowel disease” – though doctors’ records prove they do.

In March Wakefield’s colleague Dr. John Walker-Smith was exonerated by the High Court, with testimony under oath stating tests undertaken in the Lancet paper were clinically indicated and not for litigation purposes. Mr Justice Mitting criticized the U.K. General Medical Council, stating its judgment had been "based on inadequate and superficial reasoning."

Continue reading "Researcher Wakefield in LaCrosse Oct. 4 to Detail UK Reporter’s Fraud" »

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: LaCrosse Drinks Brian Deer's Kool-Aid

Keep Calm Write OnBy Dan Olmsted

As an English major, I'm really disappointed to see the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse promoting Brian Deer's talks next week at the University. According to the department's blog, Deer "carried out one of the classic public interest investigations of recent times. He probed the controversy over vaccines and autism.  Based on this landmark inquiry, and 25 years of pursuing complex, contentious topics, he gives a reporter's inside perspective on how to break a difficult story." 

"Fears that vaccines cause autism has become one of the biggest health controversies in America. But where did the story begin, and what keeps it going?"

The truth, fellow English majors and would-be journalists, is that the story began when vaccines began causing autism, and what keeps the story going is that vaccines keep causing autism. That's my view, but I'm not alone, and the fact that I and thousands of others hold that view shows that Deer's presentation should be treated as one side of a controversy, not as a how-to session. The promo -- doubtless supplied by Deer or his enablers -- acknowledges it's a real controversy, but then immediately reverts to the idea that some nonsense abroad in the population is perpetuating this ridiculous idea of a vaccine-autism link.

That is the kind of subtle subversion of logic and language to which English majors, especially, should be alert. The medical and scientific community may be in the tank, but this is a story in which close attention to rhetoric and reality can point to the truth as directly as any other evidence.

There's nothing wrong with having Deer speak at an American university, although I can't see much point in it. But the issue needs to be presented as a debate, a dialogue, and prosepective journalists need to study the controversy, not slaver over the author because he has won some awards and the orthodox medical and media establishments are drunk on his Kool-Aid. Andy Wakefield shouldn't have to scratch around for a venue to hold his own press conference. He should be invited in to confront Deer, or to appear in a similarly respectable capacity. Or, if not Wakefield, I've written and presented on the problems with Deer's reporting and would have been glad to do so again (they wouldn't have to pay me, which I can only assume is another difference between myself and Deer).

The title of Deer's other talk, "An Elaborate Fraud: The MMR Vaccine and Autism," is not really holding up well, either, given developments since the series by that title appeared in the British Medical Journal in January 2011. According to the promo: "Over a period of seven years, Brian Deer investigated the story for The Sunday Times of London and now comes to LaCrosse to reveal what Time Magazine dubbed one of the 'great science frauds' of all time.  Launched from one British hospital in the 1990s, the scare took hold first in the UK, and then spread around the globe, leaving doctors baffled, children at risk, parents frightened, and lawyers with a lot more money. Deer shows how it was done, who did it, and why it will happen again."

The question to be asked is not how was it done, etc., but, What fraud?

Inconveniently, Wakefield's co-author on the 1988 "Lancet" paper, the renowned John Walker- Walker-smith.jpg.displaySmith, was exonerated of the British medical establishment's trumped-up charges this year by a British civil court with a thorough-goingness that directly discredits many of those breathless assertions against Wakefield, including claims that there was no regressive autism, no bowel disease, no genuine case series, no plausible link to the MMR. For instance, here is what Smith said under oath :


Q. What did you believe that you were finding?

A. Just like many times in my career before, we were finding a new disorder. … We were beginning to see a new syndrome, fairly clear features of children [with regressive developmental disorders] presenting with diarrhoea, very often abdominal pain which often was not diagnosed by other doctors. ...There is a characteristic symptom pattern. ... Clearly in the context of autism we felt something new was coming, and that is the motivation, of course, for us clinicians to feel that it was appropriate for Andy Wakefield to take the lead, and write these features for publication.

