Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) on the Pediatrics Autism GI Reports
In Memoriam: Allan Goldblatt, Provided Medical Care for Children with Autism

Polly Tommey of Autism File Magazine on "Discredited Defamation of Dr. Andrew Wakefield"

Autism file logo US Editor's Note:  In light of the upcoming GMC decision - and always - The Autism File supports Dr. Andrew Wakefield 100 percent.  We are there with you, Dr. Wakefield, in truth and spirit.  Thank you for your courage, integrity, and love for the children.
 
If readers would like to send feedback to The Autism File, please e-mail:
 
From the US and Canada:
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by Polly Tommey

I am getting seriously worried about the "politics" of autism here in the UK.  

The Autism File exists to provide help and support to parents, professionals, and caregivers in understanding autism better by bringing informed articles and opinions on the condition from all over the world and enabling them to then make up their minds about whether this advice will help their families and their children. We have done this for over 10 years and our readers’ feedback supports our continuing to do this.

However, over the past few months, and for reasons I cannot yet understand, a number of people and organizations have evidently decided that they should be determining the editorial policy of our magazine . . . .

Specifically, I have been "warned" not to print any more articles written by Dr. Andrew Wakefield (he wrote for the first time in the last issue); I was also warned not to invite him to speak at our conference. Separately, some organizations have warned me that they will not have anything to do with me if I continue to support and publish papers by him. Some advertisers tell me they have to stop working with us as they are "under pressure" to pull out, and a number of celebrities, high earning individuals, journalists, scientists, practitioners, and people who want to contribute to the magazine or to our campaigns say that it’s more than their job’s worth to be associated with the work of this man more than their job’s worth to even listen to what he has to say. All of them say that they can’t support The Autism File if The Autism File appears to support Dr. Wakefield.

This is completely unacceptable; so, let me set out why I will not be bullied into letting others decide who writes and who doesn’t write for the magazine, and let me be crystal clear about what The Autism File magazine will and will not support. The circumstances surrounding my "warnings" are remarkable in a country like Britain.

In the first case, very recently, I met with a senior representative of a leading autism organization. We met, at his request, not at his office, but at a café in London. He told me that he was aware that at our recent UK conference, I had introduced Dr. Wakefield and had openly declared my support for his research to continue. This, it seems, had presented his organization with a serious problem. The message I was very clearly given at this meeting was that if The Autism File magazine continued to publish Dr. Wakefield’s work, if I continued to support him publicly, and if I allowed him to speak at our conferences, then they could not work with either me or The Autism File. He also reminded me, very pointedly, that they worked closely with the Department of Health and were the decision makers regarding many important issues relating to autism . . . .

In the second case, some time ago I interviewed a notable academic from the UK autism community, and I invited him to join our scientific advisory board. He was keen but stated he could only do so if certain existing members – specifically including Andrew Wakefield – were removed from it. He then bluntly warned me that if The Autism File continued to support Dr. Wakefield it would be "shut down." Despite his standing and expertise, his concern was such that ultimately he chose not to even write for our magazine because, he said, “it is too controversial,” and, given that he is funded by the government, he felt that if he did, then his funding would be at risk.

So, why do these people feel so strongly about this? Why is there such fear? Their reason, apparently, is that Dr. Wakefield is "discredited."

“Discredited by whom?” I asked the man from the autism organization at the café. “He just is . . . everyone knows that,” came the reply. OK, so he doesn’t know. And this type of presumptive and unchallenged answer comes from all quarters. 

Let’s just look at the facts here:

There are two main sources behind the idea that Dr. Wakefield is "discredited." One is a freelance journalist, Brian Deer; the second is the editor of The Lancet, Dr. Richard Horton. Between them, these two men sowed the seed of the "discredited" myth over a few days many years ago in February 2004. The full story will be made public in the near future, having already been presented in evidence to the UK’s General Medical Council. However, as far as anyone being "discredited" is concerned, it goes as follows.

In the days leading up to Deer’s initial "revelations" about Andrew Wakefield and others in The Sunday Times in February 2004, a meeting took place between Deer and Horton in which Deer made a number of claims. These all centered on a paper written by Dr. Wakefield and colleagues, which was published in The Lancet in 1998. In the now notorious paper, Wakefield et al. had reported on a possibly novel form of bowel disease, with autistic-like developmental regression, in 12 children referred to the gastrointestinal department of London’s Royal Free Hospital. Eight of the children, according to their parents or general practitioner, had the onset of developmental regression soon after their MMR vaccine. 

Despite what is usually inaccurately reported in summary, the paper actually concluded that: "We did not prove an association between measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described … further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to the vaccine."

In the February 2004 meeting, the major issues of relevance to Dr. Horton were three specific claims made by Deer. First, he claimed that The Lancet study was funded by Legal Aid money. Second, he claimed that the children reported in The Lancet were sourced by lawyers. Third, and perhaps most crucially, Deer claimed that Dr. Wakefield had hidden his involvement with Dawbarns, the firm of lawyers involved in the MMR litigation, from The Lancet and Dr. Horton. 

On hearing these claims from Deer, Horton was apparently horrified, and within hours of the meeting he stated publically that the 1998 paper was "fatally flawed." He further claimed that had The Lancet been aware of Wakefield’s involvement with Dawbarns at that time the paper would never have been published. This statement about the "fatally flawed" paper was, therefore, the seed of the "discredited" myth that prevails and is clearly influencing many more people today.

Let’s fast forward to the GMC hearing, which has been investigating these claims for nearly three years. What do we find?

First, it has been demonstrated beyond doubt that The Lancet study was not funded by Legal Aid. Not one penny of Legal Aid money was used for the study. Second, it has been shown that the children in the study were not sourced by lawyers. None of the children reported in The Lancet study were involved in any legal action at the time of their referral to the Royal Free Hospital. Third, we now know that The Lancet had been told, in communications between Dawbarns and Horton, about Dr. Wakefield’s involvement with them in April 1997. So, they knew. A whole year before the paper was published, they knew.

Polly jan 1

Polly jan 2


Where is Horton’s "fatal flaw" then?

