David Kirby on Huffington Post: "Implications for Autism are Earth Shattering"
Olmsted on Autism: 1979 Wyeth Memo on DPT

Vaccines: Concern, Anxiety, Worry

Scare_tacticsBy J.B. Handley

Watching the weak attempts of Paul Offit and Amanda Peet to generate press through the vaccine-industry funded Every Child By Two campaign reminded me of a marketing document from CDC I had come across earlier this year which was from a 2004 "Vaccine Summit". The link is below and I encourage everyone to take a look – it's unbelievable!

Back in January, when our readership was about one-tenth of it was today, I had written about the PR policy of public health to generate as much "concern, anxiety, and worry" as possible among the general population to scare people into vaccinating.

I believe this is a fundamentally flawed strategy that will continue to backfire on our health authorities. They have two major and nearly insurmountable issues with this approach:

1. When you exaggerate and lie to scare people into doing something, they ultimately figure out they are being lied to, and then you lose their trust.

2. The autism bogeyman is not going away. So long as 1 in 150 (or worse) kids are being diagnosed with autism, and so long as more and more parents blame vaccines (and they do), the risk-reward argument for the majority of vaccines given makes zero sense. There isn't a parent in the world who wouldn't take a case of the chicken pox over a lifetime of autism.

Herewith are some excerpts from that previous piece and some additional commentary:

"The belief that you can inform and warn people, and get them to take appropriate actions or precautions with respect to a health threat or risk without actually making them anxious or concerned. This is not possible…This is like breaking up with your boyfriend without hurting his feelings. It can't be done."

- Glen Nowak, Director of Communications, Centers for Disease Control, Presentation at the 2004 Vaccine Summit (HERE)

Man, did I get played by the CDC. It was the winter of 2003. You couldn't turn on the T.V. without reading about another child dying from the flu: it's a particularly bad strain, children are at high risk, flu shot supply is strained, get your child vaccinated while you still can!
And, we were listening closely. For my oldest son, turning 4 and healthy, we weren't too worried. But for my younger son, our baby Jamison, at 15 months old, we were very concerned. He was sick all the time. This could be a real problem for him. They are talking about death here, and Jamison seems to qualify as high risk.

Vaccine supplies were really, really tight. I spent a whole day at work just trying to find shots, called every doctor friend I knew. We finally pulled some strings, found a doctor with just a handful of extra shots. We made the simple decision: I wouldn't get a shot, my wife and older son would get one shot each, but we'd give Jamison the shot and the booster. He was, after all, at risk.

The first shot was in December. Our Christmas videos that year show a very-NT Jamison--excited about Santa's arrival and closely tied to his older brother. The booster was in January.

By March, Jamison was gone.

Mr. Nowak's presentation offers a "recipe" for generating demand for both flu vaccine and all vaccines, a 7-step process he encourages health authorities to go through, a marketing Playbook for tricking the public. He notes:

"Vaccination demand, particularly among people who don't routinely receive an annual influenza vaccination, is related to heightened concern, anxiety, and worry."

Mr. Nowak even counts the number of mentions of things like "Flu kills 36,000 per year." (He notes it was mentioned 200 times between Sep 21-27, 2003.) Pictures of children who have died can be particularly motivating, he notes.

Our own press seems to play along, simply regurgitating what our health authorities tell them. Where's the skepticism? Interestingly, the British Medical Journal was very critical of these scare tactics employed by CDC. In THIS article, they noted:

"US data on influenza deaths are a mess. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. Additionally, there are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear - a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts "predict dire outcomes" during flu seasons."

A separate British Medical Journal article  (HERE)  questioned whether or not the flu vaccine even works:

"Evidence from systematic reviews shows that inactivated vaccines [flu vaccines] have little or no effect on the effects measured. Little comparative evidence exists on the safety of these vaccines. Reasons for the current gap between policy and evidence are unclear, but given the huge resources involved, a re-evaluation should be urgently undertaken... The optimistic and confident tone of some predictions of viral circulation and of the impact of inactivated vaccines, which are at odds with the evidence, is striking."

I'll pull one snippet out of that excerpt that I'm particularly struck by: "Little comparative evidence exists on the safety of these vaccines."

Safety? Comparative evidence?

Ask Paul Offit, Renee Jenkins, and Glen Nowak – those are NOT part of the Playbook.

JB Handley is Co-founder of Generation Rescue.