Q. Having gone through the histology reports, the synthesis of those reports in the histology meetings, it is clear that there are abnormalities there ---?

A. Yes.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: LaCrosse Drinks Brian Deer's Kool-Aid" »

Best of AofA: What's Behind Ben Goldacre?

Ben Goldacre GSK

(Reprinted from August, 2010)

By John Stone

After years of secrecy on the matter confirmation has finally come to light that Guardian ‘Bad Science’ journalist Ben Goldacre is the son of Oxford professor of public health  Michael  J Goldacre (HERE). Prof Goldacre has been director since 1986 of the UK Department Health funded Unit of Healthcare Epidemiology (HERE).  The family relationship is mentioned in a review of Goldacre junior’s Bad Science book in the peer-review journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival  (25, p.255-7, 2009)by Dr Ian Fairlie, but there has been a long term lack of candour about the matter. While the reasons for the secrecy remain unknown it is possible that if the relationship, which has never before been mentioned in the mainstream media or scientific publications, had been common knowledge it might have raised questions about the independence of the younger Goldacre’s views.  Goldacre senior was a co-author of a study of the effects of GlaxoSmithKline’s notorious Urabe strain version of MMR, Pluserix, after it was suddenly withdrawn from public use in 1992 (HERE): the Unit has produced several MMR related studies.

Ben Goldacre’s column which started in 2003 has featured his largely epidemiological approach to health issues, most prominently MMR and autism. Coming apparently from nowhere, journalistically speaking, he was promoted to the role of an “opinion leader” from the outset. His early article MMR: Never mind the facts won the accolade of the GlaxoSmithKline sponsored Association of British Science Writers’ award for the best feature article of 2003.
The article, however, used flawed epidemiology for which he later offered no defence (HERE), as well as including an anonymous attack on Andrew Wakefield by one of Wakefield’s colleagues. This was just the first of several notable interventions Ben Goldacre in the MMR affair. A stock-in-trade has been his generalised attacks on parents of MMR damaged children. His Bad Science blogsite for a long time offered this intimidatory advice to would-be contributors:

“..personal anecdotes about your MMR tragedy will be deleted for your own safety”

A fundamental of Ben Goldacre’s journalistic method is the ad hominem and he always talks across opponents: he can always depend on the greater prominence of his published views and he never answers the many awkward criticisms.

The Goldacre dynasty seem to be one of several with on-going connections with the MMR affair:

  • *Dr Evan Harris, the former MP, who accompanied Brian Deer to make accusations against Andrew Wakefield and colleagues, and led a debate under privilege in the House of Commons making further allegations of unethical practices (HERE) is the son of paediatrician Prof Frank Harris who sat on the Committee on Safety in Medicines and the adverse reactions to vaccine committee ARVI in the early 1990s when Pluserix MMR vaccine had to be withdrawn (HERE) , (HERE) , (HERE).

Continue reading "Best of AofA: What's Behind Ben Goldacre?" »

Guess Who's Coming To America? Brian Deer To Speak in Wisconsin. Wakefield Press Conference First.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotBy Ed Arranga Brian deer

Brian Deer – a liar, fraud, and former reporter for The Sunday Times of London – is coming to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse October 4 and 5 to lecture you about Dr. Andrew Wakefield and the MMR vaccine. On Oct. 4 Deer’s lecture is An Elaborate Fraud: The MMR Vaccine & Autism,” and then on Oct. 5, Stiletto Journalism: Busting the Vaccine Scare.”

Deer’s talks at La Crosse are a continuation of the misinformation campaign to destroy Wakefield and to deny his Lancet case series (here) that was published in 1998. Wakefield found bowel disease in children with autism spectrum disorder and raised questions about the safety of the MMR. (Click here for an overview of the misinformation campaign.)