There are many other aspects to this convoluted and exhausting story, but the idea of Dr. Wakefield’s being discredited comes straight from this inaccurate exchange in 2004 between two journalists, one an academic, the other one not.

So, back to my friend from the well-known national autism organization.

He evidently believes Dr. Wakefield will be struck off by the GMC and has drawn his own conclusions rather too soon. Now, either he has some privileged access to a decision that hasn’t yet been made (which is a worrying thought) or he is making his own assumptions without access to the evidence.

The fact that he was badly informed and willing to prejudge a situation about which he clearly knew very little comes as no great surprise. But for me, finding out that this is the position taken by a major and influential autism organization is more concerning. Of most fundamental importance, however, is that the future of our magazine was being threatened as a result. And that is, frankly, stunning.

As a journalist trying to understand the politics of autism, bigger questions have to be answered:

• Why is it so important that Dr. Wakefield is seen to be discredited?
• Whom is it important to?
• Who stands to gain from this?
• Who will lose out if the truth is revealed?
• What is it that people are so frightened of?
• What is it they don’t want us to know?

At around the time of World Autism Awareness Day this year, I appeared with a colleague on the Wright Stuff television chat show on Channel 5. Before going on air, the host Matthew Wright joined us in the "green room" and said that he had been told by the show’s lawyers that if Dr. Wakefield’s name was mentioned, he had to say that Wakefield was "discredited." We questioned why, but Matthew said that he had no choice these were his lawyers’ instructions . . . .

When I was on GMTV they said pretty much the same thing, and we have all read the same in many newspapers.

Again I have to ask: Discredited by whom? And why?

This is my take on the whole thing: Billy, my son, had a bad reaction to the MMR vaccine, a reaction that I know caused irreversible damage. I owe it to him and the many other parents who have children like my son to support research into vaccine safety and into the possible association between some vaccines for some children and some forms of autism. Surely, research into vaccines and their possible side effects is something that should be ongoing anyway?

But why the warnings? And why can others write but not Dr. Wakefield?

Our "blogger friends" seem to be prime movers as they consistently join in enthusiastically in perpetuating the "discredited" theory. There are about 5 or 6 of them (pretending to number about 20 or 30), and they obviously don’t like me (to put it mildly). I have never met them (at least never under the names they use in the blogosphere), and they certainly don’t know me. But they love to blog about the fact that I am "anti-vaccination" and a "Wakefield supporter."

Sadly, if I really was anti-vaccination, Billy might be outside playing football with his friends as I’m writing this. But he’s not. He lives away from home now in an environment where his needs can be met, needs he would never have had if his mother had been "anti-vaccination."

There is no doubt in my mind that certain children are simply not OK to receive several vaccinations at the same time. Some children, some babies, some toddlers are simply unable to cope. Some may need a different vaccination schedule. For some, it might always be unsafe. A safer vaccination schedule would increase uptake in the healthy population, protecting those for whom vaccination is more dangerous. So, why are we not allowed to support research into this? How do we know which children are OK and which are not?

Toby (my youngest) has received no vaccinations. I won’t risk it. He also happens to be the only one of my children who has never had antibiotics and has never seen a doctor, apart from the time he got a large cut falling off a bike.

So, is Dr. Wakefield a threat because he is presenting research evidence that vaccination does cause damage to some individuals? If he isn’t producing further evidence, then why is everyone so desperate to stop him or anyone reporting this? It just doesn’t make sense.

I don’t think that vaccination causes all autism. Far from it. There are different types of autism and different causes. Here at The Autism File we discuss and print reports on all perspectives. That’s part of what the magazine is about, asking the questions and discussing the answers.

Some time ago my only certainty was that something happened to Billy after his MMR jab. Then over the years I heard enough from other families to know that Billy wasn’t the only one this happened to. I am now more certain than ever that there is more to this than I had ever imagined.

So, why the block on vaccination research? Why are threats being given to so many to not bring this subject up? Just give me one good reason why I should not print Dr. Wakefield’s articles . . . .

Discredited? I ask you again: how and by whom?

Polly Tommey is Editor in Chief of The Autism File magazine.


Comments

chris

Just saw an interview with Polly Tommey and was wondering if she has been told about the protocols known to reverse autism?
Jenny McCarthy, the actress, was in the media telling people that she cured her son of autism a few years ago. She said she made a promise to God that if He would help her find the answer she would tell the world, which she did.
Why is there so little talk about cures? Detoxing? Lipid replacement? Iodine! etc.

sarahsam

Way to go Polly-tell the phony a**holes where to go.
Andrew Wakefied is a hero by any standards and has the full support of our family.
The dog and pony show in England means nothing as they must find against wakefield or risk thier cash cow and loss of some control over the masses.

Science and medicine and right and wrong have nothing to do with it. It's about money and power.

Darian (nickname)

I found this on a Hub page and I was appalled!! And the guy seem ti celebrate it!! I don't care what side of the debate you are on, this is childish, unintelligent behavior and it needs to STOP!! Last time I heard differences in opinion was till allowed! Lets get back to intelligent and respectful debates and leave the Nazi tatics where they belong.... BACK IN WWII!!

John Stone

Jeremy Laurance, health editor of the Independent newspaper, wrote in a BMJ article 'Health Stories of the Decade':

"No vaccine in recent history has provoked so much anger, fear, and ill informed speculation. It started in 1998 with the publication of the now infamous Lancet paper linking MMR vaccine with bowel disease and autism. Vaccination rates with MMR stood at 91% in 1997-8 but had slipped to 80% in 2003-4 and as low as 60% in parts of London. Although the rates have since recovered to 85%, hundreds of thousands of children remain unprotected from the diseases and cases of measles have soared.

"One of the greatest puzzles of the saga is what has sustained this level of mistrust in the medical authority. Unlike most scientific controversies, which flare up and die away, this one has simmered for a decade. And it looks set to be fired up again by the conclusion of the General Medical Council case against the chief author of the Lancet paper, Andrew Wakefield, which is expected to conclude early in 2010."