John Stone

Worth mentioning that the sceptical influence on British Medical Journal's ambivalence about flu vaccine is Dr Tom Jefferson, head of Cochrane Review's vaccine field. Jefferson was also co-author of the somewhat epochal 2005 review of MMR. In this light it is useful to know what the review of MMR actually said. In essence the review was woven of three threads - media spin which declared MMR to be thorougly safe, detailed scientific analysis which declare dsafety studies to be "largely inadequate", with the two completely opposed conclusion being laced together by bureaucratic platitudes and doublespeak.

Here in simple breakdown are the three conclusions:

Plain-language summary:

"Measles, mumps and rubella are three very dangerous infectious diseases which cause a heavy disease, disability and death burden in the developing world. Researchers from the Cochrane Vaccines Field reviewed 139 studies conducted to assess the effects of the live attenuated combined vaccine to prevent measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) in children. MMR protects children against infections of the upper airways but very rarely may cause a benign form of bleeding under the skin and milder forms of measles, mumps and rubella. No credible evidence of an involvement of MMR with either autism or Crohn's disease was found. No field studies of the vaccine's effectiveness were found but the impact of mass immunisation on the elimination of the diseases has been demonstrated worldwide."

Scientific conclusion:

"The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate."

Bureaucratic/political conclusion:

"The evidence of adverse events following immunisation with MMR cannot be separated from its role in preventing the target diseases."

For the British media this was effectively the final nail in the coffin of Andrew Wakefield's reputation. According to a BBC report this year the Wakefield hypothesis was finally disproved in 2005 (presumably referring to Cochrane). Indeed, not a single mainstream journalist cared to look beneath surface of the press release and the so-called "plain-language summary", which was not a summary at all, but a statement of official policy. If they had they would have found that there was insufficient evidence ever to vaccinate a child with MMR again.

Cochrane had sifted 5000 studies down to 31 (of which 6 bore on autism), yet even these as stated in the abstract were "largely inadequate". This is for convenient reference what it said about the six apparently best autism studies available:-

“The study demonstrates the difficulties of drawing inferences in the absence of a non-exposed population or a clearly defined causal hypothesis”. (Re: Taylor 1999)

“The number and possible impact of biases in this study was so high that interpretation of the results is impossible”. (Re: Fombonne 2001)

“The retrospective person-time cohort study by Makela assessed the association between exposure toMMR and encephalitis (EN),aseptic meningitis (AM) and autism (AU) in a cohort of 535,544 Finnish children (95% of the surveillance cohort); the children were aged one to seven years at the time of vaccination.The authors compared the incidence of outcomes in the first three months after vaccination with the incidence in the following months and years.They concluded that there was no evidence of association. The study was weakened by the loss of 14% of the original birth cohort and the effects of the rather long time frame of follow up. What the impact of either of these factors was in terms of confounders is open to debate, however the long follow up for autism was due to the lack of a properly constructed causal hypothesis …” (Re: Makela 2002)

“The interpretation of the study by Madsen was made difficult by the unequal length of follow up for younger cohort members as well as the use of the date of diagnosis rather than onset of symptoms of autism”. (Re: Madsen 2002)

“The conclusion, however, implied bias in the enrollment of cases which may not be representative of the rest of the autistic population of the city of Atlanta, USA where the study was set.” (Re DeStefano 2004)

“In the GPRD - based studies (Black 2003; Smeeth 2004) the precise nature of controlled unexposed to MMR and their generalisability was impossible to determine…The study (Smeeth 2004) appeared carefully conducted and well reported, however, GPRD-based MMR studies had no unexposed (to MMR)representative controls. In this study the approximately 4% to 13% seemed to be unexposed controls regarded by the authors as representative. Such a small number may indicate some bias in the selection of controls.” (Re: Smeeth 2004)

Examined in detail Cochrane presents somewhere between thin and non-existant evidence that MMR does not cause autism at an epidemiological level. Additionally, it should be pointed out that it uses opaque language, notably in relation to the Madsen study. If it had stated that "the younger cohort members" in Madsen were "the vacciated group" the bias in the study would have been made explicit.

You can read more about the institutional and political background to the Cochrane review of MMR in Clifford Miller's article 'Questions on the Independence and Reliability of Cochrane Reviews, with a Focus on Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine:


Terri Lewis


Thank you for posting.

Lurking pediatricians, take note.

We are sick of the outright lies.