In 2003 autism rates were exploding. Parents were blaming the MMR. It was time for industry and its cronies to get ugly. Deer was told by his Times editor to find “something big” on the MMR. Deer’s series of stories in 2004 were just what the powers that be needed: Protect the guilty, sacrifice the science, and kill the messenger. Dr. Wakefield and Professor John Walker-Smith were the messengers who lost their licenses to practice medicine when the General Medical Council (GMC, the governing board of doctors in the UK) – eager to quash any further scientific inquiries and shield pharma – circled their wagons. 

The Deer-inspired, GMC-trumped-up charges and findings were so rotten and perverted that when the case finally got before a real judge, in a real court – the High Court of London –  Justice Mitting overturned the findings, criticized the panel's “inadequate and superficial reasoning," and admonished the GMC by stating, "It would be a misfortune if this were to happen again."

By the time Judge Mitting blasted the GMC and Parliament began investigating and arresting Murdoch reporters, Deer had already written another series of articles (hereherehere), falsely accusing Dr. Wakefield of having committed fraud. Published in the BMJ in January 2011, the articles follow the same twisted pattern of deceit Deer learned while working in the criminally-corrupt Murdoch newspaper culture: Lie, lie, and lie some more.

Deer’s BMJ series created the intended frenzy. Finally an answer… well, not really an answer, but any questions about the autism epidemic could now be sidetracked by mainstream media into a “Blame Wakefield” mantra.  Complacent and compliant, mainstream media was free to continue their mission as a casual observer, watching as they did in 2008 as America’s economy melted down, and for the last decade watching as America’s healthcare system melts down. 

Continue reading "Guess Who's Coming To America? Brian Deer To Speak in Wisconsin. Wakefield Press Conference First." »

University College London Pulls out of Holding an Inquiry into the Wakefield Affair

MMR-doctor-andrew-wakefie-001By John Stone

Eighteen months after University College London, the parent institution of the Royal Free Hospital, announced their intention of holding an inquiry into the “Wakefield affair” in a controversial BBC radio documentary they have finally backed down according to a report by Zosia Kmietowicz in British Medical Journal. The decision represents a particular defeat for BMJ and its editor Fiona Godlee, who had been pressing for the inquiry after long delays in setting up. At one point Godlee – in November 2011 - appealed in vain to the UK House of Commons and Science and Technology Committee to take over from UCL, but UCL insisted that a chairperson would be appointed and terms of reference published by the end of the year. This never happened.

Now Kmietowicz reports:

“In a paper on the development of its new framework, UCL said that after taking advice from the UK Research Integrity Office and “a senior legal figure” it concluded that “the net result [from an investigation] would likely be an incomplete set of evidence and an inconclusive process costing a substantial sum of money.”

However, she fails to mention that this follows the complete exoneration of John Walker-Smith, the senior author and clinician in the 1998 Wakefield-Lancet paper, in the English High Court earlier this year. Sir John Mitting threw out all the findings of the General Medical Council against Walker-Smith hearing where he had stood accused with Andrew Wakefield and Simon Murch – while Murch as the more junior clinician had been allowed to resume his career after the three year hearing, Wakefield was not funded as Walker-Smith had been to pursue his appeal, and it presently lies in abeyance. The charges against all three were entirely based on accusations by journalist Brian Deer whom the Sunday Times had originally sent on a fishing expedition against Wakefield.

Continue reading "University College London Pulls out of Holding an Inquiry into the Wakefield Affair" »

Dan Olmsted at Autism One on The Wakefield Inquisition

VideoWe invite you to watch Dan Olmsted discuss and dissect the GMC and mainstream media's battle against Dr. Andrew Wakefield in his presentation from last May at Autism One.

Abstract: The unprecedented journalistic attack on Dr. Wakefield and colleagues after their 1998 paper on autism and bowel disease has begun coming apart at the seams. Now that Wakefield has filed a defamation suit, and a judge in England cleared the paper's other senior author of all wrongdoing, it's time to ask: How did Murdoch's London Sunday Times and the British Medical Journal get away for so long with getting the story so wrong? How long will it take the mainstream media to do its job and report the real facts? (If the embedded video does not appear click HERE.)