This is, of course, journalism without any values, spoon-fed from the Department of Health and pharma lobby organisations. It could not demostrate better how the media have been transformed into pathetic state propagandists in little more than a decade. My response can be found here:

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/339/dec10_4/b5281#228759

Independent? God help us!

John Stone

I should have written in my last but one post addressed to Schoolteacher in NYC:

"Before Wakefield no one would have expected to FIND measles virus in the gut, and this clearly vindicated him."

As to Cochrane on MMR (Angus links to a letter I wrote in 2007) it is important to understand that the scientific truth lies embedded in a lot of bureaucratic eyewash. See my post 'Re: Evidence is not bullying'

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/339/sep09_1/b3658#220537

Deborah Nash

Polly, The Autism File must continue. It is the only true voice on The Autism Epidemic that we have in Britain. The opposition are worried so now it is vital that we stand united.

John Stone

Angus

Poor old 'Objective Autism Dad' - I think 'AnaB' was responding to 'Schoolteacher in NYC' (who was perfectly polite) erroneously thinking the comment was made by 'Objective Autism Dad' to who it had actually been addressed.

John

John Stone

Schoolteacher in NYC

Let's be clear an NIH study, Hornig et al, 'Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study' replicated the most important part of Wakefield's hypothesis: they identified measles virus RNA in the in the ileum of two patients, one autistic and one control, but both with bowel disease and having had MMR. The study was not well designed to locate many positive cases, but nevertheless found two instances, and replicated the results in three independent laboratories.

It also stated, hidden in the discussion:

"Our results differ with reports noting MV RNA in ileal biopsies of 75% of ASD vs. 6% of control children...Discrepancies are unlikely to represent differences in experimental technique because similar primer and probe sequences, cycling conditions and instruments were employed in this and earlier reports; furthermore, one of the three laboratories participating in this study performed the assays described in earlier reports. Other factors to consider include differences in patient age, sex, origin (Europe vs. North America), GI disease, recency of MMR vaccine administration at time of biopsy, and methods for confirming neuropsychiatric status in cases and controls."

So, they really say inside the paper that they would have got similar results with a similar design to Uhlmann. Of course, this was not how it was reported, but to the limits of its design it showed Wakefied was right. Before Wakefield no one would have expected to measles virus in the gut, and this clearly vindicated him.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2526159/


Angus Files

Objective Autism dad (is that your real name?)

Suck it and see ..from John Stone

http://www.informedparent.co.uk/TheInformedParentNoticeboardaddendum/tabid/978/Default.aspx

Angus Files

AnaB

@Objective Autism Dad: Wake Forest University and NYU Medical Center each found live Measles virus in the intestines of Autistic kids. Basically, the CDC studies find no connection and a few independent studies appear to duplicate Wakefield's findings. So, for me the mixed findings indicate an issue not yet settled.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article669430.ece

Ginger Taylor

Down with Bullies

http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2010/01/down-with-bullies-in-britain.html

John Stone

Minority View

I fear that part of this is connected with tight knit of British institutions and the British establisment: it would be comparatively easy to be independent in the US - you might lose your funding but just possibly the world would not fall on your head. Or perhaps it would:

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/merckdestroydoccritics/

Randy

Kevin Barry (quoting Michael Crichton): "Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. "

Mary Podlesak also writes: "Demand that the pharmaceutical firms who manufacture and distribute vaccines engage in public debates worldwide over the safety and efficacy of vaccines."

I believe (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that Dr. Wakefield has, on at least one occasion, invited Dr. Offit ("asked and answered") to attend a public debate. Did I hear him reiterate this invitation in a recent interview (with Sharyl Attkisson)? Why does it feel like the crickets sometimes speak louder than the apparent "consensus"?

Seems like everyone likes to throw sh$t at Dr. Wakefield from inside the bunker. At a safe distance, from some web blog, or within yet another incredibly crappy news report. Sad.

Rachel Lu

Keep up the good work Polly! Don't give in to those jerks! By the way, everyone needs to take a look at this link:
http://www.freemeninstitute.com/daniel-j-mcdonald-codex-alimentarius-a-death-sentence-for-3-billion-people.html
This will take ALL our supplements away from our kids, and is predicted to kill 3 BILLION people!

Maureen H. McDonnell, RN

Whether anyone in the medical profession agrees or not, the two reports that were published in Jan 4th issue of Pediatrics entitled Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Individuals With ASD and Recommendations for Evaluation and Treatment of Common Gastrointestinal Problems in Children With ASDs are tributes to, and a direct result of Dr. Wakefield's pioneering work. Although the investigators may not have embraced his theory of an autism specific enterocolitis caused by the measles virus, the idea that aggressive behavior, sleep disorders, attention issues, self injurious behaviors etc may stem from GI pain and discomfort (that they do now accept), ...well,that's been Andy's message since 1998. So even if his name was not mentioned in this report and for some strange reason, misinformed individuals perpetuate the myth that his work has been discredited, I believe the Wakefield message (now wrapped in a newer more acceptable package) is at the heart of this new publication. Although it's not nearly enough in the way of progress, pediatricians are now encouraged to evaluate and treat GI symptoms in children with autism and that is a victory. Discredited? I say let's give credit where credit is due! Thank you Dr. Wakefield!

MinorityView

Doesn't it seem as though people with moderate positions get attacked even harder? Wakefield simply did a little study that raised a little bit of concern that a vaccine might be injuring a very small sub-group of children. For this he has undergone six years of vicious attacks? Had his livelihood and his reputation destroyed? He has never recommended that vaccination be abandoned and has never taken any extreme public positions. The core of the problem, in my view, is that he suggested that the parents of ill children are worthy of being heard. This cannot be allowed if the illness is the result of vaccination (see gag orders after successful vaccination damage cases in the U.S.), hence the endless attempts to shut Wakefield up.

Compare to someone like Mercola, who takes an open and very public anti-vaccine position, but is not much bothered. Loathed, despised and dismissed, but not hauled through the mud...

Genny GC

The case of Dr Wakefield and other unrelated sensitive recent cases have taught us that being called "discredited" or "disgraced" by the Establishment and the official state or business-sponsored media means that the person is not only standing too close to the unpalatable truth but also standing by their principles and must be silenced/destroyed in the public eye.

