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The Warranty of Vaccine Safety For Pediatricians

Olmsted on Autism: The Art of Chess

Art of chess By Dan Olmsted:

Many years ago -- in fact, on Christmas Day, 1963 -- I received a book called The Art of Chess. I know this because it has my 11-year-old neat block printing on the opening page. I was never much of a chess player but I enjoyed trying; I recently came across a junior high year book photo of me in the Chess Club (how dweebish). Not many books I possessed in 1963 are still around, but this one is, partly because it is a cool-looking trade paperback (Dover, $1.85) and partly because the writing "By James Mason, revised and edited by Fred Reinfeld," is utterly charming, and partly because chess is like life. Mason wrote the book in London in 1898, and it has that Victorian circumlocution that nonetheless manages to nail a point with resounding force.

I consult it from time to time because it takes me back to first principles -- and today was one of those days. Here are a few passages I thought I would share.

"Remember the Opening is not everything. There is the middle game to come in which Opening advantage, for or against you, may be swallowed up and lost.  Often and often a formally bad position really possesses superior resources -- has time on its side; whereas a formally good one may be really at its best, and can no further go -- its time is past. A player in a good position, which cannot be bettered, and is not yet strong enough to straightaway force a winning advantage, is in great danger of drifting into a losing game.

"When in difficulty of any kind, have courage. Not bigoted, reckless courage, but the two o'clock in the morning sort; the courage of fortitude to do and suffer that of which you are afraid. And if you ARE afraid, ask why -- may not HE be afraid also? Make the equation. Always play your game as if these fearful factors exactly cancel each other. This is a habit which can be acquired; and it is the nerve of the Chess-player. What is more important? ...
"What is wanted, not only in chess study, but in chess play, is a groundwork of clear and determinate ideas as to the final object of the game -- checkmate. It is a principle of experience, if we reflect upon what passes within our own minds, that the clearer an idea is, the more fruitful it is in producing other ideas, and increasing our knowledge. And the simpler the idea the clearer, if only it be attentively considered. We should, first of all, be intent upon the end at which we would arrive, if we would best avail ourselves of the means of getting there. Thus, in chess, it is the end we should consider first, so as to master more easily the simple ideas of the game, that we may become readily familiar with them, in order to go on with confidence ..."
Friends, we're playing White. And it's our move.
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.


Kevin D

I, too, received that book when I was young. Great book. Taught me a lot about the game and life. I also carried it on into high school's chess club. Great commonalities.

I've had a pit in my stomach, loss of hope and a general feeling like this is all for naught until I read your piece. I hadn't even told my wife the bad news. But I feel with confidence we shall succeed. This great lie cannot possibly continue - it will explode in their face.

I await that day - the day we will move our piece for "checkmate".

Media Scholar

You're welcome for the board graphic.

I was going to say to you know there's a sure-fire way to win at Chess. It works every time, but it's probably not in Dan's Chess book. The trick is to slap the freaking board off the table sending the pieces flying, grab the pencil-necked geek by the chest, and shake him until he gives up.

It helps to slobber and laugh crazily like Lincoln did a lot when he was on Blue Mass.

Folks, you've got to remember we are still a nation in revolt against a foreign power. Those powers opposing 'We the People' are real, and treason is all about us. One need not look further than to the "House that Merck Built" for evidence of that.

I am reminded of when the wise men told Herod about what time the star over Bethlehem had first appeared over Jesus.

God warned the wise men in a dream to not return to Herod. They departed from the land another way, and, of course, Joseph is said to have also had a warning dream from Heaven. He arose up, and by night took the young child and his mother and fled to Egypt. The next thing you know is every child by two in the land of Israel was whacked according to the time the wise men had told Herod.

The tyrannical reign of the vaccine marketplace is just that. A power in constant peril to dominate or die.

Look at the headlines. "Anti-vaccine parents dealt a blow"...now whether or not we hold that position NOW isn't clear, but name three people in America smart enough to think "there's no way these people could be anti-vaccine and claim their children had been vaccine-injured."