The Immunization Partnership Applauds Meachum's Ruling, Exposing Her Conflict of Interest

Scales injusticeBy Jake Crosby

Confirming her conflict of interest, Judge Amy Clark Meachum's decision to throw Dr. Andrew Wakefield's defamation case out of district court was publicly applauded by the President/CEO of The Immunization Partnership who promised to continue working with the Texas Academy of Family Physicians (TAFP), for which Judge Meachum's husband lobbies.

On August 9th in the comments section of “Science”Blogs, The Immunization Partnership President/CEO Anna C Dragsbaek wrote:

Thanks for your very humorous blog. I am the President and CEO of The Immunization Partnership, the organization that hosts The Texas Immunization Summit every two years. We applaud the judge’s decision in this case and continue to work with TAFP, and countless other organization around the state to ensure that Texas is protected against vaccine preventable diseases. As you might imagine, we are at ‘ground zero’ in the anti-vaccine debate. We fight everyday to counteract the egregious flow of misinformation and erroneous assertions that are propagated by Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues. As for the conspiracy theory, if working in collaboration with all of the stakeholders locally and nationally to ensure that families do not suffer the consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases is conspiracy, then color us guilty. In the meantime, we will continue to advocate for evidence-based immunization laws and policies, educate the public and support immunization best practices. We welcome your participation in our upcoming Texas Immunization Summit, September 27th and 28th. Come see how Texans are stepping up to the plate on this critical issue.

However, the keynote address at this upcoming TAFP-sponsored summit will not be given by a Texan, but by the vaccine industry's media go-to guy Seth Mnookin, who has made libeling Dr. Wakefield a considerable part of his career. At the 2011 World Science Festival in New York City, I was standing right next to Mnookin when I heard him tell another attendee that Dr. Wakefield “faked his data.” At a conference put on by a Merck-chaired organization, Seth Mnookin booted me out when I defended Dr. Wakefield in Q and A. Similarly, when the judge's decision was announced, Mnookin tweeted:

Wakefield harassment suit against BMJ & journalist thrown out of court. http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2012/08/03/wakefield-vs-bmj-lawsuit-dismissed-on-jurisdiction-grounds/ … h/t @ejwillingham

In 2008, the Texas Immunization Summit hosted a keynote speech by millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit and in 2010, hosted a talk – sponsored by TAFP – given by anti-vaccine-autism research group Autism Science Foundation's president/founder Alison Singer. She tells parents to vaccinate recklessly even though she split the MMR vaccine into three separate shots for her neurotypical second daughter.

Continue reading "The Immunization Partnership Applauds Meachum's Ruling, Exposing Her Conflict of Interest" »

Dr. Peter Harvey: In Memoriam

In memoriamAs a consultant neurologist at the Royal Free Hospital, London, Peter Harvey was one of thirteen authors on the 1998 Lancet paper that first drew attention to the link between autism and bowel disease. Not once in all the time that has passed and the trouble that has flowed did he waiver in his support for the parents of those children, the conviction that their story of regression following MMR vaccination is valid, and the findings reported in that paper. In a saga of calumny, cowardice, and capitulation, Peter was resolute unto his death. Peter died at his house in Valboulet – Valley of Balls – France, where his ashes are scattered. Never was a last resting place more aptly named.

Andy Wakefield

Judge in Wakefield Case Amy Clark Meachum's Husband Lobbies for Sponsor of Alison Singer

Justice not blindBy Jake Crosby Meacham

Amy Clark Meachum, the judge who threw Dr. Andrew Wakefield's case out of district court by essentially saying that BMJ, Fiona Godlee and Brian Deer can libel him all they want since they are from the UK, is married to a lobbyist named Kurt Meachum of Philips & Meachum Public Affairs.

According to Texas Tribune Lobbyist's directory, Kurt Meachum's client, the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, earned him $10,000-$25,000 in 2011 alone. What is the significance of this? Family physicians give many vaccinations as a considerable part of their practice. But that's hardly the beginning of the story.