The truth always outs in the end, as eventually official files and reports become available to the public.

Although I am not directly affected by autism, from all the evidence I have been able to read on all sides, I also support Dr Wakefield who, as a true doctor should, has the welfare of suffering children at heart.

Harry H.

Mark Blaxill is absolutely correct. There is too much at stake, namely trillions of dollars. Modern Medicine, Inc, specifically the corporations, governments, and especially the doctors, will not risk such a large part of the world's economy in order to admit they made a mistake. Andy Wakefield will probably be found guilty of jeopardizing the cash flow and stock prices of too many concerned interests.

Helen

Polly,
We are new to the Autism world and all I can say is that I feel so grateful that parents like you, and doctors like Dr Wakefield, have paved the way for us newbies. I applaud your courage and conviction in bringing this issue to light, and I applaud Dr Wakefield and others like him, for continuing to persevere when surely life would be easier if he gave up. I feel that because of the biomedical pioneering that has been done over the past 20 years we are shortcutting the years of pain and suffering that your child and children before, have endured. I just pray that one day, none of our children will have to experience this horrible debilitating condition. Keep up the good work and know that you are appreciated and supported.

Natasa

Schoolteacher,

could you please explain

a) what you mean by "followers" ?

b) what "following someone" has to do with scientific process and things it uncovers?


- do you mean to say that other scientists (who were his followers? - meaning what exactly???), went on to validate his findings of vaccine strain measles presence and LNH in guts of autistic children and found the same things that he did? if so, how does "being a follower" invalidate their scientific findings?

Schoolteacher in NYC

Objective Autism Dad, I keep reading on other blog's that Wakefield's finding have never been replicated except by his own followers. If you have other information could you please link to it? Thanks!

Maggie

This level of persecution means he's onto something.

GH

A thought on John's quote: 'We are not the country which once stood against Hitler.'

In the early 30s the British government, backed by most of the media, started to suppress information of Nazi atrocities, as it ran contrary to their policy of establishing friendly relations with Germany. Once started down the road, they could not turn around, so that by 1938, while Austrian refugees fled Gestapo death squads, the Times showed only pictures of beaming smiles and stiff armed salutes greeting Hitler.

The one politician speaking the truth was ostracised by the government to the point it was political suicide for others to be seen with him, and demonised by the media, the BBC denying him air time.

The truth, in those days, that the horrors of 1914 - 1918 would have to be repeated, was not something the public could face. The truth now, that a generation of children have been exposed to a dangerous vaccine regimen, is no less abhorrent; but when it finally shines through the reversal will be just as swift as it was in 1939.

Sick of it all

Dr. Wakefield committed the ultimate sin, exposed autism as damage, not a special gift. How dare he?

Natasa

Here is something for our science-loving-wakefield-bashing lurking friends. Just for the fun of it.


Adverse effects of cytomegalovirus vaccination in mice.

Studies of live attenuated cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine have recently been initiated in man. The POSSIBILITIES OF LATENT INFECTION AND DISEASE RESULTING FROM REACTIVATION OF VACCINE VIRUS are major concerns. Because markers for attenuation of tissue culture-passaged mouse CMV (MCMV) exist, studies of potential adverse effects of vaccination were initiated in mice. Plaque-purified MCMV was passed 12 times in cell culture ("vaccine virus") and shown to be attenuated by virtue of loss of lethality and diminished replication in reticuloendothelial organs of normal mice. Although subcutaneous inoculation of 10(5) plaque-forming units of wild virus was lethal for mice immunosuppressed with antilymphocyte serum (18/18 died), "vaccine MCMV" killed only 3/18 (P < 0.05) and was thus shown to be HIGHLY ATTENUATED even in immunosuppressed animals. 4 mo after subcutaneous inoculation of vaccine MCMV, no infectious virus was detectable in the tissues of normal C(3)H mice. HOWEVER, IMMUNOSUPPRESSION with anti-lymphocyte serum and cortisone CAUSED MCMV REACTIVATION, DISSEMINATION AND WIDE SPREAD CYTOMEGALIC INCLUSION DISEASE IN 19 OF 20 ANIMALS. Characterization of the reactivating virus recovered from salivary glands indicated that REVERSION TO VIRULENCE HAD OCCURRED. Thus, vaccine MCMV, although markedly attenuated initially, established latent infection, reactivated after immunosuppression, and reverted to virulence, at least in salivary gland tissue. These data from the murine model substantiate the need for careful surveillance and virologic study of patients given experimental CMV vaccine. PMID: 6244333 * Jordan MC. J Clin Invest. 1980 Apr;65(4):798-803.


Q 1: hands up anyone who can prove that this same thing does NOT happen in humans with live attenuated vaccines. Hands up anyone who can point to “careful surveillance and VIROLOGICAL studies” of children given live attenuated vaccines.

Q 2: hands up anyone who knows tissue tropism of viruses used in live attenuated childhood vaccines. Polio? Measles?

Alli Edwards, UK

Polly - brilliant and to the point!

An acceptable term parents might consider to correct tv programme lawyers about Dr Wakefield is....

"disputed NOT discredited."

So, for (unbelievably slow) science to 'unpick' his theory and investigate properly, it needs to be funded independently of the vaccine makers and shareholders hellbent on clearing their product of blame - but how? Who else has that kind of money except perhaps ailing govts who buy the drugs and support the schedules? Also, these studies need to include children with regressive autism and bowel disease, to date they have been a rather key, missing component from those conducted to dispel his hypothesis.

Shouldn't the resulting deaths or damage of a child be sufficent to spark motivation? What concerns me more are the lengths gone to, to protect the backs of decision makers who got it wrong and foolishly foisted harmful medication on the off-spring of trusting parents. To continue to conceal the extent of the damage, failure to look at the problem as it has grown makes more of them complicit in a perpetual cycle of neglect until like the banks, we reach melt-down coping with massive special needs care. The sky-rocketing numbers that have appeared, and continued to rise world-wide since the introduction of the (profitable) MMR and an ever-increasing vaccine schedule are an obvious indication - but it seems, only for affected parents, not blind bureaucrats whose jobs have sprung out of the boom. Soon, they too will have children like our's......if not, what do they REALLY know???

