You know, I'm more often mistaken for being Jewish than I am for being a Nazi. Even my wife (whose family is half-Jewish) thought for certain I was Jewish when she first met me.
But according to a YouTube video in which the movie Downfall has been given new subtitles so that Hitler becomes J.B. Handley ranting about vaccines and autism, I'm one of the few loyal Nazis that Hitler/Handley wants remaining with him in the bunker. The others are Mark Blaxill, Dan Olmsted, and Kim Stagliano. I just can't figure out, though, which Nazi officer the lovely Kim is supposed to be. Jenny McCarthy is Eva Braun and Dr. Kartzinel is commanding a tank division threatening the bunker. (Yeah, I don't understand that part, either.) This gem posted on Heraldblog's YouTube account (aka Autism News Beat, aka Ken Reibel) is so awful that I couldn't stop laughing after watching it. It's HERE.
After viewing it though I couldn't help but ask a simple question. With more than a million children with autism, is that the best you've got?
No answers about what causes autism beyond looking for some gene that you haven't been able to identify yet, even though the human genome was mapped years ago?
Oh, and besides, if it is a genetic problem, why hasn't this always been with us? You think it has? Then why did Dr. Leo Kanner in his 1943 study claim it was unlike anything he or any of his colleagues had ever seen? Why when the movie Rainman came out in 1988 were pediatricians in medical school told they might go through an entire career without ever seeing an autistic child? How did something that was 1 in 10,000 twenty-five years ago become 100 in 10,000 today?
Maybe the increase from 10 to 36 vaccines before the age of six, with the majority of those administered in the first six months of life?
All we're suggesting is that we might want to go back to the 1983 schedule when autism was 1 in 10,000. I was twenty-years-old at the time and I can tell you that the land was not ravaged by infectious diseases. And we're suggesting this even though we feel the old schedule was causing 1 in 10,000 children to become autistic. For the time being we're willing to try and save 99, even though we're losing the 1. But the medical community should be trying to figure this out rather than us.
However, they don't seem like they're interested in doing that job. They don't rush to examine our children when they're diagnosed, and perform extensive medical tests like they would if they came down with, God forbid, the swine flu. And they don't rush out to examine the cases of documented recovery. What was different in their systems when they had autism, and what changed when they got better? I know that good science can answer these questions.
It's interesting that they call me a Nazi, because I am actually half-German. The Heckenlivelys come from three small towns in Germany called Unterschlectbach, Mittleschlectbach, and Bruisch. They left in 1827. I don't think there were any Nazis around then.
So while we don't have any ties to Hitler we do have a link to another well-known German. The protestant reformer, Martin Luther, who challenged the Catholic church. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther tacked his 95 questions to the church door at Wittenberg, in Saxony, Germany and challenged the bishops of the Catholic Church to debate him, setting off the Protestant revolution. According to family history, one of his daughters married a Heckenlively, and in the process created several generations of reverends and ministers.
The Catholic church was plagued with corruption during Luther's time, including the sale of indulgences. He "protested" against the Church's actions, and his followers became generally known as, "protestants". But what was most galling to Luther was that the Church had something of a monopoly on the Bible. They wanted it printed only in Latin, the language of the educated class, rather than the language of the common people. One of Luther's most revolutionary acts was having the Bible printed in common German so they didn't need the priests. Luther believed that since each person was given the gift of reason by God and would be held accountable for their own soul, that they should make up their own mind about God's divine plan. That meant reading the Bible in their own language and drawing their own conclusions.
Nearly five hundred years later I can't help but hear echoes of Luther's struggle as our small, but vocal community takes on the medical establishment. The medical authorities seem to think they own the truth and we can't be trusted to come to our own conclusions.
We point out the flaws and problems in their research, like in the Danish study on vaccines and autism quoted so often to us. (And it's not just with "the bandit Poul Thorsen", one of the lead researchers, who is alleged to have recently embezzled about $1.8 million dollars and fled to parts unknown.) For example, the rate of autism in Denmark was about 4 in 10,000, while in the United States at that time it was 67 in 10,000. Are those really such good comparisons to make? (I'd even take the Danish vaccination schedule which has 12 vaccines rather than our 36.) Oh, and how about how that study was also supposed to say autism went up when thimerosal was removed? At the beginning of the study autism was diagnosed only in a hospital setting. Halfway through the study the diagnosis was allowed to be made in an outpatient setting. How many of you had your child's autism diagnosed during a hospital stay? Probably not many.
Like Luther we're asking questions, only to be met with righteous anger. How dare we question vaccines they thunder. Sorry. We get to ask questions. It's our God-given right.
So, please, I ask the Heraldlog to get it right. I'll accept the German part. But you need to compare us to the right Germans. We're not Nazis.
Despite what our actual religions may be, in this fight we're all protestants!
Kent Heckenlively is Legal Editor of Age of Autism