In 2010, the Texas Academy of Physicians sponsored a talk given by none other than Pharma Front Group President and Founder Alison Singer at a vaccine industry conference no less. Her group, “Autism Science Foundation,” was founded for the expressed purpose of discouraging vaccine-autism research. Despite telling parents to vaccinate recklessly at the 2010 Texas Immunization Summit, Singer split the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine in three separate shots for her second daughter, who does not have autism, unlike her first who received the combined shot.

Meanwhile, Dr. Andrew Wakefield's lawsuit is not over; he is appealing. A successful appeal by Professor John Walker-Smith already discredited all the charges of serious professional misconduct against Dr. Wakefield concerning the Lancet paper he coauthored. Brian Deer, Fiona Godlee and the BMJ had better hope the influence of the vaccine industry is strong enough to ensure Dr. Wakefield's case never makes its way to an unbiased judge. Otherwise, they will be back in court before they know it.

Jake Crosby has Asperger Syndrome and is a contributing editor to Age of Autism. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is studying for an MPH in epidemiology.


The Appeal Is On Dr. Wakefield District Court Decision Not Unexpected

Texas flagIn a disappointing, but not unexpected ruling Travis County District Judge Amy Clark Meachum said, Texas Courts do not have jurisdiction in the defamation lawsuit Dr. Wakefield filed against the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the journal’s editor, Fiona Godlee, and a journal reporter, Brian Deer.

“We feel confident moving forward,” said Ed Arranga, executive director of the Dr. Wakefield Justice Fund. “We will appeal the district court decision and welcome the opportunity to having our case heard by the appeals court. Our intent remains the same – to get the facts in front of a jury. The community remains steadfast in its support of Dr. Wakefield.” 

Sylvia Pimental, a mom and Justice Fund member, echoed the support. “We knew this would be a long fight before filing and have every faith the appeals court will rule in Dr. Wakefield’s favor. We believe Texas has a strong legal interest in protecting its residents from attack by foreign entities.”

Dr. Wakefield has 30 days to file his appeal from the date of Judge Meachum’s order. The case would be heard by the Third Court of Appeals, in Austin, Texas and the case may involve issues that are of interest to the Texas Supreme Court. 

Jon Edwards Video Trailer: A Story of Hope and Autism

Alli Edwards NAPPYBy John Stone

Following the exoneration of John Walker-Smith in the High Court in March I wrote to the Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, pleading with him to re-instate the Wakefield 1998 paper in the interests of children in the UK being denied medical investigation and treatment following the witch-hunt against Wakefield and colleagues both in the Sunday Times, and latterly British Medical Journal. Horton replied lamely:

“Dear Mr Stone - I would be horrified if doctors did not take the symptoms of any child seriously. So I sincerely hope that a child with symptoms of autism would be examined and investigated with care and sensitivity.

“My Best, Richard Horton”

(Email, 15 March 2012, 10.07pm)

To which I fired back:

“That is why you should re-instate the paper. It has become ideologically taboo in this country to accept that there is a real problem. The GMC tried to make out that the cases were fabricated and that gastro symptoms were only superficial, and the judge decided that they only selected the evidence which suited them. But for years members of the medical profession have been terrified to follow in their footsteps, and really based on the words of Mr Deer, Evan Harris, Tony Blair and Liam Donaldson. Two of these people may have been doctors of a sort but none of them had the knowledge, the ethical probity or the kindness of John Walker-Smith.”

And answer came there none: Dr Horton may or may not be “horrified”, but so far he is not prepared to do anything about it. As Martin Hewitt pointed out here last week there is not now the faintest scientific or legal reason not to re-instate the paper. But unfortunately this not only a matter of historical fairness. As the case of Jon Edwards – highlighted in a new film from Autism Team – makes abundantly clear, until our political class and medical establishment address their bad consciences nothing for these children is going to happen in the United Kingdom.

This is the trailer for the film about Jon Edwards ‘Changing Lives’. That's Jon's Mum in the photo above holding up one of the adults sized nappies he wore until.... Watch the trailer.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism. Dr Horton's email address is richard.horton@lancet.com