Parent power is a mighty weapon.
Well done Dr Wakefield for standing by your principles, and well done to Polly for standing up to bullies.

Thought I'd take the opportunity to ask -this campaign of honesty needs a big money backer - know anyone who can help? ...For the sake of our children, we have a duty to search and be bold.

Alli Edwards, UK.

Dr Caroline Traa

Fantastic piece Polly! Your courage, integrity and truthfulness say what so many people want to have heard....

Yesterday I had to clear out my daughters bowel. I do this almost every month. Why? Because it doesn't work properly. It works a whole lot better now than it used to, thanks to Andy Wakefield and his courageous colleagues at the Royal Free before they were silenced..... We are the 'lucky' ones!

To get a diagnosis of bowel disease we had to come to the States from Scotland, thank you Arthur Krigsman.... She is 12 years old and at 3 am I was changing nappies, dealing with diarrhoea sprayed all over her bedroom carpet, and lying awake all night beside her.

For those of you that believe bowel disease doesn't exist, come spend a weekend in my home.

Our family owe a debt of gratitude to Andy and all the other Autism parents, practitioners, advocates, too many to mention.

We won't shut up because it all happens to be true and we really don't want another generation of children, and their families, to suffer like ours have. Truth can never be silenced. Fight on....

All Our Love
Caroline, Harry, Rebecca & Cameron Traa
Scotland xx

Jill Rubolino

"The fundamental rule of clinical medicine is to listen to the patient, or the patient's parents and that is the beginning of the unfolding of thier particular mystery.", Dr. Andrew Wakefield. We are, and forever will be....with Wakefield.
Bring it.

Thanks Polly for being such a strong role model for all of us moms.

michael framson

"We are not the country which once stood against Hitler."

The United States is certainly not the country it once was either, John. I think both countries are headed to government-pharma-corporate fascism and it will take the courage of all the Polly Tommeys' to kill the beast.

WILLIE

Brandy Nichol Wilson

Blow it out of your ASS. Seriously right out of your ass.
A physician's job is to question and research and conclude, that is his job and that is what he did. Brian Deer and the others of his ilk and that obviously includes you, do not want to know the truth about vaccines which is why they never do the appropriate studies, the randomized controlled prospective double blind studies with consecutive patients with disclosures from independent examiners.

This is called level 1 evidenced based medicine look it up after you get off the toilette. They do not want anyone to know that vaccines have increased diabetes(mumps vaccine), leukemia, asthma, multiple GI problems, Crohns and ulcerative colitis, obesity, AUTISM, food allergies,skin disorders like exczema etc.

We do not want our healthy born children to use communication devices. We want them to talk!! Talk!!! I am a physician and surgeon and I support Andy Wakefield and I AM TOTALLY AGAINST VACCINES AND MY CHILDREN AND MY FAMILY WILL NEVER GET ANOTHER ONE EVER

Theresa Cedillo

Polly - Thank you for this enlightening article. You are an amazing and extraordinary mom and advocate. "They" are crazy if they think you will ever back down from them.

mary podlesak

Dear Polly,
You wonder:
Why it is so important that Wakefield be seen to be discredited?
To whom is this important?
and Why would anyone be afraid of the Truth about the autism-vaccine connection?
In the Age of Autism article "National Autism Association on Pediatrics GI Autism Consensus paper", I call for pediatricians to:
1) explore alternative methods of autism remediation
2) honest drug and vaccine side effect tracking
3) ending physician kickback acceptance for drugs and vaccines
4) allowing parental right of refusal for any drug and vaccine

When we demand research into the etiology of autism, which very likely is iatrogenic in it's origins, we are coming very close to demanding the extermination of modern medicine as we know it. We can petition our national health authorities, our elected representatives, our medical authorities; but without financial leverage they will not listen to us. We have to put financial pressure on the system in order to get it to pay attention.

I believe we need to do the following:
1) Boycott all physicians who will not promise to follow the previous four guidelines.
2) Demand that the pharmacuetical firms who manufacture and distribute vaccines engage in public debates worldwide over the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
3) As many autism mothers as possible should run for public office on a "clean up and reform medicine" platform. This will provide a way for the autism-vaccine connection to at least get a public airing. If we win, so much the better.

Dr. Wakefield, in the final analysis will be vindicated but he and we must suffer for the Truth until that happens.

Autism Grandma

Re: Post by Angus Files: "Dr Wakefield is of the stamp that fought Hitler in the old UK grossly missing these days in our so called “Professional award winning individuals of eminence”"

And YES Polly Tommey is also standing up to the Nazis, along with so many others. How many "intelligent" people of high academic standing were entranced by Nazi indoctrination and propaganda? How many everyday people were led along like sheep to the slaughter by Nazism? And how many people recognized the truth and took a stand for it? Certainly these righteous people were in the minority, but in the end they were vindicated when the truth was finally manifested.

Big Pharma's Nazi tactics and strong-arming to prevent the truth from emerging is very powerful, however the TRUTH is also very powerful.

By all of their evil actions it is apparent that Big Pharma is in league with the devil, so what we are fighting here is abject evil at the core driven by greed. Not only is Big Pharma determined to keep their iron grip with vaccines and many other toxic patented concoctions, they are also determined to wipe out the competition, namely, alternative medicine: the nutritional, herbal, homeopathic, any and all natural medicines that actually WORK. Not only do they intend to further maim, injure and kill helpless innocent children as well as adults, they will do everything within their financial power to prevent those injured by them to recover. With their falsified "studies" and fraudulent "science" they deny that vaccines are dangerous, deny that their drugs are deadly and life threatening, and manipulate the medical profession and government like a puppet master. And whomever cannot be convinced by their carefully crafted propaganda, can simply be bought off. Between the propaganda and the financial control, the Powers that Be are in their grip and we the unsuspecting public blindly go along with their program until hard life experiences like autism lead us to investigation and our eyes are opened to the truth.