While Dan was reading about Chess, my favorite reading subject was our Revolution.

Right now is as good a time as any to remoblize the tried and true axioms.

In the darkest time of Valley Forge George Washington had the following from Thomas Paine read aloud to the remaining troops:

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils; and as I do not, I cannot see on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven for help against us: a common murderer, a highwayman, or a house-breaker, has as good a pretence as he.

'Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them. Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats; and in the fourteenth [fifteenth] century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman, Joan of Arc. Would that heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment! Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world."

I think this is appropriate.

"Wisdom is not the purchase of a day, and it is no wonder that we should err at the first setting off. From an excess of tenderness, we were unwilling to raise an army, and trusted our cause to the temporary defence of a well-meaning militia. A summer's experience has now taught us better;"


Dan, that looks like a wonderful book.

As for everybody else posting here, great discussion as usual but more so this time around. I'm always enriched by the discussions at AOA, but this week they have been a real lifesaver. I felt like a pawn in the chess picture last Thursday, the one from "Media Scholar" with the pawn side facing a horribly uneven game. But, as it always happens, after reading these posts I always end up feeling it is the other way around: our side is the one with the queens and the pawns are the ones on the other side. None of those vaccine-friendly pawns have the intelligence or the common sense of those who write or post on this blog, who know what the truth is from first hand experience. And, certainly, no CDC, AAP or useless mainstream media pawn can match the will and determination of an affected parent looking for justice.

Yes, Dan, the game is still on. Let's move!!

Tanners Dad

Dan the more you write the more we have in common. I was paralyzed by the events of this week. Going back to the roots of a strategic mindset really helped me pull out of my funk. I am sure that Covey got some of his ideas from the game of chess. "Begin with the end in mind." I believe we have a long road ahead. The sad part in this game the pieces we are losing are children's lives and futures. Maybe even the worlds. It just breaks my heart that we have so many out there being diagnosed and no help for those without money... (I am in that camp if anyone has any extra:)!).


Talking about strategy:it seems we have quite a few moves left.

Apparently, a while ago a group was trying to improve mammogram rates.went to doctors and told them about risk factors, and nothing changed.Then they did a PR blitz with the general public, and suddenly lots of mammograms were ordered.
Many people now avoid BPA containing plastic, even though the FDA says it is safe.

Most of the public aren't aware that more than 47 children died following the Hepatitis B vaccine.

And doctors aren't even aware that vaccines should not be given if the child is sick.A campaign that focuses on when and who not to vaccinate would be helpful too.

Sadly, there will be more and more people who believe in vaccines, vaccinate, and then see the damage ,who join this cause.With rates in the military now 1 in 58,there are going to be more and more people from all walks of life to whom this is going to matter. Eventually some of them will be judges.And senators.And lawyers. And doctors.In the end we will win.But for the childrens sake, for all of our sakes, it would be so much better if it was earlier rather than later.


Have you read the book "The Art of War." When you read it, you'll discovery that the “do nothing about vaccines” crowd has used many of the strategies in the book. This book is really about how to resolve conflict (not war). Many more of us who fight for our children should read this book.


TO Bishop - that is not the case, at least in Cedillo case the judge was quite clear that autism is not 100% genetic, but at the same time he was (over)stressing that the science (read Fombonne et al) has the "proof" that environmental insults capable of making the brain autistic happen BEFORE birth, and that the person is already autistic when they are born, even in environmentally-induced cases. Then he goes on to quote the case of 11-year old becoming autistic after a viral infection, but then goes back to state that this is ... blah blah one in a trillion "because we know, as our fabulous experts have just explained that blah blah the Defendant was born autistic anyway... and all kids diagnosed with autism were born that way because the insult happened in the womb".