Rachel asked her pediatrician if the mercury was out of all the shots; her doctor simply lied to her and sold her a mercury-filled flu shot.

Other doctors are just misinformed and willing to stay that way.

If your doc gives you the ol' "Don't you trust me?" line, you can answer it like Ronald Reagan used to, that you want to "trust, but verify."

Do not accept a single shot without studying the risks and benefits for yourself. Read every word on the package insert.

Note that vaccines were never tested in the lab for long-term effects, but they have now been tested on the general population, and for a length of time that allows Renee Jenkins to tell us that "97-plus percent of children don't have these kinds of defects."

Decide if you're willing to risk that your child is one of the almost 3%.

Then, just to be sure, talk with a parent like me whose child *was* one of the 2% or 3%.

Terri Lewis


Thanks for posting this JB. With "flu season" approaching we still have to get the word out.
My son also got the flu shot at 15 mos. on Dec. 4th of 2003 because of all the hype about "children dying of the flu". Having heard about the mercury connection to autism, I had previously asked the nurses and doctor if the mercury was completely out of all of the shots. They assured me that yes, it was completely out. No one bothered to tell me it was still in the flu shot. By Christmas my son was noticeably less engaged and started regressing in his language, pointing and behaviors. He became lethargic and seemed depressed much of the time. By March, I could not even get him to wave "bye-bye". Fortunately, in July of 04, I was walking in Whole Foods and saw the cover article for Mothering Magazine, "Get the Mercury out of the Flu Shot". That's when my heart sank and I made the connection, but thankfully it started us early on the biomedical trail. Right after I read the article I had his blood tested for mercury by the same ped. practice. It came back postive. Even the ped. then admitted that there was mercury in the flu shot but he said "the CDC says its only the amount in a piece of fish". The lack of awareness and adherence to the party line, then and now, among pediatricians is unbelievable.


i am trying to remember right now if my son recieved his 2nd dose of the flu shot the day he got the mmr/varivax shot. i am allergic to thimerisol so i repeatidly told my pedi that i wanted to make sure ben didn't get a shot containing thimerisol. well i am now thinking he may have. a funny thing happened whe it was time for my daughter to get her flu shot this year. on that same day i had a vervous breakdown in the pedi office about vaccines because of my sons recent diagnosis. after that i made her reassure me that he did not recieve any thimerisol containing vaccines. well she said he didn't with a look on her face of distress then left the room and came back to tell me my daughter would not get the flu vaccine today because there were none left. but my girlfriend who goes to the same place had a appoinment after me on the same day and her daughter got the flu shot. i am still wondering if the pedi secretly thought there was a connection??

Sue M.

We were feeling pretty darn lucky when our whole family was deemed worthy of a dose of poison during that time because my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 11 months old. She was "high risk" for the flu so we also needed to be protected (eyes roll). My son was 15 months old and was given his second dose of the flu shot, Hib, MMR and Prevnar all together. Weeks later he was very different. There is NO DOUBT.

I was also "lucky enough" to have been given flu shots during the pregnancies of both my boys (again for "our protection").

Also, in the fall of 2001 (November 1 and November 30) my daughter received two doses of the flu shot (on those dates)... Within weeks she was wasting away to nothing. Literally. A starving Ethiopian child looked better than she did. In fact, somewhere she is in a textbook (no head shot) because the doctors wanted a photograph of how she looked. Diagnosis: Celiac Disease. Coincidence? I don't know but I doubt it.

I'm concerned about this year. I believe that it is possible (hopefully I am wrong) that they could use the whole "bird flu"/Olympics in China scare to promote vaccination this year. I know that sounds pretty paranoid... but frankly, we've earned that right to be paranoid about every step these people make. God help us if they try that (removing tin foil hat now).

moon batchelder

from flu to measles, the bogeyman diseases they try to scare us with don't seem to compare to the real life consequences of vaccination...my son received his usual 2 month old series...dpt, etc...he had seizures every night for almost a year after...and tho it is our right to waive these insults to our children's health, in my own experience,society doesn't make it easy for us. many doctors refuse to 'see' children who wont be vaccinated, most school systems make it all but impossible to enroll a child without a shot record. even some of the assistance agencies require them. my son who also receives ssi because he's disabled (c.p. pdd/nos, autism...etc) was unable to get his new social security card because the social security agency 'required' proof of vaccination as a form of 'identification'!
really! makes ya wonder just what's in that secret sauce anyway...notwithstanding, i will not be persuaded to get him vaccinated against anything ever again...despite the fact that even other parents, my alleged peers, disparage me for it.
(i've only ever had one flu shot, it resulted in the one and only time as an adult that i ever got flu! i'm 54.