I spoke with a man recently who developed nutritional and herbal products that were being used with great success with autism recovery. The FDA in league with the FTC recently issued him a "cease and desist order" so his wonderful products are no longer available. His products played a key role in my grandson's neurological recovery and we are very disheartened that these products have been targeted for removal, not just for our own family member with autism, but for all of the many others who were benefitting, and all of the many who will never have the opportunity. But the bigger picture here is that the entire natural medicine industry is being continually targeted for destruction, so sadly this company's products are just one of very many who have already been driven into bankruptcy by these government agencies whom it has long been proven are controlled by highly paid associates of Big Pharma. This man told me that one of the FDA employees told him that he had requested transfer to another FDA department because he "could no longer stomach being a part of the corrupt destruction of so many natural medicine companies".

But here is my question for this FDA employee and so many others like him: "Where are the whistle blowers? When are those of you who do have a conscience going to stand up and expose the truth about what is really going on?" Make no mistake and do not disillusion yourselves; we are dealing with Nazism here. (I will not name this man or the name of his company because of the Nazi SS troops who are assigned with reading these blogs for discovery of those who are "resisting the Nazi movement".)

Do these people with no conscience believe that their actions are of no consequence? Do they believe that "So what if Santa Clause knows they are naughty boys and girls"? It's not a mythological Santa Clause that these people will have to contend with, but it is a real and mighty God who will finally bring them into retribution. We humans are not the judge of mankind, but personally I have not one ounce of sympathy for any of these evil people who have no regard for the death and destruction that is wreaking havoc upon human beings at the hands of the drug and vaccine industries. Jesus Christ will decide if He wants to forgive any of these people, but I do not forgive them. When Jesus Christ said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do", he wasn't talking about people who KNOW exactly what they are doing that is WRONG and are continuing to do it anyway.

Nora

You are right. Do not allow these scoundrels to win. Dr. Wakefield is going to be vindicated I believe sooner than later.
The one thing they never counted on was the mass numbers of children who are being diagnosed with autism. They are walking on thin ice and they know it and by trying to scare you into submission they hope to hold off the inevitable.

Alison Davis

Thank you, Polly. Thank you, Dr. Wakefield.

Taximom

Sarah, if you are going to bring up the Wizard of Oz...

"Pay no attention to the man (or, rather, the great and powerful pharmaceutical industry) behind the curtain!"

Someday, a very small dog is going to tear away the curtain that covers up what is really going on....

ObjectiveAutismDad

Brandy, Are you aware that Wakefield's findings have been replicated? In several other other cases. And, the one study that was poorly designed to discredit his findings actually ALSO supported them. So, what planet are you on?

Further, Wakefield and Thoughtful House have recently completed a study on the Hep-B vaccine in primates and found significant neurological impacts. Of course, we'll all wait patiently (NOT!) while this study and many others that support our position are completed and replicated. We need to do something now for these kids as you imply. But trying to cover up the truth isn't helping.

Teresa Conrick

The amount of energy and confabulation used to attempt to discredit Andy Wakefield and stop the truth is unbelievable. The ugly and anonymous Hydra are obviously scared of him, scared of the vaccine damage our children have, and therefore need to dash any hope.

We are blazing the trail. Never give up.

Kevin Barry

Excellent article Polly!

Autism research is in a bad place. Governments are unwilling to fund honest research into vaccine safely, even though honest research into vaccine safety is the most promising line of investigation to potentially slow and then stop the autism epidemic.

Governments are by far the largest funding source for most researchers and institutions. Most researchers and institutions fear having their funding cut off by governments.

Those brave enough to research vaccines risk being blacklisted from the largest funding source. The necessary research will have to be done by the private sector ~ but we've known this for years.

Cheers to Dr. Wakefield, the others researchers working on vaccine safety, and to those in the private sector funding the work.

The current witch hunt against Dr. Wakefield is disgusting. Pretending that he is discredited, and that there is a scientific consensus that there is no need for additional research into vaccine safety is absurd.

From a prior post by JB:

The late Michael Crichton, himself an M.D., addressed this notion of a bunch of pedigreed people shouting the same lie, with a level of eloquence I could never summon:

"I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had."

Sally Averkamp

It is amazing that one British doctor should be considered so dangerous to the pharma industry that they would apply this kind of pressure. They must think that he has the best chance of linking their vaccines to all the neurological damage to our kids. I am impressed that Polly stands her ground in face of this.

The good news is that the challenge to vaccinations is happening on many fronts, not just Andy's research, and is helped by the huge increase of autism and spectrum disorders since the Hep B shot has been given at birth in the US. The problem is not going away and these countries have no choice but to look at the vaccination connection to autism because these sick kids are going to bankrupt the countries involved.

Kathy Blanco

One scientific fact, measles is known to lodge in the gut and brain, enough said.

Kelli Ann Davis

My seventeen year old son told me last week (for the first time ever) that he "was dying" shortly after his MMR vaccine some fifteen years ago!

Andy Wakefield is a hero.

End of story.

Kelli Ann Davis
Mom to Miles

JB Handley

Who are these chicken shits?

Generation Rescue supports Andy Wakefield 110%

JB Handley

Tim Kasemodel

I tip my hat to Brandy Nichole Wilson.

I wish more of those who disagree with us would print their name. I respect anyone's opinion, as long as they own up to it. I also wish more of our own supporters would do it as well.

Brandy, my son is 12 years old - in diapers - and speaks in monosylibic sounds. When he is pooping normally he is a sweet little boy. A "communication device" would be very helpful to him.

One problem.

When he is not pooping normally, he is agressive, destructive and combative over very simple things that do not normally bother him. A $3000 "communication device" is not going to be handed to him so he can throw it through a wall or smash me on the head with it before he can type in "MY TUMMY HURTS - DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND???"

We were included in a Dateline NBC show on Thoughtful House this late summer. Our son is doing better, much better, but has ways to go. We are not "curing his autism", but simply trying to relieve him of his constant gut pain. We knew when we agreed to be filmed we would have critics such as yourself. We did not care. We only wanted to help out the man that has helped so many others in any way we could.