Of course utter rubbish as we know there is something called Paediatric NeuroAIDS, in which HIV affects CNS in such way that symptoms of autism develop in kids who are 5 etc. Now once you admit that to be happening all the time, it would be idiotic to argue that other viruses are not, in theory, capable of same effects (and most of us know kids who regressed late and for no 'apparent' reason in their 3rd year of age or even later, more often than not following a bout of illness). So once you know that viruses can and DO lead to autism in previously typically developing infants, it would be equally hard to argue that vaccines have nothing to do with autism.
Which brings to mind Ms Singer, formerly of Autism Speaks, who refused the idea that vaccines could be linked to autism, and comes up with a real gem along the lines of "lets look into viruses instead". As if the two are not very very very closely linked! Someone should go tell Singer, and the Special Masters that a)vaccines are often contaminated with retroviruses (and that HIV, capable of inducing autism in 3,4,5-year olds, is such a virus) b) vaccines have been shown to change existing viruses into more virulent form c) vaccines have been rumoured for quite some time to be capable of trigger the reactivation of latent viruses etc. But these people are either too thick to understand or are really not interested in finding out, so not much hope there.

Julie Powell

Dan, I agree, it has been like a game of chess trying to use civil strategies to win at this game with the CDC, the governement, and big pharma. But in any sport or game, opponents are typically on fair grounds with matched abilities.

We are not on fair grounds, we are dealing with an opponent who has the power of money to pay-off and control government officials, doctors, media, researchers, lawyers, judges, etc. They are terrified of the consequences if they loose, so they are not going to play fair.
We have entered into the realm of war because we cannot succeed in our efforts when we are dealing with cheaters. Jenny is on target with her message calling us "Warriors" who are fighting for our children.

Our strength needs to come from a united force in numbers, the thousands of parents and professionals who are soldiers in battling autism, treating our injured children as well as trying to prevent future casualties.

We need to unite in educating people in our communities, our States, and across the U.S. so that our message will be heard and we will prevail. We need to peacefully march together through the streets with our message, demonstrating our strength and commitment to our cause as a means to defeat "Goliath."

"I wish the ring had never come to me, I wish this had never happened."
"So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you." From Lord of the Rings.

Orrin Hudson

Dan --
Thanks for writing about chess.I have taught chess to over 20,000 students as a way of teaching them to think.

Orrin Hudson


Amanda Blinn

Thank you for that picture of the board layout--it says a lot.


"Is the vaccine court and the IACC implying that autism is solely genetic in it's etiology with no other attributable environmental - or iatrogenic - factors such as vaccines?"

Yes, that is what they are saying. This is why the chess analogy works, because their initial move was chosen many years back and they are stuck with it - cornered actually. There is no posible way that environmental effects can be discounted when taking a cursory look at new studies, but their tactic has been and will continue to be to pretend that we are stuck in a time warp and nobody is even looking at epigenetics. The Government can't adapt its "moves" to any new research as it will lose its advantagous position, but this also ensures that they will inevitably be outmanuevered.

That's why it looks to me that the government is just playing a waiting game, stalling until Pharma can perfect its gene chip technology so that they can bring "personalized medicine" to the market. They have no intention of killing off kids, eugenics style, since they know that autism often runs in families with a history of academic achievement. There is no way to claim that autism results from "defectives", so they won't even try to do so.

In the end there will be no public acknowledgement of vaccines causing autism, but just a gradual integration of genetic testing into medical treatment, including vaccination. At least that would be the plan. It's possible to muck it up though, by publishing some more papers showing environmental causes of auism or having more high-profile cases of kids recovering.

Theresa Cedillo

Thank you Dan for the wonderful words of wisdom...

Tim Kasemodel


This week I have been walking around with a thud in the pit of my stomach - even before the announcement from the special masters. (sorry, I do not feel like capitalizing the pronoun at the moment).

Our son is having a terrible time with his gut right now. Our house is destroyed from his pain. Seeing Wakefield attacked was the beginning, the ruling was added weight and Minnesota State politics concerninig autism and disability funding cuts have all but drained me. Seeing my son struggle like a hero day in and day out with pain he cannot describe, with no one to care but his parents, brother and precious loving personal aide (best friend) has been much to bear for me personally this week.