Hello friends -

The flu shot is a bad one in terms of efficacy. Not only that, there is a logical mechanism established by population studies and animal models by which it can cause neurological outcomes in children when given to pregnant women.

Epidemiology tells us that women pregnant during particularly virulent flu seasons have offspring more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Several recent studies have shown that maternal cytokines may be involved with reorganizing the infant brain during gestation.

One study in particular, found in animal models that a single injection of interleukin 6 at a critical period of development was sufficient to create rats with abnormal behavior.


The flu shot has been shown to create a large spike in interleukin 6 values in humans when given.



- pD


My little guy got the dual stage flu shot in 2004 also, squeezed in between his 12 and 15 mth shots. Our ped pushed the shot for him because my husband has MS and is on immune suppressing meds, so it was highly recommended for our younger son. At 12 mths he got 4 shots - 7 vaccines (MMR/Varicella/HIBHepB Combo/Pnuemon. Conj.) then within a few weeks both of the flu shots, then the 15 mth shots 4 weeks later. I wish I could click on that undo button -- multiple times. Knowing what I do now, I'm actually suprised that my son has recovered to the extent that he has. As an aside, my husband also was lucky enough to qualify for the flu shot in 2004. In the subsequent year his MS progressed significantly following the flu shot. I'm so glad that there was a shortage that year and my older son did not get the flu shot.


Just a few hours ago at my son's dental office, a mom with two young girls remarked to the dentist, “They had their flu shots last fall, and everything went downhill from there.”

So that makes at least 2 patients in her practice with similar histories of vaccine-injured children. Who knows how many more, when no one is looking?

Americans are suffering from overexposure to a reality-resistant strain of vaccine policymakers. Even when their own children develop autism from hypervaccinia, the denial just sets in worse.

As others have stated, this issue is less about health than it is about zeal and politics and money. Who knows what level of science or shame is necessary to convince these people that their "helping" is actually "hurting" many?


After seven years and three attempts at in vitro fertilization I was finally pregnant, and with twins, to boot. I was sitting at my desk one day when my editor came by with a CDC press release in his hand. He asked me to do a story on the flu vaccine shortage. It was the winter of 2004-05. I made phone calls, talked to doctors--and made sure I got over to the health department for a shot, too. I remember being glad I'd passed over into the second trimester just a few days before, otherwise I wouldn't have been eligible for the shot. At 6 months and at 18 months, it was shot time again. It was the DAN! dr. who told me about the mercury. I'm with Cathy Jameson--can't somebody, somewhere please sell me a time-rewinder machine? Or the CDC a truth-telling machine?


It's so disturbing the different ways our kids got "taken down". I had no idea doctors were vaccinating pregnant women and infants and toddlers with the flu vaccine. My children have never been offered a flu vaccine. I guess it must be their ages. We got all the mercury filled vaccines in the mid to late 90's.

I remember the new doctor we started seeing when we moved to a new state- was just so darn impressed that my kids had the chicken pox vaccine. My son got that with his MMR and went bye bye.... Anyways, she must have just learned of the shot and they hadn't begun their epxerimenting on kids with it yet..um excuse me..they hadn't started administering it yet.


I remember fighting for those flu shots too. Demanding them b/c my son was "high risk" - he was; and he got them. All of them for 4 years. Oh God...why?

Cathy Jameson


The same exact feelings overcame me the next winter after your Jamison was vaxed. 2004 brought even more media madness and I fell into the flu vaccine trap for my son too.

I wish I had a time rewinder machine.

Cathy Jameson


Too bad you didnt know of Alan and Lujene Clark at that time. They were calling out this initiative for what it was then.


Please don't forget "bird flu" that killed a whopping few hundred and inspired billions in legislation.
Maybe someday people will have a voice again, instead of the 77 lobbyists per policy maker on Capitol Hill.

Jaaaane stop this crazy thing!!!
-said George Jetson stuck on a treadmill in outer space.

It is hard to believe a supper power, that was birthed by people who valued freedom, has sunk to such fascism.
After miles of science and empirical evidence, it is unfathomable that vaccines continue to trade unscathed, unregulated, unchecked.

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