Brandy, please try to understand us before you condemn us for our support of a man who has led and walked along with others to look into methods that relieve our child's pain. REAL PAIN.

Go ahead and support other methods or even beliefs about causes, but please respect us who live with the damage you can so easily ignore.

Thanks Polley, for a great post to AoA.

Tim Kasemodel
Wayzata, MN USA

John Stone

Randy

Quite right - it was Times Newspapers who started the howl about the cost of the hearing when it was they who were responsible for it - and suggests that they were getting cold feet:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/03/andrew-wakefields-complaint-against-the-sunday-times-the-times-of-london-retreats.html

Meanwhile, the cost has escalated by informed rumour to the region of £10m, a cost which will fall to the British Medical profession. But we all know who have been time wasting - it took that three and half years to start the hearing and two and half years to hear it (although it was originally scheduled to last 3 months). I there are any findings against the doctors it will actually go on for many months more.

And then we have all the time wasting, red herring science which has prevented the real science from being heard and being completed.

Sarah below, is quite right: they are really scared of the GI issue.

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/jcviexpertnondisclosure/

Jenna Smith

Oh, yeah, after the personal and professional hell this guy has gone through, for years, for US, we're just gonna bolt and let him twist in the wind...NO WAY. They couldn't buy him off or scare him off, so now they're coming after us. Let Andrew Wakefield be our example in how to respond.

Twyla

Polly, your bravery is outstanding in not only standing up to this pressure but also speaking out about it.

This situation is just so bizzare. Your words are so sensible. Who would have thought that vaccines would become such a political issue, where ideals of free speech are trampled? The other side always say that they understand science and we don't, yet science to them seems to mean suppression of discussion and inquiry? As Dr. Bernadine Healy has said, those in charge of the vaccine program must go where the science leads them.

The press regarding yesterday's Pediatric article on GI issues is so inaccurate as to be positively weird. Are journalists told not to even voice the possibility that children with autism may be helped by special diets and that GI issues are often a part of autism?

The trashing of Dr. Wakefield has been so effective that even half-way open minded people I know think that all his work has been discredited and that he has shown ethical lapses. It is important for all of us who believe otherwise to speak up as often as we can.

Thank you, Polly, for your great magazine and for your courage in standing your ground!!

Angus Files

Thanks for this Polly ,well done for sticking up for the truth ,unlike the 30 pieces of silver Pharma / Award Winning Journo brigade(you all know who you are) who undoubtedly have no such morals .

They want Dr Wakefield silenced for Dr Wakefield can explain such a complicated subject gastro/autism in layman’s terms to the likes of myself one of the masses and ,what the underlying problem really is rather than the hopeful lies we were spun to our questions as to why our son was seriously ill after he received his mmr The lies spun in this tapestry of lies by the Dr who administered our sons MMR leave you only to conclude we don’t know what is wrong with your son but one thing for sure it isn’t vaccines " and when he was dignosed Autistic aged 2 years it was"go home and have a cup of tea you cant do anything with Autism"!…that was 11 years ago.Our son has changed physically but his mental school assessed age is still around 2 years old (at best) .We also have our two youngest a boy and a girl unvaccinated with no visits whatsoever to the doctors one a boy is aged 5 years old and one a girl aged 4 years old . As Polly says if we had been ant-vaccine to start with our sons devastating Autistic condition would not have happened …if only we could turn the clock back,we all can wish..

Thanks Dr Wakefield for the sacrifices you and your family have made and if you had no morals you could walk away from this tomorrow. Dr Wakefield is of the stamp that fought Hitler in the old UK grossly missing these days in our so called “Professional award winning individuals of eminence” ..you all know who you are…


Angus Files

Seonaid

Dear Polly,
How I admire your determination not to be bullied by the dark forces at work in this country. Thank you for your honesty in telling us the pressures and threats you have encountered. It could have been so easy to keep quiet for the sake for the sake of the magazine, or for personal reasons – but you haven’t.

Why is the ‘establishment’ so afraid of this one very courageous doctor and his findings? We KNOW our children are vaccine damaged. And THEY know - otherwise they wouldn’t behave in this fashion. I cannot understand how this taboo on discussing vaccines is allowed to continue in the face of all the emerging evidence. It is as if the press and the culture that are usually so investigative, abide by the taboo. I cannot think of any other subject that this applies to in our normally liberal culture. There must be a great deal at stake……

Thousands behind you Polly – and behind Dr Wakefield. This will never be swept under any carpet – ever.

Ginger Taylor

Is Andrew Wakefield also leaping from rooftop to rooftop, all over the world, sneaking into children's bedrooms at night, Santa Style, feeding them laxatives and constipators, to disturb their bowels to make it look like his "discredited" theories are true?

Because he must have started sneaking into our house nightly when my son was two weeks old after he got the Hep B shot, cramming Imodium AD and cheese down his throat, because that is when Chandler stopped being able to poop.

And apparently Andy is afraid of the GFCF diet, because he stopped visiting our house two years later when we put Chandler on it.

That Andy Wakefield is one bad dude.

Randy

"Wakefield has made people waste a lot of time and money that could have been used to help autistics."

How so? Did he call up Brian Deer or the GMC one day and plead with them to drag him and his family through the muck for the next 6 years?

You're bang on about the time and money being wasted, but right off the charts with respect to the root cause.

Theodore M. Van Oosbree

All movements that resist the status quo eventually reach a point when the powers-that-be attempt to buy them off. "Just stop all that whining about vaccines and we'll throw you a few bones" is the substance of the offer. A few words about treatment, an allusion to "environmental factors" and all is right with the world. We might even throw in some donations to your organization if you're good boys and girls.

Curt Linderman Sr

wow, Polly as usual is an awesome advocate for our kids. As far as the idiots that wont support vaccine/autism research, go on ahead thru your moronic world...we'll handle the truth from here.
Isnt it amazing that there are as many "studies" that support and have "reproduced" Dr. Wakefield's hypothesis as there are those that haven't? Isn't it also strange that the press on either side of the pond have not reported on these studies? Looks like big brother propaganda is doing it's job, because they know that the majority of the poeple out there want a sound byte short enough to get back to their mindless telly programming.
Keep speaking the truth Polly, we love what you are doing!