Reading these words of wisdom written long before I was born has strengthened me once more. I now can again see hope where I once only saw a wall.

Thanks so much for bringing them to me, thank you for AoA.

Tim Kasemodel


Much can be learnt also through Schachnovelle by Stephen Zweig, translated in English as The Royal Game, or Chess Story. I read it a long time ago, and then thought about it often in the past few years, as there are so many parallels in this 'autism game'. Especially as concerns Mastery through the power of Motivation and Endurance.

mary podlesak

Random thoughts -- and questions. Is the vaccine court and the IACC implying that autism is solely genetic in it's etiology with no other attributable environmental - or iatrogenic - factors such as vaccines? If so, how long will it be before the political-medical-industrial complex comes to the conclusion that it would be cheaper to withhold any remedial education and health care monies from the genetically doomed and allow - or force them - to die. It's been done before. While chess is a fine game for strategy, I believe more is at stake here than mere political gamesmanship. The practice of vaccinatin at present forms a life and death struggle with this complex for the innocent children subjected to it. The damaged children and their parents may be the next arena of struggle in the future. Like the broken toys of Toy Story it may require a united front to battle the forces of darkness. This is no game. This is war.


I know what you mean Dan. I'm working on a piece that talks about the vaccine battle, and how we're going about it the wrong way as a community.

...except this is not from reading the "Art of Chess", rather Sun Tzu, "The Art of War". I'm sure the two are similar in a lot of ways, and I'm guessing the chess book is based on it.

I'm glad someone else is having similar thoughts after that ridiculous MMR verdict. Am I right? Is that what provoked this blog post?


To quote Psalm 37:1-13

"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;

for like grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this;

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret- it leads only to evil.

For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.

But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;

but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming."


Thanks, Dan, for sharing Mason's useful reasoning. And thank heavens for Dover Publications, which reprinted a formative childhood read of mine, "Struggling Upward" by Horatio Alger Jr. As in most of Alger's formulaic tomes, the hero's honesty, pluck and determination earned him rewards in the final pages.

We struggle upward against people who won't investigate, and those should be investigated. Thursday's ruling was a wakeup call to anyone who believes that vaccines have a warranty, a safety net, or are backed by people who care about something other than power, money and reputation.


Determination isn't enough. There are a few lawyers and other folks who have won vaccine cases. Go talk to them and ask their advice. Chess players become expert by learning from other expert chess players. Become expert by talking to people who know how to win vaccine cases.

Aimee Doyle

I was thinking about that after I read the Autism Omnibus decisions. How can we win, I thought in despair, when Big Pharma controls the government, the courts, the medical community...

But Big Pharma doesn't control reality. And facts, as I believe John Adams once put it "are stubborn things". The tobacco industry ultimately lost. Gulf War Syndrome is recognized now, where just a few years ago no one took it seriously.

We will prevail.


Beautiful. Dan, it seems that you have an amazing ability to find what's relevant in everything you ever learned, which is why I think you're chess prowess might be underestimated now that the stakes are life and death. Some people won't really plum the depths of their talent when the stakes involve merely winning or losing a game.

I'm not sure we were the ones to make the first move in this not-a-game. Doesn't that mean we're playing Black?

In any case, my brain's been reeling this week, wondering what the next move can be.


this is what we do: team white gets more blunt with the message. Vaccines can harm. We support independent research. We do a real blitz on the ARI vacc/unvacc study. I spent all yesterday writing an article in response to the court rulings and I'm trying to get that in the paper.


I get the sense James Mason was a very wise and intelligent man. Thank you, Dan for sharing his passages.

"Friends, we're playing White. And it's our move."

Indeed, it is...I'm ready for another round.

Media Scholar

But Dan, it's their board, their pieces, their rules, their homefield advantage, and the board layout looks exactly like this:


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