Susan Hamlyn

I write as the mother of a child who was, we think, severely and permanently damaged by the MMR. Polly Tommey's superb letter encapsulates our conviction that Dr Wakefield has been traduced and victimised by The UK medico-political community. This, tragically, has been aided by the press whose members are only too pleased to print and reprint the lies and calumny. Dr Wakefield discredited? Not in the minds of his patients and their families.

Sonja

We are behind you Polly with full force. An entire generation of children has been damaged by vaccines. Dr. Wakefield was the first to bring this to light. One man with a story has the British empire shaking in their boots while their youngest citizens are falling off the cliff...bravo. My children have never been healthier since I stopped vaccinating almost 10 years ago. We will never stop supporting Dr. Wakefield.

Mike Boult

Polly your story has a familiar ring to it,being one of the original plaintiffs in MMR case then MMR10 member with dear Jenny and Keith.One soliciter had several meetings in the early days,once at a railway station- he was advised not to stand to close to the edge of the platform..... Good thing Andy moved to the states even though it cost
him a lot in his life.These people will stop at nothing to keep this power from succeeding- the influence in govnt is awesome,doubt if Gordon will help now! If I can help with anything let me know,take care regards Mike.

Sarah

It reminds me of the scene in the Wizard of OZ when Glenda the good witch advises Dorothy that she must never remove the slippers or she will be at the mercy of the Wicked Witch of the West. The ruby slippers are very powerful.

We, like Dorothy, must never give in to pressure. We should stand behind Wakefield and his work.

The GI issues that Wakefield studied seem to make "them" very nervous. They go after the man but it's really about what he uncovered. Scientific truth. They are very threatened by anyone who cites anything by Wakefield so they bully and harass.

I wonder who else "they" are pressuring. I know I'm speculating here but could this be one of the reasons AutismSpeaks UK now "Autistica" broke away from AutismSpeaks b/c autism speaks recently held a conference on GI issues. Autistica seems focused on genetics.

The medical community seems very, very touchy about GI issues and are trying hard to steer public opinion away from that.
hmmmm

Natasa

Brandy@"Wakefield has made people waste a lot of time and money that could have been used to help autistics."

What planet do you live on? I'd like to go there for holidays, to escape from reality for a few days.

Cynthia Cournoyer

Tommey: "Sadly, if I really was anti-vaccination, Billy might be outside playing football with his friends as I’m writing this. But he’s not."

I nominate this for next year's Quote of the Year.

ElizaCassandra

From "across the pond" - Dear Brandy, Please go to Merck's official website and look at the Material Safety Data Sheet for the MMR II which is the version currently in use. Please look at the long list of primary and secondary adverse vaccination reactions which include encephalitis (brain inflammation) and encephalopathy (brain damage).

No-one is stating that all people on the autism spectrum have been damaged by the MMR. However, this has been and remains a reality for a subset of children who descend into regressive autism within a short time of receiving the MMR. Compensation awards have been made in the UK and USA for a very small number of vaccine-damaged children but their parents have been silenced by 'gagging' orders.

maggie

This is all so bizarre. Who is going to write the screen play? The characters and plot are perfect for a reality documentary or true story drama. Get the word out to the masses the way the pharma gets out their lies. Submit it as entertainment for the people who aren't smart enough to see through the smoke.

Brandy Nichole Wilson

If you believe Wakefield, then support him.

Just don't be surprised when people don't support you.

Wakefield has made people waste a lot of time and money that could have been used to help autistics.

Every time when there has to be another penny wasted on a repeat study disproving his theories; I think about how many other ways that could have been put to good use.

I am concerned there are autistics out there whose families can't afford communication devices that help them have a voice. Parents who can't afford respite care. Young adults who can't afford to go to autism-friendly job training classes. Classrooms in need of aides and supplies.

This is why I will not support anybody or any organization who supports wasting money on anti-vaccine theories. And I'm not alone.

Joan Campbell

Polly Tommey is speaking the truth. This is a massive coverup by the medical cartel, governments and the pharmaceutical companies. I support Polly and Dr Wakefield all the way because my son was damaged the day he had his MMR.
Don't forget there would be no mention of Dr Wakefield if our vaccine damaged children were not around.

John Stone

Thank you Polly for you incomparably couragious stand. For a compact but highly detailed account of why and how all this happened I recommend this post on ChildHealthSafety:

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/secret-british-mmr-vaccine-files-forced-open-by-legal-action/

A great deal is known about how the British established got there, and why they are so entrenched - it is still rather hard to credit how they behave, and how they are prepared to sell so many children down the river.

We are not the country which once stood against Hitler.

John

julie

Why is the pharmaco-medical colossus scared shitless of one "discredited" doctor?

Ms. Tommey you are a hero. This is terrifying stuff.

Judith

Thank you Polly, for standing up for the truth! Dr. Wakefield has done nothing to deserve the lies and garbage being spread about him.
I believe that someday the truth, and the horrific cover ups will come to light. Hopefully before the rate of autism is 1 in 10!

I have also chosen not to vaccinate my second child. She has had one illness requiring antibiotics, unlike her ASD brother who is constantly battling colds, and ear infections.

Mark Blaxill

Beautifully said, Polly. I fear that we are in for a firestorm with the upcoming GMC ruling. There is too much at stake and too much has been invested for the GMC to acquit Wakefield of wrongdoing, despite the clear facts you've laid out here.

We're all going to have to be prepared to stand up for Andy and steel ourselves for an adverse finding. We need to be resolute and follow your lead here.

Odysseus

Polly, thank you for not succumbing to pressure and maintaining your objectiveness. Dr. Wakefield has been treated so unfairly. His work in the field of pediatric gastro injuries in ASD kids is so much more than whether there is a link with the MMR. His focus is on helping these kids heal and live better lives. How could anyone claim that this mission should be discredited? Especially those who claim to work in the autism field. shame on them, and kuddos to you.

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